*The following stories were voted as the top 10 of 2009 by the Times' editorial staff. Click the headline to read the story associated with it.
The Gloucester High football team won the Eastern Mass. Division 1A Super Bowl, completing a perfect 13-0 season on Dec. 5 at Gillette Stadium. It's the second time in three years that the program has won the Super Bowl and finished 13-0, and it was the third straight Super Bowl appearance. Not only is this our number one sports story of the year, it made the top 10 news stories as voted on by both the Times' editorial staff, as well as our readers!
The Gloucester High baseball team surprised everyone in 2009 by upseting St. John's Prep in the Division 1 North finals and advanced to the state semifinals. The team's 2009 success cemented them as the best baseball team in the school's history.
The first-ever Gloucester Triathlon debuted on Cape Ann in August and was a giant success, attracting 800 competitors, both elite and first-timers. Considering many of the first-time triathletes were unfamiliar with the rigors that make this competition so difficult, it's easy to say in hindsight that this event went out without a hitch.
Gloucester High girls soccer not only won their first game after three winless years, but they qualified for the state tournament under the guidance of first-year coach Alex White. It's the first time that the seniors ever tasted victory. While White credited the team's efforts for the turnaround, the team says it was their coaches confidence that helped them rise to the occassion.
Essex's Benn Ferriero exploded onto the NHL scene in October, playing in his first career game with the San Jose Sharks and scoring a goal in just his second game ever. Since then he has been sent down to the AHL Worcester Sharks and recalled a number of times, but his future looks promising.
Senior Conor Ressel became the most prolific running back in Gloucester High history, setting the single-game, single-season and career rushing records. He ran for 257 yards against Lynn English, 1,924 yards this season and 2,555 for his career. On his way to helping the Fishermen win their second straight superbowl, Ressel was named to the Massachusetts 2009 All-State football team.
The Manchester Essex field hockey team advanced to the Division 2 North finals for the third straight year, but lost there for the third straight year. While the loss in the finals was heartbreaking, the field hockey program has a lot to be proud of and continues to be one of the best programs that the school has to offer.
The Rockport hockey team qualified for the state tournament for first time in the program's eight seasons under first-year head coach Derek Papalegis. The team lost in the first round of the tournament, but the hockey program's progress is undeniable.
Stew McGilivray wins second straight Sunday Greasy Pole during St. Peter's Fiesta. The 23-year-old McGillivray is hoping to be listed in the Pantheon of greasy pole walkers, who he says are Salvi Benson (11 titles), Peter "Black" Frontiero (9 titles), Jake Wood (7 titles), and Anthony "Matza" Giambanco (6 titles).
A 2005 GHS graduate, Nate Hunter, who now attends Northeastern University, earned All-America honors in the shot put after finishing eighth at the NCAA Championship with a throw of 60-5. Hunter was later named the Colonial Athletic Association Track and Field Athlete of the Year for his outstanding season.