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John Habib's City Sports: Jack Thornton was unique talent
Thornton had a great radio voice, and I found his knowledge of high school sports to be top-notch. He was articulate and thorough in his analysis, especially in the immediate aftermath of a game.
When I heard this week that Thornton died Sunday at age 64 after a long period of declining health, I paused to think of the lesson he taught me years ago: Never feel sorry for yourself. Jack Thornton never did, and that's why I regard him to this day as the epitome of what the human spirit is all about.
"If I try to tell someone about Jack Thornton, especially how I was able to work with him during my broadcast ... Unless you knew him or saw him do it, you wouldn't believe it," Lobel said. "Jack was an amazing person. What instantly caught my attention was Jack was able to add something to my show that (fellow local broadcasters) Frank Sullivan, Dick Powers — none of us — could add. Call it a sixth sense or another dimension, but he had something which was extremely rare and unique. I trusted it, and I trusted him because he didn't make stuff up."
"I can't explain how he did it, but through his father's love and devotion, Jack was able to connect the dots and provide commentary during and after games," Lobel said. "To this day, I just can't explain it. It's still all a mystery to me, but Jack was a special kid, a special person who I'm going to miss greatly."
MEMORIAL baseball coach Aaron Abood has applied for the new position of full-time athletics director for the city's public high schools, and he appears to have a backer in Ward 9 school board member Art Beaudry.
AT A RECENT meeting of the city school board's Athletic Committee, Manchester High West athletics director Sarah Dumais suggested the city retain part-time city AD Dave Gosselin until January to help his successor with the transition.
"I'm not going to support paying a full-timer and a part-timer — not when we're trying to save money to hire back teachers, which is my top priority right now," Beaudry said.
"I would expect whoever we hire to hit the ground running from the first day on," Beaudry said.
Kate is the sister of Luke Capistran, who died at 16 in 2011 after a courageous battle with cancer.
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