The year is 2020, and Peabody’s Sabrina Rizzo is doing exactly what she dreamed of doing when she was a senior at PVMHS, Class of 2013. Sabrina is teaching algebra to eager Peabody High students and she’s also working as an assistant coach for the Tanners' field hockey team.
Those are Sabrina's plans after she graduates from high school next spring and then college.
“I keep telling coach that I’m going to come back and coach field hockey at Peabody High, and I’m not joking,” Sabrina said. “I told her if she ever needs me to help out, give me a call.”
Sabrina says algebra is her favorite subject in school.
“I love algebra; I’m not a big fan of geometry, but I love algebra, and I want to become an algebra teacher, hopefully here [at PVMHS],” she said.
Sabrina lives with her family -- mom, dad and brother Josh (a freshman) -- in the Rolling Hills section of the city, and has nothing but fond memories of her time on the field hockey team this past fall. She is looking forward to the winter and spring track seasons before she graduates from PVMHS.
Brother Josh is also a student-athlete and runs cross-country, winter track and plays baseball for the Tanners.
Sabrina served as one of the tri-captains for head coach Pam Grant’s field hockey crew along with Joanne Frangias and Holly Smith. She said that in addition to her parents, Grant was a huge influence on her, helping her on and off the field of play.
Sabrina played center-halfback for Peabody, scoring her first goal against Salem in the second game of the year and then helping lead the team to a 10-6-3 record in a season that ended much too quickly with a playoff loss to Newton North.
The Tanners took the Tigers into overtime before losing 2-1 in their first round game on Nov. 2.
“This field hockey season was so exciting, we played our rivals Beverly -- they beat us with a late goal, the team played so well,” Sabrina said. “It was our first loss and we slumped a bit, but we bounced back and got into the playoffs.”
“The team was so close, a strong family, we’ve been together since sophomore year, and the bond on this team was incredible,” she said. “Our coach was great, she knew how to get us to work and play together, she really made us the team we are.”
Sabrina was selected to the NEC All-Star field hockey team in 2011 and 2012, and had four assists to go with her tally against the Witches.
“Coach showed so much confidence in me, it helped me become a better defender, a better player,” Sabrina said.
“I started playing field hockey my freshman year, I had played basketball and softball, but I switched to field hockey,” she said. “I was trying to decide on a fall sport at the time, soccer or field hockey, and my mom said to try field hockey, and I fell in love with it.”
“I’ve had Coach Grant for three years, since she was moved to the varsity and she’s taught me to love the game,” Sabrina said.
“This team was so incredible, we did so much together, we hung out together, we got dressed up for the Halloween Dance together; it was so much fun to be a part of this team,” she said.
Sabrina is a runner and long jumper for the Tanners' track teams, but there is little doubt she burns to be on the field with her hockey stick, suited up for Peabody High.
“You have to play for yourself, but it’s more important that you’re playing for the other ten people on the field, I love being a part of that,” she said. “I love helping my team and watching my teammates succeed.”
“The best feeling about being an athlete at Peabody is the support from the school and the people,” she said. “Peabody’s big into sports and it’s great being a part of it. I’m so very, very honored to be the captain of the field hockey team.”
“I have a tremendous amount of pride, being a Peabody High athlete,” Sabrina said.
Her coaches and her teammates obviously think as much of her as she thinks of them -- she was named the MVP of the team for the 2012 season, and was recognized at the field hockey banquet last Tuesday night with the award.
“Coach (Grant) does an unbelievable job, teaching us the game, getting us excited to play and keeping us together, she is pumped when we do well,” Sabrina said.
Rizzo is looking at schools -- Bridgewater, Framingham, Lasell, Western New England -- and schools are looking at her too after a high school field hockey showcase at the University of New Hampshire.
“I absolutely want to keep playing field hockey in college, and coach is excited that I want to pursue it,” Sabrina said.