Lynn English quarterback Matt Severance and Gloucester girls soccer goalie Maisie Grow were two of the most dominant athletes in their respective sports through the first month of the fall season. Their efforts in the classroom are equally impressive and now they are being honored as September’s Moynihan Lumber North Shore Student-Athletes of the Month.
Severance, a four-year starter under center for the Bulldogs, is in his first season as a team captain. A two-way player who also flourishes from the safety position, Severance has scored 12 touchdowns with 803 passing yards, 195 rushing yards, 51 tackles and four interceptions.
Last Saturday’s 27-14 victory over Swampscott was one Severance won’t soon forget, as the senior broke his head coach, Chris Carroll’s, all-time passing record. Carroll finished his career with the Bulldogs in 2006 with 3,918 yards. Severance entered the game with 3,910.
At 4-1 on the season, Severance said he feels the Bulldogs are starting to click.
“We’d like to be in a position where we’re 5-0 but we’re 2-0 in (Northeastern) Conference play,” Severance said. “We’re looking to be 3-0 after Friday’s game against Salem. We’re just looking to improve. I’m feeling pretty good about our team now. We’re starting to come together.”
Severance said he has kept the health of longtime English assistant football coach Bill Dutch on his mind during his senior season.
“Coach Dutch’s older and getting really sick right now,” Severance said. “He hasn’t been able to be with us this season. He’s always been a positive influence in my life. Even in my worst moments he’s always picked me up and told me things will get better. He’s always been in my corner and I’m very appreciative of that.”
In the classroom, Severance carries a 4.01 GPA while challenging himself with three AP and two honors courses. He’s a member of English’s National Honor Society.
“Academics are first,” Severance said. “My parents have always taught me that. Football’s obviously a privilege but academics are first.”
Balancing a challenging academic schedule with football is no easy task. For Severance, time management is key.
“I try to use my time wisely and be as productive as possible, especially during senior year when you have a lot of things going on,” Severance said. “There’s the Common App, financial aid, you still have classes. You have to balance everything at once and you have to use all the time you have.”
Severance is interested in studying investment banking and is considering Harvard, Bryant, Bentley and Sacred Heart. He’s also hoping to continue his football career in college.
Grow, a two-sport athlete who is also the catcher for Gloucester’s softball team, started her senior soccer season on a high note. In her first six games, Grow logged five shutouts but was then sidelined with a dislocated shoulder. Grow hopes to return to the Fishermen this season but said she welcomes taking on a leadership role with open arms as she supports her teammates from the sidelines.
“As a goalkeeper on the field that’s already a leadership position to begin with,” Grow said. “It’s great to be able to help my team out. It’s been awesome, honestly, working with all the younger players that are coming up.”
Grow also suffered a shoulder injury last spring on the softball diamond. Although it was tough having to step away from the soccer field, Grow feels she can still make an impact on the team.
“It was very difficult,” Grow said of the injury. “I was coming out of a great recovery period. I had injured my shoulder this past spring. I was having a great season. It was really hard to take that step back. I have to do what’s best for my body in this situation. That doesn’t mean I can’t help the team. I’ve taken on more of a leadership role helping the new goalie and the rest of the team reach our tournament goal.”
In the classroom, Grow carries a 97 average while taking three AP courses and two honors courses. She’s a member of Gloucester High’s National Honor Society, Student Council and Interact Club.
“Academics are really important for me,” Grow said. “I think you have to keep a balance between sports and academics. Academics are super important because they’re going to determine who you are. Sports and athletics are both high up for me. I think I have to work on putting as much effort as I can into both of them as a student athlete.
“My parents have been really helpful in my recovery and they’ve been instrumental in my academic career,” Grow, who hopes to continue playing soccer in college, added. “They’ve instilled in me the importance of balancing both and doing my best in both fields.”
Grow said she’s interested in studying engineering or pre-med and is considering Bard, Tufts, Boston University, Northeastern, WPI and UMass Amherst.
The Moynihan Lumber North Shore Student-Athletes of the Month are chosen by the sports editors of The Item, Salem News, Newburyport Daily News and Gloucester Times as well as by the Moore Stuff Online web streaming service (msonewsports.com).
A total of 25 student-athletes were nominated for September’s Moynihan Lumber North Shore Student-Athlete of the Month award, an all-time record.