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The name McMaster is synonymous with the history of high school athletics in Dryden. This past week, three generations of the family of educators, athletes and coaches helped kick off the Eagles on Track Campaign to repair and resurface the track at Dryden High School with a donation of $2,000.
Spearheaded by DHS running coach Mike Wood, the $300,000 project aims to address the track’s drainage problems with the cooperation of the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board. The track will then be paved and coated with a rubberized surface.
Wood will use his experience as a former municipal councillor to fund the project through a combination of grants and fundraising.
“I’ve been watching Mike in action,” said Jack McMaster, Director of Education for the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board (KPDSB) and former athlete. “Not only is he a fabulous coach but he’s got those kids up to snuff posting great results at OFSAA. I’m seeing all the not-for-profit dollars he’s going after with these grants. I’m amazed at his work ethic and how dedicated he is to kids.”
Harry McMaster, who played a pivotal role in the formation of Dryden High School Athletics program in the early 1950s, is similarly impressed with Wood’s effort to refurbish the track that surrounds the football field that was named in his honour in recent years.
Wood says he hopes the track effort strengthens the notion of ‘individual sports’ at DHS, which have a way of attracting kids who wouldn’t necessarily become involved in team sport programs.
“What I like to see about the program is the kids who are involved,” says Wood. “The vast majority of them aren’t involved in any other sport. It’s a new avenue for people who want to participate on an individual level or on a team — they have both options. The other thing about the team that makes it a little different is that we have from Grade 7-12 boys and girls on the same team. It teaches them a different dynamic and it teaches them to play nice with one another.”
Check out Dryden Athletics on Facebook, or contact Mike Wood at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Chris Marchand