EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

November 23, 2012

Saluting the Unsung Heroes in local sports

Michael Muldoon
The Eagle-Tribune

---- — Ryan Paris

Haverhill Golf

Inspiring Leader

The senior co-captain went 9-3-3 at the No. 2 spot and earned all-conference honors. He helped the Hillies go from four wins last fall to 11-3-1 this year.

“In my 14 years of coaching, I’ve never had a player with a better work ethic and this past summer it rubbed off on the whole team. He took the younger players under his wing and got them playing nearly every day at Bradford Country Club, dramatically improving the play of the team this fall,” said coach Kevin Murphy.

His sister, Kelsey, a seventh grader, is also a talented golfer.

Paris is a political junkie who hopes to study finance or accounting at UMass Amherst, Suffolk or Bentley. He works for his uncle at Rick’s Motor Sport in Hampstead and is a member of the Latin Club, Human Rights Club and Junior Rotary Club.

Adnan Hassan

Andover Football

Welcome Addition

This is Hassan’s first year on the team and Andover is thrilled to have him.

Coach E.J. Perry said, “This young man is extraordinary.”

The 6-foot-1 former basketball player is an athlete as evidenced by his dunking skills. Recently he made his first catch and it was a one-handed beauty.

“On most teams, he’d be playing a lot more,” said Perry, whose club is headed to the playoffs.

His older brother, Hammad, also played for the Golden Warriors. Hassan is a member of the Andover volleyball team and still plays AAU basketball.

He spent his first six years in Pittsburgh. “I’m Steeler Nation at heart!” he said proudly.

Hassan hopes for a career in science with Trinity his top college choice. He’s also applying to Boston University, Villanova, Bates and Wheaton.

Shane Godek

Methuen Soccer

Ranger leader

The sophomore field player was pressed into action when starting goalie Avery Altavesta suffered a season-ending injury in Game 2.

“He took the position and turned out to be a great leader,” said coach Jeff Lamy. “He’s actually been named captain for next year.”

Hardly intimidating at just 5-8, 112 pounds, Godek showed ample skills. He even posted a shutout in the big win over previously unbeaten Chelsea in the state tourney.

Everything Godek does, he excels at. That includes being ranked among the top 10 students in his class and being voted class president both years at Methuen.

An aspiring sports writer, Shane also runs indoor track and plays baseball. His older sister, Matti Godek, swims for the Rangers.

Margo Fijux

Pentucket Soccer

Smiling Sachem

Pentucket coach Meghan Goldweber said, “She never came to practice without a smile on her face. She kept everybody positive. She’s definitely an example of an unsung hero.”

Margo plays lacrosse in the spring. Her sister, eighth grader Lisi, is also a promising soccer and lacrosse player.

Fijux is ranked in the top quarter of the senior class. She’s a member of the German Club, volunteers at the MSPCA and is a youth soccer coach in her hometown of Groveland.

She’s taken German since middle school and last summer spent a month as an exchange student in Germany and Austria.

Margo, who has been a vegetarian for the last eight years, hopes to attend UMass Amherst.

Chris Lord

North Andover Cross Country

Most Improved

The former soccer player decided to give cross country a try when the family moved from Portsmouth, R.I., this summer.

Lord, a sophomore, started out as 12th runner and made huge improvements until he was in the top five for the Scarlet Knights.

Coach Steve Nugent said, “His enthusiasm for the sport, desire to excel and accept a challenge, and leadership qualities make him an invaluable asset to our team.”

Lord said of the move to town, “It was a very difficult transition. It was a new routine, new kids, new teachers. But the people here are really nice. I’m excited to be part of the community.”

His sixth grade brother George also is a runner and his father, Chris, was a distance runner, too. There could be some interesting talks over the dinner table because Mr. Lord is the new principal at archrival Andover High!

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

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