---- — There’s nothing better that starting off a coaching career at the top.
That happened to @text1:Scott Blaney as he led Greater Lawrence’s baseball team to the MVC championship in his rookie season.
With standout players like Bobby Ferrara and Brian Toohey, the Reggies won the title in 1981.
He also added a state Vocational title in 2002.
And 27 years after his stellar entree into area coaching, 25 of those spent helming the program at the West Andover school, Blaney was elected into the Massachusetts Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
“I knew my name was up there the last couple of years, but I couldn’t be happier,” said Blaney. “It’s an honor, and I’d like to thank the committee for thinking of me.”
A long-time area resident, Blaney loved all sports. He spent 14 years as Greater Lawrence’s JV basketball coach and was also involved in the football programs with the Reggies, Methuen and North Shore Tech.
“When I coached, I was very emotional and very aggressive,” said Blaney, who finished with a 266-222 record with the Reggies. “All I expected from the players was respect and that they always give their best effort.”
EX-NHL player gives back
Five years ago, Scott LaChance received a phone call that would change the direction of his life.
“@text1:Scott Manty is an assistant coach at Andover High who I knew from (Boston University) alumni events),” LaChance said. “He called me up out of the blue and asked if I wanted to help coach.”
After 14 seasons playing with four different teams in the NHL, a role with the 1992 U.S. Olympic team and stints in Switzerland and the AHL, back issues forced LaChance to the sidelines. The tough decision looming was made easier by Manty’s call.
“It’s been really fun, but it’s been a learning experience,” LaChance said. “I try to do more teaching and leave the disciplinary stuff to (head coach) @text1:Mario (Martiniello).”
The players certainly ate up the ex-pro’s advise.
“They really look up to him,” said Martiniello. “You can tell when he has something to say, everyone has their ears open. They know he has been there and done that before.”
And with his help, the Warriors jumped out to a 4-2 start as one of the area’s best teams.
“Down the road, I could see (coaching) as something I would like to do,” LaChance said.
“It’s nice to be able to grow into something. I like where I am now.”