Only read this if you don't mind being sad..

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Jan 9, 2008
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What this article does not mention is that Frankie had a form of autisim and had been a special Ed student before starting wrestling, becoming a leader, a star athlete and getting accepted into college. My Whitney's team used to wrestle against his a few times a year and she was in wrestling club with him...he was a very good wrestler and sportsman, all the stuff they say in the article is so true.... Now everyone go hug your kids

Tenacity and tragedy for a tightknit team

Police say fellow wrestler drove car that struck Nashoba captain
Globe Staff / February 7, 2008 BOLTON - Frank DeMeo was a champion wrestler who said little and worked hard. What he lacked in natural talent, he made up in sweat, and through sheer determination he became captain of Nashoba Regional High School's wrestling team and one of the top-ranked wrestlers in the state.

"He was the quintessential guy for 'action speaks louder than words,' " said Geoff Riccio, a fellow wrestler who graduated from Nashoba last year. "He wasn't very vocal, but he was just a tough kid. He never complained about anything."
School officials say DeMeo was trying to burn off excess weight on Tuesday afternoon when he took off jogging. With a 24-and-1 record, the 19-year-old from Stow had less than a pound to lose before his final regular season match later that day. He never returned.

Shortly after he left the school grounds at about 3 p.m., according to police, DeMeo was hit by a car driven by David Hayden, a 17-year-old teammate on a tightknit wrestling team described by parents as a band of brothers. Authorities said DeMeo was struck from behind as he jogged through a residential neighborhood near the school in an apparent accident that Worcester District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr. yesterday called a "senseless tragedy."

Authorities, who continue to investigate the accident, released no further details and had filed no charges.

Parents of Nashoba wrestlers and neighbors who live near the scene of the accident said that Hayden and his two passengers, who were also minors, had been on their way to pick up another teammate who lived nearby. They said the younger boys looked up to DeMeo and saw him as a star to model themselves after.

After the car struck DeMeo, the friends leapt from the vehicle. One dialed 911 on a cellphone, and two ran to a nearby house for help, authorities said.

"The boys in the car, they just looked like deer in the headlights," said Linnet Ferrie, a neighbor who lives near where the accident happened. "It's devastating."

Ferrie's daughter was getting ready to go vote when she head the sirens outside of her house.

"She looked out and saw the emergency vehicles, the car, and saw a person laying in the street," Ferrie said.

DeMeo was rushed to UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester, where he was pronounced dead.

"I feel so badly for the kid who was driving," said Becky MacLeod, whose son Blake wrestles on the team. "These kids are like brothers. Every night they work out together. They practice together, they run together, they condition together, they lift weights together. This is so tragic."

Russell Hayden, the father of the driver, said last night that his son was faring as well as could be expected

"Our thoughts are with the DeMeos," he said. "Frankie was just a wonderful kid, and we're incredibly sorrowful for what they're going through."
The team members, drawn from four towns and two high schools, spent the day with their coach, Matt Schiller, and the team's website was taken down and replaced with a plain black background with DeMeo's name and Psalm 23. Across the state, wrestling teams held a moment of silence in his honor.
At Nashoba Regional High School, shocked students and faculty grieved. Counselors were on hand, and students recorded their memories of DeMeo on broad sheets of paper stretched across the walls outside the main office. At the scene of the accident, mourners left flowers and a wreath with a photograph of a smiling DeMeo.

"He showed real commitment to what he was doing, as well as enthusiasm and passion for it," said Jeremy Roche, the principal. "The team is devastated by what happened. When you think about it, he is exactly what you hope for in a student. The way he carried himself instilled a lot of admiration. He was the kind of individual who would try hard no matter what."

Though he commanded respect with his quiet and determined attitude, DeMeo wasn't a star from the start. In fact, his middle school coach, Phil Riccio, didn't think he'd make it through the first season.

"He was one of these guys who I thought, 'He's not going to last two weeks,' " Riccio said. "But not only did he last, he was a very coachable kid. You showed him how to do something and he learned it right away."

By high school, DeMeo was a standout in his 112-pound category. He was the second freshman in school history to make it to the state championship. During his sophomore year, he broke the school record for number of pins, going on to win the sectionals meet for two consecutive years. The number-one seed in his weight class, he was expected by many to win it for a third time this weekend.

DeMeo had planned to attend Bridgewater State College in the fall. Nashoba's wrestling team will have its final meet tonight against St. John's Preparatory School. At the state sectional meet this weekend, school officials said, DeMeo's No. 1 spot in the 112-pound division will be left blank

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