Brendan Moreau manages the stat book for the St. Joseph High School boys lacrosse team, but he never planned on watching the games from the sidelines.
“I’ve never had had somebody as knowledgeable as him doing the book,” said Moreau’s father, Falcons coach Marc Moreau. “Our stats have never been as thorough or as accurate in my nine years here coaching.”
Brendan Moreau, who had been out for the season while recovering from heart surgery, was put to work early and often by Scotch Plains-Fanwood on Monday afternoon as the Raiders posted an 11-6 victory at Wexler Field.
Moreau scribed Raiders’ Jack Cunningham and Kevin Kerby for two goals and two assists apiece while Thomas Walker and Matt Greenberg kept Moreau’s pencil to paper as they each turned in two goals and one assist. Moreau marked down Courier News Player of the Game, Jack Gerrity, for one goal, one assist and six ground balls as Scotch Plains-Fanwood upped its record to 9-4. St. Joseph fell to 5-6.
Five different goal-scorers helped the Raiders build a 5-0 lead midway through the second quarter and they rolled to their third straight victory with one game left before facing off with Oratory Prep in Friday’s first round of the Union County Tournament.
“This past week we took a really bad loss to A.L. Johnson,” said Raiders coach Nick Miceli. “I think that opened our eyes, and from then on everything has to be a playoff game.
“St. Joseph is a good program. We prepared for them and came out today with a playoff type of mentality because we’re looking for a good seed in the state tournament. As a new team, we have to earn the respect from the more established teams, and I think we did that today.”
Brendan Moreau, a freshman, suffers from Tetralogy of Fallot, a rare condition caused by a combination of four heart defects that are present at birth. These defects, which affect the structure of the heart, cause oxygen-poor blood to flow out of the heart and into the rest of the body.
“Brendan has his initial repair at five months old,” said the elder Moreau. “The doctors closed the wall in his heart. And he had narrowing of the pulmonary artery so they enlarged that, which compromised the valve.
“They wanted to wait until his heart was fully grown. Basically there was no valve so one side of his heart was growing bigger than the other. When the pressures get to a certain point they have to go in and put in a new valve, and we were at that point.”
After lasting nearly the entire basketball season on St. Joseph’s freshman team, Brendan Moreau was operated on at The Children’s Specialized Hospital of Philadelphia on Feb. 26. He went home the following Friday.
“The recovery has been a lot quicker than expected,” Brendan Moreau said. “The doctors didn’t think I could be doing anything for a while, but I went outside the other day and had a lacrosse catch.”
Brendan Moreau explained that he will never be able to lift weights, and that his chest was sore and had trouble walking immediately after surgery.
Now two months later, lacrosse is again his primary concern.
“It’s very frustrating to watch from the sideline,” he said. “Especially the defense because we’ve been struggling.”
Brendan Moreau was slated to play defense.
“You never want your child to go through medical issues. You’d much rather it be yourself,” coach Moreau said. “We knew this (surgery) was coming eventually.
“If you have to miss a year of playing ball in high school, your freshman year is probably the best, he added. Instead of dwelling and feeling sorry, we decided to embrace it. Brendan comes to every practice. We’re looking at it as a positive from that standpoint of that he watches game film with me a lot more closely, and it’s giving him an opportunity to learn the finer points of the game by watching and being a student. When he takes the field, it’s going be an adjustment but if he’s been paying attention, he’ll be up to speed.
Brendan Moreau said he’s on track to fully resume athletic activities in the fall.