Even when All-Scholastic Helen Ridley left Lynn after a superlative high school basketball career to become a Division 1 college player at Quinnipiac University, she still had the city in her heart.
For it was Helen Ridley who attracted the attention of another Lynn Classical great – All-Scholastic Monique Lee – who followed the Class of 2005 graduate to Quinnipiac. Lee accepted the school’s scholarship offer, played alongside Ridley, a senior captain, for one season, and became a 1,000-point scorer there.
Ridley would later return to Quinnipiac as an assistant coach, excelling as a recruiter while the program rose to the top of the Northeast Conference.
And now Helen Ridley has decided to return to Classical as an assistant coach in the girls basketball program under head coach Tom Sawyer.
There is no doubt that Helen will be a tremendous addition to the Classical program. Both director of athletics Bill Devin and coach Tom Sawyer feel that with her collegiate basketball experience and her academic achievements (she holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from Quinnipiac) Helen will be an excellent role model for the Classical players.
Tom Sawyer certainly deserves credit for giving former Classical players such as Helen Ridley, Irene Saranteas, Ashley Donovan, Cara Baldini, and others an opportunity to coach in the Rams’ program. Sawyer has built a highly successful program at Classical while annually competing in the same city against two high-powered neighbors, Lynn English, who will be a contender for the Division 1 state title, and St. Mary’s, who may be the best team in Massachusetts, period.
And we also must recognizing the outstanding coaching of Gene Constantino, who helped develop Helen’s talents in the Classical girls basketball program on the road to the Division 1 college ranks.
Helen Ridley has been a credit to Lynn Classical and now the program there will benefit first hand from her professionalism and her ability to bring out the best in young players as she has been accomplishing at her Ridley Basketball clinics.
Welcome home, Helen.