2012 was nothing short of remarkable for the swift footed, sharp shooting, sweet swinging Joe Burgess. The three sport captain ended his high school career at Manchester Essex in a big way, adding three All Cape Ann League selections and a CAL Player of the Year award to his already impressive resume.
The baseball diamond is where Burgess arguable shined the brightest, posting gaudy numbers at the plate and on the mound to earn himself the CAL Division 3 Player of the Year award. He led the Hornets in eight offensive categories, including average (.414), home runs (2), RBI's (21) and stolen bases (6). He was the victim of poor run support on the mound, posting a 1-3 record despite a stellar 2.45 earned run average.
Down the stretch, the consistent play of Burgess helped Manchester Essex defeat Rockport twice to clinch a share of the CAL Division 3 title and cement a berth into the postseason. With two games in left in his baseball career, Burgess definitely saved the best for last.
In a first round victory against Christo Rey, Burgess showcased his offensive prowess, going 2-for-4 with a home run and three RBI. In their 1-0 loss to No. 1 North East in the Division 4 North Quarter Finals, the senior captain displayed his underrated ability on the mound, holding the Golden Knights to just two hits on a 64 pitch, complete game effort that put the top seeded team in the bracket on upset alert.
On the hard court, Burgess helped fill the void left by 1700-point scorer Joseph Mussachia. An assassin from long range, he led the team with 64 three pointers, averaged 16 points per game, good for second on the team and propelled the Hornets to their 3rd straight Division 3 CAL title with a 18-2 record.
When Burgess heated up from beyond the arc there was no stopping him.
Like he did in baseball, the senior guard stepped up when his team needed him most.
Burgess shouldered the load in a 62-60 victory over Snowden in the Division 4 North Quarter Finals with the Hornets shorthanded. He led the way with 17 points and iced the game with three clutch free throws in the final minute of play.
Stepping on to the turf, the speedy Burgess was the Hornets' leading wide receiver, hauling in 10 receptions for 202 yards on the season. In a run first offense, the numbers don't reflect how talented the wideout is, as Burgess' combination of breakaway speed and precise route running kept opposing cornerbacks from solely focusing on the run. On the gridiron Burgess made plays on streaks down the field, and bubble screens in the short passing game.
In his time at Manchester Essex, Joe Burgess made his mark a superb athlete that kept the fans excited no matter what sport they were watching him play.