The speech was terrific. The delivery was superb.
Jonathan Capano, a St. Mary’s High School graduate currently in his third year of law school, said he spoke from his heart in his presenter’s speech about his former football coach, Matt Durgin, recipient of the 2018 Commitment to Youth Award at the Boys and Girls Club Annual Celebration Tuesday night at Tedesco Country Club.
Durgin, who coached at St. Mary’s, Lynn Classical, and Malden Catholic during a highly successful career, was visibly touched by the emotion and passion of Capano’s heartfelt remarks.
Perhaps no lines summed up more what Matt Durgin meant to all his players than these: “Coach Durgin isn’t here tonight for his impressive win total. He’s here because the impact he’s had on me and countless other young men who had the privilege to play ball for him. It’s hard as a 17 or 18-year-old high school student to realize that a coach isn’t there just to teach you about the game, but he’s teaching and preparing you for life.”
Indeed, as talented as he was at teaching the Xs and Os of football to his players, Matt Durgin was a genius at motivating young men to give 100 percent at all times and preparing them for life after high school football.
Jonathan was flanked by his brother, Nick, during the speech. He related the heartwarming story of how then-Classical coach Matt Durgin presented his brother with a letterman jacket at the banquet just like the rest of his classmates. “This is when I knew I wanted to play football for him,” said Jonathan.
What made the whole moment and this important award even more meaningful for Matt Durgin was that his family was in attendance to hear the tremendous impact that this giant of a man had made on his student-athletes.
The high honor follows a difficult time for Matt and his family. Matt lost his sister, Michele Durgin, a popular Lynn teacher, and his mother, Helen, the beloved matriarch of the Durgin family, in 2017. Both would have been so elated for him on this night and for this award.
Was there any doubt then that the entire audience, present for an event that benefits so many youths in this city, would rise as one to pay tribute to Matt Durgin with a warm, standing ovation?