Saluting the overachievers, the quiet leaders and the often overlooked athletes in local high school sports.
Greater Lawrence Basketball
Making His Point
Coach Dan Habib said of the sophomore point guard, “He is always smiling and has a great attitude and personality. Currently he is our first guard off the bench and is doing an admirable job running the offense and defending. He’s a great kid to have on the team and very coachable.”
The 5-8, 130-pound, 15-year-old is best friends with Central Catholic sophomore guard Alex Santos and his brother is Lawrence High junior sharpshooter Kevin Fabian.
The Fabians’ mother, Gertrudis Cuevas, played in the Dominican Republic. Anthony, who moved to Lawrence from Brooklyn at age 3, says his top basketball moment was a big 3-pointer in OT vs. Northeast.
Little One, as his friends call him, is studying auto body. His favorites include Domino’s bacon pizza, Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Meek Mill, Samuel L. Jackson and Kevin Durant.
Pleasure to Coach
“I’ve coached him for four years and he’s been a pleasure since Day 1,” said Hillie coach Joe Roberts. “He’s a genuine kid with a kind heart and always respectful of the coaching staff and his teammates.”
A rugged 5-10, 210-pound forward who can bench press 220 pounds and squat 360 pounds, Malone fears nothing. Well, except for spiders.
He has come back from knee surgery which forced him to sit out the lacrosse season last spring.
Malone, whose younger sister Mikaela plays field hockey and lacrosse for the Hillies, would like to study criminal justice and international relations. His top college choices are Bridgewater State and Suffolk. He’s gone to the Hockey East playoffs the last 10 years with Brian O’Neil, Johnny Rankin and Brendan Woelfel.
The versatile 6-2, 195-pound Thomson is a tri-captain who also saw time as a tight end/defensive end on the football team and last spring played No. 2 doubles in tennis.
“He leads by example in practice,” said Astros basketball coach Pete Rosinski.
Thomson has been accepted to High Point (N.C.) University and is also waiting on UNH, Endicott and Elon.
In addition to his full athletic plate, Thomson is involved in Future Business Leaders of America and the DECA marketing club. Last summer he worked in day care and taught tennis at Cedardale.
His favorite athletic achievement is playing on the Division 1 championship football team as a sophomore. Thomson moved to Hampstead in first grade from Kent, Wash., and still roots for the Seattle Seahawks.
Central Catholic Gymnastics
“She’s probably the most improved gymnast we’ve had,” said Raider coach Heather Fusco. “She’s just a hard worker and a great, great kid.”
The senior from Methuen is especially proud of a new move she’s finally mastered: a back walkover on the balance beam.
In her free time, Sullivan enjoys coaching 4-7 year-olds at Interstate Gymnastics. She also likes to cook and her uncle can vouch that her bundt cake with chocolate glaze is to die for.
The 5-1 tri-captain, who took up the sport at age 4, is a big fan of Olympic star Aly Raisman. Her brother, Brendan (CCHS ‘11), played football and lacrosse for the Raiders. Meghan plans to study skin care at the Catherine Hinds Institute of Esthetics.
Known for her tough defense, the 5-9 sophomore from Lawrence was averaging 3.3 points through four games. Then she exploded for 21 points, 9 rebounds and 3 blocks vs. Greater Lawrence. She hit a couple big late free throws in a 58-55 win over Shawsheen.
Ortiz also starts at libero in volleyball and was a part-time starter last spring in softball.
She said she’s most proud that “I can handle being an athlete and getting my schoolwork done.”
She’s ranked in the top 15 percent of her class and finds time to be vice president of her class.
As a youngster growing up in Tampa, Ortiz did some modeling for Fashion Bug. Her favorites include Carmelo Anthony, Paul Pierce, lobster, Red Hummer H3s and, of course, her flashy new black and white Adidas Crazy Lights sneakers.
Coaches or ADs should send nominations to Unsung Heroes writer Michael Muldoon at email@example.com.