When Hingham football coach Mark Nutley and his family needed a hand, the whole South Shore community stepped up.
The Quincy native and Marshfield resident wasn’t sure if he would be able to coach in his fourth year at the helm at Hingham, because his wife, Becky, has been going through an experimental treatment as part of a clinical trial for multiple myeloma.
With two boys, Adam and Sean, playing multiple sports, and the responsibilities of his job as a middle school teacher at Point Webster School in Quincy, Nutley wasn’t sure he had the time to run a program and be there for his wife.
But generous citizens from Hingham, Marshfield, Quincy, and North Quincy — where Becky works as a guidance counselor — stepped up to provide meals, donations towards myeloma research, and even chip in with some yard work at the Nutley house.
“Between the Hingham community and the [South Shore] football community, it’s ridiculous how wonderful it’s been,” said Nutley, who coached at Quincy, Marshfield, and North Quincy before taking over at Hingham.
“Originally, I didn’t think I’d be able to coach this year, but I can’t thank people enough for making it possible.”
The Harbormen will be wearing special socks to raise awareness about the disease, and Becky Nutley will be recognized at halftime during the 27th installment of their Thanksgiving rivalry with Scituate.
When Marshfield coach Chris Arouca told his players about the Nutley’s situation, he was impressed how quickly they returned with cash and gift card donations.
The night before Marshfield’s Thanksgiving bout against Duxbury for Patriot League supremacy, Arouca’s players and coaches planned to visit the Nutley household to provide their donations to the cause.
“It’s a coach at a rival school and as soon as I brought it up, a bunch of kids came back right away with five or 10 bucks,” said Arouca. “As much as we might be rivals on the field, they know [Nutley] from lacrosse and football and they all respect him.
“In the South Shore, we all know and root for each other, and this is just another example.”
The Hingham boosters — run by the parents of current captains Henry Crean, Owen Richards, Cian Nicholas, and Will Griffin — have started an online fundraiser for the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation that has already exceeded its goal with more than $4,300 raised as of Wednesday afternoon.
The captains delivered speeches to their teammates at Hingham’s traditional pasta dinner on the eve of their 10 a.m. Thanksgiving battle against a Division 3 Super Bowl-bound Scituate team.
“You really see the high school program rallying around [Nutley] and showing that we stand with him,” said Bill Crean, Henry’s father. “The main thing is showing solidarity with [Nutley], because he’s been coming to practice up to six days a week while his family is experiencing this.
“We’re really just showing support for his family and bringing awareness to the disease, and if we raise a little bit of money on top of that, it’s great.”