Sports 11-03-2016

WHS sports roundup

Wallace wins  NEC Open

Winthrop High golf team senior captain Jack Wallace shot a five-over par 77 to capture the Northeastern Conference Open last week at the Gannon course in Lynn.

Wallace thus becomes the first golfer in school history to win an individual NEC championship. The NEC Open brings together the top two golfers from each of the league’s schools.

“Jack was tremendous,” said WHS head coach Peter Lyons. “He actually lost the ball on his first tee shot, which cost him a two-stroke penalty, so to have come back from an early deficit like that and beat the best in the league was quite an accomplishment.”

Wallace’s 77 was two shots better than his nearest rival. Teammate Patrick Stafford also represented the Vikings at the match.

Wallace two days previously just missed the cut to advance to the title round of the MIAA Division 3 golf championships. Jack shot a 79, two strokes behind the score of 77 that was achieved by 10 percent of the golfers at the match.

WHS volleyball team hosts tourney game tonight

The Winthrop High volleyball team will open play in the Division 3 North sectional of the MIAA state volleyball tournament when the Lady Vikings host St. Joseph’s Prep this evening (Thursday) at 6:00.

Winthrop is the #7 seed in the D-3 North with a 13-7 record. St. Joseph’s is the #10 seed with a 12-8 mark.

The Lady Vikings prepped for the tourney with a pair of 3-0 victories last week over Salem and Saugus. Winthrop will be led by star players Haley Holden, who accounted for almost 50 percent of the Lady Vikings’ kills with 220 and more than 50 percent of the team’s blocks with 22.

Defensive specialist Maddie Faigna’a is another key player for Winthrop. Maddie led the team with 286 digs this season, about 33 percent of Winthrop’s total, and half of the team’s receptions with 324.

Junior setter Lacey Scott is another key player in the team’s success. Lacey was credited with 385 assists, 93 percent of the Lady Vikings’ total, and delivered a team-high 80 service aces.

The winner of tonight’s contest will advance to meet Lowell Catholic, the #2 seed in the D-3 North, at a date to be determined.

WHS boys soccer wins final two games; Barry nets four goals

The Winthrop High boys soccer team ended its season on a  high note with a pair of victories over Salem and Saugus. The twin-wins propelled the Vikings into a fourth place finish in the South Division of the Northeastern Conference, the highest standing ever achieved in the history of the Viking boys soccer program.

Friday’s 4-2 triumph over Salem was a perfect outcome to celebrate Senior Night festivities. Senior striker Dave Barry placed an exclamation point on his fine career with a four-goal effort to provide Winthrop with the necessary offensive punch in the win.

Dave scored his first goal two minutes into the game when he ran onto a through ball and finished it to the corner.

After Salem scored the equalizer two minutes later, Barry responded just two minutes after that and then notched the hat trick just three minutes later to leave matters at 3-1 just nine minutes into the game.

Salem pulled within a goal after the intermission, but Barry provided an insurance marker when he again beat a defender to a through ball.

The Vikings then concluded their 2016 campaign Monday with a 2-1 win at Saugus. Winthrop rallied from a 1-0 deficit at the half with a pair of markers after the intermission. The Vikings tied the contest when sophomore Renols Cahani sent in a cross that bounced off a Saugus defender for an own goal.

Winthrop continued to put the pressure on the Saugus defense, finally breaking through for the go-ahead marker with 10 minutes to play when senior Spencer Bosse delivered a shot to the back of the Saugus net after corralling a loose ball in the Saugus box.

“Though we controlled the whole game, we couldn’t find our finishing touch until the second half,” said WHS head coach Kyle Gagin. “Much like the first half, we continued ripping shots on net after our first goal, but nothing would go our way until Spencer finished his chance to give us the game-winning goal. He absolutely deserved to score a goal the way he’s been playing the past couple of games.”

An added bonus in the victory was that Gagin was able to give playing time to first-year players Jack Silva, Joe Mahoney, Luke Evangelista, and Tony Nargi, who were able to get some minutes towards the end of the game.

“We are losing a lot of seniors, so it was good to give these freshmen some varsity experience,” said Gagin.

“The win meant that we finished fourth in the NEC South, which is the highest the team’s ever finished,” added Gagin. “After we were eliminated from the playoffs, I told them this is what we were playing for and there was still meaning to the season. This team never put their heads down and responded to the challenge.”

The contest marked the final game in a WHS uniform for a host of seniors: midfielder Arthur Barasch, captain and keeper Kevin Barrera, striker Dave Barry, midfielder Spencer Bosse, defender Timmy Duyon, midfielder Carlos Flores, captain and midfielder Will Holden, captain and defender Carlos Mendoza, midfielder Enis Plavsic, and defender John Rengifo.

From the press box

Manning Field is a jinx for Vikings

By: Jim Lederman

The beautiful new Manning Field has been a jinx for the visiting Winthrop Vikings this season.

The Vikings lost a heartbreaking (27-25) overtime game to the Lynn English Bulldogs in September. The game was played during a torrential downpour.

Last Friday night the Vikings returned to battle the undefeated and powerful (8-0) St. Mary’s of Lynn Spartans.

The Vikings were crushed (52-8) by a St. Mary’s team that is comprised of the best football players in Lynn and 5 other cities. The Spartans will win Division 3A North this month.

The old Manning Bowl (A cement football stadium) was the host to many memorable Winthrop high school football games.

The WHS football team played against the legendary Harry Agganis in the 40’s. I spoke with Tony Brogna at the game. Tony (85 years young, he looks great!) played against Harry Agganis. I have another “Manning memory,” I played in 1958 in the bowl against Lynn Tech in the Lynn Jamboree.

‘Pistol’ Pete Pedro was the Lynn Tech star. I was on the kickoff team, when the ‘Pistol’ raced 75-yards for a touchdown on a kickoff, Lynn Tech won (8-0). ‘Pistol Pete’ played at West Texas State and led the country in scoring.

‘Pistol Pete’ is the father-in-law to ex-Vikings coach and state championship mentor in 2011 of the WHS hoop team. Dave Brown is now the highly successful St. Mary’s of Lynn basketball coach.

I have many memories of playing football for WHS, but playing under the lights was a fond memory, when only Lynn and Newburyport were the only stadiums with lights.

“Friday Night Light” is the host to many games for the Winthrop Vikings. I will always remember coach Bob DeFelice’s first NEC championship team defeating a powerful classical team in 1978 on a Saturday afternoon at the legendary “Manning Bowl.”

The 1978 Vikings championship teas was the start of the ‘Golden Era’ in Vikings football history.

Coach Bob DeFelice’s teams produced a record 33-game unbeaten streak. Three NEC championships and with only a one percent point. The Vikings would have captured three super bowl titles.

The 1981 Vikings – The Greatest team in WHS football history had nine division one football players!

Game Story

Spartans 52 – Vikings 8

The undefeated St. Mary’s of Lynn Spartans trounced the Winthrop Vikings (52-8) at rainy Manning Field in Lynn last Friday night.

St. Mary’s was averaging 40 points per game and look like the champions in Division 3A North.

The score of (44-0) at halftime proved the Spartans are a very talented team. “They have speed and size in the offensive line” commented Vikings coach Sean Driscoll.

“Coach Matt Durgin has over 150 wins as a coach,” said three times to an undefeated team,” said coach Driscoll.

Calvin Johnson (140 points) and Abraham Toe (85 points) have speed that produced a 44-point halftime advantage. The Spartans capitalized on two fumbles, recovering the pigskin for a 36-yard and 76-yard touchdown.

The (6-1, 180 lb.) junior Johnson is the best halfback I have watched this season.

The Spartans offensive line averages 250 pounds per player the halfback duo of Johnson and Tow is explosive.

The Vikings lost two of their captains before halftime Jon Gonzales and Luigi Spinazzola sustained seriously injuries.

“We have to regroup and finish strong in our final three games to record a winning season,” said coach Driscoll.

On the Course

Jack Wallace is a two-sport standout at Winthrop high school Jack learned the game of golf playing at the legendary Winthrop golf course.

Jack captured the individual award last month at the NEC meet at the Gannon golf course in Lynn. Jack shot an excellent 77 to win the title.

Jack is the all-star pitcher for the Vikings baseball team. The start pitcher, NEC all-star has received a scholarship to pitch for Franklin Pierce College in New Hampshire.

Speaking of WHS baseball, kudos to the company that rebuilt Veteran’s Field, it looks fantastic. Hopefully the construction of the ‘new’ Miller Field will begin shortly. The Vikings need to play Thanksgiving 2017 at home. Three years in Revere will not be acceptable!

Let The Games Begin!

Skimming the Sidelines

The Vikings hope to finish the season winning their final three games. The Vikings play host to greater Lawrence on Saturday at 4 p.m. at East Boston Stadium.

Greater Lawrence (5-3) lost a (21-14) decision to Ipswich in the opening round of the MIAA 3A Division North. The Greater Lawrence team plays in the Commonwealth Conference and averages 24.0 points per game, they run they spread offense like the Swampscott Big Blue. The Vikings pass defense will be tested.

The Vikings have a chance to finish with a 6-5 record, but the leadership of the senior class has to finish their Vikings careers with three road victories. Revere (3-5) lost a (25-14) decision to Chelmsford from the Merrimack Valley League. The star for Chelmsford was Sal Lupoli Jr., Sal rushed for 225 yards. Sal is the son of Sal and grandson on an ex-WHS player Nick Lupoli.

The winner of ‘the game’ on Thanksgiving, Vikings vs. Patriots will finish second in the NEC South with a (4-1) record to Gloucester. Danvers shutout Wakefield (28-0) to advance in Division 2A North.

The Gloucester Fisherman defeated a strong Melrose team (18-6). The undefeated Marblehead Magicians shut out Wayland (35-0) to advance. I like Marblehead to win Division 2A North.

The Vikings defeated the Big Blue of Swampscott (22-190). The winner of the Bishop Fenwick-Watertown match up will win Division 3 North final.

The MIAA playoffs are exciting and it gives teams a chance with a losing (3-4) record to advance in the playoffs.

Greater Lawrence lost a (21-14) decision to Ipswich. Greater Lawrence plays in the Commonwealth Conference. Shawsheen won the league title.

Extra Points

The Lynn Item headline on Saturday “St. Mary’s routs Winthrop.” The Spartans have a very strong undefeated team (8-0). The team is comprised of the best players from Lynn, Salem and Revere.

Lynn English (1-7) and Lynn Classical (1-7) have enrollments of (1,800 and 1,700 students) St. Mary’s gets the top athletes in Lynn.

Calvin Johnson (146 points) is the most outstanding player I have watched in 2016. Calvin is only a junior (6’0-180) and very fast.

The Vikings need a sunny Saturday and dry after four Friday nights of Viking games with rain. Chris Zuffante will show why he is an NEC all-star and Lynn Item all-star.

The Vikings will travel to Ipswich, Lynnfield or Northeast Regional next Friday night. The trip to Revere on Thanksgiving will be short.

Gloucester and Danvers are contenders in Division 2A North. The MIAA playoffs are exciting and gives many schools a chance to win in the playoffs.

The Vikings will play on Saturday at 4 p.m. at East Boston Stadium because of the tests for college boards. Remember when Winthrop played all their games on Saturdays?

Viking TV-channel 15 h as not had the installation of the new cable to the new high school. ‘The Voice’ has broadcast the eight Viking games this season WCAT will show the games this month. Kudos to my cameraman Nick DiMartino for his excellent work. WCAT will show the 2016 WHS Athletic Hall of Fame this month.

See you at East Boston Stadium on Saturday 4 p.m.!

Let the Games Begin!

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