By Mac Cerullo
---- — For the past four years, Newburyport senior Mary Pettigrew has been a standout member of the field hockey, girls basketball and girls lacrosse teams, and now she will have a chance to finish off her high school career with the ultimate accomplishment — a state championship.
Pettigrew has been an anchor on the team’s defensive unit, and on Monday she played an integral role in shutting down Norwell’s offense in the second half, giving the Clippers a chance to come back and win the game.
Now with less than three days to go before the biggest game of her life, Pettigrew is taking a moment to reflect on her career and share her thoughts on Saturday’s state championship showdown with Bromfield for this week’s edition of Around the Horn.
So first things first, how does it feel to be playing for a state championship? “It’s unreal. I never thought it would happen to me, out of all four years of high school. It’s just a great feeling.”
What was the first thought that went through your mind once the final horn sounded on Monday? “Is this really happening? It’s been a couple of days and I still can’t believe it, it’s awesome.”
From where we were sitting at Monday’s semifinal, Norwell looked like a really tough team. In your opinion, how did they stack up compared to some of the other teams you’ve seen this season? “They were a really good team. We had never seen them before, but I think a couple of teams in our league definitely play like them. I know Masco for sure matches up to them, maybe Manchester Essex did too. They were a really tough team.”
What kind of game are you expecting out of Bromfield this weekend? “It’s going to be a tough game. All the teams that weren’t as good have been weeded out now, it’s down to the very good teams, so every game we knew we were going to be playing in the playoffs, the teams are going to be really good, so I’m expecting nothing less.”
Have you ever played in a game of this magnitude? “Yeah, but not in this sport. In basketball I remember playing Masco for the second time was a really tough game, because the first time we played them we lost by a lot, and we wanted to prove ourselves, and it was their senior night, so when we did end up playing them we came out on fire and I’m pretty sure we only lost by a few, but we were up for a while.”
You also play field hockey and basketball; which of those do you consider your main sport, or do you like all three equally? “When I was younger, I considered basketball my main sport, but after playing the three sports all four years, I like them all equally now.”
What are your plans for next year? “I’m going to be attending UMass Amherst, I’m going to be majoring in nursing, and I’m not going to be playing any sports affiliated with that school because they’re Division I, but I’m going to play field hockey, basketball and lacrosse at a lower level, like intramurals.”
Do you have a job? “I have two. I work at Tendercrop Farm and I also work at Honey Dew Donuts.”
Now that you’ve graduated, what would you say has been your best memory from high school? “That’s a tough one. Probably winning the North Sectional championship. I’ve never gotten that far in a tournament before, and I can just remember my team, and my coach specifically with tears streaming down her face saying, ‘Remember this moment, you’ll remember it forever,’ and I just think it was a great moment.”
All right, prediction time. Who wins this weekend and what’s the final score? “I think we’re going to win, and I’ll say the score will probably be around 13-12 or 13-11. It will be a close game.”
Movie: “The Breakfast Club”
Book: The Harry Potter series
TV Show: “Friends” or “Grey’s Anatomy”
Band: The Zac Brown Band
Athlete: Zdeno Chara
Food: Buffalo Chicken
Teacher: Mr. Yeomans, biology teacher