Sports 02-25-2016

WHS sports roundup

Boys, girls hockey

teams await tourney

The Winthrop High boys and girls hockey teams are awaiting word this week of the announcement from the MIAA of their seeding and first-round opponents in the upcoming state hockey tournament.

Coach Dale Dunbar’s Viking squad was set to conclude its regular season last night (Wednesday) with a contest against Mansfield that was to be highlighted by Senior Night festivities at which the WHS Class of 2016 members of the team, Noah Hodgkins, Mike Norris, Mike Casey, and goalie Brandon Creador, were to be honored for their contributions to the WHS hockey program.

The Vikings entered the fray with a 10-6-3 record and were hoping for a victory in to order to improve their seeding in the Division 2 North Sectional as they embark on the Journey to the Tourney and hope for a shot to play in the Massachusetts schoolboy version of the Frozen Four at Boston Garden.

Coach Anthony Martucci and the Lady Buldawgs wrapped up their regular season last week with a 2-2 tie with Marblehead in the consolation game of the Newburyport Bank Classic tournament. The Lady Bulldawgs completed their season with a record of 9-7-2 and will compete in the Division 1 state tourney.

WHS gymnastics team

competes in league meet; Vaccaro named league MVP

The Winthrop High gymnastics team competed in the recent NEC/CAL meet (a combination of schools from the Northeastern Conference and Cape Ann League), featuring opponents from Beverly, Salem, Danvers, Essex Tech, Peabody, Marblehead, and Gloucester.

The meet format allows each team to enter three gymnasts on each event. “It’s always a fun way to end the season by having the girls compete with everyone in their league,” said WHS coach Daria Millerick.

The Winthrop girls on vault were Mackenzie Chiudina, who scored an 8.2, Julia Duplin, who scored an 8.15, and Christa Vaccaro, who scored a 9.5, a score that earned Christa first place in the meet in that event.

Lady Viking competitors on bars were Charlotte Hurley with a 6.9, Kaitlyn Carter with a 7.1 (placing Kaitlyn ninth), and Vaccaro, whose score of 9.2 also earned her first place in that event.

The Lady Vikings on beam included Izzy Mahoney with a 6.4. “This was Izzy’s first time competing beam all season after coming back from a month-long recovery from a knee injury,” said Millerick. “I was so proud of Izzy for her confidence and grace in the competition.”

Rachel Farley scored a 7.5 and Vaccaro scored a 7.9, which was good for sixth place in that event for Christa.

The Lady Vikings on the floor exercise were Lacey Scott with a 7.2, Danielle Carter with an 8.4 (placing her 5th in the competition), and Vaccaro with a 9.35, which was the top score, marking Christa’s third first-place finish in the competition.

Vaccaro’s stellar performances in the meet not only provided Christa with a berth on the league all-star team, but also earned her the title of Most Valuable Gymnast in the NEC/CAL.

Although the WHS team did not qualify for the state championship competition, the talented Vaccaro competed in the state all-around individual meet, which features the top 20 girls from the North section and 20 girls from the South section.

Christa was seeded sixth in the North and turned in what Millerick termed “an amazing meet. Christa was right up there talent-wise with the rest of the competition,” said the coach.

Christa started on vault and had two solid Yurchenkos. She scored a 9.45, which she held as the highest vault score until the very end of the competition, and eventually placed fifth on vault, separated by just 0.2 of a point from the first place score.

“Christa moved onto bars and had a beautiful, fluid routine,” said Millerick. “It was actually one of her best routines of the season,” and earned Christa a score of 9.075.

Despite a fall on beam, Christa managed to come back and complete her routine flawlessly to score an 8.9.

Lastly on floor, Vaccaro showed off one of her strongest and cleanest routines of the season, scoring a 9.175, which tied for ninth in that event.

Overall, Vaccaro finished in 10th place in the competition.

“This was a huge comeback for Christa as compared to last year,” noted Millerick. “She has really proven to herself that she can take the heat, and she can perform under pressure. This is the most eventful competition of the year, only the best of the best qualify for this meet. For Christa to have the performances she did was a huge accomplishment for her, and I know it’ll only push her for next year. She stood up there in 10th place all around out of 40 girls, and most of them standing with her were seniors. So it shows that she is right up there with her competitors and that she has a great chance to come back next year with even more confidence.”

Looking back on the season, Millerick said her squad had much to be proud of. “The girls had an amazing season,” said Millerick. “We ended the year with a record of 7-3 and have made some incredible strides in Winthrop’s history of high school gymnastics. I am so proud to be the coach of this team and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for these talented young women.”


Tourney Preview

By: Jim Lederman

Two of the most respected high school hockey coaches on the North Shore have their respective teams ready for the MIAA Tournament.

Dale Dunbar and Anthony ‘Butch’ Martucci are preparing for the State Tourney. Coach Martucci has been the head coach of the Lady Bulldawgs for 8 seasons; he has qualified for the tourney eight times!

Coach Dunbar has been the Vikings head hockey coach for ten years; his teams have been in the tourney 10 consecutive years!

The Vikings opened the (2-15-2016) campaign with a young team with only four seniors. Coach Dunbar stated,” we are very young and we will improve, we will have a strong defense but our young skaters will face a very strong Northeastern Conference.”

The Vikings are (10-6-3) with a game with Division One Mansfield at home last night at Larsen Rink. The Marblehead Magicians captured the NEC North title with an undefeated (18=0-1) record.

The Vikings could face off with North Reading or archrival Peabody in the first round of the Division 2 North Tournament. Pairings will be announced this weekend.

The Vikings have been led by two outstanding first team NEC all-stars. Captain Noah Hodgkins has been a stalwart on defense and earned all-star status with is crunching play and leadership. Junior all-star Charlie Page earned his third consecutive all-star selection. Charlie has 17 goals and is third in scoring in the NEC.

Co-captain Michael Norris has had an outstanding season and was also named to the all-star team.

Sophomore sensation Henry Brooks was also named to the NEC all-star squad. Number 12 has totals for the season and plays on a line with Charlie Page. Sophomore Steve Holgerson was another all-star and after missing games with a shoulder injury has been flying all over the ice.

Between the Pipes

The Viking goalies have excelled for coach Dunbar’s young team. Senior Brandon Creador has a (5-1-1) record and has allowed only six goals for a (0.190) goals against average.

Junior Greg Gill has played exceptionally well with a (5-4-2) record and has posted 4 shutouts.

The young defense with captain Noah Hodgkins leading the team must play well for the Vikings to advance in the tourney. We salute coach Dunbar and his assistants for an exciting season!

Let the Games Begin!

Who Let the Dawgs Out?

Coach Anthony ‘Butch’ Martucci works year round to build a strong Lady Bulldawg program. The hard working coach spends almost as much time at Larsen Rink as Mark Wallace. The Lady Bulldawgs have had 8 winning seasons under coach ‘Butch.’

The Winthrop Youth Hockey programs continue to produce many outstanding skaters. Coach Martucci has lost a number of outstanding young skaters who left the program to play for private schools.

The (2015-2016) Lady Bulldawgs have a (9-7-2) record as they prepare for a tough assignment. Because of the affiliation with Lynn and Saugus, the ‘Bulldawgs’ play in Division One, the strongest division for EMass girl’s hockey.

The NEHL- Northeast Hockey League is very strong with teams like Beverly (league champion) a team composed of Beverly, Danvers. Topsfield and Ipswich. Masconomet with (5 communities), Lynnfield, Peabody, North Reading, Swampscott and Marblehead, they are all co-op teams drawing from large schools on the North Shore. Winthrop has the smallest enrollment of any team in the league.

Coach Martucci has league first team all-star goalie Gretchen Howard, back boning the defense.

The NEH (Northeast Conference) selected Gretchen all-conference first team goalie. Teammates Mia Price, captain Olivia Shkliew and junior Kelsie Griffiths were named to the all-star squad.

We salute coach Martucci and his team as they prepare for the tourney. Good Luck ‘Dawgs’!

Who Let The Dawgs Out!

Lady Vikings close season with victory

By: Jim Lederman

The Lady Vikings defeated Jeremiah Burke (50-16) before a capacity crowd in the Memorial Gym. The seven seniors were honored on ‘Senior Night.’

Coach John Gambale praised his young team, “The girls showed up wit h normal jitters for their final game the opposition was much bigger and stronger. I challenged the girls to use t heir athleticism and brains, leave 32-minutes on the court, let’s leave this memorable gymnasium (60 years old) on a high note.”

“The girls should be proud of how they overcame their adversity and injuries to key players (three starters) they showed up every practice and every game. I am very proud of this group of young ladies.”

Seniors – Olivia Grillo, captain Nina Bartlette and Shannon Mahoney were three ‘shining stars’. Olivia paced the offense with 15 points. Nina had 12 points and 22 rebounds. Shannon was immense on defense with many steals.

Coach Gambale is building a strong program. John had 40 players behind the team bench. The future of Lady Vikings basketball is promising!

Let the Games Begin!

The great Winthrop Athletic Directors

The trivia answers:

The four athletic directors from Winthrop

  • Robert DeFelice – Bentley University athletic director. Have you been to see the Bentley athletic facilities new football stadium, new gym and the beautiful Robert DeFelice baseball diamond? Bob has built a college with a fabulous athletic tradition. National championship, undefeated hoop team in 2014, led by WHS hoop legend Courtney Finn, named All-American in 2014.
  • Vin Eruzione – Curry College athletic director. WHS Hall of Fame athlete Holy Cross – three sport athlete. Vin leads the Curry College ‘Colonels’!
  • Robert ‘Barney’ DeGregorio – Ex-Merrimack College athletic director, former Vikings assistant hockey coach, played on the WHS 1964 undefeated football team. ‘Barney is currently Commissioner of Atlantic Conference College Hockey.
  • Terry Driscoll – Former Winthrop resident, BC High, Boston College All-American hoop player. Number one NBA draft selection by the Detroit Pistons. Currently A.D. at William and Mary.

‘Oops’ – I left out Tim Millerick, ex-Viking football player. A.D. and vice-president of Austin College in Texas.

The Basketball Family

Winthrop has a very strong hoop tradition. Winthrop players from Winthrop families! Here is just a few to reflect on some championship teams.

Nick and Chris Tsiotos, two members of the WHS Hall of Fame, played college hoop tighter at Suffolk and pro-ball in Greece. Walter ‘brother’ Milano and Richard Milano, George and John Kalogeris, how could I forget the third Tsiotos brother? John ‘Max’ Tsiotos, Jack and Sean Conway (father and son), Sean and Chuck Mullane, Steve and Ron Miles, Greg and Chris Zikos, coach Jack MacDonald and son John, Norman Hubley and son Adam, Joe Duplin and son Matt, the Conley ‘gang,’ Ted, Howie, Tommy and David, Kevin and Jack Dowd, Len Riley and son Lenny.

The Griffin brothers- Anthony, Jason and Michael, Sheldon and brother Teddy Bernstein, Kevin, Jimmy and Billy English, Steve Mahoney and son Gavin, Vasili and son Dino Mallios (1,475 points – Viking record). Billy and Bobby Vandalinda, Jay, James and Joe Petersen, Jim and Kenny Evans, Frank and Michael DeMarco, Michael and Panos Condakes, Jim and John Davie, Matt and Joe Murray, Coach Jim Nimblett and sons Bobby and Tom, the Welch ‘gang’ – Michael (WHS Hall of Fame) Keith and Alan. Lance and Keith MacFarland, Dom and Steve Marino.


Can you name the three Winthrop basketball players that are members of the New England College Basketball Hall of Fame? What has happened to the proud tradition of Winthrop – basketball capital of the North Shore? 39 Northeast Conference basketball titles!


Can you name the four Boston Celtics players who played for the Ohio State Buckeyes?

Tufts University has four captains from Winthrop high school, can you name them?

MSA Mortgage Viking Athlete of the Week

A tip of the hat (a hockey term) to the MSA Mortgage Viking Student Athlete of the Week – Noah Hodgkins – Viking hockey captain.

Noah has been named to the NEC All-Star first team defense. Number 22 is a National Honor Society student. Noah is the third member of the “Hodgkin’s gang” to be a Viking captain. Brothers Kenny and Luke wore the ‘C’ on their Viking uniform.

He follows his dad Kenny, uncles Gus and Butch (Lady Vikings coach) as hard-hitting defenseman. His mom Maria and dad Kenny and the ‘matriarch’ of the Martucci family Nana Minnie, can be seen rink side at Larsen Rink. Noah is tennis captain as well!

We salute the MSA Student Athlete of the Week; captain Noah Hodgkins – ‘hit em hard’ number 22!

Let the Games Begin!

WHS boys basketball team concludes season

The Winthrop High boys basketball team wrapped up its season last week, dropping a 72-49 decision at Salem.

The host Witches, who were undefeated in the NEC this season and who rank as one of the top teams in the state and are the favorite to win the Division 2 title in the upcoming state tournament, sprinted to a 27-9 lead after one period and a 41-17 advantage at the intermission.

Devin Pulsifer turned in a solid effort for the Vikings with a powerful double-double of 20 points and 11 rebounds. Loran Shuka was next in the scoring column for Winthrop with eight points, followed by Chris Zuffante with six, David Diaz with five, Jake LaFratta with three, Devin Alioto with three, Johnathan Van Dalinda with two, and Alex Dernier with two.

Two weeks ago the Vikings earned their fourth win of the season with a dramatic 49-48 triumph over Saugus. A three-point shot by Pulsifer as time was expiring provided the margin of victory. The trey was Devin’s fourth of the evening as he led the Vikings with 19 points.

Tayjaun McKenzie played a key role in the triumph with 11 points, including two treys, and 13 rebounds. Dimonne Marshall also reached double figures with 11 points and drained a pair of three-pointers.

LaFratta also hit a three and the trio of Van Dalinda, Zuffante, and Shuka scored two points apiece.

WHS sports Years

10 years ago

February 23, 2006

With a 17-3 record in hand, the WHS girls basketball team now is awaiting to begin play in the Division 3 North State Tournament. The Lady Vikings will enter the tourney as the second seed after a 60-45 win over New Mission Friday. Courtney Finn scored 22 points and Meredith Soper pulled down 15 rebounds and added 13 points in the victory. WHS head coach Peter Finn has been named the NEC Coach of the Year. Both Finn and Soper, who are freshmen, have been named NEC all-stars.

The WHS boys basketball team earned a trip to the state tourney with a 65-57 win over St. Mary’s of Lynn to improve to 10-9 on the season. Anthony Griffin led Winthrop with 15 points.

The 7-9-1 WHS hockey team needs to win its last two games to reach the state tourney. In a 2-1 win over Brookline this week, Chris Dalrymple and Jim Leary scored the goals for the Vikings.

Winthrop’s Kareem Thompson earned a medal with a sixth place finish in the 55 meter dash with a time of 6.93 seconds at the State Division 4 Meet Saturday.

20 years ago

February 29, 1996

The WHS hockey team will meet Andover in the opening round of the state tourney Friday.

The WHS boys basketball team will open the defense of its Division 3 state title with an opening round tourney game against Greater Lawrence. WHS junior Lawone Bennett was the second leading scorer in the NEC this season with a 21.1 ppg. Bennett, Anthony Poto, and James Buono were named NEC all-stars from coach Peter Grimes’s squad.

The WHS girls hop team ended the season with a 49-33 win over St. Mary’s of Lawrence. Jill Gunther scored 10 points and grabbed seven rebounds. Margo Souza and Kerri Lally scored 12 points apiece.

70 years ago

February 28, 1946

The WHS basketball team defeated Danvers in a special, one-game playoff to win the Northeastern Conference title, the second NEC crown for Winthrop in the two years that Winthrop has been in the conference. Milton Neal scored 12 points for Winthrop and Myron Atlas added eight in the 38-26 rout. Winthrop now awaits a bid to the Tech Tourney in the B Class.

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