The Panthers may have come up a bit short in their bid to play for the East title at Harvard Stadium, but the season was a major success.
Senior midfielders Brendan Flaherty and Dom Abate were each named All-American, and the Panthers had six first team NEC All-Stars, and three more on the second team.
GIRLS TENNIS COACH OF THE YEAR
With one season under his belt, Beverly girls tennis coach Keith Brickhouse knew his Panthers could do something special this season.
The Panthers responded by going 12-5 overall including a pair of wins over Peabody that delivered the NEC Large title.
“We were elated to be able to take that,” Brickhouse said of the league crown. “After two years of being in the NEC Small playing teams like Marblehead, Swampscott and Danvers twice, we were playing some battle-hardened teams. So coming back into the (NEC) Large this year helped us. Peabody has always been a force to be reckoned with but this year we had the numbers.”
A total of 56 girls tried out for this year’s Beverly team and Brickhouse didn’t cut a single one. The nice mixture of young talent that will be the future of the team and older more experienced players like Meggie Manzo and Jillian Morneau, who led by example, produced.
Drills to work on things like technique were obviously necessary, but the long-term Beverly substitute teacher is a firm believer in molding his players’ mentalities as much as their physical abilities.
“I try to get them to bring everything to their match from a good attitude to good sportsmanship and I do have to say we’re one of the better teams with sportsmanship throughout the league,” said Brickhouse. “You have the drills that are important to try and teach things like being more aggressive on the court but really we just want them to bring their best when they do play.”