EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

May 22, 2013

Moynihan Scholar-Athlete: Haverhill's unhittable valedictorian

By Michael Muldoon

---- — HAVERHILL — The ideal choice for a Moynihan Scholar-Athlete winner is someone who is an elite scholar and an elite athlete.

Someone like Sean Wrenn.

His academic resume is nearly flawless. Begin with the fact that he’s Haverhill High’s valedictorian. Then add he scored 2,060 on his SATs and had the highest score in the state for the American Federation of Teachers Scholarship, which is for the child of a teacher. In past years he took four AP exams scoring two fives and two fours. He took four more this year and is awaiting his scores.

Those accomplishments certainly impressed Providence College, which he said there is a “98 percent chance” he will attend. He earned a full-tuition scholarship. Wrenn has been wait listed at Dartmouth and Brown.

Wrenn was always a capable ballplayer but his game took off this spring. After years of not pitching due to lingering arm problems, he returned to the mound and has been arguably the most surprising player in the area.

The Haverhill co-captain improved to 5-1 with his one-hitter against Whittier on Sunday. He’s fanned 30 batters in 33.1 innings.

Haverhill coach Tom O’Brien marvelled, “his GPA (3.92) is over 10 times his ERA!”

Well, it seems like it anyway. He does have an impressive 1.68 ERA.

With Wrenn, there is a lot to marvel about.

O’Brien said, “The Haverhill Public School system could not have a better representative on that podium on graduation day. Any honors bestowed on Sean are well deserved and a testament to his hard work and dedication as a student-athlete over the last four years.”

The Wrenn family is well known for its academics. His sister, Meghan, a freshman at Providence, graduated No. 7 in her class. His grandfather, the late Michael Wrenn, was Haverhill High’s principal and Superintendent of Schools.

What’s made this year so enjoyable on the diamond was how frustrating last year was.

“It was the first scrimmage against Pentucket,” recalled Wrenn, who is a catcher when’s he’s not pitching. “It my first at-bat. I took a swing and my spikes got caught in the new AstroTurf. I was out two months with a dislocated knee.”

He came back and started the last 4-5 games but the lingering memory was being sidelined.

“It was a helpless feeling,” he said.

Helpless is how teams have felt against the 6-4 1/2, 190-pound righthander this spring. Even he never expected it.

“It really was my first year I pitched since Little League,” said Wrenn, who turned 18 last week. “I had arm issues in the past. I decided to try it because the team was lacking (pitchers). It ended up working out.”

Wrenn, who plans to study biology, is considering becoming a doctor. Like most top scholars, he has his share of hellish nights studying.

“I had to do an entire research paper,” said Wrenn, who also played basketball for the Hillies. “I was up until 5 a.m. I got 1-2 hours sleep and had a game the next day and ended up pitching. I threw a shutout. It was all adrenaline.”

Previous Moynihan Winners

Month Boy Girl

September Will Heikkinen, Andover football Jackie Solimine, Haverhill cross country

October David Rose, North Andover soccer Brenna McNally, Pinkerton volleyball

November Zach Vieira, Brooks soccer Ashlee Korsberg, Andover swimming

December Andrew Wells, Whittier basketball Abby Galloway-Burke Methuen basketball

January John Mastascusa, North Reading basketball Devon Caveney, Andover basketball

February John Rheaume, Salem wrestling Sam Breslin, Pinkerton basketball

March Alex Newton, Pelham baseball Hannah Kimball, Timberlane track