Football coach takes over track team
Marlborough - A familiar face in an unfamiliar place: Marlborough High football coach Sean Mahoney will serve this spring as the Panthers' boys varsity track and field coach.
"I'm just helping out the Athletic Department in a time of need," Mahoney said. "Jeff Downin, the boys track coach last year, is taking the spring off. He and his wife are expecting a child in the next couple of months."
Mahoney, who was a varsity athlete at Uxbridge High and Worcester State College and has also coached at Shrewsbury High and Assumption College, has never participated in or coached track prior to this year.
"I assisted Mark Vital this winter with the girls indoor track team; I worked with the shot putters," Mahoney said. "It was a good experience. I enjoyed it; I learned a lot. Mark showed me the ropes: taught me how to run a track practice, how to put a meet together."
Mahoney said he isn't too nervous about taking over with such little experience to fall back on. He plans to rely on the guidance of a number of people who have offered their services.
"There's a great core of volunteers who have offered to help," Mahoney said. "Chris Combs, a former pole vaulter at Marlborough who is now involved with the Patriot Pole Vault Club, said he will help with the pole vaulters. Tom Fearing, who has two daughters on the girls team, is going to help coach the guys competing in the javelin, the discus and the shot put. Rich Riley, the legendary track coach who is also the athletic director here at Marlborough, has offered his help whenever I need it, and Mark Vital will be around, too.
"So, the program will be in good hands – not mine – but all these other guys," Mahoney said.
Ilya Nicholas, the Panthers' varsity boys basketball coach, will serve as Mahoney's assistant. Nicholas was a member of the track and field team when he was in high school at Algonquin Regional.
Mohaney and Nicholas are both encouraging athletes they coach in football and basketball, respectively, to come out and participate in the track program.
"Ilya and I both have a number of exceptional athletes that would benefit from participating in track," Mahoney said. "So far, George Jordan, Graham Asum and Devonta Brown have all come out for the team."
Some of the key returnees Mahoney has welcomed back this year are Andrew Oram, Adam Charbonneau, Brian Hasbrouck, Mike Bryant, Jon Laman, Mike Parks, Alex Kunycky, Steve McQuaid, Hayden Voss, Nolan Allen, Brian Rodrigues, Joe Cote, Jayson Grant, Mike DiRusso, Kyle McKinnon, Nate Schmidlein, Josh Semedo, Ryan Morgello, Adrian DeJesus and Karl Chung.
Oram finished 20th in the 800-meter run at the All-Class meet last year and seventh in indoor track this winter in the 1,000.
"It's been fun," Mahoney said. "During the winter I really got an appreciation for track and the athletes that compete in the sport. It goes beyond just the physical toughness. There's a real mental toughness the people who compete in the sport have to have. I see the total picture now. I see what they're made of. When I watched track before, I didn't have the appreciation of what they're going through that I have now."
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