Anthony Dougherty: Advocate for activity
Scholar Athlete Took Risks to Succeed
If you want to have a good time in high school, do something.
Or, if you’re like Anthony Dougherty do a little bit of everything — even those things you know nothing about.
He was a scholar athlete. He played baseball and swam for four years. He was on Link Crew and in the National Honor Society, where he volunteered with tutoring, mentoring and recycling. He led the student section, helping at pep assemblies.
He graduated from Loy Norrix High School in June, and this fall he’ll attend Kalamazoo College, where he has committed to swim. Dougherty lives in Kalamazoo with his parents Lisa and Steve Dougherty, and brother Drew, who is a sophomore at Norrix. His older sister Lauren will be a junior at the University of Michigan this fall.
“I tried to get involved with a lot of things at school so I’d get the best experience here,” he said. “It seems to be with students that don’t really get involved, they miss out on different experiences and making connections and relationships with people.
“If you’re involved with at least one thing at the school, it helps your year go by easier. You should always have something on your schedule. The free time is easier spent on a club or a team, as part of a group rather than by yourself. I think that’s the key to having a better year.”
Loy Norrix Dean of Students, Chris Aguinaga, called Dougherty “a versatile student who is excels academically, athletically and socially.”
Dougherty encourages students to step outside their comfort zone in high school and to try something new.
When he was in eighth grade, he knew he would play baseball as a high school freshman. He’d always played baseball. Then as he was preparing for his first year at Norrix, his friend Lucas Sprinkle told him he should try out for swimming.
“Swimming was something I did recreationally and never competitively. It was new water to tread in,” he said. “It turned out to be something I really loved and am passionate about and will continue to be something I do in college.”
Dougherty swam mostly freestyle events in the 200 and 100. Occasionally, he swam the 50 meter, and he picked up the 100 meter breaststroke this season.
He credits swim coach Paul Mahar with driving the team toward excellence, which resulted in the team taking its first conference title in school history this year.
“The coach is amazing and the connection and bond you make with the guys is something hard to find on other teams,” he said.
“There is no status on the team. Everyone can be a leader. Everyone has input. There are no captains. Everyone sort of does it together, which allows a kid who maybe isn’t as fast as another to still feel like he has a place on the team. That helps everyone toward one goal, rather than one individual leading the team or putting the team on his back. It allows for better camaraderie.”
“I’m really proud that the administration nominated Tony to show the success that Loy Norrix and his whole team had this season,” Mahar said. “They worked so well together, that’s why they were so successful this year.”
Dougherty also played baseball for all four years of his high school career, one year on JV and the last three on varsity, where he pitched and played centerfield. He said he enjoyed switching between the two sports, which helped keep burnout at bay.
His whole high school experience has been worth it, he said. He had good classes — made special by great teachers — and opportunities such as Education For Employment.
“Loy Norrix is a really great school with amazing teachers and classes that don’t always get publicized. I like that there are so many different people here to meet and so many friends to make. Some students want to get out, but I loved it here.”