Special Feature: Homepage Story

Champion Sachems devour competition

WRENTHAM — Next week, the Capital Grille! 
Coach Darrel Cox and the Pentucket boys cross country team had the time of their lives at Fuddruckers in Reading, celebrating another championship.
This was big ... the Eastern Mass. Division 5 title.
"If we win (Division 2) All-States, we'll go to some place real nice," said Cox.
The boys deserve wherever they want to go after what Cox called "the highlight of my career, absolutely."
Cox is in his 13th year at Pentucket and "about his 23rd year" as a cross country coach overall.
Pentucket outdueled Norwell by a wafer-thin 3-point margin (83-86) with Cape Ann League rival Triton in third (114 points).
Norwell went 1-2 over the 3.1-mile Wrentham Development Center course. But after the big 2 of Steven O'Driscoll (16:14.51) and Andrew Corbett (16:19.77), the Clippers couldn't match the Sachems' depth and balance.
The five scorers were: 3. Peter Lopatta 16:22.45, 7. Sam Stys 16:34.70, 12. Nick Murphy 16:51.87, 30. David Gangemi 17:27.40, 31. Colin Costa 17:28.37
Cox (or the Pentucket Boosters) had better be saving up because this group could be eating a lot of celebratory meals in the upcoming years. Lopata, Stys and Gangemi are sophomores and Costa is a freshman. Murphy is a senior but the 31st and 32nd runners in the 165-runner/24-team field were Sachem juniors Will Coppola (17:31.00) and Anthony Accardi (17:31.21).
Eagle-Tribune records reveal the Sachem boys last won an EMass title a quarter century ago. That was the EMass. D4 championship team in 1992. Back then there were only four divisions. 
Cox gave special kudos to Stys and Murphy.
Stys had placed sixth at the Cape Ann League meet (although the CAL is a terrific cross country league) and now took seventh in a major EMass. meet.
"Sam ran the race of his life," said Cox. "The sixth in the league was the second best of his life."
As for Murphy, Cox said, "Nick sacrificed in the early-season races. He was clear-cut No. 1. He'd stay back and run with them (the younger runners) and give them more and more confidence. He's not downtrodden. He's happy for them."
Next week the D2 State Meet is back in Wrentham.
Coach, bring your wallet.
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Boys Cross Country, 11/20/17 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Another state title for Andover dynasty

WORCESTER — All Andover senior Sophia Ju has known during her high school swimming career is the feeling of being a champion.

And that’s never going to change.

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Girls Swimming, 11/19/17 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Pinkerton has no answers in title game loss

DURHAM — For a few moments, it looked as if Pinkerton had turned the momentum.

Trailing by two touchdowns midway through the first quarter, Astros QB Aiden Goujon dropped back and floated a perfect pass to wide open Ty Hicks. The speedy halfback did the rest, cruising into the end zone for a 58-yard touchdown.

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Football, 11/18/17 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Andover blanks fellow unbeaten Longmeadow for state title

WORCESTER — Andover seniors Emma Farnham and Gabby Vaccaro were in the middle of a frantic, emotional mob of hugs at midfield of WPI’s Alumni Field.

They had both just exhausted themselves to help Andover beat Longmeadow, 2-0, in the Division 1 state championship game. And they both stood proudly with the rest of their Golden Warrior teammates as champions, capping off a brilliant 22-0-1 year.

How did this happen? How could this happen?

Did they ever think that this would happen?

A year ago, both Vaccaro (torn ACL) and Farnham (broken finger) missed significant time — in Vaccaro’s case the whole season — for an Andover team which was unexpectedly bounced in the Division 1 North quarterfinals. 

A season with such high hopes (Andover was 17-1-1 at the time) was abruptly dashed with two key cogs forced to watch from the sidelines.

But both returned healthy and hungrier than ever this fall, and Saturday afternoon at WPI they got a chance to hoist the Division 1 championship trophy high with the rest of their teammates.

“This is the best feeling in the world for me,” said Farnham, a UMass Amherst lacrosse recruit who is the daughter of Central Catholic Hall of Famer Glenn Farnham and cousin/niece to a slew of Andover legends. “It was so hard being on the sideline and watching my teammates go through that loss and there was nothing I could do about it.

“But to come back and to just win it with Gabby, who I know had a worse injury than I did, is just awesome. I’m just so happy for this team and so proud to be part of this program.”

Added Vaccaro: “I thought that this was going to be our year from the beginning, and for that to be so real now is amazing. I couldn’t ask for anything more.

“I knew I was going to come back this year and bring everything I’ve got.”

Medwar, Carzo score

Vaccaro and Farnham didn’t factor into the boxscore Saturday afternoon, but both played instrumental parts in the victory — as did everyone else for Andover.

A scoreless game at half, it was the work of Katherine Furry who drew the eventual corner that got Andover on the board.

The goal came from freshman sensation Hanna Medwar, who took a rebound off of a Kate Gregory shot and went top shelf to put the Golden Warriors ahead for good.

“It definitely felt really amazing seeing that goal go in,” said Vaccaro. “I felt like we had a good chance, but we had to keep the focus and intensity going.”

Longmeadow’s first loss

The tally came just five minutes into the second half. Longmeadow (now 19-1-2), which won the West sectional for the seventh straight year, had plenty of time to cage the equalizer.

But Andover kept the offensive pressure going, out-cornering Longmeadow 7-1 all game. The Warriors would get some cushion midway through half when Julia Carzo fired a shot wide, but it was accidentally deflected in by a Longmeadow defender.

From there, Andover’s defense cruised.

After winning its third state title in the last eight years (2010, 2011), Andover will be graduating a talented senior class.

But the Warriors began the year with a laser focus they maintained all year, and now they can say it was unparalleled to anyone else in Division 1.

“We wanted this so bad, and we work so well together. We’re such a family,” said Farnham. “We just wanted it more than ever. All our hard work paid off.”

Andover 2, Longmeadow 0

Division 1 State Final

Goals: Hanna Medwar, Julia Carzo

Assists: Kate Gregory

Saves: A — Julia Gordon 0; L — Gabrielle Acquista 6

Longmeadow (19-0-3): 0 0 — 0

Andover (22-0-1): 0 2 — 2

Defense dominates unbeaten Longmeadow

“I think the kids have been playing well defensively all year,” said Andover coach Maureen Noone. “They’re playing against the best forwards in practice. So I think they’re ready for anything, they just don’t get noticed in the games.”

They were noticed yesterday.

A group effort led by Anna Vrountas, Carissa Agostino, Anna Zdunczyk, Jordan Torres and Kate Gregory kept Longmeadow without a shot on goalie Julia Gordon. The Lancers had a couple of scoring opportunities, but their shots went wide.

It was Andover’s 15th shutout of the season. And against a team which had scored 12 goals in its three tourney wins prior to yesterday.

You want incredible? Andover’s defense allowed a grand total of one — yes, one — total shot on goal combined in the state semifinal and state final.

The lone blemish for Andover (22-0-1) was a 2-2 tie against Central Catholic on Oct. 2.




MEDWAR A REVELATION FOR ANDOVER WORCESTER — With a laundry list of difference-makers Andover was returning, freshman Hanna Medwar was an afterthought.

No one, maybe not even Medwar herself, could have imagined she would perhaps be the Golden Warriors’ most influential player this season.

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Field Hockey, 11/18/17 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Sachems finish 2nd at All-State


Yes, the Pentucket boys cross country team would have loved to place first in Saturday's Division 2 All-State Meet at Wrentham.

But, in perspective, placing second to Parker Charter is certainly somethng to be proud of.

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Boys Cross Country, 11/18/17 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Fragione moves up


In her first year of cross country, Methuen junior Sara Fragione started slowly, but she certainly came on strong as the season progressed. On Saturday, she led ll local girl funners at the Division 1 All-State meet, finishing 22nd overall in a fine time of 19:18.02 on Wrentham's 5K course.

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Girls Cross Country, 11/18/17 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Muse runs wild over Phillips

GROTON — No matter how hard they tried, Phillips could not stop Tony Muse.

The freshman Lawrence Academy back ran wild for over 300 yards and a whooping six touchdowns, leading the Spartans to a commanding 56-7 victory over Phillips in the Kevin Fleming Bowl.

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Football, 11/18/17 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Freiermuth, Lambert go out on top

NEW HAMPTON, N.H. — With the game still in doubt as the clock ran down, Pat Freiermuth made certain that he would end his high school football career on top.

“The coaches send me on an ‘X’ (blitz) and the quarterback made a late read,” said the Brooks senior from Merrimac. “I just went in and stripped it. I knew it was over then.”

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Football, 11/17/17 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Stopped a step short: Andover fights valiantly, but falls to talented and tall Hopkinton

NORTHBOROUGH - Andover knew what it was up against in Wednesday night's state semifinal.

In its inaugural season in Division 1, Central-West Champion Hopkinton continues to prove it belongs with the state's best. A perennial power, the Hillers had won two of the previous three Division 2 state championships.

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Girls Volleyball, 11/15/17 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Doorstep of glory: Andover field hockey stands just 60 minutes away from state title

BRAINTREE - Kate Gregory didn't look at the King Philip goalie for a second.

She didn't watch the goalie's eyes, as many do when they're taking a penalty stroke, or survey for any sort of weakness that could help get that ball into the back of the cage.

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Field Hockey, 11/15/17 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

VIDEO: Andover volleyball's Eduardo Machado

Eduardo Machado is a standout for the Andover volleyball team — he leads the team in assists and kills — and is also a star in the classroom. He is ranked in the top 10 percent of his class, scored a 2,170 on his SATs and will be attending RPI.

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05/17/12 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

VIDEO: Salem runner Eric Tahtamoni

Salem runner Eric Tahtamoni talks about his new love of hurdles, and his hopes to break the school record in the 400.

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05/11/12 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

VIDEO: Haverhill runner Mike McNaughton

Haverhill's Mike McNaughton talks about his career as a runner.
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05/04/12 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

VIDEO: Andover lax star Jaymi Cohen

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05/04/12 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

VIDEO: Andover softball talks "New Start"

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04/06/12 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars
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