by Ken Brown
MARSHFIELD – It has been a statewide revolving door of high school athletic directors this past summer and Twinfield-Cabot will have their sixth in seven years as principal Mark Mooney aims to bring lasting sustainability to their athletic program with the hire of David Conover.
Conover replaces Carley Elkin after only one year at Twinfield-Cabot, moving his family cross country from southern Oregon and quickly falling in love with central Vermont. He has over fifteen years of teaching and coaching experience all over the country, including abroad in Kyiv, Ukraine, and central Asia. Mooney admits that with so many schools around the state having turnover at the A.D. position this summer, Twinfield-Cabot had to broaden their search parameters. Conover impressed in his initial interviews and quickly became a finalist for the position.
“Carley did a great job bringing organization and detail to the department, but she’s moving on and we were dedicated to finding someone who is dedicated to the athletic department here at Twinfield-Cabot and the community long term. We have officially made the A.D. position here a full-time position and David’s experience and positive energy quickly made him our first option. He has a lot on his plate getting settled here and becoming familiar with the kids and community, but he’s a keeper and we are thrilled to have him,” said Mooney.
Conover brings his experience in outdoor recreation and education, girls’ and boys’ clubs, student life athletics and activities, and most importantly building the youth outdoor recreation programs at Cal-State, San Bernardino and the University of Houston. He has coaching experience at both the amateur and professional levels and will dive in this fall, coaching the Twinfield-Cabot middle-school soccer teams. His specialty is building sustainable recreational systems at the youth level and he believes that is the key for future athletic success at Twinfield-Cabot.
“This is a new start for my wife and I and we are excited to get settled and familiar with the beautiful region of New England. There have been a lot of A.D.s that came before me here and I was drawn to the challenge of continuing to build the athletic program here in both the Twinfield and Cabot communities. Developing continuity, skills, and teamwork, along with hiring coaches that can teach those things at the youth level is very important for the future of athletics at Twinfield-Cabot. I’ve found in my experience that successful athletic programs aren’t about A.D.’s or coaches, but more about building systems all the way down to the youth level that are complimentary and sustainable. We need to create these systems where everyone is on the same page and pulling in the same direction to give the kids the opportunity to be successful through hard work, dedication, while having fun doing it. It is a lot to take in, but I’m excited to get started, to coach and teach, and to get to know the kids and parents in these communities,” said Conover.
Both Twinfield-Cabot varsity soccer programs are coming off stellar seasons in 2021 and Mooney believes that continuing to nurture and embrace the athletic cooperative model between the two schools is vital to future success.
“Our participation numbers aren’t quite where we want them to be yet, but I think we are starting to see a full buy-in from both communities in the cooperative and that is only going to be a positive for the kids going forward. Many of the division III and IV schools that we play on our schedules now are true cooperatives, so it is essential that we continue to promote that relationship between our two communities so we do not get left behind. We have a great relationship with Cabot and we want to continue to work on making it even stronger and give the kids in both communities the opportunity to play sports at all levels. Our youth programs are growing again, we are excited to have David on board, and we feel like the future is bright for athletics at Twinfield-Cabot,” said Mooney.