• 4 years, lettered 4 years, Co-Captain senior year
  • MVP offense recipient junior year
  • Coaches award recipient senior year
  • CAL All-Star senior year


  • 4 years, lettered 4 years, Captain senior year
  • Rookie award sophomore year
  • MVP offense recipient and CAL All-Star junior year
  • MVP offense recipient and CAL All-League senior year


  • 4 years, lettered 4 years
  • Co-Captain sophomore and junior years, Tri Captain senior year
  • CAL meet winner 400m ’95 and ’96
  • 400m 2nd state D class meet, 3rd All-State meet and 5th New England’s junior year
  • 400m 3nd state D class meet, 5rd All-State meet and 6th New England’s senior year
  • AHS Track Records set – 4x400m Relay 4:15.7, 100m 12.8, 200m 26.9 and 400m 58.3

Earned 12 Varsity Letters

Voted best female athlete by the class of ’96

Click Here To View Their Induction


When Melanie was a child, a neighbor was talking to her younger brother, Justin, about how he and his older sister, Amber, and older brother, Adrian, all had talents, but didn’t see that Melanie had a talent.  Justin immediately responded, “Oh, Melanie has talent; we just haven’t discovered it yet.”

It soon became evident that two of Melanie’s talents were that of being an extraordinarily skilled, competitive athlete and, perhaps more importantly, a leader. At AHS she not only excelled at 3 Varsity Sports but also co-captained each.

A three-year or four-year varsity starter in each of her sports, Melanie is among very few AHS athletes to hold that honor. Following by season, Mel played soccer for Coach Karen Iworsky all four years. Coach Iworsky said of Melanie, “(Melanie)…focused, intense athlete…never tiring throughout practices or games. Her speed on the front line always put her in position to score. If not scoring with her feet, her height gave her a distinct advantage to head the ball into the goal.” Mel was the offensive MVP in her junior year; the first year the girls qualified for the state tournament. Her coach remarked, “That was the most exciting year for Melanie and the girls’ soccer program.” She received the coach’s award in her senior year when she was a co-captain.

The winter season put Mel on the varsity basketball court under head coach Chris Perry. Coach Perry explained Melanie this way, “Melanie had that rare quality where she demonstrated a fierce competitiveness in games and in practice. She made her teammates better players this way.” Coach Perry continued, “Being elected captain was a testament to her leadership.” Melanie was the captain her senior year. In her basketball career, Melanie racked up some 600 points. Sophomore year Mel was recognized as ‘Rookie of the year,” followed by MVP and CAL All-Star her junior year, and in senior year she was once again MVP and CAL All-League.

Melanie’s greatest feats of athleticism came on the track each spring. Once again, her leadership qualities shone through as she was a Co-captain in her sophomore, junior, and senior years. Her four-year coach, Ernie Bissaillion, remarked, “Melanie has been the most intense competitor he has known in his 34 years of coaching.” He went on to say, “Not only did she set records in her senior year but went on to the New England’s and further on to represent Massachusetts at the New Balance High School Track and Field Nationals.” Several records were held by Melanie: 4 X 400 relay, 100m dash, 200m dash, and 400m dash. The 100m and 200m records remained Melanie’s until this past spring. Still the AHS track coach, Ernie Bissaillion invokes Melanie Ward’s name when speaking of work ethic and dedication. He says to his current athletes, “She is the one who set the standard for hard work, dedication, and sportsmanship.” Melanie was accepted to the University of New Hampshire and awarded a full four-year athletic scholarship in track. In conclusion, Melanie did Amesbury proud one more time; she was nominated by Coach Bissaillion and the Athletic Director and was accepted to be an escort runner for one of the 1996 Olympic Torch bearers. Not only did Mel run with the torch bearer, but he let her run holding the Olympic Torch herself.

A great career as a three-sport athlete and leader, Melanie Ward , Class of 1996, is more than deserving to enter the AHS Athletic Hall of Fame.

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