To The Daily Sun,

Expressing gratitude to people who are deserving is easy. Enter head football coach Guy Donnelly who, with a talented assembly of assistant coaches, led Inter-Lakes-Moultonborough Middle School to an undefeated 2021 season.

It should be no secret that a strong supporting cast is essential to exceptional achievement. So it’s not surprising to see Coach Donnelly praise "top notch" assistants Robb Jutton, Todd Johnson and Derrick Madigan for the vital role they played in his success.

Throughout the year Donnelly and his staff emphasized character development in the midst of teaching sound basic football. They also embraced a sports learning environment to allow players to benefit personally in both athletic and social growth.

Anyone close to Donnelly’s program could see how all 43 of his players were strengthened in self-discipline, self-confidence, self-reliance and sportsmanship. Some families send their children away to summer camp to learn these strong character traits.

A special gathering to honor the team was held last Thursday at Hart’s Turkey Farm. During the awards ceremony, Coach Donnelly had his players' full attention when speaking about the respect and appreciation they should forever have regarding family, community and school.

While there'll always be those among us who give little of the much they have, blessed are those who reach out to help aspiring young athletes pursue their dreams without ever counting the cost. People who work behind the scenes unselfishly as it was with local businesses mingling with parents to make "team feeds" so successful. "Team bonding" moments that were praiseworthy and an absolute delight to players. These after practice events are sure to be as memorable to each player as games played on the football field.

A real "buzz" took place at Thursday's gathering when Coach Donnelly brought out the team’s 2021 "highlight" reel. The film brought a roar from the audience as it showcased outstanding quarterbacking, a "pronghorn offense" and "Paul Bunyan defense." The offense exhibited speed and elusiveness which was electrifying to watch. The defense was just as exciting as they set "bear-traps" for their inside game while being cheetah-like pursuing any runner who dared challenge their outside game.

This 2021 middle school team is sure to go down as one of the all-time best in representing both school districts.

Roland Jutras

Meredith

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