A sea of black & gold: Fans honor injured QB at St. John Vianney homecoming game

It was the first home game the team played since #18 was airlifted from the field on Sept. 23 during a game with Manaquan.

News 12 Staff

Oct 8, 2022, 12:28 AM

Updated 647 days ago

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The St. John Vianney Lancers took the field Friday for their homecoming game and were greeted with a sea of AVT shirts in a show of support for their injured quarterback Aaron Van Trease.
It was the first home game the team played since #18 was airlifted from the field on Sept. 23 during a game with Manaquan. The 18-year-old suffered a spinal cord injury.
The AVT shirts have the number 18 on the back with the acronym f.a.m.i.l.y., which News 12 is told means forget about me, I love you. The shirts are part of a fundraiser to help with medical bills. Van Trease's teammates also had his number on their helmets.
The team's coach says the night Van Trease was injured he told him, "Don't worry about me, go win this game." The team did go on to win the game.
"I said, 'How are you doing?' He said, 'Great.' He goes 'Go get another one today coach.' He's a team player and the biggest thing about this all is it's a family and that's what St. John's is all about and that's what the football community is all about," says coach Jeff Papcun.
Van Trease is recovering at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital.
"He's awake, he's alert, and he's going through the recovery process right now. They have not moved him out of the bed yet because I think he's still recovering from the surgery," says Principal Margaret Kane.
The GoFundMe page has already raised $150,000.


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