WHS boys tennis completes winningest season ever
The Winthrop High boys tennis team attained the most wins in the program’s history with a pair of victories over Northeastern Conference rivals Gloucester and Danvers this past week.
“This has just been totally crazy,” said WHS head coach Marie Finn. “We had lost six of our seven starters to graduation and the lone returnee, Corey Cherico, was a freshman last year who played second doubles, but who is our number one.”
The 2016 Viking squad, which featured a senior-laden team, all of whom had been playing for the varsity since eighth grade, set the standard for wins in a season with 11. However, that crew now will take a back-seat to Finn’s 2017 edition, which closed out this campaign with a 12-4 mark.
“Everyone thought that we would win only a handful of matches, and I couldn’t tell them that they were wrong,” noted Finn. “But this team has some superb athletes who, despite a lack of tennis experience, were able to pick up the game. They also are super-competitive, and they know what it takes to win.”
Cherico, the Viking sophomore who plays at first singles — and thus takes on the best player of every opponent in every match — compiled a sterling 10-6 record, including a come-from-behind, 2-6, 6-4, 6-2 victory over a highly-regarded Danvers opponent.
“Corey played one of his best matches,” noted Finn. “He came back from a 6-2 loss in the first set and just kept getting stronger and stronger.”
Arthur Barasch, who attained a similar 10-6 record this season at second singles, also won in three sets, 6-1, 2-6, 6-2.
Tim Duyon, who did not play at all last year, but who has stepped into the third singles slot with an amazing 14-1 mark, dispatched his Danvers foe in shutout fashion, 6-0, 6-0.
The second doubles tandem of Kevin Dorr & Jaylen Cordes, who went 13-3 for the year, handily won their match, 6-2, 6-0.
Charlie Page and Henry Brooks, Viking hockey linemates, dropped their match in a three-set battle, 0-6, 7-5, 4-6.
The triumph over Gloucester followed a similar script, with all three singles players winning their matches, as did the second doubles duo of Dorr & Cordes. The first doubles pairing of Matt Tarantino and Page fell by a score of 3-6, 3-6.
Finn and her crew now will have their sights set on the upcoming state tournament. The Vikings’ 12-4 mark should earn them at least one home match in the tourney for which the seedings and opening round pairings should be announced by the weekend.
WHS SPORTS roundup
WHS girls tennis also could be record-setters
The Winthrop High girls tennis team also has been reaching new heights this season and now sports a 9-4 record after earning three victories this past week over Danvers (3-2), Lynn English (5-0), and Salem (5-0).
“The girls have been playing with enthusiasm and determination,” said WHS head coach Ken Hodgkins. “We came into this week needing two more wins to qualify for the state tournament, and we won all three of our matches.”
Although the official records have yet to searched, it is believed that the Lady Vikings’ nine victories has set a new standard for the WHS girls tennis program. Last year’s squad, Hodgkins’s first as coach, qualified for the state tourney with an 8-8 mark, which unofficially was believed to be the best-ever record for a girls tennis, as well as the first time that a WHS girls squad qualified for the state tourney.
In the victory over Danvers, Dana Marshall overwhelmed her opponent at third singles, 6-4, 6-1. “It was a hot day and Dana was better-prepared than her opponent for the heat,” noted Hodgkins.
The first doubles pairing of Courtney McSwiney and Sara Kfoury won their match i three sets, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 in a match that Hodgkins termed the duo’s “best of the year.”
However, it was the second doubles contest, with Sophie LaFratta & Kirsten Griffiths representing the Lady Vikings, that provided the most drama. With the match tied at 2-2 (Danvers had taken the first and second singles contests), the outcome came down to the victor in second doubles.
Danvers took the first set, 6-2, but LaFratta and Griffiths battled back to take the second, 6-4. Danvers took a 4-3 lead in the this and deciding set, but LaFratta and Griffiths dug deep and, with members of both team and spectators watching, won the next three games to win the match, 6-4.
Bouyed by their big win over Danvers, the Lady Vikings clinched their state tourney berth with a 5-0 shutout of Lynn English, led by first singles Haley Holden, a 6-3, 6-3 victor, second singles Kaitlyn Ferrara, who won 6-3, 6-1, and McSwiney at third singles, 6-0, 6-4.
Their win over Salem was about as convincing as possible, with the Winthrop girls winning 60 games and Salem taking only four.
Hodgkins and his crew were set to wrap up the regular season this week, trekking to Saugus yesterday (Wednesday) and entertaining Medford today and Gloucester tomorrow.
WHS baseball team vies for tourney in Essex Tech contest today
The Winthrop High baseball team, which has endured a grueling stretch of seven games in nine days thanks to make-ups that were caused by rainouts, will be seeking to clinch a berth in the post-season state tournament when the Vikings host Essex Tech today (Thursday) at Veterans Field at 4:00.
“It will all come down to the game against Essex Tech,” said WHS head coach Frank DeMarco.
The Vikings put together some nice victories this past week. In an 11-4 win over Matignon, Jaidon Brown tossed six strong six innings,allowing four runs, only one of which was earned, and fanning seven enemy batters.
Jack Wallace powered the Viking offensive attack with a double and a triple to deliver three RBI and scored three runs himself.
Mike Upton, who has really been coming on at the plate for Winthrop, contributed a double, a single, two runs scored, and three RBI. Sophomore Jonathan Applebee was a perfect 4-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI.
Winthrop received a standout pitching performance from Luigi Spinazzolla, who spun a complete-game, two-hit shutout in which Luigi struck out 15 Fishermen hitters (of their 21 outs).
“Luigi had great command of his breaking ball which kept Gloucester off balance all day,” noted DeMarco.
Wallace once again paced the Vikings at the plate, unloading a bases-loaded, bases-clearing double that soared over the head of the Gloucester center fielder.
Jack Adamson also had two hits and two runs scored.
In a 9-8 setback to Northeast Regional Vocational, Upton once again was swinging the bat with authority, going 3-for-4 with a run scored and three RBI.
Jack Wallace continued his torrid hitting, crushing the ball all day, going 4-for-4 with two singles, a double, and a triple for an RBI and three runs scored.
Dan Gillis tossed five strong innings, yielding six runs, of which only two were earned, and striking out four. Dan also contributed two RBI at the plate.
Spinazzola was 2-for-2 with a pair of walks, two runs scored, and an RBI.
“We committed five errors that led to six unearned runs,” noted DeMarco. “We took seven third strikes at the plate — you can’t beat anyone doing that.”
WHS softball team defeats Pope John
The Winthrop High softball team defeated Pope John of Everett, 9-2, Tuesday evening under the lights at Cellucci Field.
Lady Viking pitcher Kaitlyn Carter tossed the first six innings, allowing just two runs and one hit. Taylor Impemba came on in the seventh to close out the victory with a flourish, striking out all three Pope John basters.
Jess Martin blasted a three run homer to pace the Winthrop hitting attack. Maddie Fainga’a went 3-for-5 and Bella Perrotti was 2-for-5 to make major contributions to the WHS triumph.
Senior Night for WHS girls lacrosse
The Winthrop High girls lacrosse team was set to hold Senior Night festivities last night (Wednesday) in the Lady Vikings’ season finale with Revere.
Seniors Abby Carleton and Danielle Bocchio were to be honored for their contributions to the WHS girls lacrosse program.
From the Press Box
Back to Back
By: Jim Lederman
The Lady Vikings tennis team under the tutelage of Kenny Hodgkins qualified for the MIAA tourney with a (4-1) victory over the Lynn English Bulldogs, at the Wallace B. McClean tennis courts on Friday afternoon.
The victory improved the Lady Vikings to (8-4). Captain Haley Holden, number one player clinched the win with an impressive victory to set the pace.
“We are thrilled to win for coach Hodgkins,” said the ‘Notre Dame University’ bound senior (in the top ten of her graduating class). “We are thankful to have the tennis courts directly across from our new school,” it made all the difference to my team. “I want to thank the ‘soc’ committee for keeping the courts (sorry no parking lot!).
“WE lost six seniors but coach Hodgkins helped us build a great program,” said captain Haley. The three captains are Holden, Kailyn Ferrara and Courtney McSwiney; this is the second year in a row for a program that never had a winning season. For coach Hodgkins, it was his second year of coaching and he is working year round to make the Vikings a strong program.
Kenny was a tennis captain at Salem State. His two young brothers Luke (captain of Salem State in 2017) are following him. Noah (Vikings captain in 2016 and the Bentley Swift Award winner) will keep the family legacy alive for the Salem State Vikings.
Coach Marie Finn’s boy’s tennis team is (12-4). The boys qualified for the MIAA Tourney for the second year in a row. The 12 victories establish a new WHS tennis team record.
Coach Finn had 30 players report for spring p ractice. Soph captain Corey Cherico is a ‘number one’ player with a strong future at the net!
The construction of the new Ingleside Courts will add more players to the program. Coach Finn remarked, “we have a court next to our new school, when school gets out the players are at practice 5 minutes after school.”
Senior Arthur Barasch commented on playing for coach Finn, “Sometimes there is a lot of pressure in high school sports, coach Finn makes it fun, no matter what, we are a very close team.”
Coach Finn was proud to tell me, “We could have a home match in the tourney, who would think that was possible when practice started and after our struggle to save our home court.”
Raise the Racquets!
Vikings tennis strong!
Let the Games Begin!
Making a Racket
The noise was loud last week at the Wallace B. McClean tennis courts. Coach Marie Finn’s boy’s tennis team set a Viking record. The win over Malden Catholic was huge.
The Boston Globe – North section on Sunday, reported a feature on the success for coach Finn (in her 28th year coaching) recorded their 12th victory of the campaign last week.
Coach Finn and her (Soc) committee recorded a big victory with the help of many Winthrop tennis supporters. The plan to tear down the courts and build a parking lot was defeated. Marie and her team and the 50 tennis players at WHS are building another very strong program.
Led by sophomore captain Cory Cherico and seniors Timmy Duyon, Charlie Page, Arthur Barasch and Matt Tarantino, they will look forward to the MIAA Playoffs.
The ‘tennis guru’ retired WHS principal and ex-coach Dr. John Domenico, called home last week to salute the coach and team.
John is retired and spends winter in Arizona. John led the ‘revolt’ to keep the legendary ‘McClean Courts.”
Tennis is stronger than ever in Winthrop!
We salute the tennis team!
Let the Games Begin!
The Super Sisters
The ‘Lax’ report is on the rise with coaches Brian Donnelly and Ben Cimino building strong teams.
The Lady Vikings’ ‘Lax’ team has the Carleton sisters on a tear! Captain Abby Carleton has 125-career goals; she has 50 goals in 2017 with a week left in the season.
Sophomore sensation – aka the Super Soph – Emma Carleton has 48 goals and she is a future NEC all-star.
The Lax teams are just a few years playing the varsity sports. The new ‘turf’ stadium will be ready next spring and the NEC will see the Vikings Lacrosse teams will have winning programs!
Raise the Stix!
We salute the Carleton sisters!
Let the Games Begin!
Super Bowl Champions in Town
The Arthur T. Cummings School had a surprise visitor in town Thursday afternoon.
Sean Stellato – New England Patriots player agent (six Patriots) and ‘number six’ – punter Ryan Allen (holds super bowl record for longest punt in 2017) visited school to thrill 500 Cummings School students and teachers.
This was the sixth appearance for a Patriots player in town. Ryan talked to the students about “never giving up and studying.” I only played one year of high school football but it gave me the opportunity to go the University of Oregon and get drafted by the New England Patriots.”
Principal Ryan Hegarty did a great job with the students and surprised them after they completed their MCAS testing.
Ryan would like to thank Gus Martucci and Mutual Beef for providing 50 books – NO Backing Down by Sean Stellato for the students to enjoy reading.
“No Backing Down” is a story that is in production to make a movie for the big screen.
We salute Ryan Heraty and author Sean Stellato
Let the Games Begin!
The Ingleside Tennis Court Debacle
The construction of the new “Ingleside Tennis Courts”, at the legendary Ingleside Park is another controversial project last fall the town awarded a contract to build two new tennis courts to Quirk Construction Company of Georgetown. The summer program for the highly successful parks and recreation program led by director Sean Driscoll is planning a large tennis program at Ingleside – will the new courts be ready for July?
In October – 2016, 900 residents signed a petition and advertisement to stop the plan to tear down the Wallace B. McClean tennis court opposite the new Winthrop Middle/High School. To build a parking lot!
The ‘Soc’ committee (Save Our Courts) had a three-month battle with town manager Jim McKenna and the town council. The ‘Soc’ committee prevailed and the courts are filled with student-athletes.
The tennis teams (boys and girls) 50 players strong – shows the popularity of tennis in town. (Players are high school age up to 80 years young!
Both tennis teams this spring have established new records. The difference was the courts are across from the beautiful new Middle/High School.
Update: The contract with Quirk Construction has cost the town $500,000. When I drove by the ‘new courts’ last week, after three days of rain, the courts were flooded. The Ingleside Courts are a debacle. The McKenna administration has failed! What will Parks and Rec do?
Let the Games Begin!
The New Author in Town
A new baby was born in town last week and perhaps she will follow her mom and become an author or maybe a columnist.
Kudos to Kate Anslinger and husband on the birth of Charlotte Ray Anslinger. Proud Mom is Transcript columnist and author Kate.
Kate has been a strong addition to our Transcript staff and loves the Town of Winthrop!
Mom and daughter will be back at the Winthrop Book Depot and Café next month. Congrats to K.A.!
Apropos of Nothing
Celtics rookie Jaylen Brown is 20-years old. Two years ago he was in high school – today he is playing in the NBA East Final games.
The Celtics received a solid 7th game (26-points) victory over Washington. The Green “Ko’d the Wizards” – thanks to Kelly Olynyk.
The Celtics should draft a ‘big man’ who can rebound and b lock shots. How about Jackson from Kansas or Zach Collins from Gonzaga.
Basketball on ‘Memorial Day’ just like the good old days in Boston!
The food at Rossetti’s is still ‘number one’ in town. After a speaking day at the Cummings School, Patriot Punter Ryan Allen enjoyed the great food at Rossetti’s with his agent Sean Stellato and The Voice! The veal is tops!
Has anybody seen Pablo Sandoval? What a waste of money.
When will the Winthrop summer basketball league return?
New hoop coach David Sacco is hard at work; he will build a winning program on the Chris Tsiotos Court!
Are you ready for some football?
Patriots practice begins in 8 weeks!
Coach Anthony ‘Butch’ Martucci was proud to tell me one of his former Lady Bulldawgs (who let the Dawgs out?) was named captain elect of her college hockey team. Katie Jeter will lead the UMass Boston team next winter – Congrats ‘Captain K’.
The Boston Celtics have never had a player lead the NBA in scoring. Can you name the six players who played for the Celtics that previously playing in the NBA before they played in the Garden and led the league in scoring?
How many NBA titles did Tom Heinsohn and Bill Russell win and how many ‘rings’ do they have?
Can you name the six ex-WHS Viking basketball players who played in the 1976 NCAA Division three ‘March Madness’ playoffs?
How many WHS Vikings teams have defeated the St. Mary’s of Lynn Spartans?
Who do you like to win the NBA Crown in 2017?
Celtics Return to Boston
The NBA season for the Boston Celtics did not end in Cleveland. The ‘Celtics Price’ carried the ‘green team’ to a thrilling (111-108) victory over the Cavaliers on Sunday night.
The victory ended the Cavaliers 13-game post season winning streak. The Celtics got blown out of the TD Garden last week losing the first two east final games, the last game by 50! (130-86).
The experts figured Cleveland would sweep the series (4-0). The Celtics minus their leading scorer Isaiah Thomas (29-pint average) with a season ending hip injury, made an incredible second half comeback, after thrilling by 21 points at halftime.
Marcus Smart (27-points) Avery Bradley (20 points) received as complete team effort to silence the capacity crown in Cleveland.
The Celtics will return for game number five, tonight Thursday) in Boston – the season is not over!
Let’s Go Celtics!
Let the Games Begin!