State Rep. Steve Walsh perfectly summed up the accomplishment of the St. Mary’s High School girls basketball team during his remarks at the awards banquet held on May 10 at Gannon Golf Course.
“When you come to various banquets, you often times say, ‘congratulations on a good year or congratulations on a great year,’ but you can’t have a better year that you had,” Walsh told the players and coaches on the 2010-11 team. “It was absolutely the best possible year. You can’t do any better than winning a state title. It’s impossible to do better than that.”
And that said it all eloquently and precisely.
The St. Mary’s team, led by head coach Jeffrey Newhall, won every title it could, from the KSA Classic in Orlando, Florida to the Boverini, Spartan Classic, and Catholic Central League crowns to the ultimate prize – the Massachusetts state championship at the DCU Center in Worcester.
Two of the most memorable games along the way were a tense victory over reigning North sectional champion Pentucket (who had eliminated St. Mary’s in three previous state tournaments) in the North semifinals and a thrilling win over Cohasset in the state semifinals at the TD Garden.
The Lady Spartans then traveled to Worcester and brought home the state title with an impressive win over Lee High School.
“Personally I thank you for bringing my family great enjoyment in having shared this season with you,” said Walsh, who attended several games. “To the young women that were involved with this team, you were a credit to yourselves because you were an extraordinarily cohesive group of people.
“To the parents who supported you, what a great bunch of folks and the ride they all had together on behalf of their daughters, and to this eclectic coaching staff that put so much time in – they’re an extraordinary bunch of gentlemen who believed from Day 1 that this team would win the state championship,” said Walsh.
Walsh then concluded his remarks, telling the players, “You have been great ambassadors for your school and your communities. Thank you for that, congratulations and good luck in the future.”
“That was a great speech,” St. Mary’s Head of School Dr. Raymond Bastarache said after Walsh’s remarks.
Newhall presented special individual awards to seniors Tori Faietta (Most Outstanding Player), Kirsten Ferrari (Most Valuable Player), and Cassi Amenta (Most Valuable Player in the Post Season).
Mike Amenta, father of Cassi Amenta, received an appreciation award.
Each member of the state championship team received a state championship team plaque, a Nike sweat shirt and T-shirt, and an MIAA state champion replica trophy. The seven seniors also received beach towels and duffel bags.