Citizen names 21 spring sports all stars

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Senior Pat Vartanian is taking his talents to UMass Dartmouth next season. (Mike Barucci photo)

Senior Pat Vartanian is taking his talents to UMass Dartmouth next season. (Mike Barucci photo)

The following all-star selections appear in the June 18 issue as part of the Canton Citizen’s annual spring sports wrap-up.

Boys’ MVP

Pat Vartanian (Baseball)

A senior captain and two-time All-Hockomock selection, Vartanian contributed in every phase of the game while leading the Bulldogs to 11 victories and a postseason appearance. He was outstanding at the plate, batting .343 and slugging .657 while collecting a team-high 20 RBIs. He also saw some time on the mound, finishing with a solid 3.65 ERA. But arguably his biggest contributions came as a catcher. “He was an offensive threat who was equally important to our defense in the way he handled the pitching staff and controlled the running game,” said head coach JP Scott. “Learning how to pick runners off base, he could single-handedly win a game for us.”

Girls’ MVP

Mary McNeil (Lacrosse)

A captain and league all star in three different sports, McNeil wrapped up a memorable four-year athletic career with an outstanding senior lacrosse season. Playing primarily in the midfield, she reached the 50-goal mark for the second straight spring and finished with career totals of 130 goals and 41 assists. Head coach Bethany Compagna said she was a “truly dominant player,” combining elite quickness and field awareness with an almost innate ability to find the back of the net. She is headed to Merrimack College to play field hockey in the fall.

Boys Lacrosse

Ben O’Neill

A junior captain and an All-Hockomock selection, O’Neill followed up his breakout sophomore campaign with another brilliant season at attack, posting team highs in points (66), goals (46) and assists (20). He was also a strong team leader and played at his best in big games, including memorable wins over Foxboro and Sharon. He now has 125 points for his career and could potentially reach the 200-point plateau with a strong senior season.

Paul Swart

A senior attackman, Swart blossomed into a league all star and nearly stole the team scoring title from O’Neill, finishing just one point shy with 45 goals and 20 assists. He was particularly impressive over the second half of the season and also made his mark in the Bulldogs’ lone playoff game, scoring a team-high three points. He finishes his career with 119 total points — good for eighth place on the program’s all-time scoring list.

Tommy Galvin

A senior captain and All-Hockomock honorable mention, Galvin teamed with O’Neill and Swart to form one of the most lethal attacking lines in the state. He finished the season with 32 goals and 16 assists and ended his career as the program’s fifth leading scorer with 131 total points. A vocal and respected team leader who loves the sport, Galvin will continue his lacrosse career next spring at Assumption College.

Michael Pigeon

Only a sophomore, Pigeon made a name for himself this season as one of the top long-stick midfielders in the Hock, earning all-league honors. He was a ground-ball machine, collecting a team-high 82 on the season. He also was tasked with covering the opposing team’s best midfielder and was a great team defender and an “ultra competitor,” according to head coach Bill Bendell.

Girls Lacrosse

Christine Ward

A senior captain and four-year varsity player, Ward was a force this season at high attack, finishing first on the team with 55 goals and 66 total points. Although overlooked for the league all-star team, she was highly respected by her teammates and was honored with the team’s Spirit Award. “She just never gave up and was always enthusiastic,” said head coach Bethany Compagna. “She was an absolutely tremendous asset as a captain and as a leader.”

Kathryn Doody

A two-year varsity starter and still just a sophomore, Doody earned her second consecutive All-Hockomock honorable mention after another stellar season in net. Averaging nearly a dozen saves per contest, she stopped half of all the shots she faced and was recognized as the team’s Best Defensive Player — an award that is traditionally given to a defenseman.

Baseball

Kevin Powers

A three-year varsity starter and a Hockomock League all star, Powers was one of the team’s top all-around players, excelling on the mound and at the plate. He was a force offensively, batting .409 with a 1.340 OPS, four homeruns, and 27 runs scored. He also went 3-3 as a pitcher with a 3.41 ERA and 31 strikeouts. Head coach JP Scott raved about Powers’ abilities, calling him a “strong, fast, determined athlete who has the ability to play Division I or Division II baseball.”

Joe Peccia

Another versatile player, Peccia excelled at shortstop and second base and was one of the team’s top hitters and baserunners, batting .393 with 18 runs scored and a team-high 10 stolen bases. The captain-elect also appeared in three games as a pitcher and finished with a 2.90 ERA. “He found a home as our leadoff hitter and baserunning threat halfway through the season, as well as being our consistent defensive standout,” said Coach Scott. “His bat is what makes him stand out, but his glove and his leadership are what make him so valuable.”

Griffin Jerrier

A junior pitcher and all-league honorable mention, Jerrier led the Bulldogs with four victories and finished second on the team with 6.2 strikeouts per seven innings. He also started Canton’s first postseason matchup in years and was a valuable offensive player, finishing second in triples and RBIs while slugging .657. “Griffin had some huge hits for us and drove in a lot of runs,” said Coach Scott, while raving about his long-term potential. “Equally impressive, he made some amazing diving plays in the outfield as well leading the team in wins.”

Softball

Sarah Reissfelder

A junior starting pitcher, Reissfelder pitched almost every game this season and was recognized by the league’s coaches as an All-Hockomock honorable mention. Head coach Tracy Andrews described her as accurate, fast, smart, and a fierce competitor. “She struck out some of the best hitters in the league,” Andrews said. “She is a great fielding pitcher as well and was always ready to field a bunt or line drive. Sarah could be counted on by her teammates to give her best every pitch of this season.”

Julia Kent

A senior captain, Kent was the leader of the infield at shortstop as well as a key contributor on offense. “On the field, Julia was always present and kept her teammates in the game,” said Coach Andrews. “She had great range, a strong arm, and smarts — all qualities necessary for a good shortstop.”

Boys Track

Timmy Gutowski

A senior captain and league all-star selection, Gutowski went undefeated in dual meets this year, winning every 400m and 800m race he ran. He placed fourth in a very competitive 800m at the Hockomock League Championships with a personal-best 2:03.07 and was also an integral part of the 4×400 relay team. “The work ethic and lead-by-example attitude Timmy used inspired those around him to be better and work harder,” said head coach Anna Amico.

Liam Collins

A senior captain and All-Hockomock honorable mention, Collins trained and ran hard to become one of the top milers in the Hockomock League. He ran a personal-best 4:35.84 at the league championship meet and placed fourth overall. He also qualified for the Division 3 state meet and was Canton’s top finisher, placing seventh overall in a talented field of runners.

Girls Track

Catherine Song

A junior captain and a Hockomock League All Star, Song went undefeated in dual meets this season, winning every mile, two-mile, and 800-meter race she competed in. She qualified for states in all three events and posted the fastest two-mile (11:46) and third-fastest mile time (5:21) in the Hockomock League this year. “Cat works hard every day and supports her teammates day in and day out,” said head coach Anna Amico. “She has so much potential and will be a force in her upcoming senior season due to her diligence and dedication.”

Sam Koplik

A junior captain and all-league honorable mention, Koplik was the team’s top hurdler and second-best triple jumper this season. She placed seventh overall in the 100m hurdles at the league championships with a personal-best time of 16.91 seconds and placed fourth in the 400m hurdles in 71.26. She also qualified for both hurdles events and the triple jump in the Division 3 state meet and was an integral part of the team’s qualifying 4×400 relay.

Selena Cho

Only a sophomore, Cho was the team’s leading point scorer, excelling in the 100m, 200m, long jump, and triple jump. She had the third best triple jump in the league this year (34’5”) and placed second and third in the 100 and 200 at the league’s freshman-sophomore meet. She was also part of the 4×200 relay team that broke the CHS spring record. “The future for Selena is bright in both the track and field events,” Coach Amico said. “Her potential combined with her great work ethic will help her to continue to improve.”

Boys Tennis

Nathan Maltz

A two-time captain and still only a junior, Maltz improved on a strong sophomore campaign and was rewarded with an All-Hockomock selection. He racked up several wins at the second singles spot and helped keep the team in matches against a brutal slate of opponents. He was also the team’s most consistent performer and drew praise from head coach Leo Nelson for his commitment to fundamentals and his strong leadership skills.

Girls Tennis

Tiffany Ha & Sarah MacQuarrie

After teaming up at first doubles midway through the season, juniors Ha and MacQuarrie emerged as the Bulldogs’ most successful pairing, winning eight of 10 matches overall, including a 2-0 mark against league champion Foxboro. Boasting an impressive track record in other sports — Ha in swimming and MacQuarrie in soccer — the duo meshed beautifully together and were recognized by the league’s coaches as All-Hockomock honorable mentions.

By Mike Berger and Jay Turner

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