COLUMN: Mother’s Day tribute to Sue Repetti

By JOE REPETTI, guest columnist

For more than four decades, Tom Williams has turned over his column the week of Father’s Day to members of the sports community to write about their fathers. You can read some of them HERE.
This year, for the first time, we are also including a tribute for Mother’s Day. It is being written by Joe Repetti, Ocean City High School senior, who is an outstanding three-sport athlete. He was selected as the top OCHS male athlete for the calendar year 2020 and will graduate with more touchdown passes than any quarterback in Raider history. His mother, Sue Devlin Repetti, won the Cape-Atlantic League’s three-point shootout as a senior at Mainland, later coached the Mustangs and still teaches at Mainland.

On this Mother’s Day, for the first time, I am proud to write this column about how special Sue Repetti is to her community and to her family.

Some people may know her as the 1991 Mainland graduate who played field hockey and basketball. Or the Keene State point guard in the class of ‘95. Or even the Mainland Regional girls basketball coach from 2000 to 2012.

I, however, know her as the most caring and loving mom who resigned from her head coaching job to focus on the raising of her children. She made the promise that she wouldn’t miss any games my brother Shawn and I play since we were seven and eight years old. This promise is still continuing to prove true.

During my developmental years as an athlete and an individual, nobody taught me more about competing or about life than my mom. From coaching both my youth basketball team – as well as Shawn’s team – to teaching me how to say please and thank you, she showed me just about everything I know to this day.

Growing up watching my mom coach high school games at Mainland Regional High School allowed me to not only understand her love for basketball, but her willingness to succeed. This trait I noticed in her proved to be the one I modeled my mindset around concerning school work or sports related activities. She was the role model that I needed in order to have a vision in my life.

I’m sure the transition from being a ‘Stang fan to a Raider fan came with some criticism from the green and white. To this day, some of her work friends still cannot believe she ever wears Ocean City gear being a Mainland alumnus – she does it anyway. She’ll tell some people her fandom on the rivalry is split, however the truth is that she’s all for the red and white. Nobody has ever been more supportive of me or Shawn than my mom, despite her past career for the Mustangs.

Joe Repetti threw a record 31 TD passes and ran for 12 more TDs in his OCHS career

During my sports career, my mom coached me from first through eighth grade. Sometimes, from an outsider’s perspective, you get privileges being the coach’s kid. This was not the case with her as my coach, as performing poorly or arguing with a referee would earn me a warm spot on the bench. I never played because she coached, but because I developed a work ethic that drove me to be better every day. That work ethic came from my mom and watching her work her hardest every day at creating a successful Mainland basketball team.

That ability to not play “mommy ball” set me up to be extremely successful in high school games. I never took any spot for granted and knew no position on the field was going to be handed to me. I pushed to better myself every practice and to work on my weaknesses. She taught me how to practice and make good use out of my time. The opportunities I was given in sports were earned because of how she taught me to practice and, ultimately, compete.

Prior to any high school game, there would always be that “Good luck today! I love you!” text coming through my phone. I don’t believe there was ever a game in any sport when she had forgotten to send this text. It may not seem like much, but those words were a quick reminder of who allowed me to be in the position I was in and who we would be playing for on that night.

Aside from the sports world, my mom is undoubtedly one of the most loving people on earth. She’ll never let the house go without eating, no matter how aggravated Shawn, my dad, and I make her. She’ll make every effort possible to attend every athletic event when either Shawn or I are playing. No matter the final score of those events, she’ll always be waiting to give a big hug and tell us about all the positive things we did.

She’ll always be on top of grades and report cards, whether it be September 15th or June 10th. She never fails to let everyone in the family know how much they are loved and how much they mean to her. Her balance of a teaching job, watching sports games, attending ceremonies and a social life is more than anybody in the house could ask for. Even on her worst days and darkest times, she’ll still throw on a beautiful smile when interacting with anyone. I seriously wish there was a
sufficient way to appreciate the things she’s done for, not only my family, but for everybody around her.

Sue Repetti with sons Shawn (#5), Joe (#11) and husband, Cliff.

We are all so grateful for everything she has provided for our family and grateful for how she brings the best out of the people surrounding her.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom. We all love you dearly.

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