Foxboro was an easy community to root for.
I came into The Foxboro Reporter’s Sports Reporter/Sports Editor position almost five years ago knowing the important line of journalism bias, or lack there of, but learned it’s a bit different when you’re writing for a weekly paper that covers that community exclusively.
Not as many are interested in the losses or downfalls, but most want to hear about the wins and highlights.
I tried to highlight that myself — the MIAA State Championships, the sectional titles, the Hockomock League crowns and the teams who dug themselves out of the mud and put together record-setting years for their respective programs.
With the extensive success of the Foxboro High School athletic program, it was easy to cover.
And I was fortunate enough to cover all of it.
That’s what makes this bittersweet, knowing that I will not be doing it anymore. I’ll be packing up my camera bag and notebook, venturing away from my Friday night pit stop at Primo’s (a must before the long nights that start with Friday night football or basketball games) and moving to my next journey in the industry as I’ll be writing for NESN.
The change has made me think about everything that has occurred during these last 17.5 seasons covering sports around Foxboro.
One stands out first and foremost. It was in November 2015 as I was with The Foxboro Reporter for less than a month at the time. Former Foxboro High quarterback Mark Clagg led a crunch-time drive in the MIAA South Sectional semifinals against Hanover. Ronnie Martin scored from three yards out with 59 seconds left to cut the Warrior deficit to one point. The ensuing extra point, which would have tied the game, however, was blocked.
I got back to the office at The Sun Chronicle in Attleboro and had trouble writing. I felt for coach Jack Martinelli and the 2015 Warriors that night. And then I wrote about ‘Heartbreak Hanover’ as best as I could, because that’s what the job requires. It was one of the major lessons I’ve learned along the way.
While there were certainly some other tough losses for the Foxboro athletic program — the FHS boys soccer team losing in the Division 3 Sectional semifinals to Norwell, or the Division 2 State Semifinal defeat for coach Lisa Downs and the FHS girls hoop team at the TD Garden — there’s definitely been a lot more wins. A lot more of those good stories that I enjoyed writing.
I got to write about Ashley Sampson, Lily Sykes and Grace Tamulionis winning the state title in girls basketball, Sophia DiCenso leading the Warrior girls lacrosse team to a sectional final the same night she found out she made the U.S. U-19 Women’s Lacrosse team, talk with former FHS quarterback Liam Foley after the Foxboro-Mansfield classic at Fenway Park and so many more.
That privilege — talking to both coaches and student-athletes after their biggest feats — was what got me into the profession and made it the most enjoyable.
And on top of all that, I got to build great relationships with those around the athletic program and those who supported it. First and foremost, the coaches like legendary Jack Martinelli and the rest of the football staff, Jon Gibbs, Brittany Sherry, Matt Noone, Derek Suess, Lisa Downs, (long lost cousin) Mark Maguire and Joe Franchino just to name a few.
And then there was former athletic director Rich Cormier, the brains behind the operation in Blake Riley, former coach and current AD Joe Cusack and athletic trainer Amy Leonard (who I appreciated for always shielding me from the rain in her golf cart).
I can’t thank the Foxboro High athletic community enough.
And I can’t thank others like freelancer photographers, specifically Scott Bois and Peter Lanctot, for helping along the way. The best layouts are made possible by the best photos and those two, along with Sun Chronicle staffers Mark Stockwell and Paul Connors proved that. Scribe Peter Gobis was an exceptional person to learn the sports reporting business from while Jeff Peterson, Craig Borges and Bill Stedman all helped fine-tune my editing skills in the position.
And I’d hate to overlook how much more fun it was to share the sidelines with competitors-turned-friends Ryan Lanigan and Josh Perry.
And thank you as well. Thank you for following along as I tried to share as many good stories as I could. It was a surreal experience and one that I won’t forget.
Perhaps that is because Foxboro has been such an easy community to root for.