From the Press Box
The city returns
By: Jim Lederman
The Winthrop Summer Basketball League in 1976 had 32-teams! Yes, basketball was ‘number one’ in town, some 41 years ago!
Sorry I did not pay tribute to the 1976 Winthrop Vikings undefeated (26-0-1) State Hockey Championship team. The legendary ‘State Champs’ – Division One – Team was led by the highest scoring team in the state – (the line of McDonald, Burke and McDonald – scored 212 points!)
Yes, Bobby Mac – scored 517 goals and played at Harvard University. Let’s get back to a team known as The City – led by Suffolk University all-stars Chris and Nick Tsiotos, Lou Hinckley (University of Maine) former Viking all-star guard Adam Hubley (he shoots like Ray Allen), super playmaker Steve Mahoney (he had 500 assists when he played with Chris Tsiotos).
Captain Chris got in shape and dominated the tourney. Big Lou can run like John Hondo Havlicek!
Forty-one years later – the players are all over 60 years old. They are back in action and this spring they are playing in a national three-on-three tournament.
‘The City’ (composed of two teams) played in the National Senior Tournament in Birmingham, Alabama in May and last weekend they competed in the “Mass Senior Games.”
The Mass Tourney games were played at Springfield College in the James Naismith Basketball Court 9Naismith is the founder of basketball – do you know they used peach baskets?)
The ‘A’ team featured Lou Hinckley, Adam Hubley, Steve Mahoney and ‘jumpin’ Joe Frank.
The ‘B’ team – was led by coach Billy Schmidt, Chris and Nick Tsiotos and Mike Shirley (a teammate of Lou Hinckley at UMaine).
Eight ‘senior’ all stars! The ‘A’ team won the gold medal in Springfield and the ‘B’ team won the bronze medal.
A great thrill for the ex-Vikings who were playing in the ‘Senior Olympics’!
The city qualified for the two exciting tournaments by winning the Mass Title – defeating teams from Mass, New Hampshire and Rhode Island!
Coach Bill Schmidt said, “The competition had ex-NBA players and many Division One college players,” we will compete again next spring as defending champions and will train extra hard, to get in tip top shape!
Forty years later – The City returned!
Let the Games Begin!
Two Viking baseball all-stars represented the Vikings on Sunday – in the Harry Agganis Baseball All-Star game, played at Fraser Field in Lynn.
The two NEC All-Stars captains Jack Wallace and Luigi (just call him ‘G’) Spinazzola played great games.
Luigi was named South MVP with two hits – a mammoth triple that led the South to a comeback – and Jack pitched two strong innings – striking out 4! And hit a big RBI in the rally. Jack led the NEC in hitting with a .484 average and is heading North to New Hampshire at Franklin Pierce College – I expect he will have a solid college career.
‘Big G’ – the third Spinazzola brother is still going to be a “Viking’ at Salem State!
Good Luck to the Viking All-Stars in College!
Let the Games Begin!
WHS hoop players awarded Division One scholarships, Marty Fischer (UNH), Chuck Mullane (Holy Cross), Lou Hinckley (University of Maine), Randy Herdt (University of Rhode Island).
Winthrop High defeated Cohasset high in 1995 and Cohasset high in 2011 to win two state basketball titles.
Three ex-WHS football players who had stellar careers at Cornell University – Steve Miles, the late Phil Ratner and Robert Milne were Cornell standouts!
A few brother combos that played for Winthrop high school basketball teams – Sheldon and Teddy Bernstein, Walter and Rich Milano, three Tsiotos boys, Chris, Nick and John.
Chris (Holy Cross and Greg (Harvard) Zikos, the Mallios gang – Dino (all-time leading WHS scorer, 1,475 points and Vasili (two captains) I can’t leave out Rina (Babson captain). The Mullanes Chuck – (Holy Cross) and Sean (St. A’s).
The Welch’s – Michael and Keith, The Lundbergs – Bobby and Paul, The Conley’s (Teddy, Howie, Tommy), The Harrison’s – Michael.
The Griffins – Anthony, Jason and Michael. The Lyons – John, Peter
Jim and Kenny Evans –
The three ex-Vikings that played for the University of Pennsylvania – Steve Rubin, Jamie Keough and Michael Welch. Jamie and Michael were outstanding linebackers!
Steve Rubin was an all-scholastic Viking halfback. They both played on Bob DeFelice’s first NEC championship team in 1978.
Speaking of all-scholastic ex-Vikings – Steve and Ron Miles were all-scholastic WHS players who played Ivy League at Cornell and Princeton!
I get plenty of questions pertaining to the new alignment of the NEC (Northeast Conference). I had a chat with athletic director Matt Serino at the Chris Tsiotos dedication of the new basketball court.
For the coming year in basketball – new coach David Sacco’s team will play all 16-NEC new teams this winter (2011-2018).
The new three divisions includes – the additions of the four GBL (Greater Boston League) teams – Somerville, Medford, Malden and the University of Everett (sorry Steve K) they are one of the biggest schools in Everett!
The old NEC schools – Beverly, Gloucester, Salem, Saugus, Marblehead, Danvers, Lynn English, Lynn Classical and Peabody and Revere (two old GBL schools with 2,000 student enrollments).
In hockey only Medford will play NEC schools in league play!
In baseball, softball and lacrosse – the 15 teams will play each other once!
Everett will play in independent schedule!
I will align the divisions in another article.
How much longer until football begins?
Enjoy the summer!
Let the Games Begin!