Player of the Week: Emma Eberhardt, Sharon Lax

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Emma Eberhardt
 
By HockomockSports.com Staff

Sharon senior Emma Eberhardt has been selected as the HockomockSports.com Player of the Week, presented by Morse Insurance, for April 7 through April 13. Eberhardt is the 25th player chosen as Player of the Week for the 2018-19 school year and the second player in the spring season.

Eberhardt, a senior midfielder, was the primary offensive threat for the Eagles during a two-win week, which included Sharon’s first league win of the season. The Lehigh University-commit scored 12 goals, assisted on three others, snagged 13 draw controls, and scooped 13 ground balls, providing the Eagles with an all-around game to push their record to 3-1 this season.

“Emma is a fantastic leader, she has an ability to focus our team, to share her insight on the game, and to get our team pumped up,” said Sharon coach Shara Ginthwain. “She works hard to not only make herself better but to also help younger players improve their games as well. Her lacrosse IQ allows her to read plays anticipate passes, and get to the ball before her opponent. She really can do it all and our team is lucky to have her!”

Eberhardt started the week by helping Sharon beat Canton for its first league win. She was a factor in all eight of Sharon’s goals, scoring five times and assisting on the other three. Two days later the Eagles beat North Attleboro in a non-league game and Eberhardt was once again in the middle of everything Sharon had going on offense. She scored seven of the team’s 15 goals to extend the team’s win streak to three games since the season-opening loss to King Philip.

The Player of the Week, presented by Morse Insurance, is selected by the HockomockSports.com staff. Nominations can be submitted throughout the week up until Saturday night at midnight. There may be a poll posted on every Sunday with the nominations. The results of the poll influence the selection but do not strictly dictate the decision.

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Player of the Week: Jackie Cherry, Franklin Softball

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Jackie Cherry
 
By HockomockSports.com Staff

Franklin senior Jackie Cherry has been selected as the HockomockSports.com Player of the Week, presented by Morse Insurance, for March 31 through April 6. Cherry is the 24th player chosen as Player of the Week for the 2018-19 school year and the first player in the spring season.

Cherry, a senior pitcher, opened the season with a no-hitter against defending division champion King Philip, providing the perfect start for a Panthers squad aiming to get back into postseason contention this spring. Franklin beat the Warriors 2-0 and Cherry was able to shut down one of the most potent lineups in the Hock.

“Jackie had an outstanding outing in our season opener,” said Franklin coach Kate Fallon Comeau. “She showed grit and a great command of her pitches in the circle. Ally Shea’s pitch-calling kept Jackie focused and consistent. I’m excited to see what the future holds for Cherry, she’s worked incredibly hard this off-season.”

On Thursday, Cherry allowed no hits and struck out 10 in a complete game win over the Warriors, who reached the Div. 1 South final last season. She only allowed four baserunners all game, three on walks and one who reached on an error, and continued to battle through a pitcher’s duel against KP starter Faith Turinese. Cherry finished last season with a 3.76 ERA and 77 strikeouts.

The Player of the Week, presented by Morse Insurance, is selected by the HockomockSports.com staff. Nominations can be submitted throughout the week up until Saturday night at midnight. There may be a poll posted on every Sunday with the nominations. The results of the poll influence the selection but do not strictly dictate the decision.

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Player of the Week: Megan O’Connell, Franklin Hoops

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Megan O'Connell
 
By HockomockSports.com Staff

Franklin junior Megan O’Connell has been selected as the HockomockSports.com Player of the Week, presented by Morse Insurance, for March 3 through March 9. O’Connell is the 23rd player chosen as Player of the Week for the 2018-19 school year and the 13th player in the winter season.

O’Connell has been an important part of Franklin’s league championship season, but that went to a new level on Friday night at Worcester State when she hit arguably the biggest shot in the program’s history (to this point). With the Panthers down one to undefeated top seed Wachusett in the Div. 1 Central final, O’Connell grabbed an offensive rebound and hit an off-balance putback at the buzzer to secure the program’s first-ever sectional title.

“Megan is the ultimate team-first player who has done everything we have asked of her to help this team win,” said Franklin coach John Leighton. “In the playoffs, she has raised her game to a whole new level both offensively and defensively. I could not be prouder of her.”

O’Connell finished the sectional final with 10 points and nine rebounds and she continued to combine well with center Ali Brigham, using her ability to take players off the dribble to open up passing lanes to get the ball into her classmate. In addition to her heroics against Wachusett, O’Connell rebounded from a tough shooting night in the playoff opener to spark Franklin to a big win against Concord-Carlisle in the semifinal.

She scored 10 of Franklin’s 14 points in the first quarter, taking advantage of the attention being paid top Brigham to find driving lanes. She finished with 19 points and 13 rebounds, as the Panthers advanced to the Central final for the first time since 2015. O’Connell also knocked down a big jumper late in the comeback against Westford Academy that kicked off Franklin’s tournament run.

The Player of the Week, presented by Morse Insurance, is selected by the HockomockSports.com staff. Nominations can be submitted throughout the week up until Saturday night at midnight. There may be a poll posted on every Sunday with the nominations. The results of the poll influence the selection but do not strictly dictate the decision.

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Player of the Week: Joey Lizotte, Franklin Hockey

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Joey Lizotte
 
By HockomockSports.com Staff

Franklin senior Joey Lizotte has been selected as the HockomockSports.com Player of the Week, presented by Morse Insurance, for Feb. 24 through March 2. Lizotte is the 22nd player chosen as Player of the Week for the 2018-19 school year and the 12th player in the winter season.

Lizotte has been a critical piece of Franklin’s run through the opening two rounds of the state tournament. He has recorded a goal and two assists in those two games, helping the No. 11 seed Panthers beat sixth-seed Falmouth and No. 3 seed Mansfield. Lizotte was tied as the top scorer for Franklin during the regular season with 13 points (seven goals and six assists).

“Every time Joe steps on the ice he makes something positive happen for the Panthers,” said Franklin coach Chris Spillane. “In the last two tournament games we have scored four goals, Joe has factored into three of those.”

In the opening round against Falmouth, Lizotte assisted on the only goal of the game, passing up a chance to put the rebound away and instead sliding a pass across the crease for Kyle Hedvig to score. Against Mansfield in the second round, Lizotte played a one-two with Shane McCaffrey for the opening goal of the game and then popped up in the third period to finish off a pass from Hedvig to tie the game with 9:41 remaining. The goal ended up forcing overtime where the Panthers went on to win.

The Player of the Week, presented by Morse Insurance, is selected by the HockomockSports.com staff. Nominations can be submitted throughout the week up until Saturday night at midnight. There may be a poll posted on every Sunday with the nominations. The results of the poll influence the selection but do not strictly dictate the decision.

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Player of the Week: David Peters, Stoughton Track

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David Peters
 
By HockomockSports.com Staff

Stoughton junior David Peters has been selected as the HockomockSports.com Player of the Week, presented by Morse Insurance, for Feb. 17 through Feb. 23. Peters is the 21st player chosen as Player of the Week for the 2018-19 school year and the 11th player in the winter season.

Peters took home the title in the 55-meter hurdles at this past weekend’s All-State Meet at the Reggie Lewis Center in Boston. He set a personal best with a time of 7.46, edging the second-place finisher from Acton-Boxboro by only 0.01 seconds, to bring home first in his first year racing at the indoor all-state meet. Peters also took part in the long jump, finishing ninth with a leap of more than 21 feet.

“This weekend was huge for David,” said Stoughton track coach Lauren Pinchieri. “We knew that when he was challenged he would rise to success. David exceeds expectations in every single way! It is a pleasure coaching him.”

Peters has been on a roll over the past few weeks, showing steady improvement in his times, while winning the title at the Hockomock Championships and the Div. 3 meet. He won the Hocks with a time of 7.62 and then won the D3 meet with a time of 7.59 before setting a new PR to win at all-states.

This is the second time that Peters has been named Player of the Week. He also earned the honor last May after winning the 110-meter hurdles title at the outdoor D3 meet. Peters went on to finish seventh in the event in the all-state meet two weeks later.

The Player of the Week, presented by Morse Insurance, is selected by the HockomockSports.com staff. Nominations can be submitted throughout the week up until Saturday night at midnight. There may be a poll posted on every Sunday with the nominations. The results of the poll influence the selection but do not strictly dictate the decision.

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Player of the Week: Mateusz Kudra, North Wrestling

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Mateusz Kudra of North Attleboro wrestling
 
By HockomockSports.com Staff

North Attleboro senior Mateusz Kudra has been selected as the HockomockSports.com Player of the Week, presented by Morse Insurance, for Feb. 10 through Feb. 16. Kudra is the 20th player chosen as Player of the Week for the 2018-19 school year and the 10th player in the winter season.

Kudra, a University of Virginia-commit, continued his unbeaten season by winning the Div. 3 state title at 285 pounds at this weekend’s state meet at Beverly High. Coming into the tournament as the top seed, Kudra won all four of his matches and didn’t allow any of his opponents to score a point against him. With Kudra winning his individual title, North finished second as a team, scoring 104.5 points, behind only Central Catholic.

Kudra reached the final on the back of three straight pins, with only one of the first three matches lasting beyond the first period. In the final against his opponent from Tewksbury, Kudra scored five points in the second period and that turned out to be all the scoring, as he took a 5-0 decision to win the state title. His record improved to 42-0 on the season.

This weekend, Kudra and North will head to the all-state tournament at St. John’s Prep. Last year, wrestling at 220 pounds, Kudra placed third at all-states, and then went on to finish sixth overall at the New England championships.

The Player of the Week, presented by Morse Insurance, is selected by the HockomockSports.com staff. Nominations can be submitted throughout the week up until Saturday night at midnight. There may be a poll posted on every Sunday with the nominations. The results of the poll influence the selection but do not strictly dictate the decision.

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Player of the Week: Jada Johnson, Sharon Track

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Jada Johnson
 
By HockomockSports.com Staff

Sharon junior Jada Johnson has been selected as the HockomockSports.com Player of the Week, presented by Morse Insurance, for Feb. 3 through Feb. 9. Johnson is the 19th player chosen as Player of the Week for the 2018-19 school year and the ninth player in the winter season.

Johnson put in a strong performance at the annual Hockomock League Indoor Track Championships this weekend at the Reggie Lewis Center in Boston. She took first place in three events: the 55-meter hurdles, long jump, and high jump, helping the Eagles take fifth overall (second among Davenport teams) with 60 points.

In the 55-meter hurdles, Johnson took first in a time of 8.43, which was 0.3 better than the second-place runner and 0.4 faster than her time at last year’s championship meet. Johnson then took first in the high jump, clearing five feet, seven inches. The next highest jump was five inches lower.

In her third event of the day, Johnson jumped 18 feet, 3-1/2 inches to win the long jump competition by nearly a foot. Her distance set a new Sharon record as well as a new meet record, breaking the record she set last year. It was also almost a foot longer than her jump at last year’s indoor championships and three inches longer than her jump at the outdoor championships last spring.

Johnson has been a strong performer for the Eagles in both indoor and outdoor track for several seasons. The Eagles were second in the state in Div. 3 last winter, with Johnson taking second in the long jump, fifth in the high jump and third in the hurdles at the state meet. She also finished second in both the long jump and the high jump at last year’s Div. 2 EMass Outdoor Track Championships, which the Eagles won.

The Player of the Week, presented by Morse Insurance, is selected by the HockomockSports.com staff. Nominations can be submitted throughout the week up until Saturday night at midnight. There may be a poll posted on every Sunday with the nominations. The results of the poll influence the selection but do not strictly dictate the decision.

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Player of the Week: Morgan O’Hara, OA Swimming

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Oliver Ames' Morgan O'Hara
 
By HockomockSports.com Staff

Oliver Ames junior Morgan O’Hara has been selected as the HockomockSports.com Player of the Week, presented by Morse Insurance, for Jan. 27 through Feb. 2. O’Hara is the 18th player chosen as Player of the Week for the 2018-19 school year and the eighth player in the winter season.

O’Hara dominated the annual Hockomock Girls Swim Championships at Milford High this weekend, helping Oliver Ames win its first ever team title at the meet. O’Hara finished in first in all four of the events that she took part in (two individual races and two relays) and set new meet records in all four. The Tigers grabbed the lead only a few races into the meet and never looked back, finishing with 378 points as a team, which was more than 60 points better than second place Franklin. OA also won the Kelley-Rex dual meet title with a perfect 5-0 record.

“Morgan is the example of leading the team,” said Oliver Ames coach Lauren Gray. “Morgan has always kept her eye on everyone in the league and she knew what she wanted to achieve. It shows in how she’s beating her own records year after year.”

It wasn’t until the sixth race of the day that O’Hara first got into the pool, but she made an instant impact, winning the 100-yard freestyle in a meet record time of 53.54. It broke the record that she set last winter. Two events later, O’Hara was the anchor leg for the meet record-setting 200-yard freestyle relay team, which finished in 1:42.74, nearly five seconds better than the second place team from Attleboro.

In the very next event, O’Hara showed her versatility by winning the 100-yard backstroke in a time of 59.12, more than three seconds better than the second place finisher and another time that eclipsed a meet record that she set last year. Although the title was mostly secured going into the final event, the 400-yard freestyle relay, OA made sure to finish in style, setting a fourth meet record with a time of 3:46.66. It was more than eight seconds better than the second place team from Franklin. O’Hara swam the anchor leg to close out the meet for the Tigers.

The Player of the Week, presented by Morse Insurance, is selected by the HockomockSports.com staff. Nominations can be submitted throughout the week up until Saturday night at midnight. There may be a poll posted on every Sunday with the nominations. The results of the poll influence the selection but do not strictly dictate the decision.

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Player of the Week: Ali Brigham, Franklin Basketball

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Ali Brigham Franklin
 
By HockomockSports.com Staff

Franklin junior Ali Brigham has been selected as the HockomockSports.com Player of the Week, presented by Morse Insurance, for Jan. 20 through Jan. 26. Brigham is the 17th player chosen as Player of the Week for the 2018-19 school year and the seventh player in the winter season.

Brigham has established herself as one of the top players not only in the league but in the state and had another dominating week for the Panthers, who remain undefeated in league play and with just one loss overall (an exclusion game against Coyle & Cassidy). The 6-foot-3 center, and George Washington University-commit, scored 20-plus points in all three wins this week, including a showdown against fellow league leader Foxboro.

“It’s great coaching a kid that wants to become better,” said Franklin coach John Leighton following the Foxboro win. “She’s not complacent. She’s not close to the player that she wants to be, yet. She keeps expanding her game.”

The week began with a non-league game against potential Central rival Holy Name. Brigham scored 23 points in the game and sealed the season sweep against the Naps by scoring the game-winning basket with just a second remaining on the clock. The following night, she put together an impressive stat line of 27 points, 15 rebounds, and six blocks to lift the Panthers to a win at Foxboro, ending the Warriors’ 33-game league win streak (and 26-game win streak overall).

On Friday night, Brigham was back at it again, scoring 24 points, as Franklin beat Attleboro to maintain its two-game lead on Mansfield in the Kelley-Rex division, trying to end the Hornets’ three-year run as league champs and win their first title since 2013. For the season, Brigham leads the Hockomock League with 22.7 points per game.

The Player of the Week, presented by Morse Insurance, is selected by the HockomockSports.com staff. Nominations can be submitted throughout the week up until Saturday night at midnight. There may be a poll posted on every Sunday with the nominations. The results of the poll influence the selection but do not strictly dictate the decision.

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Player of the Week: Xavier Machuga, Canton Basketball

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Xavier Machuga
 
By HockomockSports.com Staff

Canton senior Xavier Machuga has been selected as the HockomockSports.com Player of the Week, presented by Morse Insurance, for Jan. 13 through Jan. 19. Machuga is the 16th player chosen as Player of the Week for the 2018-19 school year and the sixth player in the winter season.

Sometimes moments transcend the game and that was the case on Tuesday night when Machuga took the court at the start of the Bulldogs’ game with Mansfield. Less than two years after suffering a life-altering brain aneurysm in May 2017, Machuga put on his Canton No. 10 uniform and returned to the court. He scored the first basket of the night for Canton, drawing a standing ovation from both sets of players and fans.

“Xavier’s moment, it’s bigger than basketball,” said Canton head coach Ryan Gordy. “To see all the hard work he’s put in to get back to that moment, it’s pretty emotional for me, him and his family, and all the guys on the team. It’s been a long road to recovery and it’s just a really awesome, special moment for him and everybody in our community to see that happen.

“Tonight was pretty special, it was one of the coolest moment I’ve been involved in in my life.”

Mansfield head coach Mike Vaughan, who coached Machuga in AAU prior to the incident, said, ““It’s so much bigger than basketball. Just to be able to recognize a kid who, given different circumstances, would have been here and been a key contributor to the Canton High team, but because of some unfortunate events had to take another path. I knew X before he got sick and now I’ve been able to see what he’s been able to do after he got sick. What’s amazing is he still wants to impact people. You just can’t say enough good things about when people live their life that way and want to do good things.”

Machuga moved from Connecticut to Canton as a freshman, was a swing player as a sophomore, and looked set to be an important varsity player for his final two seasons until he suffered an aneurysm in May. He spent a week in a medically-induced coma and had to learn how to walk and talk again. Over the past 18 months, as Machuga worked hard to recover, he became an inspiration to the Canton program (being on the bench for every game for the team’s first league title since 1992) and the entire school community. That culminated on Tuesday night when he took the floor for the varsity team for the first time and gave everyone who was there a moment to remember.

The Player of the Week, presented by Morse Insurance, is selected by the HockomockSports.com staff. Nominations can be submitted throughout the week up until Saturday night at midnight. There may be a poll posted on every Sunday with the nominations. The results of the poll influence the selection but do not strictly dictate the decision.

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