Marblehead’s Haley lands Agganis Scholarship, will play in three separate Agganis Games | Sports

MARBLEHEAD — She has everything: the grades, the sports, and more specifically, the talent.

Annika Haley has parlayed her ability, drive and intelligence into an unprecedented showing at the upcoming Agganis All-Star Games. Not only will the recently graduated Marblehead High standout participate in three Agganis sports — softball on Sunday afternoon, soccer on Monday night and basketball Tuesday evening — but she’s also a recipient of one of the Agganis Foundation Scholarships.

Playing in one Agganis All-Star Game isn’t uncommon, and several athletes have played in two before. But to take part in three and receive one of the foundation’s scholarships is unheard of.

“I feel very thankful and grateful to have achieved this,” said Haley, who will attend Trinity College in Connecticut and continue her softball career. “I had to work very hard all four years of high school to get here. I’m very excited; I practice nearly every day trying to make myself better each day.”

The three-sport Northeastern Conference all-star grew up with older brothers who played baseball, and Haley adopted a competitive spirit early on. She fell in love with softball at age five and through the years she developed into a strong player in all soccer, basketball and on the diamond — and even faster runner.

Upon entering high school, she made the varsity in all three sports as a freshman. Haley served as a forward in soccer, point guard in basketball, and shining in center field for the Magicians’ softball team.

Her softball coach, Johnny Gold, and soccer coach John Dormer were in awe of the sheer amount of talent Haley brought to the field.

“Annika is an exceptional athlete. Ella she’s more of an athlete than anything of a softball player, ”said Gold. “Don’t get me wrong; Ella she’s an exceptional softball player, but Ella she’s a phenomenal athlete (first). I’ve coached 22 years of softball and she’s one of the best softball players I’ve ever seen, if not the best player I’ve had so far.”

Because of COVID-19, Haley’s sophomore season of softball was cancelled, and she played sparingly last spring as a junior.

“I wasn’t able to play softball for almost two years; it was really hard,” the star center fielder admitted. “Although it taught me a lot, too. I learned to be thankful for every game I get to play.”

“I told her that when I look back, we were cheated that we only had two years together,” Gold added.

Coming into her senior year Haley balanced schoolwork, sports, and daily life as well as being named captain of all three of her teams. Taking on the big responsibilities, she performed with ease while becoming close with her teammates and earned high statistics in athletics.

“The hardest transition for me was moving from just a player to a captain. It is a lot of work at first, getting used to being a leader and figuring out how to bring the team together,” she said. “I got used to it, though; I felt like it came natural to me and it was so much fun.”

“Annika had an impactful senior year; she was instrumental in our successful season, ”said Dormer, her soccer coach. “She was a really great leader as a captain, taking the freshmen under her wing from her. She helped guide them through the long season.”

Haley had 10 goals and four assists on the pitch last fall while helping Marblehead into the Division 2 soccer playoffs. This spring, the softball team captain had 29 outfield putouts without making a single error.

“My greatest motivation is to make my parents proud. Whenever I play well, it makes me so happy to have them be proud,” Haley declared. “I also strive to get better so I can move on to the next level of playing in college. I want to do this for myself.”

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AGGANIS GAMES START SUNDAY

Agganis All-Star Week, which involves recently graduated student-athletes from the greater Boston area celebrating the life and legacy of the great harry agganis, begins this Sunday with the Opening Ceremonies at Fraser Field in Lynn (9 am). It will be followed by four of the Games’ nine contests: girls (11 am) and boys lacrosse (1 pm) at Manning Field in Lynn, with the softball (noon) and baseball (2 pm) contests being held at Fraser Field.

Lynn Classical High School will house the girls and boys basketball games Monday at 5:30 pm and 7 pm, respectively, while the girls (5:30 pm) and boys soccer (7 pm) games will be held at Manning Field Tuesday. The 60th annual Agganis All-Star Football Game will close out the week on Wednesday at Manning Field at 6:30 pm

Salem News area student-athletes who earned 2022 Agganis Foundation Scholarships include the Marblehead High trio of Ella Kramer (going to Boston College), Grace Miller (UCLA) and Annika Haley (Trinities); Peabody’s samantha simmons (WPI), Bishop Fenwick’s Steve Woods (Bryant). Since 1955, the Agganis Foundation has awarded 1,040 scholarships totaling $2,334,000.

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