Hillies Ready to Cheer on Winter Teams as Football Gives Way to Hoops, Hockey

Hillies Head Basketball Coach Souleymane Wane, 40, helps former coach Jim Calhoun raise money for charity at a recent event at University of Connecticut. (Photo courtesy of UConn)

Haverhill High School’s fall season effectively ends on Thanksgiving, when the Hillies travel to Lowell’s Cawley Stadium to play their Turkey Day rival at 10 a.m.

The Hillies enter the holiday rivalry on an upnote after a 20-8 victory over Peabody on Veterans Day. A win on Thanksgiving will give the team a 9-and-2 record. The team is unbeaten since a first-round loss to division rival Everett in the MIAA North tournament.

But as the football team hangs up its cleats, the squeak of basketball sneakers ushers in the winter athletics season.

Students hoping to compete in boys and girls Basketball, Cheerleading, Gymnastics, boys and girls Hockey, boys and girls Indoor Track, Skiing, Boys Swimming and Wrestling should plan to attend a meeting on Monday, Nov. 21, at 6 p.m. in the auditorium. Information about practice schedules, tryouts, rules and more will be discussed.

Boys Varsity Basketball Coach Souleymane Wane makes his head coaching debut on Friday, Dec. 16, in the season-opening game, on the road against Central Catholic High School.

Students and local fans will have to wait until the fourth game of the season to cheer for the Hillies on their home court, when Lowell visits HHS on Friday, Jan. 6.

The girls varsity basketball team opens with three consecutive home games, beginning Monday, Dec. 12, when the Hillies host New Mission.

Wane has spent six years on the HHS coaching staff as boys JV coach and varsity assistant, from 2008 to 2011 and again from 2013 until his appointment as varsity head coach this year.

In the interim, he was an assistant basketball coach at the University of Massachusetts Lowell.

A member of the NCAA Division I men’s basketball champion University of Connecticut Huskies team in 1999, Wane was scouted to play in the NBA for the Los Angeles Clippers, before playing professionally in Bosnia, Japan, Germany and Poland.

Born in Senegal, Wane lives in Lowell and teaches French at Haverhill High School.

Boys and girls varsity ice hockey teams participate in scrimmages on Dec. 3, then the girls team – made up of students from Haverhill, North Andover and Pentucket Regional – starts its season in earnest on Dec. 10 on the road vs. Cambridge Rindge and Latin.

The boys varsity team has two more scrimmages, on Dec. 7 and 10, before taking part in a season-opening tournament at Dracut. This year’s Haverhill Christmas Tournament for the boys team is Dec. 26 and 28. They end their season in the Newburyport Tournament on Feb. 21 and 24.

For a complete schedule of all freshman, junior varsity and varsity winter teams, visit the Haverhill Public School Department website at hillies.org and click on the “Athletics” tab.