Gloucester: 2018 Football
Season accolades: Division 4 North champs... Northeastern Conference Division 2 champs... NEC Div. 2 MVP Jan Pena-Ortiz... NEC Div. 2 Coach of the Year Tony Zerilli.
The skinny: A senior laden squad turned in head coach Tony Zerilli's best season, winning the program's first sectional championship in the current postseason format and making it one game away from a Super Bowl berth. The Fishermen breezed through the regular season at 6-1, winning Division 2 of the NEC and earning the No. 2 seed in the Division 4 North State Tournament. From there, the Fishermen went on to wreck Melrose, Revere and Wayland by a combined score of 127-33. The team started with a 51-20 win over Melrose in the quarters and followed it up with a 38-7 win over Revere before clobbering Wayland in the finals, 38-6. The Fishermen were powered by a relentless rushing attack and a physical mentality on both sides of the ball that wore opponents out in the second half. Gloucester's run came to an end at the hands of eventual Super Bowl champ Nashoba, 32-14 in the Division 4 State Semifinals.
Gloucester had All-Star players all over its roster with seven All Conference players and two more All-Stars. Senior Jan Pena-Ortiz was the NEC Div. 2 Player of the Year as he ran for over 1,500 yards on the season. The team boasted one of the best offensive lines in Division 4 as seniors Joe Ciarametaro (center), Noah Benson (tackle), Nick Allen (guard) and Geoff Lattanzi (guard) were all named first team All Northeastern Conference. Senior wingback and safety Marc Smith, one of the best two-way players in the league, and senior cornerback and split end Nick Filho were also All Conference selections. Senior quarterback and defensive back James Nelson and senior fullback and linebacker Ryan Argentino were named conference All-Stars.
Rockport: 2012 Softball
Season accolades: Most wins for program in the decade... Deepest tournament run for program in the decade... Cape Ann League Small Player of the Year Kristin Turner... CAL Small Coach of the Year Dianne Parisi.
The skinny: With a perfect blend of veteran and young talent, Dianne Parisi's squad turned in the best season of the decade for Rockport softball. The team was special from the start as it won its first eight games and eventually finished second in a stacked Cape Ann League Small Division. They followed it up with success in the postseason with a berth in the Division 3 North Semifinals, two postseason victories and 16 wins. The Vikings earned the No. 2 seed in Division 3 North after going 14-4 in the regular season, besting tough opponents in both the CAL Large and Small Divisions. The team picked up a pair of dramatic wins in the postseason, edging out Essex Tech in the first round, 4-3. The Vikings followed that up with a 4-3, walkoff win over Whittier Tech in the quarterfinals to advance to the semifinals against St. Mary's, 8-1.
On the field, the Vikings were led by senior pitcher Kristin Turner, a four-year varsity starter who could shut down powerful offenses. The senior captain was named CAL Small Player of the Year for her prowess in the circle. A pair of sophomores joined Turner on the All League team. Catcher Mollie Watson was a two-way standout at catcher and near the top of the Viking's batting order. Shortstop Gabby Muniz was the team's leading hitter and a defensive ace who later went on to play collegiately at Holy Cross. Senior captain Amanda Chalmers also had a big year for the Vikings as the second baseman was a CAL All-Star and walked the team off with a game-winning hit against Whittier Tech in the sectional quarterfinals.
Manchester Essex: 2019 Girls Lacrosse
Season accolades: Division 2 North champs... Division 2 State finalists... Cape Ann League Baker Division Player of the Year Bella Pomeroy.
The skinny: First year head coach Nan Gorton took the program to new heights with the most successful season in program history, and they did it in thrilling fashion. The Hornets went 12-5 in the regular season while playing an incredibly difficult schedule, losing only once in Cape Ann League play. The battle tested team then went on a tear in the tournament, rattling off five more wins en route to the Division 2 North championship and a berth in the Division 2 State Finals, where they lost to a Cohasset team that was one of the tops in the state. The season was highlighted by three straight one-goal wins over Ipswich in the sectional semifinals (11-10), Newburyport in the sectional finals (7-6) and Bromfield in the State Semifinals (11-10). All three wins avenged regular season losses and saw the Hornets take the lead with plenty of time to go and hold on to win with smothering possession and elite goaltending and defense.
Senior goalie Bella Pomeroy was a true difference maker for the team, especially in the postseason. The Cape Ann League Baker Division's Player of the Year made big save after big save to help her team cling to one-goal leads late in the state tournament. Senior Christina Calandra's defense also helped as she was a first team All Cape Ann League selection. Senior midfielder Drew Charlton was also an All League performer for her two-way play. Senior attack Abby Lantz, a dynamic scorer, and sophomore midfielder Lily Athanas, a speedy, versatile player, were CAL All-Stars.