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Hamilton Wenham State Champions - A special story

March 25, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

This playoff season was really something here on the North Shore. We had two teams that went undefeated and captured the State Title in the process. I followed both of them most of the way and was there when they won the whole thing. I was most interested in Hamilton Wenham since it had an interesting dynamic and it had never happened before in the schools history. 

Back in 1990 I had photographed the Salem High team go all the way to the Sate semi-final before losing to Duxbury and eventual college Div.1 and NBA player Bill Curley. That team was special! Coach Jack O'Brien had done a marvelous job of pulling that team together and had instilled in them a winning attitude. Duxbury and Curley (35 pts) were just to much to handle. One of the players on that team was Zach Zegarowski. At the time he was 15 and a sophomore but a very good player. His twin sons now 15 play for Hamilton Wenham. They are projected to be Div. 1 college players. I talked with Zach about his whole experience after so many years had passed losing to Duxbury. He said he thinks about it almost every day. He also talks with coach O'Brien four to five times a week about his sons development on and off the court. You see - coach O'Brien is more of a life coach and is a big part of Zach's life. So as Zach and I talked about things before the big game he causally mentioned that Coach is coming to see the game. I looked around the arena and there O'Brien was up in the stands black wavy hair watching the goings on before the game.

So you see I had a special reason for covering this team. Not only had four of the seniors been playing together since they were very young but the Zegarowski twins were another very special story to me. I had photographed their father in the same situation 25 years ago. Zach's comment to me was that he, his wife Mandy, daughter Maizee, and son Michael (now an NBA player) were not able to get it done (state championship) so it was up to the twins now to make the dream come true. Indeed a very special game for the Zegarowski family. So when they won it all going undefeated it was a dream come true for everyone. Here are some of the photos I made that day at WPI in Worcester.

The Hamilton Wenham crowd rushes the floor after the Div. 4 championship game as the Generals went on to win over Sutton 59-50. Wicked Local Staff Photo / Kirk R. Williamson

The Hamilton Wenham student population rushes the floor after the game.

Nolan Wilson and Max Zegarowski celebrate with the Div. 4 State Championship trophy after defeating Sutton 59-50 Friday, March 13, 2015. Wicked Local Staff Photo / Kirk R. Williamson

Nolan Wilson and Max Zegarowski celebrate with the trophy.

Austen Michel, Nico Serpa, Nikos Lara, and Mark Vivenzio celebrate after the Hamilton Wenham boys basketball team defeated Sutton 59-50 to win the Div. 4 State Championship at WPI on Friday, March 13, 2015. Wicked Local Staff Photo / Kirk R. Williamson

Nikos Lara and his teammates celebrate

Marcus Zegarowski, left, Max Zegarowski, C.J. Cooper, Nikos Lara, Jimmy Campbell and Jimmy Baras celebrate with the trophy after the Hamilton Wenham boys basketball team defeated Sutton 59-50 to win the Div. 4 State Championship at WPI on Friday, March 13, 2015. Wicked Local Staff Photo / Kirk R. Williamson

Nikos and friends celebrate with the trophy

Hamilton Wenham senior Jimmy Campbell gives his coach Doug Hoak a hug after winning the Div. 4 State Championship by defeating Sutton 59-50 Friday, March 13, 2015. Wicked Local Staff Photo / Kirk R. Williamson

Senior Jimmy Campbell gives coach Doug Hoak a tearful hug after the victory.

The Hamilton Wenham teammates Austen Michel, Marcus Zegarowski, Nico Serpa, Jimmy Campbell, and Mark Vivenzio celebrate with the trophy after the Hamilton Wenham boys basketball team defeated Sutton 59-50 to win the Div. 4 State Championship at WPI on Friday, March 13, 2015. Wicked Local Staff Photo / Kirk R. Williamson

The team celebrates with the tournament ball and state trophy

Nolan Wilson celebrates with the Div. 4 State Championship trophy with fellow students after defeating Sutton 59-50 Friday, March 13, 2015. Wicked Local Staff Photo / Kirk R. Williamson

Nolan Wilson and a fan celebrate with their fans.

Marcus Zegarowski celebrates with his parents Zach and Mandy after winning the Div. 4 State Championship by defeating Sutton 59-50 Friday, March 13, 2015. Wicked Local Staff Photo / Kirk R. Williamson

Mandy and Zach Zegarowski celebrate with son Marcus after the game. The excitement was contagious and I was so happy to be a part of it.

Max Zegarowski gets a big hug from his dad Zach as Jimmy Campbell and Marcus Zegarowsky share the moment after the Hamilton Wenham boys basketball team defeated Sutton 59-50 to win the Div. 4 State Championship at WPI on Friday, March 13, 2015. Wicked Local Staff Photo / Kirk R. Williamson

Zach gives his son Max a big hug after the victory as Jimmy Campbell and Marcus celebrate.

Marcus Zegarowski celebrates with the Div. 4 State Championship trophy by giving it a kiss after defeating Sutton 59-50 Friday, March 13, 2015. Wicked Local Staff Photo / Kirk R. Williamson

Marcus gives the state championship trophy a kiss.

Marcus listens as legendary coach Jack O'Brien talks about errors made during the game and how to avoid them in the future. 


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