The Lynn English girls basketball team is bearing down on another Northeastern Conference championship but head coach Fred Hogan and his Lady Bulldogs are proving to be winners off the court as well.
The English players are teaching the game and helping to spread the joy of the sport to enthusiastic kids (ages 3-7) in the Lynn Pee Wee basketball league each Saturday at the Lynn Boys and Girls Club.
Shannon Calnan, an English captain and four-year varsity performer, was among the many varsity hoopsters who were providing instruction and coaching this past Saturday.
“It’s fun to help out the kids and it’s nice to be giving something back to the city,” said Calnan, who is a peer mentor and also volunteers at Greater Lynn Senior Services. “Being in the English program has taught me a lot and I’ve really enjoyed it.”
Junior point guard Catherine Stinson first began playing basketball a decade ago in the Lynn Pee Wee League. Stinson played on a Pee Wee team with her cousin Freddie Hogan (Fred’s son), Marcos Echevarria, Skyler Hogan, and Javier Bello. “Those were some unbelievable six-year-olds,” said coach Hogan. “I knew Catherine was going to be very good even back then.”
Stinson remembers making her start “against all the boys” in the Pee Wee League. “The first time I ever played basketball was right here,” she recalled.
Stinson is now playing the role as an instructor and coach in the program.
“It’s fun to be helping out the kids,” said Stinson. “I’m teaching the kids how to shoot and dribble and some of the fundamentals.”
Hogan, whose brother, Chris Hogan, directs the Pee Wee League, said he’s proud of his players’ contribution to the league.
“It’s great to see our players teaching kids the fundamentals and giving the kids confidence,” said Hogan. “We usually practice on Saturday afternoons so we’ll volunteer here first for a couple of hours. I think it’s important to give back to this program. A lot of our girls used to participate in youth basketball.”
Hogan is seeking the English’s program’s fourth NEC title in his eight seasons as head coach. The Lady Bulldogs are 9-1 in the Northeastern Conference, 11-2 overall, with Revere coming to the Paul Cavanagh Fieldhouse Friday night. Revere is the only NEC team to defeat English this season. The other loss was to St. Mary’s in the finals of the Boverini Tournament.