By Andrew Garda

With a new girls soccer coach already in place and a search for a new high school principal underway, more changes are coming to the Montclair High School sports department, as head cross country/girls track and field coach Sophia Kenny has tendered her resignation.

Kenny, who had been with the program since 2008, informed the team in an early morning meeting, followed by an  email sent out to the athletes and their families., Kenny informed them that while her choice “was not an easy decision to make,” she was departing the district to work as a school counselor in another system.

Kenny, who graduated with a Masters in school counseling last spring from Seton Hall University, thanked the community for helping her grow as a person, and credited her time as a coach with her decision to go back to school.

“I have grown so much as a person and appreciate having the opportunity to build relationships with each athlete and family. Thank you for trusting me and the process,” she wrote.

Kenny said while  she may not be on the track, she will always be cheering the track team on in spirit.

“You each have a special place in my heart. You have taught me so much and for that I appreciate you. never give up on your dreams. The time you have dedicated to making each season a great season, stick to it! Don’t waste the gift that has been given to you,” she wrote.

She thanked parents for entrusting their children to her and the Booster Club for its support and for “lightening the load.”

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Under Kenny, both the cross country and track and field programs reached new heights. Last fall, the boys cross country team  finished in second overall during the NJSIAA North 1 Sectionals, just eight points behind first-place Ridgewood and 31 points ahead of third-place Morristown. It was the highest the Mounties boys program ever placed in the Sectionals.

Meanwhile, the girls track and field team won numerous sectional and county meets, competing at a high level in the famous Penn Relays.

As Kenny takes her leave of the track and cross country programs which she has helped shape into top-notch programs, the Montclair High School Athletic Department must now find someone to fill her considerable running shoes.

Whether they decide to split her duties—with seperate cross country and a girls track coaches—is unclear, but now in August, the pressure will be on to find the right person in short order.