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Five Ex-stars Added to Lowell’s List of Legends

November 18, 2018

TWO OLD COACHES: Lowell High coaching legends Phil Maia (left) and Walter Nelson get together at Maia's Hall of Fame induction. COURTESY PHOTO/ANNA MAZUR Sun staff photos can be ordered by visiting our SmugMug site.

LOWELL -- The Lowell High School Athletic Hall of Fame added five new members on Thursday night, bringing the number of honorees in the Hall to 170.

Those inducted were Phil Maia, Class of 1978; John Morris, Class of 1995; Christin Donahue Monaghan, Class of 1997; Paul McNeil, Class of 2003; and Brendan Akashian, Class of 2004.

Maia was a highly-decorated track and cross-country coach for 34 years and compiled an overall record of 402-104-2. Maia’s teams captured some 26 MVC titles as well as a number of sectional and state crowns.

He was an All-Star runner at Lowell High and ran for ULowell as well.

Morris was a baseball and swimming star for Lowell High.

In the pool, he put his name on two school records, while on the diamond he was a standout pitcher.

In his senior year, Morris went 10-1 with a 1.83 ERA. He also led the team in home runs and helped Lowell make a deep run in the state tournament.

He went on to pitch at UConn and UMass Lowell.

McNeil was a football and wrestling standout at LHS.

In football he was an MVC All-Conference defensive back and won several awards from the school.

On the wrestling mat, McNeil won the Division 1 North and State championships as a 119-pound sophomore, and after missing a year due to a broken femur, he came back as a senior and repeated as North and D1 State champ and was second at the All-States.

Donahue Monaghan was an outstanding swimmer for Lowell High and returned later as head coach.

In the pool, she was a versatile swimmer who made the Sun All-Star team all for years and a three-time MVC All-Conference selection. She was a consistent qualifier for the Sectional and State meets and then swam for the University of New Hampshire for four years.

As a coach, she was named MVC Coach of the Year in 2005 and helped turn the LHS program around.

Akashian was hockey star at Lowell, where he played four years on the varsity but really blossomed as a junior, when he scored 28 goals and 27 assists to lead the MVC/DCL in scoring as Lowell went 19-2-1 and made it to the D3 North semis.

As a senior the captain scored 50 points and was the league’s leading scorer again as well as Sun Player of the Year and MIAA All-Academic Team member.

Akashian was also baseball All-Star and was a superb catcher for Holy Cross, winning league laurels and signing a contract with the Philadelphia Phillies.

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