Cubs capture Winthrop ‘B’ Division Championship
By Cary Shuman
The Cubs are the 2017 champions of the Winthrop Little League ‘B’ Division after bolting through the double-elimination playoff tournament with a perfect 3-0 record.
Manager Rob O’Leary’s Cubbies claimed the title with a 7-3 victory over the Dodgers, the same team they had faced in the winner’s bracket final. The Cubs, first-place finishers in the regular season, compiled an impressive 10-3-2 record while reigning over the five-team division.
“It was a total team effort with everyone playing well and working hard all season,” said O’Leary, the former Winthrop High School director of athletics.
The championship-clincher showcased the club’s talent and depth as several players made key contributions to the victory over a very good Dodgers team who had defeated the Red Sox in the loser’s bracket final.
Consistent offensive standout Seth Sacco helped ignite the Cubs’ offense with a clutch RBI double. Power hitter Sean Dolan belted a big triple while Dominic Perullo, Gabe Grein, and Nicky Mackenzie also had key basehits.
The Cubs’ pitching staff also delivered in the finale. Nicholas Romano drew the starting assignment and set the foundation once again. Colin O’Leary, the manager’s son, was the winning pitcher with three innings of stellar work on the mound. Sean Dolan also pitched well in 1 1/3 innings.
Eight-year-old right-hander Jake Buckman made his first pitching performance of the season an effective one, helping his team maintain its lead.
“Jake pitched really well against the older 9-and-10-year-old players,” said O’Leary. “I look for big things from him in the future.”
In addition to his big double, Sacco also pitched well in a relief role.
Chris Cirelli, Chris Crocker, and Syrus Marquez made some “very big plays” in the field for the Cubs, according to O’Leary.
The Cubs defeated the Red Sox (5-3) and the Dodgers (8-1) in the winners’ bracket.
Currently the director of athletics at Portland (Maine) High School, Rob O’Leary was a hockey star at Saugus High School and Tabor Academy before competing for the University of Connecticut and New England College teams. He began playing baseball in the Saugus National Little League, where he earned a spot on the 12-year-old All-Star team. He later became a catcher and outfielder for the Saugus High varsity baseball team.
Though ice hockey is his main game, O’Leary is enjoying his third season as a coach in the Winthrop Little League.
“The kids had a great year and they had a lot of fun,” said O’Leary. “They were a great group of kids, too. They listened well, came to practice and worked hard every day. It was more of a team effort. Every night somebody else contributed. I also want to thank all our coaches for their dedication and commitment.”
From the Press Box
A Night to Remember
By: Jim Lederman
The new Winthrop High School gym was filled last Thursday evening. Two hundred and fifty were in the new gym to honor Chris Tsiotos on a very special night. The Chris Tsiotos Basketball Court was dedicated.
A number of speakers took to the podium to offer their congratulations to Chris Tsiotos for his outstanding career at WHS and his commitment to the Winthrop community.
Matt Crombie, principal of Winthrop high school was the first to honor Chris, superintendent John Macero praised Chris for his achievements not only in basketball but his dedication to the town of Winthrop.
Speaker of the House, Robert DeLeo noted that although Chris was an outstanding basketball player, his commitment to the Winthrop community has never gone unnoticed.
“This is one guy that truly never forgot his roots,” DeLeo said, “To this day he’s still involved in this community. If you’re ever looking for someone to make this a better place to live, that’s Chris Tsiotos.”
I had the honor of being the ‘Master of Ceremonies’. I have followed his career from 1976, when I coached him to the present as an outstanding attorney in the town he loves.
Chris holds many records at Winthrop high school and Suffolk University, but his biggest achievement is his role as an outstanding family man and his support of every athletic team in Winthrop.
Chris summed it up. “There was No ‘I” in team with my teammates, these guys are still my friends today and many of them are here tonight.”
“I’m lucky to be associated with such great people,” Tsiotos said. “I’m humbled by this honor and I wish future generations of Vikings great success on this court.
Nick Tsiotos also spoke. Captain of the Vikings in 1972, Nick starred with Chris at WHS and they played together at Suffolk University. Their Suffolk teams played in three straight NCAA playoff years for the Rams. The two Tsiotos brothers played pro ball in Greece.
John ‘Max’ Tsiotos, followed Chris and Nick at WHS and had a stellar career as point guard and kept the tradition alive at Suffolk University.
One of the many highlights of this memorable evening was the speech by Chris and Nick’s coach at Suffolk. Jim Nelson told many great stories of the “Tsiotos Brothers,” coach Nelson was the coach and athletic director at Suffolk for 47 years.
Jim Nelson was an outstanding player at Boston College. His best story was the first time he scouted Chris at a basketball game with archrival Swampscott. “Chris scored 40 points and I had to make sure that there was not any other college coaches in the building.”
Two of Chris and Nick’s first coaches in Winthrop were honored Thursday evening. Coach Jack MacDonald and coach Jim Nimblett taught the basics and helped the Tsiotos brothers (including Max) to become all-stars.
Jack and Jim were outstanding teachers and coached for over 35 years respectively. The large crowd stood and cheered for two great teacher-coaches.
The highlight of the night was when the Tsiotos family – wife Angela and twin daughters, Niki and Poli unveiled the signature “The Chris Tsiotos Court.”
Chris’ large family including sister Elaine, ‘Papa’ (Dino) 93 years young and the nine family members that were captains of WHS basketball teams.
A buffet by the outstanding Nandees Catering was in the cafeteria. The family celebrated at J.W.’s Restaurant to conclude a memorable evening.
We salute Winthrop’s first family of basketball.
Congrats Captain Chris!
Let the Games Begin!
Can you name the two Winthrop high school basketball players that were awarded Division One basketball scholarships?
Winthrop high school captured two-basketball state championship defeating the same high school. Can you name the school?
Winthrop high basketball teams played in three different gymnasiums in town. Can you name them?
Three ex-WHS football standouts had distinguished careers at Cornell University. Can you name them?
The Winthrop high basketball tradition includes many brother combinations in their long history. How many can you remember?
Name the three ex-Viking football players who played at the University of Pennsylvania?
Faces in the Crowd
The Chris Tsoitos Court was filled to honor ‘Captain Chris’ including – Joe Delorey, Gary Grillo, the McGee family, matriarch Pat, Paul and Trisha, the Keough brothers – Robby, Eddie and John; Dave and Sharon Tallent, Al Petrilli, Tim Riley, Dave Green, Jimmy Fabiano, Frankie Fab, Father Charles Bourque, Gail Karagianis, ‘the Commish” – Billy Schmidt, coach David Sacco, coach Rick Pulsifer, Lisa and Rudy Howard, Haskell and Joanne Jaffe, School Committeeman Tino Capobianco (thanks for the motions), Councillor precinct five – Peter Christopher, John and Lloyd Lyons, Michael Welch, the three cheer leaders (1973) Ellen McGrath, Debbie Grasso Keegan, Elaine Forster. Richard E. Thibeau, Howard Conley, Rich and Milano, 1959 NEC scoring leader – Arnie Springer, Cary Shuman, Chris Zikos, Michael Condakes, the Mallios gang – Steve, Elaine, Vasilli, Dino, Katerina – (three WHS hoop captains) Jen Withrow, Steve Adelstein, Richard Dimes. “The First Lady of WHS Basketball” – Peg Bailey. Jim Ridley (St. Mary’s principal and Marvin Avery). Coaches Dean Galuris and Angelo Maroccio, Jim and John Davie, Peter Laskaris (former UNH standout (1,200 points) provided the food from Nandees Catering Bob and Linda Breau.
Apropos of Nothing
“I would like a full order of French Toast (the ‘best’ in the state) and my granddaughter would like a JAC’s burrito” What will we do with the fact the ‘legendary’ JAC’s Café will be closed for their annual Fourth of July – one week vacation! The JAC’s gang, Amy, Matt and Matty (2), Ellen, Jill, Ari, Tara, Danielle and Erin will be on Ogunquit Beach in Maine! Everyone in the water!
The Parks and Rec Summer Program begins next week. The Ingleside Tennis Courts after a nine-month project will be ready!
The NBA draft received more media coverage than the NFL draft. The Celtics revival is getting all the press. Coach Brad Stevens has an exciting new team. The Cavaliers are in turmoil! Will Lebron jump to the LA Lakers next year (2019)?
The Patriots start training camp the last week of July! Are you ready for some football?
Have you ever been to Plum Island? The beach is beautiful. It is one mile from Newburyport! The North Shore beaches – Good Harbor Beach (Gloucester) and Wingarsheek in Ipswich, are two of the best in Massachusetts – bring the kids – the waves are great!
Why put up with the Cape Cod traffic?
The surf is up – the tide is high!
Enjoy the Summer!