by Dr. Ellin Booras, Principal – Sandwich High School
At the opening day of the DeConto stadium, the SHS girls’s team took the field under the watchful and proud eyes of Pat DeConto, the champion behind our new stadium. Before the ladies even got the field, the afternoon had been a series of kind and thoughtful gestures in honor of her son, Gerald DeConto for whom the new stadium is named.
A member of the varsity team, Elizabeth Wegman, had worked with her dad and mom behind the scenes to surprise the DeConto family. Elizabeth, a junior, ordered arm patches bearing Gerald’s number 7, the number he proudly wore when he earned his reputation as an all star Sandwich High School athlete. Elizabeth shared her secret plan only with Neil Murphy, the administrator for athletics at SHS/STEM Academy and her parents. That was it.
Her plan worked as the players, their coach, David DeConto and his mother Pat were surprised and deeply honored. About thirty minutes before the opening kick, John Wegman, Elizabeth’s father, boarded the bus bringing the girls team from Nantucket and asked if the players would consider wearing the arm patches. He told the story of the DeConto stadium. Every girl eagerly donned the patch as did their coach.
Mr. Wegman commented on the grace and dignity of this special team and even asked me, as principal of SHS/STEM Academy to call MIAA and commend Nantucket for its sportsmanlike conduct, a request I eagerly accepted! At the end of the game, The Nantucket coach lead his girls off the field with pride displaying a sense of genuine humanity and gratitude to have been part of this special moment.
The touching moments did not leave with the buses, however. While few people may have seen the expression on Pat DeConto’s face when Caroline McKenna, a captain of the SHS girls team surrounded by teammates, presented Pat with 7 white roses, those who did catch this moment were deeply moved. Mrs. DeConto shines among young people, and it was with the girls in close circle, that she knelt down to touch the turf and take in the journey of its arrival. As one dad said, it was Blue Knight Pride magic, a moment that defines the grace, dignity, strength and determination of a family who is proud to call Sandwich its home team.
Read more at the Cape Cod Times