NORTH ANDOVER — Kyle Wood didn’t have the easiest job in the world. It’s never easy taking over for a legend.
The first-year North Andover boys soccer coach was taking over for Bill Tarbox, the winningest soccer coach (boys or girls) in area history
Fortunately, he had a leader like co-captain Jeff Warden.
“He was one of the players who always wanted to do one more sprint, one more lap,” said Wood, who guided the Scarlet Knights to a perfect regular season and a berth in the Division 2 North finals. “He was motivated. I can’t say enough about him. He made my job easy.”
Warden said, “We’ve had a really good relationship. I just tried to work my hardest to make the transition easier.”
The Moynihan Boys Scholar-Athlete of the Month for October works just as hard on his academics. He’s ranked 24th in a class of 335 and scored a superb 2,030 on his SATs. He’s a member of the National Honor Society and has passed AP tests in English, biology and European history.
“Obviously, my parents push me to do well,” said Warden, who is a co-captain in basketball and runs the 400 hurdles in spring track. “My siblings did well and I wanted to be like them.”
The oldest, John, graduated from Bentley magna cum laude. Sarah is a senior at Bates, where she was a two-year field hockey captain and a perennial member of the NESCAC Scholar-Athlete team. Jimmy is a sophomore who plays basketball at Norwich.
As an All-MVC defender and a top defender on the basketball team, hard work is Warden’s calling card.
“It’s really difficult,” the 5-11, 165-pounder said of being a top scholar-athlete. “But that’s what I want to do. It’s all worth it. Maybe I’ll get two hours of sleep. Maybe I can’t go out on a Saturday due to a basketball tourney. I just want to do it and I’ve always wanted to. It’s just natural to me.”