New Canaan Legend 2-5-0 Leaves for Another ‘NC,’ Friends Gather to Say Farewell

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The beginning of Mark ‘2-5-0’ Rearick’s journey to receiving the nickname that would stick with him for the next 50 years was, of all places, a hospital bed in the Rearick household where the man would spend 10 weeks reviving an injured back from shoveling snow after his freshman football season in 1963.

It was during this period of rest when the former 6’ 3’’, 180 pound wide-receiver would become a 240 pound lineman. And it was this surprise transformation that would lead then head coach Joe Sikorski to give Rearick the name ‘2-5-0’ when he returned to football the following season. After teammates Milt Word and Dr. Timothy Empkie eventually started calling him the name, Mr. Rearick would be known from then on to everyone simply as ‘2-5-0.’

L-R: Longtime friends Brian Sikorski, Mark Rearick and Dave Benko at Waveny for a farewell gathering honoring the local legend known to many simply as "2-5-0." Credit: Alex Hutchins

L-R: Longtime friends Brian Sikorski, Mark Rearick and Dave Benko at Waveny for a farewell gathering honoring the local legend known to many simply as “2-5-0.” Credit: Alex Hutchins

While talking with ‘Fiver’ about his nickname at a sunlit table in the Waveny Paddle Tennis Lodge on Saturday afernoon, Mr. Rearick said that he loved his new name because it was distinctive and people began to know who he was. He also admitted that one of the only people who was not a fan of his new moniker was his mother, who told him that the reason she named him ‘Mark’ was because it was almost impossible to make a nickname out of it.

Mr. Rearick is a legend in every sense of the word. A 1967 graduate of New Canaan High School, Mr. Rearick has spent his life affecting the lives of everyone around him in a way that leaves anyone who meets him in awe of his humor, intelligence and kindness.

One of these many people was son of coach Joe Sikorski—and co-creator of this farewell party with Dave Benko—Brian Sikorski. “I remember him as being just a great guy. Friendly, funny, and a very smart, very well-thought out guy that was great to be around,” Mr. Sikorski told NewCanaanite.com.

Former NCHS varsity baseball coach Mark Rearick being homored by the Old Timer's Association.

Former NCHS varsity baseball coach Mark Rearick being homored by the Old Timer’s Association.

Mr. Sikorski also noted that one of the biggest misconceptions about ‘2-5-0’ was that his size was the only attribute to Mr. Rearick’s athletic ability. “What’s interesting about him,” Mr. Sikorski said, “was that even though we joked and called him ‘2-5-0,’ he could run like the wind. He had great, great feet for a big man.”

Mr. Sikorski also recalled playing with ‘Fiver’ in an “After-Five” League put together by his father. He remembered specifically a time when his dad would try to get an upper hand, much to the discontent of ‘2-5-0’: “He used to drive Five crazy because my Dad would call a foul on Fiver when it really wasn’t a foul. But he couldn’t do anything about it because my father was the coach,” Mr. Sikorski said with a chuckle. “He would always be shaking his head with steam coming out of his ears but again he couldn’t do anything about it because he was the player and my dad was the coach so—it just wouldn’t work that way.”

Following his retirement from NCHS, Mr. Rearick looks forward to spending his time doing “a whole lot of nothing” 15 miles south of Wilmington in his new North Carolina home. At the same time, he plans on traveling and seeing a variety of college baseball and basketball games at the nearby University of North Carolina Wilmington while enjoying the more moderate Carolinian climate.

7 thoughts on “New Canaan Legend 2-5-0 Leaves for Another ‘NC,’ Friends Gather to Say Farewell

  1. Fiver went to school with my mom and I have known him my entire life. Loved the baseball camp he and Bill Brown used to run for kids at Mead Park.

  2. Hard to believe that the 2-5-0 new canaan era has come to a close. Mark and I grew up together and have remained very close over the years. He married two of my children. all my children have fondly refered to him as uncle 2-5-0. Good luck to you Mark and good luck to New Canaan to exist without you, it will be most difficult.

  3. Mark Rearick is an institution. We worked together in the early 70’s at NCHS, and I have followed his career with great interest and admiration. He is the unsung hero of the high school for generations of students, staff and faculty. He is a man of high integrity, great humility, complete loyalty and full commitment. His is a stunning example of the meaning of performance over position, of value over prestige and of authenticity over power. His example, his positive attitude, his sense of humor and his encouragement raised all boats in New Canaan High School. Gary Field, former Assistant Principal, taught us all to never look down upon another except to raise them up. Mark Rearick was the paradigm example of this. A part of the heart of the school will be leaving us, and we will all miss him. We are surely better for having known him. I know I am.

  4. 2-5-0… You were one of the all-time greats. No doubt there never has been, nor will there be a more well known person in New Canaan. Thanks for teaching me to love sports, lots of vocabulary like ‘debacle’ and ‘quagmire’, and mostly just for giving a 5’9″ 125 lb (soaking wet) kid, a great mentor and role model!!

  5. NCHS Class of 1985 remembers 2-5-0 every day in the lunchroom, sitting under the clock, keeping the peace. Thank you, Mark for all you’ve given the school and community. We will miss you.

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