This week the Groton Herald features Eric Niemoller in its series of GDRHS senior profiles.
By Robert Mingolelli
This fall, Eric Niemoller who captains the soccer, ice hockey and tennis teams, is experiencing the highlight of his GDRHS career. “Yesterday, we won the Central Mass. Division 1 Soccer Championship. I am in the middle of the most exciting athletic season I have ever experienced,” he shared with me recently. “We are a close team which directly correlates to the team’s success.”
The excitement continued when the Crusaders defeated Longmeadow in the state semi-finals. Despite the 1-0 loss to Lincoln-Sudbury for the state title on Saturday night, it was an outstanding season for G-D.
Eric has lived in Groton his entire life with his brother Jack, presently a student at Cal Poly, and his sister Rachel who graduated from the University of Southern California and presently lives in Italy.
Although he plays three varsity sports and his coursework includes numerous AP classes with concentrations in math, chemistry, physics and language, Eric is on the honor roll, maintaining a 92 GPA.
“I really like Eric,” shared Keith Woods, social studies department head at GDRSD. “He brings a certain enthusiasm to the classroom, is always pleasant, confident, engaging, and comes to class ready to learn. He gives off a calming effect as if he knows everything is going to be okay.”
“Eric has a sense of humor and always has a smile on his face,” added GDRHS english teacher Jacquelyn Butler. “He is as willing to offer his opinions in class as he is outside the classroom, an openness I welcome and encourage. I enjoyed having him in my class last year.”
Eric began playing soccer in the Groton-Dunstable U-6 program and was ice skating when he was about 3 years old. He joined the boys tennis team his freshman year at GDRHS.
“Being a captain, it’s special. It given me a sense of accomplishment,” he said. “I’ve worked hard, hopefully recognized for my effort and I try to set a good example.”
While participating in athletics is an important part of his makeup, Eric is certainly not one dimensional. He participates in the Groton Community Dinner program. “The last Friday of each month the First Parish Church prepares a meal for the community. Food that has been prepared but not served is delivered to House of Hope in Lowell,” he continued. “We want to make sure that the food is not wasted but goes to those who are in need.”
Some of the other community services he has participated in are the Walk for Hunger, Walk for Breast Cancer, Merrimack River Watershed Clean-up and the Sgt. Woitowicz Military Night.
Eric has travelled to several countries around the world. In March of 2014, he was a selected as a Global Scholar delegate and, along with eight students from G-D, travelled to China as part of a U.S. Student delegation to the Global Student Leadership Summit in Shanghai. The group also visited Beijing and X’ian where they toured many interesting sites. He has also spent time in Europe, having interviewed and been selected as a U.S Student Ambassador, part of a Massachusetts delegation that traveled for three weeks throughout Europe.
When GD Principal Michael Mastrullo approached Eric to travel to Ecuador as a selected Global scholar delegate in April 2016, he jumped at the opportunity to participate in this service learning mission.
With his extensive travel experience, varied background, community service experience, success in the classroom and in team sports, Eric Niemoller is an outstanding example of the students at Groton-Dunstable Regional. A recent visit to the USC campus might hold a glimpse as to where he may be headed next year.