4. Late-season charge from the Clippers: In jeopardy of missing the state tournament with two weeks remaining in the season, the Newburyport baseball team went on a run in late May. The Clippers rattled off eight straight victories, including a win over defending state champion North Reading in the Division 3 quarterfinals. The season came to an end with a 6-2 loss to Whittier Tech in the semifinals, but not before Clipper fans starting having flashbacks of the 2011 state-championship run.
5. On track for record feats: Several local athletes stepped up with top performances in statewide competitions at the end of the season. Newburyport sophomore Nick Carleo collected a Division 4 championship in the mile (4:28), leading the Clippers to a second-place finish as a team. Amesbury’s Evan King won the javelin (169-7) in the same meet. Pentucket athletes flashed their prowess in the pole vault at the Division 3 championships, when Tom Funk earned the boys’ title (11-0) and Ali Attenasio took the top spot (9-6) in the girls meet. Amesbury’s Perry Mroz placed second in the shot put (55-1 1/2) at the All-State Championships, breaking a 21-year-old school record. Pentucket’s McKenna Kilian placed third overall in the Mass. Heptathlon and Decathlon Championships with 3,546 points.
6. Ready for the next step: The Newburyport boys lacrosse team continued its run of strong regular-season play over the last four seasons. The Clippers have a cumulative record of 58-14 over the last four seasons, although they are just 2-4 in the state tournament. This year’s team collected one of those tourney wins despite suffering a rash of injuries at midseason. Sophomore Mike Shay had nine goals in his team’s tournament win over Norwell.
7. Historic tourney moment: The Newburyport girls lacrosse team collected a victory in a state tournament game for the first time in program history. The 11th-seeded Clippers (12-7) dealt sixth-seeded Watertown (16-1-1) its first loss of the season in the opening round of the Division 2 North tournament. The Clippers eventually bowed out of the tournament against Wayland, but not before setting a school record for wins.