By Pete Legasey
For the Transcript
Two brand new Winthrop Youth Hockey girls teams will play the first games of their existence this Saturday. The 10-and-under girls will play in Lexington at 7:40 p.m., while the 12-and-under girls will play in Peabody at 6:50. The Winthrop Youth Hockey Association has included a number of female players on its teams in recent years, but the U10’s and U12’s are the first Winthrop Youth Hockey teams to be composed of all female players.
“We had an amazing amount of interest from the girls in town,” said WYHA President Jim Letterie. “We were easily able to put together the two teams. We were extremely fortunate, and we were also able to secure two great coaches with a lot of ties to Winthrop Youth Hockey in the past.”
The U10 squad will be coached by Anthony Martucci, who has been with the WYHA for over a decade. He went into semi-retirement last year after coaching Winthrop’s Bantam A team to the state youth hockey title. Martucci has also coached some of Winthrop’s best high school girls hockey players as the head coach of last year’s Lady Bulldogs, a Lynn-based co-op team that features players from Lynn, Winthrop and Revere.
Dave Jeter, who has coached numerous WYHA teams in the past, is the head coach of the U12 team. Joe Scarfo, another longtime coach whose son currently plays in WYHA, will be Jeter’s assistant. The team will also get help from Jeter’s daughter, Katie, who is now a member of the Bantam A team and has agreed to take time to assist her dad in coaching the U12’s.
Sean Carleton has been appointed as the commissioner of the WYHA girls program. The U10 and U12 girls will both play all of their home games in Winthrop on Sunday nights at Larson Rink. Schedules for the season can be viewed at the league’s website (www.leaguelineup.com/wyha). Both teams will be competing in the Middlesex Yankee Conference Girls League, which includes teams from over 40 cities and towns.
Counting the two new girls teams, the WYHA now has twelve traveling teams. The others, which have already been playing in the Valley League since the first week of September, include three Mite teams, two Squirt teams, three Pee-Wee tams and two Bantam teams. The Association’s learn-to-skate program will begin at Larson Rink on October 18 at 9:40 a.m. Registrations for the program, which is directed by George Barker, will be accepted up until the first day of the 20-week program.
Letterie praised his staff for what he anticipates will be another highly successful season of youth hockey.
“Youth sports are only as good as the people and volunteers you have helping out,” he said. “We’re fortunate to have dedicated and knowledgeable parents willing to give their time.”
After the U10 and U12 girls premier on Saturday, another major highlight of season will occur this Sunday when two players from Winthrop’s Mites teams represent District 1 in the state mini one-on-one competition at TD Banknorth Garden at 10 a.m. Ryan Skoczylas will play in goal, and Brian Chalmers will be the shooter. If the two boys are fortunate enough to win, they will have the chance to appear on the Garden ice once more at a later date, this time during the intermission of a Boston Bruins game.