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Debi Field McGrath, head coach of the 1983 Wheaton College field hockey team that advanced to the NCAA Division 3 tournament for the first time in program history, has moved on and is now the longtime director of athletics at Colby-Sawyer College.
But her memories of that special team remain vivid and exhilarating.
“I knew this team was incredibly talented — but I was never going to tell them that because they had to realize it on their own,’’ recalled McGrath.
Walpole High graduates and lifelong friends Paula McFarland-Mayo and Maribeth Burke were freshmen starters on that team. Janet Kelly who grew up in Cheshire, Conn., and now resides in Quincy, was an All-American defender and “the cornerstone of our team,’’ according to McGrath.
All four will be recognized Oct. 4 at the Norton school’s Beard Field House when the inaugural Yowell Athletic Hall of Fame class will be enshrined. The field hockey squad, which went 13-3 and defeated host Salem State, 2-0, in the NCAA tournament’s first round, will be inducted as a group.