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Peabody 2-15-18

14 WEEKLYNEWS.NET -

14 WEEKLYNEWS.NET - 978-532-5880 FEBRUARY 15, 2018 It’s commitment day for Peabody athletes DeMayo will attend Wagner By Harold Rivera PEABODY — When Eric DeMayo joined the football team at Peabody High as a freshman, it only took him four weeks to find the field and the rest was history. Through his four-year career as a Tanner, DeMayo emerged as one of the Northeastern Conference’s most feared two-way players as a running back and linebacker. On Feb 7 at Peabody High, DeMayo signed a letter of intent to play football at Division I Wagner University in New York. “It was definitely a huge relief,” DeMayo, a three-sport athlete, said. “It has been a long and stressful process. It’s a huge relief to finally know where I’m going and I’m excited about it. Originally I was looking to play at some Ivy League schools, but they faded away,” DeMayo added. “Wagner and Bentley were the two schools on my list in mid-December. I visited both and I felt Wagner was going to be a better fit.” DeMayo’s coach at Peabody, Mark Bettencourt, served as DeMayo’s advisor as he weighed his options. “I talked to Coach Bettencourt a lot,” DeMayo said. “He was doing everything he could to help. We both put our best into it. His advice to me was to find somewhere where I’d be happy and I think I did that.” For Bettencourt, DeMayo’s commitment to a Division I program is a culmination of a strong support system that includes DeMayo’s coaches and family. “I’m happy for Eric and his family,” Bettencourt said. “I’m happy for everyone that was involved in making Eric the kid he is. When kids like this come around, it’s a moment of reward for everybody. This area has a lot of new fans of Wagner football, they’ll all follow him and hope he does well.” Bettencourt noted that DeMayo’s football resume speaks for itself. He said the coaching staff at Wagner knows the type of football player it’ll be getting in DeMayo, but the dedication he presents off the field is what makes him a standout. “If I were a Wagner coach, I’d be excited to get Eric,” Bettencourt, who also coaches DeMayo in baseball, said. “His football talent speaks for itself. What they don’t know yet is the type of kid they’re getting. He’s a kid that never misses practice. They don’t have to worry about what type of kid he is or what type of work ethic he has off the field. When you land kids like Eric with the support system he has, it makes the overall program better because you’ve added a quality person.” In making the jump from high school football to the Division I collegiate level, both DeMayo and Bettencourt anticipate challenges along the way. That doesn’t mean DeMayo will walk onto the gridiron at Wagner with nerves or butterflies. “I came into the transition from youth football to high school football with the same mentality of coming in to compete,” DeMayo recalled. “Four weeks later I was on the field. When I’m on the same field with guys that are better than me, I make it my goal to beat them. I’m going to push myself as best I can.” “Once he gets there, I’m sure he’ll have a little adjustment period,” Bettencourt said. “Kids will be faster and stronger but Eric feeds off that. He can do anything he sets his mind to. It only took him four games to find the field as a freshman at Peabody and there weren’t many who thought he’d do that.” DeMayo played a huge role in the success of Bettencourt’s foster son, Doug Santos, a 2016 Peabody High graduate, who shattered the rushing records at Peabody, finishing as the Tanners’ all-time leading rusher. At the Tanners’ football banquet Feb. 5, DeMayo received the team MVP Award and Harrington Scholar- Athlete Award. Bettencourt, in presenting the MVP Award, acknowledged that DeMayo played a major role in Santos’ success. “Eric was the primary blocker in front of Dougie, and he opened holes for him that allowed Dougie to do what he did,” said Bettencourt. “Eric’s role his first two years was to open those holes. Much of Doug’s success his last two years was based on what Eric did.” With his future plans cemented, DeMayo can focus on ending his PHOTO | ANNE MARIE TOBIN From left, Emily Nelson, Eric DeMayo and Jillian Arigo made their college commitments last week. Peabody athletic career on a winning note. He’s currently wrapping up his final season on the track team and will start at catcher for the baseball team in the spring. “We’re wrapping up the track By Anne Marie Tobin PEABODY — Peabody girls soccer coach Dennis Desroches has seen a lot of his players go on to play soccer in college. Be it Division I, II, or III, the Peabody girls soccer tradition continues to thrive long after graduation. Two more Tanners made it official Feb. 7 at Peabody High by signing their NCAA letters of intent to play collegiate soccer. Emily Nelson, who verbally committed two years ago as a sophomore, will play at Division I UMass Lowell, while fellow midfielder and Aztec teammate Jillian Arigo will play at Division II Franklin Pierce. “Over the last 11 years, I have been very fortunate to have super athletes, over 30 kids who have continued at the next level,” said Desroches. “Nelson is one of the top players we have ever had here. And Jillian was a great defensive specialist who did all the little things. They were invaluable this past year. “They came in together as freshmen and as the only two returning starters really, they were season. I’m among the top three or four throwers in the state and I’d like to qualify for nationals,” said DeMayo, who won won the NEC shot put title Sunday. “Baseball has been a bit of a disappointment Nelson, Arigo make their choices too just a dynamic duo in the midfield, who played so much bigger than their size. They were the best tandem in the midfield in the league and their leadership as captains allowed us to be successful despite being so young.” During the pair’s four years on varsity, the Tanners were 60-10-11 and made the playoffs every year. This past year was one of the most challenging ever faced by Desroches, but thanks to Nelson and Arigo, the Tanners never skipped a beat. “We had an entirely new lineup with only Nelson and Arigo returning as full-time starters, but they took it upon themselves to help us get these kids to where they needed to be,” said Desroches. “We relied on them to carry and lead this team. They led by example which allowed us to keep up that level of play. They brought everyone’s games up. Without them, we don’t get to where we did.” Nelson finished her career third in all-time scoring with 140 points. A four-year starter and three-year Northeastern Conference all-league all-star, she was named the NEC’s Most Valuable Player last fall in her final campaign. She also was named to the Eastern Mass and All- State all star team. “From end line to end line, sideline to sideline, in terms of playing both sides of the ball, she is probably the best player I have ever coached,” said Desroches. “Yes, she could score, but she had the field vision and monster endurance who never gave up on a ball. UMass Lowell is getting an incredible student-athlete and an incredible person. Nelson, who plans to major in engineering, said the decision to attend UMass was based in large part by her academic commitment. “Their engineering department is so strong,” she said. “I have a lot of friends who are there for engineering and they have said what a strong program it is and their soccer program is also very strong. So the past three seasons. We’d really like to make a tournament run and bring home a championship. With the burden of making my decision off my chest, I think I’m in a better position to do that.” combined, it was a great fit for me.” Nelson said she knows playing Division I soccer will be a challenge, but is ready to tackle it head on. “I am not running track to focus on lifting and training, as being small I have to play against all those big girls at the DI level,” she said. “I will have to prove myself to get playing time, but I am ready for it.” Arigo’s decision to play at Franklin Pierce was also influenced by academics. “I knew I wanted to play college soccer, but didn’t want to go D1 because it would be too much of a commitment, so D2 was right for me,” she said. “I plan to major in nursing and I couldn’t do that and play Division 1, so Franklin Pierce just fell into place. The coach showed a lot of interest in me and, combined with my major, it is a perfect fit for me.” Arigo also played five years (since 7th grade) on the Peabody/ Lynnfield girls hockey team, but elected not to play this year to focus on club soccer. Desroches said Arigo’s contributions could not be understated. “This is a kid like Nelson who played bigger than what she was and she was so key winning those 50-50s which dictated the pace of games for us,” he said. “She was more of a defensive specialist who just did all those things that allow us to create offense and her ability to recover on defense and apply relentless defensive pressure meant she was doing all those little things and also had that supplemental scoring that we needed as well.” Arigo, who finished her Peabody career with 44 points, said she is looking forward to the fall when she will be out on her own. “I will have an opportunity to prove myself,” she said. “I have been lucky to play alongside some great players, but this is the first time I will on my own and that is something I am really looking forward to.”

FEBRUARY 15, 2018 WEEKLYNEWS.NET - 978-532-5880 15 PHOTO | ANNE MARIE TOBIN Goalie Cailyn Wesley contributed to the Bishop Fenwick girls hockey team’s win over St. Joseph’s. FILE PHOTO Junior captain Nick Capillo scored twice in Peabody’s loss to Marblehead. Fenwick girls hockey keeps tourney hopes alive ROUNDUP By Anne Marie Tobin The Bishop Fenwick girls hockey team earned two wins last week to keep its tournament hopes alive. On Sunday at McVann- O’Keefe Rink, the Crusaders (7- 7-2) trounced St. Joseph’s Prep 6-1 to get back to .500. Amanda Blanchette had three goals and one assist, while Gabby Davern had two goals. Allie Giguere and Lexi McNeil had two assists apiece. Friday afternoon at Shawsheen, the Crusaders crushed Shawsheen 8-3. Five Fenwick players scored goals, including Brenna Satterfield, who scored two goals, her first career on the varsity. Davern scored two goals with two assists, McNeil scored twice and dished one assist, Blanchette scored one and distributed two assists and Jill Matucci scored one goal”Our first line was outstanding in the first period,” Fenwick coach Doug Anderson said. “I got to play all the girls, 21 of them participated. I didn’t play the first group for the last half of the game. It was a good win. We’re happy with it and we’re moving on.” Goalies Cailyn Wesley and Daphne Jalbert split time in net. The Crusaders need four points to clinch a postseason berth, with four games left. “Every game’s important,” Anderson said. “We needed to beat St. Joseph’s on Sunday and then we have four tough games to finish out.” BOYS HOCKEY Marblehead 9, Peabody 3 At Rockett Arena Monday night, the Magicians’ offense ran wild. Peabody got two goals from Nick Capillo, while Andrew Phillips scored the third. The Tanners The Tanners will be looking to pick up their first win of the season Saturday night when they travel to Talbot Rink for a conference game against Gloucester. Winthrop 3, Fenwick 2 At McVann-O’Keefe Rink Saturday night, Derek DelVecchio and Ethan Belt scored goals in a draw for the Crusaders, while Kasey O’Brien and Ian Worthley each had one assist. Fenwick is 3-10. BOYS BASKETBALL St. John’s Prep 56 St. Mary’s 54 Monday night at St. Mary’s, it went right down to the wire before Jarnel Snow-Guzman hit the game-winning shot at the buzzer. He finished with 18 points while Peabody’s Jalen Echevarria scored a game-high 21 points. Lynnfield resident Matt Relihan finished with 10 points. For St. Mary’s, Peabody resident Chibuikem scored 10 points, while Lynnfield resident Stephen Fama chipped in with nine point Beverly 67, Peabody 60 At Beverly Friday night, despite 14 points and six rebounds from Jake Irvine, the Tanners couldn’t get over the hump in a Northeastern Conference showdown. Joe O’Neill added 13 points in the loss, while Jake Gustin played a great all-around game. Peabody is 10-7. Arlington Catholic 65 Fenwick 54 At home Friday night, Nik Pignone scored 11 points and grabbed seven rebounds. Jack Bowers 12 points and grabbed eight rebounds. Fenwick is 3-13. Spellman 77, Fenwick 46 At Spellman last Thursday, the Crusaders fell to 3-12 despite 21 points and six rebounds from Pignone; and 11 points and seven boards from Bowers. “I wasn’t unhappy with the way we competed,” Fenwick Kevin Moran said. “Spellman is right up there with St. Mary’s and Cathedral at the top of our league.” St. Mary’s 71 Lowell Catholic 43 At Lowell Friday night Joey Abate-Walsh led St. Mary’s with 15 points, 11 rebounds and five blocks. Echevarria scored 12 points and Onias Mirbel added 10 FFT Team LPW18.ai 1 1/10/2018 12:11:40 PM points off the bench. GIRLS BASKETBALL Arlington Catholic 44 Bishop Fenwick 38 At Arlington Catholic Friday night, Jennie Meagher nearly had a double-double in the loss, finishing with 11 points, nine rebounds and four steals. Sammi Gallant added 10 points and two steals, while Fredi DeGuglielmo added seven points and two steals. Courtney Norton (5 points), Liv DiPietro (3 points, 6 rebounds) and Jaxson Nadeau (2 points) also scored. St. Mary’s 70, Austin Prep 50 At home Friday night, the Spartans (12-6) qualified for the state tournament with the win. St. Mary’s was led by Peabody’s Gabby Torres (19 points) and Pamela Gonzalez (17 points). Christina Nowicki (9 points), Olivia Matela (8 points) and Peabody’s Janisse Avelino (6 points, 7 rebounds, 3 blocks) also contributed to the win. “Anytime you can extend your season and qualify for the tournament it’s a good feeling,” Spartans coach Jeff Newhall said. “With the league we play in and the non-league schedule we have, making the tournament isn’t always easy so these kids deserve a ton of credit.”