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Apr. 16—Saluting the overachievers, the quiet leaders and the often overlooked athletes in local high school sports.

AIDAN HAMNorth Andover Track

VASTLY IMPROVEDThe 5-11, 215-pound senior threw 32-feet last winter. This winter he’s thrown 35-1 then a big 36-3.5 for a third against Central.

Shot put coach Conor Meehan said, “He will always ask how he can help the coaches, and look to help the younger throwers grow.”

His sister, sophomore Kiara, is a gymnast. Older brothers Trevor and Colby played baseball for the Knights.

Aidan is headed to Endicott College to study elementary education. He’s a baseball umpire and coaches Booster Club basketball. He volunteers at Project Home Again.

The family has two Puerto Rican rescue dogs: Riley and Piper. His favorite teacher is Todd Dulin for history and his favorite musical group is AC/DC.

MANAS JOSHIAndover Football

MAN OF HIS WORDManas has had a crazy schedule, getting ready for lacrosse, which he’ll be playing at Clark University, while playing in the Fall 2 football season.

On Senior Night, the 5-7, 145-pound receiver had his first varsity catch. He had promised coach E.J. Perry he’d get one.

Perry said, “He came to the sideline and was yelling, ‘I told you, Coach!'”

Joshi moved to Andover from Merrimack, N.H., in 6th grade. He works at Market Basket in North Andover and has played the piano for 10 years. He just got a new Halfmoon Fish named Sushi.

Joshi’s favorites include chicken parm calzones, “Family Guy,” Tom Brady, the movie “Interstellar” and history teacher Fred Hopkins.

EMILY COLANTUONIHaverhill Track

DRIVEN HILLIEThe 5-3 junior is a three-season runner. She’s a high honors student who currently is taking her third and fourth classes at Northern Essex.

Coach Mike Maguire said, “At last fall’s Senior Day, she did a tremendous job doing posters. She wasn’t happy with a recent race and came back with a big PR (15-second improvement in 1,000 meters).”Emily is the oldest of three children and dad, Bill, was a Lawrence High baseball standout. Emily enjoys hiking in North Conway. She works at the Westgate Market Basket and has an Italian greyhound named Leo.

Colantuoni’s favorites include chocolate chip cookies, Patrice Bergeron and HHS math teacher Benjamin Lawrence.

JACOB CLARKEMethuen Football

HARD-EARNED RESPECTClarke has put in the work and it has paid off with his first career start in Thursday’s game.

Coach Tom Ryan said, “Jacob is the ultimate program kid. He practices hard, plays special teams and volunteers on the scout team. He has improved tremendously from a year ago. He has earned the respect of his teammates.”

The 5-8, 170-pound senior linebacker/nose tackle said of the starting berth, “It really means a lot. I can’t wait.”

Jacob is a graduate of CGS. He has worked for Elite Metals in Dracut and intends to pursue a career in the HVAC field.

Clarke’s favorites include burritos, “Breaking Bad,” L.A. Rams star Aaron Donald and MHS teacher Caroline Sullivan.

Coaches or ADs should send nominations to Unsung Heroes writer Michael Muldoon at [email protected].

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