The Journal Register (Medina, NY)

Sports

October 17, 2013

Doc's Rock a reminder of sportsmanship and friendship

MEDINA —

When two football teams prepare to meet for the 116th time, subplots aren’t necessary to make the game meaningful. The pure history is plenty to make the battle entertaining, in and of itself.

 

But in this year’s Medina-Albion football matchup (kickoff tonight at Albion HS, 7:30 p.m.), the Mustangs and Purple Eagles aren’t playing for pride alone. They’re playing for a spot in the sectional playoffs.

 

The rivals separated by just 11 miles on Route 31 are also playing for something else: Doc’s Rock.

 

Larry Decker (Doc) was a Medina staple for over 30 years, who served as a football, tennis and basketball coach at various points during his time with the Mustangs. Decker held the reins as the Medina varsity football coach during the 1980s, stepping down to become an assistant coach after an undefeated 10-0 season in 1988.

 

Doc’s son, Brett, was the Mustang quarterback during his time at Medina HS. Doc’s daughter, Melissa, went on to marry Tony Osburn — yes, the same Tony Osburn who now holds the reins at Albion.

 

Tony played quarterback at Albion, while Medina coach Eric Valley played fullback and tight end for the Mustangs, under Doc. The two played together for a year on SUNY Cortland’s junior varsity team, long before either had any idea that they would be coaching against each other in a football game. Much less in a rivalry football game pitting the alma maters of both men, with a playoff berth on the line. Small world, indeed.

 

Eventually, Larry left Medina to coach tennis at Albion and help out with the football team — which was now coached by Tony, his son-in-law. As they grew older, Larry and his wife Judy would make a practice of staying in Orleans County through the fall, before driving to Florida for the winter.

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