The official student news site of Algonquin Regional High School in Northborough, MA

THE ALGONQUIN HARBINGER

The official student news site of Algonquin Regional High School in Northborough, MA

THE ALGONQUIN HARBINGER

The official student news site of Algonquin Regional High School in Northborough, MA

THE ALGONQUIN HARBINGER

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Spring season welcomes four new varsity coaches

Spring brings fresh starts, as evidenced by the addition of girls’ tennis coach Daniel Welty, baseball coach Ken MacDonald, boys’ lacrosse coach Mark Kelley and boys’ tennis coach Chuck Bourke. 


Girls’ tennis

Science teacher Daniel Welty returned from coaching retirement to lead the girls’ varsity tennis team. This is the second team he has come back to coach after returning to girls’ varsity field hockey this fall. The team has been successful so far under his guidance with a record of 6-4 as of May 7. Welty attributes this achievement to the skill and hard work of the players.

What helped you make the decision to come back?

“New courts, that helps [and previous coach] Ms. Doyle, I’ve known Ms. Doyle for forever and I’ve kind of kept up, I’ve always visited matches and stuff over the years so when I heard she was retiring I was like, ‘Oh I’ll go for that job,’ so it’s been great.”

What are your goals for this season and this team?

“That everyone gets better during the season. That’s always my philosophy. The girls wrote goals, like what they want to improve on serves, forehands, backhands, volleys, so we’ll be mindful of that as we go through… I’m very focused on the technique stuff and the skills stuff, developing those things. How do you execute some tactical element when you can’t hit the ball or do a forehand or volley? We’ve been working on skills a lot, but as I said it’s a very skilled team.”

At the girls’ tennis tryouts on March 18, new coach Dan Welty watches players during the second round of games. (Cami Blake)

Who on the team has stood out to you?

“That’s the thing, you never know how many freshmen are coming in, especially with tennis, because it’s a smaller amount of people that play. The fact that we had eight freshmen try out and we took six and the fact that three freshmen are starting, that’s awesome. And it’s awesome for the program because it challenges the other players too. It challenges everyone in the program because it’s like, “These freshmen — alright, I gotta step up my game, I’ve gotta work on things a little harder and improve.’ It puts a little more pressure on everybody to do better and that’s what you want.”

Anything else you’d like to add?

“We have so much talent and from a variety of different girls. How are people going to challenge for other positions as we go through the season? Third singles, second doubles, especially, what’s that going to look like in the next couple weeks, at the end of the season? Who is going to be challenging up? That’s a healthy thing for your team. You want that lineup to be fluid because that way no one is getting comfortable in their spot.”


Baseball

The baseball team, under the coaching of special education teacher Ken MacDonald, has shown dedication and improvement. While their current record stands at 4-6, the team’s hard work is evident. MacDonald’s unique approach signals a positive direction for the season.

Why did you decide to coach this team and what brought you to Algonquin?

“I’ve coached the Northborough Legion team the past 11 years, which has a lot of kids from Algonquin, and I also work here at Algonquin. It’s just a great program with great tradition and [I’m] just looking to build on the success they’ve had in the past.”

What is your history with the sport?

“I played baseball at Franklin High School and then in college at UMass Dartmouth. I actually coached at Hopkinton, here at Algonquin, and then at Franklin for five years. Now I’m back at Algonquin and excited.”

How has the season been so far and how have the players adjusted to having a new coach?

“I think we’ve had a lot of success, and there’s obviously a lot of high goals for this team and I think it’s going good so far. We’re just going to keep working as hard as we can every day to achieve those goals.”

What are your hopes for the rest of the season?

“Just how we’ve done a good job adjusting to the coaching. At this point, we’re just trying to do our best to get better every single day, and we obviously have goals to potentially compete for a league title and hopefully compete in the playoffs for a state championship.”

Have there been any standout players so far?

“We have a really good pitcher in Jackson Redfern. He’s a senior here. He’s been the number one pitcher the past couple years and he’s been great. He’s a captain. We also have captain Zach Meehl who plays third base. He’s going to play college baseball at [Rochester Institute of Technology], and he’s been very good so far, and he’s a good leader on the team. He does a great job demonstrating that on the field by how he plays and acts. Going forward I would say we have Nick Klein who’s a junior, and he’s had a really good start to the season so far.”


Boys’ lacrosse

New boys’ lacrosse coach Mark Kelley has always had an affinity for the sport. He has channeled this energy into his first year at Algonquin, leading the team to a strong start with a record of 8-3.

What made you want to come coach Algonquin lacrosse?

“In the 30 years that I’ve been in central Massachusetts, Algonquin has always been a premier program. Being able to [join a] program like that is kind of a feeling of, ‘I’ve made it.’”

Being able to [join a] program like that is kind of a feeling of, ‘I’ve made it.’

— Boys’ lacrosse coach Mark Kelley

What is your history with lacrosse?

“I played at the University of Massachusetts, primarily JV in the early ‘90s. The UMass JV team was actually my first coaching assignment… I ended up at Shepherd Hill 28 years ago, and they didn’t have lacrosse. My first coaching job there was track, and our first meet was at Algonquin. I was working with the javelin throwers while I watched all this lacrosse go on around me, and it was killing me, so I decided to get a lacrosse job. I contacted Nichols College to see if I could be a volunteer assistant. The next thing I know I’m interviewing to be the head coach. It was the best job I never should have had.”

How has the adjustment been for the team so far with a new coach?

“Great! They are hard-working, they have yet to complain, and they’re surprisingly receptive. I know as a new coach you come in with a different system, different methodologies, different terminologies, and they have been very open and receptive to learning and trying to apply the things I’ve been teaching them. They’ve been a pleasure to work with.”

What’s the biggest challenge so far?

“Sometimes it’s getting on the same page. What I’m thinking and what they’re thinking is different. To make an analogy, I’m working out of a book that I’ve been using for 30 years and they’re three weeks into the book.”


Boys’ tennis

New boys’ tennis coach Chuck Bourke has come into the season with an open mindset, ready to develop a young team. With a record of 2-10, he is focused on growth and providing as much instruction as he can.

How do you approach coaching both on and off the court?

“On the court what I try to do is, as a coach, teach the sport. I also give the players some structure, things they can do to improve and get better, [as well as] try to propel them to think about other things they can do [on the court]… Off the court, it is really anything I feel like you do in sports is always a correlation to sports and life.”

What are your personal goals for the season and how will the team accomplish these goals?

“I want the players to enjoy themselves. I’ve told them as long as they are competing week after week, match after match, and doing their best, that’s a big success. I’m not so caught up in wins and losses because those will come. But it’s really on the level of how well we compete.”

New boys’ tennis coach Chuck Bourke takes notes on the team’s match against Shrewsbury on May 7. (Jax Jackson)

What is the team’s dynamic like?

“We’re a young team: we only have two seniors. I have four freshmen on the team, so for some this is their first introduction to high school sports. I think the players are pretty driven. I think they’re working pretty hard, I like their work effort. I can see that during practice in the few matches we’ve had.”

What is the greatest challenge your team is facing this season?

“We are a young [team]. Our biggest challenge is [having a young team]. It’s gonna be hard to compete [against other varsity teams in] third singles and second doubles. There are going to be teams where we may not match up well with overall skill level, but we will compete with them and do our best. I think that will be the biggest challenge because again, we don’t have a freshman team, we don’t have a JV team, it’s straight to varsity.”

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A donation of $40 or more includes a subscription to the 2023-24 print issues of The Harbinger. We will mail a copy of our fall, winter, spring and graduation issues to the recipient of your choice. Your donation supports the student journalists of Algonquin Regional High School and allows our extracurricular publication to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

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About the Contributors
Laney Halsey
Laney Halsey, Sports Editor
Laney took Journalism her junior year and has since become an Editor-in-Chief. One of her favorite things about working on the Harbinger is being able to share her writing with the community. In her free time, Laney enjoys playing field hockey, track and the saxophone as well as hanging out with her friends.
Grace Bouzan
Grace Bouzan, A&E Senior Staff Writer
Grace began writing for the Harbinger during her sophomore year after finishing journalism. While taking the class, she found a love and passion for sports reporting and writing. Grace is currently an assistant sports editor. She loves writing reviews and any content related to sports or players. Other than Harbinger, Grace loves to ski, hike and help out others in her community. She also has taken part in other clubs such as Best Buddies and DECA.
Jax Jackson
Jax Jackson, Sports Editor
Jax has been involved with the Harbinger since his freshman year as a graphic designer, but taking Journalism as a junior got him truly excited about journalism. He has discovered a passion for storytelling, advocating through his work and sharing news, recently becoming an Editor-in-Chief. In his free time, Jax enjoys playing tennis, ceramics and performing music.
Cami Blake
Cami Blake, Senior Staff Photographer
After taking photojournalism her freshman year, Cami went on to become a Senior Staff Photographer. She loves taking pictures of people having fun and being in the moment.
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