Sports 02-23-2017

From the Press Box

Road Warriors

By: Jim Lederman

Coach Sean Driscoll released the Vikings 2017 football schedule. The last two seasons were difficult for the Vikings. The new schedule has a bigger challenge for coach Driscoll.

The Vikings will play all of their games on the road.

In 2016, I had a meeting with town manager, Jim McKenna. He assured me the Vikings will play Revere, Thanksgiving 2017 at Miller Field. After two consecutive years playing at the new Harry Della Russo Stadium (Vikings come back (15-12) victory in 2015 and a heart breaking (14-7) loss in 2016. Will we play another holiday game in Revere?

The Della Russo Stadium was a two-year project! Will the construction of Miller Field be complete in 9 months?

The new complete 15-team NEC schedule has been officially complete. The addition for four (GBL) Greater Boston League schools is official. Malden, Medford, Somerville and Everett are new members of the 15-team Northeastern Conference.

The Everett Crimson Tide will play an independent schedule in football, have no fear Viking fans the ‘Tide’ with Winthrop’s number one Tide super fan – Steve Kostegan will have new NEC rivalries.

Here is the Vikings football schedule for 2017

Week 1 – September at Danvers

Week 2 – at Medford

Week 3 – at Swampscott

Week 4 – at Lynnfield

Week 5 – at Salem

Week 6 – at Saugus

Week 7 – at Lynn English

The first seven weeks on the Vikings schedule includes four NEC league games. Note – all the Viking games are on the road. No more home games at East Boston stadium.

Here is the new 15-team NEC three divisions.

Division 1 – Beverly, Danvers, Marblehead, Malden and Peabody. Marblehead has captured four consecutive NEC league titles and would rate as the favorite.

Division 2 – Gloucester, Lynn Classical, Medford, Revere and Somerville. I would rate Gloucester the favorite – Classical has a new coach and the Fishermen have a strong program.

Division 3 – Winthrop, Salem, Swampscott, Saugus and Lynn English. The Vikings have a very tough task playing all their games on the road.

The addition of Medford to the Vikings schedule and a chance to play Lynnfield, adds to new rivalries for Viking teams. How can coach Driscoll and the 2014 – undefeated (9-0) NEC champions lost a playoff game to undefeated Lynnfield (the Pioneers) at Miller Field. The Vikings committed six turnovers in a loss to Lynnfield.

The Everett Crimson Tide will have the largest enrollment in the new NEC. They are a Division One school. Will the Vikings play Everett in hockey and basketball? Lynnfield is the same size as Winthrop.

Revere will play former GBL teams – Malden, Medford, Peabody and Somerville. The Patriots will play Swampscott.

The Vikings will continue the rivalry with Revere on Thanksgiving.

New teams, new rivalries, no more trips to legendary Newell Stadium in Gloucester.

I will miss dinner at the “Causeway Restaurant”. The big question to be answered by Viking faithful, when will the new Miller Field be ready?

Let the Games Begin!

In the “New NEC”



The Official Call

The Vikings had to defeat the Marblehead Magicians at Salem State, on Monday night to earn a share of the NEC title. The result a disheartening (3-3_ tie with Marblehead.

A capacity crowd filled with Winthrop Viking fans packed the Rockett Arena on the campus of Salem State University to cheer the Vikings to victory.

In the third period, with four minutes to play, the Vikings held at (3-1) lead before the referees once again, cost the Vikings a victory. The (3-3) tie at Larsen Rink on February 1st was a classic. Two horrible officials (that’s a mild word) handed out 20 penalties and a penalty shot that cost coach Dale Dunbar and company a victory. If you were at Larsen Rink, you witnessed the worst call by an official in the history of the legendary rink.

Last Wednesday night at Larsen Rink in a (3-2) loss to the league champions – the Danvers Falcons cost the Vikings another key game. One official gave the call ‘no goal’ and was overturned by another official.

Three games the Vikings should have won. The Vikings were led by the NEC MVP – Most Valuable Player, captain Charlie Page.

Number 16 – played an inspiring game, scored a thrilling goal, only 13 seconds into the final period. Charlie was all over the ice and when the Vikings crowd shouted MVP! We all thought the Vikings would win.

The Vikings NEC all-stars David Barry, Matt Tarantino, Henry Brooks, Steve Holgerson were outstanding. Soph Sammy Yarrow scored a big goal for the Vikings.

The Vikings hope to make some noise next week, when the Division 2 North MIAA playoffs begin. Let’s hope we knock off either Danvers or Marblehead!

Let the Games Begin!



The Big Letdown

Vikings fans packed Larsen Rink at the Michael Eruzione Center last Wednesday night – for the NEC ‘game of the year’. The battle for the NEC hockey title. Winthrop Vikings vs. Danvers Falcons.

Final Score: Danvers 3 Winthrop 2

The victory for Danvers, clinched their first NEC hockey championship in five years. The Vikings had a chance to get a share of the title with a victory over Marblehead on Monday night. The winning goal for the Falcons was scored by junior Tom Mento. At the time it was Mento’s 23rd goal of the season. “Number 22” scored on a power play and h is blast was like 100 mph – the score was 13 seconds into the costly penalty for the Vikings.

The Danvers goaltender (Y.  Bublik) stopped 28 Viking shots (many were labeled goal) in an incredible performance. Sophomore standout Brian Chalmers had a huge goal to tie the score (1-1) in the first period. Brian was flying all night and his blast gave the Vikings a goal after they had 15 shots on net in period number one.

‘Number 12’ – junior sensation Henry Brooks, tied the score at (2-2) in the final period.

This was a thrilling game and the pace was like a playoff game, but the Falcons were not to be denied as they had a chance for a title.

The celebration by the Falcons on Larsen Rink ice was difficult to watch. Can the Vikings finish strong and possibly play Danvers again in the MIAA playoffs?

Winthrop, Danvers, Marblehead and Saugus will play in Division 2 North next month.

‘March Madness’ for Viking hockey fans will be exciting!




Quinton Dale was the ex-Viking hoop player enjoying his senior year at Wheaton College. ‘The Q’ and Joe D’Amore were key players on the 2011 Viking State Championship team that defeated Cohasset in ‘the Garden’ to bring the Vikings another state championship team.

When the Vikings captured the state championship in the legendary ‘Boston Garden’ in 1995 what was the team led by the late coach Peter Grimes, Winthrop won the title against.

What NEC team won three state championships in ‘The Garden’? It was not Marblehead, Swampscott or Danvers!

Xaverian recently named a new head football coach. Can you name the ex-WHS player who coached Xaverian?

When the Vikings defeated Xaverian in the 1983 super bowl, can you name the ex-pro basketball player who played for the ‘Hawks’?

Can you name the three ex-Viking hockey players that played for Harvard and the two ex-Viking skaters who played hockey at Yale?

Danvers high school has been in the Northeastern Conference for over 60 years! How many NEC football championships have they captured?

Three weeks have passed since the Patriots won their fifth super bowl title! Are you ready for some football?

Let the Games Begin!



Double Zero

The Boston Celtics won three World Championships in 1981, 1984 and 1986. The center for the Celts was Robert ‘the Chief’ Parrish. He wore number “00-double zero.”

Gretchen Howard recorded her 20th shutout in the “Lady Bulldawgs” (2-0) victory over Medford. She was named the all-star goalie in the NEHL – her fourth all-star selection in her brilliant career.

Number 33 (also the number for Larry ‘the Legend’ Bird has an incredible 540 saves this year. She has led her team to a (10-4) record and another trip to the MIAA playoffs in Division One.

Gretchen is a strong candidate for the prestigious Winthrop High School Hall of Fame. She follows her mother Lisa Gill Howard, a Hall of Fame inductee.

We salute “Double Zero” aka – number 33 – captain Gretchen Howard!

Let the Games Begin!


Coach Butch

Anthony ‘Butch’ Martucci has built one of the top girls hockey programs in the state.

The Lady Bulldawgs are in the MIAA playoffs for another year in the program. The ‘Dawgs’ have won 11 games and will have a home playoff game.

‘Coach Butch’ was inducted in the Winthrop High Athletic Hall of Fame in 2016, for ‘exceptional service.’ The Winthrop Youth Hockey Program continues to grow and every young skater in town aspires to play for ‘Coach Butch’ and his team. We salute another outstanding hockey coach in Winthrop for his dedication to coaching.

Who let the ‘Dawgs’ out? Coach Martucci has produced another strong team!



Viking TV

The exciting Winthrop-Danvers battle at Larsen Rink on Wednesday, Feb. 15th, was taped for broadcast on WHS Viking TV-channel 15.

I did the broadcast with injured Viking skater, Tyler Mignosa. High above the rink in the new ‘Press Box’ (From the Press Box). Tyler was an excellent and very informative color man. I look forward to the MIAA playoffs and another broadcast – it will be on TV shortly.

Let the Games Begin!



WHS SPORTS roundup

Boys, girls hockey teams await tourney

The Winthrop High boys and girls teams were set to wrap up their regular seasons this week and then will await word of their seedings and opening-round opponents in the upcoming MIAA state hockey tournament, for which both teams punched their ticket for a Journey to the Tourney earlier in the season.

The boys completed their Northeastern Conference North Division schedule this past week with a 3-2  loss to Danvers last Wednesday at Larsen Rink and a 3-3 tie with Marblehead this past Monday at Salem State College.

The contest with Danvers was a battle for first place in the NEC North. The Vikings had defeated Danvers 3-1 in their first meeting this season and another Winthrop win would have clinched an undisputed NEC title. Though a victory over the Falcons was not in the cards, the Vikings’ still had a chance to earn a share of the NEC North crown with a win over Marblehead.

However, that game ended in a 3-3 draw — the same score as the first meeting between the rivals — leaving Danvers with the undisputed NEC title. Danvers finished with a 7-1-2 division record and Winthrop finished at 6-1-3. Marblehead took third place at 5-1-4.

Though the lost opportunity for an NEC North crown no doubt was disappointing for coach Dale Dunbar and his crew, who were set to wrap up their regular season last night (Wednesday) against Mansfield, they will now set their sights on making a run in the state tourney. With a fine 13-2-4 overall record, they will enjoy a high seed in the Division 2 North sectional.

For the WHS Lady Bulldawg skaters, the past week was a busy and mixed bag that began with a 2-0 victory over Belmont Friday, followed by a 2-1 loss to Andover Saturday, and a 3-0 defeat to Masconomet Tuesday in the Newburyport Bank Tournament. The Lady Bulldawgs had defeated Masco earlier in the season.

Coach Anthony Martucci and his crew will wrap up their regular season today (Thursday) against Marblehead in the Newburyport tourney consolation round. The Lady Bulldawgs stand at 11-6 overall entering that contest and finished in third place in the Northeast Hockey League with a 7-3 league mark behind Beverly (9-0-1) and Masconomet (7-2-1).


WHS gymnastics team qualifies for sectionals

The Winthrop High gymnastics team learned Thursday afternoon that they qualified for the North Sectional competition of the MIAA state championships.

Only 12 teams qualify for the meet and it’s calculated by taking the top-four team scores throughout the entire season and averaging them.

“This was a far-reach goal for our team at the beginning of the season, but Pete Gobiel and I instilled it in their minds that it was achievable,” said WHS head coach Daria Millerick, whose Lady Vikings will travel to Hudson High Saturday afternoon at 3:00 for the North Sectional meet. “We talked about maybe sliding into 12th place and the girls were beyond thrilled to have learned that they exceeded expectations and are seeded 11th.”

This is the first time since 2010 that a Winthrop High team has qualified for the sectionals competition.  The top four teams from each sectional will move onto the state meet in March.


Vaccaro named to Mass. HS national team

Winthrop High School gymnastics team captain Christa Vaccaro competed in the Mass. High School Individual All Around competition this past Monday. Christa was seeded fourth in the North Section and 12th overall in the competition, which featured gymnasts from both the north and south sections of the state.

Christa turned in a superb all-around performance, scoring an 8.85 on the beam, an 8.8 on the bars, a 9.1 on the floor, and a 9.4 on the vault after soaring with a sky-high effort that was good for third-place in that event.

Altogether, Christa finished in sixth place in the competition, which earned her a Gymnast of the Year Award (which is voted on by each coach in Massachusetts) and being named to the Massachusetts High School National Team. The national team is made up of 16 gymnasts from around the state who will compete in Florida in May.

“We not only as a team. but as a gymnastics community here in Winthrop, are extremely proud of Christa and her accomplishments not only this season, but throughout her entire career,” said WHS head coach Daria Millerick. “She works effortlessly throughout the year to be the incredible gymnast she is. Christa has set the bar very high for our future rising stars, but we are excited to know that we have a great group of girls who will surely follow in her footsteps.”


WHS tracksters compete in D-5 meet


Four members of the Winthrop High boys and girls indoor track teams competed in the Division 5 State Meet held this past weekend.

The top finisher for Winthrop was Lady Viking Heidy Benson, who finished in ninth place, just missing a medal, in the 600 dash with a time of 1:43.87.

For the boys, David Navarro qualified in two events. David finished in 23rd place in the 55 meter dash in 7.12 and in 19th place in the long jump with a leap of 17′-10″.

Nik Beshere came across the line in 15th spot in the two-mile run in 10:45.69. Viking shotput ace Andrew McGrail finished in 15th place with a toss of 40′-9″.




WHS sports years

10 years ago

February 22, 2007

The WHS girls basketball team improved to 19-0 with 69-57 win over Norwood in the first round of the Westwood Basketball Tournament. Courtney Finn led Winthrop with 24 points. Meredith Soper hit for 14, Katrina Mallios added 12, and Nicole Giaquinto chipped  11. Coach Peter Grimes’s squad was set to meet Westwood, which also is 19-0, in the title game tonight.

The WHS boys basketball team, which is headed to the state tourney thanks to a 3-0 record against fellow Division 4 teams, easily defeated Snowden International School, 83-43. Jason Griffin hit on 14-of-21 shots from the field to lead the Vikings, who are 8-11 overall on the season,  with 35 points.

Top finishers for the WHS gymnastics team at the recent NEC/CAL Meet were Jane Derderian with a ninth place finish in the vault with a score of 8.5 and a 10th on the beam with a score of 8.1; Nicole Gennaco with a ninth place effort on the beam with a score of 8.2; and Daria Millerick with a 10th place finish on the floor exercise with a score of 8.6.

Ben Sena was the top scorer for the WHS boys track team with a second-place finish in the high jump with a leap of 5’-4” in the season-finale meet against Revere. Winthrop dropped the meet by a score of 70-16.

Genevieve Plant scored 10 points for the WHS girls track team with first-place finishes in the high jump (4’-6”) and 600 (1:38.1) to lead the Lady Vikings to a 49-36 win over Revere.


20 years ago

February 27, 1997

Winthrop High star track performer Jaclyn Costonis captured the NEC title in the high jump with a leap of 5’-2”. Jaclyn also earned a fifth place medal in the 50 yard hurdles with a time of 8.1 seconds. Other point-scorers for coach Larry Keegan’s Winthrop team in the league meet were Barbara Lewis with a fifth in the mile in 5:52.9; Megan Gray with a third in the dash in 6.5; Tammy Riley with a third in the 300 in 40.7; Elizabeth Lewis with a second in the 1000 in 3:55.8; Kerrie Mahoney with a sixth in the shot-put with a throw of 27’-4”; and Maria Gambale with a third in the 600 in 1:34.8.


100 years ago

March 4, 1917

Winthrop dropped a hard-fought game to Reading, 15-12, before a packed crowd of 600 fans at the local gym. Spinney, Winthrop’s fleet-footed forward, was the star performer for Winthrop. Capt. Bill Talcott was back in action for Winthrop, it having been erroneously reported that he was going to be suspended for the season by School Supt. Clarke for fighting in the game with Wellesley.

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