Chop­ti­con team ded­i­cates sea­son to late coach

Late coach O’Grady’s im­pact on Braves is ev­er­last­ing

The Enterprise - - Front Page -

By MICHAEL REID mreid@somd­news.com

Nick Sny­der was puz­zled.

The Chop­ti­con High School fresh­man barely saw the play­ing field in his first sea­son with the foot­ball team, yet here was this coach ask­ing him if he wanted to play at the next level?

“He came up to me and he asked me if I wanted to play col­lege foot­ball and [with me] be­ing barely [5] feet tall and about a 160 pounds and not get­ting much time I said, ‘I guess,’” Sny­der said. “But he was be­ing dead se­ri­ous and said, ‘I think you’ve got a shot if you work for it.’ He pushed me and he’d al­ways pull me aside and say, ‘I’m go­ing to be on you, but it’s be­cause I know you have po­ten­tial and I know what you can do as an ath­lete.’”

With Jimmy O’Grady push­ing him, Sny­der be­came a starter his sopho­more year, and now the se­nior has an of­fer from an NAIA school and is talk­ing to NCAA Di­vi­sion I schools.

The 35-year-old as­sis­tant coach, who ran the weight room, died trag­i­cally in Fe­bru­ary fol­low­ing a drown­ing ac­ci­dent.

“As good as he was as a coach he was even bet­ter as a speed trainer,” said Chop­ti­con head coach Tony Lisanti, wear­ing a red-and-black R.I.P. Jimmy

PHOTO BY MICHELE STRAT­TON

The Chop­ti­con foot­ball team will be ded­i­cat­ing its sea­son in honor of for­mer as­sis­tant coach Jimmy O’Grady, who died in a drown­ing ac­ci­dent in Fe­bru­ary. O’Grady is pic­tured at left talk­ing with Kharim Mitchell.

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