Druley: St. Charles North announces Masoncup as girls basketball coach

Published: Tuesday, June 4, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

New St. Charles North girls basketball coach Sean Masoncup took the perfunctory time to think about what would be his new position only because he was busy with another one.

North athletic director Dan Dolney approached Masoncup about the opening a month ago as the boys tennis season neared its stretch run.

"It's always been something I've wanted to do is run my own basketball program," Masoncup said. "It was a no-brainer once he asked."

On Monday, Masoncup officially was announced as North's latest multi-sport head coach, taking the reins of a girls basketball program on which he kept a pulse as a North boys assistant for the past five seasons.

Turns out Masoncup also has monitored his new players by day. A Haines Middle School physical education and health teacher, Masoncup has taught much of North's current roster, including budding standouts Nicole Davidson (sophomore) and Morgan Rosencrants (freshman).

A former Geneva athlete with 10 years of teaching experience in District 303, Masoncup was a finalist for the St. Charles East boys vacancy filled by Pat Woods before the 2011-12 season.

While he admits it's tough leaving the staff of North boys coach Tom Poulin, a friend and fellow multi-sport coach, Masoncup looks forward to putting a stamp on a new program. He knows it comes with the "whirlwind" he's seen the past few days, including coordinating summer leagues and camps on the fly.

Masoncup's assistant and Haines colleague Jeff Otterby brings 15 seasons of girls coaching experience, but switching from boys to girls doesn't faze the defense- and running-minded Masoncup.

"I truly think that basketball is basketball," he said. "No matter if it's girls, boys, younger adults, basketball is basketball. It's just a matter of translating it to the other levels."

In other North coaching news, Kevin Harrington will return to lead the boys track program, replacing Don Spencer.

Harrington coaches boys cross country in the fall, and dabbled as a JV boys water polo assistant for the first time this spring.

Mission accomplished: Many of the 12 seniors on the North boys volleyball team listed regular pasta dinners among their favorite memories in the senior night match program.

Were that document up for revision, Saturday's team lunch might also be a prime pick.

After losing a state semifinal to eventual state champion Downers Grove South in the morning, the North Stars needed to fill about four idle hours before taking on Glenbrook South for third place.

"We had an awesome lunch, talked things over, definitely had a great team bonding experience and talked about what we had to do to get another win," senior outside hitter Kevin Beach said.

North (32-7) scored a 25-20, 25-20 sweep of Glenbrook South to cap the most successful season in program history in its first trip to the state tournament.

As it has throughout the spring, familiarity factored into the North Stars' recovery. North did not lose consecutive matches all season.

"With this group of guys, we've known each other for years and years," senior defensive specialist Jimmy Vainisi said. "We know when it's time to be serious – to have good practices, work as hard as we can. I think the fact we've known each other – same as coach [Todd Weimer] – it went a long way for us."

Entering the tournament, the North Stars discovered plenty of social media trash talk from schools with deeper state tournament pedigrees. It didn't faze them.

"We kind of played with a little bit of a chip on our shoulder, and I couldn't be happier with how we finished the season," senior libero Ryan Dal Degan said. "And I think our play and our poise speaks for itself."

• Kevin Druley is a sportswriter for the Kane County Chronicle. He can be reached at 630-845-5347 or kdruley@shawmedia.com.

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