Each year the Pentucket Sachems girls basketball team has gone off on a tear, there has been one player who has occupied a special position within the team — the unsung senior role player.
In years past players like Andi Attenasio, Kelly Murphy, Lyndsay Beaton and Jessica Gayton all filled the role. A year ago it was Leigh McNamara. Now in the 2012-13 season, Emily Dresser has taken her turn.
The role is not an official captain’s position, although several have been captains in the past. It’s that of a player who has persevered, stuck with the program and earned minutes — sometimes few minutes — helping to keep the Pentucket green machine full steam ahead.
“Emily is a great story about high school sports, it’s just kind of meant to be,” said coach John McNamara. “She played with Coley (Viselli), and Tess (Nogueira) and Alex (Moore) in travel through eighth-grade and those girls made varsity as freshmen when Emily didn’t even make JV.
“She was on the freshmen team and I don’t think they won a game. Next year she was a sophomore she was on JV, and we didn’t have enough kids, so we had to get a waiver to get eighth-graders to come play.
“She’s just persevered and worked hard and made herself a better player,” McNamara said. “She is truly one of the key players this year not only on the court, but off the court as well. I’ve been lucky to basically inherit a fourth captain with Emily this year.”
“It’s amazing because my freshman year was a really hard year,” Dresser remembered. “Our team had eight girls, six of which had probably never played basketball, and at the end of the year I got moved up to JV. Sophomore year I started at JV, and junior year I finally moved up to varsity without playing at all. Then I decided to play on an AAU team (after her junior season) and I improved so much it was a huge difference so far.