Athlete Bio

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Running back

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All Middlesex

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All Middlesex

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James R. McKenna

Class of 1950

Jim was as tough as they come, one of the most physical athletes in school history and one of its fiercest competitors.

His toughest opponent was dreaded polio, which struck him in the fall of his Junior year and threatened to end his athletic career. His courageous battle against the disease, and ultimate return to football as team MVP in his Senior year is one of the great stories in Concord sports, and an inspiration to his family and teammates. His 1949 team was undefeated and Jim was named to a coveted spot in the Harry Agannis All Star Game in the Lynn Bowl.

When football was over he picked up a basketball and played to All Middlesex honors. He was also an All Middlesex baseball player while simultaneously running outdoor track under Skip O'Connor in his junior and senior years.

Jim's high school success led to a football scholarship at St. Bonaventure College, where he started at defensive back for three years and was lucky enough to play with Ted Marchibroda and five other future NFL players. He was also privileged to play against the likes of Johnny Unitas and Don Shula.

After college he became a successful teacher/coach at Littleton High School and retired as Athletic Director. His coaching success led him to be named to the Massachusetts High School Coaches Hall of Fame. He and his wife Martha live in Littleton. They have eight children, Shawn, Dennis, Martha, Julia, Nora, Sheila, Theresa, and Timothy, plus twelve grandchildren.