The list of accolades that have been bestowed upon recent Leominster High graduate Ricky Encarnacion continues to grow.
The University of New Haven-bound Blue Devil was recently named MIAA Student-Athlete of the Month for May after being nominated by LHS teacher Catherine Brow. The honor is given each month of the school year to a high school student who not only excels athletically, but outside of sports as well.
A three-sport athlete, Encarnacion’s exploits in football, basketball and track and field are well-documents, but he’s also busy in the community as a member of Leominster High’s Best Buddies Club, working with LifeSkills students and engaging with them at events. He’s also a volunteer referee and coach for Leominster NFL Flag Football, mentoring younger players.
In the classroom, Encarnacion has taken numerous honors and AP classes and is a member of the National Honor Society at Leominster High School.
Encarnacion starred on the gridiron last season, piling up over 1,600 all-purpose yard, including 952 receiving yards on 51 catches. He scored 20 touchdowns and made 43 tackles defensively, picking off four passes fot the Blue Devils.
He also was a starter on Leominster’s basketball team, playing a key role in the Blue Devils’ deep postseason run, and recently took first place in the triple jump at the Division 2 Championships.
“Ricky is a dedicated student and athlete and has been a pleasure to work with over the past four years,” Brow said in her nomination. “Throughout the course of his time as a high school student, Ricky has grown to be a strong, powerful leader. … Ricky truly shows the ability to balance a full schedule while also enrolling in challenging courses and maintaining a class rank in the top half of his class. He is dedicated to his studies, and puts a great deal of effort into being successful in the Honors and AP courses that he is enrolled in.
“In addition to his sports and his academics, he also holds a part-time job at a local establishment in the city and spends his weekends refereeing games for the Leominster Flag Football League. He is a phenomenal leader and sets good examples for his classmates and his teammates in everything he does.”
Great spring ends for Leominster girls lax
Though it didn’t end the way they wanted, the Leominster High girls lacrosse team’s season was one to remember this spring.
The fifth-seeded Blue Devils fell in the Division 2 quarterfinals Sunday night, dropping a 12-7 decision on the road to No. 1 East Longmeadow. The loss ends Leominster’s season with a 20-4 record.
An extremely entertaining group to watch, the Blue Devils had scoring depth that was arguably unmatched in Central Massachusetts. Whether it was Emma Miller Ayala, Gabby Santucci, Kiley Cuddahy, Kailyn Cuddahy or Ella Hersey, Leominster could attack from many angles and its defensive group wasn’t too shabby either.
Fitchburg middle schoolers cap season
Athletes from Memorial Middle School and Longsjo Middle School competed in the Division 2 Middle School State Meet on Sunday, with several students posting outstanding performances.
On the girls’ side, Longsjo sixth grader Lyla Kherallah won the 100m hurdles with a personal-best time of 17.53, while classmate Arianna Louissaint took 14th in the 200 with a personal-best time of 29.17. The 4×100 team (Louissaint, Brianna Santiago, Molly O’Dell, Kherallah) placed 20th in 1:00.29 and eighth grader Eliani Torres placed 73rd in the 100.
The Memorial girls 4×100 team (Maeve Magenis, Peyton LaVigueur, Mariah Figueroa, Addieson Ouellette) posted a 23rd-place showing in 1:02.94.
The Longsjo boys were led by eighth grader Jayden Jones who took third in the discus (101-08) and fifth in the shot put (36-01.75). Classmate Johnathan Mendez placed sixth in the high jump (5-02) and the 4×100 (Isaac Alicea, Julian Davis, Kyle Sulier, Jonathan Mendez) placed 11th with a time of 53.02.
Nico Gibson was 19th in the shot put and 24th in the discus, Kyle Sulier claimed 29th in the long jump, William Barnor was 49th in the 400 and Julian Davis was 50th in the 100. Aiden Dionne added a 67th-place showing in the 200 and Isaac Alicea was 75th in the 100.
Memorial eighth grader Ethan Kimball placed fourth in the 200 in the 25.70 and the 4x100m relay (Labah Barack, Gabriel Crespo, Ismael Santiago, Kimball) was fifth (50.76).
Gabriel Crespo added a 14th-place finish in the 100, Labah Barack was 26th in the 100 and Kayden Yang claimed 25th in the discus and 37th in the shot put.