Saluting the overachievers, the quiet leaders and the often overlooked athletes in local high school sports.
Everything from A-Z
The sophomore does it all for the Wildcats: football, wrestling and lacrosse. He’s on varsity in all three.
“He was by far our most improved wrestler. There is no quit in that kid. He hates to lose and when he does, he works that much harder,” said Whittier wrestling coach Harry Takesian.
He might have picked that trait up from his late grandfather, boxer Jerry Zullo, who once trained with the legendary Rocky Marciano.
Although he weighs just 154 pounds, the 5-6 Zullo wrestled at 160. It didn’t seem to hurt him as he went from a tough freshman season to a sixth-place finisher in Division 2 North this winter.
The Bradford resident enjoys snowboarding at nearby Bradford Ski Area and working on his archery and shooting skills at the Danvers Gun Club. He’s studying to be a lifeguard.
Hurchik is a lucky young man. The basketball nut can pick almost any school he wants because of his academic prowess.
So not surprisingly, his two finalists are Indiana and North Carolina. Hurchik, who scored 2,060 on his SATs, earned a prestigious Selective Scholarship to IU.
He didn’t get much playing time for high-powered Brooks, but he cherished being part of the team. His favorite basketball memory was a game-winning floater last winter with seven seconds left in a JV game vs. Groton.
A couple weeks ago, his sweet reverse lay-up was an exclamation point on a lopsided win over St. Mark’s.
Coach John McVeigh called the Andover resident “a phenomenal kid and teammate.”
Hurchik also ran cross country for the Green and White.
Central Catholic Swimming
The senior from North Andover was disappointed that he fell just shy of qualifying for North Sectionals in the 500 freestyle.
“But he was celebrating other teammates’ successes and not making the day about his near miss,” said coach Scott Young. “Owen is just a great kid.”
He regrouped and later that day at the MVC Championships swam a lifetime best leg in the 400 freestyle relay.
He’s also a co-captain in tennis, a lifeguard at Andover Country Club, co-chair of the Catwalk for Cancer and a terrific student. O’Leary scored a sparking 2,110 on his SATs and has been accepted to Villanova, Providence and Fairfield.
O’Leary is training for a triathlon. His sister, Courtney, was a standout miler and lacrosse player for the Raiders.
Heart of Gold
The junior forward sang the national anthem on Senior Night. Her coach, meanwhile, sings her praises.
“She saw limited minutes but challenged the starters each and every day at practice,” said Karen McLaughlin. “She always put the team first and has a heart of gold and a great sense of humor.”
Carroll never realized she had a talent for music until recently and now is jumping in with both feet. She’s taking lessons and playing the guitar.
Carroll is ranked 50th in a class of 450 and plans to run track for the first time this spring.
She prides herself in her work ethic. “I don’t want anybody to work harder than me,” said Carroll, whose brother is former Eagle-Tribune Athlete of Year Cal Carroll.
Coaches or ADs should send nominations to Unsung Heroes writer Michael Muldoon at email@example.com.