They’re together again, training and getting ready for the season.
More than three months after they thought it would happen, and for a different sport.
Haverhill seniors and good friends Jonathan Quigley and Brandon Grundy believed they’d be side by side on the offensive line in the fall, but that went up in smoke back on May 31 when Quigley tore his ACL during a conditioning drill.
That led to surgery on June 26 and meant that there would be no football season for the 215-pound Quigley, a returning starter at center. He would no longer be lining up next to the 6-3, 260-pound Grundy, an offensive guard and defensive tackle.
“It was very hard,” said Quigley, “It’s my senior season and I was really hoping to start both ways for the first time. I love playing defense and I was working hard.”
Grundy took the news almost as hard.
“That was a big loss,” said Grundy. “We definitely could have used him. ... I definitely felt bad for him, and it stinks, but I’ve seen how hard he’s working at his recovery. He’ll be back.”
Throughout the season, Quigley made all of the Hillie football practices, working on therapy and rehab drills under the supervision of Haverhill trainer Dave Warwick. But he also worked out on his own at Choice Fitness in Haverhill, often early in the morning before school.
Assistant track coach and weights coach Ben Scovotti has taken notice.
“He works at it, he’s really dedicated,” said Scovotti. “He’s one of the hardest workers I’ve ever coached. He gets the most out of his athletic ability. He couldn’t break 30 feet in the shot put as a freshman but I wouldn’t be surprised if he breaks 45 (feet) after he’s cleared.”
The original recovery period for Quigley was thought to be 6 to12 months. Quigley is pushing for six months and hopes to be cleared for competition at his next doctor appointment, Jan. 10.
“I feel great now and I think I’m going to make it,” said Quigley, who is now hoping to play college football, saying that “I wasn’t thinking about it before the injury but now I want to play. I really missed football.”
In the meantime, regardless of when he can begin competing, Quigley is just happy that he’ll be working out with Grundy once more.
“We’re really close and he’s like a brother to me,” said Quigley. “He’s an amazing thrower and had a really good (football) season.”
Grundy, who also throws the discus in the spring and is similarly hoping to play college football following an impressive season on the gridiron, has a best shot put throw of 46-11 1/2 and is aiming for 50 feet, a distance both he and Scovotti are confident is realistic.
“I think he’ll do it,” said Scovotti. “He’s got the talent and the potential to (also) break 150 in the discus.”
And, now he’s got Quigley, his good friend and training partner, back working out with him helping spur him on.
“Brandon and Jonathan push each other in the throwing circles and the weight room,” said Scovotti. “They remind me of the days when John Ottaviani would throw me and Matt Battistini out of the weight room so he could go home for dinner.”
“We’re really close and he (Brandon Quigley) is like a brother to me.”