hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA

October 25, 2012

Successful fall season winds down toward playoffs

By Tom O'Brien
The Haverhill Gazette

---- — It’s hard to believe, but the Haverhill High fall sports seasons are already coming to an end.

The Hillies have made us proud so far, and we expect that to continue as the regular seasons wind down and teams prepare for the playoffs.

The golf team claimed the 2012 Merrimack Valley Conference regular season championship, finishing with a league record of 11-2-1. The Hillies were co-champs with Andover, a team Haverhill split with during the regular season. It was the first conference title for a Hillie golf team since 1997.

The volleyball team also clinched at least a share of the MVC conference title. The Hillies take a 10-4 record into their final week of the season. It is the first MVC Championship for Haverhill girls volleyball since 2000. The Hillies close out the regular season on Friday at Lawrence.

The high-powered offense of the Hillie football team was at it again on Friday night, posting a season-high 51 points en route to a big win over Dracut. With the victory, the Hillies improved to 5-2 overall and 1-1 in the MVC. They are heading into three straight games against MVC Division 2 opponents and each is important in their quest to reach the playoffs. The Hillies will host Methuen at Trinity Stadium on Friday night.. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for students and senior citizens. This year’s homecoming football game and senior night will be held on Friday, Nov. 2.

What a great season for the Hillie swimming and diving team. The squad extended its unbeaten streak to eight meets with a 97-81 win over Lowell last week. The Hillies have an overall mark of 7-1-1. Several Hillie swimmers and divers have already qualified for the MIAA Sectional Competition. They will prepare for that and the MVC Championship in the coming weeks.

The girls soccer team could be the third Haverhill team this fall to win a conference title. The Hillies have one league game remaining, a 7:30 p.m. game against Methuen on Thursday at Trinity Stadium. If the Hillies win, they clinch at least a tie for the regular season crown. They played to a 3-3 tie with Dracut last week to move Haverhill’s overall record to 6-4-5 and their MVC mark to 4-3-5. The boys and girls soccer teams will close out the regular season with a doubleheader against Pentucket on Saturday. The girls will play at noon followed by the boys at 2 p.m. at Trinity Stadium.

The girls cross country team finished the regular season with a 7-3 record. The Hillies are ranked No. 16 in the latest MSTCA State Coaches Poll. Both the boys and the girls teams will compete in the MVC Championships in Chelmsford on Saturday.

Winter sports registration forms and fees are due Nov. 8. All forms and winter schedules can be found on the Hillie Athletics web site. Please visit www.hillies.org and click on Athletics.

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