Sports 03-31-2016

WHS sports roundup

WHS baseball team opens season Tuesday

What a difference a year makes!

Last year at this time, the Winthrop High baseball team’s field was covered with a veritable mountain of snow and debris after the worst winter in this area’s history. But this spring’s pre-season has been smooth sailing for WHS head coach Frank DeMarco and his crew in terms of the weather and field conditions.

“We are certainly off to a better start this year,” said DeMarco. “We have been outside almost the whole time and we have had two scrimmages with Newburyport.”

DeMarco is enthusiastic about his squad as they prepare for their season opener Tuesday when they host Manchester/Essex.

In the all-important pitching department, the Vikings will be led by senior Nick Disciscio, who also will play at third base; junior Jack Wallace, who also will be at third when he’s not on the mound;  and junior Chris Zuffanti, who also will see action in the outfiield.

“We’re still looking for pitchers four and five in our rotation,” noted DeMarco.

Returning starters include catcher Matt Feeley and Zack Fisher, both of whom are seniors and look ready to go.

“Zack may be our best player at almost every position, so we can plug him in anywhere,” said DeMarco. “Luigi Spinazolla has been solid at first base and Dan Gillis, a freshman, is making a strong bid to start in the infield.  Derek Wasson has been working hard at first as well.”

Backing up Feeley behind the plate will be Richard Fucillo and Miles Albert.

Other players battling for positions in the infield are Dean Paulson, Jake Adamson, and Pat Stafford.

Players competing for outfield time include Joe Fabiano, Mike Casey, Jon Applebee, and Jaidon Brown.

“We feel we have an exceptional group at the freshman level with 14 players, many of whom have played a lot of baseball,” said DeMarco.

DeMarco saw some good signs from his team in the pre-season scrimmages with Newburyport, which the Vikings split, with Winthrop displaying  some timely hitting and good pitching.

After Tuesday’s opener against Manchester/Essex, the Vikings will travel to Saugus next Friday.

Spring sports season

ready to get underway

The 2016 spring sports season is ready to get underway for all of the Winthrop High athletic teams.

The WHS softball squad is set to open its 2016 campaign next Thursday when the Lady Vikings will host Salem.

The WHS boys and girls track squad were set to open their seasons yesterday (Wednesday) at Peabody and will trek to Saugus Monday.

The girls lacrosse team is set to get underway Friday, hosting Salem, and will play at Revere Tuesday and at St. Mary’s next Thursday.

The boys lacrosse team plays at Saugus Monday and hosts Lynn Thursday.

The boys and girls tennis teams open up Monday, with the boys traveling to Marblehead and the girls hosting the Lady Magicians. The boys will entertain Malden Catholic Tuesday and Swampscott Wednesday. They will journey to Salem next Thursday. The girls play at Swampscott Wednesday.

From the Press Box sponsored by:MSA MORTGAGE

Picking Up the Pieces

By: Jim Lederman

Can we look forward to junior pitching standout Jack Wallace, throwing a shutout vs. the ‘Big Blue’ of Swampscott at the ‘new’ Veterans Field?

Will captain Mike Eruzione toss the first pitch to open the season at Veterans? His passionate speech, at the meeting for a new Veterans Field was emotional!

The Patriots recent free agent additions make the Patriots pre-season favorite to return to the Super Bowl!

Congrats to Athletic Director Matt Serino and his wife on the arrival of their first child.

Why does coach Sean Driscoll have such a big smile? Yes the Vikings are working out in preparation for a ‘big season’ on the gridiron.

The most valuable player in the Northeast Conference ladies hoop season is only a sophomore for the championship Revere Patriots – soph Valentina Pepic was player of the year.

I am still waiting for the Panda – Pablo Sandoval, to win a game for the Boston Red Sox! Maybe he can be a spokesman for Subway!

Will the Boston Bruins make the playoffs? The Boston Celtics have captured the ‘Garden’ crowd! Let’s salute GM Danny Ainge!

Salem State will get two outstanding Viking student athletes – Olivia Grillo and captain Noah Hodgkins!

Swampscott is interviewing for another new high school principal. They have had nine in the last 15 years. More principals than victories at Blocksidge Field.

Speaking of principals, congrats to WHS principal Matt Crombie, for an outstanding job in his first year at his alma mater! It’s great to have a WHS graduate leading the school.

Will the tennis courts return across from the new WHS/Middle School? I can remember when Eddie Rossi and Mike Eruzione used to skate at the ‘old courts.’

Ex-Lady Viking three-sport standout Maura Lanza is pitching for the Bentley Falcons and playing very well!

The 2016-2017 Vi9king senior class could bring two NEC championship banners back to the new WHS gym – coaches Sean Driscoll and Dale Dunbar will have an outstanding senior class! Go Vikings!

A salute to ex-Viking hoop coach David Brown for winning a state title for his St. Mary’s Spartans!

Hats off to the Winthrop Youth Hockey for producing another state title. Coach ‘Butch’ Martucci works year round developing players.

I watched ex-Viking Steve Demetriou on TV cheering courtside for his favorite team – the Cleveland Cavaliers. The WHS Hall of Fame athlete is the new CEO of a Fortune 100 – big corporation. He invited ex-teammate Kevin Corkhum to a recent Cleveland game.

I look forward to watching the Framingham State Rams play football his season. Junior all-star Dan Feeley returns for another big season.

The Lady Vikings breakup dinner is Tuesday night. Ex-coach John Gambale was building a strong program!

The Beverly Panthers are searching for a new football coach. Dan Baurer has been named new principal at Marblehead high school after a successful 14-year career as Panthers head coach.

Will Beverly finally have lights at a new football field?

The Boston Celtics victory over first place Toronto could give us optimism for the playoffs in April!

Bennett- Gronk – what a big tight end combo! Rex Ryan will never beat the Patriots! Are you ready for some football?

Five more months until the Winthrop Vikings take a field. Chris Zuffante could be the ‘best’ quarterback in the NEC this season!

Did I hear that two bruising ex-Viking hockey players will switch to tennis rackets this spring? My spring preview will be next week.

I drove by Salem State last week, the campus and athletic program is thriving. When will the Salem State University have a football team?

The DeFelice brothers, Frank and Bob have over 100 years coaching baseball. Frank is still an assistant coach at Endicott. His ex-WHS coach John Domenico told me – ‘Franny’ hit the longest homerun in the history of Veterans Field.

I drove by ‘HDR’ – the new Harry Dello Russo Stadium last week en route to the New Bridge for lunch. Did you enjoy Thanksgiving dinner in 2015? We will do it again at the HDR on ‘Turkey Day’ – Go Vikings!

A proud Viking grandmother told me, “she still watches the Vikings victory on Viking TV!  Winthrop 15 – Revere 12.

Two ex-Viking baseball coaches are enjoying their retirement in warmer climates. Jimmy Evans is playing golf in Naples, Florida and John Domenico is building a new home in Arizona.

Did you know when John Havlicek ‘stole the ball’ in a playoff victory over Philly in 1965, the ball ended up in Winthrop? That’s a story for another day!

Did you know America’s first public Beach was Revere Beach? Let’s bring back the roller coaster and Danny’s for hot dogs! Can summer be far away?

I enjoyed a conversation with Anthony ‘big guy’ Hatsisavas the other day! Anthony brought the Vikings a state title in 2011. “Hatzi’ was the best Viking rebounder since Chris Tsiotos!

March Madness was exciting plenty of upsets – I was happy to see coach Cal – John Calipari and his Wildcats loose. Did you see the entire first team is declaring for the NBA draft! How many players from Kentucky ever graduate college?

Let the Games Begin!

College athletics spotlight report

By: Jim Lederman

Ram Report

The Framingham State University Rams will welcome another outstanding Viking student-athlete to their campus in September.

Ex-Viking all-star goalie Ray Feeley will play for Framingham next winter. Ray was an NEC all-star goaltender for the 2014-2015 NEC championship team. Ray played for the Walpole junior ‘A’ team this season. Walpole is coached by ex-Viking all-star and member of the WHS Hall of Fame – Jonathan Lounsbury.

Ray will join cousin – Dan Feeley at Framingham. Big Danny was a Mascac League all-star lineman last season. Coach Sean Driscoll called Danny my ‘best tackle’ ever for his Vikings.

Another ex-Viking lineman Jim Griffin tackle on the 2014 (undefeated) NEC champions is looking at Framingham and Curry, after a solid season at Worcester Academy.

Go Rams!

Let the Games Begin!

 

The Final Four

The “March Madness” tourney will end on Monday night, the ‘Final Four’ will play Saturday with the winners playing Monday night for the championship.

How die your teams do? Did you have the Wildcats, The Bulldogs, the Spartans, the Hoosiers, the Blue Devils, the Cavaliers or the Musketeers?

I like the ‘Tar heels’ – North Carolina to win the title. The ‘Heels’ reached the Final Four for a record 19the time when they won the last of their five national championships. North Carolina (32-6) before they face off with Syracuse, the 10th seed from the strong Atlantic Coast Conference on Saturday the ‘orange’ beat top seeded Virginia, (68-62) to reach the final four.

The ‘Heels’ under the coaching of legendary coach Roy Williams are my pick for the big game.

I have to root for either coach or Gus – that is a big decision.

Let the Games Begin!

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