By Greg Phipps
PHS boys’ varsity basketball awards
Several players received awards and a number of others were recognized Monday evening during the annual Peabody High School boys’ basketball banquet on Monday evening at the Stonewood Tavern. Varsity head coach Thad Broughton said his 2017-18 team put in a lot of hard work, did things the right way, and was a special group all around.
“We want to see the program continuously get better and progress,” said Broughton of his squad’s 12-9 finish this winter. “We lost eight seniors from the previous year’s team. That’s a lot of players, but these guys stepped up and rose to the challenge. They led us to a fourth straight [playoff] tournament appearance against some very good competition.”
The Tanners did produce some signature victories during the regular season, including wins over perennially tough teams Lynn Classical, Salem and Winthrop. They gave fifth-seeded Lynn English a battle in the first-round of the Div. I North tourney before bowing out by a 55-47 score.
Broughton acknowledged his departing seniors for leaving an “unbelievable legacy” and “blazing a nice path” for the younger players. Team captains Jake Gustin and Jake Irvine received the two most distinguished awards of the evening. Gustin was given the Frank L. Wiggin Award – named in honor of the former City Councilman – for improving through discipline and unselfishness. Irvine received the Nick Mavroules Award – named for the former mayor and U.S. congressman – for his work in the community.
According to the coach, Gustin was “irreplaceable” as the quarterback of the offense. “I know his first sport is baseball, but he’s a hustler and a skilled basketball player also,” said Broughton, who added that Irvine was the epitome of a leader and a captain.
“Jake broke his nose in the first quarter of the Lynn English game but kept playing. It shows what type of kid he is.” Broughton also mentioned Irvine’s game-winning three-pointer against Bishop Fenwick back in January.
Senior guard Marcus Barker was named this year’s Most Valuable Player for his “nonstop, 100 percent intensity.” Broughton said Barker “showed heart and hustle like nothing we’ve seen before. He missed all of last season to injury, so we didn’t know what we had this year until he got on the court.”
Others who received awards were guard Chris Canela, who led the team in scoring on a number of occasions and finished with 33 points against BF, senior Avian Hernandez, who averaged 10 points and six rebounds a game, Jonell Espinal, Pasha Madyun and Adrian Medrano.
Also recognized for their efforts were forwards Mike Tansey and Tyler Callahan, who both missed games due to injuries, sophomore center Alex Jean, who floated between varsity and JV but battled injuries, Pat Rigol, a good shooter and defender, and Joe O’Neill, who improved as the season progressed, according to the coach. Chris Perez was the other member of this year’s varsity unit.
JV and freshmen awards
Junior varsity coach Eric Perkins said his squad achieved “one of our better records ever” when talking about this year’s 13-7 finish – “This is a great group of kids who had great team chemistry. They made the coaching staff’s job easier. They were fun to work with.”
Receiving awards were Chioke Onwuogo, Kyle Morfis, Dom Rinaldi, Krisili Maraca, Alex Denisco and Joel Kalisha. Rounding out this season’s JV roster were Tyler Joyce, Juan Tolentino, Chris Morales, Dnezel Jean Noel and Jack Houlden.
For the freshmen team, which finished 11-6 this year, head coach Tom Bettencourt gave out awards to Richie Britt, Chris Faraca, Dan Norman, Alex Rice, Brandon Pszenny, Nick Vecchio, Kyle Maglione and Drew Lucas. Other members of this year’s freshmen team were Jose Zaiter, Felix Jiminez, Sam Oliveira, Jason Osaria, Derek Perez, Jason Nigro, Jorge Canela and Dom Annese.
PHS boys’ JV basketball award winners
PHS boys’ freshmen basketball award
The Peabody varsity cheerleaders were recognized for their efforts on Monday. Head coach Adriana Carnevale gave senior Vitoria Pereria this year’s Coaches Award, and freshman Kiely Leonard received the Most Dedicated Award. Carnevale said she was proud of the girls and mentioned that this year’s squad placed second at the Northeastern Conference championships, fourth at the Div. I North regionals and ninth in state Div. I competition.
Along with Pereria, seniors Kathleen Dupont and Michaela Farese are graduating this year. Other members of this year’s squad were Megan Ayles, Katrina Boulay, Luma Deandrade, Yorelis DeLeon, Jennifer DiGiulio, Ashley Dorgan, Makayla Iannalfo, Kaila Littlefield, Annie McGovern, Sydney O’Donnell, Paulina Straticos, Briana Tavarez, Julia White and Trinity Jackson-Johnson.