The fourth winner of this award from Peabody, Rocha sports a 3.7 grade point average and will run at Providence College.
“It’s very exciting to receive this award from a former recipient who is now the mayor,” said Rocha. “I didn’t think I’d be more excited than I was last year, but I was wrong.
“Success is only meaningful if you share it. It’s cool because I represent my teams; it’s not just for me but for all the cross country and track student-athletes. We’re fortunate in Peabody to have great coaches who were great runners themselves (her father, Joe Rocha, and uncle Fernando Braz). Track is a big part of my family (her mother Gina Braz also starred at Peabody High), and both our boys and girls teams have been very successful.”
Rocha isn’t done yet running for the Tanners yet; she’ll be part of a large group of Peabody High athletes running at Nationals in North Carolina this weekend.
Beverly High lacrosse coach John Pynchon presented the Student-Athlete award to Flaherty. Pynchon was Flaherty’s U.S. history teacher two years ago and coached him on the lacrosse field for four years, and said he has always been impressed by his star player’s humble demeanor.
“I’m very proud to represent Beverly High and the entire city,” said Flaherty, who has a 4.1 GPA and led the Panthers to a 13-0 season and the Division 2A Super Bowl, their second in three years, last fall. He also helped the BHS lacrosse team reach the East Division 2 semifinals this spring.
“This award says a lot about what I’ve done personally, but I couldn’t have done it without my family, coaches, athletic director (James) Coffey, and Mr. (Red) Hutt (a former AD at Beverly High). This is a wonderful way to cap off all my memories, and I’m honored to get the award with Catarina.