But it did not take Doherty long to show he had a knack for the game, and catch the attention of the Golden Warriors’ coaching staff.
“When I tried out, the coach at the time (Dave Kuykendall) was excited to have a tall kid,” he said. “He put me into our first (exhibition match) against Lawrence. They had this big kid and I got a block against him. Coach K pulled me aside and said, ‘That is an all-conference player and you just blocked him.’ That’s when I realized this could be my sport.”
Doherty finished that season as the team leader in solo and total blocks, was third in kills and fifth in aces. He continued to grow and learn the sport last season, earning All-Merrimack Valley Conference honors.
“He has been a rock for this team,” assistant coach Ally Navarro said. “He has a very enthusiastic energy about him. Sometimes he can become frustrated, but I have worked with him on redirecting that energy in a positive way. He is passionate and there isn’t anyone like him in the league.”
Doherty admits his life could be easier if he took a season off. But he never considered the simpler way.
“It can be hard, because I don’t have an offseason and I have to be sure to get all of my homework done as soon as I get home,” he said. “Sure, I would love some time to relax, but I love all three sports.”
In football, Doherty was a member of all of the Golden Warriors’ special teams, while also catching seven passes, including a touchdown, as tight end against Peabody and making 11 tackles.
“That touchdown catch was amazing,” Perry said. “And he filled in a lot of key roles because of injuries. He did a lot for us.”