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Coach’s late father, brother were special motivation for Bears – Rep-AM

Motivation

UNCASVILLE — Thomaston High sports is often a family affair with the bond of the community bringing everyone together.
Girls basketball coach Bob McMahon had family on his mind a lot this season. His father, lifelong Thomaston resident and former six-term first selectman Eugene McMahon, died at the age of 93 in January. Before that, his older brother, Paul, who suffered from Alzheimer’s, died in October at 63.
Paul’s sons, Luke and Owen, and another McMahon brother, Dennis, were in attendance Saturday at Mohegan Sun Arena to watch Bob’s Bears defeat Coventry, 42-38, in the Class S final to win the program’s fourth state championship.
The four of them shared a moment after the game as the Thomaston players celebrated.
“I wanted to win for my dad and my brother. (But) it’s not about me, ever,” McMahon said. “Not for a second. That was a big part of my motivation, for sure. And the kids, I think they knew it. They all know my brother and father.”
But the elder McMahon, known around Thomaston as “The Mayor,” once had conflicted views about rooting for the brown and gold when Thomaston won the Class S crown in 2014 in a two-overtime thriller against St. Paul.
“My dad was in the front row seat for every game,” Bob McMahon said. “When my niece (Kelly McMahon) played for St. Paul and we played them here, my dad was torn. He sat in the middle to be as neutral as possible, but the smile he had after the game told me otherwise.”
While this was McMahon’s third state championship with Thomaston, it may be the most special considering everything his family has been through over the course of the season.
“Both (my dad and brother) are revered Thomastonians,” McMahon said. “Although Paul didn’t attend Thomaston High School, he had as much brown and gold in him as anyone. He was proud to see his sons compete there. He was at just about every one of my games, baseball and basketball, if he could make it. My dad, of course, was a statue. He was a fixture there. What did it mean this year? A lot.”
Pride of Thomaston
When the Bears made the trip to Mohegan Sun Arena on Friday, the citizens of Thomaston came out to show their support. Their dedication was noticed and appreciated by McMahon.
“The high school students who weren’t too cool to support their team were awesome at a pep rally that we had,” he said. “Our Black Rock (Elementary) students, kindergarten through third grade, were there right when we left the high school with signs and hollering. There was a lot of brown and gold out there. Then we blasted the sirens all the way down to Center School in the center of town where myself, Kelly Finlay and Laura Miller teach. Those kids were going bananas.”
The only …….

Source: https://thezone.rep-am.com/hoop-zone/2022/03/19/coachs-late-father-brother-were-special-motivation-for-bears/

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