Stacey (Sullivan) Hunt can always get a chuckle or two from her three sports-minded children when the topic of her acclaimed athletic accomplishments at Marlboro High and Assumption comes up.
It seems the trio of teens — Dylan, 19; Brendan, 17; and Faith, 14 — have a hard time connecting what they’re hearing with what they’re seeing.
“They get a kick out of it because they can’t picture it,” Hunt said Friday with a laugh from her home in Alpharetta, Georgia. “My middle one, he loves to joke around about it. … Brendan and I definitely have had our funny moments together. We’ll play one-on-one, and he’s like, ‘Are you sure you played?’ and I’m like, ‘It was a long time ago.’ ”
Indeed, but time has only enhanced Hunt’s efforts in soccer, basketball and track for Marlboro and basketball for Assumption, from which she graduated in 1989 and ’93, respectively. She has since been inducted into both school’s athletic halls of fame.
The 5-foot-8 Hunt was called up to the varsity soccer team by coach Doug Freeman as a freshman and played a supporting role in the Panthers’ run to the Division 1 state title. She went on to become a three-year starter at left wing and capped her career on the pitch with a bookend state championship as a senior.
A four-year varsity member and three-year starter in basketball, as well, Hunt led the Peter Lepore-coached Panthers to the Division 1 state semifinals as a junior and, when she averaged 22.1 points and 9.3 rebounds, the Division 1 state final as a senior.
Hunt was versatile enough to play forward and guard, which allowed the offense to run through her from the outside and the inside while scoring a school-record 1,373 points. She was also terrific on defense and filled the gym with constant cheers for her teammates when taking a rare breather.
While a singular talent, Hunt credited the Panthers’ success to those she played with and were coached by.
“We had great, great athletes on those teams and, of course, the coaches, Peter Lepore and Doug Freeman,” Hunt, 48, said. “I think both of those combined made for an unbelievable team. And we worked hard, and we wanted to win it our senior year. Well, every year, but certainly our senior year.”
And, oh yeah, Hunt was also the Central Mass. champion in the 330-yard hurdles as a junior and a medalist as a senior. All told, she was a T&G All-Star in three sports, each of which she captained as a senior.
“There hasn’t been another female athlete at Marlboro who has stood out (more) in the last 30 years,” said Lepore, whose coaching career at Marlboro spanned four decades before his retirement in 2016. “Stacey’s just unmatched.”
Hunt received scholarship offers from the University of Lowell and Assumption for basketball. She was won over by Assumption from the moment she stepped on campus, and the proximity to home was a definite plus as it allowed her parents, Jim and Sandy, to continue their streak of watching their daughter play.
Over the course of eight years in high school and college, Hunt estimated her parents missed one or two games tops. There was much to see and like at Assumption.
Hunt was a four-year starter who helped the Greyhounds reach the Northeast-10 Conference playoffs three times. Her versatility remains unmatched in program history as she ranks 20th in points (1,049), sixth in rebounds (800), sixth in assists (450), and eighth in steals (222) while starting 104 of 113 games.
“She always did what we needed to have done,” former Assumption coach Sue Lauder said. “One of the things I remember about her was she was kind of like Gumby. She was very flexible and could do things that nobody else could do.
“She got a lot of stuff under the basket that was just sheer perseverance. She always went after the ball. She was always positive; she always had an uplifting thing for her teammates. She was just a great one.”
One of Hunt’s teammates was Jen Harrington, who is also in the Assumption Hall of Fame and is now her sister-in-law.
As for Hunt, she and her husband, Todd, a 1988 graduate of St. John’s High, “knew of each other” while they were growing up in Marlboro. They finally connected while campaigning all day for different mayoral candidates in a primary election outside Marlboro Middle School on Oct. 5, 1993.
And how does Hunt remember that date? Because she and Todd were married three years later to the day.
Hunt, who graduated with degrees in psychology and social work from Assumption and earned a master’s in education for school counseling from Suffolk University in 1996, worked at Marblehead High School for four year before becoming a stay-at-home mom following the birth of her first child in 2000.
Three years later, the family relocated to Alpharetta, which is about 25 miles north of Atlanta, after Todd received a job offer too good to turn down. Everyone has settled in nicely.
Todd switched jobs six years ago and now works for Cox Automotive, Ryan is a rising sophomore at the University of Georgia, Brendan is a rising senior at Blessed Trinity Catholic High, and Faith is set to begin her freshman year at Blessed Trinity, a prep powerhouse.
Ryan played soccer for Blessed Trinity, and Faith, who plays the sport year round, hopes to do the same. Brendan plays football and basketball for the Titans.
“I would definitely say we have some Southern in us since we left the North,” Hunt said when jokingly asked if she was still a New Englander. “But we love it down here, we absolutely love it. The kids are in great schools, we’ve made wonderful friends.
“Unfortunately, we left home and our families, but if there was a place to move, it definitely would have been here.”
—Contact Rich Garven at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @RichGarvenTG.
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