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2011-12 Jack Gabriel Nominees are listed below - congratulations to all those nominated!

AWARDS CEREMONEY IS SATURDAY, MARCH 10th @ VETERAN'S MIDDLE SCHOOL 217 PLEASANT ST. MARBLEHEAD, MA 01945 at 7:30PM

Name & Photo Bio
Sam Montanari 
DANVERS

Sam is an Eighth Grader at the Holten Richmond Middle School in Danvers where he is an Honor Roll Student and a member of the National Junior Honor Society.  Sam is a well-rounded young man with diverse interests and talents.  He plays lacrosse and baseball in Danvers and is a four year member of the Danvers Cape Ann League Travel Basketball team.  A guard with a good shooting touch, Sam works hard on defense and is a model team mate.  He is always encouraging his fellow players and always comes to practices with a positive outlook.   His sincere, genuine good nature makes him among the most well liked players on his team.
 
Sam’s diverse interests extend beyond sports.  In addition to his honor roll academic achievements and sports participation, Sam is active in the Drama Department at Holten Richmond Middle School.  This spring, he has the lead role of Reb Tevner in the school’s production of “Fiddler on the Roof” and is also a journalist as a member of the school’s “Hawks News Team”.  His hobbies include camping, biking, and hiking Mt. Washington with his family.  Sam also is an altar server at St. Richards Catholic Church, a tutor for younger students at school, and a volunteer, serving meals, at Welcome Table.  
 
As someone who has known Sam since he was five years old, and as someone who has coached football, basketball, soccer and Little League for nine years in Danvers, I can honestly say that Sam is one of the nicest, most well rounded and most genuine kids that I have known.  He truly exemplifies the Jack Gabriel spirit of Character, Teamwork, Dedication, Excellence, and Sportsmanship. It is my pleasure and privilege to nominate Sam for the 2011-2012 Jack Gabriel Award.  Coach Kevin McGuinness
Griffin Beal
NORTH READING

Griffin Beal exemplifies the values of the Jack Gabriel award (character, teamwork, dedication, excellence and sportsmanship). At the beginning of this, season I made him one of the two team captains for consistently exhibiting these values for the past 4 years. He is a very high character kid with a tremendous work ethic. He works on his game religiously and has never missing a single practice or game all season.

He is a strong team leader and I often see and hear him talking to other players, who did not think they played well, giving words of encouragement and a pat on the back. You NEVER need to worry about the effort Griffin will give…it’s always 110% every second of every game and even though he is clearly blessed with size, speed and athleticism, he is also a very skilled and fearless, hard-nosed player. 

These are qualities that will carry him very far in sports and in life. I truly believe he is the best all-around player in the league and if there were an MVP of the 8th grade CAL, I would nominate Griffin. I feel very fortunate that I have had the opportunity to coach him for the past 4 years and see him grow as a player, person and team leader. The sky is the limit for this very special player. (Honorable mention for North Reading goes to Nic Oconnell who was a very close second).
Bradley Snow
PENTUCKET

 
Bradley Snow is Pentucket’s selection for the Jack Gabriel Award.  Bradley has been a center on the team for four years.  Over this time Bradley has been dedicated to improving his basketball skills and as a result has become a very good, well-rounded player.
 
Bradley has also exhibited strong leadership characteristics.  He is the classic example of leading by example.  During practices and games, Bradley is consistently one of the hardest working kids on the court.  In addition, he is a pleasure to coach.  He always listens, holds himself accountable to fulfill his responsibilities and is usually the first to speak up if the team is not playing up to the standards we have established.
 
Bradley is well liked by all of his teammates and is a lot of fun to have on the team.  Bradley has found that great balance of competitiveness and sportsmanship.  This is very difficult to teach and is a strong indicator of his ability to approach sports the right way.
 
For all of these reasons, I believe Bradley is very deserving of the 2011-12 Jack Gabriel Award.
John Philpott
GLOUCESTER

Gloucester Travel Program is proud to nominate John Philpott (#8) for the 2011-2012 Jack Gabriel Award. 

John has exhibited every quality the award encompasses since his first day on the 5th grade team.  He has been the team leader in scoring and rebounding every year making his contribution on the court praise worthy.  His most impressive quality usually can be seen during practice or following games when his sense of humor is on display. 

When the whistle blows he is one of the most focused and hard working kids in the league but during break or practice he never misses a chance to joke and laugh when the time is right.  He is an Honor Roll Student and excels in football and baseball as well. 

I have had the pleasure of coaching in the CAL for the past 9 years and have seen so many kids that would merit selection for this prestigious award.  I believe that John is one of them and feel strongly that he meets all the qualities for consideration. 
Jason Castaldo
NORTH ANDOVER
Jason Castaldo is North Andover’s selection for the 2012 Jack Gabriel Award.  Jason is an unselfish team player who has consistently done everything the coaching staff has asked of him for the benefit of the team first.  He has been a pleasure to coach.  He can always be counted on to do the right thing when the pressure is on, and when the challenge is put in front of him.  He plays with a quiet confidence.  You won’t hear him yelling, or screaming, rather he always appears in control while giving his utmost effort.  He never complains, or backs down from a challenge.  He is the player who will be defending the other team’s best player and shutting him down.  He does so willingly, and without hesitation for the benefit of the team. He is a complete player who plays all phases of the game.
 
He is a solid example of the traits that Jack Gabriel stood for ~ character, teamwork, dedication, excellence and sportsmanship.   Whether it is grabbing a loose ball, going in from his guard position for a weak-side rebound, negotiating the press break, or hitting a key shot in crunch time, Jason handles all of it well.  He can be counted on to come through for the team.  
 
In addition to being a very good basketball player, he is a great kid to be around. He never pouts about a call, is never disrespectful to the referees, and never questions an assignment by the coaching staff. Regardless of whether we are winning or losing, Jason always gives the same consistent solid effort. 
 
Jason is well like by his teammates.   He loves the game, and plays it well.  He has a great attitude that will serve him well in basketball and life. He has been a pleasure to coach, and is someone who is truly deserving of the award. Coach Arthur Maravelis
 
Iam Cammet
MARBLEHEAD

 
Ian is an 8th grade student at the Marblehead Veterans Middle School and a member of the Marblehead 8th Grade Travel Team.  He is an excellent student and a great teammate.  All the players and coaches admire and like Ian.  He is the hardest working player on the team...never misses practices, never complains. He always leaves it all on the court and his contribution is respected and admired by fans and teammates alike.  He is an inspiration to his team by way of leadership action.  A coach’s dream is one good way to describe Ian...the kid who is always working on his game outside of team practice. Ian went from being an average shooter early in his travel career to the 8th Grade Travel Team’s best outside shooter and deep threat.  All coaches know how great shooters are made....hard work.

His quiet confidence and talents are also displayed on the baseball field.  Once his baseball coach needed a starter after injuries disqualified two pitchers in the starting rotation.  Ian happily filled in and fired a two hitter.  He loves to compete and does so with outstanding sportsmanship.
I have known Ian for 5 years and have been very impressed with his growth as an athlete and a person. 

The Jack Gabriel Award is very special award as it seeks to recognize character, teamwork, dedication, the pursuit of excellence and sportsmanship...not necessarily the MVP.  Ian may not be the most gifted player on the team but he is every coach’s number one pick.  It is my pleasure to nominate Ian Cammet for the 2011-2012 Jack Gabriel Award.
 
Marblehead Coach Bernie Blaney
Dimitri Pissios
PEABODY
Dimitri Pissios is Peabody's nominee for the Jack Gabriel Award. He represents every thing I look for in a player and a person. Dimitri is respectful, hard-working, unselfish and extremely coachable. His teammates look up to him for both his talent on the floor and the way in which he conducts himself. He is a true leader.
 
A three-year performer on the travel team, Dimitri has consistently been among the best players on the team. He can impact a game without scoring because of his ability to bring up the basketball, pass and defend. He plays the game with great energy.
 
Off the court, Dimitri is liked and respected by his teammates. An outstanding student, he is consistently on the middle school honor roll and has been selected as a member of the National Junior Honor Society. School staff also identified Dimitri as a peer mentor because of his leadership qualities. Dimitri is also sought out at his church, where he serves as an altar boy captain. He has also volunteered at different mission programs the church participates in.
  
While Dimitri is an outstanding basketball player, his No. 1 sport is soccer where he plays in a club team and is a member of the District Select Soccer.
 
It has truly been my honor to coach Dimitri and to have gotten to know him a little bit these past three years. I think he would make an excellent choice for this prestigious award.
 
Jeff Shmase, Peabody basketball coach
Nino Pingaro
MASCO

Masco's nominee for the Jack Gabriel Award is guard Nino Pingaro of Middleton. Nino is a student at St. Mary's who plays for both his school and for the Masco travel team. How he manages this, we don't know, but Nino is all about basketball. While playing for two teams might be problematic for some, it's never been an issue for him. Nino played in every one of our games this season. By now, most of our opponents know who Nino is. He's been a standout ever since fifth grade. Not surprisingly for someone who works tirelessly on his game, Nino has always been a standout ballhandler and shooter. In recent years he has learned how to run an offense and how to be a floor general. He's come to understand that it takes more than three-pointers to win basketball games. You have to do the little things. You have to see the floor. You have to identify mismatches. You have to know what defense your opponent is playing, and what plays to call to take advantage of it. Sometimes you forego your own shot and instead hit your open teammate with a crisp pass.
 
Four years ago, Nino was a talented kid who liked to shoot and liked to dribble. Now he's a kid who understands that because of his talent, the other boys on the team look to him for leadership. He understands that even the smallest guy on the floor needs to box out, because leaders do the little things. Leaders set examples. Nino understands now that defense is just as important as offense — that baskets prevented count as much as baskets scored. He understands that his teammates are watching him, and they will do as he does. The sky is the limit for Nino because he loves the game and works so hard. But as intense as he is on the court, he's never had a cross word for a teammate, a coach, or a referee in four years. He respects the game too much to lose his cool. Nino's coaches, parents, and teammates have enjoyed watching him evolve over the last four years. It goes beyond being "glad to have him on our team". It's more like "what would we do without him?" Because at Masco, Nino sets the standard for effort, for intensity, for perseverance, for sportsmanship and for leadership. 
Owen Ward
IPSWICH

The Ipswich nominee for the Jack Gabriel Award is Owen Ward. Competitive sports are humbling.  The boys on the Ipswich 8th Grade Travel basketball team have known their share of competitive challenge in that we lost more games than we won over our four years together...but we are proud of the fact that opposing teams knew they were going to be in for a fight!  As a team, we talked often about being resilient, and prideful and determined.  For us, Owen Ward was usually leading the way in forcing the opposition to be on notice that they were going to have to work hard for success that day.  In particular, we think Jack Gabriel would have liked Owen's dedication to the sport and personal character in terms of trying to be the best player he could be to help his team's chances for victory.  Owen understands basketball is a game where you win and lose as a team and that teamwork is the only way to create an environment for success.  He has worked at being better at trying to make those around him be better players and we have seen maturity in this regard over the years.  Despite the temptation to be the "scorer" for his team, he was actually at his best making crisp passes or grinding away for a rebound.  

Owen plays basketball three seasons a year (including competitive AAU teams and at Shore Country Day School), and he would be playing four seasons if his parents would only let him!  He plays because he really loves the game and the camaraderie that comes from it.  He is also committed to improving if he is going to have a chance to play at a high level in high school and beyond, and it is great to know that he has set significant goals for his basketball future.  We think Jack Gabriel would like Owen's personal interest in basketball excellence.  In a real test of commitment, Owen is one of those players who works at his game when no one else is looking.  The Ipswich coaching staff has been gratified to receive many compliments from opposing coaches and referees over the years about Owen's game and his basketball potential.  We think sportsmanship is inherent in these comments, particularly to have received the positives from so many game referees along the way.  As a coach you will need to be prepared to be challenged, but you will have a player who will work very hard to fulfill the gameplan once your own credibility has been established.  All of this coupled with a wry and very dry sense of humor makes for a solid player and personality to add to your team.  In various ways, each boy on the Ipswich team absolutely deserves his "15 minutes of fame", but we think Owen's teammates will agree he is the right choice to represent the Ipswich Tigers for the Gabriel Award.                   
Christian Goodwin
BEVERLY
Beverly is proud to present Christian Goodwin as our nominee for the 2011-12 Jack Gabriel Award. This season as well as throughout his years as a Beverly Middle School player, Christian has displayed the qualities that exemplify what Jack Gabriel stood for.

I have had the pleasure of interacting with Christian not only in Basketball as his coach, but in School as well. Christian stands as a role model for his peers and his community.  He is a person of great character and shows respect to everyone he meets. Due to his hard work and dedication Christian continues to excel in both arenas. 

As a player Christian is extremely talented and is an excellent teammate. Always unselfish, playing the game the way it is supposed to be played. He demonstrates the highest level of sportsmanship every time he takes the court and there is no equal in enthusiasm and team spirit. It is my pleasure to nominate Christian Goodwin for this excellent award that celebrates the life of Jack Gabriel and his dedication to youth sports.
Alexander Connor
NEWBURYPORT

 

I am pleased to nominate Alexander Connor from Newburyport for this year's Jack Gabriel Award. The characteristics required for the award are qualities which I would find myself using to describe Alexander's youth basketball career. Alexander's commitment to basketball shows through every practice with his dedication to improving himself as a player. He has been a team leader for his entire 4 years of travel basketball. Working himself up from the 6th or 7th man in the beginning to a starter to one of our go to guys. Alexander's actions on the court really define sportsmanship. He is a great teammate, always encouraging and always positive. He makes practice fun while at the same time working hard to improve himself as a player and a teammate. He makes other kids on our team better!

Some of Alexander's off court accomplishments include the Nock Middle School mile record holder (5:20) running cross country, playing baseball, one of Newburyport's top scorers on the Math team, he is a member of the Jazz band and auditioned and selected as a trombonist for the District Band Festival in 7th and 8th grade, he has been an Altar boy for 6 years and counting, he does volunteer work through the Greek Church, and of course is a High Honor Roll student. All of Alexander's accomplishments in his ever growing career show reasons why he has great character and why he would be an outstanding choice for the Jack Gabriel Award. Newburyport would be honored to have Alexander chosen as the winner. It has been a true pleasure to have had Alexander as part of Newburyport basketball for the past four years.

Good luck to all of the players, this is a real quality group of kids to choose from. Sean Canning, Coach Newburyport Basketball

Aidan Robinson
HAMILTON-WENHAM

Aidan is always positive and appreciative of the joy of the opportunity to play basketball. He is extremely dedicated to the team and attends every practice he is able to attend, despite a very busy schedule otherwise. He has a very high basketball IQ and works extremely hard and is always teachable and respectful. And when I say always, I mean always. 

Aidan is an 8th grader at Miles River Middle School and a High Honors Student. Has played on the Hamilton-Wenham basketball, baseball and soccer teams every year since age 6.  Also plays winter indoor soccer with H/W teams. In addition, Aidan plays club soccer year round with the Aztec soccer club

Aidan does a lot of volunteer activities including helping out various local causes – HW EdFund Christmas tree sale, Music for Mary, Gabe’s Run and others.
 
 
Jack Hennigan
MANCHESTER-ESSEX
It is with great pride that we submit Jack Hennigan as our candidate for this years ‘Jack’ Gabriel Award.
 
Jack has been the anchor of the team since the fifth grade.  Jack like most Manchester teams has never been known for his physical size.  However, there are but a few that play with Jack’s heart and intensity.  Jack always plays to win, he is a pure competitor that leaves nothing on the court. He demonstrates a work ethic on the court that has brought compliments from opposing coaches and game referees as well. His passion for the game and work ethic on the court has been contagious to other players on our team which has helped to develop our team over the past four seasons.
 
Jack is never shy to compliment a teammate or opposing player on a good play or good effort; he is also 'one of the few’ to reach-out to assist an opposing player up off of the floor.  He actions demonstrate his love and respect for the game, his teammates, opposing players and referees.  
 
Jack is a well-rounded athlete that also plays football, lacrosse and enjoys snowboarding.  His work ethic carries over into his school work where he consistently achieves a ranking of ‘high honors’ in his grades.
 
This years nominees for the ‘Jack’ Gabriel award are all very deserving candidates and it is our pleasure to submit Jack Hennigan to the list of nominees as we believe he exemplifies all the characteristics that embody this award.