New England Free Jacks, with Haverhill’s Own Davidowicz, to Play for Major League Rugby Title

The New England Free Jacks, with Haverhill’s own Cameron “Cam” Davidowicz, play for the first Major League Rugby title in franchise history this weekend after winning their 11th match in a row in the MLR semifinals with a 25-7 triumph against Old Glory DC at Veterans Memorial Stadium last Saturday in Quincy. This was the first Free Jacks playoff victory in franchise history – having lost to Rugby New York in last year’s semifinals. New England improved to 15-2 on the season and 23-2 at Veterans Stadium over the past three years. The Free Jacks took an 18-0 lead into the half and then delivered the crushing blow off a turnover in the 64th minute when Irish scrum half John Poland found Canadian center Ben Lesage, who booted the ball forward inside the 10-meter line where Tonga wing Taniela Filimone gathered the ball and went in for the backbreaking try. Old Glory DC broke up the shutout in the 72nd minute when Joaquin Diaz-Bonilla deftly booted the ball to Thretton Palamo, who spun past New England’s Reece MacDonald for the try to make it 25-7.

Four Northern Essex Community College Baseball Players Become NJCAA All-Americans

Four members of the Northern Essex Community College baseball team were named Monday by the NJCAA Baseball Committee as NJCAA All-Americans. The quartet of sophomores named All-Americans were highlighted by the First Team selections of pitcher Jairo Vasquez of Lawrence and Anthony Marcano of Boston as they were joined by third team selections pitcher Tristan Ciampa of Wilmington and first baseman/designated hitter Richard Matos of Boston. Vasquez, who was named the Pitcher of the Tournament at the World Series, led the nation in earned run average 0.93 and was tied for first in strikeouts with 121 over 68 innings pitched. In 14 appearances, he was 8-0 on the season with one save. His 16.01 strikeouts per nine innings also ranked second in the country.

Seven to be Inducted Next Month into Haverhill High School Hall of Fame; Award for Murphys

Seven Haverhill High School athletes from 1970 to 1996 are scheduled to be inducted into the school’s 2023 Athletics Hall of Fame next month. Haverhill High School Athletic Director Thomas E. O’Brien said Wednesday inductees are Rick Brown,’75, football and track; Samantha Good, ’96, volleyball, basketball and softball; Sara Jewett Hopkins, ’96, basketball and softball; Marc Spencer, ’91, golf; Paul St. Onge, ’70, football, wrestling and track; Amy Veilleux Simmons, ’94, volleyball and basketball; and Steve Wholley, ’74, football, indoor track and baseball. In addition, a Brown & Gold Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to Mary and Ted Murphy for their longtime support of Haverhill athletics. The Haverhill High School Hall of Fame was established in 2017 to honor former students, coaches and administrators who excelled in the field of athletics while attending Haverhill High and for their accomplishments after high school.

Haverhill YMCA’s North Shore Elite Cheer Team Brings Back Medals, Prizes

North Shore Elite, Haverhill YMCA’s Cheer Team came back this weekend from National Championships in Orlando, Fla., with bronze and silver medals, among other prizes. Among the level participating were Venom, Senior 3, winning a Bronze medal; Queen Bees Youth 2.1, taking Silver; Honey, Senior 2, winning sixth place; and Sassy Stingers, Mini 1, coming in 10th out of 17. YMCA Regional Executive Director Tracy Fuller said participation in the tournament would not have been possible without the help of Covanta Haverhill and the company’s Mark Van Weelden. “One of our teams was a silver finalist this weekend going to Nationals, and to have that support, to have some of our athletes for our Cheer Team to be able to perform on a national stage this weekend, in Florida, due to his generosity, and Covanta’s generosity, is just fantastic,” she said. North Shore Elite Cheerleading in Haverhill is a full- and half-year competitive performance recreation cheerleading program.

Haverhill YMCA’s Cheer Team Seeks Support As It Competes This Weekend in Orlando

North Shore Elite, Haverhill YMCA’s Cheer Team, is sending four teams to next weekend’s 2023 National Championships in Orlando, Fla. The North Shore Elite Performance Recreational Cheer Team competitors are Sassy Stingers, Queen Bees, Honey and Venom and compete starting this Friday. A grant from Covanta is helping to defray the cost of competition fees. “On behalf of our cheer team at the Haverhill YMCA, I am so grateful for business leaders like Mark Van Weelden and Covanta who are so willing to make sure every young athlete has an opportunity to reach their fullest potential,” said Haverhill YMCA Regional Director Tracy Fuller. She said donations are need to cover team costs, including events and gear.

Haverhill City Council Lauds HHS Wrestling Team After Fifth Place Win in New England Championships

The Haverhill High School Wrestling team, along with coach Tim Lawlor, received praise and recognition from the Haverhill City Council Tuesday following their recent fifth place win in the New England Championships. Council President Timothy J. Jordan introduced the coach and his team, praising their success this year as well as for the previous ten years.  Lawlor began by praising his two team captains, Brent Nicolosi and Cale Wood Jr.

“Cale is a two-time sectional place winner and Brent is a state champion and a two-time New England place winner and, after this weekend, he’s also now a two-time All American as he took third place in the country this past weekend,” he said. The coach also took the opportunity to introduce team members Shea Morris, a freshman who placed third in the All State Championships this year, and Matthew Harrold, also a freshman and a division one state champion who took fifth place in the country this past weekend. In congratulating the team on their success, Jordan presented them with a citation from the Council.

‘Hill Thrill’ Road Race, Honoring Michelle Benedetti, Takes Place Sunday; Benefits Scholarships

The second Annual Michelle Benedetti Memorial run and walk—this year called the “Hill Thrill Road Race”—takes place Sunday morning. Benefitting four yearly scholarships for Haverhill High School students, the 5k run and 5k walk are this year joined by a second 10-mile course as well. There will be T-shirts and a special race medallion from Ashworth Awards for all participants. An afterparty at Maria’s Restaurant, 81 Essex St., Haverhill, also returns. The Hill Thrill, as in “HaverHILL” offers the 5k route for seasoned runners, avid walkers or anyone in between.

City Council Honors Haverhill High Boys Swim and Dive Team for Championship Win

Records are made to be broken and last week the Haverhill City Council honored the Haverhill High School Boys Swim and Dive Team and their coach for doing just that. The team swam their way to a Merrimack Valley Conference Championship back in January, their first time doing so in 43 years. Dan Tanguay, a math teacher at Haverhill High and the team’s head coach explained. “We brought back 12 core swimmers this year. We had some very, very promising newcomers.