Categories: Sports

WHS Sports Roundup 5-16-24

Nick Cappuccio sets new WHS mark in 100 dash

It is a sports truism that records are made to be broken, and that’s what happened on the track at Miller Field at Friday’s tri-meet among Winthrop, Saugus, and Excel Academy when Viking junior Nicholas Cappuccio wrote himself into the Winthrop High record books in the 100 meter dash with a clocking of 10.6 seconds, eclipsing the mark of 10.88 set by the legendary Steve Staffier — who was the New England champion (and, like Cappuccio, also a star running back on the gridiron) — that had stood for 40 years.

Cappuccio’s record-setting feat in the 100 (Nick also won the 200 dash in a time of 22.2 and took second in the discus) was the chief individual highlight for the Vikings, who defeated both Saugus (85-50) and Excel (84-45).

Other notable performances for the Vikings came from Thomas D’Amico, who topped the field in the triple jump with a final landing of 35′-2″, followed closely by teammate Liam Natareno, who came in second in the triple with his leap of 34′-4″; double-winner George Galuris, who had the best discus toss of the day with a spin of 107′-7″ and beat all comers (by more than 35 feet!) in the javelin with a throw of 142′-8″; Gabriel Perez (5:30.3) and Natareno (5:37.0), who went 1-2 vs. the field in the 1-mile; Lorenzo Prevosti (11:56.3) and Thomas D’Amico (11:56.9), who likewise finished  1-2 in the 2-mile; and Aaron Armitstead, who scored points vs. both Excel and Saugus in the high jump, long jump, 400 hurdles, and 110 hurdles.

Two straight for boys lacrosse, ranked 16th in D-4

The Winthrop High boys lacrosse team got back on the winning track with a pair of victories this past week over Northeastern South Division rivals Gloucester and Salem.

Coach Brian Donnelly’s Vikings now stand at 8-5 on the season and are ranked 16th in the state in Division 4 in the MIAA’s power ratings. If the Vikings can maintain that status, they will be assured of a home game in the Round of 32 in the post-season state tourney.

“After a string of tough games, we got the response we wanted from our players with a pair or definitive wins,” said Donnelly.

In this past Thursday’s contest at Gloucester, the Vikings defeated the Fisherman, 16-11, paced by what Donnelly termed “another pair of dominant performances by Ace Daignault and Seth Sacco.

Ace had five goals on the day and was just a menace around the crease. Seth continued to prove an issue for opposing defensemen as well, putting in six goals and three assists. They have an excellent two-man game that continues to develop despite usually drawing our opponent’s best two defensemen on the field.”

Sophomore Colin O’Leary also had a goal and two assists.

“Colin has moved from a long pole middle to getting more looks as a short-stick middle,” said Donnelly. “It was also great to see sophomore Thomas Babine step up as a faceoff guy and get us some solid wins.”

The Vikings followed up that win with a 16-6 victory over Salem this past Monday at Miller Field.

“It was a great team win,” said Donnelly. “We were able to give a lot of our varsity players some excellent time. It was good to see some goals coming from Steven Lindinger, who always works super hard as a defensive middie both in practice and in games, as well as getting some of our other guys some solid time. 

“Overall, our defense has been doing well clearing the ball with all three close defensemen, Donovan Cassidy, Daniel Thomai, and Sean Dolan, improving their stick skills and footwork,” continued Donnelly. “They are a solid core who work hard to improve. Freshman Paul Ferrara has been a huge help coming on the wing as well and has taken a much bigger role as the season has progressed. We have a lot of guys stepping up both on the field and in more leadership roles which is great. 

“Down the line it will be important to have players like goalie Hunter Fife continue to be an anchor for us in net and Michael Holgerson continue to give us the confidence and experience in big games,” Donnelly added. “We have a string of tough games coming up with Marblehead and D-4 Hamilton Wenham slated for this week, so we just want to continue to compete and string together four full quarters of solid Viking lacrosse as we head into our last two weeks of games.”

 Donnelly and his crew have five games left in the regular season.  They took on Marblehead yesterday (Wednesday) and will host Hamilton-Wenham tomorrow (Friday) at Miller Field at 4:30. They will entertain Lynnfield on Monday under the lights at Miller at 6:00 and then will travel to Salem on Tuesday before returning home next Thursday to entertain Beverly at 5:00 in the season finale.

Girls track runs to fifth straight

The Winthrop High girls outdoor track and field team made it five victories in a row with wins over Saugus (76-60) and Excel Academy (107-17) in a tri-meet held last Friday at Miller Field.

Top performers for the Lady Vikings included Ariana Cappuccio, who outsprinted the field in the 100 dash in 13.0 seconds; Reese Brodin, who topped the field in the javelin with a throw of 81′-7″; Shannon Abbott, who was the best in the 100 hurdles with a clocking of 18.4; the duo of Hailey DeMarco (3:01) and Danika Ripley (3:06.5) who went 1-2 in the 800; and the tandem of April Ferguson (6:48.2) and Ella Giacalone (7:11.5) who did likewise in the 1-mile.

WHS girls lacrosse ranks 24th in D-4;100 points for Parker 

The Winthrop High girls lacrosse team has been on a roll of late, winning three straight contests, improving to 6–10 on the season, and moving up in the MIAA Division 4 power rankings to #24, which would qualify coach Anthony Hatzisavas’s squad for the post-season state tourney.

This past Monday, the Lady Vikings cruised past Salem, 15-5, which was highlighted by senior captain Hannah Parker notching her 100th career point.

“Hannah has been a tremendous player for this program during her four years and is even more impactful off the field,” said Hatzisavas. “She is a three-sport captain and also class president. I can’t talk enough about the great things Hannah has done for this school, so this is just another thing to add to the list.”

Fellow senior captain Sam Dimento has also been a huge asset on the field for the Vikings.

“Sam plays the game of lacrosse the right way and is always in the right spot and makes the right play every time,” said Hatzisavas.

The coach also lauded the play of senior captain Guilia Bordanaro. “Giulia has been an anchor for us on the defensive end,” Hatzisavas said. “Our defense has improved every game and Guilia is a huge part of that.”

The coach also had words of praise for other members of the team.

“Junior Talia Martucci has been a huge factor for us on the offensive end,” he said. “She is a great goal-scorer and also has been doing a great job finding her open teammates. Adrianna Rizzotto has been great in net for us and is becoming one of the best goalies in the conference. It’s very nice being able to rely on her to make some huge saves for us.”

Hatzisavas and his crew will be looking for a strong finish down the stretch run of their season. They took on Marblehead yesterday (Wednesday) and will travel to Bishop Fenwick today (Thursday). They will host Somerville on Monday and will wrap up the regular season when they entertain Salem on Tuesday.

Two more wins for flag football team, now 9-1

The Winthrop High flag football team improved its record to 9-1 on the season with a pair of victories this past week over Peabody and Pentucket on the latter’s home field in West Newbury.

The Lady Vikings defeated Peabody, 34-12, and Pentucket, 34-18.

“We had a huge defensive performance from Kate Brodin,” said WHS head coach John Cross. “The defensive unit led by coach Eddie Marsden was great in bending, but not breaking, shutting down both of our opponents in the second half of each game. Offensively, we had big games from Reese Brodin and Kaylee Farrell at wide receiver. Hannah Parker was great in the center position, securing many first downs.

Cross and his squad, who are in second place in their conference, are scheduled to take on Peabody and Salem this evening (Thursday) at Russell Field in Cambridge and Chelsea and Needham next Thursday in Chelsea.

WHS baseball looking to qualify for tourney

The Winthrop High baseball team earned a pair of tight victories in the past two weeks which bodes well for the Vikings as they enter the stretch run of their season in hopes of qualifying for a state tourney berth.

Coach Mark DeGregorio’s squad stands at 5-10 (with five games to play) and is ranked 34th in Division 4 in the MIAA power ratings. A team needs to achieve either a .500 record or finish in the top 32 in the power rankings in order to reach the post-season.

“We feel like we are starting to play some of our best ball at the right time,” said DeGregorio midway through a stretch of four challenging contests in which the Vikings won two games and dropped two, one by one-run and the other in extra innings.

Last Friday, Winthrop hosted non-league rival Wakefield, which currently sits at the number five seed in Division 3.

“We started Matthew DeCarney on the mound,” said Degregorio. “He pitched really well. His fastball had a lot of life to it and he was getting his slider over for strikes, which has been the key to Matthew having good outings this year.”

The teams were scoreless through the first two innings, but Wakefield broke through for three runs in the third. However, the Vikings responded with three markers of their own in the bottom of the inning.

Evan Rockefeller led off by beating out an infield single.  Will Murphy and Joe Pumphret then laid down two perfect bunts that the Wakefield defense was unable to field because of the placement.  With the bases loaded, Winthrop scored runs on a fielder’s choice and a sacrifice by Phil Boncore. 

Winthrop moved out to a 5-3 lead thanks to some nice hitting by Billy Hayes, Petey Silverman, and Will Murphy. DeGregorio then turned the ball over to Jay Fotiades after DeCarney’s pitch began to rise. Jay pitched well over the final few innings, but Wakefield was able to tie the game in the top of the seventh after a few misplays and then was ultimately able to come out on top in extras in the ninth inning.

“It was a hard-fought game and a tough loss because Wakefield is an excellent team and it would have been a great win for us,” said DeGregorio. “However, I think it showed that we can compete with solid, playoff-bound teams.

“We were fortunate enough to be able to play the very next day against Sharon, so we didn’t have time to think about the extra-inning loss for too long,” added DeGregorio.

Matthew Reardon earned the starting nod on the mound and did not disappoint. “Last year Matthew lost a 2-1 pitching duel to Sharon and this year he was determined to not let history repeat itself,” said DeGregorio. “Another big change for us in this game was Spencer Parco getting his first start at catcher.  Spencer has been our third baseman for most of last year and this year.  He really did a great job behind the plate, blocking the ball and holding his own. It was great to see as a coach how he was willing to play a position that he hasn’t played in years.  He is a very good athlete so we had a feeling he would be able to get the job done and that is exactly what he did.”

Sharon was able to score a few runs in the first inning on some hits and a misplayed ball in the field, “but the coaches looked at Matthew after the top of the first and saw the intensity. He was not happy about the top of the first and he then went out and was absolutely masterful. He shut down Sharon for the remainder of the game,” DeGregorio said. “He was dominant.  It was the hardest we have ever seen him throw.  It was actually funny, because at one point in the game, you could hear some of the fans making comments about how hard he was throwing.”

Reardon tossed his second complete game of the year, yielding just two earned runs, walking one, and fanning eight enemy batters.

Winthrop tied the game in the bottom of the first, loading the bases early and producing runs on some base hits and a running play that the Vikings have practiced for a while to try and get a cheap run. 

“With two outs and the bases loaded, we desperately wanted to get the tying run in before the third out,” said DeGregorio. “We put a play on where our runner at second takes such a big lead we are hoping the pitcher will try and pick him off.  That is exactly what he did.  As soon as the pitcher spun, the runner at second stopped to get in a run-down, while the runner at third took off for home. It was executed perfectly to tie the game.

“This game against Sharon was one of the most fun games I have coached in my last three years in the program,” DeGregorio added. “We executed that running play, we called three bunts for a hit and got all three down perfectly, and we called multiple pick-off plays and got two huge pick-offs in key situations.  All in all, the game was one the few games that as a coach you have a very hard time finding mistakes or something that needs to be fixed in the next practice.”

Petey Silverman, Joe Pumphret, Mike Donahue, and Spencer Parco were the hitting stars for the Vikings.

“It was a great game and the coaches were very pleased with the team’s effort over those two games,” said DeGregorio.

The Vikings next hosted Beverly this past Friday. “Beverly is always a good team and we were facing their #1 pitcher, who has basically won every game he has pitched this season,” said DeMarco. “We knew it was going to be a tough game for us, especially as it has been a while since Winthrop beat Beverly in baseball.”

Senior captain DeCarney earned the start against Beverly. “Matthew has been throwing the ball really well as of late,” noted DeGregorio. The decision proved to be the right one, as Matthew went the distance and pitched a complete game in only 80 pitches.

“We talked to him before the game about attacking hitters and throwing strikes” DeGregorio said. “We did not want them to have any free passes and he did not disappoint, as he only walked two batters, compared to five strikeouts.”

Beverly grabbed an early lead with a run in the third inning on two base hits.  Winthrop was able to limit the damage with a great play from Silverman in center field to cut down a runner on a force play to third base.  That would prove to be the only run that Beverly would score, as DeCarney didn’t allow another base hit for the remainder of the game.

Winthrop drew even in the bottom of the fourth on a base hit by Parco (who has been really hot at the plate as of late), who then proceeded to steal two bases to get to third.  After a walk drawn by Billy Hayes, the Vikings put on a first-and-third play that they have worked on over the past few years. Hayes walked off first to draw the pitcher’s attention, with the pitcher having to choose between letting the runner go or trying to get Hayes in a run-down. The Beverly hurler chose the latter option and as soon as he threw the ball, Parco took off from third and scored the game-tying run.

“We were unsuccessful for the most part generating anything offensively against their ace, so we thought it would be a good opportunity to try and put pressure on Beverly,” noted DeGregorio.

The score remained at 1-1 going into the bottom of the seventh. Parco led off with a walk after a great at-bat. Winthrop then decided to sacrifice Parco to second base to try and get him into scoring position.  Billy Hayes laid down a great bunt that Beverly was unable to field, so he reached first as well. 

Now with runners at first and second, Michael Donahue tried to bunt to get Parco to third with one out.  Beverly put on a wheel play to try and cut down the lead runner at third, but they were unsuccessful and Winthrop had the bases loaded.

“At that time we decided to try and get the game-winning run across on a safety squeeze, since we only had one hit going into the bottom of the seventh and we had just bunted successfully two times in a row,” said DeGregorio. “It turned out to be the right call.  Phil Boncore bunted the ball down the first base line and Parco was able to come home with the game-winning run.

“It was a great team win,” said DeGregorio. “We got some great defense throughout the game.  We turned a double play and we made two diving plays. It was a great team effort against a very good pitcher and a notoriously very good Beverly team.”

The very next day the Vikings traveled to Swampscott for a makeup from the Wednesday rainout. Winthrop turned to Reardon, who has been great on the mound this year.  

Swampscott was able to score and take a 1-0 lead in the first inning on two errors, but after the shaky start, the Vikings were able to settle in, tying the game up with two outs in the top of the third after freshman Joseph Pumphret was able to get on base, steal second, and come home on an RBI single by Silverman.

Unfortunately, that would prove to be the extent of the Winthrop offense on the day, as the Vikings managed just four base hits from Boncore, Silverman, Hayes, and Parco. Swampscott meanwhile, was able to push across the go-ahead, and eventual winning, run in the fourth and could have had more, but Hayes made a diving catch in right field to save two runs 

“Matthew Reardon did a great job of battling throughout the game,” observed Degregorio. “He pitched another complete game in only 78 pitches.  He did a great job of keeping Swampscott at bay, and it was just another game to add to an impressive season for him.

“We have five games left on the schedule with three NEC games and then we finish with two non-conference games,” DeGregorio added. “We will need to be competitive and try to win a few of those games in order to get into the playoffs this year.”

The Vikings were scheduled to play at Saugus yesterday (Wednesday) and will host Salem tomorrow afternoon (Friday), Marblehead on Monday, Amesbury next Wednesday, and Manchester-Essex next Friday.

Walk-off win for WHS softball on Senior Saturday

The Winthrop High softball team celebrated Senior Day in appropriate fashion with a walk-off, 8-7 victory over Northeastern Conference rival Swampscott Saturday morning at the Little League field. Even more appropriately, it was senior captain Carolina Gonzalez, who was honored before the game along with fellow senior Gianna Indrisano for their contributions to the Lady Viking softball program, who delivered the game-winning RBI with the walk-off base hit. 

Makayla Herdt pitched all seven innings for Winthrop, striking out six Lady Big Blue batters and helping herself at the plate with a triple, a single, and an RBI. Fran Indrisano had two RBIs and Deanna Nee had two singles with an RBI as the designated player. Izzy Cash had a single and a double and threw out another runner at the plate to catcher Fran Indrisano.

“It was truly an amazing game to coach and watch, with strong hitting, fielding, and overall intensity,” said WHS head coach Erin Vercruysse.

The dramatic triumph was the second win for the Lady Vikings in the past week. Last Monday, Winthrop defeated Excel Academy at home, winning in five innings, 18-6. Hannah Barrett pitched a complete game, striking out 10 and only allowing four hits. Izzy Cash and Makayla Herdt tallied home runs for the Lady Vikings, Makalya’s being a walk-off that invoked the mercy rule in the bottom of the fifth. Fran Indrisano had a triple that turned into a roundtripper following an error by Excel’s third baseman. Overall, the Lady Vikings accumulated 15 hits on the night with every girl on the roster seeing playing time in the field. 

“As coaches, we were very proud of the entire team’s performance,” said Vercruysse. “They showed up to play and made it happen.”

Although the Lady Vikings dropped contests to Danvers and Salem during the past week, Vercryusse was upbeat about her team’s effort.

“We went to Danvers and played a great game,” said Vercruysse. “Although they mercied us in five innings, with a score of 18-1, the girls played tough and kept their heads in the game. “

Highlights for Winthrop came from capt. Amelia Spencer, who went 2-for-2 with a single and a double, scoring the only run; Carolina Gonzalez, who had the RBI; and Izzy Cash, who had a spectacular night in center field with two putouts and throwing out a Danvers runner at home plate. 

“Izzy’s arm has been stellar and her ability to track the ball in the outfield has led to some big outs for us,” noted Vercruysse. Jenna Whitehead tallied three putouts at second base and Makayla Herdt pitched all five innings with intensity. 

This past Friday the Lady Vikings trekked to Salem’s Mack Park, coming up short, 16-4. in five innings. “The team really showed up behind a strong pitching performance from Makayla Herdt,” said Vercruysse. Deanna Nee had two singles and a double for two RBIs and also threw a runner out at the plate from left field. 

“The team showed much improvement from our first game of the season against Salem, earning recognition from the Salem asst. coach,” noted Vercruysse. 

Winthrop will host NEC foe Saugus this Sunday at 11:00 in a make-up game and then will entertain Gloucester Monday afternoon and Lynn Classical Thursday afternoon.

Transcript Staff

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