“It was probably harder for me than Keifer. I talked to him about it and he said, ‘Don’t worry. I’ll show them I’m an All-American in college,’” O’Donnell said. “That’s a testament to his will to succeed.”
Heckman and his step brother Nick Ouellette will each be continuing their college careers at Southern New Hampshire University. Heckman led the state with 126 points, and Ouellette wasn’t far behind with 95 points.
This season, Heckman broke the school scoring record set by Welch. Welch previously held the record with 225 points, but Heckman’s 166 goals and 120 assists easily topped that.
Heckman was also a great leader on and off the field, which is what made his omission hard for his teammates to understand.
“Some of the kids were shocked that he didn’t get it. They see him every day and see how hard he worked,” O’Donnell said. “All the kids that got it deserved it, but Keifer was right there with them and the kids on the team see him every day. They see how hard he works to better himself. His teammates were more hurt than Keifer was, too.”
Heckman was just one part of a great senior class that O’Donnell had to say goodbye to. Ouellette also made a huge impact this spring, as did fellow captains Andrew Najjar and Evan Connolly.
Connolly was a quiet leader while Najjar was more vocal, the captain that truly had his finger on the pulse of the team.
Together, they helped the Tanners climb back into the state tournament this season, which is something that O’Donnell will never forget.
Congratulations are due for Waring’s Emily Friend and Eleanor Lustig, as well as Beverly’s Camden Vitale. That North Shore trio earned its place on the United States Lacrosse Academic All-American team this spring.