No question sports are a big part of the lives of recently graduated Newburyport seniors, Colleen Coviello and Richie Burke (pictured above).
“I started playing during all seasons in elementary school,” recalled Richie.
For Colleen a year round sports life began in 4th grade. “Soccer was the sport I started with and then other sports came along.”
During high school, Colleen participated in soccer as well as indoor and outdoor track. Summertime found her playing more soccer at camps.
Richie was able to involve himself in football, lacrosse, golf, basketball, and baseball during his four years at Newburyport High. “I played lacrosse and football in just my freshman year,” he explained. “I had a couple of concussions and switched to baseball and golf to go along with basketball. I had to stay away from all contact sports on doctor’s orders.”
Richie’s love of sports motivated him to keep his grades up. “You want to participate and you know that you need good grades to do that. Sometimes you come home tired from practice/games but you know that you have to get your schoolwork finished so you do. I tried to get as much work done in school as I could.”
Organizing her schedule away from sports was important to Colleen. “You must manage your time. You realize early on that after practice you have to get the work done because there is no other time available.”
Colleen credited her coaches for helping her academically. “I was never overwhelmed because the coaches were very good about giving me time if I needed to catch up on something in a class.”
For most high school year round athletes the transition to college takes some doing. Why? Depending on the college they attend, there is a good chance that they will not be active in college sports year round the way they were in high school. That is the case with Colleen. She is going to Division 1 College of Charleston in South Carolina.
“I’ll try club soccer and see how that goes,” she said. “There probably will be free time away from classes and homework. I am willing to try new things. Maybe volleyball or flag football. If I’m not active I could get bored pretty fast.”
Richie on the other hand could well continue to be a year round athlete at Division 3 Nichols College in Dudley, Massachusetts. He was recruited to play basketball there and expects to try out for baseball as well. “Among other things such as working I’ll be training for college basketball.”
“Athletics were the best part of high school,” added Richie. “My memories will be of being with different people each season.”
Colleen’s memories of high school sports are more precise. “The thing that I will always remember will be this past soccer season (Division C state champs). Many of my best friends were on the team. We had an unbelievable season and ended up state champions.”
( Likely to appear in The Town Common in late June or July )