If Abigail Adams and Dolly Madison were first ladies and the mothers of our country, Carol Anne Leary was the first lady of Acton Boxboro football. Whether people like it or not, football sets the tone for an athletic season: Anne Leary set the tone for AB football.
On a kitchen wall on Crescent Circle in West Acton in the mid -1960's, Anne Leary's kitchen became command central for coaches and players alike, watching thousands of feet of 8mm film and planning strategies far into the night. To Anne, this was not an intrusion but a chance to administer some of that good old Italian hospitality.
On a summer's morning in late August, with steam rising from the dew, Anne Leary's car would appear, trunk backed to the gate's opening. There, Anne would haul out the buckets of ice (from Notar's Package Store) for the athlete's consumption and survival during the ten-minute break in the first double session of the day. This scene would repeat itself in the 90 degree heat of the afternoon. If Anne ever complained, we certainly did not hear it.
To be a coach's wife is not an easy chore. Little time for your self, 55 players adopted for three and half months. Washing towels, vests, cleaning water bottles and providing moral support for an entire program and doing this for 18 seasons. Anne Leary was AB's Florence Nightingale, always providing a knowing smile, a word of encouragement, and a promise that we'd get it done next time. It is our guess that Coach Leary wasn't the easiest man to deal with after a heart wrenching defeat or a sloppy practice. Anne was the rock upon which Coach Leary helped build the AB football program. Coach and Anne still reside in Acton, have two children, Sean and Maura and eight grandchildren who now lovingly have been substituted for those boys of summer and fall.