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Pope Francis High School Appoints John Goda Athletic Director

CHICOPEE — Pope Francis High School announced that John Goda, athletic director for Holyoke Catholic High School, has been appointed to the athletic director position for Pope Francis High School.

The creation of Pope Francis High School was announced in 2015 when Springfield Bishop Mitchell Rozanski revealed that Cathedral High School and Holyoke Catholic High School would merge into a new school, named in honor of the current Pope. While the official merger will take place to coincide with the next academic year, 2016-17, there has already been a joining together of the athletic programs.

Goda, a 1987 graduate of Cathedral, started his career with Holyoke Catholic as a teacher in 1994, and took over as athletic director in 2003. Since the merger of Cathedral and Holyoke Catholic was announced, Goda has worked alongside Cathedral Athletic Director Joe Hegarty to oversee the combined athletic programs for Pope Francis High School. Hegarty recently vacated his position at Cathedral, and Goda will assume the role.

“We are grateful to Joe for all of his hard work throughout his years with Cathedral, which involved continuing and developing the Cathedral High athletic program under the difficult conditions of being in a school without a gym or playing fields. He did an extraordinary job in the last five years as our athletic director, and we wish him well in his future endeavors,” said Principal John Miller. “We welcome John aboard as the full-time athletic director for Pope Francis High School and look forward to the future development of our athletic program.”

Goda said he appreciates being offered the position full-time. “I never considered not remaining on as athletic director for next year. I was here when we moved from Holyoke to Granby and then when we moved from Granby to Chicopee; I know how difficult the transition can be and how much work goes into it. I always felt like I’d stay on if possible to help out with the process.”

With regard to the new Pope Francis High School facility now in the design phase, Goda said he is most excited about a new gym and the planned athletic fields, which he believes will positively impact the athletic program.

“I’m very happy to have the opportunity to continue to work with the athletes and coaches of Pope Francis High School as we move forward into the future,” he said. “I’m excited about forging a new athletic identity, while honoring and remaining true to the history and traditions of athletics at both Holyoke Catholic and Cathedral.”

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