Sports 05-18-2017

WHS SPORTS roundup

WHS girls track finishes at 6-1

The Winthrop High girls outdoor track & field team completed a fine dual meet season on a bright note by defeating Lynn English, 76-56. The victory gave the Lady Vikings a final record of 6-1 for the 2017 season, leaving coach Warren MacPhail and his crew just short of capturing a Northeastern Conference South Division title.

“The win locked down what could be said to be an unexpectedly successful season,” said MacPhail. “We were hoping for a rebuilding season, but with the addition of Micayla Norris and many young track stars, including the Dorr twins, Caroline Zuffanti, and Mary Kate Pote, the team became balanced and proved very difficult for our opponents to match up with us.

“Although it was a great win, the meet was presented with mixed emotions due to the ending of the seniors’ track careers,” added MacPhail.

Senior Heidy Benson, who has led the Lady Vikings from beginning to end, remained undefeated in the 800 with a time of 2:32 and anchored the winning 4 x 400 relay.

“Heidy looks to possibly winning the 800 this weekend at the NEC meet,” said MacPhail.

Regina Garufo, who also has stepped up and become a role model for the younger athletes, won the 400 dash (66.4) and ran a strong third leg in the 4 x 400 relay.

Shanel Turansky won the high jump with a leap of 4’-8” to close out her fine track career.

All-star-to-be Christa Vaccaro came through with her usual four-star day by placing in all of her four events. Christa won the 400LH (69.4), placed second in both the long jump (14’-4”) and the 100 high hurdles (17.7.), and placed third in the triple jump (30’-4”).

“Christa finished the season with the team’s most points (76) and when all is said and done, she’ll be included in the group of leading scorers in the history of the Winthrop High girls track program,” said MacPhail. “In my mind, she’ll one day be inducted into the WHS Hall of Fame for her gymnastics and track careers.”

Micayla Norris had another strong day, winning the 100 dash (12.6) and placing second in the 200 dash (28.4).

Camila Miranda Llovera won the two-mile in a clocking of 13:42 despite running with what MacPhail termed “a very sick stomach.”

Gabby Hinchion won the discus with a toss of  76’-8”. Gabby will be the team’s leader for the 2018 season, having been voted the captain by this year’s captains.

Fiona MacPhail placed second in the 400 meters (69.4) and led off the winning 4 x 400 relay with a split of 66 seconds “Fiona is a different runner in relays,” noted her coach.

Caroline Zuffanti placed second in the mile in 6:54, a race in which Lady Viking  Katerina Thano placed third for a much-needed point in a clocking of 7:12.

MacPhail and his squad will be heading to Peabody this Saturday for the Northeastern Conference meet.

Benson, Vaccaro, and Norris all have qualified for the state meet in Norwell in two weeks.


Boys lacrosse team improves to 10-5

The Winthrop High boys lacrosse team won two of its three contests this past week to improve to 10-5 overall, clinching a berth in the post-season state tournament.

After dropping a 7-1 decision to Gloucester, the Vikings rebounded for a pair of victories over Lynn and Malden.

“We had a lot of young guys step up in the last week to really help the team,” said WHS head coach Brian Donnelly. “We had a sophomore, Luke Evangelista, step up huge on defense with a lot of help from junior Calvin Tuffa and sophomore Jack Silva.

“Along with some youngsters stepping up, we also have had excellent senior leadership from Dave Barry, Steven Rogers, and Ennis Palvsic,” added the coach.

Donnelly and his crew were set to take on St. Mary’s of Lynn yesterday (Wednesday) and will host Revere today (Thursday) at Cellucci Field. At stake in the contest with the archrival Patriots is a share of the NEC South Division championship.

“Both of these games will be challenges,” said Donnelly. “Although we already have clinched a spot in the state tourney, we’ll be hoping to improve our seeding and also earn a piece of an NEC title.”


WHS softball team defeats Pope John, 7-6

The Winthrop High softball team received a strong pitching effort from Caitlyn Carter, who struck out nine enemy batters, to post a 7-6 victory over Pope John this past week.

Stephanie Strangie led the Lady Viking offensive attack with a pair of two-run doubles for four RBI.

This past Saturday, Winthrop engaged Gloucester in a doubleheader at Bentley College and came out on the short end of both contests, 15-6 and 14-1. Bella Perrotti provided the principal highlight for coach Dave Guffey’s squad in the twin bill with a grand slam in the first contest.

Winthrop was set to entertain Medford yesterday (Wednesday) and will make the long trek to Greater Lowell Tech today (Thursday).


Boys tennis team wins two more, now stands at 10-4

The Winthrop High boys tennis team won both of its matches this past week to raise its record to a lofty 10-4 for the season.

Coach Marie Finn’s Vikings turned in one of their best performances of the season with an exciting 3-2 victory over Malden Catholic on the WHS courts.

The contest was tied at 2-2 with the second doubles match, involving the Viking duo of Kevin Dorr and Jaylen Cordes, deadlocked with their Malden Catholic rivals at 4-4 in the third.

Kevin and Jaylen had won the first set, 6-3, but dropped the second set, 4-6. They took a 2-0 lead in the third set, but their MC counterparts battled back to even matters at 2-2. The tandems then went back-and-forth at 3-2, 3-3, 4-3, and 4-4. At that point, Finn gave her duo a pep talk, the gist of which was, “Win the match — now.”

Dorr and Cordes heeded their coach’s advice and took the next two games — for the proverbial game, set and match — to give the Vikings the dramatic 3-2 victory.

The Winthrop triumph proved to be quite a reversal from the teams’ previous meeting last week in which MC handily defeated Winthrop, 4-1.

Sophomore Corey Cherico, who had dropped his match at first singles in the first encounter, led the Viking victory charge with a commanding 6-1, 6-1 win.

Tim Duyon also posted a victory over his MC rival at third singles, 6-1, 6-1. Arthur Barasch fell at third singles, 4-6, 2-6, as did the first doubles duo of Matt Tarantino & Charlie Page, 3-6, 6-7 (7-9).

Earlier this past week Winthrop had little trouble in dispatching Everett in a 5-0 shutout. Cherico and Barasch won their matches at first and second singles. Chris Finn triumphed at third singles with what Finn termed “an awesome job.”

The Winthrop doubles teams of Dorr & Cordes and Jake Langone & Sam Yarrow completed the Viking shutout.

Finn and her crew, who have clinched a state tourney berth for a second straight season, were set to host Gloucester yesterday (Wednesday) and will play at Danvers today (Thursday).

In the state Individual Tennis Tournament that was held this weekend, Cherico, Barasch, and the second doubles team of Dorr & Cordes, all of whom qualified for the tourney, played well, though they came up short in their matches in the first round.


Two more wins for girls tennis team

The Winthrop High girls tennis team earned a pair of victories this past week to raise their record to 6-4 for the season.

The twin-wins included a 3-2 triumph at Peabody last Thursday that WHS head coach Ken Hodgkins termed “the most nerve-wracking win of the season.”

The first match to conclude play (Peabody has seven tennis courts, so all five matches started at the same time) was the second doubles contest. The Lady Viking duo of Sophie LaFratta & Kirsten Griffiths handily disposed of their Lady Tanner rivals in straight sets, 6-0, 6-1.

Next to conclude was the first singles match in which Winthrop’s Kailyn Ferrara was forced to move up from her usual second singles slot because of the absence of Winthrop’s No. 1 player, Haley Holden. Although Kailyn played well, she came up short, 3-6, 3-6.

The first doubles match soon concluded, with the Winthrop tandem of Sara Kfoury & Francesca Capone, who were playing together for the first time, falling short by a score of 4-6, 3-6.

However, Dana Marshall, playing at third singles, eked out a three-set victory in which the final two sets both went to tiebreakers, 3-6, 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (10-8). “Dana won that match by proving her mental toughness,” noted Hodgkins.

However, still playing in the second singles match was Lady Viking Courtney McSwiney, who usually plays doubles, but who was moved to singles on account of Holden’s absence.

After dropping the first set in a  tiebreaker, 6-7 (4-7), Courtney bounced back in the next two sets, 6-2, 6-3, to win her match and give Winthrop the victory.

“Courtney’s was the last match to finish, so all eyes were on her,” said Hodgkins. “There was a lot of pressure, but she came through to win what was the most-clutch match of the season.”

The Lady Vikings had a comparative walk-in-the-park in their next contest with Everett, claiming a 4-1 victory. McSwiney and Marshall breezed to 6-0, 6-0 shutouts at second and third singles. LaFratta & Griffiths (6-0, 6-0) and Kfoury & Capone (6-0, 6-1) captured their doubles matches with ease.

Ferrara once again was moved up to first singles and dropped her match to a strong Everett No. 1 girl.

Hodgkins and his squad, who need two wins in their final six matches to qualify for the state tournament, host Danvers today (Thursday) and Lynn English tomorrow. They travel next week to Medford on Monday, to Salem on Tuesday, and to Saugus on Wednesday. The season finale is set for next Friday at home against Gloucester.

From the Press Box

The Home of the Champions

By: Jim Lederman

I received a picture last week from a legend in Winthrop basketball – number 4 – Len Riley, captain of the Tech Tourney (now state championship) hoop team from 1963, sent a picture from 1995!

The 1995 state championship hoop team (coached by the late Peter Grimes) captured the title in the legendary Boston Garden in dramatic fashion.

The team of Poto, Struzzerio, Lynch, Doherty and Bono (sounds like a law firm) was honored at the Cottage Park Yacht Club with two special guests present. Feature speaker Terry Driscoll, ex-Winthrop resident at BC High School, Boston College and NBA first round draft choice, (pictured) in a photo in this weeks Transcript.

The other honored guest Congressman Edward J. Markey, now U.S. Senator Ed Markey was driven to the event by my wife Carol Lederman.

The two notable guests played against each other in high school – Terry for BC High and Ed Markey for Malden Catholic.

Charlie “BC’ Jesson, was playing for BC High and he can spin a few tales about Terry Driscoll.

The theme ‘champions’ reflects on the many championship teams that have brought great honor to our town.

Three state championship hoop teams – 1963 Vikings coached by John P. Sheehan, the undefeated state hockey champs (26-0-1) coached by Bill Falasca. The three super bowl championship teams – (1981, 1983, 2006).

The 2011 state championship hoop team coached by David Brown – “Winthrop Home of Champions” – Can they make that claim in Revere, Beverly, Danvers, Marblehead or Swampscott?

With a sparkling new football and track facility under construction. WE hope to add a few more banners to the new gym at Winthrop high school.

Winthrop “Home of Champions”

Let the Games Begin!




The New Basketball Court

The sparkling new Winthrop Middle/High School is beautiful! I attended the MIAA Playoff game between St. Mary’s of Lynn and Pope John high schools in March.

The capacity crowd that filled the gym brought this comment by new WHS hoop coach David Sacco, “I hope to have a team that will fill this gym for a playoff game, in the future.”

The long anticipated dedication of the “Chris Tsiotos” court will be held in June.

I will give you more details in future columns. Chris Tsiotos was the first 1000-point scorer in WHS history. His record of 53 points in one game – his 29-poing scoring average to lead the NEC – will not be equaled.

Chris is the all-time leading scorer at Suffolk (their record was (35-3) in Chris Tsiotos junior and senior years.

Chris played prop ball in Greece and is in three prestigious Halls of Fames. His family has nine WHS basketball captains. We look to salute this great WHS athlete!

Let the Games Begin!



Celtics Advance to Play Cavaliers

The Boston Celtics defeated the Washington Wizards (115-105) to win the seventh game and advance to play the defending NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Brad Steven’s ‘era’ has taken another ‘giant step’ in his coaching career and the ‘Green Team’ will be a heavy underdog vs. the ‘King’ and his Cavaliers.

The Celtics received huge games from Kelly Olynk (26 points) – 14 in 4th quarter. Isaiah Thomas (29 points) and Al Horford (16 points) to lead Boston to victory in a thrilling (4-3) semi-final East thriller.

The strong defense from Marcus Smart (13 points), Avery Bradley and Jae Crowder (14 points) and a strong fourth quarter was keys to a Celtics victory.

The Celtics are undefeated at home, but the Cavaliers are a big challenge to coach Stevens.

The Boston Red Sox look like a .500 team and we are lucky the Celtics are building another championship team!

Go Celts!

Let the Games Begin!



MVP Awards

I salute the ‘Players of the Week”

  1. Mark Wallace – Head grounds man at Veterans Field.
  2. Matt Bertino – the “Chef of the Week”
  3. Bettie Dalton – Her outstanding leadership work at the Winthrop Lodge of Elks.
  4. Tino Capobianco- His outstanding work on the Winthrop School Committee
  5. Gary Grillo – The outstanding fund raising work for the Lady Vikings ‘hoop’ team.
  6. The Duke – Post time transportation
  7. Leo Haskell – Hardest worker in town.
  8. Betty Peabody – Citizen of the Year.
  9. Coach Marie Finn – Her work in ‘bringing back’ Tennis town.
  10. Al Horford – His outstanding play in leading the Boston Celtics to game ‘number 7’ in the playoffs at the TD Garden in Boston!

Let the Games Begin!


Miller Field Update

The progress on the construction of the new Miller Field is exciting to watch. Take a drive down Veterans Road and see the progress on the drainage along the Winthrop golf course.

The construction company Gilbane Construction (they built the new high school in a short period) is encouraging to watch.

I attended three lacrosse games at Cellucci Field and an exciting baseball victory over Swampscott at the new Veterans Field.

I continue to be asked the question, “When will Miller Field be done”? The committee promises that we can enjoy the Thanksgiving game with archrival Revere on the new Miller Field in November.

Are you ready for some football?

Football at the ‘New Miller Field’

Let the Games Begin!



Miss Pegge

Winthrop lost another elegant lady from a large Winthrop family. Margaret ‘Pegge’ Cordes passed away on May 7th.

Pegge ‘Conley’ Cordes was one of six from a big Winthrop family. She was the beloved wife of the late Joseph ‘Skipper’ Cordes, a classmate of mine. She was from a very athletic family. Brothers Ted, Howie, Tommy and David were Winthrop athletes. Howie a member of the Winthrop High Athletic Hall of Fame. She had a sister the late Mary Lou. She was the adored grandmother of Amanda and Joey and the mother of Kristin and Joseph.

We will all miss her warm greeting and smile at her position at the Winthrop Federal Credit Union.

Condolence to the Conley family.

May she rest in peace.



Welcome to the NEC

The addition of four old GBL (Greater Boston League) teams Medford, Malden, Somerville and Everett, will bring new rivalries to NEC teams.

This spring the Vikings baseball team defeated Everett, Revere and Malden in a row! The lacrosse teams have defeated Malden and Medford.

The GBL teams (all with very large enrollments from big cities) will find out how strong the Northeastern Conference is presently and in the past!

Winthrop will play Medford in football this fall. When you look at the success of all the Vikings teams with ‘old GBL schools”, (Peabody has an enrollment of 2,000), they will find out how many great student-athletes are in the NEC.

A new 15 team NEC is great for rivalries. Schools like Saugus are complaining. In Winthrop we will have success, welcome to the new NEC.

Let the Games Begin!



Outside the Lines

The Lady Vikings softball team had a huge game on Friday. Captain Maddie Mainga promised me a victory over Pope John to help her team qualify for the MIAA playoffs.

Maddie and teammates (seniors) were ‘chowing down’ the fabulous food at JAC’s Café in the Highlands.

A legendary coaching career 52-years is finally over for Frank DeFelice. The baseball coaching legend from Swampscott, spent his final baseball coaching career at Endicott College. Frank coached the Big Blue of Swampscott to 455 victories.

The ‘DeFelice Brothers’ Frank and Bobby must have 1,500 ‘plus’ victories in their long careers. Frank and Bob are inductees in the prestigious WHS Athletic Hall of Fame.

The Bob DeFelice football coaching career at WHS. Two super bowl titles a 33-game unbeaten streak – will never be broken in the NEC and perhaps high school football.

Bob is still coaching baseball at Bentley University. The new baseball diamond on the sprawling campus is the Robert A. DeFelice Baseball Diamond.

We salute Frank DeFelice on his long coaching career!

The DeFelice brother’s “Winthrop Coaching Legends!

Let the Games Begin!



Faces in the Crowd

The breakfast crowd filled JAC’s Cafe on Friday. Enjoying their famous ‘French Toast’ – the Monteleone brothers – Frankie (Shades) and Joey. Legendary Lynn Classical hoop player Haskell Jaffe and Jimmy Baron (from the Winthrop Golf Club) Coach Dave Brown, Steve Kostegan (Mr. Everett Crimson Tide).

Bill Schmidt, Steve Mahoney and Chris Tsiotos – After walking Revere Beach – (six miles) on Saturday morning.

I have to report on a Vikings lacrosse game, I am looking forward to Winthrop vs. St. Mary’s and the Vikings vs. Revere – lacrosse!

Hold the stix high!

The spring sports teams are shooting for the MIAA playoffs! Will the Vikings play in June! The Celtics have a pivotal game tonight (Friday) in Washington. Will the Celtics play in June?

Will coach Sean Driscoll’s Vikings win their fifth game in the last six years? Vs. the “Big Blue” of Swampscott at Blocksidge Field this season? Go Vikings!


Sixteen Years

WE salute coach Dave Guffey and his Lady Vikings softball team. I spoke with captain Maddie Fianga at JAC’s Café on Friday morning. She predicted a Lady Vikings victory over Pope John on Friday afternoon.

The Vikings won a thrilling (7-6) victory over Pope John to qualify for the MIAA playoffs. The victory also marked the 16th consecutive year coach Dave Guffey’s squad has qualified for the playoffs – outstanding!

Senior Kaitlyn Carter pitched a 2-hitter, striking out nine and pitching seven innings.

Sophomore Stephanie Strangie was the offensive star with a 2 for 4 afternoon with four RBI’s and fine work in center field.

The key defensive play of the game was Maddie F. picking off third base a Pope John player in the 7th inning.

We salute the Lady Vikings and Coach Guffey!

Let the Games Begin!



The MIAA Tourney

The spring season for Viking sports teams has been a success. The final two weeks will be filled with make-up games due to the rain postponements.

Coach Marie Finn’s boy’s tennis team has been enjoying a very productive season. Coach Finn was thrilled wit h the large turnout and the ‘rebirth’ of tennis in town.

The two lacrosse programs have established the ‘Lacrosse teams as very competitive in the NEC.’ Coach Brian Donnelly’s teams will qualify for the MIAA Tourney this week.

Coach Ben Cimmino is building another strong program. The outstanding season Abby Carleton has had is a tribute to the first year coach – “Ben C.”

The future of lacrosse will grow when the new Miller Field is complete and a new turf field will be completive for the Vikings in the new NEC.

I will give a ‘Tourney Preview’ in next weeks ‘From the Press Box.’

I get inspired every time I drive by Harry Della Russo Stadium in Revere. The Vikings played the last two Viking-Patriots football classic games on Thanksgiving. The 2017 ‘classic’ will be played in Winthrop.

Go Vikings!

Let the Games Begin!

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