Published in the December 4, 2017 edition.


WAKEFIELD — Wakefield Memorial High School’s gymnastics team will have a new head coach this winter. Rachel Lucas will bring plenty of coaching experience to Wakefield, as she coached recreational and competitive gymnastics at the Melrose YMCA for 13 years.

“I stepped away from full-time coaching to become a personal trainer, but when I found out about the opening at Wakefield high I was super excited,” said Lucas.

It was her work as a coach in Melrose that got the attention of WMHS Athletic Director Brendan Kent. The Melrose High gymnastics program has been the best in the Middlesex League in recent years and Lucas taught the sport to many of those athletes at the Melrose Y.

“That Melrose YMCA program was the feeder program for the high school. She coached all of those kids growing up,” said Kent. “She worked her way up from a coach to the director of the program, and everybody at that program had nothing but unbelievable things to say about her. She’s a tremendous coach.”

Kent will rely on Lucas to bring that same level of coaching dedication to Wakefield. While it might take some time to get the Warriors back to the top of the Middlesex League, Lucas is encouraged first by the current members of the team, and second by the number of student-athletes who tried out last week.

“We’ve only had a couple days of practices but I can already tell we have a really talented group of gymnasts this year,” said Lucas. “Our team of about 20 will be one of the largest Wakefield High has had in a few years.”

Joining Lucas as an assistant coach will be Wakefield native Meg Delory, who coached with Lucas in Melrose after her own excellent gymnastics career where she was a level nine gymnast at Bishop Fenwick. Delory, who’s aunt taught at the Galvin Middle School, graduated from Boston College and is currently working on her Master’s degree.

As for this season, the goal will most certainly be to lay a foundation for the future, but don’t be surprised to see the Warriors make some noise in the league, starting ironically enough, at Lucas’ home gym at the YMCA of Metro North against Melrose on January 5.

“We have some great leaders in our seniors and excitement from the incoming freshman,” said Lucas. “I can tell that the program will be growing in future years, but for now, Meg and I are really looking forward to see what the season has in store for us.”