hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA

June 27, 2013

Hillies' year marked by championships

By Tom O'Brien
The Haverhill Gazette

---- — Five conference championships and more than 1,000 participants! It was another successful year for the Haverhill High School athletic program.

The girls soccer, girls volleyball, golf, boys basketball and girls lacrosse teams all won Merrimack Valley Conference titles in 2012-2013. This marks the first time since 1997-1998 that Haverhill has taken home five conference crowns in one year and it is just the third time it has been done in the modern era.

In addition to the teams that won conference championships, the following teams also had winning seasons: Football (8 wins, 3 losses), girls cross country (7-3), girls swimming (8-1-1), boys swimming (7-4), boys volleyball (10-8), baseball (13-9) and girls tennis (13-5). In all, 18 varsity programs competed as a team or sent individuals to MIAA post-season competition.

Hillies garnered five MVC Player of the Year and four MVC Coach of the Year awards, as well as one Globe Coach of the Year award. This is in addition to the many Hillie student-athletes who were named to All-Conference teams and earned monthly and weekly regional awards. Participation was also up for a second straight year and topped the 1,000 participant mark for the first time since 2006-2007.

There are many to thank for bringing the winning tradition back to Haverhill High School, including:

The Haverhill School Committee, Superintendent James Scully, Haverhill High Principal Bernie Nangle and the entire administration. Through reduction of sports fees charged to students, facility improvements and overall support, they have made athletics a priority again in the school district.

The effort and countless hours put in by the Haverhill High School coaches and athletic trainers.

Individuals such as Ernie DiBurro, whose contributions have made an incredible and lasting impact on the sports program. He has donated tens of thousands of dollars to the program.

Organizations such as Jaffarian Automotive. The Game-On promotion has resulted in more than $22,000 to assist in driving down student fees over the past two years.

The parents, community and booster clubs for their hard work and dedication.

Most of all, the student-athletes. Their commitment and dedication has helped make the Hillie sports program one of the best around.

We are looking forward to continued success in the future. The athletic program will expand next year with the addition of girls hockey. All fall sports registration information will be posted at www.hillies.org by July 10.

Have a safe and enjoyable summer. Go Hillies!

Tom O’Brien is athletic director at Haverhill High School. He contributes this regular column.