Sports 06-09-2016

WHS sports Years

10 years ago

June 8, 2006

Coach Frank DeMarco’s WHS baseball team turned in one of the most memorable performances ever by a Viking squad in state tourney play with a 3-0 upset of St. Mary’s of Lynn in the Division 3 North sectional quarterfinals. St. Mary’s had defeated Lynn Engish 8-2 in its season finale and had been expected to cruise into a quarterfinal match against Swampscott. However, Winthrop southpaw Jarrett Herdt spun a two-hit masterpiece, throwing only 87 pitches, in which he allowed only one St. Mary’s runner to get to second base. WHS caption and center fielder Paul Eruzione made the defensive play of the game with a diving catch in centerfield. Vin Eruzione drove in two runs with a base hit and Corey Collins delivered an RBI single. However, the Vikings dropped a 5-3 decision to Swampscott in the quarterfinal. Winthrop held a 3-0 lead with freshman pitcher Matt Moore appearing to be in full control, but Swampscott rallied for three runs in the fourth and two more in the fifth to win the game.

Coach Dave Guffey’s WHS softball team won its opening round contest in state tourney play with a 5-0 win over Mt. Alvernia, but dropped a 5-3 decision to Marian in the first round. Sara Carroll was the winning pitcher in the game with Mt. Alvernia. In the Marian contest, Ashley Fiandaca had a double and a triple for two RBI and Kathryn Monahan was 2-for-3 with an RBI.

20 years ago

June 6, 1996

The annual Winthrop High football Father’s Day Pancake Breakfast is set for this Sunday.

Coach Vin Eruzione’s WHS baseball team has advanced to the semifinals of the North sectional of the state tournament with a 15-7 win over St. Mary’s of Lynn. A 10-run third inning cemented the victory. The Vikings now will face Newburyport for the North title.

30 years ago

June 11, 1986

The annual Father’s Day Pancake Breakfast of the WHS football team will be held this Sunday.

40 years ago

June 9, 1976

The WHS girls track team, coached by Kevin Dowd and Pat McGee, claimed an undisputed  Northeastern Conference title with a thrilling 51-49 win over Danvers. Lady Vikings who took first place in their respective events were Suzanne Taylor in the long jump, Holly Hill in the shotput, Ann Matsumoto in the high jump, Carol Perrone in the hurdles, Bonnie Price in the 100 yard dash, Trisha McGee in the 440 and the 880, and Donna Roberts in the mile. The 440 relay team clinched the victory with Karen Hill anchoring the winning effort.

The WHS boys’ track team’s hopes for capturing an elusive NEC title fell short with a loss to Beverly.

The WHS baseball team defeated Gloucester, 4-3, behind the pitching of Billy Boudrow, who fanned eight opponents.

50 years ago

June 9, 1966

The WHS baseball team improved to 9-4 with a 10-3 win over Woburn to move into a three-way tie for second place in the NEC. Bobby Kneeland turned in a masterful pitching effort, striking out 15 Woburn batters.

60 years ago

June 7, 1956

Charlie Rand became the first WHS track and field athlete to capture a state title since Ed MacFarland  (who did it in 1937 and 1938 in the 120-yard low hurdles) when he high-jumped 5’-9” to win the Class D crown. Teammates Pat Staff took third place with a jump of 5’-7” and Frank Lazzarino finished fifth in the shotput with a toss of 43’-4”.

70 years ago

June 6, 1936

The WHS baseball team defeated Danvers 9-3 behind the strong pitching effort of Davie Rowe.

100 years ago

June 10, 1916

Despite the fine pitching of Louie Sheehan, the high school baseball team dropped a 5-2 decision to Chelsea in an Interurban League game

WHS sports roundup

Boys tennis team wins tourney opener

The Winthrop High boys tennis team, which achieved the most wins in the history of the boys program with an 11-5 regular season record, turned in another first with a 3-2 victory over Swampscott in the first round of the Division 3 MIAA state team tennis tournament last Thursday on the Vikings’ home courts.

The tourney win is believed to be the first-ever for a WHS boys tennis team.

Senior captain Noah Hodgkins led the way with a 6-4, 6-3 victory at first singles. The Vikings’ doubles team of Robbie Miles and Matt Sennott won their match at first doubles, 6-2, 6-2, as did the second doubles duo of Corey Cherico and Kyle Dalton, 6-2, 6-0.

Mike Norris dropped his match at second singles, 2-6, 3-6, and Jake LaFratta fell at third singles, 4-6, 4-6.

Winthrop, which was the seventh-seed in the D-3 North, then trekked to No. 2 seed Pentucket Monday. Although the Vikings came out on the short end of a 5-0 decision, WHS head coach Marie Finn was pleased with her team’s effort.

“Pentucket is one of the top teams in the state, but we were able to play with them,” said Finn. “Our boys battled them hard all the way.”

The Vikings were without the services of Norris at No. 2 singles because of a college obligation, which necessitated LaFratta moving up to that slot from his usual third singles role and Arthur Barash stepping into the third singles spot. “Both Jake and Arthur played phenomenally,” noted Finn. “Arthur battled his opponent all the way (the final score was 4-6, 3-6) and theirs was the last match to finish.”

Post-season accolades poured in for Finn’s crew, with Hodgkins and LaFratta earning berths on the NEC all-star team at singles and both doubles teams of Miles & Sennott and Cherico & Dalton also being named to the NEC all-star squad.

In addition, the Vikings won the NEC’s Sportsmanship Award.

“It was a great year,” said Finn of her team’s record-setting achievements. “I think we were all sad to have it come to an end.”

WHS softball team falls in tourney, 2-0

The Winthrop High softball team turned in a fine overall performance, but an inability to come through with a base hit at the key moment led to a 2-0 loss to Mystic Valley in an opening round contest of the Division 3 North sectional of the MIAA state softball tournament.

Winthrop pitcher Taylor Thomas allowed just three hits on the day and carried a shutout into the sixth inning. However, in the fateful sixth frame a walk, a base hit, a wild pitch, and an error produced the winning runs for Mystic Valley.

Gabbie Kenniston, Winthrop’s leading hitter on the year with a .462 average, reached base three times with a hit and two bases-on-balls. Jess Martin also had a base hit and Jaida Hightower came through with a  double.

“We played well, but we didn’t come up with the big base hit when we needed it,” said WHS head coach Dave Guffey.

The contest marked the final game of their high school careers for WHS seniors Thomas, Hightower, Kenniston, Alexis Joyce, Olivia Grillo, Ali Scarfo, Nicole Pucccillo, and Nina Bartlette.

Grillo achieved the third-highest putout total in Lady Viking annals with 192 putouts and also turned in a perfect fielding percentage this season, “which is a first in my 12 years of coaching,” noted Guffey.

Kenniston, who played at WHS for only two years, ended her career as the second-leading all-time home run hitter with 10 roundtrippers. Gabbie also had single-season highlights of fifth-most hits in a season with 30, fourth for a season in doubles with eight, fifth highest single-season batting average, and fifth-highest on-base percentage (.502).

Boys lacrosse team falls in state tourney

The 2016 Winthrop High boys lacrosse team ended its season with a hard-fought battle against a strong Manchester-Essex squad last Wednesday in a first round contest of the Division 3 North sectional of the MIAA state lacrosse tournament.

Coach Brian Donnelly’s Viking squad entered the fray as the 11th seed in the D-3 North, but gave sixth-seeded Manchester/Essex all it could handle.

After trailing 3-0 early in the first half, Viking Pat Sennott found teammate Brian Chalmers in front of the goal to leave matters at 3-1 at halftime.

However, that would prove to be as close as the Vikings would get in the eventual 9-2 outcome.

“Our captains put together a great game, with our defense being led by senior captain Dan Delanno and junior captain long stick midfield defenseman Neville Nowak,” said Donnelly. “Dave Barry had a very strong game as a leader on both sides of the ball. Our freshman goalie,  Andrew DiMento, played another fantastic game.

“It was a great team effort by everyone on the field,” added Donnelly. “We are only graduating a few seniors, so we are very hopeful of the future of the program. We have two returning captains and nine returning starters. I know that my players are going to work hard in the off-season and I am excited to see the improvements we make next year to continue to be a playoff-caliber team. “

Girls tennis team fall in state tourney; Hodgkins coach of year

The Winthrop High girls tennis team, the first-ever Lady Viking squad to qualify for the state tourney and achieve a .500 season’s record, came out on the short end of a 5-0 decision to North Reading last week in an opening-round contest of the MIAA Division 3 North sectional of the state tennis tournament.

“North Reading is a very good team,” said WHS had coach Ken Hodgkins. “We gave it our best, but they were the better tennis players.”

Winthrop entered the tourney with an 8-8 regular season mark and was the 12th seed in the D-3 North. No. Reading was the #5 seed with a 12-5 record.

The contest marked the final high school match for seniors Meg Dolan, the Lady Vikings’ number one singles player, and Brooke Bacigalupo, who plays at second doubles. Other seniors are Kim West, Lauren Paolini, and Elma Dulovic.

Hodgkins will have a strong nucleus of his team returning next season with second-singles Haley Holden, third-singles Kailyn Ferrara, the first-doubles duo of Courtney McSwiney and Sarah Kfoury, and second-doubles player Dana Marshall.

Hodgkins, who is in his first year as the Lady Vikings’ head coach, was named the Northeastern Conference Coach of the Year at the league’s gathering of coaches last week.

“We had a great season,” said Hodgkins. “We’ll miss the girls who are graduating, but we’ll be looking forward to next year.”

From the Press Box

Miller memories

By Jim Lederman

The football field – Miller Field was built in 1939, 77 years ago! The field house used to be the locker room – showers for countless WHS football and track teams.

I watched my first game at the ‘old’ Miller field in 1952! Two legendary Winthrop football players – Joe Duplin and Tom Trainor scored over 100 points each during a successful season.

The single wing backfield included, Lester Towlson and Jimmy Donovan. In 1956 I watched two memorable WHS games. I watched a Winthrop team break a Swampscott 22-game winning streak, led by the two-touchdown performance of Frank ‘Buster’ Ferrara on Columbus Day.

The (25-25) tie with powerful Marblehead was a classic. The backfield of Ski9p McIlroy, ‘Ace’ Parker Ferrara and Bob DePippo, should of captured the NEC title in 1956.

I scored my first WHS touchdown in 1959 – 57 years ago! WHS had many outstanding track teams. Athletes like Mike Williams, Steve Staffier, Arnie Springer, Tommy Cardoza, Gus Foley, Mike Brenner. Coaches like Pat McGee and Wallace B. McClean established many records on the Miller Field track!

We need a new Miller Field football and track stadium, to compete with the new 16-team Northeastern Conference. We have a new sparkling 88-million dollar middle/high school and the worst football field in the state! Track, Lacrosse and soccer will be back in the Conference race.

Did you graduate form WHS? Do you have grandchildren that will carry on the proud “Viking Tradition?”

It takes a village! Vote Yes on Tuesday, June 21st!

Let the Games Begin!

A Very Special Lady

The town of Winthrop lost a very dedicated citizen last week, Eleanor Govoni passed away. Ellie was a Winthrop high school class of 1947 graduate.

Ellie leaves her late husband John B., son Paul and his wife Ruth, Jill Carter and her husband Robert Jr. and the late Danny, adored grandmother of five.

Danny died tragically in a boat accident, trying to save the life of another worker and best friend in 1985 in Maine. Danny was awarded the “Carnegie Medal” for heroism.

Danny was a standout lineman on the 1981 WHS undefeated super bowl champions, “The greatest team in Vikings history.”

Danny’s teammate and best friend, Gus Martucci and yours truly, established the ‘Danny Govoni” Memorial Trophy, awarded to a Viking player every year. Danny was inducted in 2007 to the WHS Hall of Fame.

The word ‘loyalty’ best describes Ellie Govoni. She would drive friends all over town. The Winthrop Chamber of Commerce awarded Ellie, The Community Service Award.

The football team was also her special family. Ellie would cook spaghetti dinner for the 1981 champions every week and she continued that tradition for the senior night for over 30 years.

Ellie would call me every Thanksgiving for over 25 years, how did the Vikings do?

Her special life could be summed up, “Don’t count the days, make every day count.” Our deep condolences to the family, Winthrop lost a very special lady,” may she rest in peace.

Eleven Rings

The controversy over who is the best player in the NBA? LeBron James claims, “I am the greatest player in the world.”

Seth Curry was the Unamn-Amous MVP selection. The King Lebron is 2 out of 6 in NBA finals. Let’s make that another finals lost this year!

I watched the greatest player in the history of the NBA – William Felton Russell; win his first NBA championship in 1957. Big Bill won “Eleven Rings” leading the Boston Celtics to eleven NBA title. Bill won eight titles in a row! From 1957-1969 Bill Russell was the best player in the NBA.

Yes, the NBA had 8-teams but Russell was the greatest player I ever watched.

Bill Russell won a college championship at the University of San Francisco and the same year won an Olympic title for the United States.

LeBron shouted, “not one, not two, not three” when he announced he was “the King” on his move to Miami. He is still trying for ring number three – another loss will tarnish his “legacy”!

Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Kobe Bryant, Larry Bird and the “legend” Bill Russell – ‘my top’ five does not include Lebron James.

At The Net

Raise the Racquets! The Vikings tennis team defeated Swampscott (3-2), in the opening round of Division 3 North playoffs.

A victory over the Big Blue is always special. The victory was number 12 for coach Marie Finn’s team.

Congrats to coach Ken Hodgkins, named ‘Coach of the Year’ in the girls’ NEC league. Coach Ken had a stellar season in his first season as Vikings head coach. Coach Ken is also assistant coach to his uncle Anthony ‘Butch’ Martucci’s Lady Bulldawgs hockey team.

Faces in the Crowd

Congrats to Noah Hodgkins, named the recipient of the prestigious “Bentley Swift Cup” – awarded to the top male athlete in the Class of 2016.

Noah was a two-sport first team all Northeastern Conference (NEC) All-Star. Noah led the hockey team to the MIAA playoffs and was selected “First team-defenseman.” Captain Noah led the tennis team to the best record in WHS history. Noah will follow his brothers Kenny and Luke and play tennis at Salem State. Noah is the fourth member of this family to win the Bentley Swift. The members are as follows: Frank ‘Buster’ Ferrara, his son Frank Jr., John Tiano and Noah.

I received a call from a ‘proud uncle’ Bob I’nello to tell me his niece Vanessa VanBuskirk was named ‘Best Female Athlete in the St. Mary’s of Lynn Class of 2016.’ She will play hockey at New England College in Maine. She was a Boston Herald All-Scholastic last winter. A Spartan Salute!

The last WHS basketball game was played in the Memorial Gym in February. Last week I spoke with one of the ‘original’ WHS hoop players from 1955.

Roland Pearce was dropping off his granddaughter at WHS. Charles ‘Mouse’ Rand, Vin Lombardi, Jimmy Soper, Ted Conley and Jack MacDonald, played in the ‘new gym’ on Pauline Street. I sat with my friends Howie Conley and Sean Mullane – 61 years ago!

Can you name the basketball gyms WHS played in during the ‘old days’?

I was visiting Andover and Newburyport last week. Can you name the old Andover high school?

I remember Bobby DePippo scoring two touchdowns in 1956 at Andover-the Blue Devils played?

How about the bus trip for the WHS – Blue Devils in 1958 for a football night game with Newburyport. Can you name the old ‘green school buses that broke down on the old Route 1A?

Wilbur ‘Whip’ Halliday, ex-WHS coach and Holy Cross player, is still playing golf in his retirement. Whip played with former Viking athletic director Jimmy Evans in Naples, Florida this past winter. Whip is 88-years young!

Can you name the two ex-WHS football players who coached Wakefield high school?


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