EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

May 17, 2013

Saluting our area's Unsung Heroes

Michael Muldoon
mmuldoon@eagletribune.com

---- — Saluting the overachievers, the quiet leaders and the often overlooked athletes in local high school sports.

Coaches or ADs should send nominations to Unsung Heroes writer Michael Muldoon at mmuldoon@eagletribune.com.

ANNA SCIONTI

Central Catholic Lacrosse

Brick Wall

Coach Phil Rowley said, “She always gets the hardest person to play against and does a fantastic job keeping her in check. She’s a brick wall back there.”

The senior from Salem is following in her sister Katey’s footsteps. Both played soccer and lacrosse at Central and she’ll be joining her sister at Quinnipiac. She plans to study criminal justice.

Anna also plays basketball in the town league and plays the piano. She works at Tripoli’s in Seabrook, where she says the meat pies are to die for.

Scionti said being a reserve in soccer “taught me to be a team player.”

Her favorites include Chris Romero (teacher), Mia Hamm (athlete), Macklemore (group), Pitch Perfect (movie) and salmon (food).

BILLY RAND

Andover Lacrosse

Honoring the Game

“He has an exemplary perspective on competition, balanced with pure enjoyment for the game,” said coach Wayne Puglisi. “He honors the game of lacrosse every time he practices or plays. And he’s a great, great person.”

He took up the sport as a freshman. Recently, he was named a new captain.

Rand, who has made high honors the last two semesters, will be attending the UMass Amherst business school. He’ll be polishing those business skills this summer at Lake Winnipesaukee by running a hot dog/hamburger business. He also plans to find time to do plenty of wakeboarding.

Rand and his neighbor, Stephanie Iglesias, started a tutoring program at Andover’s Sanborn School. The last two years Billy was a manager for the hockey team.

DARIA OSTOJIC

Presentation Track

World Traveler

Ostojic is a foreign exchange student from Mostar (population 250,000) in Bosnia and Herzegovina. That’s 4,300 miles away. She lives with the Walta family in Methuen.

Despite the language barrier, she hit the ground running, making highest honors first quarter at PMA.

She said the high point of her time in the States was traveling to Florida and California and she loves to go to Boston.

“I definitely miss it (home),” said Ostojic, who hopes to eventually attend medical school back home. “It’s really different here. It’s fun.”

PMA coach Brian Martin said, “She’s such a great young student-athlete. She’s extremely hungry to learn. Some days I have to remind her practice is over and it’s time to go home!”

OLIVIA FERRIS

Central Catholic Tennis

No. 2 Tries Harder

The sophomore from Salem loves the sport and has made huge strides. She’s playing second singles for the Raiders. She does some neat volunteer work at Harvard for wheelchair tennis tournaments.

“You can always find Olivia hitting with someone,” explained Central coach Jodi Michaud. “Her game has improved tremendously over the past year. I look forward to seeing how much she improves over the next couple of years!”

The Serena Williams fan is a member of the National Honor Society ranked in the top 10 percent of her class. She’s a member of the Ski Club and volunteers for Catwalk 4 Cancer.

Her brother, Alex, plays lacrosse and is headed to Central next year. Their father, Alex, played football and baseball at Salem High.

BECCA ANKETELL

Methuen Lacrosse

Count on Becca

The upstart Rangers are a surprising 10-3 and the second-year starting defender is one of the major reasons why.

“You can always count on Becca to be there when it is needed,” said Rangers coach Krystal Ortiz. “She is a great asset.”

A novice at the time, as a sophomore Anketell borrowed her cousin Brianna Byers of Andover’s stick and quickly took to the sport. Becca netted her first career goal vs. Winthrop.

The UConn-bound scholar, who aspires to be a cardiologist, is ranked 17th in a class of about 450.

The self-proclaimed “Harry Potter nerd” is smart and tough. The swim team tri-captain tore a ligament in her foot in October but still dove for the Rangers. “I’m still not 100 percent,” she said.