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Merrimack’s Soucy doing double duty

He slithered through the West Side Arena parking lot, two hands clenched on the cash box, like a petty thief who just picked up a substantial score.

There’s never a policeman around when you need one, right?

All kidding aside, Mike Soucy’s Saturday travails would have inspired a Rob Base/DJ E-Z Rock comeback tour.

This was all about “Joy and Pain.”

Soucy, the Merrimack High School Athletic Director, started Saturday over at West Side, making sure a hefty crowd found its way into the Tomahawks’ Division II quarterfinal with Dover.

As the first-period horn sounded and the last ticket was sold, he scooped the goods and headed back to school.

Soucy, the girls basketball coach, had a 7 p.m. quarterfinal of his own to tend to.

In battle, the Tomahawks would split, with the hockey team ousting Dover and the Soucy’s girls being upset by Londonderry.

Just another wild one for Soucy.

“It’s been that way all year,” said Soucy of the double duties. “I got used to it.”

Soucy’s ability to hustle and work has never been in question.

Still, despite all the success the Merrimack girls enjoyed on the floor, going 15-3 and earning the No. 2 seed in the playoffs, this season will be his first and only on the bench.

“It’s not fair to the girls ultimately. I just don’t think we can get them as prepared as we probably could if I didn’t have the other duties,” said Soucy, who stepped in when Courtney Cheetham announced she was leaving back in the fall.

“We’re going to post it. I’ll probably give it a week or so, and see if we can find someone else,” said Soucy. “I’ve enjoyed every moment of coaching. Having a first opportunity to coach girls, and it being this group of kids, I could not have been luckier in a lot of ways.

“It’s taken me away from some of the duties I have as athletic director, and so I just miss too much. It’s better for the program overall if we can find someone who can commit to not just coaching during the season, but building during the offseason as well.”

Saturday was a testament to the work Soucy and the staff at MHS are putting in, the dedication to athletics.

Both games played to legit, student-driven, packed houses.

This was not a bunch of old fogies (present company excepted, of course) sitting around watching a game. This was students out to support their classmates.

Somebody is getting the job done at MHS, because this is the way sports are meant to be played.

“I hope I’m doing things right. I give the kids all the credit for that,” said Soucy. “This particular senior class of athletes are tremendously supportive of each other. They travel everywhere to support each other. That is the coolest thing. I hope it continues, and it trickles down to the younger kids, because it is really led by this senior class.

“I can’t complain about anything this winter. We’ve had a tremendous season. Every team we have has competed at a high level and have had great support from the student body.”

That continues tonight, too, on a pair of fronts.

The boys hoop team opens playoff action tonight at home (7 p.m.) vs. Goffstown. Meanwhile, the hockey team trudges up to Concord’s Everett Arena for a 7:30 p.m. Division II state semifinal vs. Saint Thomas.

Hmm. Sounds like another busy one for Soucy, if you ask me.