Larry Cone has been coaching high school football for 24 years, the last four of those he's been in Somerville. But over the summer Cone came down with a serious infection and his coaching career took a back seat to his health.
Even though football wasn't a priority, it didn't keep this coach from keeping an eye on his team. As it turns out, this coaches outlook on life and love for his team may have helped him in a fight for his life.
"I never thought it was life threatening. But the doctor said there was one point and time they thought they'd have to do some serious stuff right there. Open my chest up and and do some serious stuff right
then and right there." said Cone.
Towards the end of two-a-days Somerville head coach Larry Cone, who's never dealt with any serious sickness in his life, suddenly came down with a blood infection. Cone entered the hospital's emergency room with a pulse of 150 beats a minute, he gained 50 pounds of water weight in just 5 days, and ended up with a hematoma the size of a football under his arm. Despite his extremely dire condition, Larry kept a positive attitude and fought through his infection.
"Another thing I learned about hospitals is that hospitals aren't a place to get rested up. Hospitals are a place where they try to save your life. They don't let you rest because these people came in every hour on the hour doing something. Either taking blood or vitals, seeing if I was still alive. I don't know what they were doing, but it was an experience." said Cone.
When Somerville played in their season opener, Cone couldn't leave the hospital. But he did get calls from his daughter giving him updates on the game and some of those calls gave the hospital staff a scare.
"Nurse comes in and says your pulse has picked up a little bit and I explained it to him. He said OK, well call me when you get a final score. SO we get the final score, we win the ball game about 10 minutes later he comes back and said OK you've got to calm down now. So it took me a few minutes to calm down but I was just
excited for the kids." said Cone.
While his vision still isn't up to par, Cone did make it to Yeguas last home game against Iola. He simply sat in a golf cart with a pair of binoculars and watched his team improve to 2-1 on the season.
For Cone the biggest change in his life will be a simple one, just a regular visit to the doctor's office.
"My big thing is don't be afraid to go to the doctor. I don't like doctors, they alway ask me what I'm allergic too and I say, Doctors. The nurses usually giggle but the doctors don't think it's all that funny," joked Cone.
"Just go to the doctor when you feel bad. Don't feel so proud that you don't go see him. Don't be so big and think you're bulletproof. I know that I'm going to change my ways in that way now."
Expect to see Coach Larry Cone back on the sidelines on October 3rd when Somerville hosts their homecoming against Sacred Heart.