EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

April 28, 2013

Moynihan Scholar-Athlete: Pelham's Newton at the top of the class

Michael Muldoon

---- — The most memorable 5-for-5 of Pelham High baseball standout Alex Newton’s career didn’t occur on the diamond.

It instead was the good news from colleges.

UMass Lowell, accepted. UNH, accepted. WPI, accepted. Clemson, accepted, UConn, accepted.

He’s deciding between Clemson and UConn.

“I’m looking at chemical engineering,” said Newton. “They are both good state schools with good programs. I’m in South Carolina (at Clemson) right now. The campus is awesome.”

Like other scholars, Newton, at times, has to deal with the “geek” and “nerd” ribbing.

“Some people give me a hard time,” admitted Newton, a captain in golf, basketball and baseball. “’You are such a nerd!’ I just take it and laugh. I’ll be the one laughing some day.”

He’s always strived for the top in athletics and academics.

“I knew it was important so I balance the two and keep my priorities straight,” said the lanky 6-2, 160-pound Newton, a three-year starter in baseball. “It has worked out alright for me.”

Pythons baseball coach Billy Beauchesne has nothing but praise for Newton, who was hitting .375 with five RBIs through three games this spring.

“Alex is one of the hardest working, kindest, most team-oriented athletes that I have ever had the pleasure of coaching,” he said. “His leadership, work ethic and character make him so valuable.”

Newton is ranked third in a class of 140 and scored a 1,930 on his SATs, including a 740 in the math. The NHIAA’s Scholar-Athlete of the Month for February expects to enter college with college credits already in computer apps, chemistry and calculus.

The hard work has paid off with grades and scholarships.

He’s earned a sizable academic scholarships to Clemson ($8,000 a year) and UConn ($12,000 a year) and is a finalist for the New Hampshire Hood Scholarship.

He’s trying to enjoy the remaining weeks at Pelham.

“I’m feeling senioritis definitely this semester,” said Newton, who works at Atkinson Country Club as a golf cart/range attendant. “I’m trying to enjoy my senior year. I’ve put in the work the last three years so I’ve rewarded myself a little bit.”

He says golf is his favorite sport. The fall season was one of soaring highs (unbeaten regular season) and devastating lows (finishing third at States).

“That’s a sore subject,” said Newson, who was No. 2 on the golf team.

Through it all, he’s been proud to wear the Pelham blue and silver.

“I heard from neighbors and they loved it (Pelham High),” he said. “I figured I’d save my parents the money. I grew up watching (basketball greats) Justin Roman and Justin Hojlo. I thought it would be pretty cool to be out there.”

Coaches and athletic directors can send Moynihan Scholar-Athlete nominees to Michael Muldoon at mmuldoon@eagletribune.com.