The Bay Path Football Team was honored at a Super Bowl ring ceremony on February 13th at Bay Path Regional High School. This is just an incredible story and adds to the legacy of Bay Path football and their Head Coach Al Dhembe. I have always said that "Bay Path football and Al Dhembe are the best kept secret in the state." Dhembe is the administrator of a program that has produced over 200 victories and numerous league titles and Super Bowls.Let me use Dhembe’s philosophy for all you young and inexperienced athletic directors that building a program is different than coaching a team. Dhembe has a program and he and his staff have worked hard to build and maintain it. Any Monday morning quarterback can coach a team. For that matter, even some parents think they can coach a team. See where I am going with this? However, building a program in today’s age of AAU and All Star trophies is almost non existent. Imagine the upcoming spring high school coaches dreading the 3rd Monday in March because they have to get their team ready to play in two weeks. Coaches who have a program in place never worry about these start up dates. They have off season schedules that are compliant with the MIAA. The weight room, summer league basketball, etc. are when you build a program. By the way, checking the athletes’ academics year round is the first part of building the program. Eligibility. When was the last time a local kid played a sport in college? Programs have 3-5 kids playing in college per year. Teams are lucky if they have one high school athlete going on to play in college and that is by chance and talent. Coaching is a commitment if you are building a program. College coaches should have the head coach on their speed dial. On the flip side, being a seasonal coach is a dangerous way to treat kids. The kids lack enthusiasm and miss out on the structure that a program has.
The reason why Bay Path had a recent ring ceremony last week is that Bay Path has a football program, not a team. Al Dhembe is committed to a program and the Bay Path kids have been the benefactors of this philosophy over the years. There is a big difference in a team and a program. All the Bay Path players and coaches received Super Bowl rings for their efforts in 2011. The "ring" is a symbol of the highest achievement a program can attain. Bay Path certainly elevated to this mark in 2011. Dhembe was also presented a banner for being the Coach in the Bay Path program who achieved 200 wins over his long tenure at Bay Path. Congratulations to everyone who wore the purple and gold over the years. Bay Path Football has got to be the most successful program in the state over the last 25 years.
Kudos to another program in the name of the Bartlett Indians who advanced in the Clark Tournament with a victory over North Brookfield on Sunday night. Yes, Tony Paranto the Indians’ mentor, is running a program not a team. The Indians played Quaboag last night in the semi finals of the small school division. Another program that has had tremendous success over the years is the Shepherd Hill girls’ basketball team. The Lady Rams, under the eyes of coach Jim Hackenson, played in the Westboro tourney and got beat by Algonquin. The Westboro tournament is a selective tourney that invites only the best programs year in and year out. The makeup of the tourney is Division teams.
- Wednesday, 22 February 2012
- Posted in Categories: : Peter Coyle