Everett sports fans tuned in to ESPN may have noticed a familiar face during one of the TV commercials aired on the international sports network.
Yes, that was Everett High School 2010 graduate and Crimson Tide junior varsity girls basketball coach, Michelle Fenelon, co-starring in a commercial for Fanatics, the well-known sports attire company.
Fenelon is shown in University of Wisconsin Badgers’ attire cheering from the stands during a football game.
The role with Fanatics was another major step forward for Fenelon, who also stars in a lead role in a promotional video for Six Flags Amusement Park during which she tours the park and takes a ride on the park’s famous rollercoaster.
Fenelom, who is 5 feet, 7 inches, has excelled and gained considerable notice in modeling, acting, and sports broadcasting roles. She rekindled her interest in acting and modeling three years ago and her career has been soaring. In addition to Fanatics, she has had print and television roles with CVS, Fanatics, Wayfair, Ebay, Kohl’s and Six Flags New England and performed in her first live theater show at Greater Boston Stage Company in Stoneham.
Fenelon, 31, has also been an on-air personality for NESN, Boston Neighborhood Network, and Northeastern University. Everett residents admire her work as a football reporter and in-studio host and analyst for the Everett Education Channel under the direction of program manager Josh Del Gaizo. In her most recent Everett TV broadcasting role, Fenelon conducted interviews with former Everett High stars, Baltimore Ravens tight end Isaiah Likely and Michigan defensive back Mikey Sainristil, during their instructional football camp at Everett Memorial Stadium.
Del Gaizo said Fenelon is a versatile talent with a tremendous knowledge of sports. “I’ve known Michelle since she was a terrific athlete at Everett High School,” said Del Gaizo. “She really knows her craft and conveys it very well. She is a star. She’s someone that I could see on NBC Sports Boston or ESPN. She has that persona and on-air presence.”
A Sports Correspondent for the Boston Globe
Following her career at Everett High School where she was a three-year basketball captain for the Crimson Tide, Fenelon, daughter of Marcel Fenelon and Marcelle Fenelon, received her bachelor’s degree from UMass Boston in English, with a concentration in Professional Writing. She also holds a master’s degree in Broadcasting Digital Journalism with a focus in Sports from Syracuse University’s famous Newhouse School of Public Communications.
While a student at UMass/Boston, Fenelon worked as a correspondent for the Boston Globe. She covered girls high school basketball, soccer, and lacrosse. For the Globe’s girls basketball beat, she covered the State Tournament at the TD Garden, compiled the Top 20 rankings, and participated in the selection of the newspaper’s prestigious All-Scholastic Team.
“That was my introduction to print journalism, which was my dream,” said Fenelon. “I had started writing in high school for the Crimson Times. I was in a sportswriting class with Mr. [Michael] Fineran because I loved sports. Mr. Fineran introduced me to Mr. [Ryan] McGowan, who was the advisor for the Crimson Times, so I began writing for the high school newspaper. Mike Carraggi, who had written stories for the Crimson Times and was working at the Boston Globe at the time, read one of my articles, and that Everett connection got me to the Boston Globe.”
Working at ESPN
It was while Michelle was watching the Lakers play the Sixers in the 2001 NBA Finals “that something just clicked and I was like, ‘I love sports’, and I became obsessed. I began watching ESPN all the time, and I said, “I want to build a career around that.”
She eventually realized that dream of working at ESPN, taking a production assistant’s job at the network following her graduate studies at Syracuse.
A Woman of Many Talents
Michelle Fenelon recalls attending modeling school while a student at Everett High.
“My father put me in modeling school in high school and I did not like it,” said Michelle candidly. “I had to miss a basketball practice because of my modeling school graduation.”
But a few days after the modeling school graduation ceremony, Fenelon received a correspondence from a modeling agency that wanted to represent her.
Her interest in modeling grew in the summer of 2020 during COVID. Soon after, she left her job with the City of Everett. “I started taking acting classes, and by the third class, I knew that this was I wanted to do,” said Michelle. “Within six months, I booked my first national commercial for Fanatics. My audition was to act like you’re watching your favorite team and they’re doing a last-second play. In my mind, I was cheering for Malcom Butler on his interception [in the Super Bowl] at the goal line. That was my audition, and it just felt like life came full circle.”
Following her success with the Fanatics commercial, Fenelon signed on with modeling and acting agents. She has also enlisted the assistance of a modeling coach who helped her secure a contract with a prominent modeling agency.
Her Most Rewarding Role: Girls Basketball Coach
As she continues to advance with modeling and acting opportunities, Fenelon suggests that her most satisfying role may be as a basketball coach at her alma mater.
“I love coaching Everett girls basketball,” said Fenelon, who is in her third season. “I’ve been coaching some of my players since they were eighth graders, and to see their growth has been one of the best things as a coach to see. I told the girls, ‘There’s a moment in a coach’s career when you look at your players and you realize they finally get it.’ And that just makes it all worth it. To see some of my players starting on varsity and playing well, and being great students, that means the world to me.”
Following her Dream
Michelle Fenelon is currently based in Boston, but her rising career may require relocating to New York City where there are more modeling opportunities and auditions for movie and television roles. “I go to New York all the time,” said Fenelon. “I shot the Ebay commercial in New Jersey and Garnier Fructis in New York, so I’m back and forth all the time.” She is also considering a move to Atlanta where her television and film agent is based. Michelle Fenelon was asked if she’s excited about the trajectory of her career. “People ask me, ‘What do you want out of this?’, she said. “I want to be an inspiration because I take risks and I take big risks. If I’m not happy, I remove myself from that situation. I do what I’m passionate about, and my goal is to be on TV. It’s always been the goal. I thought it was going to be as a sports reporter, but I want to be on TV as an actress. I want to be a series regular. I want to be in those big movies. I want to show people that you can change your mind at any age. I changed my mind at 28, 29 years old. As long as you’re pursuing your goals, you’re happy, and you’re focused, I think that’s so important.” The future is bright for Michelle Fenelon. “I know what I want, and I’m going to do everything in my power to get it,” she said confidently.