The up-and-coming Andover track star has seen his name misspelled countless times, not to mention the mispronunciations.
So, to make it clear, his name is – Hamza Naveed.
“I’ve seen it spelled all sorts of ways,” he said with a laugh, looking through his neon pink sunglasses. “But hey, at least people still know who I am.”
If you don’t know Naveed’s name yet, expect to be hearing plenty of it for the next two-plus years.
The sophomore sprinter leads an outstanding group of Golden Warrior track underclassmen that has Andover dreaming of another boys All-State title in the upcoming seasons.
“This foundation of freshmen and sophomores is the best we have had in a long time,” said Warriors coach Peter Comeau. “Not to say we don’t have a very good group of juniors and seniors. But we have really impressive young guys in nearly every event.”
Naveed, a jet-fast sprinter, is front and center in a group of budding stars that includes sophomores Andrew Matteucci (hurdles), Andrew Marotta (throwing) and Sebastian Silveira (sprints) and freshmen Oliver Eberth (sprints, jumps) and Robert Pineault (distance).
“It really is awesome to think that we could really be able to accomplish something one day,” said Matteucci. “Coach Comeau talks about these amazing athletes like (All-Scholastics) Chris McConnell and the Veteres (Mark and Adam), and to think we could do something like that one day is really an honor.”
For Eberth, also a football star, success in running was only natural. After all, he grew up around the Eugene V. Lovely Field track watching his sister Sydney Eberth, the 2011 EMass. Division 1 champion in 400.
“My sister was an amazing runner,” said Eberth. “I would always be at her meets watching her run. I wanted to follow in her footsteps. Plus, I’m good friends with coach Comeau’s son Mikey, so I always knew I was going to play football in the fall then do track in the winter and spring.”