The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local Sports

January 23, 2014

Bishop McCort football coach Kevin Sheridan steps down

JOHNSTOWN — Bishop McCort High School’s Kevin Sheridan stepped down as the Crushers’ head football coach to devote more time with his family as his infant son Owen recovers from what many have called a miracle surgery.

“At this time, I have chosen to step down as head varsity football coach at Bishop McCort Catholic High School,” Sheridan said in a statement released by the school. “Due to the uncertainty of my son Owen’s future, the decision to step down was difficult but the right choice for my family and I.”

Owen was born approximately six weeks ago with a nearly seven-pound growth on his head. The growth, a neural tube defect called an encephalocele, caused a portion of his brain to grow outside his skull.

Kevin Sheridan and his wife, Jen, reached out to several different hospitals before they connected with a surgeon at Boston Children’s Hospital willing to perform the surgery.

“They worked a miracle on our child,” Kevin Sheridan said in a Tribune-Democrat article on Jan. 13. “They did what no other hospital that we could contact was willing to do.”

Still, the Sheridans were told their son has a long and difficult path ahead. Owen’s fight puts matters into perspective and made Sheridan’s decision understandable.

“Bishop McCort Catholic High School would like to thank Kevin for his three years of leadership as head football coach and continued guidance in the classroom,” said a school statement distributed by Athletic Director Tim Schultz. “We ask that you continue to keep Kevin and his family in your prayers as Owen still has a long road ahead of him.”

Sheridan’s teams went 18-16 in three seasons. His first two teams won a combined 16 games, but this year’s squad went 2-8 – the Crushers’ first losing season since 1979.

Sheridan’s 2011 team won seven games and tied a a school record for wins by a first-year coach. His 2012 Crushers went 9-4 and advanced to the District 6 Class A title game.

As McCort’s offensive coordinator, Sheridan helped the Crushers set single season school records for first downs, points scored, rushing yards, total offense and rushing yards in a game during the 2009 season.

That same year, McCort won a school-record 14 games and advanced to the state championship, finishing as runner-up to Clairton.

Sheridan was part of four consecutive District 6 championships and LHAC titles from 2006 to 2009. He played for the Crushers and graduated in 2000.

“Throughout my 13 years of involvement with Bishop McCort football, as a player and coach, I have had countless fond memories and forged many lifelong friends,” said Sheridan, who will continue to teach social studies and religon at McCort. “It has always been my mission to uphold the pride, loyalty and tradition of the football program and the school.”

Mike Mastovich is a sports writer for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/masty81.

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