ATTLEBORO, MASS. (WHDH) - The Bishop Feehan hockey team laced up their skates to play with a purpose in their first time back on the ice after their teammate and classmate suffered a frightening injury earlier this week.
The puck dropped with heavy hearts at The New England Sports Village in Attleboro Friday night as the Bishop Feehan boys faced off against Austin Preparatory School.
With his picture and jerseys hanging behind them, friends and community members made it clear – this one is for A.J.
A.J. Quetta, a varsity hockey player at Bishop Feehan in Attleboro, suffered a severe spinal cord injury after crashing headfirst into the boards in a game against Pope Francis in Springfield on Tuesday night.
Both teams gathered together at center ice and took a knee in prayer for Quetta following the game that night as he was rushed to Massachusetts General Hospital, where he later underwent surgery.
At the game on Friday, the opposing team’s coach Bill Pappas made sure his players knew this night was about one thing.
“I told them, it’s not about the game. It’s about A.J. and his family,” Pappas said. “I think they did a fantastic job with the little celebration before the game started.”
Quetta, a popular senior, is also a member of the school’s lacrosse team.
He has received an outpouring of support not just from his community but from all over New England as well.
The Jacobs family, the Boston Bruins, and the Boston Bruins Foundation have pledged a minimum $100,000 donation to support Quetta.
They are also auctioning off previously-used game sticks from select Bruins and Penguins players and hosting 50/50 raffles from Feb. 1-6 to benefit Quetta’s recovery.
A GoFundMe has been set up to help cover Quetta’s medical expenses.
“The outpouring of support is incredible,” A.J.’s father, Anthony Quetta, Sr. wrote in a statement. “People have been unbelievable and my wife Nicole and I are grateful. We would like to thank the doctors, nurses, and first responders for their extraordinary efforts to help our son. We can’t thank everyone enough for all the heartfelt messages of support.”
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