Ryan Clarke’s senior campaign at Salisbury ended prematurely after he suffered a ruptured spleen in the fourth game of 2013 and was shut down for the rest of the year after a brief appearance in the fifth contest. The midfielder, who registered 35 goals and 29 assists in 2012 and was an early candidate for the Tewaaraton Award, could use his final year of eligibility in 2014, but that is not a certainty.
“That’s yet to be determined,” coach Jim Berkman said. “Ryan has eligibility to come back, but no decision has been made on whether he’s going to do that or not do that. I think that’s going to be a family decision, and I think that’s also going to be a decision that is made once he finds out what the job market is. He is a sixth-year kid. He can’t play in the fall, because he’s only got one semester left. If you get a big-time job, I don’t know if you come back and play at that point. But if you don’t get the job, maybe you do play. We won’t know about that until well in the fall.”
Berkman said the spleen is not a medical concern at this point. He also said Clarke missing fall workouts would not impact his ability to reacclimate himself to the offense and its schemes in the winter.
“Ryan’s been here, and he knows everything,” Berkman said. “He can come in and instantly do everything because he knows everything. So that’s not going to be an issue. We’ll go as if he isn’t here and if he is, he’ll get into the mix, and we’ll have one more great player to add to the midfield.”
The outlook on defenseman Danny Sherr is a little more positive. After his junior season was wiped out by chronic foot problems, Sherr will undergo another procedure on his feet, and the timetable for his return puts him at rejoining the team as early as December.
Berkman said he has no worries about Sherr if he is medically cleared to play.
“If you know Danny Sherr and the resurrection he has made over the last two years, if it can be done, it will be done,” Berkman said. “He is one of the most dedicated and fittest kids you can imagine. He used to be a chubby kid. The kid’s got an eight-pack now. … He’s into it. As far as his fitness level and his weight, that won’t be an issue. He’s as light as he’s been since he was in eighth grade. So that won’t be an issue. It’ll just be whether his feet can hold up and hopefully by that time, he’ll be a faster Danny Sherr than he was before because there definitely was a structural issue in both feet that inhibited him from realizing his full potential.”
Sophomore Adam Stork suffered a gruesome broken leg in practice March 5 that caused even Berkman to blanch slightly.
“That was a pretty major injury,” Berkman said. “When I went down and saw him on the field, his knee was pointing towards the end line and his foot was pointing towards the sideline. I’m hoping that he’s going to come back, but it was also the kind of injury that Timmy Lum had a few years back against Stevenson, and Timmy Lum never recovered to the point where he was the same player because of all the hardware that was in his leg and everything. But Adam’s pretty motivated. He gained his sophomore year back and he really started to gain a sense of confidence about himself, too, as he started to play well before that all occurred.”