Sun Sampler: A healthy portion of our freshest good stuff

With in-depth reporting, intricate storytelling and thoughtful perspectives we have striven to create a menu that accentuates the best of Worcester and its surrounding communities. Something you didn’t know yesterday that makes you think about tomorrow. The places you’ll want to go. Real folks with incredible stories, who we think you’d want to meet.

The Score with Ken Powers:  Bowl-winning Pucko rings in new chapter

When Mike Pucko became head football coach at Holy Name Central Catholic High School back in 2005, and for several years thereafter, the Naps annually played — and beat — some of the perennial Central Massachusetts powers, like Fitchburg, Leominster, Wachusett Regional and Nashoba.

For the last few seasons, though, due in large part to realignment and declining enrollment numbers on Granite Street, Holy Name’s schedule has included smaller-but-well-heeled schools such as Algonquin and Auburn, not to mention the even smaller likes of North and Hudson.

Mike Pucko, former Holy Name football coach

Ken Powers / For Worcester Sun

Mike Pucko, former Holy Name football coach

The downgrade in the Naps’ schedule, along with fact that fewer and fewer student-athletes were choosing to play football every year, were the major factors in Pucko’s decision last month to resign.

The Score with Ken Powers: Mosley courts success, own legacy

When you think about it, Mya Mosley couldn’t help but become a basketball player.

Mosley, a senior at Wachusett Regional, is averaging 13.2 points per game for the 8-1 Mountaineers [as of Friday, Jan. 22]. To say that there is a strong basketball influence in her gene pool is kind of like saying the Porsche 911 is a fast car [Editor’s note: Um, KP, maybe a car not from the ‘80s; I’d have gone Bugatti Veyron or McLaren F1, myself. But, anyway — carry on].

Wachusett basketball star Mya Mosley stands with her parents, Will Mosley of Worcester and Donna Gillogly, who captained the team at Worcester State.

Ken Powers / For Worcester Sun

Wachusett basketball star Mya Mosley stands with her parents, Will Mosley of Worcester and Donna Gillogly, who captained the team at Worcester State.

Mosley’s father, Will, a Worcester firefighter (and former police officer), was a standout player at Burncoat High who went on to play briefly at Division 2 Assumption College. Will still competes in adult leagues throughout the city and works with many Worcester-area athletes as a personal trainer.

Mosley’s mother, Donna Gillogly, excelled in basketball in both high school and college.

The Score with Ken Powers: Students launch effort to help Nikki Berthiaume

Helping one of their own in need.

That is the sole motivating factor behind the decision by a group of Auburn High School student-athletes to organize a fundraiser for Nicole “Nikki” Berthiaume, the young woman who had her right arm severed in a boating accident in Boston Harbor on May 30.

Berthiaume, 20, is a 2013 Auburn High graduate. She lives in town with her mother, Debi DePasquale. While at Auburn High she was a participant in many student activities and was a member of the girls golf team and girls track team, and she served as a manager for the varsity football team.

AHS Leadership Ambassadors, from left, Samantha Moreau, Emily Sarkisian and Conor Scully model Run for a Rocket T-shirts at Auburn High.

Ken Powers / For Worcester Sun

AHS Leadership Ambassadors, from left, Samantha Moreau, Emily Sarkisian and Conor Scully model Run for a Rocket T-shirts at Auburn High.

The AHS Leadership Ambassadors – seniors Emily Sarkisian, Conor Scully, Samantha Moreau, Dean Lemansky and Riley Simmons – decided in early September to hold a benefit for Berthiaume to help defray some of the costs associated with the accident.

The Score with Ken Powers: Assumption runner outpaces challenges

[Editor’s note: This is the debut of what will be a semi-regular Worcester Sun feature chronicling the city’s vast sports scene. Ken Powers has been known for many things over the last decade, but when I first met him in the summer of 1996 he was in the middle of a long run as one of the preeminent high school sports reporters in New England. There wasn’t a coach he couldn’t get on the phone or a score he couldn’t track down. Athletic directors, coaches, kids and parents liked him. Talked to him. Trusted him. He’s back. And the Sun is proud to have him on board to anchor our sports coverage. Stay tuned for more from KP and other contributors.]

If you’re keeping score – and we are because, after all, that’s what this column is all about – Assumption College sophomore Michaela Flaherty is a local athlete you should root for.

Flaherty, 19, made history last month when she won her division of the 39th Annual Tufts Health Plan 10K for Women. The race starts and ends on the Boston Common after winding its way through the streets of Boston and Cambridge. Flaherty covered the 6.2-mile course in 46 minutes, 51 seconds, more than 10 minutes faster than the second-place finisher.

Assumption College sophomore Michaela Flaherty won the inaugural Blind and Visually Impaired division at the 39th Tufts Health Plan 10K for Women in October.

Courtesy Assumption College Athletics

Assumption College sophomore Michaela Flaherty won the inaugural Blind and Visually Impaired division at the 39th Tufts Health Plan 10K for Women in October.

Her division? That would be the Blind and Visually Impaired division, created this year by race organizers and supported by the Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired.