, Newburyport, MA

November 6, 2013

Sports in a minute

Newburyport Daily News

---- — Atkinson tennis courts resurfaced

Good news for the Newburyport High tennis teams: The school’s home courts on Atkinson Common were recently resurfaced. The Newburyport Parks Commission tapped into grant funding to take on long overdue improvements. The cost of the project was approximately $30,000 — $6,000 of which came from a grant awarded by the U.S. Tennis Association (USTA).

Deterioration of the facility posed safety hazards to players to the point Newburyport started its tennis season late last spring. Temporary repairs funded by the Newburyport Community Tennis Association (NCTA) and Belleville Improvement Society allowed high school teams to play after all, and other programs ran as normal throughout the summer. In addition to providing home courts for the high school teams, the three-court facility offers programming space for Newburyport Youth Services (NYS) and NCTA.

Funding for the project came from multiple sources including grants from the Mayor Gayden W. Morrill Charitable Foundation (MGWMCF), the NCTA, NYS, individual donations made to the Parks Commission for parks maintenance and improvement, and a portion from the Parks Commission’s operating budget.

Marc de Kanter of the NCTA spearheaded the project after moving to the area a few years ago.

“I grew up playing tennis, and I moved near the court,” de Kanter said. “I saw the surfaces get worse and worse, so I started the effort to raise the money.”

Mass. mismatches

The Mass. North Sectional high school football quarterfinals last weekend were, by and large, eminently forgettable. The average victory margin for the 28 games was a whopping 20.2 points. Pentucket’s 32-0 victory over Hamilton-Wenham was the largest margin in the Division 4 playoffs. Triton’s 31-22 loss to Watertown was the smallest margin.

Martin’s ride to NAC finals

Amesbury High alumna Emily Martin, a freshman soccer player at Colby-Sawyer, is enjoying a postseason run for the second year in a row. After taking the Amesbury girls soccer team to the postseason last year, Martin is contributing for Colby-Sawyer during the North Atlantic Conference tournament. Colby-Sawyer advanced to the NAC finals for the second straight season with a 1-0 win over Husson in yesterday’s semifinals contest. The Chargers will host Castleton on Saturday afternoon. Martin has played in all 21 games for the Chargers (18-0-3) this season, earning 13 starts. She has one goal on 15 shots.

NHS Wall of Fame

The Newburyport Wall of Fame banquet will be held Nov. 7 at the Newburyport Elks Club. Tickets are $35 each, and may be purchased at the Park Lunch, Newburyport High or by contacting Tom Smolski at 978-361-7635. No tickets will be sold at the door. The class includes Bradley Fuller, who served on the Newburyport School Committee from 1938 to 1989; Daniel “Francis” Sullivan, who was a the three-sport athlete in the Class of 1934; David E. Fournier, a three-sport athlete in the Class of 1978; Michael E. O’Connor, a 1981 graduate who was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in 1984; Vicky Kelleher Connor, a 1987 graduate who earned 12 varsity letters; and Michael Rymsha, a 1991 graduate who was the 1990 Cape Ann League Player of the Year in football.

A local high school swim team

Newburyport, Triton and Georgetown will form a coop swim team this season — the first time any of the programs will offer an MIAA-sanctioned swim team. The team will compete in the Cape Ann League and train at the YWCA of Greater Newburyport. Diane Sagaser will coach the team. Segaser has been involved in swimming for the past 40 years, both as a participant and on the professional level. She grew up in Andover, where she swam for the Andover-North Andover YMCA team, and then for a YWCA team in Lawrence. She swam for Andover High, and then continued on to Springfield College.

Sagaser held various positions within the YWCA of Greater Newburyport aquatics department, including aquatics director. After a period away from the sport when Sagaser started a family, she returned in 2007 with the Andover-North Andover YMCA, where she worked until 2011. Since that time she’s worked with private swim companies and as the coach of the North Andover High girls swim team. A family move brought her to the YWCA Greater Newburyport last year.