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 Jason Smith said of the junior, “As the team has faced numerous injuries and illnesses this year, Lauren has been a lifesaver with her versatility. She is one of the most supportive and caring swimmers we have.”
Arsenault earned a second and two thirds at the MVC Division 2 Meet. The Arsenault clan has been good to Smith and the Rangers. Her sister, Meaghan, and cousin Chanelle, were also Methuen swim standouts.
Swimming can be a draining sport but Lauren still finds time to get top grades (ranked 59th in a class of 436), play basketball and lacrosse, play saxophone in the band, work at Claire’s at the Loop and serve as president of Best Buddies.
Her favorite teacher is AP chemistry teacher Esperanza Lalinde.
Notre Dame Swimming
Tough as Nails
The Notre Dame of Tyngsboro junior from Haverhill placed second in the 500 freestyle and fourth in the 200 freestyle at the MVC Division 2 Meet.
“Ashley is a tough-as-nails competitor,” said NDA coach Greg Steinberg. “She works hard at practice and puts in a lot of time and effort to her schoolwork and her community.”
Richard also runs indoor and outdoor track. Her older sister, Alexa, swam at NDA and now plays tennis at Lyndon State.
Ashley is involved in student council and plays piano at Sacred Hearts Church in Bradford. She’s a lifeguard at Bradford Swim Club and her favorites include country singers Taylor Swift and Luke Bryan and swimmer Dana Vollmer.
Greater Lawrence Soccer
Reggies coach Chris Plourde said, “Domini has become an incredibly motivating leader. All the girls respect her because when she has an opportunity to play, she give it everything she has. It is rare to see Domini lose a 50/50 ball.”
The senior, who only began playing last season, scored her first goal against PMA. To celebrate, her father took her out for her favorite, Chinese food. Her older brother, Enderson, did soccer, swimming and baseball for the Reggies.
Domini, who also plays tennis, is a top student who is applying to Brandeis, BU, Fitchburg State and UMass Boston. She hopes to study international corporate law.
Batista, who is studying biotechnology, moved to Lawrence from the Dominican Republic when she was about 5 years old.
PMA Cross Country
Vicenty, a sophomore from Haverhill, has improved his personal best by five minutes this fall.
“Nick is a hard worker,” said coach Brian Martin. “He puts his heart and soul into the sport. He’s always mentally strong and is constantly pushing himself to be a better runner.”
Vicenty is a big fan of his coach.
“He’s a great coach. He’s nice but pushes me and I like that,” said Vicenty, who had his best effort of the season at the league championships.
Nick is a member of the technology club and hopes to pursue a career in engineering like his father.
Vicenty was born in Puerto Rico but moved to Haverhill when he was only a few months old. He enjoys volleyball and Star Wars movies. His favorite teacher is Sister Lorraine.
Timberlane Field Hockey
The Right Stuff
Coach Mim Ryan said of the senior from Atkinson, “Tell her what to do and she’ll work to get it right.”
That perseverance helped her earn a starting berth this fall and finally make varsity as a junior, which she called her career highlight.
“I went the extra mile,” said LeBlanc.
She also skis (captain-elect), plays softball and is in the band. Academically she’s in the top 15 percent of the class. As if that wasn’t enough, she also works at the Early Bird Cafe.
LeBlanc is high on Wheelock, St. Anselm’s and Merrimack College. Her favorites include history teacher Dan Donnellan, skier Lindsey Vonn and macaroni and cheese.
Alex’s sister, Noelle, plays on the JV field hockey team.