Sports 12-01-2015

Newbury named new Danvers High softball coach

By Joyce Erekson

After 15 years, two state championships and six Division 3 North titles, St. Mary’s softball coach Colleen Newbury is leaving the program to coach at Danvers High School. The position was previously held by Tara Petrocelli, who left to be an assistant coach at Merrimack College.

“It was a very tough decision. It’s still tough,” Newbury said. “It (Danvers) has a good program from their youth (level) right up to the high school.”

Newbury said she applied at the last minute and in the end, it came down to what was best for her family. Newbury works across the street from the Danvers High softball field and her four-year old daughter attends school nearby.

“The reality of the whole job centered around my family,” Newbury said. “Everything is a lot closer to me, including commuting to games.”

Newbury said although it’s tough to leave her players at St. Mary’s and the people she had worked with at the school, it would tough no matter when it happened. She recalled her former coach, the late Ed “Bud” Henry saying to her at one point that  “no matter what, you’re going to always leave people behind.”

Newbury, who won four consecutive state championships when she played shortstop for Henry at Bishop Fenwick High School, started teaching math at St. Mary’s 16 years ago, shortly after graduating from Salem State College. She was hired as the Spartans’ softball coach the following year. She left her teaching job at St. Mary’s after her daughter was born in 2011.

Newbury will take over a very successful Danvers High program. Petrocelli was the head coach for 11 years, during which time her teams won eight Northeastern Conference titles.

“It makes it easier that Coach Petrocelli was there before me,” Newbury said. “The kids have good softball minds. They get it and they have a good work ethic.”

The St. Mary’s softball staff will lose not only Newbury, but also one of her assistants, Frank Sarro, who is the new Manchester-Essex coach. Newbury’s departure comes on heels of a changing of the guard within the Classical High and English High softball programs last year.

Classical High coach Chris Warren stepped down after 15 years (he took a vice principal’s position) and English High coach Alisa Fila stepped down after coaching the Bulldogs for 23 years. Erica (Sonia) Richard, a former player and assistant coach under Newbury at St. Mary’s, took the Classical job and Jack Bartlett took over at English.

The person who takes over for Newbury will inherit a team that finished the regular season at 16-4 and 18-5 overall. The Spartans lost to Austin Prep in the Division 3 North semifinals. The top two pitchers from that team, Mia Nowicki and Michaela Hamill, are returning.

“Part of the decision of leaving now is that the team is still good. I want the new person to be successful with the kids,” Newbury said.

St. Mary’s high school boys soccer awards banquet

The St. Mary’s High School boys soccer team celebrated its 2015 season at an awards banquet Nov. 22 at Spinelli’s in Lynnfield.

The Spartans advanced to the Division 4 state final where they were defeated by Monson High School.

St. Mary’s coach Mike D’Agostino and assistant coach Joe Gill presided over the awards ceremony and congratulated the players on one of the most successful soccer seasons in school history

Lynn High School Annual Football Luncheon

Photos and story by Marianne Salza

The Rotary and Lions Clubs’ 95th Annual Lynn High School Football Luncheon, on Nov. 24, commemorated the football athletes, cheerleaders, and musicians of Lynn English High School, Lynn Classical High School, Lynn Vocational Technical Institute, St. Mary’s High School, and the Lynn Public Schools Band for their hard work and leadership in their schools.

“Every year you kids make us very proud. I want to wish you a wonderful day,” said Superintendent Catherine Latham, at the gathering at the Porthole Pub Restaurant. “Enjoy every minute of it. Remember: whether you win or lose, don’t ruin your mother’s dinner.”

Sponsored by the Brotherhood Credit Union, Riverworks Credit Union, and St. Jean’s Credit Union, the luncheon honored the talented young men and women who make the Friday and Saturday Thanksgiving games special in the City of Lynn.

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