Together, they’ve literally put a program on their backs.
And twin brothers Anibal and Jeyson Henriquez nearly carried Lawrence High all the way to a Massachusetts state Division 1 championship.
The 2013 Merrimack Valley Conference co-Players of the Year will also share this year’s Eagle-Tribune Most Valuable Player award.
“They took on volleyball and never looked back on their quest to be the best,” said coach Tony Hajjar of the twin powerhouses. “They’re great kids, who worked hard from the first day they came here and never stopped.”
Blessed with extreme athleticism, the brothers dominated at the net as the Lancers ripped off a run of 21 straight wins in a 23-2 season. In the North title match win over St. John’s they combined to blast 32 kills. Overall, Anibal roped 306 kills this year, and Jeyson added another 264.
Anibal made our team as a junior, while Jeyson earned honorable mention status as both four-year varsity players were conference all-stars as juniors.
Off the floor, the boys have relied on themselves growing up without their mom. Together, they held down a full course load this year, dedicated themselves to volleyball and each worked weekends to help pay the family bills.
The damage they inflict on the floor is by no means over either. The two brothers will head to Daniel Webster College in the fall, where they will continue to play volleyball.
2013 Eagle-Tribune Volleyball All-Star Team
Player, School Yr. Position
Alec Dean, Andover Jr. Outside Hitter
* Anibal Henriquez, Lawrence Sr. Opposite/Defense
* Jeyson Henriquez, Lawrence Sr. Outside Hitter
Justin Scott, Pinkerton Sr. Outside Hitter
Tucker Lippold, Windham Jr. Setter
Eric Denning, Salem Sr. Middle Hitter
Andrew Ruffen, Salem Sr., Setter
Casey Fitzpatrick, Haverhill Jr. Setter
Windham High Junior
Three-year varsity starter. Second-team all-state selection for Division 1 runner-up. Served up 171 points with 21 aces. Totaled 472 assists, with 832 in his career. Has only 32 career errors. “A natural athlete who has adopted a true passion for the sport of volleyball,” said coach Chris Baribeau. Member of the National Honor Society. A state champion in soccer, also plays hoop. Focused on growing into the first multi-sport boys collegiate athlete ever from Windham High.
Pinkerton Academy Senior
Repeats on our team. Three-year varsity starter. Twice an all-state first team choice. Named to the Granite State Senior All-Star team. Two-time Coaches Award winner. Earned school’s scholar-athlete certificate. Over 500 career kills. Athletic and explosive at 6-foot-5. Pushed Astros to a pair of final fours and one trip to the title game. “Work ethic, drive to improve ... and love of the game make him the player he is,” said coach Colin Walker. Leaning toward Wentworth Institute of Technology.
Andover High Junior
All-MVC libero as sophomore. Repeated with move to outside hitter this spring. Averaged 15 kills, six digs and four blocks a night. Explosive server. Ran off seven straight aces in win over Chelmsford. “To me, he was the best serve in the league,” said coach E.J. Perry. Plays Junior Olympic volleyball with Northeast year-round. Dangerous on the beach sand as well. Owns a 4.3 GPA with SAT scores over 2,000. Dangerous up front in basketball as well. Expects to apply early-decision to Cornell.
Salem High Senior
Repeats on our team. Three-year varsity starter. “A complete player, a true leader and an inspiration for our team,” said coach John Roemer. New Hampshire Player of the Year. Two-time all-state choice. Co-Captain. Co-MVP for undefeated state champs. Granite State Senior All-Star. Over 400 career kills. Clutch competitor. Dominated Pinkerton in state semis with 15 kills and 5 blocks. Graduates in top 25 percent of class. Headed to UNH.
Salem High Senior
Two-year varsity starter. Co-captain. Team co-MVP. First-team all-state choice. The dominant force in the run to the state title. Mr. Clutch rang up 31 assists vs. Hollis. Added 37 assists and 8 kills in state semis vs. Pinkerton. Without state Player of the Year Eric Denning in title game, he owned the floor with 29 assists and nine kills. “Led the offense, able to get everyone involved in the offense,” said coach John Roemer. An assassin from the 3-point line in hoops. Headed to St. Joseph’s in Maine.
Haverhill High Junior
All-conference choice. Won team coaches award. Co-captain. Starter at libero as a sophomore. Stat machine. All over the floor. Had 373 assists with 38 kills. Added 68 hard-working digs. Effective server at 95.4 percent efficiency. Chipped in 16 aces. “Switched positions and really grew as a player. Became a leader on court. Huge in the development of our younger hitters,” said coach Bill Kaste. Midfielder on soccer team for two years.
Andover: Kenny Doherty, Jr., middle hitter; T.J. Norton, Sr., middle hitter
Central: Brian Adamopoulos, Sr., libero; Doug Gemmell, Sr., middle hitter
Haverhill: Rob Kelleher, Soph., middle hitter
Lawrence: Reibin Hiraldo, Sr., setter
Londonderry: Keegan Smith, Sr., outside hitter; Mason White, Sr., outside hitter
Methuen: Charlie Roaf, Sr., outside hitter; Tim Galloway-Burke, Soph., middle hitter
Pinkerton: Zach Sanford, Sr., middle hitter; Kyle Heidler, Jr., setter
Salem: Steve Nugent, Sr., outside hitter
Timberlane: Erik Kaasila, Sr., outside hitter; Tom Matatall, Sr., libero; Mike Maguire, Sr., middle hitter
Windham: Brandon Bernyk, Sr., middle hitter