Sports 04-13-2017

Strong outing in opener by Wallace for WHS baseball

Mother Nature finally relented and allowed the Winthrop High baseball team (among the other spring sports) to commence its season this past week.

The Vikings opened their 2017 campaign Saturday against Manchester Essex with a 3-0 loss.  Jack Wallace started and pitched an outstanding game, taking a shutout into the seventh inning with the score deadlocked at 0-0.

However,  Manchester put together a couple of scratch hits and an error to score their runs.  Winthrop managed just two hits in the game and struggled at the plate.  Wallace yielded only three safeties and fanned seven enemy hitters.

Winthrop took on Beverly this past Monday and came out on the short end of a 10-0 decision. The Panthers struck for four runs in the opening frame, but WHS pitcher Jaidon Brown limited the damage and took Winthrop into the fifth with the score still standing at 4-0.

However, the Vikings were unable to cut into the Beverly lead. Brown had three hits on the day, which equaled half of the WHS offensive production.

Chris Zufanti, Christian Narareno, and Luigi Spinazzola pitched the last three innings for Winthrop.

Coach Frank DeMarco and his crew are scheduled to trek to Lynn Classical today (Thursday). They will host Lynn English on the holiday Monday morning at 10:00 and then travel to Somerville (one of the four schools from the Greater Boston League that is merging into the Northeastern Conference this season) on Wednesday and to Salem next Friday.

From the Press Box

The New Miller Field

By: Jim Lederman

The first positive sign of spring for Viking fans took place last week. On Friday morning I drove by the legendary Miller Field (I played my last football game on ‘Miller’ in 1959) to watch a construction/boring company taking tests on the field.

I was told that the demolition of the field will take place this month. On Saturday morning, coach Frank DeMarco and the 2017 Vikings baseball team opened their season on the new Veterans Field. Those are the two most positive signs of spring if you are an ardent Viking fan!

The questions are still very concerning for football, track and lacrosse supporters. When will the new Miller Field be ready?

In June of 2016, the Speaker of the House, Robert A. DeLeo, held a press conference at Miller Field. The Massport Director was proud to announce the $2.5 million dollar grant, Massport will give to Winthrop. Mr. Glynn announced the ‘foundation’ that will be established to help Winthrop Athletic-Miller Field. Why has it taken 10-months for the Miller Field Committee (Mr. McKenna, town manager) to start the long drawn out – new Miller Field project?

I had to cover the Vikings first baseball game at Veterans Field on Saturday. I was approached by ten (10) Viking fans who asked me, when will they start the construction of Miller Field? Will they play the Thanksgiving Day – The Winthrop –Revere classic? Do we have to travel to Della Russo Stadium in Revere? Legendary coach Bob DeFelice, former athletic director Jim Evans, highly respected engineer Richard Lawton, all asked the town manager to be on the Miller Field committee – their expertise would have had this project complete by the football season (September 2017).

The spectacular Harry Della Russo Stadium in Revere was built for $8 million – the Miller Field project has $9.8 million, and the new field house will be the same size as the 70-year old structure at Miller Field. What about the restroom facilities? There are so many questions we have to ask the leaders of the $10 million ‘new’ Miller Field.

Will both teams Winthrop and Revere have to cross over to use the locker facilities at the new Winthrop high school?

Bob DeFelice has been athletic director at Bentley for 30 years. His athletic facilities (gymnasium, football stadium, baseball diamond), are second to only Boston College as a college campus. He asked to be on the committee, he could of saved this project hundreds of thousands (maybe millions) to help build the field! He played (and coached) on two super bowl champions and a 33-game unbeaten streak, “the greatest” football team in Vikings history (1981-11 players played Division One). His call was not returned!

Will Miller Field be ready for Thanksgiving Day 2017?



The Pitcher’s Battle

Opening Day at the new Veterans Field on Saturday was a typical April baseball game at the windy baseball diamond.

The Manchester-Essex Hornets had many partisan fans cheering for the ‘Hornets’, a small regional team with a very proud tradition.

The Vikings sent their ‘ace’ pitcher and co-captain Jack Wallace to the mound. The ‘Hornets’ pitcher was junior Cosmo Palazzola, from the legendary Gloucester athletic family.

For six innings the pitchers allowed only one hit. The wind played a key role in the three runs, the Hornets posted in their final at bat to earn a thrilling (3-0) victory.

The Vikings opening lineup – leading off junior Jaidon Brown, playing centerfield, short stop Danny Gillis, co-captain ‘slugging’ first baseman (number 9j – the former slugger Ted Williams number). Hitting third co-captain and future Franklin-Pierce

College standout Jack Wallace in the clean-up slot, playing second base.  Sophomore Jonathan Applebee, playing right field, catcher Mike Upton and third baseman senior Patrick Stafford.

Co-captain and three-sport standout, senior Chris Zuffante was missing on a college recruiting visit.

The pitchers were ‘bringing the heat’ in a classic pitching duel. Palazzola is a (6’1 – 205 lbs) football quarterback bringing the Palazzola all-star presence to ‘Vet’s Field’.

His dad Tom is former Manchester head football coach. I talked with him and he was a standout Fishermen athlete. Tom reminded me of the 1981-1983 Vikings football classic games. Tom remembers playing against Viking legend Chuck Sullivan.

The Vikings hope to add some hitting to back the pitching of Wallace, Brown and Zuffante.

Jake Adamson wears the same number as his dad Jimmy Adamson, an assistant Viking coach and former NEC all-star baseball player and a football standout on coach Bob DeFelice’s super bowl championship team, that captured their title at Foxboro Stadium (home of the New England Patriots).

Assistant coach Michael DeFelice was at the third base box cheering on his team. We talked about the Frank DeFelice home run that landed in Miller Field.

I had to visit Miller Field to try and use the restroom facilities. The m other of a Hornet player asked me, “Where are the bathroom facilities?” I sent her to Dunkin Donuts!

Hope you visit the new Vets Field!

Let’s Go Vikings!

Let The Games Begin!



Three All-Scholastics

The WHS class of 2017 has been honored by the selection of three student-athletes to the prestigious Boston Herald and Boston Globe All-Scholastic teams.

Captain Charlie Page of the Vikings hockey team. Captain Gretchen Howard named ‘dream team’ on the girl’s all-scholastic hockey team and Christa Vaccaro to the girl’s gymnastic team.

Charlie was NEC MVP (Most Valuable Player) a four-time NEC all-star. Charlie scored 130 career points and followed his brother Chris (Buddy) Page as NEC MVP. Chris plays for Stonehill College. Charlie will play one year of junior hockey before playing in college.

Gretchen has an incredible four-year career for the Lady Bulldawgs. She was a stellar goal tender and honor roll student. Gretchen will play at Salve Regina University.
Christa was named ‘NEC Gymnast of the Year,’ for the second year in a row. Christa will attend Rhode Island College and continue her gymnastic career.

It has been an exciting year for the girl’s of the class of 2017, highlighted by the thrilling ‘Powder Puff’ game in Revere.

What school in the NEC has three winter all-scholastic student athletes? The Vikings.

Kudos to the Vikings!

Let the Games Begin!



Behind the Net

Thirty love-advantage Lady Vikings!

The sound of the tennis balls are back at the Wallace B. McClean Tennis Court. The Lady Vikings tennis team is shooting for a winning season!

Coach Kenny Hodgkins greeted 32-players last month. “Tennis is stronger than ever,” said coach Ken! “We have the first Jayvee team in the history of the program,” We want to thank the Social Committee for helping to keep the McClean Court”, said coach Ken. “I feel we can have another strong year,” (Ken was named “NEC Coach of the Year) in 2016. “We invite the town council to visit a match and see why the popularity of tennis at the court adjacent to the new school is important,” said Kenny.

The captains of the team – Haley Holden is our ‘number one’ player. Katlyn Ferrara and Courtney McSwiney are the other two captains.

Seniors Sarah Kfoury, Dana Marshall and Aaliya Rouzily are key players.

Two outstanding sophomore athletes Kirsten Griffiths and Sophie LaFratta will be keys to our season.

Holden is a returning NEC All-Star’. LaFratta’s brother Jake was a 2016 boys captain and is a student at ‘the Ohio State University’! There are 12 frosh on the squad.

Game, Match, Set – Victory Vikings!

Let the Games Begin!



Viking Schedule

The Vikings baseball, softball, lacrosse and tennis teams will have home games in Winthrop – let’s support the Vikings!

Next week is vacation week!


Monday, April 17th – 10 a.m. – Lynn English at Vets Field.


Monday 10 a.m. – Lynn English – Little League Field.

Tennis Girls

Monday, 10 a.m. – Lynn English – McClean Court

Wednesday, April 19th

Softball vs. Somerville – Little League Field 10 a.m.

Tennis – Boys vs. Somerville – WHS – McClean Courts

Thursday, April 20 – Lacrosse 10 a.m. at Cellucci Field vs. Lynn English

Go Vikings!

Let the Games Begin!


Number 17

Happy 77th Birthday, April 9th to John ‘Hondo Havlicek. Hondo is the all-time leading scorer in Boston Celtics history.

Havlicek played 16 seasons for the Boston Celtics. He was an all-NBA all-star 13 times. I watched Havlicek play his first Celtics game and his last in the legendary Boston Garden.

Hondo played basketball at the Ohio State University. He was the Celtics number one draft choice.

Hondo was such a great athlete, that before he signed with the Celtics, the Cleveland Browns also drafted him, because he was an All American high school football player.

He was the last cut of the Brown; Gary Collins beat him out for an end position. Gary was Rookie of the Year in the NFL. Hondo reported to Celtics camp and as the sixth man of the World Champions the rest is history.

I was on the Boston Garden floor in 1965 when Havlicek ‘Stole the Ball’ in the classic championship game.

That legendary basketball ended up in Winthrop at a legendary house. Can you name the culprit? Story to follow!

1965 Havlicek stole the ball!

Let the Games Begin!

Hondo the Great, 77 years old!



The Senator

I can always remember watching Steve Kennedy with a smile working at Larsen Rink. I can remember playing against his dad, Arthur Kennedy, a swift guard playing in the legendary Winthrop Summer League in the 60’s.

We lost Steve Kennedy last week after a battle with cancer. Steve was a hard working town employee. We extend our deep condolence to the loss of Steve Kennedy aka – ‘The Senator’.


Apropos of Nothing

The 121st Boston Marathon will take place on Monday, a sure sing of spring! I will always recall my ex-neighbor the late John Wallace training to run. I watched his grandson, Jack Wallace pitch for the Vikings on Saturday! John was a track star at the University of Maine. Thanks to John Domenico – the Tennis ‘Guru’ for that trivia!

The girls and boys lacrosse will play at Cellucci Field this month. The old ‘Fort Banks’ softball field. When I see Pat ‘Sarge’ Staff, I can recall watching some of the old softball legends playing games at night. Players like Tony Brogna, Bob McDuffee, the late Sheldon Bernstein, the late Milton ‘Bomber’ Neal (Montreal triple A baseball player, the late Leo Sullivan.) Sixty years goes by fast – I think I will watch the Vikings play at the new Vets Field!

The Brown’s are back in NHL playoffs. The Celtics are in the playoffs! I enjoy listening to the ‘Voice of the Bruins” – Jack Edwards and Tommy Heinsohn (82 years old) and Mike Gorman – broadcasting the games! Does anyone remember – The ‘Iron Horse’ Restaurant in the legendary old Boston Garden?

A salute to Lloyd Lyons and family for retiring at the legendary – Samuels Pharmacy! I would like another ‘Lime Rickey’ for a hot day – Enjoy your retirement – Lloyd Lyons!

Did you buy a ticket to win the $10,000 raffle tickets in the Winthrop Elks Fundraiser – 3 cash prizes – call Bettie Dalton (617) 930-0286.

Has the Miller Field Construction Committee visited Harry Della Russo Stadium? The locker rooms and public restrooms are first rate!

Two playoffs in the TD Garden in April – The ushers and restaurants are thrilled!

Coach Brad Stevens of the Celtics should be a ‘Coach of the Year’ candidate in the NBA.

Andrew Benitendi will be ‘Rookie of the Year.’

Names of the week – Sergio, winning the ‘Masters’ in golf.

JFK – newest member of the Boston Bruins – a rookie from Boston University.

The ‘Spoon’ – Winthrop resident, Ryan Spooner – Boston Bruin – 25 year old will he return next y ear as a Boston Bruin and continue to live in Winthrop?

Spy Ponders – The nickname of Arlington High School – 2017 super eight – State Champions in 1976 – The Vikings made history, a victory over the Spy Ponders – a State Championship for Winthrop.







WHS SPORTS roundup

Boys tennis team defeats Salem, 4-1

The Winthrop High boys tennis team notched a 4-1 victory over Salem Tuesday afternoon on the WHS courts.

Sophomore captain Cory Cherico, the lone returning starter from last year’s Viking squad, who has moved up to number one singles from his position last year at second doubles, led the way for Winthrop with a perfect shutout, 6-0, 6-0 of his Salem counterpart.

Senior Arthur Barash, playing at second singles, handily won his match, 6-2, 6-0, and senior Tim Duyon made it a clean sweep for the Viking singles players with a 6-0, 6-3 triumph over his Salem rival at third singles.

The sophomore duo of Jaylen Cordes and Kevin Dorr captured their match at second doubles, 6-1, 6-1. The first doubles tandem of seniors Matt Tarantino and Charlie Page dropped their match by a close score of 4-6, 6-6 (4-7).

The day before, coach Marie Finn and her Viking crew made the long trek to Beverly and came up on the short end of a hard-fought 3-2 decision that was decided by a third-set tiebreaker at second singles.

Duyon at third singles won his match, 6-4, 6-4, as did the second doubles pair of Cordes and Dorr, 6-1, 6-1. Cherico fell at first singles (4-6, 3-6), as did Tarantino & Page at first doubles, 2-6, 3-6. The outcome of the match came down to the second singles contest between Barash and his Beverly opponent. Arthur dropped the first set, 4-6, but bounced back to take the second set, 6-3.

That set the stage for the decisive third set that ended by the almost-slimmest of margins in Beverly’s favor, 7-5, in the tiebreaker.

The entire junior varsity roster also was able to see some action at doubles with all of the Winthrop tandems posting victories in their one set of play against their Beverly foes: Henry Brooks & Chris Finn won by a score of 6-2; Sam Yarrow & Jake Langone, 6-3; Carlos Mendoza & Steve Holgersen, 6-2; Andy Angullo & Alex Pesin, 6-3; Michael Vecchio & Nick Deeb, 6-3; Jared Vecchio & Yarrow, 6-1; and Rilind Bytyqi & Joe Deeb, 6-2.

It should be noted that the duos of Brooks/Finn (6-0), Yarrow/Langone (6-1); and Holgersen/Angullo (6-0) also captured their matches the following day against Salem.

“We have 21 boys on the team, which is an amazing number,” said WHS head coach Marie Finn. “They’re a great group of kids who are working hard to improve their game and who get along with each other. They’re truly a joy to coach.”

The Vikings were set to host Lynn Classical yesterday (Wednesday) and will trek to Lynn English on the holiday on Monday. They will return home to entertain Somerville next Wednesday.


Good start for WHS boys lacrosse

The Winthrop High boys lacrosse team has opened its season in strong fashion, winning two of its first three contests.

The Vikings defeated Salem, 12-1, and Everett, 20-0, this past week, with a 12-5 loss to a strong St. Mary’s team sandwiched between the twin wins.

The leading goal scorer for coach Brian Donnelly’s Vikings has been sophomore attack Pat Sennott with 10 goals and 5 assists. Senior captain Dave Barry is having an excellent year as the team leader and has scored eight goals with five assists.

Other leading scorers include Ennis Palvsic, sophomore Brian Chalmers, and senior Steven Rodgers.

“Our defense has been playing very well, led by senior Kevin Barrera,” noted Donnelly. “Our sophomore returning goalie is having an excellent year with the shutout last game and over 31 saves on the season.”

The Vikings will host Saugus today (Thursday) and travel to Malden Tuesday. They will entertain Lynn English next Thursday.


Winthrop High softball team ready for opener

The Winthrop High softball team had yet to hit the diamond for its season-opener as of the Sun-Transcript’s press deadline yesterday (Wednesday).

Monday’s scheduled contest at Beverly was postponed because of the poor field conditions and yesterday’s encounter with Lynn Classical was in doubt given the weather forecast for rain.

Coach Dave Guffey’s squad played Manchester Essex in a scrimmage last week, dropping a 5-2 decision. Despite the outcome, Guffey saw some positive signs from his team’s performance.

“We are progressing a little bit,” said Guffey. “Stephanie Strangie pitched well, Jess Martin hit well, and we had some nice defensive plays by Emma Carney and Maddie Silverman in the outfield.”

If yesterday’s opener with Classical fell victim to the whims of Mother Nature, the Lady Vikings will have three more opportunities to get the 2017 season underway in the coming week with Winthrop set to host three opponents: Greater Lowell Tech today (Thursday), Lynn English on Monday, and Somerville on Wednesday.



Carleton scores 10 goals for girls laxers

Abbey Carleton reached the back of the Matignon net for 10 goals, but the Winthrop High girls lacrosse team came out on the short end of a 19-14 decision to Matignon this past Friday in the Lady Vikings’ season opener.

Fatma Tufa turned in a strong performance in goal for Winthrop, making eight saves in her first-ever outing.

“It was our first day on turf due to the weather and lack of field availability in Winthrop,” said WHS head coach Ben Cimmino. “All things considered, the girls fought hard and brought the game within two goals in the final five minutes.”

Cimmino presented the offensive player of the game (POG) award to Carleton and the defensive POG to Tufa. The Berserker Award for effort was earned by Soneida Dahlquist-Martinez.

Cimmino and his crew were set to host Malden yesterday (Wednesday) and Essex Tech tomorrow (Friday) at Cellucci Field. They will make the short trip to Revere Tuesday.


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