CONGRATULATIONS TO NOLAN DRAGON OF PENTUCKET FOR WINNING THE JACK GABRIEL AWARD
1. Manchester-Essex - Sean Nally
I think that all of the opposing coaches would recognize Sean as the quick little left-handed point guard for Manchester-Essex who never stops running on offense or defense. His effort in the games is the same in practice. He is always one of the first in the gym and has shown a true passion for the game for as long as I’ve known him. Sean is one of our most talented ballplayers, but even if he weren’t I would give him this nomination based upon his dedication, leadership skills, and overall respect that he has always displayed for his coaches, teammates, referees, and opposing coaches and players.
2. Hamilton-Wenham White - Blair Villa
Blair exemplifies what it is to be a team player. He is hard working and unselfish, just two of the things that make him a great player. He is also committed to improving as a player and doing whatever will benefit the team. He will be a great candidate for the award.
3. Pentucket - Nolan Dragon - WINNER
Nolan has been one of the best players in the league for 4 years now but more importantly he has demonstrated all the characteristics that the Jack Gabriel Award stands for. He is a role model at practice always giving his best effort and leading by his example. His unselfishness has rubbed off on his teammates and made us a better team. He exemplifies sportsmanship on and off the court, never getting down on teammates, treating opposing players with respect, never questioning officials, and always demonstrating self control even in pressure situations.
When Jack created this league many years ago, he envisioned a competitive league where the players could compete but also learn life lessons. Nolan Dragon is the type of athlete that Jack Gabriel would love and exemplifies the vision that Jack had for the league's impact on our kids development and character for their future endeavors.
4. North Andover - Jimmy Warden
Jimmy is a microcosm of his team which, while undersized, compensates largely through heady play and relentless defense. On a team without stars, Jimmy stands out for the qualities embodied in the Gabriel award. No one works harder. He has made himself into a good shooter and ball handler but his consistent effort, fearless approach to the game and selflessness have earned him the respect of his teammates who look to him as a leader. He is the ultimate teammate; as quick with congratulations or words of encouragement as a timely pass to a cutting teammate. Finally, Jimmy is accountable. He makes no excuses for failures and defines success through team accomplishments.
5. Masconomet - Adam Bramanti
Adam is a 4 year starter and our most dedicated player. Although he is the team's best shooter, Adam takes his greatest pride in defending the opposing team's best player. He respects the game of basketball and always gives 100%. He is the first person to help a teammate or opponent from the floor and to shake hands with the officials after the game. Adam has a great sense of humor, is a pleasure to coach and is a terrific teammate. He personifies everything this award represents.
6. Danvers - Alex Silva
Alex is one of our hardest working players and thru hard work has been our most improved player over four years, to the point where he is now one of our best players. While a hardnosed defender and unselfish offensive player, he has always been a complete gentleman both on and off the court and a pleasure to coach.
7. Lynnfield - B.J. Neil
B.J. has a heart condition but still gives 100% in every game and practice. He has played every position on our team when asked because of missing or injured players without complaint. He is not the best player on the team but he has one of the highest basketball IQ's on our team and consequently is considered a leader for our team.
8. Newburyport - Matt Tolley
From being fortunate enough to coach Matt, we believe he exemplifies the characteristics Jack Gabriel embraced. First, Matt is an excellent basketball player. He has started every game the past two seasons, and is our best all-around player. He continues to push himself to improve every week by working hard in practice and giving his best effort during every game on both ends of the court. While Matt's outstanding play has a positive impact on each of our games, his dedication and natural leadership skills have a dramatic impact on every member of our team. Like all teams, we run multiple wind sprints each practice. Matt, while clearly not our fastest player, has won every wind sprint we have done since October. Nearly half of our players are in their first year of basketball at this level of play, and having the best player working that hard in every drill and every practice has had a dramatic effect on the new players' own dedication. In addition, at practice and in games, Matt always makes sure that all members of the team, not just the starters, know that their contributions are highly valued. He is a great positive role model, and goes out of his way to welcome everyone, encourage them, and he consistently teams up on drills with the second stringers. That type of teamwork and sportsmanship has been very valuable to our team, and is very unique in our coaching experience. Finally, it important to note that, while Matt plays the game with a high level of intensity, he neither "trash talks" with other players nor makes remarks to officials. He is respectful of the game, his teammates, the opposition, the referees and his coaches. Each of these examples goes to Matt Tolley's overall character. He loves basketball, and has taken on the responsibility to make himself a very fine player. More to the point, though, by his example, he has shown all of us how that leadership translates into character and
9. Ipswich - Jonathan Fierro
10. Marblehead - Gus Percy
Gus has played on three teams this season, but kept his priorities straight by making "honors" in school. While so many of the players on our team and in the CAL are "great kids" - Gus stands out in the manner in which he treats his coaches, teammates and officials, that is with appreciation and respect. He works very hard, is always polite and has a great sense of humor. It is a pleasure to nominate Gus as the Marblehead nominee.
11. Gloucester - Cameron Davis
He is small in size..but has a big heart and a sweet shot..(when he can get it off against taller players)..and he fights (plays defense) all the way until the end of the game no matter the score
12. North Reading – Matt King
Matt is our quiet leader. He does not say much… but leads mostly by example. His strong work ethic and dedication to the sport exemplify what this award is all about. Matt has a lot of talent but is unselfish making everyone around him better…he is a true team player and has a very bright future in basketball. It has been a pleasure coaching him for the past 4 years and I am extremely proud to nominate him as our candidate from
the North Reading 8th grade boys team.
13. Peabody - Brendon Moran
The 8th grade season is a big transition year for our student athletes. These boys are turning into young men right before our eyes. During this growth and maturity process many of student athletes decide to move in other directions, which is many cases is very positive and healthy. However, our coaching staff firmly believes that continued participation in athletics enhances these young men’s overall development in a positive way. With this in mind, we have seen this year’s nominee exemplify many of John J. Gabriel positive characteristics in the following ways: Character, Brendon understands he is not the most talented player but comes to practice with a positive attitude about his own abilities as well as all his teammates. Teamwork, he displays a sincere happiness for his teammates when they are positively contributing to the team. Dedication, Brendon was one of the team leaders in his attendance to practices and games. In addition, to just attending the practices and games he took it upon himself to act in a “captain” fashion when his teammates needed assistance. In closing, Brendon is one of the many worthy candidates that we had on our Peabody team. Brendon is the type of kid that makes the job of coaching very enjoyable. I am sure Peabody is no different than the other participating communities so I have to conclude John J. Gabriel would be very proud of players in our league.
14. Beverly - Will Gotsch
This boy is a perfect player for us to nominate for this award. All the coaches, parents and kids agreed.