By John Anderson

The Fall Meet the Coaches Night was held last evening in the AHS Auditorium, and this event always comes close to the official start of the varsity sports season. Boys golf started the fall season with yesterday’s opener in Leicester.

Today, the cross country teams run at home against Millbury at 3:30; Girls Soccer plays Grafton at home, 7:00; Boys Soccer is away at Grafton, 7:00; Field Hockey faces Grafton away, 4:30; and Football has their opener away at Chicopee Comprehensive on Friday, 7:00.

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Vice-Principal Eileen Donahue speaks to a less than full house crowd during the Fall Meet the Coaches Night. John Anderson Photo

Vice Principal Eileen Donahue hosted last night’s meeting, pinch-hitting for ailing Athletic Director Bill Garneau. She reminded everyone, “Academics truly drive what we do here at Auburn High School.” She then introduced the coaches: Girls Soccer – Larry Midura; Football – Jeff Cormier; Boys Soccer – Chris Bailey; Field Hockey – Bethann Cormier; Golf – Jim Wallace; Girls Cross Country – Tom Adams; Boys Cross Country – Jim Gonyer; and Cheerleading – Caitlyn Sa.

School Resource Officer Brian Kennedy took the podium next to remind parents and students alike about the need to stay clean during the season. MIAA’s Chemical Health Rule has added e-cigarettes as a banned substance and still lists marijuana although it has been decriminalized in Massachusetts. The first offense for violating this rule is a suspension for 25% of the season.

Kennedy referenced the Social Host Law and reminded parents that they are responsible for what is in their house even if they are not home. “All of our successes happen on the field.” He summarized, “Let’s keep the action out of the courts, and on the fields.”

Athletic Trainer Emily Para also shared her thoughts on injuries and the need to keep her in the loop when something happens, especially concussions. Auburn had over 30 head injuries last year, which is very high considering the number of athletes. All head injuries will require outside medical treatment, and all athletes will follow the 5-day Return To Play Protocal.
In another change, all athletes in contact sports are required to do a Baseline Score for concussions. This only takes about 5 minutes and has balance and cognitive components.

Wrapping up the evening, Booster Club Vice-President Kim Levin-Savage asked parents to help staff the snack shack during football and soccer games. The Booster Club helps fund numerous aspects of Auburn High’s athletic programs, and this remains a key fundraiser.