Saluting the overachievers, the quiet leaders and the often overlooked athletes in local high school sports.
HELEN OLSONPentucket Track
Olson is a captain in indoor and outdoor track and also plays soccer for Pentucket.
Helen is quite a scholar. She’s ranked 14th in a class of 270 and plans to study neuroscience in college. She’s deciding between Mount Holyoke and Brandeis.The 5-7 West Newbury resident won the prestigious DAR Good Citizenship Award. Helen works at Biggart’s Ice Cream in Haverhill and enjoys painting and making jewelry.
Her dad, Bob, does triathlons and her older sister Kristen was a distance runner for Pentucket. The Olsons have two cats: Daisy and Luna.Her favorites include soccer star Tobin Heath, Pentucket chemistry teacher Lee Lentz, and the movie “Pride and Prejudice.”
BRIANNA AIGBOGUMMethuen Track
Coach Brittany Caprio said, “She brings incredible positivity and is always able to lift the spirits of her teammates and coaches. Brianna is invaluable. She is a sprinter and has started to throw the shot put.”
The 5-5 junior plays varsity field hockey and does indoor and outdoor track.
She is taking AP Psychology and AP English Comp. Aigbogum is a barista at Starbucks in North Andover and is a member of SADD at MHS. Word has it that Brianna’s cheesecake is to die for.
Her sister, 7th-grader Juliet, is a talented artist. The family has a black molly fish named Leo.Brianna’s favorites include french fries, “On My Block” and biology teacher Jaclyn Burns.
ALEX PARSONSNorth Andover Track
Blue Collar Trackster
Coach Rick DelleChiaie said, “I’d describe her as a ‘blue collar’ track athlete. She shows up to practice, does everything she is told without complaint and with a smile on her face.”
Parsons does soccer, indoor and outdoor track. She’s the oldest of four athletic sisters with Taylor an NAHS sophomore and Katelyn and Mackenzie in elementary school.Alex is a National Honor Society student who will be studying nursing at Sacred Heart University. She works at Rose & Dove gift shop and enjoys baking with crepes a specialty. Alex helped start the popular “Kindness Rocks” project in North Andover.
Her favorites include “10 Things I Hate About You” and North Andover English teacher Derval Bentley.
CHRISTIAN PEREZMethuen Football
Rangers’ Mr. Reliable
Coach Tom Ryan said, “Christian is as reliable and dependable as they come. His great work ethic and tremendous high moral character are admired by his coaches and teammates.”
The 6-1, 185-pound senior linebacker is a standout attack on the lacrosse team. He will be playing that sport at Southern New Hampshire University.
Perez has a dog, a yellow Lab named Lulu. He works at Candia Road Convenience in Manchester, N.H. Christian, a CGS grad, has a younger sister, Eva Perez.
Christian’s favorites include lobster, “The Office,” professional lax star Paul Rabil, “Beverly Hills Cop,” retired Methuen history teacher Peter Kitsos and rappers Mac Miller and Drake.
Coaches or ADs should send nominations to Unsung Heroes writer Michael Muldoon at firstname.lastname@example.org.