Thanksgiving Memories

This was a great week for Winthrop football, past and present. Our 2011 Vikings played what was perhaps their most complete game of the season with a 33-0 rout of Revere that made Thanksgiving dinner all the more delicious for Viking grid fans.

Lou Cicatelli, Revere’s classy coach, whose Patriots were looking for their first back to back wins over Winthrop since 1973-74,  commented afterwards, “I tip my hat to Winthrop. They had a good game plan and they executed it well.” When your opponent is first in line to offer praise, you know you’ve done a good job.

But this also was quite a week 30 years ago in Winthrop grid history when Coach Bob DeFelice’s Vikings capped their amazing 11-0 season with a 14-0 triumph over Tewksbury at B.C.’s Alumni Stadium before a crowd of 5600 fans on a chilly Saturday morning to win the 1981 Division 2 Super Bowl.

John Tiano rated as the MVP of the game, according to Sun Transcript legendary columnist Bob Remer, for his vital fourth down quarterback sneaks and two TD passes, both in the second half. Joe Giaquinto hauled in both of Tiano’s scoring strikes. The first score came on a fourth and goal at the Tewksbury three yard line, with Giaquinto (who initially had been knocked down at the line of scrimmage and then had to get back up) snaring the pass just before stepping out of bounds on the sideline.

His second TD catch was more of the spectacular variety, coming on fourth and three at the Tewksbury nine. Tiano drilled a pass perfectly to Giaquinto between two defenders at the one yard stripe at the right corner, from where Giaquinto twisted into the endzone.

Tiano, who also tossed a two point conversion to Jay Petersen, was awarded the game ball in the wild celebration back at the Winthrop High School locker room.

Defensively, Chuckie Sullivan made a key play in the first half when he stopped a fake Tewksbury field goal try at the Winthrop three yard line. The play could have been a momentum changer, but it went Winthrop’s way thanks to Sullivan’s alert move from his cornerback spot in the Winthrop defensive backfield.

Sullivan of course, was most known for his exploits at halfback during the season, in which he scored 166 points, the most in Division 2 that year. However, a tough Tewksbury defense, which had allowed only 56 points all season, limited Sullivan to 72 yards on 25 carries.

Sullivan also made a key play when he hustled downfield to down a 52 yard punt by Giaquinto at the Tewksbury one yard line that set the stage for Winthrop’s first touchdown.

The contest marked the final high school football game for seniors Tiano, Sullivan, Giaquinto, Petersen, Mike Brenner, Dan Govoni, Bubba  Jaworski, George Gardikas, Greg Cayon, Gus Martucci, Lou Rosenberg, and Kevin Clauss.

However, the Vikings still had a number of key players returning, including running backs Jim Gillis and Steve Staffier; guard Alan Arcadipane; and linebackers John Gillis, Jim Barker, and Rich Driver, who would form the nucleus of another undefeated Viking season.

One fun fact from that year was that Winthrop battled Walpole in the pre-season. In the Division 1 Super Bowl game that followed, Walpole defeated Brockton, 23-14. And, you guessed it, Winthrop held the edge in their pre season scrimmage at Miller Field.

A merry parade escorted the Viking team bus back to Winthrop, which grew by the time the team hit the Belle Isle Bridge, with police and fire sirens wailing and cheering townspeople along the way that was mindful of the 1980 celebration that greeted Olympic hockey hero Mike Eruzione when he returned home from Lake Placid.

Here are some more replays from this week in Viking sports annals….


Although Revere won the Thanksgiving Day game on the field, 28-7, the contest officially will be recorded as a forfeit. Revere school officials learned that an academically ineligible player participated in the game and contacted Winthrop officials and the MIAA, which ruled the game a forfeit. WHS head coach Tony Fucillo lauded Revere officials for their professionalism and honesty. In addition, Fucillo and Captain Bobby Breau Jr. still delivered the annual Beachcomber Trophy to Revere.

WHS football captain Bobby Breau Jr. received the annual Irving P. Alexander Trophy from the Rotary Club this past week.  Breau and teammates  Bobby Kneeland, Michael Tear, and Lucas Guarino have been named to the Northeastern Conference all star team.

Enrollment figures for the schools in the Northeastern Conference show that the big schools keep getting bigger and the small ones smaller. Lynn English has more than 1500 students, with Beverly, Gloucester, and Lynn Classical at more than 1300. Salem is at 1200 and Danvers at 1000. Then there is Saugus at 874, Marblehead at 825, Swampscott at 771, and Winthrop at 488.


Winthrop feasted on Revere on Thanksgiving Day to the tune of a 41-15 rout at Miller field. Junior quarterback Mike Mason ran for a touchdown and tossed TD passes to Tom Serra, Richard Staff (who ended up as the NEC’s leading receiver), and Anthony Palmer. Linebacker Freddie Long intercepted a Revere pass and ran it back for a TD.


WHS football captain Jim Davie, who led his team to an 8-1 record, was the recipient this week of the Rotary Club’s Irving P. Alexander Memorial Trophy.


Standout WHS football tackle Phil Ratner was the recipient this week of the Rotary Club’s Irving P. Alexander Memorial Trophy.

Winthrop Junior High School star Steve Adamson set a new Winthrop junior high scoring record with 150 points in seven games in leading coach Syd Williams’s team to an undefeated 7-0 season.


The Thanksgiving Day game was a most unpleasant one for the estimated 1500 Winthrop rooters who made the trip to the field on the Broadway Boulevard marsh only to see Revere win its first game in many years by a score of 13 to 0. The contest was played in a howling blizzard with the temperature not reaching more than 32 degrees.

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