Sports 12-08-2016

From the Press Box

Looking at two football standouts

By Jim Lederman

We salute two Viking football standouts named to the NEC South All-Star team. Co-captain Chris Zuffante was named a quarterback on the team. The (6’3-185) quarterback excelled on both offense and defense. Chris is being recruited by six division 2 college teams to be a quarterback.

Junior tackle Calvin Tufa (6’—260) was a force on defense and offensive tackle. He will be a leader on the 2017 Vikings and his kicking abilities will be a key to the Vikings success. We salute Zuffante and Tufa – NEC football all-stars!

Road to the Super Bowl

The Patriots lost their all-world tight end Rob Gronkowski this week! Will the Patriots make the playoffs? Advance to the AFC Championship? The month of December will dictate how the Patriots finish their season.

My good friend coach Max still predicts a (14-2) record, I have my doubts. Will the league ‘MVP-Number 12’ avoid injuries? Will coach Bill realize the chances of Tom Brady winning another super bowl without his number one threat – ‘No. 87’ are running out!

I will watch Fox TV’s broadcast of “The Birth of a Dynast”, the 20-1=2016 Patriots 4 super bowl titles! We have enjoyed number 12 for 17 years, can he win another title!

Let the Games Begin!

The Winter Season

The Vikings winter sports season begins next week. Coach Dale Dunbar’s hockey sextet laces up the skates for the season opener on Wednesday, Dec. 14th at Division one Mansfield at the Foxboro Center at (5:00 p.m.) The home opener at Larsen Rink is Monday, December 19th at 6 p.m. the Big Blue of Swampscott invade Larsen Rink for a 6 p.m. face-off.

Coach Anthony ‘Butch’ Martucci and his “Lady Bulldawgs” (who let the dawgs out?) open their season on the road at Salem State with the Marblehead Magicians and Bulldawgs facing off on Wednesday, Dec. 14th at 6:30 p.m.

‘The Voice’ will keep you informed. Are you ready for winter?

Are you ready for hockey? See you at Larsen Rink!

Let the Games Begin!

Viking TV

I broadcast eleven Viking football games this season and the ‘exciting’ Revere-Winthrop Powder Puff game (20-20 tie). The players, parents and Viking fans have been asking me, “When will the games be broadcast?”

We have a magnificent new middle/high school. We have a new TV studio and we are still waiting for the station to be hooked up. Three months! Still no television broadcasts!

I hope the problem will be fixed! Stay tuned (I’ve said that for three months).

Let the Games Begin!

The MIAA Super Bowls

The dream of playing at Gillette Stadium on “Super Saturday” for the Marblehead Magicians and St. Mary’s of Lynn Spartans, did not end on a happy note! Two teams representing the ‘North Shore’.

Marblehead (12-0) before Super Saturday captured the NEC North title for the fourth consecutive season. The WHS Vikings (1981-1983) won three NEC titles in a row and two super bowl titles (33 game win streak).

The trip to Foxboro for Marblehead fans was their second. The Winthrop Vikings have captured three super bowl titles (1981, 1983, 2006) Winthrop has played in six super bowls! The reputation of the smallest school in the NEC (Winthrop) still holds many records! The Magicians are still trying to win their first super bowl championship!

Falmouth 34 – Marblehead 13

The undefeated Spartans of St. Mary’s had a (12-0) record before ‘Super Saturday.” They were averaging 42 points per game – East Bridgewater is a small school with no recruits!

East Bridgewater 34 –

St. Mary’s 8

Congrats to Winthrop’s number one Crimson Tide fan – Steve Kostegan. I had breakfast at JAC’s on Saturday with Steve. He was ‘pumped up for’ Super Saturday and predicted a victory for Everett. The game was played at Manning Field in Lynn for the Division 1 – State Title!

Everett 21 – Xaverian 7

Congrats Big Steve! The only remaining football games for football fans are to be played at Gillette Stadium – Go Pats!

How many days to Christmas?

Let the Games Begin!

Above the Rim

Hats off to two former WHS hoop all-stars, playing college hoop. Lady Vikings captain Niki Tsiotos who led her team to the NEC and North Titles and a trip to the ‘Garden’ for the state championship.

Niki is playing division two hoop for St. Rose of Albany, New York. The standout guard came off the bench to lead the ‘Golden Knights” to a comeback victory over Southern Connection (73-66). Proud parents Chris and Angela were cheering for Niki in Connecticut.

Former WHS captain and NEC all-star, a key player on the Vikings 2011 state champions, was named ‘Player of the Week’ in his league (         ) leading Wheaton College to victory. Quinton had 18 points and seven rebounds in the victory.

Take it to the rim!

Let the Games Begin!

10 years ago, WHS football team won the D-2A Super Bowl

It was 10 years ago this week that the Winthrop High football team under the direction of head coach Tony Fucillo capped a perfect 13-0 season with a convincing 25-8 victory over Wareham to capture the Division 2A Super Bowl title on a blustery, early-December Saturday afternoon at Stonehill College’s W.B. Mason Stadium.

The triumph put an exclamation point on what arguably was the greatest season in Winthrop High grid history, a year in which the Vikings outscored their opponents by an astounding 512-105 points and by an even more amazing 162-0 in the first quarter.

Fucillo’s crew ended up as the second-ranked schoolboy team in Massachusetts in the final football polls, trailing only top-ranked Everett — the Division 1 Super Bowl champ — and ahead of the Division 1A champion, Wayland.

The Vikings were led by a group of key senior starters — quarterback Anthony Fucillo; running backs Matt Murray, Jason Griffin, and Travis Kratman; wide receiver Anthony Giuliano; linebackers Dom LaMarra, Phil Hamilton, and Andrew Sousa; and linemen Kevin Harris and Phil Hamilton — who achieved incredible success over a two-year period in which they won 23 games (31 victories in three years), captured two successive Northeastern Conference titles (and this was before the NEC was split into two divisions), made two playoff appearances, and won the ultimate prize of a state championship.

The Super Bowl win over Wareham mirrored the Vikings’ dominating regular- season stats: Winthrop outgained Wareham in total yardage, 282-125; attained twice as many first downs, 16-8; and outscored Wareham 12-0 in the second half to seal the victory.

Murray turned in a superlative performance, rushing for a game-high 121 yards on 18 carries and scoring both second-half touchdowns. Griffin ran for 61 yards on 11 attempts and scampered 22 yards for a TD that gave the Vikings a 13-0 lead late in the first quarter.

Junior Joe McDermott also played a key role, running for 41 yards, including  10-yard TD burst on the Vikings’ first possession. In addition, Kratman picked up 24 yards on three carries. All told, Winthrop pounded the Wareham defense for 258 yards on the ground.

The Viking defense, as it had done all season, also played a key role in the win. With Winthrop holding a tenuous 13-8 lead to start the second half, Wareham was driving, but faced a fourth-and-one from its own 42 yard line. Wareham opted to go for the first down, but the Wareham running back was met squarely at the line of scrimmage by the shoulder pads of Winthrop linebacker LaMarra (whose Dad, Dom Sr., was a ferocious middle linebacker for Chelsea in the late 1970s).

LaMarra’s key play turned the ball over to the Vikings on downs, from where the Winthrop offense needed just six plays to reach the end zone, the capper coming on an eight-yard run by Murray for a 19-8 Winthrop lead that Wareham never challenged.

The Winthrop defense continued to make big plays that effectively sealed the contest, with Shannon and Fucillo picking off passes on Wareham’s next two possessions. The Winthrop “D” also had come up big in the opening half, thwarting a Wareham scoring bid on a fourth-and-three from the Winthrop five yard line (Giuliano broke up a pass) when the Vikings held a 13-0 lead. Wareham’s lone TD came just before intermission when a Winthrop fumble, the lone Viking turnover of the game, gave Wareham good field possession and the Wareham offense took advantage of the opportunity.

It should be noted that Wareham came into the game averaging 35 points per game, truly highlighting the accomplishment of the Winthrop defense in limiting Wareham to just eight points and 125 yards of total offense.

The victory marked the first Super Bowl triumph for Winthrop since 1983. That 1983 squad marked the third season of a three-year stretch in which coach Bob DeFelice’s teams were undefeated with a 32-0-1 mark. Winthrop won the 1981 Super Bowl and then failed to qualify for the 1982 title game because of the controversial rating system in place at that time before returning to reclaim the Super Bowl crown in 1983.

For the 57 year-old Fucillo, who succeeded DeFelice at the helm of the Viking grid program when the latter became the Athletic Director at Bentley College, the 2006 game marked his fourth playoff appearance, the other three having come in 1992, 1993, and 2005. Fucillo’s career record after the 2006 Super Bowl stood at an outstanding 126-88-1, a record all the more remarkable considering that all of those seasons occurred with Winthrop playing a full Northeastern Conference schedule as the smallest school in the NEC.

No doubt that when the WHS Class of 2007 gathers for its 10th-year reunion next year, the glories of a record-setting 2006 football season will be recalled fondly by all who played for, and rooted on, the Vikings in their championship season.

Tennis coach Marie Finn says courts should not be torn down

By Cary Shuman

No one in Winthrop over the last 30 years has watched more tennis being played on the high school tennis courts than Marie Finn.

Finn, the current Winthrop High boys coach has been teaching in the school system for 37 years and coached the girls and boys teams for more than 20 years combined.

The mother of three former WHS scholar-athletes and college graduates, Kristen Finn, Courtney Finn, and Paul Finn, Marie Finn is asking town officials to reconsider their plan to tear down the existing Wallace B. McLean Tennis Courts located across the street from the new Winthrop Middle/High School building. The plan is to add new parking spaces on the site of the tennis courts.

“The town’s safety and traffic committee projected a problem with parking and I respect their findings, but after three months in to this school year, I’ve gone to the school during my lunch and have seen 40-45 open parking spots,” said Finn.

The Winthrop schoolteacher said events have been held at the middle/high school, such as the school dedication ceremony, a school play, volleyball games and the Winthrop High School Hall of Fame induction dinner (that drew 300 guests), “and there have been many open spots even with those events going on.”

Finn noted that the old Winthrop high school building and the surrounding fields [Miller Field, Veterans Field, and the Little League ‘A’ Field] have hosted state tournament basketball games, graduation ceremonies,  AAU tournaments, softball tournaments, Viking Pride events, and “in the early 1990s, two Super Bowl games were played at Miller Field.”

“So the surrounding area as far as parking goes has not changed,” said Finn.

She cited the minutes of a March 16, 2016 School Building Assistance Committee (SBAC) meeting during  which the town conservation subcommittee stated, “there was sufficient parking without taking down the tennis courts.”

Finn also said the town voted to approve the Miller Field renovation project “with the understanding that the tennis courts were included and not to be relocated to a place that is not conducive to tennis.”

Finn, who led the WHS boys team to a 12-5 record (the most victories in school history) last season, said  eliminating  four tennis courts at the high school and adding two new courts at Ingleside Park would leave the town with two fewer courts and would “exclude the boys and girls tennis teams – which is 10 percent of the school population – from being a part of the new school building.”

“There would be no restroom facilities, no changing areas, no shelters in bad weather conditions, and no athletic trainer nearby if the tennis matches were held at Ingleside Park,” said Finn.

Concluded Finn, “I don’t want the high school courts to be torn down. I want the courts to be refurbished where there are. You’re taking away from the high school tennis players and that’s not fair for them.”

Residents submitted a petition with more than 500 signatures at the Town Council meeting Tuesday night, stating their opposition to tearing down the high school tennis courts and relocating two courts to Ingleside Park. The Council will hold a public hearing on the issue at its first meeting in January.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.