Abby Galloway-Burke has a slew of fine qualities, but punctuality is not one of them.
“What drives me crazy,” said Methuen basketball coach Karen McLaughlin, “is we’ll have a 7 a.m. practice and she’ll be coming in at 6:58.”
Galloway-Burke might not be able to play for New York Giants football coach Tom Coughlin, who fines players for not being five minutes early, but she can play for McLaughlin any day.
“I love her. She’s a great kid,” said McLaughlin, who coaches her in basketball and field hockey. “When she leaves, there will be a huge void in both sports. She’s extremely smart. She’s like having a coach on the floor or court.”
She’s sports smart and book smart.
As a 5-foot-10 three-sport captain, she has plenty of college coaches pursuing her. But she’s decided to concentrate on her academics in college to study to be a pediatric oncologist or pediatric surgeon.
“I always wanted to become a doctor, since I was 5,” said Galloway-Burke, who is averaging 10.9 points a game for the 9-5 Rangers. “I know what is required and I’ve done the work. I know where I want to go and I’m working hard to get there.”
That rare dedication has paid off. She’s ranked seventh in a class of about 470, scored a 2,070 on her SATs and won the prestigious Wellesley Book Award. Galloway-Burke’s current course load is a challenging one: honors anatomy, honors Italian, honors physics, AP English literature, AP biology and AP calculus.
Galloway-Burke said that schedule may seem daunting, but she is by no means overwhelmed.
“I get my work done quickly. It doesn’t take me that long,” she said.
Whatever she’s doing, it’s working. Last spring she passed three Advanced Placement tests with two 4s and a 3.
She has applied to 11 schools: American, Villanova, Northeastern, BC, Brown, Vanderbilt, Hofstra, Fordham, UMass, UConn and Syracuse.
Galloway-Burke is no meek teen just trying to fit in.
When she referees youth basketball, she takes charge.
“She’s not afraid to make the call. She’s very confident,” said McLaughlin.
She was an Eagle-Tribune All-Star this fall in field hockey when she scored 13 goals and last year was an MVC All-Star in basketball (13.3 points, 11.0 rebounds a game) and lacrosse (27 goals).
Galloway-Burke lists as her career highlights beating Central Catholic in basketball her freshman year and making states in field hockey this year.
In her free time, she tries to go to as many Methuen sporting events as she can. Unfortunately, due to the overlapping schedules, she rarely can see the boys basketball team play. Her brother, Tim, a 6-5 sophomore, might be the top young big man in the area.
“He usually scores more but we win more!” she said with a laugh.
Coaches and athletic directors can send Moynihan Scholar-Athlete nominees to Michael Muldoon at firstname.lastname@example.org.