Sports

Heckman, Ouellette power Peabody to a strong finish

Peabody High seniors Keifer Heckman (left) and Nick Ouellette worked hard as cocaptains at Peabody High School  to make a difference, and will continue to play together next year at Southern New Hampshire University.
Peabody High seniors Keifer Heckman (left) and Nick Ouellette worked hard as cocaptains at Peabody High School to make a difference, and will continue to play together next year at Southern New Hampshire University.Credit: Mark Lorenz for the Boston Globe

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PEABODY — In the opinion of his head coach, Tony O’Donnell, Keifer Heckman is the “greatest player to ever wear a Peabody lacrosse uniform.”

And in his final season, teamed up with his step brother, fellow captain Nick Ouellette, Heckman put together one heck of a season, powering the Tanners to an 11-9 finish.

Although Peabody was ousted 11-6 in their tourney opener by Boston College High, a state semifinalist, it was a dramatic turnaround for a program that had compiled a 19-39 mark in its previous three seasons.

Heckman and Nick Ouellette were determined to make a difference.

“Captains were never really taken seriously,” Heckman said. “We wanted to change that.”

The hard work paid off: the Tanners qualified for the tournament for the first time since 2009.

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