Sports 04-02-2015

WHS Sports roundup

Frustration mounts as field situation shows no sign of quick relief

 

With the announcement this week by the Winthrop Parks and Recreation Department that the town’s fields and playgrounds under its purview (Ingleside Park, Coughlin Park, Cellucci Field’s soccer and softball fields, and the Little League A field) are off-limits until at least April 15, when their condition will be re-evaluated, frustration with the lack of progress in remedying the inability to use the town and school fields by Winthrop High athletic teams, a situation that some assert never should have been allowed to happen in the first place, has been mounting as it becomes clear that this essentially could be a lost season for 2015 spring sports programs.

Among the most outspoken on the subject has been long-time Winthrop High baseball coach and lifelong resident Frank DeMarco.

“The town’s DPW Director was quoted as saying that the fields were not used as snow dumps and this is just regular snow melting,” said DeMarco. “I would like to know what his definition of snow dump is. I guess 25-foot mounds of snow all over Veterans Field don’t qualify. Where did they come from?

“He said the athletic fields have to melt, dry, and then be repaired if needed,” continued DeMarco. “He also expressed concern about the irrigation systems in place in the fields. Why would he suddenly be concerned about the irrigation systems after having dump trucks and front-end loaders dump snow onto the fields and dig them up with the weight of the trucks all day, every day for three weeks?  How could anyone think those irrigation systems are still functional?

“The snow mounds on the fields are loaded with trash, salt, mud and grass, asphalt, and broken sidewalk concrete,” added DeMarco. “Do we have a plan to remove this debris and repair the fields? If a plan exists, it has not been stated publicly. He stated that we need to do nothing and let the fields dry — but it is the kids of this town who are being hung out to dry.”

DeMarco’s Vikings, who have had nowhere to practice other than the WHS gym, are set to open their season at Danvers on April 13.

The WHS girls’ softball team likewise has had to delay its season-opener until April 13 at Danvers. Coach Dave Guffey’s crew also has been unable to practice outside, though the Lady Vikings have been able to get to the indoor facility at the Danvers Sportsplex twice a week for scrimmaging.

“Our two pitchers, Maura Lanza and Taylor Thomas, have both looked good in the pre-season,” said Guffey. “Other girls who have been shining in the indoor season have been Maddy Finga’a, who will be catching and leading off, and Regina Garufo at second base and with the bat. Ali Scarfo has hit well, as has third baseman Gabby Kenniston.”

WHS boys lacrosse team blends veterans, newcomers

The WHS boys lacrosse team had been scheduled to open its season today (April 2) against Advanced Science and Math Academy, but that game has been rescheduled for May 27. The Vikings instead are set to begin their 2015 campaign April 6 at Lynn, followed by contests April 8 at Mystic Valley and April 9 at Salem.

With his team’s practices limited to the WHS gym thus far, head coach Matt Serino has yet to finalize his varsity roster. “We’re still working on a few more spots,” said Serino.  “We have a lot of eighth and ninth graders who have come out for the team and you can see a tremendous increase in their skill level as the youth program has given these players the tools to succeed at the varsity level.”

The 2015 Viking laxmen will be led by a quintet of senior captains, Chris Beaudry, Alex Anzuoni, Dan Brogan, Jon Griffiths, and Rolando Recinos. The Vikings’ top four scorers from last year are back: Griffiths (36 goals and eight assists), Brogan (19 goals and 15 assists), Anzuoni (six goals and 18 assists), and Beaudry (14 goals and four assists). In addition, two of last season’s starting defensemen, Recinos and Hunter Gillis, are returning. The goaltending position features a pair of talented performers in Devin Racow and Dan Sennott.

From the Press Box

The Viking family tradition

 

By Jim Lederman

Kudos

Webster’s Dictionary: Praise and glory for an accomplishment. ‘The Voice’ has plenty of kudo awards to hand out!

The 2014-2015 Lady Vikings – Let’s salute the entire basketball team for reaching the ‘Garden’ for the championship game.

Co-captain Kristin Siscamanis, co-captain Niki Tsiotos, Poli Tsiotos, Maura Lanza, Nina Bartlette, Allie Love, Jada Hightower, Francesca Capone, Gabby Massa, Catherine Johnson, Isabella Mirate and Lucia Alabart.

North Champions, NEC Champions!

A ‘slap shot’ to the 2014-2015 NEC hockey champions – captains Pat Todisco (NEC MVP) and Dylan Driscoll, assistance captains, Sean Gillis, Ray Feeley and Marc Ferullo.

Seniors – Alex Anzuoni, Dan Brogan, Jonathan Griffiths.

Juniors – Michael Norris, Michael Casey, Matt Sennott, Sean MacDonald, Noah Hodgkins and Robby Miles.

Sophomores – Charlie Page, Matt Tarantino, Gene August, Stephen Rogers, Jake Giangregorio, David Barry, Timmy Duyon, Joe Kouacev and Nathan Rich.

Freshmen – Henry Brooks, Steve Hilgerson, Jake Langone, Jake Adamson, Tyler Chiudina and Tyler Marley.

Coaches – Dale Dunbar, Mike Norris, Jimmy Feeley, Phil Lundberg and Mike Eruzione.

Super sophomores – The WHS Class of 2015, has many outstanding athletes, kudos to the ‘Super Sophs’ – Gretchen Howard, Allie Love, Flora English, Jon Gonzales, Matt Tarantino and Charlie Page.

The future is bright for Winthrop athletes from Winthrop families!

Keep the great tradition alive.

Let the Games Begin!

NFL Draft Night

The 2015 NFL draft party is Thursday, April 30 at the Kowloon Restaurant. Jonas Gray and three of his teammates will be at the Kowloon for the party. Yes three Super Bowl champs!

Sean Stellato is the player’s agent and author of “No backing Down.” Tickets are available at the Winthrop Book Depot and Café. A great night to celebrate with the World Champions – 2015 Super Bowl Champions. I will have another story this month. Save the date! April 30at the Kowloon in Saugus!

Extra Points

Anthony Fucillo used to kick ‘extra points’ for the Vikings. The all-scholastic quarterback is assistant coach at Amherst College. I had to take a 10-yard penalty for that.

James Fucillo is assistant coach at Catholic University in Washington D.C. The quarterback on the 2006 super bowl champions is recruiting players like Sean Gillis, to go to the National Capitol.

I drove by Della Russo Stadium in Revere last week. The 2015 Vikings will play the first ‘turkey day’ classic next November 26. I had to remind Revere Patriot legend Mickey Casoli. The Vikings are (25-2) on Thanksgiving vs. Revere. Happy Thanksgiving from Della Russo Stadium in Revere. My ‘turkey day’ greeting!

Let the Games Begin!

Injury List

Eighth grade cheerleader Victoria Donahue was unable to participate in the National Championship last week. Victoria was injured during football and coach Sean Driscoll, put her on injured reserve. She looks forward to September, the start of football.

Victoria’s dad Sean Donahue was a key member of the 1976 state championship Viking hockey team. Sean teaches skating to future Vikings.

Speaking of the Donahue family, congrats to ‘Buddy’ Page, NEC MVP in 2019. Buddy will skate for Stonehill College next season!

Trivia: Name Game

What do these names have in common?

Patriots, Generals, Spartans, Vikings, Falcons, Sachems, Crusaders, Hornets, Witches, Tigers, Rams, Magicians.

Shockers, Irish, Spartans, Wildcats, Spartans, Mountaineers, Bruins.

Name the NEC school that has two pro-football players that played in the NFL?

Name the other NEC school that had 3 pro-football players form the same team?

St. John’s Prep has two graduates that played in the NFL?

Two NBA coaches, were college coaches in Massachusetts (North Shore) Can you name them?

Banner Year

Three NEC titles – football, hockey, basketball and a “National Championship” for the cheerleaders. The WHS gym will be filled with “New Banners” try to match that Beverly!

Kudos to Sean and Cindy Driscoll, proud parents of Dylan Driscoll, co-Capt. Vikings football (9-0) and hockey and cheerleader Caitlyn – Cindy was with the cheerleaders in Myrtle Beach.

Speaking of captains, we salute Niki Tsiotos, Maura Lanza and Sean Gillis, multiple sport captains. The Class of 2015 – A high five!

The Bruins Problem

I enjoyed a Saturday battle at TD Garden – Boston Bruins vs. New York Rangers. The Bruins trying to make the NHL playoffs.

The ‘Boston Problem’ general manager Peter Chiarelli. Why does he have bad draft choices? He doesn’t watch Boston College games.

Local talent like the Rangers have Kris Kreider (BC and Boxford), Kevin Hayes (BC and South Boston). Fire the general manager! He spends all his time in Canada!

Ooops Dept.

I left out a couple of captains Lisa Monteleone Ferrara, captain of Bentley basketball, a member of the WHS and Bentley Hall of fame.

Geno DeAngelis, captain of Assumption College hockey.

I picked three out of the ‘final four’! I was cheering for Louisville to lose to Michigan State. Do you remember when Rick Pitino was named Coach of the Boston Celtics? He told Red Auerback, he was the new president of the Celtics instead of the legendary ‘redhead’!

Road Warriors

The snow is melting on Miller Field, but the track has not held a track meet for WHS athletes for over ten years!

Coach Warren MacPhail’s girls track team will travel for all their meets this Spring. “Road Warriors” will be their logo.

When will we have a facility so more outstanding track athletes can compete so t heir families can cheer for them?

I will preview the track team next week. Swampscott, Marblehead and Danvers have field houses. We need a new Miller Field!

Back to Back

Winthrop has another championship team. Coach Anthony ‘Butch’ Martucci and his U-10 girls team won another state title.

The title for coach Martucci was their second state championship in a row. “Another solid effort from the girls. I’m proud of the hard work we put in to win the title, we defeated Arlington, Needham, Falmouth and Westwood”!

Coach Martucci works 12 months of the year developing hockey players. His “Lady Bulldogs” lost the NEC title this season by two points.

Tip of the hat to coach Martucci!

Let the Girls Games Begin

Red Sox seek to get children closer to baseball

The Boston Red Sox will introduce in 2015 a host of initiatives designed to bring children closer to the game. “Calling All Kids,” presented by Hood, will provide free membership in Red Sox Kid Nation, free tickets to as many as 25,000 kids, and new elements at Fenway Park including Gate K (for Kids), the Kids Concourse, and Wally’s Clubhouse.

For the first time, entry-level membership in Red Sox Kid Nation will be free, and every child in the program can attend a game for free. (If necessary, the club will limit membership to 25,000.) Membership is for children 14 and under. Fans can begin signing up for the membership and the tickets on redsox.com/kidnation.
 
Also, all high school and college students 15 and over with a student ID can purchase tickets for only $9 for every regular season home game.

The tickets guarantee at least an entry into standing room, but the club will also upgrade to seats when they are available. 
 
Additionally, the Red Sox will create “Gate K (for Kids),” a kid-friendly entrance located adjacent to Gate B leading into the new Kids Concourse. The right field area of the Big Concourse will be revamped with games, entertainment, Aramark concessions, and amenities.
 
Also in the Kids Concourse, the club will create “Wally’s Clubhouse” from the 3rd through 7th innings in the Champions Club presented by ALEX AND ANI, below the Royal Rooters Club.

 The respite from extreme weather also provides room to play, walk around, and meet Wally the Green Monster.

“The point is simple: we want to do all we can to attract children to Fenway Park,” said Red Sox President/CEO Larry Lucchino. “We hope to do so at least three ways: first, by providing greater access to Red Sox games to children and students; second, by enhancing their experience at the ballpark; and third, by strengthening the game of baseball among the young in our community.

We are blessed with an extraordinary fan base that comprises many boys and girls. We want to help ensure that they fall in love with baseball, just as their parents and grandparents did before them.”
 
The Red Sox will also create community initiatives. The Red Sox Foundation will sponsor each of the 200 Little Leagues across Massachusetts and will again fund and operate 31 RBI teams (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities) and Rookie Leagues serving more than 1200 children. The foundation’s commitment is more than $220,000.

Building on the success of last year’s partnership between the Highland Street Foundation, the City of Boston, and the Red Sox, “Out of the Park” will return in 2015. The free event for families at a city park emulates Fenway Park’s Yawkey Way atmosphere while fans watch a Red Sox road game on a giant screen. The date and park will be announced in the future. In addition to the event, the partners this year will collaborate to refurbish 10 ballfields in Boston. Those fields will also be announced in the future.

Free Tickets and Kid Nation Memberships for Children 14 and Under
In recent years, Red Sox Kid Nation (RSKN) – a fan club membership for kids launched in 2005 – had an entry fee of as much as $36.95. Starting in 2015, base membership will be free. Those who sign up for the free membership will be offered a free ticket to a regular season game at Fenway Park. (The club may limit the free tickets to 25,000 children.)
 
“We would love to have such a demand problem,” said Red Sox Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer Sam Kennedy, a key creator of the overall initiative. “Many of us remember with fondness the ability, as teens, to take the T to Kenmore Square with our friends, walk to Fenway Park, and buy a ticket to that night’s game. We want to restore that life experience.”
 
For young fans who wish to choose additional amenities, a paid membership will also be available. It includes an extra-early entrance into Fenway Park to watch batting practice, a youth-sized Red Sox jersey, a Red Sox player backpack, a discount at the Yawkey Way Store, and Kid Nation email newsletters. 
 
“Gate K (for Kids)”
The Red Sox will create “Gate K (for Kids)” – an entrance dedicated to children and families near Gate B at the corner of Van Ness and Ipswich Streets. The entrance leads to the Kids Concourse.

Kids Concourse 
A revamped Kids Concourse is a roomy area of the original Big Concourse behind the right field corner with new attractions for young fans, including a six-foot nine-inch-tall Wally bobblehead, an interactive video wall that allows first-time fans to take photos and electronically sign their name to the video wall, and a Kid Nation welcome station. 
 
The festive area will feature a balloon artist, stilt walker, and face painter. Kids will also see how they “measure up” to current Red Sox players by standing near pillars featuring actual size images of current players. They can also measure their own tiny footprints against those of the big feet of big leaguers on player footprints that will adorn the Kids Concourse walkways.

Little Leaguers who imagine what they might look like when they grow up to be ballplayers can see giant baseball cards of Red Sox players and their Little League photos.
 
The Kids Concourse will also be the new home for old ballpark favorites such as the historic bullpen cart used in the 60’s and 70’s, the Red Sox Mickey Mouse statue, and the Wally Bench. 
 
Aramark, the Fenway Park concessionaire, will create kid-themed offerings in the upper level of the Kids Concourse. A $5 kids meal features a mini hot dog, cotton candy, and a small juice. Also, new souvenirs include a Wally ice-cream tray, cotton candy that comes with a novelty bat, and a glove-shaped tray with nachos or chicken fingers. Other affordable, bite-size menu items include mini pigs-in-a-blanket, corn dogs, fried Oreo mini churro bites, and fried apples.

Healthy options include fruit cups with grapes, sliced apples, and chopped watermelon, depending on the season, along with string cheeses. Aramark will also surprise kids at random with free ice cream during the season.
 
Wally’s Clubhouse
Inside the Kids Concourse, Wally’s Clubhouse provides an indoor space open every game from the 3rd to the 7th inning. Wally will visit in the third inning, and children can participate in interactive games and activities such as “Simon Says” and “Red Light/Green Light.” Boys and girls can also enjoy craft tables, a safe play area for toddlers with toys and a slide, a beanbag toss, video games, and a balloon artist and face painter. 
 
Kids Crew
Overseeing interaction with children in the Kids Concourse and Wally’s Clubhouse will be the new Red Sox Kids Crew, a staff who greet kids as they enter Gate K, lead children in games, and provide families with assistance and information about kid-friendly activities. 
 
$9 Student Tickets for those 15 and older
The Red Sox will make tickets available for every home game for all students 15 and older – from high school through college. The $9 ticket is the lowest at Fenway Park, and it guarantees at least standing room, but may also be upgraded to seats when they are available.  
 
The new $9 Student Tickets are available online at redsox.com/student. Students provide information and receive a special code via email to complete the purchase. 
 
Student tickets will be delivered through My Tickets Mobile, via MLB’s Ballpark Application. Students can scan their tickets directly from their phone when they arrive at the ballpark gates, and are asked to bring their student ID for verification to gain entry. In 2014, the club introduced a limited $9 standing room ticket for certain students.

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