They are rare commodities in high school sports these days, student-athletes who with the change of the three seasons simply change sports.
Jacqui Noel, a senior, and Logan DiCarlo, a junior, are winding down their busy summers of athletic competition in preparation for the upcoming Revere High School year.
Their focus has been mainly softball of late, these two valuable players and captains-elect in coach Joe Ciccarello’s rising RHS program that should contend for a Northeastern Conference championship next spring – and dare we say it, a state championship.
Noel, 17, is playing for the Medford-based Mass Fusion AAU 18-Under softball team this summer while DiCarlo has been sharpening her game for the Boston Bat Busters 18-Under team based out of North Reading.
“It’s been a good summer for softball,” said Noel, a starting centerfielder and converted left-handed leadoff hitter for the Patriots, who qualified for the State Tournament this spring. “I’ve been playing against some really good competition. We’ve played in some good tournaments in Dracut, Methuen, and Waltham.”
DiCarlo has traveled to Virginia Beach and Laconia, New Hampshire with her team, excelling as a shortstop, the position she plays for Revere High. DiCarlo succeeded former All-Star Ashley DiFraia as the Revere shortstop.
“I started at second base so it was a transition to shortstop but all the practice helped a lot,” said DiCarlo, who is the youngest player on her AAU team. “Playing AAU softball is always helping me improve – it’s good competition.”
The two players agree that the pitching at the AAU level is outstanding.
“I’ve been batting against some of the best pitchers who really throw the ball hard,” said Noel.
They are excited about the potential success of the 2013 RHS softball team. In addition to the dynamic presence of Noel and DiCarlo, the Patriots have returning star pitcher Sabrina Palermo and consensus All-Scholastic candidate Lindsay Gurska, one of the best catchers in the area and who is tearing up the AAU circuit. Right fielder Cassandra DiBella and second baseman Kristina Stella are other returning starters.
“We’re going to elevate – that’s our slogan for [Revere High] softball,” Noel and DiCarlo said in virtual unison during the interview.
Noel is happy to have a position of leadership for the softball team.
“I’m very honored to be a captain,” said Noel. “I’m happy and I hope that I can help with the team as much as I can. I want to lead by example and be a voice on the team and help out coach Ciccarello a lot.”
“I think we really came together as a team when we beat Lexington in the State Tournament,” said DiCarlo a junior captain. “Coach Ciccarello is a good coach and good motivator.”
Noel and DiCarlo are certainly leading by example with their academic accomplishments. The daughter of Steven and Kathy Noel, Jacqui has a 4.3 grade point average in Advanced Placement and Honors courses. She is considering several colleges, looking up to her older brothers and RHS alumni, Eric, a graduate of Wentworth with a degree in Electrical Mechanical Engineering, and Anthony, a student at Clark University, as outstanding role models. A younger brother, Steven, is also an all-around athlete who is entering Revere High as a freshman.
The daughter of well-known Revere baseball coach Peter DiCarlo, Logan is also an excellent student with a bright future.
Both players agree that playing softball this summer has helped them “elevate” their skills.
“I think my summer softball experience has really helped,” said Noel. “I like that I kept playing and didn’t really put down my glove at all. I’m staying busy and the more games I play and the more practices that I have, I realize the things that I can do differently and improve on every time.”
“I think playing AAU and practicing softball in the yard one-on-one with my father has made me a better player,” said DiCarlo.
As for their other sports, Noel is set to begin her final season for the RHS soccer team as a starting forward. This winter she’ll play for the varsity basketball team.
DiCarlo is a member of the RHS field hockey team and will likely have a role on the varsity basketball team.