Peabody's Emily Nelson (above) and Classical's Travis Ryan are the winners of the Moynihan Lumber Student Athlete of the Month Award for September.
Sports

Classical’s Ryan, Peabody’s Nelson earn September Moynihan honors

The first Moynihan Lumber Student Athlete Awards of the season have been handed out, and September's winners are Peabody girls soccer star Emily Nelson and Classical golfer Travis Ryan.

There are monthly male and female Moynihan winners from September through May. An overall winner will be picked, and honored, in June.

The awards are sponsored by Moynihan Lumber of Beverly, North Reading and Plaistow, N.H.

Nelson, a 4-year starter and 2-year captain, led the Tanners in scoring over the past three seasons and the league in the last two seasons. That play has continued over this season in which she has helped Peabody to a 7-2-2 record and averaged two points per game to lead the Tanners.

Nelson has also joined an exclusive club scoring her 100th career point on Sept. 9. Her unselfish play creates many offensive opportunities for her teammates, coach Dennis Desroches said.

Nelson is a 3-time Northeastern Conference champion, 2-time league all star and an Eastern Mass. all star.

Nelson is ranked No. 15 in her class. She demonstrates her work ethic on the field and in the classroom, said Desroches, and is involved in many school events and volunteers in the community supporting local youth programs.

Her support for her school, community and her team made her an easy choice to be a multi-year starter and captain on the girls soccer team at Peabody High.

"This definitely means a lot for all the hard work I've done over the past four years," said Nelson. "All that effort has definitely paid off.”

Nelson, who committed to UMass Lowell as a sophomore, said that her teachers and coaches stress both athletics and academics.

"It can be a challenge at times," she said. "Our teachers are helpful at school, staying after, and things like that. And the coaches emphasize academics before soccer."

Though Nelson ran track in the past, she won't be doing it this winter. Instead, she will do strength and conditioning drills to get ready for soccer.

Nelson said her best memory of school at Peabody is the camaraderie.

"I love the aspects of working as a team," she said, "and having fun doing  it. We get stronger together."

The Tanners are 7-2-2 as of this writing, "and we're looking to go deep into the state tournament."

Ryan is a senior straight-A student with a 4.4 GPA, taking AP classes. He is currently ranked fourth in his class of 370 students.

Ryan has has been a 4-year starter for both the golf and hockey teams and was named captain for both. He is off to a fast start this year on the links boasting a 5-2 record playing in the No. 1 position.

Ryan is the consummate captain showing strong leadership on and off the course, said coach Jack Morrison.

Ryan, who also plays hockey for the Lynn Jets, feels the same way about this award as Nelson.

"It's really an honor," he said. "It proves all the hard work pays off."

Ryan said he takes pride in everything he does, and that academics come first.

"After that," he said, "are family, sports and social life."

And if anything has to go, "it's the free time I spend with my friends. That's the sacrifice I make."

Ryan got into golf at an early age.

"My dad has had me out on the course since I was about 8," he said. He's also taken part in a few of the Gannon summer clinics.

He is still unsure of what he'll be doing for college next year.

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