Editor's note: ESPN RISE Magazine honors the top individual athletes in each of the magazine's 25 regions. Disagree with our choices? Vote for your favorite athletes here. And check out the honorees from other regions here.
BOYS' ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
Andover / Swimming
D'Innocenzo enjoyed his best season ever, and that's saying a lot for the
three-time Boston Globe Swimmer of the Year. At the MIAA meet, the senior
broke his own state record in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 53.81,
and that wasn't even his most impressive performance. In the 200 IM,
D'Innocenzo finished in 1:45.52, breaking the national high school record. He
won the 100 breaststroke and 200 IM in each of his four years at Andover.
D'Innocenzo will swim at Texas in the fall.
Dracut / Football
The gunslinging QB was named the Gatorade State Player of the Year after
throwing for 2,480 yards and 21 touchdowns. Grimard, a senior, also rushed
for 1,589 yards and 34 TDs to help Dracut win the Super Bowl.
Middlesex / Lacrosse
Slotted No. 9 in the ESPNU player rankings, Lawson is one of the most
explosive midfielders in the country. The 6-foot, 195-pound senior
has signed with Duke.
Rivers / Soccer
The Boston College-bound senior scored 31 goals and tallied 10 assists on
the season, earning ISL Offensive Player of the Year honors. Rugg was also
named the Gatorade State Player of the Year.
GIRLS' ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
Dighton-Rehoboth / Basketball
The state's high school coaches will breathe easier next year, safe in the
knowledge that Nwachukwu won't be doing any more damage. The 6-foot-2
forward will be playing for Boston College after four years of domination at
Dighton-Rehoboth. Nwachukwu was outstanding once again as a senior,
averaging 22 points, 16 rebounds and five blocks per game, and she finished
her career as Dighton-Rehoboth's all-time leading scorer (1,590 points). She
was a three-time Boston Globe All-Scholastic.
Barnstable / Volleyball
Bristol's career can be summed up with one word -- winner. Her Barnstable
team won the Division 1 state title in each of her four years, and she led the
way in 2008 with 413 kills and 50 blocks.
Ashland / Softball
With a state championship and a Gatorade State Player of the Year award
already under her belt, there's not much left for D'Argento to accomplish. The
senior is a terror in the circle and the batter's box.
North Andover / Cross Country
Kasper will finish her career as one of the most decorated multi-sport athletes
in North Andover history. She won her third cross country state title this
season, and the senior is also a state champion swimmer.