2005-10-28 / Sports

Sanchez Battles Odds To Make Comeback

By Elio Velez

Franklin K. Lane’s soccer season didn’t go so well in the 2005 campaign. But they did have one more important role to play on Oct. 17. The role of spoiler was their only chance of stopping Beach Channel’s quest to win the PSAL Queens B I division title.

The Dolphins claimed an early 1-0 lead in the first half. Lane’s midfielders tried to advance the ball upfield to tie the score but anytime they entered midfield, they was stopped by Edwin Sanchez, the 5 foot 6 defender whose intensity and tenacity would not allow anyone to go by him.

Second year Dolphins head coach Dominic Stanco exclaimed loudly from the sideline of how many times his defender would dive, slide or just about do anything to get the ball back for his team.

“There’s nothing but effort in this kid,” Stanco said during the game, which BC eventually won 2-0.

It was at this time last year that Stanco wouldn’t be calling on his defender to be making key plays. In October of 2004, Sanchez was undergoing the toughest time anyone can imagine. In mid-September of that year, Sanchez, who always describes himself as a hyper person, suffering a series of headaches that him concerned.

“I was like nervous the whole time because I didn’t know what to do,” Sanchez, a senior, said.

It concerned his mother, who would take him for undergoing tests at New York University Hospital in Manhattan. Needing a second opinion, Sanchez’ parents took him to Boston and the doctors would eventually find a tumor, which was growing behind his right eye. Sanchez needed the surgery of course but not playing the game felt just as worse as the tumor.

“I’ve been playing soccer since I was 5 years old and I wanted to play. I wanted to play bad so that I didn’t care what the doctors said,” Sanchez said. “But my mother said if I played something could happen to me and I could get sick.”

The surgery took five hours and doctors were successful in removing the tumor. Slowly but surely, Sanchez came back to playing competitive soccer in an indoor league during the winter and an outdoor league in the summer. With a clean bill of health, doctors cleared the senior to try out for the soccer team this August and he did not disappoint.

Playing and starting in all 12 games during the regular season,Sanchez was a key cog in securing the Dolphins their first PSAL Divisional Championship in many years.

“I was a little lost at first but I feel good right now. I wanted to prove I can do something. Coach told me and the team told me to come back and I feel much better,” Sanchez said.

Sanchez has never deviated from the role of a defender; which is to stop the opposing players from advancing to the Beach Channel goal. He has not had any setback so far this season so Coach Dominic Stanco expects Sanchez to continue to play hard when the playoffs begin on November 2.

“He’s stepped it up a notch. He won’t back down to a challenge he can’t win,” Stanco says.

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