By Justin Rodriguez
Section 9 Football Insider
Slate Hill — Minisink Valley coach Kevin Gallagher quipped to his brother, Matt, who coaches Maine-Endwell, that he has a poster in his bedroom that is a tribute to all of his success with the state powerhouse.
Of course, Kevin Gallagher was joking with his younger brother. You won’t find a more successful coach in the state than Matt Gallagher or one as humble, considering his impressive resume.
In what has become a ritual, a mini-family reunion, Maine-Endwell, located near Binghamton, came to Minisink Valley for a scrimmage on Saturday.
“It’s awesome. I just love coming home, it has that hometown feeling,” said Matt Gallagher, a 1984 Minisink Valley graduate. “It’s obviously a little more special because Kevin is here coaching. Coming back where I went to school means a lot and our guys love it.”
Matt Gallagher led Maine-Endwell to four straight state titles from 2011-14. The Spartans won the Class A state championship in 2011 and followed that up with three consecutive Class B titles. Under Gallagher’s watch, Maine-Endwell won 62 games from 2011-15.
That gaudy streak ended with a 42-23 loss to South Park in the Class A state semifinals in 2015. Maine-Endwell’s success prompted ESPN to make a “30 for 30” documentary called “The Legendary Streak of Maine-Endwell.” Still, Matt Gallagher looks up to Kevin, who coached him in wrestling at Wagner College and is someone he still looks to for advice.
Kevin Gallagher has coached Minisink Valley’s football team since 2006 and is known as one of Section 9’s good guys. He also coaches the highly successful Minisink Valley wrestling team.
“Whatever comes Kevin’s way, it is well deserved,” Matt Gallagher said. “He does an unbelievable job with the football and wrestling programs. Minisink has always had a great tradition and I think that he has kind of raised the bar. Each year, Kevin’s kids know that, and each year they are up for the challenge.”
As far as Matt’s humility, Kevin Gallagher said:
“It comes down to how we were raised by our parents. If you tried to brag, you got shot down quick. If anyone has the right to brag, it’s Matt, he won four state titles in a row. But he hasn’t changed a bit and you would never know about all of his success. He never brings it up.”
Maine-Endwell and Minisink Valley, a Class A school this year, have scrimmaged for the last nine years and Gallagher vs. Gallagher has become an event. After Saturday’s scrimmage, both teams were treated to a barbecue, put on the Minisink Valley Booster Club and team parents. Before they said their goodbyes on Saturday, Kevin and Matt remarked that their goal for 2018 is the same as every year: To be able to play in the state championship game at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse together in November.
If they don’t meet up in Syracuse, the Gallagher brothers will certainly scrimmage again next summer.
“It’s kind of cool that we have developed this connection,” Kevin Gallagher said. “I have been at a variety of events and a Maine-Endwell kid will come up to me and say ‘Hey, Coach Gallagher.’ Out of nowhere, you have that bond. The scrimmage is always fun and we beat each other up, but we have that respect for each other.”
Follow Justin Rodriguez on Twitter at jrods9insider; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org