Sports 04-20-2017

WHS SPORTS roundup

WHS girls lacrosse defeats Malden, 17-15

The Winthrop High girls lacrosse team broke into the winning column in a big way last week with a 17-15 victory over Malden, one of the four schools that have entered the Northeastern Conference this season. Malden, along with Everett, Medford, and Somervile, have moved over from the former Greater Boston League, which has disbanded in its entirety after having lost most of its member schools over the past 20 years.

WHS senior captain and leading scorer Abby Carleton led the Lady Vikings with seven goals, which at the time brought Abby’s goal total to 17 for the season.

Younger sister Emma Carleton netted five goals to earn the Offensive Player of the Game (POG) award from coach Ben Cimmino, who also noted that Lady Viking Holly Vaccaro notched her first varsity goals to make an important contribution to the winning cause.

In the mid-field, Deanna Pucillo anchored the Winthrop transition game, winning ground balls and playing great lacrosse on both offense and defense. Deanna’s efforts earned her the Berserker Award for best overall effort.

Emma Turner was named the  defensive POG. “Emma turned in an outstanding effort, causing turnovers and clearing the ball,” said Cimmino.

WHS goalie Fatma Tufa earned her first win in net.

“Hats off to Malden coach Jessica Leggett and her girls,” noted Cimmino afterwards. “They played hard the whole game and were extremely respectful. They truly were good representatives of the NEC South Division.”

The Lady Vikings dropped its next two contests, 13-5 to non-league foe Essex Tech on Friday and 15-2 to Revere this past Tuesday. The contest with Essex Tech was highlighted by the 100th career point by Abby Carleton, who is sharing the 2017 captaincy duties with Danielle Bocchio.

As for the Revere match, Cimmino noted, “Revere is much-improved from last year. They are seeing serious benefits from their youth program paying off. We’ll be starting up girls’ youth clinics soon in Winthrop.”

Cimmino and his crew make the long trek to Gloucester tomorrow (Friday) and will return home to host Salem Monday. They will play at Medford Wednesday.

WHS softball team wins two games

After a much-delayed start to the 2017 season, the Winthrop High softball team finally got a chance to “Play ball!” this past week. After dropping their season opener to perennial Northeastern Conference power Lynn Classical last Wednesday,  the Lady Vikings made the most of their opportunities to take to the field, earning victories of 8-7 over Greater Lowell Tech last Thursday and 16-4 over Lynn English on the holiday on Monday.

Jess Martin was the offensive star of the victory over Greater Lowell. Jess went 3-for-4 with two doubles and three RBI.

Steph Strangie pitched two innings to earn the victory. Kaitlyn Carter tossed three innings in relief and Taylor Impemba closed out the game.

In the triumph over Northeastern Conference rival Lynn English, captain Maddie Fainga’a went 3-for-5 with a near-cycle of a single, double, and triple. Capt. Maddie also reached on an error.

Carter went five innings in the pitcher’s circle, allowing just two earned runs on four hits. Impemba once again closed out the win.

WHS head coach Dave Guffey and his crew were set to host Somerville yesterday (Wednesday); entertain Salem tomorrow (Friday); trek to Danvers on Monday; and then journey to Everett next Wednesday.


WHS boys tennis wins pair, now 3-1


The Winthrop High boys tennis team won both of its matches this past week to improve to 3-1 on the season.

Coach Marie Finn’s crew defeated Lynn Classical last Wednesday, marking the first Viking victory on the tennis courts over a Ram team in many years.

Senior Tim Duyon won his match at third singles, 6-4, 6-3. “Tim just keeps getting better and better with every match,”  said WHS head coach Marie Finn.

The first doubles duo of Charlie Page and Matt Tarantino defeated their Ram counterparts in straight sets, 6-3, 6-3, as did the second doubles tandem of Jaylen Crodes and Kevin Dorr, 6-1, 6-2.

Winthrop’s top player, sophomore Corey Cherico, was edged in three sets by his Classical foe in the first singles slot, 2-6, 7-5, 2-6. Arthur Barash, playing at second singles, also dropped a hard-fought battle, 6-7 (7-9), 4-6.

A number of the Viking junior varsity players also played and all won their doubles matches. Jared Vecchio and Rilind Bytygi, 6-1; Joe Deeb and Alex Pesin, 6-2; Sam Yarrow and Jake Langone, 6-1; and Andy Angulo and Nick Deeb, 6-3.

The Vikings then defeated Lynn English on the holiday with a 5-0 shutout in straight sets in all matches.

Singles winners were Cherico (6-0, 6-3), Barash (6-3, 6-3), and Duyon (6-3, 6-2). In the doubles contests, Page reunited with his hockey linemate, Henry Brooks,   to earn some glory on the hardcourt, 6-1, 6-1, at first doubles, and the duo of Cordes and Dorr triumphed with a 6-0, 6-0 whitewashing of their Bulldog opponents at second doubles.

Steve Holgersen and Chris Finn won the lone JV match, 6-0.

Finn and her crew have a busy week ahead. They were set to face Somerville yesterday (Wednesday) and then will play at Danvers on Tuesday, host Everett next Wednesday, and entertain Revere next Thursday.


Two tough losses for baseball Vikings


The Winthrop High baseball team took on Lynn Classical and Lynn English, two of the perennial top teams in the Northeastern Conference this past week. Though the Vikings came out on the short end of both contests, their fine efforts showed promise for the coming season.

In an 8-6 loss to Classical last Friday, the Vikings entered the top of the seventh and final inning trailing 8-0, but erupted for six runs and placed the tying runners on base before Classical escaped with the win.

Jaidon Brown, Winthrop’s leading hitter thus far this season, banged out a pair of hits, scoring a run, delivering an RBI, and stealing a base. Christian Natareno knocked in two runs in the seventh. Jack Wallace also had two RBI in Winthrop’s near-comeback rally.

In a 9-6 loss to English this past Monday, the Vikings took a 6-3 lead into the seventh and final frame, only to have the Bulldogs push across six markers in their last at-bat to come away with the victory.

Brown again reached base three times, including a base hit. Jaidon, who is hitting at a sizzling clip of .462 thus far this season, scored two runs and had two steals. Brown also pitched six strong innings for the Vikings.

Additional contributors at the plate for the Vikings were Luigi Spinazzola with two RBI,  Jack Wallace with a ribbie, and sophomore Natareno, who had two hits and one RBI.  Jake Adamson also had two hits and scored a run for the Vikings.

“This was a tough loss,” said WHS head coach Frank DeMarco. “The team did a lot of things right, including good pitching and clutch hitting to take a lead into the seventh. We competed really well in the game and hope to build on it and get our first win against Somerville.”

DeMarco and his crew were set to take on Somerville yesterday (Wednesday) and will trek to Salem tomorrow (Friday) morning. They will host Danvers on Monday and Everett on Wednesday.


WHS girls tennis team  drops opening contests


The Winthrop High girls tennis team came out on the short end of both of its matches this past week.

In a 4-1 loss to Beverly in the season-opener, Lady Viking captain Haley Holden was the lone victor for Winthrop, dispatching her rival at first singles in straight sets, 6-1, 6-3.

Fellow senior captains Kailyn Ferrara and Courtney McSwiney were edged by their Lady Panther counterparts at second and third singles respectively. In the doubles matches, the first Lady Viking duo of seniors Dana Marshall and Sarah Kfoury fell in three sets, 6-2, 4-6, 3-6 and the second doubles tandem of  sophomores Sofie LaFratta and Kirsten Griffiths dropped a tight three-setter, 6-4, 4-6, (6-10), with the last set being decided via a 10-point tiebreaker because of impending darkness.

In a match with Lynn Classical, the Lady Vikings came about as close as possible to emerging victorious, but came up just short in a 3-2 loss.

Ferrara handily won her match in straight sets at second singles, 6-0, 6-1, and McSwiney dispatched her Lady Ram opponent at third singles in 20 minutes, 6-0, 6-1.

The remaining three matches all were decided in three sets. Holden at first singles, dropped her contest, 6-3, 3-6, 1-6; Marshall & Kfoury fell 6-1, 4-6, 4-6, at first doubles; and the combo of LaFratta & Griffiths came up just short at second doubles, 4-6, 6-2, 3-6.

“That was a tough match for us,” said WHS coach Ken Hodgkins. “It was one we could have won, but we just couldn’t get that third point.”

Hodgkins and his crew were scheduled to travel to Somerville yesterday (Wednesday) and trek to Salem today (Thursday). They will host Danvers Tuesday and Everett next Wednesday and then play at Revere next


From the Press Box

A New Basketball Coach

By: Jim Lederman

The process to name a new boys basketball coach for Winthrop High School is complete. A search committee, comprised of three former Viking hoop players, the WHS athletic director, Matt Serino and WHS principal, Matt Crombie have named Dave Sacco the new coach of Vikings hoop.

The reputation of the Vikings ‘hoop’ program has been tarnished over the past five years. The record of (22-88) twenty-two wins and eighty-eight losses includes the resignation of one coach for recruiting violations and the scandal of the last Vikings basketball coach.

The proud tradition of many Northeastern Conference championship teams, two state championship teams (1995 and 2011) and a reputation of a ‘winning program,’ that annually competed for championships in the MIAA playoffs.

The ‘sparkling’ new gymnasium that will have a dedication ceremony in honor of former Viking player and first 1,000-point scorer Chris Tsiotos, will beheld next. Month in May in the new facility!

David Sacco is a graduate of Pope John high school (Everett) in 1984. He is the ‘Tigers’ all-time leading hoop scorer (1,385-points). He attended Plymouth State University in New Hampshire and played football. He will be the new coach!

Dave has been a high school basketball coach for 16 years. He was assistant coach at Pope John for 6 years and head coach for 6 years. Hs record (42-20) over the final three years. Three MIAA playoffs – one North final and one semi-final game. He lost to the St. Mary’s Spartans in the final Division 4-North! Dave was head coach at Melrose high, the “Red Raiders won the Middlesex League championship. He was assistant to Paul Moran at Saugus high school this past season.

The ‘future’ of Vikings boy’s basketball is in good hands with the arrival of Dave Sacco!

The ‘tradition’ will return!

Let’s Go Vikings!

Let the Games Begin!



Number Sixteen

I have covered and reported a bout many outstanding Viking student-athletes over the past 40 years. The ‘family tradition’ continues in Vikings sports.

I had to reflect back 30 years when Monday afternoon I watched a ‘father and son’ continue that “Viking tradition’ at Veterans Field.

In 1983 I sat in the ‘press Box’ at Foxboro Stadium (aka Gillette Stadium) home of the ‘super bowl champions.’ The undefeated 1983 Vikings coached by Robert A. DeFelice (a 33-game unbeaten streak) defeated Xaverian (14-3) to capture the championship. A standout for the Vikings was wide receiver – “Number sixteen (16) Jimmy Adamson, played ‘key note’ in the victory.

Jimmy was a baseball standout, the 1984 NEC ‘MVP’ in baseball. Jimmy played college at Miami-Dade College in Miami.

Jimmy is now coaching his son, junior Jake Adamson, who proudly wears – Number 16 – his dad’s number for the 2017 Vikings baseball squad.

Jake is a three-sport standout and will lead the 2017 Viking football team as quarterback this season.

Three all-scholastic ex-Viking football legends – Chuck Sullivan (1981-1982), Anthony ‘Touchdown Tony’ Palmer, number 16 scored 195-points in 1983 to lead the state in scoring on the gridiron.

In 2004 captain Anthony Fucillo -number 16 was a Boston Herald All-Scholastic quarterback. His team finished second to Danvers. Anthony had a record setting career at Tufts University and he is coaching at the prestigious league school – Harvard University.

I played football with Jimmy Adamson – the proud ‘patriarch’ of the Adamson family.

A Winthrop Tradition – Winthrop Athletes from great Winthrop Families!

Let the Games Begin!




Behind the Plate

Coach Dave Guffey’s 2017 Lady Vikings softball team recorded victory number one with an exciting (8-7) victory over Greater Lowell.

The pitching victory was recorded by sophomore Stef Strangie. The talented young soph pitched 3 innings. Struck out four to earn the victory. This is a very young Viking team. The Strangie

S celebrated victory at “Twist and Shake,” with sundaes on Friday night.

“We have the youngest team I’ve ever coached,” said the veteran coach, “The Lady Vikings always reach the MIAA playoffs and I’m sure ‘coach Guff’ will develop another strong Lady Vikings squad in 2017.”

The senior captains are Maddie Fainga (a three-sport standout, catching) and playing shortstop, Caitlyn Carter (second base, pitched) and Taylor Impemba.

The first baseman is Calley Petersen, super soph Bella Perrotti (hockey all-star) at third base, frosh Maddy Silverman at first base, junior Emma Carney playing centerfield and an other frosh Ashley McGonagle. Coach Guffey, “We lost eight (8) seniors to graduation. I am pleased to have Alex Ferri join the team as an assistant coach. Alex was a NEC MVP pitched for the Lady Vikings, she was a stellar pitcher for the Framingham State University Rams softball team on the mound and will b e a big help in the development of our pitchers.”

Catch the “Lady Vikings” in action at the Winthrop Little League Field.

Go Vikings!

Let the Games Begin!



Thirty Love

The boy’s tennis team playing on the legendary Wallace B. McClean tennis court, improved to (3-1) in the young season.

The Vikings defeated Lynn Classical (3-2), Timmy Duyon was the lone singles winner. We salute a couple of very talented senior athletes on their doubles victory. “All-Scholastic’ Vikings hockey player Charlie Page and three-sport Viking standout (football and hockey captain and all-star ‘number 33’ – Matt Tarantino won their doubles match (6-3) – 6-3.

Coach Marie Finn said, “We have 25 players, we have a junior varsity team and we are excited to have a very dedicated group of athletes competing. I want to thank the support from the community to save the McClean Courts, tennis back in town and we look forward to a new McClean tennis court in the future,” said the veteran coach.

I want to thank all the citizens to help all the future tennis players in our school system!

Victory, Set, Match – Vikings!

Let the Games Begin!


The Turf Field

The Vikings boys’ lacrosse team is off to a successful season. The Lady Vikings  ‘Lax’ team has recorded three victories. The Vikings are playing and practicing at Cellucci Field – a grass field.

The Vikings ‘Lax’ teams will play at Beverly, Manning Field (Lynn) Beverly, Peabody, Revere, and Danvers.

Fields and stadiums with ‘turf’ fields. Lacrosse should be played on the ‘new’ turf fields. Viking athletes will play in 2018 at the ‘new’ Miller Field with a ‘turf’ stadium surface! The amazing growth and popularity of lacrosse in Winthrop will double the number of Viking student-athletes that participate in the sport.

The enrollment at Winthrop high school will increase because of the new Athletic Facility – Miller Field. Track athletes will compete on their new track! When will the new Miller Field be complete?

Let the Games Begin!



La Familia

The sun was shining; the weather was spectacular for ‘opening day’ at the Wallace B. McClean tennis courts.

After a 5-month battle to save the ‘legendary’ McClean Courts (the parking lot was cancelled) – the strength and pride of our town in support of youth and athletics declared victory!

Coach Marie Finn (the first lady of tennis in Winthrop) was calling the play with her assistant coach Andrea Martucci) was by her side.

The crowd included eight members of the Martucci’s family (LaFamilia) the ‘matriarch’ Minnie Martucci, Tony Ann Cherico and husband Cory, cheering for captain Cory Cherico, Aunt Maria Hodgkins, Uncle Gus and Aunt Susan – the same family coach Kenny Hodgkin’s, who led the ‘Citizens Revolt’ to stop the paving of the courts for a ‘few’ parking spaces – (It Takes a Village).

During the tennis match I received a call from Chandler, Arizona from the “Tennis Guru’ – the legendary 89-year young former coach and highly respected former WHS principal – Senior John Domenico – “ How are the young Vikings playing/ asked the man who was the leader of “Save Our Courts”!

While the match was being played, former Viking captain Bill Schmidt stopped by to watch the match.

They could be called – “The First Family of Tennis” in town. Five members of the Martucci family are currently playing tennis. Luke is captain of the tennis team at Salem State University; Noah is playing tennis at Salem State after a stellar athletic career at WHS. Noah was the recipient of the Bentley Swift Cup in 2016 – Best Student Athlete in the senior class.

Kenny Hodgkin’s is ‘Lady Vikings’ tennis coach. Captain of the 2017 Vikings tennis team. Cory Cherico (mom is Toni Ann Cherico (Martucci).

When the ‘SOC’ (Save Our Courts Committee) needed funds to ‘fix’ the courts, the big guy (patriarch Tony) paid for the repairs to the McClean Courts! We salute the Martucci family (nine members in the WHS Athletic Hall of Fame)

It Takes a Village!

Game, Set, Match, Vikings Victory!

Let the Games Begin!



Anything is Possible

The ‘legendary’ quote by Kevin Garnette (aka – KG, the ‘ big ticket’) June 2008, when the Boston Celtics captured the NBA title in the Boston Garden.

The ‘Big Three’ – Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen.

I was in the iconic Madison Square Garden to watch the University of Connecticut win the ‘Big East’ Tourney with captain Ray Allen. I was with the Anderson Gang a record five trips to the ‘Big East’ in March.

Bob Aquilzino will pick the ‘Kentucky Derby’ winner – the first Saturday in May!

In 2018 there will be a track meet at the new Miller Field – How about the NEC meet at the Pat McGee track!

The new Vets Field should have a dedication with former Athletic Director Jim Evans and Robert DeFelice throwing out the first pitch!

I can hardly wait until I watch a lacrosse game – Vikings vs. Swampscott ‘Big Blue.’

I will travel to the Causeway Restaurant in Gloucester this week to celebrate two victories with Nick Tsiotos!

I will visit Ipswich (home of the ‘Tigers’ to enjoy clams at the Clam Box in April to celebrate my birthday!

WE traveled to Middleton for a sundae on Sunday at Richardson’s – Route 114.

Do you remember when the “lights went out” at Endicott College in 2005?


Sixty Years Ago

The night the Celtics clinched the East Division’s best record – ‘First Seed’ on April 12th was the 60th Anniversary of the Boston Celtics capturing their first (the Celtics have won 17!0 NBA World Title.

The 1957 Celtics coached by Arnold ‘Red’ Auerback defeated the St. Louis Hawks in the Boston Garden. I was in the stands (Lodge No. 24) to watch Tim Heinsohn (Holy Cross – Rookie of the Year) score 37 points. Rookie Bill Russell (San Francisco University) scored 26 points and had 22 rebounds) to lead the Celtics to the title. The Celts had Frank Ramsey, Bill Sharman, Bob Cousy (Holy Cross) and Lou Tsiropoulos (From Lyn Classical and the University of Kentucky) on the team.

1957 – WHS wins NEC title plays in the Tech Tourney WHS Hall of Fame players on the team – the “best Back Court in WHS History” – Marty Fischer (NEC scoring champ-UNH- and the late Walter ‘Brother’ Milano (the ball boy was Richard T. Milano).

The Center was Arnie (Super Soph) Springer (I watched my first Tech Tourney) game that year – WHS Hall of Fame Coach John P. Sheehan was the legendary coach (seven NEC titles one State Title).

“Not one, not two, not three” the world famous quote by Lebron when he joined the Miami Heat. “I am the greatest player in the world,” proclaimed Lebron! I was in the Boston Garden to watch Larry Bird win three NBA championships (81-84-86). He would have won a couple more if he did not retire because of his bad back! He never proclaimed his greatness! I am a Lebron James hater! Does Tom Brady proclaim – “I am the Greatest”?

The Bruins are back in the playoffs after a three-year absence – with Bruce Cassidy, the new coach. The Bruins are (19-8-1) under Cassidy (they should name him the new permanent coach and give him an extended contract!)

The North End is jumping! The employees at the TD Garden thrilled and hope the playoffs extend into May and June! The City of Champions (Boston) is ‘number one’.



Spreading the Court

Winthrop launches AAU basketball program for girls

By Cary Shuman

Winthrop girls youth basketball players now have an Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) program to call their own.

Led by co-founders Dean Galuris and Rick Pulsifer, the Winthrop “Rip Tide” seventh and eighth grade teams made their debut in March. The two teams, consisting of 21 players, has competed in two tournaments, one at the Reggie Lewis Center and the other at Boston University’s Case Gymnasium.

Galuris, who has two daughters, Grace and Samantha Galuris, competing in the program, is an assistant coach of the two teams. Rick Pulsifer is the head coach of both teams while Angelo Marcoccio, Bill Forsyth, Joe Earl, and Deborah Earl are assistant coaches.

Galuris played high school basketball in Connecticut and graduated from Northeastern University. He is a firefighter in the Massport Authority Fire Department. His wife, Ellen Galuris, also assists in the team in an administrative capacity.

Galuris said while the Rip Tide competes in highly competitive AAU tournaments they are an extension of the Winthrop Parks and Recreation’s travel program.

“We don’t select individual players and designate them for AAU – it’s the entire team,” said Galuris. “We want the girls to play together as a team and get better as a team, not as individuals.”

The Rip Tide practices two nights a week in three-hour sessions at the former Winthrop Middle School gymnasium.

“We do an hour of team drills, an hour of agility skills and drills, and an hour of intra-squad scrimmages,” said Galuris.

The Rip Tide is already starting to make waves in AAU competition. Competing against regional All-Star teams, the eighth-grade team went 2-1 in the tournament at BU.

Galuris said the goal of the new program was to “get the Winthrop girls playing basketball again.”

“That’s been the problem with Winthrop, they start playing at a later age and a lot of these towns start in the third or fourth grade,” he added.

The cost for playing in the Rip Tide program is $350 per player which covers gym time, tournaments, and uniforms. The Rip Tide’s uniforms are gray, white and turquoise and they have drawn praise from opponents.

“The girls picked out the uniforms,” credited Galuris.

The Rip Tide will travel to Emmanuel College for their next tournament. AAU tournaments in New York and Danvers [Mass.] are on the schedule for May.

Galuris said he is familiar with Winthrop High’s past successes in girls basketball and is hoping to restore the prominence it enjoyed during the eras that were dominated by such greats as Debbie Consoli, Lisa Monteleone, Maureen McManus, Amy Sullivan, Rachele DeLeo, Courtney Finn, Nicole Giaquinto, Kristen Finn, Katerina Mallios, and Meredith Soper – and more recently by the Tsiotos twins, Nikki and Poli, Kristen Siscamanis, and Nina Bartlette.

“We want to put Winthrop basketball back on the map,” said Galuris. “That’s our goal.”

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