Monmouth County HS football community rallies around player who suffered spinal cord injury

A Monmouth County community has raised tens of thousands of dollars for a high school football player who suffered a serious spinal cord injury during a game.

News 12 Staff

Sep 30, 2022, 9:41 PM

Updated 621 days ago

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A Monmouth County community has raised tens of thousands of dollars for a high school football player who suffered a serious spinal cord injury during a game.
Aaron Van Trease is a quarterback and safety for the St. John Vianney Lancers. He was injured on the third play of last Friday’s game against Manasquan. He underwent surgery the next day.
“He’s alert. He’s in the recovery process,” says school Principal Margaret Kane.
The community started a GoFundMe campaign for the teen’s recovery. It has raised over $100,000 as of Friday evening.
Meanwhile, the school community in Holmdel says it has faith that Van Trease is on track to recovery.
“There’s concern, but it’s also very uplifting to know that his parents have been in touch with us. We’ve been in communication, and we have the faith, and we know he’s going to be OK,” says Kane.
The St. John Vianney school, parish and community is deeply rooted in their faith. The school says there is no doubt that the prayers and outpouring of support from the community has helped the Van Trease family.
"We had a Mass with the students last Saturday. We met some students from St. Benedict's Church for 5 p.m. Mass and we gathered together,” says Kane. “We had a Mass with the football players on Monday morning. We know this is in God's hands and that God is good."
But prayer is not the only form of support from the community. Kevin Rodriguez runs the Jersey Shore high school football Instagram account, the.Shore.Savages, which has garnered nearly 40,000 followers.
"Always try to use my platform as positive as I can, to try to help the community,” Rodriguez says.
He had the idea to have all Shore Conference teams’ fans wear Lancer black and gold in their stands for Van Trease.
"I said, ‘Student section leaders, let's make it happen. Everyone change your teams and go black,’” Rodriguez says.
For one night, teams will put competition to the side. They say it's bigger than football, it's family.
"Aaron, if you're watching this, I just want to let you know you have -- the whole shore is behind you. The whole shore is praying for you and wishing you a fast recovery,” Rodriguez says.


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