This article was published by Steve Krause and The Daily Item on June 14, 2020.
MALDEN — There was more than just something new this year with Malden Catholic. There was a lot new.
The year began with the arrival of new headmaster John Thornburg and athletic director William Raycraft. There were also new faculty and staff members and, of course, 180 new faces who would call themselves Lancers.
The Class of 2020 was full of hope too — for an amazing conclusion of their high school journey with friends and family they have gotten to know for the past four years. However, that didn’t work out. The world had different plans, and the students never got to re-enter the doors of 99 Crystal St. after the state shut schools down in March.
Despite the challenges that COVID-19 brought, the students, faculty and Malden Catholic flourished and prevailed. All members of the Malden Catholic community adapted quickly with the distance learning model and continued the excellence of the Malden Catholic education. The Class of 2020 continued to shine despite learning from home. These seniors still achieved greatness.
Valedictorian Michael Sekenski will attend Northeastern University in the fall and plans to major in electrical engineering. Salutatorian Ciro Carbone will attend Boston College and plans to major in business.
In addition, Malden Catholic seniors have excelled in academics, athletics and extracurricular activities this year, with many earning awards and national recognition for their achievements.
Jake Hall was announced as a National Merit Commended student. The honor is a testimony to his strong talents and academic dedication, as well as to the hard work of his teachers over many years, said school spokesman John McCormack.
This year Malden Catholic gave out its first-ever STEM Certificate, which allows students to learn and excel in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math, as well as have them work for a professional certificate that can be used during college.The certificate went to Gavin Sadler. This past year, Sadler finished third at the regional Science and Engineering Fair at Tufts University and came in first place at Malden Catholic’s Science Fair.
Each year Malden Catholic awards a Francis Halas Memorial Scholarship to a student in the National Honor Society. Halas was a Malden Catholic faculty member for more than 30 years and served as the National Honor Society advisor. This year’s winner is Carbone, and he is being recognized for his leadership, character and service.
Outside the classroom, Malden Catholic capped off one of its best overall seasons to date. Both the boys and girls basketball teams earned a spot in the MIAA Tournament and secured first-round wins over Melrose and Snowden respectively. The hockey team emerged as a threat going on an impressive win streak by upsetting ranked teams early in the season, and individuals posted record-breaking track and field numbers.
Each year Malden Catholic announces its athletic awards to student-athletes who went above and beyond to help the team win. This year’s Bert Kenty Award goes to a member of the hockey team for his outstanding determination, perseverance and unselfish performances, and the winner is Sean Noonan, president of the Class of 2020.
The next athletic achievement is for a student who excelled in two sports during his time as a Lancer. The Richard Burns ’67 Award-winner this year is Sean Kelley for his performance in football and baseball.
Each year, MC presents the John A. Saragosa Award for Excellence in athletic and scholastic excellence. This award is given to a student who excels in both academics and athletics. This year’s winner, Ty Blumberg, ranks fourth in his class, was the recipient of the University of Notre Dame Book Award, a two-time Gold Medalist in the National Spanish Exam and achieved Headmaster’s List 11 out of the 14 quarters.
The Student-Athlete award, given annually to a student who excelled to the highest level both in the classroom and on the field, went to Carbone.
Also given out this year was the Christie Serino Extraordinary Achievement Award, which is not an annual presentation, but is given on special occasions. The award honors the late athletic director and hockey coach, Christie Serino. This year’s winner is Brendan Brown.
“Student-athletes like this don’t come around often,” said Thornburg. “A standout performer since day one, he will be remembered as one of the best athletes in the history of MC track and field.”
With a personal record of 6.67 seconds in the 55-meter dash, he holds the school record and additionally holds the freshman, sophomore, junior and senior class records for the 55. This year he finished seventh and 14th place at the Division 3 States and all-states, posted an undefeated dual meet record, he was a senior captain on the football team and is “the perfect example of what a Lancer embodies,” Thornburg said.
Said Thornburg, “despite the challenges that the Class of 2020 faced, these achievements go above and beyond the average student. They have excelled in every aspect of Malden Catholic from the classroom to athletics to extracurriculars. Their hard work paid off and earned college acceptances from Cornell University, Boston College, Boston University, College of the Holy Cross, Northeastern University, University of Massachusetts-Amherst and many more. Congratulations to the Class of 2020.”
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