Marblehead’s Mullins and Gilligan thriving at Salem State

Left, Marblehead native Nate Mullins is a history major, and wants to become a high school teacher one day. Right, Marblehead native Trevor Gilligan never started as a Magician, but said the lessons he learned in high school are forever with him. Photo by Salem State Athletics

Nate Mullins and Trevor Gilligan are current student-athletes at Salem State University. But before life as Vikings, they were at Marblehead High School – a place that made them who they are today.

Gilligan and Mullins are adapting to college life, finding ways to balance the demands of academics and athletics.

“The biggest thing is time-management,” Mullins said. “If you take everything one week at a time, between the classwork and assignments, it’s a lot easier.”

“You’ve just got to balance it,” Gilligan said. “I was able to find a groove and not let one dictate the other. When you have good grades, you’re able to play better and be focused on the field and not worry about the things on the outside.”

When looking back at his time at Marblehead, Mullins said his teachers’ guidance is now paying off.

“Our teachers really stressed upon us how the skills we are learning in [high school] are going to be used in college,” Mullins said.

And even that Marblehead culture – it was second-to-none according to Mullins.

“It was competitive in high school. Everyone wanted to achieve success whether it was academically, athletically, or any extracurricular activity. They did a lot pushing us in the right direction,” Mullins said.

Mullins and Gilligan are also enjoying the “college experience” of having the ability to curate their studies.

“I’m enjoying the fact I can take courses that I enjoy and have interest in, and that I’m in control of what I take every single semester,” Mullins said.

“I’m liking the college experience,” Gilligan said. “You’re not in class as often but you’re learning more at the same time, getting to explore what you want to explore.”

Mullins is majoring in history alongside secondary education – all with hopes of becoming a high school history teacher. Gilligan has yet to officially declare, but is taking business classes and leaning towards a major in marketing.

On the field, Gilligan credits the “work ethic” and “experience” he gained while a Magician as reasons why he’s competing at the college level.

“I was a part of the team all four years, and even though I, unfortunately, was never the starter, I think by going to practice every day and being around… it showed me the work ethic to still be committed,” Gilligan said.

The Vikings currently have played four games this season, and both goalie Gilligan and midfielder Mullins have played a part.

  • Mark Aboyoun is a New Jersey born sports writer at The Daily Item. Aboyoun is a graduate of Saint Joseph's University '18 and went on to earn his Juris Doctor at Western New England School of Law in 2021.