St. John's Prep is one of the relatively few schools in the state that offers sailing as a varsity sport. John Gram Slattery of Marblehead could serve as a model for others on how to capitalize on a rare opportunity.
Slattery joined the sailing team as a freshman and subsequently was a two-time captain and, in his junior year, helped the Eagles capture the state championship for the first time in the 24-year history of the program.
Taking advantage of another sport that's not generally in the spotlight, Slattery was also on the Prep's ski team for four years and contributed to the squad's state title as a freshman. He took home the Coach's Award in alpine skiing as a ninth grader and was the sailing team's MVP as a junior.
Slattery attacks his academic responsibilities with the same fervor that he approaches sports. He has a 4.5 GPA and scored well above 700 in all three parts of the SATs. He was recently named a National Merit scholar finalist.
"I feel privileged to coach a young man of such integrity, commitment to team play and talent," said St. John's Prep sailing coach Bill Mackinson. "Gram enriches us all with his expertise and genuine sense of humor."
JULIA JENNINGS, SALEM
Salem High softball coach Dan Bertone describes third baseman Julia Jennings as the backbone of his team's defense. The coach would quickly add that she's also one of the best leaders he's ever had.
Jennings is one of the chief reasons why the Salem softball program has returned to the state tourney the last two years after a long absence.
A two-time softball captain for the Witches, Jennings has been considered the backbone of her team's defense for four years now. Last spring, she hit .436, knocked in a dozen runs and seldom struck out. Bertone considers her one of the best players he's ever had. Jennings has been an NEC all-star multiple times and was Salem's Player of the Year as a junior.