15 years ago: McVeigh follows heart to Merrimack
John McVeigh had started a successful academic life at Holy Cross 15 years ago.
But after two semesters of straight-A work, the game was calling the 6-3 North Andover resident and son of Scarlet Knights head coach Mike McVeigh.
After a meeting with head coach Bert Hammel, McVeigh landed at Merrimack College.
“He sat down in my office, in a very respectful manner, and said, ‘Coach Hammel, all I want is a chance to play,’” said Hammel. “So many kids say they’re going to do this, or they’re going to come in and start. He just wanted a chance.”
He got his chance, becoming team captain in his senior year.
“How do you say goodbye to someone you look at as a son?” Hammel asked. “He is a special person. He’s from my world, in the ‘60s. He didn’t question authority. The team was always first for him. … I love him. That’s all I can say, I love him.”
“I got a lot out of Merrimack, too,” McVeigh said. “Bert taught me to strive for more. Nobody will confuse me with someone with a lot of talent, but coach always told me that hustling is a talent.”
In his best season, McVeigh averaged 8.5 points a game. He also graduated among the top 10 students in his class and moved on to graduate school at Duke.
15 years ago: New record for Andover relay quartet
At the Class B state meet 15 years ago, the Andover quartet of Kasie Dexter, Nikki Winters, Kristen Munson and Katherine Blais won the 4x800 relay in a meet record 9:59.88, shattering a record set by Andover two years earlier.
Barbara Contos also was triumphant for Andover, pulling away midway through the race to win the 55-meter hurdles in 8.77 seconds.
A week later, she upped her game, running 8.64 to win the All-State championship.
On the boys side, Central’s Brian Lemieux bested the Class B field in the 300 (36.25) and ran a fleet anchor leg in the 4x200 that lifted the Raiders into second place.
Methuen sophomore Cara Conway equaled her personal-best 5-2 high jump, winning the event at the Class A meet.
15 years ago: No pressure for freshman Trepanier
Trailing Open Bible Academy in the State Christian Schools Tourney by six points with a minute to play 15 years ago, Fellowship Christian head coach Russ Glines had just one plan: Get the ball in Dave Trepanier’s hands.
The freshman from Methuen responded, hitting a pair of 3-pointers to tie the game, then sinking the winning jump shot at the buzzer.
“We set up the play and it worked to perfection,” said Glines. “I shouldn’t say this, but I said to myself (before the comeback), ‘Oh-oh, another loss.’”
Trepanier finished with a game-high 18 points.
15 years ago: Bruneau steps up for Cats
With All-CAC guard Anabel Perdomo being held in check, Keran Bruneau stepped up with a team-high 16 points as Whittier knocked Dom Savio out of the Division 4 North tourney, 63-55. … Kristen Foley stepped up with 15 points and 14 rebounds as Andover downed Haverhill, 55-45, to make the Division 1 North quarterfinals. … Meghan Hamilton and Christine Carbonello led a 29-of-42 effort from the free throw line as Londonderry downed Merrimack, 51-37. … Julie Tardif missed Timberlane’s regular season game against Plymouth with an illness and the Owls lost by 13 points. In the rematch at the Class I tournament, Tardif scored 19 points including a layup with five seconds left that earned Timberlane a 42-40 victory. … Lani Hall (15 points, 13 rebounds) and Helene Gwizdak (22 points) led Central Catholic to a 74-65 upset of Bedford and a berth in the Division 3 North quarterfinals. …
Haverhill rolled to an 80-56 Division 1 North opening round win over Lawrence. An oppressive trapping defense slowed down Edwin Mercado (18 points, all in the first half) while Ryan Cantwell scored 17 points for the winners. … Sophomore Jon LaRochelle scored a career-high 31 points as Londonderry beat Merrimack, 92-78. … Chris Urquhart (19 points) and Brian Stanton (16 points) led Salem past Portsmouth, 51-40. … Dave Cerne’s season-high 31 points sent Timberlane into the postseason soaring with a 74-66 win over Goffstown. …
A shutout third period from North Reading’s Bill Moss led the CAL hockey all-stars to a 4-2 victory over their Northeastern Conference counterparts. … Windham freshman Chuck Tomes scored with 27 seconds left in overtime to earn Brooks a 4-3 win over Governor Dummer. … Third-period goals from Aaron Crear and Al Salvia earned 13th seed Central Catholic a 4-3 victory over No. 4 Belmont in Division 1 North first round play. Central won despite being outshot, 42-15. …
Eric Cloutier (119 pounds), Eric Doucet (125), Jay Holder (152) and Eric Bradley (160) won titles as Timberlane took home its fourth straight Meet of Champions crown. Led by 103-pound state champ Phil Kalil, Salem placed fifth. … After he “didn’t even know the sport existed” early in his freshman year, Methuen’s Miguel Flores became a state champion as a sophomore, beating Haverhill’s Dave Gingrass by a first-period pin in the finals. …
Locals locked up most of the top MVC hoop awards as Andover’s Charlotte Muller (Division 1 girls), Central Catholic’s John Jacobs (Division 1 boys) and Central’s Helene Gwizdak (Division 2 girls) were named MVPs. Methuen’s Mimi Hyde (Division 1 girls), Haverhill’s Bob Walsh (Division 1 boys) and Central’s Sue Downer (Division 2 girls) were chosen as coaches of the year. … Methuen’s Bobby Reddish was tabbed as MVC Division 2 hockey MVP. …
Eagle-Tribune football defensive MVP Joe Uliano of Central Catholic announced he’d be continuing his career at Holy Cross. …
Salem’s Chang Choe hit a fifth-inning home run, BC’s only score in a 10-1 exhibition loss to the Red Sox in Florida.
30 years ago: Another championship for Clohisy
Haverhill’s Martha Clohisy, a UNH sophomore, defended her New England 200-yard butterfly title with a 2:10.7 clocking. ...
Donna Johnson’s 28 points led Northern Essex to a 77-70 victory over Fort Devens and a 22-5 record. The men improved to 20-9 by humbling Emerson College, 88-63, led by Chris Surette’s 26 points. …
Whittier junior Michelle LaRoche — the league scoring leader — was named CAC MVP. … Central Catholic’s Dick Licare was tabbed as MVC boys hoop coach of the year.