Categories: Sports

His Shift Not’s Over: Hockey MVP Petey Silverman Focused on Bringing a State Title to Winthrop

As the unanimous choice for Northeastern Conference hockey MVP this season, Winthrop High School junior Petey Silverman is already in an elite class among all-time Vikings.

Silverman’s spectacular season – consisting of 29 goals and 27 assists, a five-goal outburst against Danvers at home, and other hat tricks – is already firmly in the record books.

But his individual accomplishments aside, the 5-foot-10, 150-pound superstar is focused on one big goal ahead: a state championship for the Winthrop High boys hockey team. It is a goal that has eluded the Vikings’ powerful program since 1976 when Winthrop won the Division 1 state title.

Responding to speculation that he would be taking his talents to prep school in the fall, Silverman told the Transcript that he will be in a Viking uniform for the 2023-24 season.

“I will be back,” said Silverman in addressing the big question. “Yes, I looked at schools, but I want to finish my four years of high school in Winthrop and playing for Coach Dunbar and Coach Norris. My goal is to put up a [state championship] banner. We’ve got some key guys coming back: Philip Boncore, Mikey Holgersen, Jay Fotiades, Luke Gthinji, Aidan Survilas – and our whole defensive corps is coming back, which is Billy Hayes, Hunter Fife, Colin O’Leary, Jackson Andy, and Thomas Babine. And I think some of the eighth graders can prove themselves and get ice time.”

Future is Bright

WHS head coach Dale Dunbar said that Silverman – who has 100 career points – has an opportunity to enter his name

among the all-time greats, a list that includes, but is not limited to Jackie Burke (Harvard), Mike Eruzione (BU, USA Olympic team), Vinnie Eruzione (Holy Cross), Chucky Sullivan (BU), John Tiano (RPI), Sal Tiano (Dartmouth), Joe Giaquinto (BC football), and Chris LeBlanc (Merrimack). Dunbar himself (BU, Vancouver Canucks, Boston Bruins) is certainly high on that list.

“He’s right up there with the best,” said Dunbar. “You look at his stats, you look at what he’s done. By the time, he’s done here, if he stays healthy, he’ll be the all-time leading goal scorer. He’s already been an MVP, an All-Star twice. I assume if he has the same type of year next year, he can repeat both honors. So, Petey would be the most decorated player in Winthrop High history.”

A Championship Season and a Playoff Victory

Petey Silverman was a force from Game 1 to Game 22, scoring goals at a torrid clip and helping to lead the Vikings to a 16-3-1 record, an NEC title, and playoff victory over Belchertown. The Vikings were eliminated by Amesbury, 4-3, in overtime in the Round of 16.

Silverman said his linemates, Jack Hayes (“My buddy,” said Petey), and Colin Banfield, were instrumental in the success of the Vikings’ season.

A Viking captain, Silverman couldn’t pinpoint his career scoring stats (It was actually  Coach Dunbar who confirmed his 100th point) or elaborate on the magnitude of being an All-Scholastic as junior. The Boston Globe and Boston Herald will soon be announcing their selections.

An Early Start in Winthrop Hockey

The son of Peter Silverman and Leanne (Pierce) Silverman (a former WHS girls basketball player and softball player for Coach Ron Spinney; her older sisters, Laurie and Linda, are also former Vikings), Petey learned to skate in the George Barker-Sean Donahue-led WYH program at Larsen Rink at the Mike Eruzione Center and played for the Winthrop Mites from ages 4 to 8.

Following his days in Winthrop Youth Hockey, he joined the Boston Shamrocks select team before moving over to the North Suburban Wings.

After the team was limited in its game participation due to COVID-19 in his freshman season, Silverman became an impact player in his sophomore year at Winthrop High, earning All-Conference recognition. His speed on the ice, knowledge of the game, and accuracy are his biggest assets.

“I got a little bit bigger and stronger, and Coach Dunbar’s camp really helped me going into the season,” said Silverman, who stands 5-foot-10 and weighs 150 pounds. “Coach Dunbar and Coach Norris have been tremendous in terms of my development.”

Petey said his parents have also paved the way.

“They’re always there for me. They’re always cheering for me and want me to do my best. I’m thankful for them.” Petey’s older sister, Maddie, played one season at Winthrop High before enrolling at Tilton. She currently competes for the Stevenson University team in Maryland and is studying Chemistry.

Asked who is favorite hockey player is, Petey replied, “Patrice Bergeron, two-way forward. That’s how I see myself, a two-way forward.”

 With hockey season over, Silverman has turned his attention to Winthrop varsity baseball, where he will be a shortstop for the Vikings this season.

But next winter, the Petey Silverman Show returns to Larsen Rink with a group determined to win it all in 2024.

WHS Boys Lacrosse Returns to Varsity Status, Opens Season Today

The Winthrop High boys lacrosse program, which competed last year as a club team because of a lack of numbers of high school-age athletes, is returning for 2023 as a full-fledged varsity sport.

“We are excited to be back competing at a varsity level after going club last year due to numbers,” said long-time head coach Brian Donnelly, whose team competed primarily against junior varsity teams in 2023. 

“We have had a few upperclassmen come back to the sport and have a huge crop of underclassmen who are ready to compete, allowing us to have full varsity and JV squads,” Donnelly said. “We have all three of our captains returning with senior Jack Hayes leading our attack, junior Robert Rich leading our midfielders, and junior goalie Hunter Fife leading the defense.

“Our defense has an excellent combination of strength, agility, and experience with Donovan Cassidy and Dan Thomai, and we are really happy to round it off with senior Welvis Acosta. They are an awesome anchor that will allow our team to compete in all of our games, and with Hunter Fife in net, it really gives us a chance to compete and be successful even against our toughest opponents,” continued Donnelly.

“We have a lot more depth this year at midfield with juniors Alex Daignault and Robert Rich, and sophomores Steven Lindinger and Michal Holgersen poised to really make some noise at the position,” Donnelly added.

Donelly will be assisted by assistant coach Rich Cifuni.

“Rich has done an amazing job over the years building up the youth program and working with the incoming freshmen, so the varsity squad will see a lot of action from the freshman class with Colin O’ Leary, Ace Daignault, Seth Sacco, and Sean Dolan all positioned to make an impact at the varsity level,” Donnelly added.

The Vikings have had a successful pre-season. Winthrop took part in a Jamboree in which they defeated Malden Catholic, 7-3, and Medford, 8-3.

“It was excellent to see all the players executing what we worked on in the first week,” said Donnelly. “The growth potential for this team is through the roof and I am very excited to see how they continue to improve and meld together as a squad.”

The Vikings are scheduled to open their season today (Thursday) when they host Salem on the turf at Miller Field at 4:30. They will entertain Weymouth next Friday (April 7) at 5:30.

New Coach, New Season for Winthrop High Softball

The Winthrop High softball team, under the direction of new head coach Erin Vercruysse, will open its season this Monday when the Lady Vikings travel to O’Bryant High of Boston. 

The 2023 edition of the Winthrop softball team will be led by senior captains Samantha Harrison and McKenzie Margardo.

The other members of the squad are: Juliana Demers, Gabrielle Golden, Lily Tallent, Gia Bakos, Zoe Bakos, Gianna Indrisano, Carolina Gonzalez, Amelia Spencer, Isabella Cash, Hannah Barrett, Emma Harrison, Tina Fabiano, and Jenna Whitehead.

“We’re looking forward to our season behind a strong group of seniors,” said Vercruysse, a Winthrop resident who has extensive, life-long experience in softball from T-ball through college.

After Monday’s season-opener, the Lady Vikings will host Swampscott next Wednesday (April 5) at the Little League Field at 4:30.

WHS Girls Lacrosse Opens Season

The Winthrop High girls lacrosse team will open its season today (Thursday) when coach Emma Marrs and her crew trek to Salem. 

“We are really looking forward to the season,” said Marrs. “We lost three starters, which will definitely have an impact, but we are ready to adjust and come out strong this season, playing as a unit.”

The 2023 varsity team consists of Giulia Bordonaro, Gabrielle Buonopane, Avalina Coffey, Kira Diaz, Samantha DiMento, Reese Ferrara, Annika Holgersen, Emma Holmes, Julia Holmes, Abigail Holmes, Talia Martucci, Mia Norris, Hannah Parker, Tegan Pereira, Elizabeth Quinn, Isabella Rice, Adrianna Rizzotto Adrianna, and Kailey Sullivan.

After today’s opener, the Lady Vikings will host Saugus next Thursday (April 6) on the turf at Miller Field at 4:30.

Spring Sports Season Swings Into High Gear

The 2023 spring sports season swings into high gear this week for Winthrop High athletes. The boys’ lacrosse team opens its season today (Thursday), hosting Salem at 4:30 at Miller Field. The girls lacrosse team, led by returning head coach Emma Marrs, also will open its season today at Salem. The Lady Vikings will entertain Saugus next Thursday at Miller at 4:30. The WHS baseball team, under the direction of head coach Mark DeGregorio, will host Northeast Regional at Veterans Field this Monday, with the season-opening pitch set for 4:00. The Vikings will entertain Peabody next Thursday (April 6) at 4:00. New softball head coach Erin Vercruysse takes her team to O’Bryant High on Monday and will host Sswampscott next Wednesday (April 5) at the Little League Field at 4:30. The WHS boys and girls outdoor track and field teams, led by Nik Beshere and Warren MacPhail respectively, will open their season this coming Wednesday (April 5) at Swampscott.  The WHS boys and girls tennis teams swing into action Tuesday vs. Watertown. Long-time boys head coach Marie Finn and her crew will host Watertown at the high school courts, while new girls head coach Jeff Beck and his squad will trek to Watertown. Coach Angela Hickey’s sailing team is scheduled to open its season with a regatta at the Courageous Sailing Center in Charlestown.

Cary Shuman

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