Categories: Sports

WHS Sports Roundup

Cappuccio, Galuris are NEC Champs; Both Set New School Records

Nicholas Cappuccio and George Galuris won Northeastern Conference (NEC) championships at the NEC meet that was held this past Saturday in Danvers.

Cappuccio won his title in the 200 meter dash with a time of 22.81. Nick came in second in two other events, the 100 dash and the long jump. His sprint of 11.18 in the 100 was just behind the winning time of 11.11. In the long jump, his flight of 21′-11″ was two inches short of  the winning jump of 22′-1″.

In addition,  Nick’s long jump of 21′-11″ set a new Winthrop High school record, marking the second WHS track and field record that he has broken in the past two weeks. (See additional sidebar story.)

Galuris won his NEC title in the javelin with a WHS-record throw of 159′-0″ (a toss that outdistanced the second-place finisher by almost five feet and was 17 feet further than the third-place throw).

Thomas D’Amico also turned in a nice performance at the meet, finishing in seventh place in the triple jump with a hop, skip, and jump of 37′-5″.

On the girls’ side, the top Lady Viking performer was Reese Brodin, who finished in fifth place in the javelin with a throw of 54′-1″ Mary Healey also had a top-10 finish for the Winthrop girls, taking eighth place in the high jump with a leap of 4′-4″.

Cappuccio and Galuris will be competing this weekend in the Division 5 State Meet in Bridgewater along with teammate Lorenzo Prevosti.

Ariana Cappuccio and Shannon Abbott will represent the WHS girls at the D-5 Meet.

WHS Boys Lacrosse Ranked 16th in D-4

The Winthrop High boys lacrosse team is ranked 16th in the state in the MIAA’s Division 4 power ratings, a spot that will assure the Vikings of a home game in the post-season state tourney if they can maintain it in the final week of the season.

Winthrop played what head coach Brian Donnelly termed “an excellent game” against a very tough Lynnfield team this past Monday, coming up just short in a fierce battle with the Pioneers, 17-14.

“Right now they are ranked in the top four of Division 4, so it really proved to our guys that we can compete with anyone in our division,” said Donnelly. “Hunter Fife continues to be an anchor in net and has been making some unbelievable saves. Our defense also played really well. We still need to tighten up our defense close to the crease and try to limit them to only outside shots. They are a good team, but I think the game gave us the confidence that we can compete and play with anyone.”

Donnelly and his crew trekked to Salem on Tuesday and came away with a 14-4 triumph that made for an enjoyable bus ride home.

“We had a very slow start, probably due to playing such an intense game the day before, but the guys took over in the second quarter to take a commanding lead,” Donnelly said. “It was excellent to spread the goals around with seven different players scoring, including freshman Paul Ferrara and Charlie Ferrara. Ace Daigneault had another dominant performance, putting in six goals as well. He plays with such confidence and is really able to draw defenders in to create for himself and the guys around him great looks. It was a nice, definitive team win that saw our entire varsity roster get some solid time.”

The last game of the regular season is set for this evening (Thursday) when the Vikings will host Beverly at 5:00 at Miller Field in a contest that will be highlighted by Senior Night festivities when the three members of the Class of 2024 will be honored for their contributions to the boys lacrosse program.

“I cannot say enough positive affirmations about our seniors who have dedicated their talents, leadership and effort to the program over these past three years,” said Donnelly. “Our three seniors are all part of our defensive core.

“Senior Dan Thomai has progressed as an excellent crease defender who is an absolute enforcer on the field. His stick skills have improved tremendously over the last three years and he brings a sense of humor and excitement to both practices, bus rides and games. Dan will bring his talents to Curry College  to study businesses where he will be playing tight end on the football team.

“Two-year captain and senior defenseman Donovan Cassidy has been an absolute rock on defense, usually shutting down their best defender on each team and has been in charge of leading our clears. He leads the team with a quiet confidence that is rare and extraordinary and has been an excellent role model and captain to the younger guys in the program. He is the epitome of ‘leading by example’ and his presence on the defense will be felt through his mentoring of younger players like Sean Dolan and Paul Ferrara.   Donovan will be attending the University of Massachusetts in the fall to study engineering.

“Three year senior captain Hunter Fife has been an amazing member of the Viking lacrosse team and will go down as one of the best goalies to wear a Winthrop Viking jersey,” Donnelly continued. “He gives the team the confidence that they can win any game when he is in net and plays with a certain swagger that spreads to every member of the team. He is great at communicating with his defense and is able to find our midfielders on absolute darts that have led to endless scoring opportunities. He has been an absolute asset to the program’s success. His hard work and dedication is an excellent blueprint for the younger players in the program. Hunter will be enlisting in the Air Force later this year.”

After today’s contest, Donnelly and his crew will await the announcement of their final seeding and first-round opponent in the D-4 state tourney.

Girls Lacrosse Beats Salem, 16-6

The Winthrop High girls lacrosse team, which is ranked 26th in the state in the MIAA’s Division 4 power ratings, earned a 16-6 victory over Salem this past Tuesday.

Junior Talia Martucci recorded her 100th career point inthe triumph. “Talia is having an excellent junior year,” said WHS head coach Anthony Hatzisavas. “She has really stepped up for us and has been one of our top goal scorers. Talia is an extremely hard worker on and off the field and deserves all the success she’s been having and is also a great student in the classroom.

“Sophomore Teagan Pereira has also been one of our top goal scorers and is also having a really good year,” said Hatzisavas. “She brings it every game and I couldn’t ask for more.

“Junior Isabella Rice and sophomore Avalina Coffey have been tremendous on the defensive end for us,” Hatzisavas continued. “Both also chipped in with a goal giving us some offense as well.

“Now we wait for our matchup for the tournament with the hopes of qualifying,” the coach added. “It would be a great experience for these kids to play in the state tournament.”

The Lady Vikings concluded their 2024 regular season with a 7-13 record, but wth their current power ranking at #26 — the 32 top-seeded teams qualify for the post-season — they are but assured of a spot in the D-4 state tourney.

Two More Wins for Flag Football

The Winthrop High flag football team added two more wins to its already-impressive inaugural season. Last Thursday, coach John Cross’s crew defeated Salem, 31-0, in Cambridge.

Junior Zoey Bogusz stepped in at quarterback and led the team to the victory. Shannon Abbott was the player of the game with an offensive score and an interception that Shannon returned for a touchdown.

This past Tuesday at Miller Field, the Lady Vikings celebrated Senior Night in appropriate fashion with a 35-0 triumph over Peabody.

“We had a great performance by the entire team,” noted Cross.

Kaylee Farrell, Reese Brodin, and Zoey Bogusz reached the endzone for the Lady Vikings to lead the offense. On defense, Pereira and Sam Dimento made interceptions, with Sam returning hers for a pick-6 TD.

The seniors who were recognized for their contributions to the new flag football program were Malak Chahlaouy, Shannon Abbott, Sam Dimento, Grace Fleuriel, Kaylee Farrell, Hannah Parker, and Reese Brodin

Cross and his squad made the short trip to Chelsea High today (Thursday) to play Chelsea and Needham and are scheduled to trek to Greater Lawrence next Thursday for their season finale.

WHS Baseball Shoots for Spot in State Tourney

With a ranking of #33 in the MIAA’s Division 4 power ratings as of the Sun-Transcript’s press time, the Winthrop High baseball team will be shooting for a strong finish in the final week of the season in hopes of moving up one spot to #32 to qualify for the post-season D-4 state tournament.

The Vikings were slated to host Amesbury yesterday (Wednesday). Tomorrow (Friday) they will entertain Manchester-Essex, the team that coincidentally is ranked at the coveted #32 spot. Manchester-Essex stands at 5-12 on the season, while Winthrop sports a 6-12 record.

Last Wednesday the Vikings took on Saugus and put it all together in all aspects of the game to record an 8-0 victory.

“We knew going into the game that we were facing if not the best pitcher in the NEC, one of the best pitchers in the NEC in Cam Soroko, who committed to play Division 1 baseball after his sophomore season,” said WHS head coach Mark DeGregorio. “We discussed with the team an offensive strategy of trying to make him work by having him throw a lot of pitches early.  This is something we did not do the last time we played them as he was very efficient and completely shut us down (a 12-0 Saugus victory). 

“Going into the game we told our hitters they were taking a pitch until they had a strike on them.  We wanted to run his pitch count up early to try and get him out of the game for the later innings.  It was an effective strategy, as he had to work really hard early on having thrown 86 pitches through four innings,” DeGregorio said. “Offensively we did exactly what we wanted to do — make him work and find ways to get guys on base — and we did a masterful job of it.”

The Vikings scored five runs in the first four innings, powered by a two-RBI base hit by Petey Silverman in the fourth inning and some solid base running with steals from Will Murphy, Joseph Pumphret, and Michael Donahue.  Winthrop also pushed two runs across with two beautiful safety squeeze bunts from Michael Donahue and Matthew Reardon.

“We executed the exact way we wanted to,” noted DeGregorio. “We had six steals on the day, led by three from Petey Silverman, who also went 2-for-3 with two RBI and a hit-by-pitch. Michael Donahue, Matthew Reardon, Will Murphy, and Billy Hayes also contributed with base hits.

“Offense wasn’t the key factor to this game however,” the coach continued. “It was Matthew DeCarney.  We turned to our senior captain to try to match Saugus’ pitcher.  He not only was up to the task, but he outpitched him completely.  Matthew was fantastic.  He threw strikes, mixed up the ball well with his curve, and ended up shutting down Saugus’ offense.”

Matt spun a superb two-hitter with 11 strikeouts while issuing only one walk and going the distance to record a complete game shutout.

“He was the star of the day,” enthused DeGregorio. “Matt was the best I have ever seen him and he has been pitching for us since his sophomore year. Overall, it was a tremendous game.  We did a fantastic job of staying focused, engaged, and really wanted to get payback after the first matchup when Saugus shut us out at home.  It was one of the best games we have coached in a while because everything went so well and everyone was into the game from the first pitch.”

However, the Vikings suffered a big loss when Matthew Reardon went down with an injury on the second to last play of the game.

“It was really tough as a coach in that situation because you see a kid who puts so much into the game, effort, energy, passion, etc., and to see him on the ground hurt, it breaks your heart,” said DeGregorio. “We love coaching Matthew because of what he does for us on the field and off the field.  He even turned to me and asked if he got the out when the trainer was checking on him.  That’s the definition of a warrior.  There isn’t much else a coach can say about a player.  I would take nine Matthew Reardons because of the intensity, effort, and the way he plays the game.  He plays the game the way it is supposed to be played.  He still has a very bright future ahead of him.

“We knew going into our last four games we were going to have other players step up to fill shoes that were large to fill,” DeGregorio continued. “Matthew has been one of our best pitchers and is someone who legitimately gives us a chance to win every single time he takes the mound.

“With that being said, we knew we were going to have to use some pitchers who may not have as much experience or we may have to shift some roles around,” said DeGregorio. “Going into the game against Salem on Friday, we turned to Jay Fotiades who has been a tremendous pitcher for us since his freshman year.  It was his first start of the year however, as he typically is used in relief for us.   Jay came out and did an excellent job of attacking hitters early with his off-speed stuff.  The last time he faced Salem was in relief and he shut them down for four straight innings. “

Salem jumped out to an early lead in the first on an RBI double, but Winthrop countered when Petey Silverman was a one-man show in the first inning. He led off the game with a walk, proceeded to steal second and third, and then, with two outs, Winthrop noticed the Salem catcher wasn’t giving Petey a look at third despite the big leads he was taking.

“So we decided to try and take advantage,” said DeGregorio. “We gave him the signal to steal home on a delay.   Petey got a nice lead and he took off as soon as the catcher began to throw the ball back to the pitcher.  We call it, ‘The old school Little League play,’ but it works when run correctly.”

However, Salem came alive in the third inning and exploded offensively en route to an 8-2 victory.

“When mentioning our team asking pitchers to step up, we turned the ball over to Petey Silverman in the third inning, as Salem was putting across a lot of runs,” DeGregorio noted. “Petey has not pitched since A-Division baseball in Little League.  He actually did an unbelievable job for us.  He threw strikes and stopped the bleeding to try and give us a chance to get back into the game.  He threw two and two-thirds innings and had three strikeouts. He surrendered only one run over that time.  It was really impressive.

“We were not able to get anything going offensively except for one more run in the fourth inning,” DeGregforio added. “It was actually a nice run to see, as it was due in part to two freshmen. Junior Phil Boncore led off the inning with a walk.  We used a courtesy runner for him and freshman Michael D’Ambrosio was asked to run for him.  He proceeded to steal second base and then had a very heads-up running play as he read a ball in the dirt on a curveball and took off the third.  It was impressive to see a freshman do that.  He was then driven in by another freshman, Joseph Pumphret, on an RBI single. It was nice to get a glimpse of the future.”

The Vikings then took on Marblehead this past Monday.

“Marblehead has been a very good team since I started coaching,” said DeGreorio. “They always give us trouble as they are well coached and typically have a lot of solid ballplayers in the program. We pitched Timmy Vargus who did a really nice job of throwing strikes early and keeping us within striking distance.  After two early runs from Marblehead in the first inning, he settled in nicely.  He threw his slider for strikes which I think is his best pitch.  He shut down their offense over the next three innings.  In the fifth inning, I think Tim was getting a little tired as he was not as accurate as he was in the first few innings, so we turned the ball over to Jay Fotiades who was able to slow down Marblehead’s offense over the last few innings.  He looked really good on the mound.

“Offensively we struggled again against a very good pitcher from Marblehead,” DeGregorio added. “We were only able to muster three hits on the day.  Joseph Pumphret, who has been excellent at the plate and in the field for us as a freshman, got the offense going in the fourth inning with a single and then a stolen base.  He was then driven in by Spencer Parco on an RBI double down the line.  Unfortunately, we had what would have been the tying run thrown out at the plate on a safety squeeze.  Looking back at it we maybe could have tried something different in that moment, but we have been so successful with the safety squeeze over the last 5-6 games that we thought it would be a good opportunity to try and tie the game and get momentum back on our side.We were unable to get the offense going for the remainder of the game, dropping a tough one to Marblehead, 5-1.”

If the Vikings are

Transcript Staff

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