Editor’s Note: With high school sports postponed indefinitely, we’re checking in with athletes and coaches from the Andover sports community about how they are dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.
Sarah Oteri was one of the first true stars of the Andover High girls varsity hockey team.
A four-year star for the Golden Warriors (class of 2010), Oteri scored 92 career goals, including 35 in her All-Scholastic senior season. She was an All-MVC selection three times (2008-10), leading area girls in scoring each season. She was also an All-MVC pick in field hockey,
After playing club hockey at UMass Amherst, Oteri returned to the Merrimack Valley. She first worked as an assistant coach for Andover, before becoming one of the state’s premier girls hockey head coaches.
In five seasons as Methuen/Tewksbury girls hockey’s head coach, Oteri has led the Red Rangers to a 91-12-15 record. Last winter, her squad won the 2019 Division 1 state championship.
Oteri took the time to answer questions about how he’s doing during the coronavirus outbreak:
NAME: Sarah Oteri
CURRENT RESIDENCE: Haverhill
JOB/SPORT: Methuen High math teacher; head girls hockey coach, Methuen/Tewksbury
How has the shutdown of sports affected you personally?
I’ve had a lot of contact with our spring athletes and coaches. I’m trying to help them stay positive and cope with the current situation. I also miss watching sports on television, following sports stories, and seeing my athletes.
2. Who do you know who is more affected than yourself by having no sports?
Absolutely the senior athletes, I feel so sorry for them. Also, the spring coaches. You prepare all year for your season and, for them not to be able to compete and showcase their preparation, is really tough.
I also feel for the hockey state finalists who did not get to play in their championship game, I can’t even imagine being in that situation. Every athlete wants the chance to prove they are the best.
3. Under normal circumstances, what would you be doing right now?
I would be teaching and preparing summer hockey showcases and fall hockey teams. I would be getting back into a relaxed routine without high school hockey and seeing my friends and family.
4. Is this an important time in the hockey offseason?
In terms of sports, we (hockey coaches) are probably in the best situation. However, the longer this crisis goes on, the more hockey will be impacted. Athletes are missing tryouts for fall half-season teams. There are also many showcases and tournaments coming up that hockey players need for recruitment.
Lastly, spring and summer is such a great time to work on fundamentals (edge work, shooting, strength, puck control) that we don’t always get to work on during the high school season. Most hockey players are not used to being off the ice for this long.
5. Which sport do you miss the most?
I miss hockey! I miss skating and watching the NHL. I also miss spring sports at Methuen High School. I was hoping to catch many softball and lacrosse games.
6. Which players on your team do you feel are most affected by the suspension of sports?
All of my seniors; Kaia Hollingsworth, Brenna Greene, Ryan Quinn, Katelyn DiMambro, Lydia Pendleton, Madi Sjostedt, Abby O’Keefe, Tori Schille, Claudia Crowe. I’ve spoken to Brenna Greene and she was really looking forward to this lacrosse season. Also, Claudia Crowe was such a great teammate for us this winter and it was time for her to shine in softball.
7. With no NBA, NHL or March Madness, how are you getting your sports fix these days?
I’ve been watching our 2019-2020 Hudl Highlights. Our Methuen Boosters purchased Hudl for us this year and it greatly benefited our athletes in terms of preparation and development. I might rewatch our 2019 state championship win. I was also able to video conference with many of our current players and some former players. It was really nice to see their faces and hear from them.
8. To support local restaurants, where have you ordered takeout from or would like to?
I live in Haverhill and love Kruegers Flatbread. I also absolutely plan on supporting Bada Bing as they were so supportive of our team at this time last year so I want to be a teammate right back!
9. What’s your go-to movie or show to stream?
I watch Survivor, I need to get my competition in. I also read a lot of books, I am on book six of quarantine life. I’ve been listening to many sports podcasts, which helps during this time of no sports.
10. What will be the thing you’ll most want to do right away post-coronavirus crisis?
I want to get back in the classroom and back on the ice. I hope I am able to see all nine of our seniors walk across the stage at graduation. I also want to go out to dinner with my parents.