PEABODY — Jennie Meagher of Bishop Fenwick and Andrew Riccio of Hamilton-Wenham were recognized Tuesday as the Moynihan Lumber Student Athletes of the Year during a luncheon at Salem Country Club.
Meagher, a standout volleyball and basketball player for the Crusaders; and Riccio, who played lacrosse for the Generals, each received a $1,000 scholarship to help defray costs to their respective colleges — Villanova for Meagher and Boston College for Riccio.
Meagher was the winner for the month of March, when she was at her best on the basketball court. She led the Crusaders in rebounds with 9.1 per game, and led Fenwick to its second Division 3 North championship in three years with a dominating presence in the paint during the MIAA postseason tournament. She was immense in Fenwick’s tournament over St. Mary’s, scoring eight points but starring defensively in keeping the Spartans Olivia Nazaire in check.
“She never knew what it was like to not play in a north sectional final,” said coach Adam DeBaggis, “and that was largely due to her.
“As a coach, you find yourself having to teach leadership skills to some players,” said DeBaggis. “But you never had to do that with Jennie.”
Both Meagher and Riccio spoke briefly after being presented by plaques. In the process of her speech, she especially thanker her mother, Dina, “who was always there for me after the game, when I was faced with four hours of homework.
“She’d go out and get me my ice coffee at Dunkin’ Donuts while I stayed up and stressed about everything,” she said.
Riccio made the 300-point career mark in the Generals’ last game, a 9-6 Division 3 North semifinal loss to Ipswich Monday,
“He needed five points to get it, and he got it,” said H-W coach Josh Wedge, “and I’m glad he did.
“I’d have been even more distraught than I was already if he did, because I thought of all the games I’d pulled him out of so that he’d be rested and ready for the next game.”
“It’s an honor and a blessing to receive this,” said Riccio, “especially with the crazy number of worthy student-athletes in the area.”
Moynihan Lumber has honored student-athletes monthly during the school year since 1991-92. An overall winner is announced at the end of each year.
Also receiving recognition was Meghan Duggan, who was the captain of the gold-medal winning women’s hockey team this past winter in South Korea. She spoke, displaying her medals.
“I received a piece of advice after our first silver,” she said, “from Angela Ruggerio, our captain. She said ‘let people see them.’ These medals tell the story of my life.”
Duggan also received the Post-Graduate Achievement Award.
Also among the speakers was Colin Blackwell, a former St. John’s Prep standout who is now in the Buffalo Sabres organization.
James Ridley, who will go back in retirement after two years as principal at St. Mary’s, was given a career achievement award, and Mary Ryan, the retiring athletic director at Rockport received a Lifetime Commitment Award for her work in the schools. Matt Williams, a reporter for the Salem News, received a Lifetime Commitment Award for his work in the community.
And freelance photographer Rose Raymond was presented with this year’s Fan Award.