A pair of area coaches reached milestone feats over the weekend as Fenwick football coach Dave Woods and St. Mary’s boys soccer coach Mike D’Agostino earned their 150th wins. Woods did so when the Crusaders blanked Hamilton-Wenham, 28-0, in their season opener Friday night at the refurbished Donaldson Stadium. D’Agostino reached his 150th win as head coach of the Spartans when St. Mary’s defeated English, 5-2, in Saturday’s Lynn City Tournament consolation game.
Woods, a Stoneham High graduate, first arrived at Fenwick in 1996 as an assistant coach for Al Costabile. When Costabile stepped down as head coach of the Crusaders in 1998, Woods took over the program. Now in his 21st season, Woods has coached Fenwick to three Super Bowl championships (Division 4 in 1999, 2000 and Division 3A in 2013).
“When I first came as an assistant in 1996, Al Costabile was the head coach and he was the greatest guy in the world,” Woods said. “Then I took over and did I think I’d be here 20 years later? Probably not. I couldn’t have asked for anything better. When I first started coaching I wasn’t even married yet. Now my youngest (Steven) is playing for me as a freshman. Fenwick’s been very good to me and my family.”
Woods was named Fenwick’s Athletic Director in 2009. He said the bonds and friendships he’s built over his years at Fenwick are some of the aspects he cherishes the most.
“The people at Fenwick are phenomenal,” Woods said. “There’s so many people me and my family have met, it’s hard to put into words. (Assistant coach) Dave Duggan’s been there longer than me. He’s been involved longer than any other person. He was a captain at Fenwick and played here. He’s one of my best friends. He’s typical of of the people at Fenwick. When you work with people you like it’s not even work. It’s a lot of fun.”
He also acknowledged the importance of having dedicated players and unwavering support from Fenwick’s administration over the years.
“We’ve been very lucky to have had great kids, great assistant coaches and great support from the administration,” Woods said. “It’s a great place to coach any sport. I’ve been lucky to be in one spot for so long. The kids, the players have been unbelievable throughout the years. We’ve been lucky to have so many great players.”
The Crusaders (1-0) visit Dedham for a non-conference tilt Friday night (7). Dedham opened its season with a 21-3 win over Medfield.
“We watched some film on them (last) Saturday,” Woods said. “I figured coming into the season they’d be one of the toughest teams we’ll play. We played them last year. They’re good, they’re in the same division as us. They’re big, athletic and talented. It’s going to be a test for us and a challenge for us in Week 2.
“The kids are excited,” Woods said. “They’re playing great football and having fun. They have a lot of energy and excitement. We’re looking forward to the rest of the season.”
A St. Mary’s alum and former Spartans soccer player, D’Agostino’s soccer career has come full circle. D’Agostino’s in his 10th season as head coach of the program.
“It’s not about me but it’s a huge accomplishment,” D’Agostino said. “I’m excited to do it with this team. It’s a great program and a great school. I have great assistant coaches, and a great wife and family. They’ve helped me in the last 10 years doing this.”
One of his goals when he was first hired was to establish a state tournament mainstay at St. Mary’s and D’Agostino has done just that. The Spartans have reached the tournament in every year under D’Agostino’s direction except his first.
“We missed the playoffs by one point my first season,” D’Agostino said. “My first season was the toughest, getting everyone used to my style of play. After we got things settled down we’ve had some great runs. Last year was my best record here at 17-0-1, that’s a huge accomplishment for myself and the program. We’ve made the tournament every year but one year. All these kids have earned their accomplishments. I’m pleased and very proud of them all.”
The win over English was St. Mary’s first of the young season. The Spartans (1-1) host Catholic Central League rival Fenwick Wednesday night (7:30) at Manning Field.
“We just have to play our game of soccer,” D’Agostino said. “We had a great trip at Cape Cod in the preseason. We have some kids coming back, that’s huge for us to help us get ready to play Fenwick. We’re excited. Getting a win under our belts, that helps our seniors get more comf.”