Some of the most passionate sports fans on the North Shore choose to live by the sea. That's the "Magic" life in Marblehead, where the love for hockey, football, baseball and just about every game a youngster in the town's Black, White and Red colors takes up.
Which teams stand up as the best-of-the-best in Marblehead? The list since 1972, as determined by The Salem News:
1. 2010-11 Boys Hockey
* Cashed in on immense talent by winning the Division 3 state title at TD Garden, finishing 20-4-3 overall.
* One of the deepest defensive corps in North Shore history, with future pro Jake Kulevich (32 points that season, 86 for his career) and Ben Koopman (30 points, plus-38 rating). Hunter Whitmore and goalie Tony Cuzner were also big cogs on D.
* Went unbeaten over their last 14 contests, including a perfect 5-0 mark in the state tournament. Outscored their foes 126-53 for the season, allowing just 1.96 goals per game.
* Headers' offense was led by two 100-point career scorers in Ryan Dempsey (23 goals, 47 points in '11) and Chris McLeod (22 goals, 39 points in '11). Austin Haley, Alex Whitmore, Tyler Gelineau, Hunter Graves, Tyler Bates and freshman Tom Koopman were also valuable scorers.
* Championship run capped off the careers of seniors that won the Division 3 North title three times in their four years of high school.
* Broke their semifinal curse by besting Pembroke by a 3-2 margin at Harvard's Bright Center on goals by Haley, Graves and Dempsey.
* Dream season ended with celebratory skate on TD Garden ice after thumping Westfield, 6-3. The Headers actually trailed, 2-1, after one period but blitzed their way to four scores in the second stanza to seize the day. Kulevich had a pair of goals while Haley, McLeod, Koopman and Graves also tickled the twine.
2. 1985 Baseball
* Division 2 state champions set a program record for wins by going 23-2, with an 18-2 regular season followed up by five straight playoff triumphs.
* Three-headed pitching monster led by Skip Likins (9-0), Norm Sherwood (8-0) and Scott Perry (6-2). Towards the end of the season, head coach Roger Tuveson would use all three for limited innings in each game to keep them fresh for the next round in what was a unique strategy at that time.
* Tremendously clutch Magician squad had a flair for the dramatic, outlasting Newburyport 6-5 in 10 innings on Sherwood's six-RBI effort in the Division 2 North final. They then walked off over Franklin, 7-5, in the state semis and got a homer from Greg Riskin to beat Worcester South, 11-9, in the state championship game.
* Won the Stevens Invitational in Newburyport to end the regular season and also had a memorable 16-11 state tournament victory in a slugfest with rival Swampscott.
* Eric "Chowder" Nottingham, who had two homers and a grand slam in the playoff win over Swampscott, was a big bat alongside NEC batting champion Mark McClellan. Tim Doyle, Peter Myerson, Scott Perry and Ben Hobson were among the squad's other standouts.
* Likins, who went on to UMass Amherst, would return to Marblehead High and coached the 1992 Division 3 state championship club.
3. 2002 Girls Soccer
*One of the best defenses in North Shore history in any sport, Marblehead's starters were unscored upon in their first 22 games of the season (conceding one with back-ups in during the regular season). Ultimately, they allowed only five goals in 24 contests.
* Goalkeeper Ali Shube's 21 straight shutouts were recognized as a national record.
* Unbeaten Northeastern Conference champs won their first 23 games, winning Division 3 North and Eastern Mass. crowns before falling to Douglas in the state final to finish with a program-best 23-1 mark.
* Coach Sammy Yawson's club topped Archbishop Williams on penalty kicks in the state semis at Boston University's Nickerson Field, with Stephanie Cronan, Molly Hughes, Kate Weinstein, Kim Reny and Alicia Ruberti all scoring.
* Leading goal scorer was sophomore Taryn Higgins (15 goals), but the team had a spread-the-wealth mentality on offense.
* Shube was MVP of the NEC while Division 1 lax recruit Kim Reny led the defense alongside fellow NEC all-stars Stephanie Cronan, Molly Hughes, Mikaila Sinclair and Kristen Goodby.
4. 1984-85 Boys Hockey
* One of the first 20-win teams in program history finished up 20-5 as runners-up in Division 1, falling 6-2 to St. John's Prep in the championship game at old Boston Garden.
* The 300th career victory of legendary coach Bob Roland's career at MHS was a 4-1 triumph over Wakefield in the Division 1 North final at the Garden. That was the school's first hockey title and their first finals appearance since 1964.
* Stud goaltender Sean Hart was at his best in the North playoffs, surrendering just four goals in four games in a high-scoring era.
* Trevor Price, who was raised in Canada, was the team's leading scorer with 20 goals. Captain Scott Rickards was another major scoring threat while Jeff Martin, Doug Percy and Doug Gatchell were other key components.
* After a second place showing in the Northeastern Conference, the Headers edged St. Peter Marian in the first round (3-2 in overtime) before blasting Somerville (5-1) and Reading (3-0) to reach the North title contest.
5. 2016 Football
* Set a program record for victories and consecutive wins to start a season with 11, never even falling behind on the scoreboard in any of their first 11 games.
* Claimed the school's first North sectional championship in football by blasting North Reading, 28-7, in the Division 2A North title game before falling to Falmouth in the Super Bowl at Gillette Stadium to finish 11-1.
* Four-peated as Northeastern Conference champions with diverse offense that featured quarterback Drew Gally (20 TD passes), running back Jaason Lopez (over 1,000 all-purpose yards, plus an area-best 92 total points) and receivers Harry Craig, Derek Marino, Justin Faia and Manning Sears.
* Scored at least 27 points in each of the first 11 games, averaging 33 per outing until the Super Bowl. Totaled 341 points on the season.
* Hard-hitting defense led by Salem News Lineman of the Year Bo Millett and linebackers Harry Craig and Aidan Gillis allowed only 136 points all season, including three shutouts. Six of the 11 opponents scored only one touchdown, and eight were held to two or fewer.
* Head coach Jim Rudloff became the Magicians' all-time wins leader during the record-setting regular season.
BEST OF THE REST
Some of the other clubs we considered for Marblehead's Cream of the Crop
Football: 2009 (10-3); 2014 (10-1)
Baseball: 1992 (18-8)
Girls basketball: 2003 (18-6)
Boys hockey: 1980 (19-3-1); 2016 (24-1-1)
Girls soccer: 1997 (17-6-1)
Girls hockey: 2006-07 (14-6-2)
Girls lacrosse: 2016 (22-2)
Swimming: 2011; 2016