Anyone who knows me will tell you that I am an intense, dedicated coach who is passionate about the game of basketball. Anyone who has watched me coach my team can tell you about the high expectations I place on them, and will understand my reason for nominating my son Benjamin Oliver for this honor. It is tough being the coach’s kid. Being the coach’s son puts a lot of pressure on a player, as they are often used as an example. Expectations are higher and therefore mistakes are magnified. The drives home after an unexpected or frustrating loss meant having to listen to me criticize and recount all of the players’ mistakes as if they were only his. Throughout the past four years Benjamin has absorbed the brunt of my frustration when the team didn’t give the expected effort or were lacking focus and consistency. No one would have blamed Benjamin if he was to voice his frustrations or withdraw from the team, but this never happened. Benjamin’s high level of character was consistently on display as he showed tremendous resilience to the criticism, while leading as best he could by giving his all, and being a loyal and dedicated teammate.
Benjamin has produced at a high level and played a vital part in his team’s success over the past four seasons. He has worked hard to improve his defensive play and ball handling skills in an effort to be a more complete player. He is our best jump shooter and has worked diligently over the past year at improving his range which has led to him becoming a lethal 3 point shooter and invaluable weapon for his team. Benjamin has also led his team in free throw percentage for all four years.
Benjamin has been fully dedicated to his team and coaches throughout all of the ups and downs of each season. He is not a loud person by nature but quietly leads by giving everything he has in every game, practice, drill, or sprint, leading by example while encouraging his teammates to do the same. He has never missed a practice or game. As a matter of fact he hasn’t missed a day of school since the second grade, an accomplishment that he is very proud of. He knows that being part of a team means sacrificing and organizing his time to be able to fully commit to his team. Benjamin is a highly competitive and driven young man but doesn’t allow this to cloud his judgment as it pertains to sportsmanship. He is quick to encourage his teammates, congratulate his opponents, and offer his best wishes no matter the outcome. He acknowledges the officials after each game with a fist pump and a polite thank you.
Benjamin has represented his team and the Gloucester program with true class and excellence throughout his four years. There is no doubt this experience will help him navigate the journey ahead of him. It has been truly awesome these past four years coaching, watching, and spending time with Benjamin. I have learned more from him than he has from me. As accomplished as Benjamin’s basketball skills are, they are secondary to his high character, commitment, and passion for others. Mike Oliver, Gloucester 8th Grade coach
There are few things in life that carry as much unfair weight, for better or for worse, than expectations. Fourteen-year-old young men respond the same way to expectations as those of us thirty years their senior – they can manage them, meet them, and sometimes exceed them. Far too often, people can also crumble beneath the weight of them. Such it was that when a new eighth grader moved to Newbury last summer, he arrived bearing the weight of many expectations; he was a three-year travel player on one of the better teams in Cape Ann (Peabody), he was taller and stronger (by a wide margin) than anyone that I had ever had on my roster before, and he carried a last name that was easily recognized by every person in Essex County that knew anything about local basketball (Letarte). In short, Sean Letarte arrived ready to fail; who could live up to all of those expectations? Well, there is no suspense here – he not only failed to fail, he became the heart of our team.
I would imagine that this nomination is unique in that I had the experience of coaching against Sean when he was at Peabody and the pleasure of being his coach at Triton. Regardless of whether he was my player or my team’s opponent, he was (and is) a class act. That’s not to say he is a pushover on the court (far from it – you try and get a rebound from that kid). His basketball IQ is, of course, off the charts, but on top of that Sean is literally the nicest, most polite player I have ever coached.
Sean came into a difficult situation for a young man – as an eighth grader he found himself in a new school with classmates he didn’t know and on a new Cape Ann team with teammates that only looked familiar from playing them once in each of the previous three years. None of that mattered. His character is so high, his dedication so intense, and his heart so large, that in short order Sean became the anchor of our team this year. As I end four years of coaching this team, my one regret is that I only got to coach Sean for one year – not because of wins and losses, but because it is such an honor to coach a player who makes every single one of his teammates that much better. Matt Doring,Triton Basketball Coach
The Amesbury8 travel basketball team would like to nominate Shane O’Leary for the 2014-2015 Jack Gabriel Award.
Every coach in this league would want a “Shane O’Leary” on their team, if they did they would all be better for it (players and coaches alike). Shane is an extremely gifted athlete and excels in multiple sports, two of which I have had the pleasure to coach him. Even more important is Shane’s character, dedication, team mentality and sportsmanship (all of which I am sure would have made Jack Gabriel notice him). He is modest about his athletic ability, which is not easy for a young man with his ability at this age, but this is who he is.
In addition to Shane’s actions on the court he is an honor roll student at Amesbury Middle School. Shane’s middle school assistant principal, Steven O’Connor, recently wrote the following in a recommendation letter for Shane, which I couldn’t have said better myself “To be an outstanding student, a tremendous athlete and demonstrate leadership skills all the while maintaining a grounded unpretentious personality is a rare feat for a middle school student”.
To me as a coach, watching Shane grow up, it is the way he treats his teammates and fellow competitors which sets him apart and is his best quality, in my eyes. He is always supportive, in a positive way, to his teammates and helps them rise to a higher level. In a recent game I called a time out and we were down with about 6 minutes left and Shane told the team in the time out “let’s go guys, we are only down by 12, we have time to come back”. When most kids were feeling down and hopeless, Shane lifted them up through his words and through his actions on the court.
It is a pleasure to nominate Shane O’Leary and it is our hope that he will be a strong candidate for this award. Dave Vincent, Amesbury8 Head Coach
Owen Cairns is our choice for this years’ Jack Gabriel Award. Owen is a 4-year starter who has shown great effort, teamwork, sportsmanship and dedication to the Beverly Travel program, making him an excellent choice for the award. He is a student-athlete any coach would love to have on their team. He is always attentive to a coach’s instruction, executes it to the best of his ability, communicates well with his teammates and looks to improve his game season after season!
Owen is one of the best shooters on our team yet he does not hesitate to make that extra pass to an open teammate. He will do whatever it takes to compete. His shooting ability has enabled Owen to represent our team year after year for the free throw contest at the Jack Gabriel Awards Night, winning the contest in 2013 and 2014! Owen understands that success cannot always be measured by winning, but by knowing he put forth the effort to the best of his ability. I believe Owen does just that, at every practice, at every game, and in every classroom. Owen is an honor roll student at Briscoe Middle School which exemplifies his efforts in the classroom as well as the gym.
He has the natural ability to play basketball and the character to excel in life.
It has been my great pleasure to coach Owen for the last 4 years and I am very proud to nominate him for the Jack Gabriel Award.
Peabody has nominated Michael “Mike” Tansey for the 2014-2015 Jack Gabriel Award. Mike has been a three year player for the Cape Ann Travel Team and has competed at a high level despite some significant obstacles for a young man to endure. When Mike was in 4th grade, Mike’s father was in a serious car accident that has confined him to a wheel chair. This was a traumatic incident for the Tansey family both personally and financially. Six months later, Mike suffered a serious arm injury while playing baseball. The extent and severity of his injury kept Mike in a full length arm brace from his shoulder to his wrist and kept him inactive from sports for close to a year. With continued determination and perseverance, Mike was able to maintain a positive attitude and was always around a court or field supporting his teammates, even though he was not able to participate. When Mike was cleared to play sports again, he slowly made his way back into organized sports and committed to making himself a better athlete and player for the benefit of the team.
Mike’s participation in sports was also a good outlet for the Tansey family as they tried to retain some normalcy in their life despite the day to day struggles they endured. In the last few years, Mike (and his Dad), have exhibited continued resiliency and character in the strides they have made toward recovery. This year, Mike currently plays on four different basketball teams and can always be found playing a sport. Mike has been an active participant in Peabody youth sports including, football, soccer, basketball, lacrosse, baseball and track. On the court or on the field, Mike is a driven athlete that always exhibits dedication to his team and respect to his adversaries. Mike is, and has always been, a selfless player that will often be found in the middle of the action doing whatever it takes to win. Mike is the consummate teammate who does all of the fundamental things needed (rebounding, passing, setting screens, defense etc.) to win games. Furthermore, Mike is very coachable and is always respectful to his coaches, referees and teammates. Mike will always have a smile on his face win or lose after a game.
As a student, Mike is also very active at the Higgins Middle School. Mike is an honor roll student, a member of the Student Advisory Board, a peer mentor and Peabody’s Ambassador to Governor Baker’s Project 351 organization, which celebrates outstanding leadership and community service. Although the last few years have been very challenging for Mike and his family, Mike’s character, excellence, teamwork, sportsmanship and dedication continues to remain constant. Peabody is pleased to include Mike Tansey for consideration of the Jack Gabriel Award.
Billy Whelan is the Hamilton Wenham nominee for the Jack Gabriel award, selected unanimously by his coaches and through a private player vote from his teammates.
As we reflected on what the Jack Gabriel Award represents: character, sportsmanship, dedication, teamsmanship and commitment to excellence, it was very easy to nominate Billy Whelan.
Billy has been a leader and dedicated member of the Hamilton Wenham travel basketball league for the last 4 years. A fierce competitor on the court, and a humble and courteous player off the court. He loves the thrill of competition as much as making new friends. Billy’s off-court friendship with several of his competitors from the Cape Ann League is only evidence of his character, kindness and openness to meet other individuals. The love for the game, the bonds of friendship and competitiveness make it all the more special to watch. On the court, Billy is a leader, motivator, competitor and always encouraging and supportive. Billy always puts the team first. He leaves everything on the court and always gives 110%. One thing Billy carries with him is a lesson taught by his grandfather a great sports enthusiast “no matter what always win with grace and/or lose with grace.”
Billy’s love for basketball began when he was 2 years old, he would spend hours at the gym during his sisters basketball practices and games, often shooting and playing with kids much older. His love and dedication for the game only grew as the years progressed. His dedication and commitment to excellence is evident in the amount of hours Billy spends on and off season continuing to hone his skills and bring his game to the next level. Billy has never missed a practice and or an open gym time. Many times he is the first one there or the last to leave. On game day, Billy is often seen at the gym from the first game of the day at 11am to watch his younger sister, until the last game is over at 5pm. He loves everything about the Cape Ann League and cheering on his town. Billy learned from an early age to encourage and support younger kids and kids from other teams. Billy often looks to play pick up games and will independently go to the YMCA in Ipswich to find them. He actively enjoys participating in Team Night Saturday nights. This has grown into great friendships and camaraderie with other basketball players from different towns.
Kevin Barboza, Billy’s AAU coach adds “I have had the great opportunity to coach Billy over the past two years. Billy is unique in that he maintains a high skill level, unmatched intensity and great communication skills both during practice and in games. Billy lives to compete and is motivated to be the best in all that he chooses to do. He is an exceptional athlete, basketball player, student and above all person. Billy Whelan exemplifies the term student athlete.”
Billy’s first love is basketball, but he is also multi-sport athlete. He has been a leader on the football field as the quarterback for the last 4 years, earning the Cape Ann All Star award for Hamilton Wenham. In addition, he was voted to the Williamsport All Star team where they became District finalist. Billy also enjoys tennis and golf.
Off the basketball court, Billy is a straight A student and a member of Student Council. He recently began teaching Sunday School at the Church of St. Paul and participates wherever possible to mentor the young kids in K-2 athletics in town.
As coach of the Newburyport 8th grade travel team, it is with great pride that I nominate Harry Bovee as our town's representative for the Jack Gabriel Award. I have coached Harry for all 4 years of travel basketball, and I have had the opportunity to help teach him the game of basketball, and get to know him as a player and now as a fine young man.
On the Newburyport 8 team we have a lot of great kids. I wish I could nominate them all, but there are many things that set Harry apart as a nominee deserving of this award. To me, this award is about a players' travel basketball career, and not just an 8th grade award. This is not an MVP award, although Harry would earn some votes from me if it were. This award is about hard work, character, player development, dedication, great attitude, and contribution to the TEAM. Harry has all of those things. Starting out in 5th grade, Harry was somewhat new to town, and I didn't recognize him or know him from previous years of in-town ball. I did notice a kid who was fairly tall, and who was very fast in the sprints at our tryout. Well Harry couldn't really shoot the ball, and didn't have much experience playing organized basketball, but he was in the mix for a spot on the team. Initially Harry didn't make the travel team, but a week later a spot opened up, which we offered to Harry. The rest is history. In our first travel game Harry pulled down something like 15 rebounds. He has always rebounded and defended beyond his size, and beyond my expectations, due to his relentless energy and will to win.
Harry has worked on his game harder than any kid I know. He can often be seen down at Cashman park playing pick up ball with anyone who is around, and his work in the off-season really started to pay off during his 6th grade travel season. We were down a key player for most of the season, and Harry more than anyone really stepped up as a team leader. He has often drawn the task of guarding the other team's best player, or biggest player, and he has never complained. He has played hurt, he has played sick, he has hardly ever missed a practice or a game, and he always competes--hard. That year he helped to lead the team to the Div 2 Championship, where again he had to guard some much bigger kids throughout the playoffs.
Harry is now nearly six feet tall, still extremely fast, and is still competing extremely hard. He has worked on his outside shooting, can bury his free throws, and is working on a nice jump shot. Harry is terrific in the open court, can handle the ball, and drive to the hoop as well as most 8th graders I have seen. He is a team player. During one stretch this season I asked Harry to use his talents of driving to the basket to create easy shots for his teammates, which he did. He led the team in assists for several games in a row after that talk. He is humble and still hungry to keep learning the game. He has provided leadership during practices and games by communicating with teammates at the most important times. If we need floor spacing, Harry often takes charge and resets the offense, pointing to kids where they should be. Harry is also very smart, and will ask the right questions if I don't do a good job of explaining what I am looking for.
Harry has been a high honor student at the Nock middle school for several semesters, and he has volunteered his time to help instruct younger players that are coming up through our in-town league. He also plays soccer, and runs track- setting a Newburyport Middle School record in the high jump. Because of how far he has come in these short 4 years, his dedication to the game and his teammates, his good sportsmanship and high character, I hope Harry Bovee will be strongly consider for the Jack Gabriel Award. Craig McLaren, Newburyport 8th Grade Coach.
The Manchester Essex 8th grade travel team would like to nominate Ryan O'Connell for the Jack Gabriel Award. Ryan has been playing in our program since 5th grade.
I have had the pleasure of being involved in Ryan's basketball journey since kindergarten, and have been very proud of watching him grow and progress as a basketball player and as an essential teammate. Every coach could find several reasons to nominate each of his or her players, but there are a few characteristics that bring that certain player to the forefront.
Ryan's consistency, determination, and dedication to the team over the past four years have proven him to be a very important part of the Hornet's program, and someone that would be an asset to any team. He is extremely coachable and is a hard worker on the court. Ryan has a deep knowledge of the game, which usually puts him in the right place at the right time, and gives his teammates someone they can rely on. I have watched him give his all on both the offensive and defensive side of every play whenever he steps on the floor.
For Ryan it's not always about taking the first shot, but more about making an effort to assure that his team has the opportunity for a second or third attempt to score. He loves the game, and is respectful to the coaches, players, and officials. Besides basketball, Ryan plays football, lacrosse and baseball at a very competitive level.
Along with school and sports, he enjoys playing the guitar, and writing his own songs. He is a well-rounded person on and off the basketball court, and someone who will finish their travel team experience with a big smile on his face, win or lose. It has been an honor to have coached Ryan, and to have been given this opportunity to nominate him for an award that truly captures Ryan's true spirit.
The Haverhill Y 8 team would like to nominate Clayson Briggs for the 2014-2015 Jack Gabriel Award. The Jack Gabriel award represents character, dedication, teamwork, excellence and sportsmanship. Clayson fits all those qualities.
This is Clayson’s second year as a player on the Haverhill Y travel team. I’m glad to have Clayson on the Haverhill Y 8 team because he is the type of player that every coach would love to have. He is extremely dedicated to his team. He hasn’t missed a practice all year. He is very respectful of his coaches and his teammates. He is not afraid to open his mouth in practice whenever one of his teammates is out of line. Coaches love that! He never complains or hangs his head. Clayson consistently keeps a positive mood, listens, and works hard towards conquering whatever challenges face him on the court.
Off the court Clayson is a great kid! He is a straight A student. He is the only 8th grader in the Haverhill district taking an Algebra 2 class. Therefore he has to wake up early every morning to take a bus to Haverhill High School, so that he can take his two high school classes (Algebra 2 and Latin 1), before he even begins his day at Hunking Middle School. That is dedication and excellence! With such a busy schedule, Clay still finds a way to maintain a great attitude. Clayson is also a member of the Model UN club, Mock Trial Club, and the Academic Bowl team. Outside of school he volunteers to help his mother coach a youth girls’ basketball team at the Haverhill YMCA.
As his coach, I’m very proud to nominate Clayson Briggs for the Jack Gabriel Award. He truly represents all the qualities that the Jack Gabriel award stands for.
It is with great pleasure to nominate Patrick Dillon to represent the Pentucket basketball program as a 2015 Jack Gabriel nominee. Patrick has been in the Pentucket travel program all four years and on the Cape Ann League team for three years. I have had the pleasure of coaching Patrick for the past two years in the travel program and summer league. He is the epitome of a hardworking, selfless, team first player that any coach would be excited to have on his team.
Patrick is a soft spoken person who leads by example with a tireless work ethic and a smile that never fades. Although he has a calm demeanor, he is a fierce and aggressive competitor who never stops hustling, always is coachable, and brings a positive attitude towards his teammates. During the past two seasons Patrick has become our most versatile player. He will play on the starting unit, come off the bench, play multiple positions for our team during the game and excel thru his hard work and determination. There has never been a moment in my years coaching Patrick that I had to get on him for his effort. He competes one hundred percent every day, whether it is practice or a game and is the first kid to say thank you after a game or practice to the coaching staff.
Patrick is a multi-dimensional kid and is more than just a basketball player. He is an honors student who takes great pride in his grades and excels in soccer & lacrosse for Pentucket. He has had great success in soccer for Pentucket and his club soccer team. Patrick was on the winning MA state tournament last spring as well as winning the NH state tournament with his club soccer team. Patrick always brings a winning attitude to any environment and is well liked amongst his teammates.
The youth sports programs available to kids today are a great opportunity and platform for kids to compete learn and have fun. All too often we see the unfortunate other side of the youth sports program with overzealous coaches and parents as well as entitled players with poor attitudes. Patrick Dillon is the complete opposite of this and would do the Jack Gabriel award proud if he was to be selected as this year’s recipient.
The Marblehead 8th Grade travel basketball team proudly nominates Eli Cohen for the 2015 Jack Gabriel award. Eli is a four year starter and two year captain of the 6th and 7th grade defending Cape Ann Youth Basketball champions.
Eli is unquestionably Marblehead’s team leader on and off the floor. He leads by example and often offers words of encouragement to not only his teammates, but opposing players as well. Eli’s sportsmanship is on display in every game. Through the his Cape Ann league experiences and summer basketball league competitions, Eli has cultivated lasting friendships with a number of players on opposing teams. It is not uncommon to see Eli exchanging pleasantries with an opponent during a stop in play or when lining up for a free throw.
Eli’s maturation as a leader and sportsman on the court is something we have observed since we began coaching Eli in 5th Grade. Eli is a caring young man with an excellent sense of humor. This in no way detracts from his competitiveness on the court. While we know that Eli is one of the best all-around players in the league in terms of his offense, rebounding, assists, steals and defense, we believe it is his role as team leader and league sportsman where he stands out the most.
Eli and his teammates have worked very hard to make Marblehead a successful basketball team. Eli takes great pride in his team’s success and always displays good sportsmanship no matter the outcome of the game. Eli is the consistent all around presence of our teams year after year. His maturity as a player and a person has grown over the last four years and he is relied upon by his teammates and coaches to be a steady influence game after game and practice after practice. He is respectful and courteous to his teammates, opponents, coaches, and referees. Eli thanks his coaches after every practice and the referees after every game. Eli takes his role as a team leader and sportsman seriously and demonstrates this through his actions and words every day.
Travel basketball takes priority for Eli from November through March. Eli is passionate about basketball and regularly shares his excitement for the game with the coaches, his teammates and younger members of the program. He can often be found in the gym before or after practice helping someone who is trying to improve some facet of their game. Playing football and baseball in addition to basketball is a challenge that Eli meets with enthusiasm. Eli is an Honors student and masterfully balances his school work with his sports and family commitments. Eli sets the standard as a student-athlete and we are fortunate to have coached such a well-rounded young man who has his priorities in order.
Eli is certainly worthy and deserving of the Jack Gabriel Sportsmanship Award and embodies Jack Gabriel’s commitment to fun and sportsmanship. Jack Gabriel led by example, and never cared about taking credit, which is exactly how we would describe Eli.
D.J. Green Head basketball coach and David Sherf assistant basketball coach Marblehead 8th Grade travel team.
I am extremely proud to nominate to this group of fine candidates, Mikey Gorgoni of the North Andover 8th grade Cape Ann league team for the Jack Gabriel Award. Mikey exemplifies what a youth athlete who is growing and learning his way should be; a hard-working, supportive and unselfish teammate who is respectful to coaches and opposing players alike. Mikey has a passion for the game which I have seen in no other youth basketball player. He shows up early for practice and stays late to shoot free throws. Mikey has a basketball IQ that would rival all youth and most high school and college players. He is literally a player/coach on the floor. Mikey’s drive to succeed both as an individual player and as a part of his team fuels his intensity during games and work ethic in practice. He pushes his teammates hard, to unearth the best of what they can be as players and teammates.
While I don’t interpret the Gabriel award to be about a player’s basketball skill, Mikey is a highly skilled basketball player. His dribbling, shooting, defensive and mental skills are as strong as any player in the very stout Cape Ann League. Any coach would want Mikey on the floor, with the ball in his hands and the game on the line!
Off the court, Mikey is a kind, caring, fun loving and funny kid. He has an “old soul” which generates many laughs from the coaching staff. Mikey carries these fine attributes to the class room, baseball diamond and “around town”. Mikey will be successful at whatever endeavor the road leads him to. I am so proud to have had the opportunity to coach Mikey the past three years – I WILL MISS HIM.
Congratulations to all the nominees for The Jack Gabriel Award. I had the pleasure to know Jack. He is looking down proudly on each of you.
Brien Moriarty - North Andover 8th grade travel coach
Just a short 15 years ago, I was just a normal parent watching my son play basketball across the CAL. After a 10-year leave of absence, I was very fortunate to get back into coaching with this class of 2015. Even thought all the names & faces have changed, the one thing that I have observed is that the league is still thriving and improving each year. Thriving in a sense of taking little boys and molding them into young men thru the game of basketball.
I believe our team is unique than any other team because neither coach has any children playing on this team. In this era of youth sports, most parents & players are not familiar or comfortable with an outsider coaching their son. From day one, our primary objectives have been to improve each player’s skill level; build character; demonstrate sportsmanship; prepare each player for the next level and have fun doing it. The one individual that relished this opportunity is Ryan Connor. It is with extreme honor & pride that North Reading adds Ryan to this wonderful group of candidates for the Class of 2015 to carry on Mr. Gabriel’s legacy.
Since the first practice back in 5th grade, I instinctively knew there was something special about Ryan. Even as a 5th grader, Ryan exemplified all of the characteristics that Mr. Gabriel represents. His work ethic and dedication to achieve individual & team excellence has always started with practice. Ryan always comes to practice prepared; he arrives early to work on individual skills with coaches; and he practices every play at game speed. Ryan is a three-sport athlete and more importantly, a high honor student thru-out his studies. He was chosen as Team Leader by his teammates and has consistently led our team in scoring, rebounding and assists each game, but you will never hear him brag about it. He continues to remain humble in his role, but his primary focus has always been about the Team being first. Ryan hasn’t missed a practice or game over the past four years. In fact, this year, Ryan missed playing in the first 20 games due to a serious football injury. Over this span, he attended every single practice & game to show his support, leadership and encouragement to his teammates.
As a result of Ryan’s high basketball IQ’s and tremendous leadership skills, he has become an extension of the coaches when he is playing on the court. When he makes a mistake, he has the natural ability to tell coaches what the mistake was & how to correct it before the coach can. He is the constant role model for perfection & excellence. He has a great quality that allows him to make every player around him better. From a coach’s standpoint, these qualities exemplify why it has been important to our team to have Ryan on the court as much as possible.
It has been remarkable to watch Ryan mature and develop into young man both on and off the court as he enters the next phase of his life, but the true reward has been how much I have learned from him as his coach. I believe Mr. Gabriel would be extremely proud to have Ryan carry on his legacy just as much as I have been honored to be his coach.
The Masconomet 8th grade CAL team nominates Keegan Dooley for the 2014-2015 Jack Gabriel Award.
Keegan joined our team for the 6th grade season after spendinghis 5th grade season as one of the top players in the Eastern League. Aided by a growth spurt, he stood out at tryouts and was an easy choice to make the team. Joining an established team (league runner-up in 5th grade) is not an easy task. Learning new plays and positions can take a full season; however, Keegan gelled quickly with his coaches and teammates and quickly became one of our defensive stoppers. I vividly remember calling on him in close games down the stretch to defend the opponent’s best player and watching him shut them down.
Keegan is not typically our high scorer nor does he own our highest shooting percentage, but he has a great ability to get us a basket in critical situations. I can remember many games where his only basket came at a crucial time and allowed us to win the game.
Keegan will do whatever is needed on the court. He has no fear in diving for a loose ball or mixing it up with bigger players down low. Although he is more suited to the 4 position, I have played him at all positions. Despite being an undersized 5 or oversized 1, Keegan would just accept his assignment and do his best to deliver.
Keegan never complains and is always the first to come to attention when the coaches call. He plays hurt and plays through injuries. When a fractured finger injury from football was re-aggravated during the early season, Keegan couldn’t stomach to miss a key matchup versus a rival team. He taped up the finger and played.
Keegan is quiet by nature and leads by example. He is always hustling and is frequently the first to the huddle when the coaches call. He listens attentively to the coaches’instructionand is respectful to all. After practice or games, he is always first to thank the coaches.
Keegan is not just a one sport star. He played defensive back on the Masco 8th grade CAYFL Super Bowl Champion football team. It was no surprise to me that he won the Coaches Award for embodying what a teammate should be.
Keegan is not just focused on athletics. His is an honor roll student at Masconomet Middle School. He loves to read and his favorite subject is History.Keegan also volunteers in the community. During this particularly harsh winter, he shoveled walkways, driveways and rooftops of many of his elderly neighbors.
Keegan clearly demonstrates the traits that Jack Gabriel stood for and the Masconomet 8th Grade CAL players and coaches strongly feel that Keegan be considered for this award.
Mike has worked hard to understand and appreciated the demands of the games. He desire to compete and improve his teammates in practice and games is ongoing.
Mike has worked hard to develop his game and his on court leadership the past 2 year has been instrumental.
Although we have not had much success team wise throughout the past four years, Mikes passion for the game has not once been altered. I think it has made him realize how much more he really loves and appreciates the game. Mike truly would be deserving of this award.
Lynnfield has nominated Mitchell Kalogeros for the 2014-2015 Jack Gabriel award.
Mitchell has been a four year travel team player who has shown great work ethic, teamwork, sportsmanship and dedication to the Lynnfield Travel program.
Mitchell is the most skilled player on our team and continues to work extremely hard to improve his overall game.
Always very supportive of fellow teammates, he leads by his actions on and off the court.
As his coach for the last two years I'm proud to nominate Mitchell Kalogeros for the Jack Gabriel award. His character, dedication, teamwork and sportsmanship represent the qualities required for the Jack Gabriel award.