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Big John MacAuley Garnet Football (2 of 2)

Posted Tuesday, November 01, 2011 by Lohud Staff

Mary Beth and her husband, John, have watched their son thrive off the complete experience of high school football. He attends every practice, workout and team dinner, often shuttling from one to the other in the car of a teammate.

Last season, the point man was captain Brian Pickup, a three-sport star who ranked among the top football and basketball players in Class A. Now it's typically Lynch, one of this year's captains who recently caught two touchdowns in a 17-7 win at rival Harrison.

"It's not really a responsibility," Lynch said. "He's the first person we're looking to give a ride to practices and team dinners. He's great about it. He's always so grateful for it, says thank you all the time. He's awesome."

MacAulay has his own cell phone and instructions to call home if need be. His mother said it's rarely necessary. Athletic director Rob Castagna credited the "Garnet family" that Garr and his staff have cultivated.

In fact, when asked to name teammates who have supported her son most, Mary Beth named nearly a dozen.

"I think they, as a team, have looked after him, without even someone telling them to," she said. "There are 24 seniors on the team, and he's one of them."

On Monday, as his team prepped for Wednesday's Class A semifinal at John Jay, MacAulay stood in his practice uniform alongside other reserves with his hands clasped. His favorite part of practice is wind sprints at the end.

"He loves to run," Lynch said.

Although the coaching staff avoids putting MacAulay in any major contact drills, he participates much like anyone else, coming to spring and summer workouts and grinding through long August two-a-days.

"He does everything the same," Garr said. "He just wants to be a part of a group. I think he's a part of the team and a very big part of the team in his own way."

After Rye beat Harrison last month, MacAulay was drenched, encircled in the Blind Brook by more than a dozen teammates. Freshman quarterback Andrew Livingston grabbed his teammate's shoulders from behind while a handful of others grinned as they splashed MacAulay with water.

None of it approached actually getting on the field, being just like the teammates he calls "my boys," hearing his name and number blared over the public-address system and standing on the other end of the high-fives he usually gives out.

"Just the other day, he asked if he was going to get in again," Lynch said. "I told him, keep working hard in practice and we'll see. Hopefully we'll get you in there."

Many in Rye would like nothing more.

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