Marraffa works just as hard in the classroom as on the athletic field. He has an impressive 4.2 grade point average on a scale of 5.0. He used to play hockey and lacrosse, but football has always been his main sport and the last two years he has focused all his attention on becoming a better player.
“Nick is a program kid, who came up through the ranks,” said O’Leary. “He comes from a St. John’s family and is the youngest of three brothers. He probably played the most, but they were all nice kids, who worked very hard. Some players get discouraged, and don’t stick it out, but Nick was always ready when the opportunity came.
“He studied film every day, and was the leader on defense for us. People looked up to him at middle linebacker, and he made the calls. He has shown marked improvement over the years. Nick is a quiet kid, but he had to speak up because of the position he plays and the responsibilities that come with it. He’s somebody we could always rely on to go out and do his job.”
Nelson DeSilvestre, former long time Beverly track coach, assisted Jay Smith at Bishop Fenwick last year. Smith stepped down before the indoor track season began, and DeSilvestre was contemplating doing the same when he received a great opportunity. He has been hired as co-head coach for Manchester-Essex indoor track.
Corey Jean-Jacques, former St. John’s Prep football and wrestling star, has been named All New England Prep School Lineman of the Year. He played a key role in Avon Old Farms 7-2 season. The Winged Beavers went to the Arthur Valicenti championship bowl game, losing to Suffield Academy, 50-42.
Jean-Jacques, who is from Haverhill, was named a NEPSAC all-star. He was a starting tackle on last year’s Prep Super Bowl championship squad.
Jean DePlacido’s column appears every Saturday in The Salem News. You can contact her at JMDeplacido@aol.com