Saluting the overachievers, the quiet leaders and the often overlooked athletes in local high school sports.
Coaches or ADs should send nominations to Unsung Heroes writer Michael Muldoon at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Coach Ryan Richards said, “He’s a leader on and off the field. He was average last year but his dedication in the offseason is really showing. He’s become one of the top players on the team.”
The junior said his career highlight was his overtime goal last year that earned the Wildcats a playoff berth.
The 5-5 125-pounder wrestled at 113 pounds this winter. His brother, Jake Tannian, wrestled (quad-captain in 2009-10) and played football at Whittier.
Tannian, a Haverhill resident, is studying plumbing and heating. This summer he’ll be landscaping at Renaissance Golf Club. His hobbies include snowboarding at Sunday River and water skiing at Lake Ossipee. His favorite teacher is shop teacher Karl Jacobson.
A second-team All-MVC lineman in football, Aziz embraces a different role in baseball.
“He has a limited chance of playing and he knows it,” said Rangers coach Eric Cyr. “His role is A, to be a great teammate. He won our Coaches Award last year. He’s just a great kid. I can’t say enough about him. The kids all look up to him.”
Aziz is ranked in the top 15 percent of his class and was accepted to 9 of 10 colleges he applied to. His father, Richard, was a Methuen golf and hockey captain. His sister, Amanda, was a field hockey captain and their younger brothers Danny (baseball, football, wrestling) and Luke (track) are Ranger athletes.
Dicky is a bagger at Market Basket in Haverhill and is a member of the “Don’t Stop Believing” team in Relay for Life.
The promising sophomore is paying his dues this year and has won over his teammates with his creative chants and obvious school pride.
“He’s a unifier,” said Jaguars coach Derek Lee. “He doesn’t get a lot of time but he will eventually. He energizes the bench. He has some of the greatest one-liners. If there is a rift between teammates, he can get them to settle it.”
Murphy is ranked in the top 15 percent of his class. He’s class vice president and is an active volunteer at St. Matthew’s Church.
The 5-7, 130-pounder starred on the Windham Little League team which reached the state finals in 2010 and helped the Windham Wildcats U14 team place eighth at Nationals in Fort Myers, Fla.
His sister, Samantha, played tennis for Central Catholic.
As a senior, Sackrison finally made the varsity.
“She’s one of the hardest workers we have,” said coach Jason Smith. “She does all the little things to make the team successful. I’m thrilled she stuck with it and proud she’s a key member of the team.”
Sackrison, whose best friend is ace pitcher Chrissy Scionti, got three hits in her first six at-bats and scored three times.
She’s been inspired by health professionals who helped her mother when she was ill and her brother who has special needs. Erica will study physical therapy at the University of Hartford.
For the fourth straight year she’ll be doing all 24 hours at the Relay for Life. Sackrison works at Sweet Kiwi Frozen Yogurt in Salem.
The 6-1, 175-pounder didn’t start last year and now he’s playing No. 1.
“He stays strong and he stays positive. He leads by example,” said Salem coach Gary Duranko.
A member of the National Honor Society, Fischer is ranked 13th in a class of 315 and scored an impressive 33 on his ACT. That’s an equivalent of a 2,200 on the SAT. He’s bound for URI to study pharmacy.
Fischer has been coached in a slew of sports by his father, Dan Fischer, who still hits with the senior co-captain.
Aidan plays the tenor sax in the marching band and the jazz ensemble. This summer he’ll be working in food service at Canobie Lake Park. He loves cycling and is saving to buy a Cannondale CAAD-9 bicycle.