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Globe North Sports notebook

Rallying to help hospitalized friend

Chris Fraczek at Nichols. Chris Fraczek at Nichols.
By John Vellante
October 16, 2011

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When Chris Fraczek played soccer at St. Mary’s of Lynn from 2002-06, he was, in the words of coach Al Jackson, “a hard-nosed kid who didn’t know the meaning of the word quit.’’

That has never been more evident than over the last seven weeks, as the 24-year-old Fraczek fights back from life-threatening injuries sustained in an early-morning automobile accident on the Tobin Bridge.

Fraczek, who wasn’t wearing a seat belt, was ejected from the car through the windshield and suffered severe head injuries, a broken leg, wrist and pelvis, a collapsed lung, and a damaged kidney and spleen. He remains at Massachusetts General Hospital, and only recently was upgraded from critical to stable condition.

Now Jackson is spearheading a rally to aid his onetime star.

Jackson, along with Fraczek’s friends, former classmates, teammates and coaches, are sponsoring a “Never Lose Hope’’ fund-raising dance Friday at St. Michael’s Hall, 25 Elmwood Ave. in Lynn. The purpose is twofold - to show Fraczek he hasn’t been forgotten, and to help his family overcome mounting medical bills. The event will feature a disc jockey, light refreshments, silent and live auctions, and, assured Jackson, plenty of good will.

“It’s the least we can do for Chris and his family,’’ said Jackson. “There’s not much you can really do when something like this happens, but we wanted to do something. It’s our way of supporting Chris and his family in their time of need.’’

The Fraczeks live in Salem, but the family is well known throughout the area.

Fraczek’s mother, Pennie, coached girls’ soccer at Bishop Fenwick (1998-2001) and later was an assistant coach for the soccer, basketball, and lacrosse teams at Hamilton-Wenham Regional High. She also was involved in the Agganis Foundation Soccer Classic. Her husband, Alex, works for the US Postal Service as a letter carrier in Swampscott and Salem. Their three daughters - Danielle, Allison and Melissa - all played sports at St. Mary’s. Chris also played soccer at Nichols College, graduating last year.

Since the accident, the Fraczeks have kept a round-the-clock vigil at Chris’s bedside. Pennie Fraczek has relinquished her coaching duties at Hamilton-Wenham to be at her son’s side.

“The way people have stepped up to help our family is truly amazing,’’ she said. “It’s very heartwarming to know that we have so many friends that care.’’

Jackson, she added, “told me that our circle of friends and coaches was like a village, and that the village was going to take care of us. We’re very appreciative of all they’ve done and all that they are doing.’’

Tickets for the dance are available by e-mailing Jackson at or at the door. Contributions may be made to Chris Fraczek - Never Lose Hope, c/o East Boston Savings Bank, 335 Broadway, Lynn, MA 01984.

Campus corner

CassaundraDavis of Newburyport continues to have a stellar freshman field hockey season at St. Michael’s College in Vermont. For the second time this season, she was named the Northeast-10 Conference’s Rookie of the Week, after scoring three goals in a 3-2 win over Southern Connecticut and assisting on a goal in a 3-2 overtime win against Adelphi . . . Merrimack College junior April Daugherty collected four points in a 5-3 field hockey win over Franklin Pierce, raising her program-record career mark to 89 . . .. University of Massachusetts Lowell freshman soccer goalkeeper Jane Hatzikonstantis of Tewksbury rang up her sixth consecutive shutout in a 2-0 win over New Haven. She’s gone 560 minutes without allowing a goal this season . . . UMass Lowell senior MohammedSaeed of Woburn bagged three second-half goals in the River Hawks’ 7-1 rout of St. Rose . . . Stonehill freshman Thomas Alaimo of North Andover went 2-1 in singles and 3-0 in doubles and is the NE-10’s Rookie of the Week in tennis . . . Boston College senior Courtney Tavener of Winchester was leading the Eagles’ field hockey team in scoring after 13 games with 22 points (eight goals, six assists) . . . Lesley senior soccer forward Jenna Fralick of Woburn had three goals and an assist in a 14-1 rout of Wheelock . . . UMass Lowell graduates Tom Bradley (class of 1993, football) of Tewksbury, Ryan Kearney (1998, baseball) of Salem, N.H., Becky Regula (2002, softball) of Hudson, N.H., and Patrick Morasse (2006, track) of Lowell, were recently added to the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame.

Around and about

How’s this for a ground attack: Salem (N.H.) High’s football team piled up 668 rushing yards in a 59-20 rout of Timberlane Regional. The Blue Devils passed the ball just once and ran it 53 times. JericksonFedrick was the leading rusher, with 374 yards and five touchdowns . . . Congratulations to the Lowell Spinners’ promotions department for winning the New York-Penn League’s Leo Pinckney Award for the second straight year. Lowell is in line for the Larry MacPhail Trophy, awarded annually by Major League Baseball to the team with the most outstanding overall promotional effort.

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