“I love our team. We are all very supportive of each other and have a good time and race and run.” -Shepherd Hill sophomore Stella Worters (photo left)
Text and photos by Steev Riccardo
Leave it to the sensational one, Stella Worters, to simplify it all for us.
The Shepherd Hill track program is not only flourishing, it’s also an exceptional one, with many great coaches and athletes. It could be the prototype if you were to start a new program, in fact.
This past week we spent some time talking with several coaches and athletes on the Hill about their outstanding program, which features an undefeated boys and 5-3 girls team. Both teams have several star athletes who also have the grades to get them into good colleges when their high school experience is over.
It would be impossible to feature every great athlete in the track program so here is a look at some of the best of the best in their own words:
Stella Worters (sophomore)
Specialty: two-mile run, one-mile run, 800-meters run, javelin.
“She rewrote the record book. She is one of the hardest working athletes that you will ever meet. Despite her size she is the fiercest competitor I have ever met. She is really nice, smart, an honor student, and the whole nine yards. She’s also a real humble person, whom you are never going to hear running around telling everybody what she has accomplished.” –Len Harmon, girls track coach
Leo Harmon and Chris Patrinos
Leo Harmon (senior)
Focus: 800 meters, 400 meters, long jump, long distance.
“Leo is a great leader vocally, and he is very talented physically. He can do a variety of events from any kind of jumping event to any running event. He is truly versatile.” –Aidan Kearney, assistant boys coach
“I think our recent success is due to the depth on our team; the younger guys have stepped up a lot. The leadership on our team with all the seniors has helped, it starts at the top and once the younger guy see how hard the older guys are working hard, they grow up and they realize this how things work.” –Leo Harmon
“If you start to have success and you see all these undefeated seasons you see how it’s supposed to be and you do what it takes to get to this point.” –Leo Harmon
“I don’t think the size of the school matters I think the leadership on the team, the coaching and the overall chemistry makes a team what it is. If you don’t have the mentality to do, you won’t be able to compete against any team.” –Leo Harmon
Katie McCambridge (junior)
Weapon of choice: shot put, discus
“She is just a fantastic kid to work with. She really takes coaching and direction well, she wants to improve, she is a leader, someone that other girls look up to.” -Ricardo Simoes, 7th year as head track coach
“Katie demonstrates some great leadership skills and continues to work, she is the hardest worker on the team. She is quiet but when it’s time to start working she gets everyone going on the team. She is almost like having another coach on the field. Her peers really respect her.” –Len Harmon
“Shot put has come easier for me than discus. Discus is very difficult to grasp, you have to get low, and you have to know all the turns in the circle, it’s kind of like ballerina dancing in the circle. Getting that down at first was hard, but once you get all it in place it comes easier.”
Pat Tilly (senior)
Skills: 100 and 400 hurdles, high jump
“Pat can do a lot of different events. He has been here for four years, he is one of our top point scorers, It’s rare when you get a guy that can run, jump, and throw, and Pat can do all those things.” –Aidan Kearney
“Track has been a real eye opening experience. I didn’t know what hard work was until I took up track. The competition pushes you hard and makes you better.” –Pat Tilly
Shepherd Hill Captains Emily Mattson, Kaleigh Durkin, and Katie McCambridge
Kaleigh Durkin (senior)
The goods: 800 meter, mile, and 4x800
“Kaleigh is a very talented athlete, she is a real good leader, someone that you can count on for her versatility. She has done everything from throwing events to running in short distances to long distances. I feel comfortable putting her in any event, and know that she is going to be successful at it. I am very proud of all that she has accomplished here in her four years; she has been a really good role model for the younger athletes.” –Len Harmon
“We know that every school has its own strengths and weaknesses so we take it as it comes. This season has gone really well, we broke the school record in the 4x800 relay.” –Kaleigh Durkin
Chris Patrinos (senior)
When not on the hoop court: triple jump, long jump, running, etc.
“It depends where my coaches need me because I can go from the 100, 200,400, and then I can do the 4x400, 4x100, I can do any jumping event.” –Chris Patrinos
“Chris is immensely talented and he has come into his own this year. He took a leadership role; he is like a defacto captain. He has a great shot at making it to two States in two events.” –Aidan Kearney
“I go to the Boys and Girls Club in Webster and I see my friends from Bartlett like Akeem Belnavis and Matt Huberdault, and I do talk to Nick Kobel. It’s not really a rivalry it’s just about having fun.” –Chris Patrinos
“We are an undefeated team; we don’t lose unless we joke around. The size thing doesn’t mean anything because everyone gets the same coaching. Whoever works the hardest is going to be playing.”
Emily Mattson (senior)
Boot camp preparation: high jump, 100 meters, and 4x100
“I can’t say enough about Emily Mattson and her ability to overcome and persevere. She broke the school record in the high jump as a freshman, then had a series of set backs, some injuries, some issues that she ran into as an athlete, things that would get most kids down and she struggled a little bit with it, and then came back as a senior and is having a great season. She is an impressive young lady.” -Len Harmon
“My track experience since my freshman year has gotten better, we work together, and we have a good time. My biggest rival is Emily Cahill from Uxbridge, she has gotten better every single year; she gives me competition and makes me work harder. She is good at everything, running, jumping. We are friends though.” –Emily Mattson
Joe Wheeler (senior captain)
discus, shot put
“He’s been tremendous for us, very dedicated. He’s done fantastic for us. He puts in the extra work in the weight room as well, which is very important.” –Ricardo Simoes
Aidan Kearney (coach)
4th year coaching at the Hill. Boston Marathon runner
“Mr. Kearney has been a great coach. He’s always been there for us. He’s tough at times but he knows what is best for us because he has been there.” –Pat Tilly
Len Harmon (coach)
“Coach Harmon always knew I could do something special. He pushed me and when I would get lazy he wouldn’t give up on me.” –Pat Tilly
“Mr. Harmon has always been a great coach, he has always been very inspiring. He knows what I am capable of and he pushes me to get to where I need to be.” -Kaleigh Durkin
Nicole Fossas (assistant girls coach)
Gig: works with Stella and Juleanna Schultz, etc.
“She deserves a lot of the credit for how well the distance runners are doing this year.” –Len Harmon
Coaches Nicoloe Fossas and Len Harmon
Emily Mattson is entering the Marines; boot camp starts on September 10.
Kaleigh Durkin will be attending the University of South Dakota in the fall, where she will major in history and run track.
Leo Harmon will be attending Widener University, outside Philadelphia, and majoring in pre-physical therapy.
Pat Tilly will be attending UMass Amherst to major in kinesiology.
Chris Patrinos will attend Quinsigamond Community College in the fall with hopes of transferring to Worcester State College.
Katie McCambridge is only a junior and will be back to carry on the tradition.
Juleanna Schultz. Stay Tuned.
Stella Worters was last seen running somewhere in Dudley….
- Tuesday, 22 May 2012
- Posted in Categories: : Sports