West Point bound

It's a long family story, but right now Gavin Maher is thinking about how short his summer break is going to be. That's because the Rockland County football star is heading for the United States Military Academy at West Point.

And heading means reporting on July 18, this after his signing of a letter of intent earlier in the year.But back to the family story.

As it happens, Gavin will be following in the footsteps of his Great, Great Uncle, Martin Maher, the legendary West Point coach who spent 55 years at the academy and was the subject of the movie "The Long Gray Line" starring Tyrone Power and Maureen O'Hara.

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Gavin considered several other Division 1 football programs. But, in the end, it was a simple decision. "It would be nice to go to one of the other colleges, but it is an honor to go to West Point," he said.Gavin, a 6'4", 225 pound TE/DE, was co-Captain of the North Rockland high school football team at Stony Point.

Martin Maher was at West Point for 55 years from 1898 to 1953. During his time as the swimming coach and working in the athletic department, Martin Maher became close friends with the likes of generals Pershing, Patton, Bradley, Eisenhower, Maxwell Taylor, Douglas MacArthur and Matthew Bunker Ridgway.

His first love was Army football and Maher was an avid fan from the time that Knute Rockne and a then tiny college called Notre Dame upset mighty Army with the first forward pass.

"Maher was at the academy during all the glory years of 1944, 1945, 1946 and for the Heisman trophy winners, Doc Blanchard, Glenn Davis and Pete Dawkins," said Gavin's father, Denis.

"Many graduates remained close friends with Maher until his death on January 17, 1961. Former president Dwight Eisenhower wrote the foreword in Martin's book, ‘Bringing Up The Brass.’"

"Martin was beloved by so many graduates, he was named honorary graduate of the West Point classes of 1912, 1924, and 1926," said Denis Maher.