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Saugus High sensation: Peyton DiBiasio blazes trails across multiple sports

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By Dom Nicastro


Sophomores are probably premature candidates for GOAT talk. Saugus’ Peyton DiBiasio shatters that thinking, though. How could she not be in the conversation?

Three years into her Saugus High School basketball career, DiBiasio, 16, has an all-star and two All-Conference selections under her belt. Yes – all-star as an eighth-grader and All-Conference as a freshman and sophomore.

The point guard and Ms. Everything on the court helped the Sachems to back-to-back Northeastern Conference championships and the program’s first postseason victory in recent memory this season. She averaged 17.8 points per game, five rebounds and four assists this season.

“Peyton’s a great kid, and she’s an all-around athlete who obviously contributes tremendously to any team that she’s on,” Saugus High School Athletics Director Terri Pillsbury said. “We’re happy to have her here. She’s a great asset for us to have.”

DiBiasio does it all on the court. She can score in the 30s, controls the game tempo with her excellent ball-handling skills and court awareness and gets her teammates involved making great passes. Basically, she’s Caitlin Clark in red and white.

She not only stands out on the basketball court but also exhibits impressive adaptability and dedication across various sports disciplines.


Multi-sport versatility

  DiBiasio’s inaugural volleyball season last fall is particularly notable. Despite having no prior experience, she quickly became an integral part of the team, contributing to Saugus High School’s historic tournament appearance. Her ability to transition seamlessly into a new sport, learn rapidly and make significant contributions speaks volumes about her natural athleticism and work ethic.

Initially unfamiliar with the game, DiBiasio was grateful for the supportive team and coaching staff, which allowed for a rapid learning curve. DiBiasio’s natural athleticism was put to good use, starting in the front middle position due to their ability to jump high and hit the ball hard, and later adapting to play front right as the team’s strategy evolved.

“Playing volleyball this year was really fun,” DiBiasio said. “The transition was a little tough since I had never really played before but over time it felt natural and had seemed like I had been playing forever. I was very happy to have been a part of history this season and helping the program make that first tournament appearance they had been waiting for.”


Basketball: a focused ambition

While DiBiasio’s athletic endeavors span multiple sports, her heart and ambitions lie firmly in basketball. Her decision to pursue track and field in the off-season, over her previous engagement with golf, is a strategic move aimed at enhancing her basketball performance.

This choice underscores her commitment to refining her skills and physical capabilities with the ultimate goal of playing basketball at the collegiate level. DiBiasio’s involvement with AAU basketball, particularly with the MCW Starz, further illustrates her dedication.

Competing against top Division 1 prospects and participating in high-profile tournaments across the country has not only honed her skills but also significantly contributed to her personal development as a player. She’s competed in tourneys like Run 4 The Roses in Kentucky, and other tournaments in Ohio, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Indiana.

“Playing point guard is the toughest job on the court,” DiBiasio said. “There’s a lot happening each trip up the court, and I have to read the defense to see what’s available. It’s also my job to know everyone’s responsibilities on each play so if ever someone is out of place, I have to help direct them to the right place, otherwise our plays won’t work.”

DiBiasio explained that being adaptive is crucial in basketball, as each game requires different tactics. She emphasized the importance of control and the ability to read plays, whether it means being aggressive on the offense to get shots or draw fouls, or passing to teammates in a better position. She noted that her approach is to always aim for the paint, but she adjusts her strategy based on the defense’s setup. Trusting her teammates and coaches is also a key part of her game management, ensuring they make the right plays to win.

“My style is always first trying to get to the paint no matter what,” she said. “It’s just a matter of what the defense is doing when I get there. If they are collapsing on me or playing a box-and-one, then I’m looking to drive and kick to my shooters. But if they are not … and I can get to the basket and either score or shoot free throws, then we can have success that way, too.”

DiBiasio said that having eight seniors on her high school team made the season special. She reminisced about playing with some of these seniors since she was in second grade, highlighting the bond and shared growth in their basketball journey.

Making history with a state tournament home win was a standout moment (58-12 over North High of Worcester), in addition to an NEC Lynch Division title, a feat not achieved since 1984. DiBiasio expressed pride in contributing to the team’s legacy and is gratified to have been part of a group that improved the program for future players.

“We’ve seen and been through a lot together,” DiBiasio said. “We’ve had some tough losses but a lot of big wins, too. So there have fortunately been more happy locker rooms than sad ones. … In the end I was happy I could help send eight great players and teammates out on a very high note. They really helped build the program, and I’m very happy to have played a part in it. Our goal should be to leave the program in better shape than when we arrived, and I think this year’s team has helped do that.”


Mentorship and personal growth

  The role of mentors in DiBiasio’s athletic journey cannot be overstated. From her first coach, Erik Stockwell, who recognized her talent in second grade, to the impactful guidance of coaches Mark Schruender, Norma Waggett and Joe Lowe, these figures have significantly influenced her growth and success. These mentors have provided not just technical coaching but also life lessons, instilling in DiBiasio a sense of responsibility, dedication and the importance of hard work. She praised Coach Paul Moran – now coaching in Marblehead – for never missing an opportunity to coach her and making the learning process enjoyable. Schruender not only taught her in eighth-grade math but also served as her head coach for two years, granting her the opportunity to play varsity basketball at just 13 years old.

Her journey in the AAU circuit began in fourth grade with Evolution, where different coaches contributed to her development, building her confidence and skills. As she progressed, she joined the MCW Starz, where she’s been exposed to a higher level of competition and coaching since 2019.

DiBiasio is especially thankful for Coach Norma Waggett, a local legend, 1,000-point scorer and the current all-time scoring leader at Saugus High School, who became the JV coach and an invaluable role model for her. DiBiasio also highlighted current varsity Coach Lowe’s impact since he joined the team, attributing the team’s recent successes, including a state tournament home win, to his guidance. Both Waggett and Lowe have played pivotal roles in not only improving her game but also in pushing her to be the best version of herself. DiBiasio is excited to continue working with them and looks forward to the growth opportunities that the next year will bring.

“Throughout the season Coach Waggett acted as a key role model for me as she’s already experienced everything and was able to guide me through it all,” DiBiasio said. “As my other coach [Coach Lowe] once said to me, finding that connection with a female that has been in my shoes is truly something special because it’s something he or any other male coach can’t replicate. So I have really loved having her around this season and I can’t wait to work with her more this offseason to prepare me for my junior year. Joe Lowe is someone who joined us last year and has made an immediate impact on both me and the team. Ever since he showed up things have changed and I couldn’t be happier with him here.”


Non-sports side of Peyton

DiBiasio hails from a family with athletic prowess, including two sisters and a brother who are all significantly older than her: Sisters Ariana, 28, and Justine, 26, were collegiate dancers, and her brother Ronnie, 22, is adept in baseball and golf. The family’s competitive nature has been a strong influence, teaching her the value of hard work.

She enjoys the company of her dogs: Biscuit, a peekapoo, Chewy, a shih-poo, and her nephew dog, Gus-Gus, a teacup maltipoo; each of which provide relaxation and comfort after her busy days. “After a long demanding day, I like to come home to my two dogs and just cuddle with them,” DiBiasio said. “We usually watch a TV show or a movie, and if I’m doing homework, they usually just chill with me.”

As a dedicated student-athlete, she is committed to her Honors classes, with particular interests in English, AP Environmental Science and Peer Leaders. She found working with students with intellectual disabilities in her Peer Leaders class especially rewarding.

“As a kid I participated in a class very similar while in elementary school,” she said. “Each day I would volunteer my time and I would go over to the peer leaders class and work alongside students with intellectual disabilities. I enjoyed my time working with them so much and when I saw they offered it in high school I knew I wanted to do it again. Overall, I’ve found it to be an incredibly rewarding experience, and I have met some amazing people through the program.”

DiBiasio’s summers are consumed by sports, primarily AAU basketball, where she travels for tournaments that serve as platforms for college recruitment. Despite a packed schedule, she cherishes the family tradition of visiting Disney World, which remains a special retreat for her.


What’s next for DiBiasio?

Varsity spring track is currently on the docket for DiBiasio. She ran track when she was much younger and enjoyed it but never found the time to do it.

“I’m making a big commitment to my basketball game by running track over playing golf,” DiBiasio said. “I’ve enjoyed golf a lot, and where Saugus is the only team in the NEC that offers a girls program, I’ve always wanted to take advantage of that opportunity. It’s just that now I realize for me to be the very best basketball player I can be, it’s probably time to fully commit to it and really work on my body to help me be the best athlete I can be. I’m sure it will help me on both ends of the basketball court later. … Overall, it’s great that Saugus High School has so many sports to offer the students. There’s really something out there that’s the right fit for everyone, and having options is such a privilege.”


Peyton’s Profile: a snapshot of Peyton DiBiasio of Saugus:


Personal background

  • Age: 16.
  • School: Saugus High School, sophomore.
  • Hometown: Saugus.


Athletic profile

  • Volleyball: Joined the high school team with no prior experience, quickly adapted to become a significant contributor to the team’s historic season and tournament appearance.
  • Basketball: The core sport where DiBiasio has invested her passion and ambition, playing with the goal of reaching collegiate-level competition. Notable for her leadership on the court, particularly in controlling game tempo and strategy.
  • Track and field: A new addition to her athletic pursuits, chosen to enhance her speed and physical capabilities for basketball.
  • Golf: Competed as the team’s No. 1 player, qualifying for state tournaments, showcasing her versatility and competitive spirit across different sports environments.



  • Northeastern Conference All-Conference honors as a freshman and sophomore and all-star as an eighth-grader.
  • Qualified for state tournaments in golf, highlighting her skill and competitiveness in individual sports.


Off the field


  • Engaged in Honors classes, reflecting her commitment to excellence not just in sports but in her academic pursuits as well.


Community and personal interests:

  • Active in peer leadership programs, showing a dedication to community service and mentorship
  • A family-oriented individual, she draws inspiration and support from her family, who have been instrumental in her athletic and personal development.

• Finds relaxation and joy in spending time with her pets, emphasizing the importance of balance and mental well-being in her busy schedule

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