SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

November 30, 2013

Jean DePlacido column: Cardew's career cut short


The Salem News

---- — Jean DePlacido

In an instant, Griffin Cardew’s football season was over and even worse news for the star Bowdoin athlete from Ipswich was the fact that his senior lacrosse season was also wiped out.

It happened during the Trinity game last month, and the Polar Bear’s linebacker and former Prep star immediately knew something was seriously wrong.

“I blew my knee out; tore my ACL and MCL as well as one meniscus,” said Cardew. “The other is partially attached, and we won’t know if they have to cut it out until the surgery. Dr. Thomas Gill (the New England Patriots doctor) is going to do it and I was fortunate there was a cancellation so I’ll get it done on December 19th instead of the original January date.

“I will have to do a full year of rehabilitation before I’ll be completely back, but I will be able to run and make cuts in nine or 10 months. It’s hard to believe my athletic career ended that day, and it was tough to swallow. I had a lot of high hopes, expectations, and goals for my senior year, but as soon as it happened I knew it was bad.”

The Bowdoin trainer took a look and knew he was dealing with an ACL injury right away. Cardew was coming off a great junior year when he led the league in total tackles with 97 and was named first team All NESCAC. Cardew had double digit tackles in six of the eight games, including a career-high 17 against Bates.

He also set a record for the longest play in school history with a 100-yard interception return for a touchdown against Tufts. After an outstanding career for the Eagles, he went to Loomis Chaffee, where he was All New England. Cardew was a captain in high school, prep school, and college. He was named a 2013 preseason All-American by USA Football Network.

“The first four games of this season were all against passing teams and my favorite part of the schedule against the running teams was coming up,” said Cardew. “I’m very disappointed, but I’ve come to grips with the situation and know I had a good career. I wish I could have done more, but honestly I have no regrets.

“Being named captain by my teammates was a big honor. You put in all that time and effort; it’s nice to know your teammates back you up. I was on crutches for three weeks, then just one crutch and now I’ve got a pretty big brace on all the time. The good thing is it doesn’t hurt to walk, and after surgery I’ll have four weeks of non-weight bearing. I’ll be on break from school which is good.”

Cardew, who was just named to the NESCAC All Sportsmanship Team, which singles out student-athletes who show respect for themselves, teammates, coaches, and opponents, plans to go into construction management after graduation. He had an internship with a construction company last summer and helped build two houses. After that he was hooked on a career in the field.

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Michael Keenan Jr. of Middleton, who played soccer at the University of New England, has been named to the All Commonwealth Coast Conference honorable mention team. The former Masconomet and Aztec Club soccer player started all 18 games on defense for the Nor’easters, who held their opponents to one goal or fewer in 13 matches. Keenan, who was a captain, has roomed with teammate Kyle McGlone of Peabody for the past four years.

“I didn’t know Kyle before, but he asked me to be his roommate and we’ve been friends ever since,” said Keenan. “We’re both applied exercise science majors and I’m in training at the New England Rehabilitation Hospital in Portland (ME.). I’ve applied to grad school for a three-year program. It’s a long road ahead, but I’ll get a doctorate in physical therapy.

“This is the first time I have ever made an all-star team in high school or college and it was a huge surprise. It’s a great ending to my career after one of the best years I’ve ever had. I just wish the team could have done better (6-8-4). I love the college; coming here was one of the best decisions I ever made. We have great professors here, and one of the top programs around for my major.”

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Jean DePlacido is a part-time writer and columnist for The Salem News. Contact her at jmdeplacido@aol.com.