PEABODY — The 22nd annual Moynihan Lumber North Shore Student-Athlete Of The Year awards ceremony was held at the Salem Country Club yesterday, where the past met the present.
Peabody High track superstar Catarina Rocha, a senior who won the Female Student-Athlete of the Year for the second straight year, was presented her award by Peabody Mayor Ted Bettencourt — the program’s first winner back in 1992.
Beverly High three-sport star Brendan Flaherty, who dominated on the football field, in indoor track and on the lacrosse field, took home the Male Student-Athlete Award. Both he and Rocha received scholarships for $1,000 as well.
Bettencourt was an 18-year-old basketball player from Peabody when he took home the first award (along with Lynnfield High’s Lauren Maney). He went on to have a great basketball career at Holy Cross — ironically, where Flaherty will play football next season.
Lifelong North Shore sports fanatic Gerard Moynihan, one of the owners at Moynihan Lumber, told the gathering how amazing it was for Bettencourt to return to make the presentation to one of the residents of his city.
“Too often you hear about the negative; I know I do all the time,” said Bettencourt. “It overshadows all the great work done in our schools, and I’m happy to see these student-athletes rewarded.
“I remember how proud my parents were when I received this award, and having the chance to thank my family for their love and support is something I’ll never forget. Catarina represents what a Peabody Tanner is all about.”
Bettencourt listed a few of Rocha’s many achievements, including being a seven-time state champion in the mile, two-mile and in cross country; a two-time Gatorade Runner of the Year; the school record holder in five different events; a volunteer in the Challenger Program, a Peer Advisor and a class officer.