Cavalier Coaches Night 2016
"Thank you so much for inviting me to Coaches Night. I was so impressed with the strong bond Serra has with parents, students, faculty, and alumni. " Fonda Whitehead, Development Director, Bresee Foundation. Fonda went on to report she will be at Casino Night and The Play.
A mix of alumni, parents, teachers, administrators, friends of Serra, student ambassadors and, of course, coaches, made Coaches Night one of the best attended events ever held in the Serra gym.
Attendees were welcomed by Serra's student ambassadors before they reached the gym. Once inside, Alumni parents Micole Moton and Balinda Cooper greeted all, answered questions and made all feel at home.
The program began with welcoming remarks from Joe Cormier '81, Marcus Johnson '10, Vince Kates '61 and Serra's Principal, Mr. Jeff Guzman.
Before we could get rolling, Richard Monteilh of the Mt. Carmel Alumni Foundation presented Development Director, Joe Cormier with a $1,000.00 check. Thanks to the Crusader Alumni who show their generosity to Serra in many ways. While we are at it, thanks to Coach John Quick, Coach Jim Patricio '68 and one St. Mary's alumnae who likes to remain anonymous all brought negotiable instruments which proved acceptable at the bank..
The festivities began with a surprise "Cavalier Award" given to DeShawn Burton '88 for his invaluable services to the school. DeShawn was the force behind honoring the 1989 State Football Champion, he transformed Serra's publications into first class documents, does the promotional announcements at football games, manages the data base, and fixes the printer in the Development and Alumni office. Jordan Bozer was given the "Honorary Cavalier" award. Jordan took over for DeShawn and has kept the high standard of Serra's publication, manages the data base and produces the Annual Report (Watch your mail box). He played a critical role in the management and execution of 29 events over the last 4 years including the the incredibly successful (what's the word?) Golf Tournament (save the May 5th 2017 date) to the '53 to '61 reunion (save the June 24, 2017 date) and everything in between.
One of Serra's many star students, ASB Secretary, Cheerleader, Model UN member and a 4.4 student,, Kariamu Cross, spoke and described her plans for Stanford and medical school.
Kenisha Danley '99 did double duty behind the mic. She introduced the Alumni Council members present and praised Serra's long tradition of having outstanding cheerleader's.
Our Varsity Coaches were each introduced and interviewed. Boys Soccer, Rob Duffy, Girls Soccer, Sergio Gutierrez, Volleyball, Darryl Adams and Mercedes Winchester, Baseball, Martel Williams, Girls Softball, Cross-Country, James "Foots" Williams and thrower coach, Marsha Williams, Football was represented by athletic director and defensive coach, Josh Dabbs, Girls Basketball McKinsey Hadley Jr. Coach Dabbs announced the appointment of Chris Calvin '06 as Serra's new head track coach.
The last Coach introduced was Basketball Coach Dwan Hurt as Coaches Night transitioned into the honoring of Coach George "Mac" McDaniel. Dwan described the emotional meeting in 1988 with Coach "Mac" where Coach told Dwan he wanted him to replace him as Serra's Head Basketball Coach. Dwan poignantly spoke of the inspirational role Coach "Mac" played and continues to play in his life.
Consider, Serra has had 2 basketball coaches since 1983 Coach McDaniel & Coach Hurt
Dr. John Cragin '70, Darvin Jackson '87, Zarak Canady '85, and Zac Bose '82 each spoke of the significant role Coach McDaniel played as Coach, Dean, Teacher and most importantly, each spoke of the role Coach "Mac" played in defining what it means to be a true Serra Christian Man.
Alvin Cormier (center above) grew up next to the McDaniel family. Alvin played for "Mac" at Ascension and remained close to his daughter, Angela and her husband Charles Bocage Jr. '70. Angie planned on accepting the award prepared for Coach but could not attend due to her own illness. Early this week, Angie has entered hospice.
Alvin took her place at the podium and spoke reverentially of what her Dad meant for so many people.
Nothing describes Coach George McDaniel more than the lines written by sportswriter Grantland Rice:
"When the One Great Scorer comes to write against your name, he writes not that you won or lost, but how you played the game."
"Mac" played the game very well.
We have just learned, Angela McDaniel-Bocage passed away this morning, Frday, November 4, 2016 at 4:35 A.M.
Coaches Night closed with a surprise honoring of Vince Kates '61. Instead of a report on that, let's stop here and pray for Angela McDaniel Bocage and the family.