WHS Sports Roundup

Girls lacrosse wins tourney opener, plays at Manchester today

The Winthrop High girls lacrosse team won the first-ever state tournament game in the program’s history with a scintillating 12-10 upset victory over St. Mary’s of Lynn this past Monday in the opening round of the Division 2 North Sectional of the MIAA tourney.

The triumph advances coach Ben Cimmino’s crew to the quarterfinals when they will travel to Manchester/Essex today (Thursday) at 3:30 p.m.

The Lady Vikings are the 12th seed in the D-2 North among the 16 teams in the sectional with a 12-7 regular-season record. Manchester/Essex is the fourth seed and sported a 12-5 regular-season mark. Manchester handily defeated Lowell Catholic in its opening round contest, 15-2.

Winthrop came out on fire in its battle with St. Mary’s (which was the fifth seed in the D-2 North with a 16-4 record) taking an early lead and holding it for most of the game until St. Mary’s tied matters with about 10 minutes to play.

However, the Lady Vikings refused to buckle to the favored Lady Spartans and responded by netting two go-ahead goals to close it out.

“Emma Soch, our back-up goalie, started for us and played an incredible game,” said Cimmino. “Our defense made countless stops and our offense controlled the tempo of the game. Every girl stepped up and made plays for us.”

If the Lady Vikings defeat Manchester, they will advance to the semifinals to face the winner of the match-up between top-seeded Ipswich v. eighth-seeded Austin Prep.

WHS boys tennis wins tourney opener

The Winthrop High boys tennis team, which made school history with a best-ever 13-3 record in program history, added to their laurels with a 5-0 shutout victory over Arlington Catholic on Monday on the WHS courts in an opening round contest of the Division 3 North Sectional of the MIAA state team tennis tournament.

The victory marked only the second tourney triumph in the WHS boys program’s history, the first having come four years ago with a win over Swampscott.

The Vikings entered the tourney as the fifth seed among the 13 teams in the D-3 North, while Arlington Catholic (7-7 in the regular season) was the 12th seed.

Leading the way for Winthrop was its top player, Corey Cherico, who blanked his Arlington Catholic counterpart at first singles in shutout fashion, 6-0, 6-0.

Chris Finn dispatched his AC rival at second singles, 6-1, 6-2, and Rilind Bytyqi likewise won in straight sets at third singles, 6-3, 6-4.

The Viking first doubles duo of Sam Yarrow & Kevin Dorr triumphed in straight sets, 6-1, 6-1, as did the second doubles tandem of Augie Cherico and Alessio Narco, 6-0, 6-2.

Coach Marie Finn’s squad now advances to the quarterfinal round where they will meet fourth-seeded Lynnfield (13-3), which blanked Wilmington 5-0 in its opening round match.

The winner will advance to the semifinals to face the victor of the matchup between top-seed Austin Prep and eighth-seeded Weston.

WHS softball, baseball teams play in tourney today

The Winthrop High baseball and softball teams will swing into MIAA state tournament action this afternoon (Thursday).

Coach Frank DeMarco’s Viking baseball squad will make the long trek to Hadley Field in Lowell to take on Lowell Catholic. Winthrop (6-14 in the regular season) is the 11th seed among the 11 teams in the Division 4 North Sectional, while Lowell Catholic (13-7) is the sixth seed.

The winner of today’s contest will advance to face third-seeded Manchester/Essex (15-5), which had a first-round bye, at a place and date to be determined.

Coach Dave Guffey’s Lady Viking softball team will journey to Matignon for a preliminary round contest in the Division 3 North Sectional. Winthrop is the 22nd seed in the 22-team bracket (6-14 in the regular season), while Matignon (13-7) is the 11th seed in the D-3 North.

The winner will move onto the quarterfinal round to face sixth-seeded Tech Boston (11-4), which has a bye in the preliminary round, at Roberts Field on Saturday at 4:00.

Boys lax team falls in tourney

The Winthrop High boys lacrosse team dropped its opening contest in the state tourney to Triton by a score of 10-4 on Monday afternoon at Miller Field.

Coach Brian Donnelly’s Vikings, who sported a near-perfect 17-1 record during the regular season en route to winning their first-ever Northeastern Conference South Division championship, were the fifth seed among the 16 teams in the Division 3 North Sectional of the MIAA state tournament. Triton was the 12th seed in the bracket with a 10-8 regular season mark.

Dan Gillis establishes his legacy in WHS baseball annals

Winthrop High senior captain Dan Gillis put an exclamation point on his outstanding high school baseball career with a brilliant, 1-0 shutout victory over Peabody this past week.

Gillis allowed just four hits, while fanning four opponents and walking only one, to pick up the complete-game triumph.

“That performance completed what you could call a generational season for Dan,” said veteran WHS head coach Frank DeMarco.

Gillis was named to the first-team, All-NEC South team, becoming the first Winthrop player chosen under the new all star format. WHS sophomore David DiCicco, also received post-season accolades by being named an NEC all star.

“It is amazing that a 125-pound player — although Dan would remind you that he is up 10 pounds over last year — could put up the kind of numbers he has,” said DeMarco, noting that Gillis was 3-3 with a 3.05 ERA with seven starts, four complete games, and one shutout. Gillis recorded 37 strikeouts and allowed only 10 walks for the season.

“Dan also relieved in two other games, which means that he pitched in almost half our games,” DeMarco added.

Gillis also was a potent force at the plate and was a model of consistency. He finished the season with a .338 average and had a base hit in 19 of the Vikings’ 20 games this season.

“He started with a seven-game hitting streak and finished with a 12-game streak,” said DeMarco. “He was amazingly consistent. The last players to do that were Chris Carew, who had a 17-game hitting streak, and Vinny Eruzione who hit in 19 out of 20 games in 2007.”

Defensively, Gillis led the Viking fielders with a .936 fielding percentage.

“He also led the team in assists, which is kind of amazing given that he was the pitcher in nine of those games, yet led the team,” DeMarco added.

“The last Winthrop baseball players to be in this category of pitcher/hitter were the late Cory Collins, who hit .350 and was 6-1 as a pitcher, and Matt Moore, who hit .307 and was 5-2 as a pitcher,” said DeMarco. “This happened in the same year in 2007.  It took 12 years to see this again and what makes Dan’s accomplishment so remarkable is that he did it for a team that finished 6-14, while the 2007 team was 14-6 and won the NEC title.”

Gillis will be furthering his education at Bentley University, where he hopes to continue his baseball career.

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