MAINLAND MEMORIES with Sue Devlin Repetti

This is the latest in a series of sports memories contributed by the student-athletes of the past – the people who were part of the great high school sports moments in the Cape-Atlantic League area.

Sue Devlin was a multi-sport athlete at Mainland Regional High School in the early 1990s. She starred for the Mustangs on the field hockey field, the basketball court and the softball diamond. She returned to Mainland as a successful girls basketball coach, among other sports, and continues as a teacher at her alma mater. But her sons have recently competed for Ocean City High School, causing her to transfer some of her loyalties to the Raiders.

By SUE DEVLIN REPETTI   

I am honored to be asked to write about some Mainland High School memories. 

As mentioned by other contributors, picking just one memory is not an easy task. I am in awe of the intricate detail these contributors recall from their days as high school athletes. And specific games, moments and scores. Maybe it’s because it was so long ago and since then I have also coached 20 plus years of games in three sports. However, in trying to come up with just one, I have not been successful.                

I recall playing close games in field hockey against great teams like Millville and Ocean City.  Playing grudge matches in basketball against the “Fab 5” from EHT, the “Twin Towers” from Cumberland and of course, Ocean City’s entire team all 4 years.  Softball games going past midnight because they were in extra innings due to the amazing pitching displays. 

Sue is in the front row, second from right

I recall winning a South Jersey championships in basketball and softball but coming up short in the state championship in hoops. The experience was an awesome memory, but the loss is by far not a favorite memory.                

While I could try to a pick a specific game or moment, instead I would like to recognize all the coaches whom I learned so much from in my high school career. Each of these coaches truly helped me during high school. Maybe most importantly they are also the people who influenced my decision to change my career path to become a teacher and coach. 

There may have been clipboard breaking and lots of sprints, but we also had celebrations and team building that made us closer as teammates and lifelong friends. Although their styles as coaches were different, I was able to take pieces of each of them to implement my own coaching career.                

Coaching can be a very thankless job. There are countless hours coaches dedicate to their sport beyond in-season practices and games. They must make difficult decisions regarding playing time, strategies and plays which often do not make them the most popular with every athlete’s family. But, most importantly, coaches do their best to create a lifetime of memories for their student-athletes. 

That’s Sue standing, second from the right.

Thank you to the following coaches from 1987-1991 at Mainland Regional. 

Field Hockey – Gaby Gandolfo and Lisa McCune; assistants Martha Septinski, Jackie Trockenbrough, Cathleen Devlin (yup my older sister who played at Drew University came back and coached my senior year). 

Basketball – Karl Geisinger; assistants Bernadette Daley, Nancy Gallagher, Peg Longo, Gaby Gandolfo, Lisa McCune 

Softball – Jim Schafer, Greg Ogden, Chris Gardner; assistant Dave Dolquest, Benny Soltys 

I would also like to give a special shoutout to my Keene State College basketball Coach – Keith Boucher. Although not high school, he was a huge influence on me in college and still today. It’s 26 years after graduation and not a year has gone by without receiving a “Happy Birthday” phone call from him. 

Deep in thought ….

You can read previous Sports Memories by Paul Baruffi, Fred Dalzell, Steve Parker, John Cranston, Skip Castaldi, Joe LaRosa and Ken Weaver – HERE.

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