After an exciting , North Reading football coach Jeff Wall was named Cape Ann League (CAL) Coach of the Year.
After a rough 1-2 start, Wall guided the Hornets to a four-game win streak and to victories in six of their final seven games. During the win streak North Reading averaged 27 points a game while only giving up an average of 14.
“It is an honor to be chosen as coach of the year,” Wall said. “It is rewarding when your peers recognize you for your efforts. However, I accept the award on behalf of my entire staff. We made a concerted effort this off-season to assemble a staff that would help our program take the next step forward. In recent years we have been competitive but have fallen short in terms of wins and losses. This off-season we acquired several new coaches, each of whom had unique skill sets. All of my assistants take ownership in the successes that the program had this year."
The Hornets went 1-9 in 2010 and lost every game at home. This year they were undefeated at . The closest margin of victory at home was three points against Austin Prep. All the other home wins came in double digits.
“Upon completing the 2010 season a day did not go by where I didn't feel a pit of despair in my stomach each time I passed by the field,” Wall said. “They were tough losses to accept and driving by the field caused me to relive them every day. This season posed the complete opposite situation. Our seniors can boast about being the first team in over 30 years to win seven games, including winning every home game. This year's seniors poured the foundation which we hope will support a new tradition, a tradition of winning.”
North Reading Athletic Director Dave Johnson said that the turnaround by the Hornets will not be a one-off thing. He thinks that the team will remain in the hunt for CAL championships in the future.
“I think it goes to show the direction of the program,” Johnson said. “We’ve had a very successful season, and I think people in town look at it as the beginning of a run of very successful teams that we’re going to have in a row. This is the future right now.”
The hornets will have several key players returning next year, including junior running back Carl Lipani. Lipani was a workhorse for the Hornets this season and rushed for 249 yards in North Reading’s .