Sports 02-16-2017

WHS SPORTS roundup

WHS hockey team wins, ties; set for showdown with Danvers

The Winthrop High hockey team was set to face Danvers last night (Wednesday) at Larsen Rink in a showdown for the championship of the North Division of the Northeastern Conference.

Danvers entered the contest with a division record of 6-1-2, the lone loss having come at the hands of the Vikings earlier in the season. Danvers dueled Saugus to a 1-1 deadlock last Wednesday in their final NEC North contest before the Winthrop tilt.

Coach Dale Dunbar’s Winthrop squad stood at 6-0-2 in the NEC North entering.he fray. The Vikings had been scheduled to play Marblehead Monday at Salem State College, but the contest was postponed because of the weather. A date for the make-up had not been set as of press time.

However, the outcome of the Winthrop-Marblehead contest to some extent is academic. If Winthrop defeats Danvers, the Vikings will be the outright NEC North champs; if Danvers wins, at worst the Falsons will be the co-champs with Winthrop if the Vikings defeat Marblehead, and the outright champion if Winthrop (which tied with Marblehead in their first meeting) either ties or loses to Marblehead. (If Winthrop and Danvers tie, then the worst case scenario for Winthrop is a tie for the title, even with a loss to Marblehead.)

In the Vikings’ games this past week, they defeated NEC North rival Beverly, 6-1, and deadlocked with NEC South Division foe Lynn, 3-3.

Charlie Page scored the hat trick in the Beverly encounter and linemate Henry Brooks potted a pair of goals.

In the tie with Lynn, in which Lynn notched the game-tying tally with about five minutes to play, the goal-scorers for Winthrop were Brian Chalmers, Gene August, and Steve Holgersen.

Winthrop’s next scheduled contest is set for next Wednesday when Dunbar and his crew host non-league rival Mansfield at Larsen. Face off is at 6:10.

D’Amico pleased with track girls performance at NEC league meet

The performance of the Winthrop High girls indoor track team at the recent Northeastern Conference League Meet drew words of praise from coach Mark D’Amico. “Overall, the girls ran a great meet and came back with a lot of personal record (PR) performances,” said the coach.

The Lady Viking 4 x 400 relay team turned in its best time of the season, 4:39.17. Captain Regina Garufo ran a PR of 66.0 in the first leg, followed by Fiona MacPhail with a split 69 and Camilia Miranda-Llovera (who had just finished the two mile run) with a split of 76 seconds.

That left the baton in the capable hands of WHS captain Heidy Benson, who completed the Lady Vikings’ fine race with a fast split of 65 seconds to earn the Winthrop girls a fifth place medal.

Other outstanding performances noted by D’Amico included Garufo’s PR of 46.7 in the 300, which earned Regina a sixth place medal. Benson ran what D’Amico termed “a gutsy race,” coming out fast in the 600 with the top girls in the NEC. Heidy ran a 31.65 for the first lap and then a 33.36 for the next,  finishing with a 35.00 for a PR of 1:40.96, which was just tenths off the school record. Heidy’s fine effort earned her a third place medal at the NEC Meet and Heidy will have a shot at setting a new WHS mark at the State Meet tomorrow (Friday) at the Reggie Lewis Center.

Miranda-Llovera also ran a great race in the two-mile with a PR of 13:10, topping her previous PR by 11 seconds. Camilia finished in seventh position, just missing out on a medal.

Captain Gianna Massa came in fourth with a shot-put throw of 33’-7”. “Gianna was competing with an inured hip, so her throw was pretty spectacular,” noted D’Amico. Gianna has also qualified for the state meet and is only two feet off the modern-day WHS school record.

Other girls who turned in PR performances at the meet were Gabby Ford in the 1000 in 3:55.42; Daniella Zanelli in the high hurdles with a time of 10.34; and Emily Childs in the high jump with what D’Amico called, “an incredible jump of 4’-8”. Emily is only a freshman who was in only her second meet-ever jumping because she was injured earlier in the season.”

Track teams wrap up season against Peabody

The Winthrop High girls and boys indoor track teams wrapped up their 2017 season last week at Peabody.

Gianna Massa and Camilia Miranda-Llovera were the top performers for the Lady Vikings, winning their individual events. Gianna won the shot-put with a throw of 32’-15” and Camilia outraced the competition in the two-mile run in 13:34.

Fiona MacPhail took third place in the high jump with a leap of 4’-6”; Mary Kate Pote scored a point for her third-place effort in the shot-put with  throw of 26’-11”; Danielle Zanelli nabbed third spot in the hurdles in 7.7; and Regina Garufo took second in the 300 with a clocking of 48.4.

On the boys’ side, Nik Beshere won the two-mile run with a time of 11:14. Teammate Jakob Hain took second with a clocking of 13:26.

Taylor St. George finished second in the 300 dash in 42.4, followed by teammate Kevin Anderson in third on 52.9. William Holden’s mile run of 5:11.8 was good for second place, as was Dave Navarro’s 45 yard dash of 5.6. Cormac MacPhail came across in third place in the 1000 in 3:07.7.

WHS girls hockey tops Medford, 2-0

The Winthrop High Lady Bulldawg hockey team won its only game of the past week, defeating Medford last Saturday, 2-0.

Katie O’Shea gave Winthrop a quick lead when she scooped up the loose puck on a draw in the face-off circle by Mia Price and fired a shot past the Medford goalie in the game’s opening minutes.

Abby Stafford made it 2-0 midway through the period on a power play goal when she put home the rebound of a shot by Price, who had been set up by a nice pass from Bella Perrotti.

However, the Lady Bulldawgs were unable to add to their margin for the remaining 37:30, leaving matters in the capable stick and glove hands of goaltender Gretchen Howard, who recorded the shutout, adding to her WHS career record that now totals 20 whitewashings of Lady Bulldawg opponents.

“Overall, it was not our best game,” said WHS head coach Anthony Martucci. “We let down after taking an early lead and became a bit complacent.”

Martucci and his crew had been scheduled to meet Belmont this past Monday, but the snowstorm forced a postponement to tomorrow (Friday) evening. The Lady Bulldawgs then will be right back at it Saturday afternoon when they host Andover at Larsen Rink. Face-off is set for 1:30.

“Playing two games in less than 24 hours against two quality opponents will be a challenge,” noted Martucci, “so we expect to be utilizing all of our players extensively in the two games.”

The Lady Bulldawgs will wrap up their regular season next week in the Newburyport Bank Tournament. Their first game is set for Tuesday against Masconomet and the second contest is slated for Thursday against either Maqrblehead or Winchester.

Although the Lady Bulldawgs (who stand at 10-4 on the season) already have punched their ticket for a Journey to the Tourney, they will be looking to move up to a first-class seat (a high seeding) with victories in their final four contests.

WHS gymnastics team completes fine 7-2 season

The Winthrop High gymnastics team completed its regular season Saturday night in high style, defeating Marblehead, 136-128, to finish the regular season with an outstanding 7-2 record.

The evening also featured Senior Night festivities at which senior captains Molly Janielis, Kaitlyn Carter, and Christa Vaccaro were honored for their four-years’ worth of contribution and dedication to the WHS gymnastics program.

“These girls not only have been leaders in competition and in the gym, but great role models for their peers,” said WHS head coach Daria Millerick, who noted that Janielis hopes to study at Russell Sage College in upstate New York, Carter hopes to attend Salem State University, and Vaccaro will be pursuing college gymnastics at Ithaca College where she will take up Occupational Therapy.

 “The girls worked hard in the weeks leading up to this meet, because they knew that our only chance to qualify for the upcoming state sectionals was to score at least a 136,” said Millerick, a difficult enough feat that was made even more so because of the absence of Lady Viking rising star Rachel Farley.

Winthrop opened the meet on bars and received stand-out performances from Danielle Carter, Brandi DiCicco, and Christa Vaccaro.

Moving onto beam, it was critical for captain Kaitlyn Carter to set the tone by sticking her routine, and Kaitlyn did just that, scoring her first 8.0 of the season.

Lacey Scott followed and also had a stellar performance, scoring an 8.2. Next came Megi Zogasi, who also improved to score an 8.2. The last three up, Danielle, Brandi, and Christa, continued the streak and stuck their routines as well.

“This was the first time all season that all six gymnasts stayed on the balance beam,” said Millerick. “It was a great achievement.”

The momentum from the superb beam performance carried over onto vault and floor. Janielis had a clean vault, followed by Scott and Zogasi. Carter delivered another clean vault, as did DiCicco and Vaccaro.

Lastly on floor, Winthrop started with Gracie Armitstead, who demonstrated her sky-high tumbling and received her highest score of the season. Emily Rodriguez came next with her always-entertaining routine and Gianna Guarino followed with her best performance of the year.

Danielle Carter was up next and, in Millerick’s swords, “showed the crowd exactly what consistency looks like. She performed a lovely routine with stuck-tumbling, as usual. “

DiCicco was second to last and had a graceful performance. Vacccaro concluded Winthrop’s evening by delivering her cleanest and most powerful routine of the season to earn a score of 9.4.

The final score showed Winthrop with 136.0 and Marblehead with 128.0.

“The girls were ecstatic to have reached their team goal,” said Millerick. “We are hopeful that this score will have brought up our team average enough to qualify for sectionals. We will find out later in the week.”

On Sunday morning the Lady Vikings competed in the Northeastern Conference/ Cape Ann League meet. Two girls go up on each event from all eight teams in the league.

Kaitlyn Carter scored a superb 8.9 on vault. Brandi DiCicco and Mary O’Donnell earned spots to compete on bars and they both delivered beautiful performances.

Aislinn Guzman competed on floor for her first appearance all season (because of an injury) and wowed the crowd with her contagious energy and earned a well-deserved 8.25.

Gracie Armitstead also performed on floor with sky-high tumbling and received an 8.2. Lastly on beam, Winthrop had Sage D’Amelio, who has worked effortlessly to earn a spot on beam and she proved she deserved it. Also on beam was Jillian Lerner, who had a solid routine as always.

Awards were given to the top three places in each event, with Brandi DiCicco receiving third place on bars. All-star awards are given to the top two gymnasts on each event for their performance through the entire season. Danielle Carter received an all star award for beam and Christa Vaccaro received the Most Valuable Gymnast (MVG) in the league award for the second year in a row.

“MVG is given to the top all-around gymnast in the league,” said Millerick. “These are extremely prestigious awards and these girls surely deserved them.”

Vaccaro also has qualified for the All-Around State Individual competition on Monday in Tewksbury. Christa will join the top 40 all-around gymnasts in the state, and the national team also will be announced.

“Christa is seeded fourth in the North section of the state and we are excited for her to showcase her potential,” noted Millerick.

WHS boys basketball drops close encounter

The Winthrop High boys basketball team dropped a 70-64 contest with Salem last Tuesday in a rollercoaster affair at the WHS gym.

The teams traded the lead throughout the battle. The Vikings grabbed a 21-18 lead at the first buzzer, but Salem forged ahead at the intermission, 37-31. Winthrop fought back to bring the score back to level at 51-51 after three periods, but the visiting Witches outscored Winthrop in the final stanza, 19-13, to secure the victory.

Devin Pulsifer turned in a double-double for Winthrop with team-highs of 18 points and 10 rebounds. Devin hit on 8-of-9 from the free throw line and made three steals.

Chris Zuffante drained 4-of-5 attempts from three-point land to contribute 14 points and Tayjuan McKenzie struck for double figures  with 12. Johnathan Van Dalinda added seven points, followed by Alex Dernier and Luigi Spinazzola with four apiece, and Jonathan Applebee with three on a three-pointer.

From the Press Box

It Takes A Village

By: Jim Lederman

The new Neil Shapiro Auditorium was packed with over 100 concerned Winthrop residents last week! The issue was a proposed parking lot to take the place of the Wallace B. McClean Tennis Courts

We have a new middle/ high schol and a $9.8 million Miller Field to be proud ofl.

I have broadcast Viking football games at Miller Field for 45 years. Did you ever attend a Thanksgiving Day game Winthrop vs. Revere? Over 3,000 fans would fill the old stadium. There was never a parking problem.

The last two Winthrop – Revere football games at the new Harry Della Russo Football Stadium, has ‘no’ parking lots – 3,500 attended the games. Viking fans had to walk ½ mile and one mile away from the stadium. The Revere-Winthrop Powder Puff game had another large crowed. I had to walk one mile away to a car parked two streets from Della Russo.

In November, 575 filled the Shapiro Auditorium to watch a WHS Drama Society play. That night there were 145 open spaces for parking around the high school, Cross, Franklin and Payson Street – 145 open parking spaces.

I ask the Town Councillors, did you attend a football game or play at WHS and have a parking issue?

The supporters of the tennis programs at WHS (45 players) the 50 residents, many seniors who play tennis- Haskell Jaffe uses the courts (McClean and Ingleside) is a senior player (over 70 years young).

Erica Bueno is a professional tennis player; she has two young daughters that want to play tennis. She has to drive out of town to use the tennis courts. She told a story of having to call the police after being attacked by young kids that wanted to skateboard around the Ingelside tennis courts.

The town council listened to the passionate tennis coaches Marie Finn (25 years coaching tennis at WHS). She taught my daughter in 1985 on the Vikings tennis team, Kenny Hodgkins (2016 NEC Tennis Coach of the Year). Can you name the only sport that can be played from the ages 8 to 80 that play at the McClean tennis court!

Ex-Viking tennis coach and beloved ex-WHS principal, John Domenico is 89 years young, he uses the only two public courts in town!

There is no parking issue around the schools, removal of the McClean Court is ridiculous!

The ‘Soc’ Committee worked tirelessly to show why the Wallace B. McClean Courts should remain a part of the athletic facilities at WHS. The use of the courts for gym classes for every student at the new WHS/Middle School. Tennis players should not have to walk to Ingleside Park. What about the bathroom facilities at WHS?

There were many passionate speakers at the February 7th council meeting. I have to give my ‘MVP’ Awards to members of the committee – Marie Finn (aka the coach), Christine Bernstein (GM of Balloon City), Coach Kenny Hodgkins, Marie Hodgkins and ex-WHS tennis player Dick Thibeau (ace photographer) and Captain Bill Schmidt (the Commissioner).

“It Takes a Village”

Let the Tennis Begin at the new Wallace McClean Courts!

Behind the Blue Line

The race for the NEC hockey title ends this week. There is parody in the league Winthrop, Danvers, Marblehead, Swampscott, Lynn and Saugus are headed to the MIAA playoffs. The Vikings have one loss to non-league North Reading (as of Monday).

The Vikings played Danvers on Wednesday (last night Feb. 15th) with the Vikings needing a victory to clinch the title. Two games with Marblehead have been cancelled due to snowstorms.

The Vikings will play in Division 2 North and will be one of the top two teams. Marblehead, Danvers and North Reading will be three strong teams for D-Z North title.

I will preview the MIAA playoffs next week. Marblehead (24-0) won the Division 2 North Title in 2016.

Captain Charlie Page is the leading scorer in the NEC. Charlie should be named NEC MVP. I will give final Viking statistics before the playoffs.

Let the Games Begin!

Hockey Town USA

This is an exciting month for Winthrop hockey. The Vikings hockey team has a chance to win another NEC hockey title.

The ‘Lady Bulldawgs’ (who let the Dawgs out)? Are in the MIAA playoffs. What team in the NEC can claim a NEC title and two hockey teams in the MIAA playoffs? Do you have that answer?

Coach Dale Dunbar and coach Anthony ‘Butch’ Martucci have two of the best programs in high school hockey. Bulldawgs have a (10-4) record.

The teams have packed Larsen Rink with fans this winter, which adds to the reputation as “hockey To USA”!

I hope we have many Viking faithful fill the rinks to cheer for two Winthrop high hockey teams! Best on the North Shore!

Let the Games Begin!

Bring the playoffs on!

NEC Hockey Standings

NEC North (as of Monday, Feb. 13th

All Games

Winthrop 6-0-2 (13-1-3)

Danvers 6-1-2 (14-4-2)

Marblehead 4-1-3 (9-6-3)

NEC South

Vikings vs. Danvers on Feb. 15 at Larsen Rink

* Swampscott 5-1-0 (15-2)

* Lynn Jets 2-2-1 (10-3-3)

Wednesday vs. Danvers is the key!

The Vikings must defeat Danvers and Marblehead to capture the NEC North title.

Let’s Go Vikings – Win the NEC!

Faces in the Crowd

A salute to McKayla Norris, for her inspirational singing on the National Anthem at Viking home games at Larsen Rink.

Number five on the Lady Bulldawgs hockey team is the leading scorer on the ‘Dawgs’. The junior spends many hours at Larsen Rink.

The ‘Pressbox’ at Larsen Rink is filled with sports reporters and coach Michael DeFelice and ace photographer Richard Thibeau, a senior skater – “High above the ice.”

Can you name the ex-Viking hoop player who scored 15 points for his college team last week? He led the Vikings to a state title! See answer at end of my column.

Larsen Rink was filled with Saugus and Viking fans. The Sachems felt they tied the Viking (2-2) and they could upset the Vikings – memories of the only blemish – tie on the 1976 Vikings – State Champs (26-0-1).

In the crowd was a long time Viking fan – Kenny Goddard – proud father of ‘number 7’ on the 1976 – champions – great to see you Kenny! He always reminds me that he blocked for the touchdown team of Timmy Trainor and the late Joe Duplin – 1952. Dick Dimes (90 years young) and a founding father of WHS hockey and the Larsen Rink.

Bob Tallent – proud grandfather of Sammy Yarrow (number 17), the first WHS hockey captains.

‘The Sarge’ – another proud papa – Pat Staff and family cheering for Henry Brooks – Winthrop players from Winthrop families proud school with winning programs – Vikings continue to win!

The Bourque Arena

The Winthrop Vikings have played two games at the Raymond Bourque Arena on the campus of Endicott College this winter. The Vikings have two impressive victories over Danvers and Beverly.

A trip to Beverly and the campus of Endicott takes a GPS and the familiarity of Endicott College. Vikings ‘number one’ fan Howie (Only had to use his GPS, but he called me twice when he lot lost.)

In 1995 I had Endicott as one of my accounts, I watched four football games at Endicott.

How can anyone forget the Vikings 2005 super bowl playoff game with Natick. “The night the lights went out,” yes every Viking fan can recall the exciting game, when the Vikings almost upset Natick (undefeated Redmen won the super bowl.)

The ‘Viking Pride’ bus got lost that night, I was giving the directions, but I had never traveled to Endicott at night.

I watched Endicott play Curry. Former Vikings Brian Breau, Aaron Smith, Robert Deeb and captain Alex Smith played in the games.

The Vikings are (2-0) at Endicott in 2017. The only missing person was ex-Boston Bruin Ray Bourque on the campus. Captain Mike Eruzione was behind the Viking bench! Great memories at Endicott College. Home of the Gulls!

Let the Games Begin!

Bring on the Danvers Falcons!

School Choice

Why is the school committee considering to bring ‘School Choice” student-athletes back to Winthrop high school?

For over 50 years, the theme was Winthrop Athletes from Winthrop families. We have more NEC title than any school in the Northeastern Conference. We do not need basketball players form Chelsea, Revere, East Boston and Jamaica Plain and Lynn!

When the 2006 Vikings won the Super Bowl, the team had players from Winthrop – there was no recruiting. Winthrop players from Winthrop families. Parents pay taxes and user fees – lets keep the Viking tradition alive – When the new Miller Field is completed, we will see a big rise in the enrollment. We do not need ‘school choice.”

Let the Games Begin!

The Greatest Catch

The super bowl LI – victory by the Patriots over the Atlanta Falcons has been called, the greatest super bowl game ever – I will agree.

The catch made by ‘the Jewel’ Julius Edelman was one of the greatest catches in super bowl history. ‘Number 11’ – Edelman will be a Hall of Fame candidate.

The combination of Tom Brady to Edelman is the best quarterback – receiver combo in the NFL.

They work out 10 months of the year in the off-season. Edelman has practiced with Brady in California and Arizona. If they play two more years they both will be in the Hall of Fame.

I had to reflect on a great catch that helped the Vikings defeat archrival Revere on Thanksgiving.

The year was 2007; the Vikings trailed the Patriots by two points, with less than two minutes to play at Miller Field. Quarterback Will Milano (Viking record holder with 32 touchdowns passes), led the Vikings down the field. His pass to Chris Beranger, who made an incredible catch to stay in bounds, gave the Vikings a thrilling (27-22) last second victory.

Two incredible catches that led to victory – we salute Edelman and the Patriots and Beranger and the Vikings!

Happy Birthday Dino

The ‘matriarch” of Winthrop’s number one basketball family – Dino Tsiotos – celebrated his 93rd birthday last month.

Dino attended his granddaughter Niki Tsiotos college basketball game at Stonehill. He was sitting courtside to watch Niki play for Saint Rose of Albany, New York vs. Stonehill.

Twenty members of the Tsiotos family and friends, 25 members of Lady Vikings basketball traveled to Stonehill to watch Niki.

In (2014-2015) Dino never missed a game, when the Lady Vikings won the NEC and North Titles. Niki played with twin sister Poli, a soph at the University of New Hampshire.

A salute to Papa Dino and the Tsiotos and Mallios families!

WHS sports years

10 years ago

February 15, 2007

Coach Peter Grimes’s WHS girls basketball team completed a perfect 15-0 season in the NEC with a 62-31 dismantling of Lynn English and a 68-40 rout of Saugus this week. Nicole Giaquinto led Winthrop with 20 points vs. English and Meredith Soper hit for 22 points and grabbed 14 rebounds against Saugus in just 23 minutes of playing time. The Lady Vikings presently stand at 18-0 overall.

The WHS hockey team fell to 5-7-2 with losses of 7-2 to first place Revere and 1-0 to Beverly.

20 years ago

February 20, 1997

The WHS boys basketball team concluded the regular season with wins over Saugus and Gloucester to finish the season at 13-7 overall and 12-6 in the NEC. Coach Peter Grimes and his Vikings now are awaiting word of their first-round opponent in the upcoming state tourney.

The WHS gymnastics team concluded a fine 6-3 season, led by seniors Kim Russo, Johanna DeChristoforo, and Elizabeth Lally.

The first-ever induction banquet of the Winthrop High Hall of Fame, the brainchild of Athletic Director John Lyons, is set for next month. Among the first class of inductees will be Mike Eruzione, former WHS football great Steve Miles, and Pat Brown, who played in the professional all-women baseball league during WWII.


30 years ago

February 18, 1987

Stephanie Brogna sank two free throws with 13 seconds to play to give the WHS girls basketball team, which finished the season at 10-10, a 51-49 upset victory over Saugus, thereby depriving the Lady Sachems of an undisputed NEC title. Sophomore Amy Sullivan scored 20 points for Winthrop.

Coach Larry Keegan’s WHS girls indoor track team won its third straight NEC title with a 7-0 record. The Lady Vikings won their meets by an average of 43 points.

The WHS boys indoor track team clinched a share of the NEC title with a 7-1 record after a 60-26 romp over Saugus in the last meet of the season.

Viking hockey players Rolf Beutel, Todd Conley, and Mike Bertino have been named to the NEC all-star team.



40 years ago

February 16, 1977

The WHS boys basketball team qualified for the state tourney with a 76-63 triumph over Beverly that improved the Vikings to 12-5. All five Winthrop starters reached double figures, led by the Zikos brothers, Greg and Chris, who combined for 35 points. John Harrison added 14.

The WHS girls gymnastics team claimed its third straight win led by Pam Gilfoyle, Barbie Barletta, and Ann Matsumoto.

The WHS hockey team clinched a berth in the state tourney with a 3-3 tie with Lynn English. Ken Goddard, Jackie Brugman, and Jackie Burke scored the goals for Winthrop.

Rosie McDonald set a new WHS school record in the hurdles with a time of 7.4 seconds. Trisha McGee set a WHS mark in the 880 with a time of 2:23.5 at the Methuen Invitational.

50 years ago

February 16, 1967

Hucky Larsen and John Sharkey scored the goals for the WHS hockey team in a 2-2 tie with Lynn Classical.

60 year ago

February 14, 1957

The WHS basketball team claimed its first NEC title since 1953 with a 64-57 win over second-place Marblehead. Walter Milano led Winthrop with 23 points and teammate Marty Fischer, the leading-scorer in the NEC this season, added 18. Pete Donahue chipped in 11 points. Winthrop, which improved to 13-1 on the season, now has won eight NEC crowns in the 13 years that Winthrop has been a member of the conference.

70 years ago

February 13, 1947

The WHS basketball team clinched its third straight NEC championship with a 35-25 victory over second-place Marblehead.

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