Norwood Athletic Director Brian McDonough Set to Retire
Thursday, 19 June 2014 17:40

 

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Athletic Director Brian McDonough is retiring at the end of the school year. One of his big plans in retirement is to bike to Washington. Wicked Local staff photo / Brad Cole


NORWOOD

By Brad Cole
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Some people might spend their retirement relaxing, but Athletic Director Brian McDonough has other plans.
"When school gets out on June 24, the last day, I’m driving up to Maine. On the 26th of June, I’m starting a 4,000 mile bike ride to Anacortes, Washington," McDonough said. "I’ll be taking the northern route with 10 of my closet friends who I haven’t met yet."
Over the course of 85 days, McDonough will bike four to five hours per day, with plans to stop at numerous fire departments and coffee houses along the way.
"It was one of those bucket list things," McDonough said. It will allow me to meet people, and that’s what I’m looking forward too: meeting people along the way."
But before he begins this bike ride, McDonough must first finish the school year. Since 2002, he has served as Athletic Director in Norwood. Under his watch, Norwood High has added three new varsity programs, girls’ ice hockey, boys’ lacrosse and gymnastics.
"One of the main things in adding those programs is it gave more kids an opportunity to participate. That is the one thing I’m most proud of: Norwood High School gives everyone the opportunity to participate in the Four A’s, athletics, art, activities and academics," McDonough said. "There is a sport for everyone, if they’re interested."
The majority of the student population is, as more than 550 students participated in high school sports this year. This includes nine seniors who played three sports all four years of their high school career.
"It is great we give them the opportunity to participate, and they take advantage of that," McDonough said. "There is always something a kid can participate in, which is great. There are some many life lessons that can be taught on the field, on the court or on the ice. (Athletes) learn about teamwork, effort and commitment."
He said this final year was very much like a senior year for him, though his actual Norwood High senior year was 40 years ago, as he is a member of the Class of 1974. Still, this year had several high school highlights. He called Dancing with the Norwood Stars his prom and the athletic awards night his graduation.
There have been a number of memorable moments over the years, one of the biggest came in 2011.
"One of the biggest moments was being able to move into the new school here," McDonough said, specifically citing their first home football game, which was attended by the likes of Representative Stephen Lynch and state Rep. John Rogers, D-Norwood.
"We had a state police helicopter fly over that first game, which was something special," McDonough said.

There were a number of student athletes who impressed over the years. This started in the 2002-2003 school year, as seven teams won championships in his first year as Athletic Director.

"I said, ‘wow, is it like this all the time?" McDonough said.

Standout players included Meghan Staffiere Corbett, who is now assistant station manager at NPA-TV, Ali Maloof, who has broken a number of softball records at Southern New Hampshire University, and Allison Ryan, who hold the Norwood High single season scoring record in lacrosse and most goals scored over four years.

And then there was Matt Brown.

Brown was suffered from a paralyzing spinal cord injury in a game against Weymouth in 2010. McDonough described it as most serious injury he has seen in his career.

"Over my 30 plus years in education, Matt is without a doubt the most inspirational person I have been fortunate to know. We use athletics to teach character, discipline, leadership, and hard work. Matt epitomizes these characteristics every day in his life," McDonough said. "The school, community of Norwood, and the country rallied around Matt and his family. This show of support displayed teamwork on a grand scale."

Jon Longley, athletic director for North Andover public schools, will take over for McDonough.

"I gave him a card telling him he is coming to a great school in a great community that is passionate about sports," McDonough said.

Norwood High Principal George Usevich said McDonough’s presence will be missed at the school.

"He is not only a trusted colleague, but a real friend," Usevich said. "He takes his job very seriously, and he made some hard decisions, but Brian has always been honest and fair in everything he’s done. I’m truly going to miss him because you know everything was being taken care of in the athletic office."

McDonough said he feels blessed, and thanks his family for all the support they’ve given him during his time as Athletic Director.

"This is an incredible job. It’s s positive and upbeat. It’s been an incredible journey for me," McDonough said. "I’ve been lucky. As I ride into the sunset, literally, I’m smiling with fond memories from my years at Norwood."

Staff writer Brad Cole can be reached at 781-433-8339 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Like The Norwood Transcript and Bulletin on Facebook and follow @bradcolewrites and @NorwoodTranscri on Twitter.

 
Norwood 2, Andover 1: Galvin-izing moment
Wednesday, 11 June 2014 17:00

 

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John Galvin retires the last 18 batters and goes 4-for-4 with a run scored to lead Norwood to the MIAA Division 1 state final with a 2-1 win over Andover at LeLacheur Park.

 

 

MUSTANGS PLAY LEOMINSTER FOR THE STATE TITLE

THIS SATURDAY AT THE COLLEGE OF THE HOLY CROSS

AT 6 P.M.

 

Keith Pearson

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LOWELL — With just two regulars back on a squad gutted by graduation following a Bay State Conference Herget Division title, not much was expected of the Norwood High baseball team in 2014. The results during the regular season bore that out as the team meandered its way through the regular season to an 11-9 mark.

Even with the advent of the MIAA Division 1A tournament skimming the cream of the crop away from the rest of Division 1, not even the most ardent Mustang fan could have seen what was to come as Norwood moved one win away from capturing its first state title since 1943 with a 2-1 win over Andover on Tuesday in the state semifinals at LeLacheur Park.

“It took 20 games to figure out where the right pieces went,” said Norwood coach Kevin Igoe. “Once we started hitting and believing, the rest is history.”

Norwood (16-9) will face Leominster (20-4) in the state final Saturday (6 p.m.) at Holy Cross and hopes to duplicate its 3-2 win over Dalton from 71 years ago.

Working on five days rest after throwing 10 scoreless innings against Attleboro in the semifinals last Wednesday, Norwood starter John Galvin was even better against the Warriors, retiring the final 18 batters in a row. The senior right-hander did not issue a walk and allowed just three hits, throwing 66 of his 94 pitches for strikes. He improved to 1-0 with a save in three postseason appearances with just one run allowed in 19 innings to lead a team that has only allowed five runs in 42 tournament frames.

“We knew Galvin was good, we didn’t think he was that good,” said Igoe.

Galvin helped himself with a perfect 4-for-4 night, including a double to start the game off left-handed starter Reid Bryant as left fielder Jack Cox slipped and fell. He moved up to third on a wild pitch by Bryant, who struggled mightily to locate the strike zone.

John Ryan walked and Jake O’Rourke was hit by a pitch to load the bases with no outs. Jack Sheehan gave Norwood a 1-0 lead with an RBI groundout.

The Mustangs had the makings of a big inning as Joey Rydzewski walked to fill the bases back up and Paul Galvin got ahead in the count 2-0 before Bryant was lifted after throwing just six of his 23 pitches for strikes. Reliever Sam Bennett needed three to keep Andover in the contest, inducing a 4-6-3 inning-ending double play.

Tim Awiszus led off the bottom of the first with a single and stolen base, but was left there largely because of a diving grab in right-center from Sheehan.

In the Andover second, Cox went through the vacated right side with EJ Perry running on the pitch after a leadoff single to put men at the corners. The two executed a double steal to tie the game, 1-1.

 

Galvin stranded Cox at second with two fly balls and a groundout starting his run of setting down 18 straight.

Sheehan got the Norwood third going by reaching on an error with one out. He stole second and then aggressively took third on a Rydzewski fly ball to center, narrowly beating the throw from Awiszus. Sheehan made the risk pay off when the first pitch to Paul Galvin got by Perry for a passed ball as Norwood went in front 2-1.

“I definitely knew it would be a risk. I saw he was a little deep and he was kind of right-center, so I thought I had a shot,” said Sheehan. “I was watching his arm a little bit during infield and outfield, I kind of just took off. I was praying I’d make it there pretty much.”

That was all John Galvin needed out on the mound. Andover did not have anything hard hit or that resulted in a close play at first base. Right fielder Denny Drummey came charging over near the line to haul in the final out in foul ground by Cox, sparking another wild celebration.

“A team that really no one thought was going to be able to do it, especially with the past two teams we had,” said John Galvin. “The last two years were our strongest teams, but anything is possible.”

 
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