The Post-Journal

Goold Leads Red Dragons To Third Straight Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Athletic Association Title

Over the years, Bob Goold has become a mainstay when it comes to athletics throughout the Southern Tier.
From his tremendous work with the Special Olympics, his time as an athletic director at Frewsburg and helping coach several sports at Maple Grove, Goold has arguably seen it all when it comes to the local sports scene.

Some of his greatest success of late has come as Maple Grove’s boys track and field coach.

With Goold at the helm, the Red Dragons boys team has captured three straight Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Athletic Association Division 3 league titles.

Maple Grove locked up its most recent championship this past spring, courtesy of an 84-56 win over Clymer/Sherman/Panama.

“It’s been a nice three-year ride up there,” Goold said when asked about the recent success of his squad. “The timing was great. The kids have bought into just the way we do things, we’ve had great assistant coaches … it’s just been a great fit. I’ve been very happy with it.”

Leading the way for Maple Grove this past season were two distinguished senior athletes, Frank Zuroski and Mitch Sandberg.

Zuroski capped his high school career by qualifying for the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Championships at Cicero-North Syracuse High School. He punched a ticket to the state meet thanks to his first-place finish in the 1,600 meters at the Section VI State Qualifier.

“That was just justice being served,” Goold said of Zuroski’s appearance at the state meet in his final season, “because that boy has worked so hard over his career and to get a chance to qualify for states was awesome.”

Sandberg, on the other hand, displayed his athletic prowess by competing at the state meet in the Division 2 pentathlon and finishing sixth with a total of 3,104 points. In addition, he broke a then school record earlier in the year at the Depew Pentathlon by accumulating 3,076 points.

“He is the consummate team player,” Goold explained. “He will do whatever the coach asks him to do for the team. … This year, he really focused on trying to work on his distance a little bit. He set the school record up at Depew and then won the county meet over there in Dunkirk and then of course established even another school record at the state meet. What more can you say?”

What made this year’s edition of the Red Dragons so special was the wealth of talent behind the likes of Zuroski and Sandberg.

From Brad Benson in the pole vault, to Nick Fabrizio in the discus, to Ryan Hetrick and Shane Hetrick, Frank Colburn and Nick Brooker, the list in terms of contributors to Maple Grove’s team success could go on and on. This year’s league title was undoubtedly a team effort.

“We just have a good time at practice,” Goold emphasized. “We make it fun, but they do work hard and I think they reap the benefits of their efforts by winning the league three years in a row. … These kids have all been able to buy into the team aspect”

Not only has Maple Grove become a powerhouse in its league, but the Red Dragons took home the sportsmanship award in their respective division as well in 2016.

It’s for those reasons that Bob Goold has been named this year’s Post-Journal Boys Track and Field Coach of the Year.

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We gratefully acknowledge these individuals and organizations for their generous support.