Sports 03-30-2017

Winthrop Girls U-14 hockey team takes the state championship title

Eight U-14 girls district championship teams from Massachusetts traveled to Springfield with their sights set on youth hockey’s ultimate prize. The state championship is what every youth hockey player dreams of winning from the time they lace up their first pair of skates. So when teams from Falmouth, Arlington, Natick, Wellesley, Melrose, Plymouth, Andover, and Winthrop all won their respective district, that dream was only 5 games away from being a reality. However by Sunday evening on March 19th only one of those 8 teams would be driving home with the state title in tow. That team would be the Winthrop Vikings.

After dispatching Melrose 1-0 in their first game, a battle that saw the Vikings pelt the melrose goalie with 42 shots, with the lone Viking goal coming from Sophia Kennedy. In the second game Winthrop faced off against Wellesley. It was a very back and forth game, but the Vikings were able to out gun the opposition with a hat trick from Ava Alioto, and come away with a 6-4 win. The win put winthrop into the semi final round. However there was one preliminary game left to play against a scrappy Andover team. Winthrop was able to win that game 1-0 with goalie Brynn Macpherson earning her second shutout of the tourney.

Sitting at 3 and 0, and as the top seed in their bracket, Winthrop would now have to face the second seed from the other bracket Plymouth.

The semi final matchup had some good action, but only one team would come away with a chance to play for the crown. After some back and forth play the Vikings broke through and carried a 2-0 lead on goals by Sophia Kennedy and Sophia Allain late into the third period, but Plymouth mounted a small comeback and made it 2-1 before time ran out and the Vikings were moving on to the finals.

Arlington dispatched Wellesley In the other semi final 2-0, with a record of 4 wins and 0 losses, and with 25 goals for, and only 1 against it seemed that Arlington would be a formidable foe. The championship stage was set for a showdown between 2 unbeaten teams. Winthrop and Arlington would play for youth hockey’s holy grail, the state championship.

After the warm ups it was Arlington who came out flying, but the goaltending of Brynn Macpherson kept them at bay, and before too long the Vikings would strike with a goal from Sophia Kennedy.

Before Arlington could recover Kaiya Rodriguez buried a rebound to put the Vikings up 2 to 0, and the 1st period ended that way. A few minutes into period 2 the Vikings got a huge goal from Gabby Anticevic that sent the pro Viking crowd into a frenzy. Now holding a 3-0 lead Winthrop went in for the clincher. Sophia Allain would start the process by burying another rebound to extend the lead to 4-0, and before the period was out, Kaiya Rodriguez would pretty much put the game on ice when she scored her second of the game.

With only one period of hockey left to play and the Vikings up 5-0, Arlington made one last push to get back in it. They scored one early goal, and then one late one, but it was too little, too late. The overwhelming performance by the winthrop team left Arlington stunned, and the sound of Petey silvermans angry horn rang out like a victory chime. As the crowd of the Viking faithful went wild, and the medals were handed out along with the state title plaque and banner, you could hear one Viking fan yelling out “get the duck boats ready!”. After a short celebration on the ice, the Vikings made their way back from Springfield to meet the winthrop police and fire dept at the bridge for a rolling rally that they will never forget. When the rolling rally ended at belle isle seafood, where the team was treated to a victory dinner, the incredible forward lines of Gemma dimento, Kaiya Rodriguez, antea schlicting. Sophia Kennedy, Ava alioto, gabby anticevic. Sophia allain, maddy digiovanni and Mia martucci made quick work of their chicken fingers and fries. The superstar defensive pairs of Brooke costin, Jenna dorr. Maura dorr, Elle English. Maddy Silverman, and ally countie all enjoyed their food as well. Only goalie Brynn macpherson would enjoy her very own, and well deserved lobster roll. The newly crowned state champs(only the 8th team in winthrop youth hockey history to bring home the trophy), would like to thank the winthrop police and fire dept, for the ride of their lives. As well as all of the parents, and fans for their help and support. This special group made their 3 coaches proud, Anthony martucci, Marco anticevic, and artie digiovanni were pleased with the hard work put in by their team. A clean sweep of the weekend 5 wins, and 0 losses. This winthrop team was just what they needed to be to win this elusive title. THE


From the Press Box

The $10,000 Fundraiser

By:  Jim Lederman

The Winthrop Lodge of Elks No. 1078 is holding a $10,000 – (ten thousand) fundraiser raffle. The ‘kickoff’ is Friday, 7 p.m., March 31st at the Elks, 191 Washington Avenue.

The exciting drawing will be Saturday, May 6th at 8 p.m. First prize $7,500 – Second prize $2,000, Third prize $500. Only 500 tickets will be sold – $100 tickets includes drawing, party, food, music, 50/50 raffle.

The proceeds will support the high school scholarships. The Elks sponsored senior citizens events, the Blue and Gold Dinner, the Hoop Programs, the Community Drug Awareness and the pride of giving back to our community.

Bettie Dalton is committee chairperson. She is the esteemed lecturing Knight and her enthusiasm with the Winthrop Vikings Football Program is amazing.

Tickets to the $10,000 event are available by contacting Bettie at 617-930-0286 or at the Elks 617-846-2008.

The prizes will make for a great summer vacation.

Join us Friday at the Elks – tickets on sale 7-9 p.m. Only 500 tickets will be sold!

See you at the Elks!

Friday Night!



The Dream Team

The Boston Herald and Boston Globe honor the high school student-athletes with their prestigious all-scholastic teams. The teams will be announced this month.

The Herald names a ‘dream team’ of the top six players and the best players in Eastern Mass. I am proud to announce the selection of Gretchen Howard, Lady Bulldawg captain, as the ‘dream team’ goaltender for 2017! Danny Ventura, Herald High School Sports Editor, called me with the good news. The Herald named 17 Viking athletes to their all-scholastic team over the last 14 seasons. ‘Kudos’ to coach ‘Butch’ Martucci! The mentor to stellar goaltenders, Katie Burt and ‘all-scholastic’ Gretchen Howard. Over the last nine seasons, coach Martucci has two goalies that have attained recognition in college (Burt’s the goalie at BC – in the 2017 Frozen Four and a dream team player from WHS!

Gretchen has received a full scholarship to Salve Regina University in Newport, Rhode Island.

Raise the Sticks!

Let the Games Begin!



Winthrop had an ex-WHS athlete in the NBA – Can you name him?

There is an ‘ex-Viking’ player presently coaching in the NBA.

I will take a technical for leaving off two WHS standout athletes who played for the Dartmouth Indians (Ivy League).

Can you name the ex-Viking football player who had a tryout (free agent) with the New England Patriots?

The Northeastern Huskies have had many ex-Winthrop Viking athletes. Can you name a few?

Can you name the Providence College Friars that played for the Boston Celtics?



Trivia Answers

Julian Edelman played for Kent State (Ohio) and was a Patriot draft pick. Jules’ played quarterback at Kent State.

Ex-Viking athletes who were Holy Cross Crusaders – Chuck Mullane, Chris Zikos, Paul Pearl, Vinnie Eruzione.

Greg Zikos played football at Harvard University.

Ex-Viking football players who played at Princeton University. Ron Miles and Kevin English.

Ex-Viking athletes who were University of New Hampshire Wildcats – Marty Fischer, Kenny Lorrance, Steve Marino, Dave Tallent, Michael DeMarco, Matt Lanza, Chris Beranger.

Tufts University football captains from Winthrop, Tim Brannan, Anthony Fucillo and Matt Murray.

Celtics player from Lynn – Lou Tsiropulos played at Lynn Classical and Kentucky.

University of Rhode Island Rams from Winthrop – Jack MacDonald, Jack Reed, Rich Driver and Chris Lanza.

Ex-Viking captains at Brandeis University – Arnie Springer and Amy Sullivan.

Ex-Viking High School 100 – one hundred point scorers (one year) – Joe Duplin, Tommy Trainor, Steve Adamson, Mark DeGregorio, Jim Gillis, Steve Staffier, Chuck Sullivan, Bobby Kneeland, Anthony Palmer, Steve Rubin, Matt Murray, Jason Griffin, Chris Beranger.

WHS Hall of Fame Athletes with ‘nicknames’:

Steve ‘The Tank’ Adamson

Henry ‘Red’ Rock

Charles ‘Chuck’ Sullivan

Charles ‘Chuck’ Mullane

Albert ‘Obie’ Guidi

Joseph ‘Pep’ Guidi

Wilbur ‘Whip’ Halliday

Larry ‘Hucky’ Larsen

Milton ‘Bomber’ Neal

Richard ‘Doc’ Wallace

Robert ‘Doc’ Harney

Can you name the ex-Viking football player who had a tryout with the New York Jets?

In November 1984, in the Orange Bowl Classic game, played on the Friday after Thanksgiving, the ‘Flutie miracle in Miami,’ three ex-WHS football players were on the field (Miami vs. Boston College). Can you name the players?

(Ed. Note: yes, I truly miss the football season)!

The Harvard Crimson hockey team is playing in the ‘Frozen Four’ – can you name the three ex-Viking skaters who played for Harvard? (Ed. Note: The Vikings have many ex-athletes who played in the Ivy league – you do not need to go to M.C. (Malden Catholic) to play in the Ivy League!

The opening for a new boy’s basketball coach has attracted 15 applicants! A beautiful new gym, a history of basketball championship teams! Let’s bring back the strong reputation of Vikings hoop!

Let the Games Begin!




Two Time Champion

There have been many great athletes from the North Shore. One of the most heralded is Lou Tsioropoulos from Lynn. Lou was an All-American high school football and basketball player from Lynn English.

Lou received a full scholarship to Kentucky. The legendary coach Adolph Rupp (the arena at Kentucky is named in his memory) convinced ‘Big Lou’ to play basketball.

Lou played on a Kentucky NCAA championship team. He was drafted by Red Auerback and played on the 1957 Celtics World Championship Team.

I watched the (57-58) NBA champs play in the Boston Garden. Tom Heinsohn was a rookie and roommate with Lou. The Celtics had Bob Cousy, Bill Sharman, Bill Russell, and Frank Ramsey on their first NBA champions (17 more flags hang in the Garden).

A North Shore Legend!

Lou Tsioropoulos!

(Ed. Note- Lou passed away last year at age 82.

Let’s Go Celtics!



A Family Tradition

The Winthrop ‘Vikings’ and the Salem State ‘Vikings’ have plenty in common; the Hodgkins’ ‘Family Tradition’ is very strong in tennis.

Kenny Hodgkins Jr. is the Winthrop Lady Vikings tennis coach. Kenny is a Salem State graduate and his two young brothers have kept the ‘tradition’ alive.

Luke Hodgkins is the senior captain of the Salem State Vikings tennis team. ‘Big Luke’ was a three-sport standout for the Winthrop Vikings, football, hockey and tennis. Noah Hodgkins is playing on the Salem State tennis team after a stellar career at WHS. Noah was Vikings hockey captain and an NEC first team all-star. He was tennis captain and was the recipient of the prestigious Bentley Swift cup-awarded to the top student-athlete in his class.

Proud parents Kenny and Maria (a Salem State grad and WHS teacher) never miss a game or tennis match.

Maria is from the Martucci family (Winthrop’s number one sports family – nine members in the WHS Athletic Hall of Fame.

Game Match – Hodgkins Victory!

Let the Games Begin!


The New NEC

The football season is six months away! Are you ready for some football? Five New England Patriot championship players will headline a NFL draft party on Thursday, April 27th at the Ferncroft Country Club. I will have a full story next month!

The new ‘three tier’ – 15-team Northeast Conference football schedule is out. In ‘tier number one’ Beverly, Danvers, Marblehead, Malden and Peabody, finds new rivalries like – Marblehead vs. Malden, Beverly vs. Maden. The new Thanksgiving rivalry – Masonomet vs. Everett.

In tier two – Gloucester, Lynn Classical, Medford, Revere and Somerville. Classical has a new coach Brian Vaughan. Three ‘original’ GBL (Greater Boston League) teams will add new rivalries.

Tier number three – Winthrop, Salem, Saugus, Swampscott and Lynn English.

The Vikings play two new teams – at Medford, at Lynnfield.

Are you ready for some football?

Let the Games Begin!



Play Ball

The Boston Red Sox open their 2017 Fenway Park season on Tuesday. The month of April in Boston. Traditionally brings playoffs for the Celtics and the once mighty Bruins (their fighting for a return to the NHL playoffs at this writing).

The legendary Boston Marathon is April 17th, a sure sign of spring after a very long winter.

In 2016, I praised the arrival of Dave Dombruski, but I have questions about some of the pitchers he has traded for. Will the $217 Million Dollar Man, David Price overcome his injured arm? Can the Sox replace the production of David Ortiz (aka Big Papi) can Pablo Sandoval be a productive player?

Tuesday, April 3rd – the ‘Sox Nation’ will be cheering – baseball is back in town!

The umpire will yell – Play Ball!

Let the Games Begin!



Apropos of Nothing

I will take time off for my ‘predictions’ until Thanksgiving! Final four picks: UCLA, Duke, Notre Dame and Kansas, are all ‘home’ watching the final on TV.

My next ‘Pigskin Picks’ will be hopefully6 for the first game at the new Miller Field! Go Vikings!

Will the new WHS gym host a game with the home team Winthrop filling the new Chris Tsiotos Court!

My basketball column will return next winter – basketball will return to WHS with a new coach!

I can handily wait until we have a sunny day and watch Jack Wallace on the mound for the Vikings!



I smiled when Rick Pitino and son Richard were home watching the Final Four.

The addition of Al Horford to the Celtics will make the ‘green’ a playoff contender

It has been 19 years since the light up Miller Field Committee installed lights to Miller Field. Swampscott, Saugus and Beverly still are dark at night.

I still rate Rossetti’s one of my favorite restaurants!

We make more trips to Newburyport than in the past. A trip to Michael’s on the Waterfront or ‘The Grog’ is always good!

Spring has finally arrived!

See you next week!






WHS SPORTS roundup

WHS softball team

set to open Tuesday

With a strong turnout of 35 girls, the Winthrop High softball program is set to pen its season this Tuesday when the Lady Vikings host Pope John XXIII of Everett.

Senior captain Maddie Fainga’a will lead the 2017 edition of veteran coach Dave Guffey’s Lady Viking squad.

In addition to Fainga’a, who will play at shortstop, there are two other seniors on the team, Kaitlin Carter and Taylor Empemba, both of whom are pitchers.

Juniors are  catcher Jessy Martin, centerfielder Emma Carney, and Sierra O’Connell.

Sophomores include first baseman Caleigh Peterson, third baseman  Bella Perrotti, and pitcher Stephanie Strangie. Three freshmen also will be on the varsity in utility roles, Ashley McGonagle, Emily Creador, and Nicole Newman.

The Lady Vikings have played in a number of scrimmages in the pre-season. They defeated Woburn, 4-2, at the Strike 1 indoor facility on Route 1 and then competed in a Jamboree on the Cape this past weekend, in which the Lady Vikings split their six, one-hour contests, defeating Mashpee (12-1), Martha’s Vineyard (15-0), and Bay Path (5-1) and dropping their matches with Concord (10-0), Nantucket (5-2), and Sunapee, N.H. (5-2).

Martin, Fainga’a, and Perrotti were among the offensive stars for Winthrop, with Creador also contributing at the plate. Maddie Silverman and McGonagle earned plaudits from Guffey for their defensive work.

“We are still looking to find our rhythm on the mound,” said Guffey, who used four pitchers during the tournament.

Guffey and his crew will have two more scrimmages on tap this week prior to the season-opener. They will host Manchester-Essex today (Thursday) and play at Revere Saturday.



Spring sports swing

into action next week

Although the weather hardly has been springlike, the Winthrop High spring sports season will get underway next week.

On Monday, the boys lacrosse team will play at Salem and the outdoor track teams will meet Medford in Revere.

On Tuesday, the softball team will host Pope John of Everett.

On Thursday, the WHS baseball team will open its season at home against Essex Tech; the boys lax team will entertain Everett at Cellucci Field; and the boys tennis team will trek to Malden Catholic.

The 2017 spring season will mark the official entry of the four schools from the former Greater Boston League — Malden, Medford, Somerville, and Everett — into the Northeastern Conference, which now will consist of 16 schools. For this season at least, the baseball and softball teams will play all 15 NEC rivals once.

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