Marblehead, St. John’s Prep well-represented as Item All-Stars

The following players and coaches were selected as Daily Item All-Stars for their athletic achievements during the winter sports season. An awards ceremony – open to the public – will be held at Lynn City Hall Auditorium Thursday, March 28 at 6 p.m.

BOYS BASKETBALL

Nick Lemmond – Marblehead – Senior

The Northeastern Conference Player of the Year put on a show as a senior, igniting his Magicians to a 14-win season and state tournament victory against a favored Melrose side.

Speaking of Melrose, Lemmond stepped it up when his team needed him most. He netted 30 points, and hovered around the 20-point mark throughout the regular season. He also made the IAABO Board 130 All-Tournament team.

GIRLS BASKETBALL

Kathryn Pyne – Marblehead – Senior

On the topic of great basketball leaders, you could say Pyne is right atop the list. The senior captain was the floor general for the Magicians, who finished the regular season with a 14-8 record. Pyne was also one of the more unselfish players in the area, and had a willingness to pass up a good shot for a great one. 

Throughout the season, coach Paul Moran praised Pyne for her leadership skills and called her a “key player” within the program. Whether it was offensively or defensively, Pyne made an impact most nights.

BOYS HOCKEY

Coach of the Year – Mark Marfione – Marblehead

In just his second season helming Marblehead’s boys hockey program, the Headers skated to the Division 3 state championship game and defeated top-ranked Nauset, 1-0, at TD Garden.

The team won five state tournament games, finished with a 17-9-1 record, and, perhaps most importantly, never cowered after beginning the season 0-6 (then 2-8).

With Marfione blending talent and instilling belief, his Headers returned home with some hardware – Marblehead’s first state championship since 2011.

Kyle Hart – Marblehead – Junior

Including the lone assist in Marblehead’s 1-0 state title win against top-ranked Nauset, Hart was instrumental in, frankly, a magical Headers’ run. With his goal-scoring and playmaking abilities, Hart helped lead his team to its first title since 2011 and five state tournament wins.

The Header finished his junior campaign with 18 goals and more than 30 assists. With one more year remaining, look for Hart to be back in the state tournament mix come next winter.

Christian Rosa – St. John’s Prep – Senior

Talk about a playmaker. Christian Rosa of St. John’s Prep recorded 15 goals and 17 assists in the regular season, one in which the Eagles sported a 17-3 record after a few early-season losses. And, Prep skated to a 3-2 win over Winchester in the Division 1 title game.

Jake Vana – St. John’s Prep – Senior

What a season it was for the multi-sport star, who dished out two assists in St. John’s Prep’s 3-2 win against Winchester to capture the Division 1 state title. Vana assisted both of Johnny Tighe’s goals in the final period, including the game-winner at the buzzer.

The Eagle wrapped up his final season on the ice with 17 goals and 15 assists in the regular season. Come the state tournament, Vana led the way across Prep’s five-game dominance.

GIRLS HOCKEY

Scarlet Lee – Marblehead – Freshman

This winter was Lee’s first on Marblehead’s girls hockey team, but you wouldn’t have known it by looking at the numbers. Lee was everywhere across the crease, playing a key role in a rebuild season for the Headers.

Lee made 25 saves against Bishop Fenwick, 31 against Winthrop, and another 34 against Pope Francis – just to name a few.

WRESTLING

Coach of the Year – Manny Costa – St. John’s Prep

What a way for, arguably, the greatest wrestling coach in Massachusetts high school history to go out after 34 years. Before his retirement, Costa’s Eagles finished the winter with a 33-0 record.

His program also won the Division 1 Dual Meet and North Sectionals, placed second in the Division 1 State Tournament, third in All-States, and seventh in New Englands. The Eagles were also named champions of the Marshfield Holiday and Woburn tournaments.

Mason Hinshaw – Marblehead-Swampscott – Junior

The ever-improving Hinshaw improved last season’s 32-12 record to 41-9 this winter. A junior captain who wrestled at 142 pounds, he won the Gionet Memorial, finished second at the Pentucket Holiday Tournament, and third in Division 2 States, among other achievements. 

Liam O’Brien – Marblehead-Swampscott – Sophomore

What didn’t O’Brien accomplish for Marblehead-Swampscott? The 120-pound sophomore – and New England qualifier – finished the season with a 41-14 record, placed second in the Division 2 North Sectionals, and seventh at All-States. He was also a Coaches Award Winner and named champion of the Dan Gionet Memorial.

Jayden D’Ambrosio – St. John’s Prep – Senior

D’Ambrosio claimed his rank as one of the top wrestlers in New England this winter with a clean record of 61-0.

In a stacked Division I North region, D’Ambrosio was named a North Sectional champion, State champion, All-State champion, and New England champion. He also claimed the Marshfield Holiday and Woburn championships. 

GIRLS TRACK AND FIELD 

Nolan Raimo – Marblehead – Coach of the Year

With Raimo commanding the ship, Marblehead’s girls track and field team won the Northeastern Conference Open and saw its 4×400 relay team win the program’s first state relay championship in 20 years with a 1-point victory over Billerica in the MSTCA Division 3 state relays.

From boosting player morale to teaching technique as a former athlete, Raimo led the Lady Magicians to a winter they’ll never forget.

Le’Daisha Williams – Marblehead

It’s hard to find something that Williams didn’t accomplish this winter. Her best times included 41.44 in the 300m, 7.59 in the 55m, 1:46.03 in the 4×200, and 4:06.73 in the 4×400. 

Williams placed second in the 300m during the Division 3 State Championship, anchored the 4×200 team at the Meet of Champions, and won the Coaches Invitational in the 4×400. Her 300m and 4×200 performances gave her two Northeastern Conference Championships.

BOYS TRACK AND FIELD

Alex Hersey – Marblehead – Senior

Hersey was a man on a mission in Marblehead, breaking a school record in the long jump with a 21-5.75 (Northeastern Conference championship; meet record). He also placed second in the conference with a 7.78 in the 55mh, and fifth at the state pentathlon (3,199 points). 

Daniel Padley – St. John’s Prep – Junior

The Junior Eagle ran with purpose this winter, sporting some of St. John’s Prep’s top performances. 

At the Catholic Central Championship, Padley went home with the Most Outstanding Runner award – and for good reason. The Danvers native sported three first-place finishes in the mile (4:25), 1K (2:33), and 4×800 relay (1:56.7).

GIRLS SWIMMING AND DIVING

Susan Guertin – Marblehead – Coach of the Year

What a season it was for Guertin’s Magicians, who dominated the Northeastern Conference from beginning to end this winter. Marblehead was the conference’s regular season and meet champion, finished 7-0, and saw three student-athletes receive All-Star nods (Gary Podstrelov, Madeleine Auerbach, Simon Quicken). 

“I’m the luckiest woman alive,” Guertin said. “I love to see kids make progress in the water.”

BOYS SWIMMING AND DIVING

Jeff Fiore – St. John’s Prep – Coach of the Year

St. John’s Prep returned to the top this winter, largely due to what head coach Jeff Fiore built with his student-athletes. The Eagles – who earned points in three of the final four events – reclaimed their top spot in Division 1 with a 239-212 victory against MIT in the swim championships. 

Better yet, the Eagles participated with just six swimmers and two divers. But, the program had a vision, then executed en route to Prep’s 16th championship in 18 seasons.

Matthew Church – St. John’s Prep – Junior

Church put on a show in the pool this winter, earning second place in both the 200 and 500 free at states. The day St. John’s Prep captured yet another championship, Church was its top individual finisher with 34 points. 

  • Joey Barrett is the Daily Item's sports editor. He reports on local high schools, colleges, and professional teams. Prior to his current position, he worked for UMass Athletics, the Cape Cod Baseball League, and Gannett Media, among others. Barrett was also sports editor at Endicott College and treasurer of Endicott's Society of Professional Journalists branch.