Friday, April 09, 2010

Hall of Fame

I met with the Athletic Director at the high school, yesterday to talk with him about the tennis team. When I entered the main office, I received cheers from the usual cranky office workers. I looked behind me to see who they were cheering, but I was the only one there!
They congratulated me on the girl's tennis victory and I was speechless....that doesn't happen very often!

I sat down in the A.D.'s corner office and we talked about the tennis team. Everything is going well, just some minor hiccups with the weather, but rain in NH is nothing new or even strange. So, we talked about adjusting our schedule as needed.

As I was getting ready to leave, Mr. Brown mentioned to me that I was in a fantastic spot concerning the "Hall of Fame Awards" at the high school, honoring past graduates who have contributed to outstanding athletic performance.
Wow, I thought! I got a standing ovation from the office pool and now there is talk of me entering in the Hall of Fame!

Well, like usual, I let fame go to my head.

Alas, Mr. Brown was not talking about me entering the Hall of Fame, but of me being in a fantastic position because I could nominate my sisters, M & P!

So, I set out last night to write my nomination. And let me tell you, those two have done a lot! And I only scraped the surface! Here are some excerpts from my nomination. There is a Board to decide who is accepted into the Hall of Fame, but I gave my two cents.

I wish to nominate Marilena Canuto and Piera Canuto into the Sports Hall of Fame.

Marilena and Piera are my younger sisters, the second and third children in a family of five. All of the Canuto children graduated from Kearsarge and then college, but it was Marilena and Piera who made sports their profession and lives. They have lived and breathed sports and competition from early childhood.

My mother used to tell us that she would place a ball in one of their cribs and they would toss it back and forth, even as babies.

Marilena and Piera graduated from Kearsarge in 1993 and the University of New Hampshire in 1997 with a M.A. in Kinesiology. Identical twins, they spent high school and college together, both as roommates and teammates.

Both played varsity soccer, were track and field athletes and participated in winter track. Both hold many school records, including freshmen records, in track and field - relays, high jump and pole vault. They competed in almost every track and field event from hurdles, to relays to pole vault, javelin, shotput and high jump. They competed in the Meet of Champions, the New Englands and even the Nationals.

While still in high school, they assisted Peter Steece with his UNITOR soccer camp that he ran at Colby Saywer College.

They participated in sports in college track and field at UNH.


Marilena has been teaching physical education at Berwick Academy from kindergarten through grade 6 since 1997. She has her national soccer coaching license as well as her “D” license from the US Soccer Federation and is the Director of the Multi-Sports Day Camp at Berwick Academy.

In 1993, Marilena placed 5th in the high jump (5’5”) in the Tenth Annual National Scholastic Track & Field Championships at Syracuse. (March 13 - 15th 1993)

Since 1997, Marilena has been working at Berwich Academy, earning multiple awards, “Jimmy Dean Teacher of the Year” and in 2009 won another teaching award.

She continues to coach teams at the high school level and encourages a love of fitness and sportsmanship.


Piera Canuto works in Bethlehem, New York as a physical education instructor at the high school and is the Aquatics Director for the Parks and Recreation Department in Bethlehem, NY.

She coaches JV Soccer and Girl’s Softball.

In 1997, Piera competed in the America East Track Meet for UNH and placed 5th in the high jump 5’ 2.25”, (2-16-1997). She regularly competed and placed in the javelin. She placed 3rd in the javelin in the Bay State Finals 1997 at MIT 116’06”. (7-19-97)

Marilena and Piera have always been involved in athletics and continue to compete at various club sports. They spent their youth competing at a very high level of soccer and track and field. For the past 17 years they have parlayed their love for competition into teaching and coaching. Sports will always be part of their lives.

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