Sports 03-10-2016

All-Around Winner

WHS gymnast Christa Vaccaro honored by Boston Globe

By Cary Shuman

When Christa Vaccaro is flying toward the vault in a gymnastics meet, you can predict that something spectacular is about to happen and she’ll receive high marks for her proficiency in the event.

The 5-foot-2-inch Winthrop High School junior extends her gymnastics excellence beyond the vault, however. She also topped the Northeastern Conference this season in the bars, beam, and floor exercise.

Championship seasons like that are usually well rewarded and Christa Vaccaro is the latest in a long line of Winthrop High superstars who can call themselves: Boston Globe All-Scholastic.

“I feel really good about receiving this award,” said Vaccaro. “I feel all my hard work helped me earn this honor. I did not expect it at all. I was really excited ”

The daughter of Joe and Mary Vaccaro, Christa is a great role model for the younger athletes who also train at the Winthrop Gymnastics Academy. She works on her skills six days a week, three hours a day. She also does body strengthening exercises at the high school three days a week.

She jumped in to the sport at the age of three at the Winthrop Gymnastics Academy where she met her then and current coach, Peter Gobiel, who owns the popular gym in Winthrop Center.

“I started in the Mom and Me class as soon as I could walk,” said Christa.

Gobiel said her interest in the sport grew gradually until eighth grade when Christa decided to devote more time to training.

“She really wanted to train and be good and that’s when she started doing double workouts,” said Gobiel. “She trains year round and there is no such thing as a snow day for her.”

The younger gymnasts at the Academy often see Christa working on her techniques and she serves as an instructor at the center.

“I try to set a good example with my practices and I coach classes here, too,” said Christa.

Gobiel said some of her vaulting maneuvers are challenging because of their difficulty and the height she generates with her powerful run-ups. “Christa kneed herself in the nose one time. But she not only overcame that but now she’s one of the best vaulters in the state.”

She has also been competing in the school track program since middle school. She competes in the long jump, 200 meters, and the 400-meter hurdles.

“She runs for the track team in the afternoon and trains in gymnastics at night,” said Gobiel. “I’ve never seen a more dedicated athlete. Christa is among the all-time greats in our high school program.”

Christa has talked with her coach about continuing her gymnastics career in college. She has corresponded with Southern Connecticut State University and Springfield College.

Christa said she is grateful to Peter Gobiel for bringing out the best in her skills in multiple events.

“I’m very thankful that he is my coach – I wouldn’t be where I am today without him.”

And where she is today is at the top of the mountain in high school gymnastics, with one more season remaining to carry on her crown as an All-Scholastic.

WHS sports roundup

WHS hockey teams

fall in state tourney

Both the Winthrop High boys and girls hockey teams saw their seasons come to a conclusion this past week after losses in the MIAA state hockey tournament.

On the boys’ side, coach Dale Dunbar’s Vikings defeated Cambridge, 5-1, in their tourney opener last week, but then dropped a 5-2 decision to Marblehead this past Friday evening.

In the Cambridge triumph, five Vikings took turns lighting the lamp. Mike Casey (assisted by Noah Hodgkins and Mike Norris) and Sam Yarrow (assisted by Charlie Page and Henry Brooks) gave Winthrop a 2-0 lead in the opening period.

Dean Paulsen (from Tyler Mignosa and Bryce Costin) and Page (unassisted) upped the count to 4-0 with goals in the middle stanza.

Brian Chalmers, assisted by Paulsen, put home the fifth Viking tally in the final frame. Greg Gill earned the victory in goal, making 20 saves.

In Friday evening’s encounter before a capacity crowd in Woburn against Marblehead, the top seed in the Division 2 North sectional, the Vikings were hoping to turn the tables on their undefeated Northeastern Conference rival who had defeated Winthrop in both of their regular season contests.

However, the Magicians jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the opening period and opened up a 5-0 advantage before Page, assisted by Hodgkins, got Winthrop on the board in the second period.

Brooks, assisted by Casey and Norris, sliced the lead to 5-2 in the third period, but it proved a case of too little, too late for the Viking cause.

Dunbar pulled Gill from the net in favor of a sixth skater with about four minutes to play in a valiant effort to pull Winthrop even, but despite pressure that produced some scoring opportunities, the Vikings were unable to light the lamp again.

On the girls’ side, the Winthrop Lady Bulldawgs dropped a 4-0 decision to Westford Academy in their opening round contest of the Division 1 tourney.

Winthrop, the 20th seed in D-1, outplayed 13th-seeded Westford in the opening period, outshooting Westford, 8-4.

However, Westford scored off the opening face-off of the middle stanza to break the deadlock and soon added another lamplighter to make it 2-0. Westford upped their advantage to 3-0 early in the third frame and added an empty-netter in the closing minutes of the game for the 4-0 finale.

“Overall, we played well,” said WHS head coach Anthony Martucci. “But we made a couple of mistakes on defense and we were unable to generate any offense, which has been a problem for us this season.”

From the Press Box sponsored by: MSA MORTGAGE

The Undefeated 1976 State Champions

By: Jim Lederman

Forty Years ago in 1976, Winthrop captured the Division One State Hockey Championship in the legendary Boston Garden.

The undefeated (26-0-1) championship team put Winthrop hockey on the map. The Larsen Rink was built in 1975 and I had the thrill of capturing every memorable game writing for the Transcript.

Despite the memorable season, the trips to the Boston Garden were the most thrilling. During the regular season the only blemish on their record was a (4-4) tie with the Saugus Sachems. The Vikings opened the Eastern Mass tournament with a (4-2) victory over the defending state championship Malden Catholic team. The next game was one of the most thrilling sporting events in the history of Winthrop high school sports.

The Vikings faced off with Norwood on a Thursday night. The Vikings won in triple overtime on the Jackie Burke goal. The game took three hours to play and ended 12:45 a.m.

The Vikings had a 10 a.m. face off with perennial state champion Arlington high school on Saturday. The Vikings shocked the hockey world with a (4-1) victory. The Vikings captured the EMass Championship with a (4-2) victory over Braintree.

The state title was a match with Western, Mass champs – Springfield Cathedral. The Vikings won (4-1) yes, five games and four was the magic number.

The Vikings scored 183 goals during the season. The first line of captain Bobby MacDonald (57 goals), Jackie Burke and Joe MacDonald totaled 212 points. Co-captain Steve Goddard (number 7) was named the top defenseman in Division One. Danny Brugman was named tourney and hockey night in Boston MVP (Most Valuable Player). Danny played at Yale University, Mac and the late Jackie Burke played at Harvard University. Defenseman Kevin McGee played at Northeastern University.

Coach Bill Falasca was named Boston Globe ‘Coach of the Year.’ Goaltender Ray Diaz did not receive any honors, but in the thrilling overtime victory over Norwood, he stopped 64 shots – an incredible performance.

Bobby MacDonald, Steve Goddard, Danny Brugman, Paul Plakias and Kevin McGee have been installed in the prestigious Winthrop High School Hall of Fame. Coach Falasca was inducted for exceptional service.

In 1980 when captain Michael Eruzione scored the winning goal to defeat the Russians and capture the gold medal, the legacy of Winthrop High School hockey was established. We salute the 1976 state champs! Winthrop – “Hockeytown USA”!

(Editor noteJ Thank you Phil Ronan, top tours.

WHS sports Years

10 years ago

March 9, 2006

Thanks to a tremendous defensive stand, the WHS girls basketball team has reached the semifinals of the Division 2 North sectional of the state basketball tournament. The Lady Vikings held on for a wild 45-44 triumph over Bedford in which they overcame a 41-37 deficit with six minutes to play, sparked by sophomore guard Nicole Giaquinto. Freshman Courtney Finn (game-high 18 points) scored what would prove to be the game-winning basket and then Lady Viking Andrea Bruno forced a Bedford turnover when the latter had possession with 9.1 seconds to go. Kristen Finn sank three three-pointers for Winthrop in the first half. Winthrop had opened tourney play with a 67-45 rout of Weston. The Finn sisters and Meredith Soper each hit for 14 points, followed by Giaquinto with 11 and Katerina Mallios with nine.

The WHS boys basketball season came to an end with a 73-43 loss to top-seeded Ipswich in the quarterfinal round of the D-4 North sectional of the state tourney. Jason Griffin led Winthrop with 14 points and Vasili Mallios added 13.

20 years ago

March 14, 1996

The WHS hockey team’s magical ride through the state tournament ended with a 3-1 loss to Cathedral of Springfield in the state quarterfinal round Saturday night. Ed Fidler scored the Winthrop goal.

30 years ago

March 12, 1986

The Cinderella Winthrop High girls basketball team saw their hopes for a state title vanish in a 60-52 loss in the Division II North semifinals of the state tourney to defending state champ Belmont. Franci Dolan closed out her fine WHS career with a 20-point effort and Paua Cavalieri added 13.

40 years ago

March 10, 1976

Winthrop is Hockeytown, USA, after the Winthrop High hockey team captured the Eastern Mass. Division 1 State Championship with a 4-2 victory over Braintree before 13,648 fans at the Boston Garden. WHS netminder Ramon Diaz was superb in goal, turning aside 35 enemy shots. Jackie Burke scored two goals and teammates Bobby McDonald and Jackie Burke scored a goal apiece. Defenseman Steve Goddard was named the top defenseman of the tournament and forward Danny Brugman was named the tourney MVP. Winthrop reached the finals thanks to a thrilling, triple-overtime win over Norwood, 4-3. Diaz was sensational in net with 50 saves and Burke notched the game-winner three hours after the contest had begun.

The WHS boys basketball team made it to the finals of the EMass North sectional, but lost to a heavily-favored Rindge Tech squad, 66-48, before a sellout crowd at the Beverly Fieldhouse. The Vikings reached the title game with a victory over defending state champ No. Andover in which Billy English, Steve Demetriou, and Will Morgan made key plays down the stretch. The title game with Cambridge was a rematch of the 1973 championship contest, also won by Cambridge. The two contests also were similar in that in the 1973 contest, WHS star Chris Tsiotis was on the bench, and in this one, WHS star Bobby Lundberg was forced to hit the bench because of three fouls in the first half.

50 years ago

March 17 1966

Former Boston Celtic forward Jim Loscutoff was the guest speaker at the recent Youth Family Night held at Temple Tifereth Israel.

60 years ago

March 15, 1956

Terry Brennan, the 27 year old head football coach at Notre Dame, was the guest speaker before a packed auditorium for the Sports Night held by St. John the Evangelist Church.

Magicians end the Vikings’ season

By: Jim Lederman

The undefeated Marblehead Magicians (23-0-1) knocked the Winthrop Vikings out of the MIAA Division 2 North Tourney, with a convincing (5-2) victory.

The Magicians played like the team favored to win the Division 2 title. The loss ended the Vikings season (12-7-3) with many parents and fans looking forward to next season, the Vikings only had three seniors on the team.

The rivalry filled the O’Brien Arena in Woburn. The only ‘legends’ missing in the capacity crowd were captain Mike Eruzione on the Vikings crowd and Don ‘Toot’ Cahoon cheering for Marblehead. The Marblehead faithful had three student busses.

Marblehead had to win their first round game with Haverhill. The battle was tied (3-3) in regulation and after two sudden death overtime periods, the Magicians won in a shoot out.

Marblehead had the advantage of defeating the Vikings twice during the regular season and they had ten seniors and an exceptionally fast and skilled offensive team. The Magicians had their skates on the gas pedal all night.

Marblehead opened the scoring at 5:49 of the first period. The Magicians were on a power play when junior Braeden Haley lit the lamp. Haley would add another goal (his 26th goal of the campaign). The star of the night for the Magicians was junior Andrew McGurren, who had a ‘hat trick’. The 6’2 wing will be back next season along with junior goaltender Ronan Cunningham. Ronan stopped 18 out of 20 Winthrop shots.

The Vikings had only four shots on goal in the opening period. The only big shot was a blistering Charlie Page shot that rang off the left goal post.

The second period was only 39 seconds long, when Haley scored to give Marblehead a (3-0) lead.

The Magicians led (5-0) before high scoring all-star, junior Charlie Page, wrapped a shot inside the post at 12:34 of the second stanza.

Soph sensation, Henry Brooks at NEC all-star, scored the final Viking tally with 2:06 left on the clock. The Vikings had a 6-0n-4 advantage when Brooks lit the lamp.

Behind the Blue Line

Marblehead captains P.J. Roy, had to assists and a large cheering section from Winthrop. Proud grandparents Paul and Linda Roy and Amy Olevitz, were leading the cheers.

Marblehead will be a favorite to defend their title next year. The Vikings young team led by junior defenseman Matt Tarantino, goalie Greg Gill, all-stars Charlie Page and Steve Holgerson, all-star soph Henry Brooks, junior defensemen Dave Barry and Jake Adamson, frosh Sam yarrow, Dean Paulson, Brian Chalmers, Gene August, Tyler Marley and a talented frosh class must get stronger in the off season to compete with Marblehead in a very strong NEC.

Let the Games Begin!

Faces in the Playoff Crowd

Robert ‘Shorty’ Mahegan, ex-Viking football captain, Don Mahegan, Paul Gallivan and two “Lewis Lake Legends” – Howie Conley and Richard Thibeau. Sean Donahue, George Barker, The Page gang – Chris, Buddy, Mary and Caitlin, the Hodgkins clan, cheering for captain Noah Hodgkins final game. Ken, Maria, Kenny Jr., Stephanie, and Luke. Coach Butch Martucci, Tracey, Mia and Talia cheering for captain Noah. Carl and Kathy Tarantino cheering for Matt Tarantino (he ‘hit em hard’ and dominated on defense). The Norris gang – Kathy, McKayla and Mia, cheering for captain Mike Norris in his final game. John and Liz Casey, Brian and Stacie Marley, Gene and Diana August, Denise and Shannon O’Connell, Steve and Jeanne Holgerson, George and Mariane Brooks, Pat Staff, Chris and Lisa yarrow, Bob and Susan Tallent cheering for number 17 – Sam Yarrow, David Barry, coach Kevin Gill, Michael Lane – Doug and Mary Chalmers – they will all be back next season, it will b e another great team!

Let the Games Begin!

Legend in the Crowd

I have had the opportunity to speak with sports legend – Michael Lynch, WCVB channel 5 Sportscaster three times over the winter. Friday night ‘Lynchie’ was in the stands at the Marblehead –Winthrop hockey classic.

Mike’s nephew is Tim Kalinowski, Marblehead hockey standout. Mike has been at the three Vikings – Magicians hockey games.

Mike was a Swampscott football and basketball standout. Mike played against Mike Eruzione and Mark DeGregorio in football and Nick and Chris Tsiotos in hoop. “Winthrop was our biggest rival,” said Mike Lynch, they challenged us in two sports.” Mike’s dad, Dick Lynch (88 years old) was in the stands. Dick was a ‘Big Blue’ hoop and football co ach.

The Big Blue Vikings rivalry is one of the best on the North Shore. Coach Sean Driscoll has a winning streak vs. the Big Blue!

Faces in the Crowd

Johnny Orlando ex-Viking skater is playing for Westfield State. Proud grandparents Joe and June Sicurella, report Johnny scored the tying goal in a playoff with Salem State, Westfield lost a heartbreaker in overtime. John and Liz Casey cheering for Mike Casey who scored the opening goal in the Vikings playoff victory. Mike is the third Casey to skate for the Vikings.

Frosh Brian Chalmers scored the final goal for the Vikings in the victory over Cambridge. Proud parents Doug and Mary provided the Fed-Ex Express to Ryan Arena for ‘the Voice’.

Ten years have past – two members of the 2006 super bowl championship Viking team – quarter James Fucillo and ace kicker Nick Leonard were enjoying breakfast at JAC’s restaurant the other day. Nick and James are now members of the Winthrop Fire Dept.

Two ‘hoop players’ reminiscing about the golden years of the Boston Celtics at JAC’s – Haskell Jaffee (former Lynn Classical standout)and Chris Tsiotos talking Celtics championship teams!

The first Viking hockey captain in 1966 – Bobby Tallent – enjoying the Vikings victory over Cambridge. His grandson Sam yarrow scoring for the Vikings! Winthrop is still the hockey capital of the North Shore.” The Vikings are number one in the state for victories in high school hockey. 13 NEC titles in hockey – Marblehead can’t match that number!

Winthrop’s Turransky signs to play football for Bentley University

Malden Catholic High School seniors Reise Turransky and Thomas Sullivan have both signed commitments to play football at Bentley University in Waltham, Massachusetts this fall.

Turransky, of Winthrop, is also a member of the National Honor Society at Malden Catholic, where he plays football and is part of the track team. Reise volunteers with the school’s chapter of Habitat for Humanity to help build houses for those in need, and at the Reading YMCA teaching disabled children how to swim. “Coming to Malden Catholic gave me the opportunity to get a better education,” said Reise.  “MC gave me the tools I needed to get to where I am now and I am truly grateful for that.”

Sullivan, of Burlington, is a member of the National Honor Society and part of the executive board of Lancers-in-Action, a school group dedicated to prayer, reflection and serving the community. Tom has played football and hockey for the Lancers his entire high school career and received the MIAA Student-Athlete Citizenship Award in 2015.

“The entire Malden Catholic athletic department is extremely proud of the accomplishments of Tom and Reise,” said Malden Catholic Athletic Director Mr. Patrick Driscoll.  “They both understand the importance of hard-work and the team-first concept.  Bentley is getting two great young men.”

About Malden Catholic

For more than eighty years, Malden Catholic High School has maintained a tradition of leading students to achieve academic excellence in a Catholic, familial atmosphere. Annually, 99 percent of Malden Catholic graduates attend college. The Class of 2015 applied to more than 212 colleges and universities distributed across thirty-two states, the District of Columbia and Canada

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