Sports 11-10-2016

WHS sports years

10 years ago

November 9, 2006

The undefeated Winthrop High football team, which has outscored its opponents 386-76 through nine games, will represent the Northeastern Conference in the Division 2A MIAA football playoffs. All five of the Vikings’ running backs, led primarily by the duo of Matt Murray and Jason Griffin, are averaging an amazing 7.9 yards or better per carry. Winthrop handily defeated Salem Friday evening at Miller Field on Senior Night to improve to 9-0.

The WHS girls soccer team dropped a 6-0 decision to North Reading Friday evening at Miller Field in a first-round contest of the MIAA D-3 North state soccer tournament. Winthrop, which compiled a 10-5-3 record during the regular season, was seeded eighth in the sectional and No. Reading was the ninth seed.

20 years ago

November 14, 1996

The Winthrop High football team’s hopes for an NEC title and a trip to the Super Bowl came to an end on a soggy Saturday afternoon with a 6-0 loss to Gloucester amidst the muck and mire of Miller Field. The loss was the second of the season and allows Gloucester to remain tied for first place in the NEC with Swampscott with one loss apiece. The Vikings dominated the contest on both sides of the ball, but the offense was unable to punch the ball into the end zone despite numerous trips into the red zone.

30 year ago

November 12, 1986

The WHS football team rolled to its fourth straight win, 22-0 over Lynn Classical, with running back Steve Holgersen enjoying another big day. Holgersen ran back the opening kickoff for 84 yards for a touchdown. Backfield mate Andy Turransky ran back a punt for 62 yards to set up another Viking score.

Winthrop Athletic Director Jim Evans has been named the Athletic Director of the Year for Eastern Mass.

Former WHS girls basketball standout Maureen McManus has been named the captain of the Lafayette University women’s basketball team.

40 years ago

November 10, 1976

Paul Plakias scored two touchdowns on a pass reception and a 51 yard run to lead the WHS football team to a victory over a much-bigger Beverly team. The Vikings now stand at 6-2 on the season.

50 years ago

November 7, 1966

The WHS football team will seek to get back on the winning track this week at Gloucester after suffering its second straight defeat this past week, 25-14 to Saugus. The loss was a costly one for the Vikings, with quarterback Keith MacFarland lost for the season with a shoulder sprain injury. Sophomore halfback Danny Gray scored Winthrop’s touchdowns on runs of 16 and two yards. Winthrop now is 2-4-1 on the season.

60 years ago

November 7, 1956

The amazing Winthrop High football team, now officially dubbed “The Comeback Kids,” won their fourth straight game with a 27-18 win over Andover after erasing a 12-0 deficit. Bob DePippo started the comeback with a 45 yard touchdown run and Buster Ferrara flew 80 yards for a TD on a kickoff return.

70 years ago

November 7, 1946

More than 2500 fans were on hand at Miller Field to see the Wakefield High football team defeat Winthrop 6-0 on Saturday.

From the Press Box

It Takes a Village

By: Jim Lederman

The crowd of Winthrop residents including many ex-Viking athletic standouts, the chairman of the Viking Pride Foundation and children, filled the Joseph Harvey room last week for the town council meeting.

The subject – the Memorial Gymnasium and the Director of Parks and Recreation, Sean Driscoll!

The Memorial Gym was built in 1955. I attended my first WHS hoop game in 1955. I was a member of the 1960 NEC Championship basketball team; we played in the ‘new’ Memorial Gym. From 1956-1976, Winthrop captured 14 NEC basketball titles. Winthrop was the basketball capital of the North Shore.

The transfer of the Memorial Gym from the school committee to the town has upset many parents and proud alumni.

The rental of the gym and the fees being charged has upset many people. 110 travel team boys and girls do not have a home today! Vince Crossman, the outstanding chairman of Viking Pride, made a very passionate speech to speak of how the community has passed two overrides for a Miller Field project. Parents like legendary Viking hoop standout Chris Tsiotos, spoke of playing in the Memorial Gym, run by the late Manny Counthino, who ran the Rec Center for 35 years and he would play for 10 hours on a Saturday at no cost to young players.

It is critical Winthrop student-athletes get access to the Memorial Gym. The 7th and 8th grade sports were eliminated in 2004 by the former Supt. Of Schools Tom Gianchristiano in 2004 and never reinstated Manny Coutinho beloved recreation supervisor for 35 years.

Sean Driscoll has done an outstanding job as the Director of Parks and Recreation Program. Winthrop has only the use of the new Winthrop High School and the legendary Memorial Gym for children open year round.

The town of Danvers has 15 gymnasiums! Danvers high school has captured two state titles in basketball during the last three years.

The audience at the hearing with the town council made a statement that they want transparency and what is best for Winthrop’s student-athletes.

The town council must pass the vote for Winthrop’s future athletes and keep Memorial Gym open year round!

We must keep Viking Pride in athletics alive!

Let the Games Begin!

Skimming the Sidelines

The Vikings travel to Wakefield on Saturday at 12 p.m. to battle the Northeast Regional (6-3) team, with hopes of winning their final two games.

The Vikings have suffered six serious injuries during the last two devastating losses.

“We have to regroup and bring back the intensity and pride of a Winthrop football team. I am upset with the effort and fight of my team,” said coach Sean Driscoll. Revere improved to (4-5) with a (35-28) victory over Westford Academy. The Patriots will seek a winning season with two victories the next two games.

A victory for the Vikings on Thanksgiving will give coach Driscoll’s team a (4-1) record in the NEC and “the game” in the 85 year rivalry at Della Russo Stadium will improve the Vikings record to (29-2) in the last 31 years vs. Revere.

Sean hopes his senior captains Zuffante, Gonzalez, Tarantino, Spinazzola, Wasson and VanDaLinda can play like they did last year at Revere and keep Revere from a winning season and improve coach Driscoll’s record to (9-2) vs. Revere. The Vikings have lost only twice in Revere since 1973!

See you at Wakefield on Saturday!

Let the Games Begin!

Number 49

Coach Sean Driscoll celebrated his 49th birthday last Thursday! The Vikings mentor is working hard to finish the 2016 season strong! Coach and his assistants work long hours to prepare for another Thanksgiving victory over Revere! A Vikings victory would record a triple-NEC title in 2014 and the third consecutive victory over Revere!

Happy Birthday Coach! Go Vikings!

(Editor’s note) I wore number ’49 for WHS.


The Winthrop Vikings have been blessed with many outstanding halfbacks. Co-captain Jon Gonzalez of the 2016 Vikings ranks with the best!

The (5’7-155 pound) workhorse reminds me of some of the ‘Mighty Mites’ (the name of the late Bob Remer called Mike Eruzione), they are small in size, powerful and very athletic.

Frank Ferrara Sr. (Buster), Frank Jr. (members of the WHS Hall of Fame), Bobby Kneeland (120-point scorer), Frank Ambrosino, Albie Maggio are just a few “Mighty Mites.”

Jon ‘Gonzo’ has been an outstanding back the past two years. Gonzo rushed for 129 yards in the upset victory over Revere in 2015, ‘Gonzo’ had three touchdowns (200 yards) in the victory over the Big Blue of Swampscott. Gonzo scored two touchdowns in the loss to Greater Lawrence.

We salute Gonzo!

We wish him good luck at Revere!

Let the Games Begin!

Faces in the Crowd

The Hall of Fame induction was filled with many ex-Viking athletes. The 1996-1997 Viking football teams filled the hall to cheer for ex-Viking captain and hall inductee, Mark D’Ambrosio. Matt Murphy drove in from Albany, New York to see Mark. Matt is teacher, coach at Christian Brothers Academy in Albany. The ‘Rambling Wreck’ from River Road was an outstanding fullback. Chris Ferrara, Viking co-captain is coaching Winthrop Youth Football.

Also present, Keith Gorman, ex-Viking quarterback drove in from New York. Keith played in the 1993 super bowl game vs. Westford. Keith handed the ball to Viking legend ‘Touchdown Tony’ Palmer – 195 points his senior year.

The Viking 1963 State Championship hoop team was led by Len Riley. The ‘Silver Smooth’ red head (42 point average as a frosh) had 16 members of his family in the hall for the induction!

Mark DeGregorio was cheering for cousin Pat DeGregorio. Mark was a record-breaking halfback at the University of Maine.

John Hayes was Viking quarterback on the 1983 super bowl champs. John’s 1983 team was inducted into the 2014 Hall of Fame. John was a standout on the 1984 undefeated track champions (two Hall of Fames inductions!).

The next Winthrop high school Hall of Fame will be held in October 2018. The 300 who attended were thrilled to see the new WHS/Middle School.

The opening of the new gym at WHS next month will hold a dedication to the naming of the Chris Tsiotos Gym, stay tuned for details!

Over the Net

We salute the Lady Vikings Volleyball team. The ladies finished a very strong season with a splendid (13-7) record. The Lady Vikings hosted an MIAA volleyball tourney match at the sparkling new gym at the new WHS.

Speaking of scoring goals, kudos to Dave Barry, Vikings soccer standout. The fiery ‘red head’ (compare that name to the late Arnold ‘Red’ Auerback, legendary Boston Celtics coach).

David scored four goals (is that a Vikings record, I will call Topeka Tours president and former coach Phil Ronan, for the record).

David is a senior and coach Dale Dunbar expects a big year on the ice at Larsen Rink for the Vikings hockey sextet. I know his dad and number one fan – Dave Barry Sr. must be proud!

See you at Larsen Rink!

Let the Games Begin!

Pigskin Picks

St. Mary’s vs. Stoneham Division 3A title – the Spartans will trash the team for the Middlesex League St. Mary’s – 33 – Stoneham – 17.

Division 2A North – Marblehead vs. North Reading – The Magicians are undefeated (9-0) in the strong NEC – the Magicians defeated Gloucester and will defeat the Hornets.

Division 2 North – Beverly vs. Billerica – I like Billerica. The very strong Merrimack Valley by two touchdowns!

Division 1 North – Everett vs. Andover – I have to cheer for my friend ex-Crimson Steve Kostegan! Everett- 32 – Andover – 27.


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