Sports 03-03-2016

From the Press Box sponsored by: MSA MORTGAGE

March Madness

By: Jim Lederman

Are you ready for the exciting ‘Tourney Time’ – March Madness, College and high school tourney’s? The Winthrop Vikings hockey team faced off with Cambridge (12-7-1) at Ryan Rink in Watertown on Tuesday night (story to follow at press time).

The ‘Lady Bulldawgs’ took a long trip to Tyngsboro to race off with Westford Academy on Wednesday night. Talk about a hometown advantage, Westford is the next town to Tyngsboro. The Lady Bulldawgs have a one and a half hour trip in the ‘Viking Pride’ blue bus. Coach Anthony Martucci’s young squad will meet a Westford team for the second time in Winthrop history. The ‘Gray Ghosts’ played the Vikings in the 1993 Division three super bowl at Miller Field. Westford Academy defeated the Vikings (28-21) in overtime.

The match up of Winthrop vs. Cambridge (from the dual county league) brings back memories of Winthrop vs. Rindge Tech (now Cambridge high school) at the Beverly high school field house in 1976, for the Division 2 title. Rindge defeated the 1976 NEC champions led by Steve Demetrious, Kevin ‘Spoon’ Corkhum and Billy English.

A victory for coach Dale Dunbar’s young hockey team could set up a game with the top seed in Division 2 North, the undefeated (21-0-1) Marblehead Magicians, picked to win the D-2 north title.

The pairings for the NCAA college basketball tourney will be announced on Sunday.

Do you have a favorite team or will you play in the tournament pools? Are you ready for March Madness? Spring is on the horizon!

Let the Games Begin!

WHS sports roundup

WHS boys advance;

face Marblehead Friday

The Winthrop High boys hockey team opened play in the Division 2 North Sectional of the state hockey tournament with a decisive 5-1 victory over Cambridge at the Ryan Skating Arena in Watertown rink.

The Vikings, who entered the D-2 North as the number nine seed with an 11-6-3 record, now will face Marblehead, the top seed with a 21-0-1 mark. That contest is set for Friday evening at O’Brian Ice Rink in Woburn. Face off is set for 8pm.

Winthrop and Marblehead met twice this season, with the Magicians winning on both occasions by scores of 4-1 and 3-0 in their run to a Northeastern Conference North Division title.

If the Vikings are successful in their battle with Marblehead, they will meet the winner of the Masconomet-Boston Latin game (which is being played prior to the Winthrop game at 6:00 at the O’Brian Rink) Tuesday at a time and location to be determined.

Lady Bulldawgs opened

tourney play last night

The Winthrop High Lady Bulldawg hockey team opened play last night (Wednesday) in a preliminary round contest in the Division 1 state hockey tournament.

The Lady Bulldawgs, who are the 20th seed with a 9-7-2 record in the 25-team D-1 tourney, took on 13th seeded Westford Academy (10-5-5) in Tyngsboro. If coach Anthony Martucci and his crew were successful, they will trek to Hallenborg Pavilion in Billerica Saturday to take on fourth-seeded Billerica (14-3-3) in a first round contest. Face-off time for that encounter will be announced.

Celtics taking care of home work

By Jim Lederman

The Boston Celtics, who inexplicably sputtered at home earlier in the season, seem unstoppable at home. The Celtics have won 10 consecutive games at home!

The Celtics defeated the Miami Heat (101-89) at the ‘TD Garden’ to improve to (35-25) and a third place standing in the East division of the NBA.

The ‘Green’ have their next five out of six games at home, there’s a sense that the good vibes will continue for coach Brad Stevens team in March!

Coach Stevens is one of the youngest coaches in the NBA (at 38 years old) and he has done an outstanding job in his third year as head coach of the legendary Boston Celtics.

The Celtics have played like Jae Crowder, Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley and Jared Sullinger that bring passion and bravado to a team that brings back memories of the 2008 Boston Celtics.

The ‘big three era’ of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen won the 17th World Championship to the legendary Celtics franchise. The oldest player on the team is 28-year old Jonas Jerebko. Danny Aigne the general manager and ‘ace trader,’ has built trades and draft choices that will improve this young team.

The month of March will be exciting to cheer for the Celtics as they chase the Cleveland Cavaliers as one of the top teams in the East in the NBA!

Let the Games Begin!

Just Thinking

The 2016 WHS Hall of Fame induction will be held in October. The nomination forms are available at the office of Attorney Chris Tsiotos, 193 Winthrop Street.

The new Winthrop High School – Middle School is progressing. The WHS Class of 2017 will be the first graduating class.

Speaking of the 2017 WHS class, will we have two champions teams?

Let’s set the record straight. The WHS boy’s basketball team record was (3-19) yes, three wins for a WHS team!

Speaking of Spring, what a mild winter – we still have March to go!

The last Winthrop High School team to win in Memorial Gym – The Lady Vikings! Congrats to coach John Gambale! The future looks promising for the Lady Vikings!

Can you name the ex-Viking athletes that played on National College Championship teams?

What happened to the ski season? I’m looking forward to Summer in Ogunquit, Maine.

The Bruins play terrible at the TD Garden! Ex-GM Peter Chiarelli was terrible. We could use Johnny Boychuck and Dougie Hamilton on defense.
Are you ready for Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez? Two overpaid ex-standouts! Will John Farrell have a good season? One month until opening day.

Every time I drive by the new HDR (Harry Della Russo Stadium) in Revere, I think of Thanksgiving Day 2015. Wait until 2016! We will win another turkey day victory over the Revere Patriots!

Go Vikings!

Trivia Answers

The three New England College Hall of Fame players are:

Chris Tsiotos – WHS Hall of Fame all-time NEC scoring champion (28.9) per game. Suffolk University Hall of Fame. Chris played pro-ball in Greece. Chris led Suffolk to three NCAA College Tournaments.

Maureen McManus Hill – Maureen scored over 1,000 points in her WHS career. She played at Lafayette College and is in the Winthrop High School and Lafayette College Hall of Fame. Maureen is currently head coach of Martha Vineyard’s high school team, playing in the MIAA State Tournament. Her daughter Erin is a division one college prospect as a junior center.

Terry Driscoll – Terry grew up in Winthrop, was a Boston College high school all-scholastic standout. Terry played for coach Bob Cousy at Boston College and was named All-American. Terry was a number one NBA selection of the Detroit Pistons. Terry is currently the athletic director at William and Mary College.

We salute three New England college Hall of Fame standouts from Winthrop, MA!

Trivia Answer: The former Tufts University captains from Winthrop:

Football – Tim Brannan, Anthony Fucillo and Matt Murray.

Basketball – Steve Demetriou

Go Jumbos!

The Four Boston Celtics players from the Ohio State Buckeyes – John ‘Hondo’ Havlicek, Larry Seigfried, Jared Sullinger and Evan Turner are past and present Boston Celtics.

WHS sports Years

10 years ago

March 2, 2006

The Winthrop High boys basketball team opened play in the Division 4 North sectional of the state tournament with a thrilling 62-61 triumph over New Mission. New Mission had a chance to win the game in the final seconds, but their shot fell short, much to the delight of the home crowd at the WHS gym. Senior guard Dan Mahoney swished two free throws with 53 seconds to play, giving Winthrop a 62-58 lead, that provided the ultimate margin of victory. Jason Griffin led Winthrop with a game-high 18 points. NEC all-star guard Anthony Giuliano added 12 points and Matt Murray hit for 10 points and pulled down nine rebounds.

The 17-3 WHS girls basketball team will open play in the Division 3 North state tourney tonight when coach Peter Grimes and his crew host Weston. Winthrop is the No. 2 seed in the D-3 North.

The Winthrop Middle School hockey team has completed a perfect season. The Junior Vikings were led in scoring by Brendan Loomis, Evan Shifley, Alex Hamilton, and Joe Casey.  Matt Perotta, Pat Feeley, and Pat McCarthy were the team’s goalies.

20 years ago

March 7, 1996

The unheralded WHS hockey team has advanced to the quarterfinals of the Division II state tournament after the Vikings, who entered the D-2 North as the 18th seed, defeated Andover 3-1 and then knocked off No. 2 seed Franklin, 2-1. Sophomore goaltender Jaffrie Perrotti was red-hot in both games, making many spectacular saves. Jason Calla scored both goals in the win over Franklin.

The WHS boys basketball team was eliminated from the state tourney with an opening-round loss to Greater Lawrence, 60-59, thus ending Winthrop’s chances of defending its state title. Viking junior Lawone Bennett was sensational in the contest, pouring in 32 points and pulling down 14 rebounds.

30 years ago

March 5, 1986

The WHS girls basketball team advanced to the semifinals of the D-2 North sectional of the state tourney with wins of 39-38 over Newburyport and 45-25 over Pentucket. Paula Cavalieri scored eight of Winthrop’s last 10 points in the win over Newburyport. Mary Pearce netted 11 points and nine rebounds in the Pentucket victory.

40 years ago

March 3, 1976

The Winthrop High hockey team has advanced through the preliminary rounds of the Division 1 state hockey tournament to earn a trip to the Boston Garden. The Vikings defeated Malden Catholic 4-2, but were trailing 2-1 with 13 minutes to play. However, Joe McDonald scored the tying goal and six minutes later brother Bobby lit the lamp to put Winthrop ahead. Bobby Mac then put the game on ice with a goal with 31 seconds to play. Dan Brugman scored the first Winthrop goal.

The WHS boys basketball team won its opening-round game in the state tourney with an exciting victory in overtime against Lawrence. Billy English led Winthrop with 17 points and Bobby Lundberg added 16. Sophomore Chris Zikos provided some late-game spark for the Vikings.

50 years ago

March 3, 1966

The WHS basketball team has advanced to the Boston Garden after a thrilling 72-65 victory over Wakefield in state tournament play. Senior Ron Miles pulled down a big rebound with Winthrop leading 67-65 after a Wakefield missed shot on an attempt to tie the game. Moments later, Billy McNeil swished a 20-foot, one-handed jump shot to put the game on ice for Winthrop.

60 years ago

March 8, 1956

A change of heart by WHS head basketball coach John Sheehan and a request by tourney officials has resulted in Winthrop’s entry into the Bay State Tournament to defend its Class B title. The Bay State Tourney invites those teams with winning records that have not been invited to the Tech Tourney. Winthrop will meet Swampscott in the opening round.

70 years ago

March 7, 1946

More than 8000 schoolboy basketball fans were on hand at the Boston Garden to watch the WHS basketball team drop a 30-29 decision to tourney favorite Rockland in the opening round of the Class B Tech Tournament. Myron Atlas sank a free throw to give Winthrop a one-point lead with two minutes to play and then, after Rockland scored to take the lead, Jackie Talcott sank a free throw a minute later to tie the game at 29-29. However, a Rockland free throw with 10 seconds left in the game provided the margin of victory. Rockland went on to capture the Class B Tech title. Winthrop lost four games this season by a total margin of just nine points.

Wallace McLean has been named the Winthrop High track coach.

Junior high football will begin this spring.

100 years ago

March 11, 1916

The WHS basketball team clinched third place in the Interscholastic Basket Ball League with a 15-7 win over Reading at the local gym. Capt. Looie Sheehan and John Fielding combined to score 13 of Winthrop’s 15 points. Earlier in the week, Winthrop lost by a score of 50-10 to the high school team from Newport, R.I.

110 years ago

March 10, 1906

Much had been expected from the visiting team from Gardner High, but despite their reputation, our Winthrop boys trimmed them by a score of 34-14.

Viking Pride Foundation is back to help our athletes excel

By Kate Anslinger

Balancing academics and athletics, while challenging, can prove to be beneficial for students. Last year, the Viking Pride Foundation (VPF) provided $10,000 for a tutoring program at Winthrop High School, in hopes of raising the grades of athletes.

Due to the success of last year’s voluntary pilot, VPF has agreed to provide another $10,000 grant for this year and the program has been made mandatory by WHS Principal Matt Crombie and Athletic Director Matt Serino. All student-athletes who score less than a 70 percent in any class during any marking period, are required to take the mandatory tutoring, which occurs twice a week.

If the student does not show up on time, he/she will be prohibited from participating in sports for that day. The coaches are asked to counsel their student athletes on the requirements and attendance is taken at every tutoring session by WHS teacher Jeff Parsons, program director.

So far, the program as been extremely successful, resulting in a 90 percent attendance rate for the most recent session. On average, there are 57 students in the program each week and teachers have reported seeing a rise in participation and grades for these students.

“The program has been extremely beneficial to our student-athletes,” said Crombie. “Mr. Serino has done an exceptional job in working with Mr. Parsons as well as the coaches to make sure the expectations are clear to all students. I am extremely thankful for the support that the Viking Pride Foundation has given us. The students, teachers, parents, as well as the entire community are lucky to have such a great organization.”

In addition to student-athletes, there are at least five to 10 different students who come in on a daily basis for extra help. The program is offered to everyone. It is also an opportunity for students to volunteer their time and earn community service hours by coming into the classroom and helping out.

“We are extremely pleased with the results of this program,” said chairman of VPF, Vincent Crossman. “Board Member Bob Deeb came up with the idea several years ago when he noticed students were becoming ineligible for co-curricular activities due to academic grades.”

“We worked with school administrators to get this off the ground, and Mr. Crombie and Mr. Serino really worked hard to get it to this point,” Deeb said. “The benefit is two-fold as students will be more engaged in the classroom, increasing their grades while keeping them eligible for co-curricular activities. Many studies have shown the more engaged students are in their high school experience, the more successful they will be in the future.”

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