Danforth Redhawk flies high as a mentor

THE SEASON AHEAD: Michael Furac takes a moment to reflect on his upcoming schedule at Danforth Tech. The 18-year-old tackles tennis, football, hockey and soccer all while coaching.

Danforth Collegiate’s Michael Furac is a natural teacher.

And not just in one sport. The Redhawk chipped in to help coach the girls soccer team last season, continually mentors young goalies at Don Mills’ Civitan Arena and also looks to get new tennis players prepped for the upcoming 2010-11 campaign.

“Last year I was the returning first-seed player with my partner Mohitul (Mohammed),” he said. “Basically our job this year is to get some of the grade 9s and 10s who are going to be playing for next year comfortable with playing doubles at the high school level.”

After a 3-2 record 2009 season, Furac said he will have his sights set on OFSAA with Mohammed after being ousted by Forest Hill’s boys doubles team in 2009.

If that’s not enough already, the 18-year-old’s schedule is chalk-a-block with sports. After he sets down the racket, soccer, hockey and baseball will be on his itinerary.

“Tennis is a little bit easier to balance because it’s the fall season and hockey doesn’t start until the time tennis is ending,” Furac said. “I just have to balance tennis with soccer, which isn’t too much of a problem.”

What really interests Furac, though, is passing on what he has learned to others.

In grade 9 he went to a hockey school at the Civitan, which in turn inspired him to pay it forward.

“I really wanted to be a goalie since I was younger so when I moved to Toronto my friends played at Don Mills and I started playing there,” the Donlands resident said. “I had a lot of training so I got pretty good, pretty quick.

“I just decided I wanted to do the same thing for everyone because it’s a lot of fun and it really helps.”

Like any athlete, there’s always something new urging the competitive instinct. With Furac’s return to Danforth in September, the sport left to conquer is football.

“We had a football team this year and they weren’t sure if they were going to keep the program and we decided to keep it because there was so much interest,” he said.

The Redhawks are returning for another season of varsity play due to gridiron’s popularity with students.

“A lot of kids are dropping other sports. The volleyball players have stopped playing … and I figured I’d join them but keep doing everything else as well,” he said, adding he’ll fill any position.

“Probably kicker because the football coach is also one of the soccer coaches so he knows I can kick quite well.”

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