METHUEN ATHLETES HONORED FOR SUCCESS, DRIVE
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METHUEN — One thing is for sure, Methuen High School athletics had an amazing winter season.

They had individuals and teams break school records and win state championships. On March 28, coaches, athletes and parents gathered for MHS Winter Sports Awards to recognize the athletes’ efforts.

Interim Athletic Director Jack Stephenson thanked his secretary Paula George and the parents of the athletes, along with MHS Principal Arthur Nicholson, saying they are second to none in supporting student-athletes.

“The biggest changes these athletes go through in their lives is coming in as freshman and growing into young men and women as seniors,” Stephenson said. “The coaches and parents are teaching these kids how to make decisions. Every one of these student-athletes has had success because of going through the program and competing.”

Karen McLaughlin, the girls’ basketball varsity coach, handed three coach’s awards to seniors Amanda Dupere, Lindsay Comeau and Krystyna Gagne. The Diane Beaulieu Award was given to senior Capt. Stefanie Iannalfo.

Rich Barden, the MVC Division II Boys’ Basketball Coach of the Year, thanked his coaching staff before presenting his awards.

“I would be nothing without the guys who sit on the bench with me,” Barden said.

The varsity basketball started the season 4-6, but rebounded in the second half of the season to post a 9-1 record to capture the MVC Small championship.

Barden gave out two coach’s awards to Juan Inoa and Daniel Spadaro. His Most Improved Player, Tunde Agboola, was also named a MVC All-Star, while Josh Paulino was named the team MVP and MVXC Small School MVP. Jonathan Waldie and Nicholas Ambra were awarded the Bruce Blood Assistant Award and Dan Forest Memorial Award respectively.

When Chris Hudon, the head hockey coach, took to the stage, he discussed how his team learned about life, not just hockey, throughout the season.

“As young men, my team grew tremendously,” Hudon said.

Senior Tom Sanseverino was given the Most Improved Player Award, while the Horace Travato Award was given to sophomore James MacDonald.

The player Hudon described as being the “most selfless young man” — Andrew Dechirico — was given the Coach’s Award, and MVC All-Conference senior Mike Benoit was named the team’s MVP.

Cheerleading coach Jessica Hamilton had a lot to celebrate. Her squad placed first in both the MVC and North Regionals, and second at both the State and New England competitions.

Freshman Rebecca Enos earned the Most Improved Performer Award. The Coach’s Award was given to senior Kristina Sarcione. Senior Nicole Morris earned the Deirde A. Didio Spirit Award, while junior Capt. Lyndsey Doherty was named the Most Valuable Cheerleader.

Gymnastics coach Robin Corsetto said she was proud of her team for brining up the total team average by more than three points from last year.

Kristen Yurewicz, the Most Improved Performer, raised her score on the balance beam almost eight-tenths of a point. Senior Danielle Barlett brought home the Coaches Award, while senior Meghan Kijanka and junior Sarah Doyle were named Most Valuable Performers.

Girls’ indoor track had 98 participants and coach Mike McCormick couldn’t have been prouder of the individual and team efforts. Freshman Anne Bajor was named the Most Improved Performer and senior Elizabeth McLaughlin earned the Coach’s Award. The Whirlaway Award was given to senior Bianca Vazquez, while junior MVC All-Conference runner Lindsay Pappas and senior Tiffany Robicheau were named Most Valuable Performers.

Roger Fuller, the boys’ indoor track coach, thanked all of the senior athletes for giving it all they have throughout the season. The team set individual and school records during the season and compiled an undefeated record of 7-0 to capture the MVC Division II championship and the MVC League Meet.

Ryan Baldera earned the Most Improved Performer Award, while the Coach’s Award went to Dennis Cassidy. The Whirlaway Award was given to George Abourizk, along with earning MVC Division II All-Star honors. Erik Gonzalez shared the Most Valuable Runner Award with MVC All-Around distance runner Chris Forbes. The Most Valuable Fielder was awarded to MVC All-Star Cory Murray, who was also named to the Boston Globe All-Scholastic Team.

His team was not the only ones with reason to celebrate. Fuller was named MVC Coach of the Year.

Bill James, Division I North Wrestling Coach of the Year, spoke about the amazing season his team had, which included earning a share of the MVC dual-meet title, as well as nine MVC all-stars and two MVC All-Conference athletes.

Freshman of the Year Award was given to Kevin Sughrue, who compiled 40 victories on the season. Ricky Silveira earned the Most Improved Performer Award, along with being named MVC All-Conference.

James explained his Coaches Award recipient, Brian Roberge, was an important part of the squad. A late-season injury forced him out of the post-season meets. Calvin Kattar earned the Robert Fitzgerald Sr. Award with 46 wins on the season. Sophomore John Sughrue, a two-time Division I state champion, was named Most Valuable Performer. Sughrue, who was also named MVC All-Conference Team, posted a 99-3 record over his freshman and sophomore seasons.

The newest sport is figure skating, and Assistant Coach Alicia Thibeault said the girls needed to be applauded for all their hard work throughout the season, since some of them couldn’t even skate when they first joined the team this season.

The figure skating team went to their first competition this year and had seven skaters medal in the Skating Club of Boston competition.

Most Improved honors went to Sarah Weisenborn and the Coach’s Award was earned by Diana Tho Le. Sara Montesdeoca was named the Most Valuable Performer Award.

The Winter Sports Award ceremony was a joy for the parents, athletes and administration. When the evening was finished, everyone gave a standing ovation to all of the athletes honored.