Sports 04-27-2017

David Sacco named boys basketball coach at Winthrop High School

By Cary Shuman

East Boston native David Sacco, Pope John XXII High School’s all-time leading boys basketball scorer with 1,331 points, has been named the boys basketball head coach at Winthrop High School.

Sacco, 41, was an assistant at Saugus High last season and previously served as an assistant at Melrose High School. He was a coach at Pope John for 13 seasons, six as an assistant and seven as the head coach.

The son of East Boston residents George and Rita Sacco, he grew up in East Boston and attended St. Mary’s Star of the Sea School. He was a three-sport athlete (baseball, basketball, and football) at Pope John where the 6-foot-4-inch standout is an inductee in the school’s Hall of Fame. He played football at Plymouth State College.

Sacco said he is looking forward to working with Winthrop athletic director Matt Serino.

“Matt Serino is a tireless worker who clearly loves Winthrop sports and he’s all about the kids, so he and I have hit it off right from the get go,” said Sacco.

Having grown up next door in Eastie, Sacco has watched the Winthrop High program through the years.

“I’ve not only followed Winthrop basketball but I have followed Winthrop boys and girls sports,” said Sacco. “Being a small school in the Northeastern Conference, Winthrop has clearly had a ton of success. They’re tough, hard-nosed kids growing up in Winthrop. I’ve followed Winthrop basketball from the days of Peter Grimes and the success he had and I grew up with Peter Grimes’s daughters, so I’ve always admired him from afar. From Peter [Grimes] to David Brown, they’ve had success. We’re going to hit the ground running and we hope to get Winthrop basketball back on the map.”

Sacco is in the process of selecting his assistant coaches. He will be holding a meeting with the Winthrop players Thursday.

“They won a state tournament game this season, so they know what it takes to win in the postseason. Now the guys have to be committed to taking that next step. They have to put in a lot of work in the offseason.”

Sacco also hopes to develop a relationship with youth basketball players by offering skills and drills clinics in the spring and fall, along with a youth summer basketball camp in the town.

Sacco resides in Saugus and has two children, Nicholas, 12, and Gianna, 9.

“Nicholas just turned 12 and he has a size 10 ½ shoe. He plays basketball, football, and baseball just like his old man and Gianna plays softball and is a cheerleader.”


WHS SPORTS roundup

WHS baseball team

defeats Somerville, 6-1

The Winthrop High baseball team broke into the win column with a 6-1 victory over Somerville last Wednesday.

Jack Wallace turned in an outstanding performance on the pitcher’s mound, allowing just one run on three hits, while fanning eight enemy batters.

Jack also helped his own cause, going 2-for-4 at the plate and scoring two runs.     Jaidon Brown continued to be an offensive force for the Vikings. Jaidon was 2-for-4 with a run scored, an RBI, and a stolen base.

Chris Zuffanti and Dan Gillis both had doubles. Gillis pitched the last inning to earn the save.

In a 4-0 loss to Danvers this past Monday, Wallace once again provided a strong pitching effort for coach Frank DeMarco’s squad, yielding just two runs on four hits and striking out five in six innings of work.

“Jack has been outstanding all season-long,” noted DeMarco.

The Vikings are scheduled to play at Revere tomorrow (Friday) and will host Malden Monday. They will trek to Marblehead Wednesday and to Essex Tech next Thursday.


WHS boys track

team defeats Saugus

The Winthrop boys outdoor track and field team defeated Saugus, 78-54, last Wednesday.

Cormac MacPhail took first place in the 400 meter hurdles with a time of 74.1 and Mark Amatucci came in second with a time of 74.4.

In the two-mile, Capt.William Holden came in first with a time of 11:15 and Jakob Haim came in third  with a time of 15:14.

In the 100 meter dash, Capt. David Navarro came in second place. In the mile, Cormac MacPhail came in first with a time of 5:14 and MichaelAngelo Marcoccio came in third with a personal best time of 5:50.

In the 4 x 100 relay, the team of Noah Evangalista, Dino Tsiotos, Victor DaGama, and AJ Massa ran a fast time.

In the 110 high hurdles, Dillon Doherty came in first with a time of 20.9. In the 400 dash, William Holden came in first with a time of 58.8 and freshman Patrick Haskell came in second with a time of 59.6.

In the 200 meter dash, David Navarro came across in third place, but won the long jump with a jump of 17′-4.5″.

In the high jump, Geo Edward and David Navarro came in second and third. Winthrop swept the shot-put, led by Capt. Andrew McGrail, who topped the field  with a toss of 39′-4.5″. Tyler Chudina came in second with a throw of 36′-9 and freshman Patrick Teixeira came in third with a person best pitch of 32′.

Winthrop also swept the discus, with Andrew McGrail winning with a spin of 126′-10″, Patrick Teixeira coming in second with a twirl of 74′-1″, and freshman William Hubert coming in third with a throw of 61′-10″.

In the javelin, Tyler Chudina won with a toss of 117′-11″ and Captain Willy Holden came in second with a throw of 95′-5″, his personal best, and giving him 13 points for the Vikings for the meet.

The triumph over Saugus was sandwiched between a pair of meets with Somervile two weeks ago and Swampscott this past Monday in which the Vikings came up short in both meets.

In the match with Somerville (91-36), Cormac MacPhail came in third in the 400 hurdles with a time of 68.4, a personal best for Cormac.

Asst. Capt Nick Beshere came in first in the two-mile with a time of 11:20. Capt. William Holden came in first in the mile with a time of 5:05.5, with Cormac MacPhail on his heels in second with a clocking of 5:07.4.

The 4 x100 team of Andrew McGrail, Geo Edwards, Matthew Correalli, and Tyler Chudina came in second.

In the 800, Anthony Nargi ran a fast time of 2:10.9 for third place. Cormac MacPhail had a personal best long jump of 32′-7″ to take second spot.

In the shot-put, Capt. Andrew McGrail took first place with a throw of 38′-10.75″.  Andrew also came in first in the discus with a toss of 132′-5″.

Rounding out the point-scroing for Winthrop was Will Holden with a personal best throw of 90′-1″ in the javelin in his debut in that event for coach Mark D’Amico’s squad.

In Monday’s contest with Swampscott, won by the Big Blue by a score of 93-39, Capt. WIlliam Holden led the two-mile race from the opening gun and won with a time of 11:20. Senior Jakob Hain came across in third with a personal best time of 14:34.

In the 100 dash, David Navarro made states with a time of 11.3, making for the second running event, the other being the 200 dash, in which David has qualified for the state meet later in the racing season.

Cormac MacPhail ran out hard to take the lead and never looked back to win the mile in his personal best time of 5:04.  Stephen Hinchion also ran his personal best time in the mile with a clocking of 6:26.

Rookie Mark Amatucci ran 63.0, his personal best, in the 400.  Tony Nargi ran a gutsy race after straining a muscle in the first lap, but toughed it out for one more lap to win the 800 in 2:10.8.  Capt. David Navarro also ran his personal best in the 200, running 23.3 and placing second.

In the high jump, Geo Edward came in second with a leap of 5′-4″.

In the long jump Capt. Davy Navarro came in second with a great jump of 18′-1″.  Capt. Andy McGrail won the shotput and came in second in the disc.  Tyler Chudina came in third in the shot.

Patrick Haskell had a great day in the triple jump, finishing with a personal best landing of 33′-8″ after just taking up the event in the last few weeks.

“The boys have been working hard all season, putting in the work and bettering their times, jumps, and throws week-to-week,” said D’Amico, whose Vikings are set to travel to Salem next Thursday.


WHS girls tennis

earns first victory


The Winthrop High girls tennis team broke into the win column, defeating Somerville by a score of 4-1 last week.

Leading the way for the Lady Vikings, who now are 1-2 on the season, was their top player, Haley Holden, who defeated her Somerville counterpart at the number one slot, 6-3, 6-1. Haley’s triumph handed the Somerville girl only her second defeat this year.

At third singles, Courtney McSwiney topped her Somerville opponent, 6-1, 6-0. “Courtney is playing the best tennis of her career,” noted WHS head coach Ken Hodgkins. “She was totally dominant against her Somerville foe and is demonstrating great leadership for our team.”

In the doubles matches, the first doubles duo of Kirsten Griffiths and Sophie LaFratta won the first match of their careers together, 6-4, 6-3, in a hard-fought battle. In the second doubles match, the Lady Viking tandem of senior Dana Marshall and freshman Sara Fucillo, who was making her varsity debut, cruised to a 6-0, 6-1 victory.

“Dana and Sara played an error-free match,” noted Hodgkins. “It was a nice way for Sara to break into varsity play, with Dana providing her on-court experience.”

At second singles, Kailyn Ferrara played very all in a hard-fought loss, 4-6, 2-6.

Hodgkins and his squad travel to Revere today (Thursday) and then will host Malden Tuesday before traveling to Marblehead Wednesday.


WHS boys tennis

wins again, now 4-1


The Winthrop High boys tennis team improved to 4-1 with a 4-1 victory over Somerville last week.

The victors for the Vikings were: Arthur Barasch at second singles, in which Arthur came from behind to pull out a three-set triumph, 1-6, 6-4, 6-1; Tim Duyon, who remained undefeated this season, with a 6-3, 6-1 win over his Highlander counterpart at third singles; the first doubles duo of Matt Tarantino & Henry Brooks, 6-2, 6-2; and the second doubles tandem of Kevin Dorr & Chris Finn, 6-2, 6-3.

The lone setback for the Vikings came at first singles, with Viking Corey Cherico falling in straight sets, 1-6, 6-7 (4-7).

“I’m really pleased with the progress the team has been making,” said WHS head coach Marie Finn. “This is a great group of boys who are a pleasure to coach. They are an athletic group, so even though they do not have a lot of tennis experience, they are very competitive and are able to pick up tennis skills quickly.”

Finn and her crew have a busy week ahead. They are scheduled to host Revere today (Thursday), travel to Malden Tuesday, entertain Marblehead Wednesday, and host Medford next Thursday.


Lady Viking softball

edged by Danvers, 4-3


The Winthrop High softball team turned in what coach Dave Guffey termed his team’s “top performance of the season,” despite a 4-3 loss at Danvers this past week.

“Danvers is undefeated, but we came very close to knocking them off,” said Guffey.

The Lady Vikings grabbed a 2-0 lead in the first inning when Jess Martin singled, Bella Perrotti doubled, and both came home on base hits by Stephanie Strangie and Emma Carney.

Danvers evened the count with a pair of markers in the third on a pair of bunt singles and a two-out base hit, but Winthrop regained the advantage with a tally in the fifth on a base hit by Maddie Fainga’a and a double by Martin. Both Fainga’a and Martin are hitting .500 for the season.

However, the Lady Falcons counterpunched with two runs in their half of the frame thanks to an error, two bases on balls, and a triple. Winthrop cut down a runner at the plate on a nice relay from left fielder Maddie Silverman to third baseman Martin to catcher Fainga’a.

Caitlyn Carter pitched four innings, allowing just five hits and three earned runs, while fanning three and walking only one. Taylor Impemba, who came on in the fifth with two on and none out, allowed only one hit in her two innings of work.

Guffey lauded the defensive play of second baseman Emma Carney, who made several outstanding, diving grabs of grounders and a line drive that prevented Danvers runs from being scored.

Guffey and his crew were scheduled to trek to Beverly today (Thursday) in a make-up game and to host Revere tomorrow. They travel to Malden on Monday and entertain Marblehead Wednesday.


From the Press Box

Two 100-Point Scorers

By: Jim Lederman

The Vikings boys and lacrosse teams are making noise and raising sticks in the NEC this spring, (the warm weather has finally arrived). Two outstanding student-athletes are finishing their careers and establishing new records.

Abby Carleton is a three-sport captain and an all-star in three sports. Abby was co-captain of soccer and co-captain for the Lady Bulldawgs hockey team.

Carleton will reach the 100-point club this week on the ‘Lax’ team – 100 goals is a milestone and the Lady Vikings Lax team is enjoying a very successful season.

David Barry is a three-sport co-captain in soccer, hockey and lacrosse. David will also reach the ‘100-point club’ this month.

‘Number Six’ was a first team all-star defenseman in the NEC on the ice for coach Dale Dunbar’s hockey sextet.

Note: on Monday I attended the Winthrop-Salem lacrosse game at Cellucci Field. I watched the battle with Sean Carelton, a very proud dad of Abby C. Sean is assistant coach on Butch Martucci’s hockey team (Lady Vikings – 2017-2018). Sean has two daughters on the ‘Lax team’- Abby and Emma.

I will give a game report and scoring details (Abby’s 100-goal game) next week.

The new coach of the girl’s Lax team – Ben Cimmino, Ben was a standout lacrosse player in high school and college. Ben is a guidance counselor at the new Winthrop High School.

The new ‘turf field’ at the new Miller Field (hopeful in 2018 in the spring) will increase the popularity and participation in the growing Lax program!

Hold the sticks high!

Let the Games Begin!



The Marathon

April 17th was perfect weather for the 121st running of the iconic ‘Boston Marathon’.

Two Winthrop athletes had to replenish their energy with takeout from the legendary JAC’s Café in the Highlands. One of the Vikings all-time great football talents – former Viking all-scholastic quarterback and present Harvard University assistant football coach Anthony Fucillo ran his first Boston Marathon.

Shelagh O’Connell ran the marathon and she stopped by on Thursday to see her trainer/coach – the Pizza Lady Danielle Cadigan (aka miss ‘Pizza Center’) to report. Danny was driven to the finish line by the ‘Duke’ – Gino Dawson (two minutes to post).

I can recall some Winthrop athletes like (John Booras, John Wallace, Dr. Hugh Treanor, Dave Cochrane, Paul Carruccio and Gus Foley.



The Sullivan Twins

The relationship was celebrated at JW’s Restaurant on Wednesday night. Mary Sullivan and Patty McGrath (WHS 1972) had a historic dinner while they enjoyed (a sad loss for the Bruins) a great meal together.

The meal should have been celebrated at “Sullivan’s Bar’ in Everett (owned by George Sullivan’s dad). They never realized they were related (by marriage).

Mary Sullivan (wife of John and mother of Amy and former Viking standout Sean (1983 Super Bowl champs). Mary grew up in Charlestown and lived close to the Warren Tavern.

Patty used to baby sit for (the Lederman family) and she currently play golf after retiring as a dedicated nurse at the Brigham Hospital.

Patty was celebrating the new, her son Brian (WHS golf captain 2003 and husband George) were celebrating Brian’s ‘birdie’ at the legendary Pebble Beach Golf Course. Yes, the ‘PB’ course you see on TV!

Jim Nantz from CBS sports was playing at ‘PB’ that day – his partner was Phil Simms (only kidding) maybe the same month Tom Brady and ‘the guest’ were in the house! Patty reminded me she was a cheerleader for Pat DeGregorio and Atty. Chris (not Christopher) Tsiotos.

Just a few Viking athletes!

Let the Games Begin!


Faces in the Crowd

I enjoyed watching a Vikings baseball game on Patriots Day (sorry they lost on a sunny day) in the outfield across from Franklin Street. With Mark (just call him Gretsky) Tallent and Mr. Larsen Rink – Mark Wallace and celebrated Limo driver Gino J. Dawson from the Class of 1982.

Bobby Deeb (Mr. Mortgage), Angelo Vig (master electrician Angelo Vigliotta) and coach Sean Driscoll watching the Boston Celtics, getting embarrassed at the TD Garden by the Chicago Bulls. Yes, that was former Boston Celtics guard Rajon Rondo of the Bulls.

Has anybody seen Al Horford of the Celtics. Al was a no-show in the playoffs.

The ball from the legendary Havlicek stole the ball playoff game ended up in Mark Schlafriars cellar (Mark was the 1960 graduate who was a NBA (National Basketball League) referee watching the game in the 1965 playoffs with ‘yours truly’ form the Press Box! Just another trivia from my ‘Garden’ memories!

Great to see Howie Conley (WHS Hall of Fame) watching the WHS lacrosse team with David Barry at the Cellucci Field!

New Vikings hoop coach Dave Sacco enjoying a meal at JW’s Restaurant. Dave will restore Vikings basketball to the good ole’ days when the Vikings were contenders in a very strong NEC. Let’s fill the new gym at the sparkling new Sports Complex.

Ex WHS track and football standout Kenny Goddard visiting Veteran’s Field. Ken reminded me he ran in the Boston Marathon!

I can still see BAA veteran John Wallace training in my neighborhood and on Winthrop Shore Drive!

Coach Butch Martucci and wife Tracey, two WHS Hall of Fame coaches – enjoying breakfast at the ‘Center Café’ with two future Viking athletes Mia and Talia!

Coach Sean Driscoll and daughter Caitlyn visiting Florida State during school vacation. Will she be a FSU Seminole?

Lady Viking three-sport standout Abby Carleton will attend the Eisenhower School of Business at the University of Massachusetts!

Vikings two-sport captain Matt Tarantino will attend Merrimac College. Ex-Vi9king hockey star – Chris Leblanc just finished his career at the North Andover Campus – Go Warriors!

Viking hockey and lacrosse standout David Barry will attend Quinnipiac College in Connecticut. David was a NEC all-star in hockey and will be an all-star in lacrosse!

Tough week in Boston Garden sports – Celtics and Bruins both lose two games each in the NBA and NHL playoffs! The lack of scoring hurting both of our local teams!

Let the Games Begin!



A Triple Threat

The crowd at J.W.’s Restaurant on Wednesday night, to watch the Bruins Stanley Cup playoff battle with Ottawa, filled the popular restaurant and sports bar to cheer for the Bruins.

I enjoyed the game with ‘three’ hockey parents – The Holmes and Carleton gang – they are parents of two-triple threat’ Lady Vikings (aka Lady Bulldawgs) hockey players.

Jay and Jen are proud parents of ‘four’ Lady Viking players, the future of Vikings hockey – the ‘Holmes Gang’ – Emelia (soph) on coach ‘Butch’ Martucci’s Lady Vikings (aka ‘Bulldawgs,’) Emma, Abby and Julia.

The ‘gals’ aka Larry’s girls – the late Larry Holmes – we extend our condolence to the Holmes family on the loss of Larry Holmes last week. They will carry the Holmes legacy on the ice at Larsen Rink!

Gretchen Carleton – Matriarch of the ‘Carleton Gang’ – Abby, Emma and Grace – proud dad is assistant coach Sean Carleton. Abby was Bulldawgs co-captain three-sport standout. League all-star and super lacrosse player.

Abby Carleton will score her 100th lacrosse goal this week. She is a member of the ‘100 point club’ – A sure candidate for all-scholastic honors.

We salute these outstanding female student-athletes that are outstanding young ladies.

Let’s score some more goals!

Go Vikings!

Let the Games Begin!



The ‘Pepperidge Farm Man’

We extend our condolences to the family of Larry Holmes, who passed away last week.

Larry was a dedicated Winthrop citizen, who served our town in many capacities.

I remember buying a case of Pepperidge Farm ‘Milano’ cookies many years ago from Larry. Son Jay told me stories of the ‘good old days’. I thank Richard Milano’s family who used to buy plenty of the delicious cookies! Larry’s legacy lives on with the Holmes girl’s hockey players.

May Larry Rest in Peace after a long battle with cancer!


Apropos of Nothing

Quote of the Week by Dennis Eckersely – Red Sox analyst. “I’m from California, you have to drive a nice car, I always had a convertible, but now I drive a Range Rover.” The ‘Eck’ is a great announcer.

Do you remember 1967 – Kenny the Hawk Harrleson? The Hawk, living in Winthrop, still does radio/TV work for the Chicago White Sox. Do you remember the Hawk Shops? Sub sandwich shops in Lynn! Kenny lived in Winthrop, good friends with George Costonis.

JFK – The Boston Bruins signed 20-year old forward Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson – Boston University standout. He joins another rookie – 19-year-old Charlie McAvoy. The Bruins have key injuries to defenseman Tory Krug. The youth movement on ‘Causeway Street,’ is the reason coach Bruce Cassidy will be a success, using young and talented skaters. Go Bruins!



The 19th Hole

The golf season officially kicked off on Saturday at the Winthrop Golf Club. I visited the club at lunch to see some outstanding local golfers and many former standout Viking athletes.

I watched club president Joe Ferrara tee off. ‘Number 53’ used to protect the late Hall of Fame and Bentley quarterback Mike Mason. I watched a threesome of two standouts on the 1964 undefeated NEC champs – fullback John Tipping and guard Bob Katz. Steve Calla, a stellar guard on the 1962 Vikings hits the ball like he was blocking. Savio legend Kevin Adamson, hits it very long, like the many touchdown catches he caught from another member Tony Dell at Stonehill College.

Former supt. of schools and Bowdoin College hoop standout Peter Finn was on the green in three!

Viking standout and University of New Hampshire player, ex-WGC president – David Tallent was on the green in two! Pat DeGregorio was a 2016 Hall of Fame inductee and a standout three-sport standout, who is a very competitive golfer.

The course looks great!

The greens are beautiful!

Are you ready for nine holes?

Let the Games Begin!


Vikings Schedule

The sun is shining – great day to visit the new Vets Field to watch Jack Wallace pitch for the Vikings. When was the last WHS pitcher to receive a full scholarship to a Division 2 baseball college (Franklin Pierce – New Hampshire)?

You can journey to watch an exciting ‘Lax’ game boys and girls playing on Cellucci Field – behind the Gorman/Fort Banks School.

Baseball – Monday, M ay 1st – Winthrop vs. Malden 4 p.m. Vets Field.

Vikings vs. Golden Tornadoes! A new NEC rival!

Lacrosse (girls) 4 p.m. Matignon vs. Winthrop at Cellucci Field.

Tuesday, May 2nd

Tennis Girls vs. Malden at the Wallace B. McClean Tennis Courts.

What happened to the proposed parking lot?

Wednesday, May 3rd

Softball – Winthrop vs. Marblehead at the Little League Field.

Baseball – Winthrop vs. Marblehead at Veterans Field – a 60-year rivalry

Vikings vs. Magicians – on the mound for Winthrop – Howie Conley vs. Dick Mesquita.

Tennis – 4 p.m. – Winthrop vs. Marblehead. Tennis is number one sport in Marblehead.

How many hockey titles has Marblehead captured?

The Vikings have 13 NEC title – a State Championship 1976 – Division One?

Undefeated 26-0-1

Can Marblehead match that?

Go Vikings!

Let the Games Begin!

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