For their exploits in the classroom and their athletic endeavors, Peabody basketball standout Catherine Manning and Danvers swim star Jared Casey have been named the Moynihan Lumber Students of the Month for January.
Manning dominated the post for the Northeastern Conference champion Peabody basketball team. She helped Peabody to an undefeated season in the Northeastern Conference and the No. 2 seed in the Division 1 state tournament.
“The success of this year’s team was due to our team unity,” Manning said. “Everyone on the team gets along and supports one another no matter what, and that can be seen on the court. We have worked hard to become a cohesive team. We are also very deep, all 13 girls on the team have come together.”
The senior captain and forward is averaging a shade under 10 points per game and leads the Tanners, and the entire North Shore, in rebounds, averaging 10.8 per contest. It is her leadership, however, that is her biggest asset to the team.
“As a captain, my role is to be a leader and role model for my teammates,” Manning said. “I encourage my teammates to do their best and play their hardest at all times. We all support each other to do that on and off the court.”
In the classroom, Manning has been just as successful as she sports a 3.7 grade point average and is a member of the National Honors Society while receiving several Academic Excellence Awards in various subjects.
Planning to one day work in the medical field and attend PA school, Manning’s course-load includes science classes such as anatomy and physiology, although she is also strong in math, taking Advanced Placement statistics.
According to Manning, her dedication in the classroom has been key to her success in athletics.
“As a student athlete, academics always come first,” Manning said. “I am a dedicated student and I have learned to manage my time, even while playing three seasons of varsity sports. I make time for my school work before practice and games, that includes on the bus to an away game.”
Casey was named the Northeastern Conference’s Swimmer of the Year after a standout season in the pool for the Falcons, where the team posted a 6-3 record and he qualified for the state meet as an individual.
“We are a team of camaraderie and friendship and we all support each other,” Casey said. “I don’t know if I could have had the season I did without the support of my teammates. Some of my best friends are on the team.”
Casey’s best events in the pool are the 100 backstroke and the 200 individual medley, which is where a swimmer alternates between freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke and butterfly every 50 yards. He qualified for the state meet in both events along with the 200 freestyle relay, dropping nine seconds off of his personal best time (1:21-1:12) at the sectional meet to qualify in the individual medley.
A swimmer since he was in elementary school, Casey’s love for the sport has led to his success.
“Swimming has been a passion of mine since I was eight years old,” Casey said. “The pool has helped me build my work ethic. Even as a fourth-grader I had to learn to balance athletics and academics and the sport has helped succeed in both.”
Casey has committed to attend Boston University in the fall in the honor college thanks to a standout academic resume.
Casey has taken eight AP courses throughout high school including European History and Chemistry, the subject he will be majoring in at Boston University. He also has a 4.0 grade point average.
“Academics are very important to me and I always work as hard as I can to keep my grades up,” Casey said. “Evening swim practices are very manageable to fit into my academic schedule. I also have a lot of support from my parents (James and Denise). They instilled the work ethic in me and have been very supportive of me in swimming and academics.”