Sports 05-04-2017

WHS SPORTS roundup

Wallace turns in a performance for the ages in Viking baseball wins

Senior Jack Wallace turned in one of the most superlative performances in the history of Winthrop High baseball annals this past week in leading the Vikings to a pair of victories over Revere and Everett.

Jack was the proverbial one-man wrecking crew for coach Frank DeMarco’s squad in the back-to-back contests that were played in a span of of 12 hours Friday evening and Saturday morning. Wallace’s epic performance spanning the two games included seven consecutive hits — three singles, two doubles, a triple, and a home run — that produced 11 RBI and four runs scored. Jack also turned in a strong effort on the pitcher’s mound in the win over Everett Saturday morning, spinning a two-hitter and fanning six enemy batters.

“This was one of the best performances by a player since I have coached here in Winthrop,” said DeMarco.

The 11-10 victory in extra innings over Revere Friday evening will be remembered for quite some time. Wallace led the Viking offense with a 5-for-5 effort that included a three-run homer and seven RBI. Jack clouted his three-run round-tripper in the fourth inning to tie the game at 7-7 and doubled home two teammates who had walked to deadlock the game again at 10-10 in the sixth.

Wallace then capped off his big night in the eighth when he led off with a base hit, eventually was bunted to third by Chris Zuffanti, and scored what would prove to be the game-winner on a bad throw by the Revere catcher.

The Vikings received fine pitching efforts from Dan Gillis, who tossed 3 2/3 innings in which Dan allowed only three earned runs that kept the Vikings in the game and gave them a chance to launch their comeback, as well as from Jaidon Brown, who put an exclamation mark on the Viking victory, striking out the Revere side in the bottom of the eighth to save the win.

After wrapping up the Revere contest at 7:30 p.m. Friday, DeMarco and his crew were back on the diamond Saturday morning at 10:00 against Everett.

Wallace went the entire route on the mound in a masterful performance and belted a double and a triple in his first two at-bats to extend his streak to seven consecutive hits.

However, Wallace was not alone in the hero department for the Vikings against the Crimson Tide: Luigi Spinazzola had two hits and three RBI; Zuffanti accounted for two RBI; and Brown and Jake Adamson scored three runs apiece.

“This was the most complete game we have played this year,” noted DeMarco.

Earlier in the week, the Vikings dropped a 5-3 decision to Salem. Zuffanti pitched superbly, tossing five scoreless innings, while Pat Stafford had a single and two RBI.

The Vikings were set to play at Marblehead yesterday (Wednesday) and trek to Essex Tech Saturday. They will host Swampscott Monday and journey to Peabody next Wednesday.


WHS boys tennis team stands at 6-1

The Winthrop High boys tennis team continued its winning ways this past week, defeating both of its opponents, Revere and Malden.

In a 4-1 victory over Revere last week, Viking Corey Cherico earned a hard-fought triumph in three sets at the first singles slot that featured a tie-breaker in the third set, 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (7-3).

Arthur Barasch won handily in straight sets at second singles, 6-2, 6-1,  as did Tim Duyon at third singles, 6-4, 6-3.

In the doubles matches, the second doubles duo of Jaylen Cordes and Kevin Dorr triumphed 6-1, 6-0, while the first doubles tandem of Matt Tarantino and Charlie Page fell in three sets, 6-3, 5-7, 3-6.

In junior varsity doubles matches, the combo of Henry Brooks & Chris Finn won, 6-1, as did the duo of Sam Yarrow & Jake Langone, 6-2.

The Vikings traveled to Malden Tuesday and cruised to a 5-0 victory, all in straight set fashion: Cherico at No. 1 singles, 6-0, 6-3; Barasch at No. 2, 6-1, 6-0; No. 3 man Duyon, 6-0, 6-0; Tarantino & Page at first doubles, 6-1, 6-3; and Cordes & Dorr at second doubles, 6-0, 6-1.

Coach Marie Finn and her crew, whose record stands at 6-1 as they approach the midpoint of the season, have a busy week ahead. They were set to play at Marblehead yesterday (Wednesday); host Medford today (Thursday); and travel to Swampscott tomorrow (Friday).

They will stay on the road to non-league foe Malden Catholic Tuesday and entertain Malden next Wednesday.


Boys lacrosse team defeats Malden, English


The Winthrop High boys lacrosse team earned victories recently over Malden, 13-4, and Lynn English, 14-5.

“We continue to have great offensive effort from our senior captain, Dave Barry, and our sophomore attack, Pat Sennot,” said WHS head coach Brian Donnelly. “Junior Mike Lane has put in a strong effort as well at midfield as our face-off guy.”

Donnelly also praised the play of senior offensive midfielder, Steven Rodgers, who has been “super strong” with six goals on the season.

The Vikings dropped a hard-fought, 7-6 decision to Revere amidst a downpour last week.

“Our defense has played unbelievably well lately, led by seniors Kevin Barrera and Jonathan Van Delinda,” noted Donnelly. “Our goaltending by sophomore Andrew DiMento continues to be on-point every game. Andrew has made  over 70 saves on the season through only eight games.”

The Vikings, whose record stood at a sterling 6-2 after the Revere contest, were scheduled to host Swampscott today (Thursday). They will play at Saugus on Monday and trek to Gloucester on Wednesday. They return home to entertain Malden next Thursday.


WHS girls track sprints to 3-1 mark


The Winthrop High girls outdoor track & field team sports a fine 3-1 record at the mid-point of the season and still is in contention for earning a share of the South Division of the Northeastern Conference.

Last Monday the Lady Vikings traveled to Swampcsott for a divisional showdown, but were overpowered by the Lady Big Blue, 86-48.

“We fell short in a few events I thought we’d take, and that really made the difference,” said WHS head coach Warren MacPhail.

Lady Viking star performers Christa Vaccaro and McKayla Norris continued their MVP-type seasons by combining for 30 points. Christa won the 400 hurdles in a time of 69.4 seconds and grabbed second-place points in three events, the 100 high hurdles, the long jump, and the triple jump.

McKayla finished first in the 100 dash in 12.9 and the 200 dash in 27.9. “McKayla has quickly established herself as an NEC track star,” noted MacPhail.

Camila Miranda-Llovera continued her undefeated season in the two-mile run, crossing the line ahead of the field in a clocking of 13:30.

Team Capt. Heidy Benson also remained undefeated for the season in the 800. Heidy won the race in a time of 2:29 despite battling severe pain in her mouth.

Prior to the Swampscott meet, the Lady Vikings put together a pair of victories over Somerville and Saugus by identical scores of 73-63.

Vaccaro and Norris once again led the way in both triumphs, with Christa accumulating 36 points and McKayla tallying 24 points in the twin wins.

Both Benson and Miranda-Llovera Heidy triumphed in their specialties. However, it was the contributions of Lady Vikings Regina Garufo, Gabby Hinchion, Mary Kate Pote, and Clare Nargi that helped provide the crucial points for the Winthrop triumphs.

Regina, who has been what MacPhail termed “an amazing team leader this year,” won the 400 in both meets, with her top time coming in 66.0.

Hinchion placed in the mile, the 400 low hurdles, and her best event, the discus, which she won with a throw of 80′-0″. “Gabby keeps doing whatever the team needs,” noted MacPhail.

“As for Mary Kate, she has been rock solid in the shot-put and Clare has become a long jump and hurdle threat, placing third in both meets,” added the coach.

MacPhail also pointed out the contributions of underclassmen Genna Dorr, Maura Dorr, and Fiona MacPhail. “They have become the team’s future by working very hard in practice and will without question become major contributors in the last three meets,” he said.

The Lady Vikings were set to travel to Salem today (Thursday) and to Lynn Classical Monday. The much-anticipated NEC Freshman/Sophomore Meet will be held this Saturday in Revere.


WHS girls tennis team defeats Revere, Malden


The Winthrop High girls tennis team climbed over the .500 mark this week with victories over Revere and Malden.

Tuesday’s contest with Malden proved to be a breeze for coach Ken Hodgkins’s crew, as the Lady Vikings cruised to a 5-0 victory without losing a set in any of the five matches.

“This was the best that we’ve played as a team,” noted Hodgkins. “Everyone was really focused.”

Haley Holden won a hard-fought first set, 6-4, and then steamrollered her Malden opponent at first singles in the second set, 6-0. “Haley took the racket out of her opponent’s hand in the second set and kept the pressure on with every point,” noted Hodgkins.

Kailyn Ferrara won her match at second singles, 6-2, 6-2. “Kailyn played as well as she has all season,” said Hodgkins.

Dana Marshall concluded the Lady Viking sweep of the singles contests with a 6-1, 6-1 triumph. “Dana carried over her momentum from the Revere match (in which Dana earned the deciding point) and is playing the best tennis of her career,” said Hodgkins.

In the doubles contests, the first doubles duo of Courtney McSwiney and Kirsten Griffiths defeated their Malden counterparts, 6-1, 6-4. “Both girls were steady throughout,” said Hodgkins. “They held back and then applied pressure at the net at the perfect time.”

At second doubles, the tandem of Sara Kfoury and Sophie LaFratta took the first set, 6-0, and then rallied from a 2-4 deficit in the second to win, 6-4.

In last week’s match at Revere, a tight 3-2 Lady Viking victory, Hodgkins labeled Marshall as the “hero of the day” for her gutsy triumph at third singles, 1-6, 6-1, 6-2, in which Dana completely brought about a total reversal of fortune after losing her first set.

“I was very impressed with Dana’s poise,” said Hodgkins. “She lost that first set by a wide margin, but proved her mental toughness and came back to take the next two sets.”

Winthrop also won both of the doubles matches, McSwiney & Kfoury at first doubles and Griffiths & LaFratta at second doubles.

Holden (3-6, 4-6) and Ferrara (4-6, 4-6) fell short, but played well, at first and second singles.

Hodgkins and his squad, who now stand at 3-2 for the season, host Swampscott tomorrow (Friday) and entertain Saugus Tuesday.


From the Press Box

Who Let the Dawgs Out

By: Jim Lederman

The Bulldawgs celebrated their final season on the Larsen Rink ice with a night only the Academy Awards can acclaim number one.

Coach Anthony Butch Martucci presented his final night of awards, with a ‘presentation ceremony,’ that only was missing the mantra and celebration that lacked the ‘first lady’ of Winthrop hockey – the matriarch Minnie Martucci, shouting, “Who let the Dawgs out”?

The Cottage Park Yacht Club was the place of venue. Coach Martucci and his three assistant coaches Sean Carleton, Chris Palmer and the first Bulldawg captain and 100-point scorer – Miss Taylor Brown.

The awards were only second to the NHL Awards night – the Art Ross, Vezina, Gordie Howe.

Coach Martucci presented special awards to seniors, captain and Boston Globe Dream Team goaltender Gretchen Howard, Mia Price, Sydney Adamson, Kelsie Griffiths, Meghan Chavis and Abby Carleton.

Coach Martucci team finished second to NEC champ the Beverly team (A co-op of three town/cities Beverly, Ipswich and Danvers (that is a ‘Powerhouse’ of three schools).

The Bulldawgs qualified for the MIAA playoffs in each of coach Martucci’s nine years behind the bench.

The election of McKayla Norris and Catie O’Shea to lead the Lady Vikings in (2017-2018) will be a very successful high school hockey team. The development of Winthrop Youth Hockey and a couple of State Championship teams, is a reflection of the dedication (12-months of the year) of coach ‘Butch’ and his ‘girls’ at Larsen Rink! The ‘number one’ rink for hockey on the North Shore – Home of ‘Viking Hockey’ since 1974!



The Pass

The note on the retirement of Frank Scarpa from the Winthrop Police dept. after an exemplary career (he should have been named chief 12 years ago!) brought back memories of the “Greatest Pass” in Vikings football history.

Ten years ago on Thanksgiving Day in a classic Revere Patriots vs. Winthrop Vikings game. The Winthrop police officer (Lt. Scarpa) made a crucial call in a thrilling game.

The 2007 Vikings, under the tutelage of coach Sean Driscoll, trailed Revere with less than two minutes to play, soph quarterback #10-Will Milano (holds the Vikings all-time career pass record with 31 touchdown passes), directed the Vikings down the Miller Field gridiron. With Milano competing five passes – the final touchdown pass to junior halfback Chris Beranger (2-time Herald All Scholastic quarterback, UNH standout defensive back, held two UNH records), a 27-yard touchdown for the winning touchdown. The controversial call by the referee in the end zone with his hands, signaling a touchdown by No. 28 – Beranger with his foot inches inside the marker. Lt. Scarpa held his hands high to signal the touchdown. Chris is the stepson of Frank and Jeannie Scarpa. Rabid Patriots fans screams “out of bounds”, the Patriots bus needed an “escort” out of town because they believed it was a bad call! Too bad Revere!

I attended three UNH Wildcats games with Frank to watch Chris play. His career was cut short because of two concussions. I consider Chris one of the three ‘most outstanding’ halfbacks to wear a Viking uniform in the past 25 years, (Steve Staffier, Anthony Palmer, Beranger – all Scholastics). Lt. Frank Scarpa had an exemplary career as a Winthrop policeman. He should have been named police chief – 13 years ago, but the selectman at the time would not vote for Scarpa.

We wish Frank and his wife Jeannie a well deserved retirement.

Three cheers for Frank!

Go Wildcats (UNH)

Let the Games Begin!



Rolling Over the Tide

The Vikings baseball team established a ‘big’ victory on Saturday the ‘Crimson Tide’ of Everett rolled into town and lost a (10-4) decision to the Vikings. The ‘Tides’ numero uno fan Steve Kostegan was last seen at the ‘New Bridge’ on the Everett border with two ex-Tide athletes drowning in tears (only kidding ‘big’ Steve).

Behind another stellar pitching effort by Jack Wallace (NH number one pitcher in the NEC) tossed a four hitter and stuck out 7! Jack tossed a 4 hitter and struck out 8!

The Vikings offense was led by the ‘big three’ – the slugging seniors all stellar athletes – the big first baseman Luigi (just call me ‘Papi’) Spinazzola with three RBI’s (runs batted in), the quarterback Chris Zuffante (call him the ‘engineer’) had three RBI’s and the best pitcher in the NEC – Jack Wallace knocked in three runs!

I think I will take Steve Kostegan to ‘Twist and Shake’ for a chocolate frappe ‘David vs. Goliath’ and the smallest school in the NEC knocked off a Division One team!

Go Vikings!

Let the Games Begin!



The Pleasant Park

I enjoyed a memorable return to the Pleasant Park Yacht Club on Sunday. The 2017 Vikings hockey held their breakup dinner/brunch on Sunday. Coach Dale Dunbar and the hockey boosters did a superb job to honor the Vikings.

I have fond memories of the 50’s and 60’s spending weekends at the ‘old PPYC’! My dad and uncle were members of the club. ‘Uncle Moe’ had a 40-foot Wheeler Cabin Cruiser. I would ‘row’ Uncle Moe to his mooring and we would cruise to Marblehead, Gloucester and Weymouth.

The hospitality of the members and the ‘new deck’ are fantastic. The view of Boston is unmatched. You can walk over to Belle Isle Seafood and enjoy Jim Costin’s spectacular restaurant.

The’ Marley boys’, Brian and Al built the new deck! The ‘tile hoys’ are real pro’s and the facilities are excellent! Hope to hit the lottery – buy a boat and join the PPYC!

Brian and Stacie Marley were celebrating the election of ‘number 5’ Tyler Marley – asst. captain of the 2017-2018 Vikings hockey sextet. I had to tell Commodore Joe Crotty my day at the PPYC was memorable.

Get the floats ready! And the boats in the water!

Congrats to the Pleasant Park Yacht Club!



The New Captains

The Viking hockey breakup dinner was a huge success. Coach Dale Dunbar and assistant coach Michael Norris handed out trophies awarded chairs and jerseys.

The 2017-2018 captains were announced. Captain Henry Brooks, assistant captains Jake Adamson, the ‘Tyler Twins’ – Tyler Marley and Tyler Mignosa, and Steve Holgerson.

The Vikings lost the NEC title by two points to Danvers. The theme for next season – Beat Danvers and Marblehead!

Larsen Rink will be packed next winter, cheering for another strong Vikings sextet! The key for the returning Vikings! Work hard, gain strength and keep the tradition strong.

Fill the net with pucks!

Go Vikings!

Let the Games Begin!



Last Flight of the Bird

The NBA has lost one of the true ‘Legends of Basketball’. Larry Bird has retired as president of the Indiana Pacers.

Let’s compare the King aka Lebron James. “Not one, not two, not three – keep basking in the limelight Mr. Greatness of the NBA – I hate Lebron – “ I am the greatest” said Lebron.

Larry Bird won the three NBA titles (1981-1984-1986). I had Celts season tickets, every night I would walk out of the legendary Garden, I would ask myself, “that was amazing!” The ‘Birdman’ would make another great play, pass or shot. His career was shortened by a very bad back. I would add- he would add two more NBA crowns to the Garden rafters.

Oh well, I will always cheer for the Celtics when they play the Cavaliers!

Go Celts!

Beat the Cavs!

Let the Games Begin!



Jets are Grounded

The Vikings hockey team was upset at Larsen Rink the final two weeks of the hockey season. The (3-3) tie was the second year in a row the Vikings had trouble with the ‘Jets’ flying over Lynn and Revere Beach.

On Thursday, April 20th at the Cellucci Field (the home of Vikings lacrosse with the delay in the construction of the new Miller Field.

The Vikings had little trouble with the Lynn Jets (Lynn Classical and Lynn English) handing the ‘blue shirts’ from Lynn – (14-5).

The win improved coach Brian Donnelly’s squad to (6-1).

Senior midfielder captain David Barry found the net for four goals on Friday, April 28th – Barry was one goal short of the magic number 100 goals in his Vikings career.

The Vikings offense was sparked by two sophomores – attacker Pat Sennott and high scoring Viking hockey standout – Brian Chalmers. Pat had four goals and Brian added three tallies.

Coach Brian Donnelly’s team will improve the offense next year, playing on the turf field on the new ‘Sports Stadium’ – Lacrosse is on the rise and once again, the smallest school in the NEC with more NEC titles than any NEC school!) Will challenge for the NEC title!

Hold the sticks high!

Let the Games Begin!



The College Report

The Class of 2017 – the first class to graduate form the new WHS/Middle School, will graduate next month.

The student-athletes have made their future plans this month. Congrats to Viking three-sport captain – Chris Zuffante, Chris has accepted a scholarship to prestigious RPI in Troy, N.Y.

Chris will study engineering and play football for RPI. Ex-Vikings who played for RPI – include Vikings quarterback John Tiano on the 1981 super bowl champs (the greatest team in Vikings history). John skated on the RPI National Championship team.

Cousin Frank Ferrara (WHS Hall of Fame Athlete) skated for RPI and is using his engineering talent as president of Ferrara Construction.

Two of the Viking 2017 hockey captains – Matt Tarantino and Gene August will matriculate at Merrimac College in North Andover.


The $10,000 – 10K Raffle

Would you like to win up to 10K? The drawing for the $10,000 fundraiser at the Winthrop Lodge of Elks is Saturday, May 6th – 8 p.m. at the Elks.

1st prize – $7,500

2nd prize – $2,000

3rd prize – $500

Only 500 tickets to be sold!

Join the party – Saturday night, May 6th – 8 p.m. a super summer vacation!

For tickets call Bettie Dalton at 617-930-0286! $100 for tickets! Better than a lottery ticket.

Let’s support the ‘fundraiser’ – 10K join us Saturday night at the Elks – Win a huge prize!


Faces in the Crowd

Get well soon to former Melrose ‘Red Raider’ Jeff Howe, manager of the Citizens Bank in Revere. He was a protégé of coach John Illi9llea at Melrose High. He was trying to make a comeback on the court, when he injured his knee! Hurry back to Revere Jeff!

Kudos to Gary Grillo on the fine work he did raising funds to support the Lady Vikings basketball team. Gary has two daughters that have played for the Lady Vikings. The girls despite winning only a few games held a ‘breakup dinner’ at the Winthrop Lodge of Elks.


Vikings Sport Schedule

Thursday – May 4th

Lacrosse – Boys at Cellucci Field 4 p.m. vs. the Big Blue of Swampscott

Friday – May 5th

Lacrosse – Girls Celluci Field vs. Revere.

Softball – Vikings vs. Saugus at Little League Field

Tennis – Girls vs. Swampscott at McClean Tennis Court

Monday – May 8th

Baseball vs. Swampscott at Veterans Field – 4 p.m.

Lacrosse – Girls vs. Medford at Cellucci Field.

Wednesday – May 10th

Baseball vs. Peabody – Veterans Field.

Softball vs. Peabody – Little League Field

Tennis – Boys vs. Malden – McClean Courts

LaCrosse – Girls vs. Gloucester – Cellucci Field

Go Vikings!


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