Zampanti twins lead St. Mary’s hockey to state title
By Cary Shuman
Michael and Marc Zampanti have left a lasting legacy in the St. Mary’s High School hockey program.
They are not only the first set of twin brothers to serve as captains but also the first captains to lead St. Mary’s to a state hockey championship.
And lead, they did.
Michael Zampanti played one of the best games of his stellar career on the biggest stage in high school sports, scoring two goals as the Spartans defeated Framingham, 4-2, in the Division 1 state final Sunday night at the TD Garden.
Michael’s first goal of the championship game in the second period is already legendary. He battled for control of the puck behind the Framingham net, sent it through a defenseman along the boards back to himself, skated to the right of the net and unleashed a swift, wraparound goal that broke the 0-0 deadlock and sparked a three-goal uprising by his team.
Marc Zampanti was the leading defenseman for the Spartans in front of goaltender Andrew LoRusso, helping to put together five consecutive scoreless periods versus Andover (2-0 win in the North sectional final) and Framingham.
After the trophy presentation ceremony, Michael took care of the post-game interviews for the family in the Will McDonough Press Room at the Garden. Reporters asked Michael about his first goal that opened the gates for the Spartans’ offense.
“It was a 2-on-2 battle behind the net. The puck popped out loose. I decided to run with it. I was pretty close to the net so I just decided, why not wraparound and get it to the net and it just worked out for me going in.”
Michael was tripped by a Framingham defenseman after his second goal, reminding some fans of Bobby Orr’s 1970 Stanley Cup-clinching goal in which the Bruins superstar flew across the ice.
“I got tripped up there. I didn’t plan that,” said Michael.
What’s it like to share an historic state title with his brother?
“It’s incredible,” said Michael. “That was my last game with my twin brother. I’ve been skating with him ever since I was a Mite at Larsen Rink in Winthrop. It’s kind of emotional. It hasn’t set in yet, though. I looked over to my brother on the ice and he had tears (of joy) in his eyes.”
St. Mary’s coach Mark Lee said the Zampanti brothers made an immediate impact on the program after transferring from Boston College High School in their sophomore year.
“When they transferred from BC High a couple of years ago, it really was a gift to us, not only because they are very good students, but their personalities and their work ethic on the ice – they’re both senior captains for a reason.”
“Transferring was the best decision. St. Mary’s took me in like I was part of their family right from the start,” said Michael. “It’s been the best three years of my life.”
The Zampanti boys have not decided on their collegiate intentions. Marc is an especially gifted student, ranked near the top of the senior class. “He’s more of the academic weapon,” conceded Michael. “He’s waiting to hear back from colleges. For me, it will be prep school or juniors – either way, I’ll be playing hockey next year.”
Michael and Marc Zampanti will be reunited in the St. Mary’s High School Hall of Fame one day as the leaders of the most successful boys’ hockey team in school history. That ceremony will surely be as grand and emotional as Sunday night was for the twin talents from Winthrop.
“It’s really going to be hard to have to go on without them, such good leaders and talented players,” said Lee. “Their contribution to our program has been priceless.”
From the Press Box
A Winthrop Legend
By: Jim Lederman
Fifty years ago (1967) Boston College lost in the NCAA Tourney (aka March Madness) to North Carolina, coached by the legendary Dean Smith. The ‘Eagles’ were coached by Boston Celtic legend Bob Cousy.
The 1967 team finished (21-3) and reached the regional final to Carolina. The All-American standout for BC was former ‘Winthrop legend’ Terry Driscoll.
The BC student broadcaster was the legendary Boston Globe reporter and present columnist Bob Ryan. In a recent Boston Globe Sunday column, Ryan called Terry Driscoll, “The greatest basketball player in BC history.”
Bob was a classmate of Terry Driscoll. The Eagles finished (81-23) during Terry Driscoll’s four years at ‘The Heights.’
Boston College played in the NIT Tourney for the first two years of Terry’s first two seasons and played in the NCAA Tourney his junior and senior years.
Terry Driscoll was the number one draft selection by the Detroit Pistons of the NBA. Terry played 7 years in the NBA; he was a member of the Milwaukee Bucks team with Kareem Abdul Jabbar that won the NBA championship in 1971.
In 1963, I coached the McKenna Club in the Winthrop Summer League. Terry’s team beat my team two consecutive years in a row. The 1963 Vikings captured the Tech Tourney championship (now the MIAA State Tourney), Winthrop’s “Greatest Hoop Team,” three Viking hoop legends: Len Riley, the late Robert “Truck” McKenna and Bobby Krute played on my team.
Terry played for Boston College high school. He was one of three BC High standouts from Winthrop. Charles ‘the Cat’ Jesson (BC High Hall of Fame) and Robert ‘Mr. Swish’ O’Keefe were 20-point scorers in BC High history.
Lew Perkins played for my team, and Terry Driscoll and “Big Lew’ played for another Winthrop summer league title.
Perkins played in the ‘Big Ten’ for Iowa and had a long career as athletic director at the University of Connecticut. He ranks as the greatest player in Chelsea hoop history.
The 60’s and 70’s was the ‘Golden Era’ of Winthrop basketball. The Vikings captured 16 NEC titles in a 30-year period and the Winthrop summer league in the 70’s had 30 teams competing in the very popular league.
Terry played with Chuck Mullane, a star player on the 1963 Viking State Championship team. In the summer of 1971, Terry returned to Winthrop with two of his teammates to attend a party at Governor’s Park. Richard E. Thibeau and Bob O’Keefe sponsored the party.
In 1995 at a party at the Cottage Park Yacht Club to honor the Winthrop Vikings State Championship hoop team, Terry was the keynote speaker. He talked about growing up in Winthrop playing hockey, but after watching Winthrop legends Len Riley, Chuck Mullane and ‘Truck’ McKenna, he switched to playing basketball.
Terry played in Europe and coached Bologna, Italy to a championship. Terry recently retired as athletic director at William and Mary after a successful 21-year career.
We salute another ‘Winthrop Legend’ Terry Driscoll!
The ‘legendary’ Larsen Rink is the home of hockey town USA. The rink was built in 1974 and in 1976 the State of Massachusetts finally found out who the Winthrop Vikings were – State Champions in 1976.
The rink staff has had many dedicated workers over the past 40 years. The rink staff held a fundraiser for Steve ‘Senator’ Kennedy last month.
Steve has been a hard working town employee for the Highway Department. He loved his part-time job working with the ‘rink staff’. Steve has been battling with cancer and we salute Bob DiMento, Mark Wallace (a 38-year employee) ‘Zibby’ Puleo and Ronald Hayes and many friends for raising money in honor of ‘Senator’ Kennedy.
We wish Steve Kennedy the best wishes in his long battle with cancer.
The final day of winter was cold and windy. The frustration of two Winthrop hockey teams in the MIAA Tourney in the month called ‘March Madness’ was brightened with another ‘State Championship’ for coach ‘Butch’ Martucci’s U-14 team.
The young Viking skaters, the Winthrop Youth ‘U-14’ team defeated Arlington (5-2() to capture the state title.
For coach Martucci it was his ‘fifth’ number five, state championship in Winthrop Youth Hockey.
In 1976 when the undefeated (26-0-1) Vikings captured the Division One state title in the Boston Garden, they defeated Arlington (4-1) on a Saturday morning.
Arlington on Sunday won their first state title since 1971, with a super 8 – victory.
Arlington had the ‘mantra’ Title Town Winthrop holds that title. Winthrop ‘Hockey Town USA’ – Home of Championship Teams!
The future looks great for the Winthrop Lady Vikings hockey team. We salute Winthrop high school Hall of Fame coach Anthony Martucci for his fifth state title. (story to follow in the Transcript).
Congratulations U-14 team!
Let the Games Begin!
Are you a college basketball fan? Do you watch the NCAA college hoop tourney?
Who is the most famous Kent State football player?
Can you name the ex-Holy Cross Crusader athletes from Winthrop?
The Tufts’ Jumbo’s are in the Division Three NCA Tourney – can you name the ex-WHS football player who was a Tufts football captain?
The Rhode Island ‘Rams’ had five ex-WHS football players. Can you name the Rams?
Who was the Kentucky hoop player from Lynn who played for a championship Boston Celtics team?
Three ex-Viking athletes were captains of Brandeis University.
Harvard vs. Cornell, an Ivy League rivalry. Can you name the three ex-WHS football players who were ‘Big Red’ standouts?
The Princeton Tigers were Ivy League hoop champions who played in the big dance. Can you name the ex-Viking football players who played for the Tigers?
Can you name the ex-Viking football player who played for the Harvard Crimson?
The search is on for a new Winthrop high school boy’s basketball coach.
* Match the college with the nicknames
Blue Raiders, Bears, Seminole, Wildcats, Seahawks, Cavaliers, Terrapings, Gators, Bulldogs, Gaels, Boilermakers, Buccaneers, Catamounts, Eagles, Commodores, Bulldogs – Ok, Kevin Adamson fifty more!
Blue Devils, Cowboys, Wolverines, Gamecocks(2), Hurricanes (Steve Staffier), Mountaineers, Jay Hawks, Aggies, Tar Heels, Golden Ducks, Mustangs, Flashes, Bruins, Razorbacks, Pirates, Trojans (2), Golden Eagles, Flyers, Spartans (not St. Mary’s of Lynn), Cyclones, Badgers, Golden Gophers and Wolf Pack.
Kudos to Danny Hurley, coach of the ‘Rhody Rams. His dad is Hall of Fame coach Bobby Hurley. His brother Bobby junior coaches at Arizona State.
The prestigious Winthrop High School Hall of Fame has many outstanding former WHS athletes and coaches. Can you match the nicknames with the athletes: Red, Chuck Tank, Doc, Obbie, Pep and Butch?
The UNH (University of New Hampshire) Wildcats have many ex-Viking athletes, can you name them?
The Providence Friars lost in the opening round. Can you name eight former Friars who played in the NBA and a former Boston mayor who played for Providence.
How is your brackets performing, or does your team have to beat the point-spread?
Did you see the beautiful sailboat that washed up on Short Beach during the March Blizzard? When I see a sailboat I have to remember watching ‘number 32’ the late Joe Duplin, World Championship sailor.
Can you name the 100 (one hundred) point Winthrop high school football scorer?
The Brandeis University judges had two ex-Winthrop high school players captains of their respective teams.
One and Done
The first week of “March Madness” was exciting. I had to cheer for my team in a huge ‘Madness Pool’, I had to watch my ‘final four’ picks.
The highlight for the first weekend was the loss of the Louisville Cardinals. The coach of the over-rated Louisville team was the ‘one and done’ coach Rick Pitino.
In 2000 when the ‘egotistical’ Ricky P. was coach of our beloved Boston Celtics, coach Pitino (102-147) as Celtics head coach (1997-2001). After a crushing loss to Toronto-coach P stated, “Larry Bird, Kevin McHale and Robert Parish will not walk through the door.” He was frustrating coaching the 17-time NBA champions!
He told the legendary Arnold ‘Red’ Auerbach, “I am the president, CEO and general manager – move your office, I’m the president.”
Coach Pitino recruits players from all over the United States and foreign countries – they play ‘one year’ and declare for the NBA. His graduation rate is the worst in college – he is the ‘one and done’ coach. (Example – James Young, a three-year member of the Celtics, with no NBA future.
The Sweet Sixteen features Kansas, Florida, UCLA, Kansas and Kentucky as four of my favorite teams to reach the final four. Keep your eye on Michigan this weekend!
Let the Games Begin!
The Hoop Tradition
Winthrop high school basketball has a long and proud tradition. The Vikings have captured thirty seven (37) boys and girls Northeastern Conference titles.
The last five years the boys program has not competed at a championship level. The record (22-88) twenty-two wins and eighty-eight losses.
The boys basketball coaching position has been opened. A search committee has been named.
The last two coaches have left under controversial circumstances. We hope that new coach can bring back the pride, the conduct and the results of a stable successful program.
The new Northeastern Conference has expanded and with a beautiful new high school, the Vikings reputation will return.
The Big Dance
Sixty-eight teams qualified for March Madness – ‘the Big Dance’ on April 1st, a champion will be crowned.
Do you have a bracket team? Are you in an office pool? Are you a graduate or do you have a favorite team? My favorite team – the Rhody ‘Rams’ – Rams vs. Ducks – Rhode Island vs. Oregon.
Revere man Mazac Gambardella makes professional boxing debut
Journal Staff Report
Revere’s very own Travis Mazac Gambardella made his professional boxing debut last Saturday, March 18, at the House of Blues in Boston on Murphy’s Boxing Saint Patrick’s Clash.
Gambardella and his opponent, New Hampshire’s Ricky Ford battled to a four-round draw in front of a sold out crowd of more than 2,000 people on a card headlined by undefeated contender, Mark “Bazooka” Deluca and an acoustic performance by The Dropkick Murphys.
In a close opening round, Ford, a veteran of over 80 amateur bouts, tried to use his height and reach to keep Gambardella away, but the Revere native, who now trains in California, used impressive head movement and angles to keep the pressure on Ford.
Things picked up in the second round, when Gambardella stunned Ford with an uppercut, wobbling his legs and making him lose his mouthpiece in the process. The referee opted to immediately halt the action to allow Ford to put his mouthpiece back in, giving him time to clear his head instead of waiting for the customary break in the action.
In the third round, Ford, perhaps realizing he was down on the cards, was the busier fighter throwing combinations while Gambardella held back seeming to look for an opening to land another big punch.
With the decision hanging in the balance, the fourth round was action packed with Gambardella seemingly landing the harder shots. The final 10 seconds saw both men exchanging punches trying to impress the judges one last time to cheers from a jam-packed hometown crowd partisan to Gambardella.
In the end, the judges declared the contest a majority draw with two judges having the fight dead even on their cards and a third judge seeing Ford the winner by a round.
With the draw, Gambardella remains undefeated starting his professional career with a record of 0-0-1 while Ford drops to 0-1-1.
Almost immediately however, the fighters, their teams and the event’s promoter, Murphy’s Boxing were talking about the possibilities of a rematch, potentially as early as this spring back in the Boston area.
As for Gambardella, he was thrilled at the local support.
“It was a dream come true,” he said. “Couldn’t have asked for a better experience to turn pro in. The support from my friends, family and the local community was unbelievable. The environment was just electric.”
As for the result, while Gambardella doesn’t exactly agree with the decision, he remains professional and thankful.
“I think I edged it out by scoring with the more impactful shows, but I can understand why the judges had it a draw,” he said. “I have the utmost respect for my opponent as he was a crafty and busy fighter. It was a head to head exciting fight and I’m hoping we can make the rematch happen right back here in the Boston area.”
So, after putting a career in psychics on hold to relocate to Southern California to work with noted trainer, Joseph “Hoss” Janik at the famed Knuckleheadz Boxing Gym, does Gambardella intend to continue his professional career?
“Of course. This is just the beginning. When you find something you love to do it, you do it,” he said.
Gambardella will take the post-fight week off visiting friends and family in Revere before returning to California at the end of the month. His next fight will be announced in the coming weeks.