CHESTNUT HILL — Last year was painful for the Boston College football program.
It was doubly painful for a couple local stars.
Not only did Andover tight end Brian Miller and North Reading offensive lineman Bobby Vardaro have to endure a 2-10 season, the Eagles’ worst in 34 years, but they also had to play in pain.
Vardaro could have sat out after badly injuring his left shoulder in a midseason game with Army.
But he played the next seven games.
“I definitely could have had surgery then,” said Vardaro, who eventually had offseason surgery which caused him to miss spring practice.
“You have to play through it.”
Miller was plagued by muscle pulls and sprains.
Others might look at that as a negative.
He saw it as a positive, example of steady progress from the career-threatening knee injury he suffered against Lowell High on Nov. 12, 2010.
“They were nagging injuries but I did my best,” he said.
The Frank Spaziani era is mercifully over as the overmatched coach was let go shortly after the season ended.
Vardaro and Miller hope to put the team’s and their personal travails in the rearview mirror as well.
Miller’s rollercoaster ride
Miller showed in last season’s opener why at Andover High he was ranked the No. 9 tight end in the country by one scouting service and No. 30 by another.
Against Miami, he experienced some fabulous highs, a few lows and about everything in between.
He caught three passes for 38 yards and drew a pass interference in the end zone.
Simply put, the vaunted Hurricanes were having their problems containing Miller.
He also had a chance for a touchdown catch but couldn’t hold on. In his first real action in 22 months, it was a more than positive beginning.
But injuries and rust caught up to him.