Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

After Scare, Flo Valley's Woodrick Still Is Playing with Plenty of Heart

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

After Scare, Flo Valley's Woodrick Still Is Playing with Plenty of Heart

Article excerpt

Trent Woodrick thought he was having a heart attack.

It was the fourth game of the season in 1993, and Woodrick was playing midfield as a freshman for Southwest Missouri State.

"It was the second half of the game against Missouri Southern and we were leading 4-0," said Woodrick, a McCluer North High graduate. "I had made a run and I was getting back in defensive position when I got these sharp pains on the left side of my chest. It was so scary that I just dropped down to my knees."

Two years later, Woodrick still is playing soccer, and he hasn't had a heart attack yet. But that's not to say those chest pains in '93 didn't have a major impact on his soccer career.

Woodrick now plays for Florissant Valley Community College, where he was a junior college All-American last year as a sweeper. He transferred from Missouri-St. Louis, where he enrolled for a semester after leaving SMSU.

"I've got the OK (from doctors) to play - unless I get chest pains again," he said.

Woodrick says he regards this part of his college soccer career as a bonus. "I used to worry, but now I take each game as it comes," he said.

After that game in '93, Woodrick thought his playing days might be over. Doctors in Springfield and St. Louis poked and prodded him with all manner of tests, including a heart biopsy.

Initially, he said, they feared he might have "Hank Gathers" disease - the heart ailment that killed the former Loyola Marymount basketball player.

Later, however, they reached a much less ominous diagnosis.

"They told me I must have caught a virus and it went to my heart," he said. "The training inflamed the muscle and weakened it."

Woodrick says he hasn't had any problems since - unless you consider the teasing some of his teammates do when they think he isn't covering enough ground.

"They say, `what's a matter? Are you having a heart attack?' It's all in fun," Woodrick said.

Woodrick had to gain a medical hardship clearance to play for Flo Valley this year because of the four games he played at SMSU in '93. It came, with the provision that he sit out four games this season.

The fifth-ranked Norsemen are 9-3-1, with two of their losses coming while Woodrick was sitting out. …

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