PEABODY — We support our student-athletes on the field and read about their athletic accomplishments every morning in the local newspapers.
But Tuesday afternoon at Salem Country Club, academic achievements took center stage.
Gloucester High’s Tracy Wood and Newburyport High’s Sam Acquaviva were named the 2019 Moynihan Lumber Student-Athletes of the Year at the annual awards luncheon.
Wood, a senior, put together a dominant field hockey season during the fall. She helped lead the Fishermen to their second Division 2 North semifinal in three seasons. Gloucester finished the 2018 season 16-2-3, setting a program record for wins in the process.
A three-sport athlete, Wood is also a standout swimmer in the winter and plays softball in the spring. Earlier this week she helped the Fishermen to a 1-0 win over Northeastern Conference rival Danvers in the quarterfinal round of the Division 2 North state tournament. Gloucester plays Whittier in the semifinal round Wednesday (3:30) at Martin Field in Lowell. The Fishermen are the last NEC team remaining in the postseason.
Acquaviva, a senior, recently ended his high school career as one of the more decorated runners in Newburyport history. He defended all of his individual championships during his senior cross country season and helped carry Newburyport to its first-ever Division 2 all-state championship. He’s a two-time CAL Runner of the Year, a two-time CAL Open champion, a four-time Daily News MVP (cross country and track), a two-time Division 4 EMass champion and a two-time Division 2 All-State champion. He also won the prestigious Frank Kelley Invitational, and the only race in Massachusetts that he lost all season came at the Bay State Invitational, where he placed second to eventual Division 1 All-State champion Ryan Oosting of Arlington. He finished his season by placing 20th in the Foot Locker Northeast Regionals championship race.
Acquaviva, who never received a grade lower than an A, will attend MIT in the fall. Wood, the vice president of her senior class, will attend the University of Vermont. Both were presented with a $1000 scholarship to help cover their college expenses by Gerard Moynihan of Moynihan Lumber.
Moynihan Lumber has honored student-athletes monthly during the school year since 1991-92. The overall winners are selected by a committee and announced at the end of each school year.
Also receiving awards at the luncheon were former Beverly baseball coach Dave Wilbur, Lifetime Schools Commitment Award; former Peabody field hockey and girls tennis coach Lorraine Benoit, Lifetime Schools Commitment Award; Gloucester Daily Times Sports Editor Nick Curcuru, Lifetime Community Commitment Award; former Massachusetts Golf Association Director of Communications Becky Blaeser, Post-Graduate Achievement Award. Blaeser, a graduate of Masconomet High, won the Student-Athlete of the Year award in 1994. She delivered a heartfelt speech welcoming Wood and Acquaviva to the team of Moynihan winners, honing in on the impact the award has had in her life. In addition, a pair of couples from Pentucket were given the annual “Fan Award” for their unwavering support to the Sachems girls basketball team.