Castleton, NY — For the Maple Hill boys varsity soccer team, there has been one force inspiring them and lifting the team up in their darkest hours.
The team has been united all season with one goal in mind, to win a title for their late Superintendent, Robert Horan.
Horan, who passed away suddenly this summer, had served as Superintendent of the Schodack Central School District since 2010.
Described by many as “larger than life,” Horan was a staple at the school’s various athletic events, no matter how good or bad the team was.
“He’s wasn’t your typical Superintendent where you may be lucky to run into him once a month. He was everywhere, including on the field, at basketball games, wrestling, you name it he was there,” Athletic Director Dave Austin said. “I think that’s why everyone has been able to rally around him and play for him. It’s what makes Maple Hill, Maple Hill. We can rally around a cause like this and play for Bob; it’s something we made clear from the very beginning.”
To honor their beloved school leader, all of the district’s athletic teams adorn their uniforms with “RH” patches.
For the boys’ soccer team, it’s a long-standing tradition to pick a hairstyle which they will maintain through the postseason. In years past they’ve done everything from mohawks to full on bleach blonde coloring, but this year a handful went one step further, engraving “RH” on the side of their heads.
‘We all have him on our jerseys, and some of us [Hall included] even have it on our heads,” said junior Connor Hall. “Before every game, we say we just try to do what would make Bob proud and talk about how we’ve got to play for him.”
The Wildcats, 19-0-1 and ranked No.2 in the state, will take on Mayfield this Saturday in the Section II Class C Title game at Colonie High School. The game is scheduled to start bright and early at 10:00 a.m. sharp.
“They’re playing at a high level, and they’re handling themselves in an appropriate way [win or lose Saturday] that’s got to make him smile,” Austin added.