EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

November 28, 2012

Groveland's O'Leary wins 200th at Prep

LOWELL — The hand-crafted digits “2-0-0” flopped a bit in the postgame drizzle, but there was no denying the milestone reached on Tuesday night by Groveland’s Jim O’Leary.

The St. John’s Prep football coach moved to 200-105-2 all-time at the Prep with the well-deserved Eastern Mass. Division 1 semifinal win over Andover here last night.

“I think 201 is more important than 200 at this point,” said O’Leary, who shoots for that magic number in the Eastern Mass. Division 1 championship against Brockton, Saturday at 1 p.m. “Seriously, I’m happy to have it because I love this group of kids. They’ve been together three years and they’ve worked so hard for it.”

O’Leary took over at the Prep in 1984. He will be shooting for his second Super Bowl championship in his tenure. The coach’s other title team went 11-0 in 1997, featuring a pair of future NFLers in QB Brian St. Pierre, who now lives in Georgetown, and Salem’s Wayne Lucier, who started 20 games on the offensive line for the New York Giants in 2003-04.

Also leading that star-studded group was a pair of future pro baseballers in Salem’s Jeff Mackor and halfback Brian Lentz.

Wrestling can wait

The giant smile on the face of Prep nose guard Corey Jean-Jacques told it all. Wrestling season is just going to have to wait.

“I wasn’t playing sophomore year when they went to the playoffs two years ago. This feels good to win here and move on, being a part of it,” said Jean-Jacques, of Haverhill.

No worries, though, for those of you mat mavens out there. Jean-Jacques will be back on the mat with a New England title in his sights sooner than you know it.

“I’ll get right back on the wrestling mat, very soon,” he promised. “And I’ll be just fine.”

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