Well, we're officially in summer mode here on Cape Ann.
St. Peter's Fiesta is closing in on Gloucester. Graduations for the Classes of 2011 for Rockport, Manchester Essex and Gloucester have come and gone. We've already seen 90-plus degree days and wicked summer storms.
In the sports world, the NBA Finals are over. The Red Sox are currently on a tear (yes, they're actually playing Major League Baseball right now). Other than some little hockey game tonight, the only professional sports league in play from this point forward until September will be baseball.
So as pools open across the region and summer vacations get underway, you may have missed this little local story coming out of Manchester Essex Regional. Today at 3:30 p.m. in Northborough, Mass., the girls tennis team will compete for the state title.
Now, the Hornets have long been known in Cape Ann League circles as a juggernaut. They won the state title in 2001 under head coach Jeanne Stanton and have gone deep into the tourney almost every year since. They have had a longstanding rivalry with Lynnfield, who they beat in this year's state tournament semi-final, 5-0. Winning the Cape Ann League Small has more or less become their birthright.
So it's no surprise that this program is in this spot. It's just a little surprising that this particular Hornets team, which is about as likable a bunch as one could ever come across, in this particular year has made it this far.
They will face yet another undefeated team today in Lenox High, which beat Notre Dame (Worcester) 3-2 on Monday and stands at 18-0 on the season.
The Hornets, meanwhile, have been beaten this year. Four times to be exact.
Their first hiccup came at Andover on April 29 (3-2) followed by another stumble against Masconomet on May 2 (3-2). They then rattled off seven regular season wins before falling to Marblehead, 4-1.
Manchester Essex faced the aforementioned Notre Dame squad to close out its regular season and fell, 4-1 on Memorial Day.
Therefore, it goes without saying that things won't be easy for Garth McKinney's bunch this afternoon.
It has been a great high school sports season on Cape Ann throughout the 2010-11 school year. The Gloucester football team made it to Gillette one more time and came away with yet another trophy in December. Rockport hockey, the Manchester Essex boys and Gloucester girls basketball teams lit up the winter months. Gloucester baseball powered us through the spring.
Still standing today is the Manchester Essex girls tennis team.
Summer can wait one more day.