Olivia Driscoll was in the stands at Gillette Stadium in December rooting on her father Sean’s St. Mary’s High School football team in the Super Bowl. In his first season as coach of the Spartans, Sean had guided the program to the top of the sport.
Olivia surely understands the hard work, dedication and commitment it takes to be the best. She subscribes to that philosophy each day as a three-sport athlete, a high honor roll student, and a leader in the school community.
Her record of achievement speaks for itself as Olivia, a 16-year-old junior at Winthrop High School, has received numerous awards in recognition of his athletic and scholastic excellence.
Three varsity sports and high honors in academics
Olivia Driscoll considers her best sport to be cheerleading, followed by ice hockey and tennis.
She began in cheerleading in the Winthrop youth football and cheerleading organization. She has worked to advance her skills at All-Star Cheerleading – Burke’s Tumbling Academy in Swampscott.
She is entering her fourth season in the WHS varsity cheerleading program and will be a captain of the 2019-20 team.
The team has excelled under the direction of Head Coach Mari Marchant Johnson, winning a Northeastern Conference championship, twice taking second place at the regionals and a fourth in the Massachusetts State Championships this season.
“She’s a great coach and I’ve learned so much from her,” credits Driscoll.
This past winter, Driscoll was a right winger on Winthrop High Coach Butch Martucci’s first line, skating alongside Emma Carleton and Mia Martucci (Butch’s daughter). She finished as the team’s second-leading goal scorer and had more than 20 points for the Vikings, who qualified for the State Tournament.
“It was really awesome to play hockey with Emma,” said Driscoll. “She was a captain and led our line really well. She was one of the first people I talked to when I became a right winger. Mia made her debut as an eighth grader last year and this was our first time skating with her on the line. Mia’s a really hard worker and our line worked really well together.”
Driscoll said she loves the sport of hockey and enjoys having a mentor like Butch Martucci at the helm of the program.
“I love Butch as a coach,” said Driscoll. “He’s one of most influential people in my life. He’s always giving me constructive criticism and always helping me to improve. He saw a lot of potential in me and allowed me to work to improve a lot.”
She began playing for the WHS girls tennis team in her freshman year.
“I had played softball for a long time, but I decided to start tennis because I had a lot of friends playing,” said Driscoll. “I made the varsity with Ken Hodgkins as the coach. As a sophomore, I started playing first doubles with Sara Fucillo with Mr. [Michael] Nickerson as our coach.”
Driscoll is one of the most outstanding students academically in the WHS Class of 2020. She has attained high honors for all three years and is in the top 10 percent of her class. She is a member of the National Honor Society. She took second place in a regional history competition and advances to the state finals in April. She was the recipient of the Frederick Douglass Scholarship Award. She has been selected to represent WHS at the State Science Fair at MIT. Her science project focused on mnemonics (techniques and systems that help improve memory).
Asked about balancing her participation in three sports with her academics, she said, “It’s definitely challenging but it’s well worth it.”
Praise from her coaches
Butch Martucci has been Olivia’s coach in WHS girls varsity hockey for the past four seasons. He thinks so highly of the talented junior’s leadership that he intends to name her sole captain of the 2019-20 team in tandem with the assistant captains.
“Olivia is a ‘heart-and-soul-of-the-team’ type kid – she’s awesome,” said Martucci. “Whatever sport she’s doing, she’s 100 percent involved. She’s an excellent role for the younger players in the program. She’s very willing to learn. She’s always asking questions and looking to improve. That’s one of the things we love about Olivia. She’s always looking to improve.”
Martucci will be looking to Driscoll to be a leader of the team’s offensive attack next season. This past season, she teamed with Emma Carleton and Mia Martucci to form one of the most prolific lines in the area.
“Olivia had over 20 points this season, which was a great contribution,” said Martucci. “Next year, we’re looking to double that total to 40 points.”
WHS cheerleading coach Mari Marchant Johnson said Driscoll earned the honor of being a captain of team in the upcoming season.
“Olivia is a very good athlete who has made tremendous improvement in her cheerleading skills,” said Johnson, whose family is legendary in Everett youth football and cheerleading circles. “She’s going to be a captain. I admire her leadership, her dedication, and her determination. She’s thinking about cheering 365 days a year.”
Because Johnson has coached the Driscoll sisters, Olivia and Cailyn, she has gotten the opportunity to know the Driscoll parents.
“They’re an awesome family,” said Johnson. “They’re close knit. They’re very supportive of their children and the sports they play.”
Carrying on the family tradition
The Driscoll family’s legacy in Winthrop High sports goes as far back to 1983 when Sean Driscoll was a sophomore on a Super Bowl champion Winthrop team, the last of three consecutive undefeated seasons under Coach Bob DeFelice.
Years later, Sean was an assistant coach on Tony Fucillo’s staff when Winthrop won a Super Bowl with a perfect season in 2006. He became the Winthrop head coach and had the parental thrill of a lifetime when his son, Dylan quarterbacked a Viking team through an undefeated regular season. Dylan is now a senior at Plymouth State University.
Olivia had the opportunity to cheer for her father’s Winthrop Vikings football teams during two seasons while he served as head coach. Sean Driscoll is also the director of the highly acclaimed Winthrop Parks and Recreation Department.
“I love my dad a lot,” said Olivia proudly. “I think he is one of the hardest-working men in my life. In Winthrop, I think he has been influential with athletes and the kids he works with in the Parks and Recreation programs. He sacrifices a lot to be the coach that he is, and I am proud of all his accomplishments.
“I was really excited for him to bring St. Mary’s to the Super Bowl in his first year as head coach,” said Olivia. “He focuses a lot on teamwork and the family aspect of the game, and it’s gotten him very far.”
Her mother, Cindy, has been a highly visible supporter of WHS sports. She is the former head of the football boosters club and now leads the cheerleading boosters club.
“My mother does so much for me, whether it’s helping me in schoolwork, helping me in sports – she’s always there for me and she’s one of the most hard-working people I’ve ever met. I really love her.”
More recently, Olivia’s older sister, Cailyn Driscoll was a multi-sport athlete for the Vikings. She is now a freshman at Clemson University in South Carolina. Olivia may be joining her sister as a student at Clemson, home of NCAA’s reigning national champions in football.
“I have toured Clemson many times and it has the most beautiful campus and it offers a lot of majors that I would be interested in,” said Olivia, who is also considering Penn State and Villanova.
She said that Cailyn has set a tremendous example in her life.
“Cailyn has been a very big role model in my life,” said Olivia. “I take after Cailyn in everything, whether it be school schedules or classwork that she’s helped me with, and especially in sports. We were cheerleaders together in Winthrop for two years and it was awesome to have her on the team with me. She also played hockey for a long time, so it’s easy to talk to her about that. I’ve supported her and she has supported me at a lot of my games this season, even though she was so far away at Clemson.”
That’s quite an esteemed family tradition but Olivia Driscoll, the daughter of Sean and Cindy Driscoll and granddaughter of well-known Winthrop resident Rita Driscoll and the late Jack Driscoll, and John and Nancy Schilling, has been adding to its excellence three years in to her high school career.
The first four-year class at the new high school
Olivia Driscoll is a member of the first class (2020) at the new Winthrop High School that will graduate having spent their freshman-through-senior years in the school.
“I love the new school,” she said. “It’s great to have all new and improved materials in the classrooms. We have some great new teachers as well. The teachers are really helpful here, and the new school is just a great benefit for us.”