When Andover volleyball captain Kenny Doherty talks, teammates listen. Following four years as a three-sport throwback, there is next to nothing the 6-foot-3 leaper has not experienced.
In the fall, Doherty carved out a role as special teams ace and situational pass rusher in football, helping the squad to the Merrimack Valley Conference title in 2012.
In the winter, he was a key to morale as a backup for the basketball team that advanced to the Division 1 North title game this season.
But Doherty is never more dominant than he is on the volleyball court, where he is an all-conference middle hitter for the Golden Warriors, which entered the week with an impressive 10-6 record.
“I love volleyball,” Doherty said. “I admit, it is nice to have a sport I can really get out on the court with and score a few points. But even though being a three-sport athlete can be tough, I have had an amazing time playing football and basketball. Once every season approaches, I am excited to play.”
Doherty’s dedication to three sports is a rare accomplishment as athletes specialize more and more on one sport, according to his football and volleyball coach, E.J. Perry.
“You have to respect the passion of a three-sport athlete,” Perry said. “He is an excellent volleyball player, an enthusiastic football player who made some big plays for us and my son (E.J. Perry IV) always talks about how much he brought the basketball team together and made sure they were focused.”
While volleyball has become Doherty’s top sport, he did not start playing until a little more than two years ago.
“I had played baseball for the freshman team, but didn’t have a great season,” Doherty said. “So, as a sophomore, I decided to give volleyball a try because people had mentioned it could help my vertical leap for basketball. I had never tried it before I tried out for the team as a sophomore.”