From The Press Box
Title Town USA
By Jim Lederman
The Northeastern Conference (NEC) was established in 1945. The original NEC was comprised of Winthrop, Swampscott, Marblehead, Danvers, Amesbury, Danvers, Newburyport and Woburn.
Winthrop dominated the NEC from 1945 to 1974. During the 29-year period, Winthrop won 17 NEC basketball titles.
Winthrop won the first NEC title in ’45. Billy Countaway led the NEC in scoring with 179 points in ten games. Winthrop won the title in 1946. Winthrop captured the title with Norm Hubley scoring 154 points to lead the league in scoring. Norm was inducted in the Winthrop high school athletic Hall of Fame in 2008.
Winthrop won the NEC title in 1950, 1952 and 1953. Center Steve Miles won the NEC scoring title with 174 points in 1952. Joe Duplin scored 191 points in ’53 to capture the NEC scoring championship.
Gordon Connor was the WHS hoop coach capturing 7 NEC titles in his nine years of coaching.
Coach John P. Sheehan was named WHS basketball coach in 1955. The Memorial Gym was dedicated in 1955. Coach Connors’ teams played in the junior high school ‘band box’ prior to the new Memorial Gym.
IN 1957 WHS captured the NEC title behind Marty Fischer. M arty established a new NEC scoring championship with 229 points in 10-games 22.9 per game).
In 1958, John Monahan won the NEC scoring title with 245 points, leading to another Winthrop NEC championship.
Arnie Springer led Winthrop to the 1959 championship, scoring 305 points in 14 games. Andover was a new member of the NEC. Springer won the NEC scoring title.
During the years 1945-1959 Winthrop had seven NEC scoring leaders.
Winthrop won the NEC title in 1960 in a playoff game with Danvers.
In 1962 the Vikings defeated Woburn in the Boston Garden in the Tech Tourney to win the NEC title.
Winthrop won the Class B tech Tourney (State Title) at the legendary Boston Garden, defeating Framingham. The Vikings established a new Winthrop record (17-1).
Coach Sheehan’s teams won 7 NEC titles in nine years. John left Winthrop in 1963 to coach Woburn a Viking rival.
John Meyers was the new WHS hoop coach. They won NEC title in 1966 and 1969.
Henry McCarthy was named the new Vikings hoop coach in 1970. The Vikings captured the NEC titles in 1972, 1973 and 1974.
The Vikings had a (35-3) record in 1972 and 1973. The Vikings led by NEC scoring leader Chris Tsiotos (28.5 per game) lost a one-point decision to Rindge Tech in the Class B tech Tourney final at the Boston Garden.
The 1986 Vikings won the NEC title. Mike McManus, Len Riley, Larry Thomas, Steve O’Sullivan, Steve Carney, Scott Kinsella, Jim Pucci, John McPhail and Angelo Marroccio, was an other ‘underdog’ Viking team that won another crown.
The 1974 NEC hoop champs were led by Lou Hinckley, who held a WHS track record (6’10) in the high jump, Alan Welch, John Lyons, Michael Harrison and Adam Hubley.
Adam followed his dad and played at Bowdoin College, Mike Harrison played at Boston State.
The 1995 team coached by the late Peter Grimes won the division 4 title in the old Boston Garden defeating Cohasset.
The 2011 Vikings won the Division 4 State title in the TD Garden, defeating Cohasset (58-55). Coach David Brown’s state champions were led by captains Anthony Hatzisavas, Michael Griffin and J.P. Doherty. Senior Taj Generazzo and juniors Quinton Dale and Joe D’Amore were key players.
Coach Brown won four NEC South titles and after losing three straight appearances in the North sectional title game. The Vikings captured the ‘State Title’ in 2011.
The Lady Vikings have won 13 NEC titles. The 2014-2015 Vikings won the North Title and were the first Lady Vikings team to play in the Garden.
The Vikings have captured 31-NEC boys titles and 13-NEC girls titles.
11-NEC football titles – Three super bowl championships.
14-NEC hockey titles and the 1976 division one hockey championships.
We salute Winthrop Title Town USA!
Winthrop lost the ‘Patriarch’ of a large family last week. Robert ‘Doug’ Donahue passed away at the age of 84.
The father of Linda, Robert Jr., Thomas, Sean, Carol, Ann, Maureen and Mary. Loving Papa to 20 grandchildren and four great grandchildren.
Sean was a member of the 1976 state championship hockey team. Bobby is fire chief as Massport.
We will miss Doug’s presence at Winthrop hockey games. May he rest in peace.
The 2016 WHS Athletic Hall of Fame will induct a new class in October. I have mentioned many outstanding athletes in this week’s column, many are in the WHS Athletic Hall of Fame including:
Norm Hubley, Steve Miles, Joe Duplin, Marty Fischer, John Monahan, Arnie Springer, Chris Tsiotos, Larry Thomas and Steve Demetriou.
I spoke with Lou Rosenberg last week. Lou was the starting tackle on the 1981 undefeated super bowl champions. Lou is the nephew of another ex-Viking tackle, the late Phil Ratner, Cornell football captain and another WHS Hall of Famer.
Nick Tsiotos reminded me of the late legend, Edward ‘Gig’ Hurley. Gig used to talk about the late Milton ‘Bomber’ Neal. Bomber played in the Winthrop-Lynn Classical game in 1946, played at Manning Bowl. Classical was undefeated State Champions and they were almost upset by Winthrop (6-0). Classical traveled to Florida and won the National Championship.
Let the Games Begin!