BY DENNIS SHAUGHNESSEY, Valley Dispatch Staff
DRACUT — For two Dracut High School seniors, it was a night they’ll not soon forget.
Student-athletes Andrea Ferri and John McSwiggin, were among the guests of honor at the Massachusetts Wendy’s High School Heisman Award Banquet, held at Gillette Stadium in Foxoboro on Nov. 17. Awarded in conjunction with the collegiate Heisman, the program honors the nation’s top high school seniors who exemplify the well-rounded student.
And although they did not go home with the ultimate prize, Ferri and McSwiggin were thrilled just to be nominated.
Students who excel in sports, academics and community service were nominated by their teachers and guidance counsellors. Ferri is an honor roll student who spends time tutoring children at St. Louis De France School in Lowell. She is unsure what school she will be attending in the fall, but would like to continue running track.
McSwiggin, a Dracut Middies football captain and class president for the past four years, has applied to numerous schools, including Harvard, Bowdoin, Bates and Tufts. He volunteers his time at the LifeCare Center of the Merrimack Valley in Billerica,St. Francis Church in Dracut, and at various fund-raisers and projects in the community.
Ultimately, Shae Fitzpatrick of Lynnfield High School and Craig Maddy of Southwick Tolland Regional High School were chosen as the Wendy’s High School Heisman Winners, but McSwiggin was just honored to be nominated.
“It was kind of cool because Dracut was only school to have a male and female athlete nominated.
“We had the whole stadium to ourselves,” said McSwiggin. “That was awesome.”
McSwiggin and Ferri were also impressed by keynote speaker Irv Cross, who played in the NFL and followed that with a career at CBS Sports.
“He told us how important it is to be involved with our communities and to do our best academically,” McSwiggin said. “Hopefully we can keep those thoughts throughout our lives.”