By Matthew Davis
Sun Post Newspapers
Jason McCarthy will be remembered this fall by his former cross country team at Champlin Park.
McCarthy ran for the Rebels in 2012 and 2013 prior to his untimely death on July 29 from a July 22 automobile accident. Rebels cross country coach Kevin Moorhead first received the news in a text message from last season’s team manager. Moorhead made an extra point of checking in with his runners at their summer morning practice the next day on July 30.
“The core group that knew Jason, it hit them pretty hard,” Moorhead said.
Running has changed for the Rebels since McCarthy’s passing. Conversations among the coaches and runners about McCarthy and life were frequent during the remaining summer morning runs prior to the MSHSL non-contact period for cross country.
Moorhead and members of the team attended McCarthy’s funeral at St. Gerard Catholic Church in Brooklyn Park on Aug. 1. Principal Mike George, assistant principal Chris Nelson, several teachers and a significant amount of students from McCarthy’s graduating class also attended.
“It was a good showing of heart from the community,” Moorhead said.
Moorhead plans to work with his team and the McCarthy family to have Jason remembered during the season. Official fall team practice began on Monday and Moorhead talked with the team about Jason’s passing. McCarthy would have been a junior in his third season with Rebels cross country.
“He had a lot of passion,” Moorhead said. “He loved it. He love his music, his band [and] family. Running was just one of the many things he did.”
McCarthy could standout out from the crowd of runners in a meet with his big, curly hair. He posted a personal best of 21 minutes, 38 seconds at a meet in Milaca last year. Most all, Moorhead saw a positive attitude from the late Rebels student-athlete.
“Jason was a great kid, always had a smile on his face,” Moorhead said.
Moorhead also noted that McCarthy’s parents had been big supporters of the cross country program during the past couple years.
“Tara and Brendan are terrific people,” Moorhead said. “They’ve always been helpful with our pasta parties and everything else.”
Contact Matthew Davis at [email protected]