Gloucester

Roundup: Swampscott girls shine in state track relays

By STEVE KRAUSE

The Swampscott girls had a big day Saturday at the Massachusetts State Track Coaches Association relays.

The Big Blue won the Division 3 high jump championship with a combined 14-7.25, with Georgia Cilley doing a 4-6, Haley Bernhardt 4-8 and Michelle Connor 5.5

The shot put trio of Taylor McBurney, Masie Vasquez and Mackenzie Creighton finished third overall with a combined 92-6.

The foursome of Georgia Cilley, Kendall Rhodes, Ellie Wright and Meredith Zimmer came in six in the 50-meter shuttle hurdles with a 33.57.

In all the girls placed fifth in Division 4.

In Division 2, the Beverly girls had a good day, finishing fifth with 26 points. The Panthers won the 1600 spring with a 4:18.51, were sixth in the 4×50 Beverly (26.17), seventh in the 4×400 (4:23.51), eighth in the 4×800 (10:29.26), fourth in the distance (12:57.83) sixth in the shuttle hurdles (33.41) fourth in the high jump (13-10.50) and third in the shot put (90-01.25).

In Division 3, it was a Gloucester day. For the girls, the Fishermen took fourth in the 1600 sprint (4:20.24), eighth in the shuttle hurdle (33.52), third in the high jump (14-02.50) while the boys took ninth in the 4×400 relay, eighth in the 1600 spring (3:48.02) and 10th in the long jump (52-07.50)

In Division 4, Marblehead girls were 10th in the 4×800 relay (10:32.63) and fifth in the shot put (14-07.25).

For the boys, Danvers was third in the 4×50 relay (23.11) while Marblehead was fifth (23.23). The Magicians were sixth in the 1600 sprints (3:43.42); Danvers 10th in the distance medley (11:51.80) and eighth in the shuttle hurdles (30.35); and Swampscott third in the shot put (115-11).

Roxbury CC Tiger Open

At Reggie Lewis Center Saturday, Peabody’s weight throw team dominated the field, taking the top four places in the 25-pound weight throw.  

Patrick Pang qualified for nationals and set a PR by more than two feet with a throw of 56-06.50, while Conor Ramos placed second with a PR of 47-08.25.  In his first time competing in the event, Dariel Canela also set a PR (44-08.50) and finished third, while William DeMayo threw 44-07.5 and finished fourth.  Carlos Vega (43-05), Randdye Ramos (35-08.5), Jake Sousa (29-08.75) and Gabe Carvalho (29-04.75) also competed.

SWIMMING

Fenwick 79, Matignon/St. Joseph’s 62

The Crusaders, 5-0, placed first in all 11 events: the 200 medley relay (1:52.28, Connor Chirstuk, Rowan Emerson, Garrett Collins,  Michael D’lorio; 200 freestyle relay (1:56.07, Joie Dillon, Sarah Arnold, Rowan Emerson, and Connor Chirstuk); 400 freestyle relay (4:06.63, Sarah Long, Joie Dillon, Sophia Lumino, and Catherine Chirstuk).

Also, Connor Christuk 200 IM (2:18.46) and 500 free (5:27.63); Catherine Christuk 200 free (2:06.15) and 100 back (1:04.25); Sophia Lumino 100 free (57.27) and 100 breast (1:12.50); Rowan Emerson 50 free (26.78) and Garrett Collins 100 fly (1:09.58).

The Crusaders are in action next Sunday against St. Mary’s.

WRESTLING

Lynnfield 45, Triton 34

Lynnfield 54, Essex Tech 30

Lynnfield 15, Smith Voke 0

Melrose 56, Lynnfield 22

In a super quad at North Reading, Lynnfield winners in the Triton match were: 106, Stuart Glover; 113, Chris Metrano; 120, Chris Reardon; 126, Will Glover; 145, Adam Rossetti; 152, Connor Stead; 182, Anthony Wilkinson; 195, Kevin Farrelly.

Against Essex Tech, it was 106, Metrano; 113, Glover; 120 Chris Reardon; 126, Glover; 132, J. Reardon; 138, Rossetti;  

160, McCullough; 170, Wilkinson; 195 Farrelly.

Against Smith, it was 132, Reardon;  170, Wilkinson; 195, Farrelly.

Against Melrose, it was 113, Metrano; 132, Reardon; 138, Rossetti and 145, Stead.

GIRLS BASKETBALL

St. Mary’s 53 Fontbonne 40

At Emmanuel College, the Spartans, 7-4, won their sixth in a row. Down 25-14 in second quarter, St. Mary’s outscored Fontbonne 39-15 over final 20 minutes of game.

Olivia Nazaire led all scorers with 23 points, with help from Mia Nowicki (13) and Gabby Torres (6).

Delgado leads Classical to win

FILE PHOTO
Classical’s Irianis Delgado led all scorers with 16 points on Tuesday night. 

By HAROLD RIVERA

Prior to Tuesday night’s game against Saugus, Classical girls basketball coach Tom Sawyer said his team would have its hands full against a talented Sachems group. Perhaps the Rams play best when their hands are full.

Behind an offensive display that saw seven different Classical scorers, the Rams rolled to a 60-37 win over the Sachems at Saugus High.

“Most impressive was that they pressed us and we handled their press,” Sawyer said. “Against Saugus, it starts with being able to handle their pressure. We were terrific tonight. Jeylly Medrano, running the point, was unbelievable handling their press. It all starts there.”

Classical seized the momentum in the early goings of the game. Paris Wilkey missed her first few shots, but the junior drained a pair of three pointers in the first quarter. Irianis Delgado muscled her way to a pair of buckets in the paint, and the Rams led 18-6 at the end of the first.

The Sachems carried their struggles into the second quarter. Classical ran a stingy 2-3 zone defense that gave Saugus issues throughout the first half.

“Classical did a good job,” Saugus coach Mark Schruender said. “They did a good job, they sped us up. I think when they started speeding us up, everybody started to take it upon themselves to come back from a poor start.”

Saugus committed three turnovers in the first two minutes of the second quarter. Classical capitalized on those mistakes with a 6-0 run that ended when Alessia Salzillo nailed a jump shot to get the Sachems back on the board. Classical led 34-12 at the half.

“Coach (Helen) Ridley and I talk before every game,” Sawyer said. “We both agreed that in this particular game we should play zone because Saugus is extremely active on offense. We gave up 12 (points) in the first half, so we stuck with it.”

Down 22 points at the start of the second half, Saugus was in need of offense. The Sachems began to hit their shots in the third quarter as a pair of free throws by Krissy Italiano slimmed Classical’s lead to 18 points at 36-18. The Rams held their end of the bargain and made a handful of buckets to carry a 48-23 advantage into the fourth quarter.

By the start of the fourth quarter, the game was in Classical’s bag. The Rams (7-3) rolled to their seventh win of the season.

Classical had three scorers in double figures. Delgado led all scorers with 16 points.

“Irianis had a terrific game tonight,” Sawyer said of the junior forward. “She’s a little banged up, had an ankle injury and didn’t know if she was going to be able to play. She’s a tough kid though, she said she wanted to play. We needed her.”

Medrano contributed with 13 points while Wilkey scored ten.

“What this shows is that we played our best game of the year,” Sawyer said. “It was an unbelievable effort by everybody, up and down our lineup. We’ll celebrate it tonight, it’s hard to win in this league.”

Classical will aim to stay on the win column when the Rams visit Gloucester on Friday.

On the Saugus side, Molly Granara led the Sachems with ten points.

“She (Granara) just competes,” Schruender said. “She’s a freshman that doesn’t know she’s a freshman. She works really hard in practice and yesterday I got on her in practice about defense. She responded really well.”

Salzillo had a strong performance of her own, with eight points.

The Sachems (6-2) will look to shake off the loss by correcting their mistakes. Saugus has a quick turnaround as the Sachems host Somerville tonight.

“Tomorrow’s a new day,” Schruender said. “We’re a game to game team. These kids are tough.”


Harold Rivera can be reached at hrivera@itemlive.com. 

Moynihan Award Winners Announced

COURTESY PHOTOS
Hugh Calice (left) of Beverly football and Katerina Hassapis of North Reading soccer. 

For their outstanding work in the classroom and in their respective athletic fields, Beverly football star Hugh Calice and North Reading soccer standout Katerina Hassapis have been selected as the Moynihan Lumber Student-Athletes of the Month for November.

Calice, a senior on the Panthers football team and basketball captain, helped lead his football squad to a banner season this fall which included the Division 2 North sectional championship and a pair of massive upsets over Tewksbury in the semifinals and Billerica in the finals.

“We came into the season wanting to prove something,” Calice said. “Word was out about what we lost and not what we had, so we had a chip on our shoulder.”

Individually, Calice was a force on both sides of the ball. As a linebacker, he was named the Northeastern Conference North’s Defensive Player of the Year, and he was the catalyst of the Panthers’ hard hitting defense.

Offensively, he was a jack of all trades that was called upon to play a bunch of different roles. He could split out wide and play receiver, where he snagged a pair of touchdowns in a September win over Gloucester. He was a punishing blocker at tight end and he even played a little tail back.

“It was a great season, I don’t think I could have asked for a better senior season with the guys,” Calice said. “I got the conference Defensive Player of the Year but it was such an all-around team effort.”

In the classroom, Calice is just as much of a standout as he is on the athletic field.

The owner of a sterling 3.9 grade point average, he excels while taking a very difficult course load which includes honors calculus, advanced placement statistics, honors robotics and honors English.

“I definitely emphasize my work in the classroom,” Calice said. “It all starts with the support from my parents. When I get home from practice I’m tired but my parents really push me through it so I can get my work done.”

Calice is still making his college decision and has narrowed it down to Holy Cross, UNH, Merrimack and Western New England, where he plans to play football.

Hassapis also had a stellar fall season as the senior keeper, leading North Reading to a berth in the Division 3 North Finals, where it fell to Newburyport.

Hassapis was named the Cape Ann League Kinney Division Player of the Year for a second season in a row and recorded 15 shutouts on the season.

“It was an amazing season,” Hassapis said. “We have a great group of girls and everyone was on top of their game all season long.”

The CAL Player of the Year established herself as one of the state’s top keepers over the past two seasons, and she has only been playing the position since her sophomore year in high school.

As a freshman, Hassapis was a varsity striker with deadly speed and athleticism. But during her club season, her team’s starting keeper sustained an injury which left a hole at the position. Hassapis stepped in and excelled in the role. While she entered her sophomore season at North Reading with plans to play striker again, she stepped in at keeper during a practice and her coach immediately named her the starter.

“I stepped in for only a few games during the club season to help the team,” Hassapis said. “It ended up working well. I had to do a lot of training to catch up technically but I caught on pretty quickly. During my sophomore season my coach wanted me to play striker again but I talked him into letting me play keeper one practice and I have stayed there ever since.”

Hassapis, who is also a shooting guard on the Hornet’s basketball team, is a standout student who plans on attending Bentley University next fall, where she will be playing soccer.

Her senior year has her taking a challenging course load featuring advanced placement psychology, advanced placement civics and government and advanced placement calculus. She also sports an impressive 3.8 grade point average.

Local teams show support for Falmouth community

COURTESY PHOTO
The St. Mary’s boys hockey team hung the jerseys numbered “10” and “19” in honor of James Lavin and Owen Higgins respectively. The No.88 is a tribute to the late Patrick Reddy. 

By HAROLD RIVERA

A handful of local high school hockey teams are doing their part to pay respects to James Lavin and Owen Higgins, the two Falmouth High School students who were killed a car crash last Thursday night.

Lavin and Higgins, members of Falmouth High’s hockey team, had just left hockey practice when their car crashed into the woods around 7 p.m. Lavin was pronounced dead the scene of the accident. Higgins died later Thursday night from the injuries he suffered.

Local teams have rallied together to show their support for the Falmouth community. At the Lynn Jets Christmas Tournament, the Lynn and Swampscott teams hung jerseys on their benches with the respective numbers worn by Higgins and Lavin. Higgins wore number “19” while Lavin wore number “10.”

Wednesday’s contest between the Peabody/Lynnfield and Quincy/North Quincy girls hockey teams included a similar tribute. Peabody/Lynnfield’s bench also featured a banner that read “Falmouth Strong.”

At the Cape Ann Savings Bank Tournament, Beverly, Gloucester and Marblehead hung the No.10 and No.19 jerseys on their respective benches. The same was done by Saugus in the Kasabuski Tournament and Revere/Malden in the East Boston Deep Freeze Tournament.

The St. Mary’s boys hockey team held a fundraiser on Wednesday night as the Spartans hosted Lowell Catholic at Connery Rink.

The St. Mary’s community suffered a similar tragic loss in 2007 when Patrick Reddy died in a car accident in Maine. Reddy, a 2006 graduate of St. Mary’s, starred on the Spartans hockey team.

“He (Reddy) was a senior captain and just a very popular kid both with the hockey program and the school,” St. Mary’s hockey coach Mark Lee said. “He was very popular in the Lynn community.”

Lee added that the tragedy in Falmouth hit home for the St. Mary’s team, after having experienced a similar loss in Reddy’s death.

“It hit home, especially for those of us who were here coaching and for the Reddy family,” Lee said. “It brought back some bad memories of a tragedy that feels like it happened yesterday. It has to be a nightmare. I can’t imagine what those two families are going through.”

St. Mary’s donated all of the proceeds from the game’s 50-50 raffle, and raised a total of $2200. That amount was matched by the Patrick Reddy Foundation, as well as the Joseph O’Donnell Foundation, making it a $6600 total for the fundraising efforts.

“I think hockey people are special,” Lee said. “It’s a tight family and we rally around each other. It’s just a tragedy. We’ve gone through it at St. Mary’s. We know firsthand how tragic it is and we appreciated other schools helping us in our time of loss.”

Lee added, “The hockey community is a special community. We’re happy to do what we can to help ease the pain a little bit.”

Lee credited Mike Reddy, father of the late Patrick, for offering the idea of a fundraiser on behalf of the St. Mary’s community.

“As soon as it happened he (Mike) contacted me,” Lee said. “Having lived it and having that feeling of what the families are going through, I give the Reddy’s all the credit in the world. They wanted to do something in the name of St. Mary’s.”

In a team effort, the St. Mary’s players got the word out to their friends and families in hopes of drawing a strong crowd at Wednesday’s game. The fans in the crowd also showed support by wearing maroon and white, Falmouth High School’s colors.

“Our players were happy to help,” Lee said. “They did everything they could to get the word out and get a good crowd at the game. I believe these young men understood and were honored to be a part of this. We had a good crowd at the game. A lot of the kids in the crowd wore Falmouth colors.”

Lee acknowledged the fundraising efforts as a sign that the St. Mary’s community cares for the losses suffered in Falmouth.

“I’m very proud of our program,” Lee said. “Our hearts go out those families.”


Harold Rivera can be reached at hrivera@itemlive.com. 

Walter M. Williamson

NORTH READING — Walter M. “Wally” Williamson, of North Reading, previously of Gloucester and Saugus. Dec. 24. Beloved husband of Margaret (Minichiello). Father of Peter and his wife Beth of Gloucester, Daniel of Washington, Timothy and his wife Laura of Danvers, Amy Sasso and her husband Patrick of Newbury and the late Philip Williamson. Grandfather of Rian, Nikki, Hannah, Conor, Garrett, Patrick, Kathryn, Thomas and Sophia. Wally was a member of Local 537 Pipe Fitters Union.

Service information: Relatives and friends may visit in the COTA Funeral Home, 335 Park St., (corner of Park St. and Rt. 28), North Reading, at Reading line, on Saturday, Dec. 31 from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Interment will be private. Please omit flowers and make donations in Walter’s name to a charity of your choice. Cotafuneralhomes.com.

School Roundup: Marblehead downs Gloucester

ITEM FILE PHOTO
Braden Haley scored two goals for the Magicians in Tuesday’s win. 

By MIKE ALONGI 

The Marblehead boys hockey team rolled to its second-straight Cape Ann Savings Bank Tournament championship Tuesday, topping Gloucester, 8-1 at Talbot Rink in Gloucester.

James McCarthy and Braden Haley each recorded two goals and two assists, and Jacob Garfield and Drew Cioffi each scored two goals in the win.

Marblehead has a week off before taking on Bishop Feehan at the New England Sports Village in Attleboro on January 4.

For Gloucester (1-3-0), Ethan Brennan scored the lone goal on an assist from EJ Field. The Fishermen will face off against Beverly in the consolation game of the Cape Ann tournament today at 4 p.m. at Talbot Rink.

GIRLS HOCKEY

Beverly/Danvers 6, Lincoln-Sudbury 0

The Panthers are now 6-0-0 after a shutout win in the opening game of the North Shore Showcase at the Bourque Arena at Endicott College on Tuesday. McKinley Karpa continued her impressive season with three more goals to lead the way, while Izzy Primack added a goal and two assists. Brittany Foster also scored a goal for the Panthers.

Beverly/Danvers will now go up against Billerica/Chelmsford in the title game of the North Shore Classic this afternoon at 1 p.m. Billerica/Chelmsford made it into the championship game after a 5-1 win over St. Mary’s on Tuesday.

BOYS BASKETBALL

St. John’s Prep 83, New Rochelle (N.Y.) 69

The Eagles (4-0) remained undefeated with a win in the opening round of the BABC Classic tournament at Cathedral High School in Boston on Tuesday. Junior Tommy O’Neil had a massive double-double to pace St. John’s, finishing with 32 points and 20 rebounds. Junior Nate Hobbs also had a big day, scoring 26 points.

The Eagles will play host school Cathedral in the final day of the BABC Classic this afternoon at 12:20 p.m.

Pope John Tournament

Fenwick 61, Pope John 43

The Crusaders took down the host team in the Pope John Tournament, advancing to today’s final against Winthrop.

Coach Kevin Moran said the entire team, especially the starting five, contributed to the win.

Ryan Veguilla led the way with 13 points to go with six assists. Isaiah Cashwell-Doe added 12 points, seven assists and six rebounds. Nick Pignone had five points, Klous Llanag had 12 points, and Jack Bowers added 10 points and eight rebounds.

GIRLS BASKETBALL

Bishop Fenwick 60, Reading 39

The Crusaders cruised to a win in the opening round of the Masconomet Holiday Tournament at Masconomet High School on Tuesday. Fenwick (3-1) was led on the night by sophomore Jaxson Nadeau, who finished the game with 17 points and four steals. Sophomore Sammi Gallant finished with 10 points, while senior captain Sam Mancinelli had a great all-around game with seven points and eight assists. Junior Jennie Meagher contributed four points and 12 rebounds.

The Crusaders will now move on to face host school Masconomet in the championship game tomorrow night at 7 p.m.

Swampscott’s Caponigro perseveres through loss

PHOTO BY BOB ROCHE
Swampscott’s Jaymie Caponigro,  dribbling through the Salem defense in the Big Blue’s win over the Witches last week, played just three days after her grandfather, Eugene Caponigro, passed away, just one day before his wake, and of the night of his funeral.

By STEVE KRAUSE

Losing a family member is never easy. And losing one the week before Christmas is even tougher.

Most of the time, when a loved-one dies, all activity ceases. Families band together, make funeral arrangements, and just spend a few days reflecting on the life of the person who has just died.

But Jaymie Caponigro of Swampscott felt it was better if she remembered her grandfather some other way.

Eugene Caponigro died last Saturday at the age of 90. His granddaughter, Jaymie, plays on the girls basketball team in Swampscott, and has been among the team’s most important players since she was a freshman.

Nobody would have said too much if she’d not been able to play her regularly-scheduled games last Tuesday and Thursday, against Salem and Gloucester respectively. Most people would have understood.

But part of what makes athletes good at what they do is an uncommon focus that can cut through personal circumstances and concentrate on the task at hand.

Back in 2003, Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre’s father died on the eve of a Monday Night football game. Favre’s Packers were to play the Oakland Raiders, and up to five minutes before the game started, Favre wasn’t sure he could play.

But he did. And before the first half ended, he had thrown for 311 yards and tossed four touchdown passes. It is said that it was the single best game of his professional career.

“I knew,” said Favre afterward, “that my dad would have wanted me to play.”

This is how Jaymie Caponigro felt too. She’d grown up in an athletic family. Her father, Joe Caponigro, is one of the premiere baseball coaches in this area. He’s been coaching at Lynn English since 2004, and is one of the pioneers of the North Shore Baseball League. Joe Caponigro used to have a saying that he’d impart to his daughter when he coached her as a child.

“Earn your shower,” he’d say to her.

Jaymie earned hers by playing against Salem Tuesday, one day before her grandfather was to be waked. And like Favre, Caponigro made sure she earned that shower.

She scored 19 points in a one-sided win over the Witches, and her coach, Katelyn Leonard, complimented her after the game, saying she’d been in “attack mode” the whole game.

But unlike Favre, there was never any doubt but that Caponigro would play.

“I was always planning on playing,” she said. “When you step on the court, you leave everything else behind, and you’re in a different world. You rely on your teammates for support, and they support you.

“It happened to work out where I was able to make the game, and the services didn’t conflict,” she said. “But I also definitely think my Papa would have wanted me playing.”

It wasn’t simply Tuesday either. The funeral was Thursday, and when it was over, the Caponigros went to Gloucester, where the Big Blue scored a 53-42 win over the Fishermen. Caponigro had a double-double, scoring 11 points and pulling 10 rebounds.

Caponigro said playing was the best tribute she could give her grandfather.

“He lived a very long life, and he accomplished a lot of things,” she said. “I know that I wanted to make him proud of me on the court, and in everything that I did.

“I just kept thinking of him wanting me to do well,” she said. “I wanted to do well for him. Overall, I just wanted to play well and make him proud.”

By the time Caponigro got to Swampscott High, her grandfather could no longer attend her games. However, he saw her play plenty of times, both soccer and basketball, when she was younger.

“He was definitely a role model for me personally,” she said. “He told me to always go 100 percent, and to be committed, and to work hard. He told me to always be the hardest-working person on the court. I just lived by that.”

Sports have always been an integral part of her life. Not only is the Caponigro family heavily involved, but her mother’s side of the family is too. Her uncle is Jim Quinlan, who is the head hockey coach at Bishop Fenwick, and who coached Saugus to back-to-back state championships during his tenure.

She has already committed to Southern New Hampshire University for soccer, and because of that will eschew basketball she gets to college.

“It’s a Division 2 program, and I think it would be hard to to back-to-back with both sports,” she said.

This isn’t to say she’s incapable of it. She played soccer and basketball back-to-back for four years at Swampscott, “plus I play club (soccer) all year around. Then, there’s school. I have to keep up with honors classes and it can be a challenge to balance it all. It’s important to work on time management.”

Speaking of time, it’s flown by, she said.

“I’m a senior, and I still feel like a freshman,” she said. “It’s really gone by fast.

“For me, it’s sad that this chapter in my life is going to end,” she said, “but I’m looking forward to the next chapter of my life in collegiate sports, and to see how I’ll do.

“But,” she said, “I’ll always remember high school sports.”

School Roundup: Fenwick earns first win of the season

FILE PHOTO
Isaiah Cashwell-Doe scored 18 points for the Crusaders in their win on Friday night. 

By HAROLD RIVERA

The Bishop Fenwick boys basketball team (1-3) earned its first win of the season with a 63-55 victory over St. Clement  on the Crusaders’ home floor.

Nick Pignone led the Crusaders with 20 points. Isaiah Cashwell-Doe continues to make noise this season with an 18-point performance. Klous Llanag contributed to the winning effort with 19 points. Fenwick coach Kevin Moran credited Jack Keenan for playing strong on the defensive end.

Moran said the team’s win is a reflection of the effort they’ve been dedicating in practice.

“We’ve been working hard and I think this is a tremendous team,” Moran said. “Guys like Jack Keenan stepped up and did a tremendous job for us.”

With their first win of the season out of the way, Fenwick now has an opportunity to move the 2016-2017 campaign in the right direction.

“Being a new coach here at Fenwick, we had a couple of tough losses early this year,” Moran said. “It’s a chance for us to change direction. We hit pressure at some points in the game but we reacted well to that. It was a tight game the whole way.”

The Crusaders are off until they take on Pope John on Tuesday in the Pope John Tournament. Moran is hopeful that his team can carry a wave of momentum into the tournament.

“We need to build on tonight,” Moran said. “Pope John is one of the best teams in Division 4. We have to get ready for them. Just last week they played St. John’s Prep tough. We’ll take anything we can get to build momentum.”

Lynnfield 67, Newburyport 48

The Pioneers mounted a 20-5 lead after the first quarter. Newburyport outscored Lynnfield 17-6 in the second quarter to climb back into the contest down 28-22 at the half. Lynnfield took control from there on out for the win.

WRESTLING

St. John’s Prep 64, Pembroke 9
St. John’s Prep 63, Bristol-Aggie 19
St. John’s Prep 40, Duxbury 27
Marshfield 43, St. John’s Prep 33

The Eagles had three wrestlers go 4-0 en route at a 3-1 finish in the quad-match at the Marshfield Duals on Friday night. Quinn Alexander (106 pounds), Ryan Garlitz (113 pounds) and Malcolm Mitchell (126 pounds) each won all four of their matches. The Eagles are now 11-1 on the year.

Lynnfield 45, Wakefield 36
Lynnfield 37, Malden Catholic 35
Lynnfield 35, Marblehead/Swampscott 21

The Pioneers won all three of their matches at the Wakefield quad meet. Stuart Glover (106 pounds), Will Glover (126 pounds) and Sean McCollough (160 pounds) each won all three of their matches on the night. Lynnfield coach Craig Stone said the Pioneers faced a slate of talented opponents in the quad meet.

“They were close meets,” Stone said. “It was a pretty even level of competition. The matches against Malden Catholic and Wakefield were pretty close. We have a couple of days off and then we’ll get back at it.”

The Pioneers (7-0) remain undefeated on the year. Stone pointed to his team’s balance as the key to its success.

“The biggest thing is the balance,” Stone said. “We have decent wrestling at each weight. We’ve been able to take advantage of those match ups against other teams.”

The Pioneers are back at it on Tuesday when they take part in the Pentucket tournament.

BOYS HOCKEY

Woburn 8, Marblehead 4

Sam Cioffi’s goal in the final second of the second period gave the Magicians a spark heading into the third as they trailed 5-4. Unfortunately for the Magicians, that spark didn’t carry over for too long as Woburn scored three goals in the third period to ice the victory. Marblehead (0-4-1) is back in action next week at the Gloucester tournament.

Fenwick 4, St. Peter Marian 1

Rob Murphy’s empty netter in the closing stages gave him two goals on the night and Fenwick rolled to a 4-1 win. Kasey O’Brien also scored two goals for the Crusaders.

St. John’s Prep 6, Danvers 0

Shawn Thomson, Ryan Hart and Ryan Farrow were among the goal scorers for the Eagles.

GIRLS HOCKEY

Woburn 3, St. Mary’s 1

Mady Hentosh’s goal with 13 minutes to play gave the Spartans an early 1-0 advantage. Unfortunately, that was all the scoring St. Mary’s was able to produce on the night. Adara Nazarian notched the assist on the goal. Woburn scored an empty-netter to seal the win late.


Harold Rivera can be reached at hrivera@itemlive.com. 

Swampscott girls cruise past Salem

PHOTO BY BOB ROCHE
Swampscott’s Jaymie Caponigro gets past Salem’s Angelica Rego for a layup.

By HAROLD RIVERA

SALEM — Prior to the start of the 2016-2017 season, Swampscott girls basketball coach Katelyn Leonard recognized guard/forward Jaymie Caponigro as a player to keep an eye on this winter for the Big Blue. Tuesday night’s game between the Big Blue and Salem at Veterans Memorial Fieldhouse stood to prove that Leonard was right.

Caponigro scored 19 points for the Big Blue as Swampscott sailed smoothly to a 46-15 win over the Witches.

Leonard spoke highly of Caponigro’s strong performance in the win.

“She (Caponigro) was in attack mode,” Leonard said. “What she’s doing well this season is she’s not forcing the game, she’s letting the game come to her. She’s making the right passes when they’re there. When that hole is there to the hoop, she’s taking it.”

Swampscott started the game on a 6-0 run in the first quarter, but the Witches creeped back into the contest when Wildarys Correa hit a jump shot to put Salem on the board. The Big Blue retaliated with a pair of buckets after Salem’s Emily Fabre hit a free throw and Swampscott held a 10-3 advantage after the first quarter.

Correa knocked in another jump shot to open the second quarter but the Big Blue responded with a bucket from Grace DiGrande. Salem struggled with turnovers and Swampscott capitalized on those mistakes.

Leonard said her team has been working on creating scoring opportunities by applying pressure on the defensive side of the game.

“We’re really focused on defense,” Leonard said. “We’re trying to get our offense to come from our defense. We’re buying into that more and more, and we’re getting better at it. It’s creating around 70 to 80 percent of our offense.”

The Big Blue led 21-7 at the half.

In the third quarter, the Big Blue began to run away from the Witches. Swampscott built a 10-0 run behind six points from Caponigro’s hot hand.

“I think at that point they were giving her (Caponigro) the lane and she was taking it,” Leonard said. “Once they kind of clogged it up she made the nice passes to set up other players.”

Salem’s Angelica Rego knocked down a three-pointer to end the Swampscott run, but the Big Blue carried a comfortable lead at 35-15 at the end of the third quarter.

Caponigro’s hand didn’t cool off in the fourth quarter. The senior scored four points in the final quarter on a pair of buckets for Swampscott. Big Blue forward Emily Guiney added five points off the bench and Swampscott cruised to the 46-15 win.

The Big Blue scored the majority of the points in the paint, much to the liking of Leonard, who said her team seeks to take easier shots.

“We’re trying to finish around the rim,” Leonard said. “We’re trying not to settle for jump shots. If we have wide open ones and good looks we’ll take them, but we really want to make the extra pass to get the easy shot.”

Caponigro led all scorers with her 18 points and notched a double-double as she grabbed 10 rebounds in the win.

Swampscott’s Ella Parker and Nikki Rosa contributed with six points each. DiGrande also had a strong performance in driving the team’s offense at point guard.

“She (DiGrande) settled the game down and read the game well,” Leonard said. “Today was a day that I really saw her step up in that position.”

For the Witches, Fabre led the way with five points while Correa and Stephanie Cantone each scored four.

Salem (0-2) will look to notch its first win of the season on Thursday at Winthrop. Swampscott (2-1) will visit Gloucester on Thursday.


Harold Rivera can be reached at hrivera@itemlive.com. 

Roundup: Classical boys basketball off to a good start

By SCOT COOPER

The Lynn Classical boys basketball team is off to a good start this winter.

The Rams had five players in double figures Saturday as the traveled to Salem State to defeat Somerville, 74-71, for their second win of the season.

Gilbert Minaya led the way with 18, followed by Jalen Johnson with 17 and Edwin Solis with 15.

Malden 56 Marblehead 51

At Salem State Saturday, the Magicians dropped to 1-2.  Co-captain Patrick Bugler tossed in 23 points for Marblehead. Bo Millett, the other captain said that the team has to shoot better from the floor moving forward.

“We still have a bunch of guys that are making the move from football to basketball, we’re getting there,” Millett said. Marblehead will play its first home game of the season when they host Winthrop Tuesday.

Everett 86 Salem 48

The Witches lost to a very solid Crimson Tide team at home Saturday. Nate Ledron was high-scorer for Salem, knocking down 16 points to go with two steals and four rebounds. The Witches will be in Swampscott Tuesday night.

St. John’s 60  Pope John 45

The Eagles (2-0) won it behind 20 points from Nate Hobbs. Senior captain Brett McNiff snatched 11 rebounds and blocked four shots. The Eagles will be in Lynn on Friday night to play St. Mary’s.

Postponement

Snow forced postponement of the Saugus-Portland, Maine game Saturday. The Sachems (1-1) will look for win No. two in Gloucester Monday night.

WRESTLING

St. John’s 57, Salem, NH, 15

St. John’s 32, Lawrence 32

The Eagles improved to 7-0. Ben Klein (182), Sam Blizard (145), John McNaught (138), Zach Alexander (132), Malcolm Mitchell (126), Ryan Garlitz (113) and Quinn Alexander (106), all had wins on the mat for the Eagles.

Anthony Lisitano Tournament

Swampscott-Marbleheaed

At Wakefield High, eighth-grader Nick Sirota (106) finished in second place after beating Ryan Brown from Catholic Memorial. Senior captain Stephen Hopkins (138) finished third in his weight class and need two more victories for 100 on his career.

Saugus had one winner. Mike Titus (113) went 4-0 on the day and won his weight class.

Lynnfield-North Reading senior captain Connor Stead picked up the first major tournament win of his career Saturday at tournament. Stead upended top-seeded Ryan Smith of Wakefield in the final, pinning Smith in 5:24. Stead was one of seven Black and Gold wrestlers who placed in the meet, three of whom were freshmen.

“We haven’t had a freshman place in this meet since 2001, so to have three place today was quite impressive,” coach Craig Stone said.

Stuart Glover (106) led the freshmen trio with a fourth place finish, while Timothy Leggett (120) and Sean McCullough (160) finished fifth. Anthony Wilkinson (182, 4th) and Kevin Farrelly (195, 6th) were first-time place winners, Glover’s older brother Will Glover (126, 4th) also placed.  Lynnfield-North Reading finished seventh, with 17 teams participating in the tournament.

Sons of Italy Tournament

Peabody had a couple of wrestlers place Saturday. Freshman Phil Mackmoki (195) finished third, and senior Ben Caputo (220) finished fourth in his weight class. Peabody will hit the mat next on Wednesday night against Beverly.

Making a federal case in Peabody

By THOMAS GRILLO

PEABODY— Help is on the way for North Shore entrepreneurs seeking cash to start a business, first-time homebuyers looking for a low-cost mortgage and the unemployed seeking job training.

U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.) will host an Economic Development Federal Resource Forum at Peabody City Hall today. The event will feature senior staff from 13 federal agencies.

“Our mission is to connect constituents with federal resources,” said Jason Denoncourt, economic development director for Moulton and event organizer. “The federal government has lots of resources, but they lack a marketing budget, or people who promote their programs, so we are trying to be a conduit.”

The amount of cash available from these agencies is considerable, Denoncourt said.

Zoning issues brewing on Swampscott waterfront

The public will have the opportunity to talk with federal officials who have access to billions of dollars that support thousands of federal programs.

People can learn about federal resources for small business assistance, transportation, housing, technological innovation and more.

“The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program alone has $2 billion worth of grants,” said Denoncourt. The agency’s mission is to encourage participation in innovation and entrepreneurship by socially and economically disadvantaged persons.

While the timing may seem odd given the change in administration set for next month, Moulton said the federal staff set to be at the event are career professionals who transcend the occupant of the White House.

“When we organized this event, it looked like Hillary Clinton would be president,” he said. “But these people will be around next year.”

In addition to helping the public, Moulton will have a private meeting with the mayors of Lynn, Peabody, Gloucester, Newburyport, Salem, Beverly and Amesbury and introduce them to the federal staff who can help bring money to their communities.

Lynn Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy said she welcomes the chance to learn about more resources for the city.

“I appreciate the opportunity to share ideas and priorities with our partners at the federal level,” Kennedy said in a statement. “Congressman Moulton and his staff have shown a desire to assist the communities in the district in accessing resources that are available to us. This type of direct dialogue can go a long way in making that possible.”

Peabody Mayor Edward  Bettencourt Jr. said the forum is a chance for him to meet with federal officials on issues that affect Peabody.

“I am interested in talking with the Small Business Administration because our focus has been on improving the downtown and attracting new businesses,” he said. “We are always looking for additional ways to take advantage of the resources these agencies offer.”

The federal agencies who will be on hand include the Department of Energy, Economic Development Administration, Department of Labor, Department of Agriculture, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Small Business Administration/SBIR, Department of Transportation, Department of Health and Human Services, Commercial Service, Environmental Protection Agency, General Services Administration and the Department of Commerce.


Thomas Grillo can be reached @tgrillo@itemlive.com.

Swampscott boys hockey full of optimism

ITEM FILE PHOTOS
Louis Olivieri, left, led the Big Blue in goals (22) last season while Mike Johnson was the overall point leader with 55.

By KATIE MORRISON

After losing just three players to graduation, the Swampscott boys hockey team heads into the new season with a solid returning core and veteran leadership mixed with good, young talent.

The offense looks to be a big strength for the Big Blue, with senior captains and forwards Mike Johnson and Louis Olivieri, along with junior Stevie Santanello, returning to bolster the front line.

“We have a solid core with those three,” Swampscott coach Gino Faia said.

Johnson led the team in points (55, with 19 goals and 36 assists), while Olivieri led the team in goals (22, with 16 assists for 38 points). Santanello netted 10 goals and assisted on 19 in his sophomore season, and could be poised for a breakout season in 2016-17.

In fact, last year’s Swampscott seniors accounted for only seven goals last season, with six coming from captain Peter Doyle, and another from fellow captain, defenseman Dante Ceccarelli.

With most of the offensive firepower returning, one might assume the Big Blue would have holes in other places. But Swampscott has a core of defensemen coming back in 2016-17 as well, led by Dave Peterson, Emory Wollerscheid, Jack Poska and Dom Codispoti.

“We’re a little more well-rounded this year,” Faia said. “We’re big, strong and fast.”

The Big Blue are also set in the net, as Dan Johnson returns for his junior season. Johnson saw the bulk of the playing time last season, notching three shutouts and earning a .878 save percentage. Between him and sophomore Victor Kratik, who saw a little playing time last season, Faia is confident the team has “two strong goalies.”

The Big Blue seem to be all set on the front and back lines and solid in the net, but if there’s one weakness that stands out to Faia early on, it’s the lack of depth for his squad.

“The numbers are a little thin,” he said. “There’s not a lot of depth.”

But the Big Blue have a group of freshmen that don’t have a ton of experience, but can chip in if needed.

“They’re undersized, but they’re skilled,” Faia said. “We hope they could fill some holes if needed.”

Swampscott finished 11-9 during the regular season in 2015-16, earning the eighth seed in the Division 3 North tournament, but fell in the first round to Shawsheen, 5-4.

This season, the Big Blue are looking to make the tournament for the third straight year, and challenge for the Northeastern Conference South title.

“We’re going to try to make a deep run in the tournament this year,” Faia said, “and if we play together as a team, I think we can make that happen.”

Swampscott will take on Rockport/Manchester-Essex in its season opener Saturday at Talbot Rink in Gloucester.


Katie Morrison can be reached at kmorrison@itemlive.com

Swampscott faces uphill battle this season

PHOTO BY KATIE MORRISON
Swampscott’s A.J. Venuti steers away from Tech’s Aquemini Gaston, left, and Jamar Johnson, back, during a scrimmage at Lynn Tech Wednesday.

By KATIE MORRISON

LYNN — After winning just one game last season, it’s going to be an uphill battle for the Swampscott boys basketball team in 2016-17.

The Big Blue lost four of their starters who were responsible for the bulk of their offense last season, with Nick Scibelli, Venantius Phillip, Brandon Byrne and Jack Porter graduating.

Swampscott coach David Born doesn’t know where the team’s offense will come from. The returning starters, like Nate Howard and Sean Lahrizi, both seniors, have been key defensive players for the Big Blue, but they “didn’t score a ton last year.”

“So some of these young guys are going to have step up” Born said, “and some of the seniors have to step forward and get better offensively.”

While the offense hasn’t come together quite yet, the Big Blue do have other strengths. Born will be looking to senior captains A.J. Venuti and Matt Moran to set the tone for a young core. Born calls Venuti, a wing player, a “rugged defender,” while Moran sees time in the post. Lahrizi, another wing player, and Howard, a forward/center, will also provide some veteran leadership.

Swampscott has a lot of young talent, but it’s going to take some time for the underclassmen to pull everything together.

Sophomore Jake Goldman has stepped up as the point guard and is “doing a real nice job,” according to Born. Max Pegnato and Jackson Byrne, also sophomores, both look to be scoring threats, but have work to do on the defensive end of the game. Tony Broadnax, a junior forward, also has the potential to score points for the Big Blue.

But with the season opener on the horizon (Swampscott hosts non-league opponent Amesbury on Saturday night), nothing is set in stone.

“We’ll see who starts when we open on Saturday, we’re not sure yet,” Born said. “We’re trying to find that balance. We have some guys who have trouble scoring and some guys who have trouble defending, so we have to work that out.”

The Big Blue will take on Amesbury and another non-league opponent in Georgetown to open the season before playing a tough slate of talented opponents Winthrop, Salem and Gloucester before the Christmas break.

“I’m excited, we have a couple non-league games that we should be very competitive in,” Born said. “We’re trying to get better every day…I know it’s a cliche, but it’s what we’re trying to do. Two more practices and it’s here…five games before the break and none during, so hopefully we can get some momentum going into the break.”

Swampscott has seen some good competition in the preseason, scrimmaging against Bishop Fenwick and the Big Blue alumni before taking on Lynn Tech Wednesday evening. Swampscott, the visiting team on Wednesday, fell, 48-38, to the Tigers.

“I was pleased with our effort, but we need to play smarter,” Born said. “Our kids have to get a little tougher, mentally and physically. We just have to be more aggressive and finish at the hoop.”


Katie Morrison can be reached at kmorrison@itemlive.com. 

Fourth and long: Turning the page to winter sports

By STEVE KRAUSE

We changed the name this week because, well, it looks like for the first time all season we’re going to have to punt.

We hope to hit a booming spiral to the basketball and hockey players, swimmers, wrestlers, gymnasts, runners, jumpers and throwers, let them field the ball and take the field for a while. The calendar says it’s time for a rest from football.

Not totally. We still have college (more on that later), and of course the pros. And as if right on cue, the Patriots are losing receivers like 6-year-olds lose teeth. First, Rob Gronkowski and now Danny Amendola. Who’s next?

As for our little corner of the world, any time you have two teams in your area make their way down Route 95 to Foxborough (or anywhere, really), you’d have to say that we’ve just completed an eventful football season.

And we certainly have.

There wasn’t much drama in the sense that both Marblehead and St. Mary’s really dominated their respective leagues. Neither of the two games that figured to be difficult for Marblehead turned out to be quite so difficult (though Danvers gave the Magicians a test) and St. Mary’s didn’t have a test until its Division 1 North final against Stoneham, when the Spartans had to make do with their two best players, Abraham Toe and Calvin Johnson, out of the game.

There were some good teams. If I were to rate the best of them, it would go something like this:

Marblehead — I give the Magicians a slight nod over St. Mary’s, but it’s razor-thin. It probably has more to do with the fact Marblehead is a higher-division team, and that the Magicians handled the Division 2 North champion (Beverly) with relative ease.

St. Mary’s — When the Spartans were healthy and on a roll, I’d have loved to have seen them play Marblehead just to settle the argument. It would have been a great game. The teams played different styles. Marblehead threw the ball more, but both those St. Mary’s backs (Johnson and Toe) would be off to the races in the blink of an eye.

Danvers — The Falcons had the best player in the Northeastern Conference in Matt Andreas, and I’m convinced that had the senior running back not broken his leg in the Division 2 North semifinal against North Reading, the Falcons might have won that game and faced Marblehead in the final for the second straight year.

Beverly — In the middle of the season, this might have been different. But the Panthers rallied and showed some real intestinal fortitude in beating back both Tewksbury and  Billerica, both from the powerful Middlesex Valley Conference, to win the Division 2 North title.

Gloucester — If Andreas was the best player in the league, Christian Sanfilippo was the best running back. The only problem with Gloucester is that it lost all three games to NEC/North opponents, Beverly, Danvers and Marblehead. It’s difficult to rate the Fishermen any higher than this as a result.

Bishop Fenwick — The Crusaders lost three games, one to Division 3 North champion Triton, one to 3A champion St. Mary’s, and one to Catholic Central League power Archbishop Williams, on a Friday night, in Braintree, after the usual long, traffic-choked bus ride. Fenwick has had one of the great local runs around here in quite a while, and the Crusaders deserve all our respect for it. The regular-season game the Crusaders lost to Williams was its first since 2012.

Lynnfield — the Pioneers won six of their last eight (losing only to St. Mary’s and North Reading — two sectional champions). The coaching job Neal Weidman did was among the best in the area this season.

Revere — As was the job Lou Cicatelli did here. The Patriots won six of their last seven, the only loss coming to Chelmsford in the playoffs. I don’t care who you’re playing. Six out of seven is an accomplishment.

Of the rest, Peabody knocked at the door at 5-6, and that includes a great win over Westford Academy in the 1A playoffs.

We have to give St. John’s Prep an asterisk. I know there are people who will throw the paper all over the room at this, but there isn’t another team on the North Shore that could ever hope to beat the Eagles consistently. Maybe they’d have a bad day at the same time someone else had an exceptional one, but over the course of a season? No.

The distance between those Division 1 Catholic-school teams and everyone else is simply too vast. Even Malden Catholic, whose wins against teams in its own league are few and far between over the last five years, generally does well in its non-league games.

——-

Riddle me this: How can you have a “championship weekend” and then tell the champions they’re not good enough to play for a national championship?

I know, lots of “champions” in that sentence. It was intentional.

There’s no way I think Penn State is a better football team than Ohio State, regardless of who won what. Consider it the same as if one of our NEC teams put it it all together and beat The Prep.

But the idea of having “championship weekend” becomes an obvious money grab worthy of anything Ponzi or Bernie Madoff put together.

I say get rid of it and stop insulting our intelligence. All it does is complicate something that’s already complicated enough.

—-

Ok, everybody. Last call. The padlock’s going on the equipment shed. It’s fourth-and-a football field and the only thing left to do is punt.

See you next fall.


Steve Krause can be reached at skrause@itemlive.com. 

71st Item Football All-Star Team Announced

By STEVE KRAUSE

Today we present the 27 best football players on the North Shore: the 71st Item Football All-Star Team.

This year’s team features players from two teams that advanced to the state championship games in their respective divisions: Marblehead in 2A and St. Mary’s in 3A.

There are six returnees from last year’s team — Matt Andreas of Danvers, Chris Zuffante of Winthrop, Steffan Gravely of Lynn Tech, Abraham Toe and Liam Reddy of St. Mary’s and Jake Doherty of Peabody.

The Item All-Stars are selected by the Item sports staff with input from coaches of teams covered by The Item.

The team will be honored at the Item All-Star Dinner, Thursday at 6 p.m. at Tedesco Country Club in Marblehead. Ticket orders can be placed through the end of today, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Item Building, 110 Munroe St., Lynn.

No tickets will be sold at the door unless reserved by today by calling 781-593-7700 x1229 or by emailing skrause@itemlive.com.

Former Swampscott High star Dick Jauron, a member of the College Football Hall of Fame and the 2001 NFL Coach of the Year, will be the featured speaker. The dinner will also honor five major award winners, including the Item/Agganis Foundation Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year.

Also honored will be the Peter Gamage Coach of the Year, named for the late publisher of The Item; the William F. Connell Student-Athlete Award, named for the late William F. Connell; and the Edward H. Cahill Player of the Year Award, named for the late sports editor of The Item.

OFFENSE

Quarterbacks

CORY BRIGHT, Bishop Fenwick — Sophomore … 2-time Catholic Central League All-Star … passed for 1,234 yards and 11 TDs and was 78-for-172 … ran for 783 yards and scored nine TDs … has accounted for 40 TDs in two years.

DREW GALLY, Marblehead — Senior … passed for 1,641 yards and 20 TDs on 128-for-195 throwing … also ran for 611 yards and seven touchdowns … signal-caller helped steer team to the Division 2A Super Bowl … also a pitcher for the baseball team.

MATT LAURIA, Classical — Senior … captain … Northeastern Conference football and baseball All-Star … accounted for  for 12 touchdowns … ran for more than 700 yards and passed for more than 300 … had 68 tackles, two sacks and an interception.

Running Back

MATT ANDREAS, Danvers — Senior captain … NEC/North MVP .. had 1,207 yards on 188 carries as well as 10 touchdowns … had 23 receptions for 231 yards and a TD … had 41 tackles on defense and an interception … helped lead the Falcons to a 9-2 season … also a catcher for the baseball team.

CALVIN JOHNSON, St. Mary’s — Junior … Catholic Central League MVP … Ran for 1,255 yards on 114 carries … had 24 rushing touchdowns and seven more receiving to lead Spartans to the Division 3A Super bowl … had nine 2-point conversions … had 40 tackles, three for losses … had three interceptions and scored one defensive touchdown.

JAASON LOPEZ, Marblehead — Senior … rushed for 947 yards on 133 carries, and scored 13 touchdowns, to help lead the Magicians to the Division 2A Super Bowl … also caught 22 passes for 296 yards and two touchdowns.

MARCUS RIVERA, Classical — Senior captain … NEC football and track all-star … Ran for more than 500 yards despite missing four games … scored seven touchdowns, including an electrifying 83-yard kick return to propel the Rams to a win over English on Thanksgiving.

VICTOR RIVERA, Revere — Senior … ran for 1,665 yards and seven TDs … returned two kicks for touchdowns and caught two TD passes for a total of 11 … had 2,710 career rushing yards.

CHRISTIAN SANFILIPPO, Gloucester — Senior … rushed for 2,004 yards and scored 26 TDs … set a Gloucester career rushing record of 3,517 … also set a single-game rushing record of 296 yards.

Ends

LOUIS ELLIS, Lynnfield — Senior … caught 37 passes for 438 yards and 13 touchdowns and a 2-point conversion … had 45 tackles, two interceptions and two sacks.

SEAN LAHRIZI, Swampscott — Senior … was half of a potent passing combination for the Big Blue with quarterback Colin Frary … caught 43 passes for nearly 600 yards, and went over the 100-yard mark three times, including a Division 3 playoff game against Triton … also scored nine touchdowns … also the team’s kicker and had a game-winning field goal in Week 1 against English.

Line

DECLAN BURT, St. John’s Prep — Senior … as a tight end caught 12 passes for 133 yards, but his real value, said coach Brian St. Pierre said, “was as good a blocker at his position as there was in the Catholic Conference.” As a defensive end, he had eight sacks and eight tackles for losses.  

FRANK PERRY, Lynn English —  Senior captain, two-way lineman … played every down both on offense and defense … fierce competitor, leader on and off the field … had 58 tackles, 10 for losses, and six sacks.

CAM WILLIAMSON, Saugus — Senior two-way lineman … 2-year captain … top-rated lineman on the team … leading tackler for the Sachems this season … injuries forced him into being a running back for three games, and he ran for 250 yards.

DEFENSE

Line

HUNTER BROWN, St. John’s Prep — Senior … had 53 tackles and seven sacks as the Eagles finished at 7-4, and allowed only seven points to Division 1 state runner-up Xaverian … coach Brian St. Pierre said “he was the most dominant defensive lineman in every game we played in.”

BO MILLETT, Marblehead — Senior … captain … defensive force for the Magicians, who made the Division 2A Super Bowl … had 68 tackles, 23 for losses … on offense he started three games at tight end and caught three passes.

LIAM REDDY, St. Mary’s — Senior  … had 42 solo tackles and 18 assisted for a total of 60 … had seven sacks and 15 tackles for losses … had a forced fumble and a fumble recovery … leader on a team that finished with an 11-1 record (including the Division 3A Super Bowl) … also an outstanding blocker … starter since his freshman year … CCL Lineman of the Year in 2015 and 2016.

MIKE STELLATO, Lynnfield — Senior two-way lineman helped Pioneers to a 6-2 finish after an 0-2 start … had 60 tackles and two sacks … also recovered a fumble … achieved every lineman’s dream when, as the punter, he handled a high snap and threw a pass during a game … his father, Mike, is a former coach at St. Mary’s, Danvers and Chelsea.

Linebackers

HUGH CALICE, Beverly — Senior captain … led team in tackles, averaging more than eight per game … also picked off two passes … averaged more than six yards per carry as a back and ran for six touchdowns … excellent blocker despite being consistently double-teamed … helped lead Panthers to the Division 2 North championship.

ISAIAH CASHWELL-DOE, Bishop Fenwick — Junior … CCL All-Star … ran for 1,053 yards and 11 TDs on 133 carries and caught 16 passes for 212 yards and three TDs … led team in rushing and scoring.

AIDEN GILLIS, Marblehead — Junior … helped provide the defensive backbone for the Magicians as they marched to the Division 2A Super Bowl with 113 tackles, one interception and three sacks.

STEFFAN GRAVELY, Lynn Tech — Junior … had 42 tackles and five interceptions … 3-time Commonwealth Conference All-Star and second in MVP voting … ran for 1,079 yards … scored 20 touchdowns and 130 points … was third in Division 4 scoring.

JOEY SILVESTRI, St. Mary’s — Senior … had 36 solo tackles, 29 assisted, for a total of 65 … had eight tackles for losses, an interception and three fumble recoveries … 4-year starter … 2015-2016 CCL All-Star … backbone of team that made the Division 3A Super Bowl.

Backs

JAKE DOHERTY, Peabody — Senior captain … had 86 tackles and two interceptions … ran for 513 yards on 102 carries and eight TDs … caught 20 passes for 275 yards and four TDs.

JUSTIN FAIA, Marblehead — Senior … made sure opponents didn’t go deep on his team too often, as his nine interceptions led the team … on offense, he caught 22 passes for 296 yards and two touchdowns.

OSCAR LOPEZ, Revere — Senior … had 655 yards rushing and three TDs on 78 carries to help the Patriots win six or their last seven games … caught 42 passes for 612 yards and nine TDs … had 73 tackles, two interceptions and three sacks … has 79 career catches for 1,180 yards.

CHRIS ZUFFANTE, Winthrop — Senior … two-way player starred both ways. Passed for 572 yards and four touchdowns … had 53 tackles on defense, 30 solo and 23 assisted.


Steve Krause can be reached at skrause@itemlive.com. 

NEC announces Football All-Stars

FILE PHOTO
Matt Andreas (#10) was named the NEC North Player of the Year. 

By STEVE KRAUSE

Matt Andreas of Danvers High and Christian Sanfilippo of Gloucester are the players of the year in the Northeastern Conference North and South respectively.

Coaches of the year are Jim Rudloff, Marblehead, in the North; and Lou Cicatelli, Revere, in the South.

Beverly received the sportsmanship award in the North and Saugus in the South.

Division 2A Super Bowl-bound Marblehead placed six players on the all-conference team plus two more on the North all-star team.

Conference South champion Gloucester placed six players on the all-conference squad and three more on the South all-star team.

The North All-Conference Team is as follows: Offense: Jaason Lopez, Drew Gally, Harry Craig, Derek Marino and Bo Millett, Marblehead; Andreas, Dean Borders, Danvers; Matt Severance and Frank Perry, English; Jake Doherty and Eric DeMayo, Peabody and Nick Shairs and Kevin Morency, Beverly.

Defense: Aiden Gillis, Justin Faia, Marblehead; Hugh Calice, Kyle Chouinard and Sam Abate, Beverly; Cam Powers, Peabody, Kieran Moriarty and Quinn Holland, Danvers; and Matt Lauria, Chase Buono and David Barnard, Classical.

The NEC South All-Conference Team is as follows: Offense: Kyle Aquiple, Ryan Gabriele, Chris Cassettari, Gloucester; Jason Hanford, Jared Lubas and Vincent Gaskins, Salem; Victor Rivera, Oscar Lopez Ed Sullivan, Revere; Sean Lahrizi, Swampscott; Chris Zuffante, Winthrop.

Defense: Nate Young, Jacob Russell, Eric Cameron, Gloucester; Cam Williamson, Dan Pisaturo, Saugus; Xavier Cole, Salem; Anthony Destefano, Frank Sims, Badr Haou, Revere; AJ Venuti, Dominic Codispoti, Swampscott; Calvin Tufa, Winthrop.

North all-stars include Sam Paquette and Sam Frontero, Marblehead; Kyle Purcell and Mike Daras, Danvers; Johny Jones and Tommy Adams, Beverly; Cedric Gutierrez, Patrick Maguire, Peabody; Dennis Pierce, Classical; Jacob Miller, English.

South all-stars are: Damon Brown, Jermaine Edward and Ollie Emerson, Gloucester; John Desimone, Jimmy Kioussis, Gabe Martinez, Revere; Nathan Estes and Jeffrey Rodriguez, Salem; Liam Faulkner, Swampscott; and Nick Ferrari, Saugus.


Steve Krause can be reached at skrause@itemlive.com. 

Second and long: Plenty of highlights on Thanksgiving

FILE PHOTO
Classical’s Marcus Rivera capped off a memorable Thanksgiving with his 83-yard game-winning kick return. 

By STEVE KRAUSE

This is the penultimate “Second-and-Long.” Next week, after Saturday’s Super Bowls, there will be a member of the athletic staff at the door collecting equipment.

Some schools have already done that. It’s onto basketballs, hoops, sticks, pucks, wrestling headgear, bathing suits and whatever that stuff is you rub on your hands to get a better grip on the uneven parallel bars.

For the most part, Thanksgiving went the way most impartial observers thought. There were a couple of games that, before they were played, looked as if they could go either way. The only real surprise out of those was the final score of the Danvers-Gloucester game: 41-27 Falcons. That’s one most people would have pegged for being a lot closer.

Also, Lynnfield may have lost to North Reading, but it was only by a point, and the Hornets were the runners-up in Division 2A North. It’s a testament to how far the Pioneers came this year that they were in the game. Don’t forget, they lost their first two games (even though Week 2’s loss was to Danvers, which proved itself as no fluke this season).

Revere-Winthrop is always a tough game to gauge. This venerable rivalry has been pretty much all Winthrop’s over the last 30 years, but lately these games have been fierce struggles that could have gone either way. It was much the same this year, and Revere pulled it out on its home field and ended up with a winning record. The Patriots started out 0-4 and ended up 6-5. Props to them for hanging in there.

Xaverian has a chance Saturday to prove it’s the best team in the state, and the Hawks should be so crowned if they defeat Everett. Yet St. John’s Prep gave them all they could possibly handle in losing last Wednesday, 7-6. The Eagles had a couple of chances to win, but it just wasn’t to be. Watch out for them in the next couple of years.

It was nice to see Tech handle Austin Prep the way it did. Last  year, it was the other way around and there were cries all over the place wondering how and why the school picked Austin, which is consistently one of the better programs around.

The Tigers answered that question this year.

The Beverly-Salem, Marblehead-Swampscott and Peabody-Saugus games were fairly predictable.

It’ll be sad to see Mike Broderick ride off into the sunset, though. He has always been a decent, stand-up guy who has tried to make the most of what he had, and never ducked those who covered the team. The town was fortunate to have him as long as it did, and he will be missed.

Hats off to St. Mary’s coach Matt Durgin for playing all his healthy starters against Bishop Fenwick. Going in, that looked to be a pretty hard-hitting game. It would have been so tempting for Durgin to hold out Calvin Johnson, who suffered an achilles injury in the Division 1 North final game against Stoneham, but he played.

Keep your hat on, however, Duxbury coach Dave Maimaron walks by. He benched all his starters for his Thanksgiving game against Marshfield (the Dragons will be in the Division 2 Super Bowl). The Rams didn’t just win, they demolished the Dragons.

The excuse was that Duxbury had to play the extra state semifinal game. And while it’s certainly a concern to play three games in two weeks, other teams have done it.

It becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy. The thinking is that because if the current playoff system, Thanksgiving is now meaningless. Whether that’s true or not, it seems counter-intuitive for coaches to go about proving it.

We’ve come this far without talking about the Classical-English game. I’ve seen all sorts of comeback wins in my life, at all levels. But the true stuff of legends, like the fiasco with the Stanford band, and the Kevin Dyson returns, have been saved for TV. I was lucky enough to see Dyson’s return when it happened, but saw the Stanford tuba player get bowled over via Memorex.

What Marcus Rivera did last Thursday ranked right up there with the best of them. Not only did he run the kick back (after receiving a lateral from Melvin Nieves), he ran it back a lot farther than the 83 yards for which he received credit.

By the time Rivera got the ball from Nieves he was close to being inside his own 10-yard line.

He’ll be telling his grandchildren about that play, and it’ll be on every end-of-the-year highlight compilation there is in this area.

There are so many quirks about the play. Squib kicks are designed to slow the receiving team down, and to (possibly) induce fumbles. This one bounced right up into Nieves’ hands.

Nieves was in the process of being tackled when he got the ball off to Rivera. And Rivera dodged what looked to be a sure tackle way back at his own 10, but managed to wiggle free and start his journey up field.

Simply an astounding, unbelievable play.


Steve Krause can be reached at skrause@itemlive.com. 

Check out these coming attractions

COURTESY PHOTO
Several dancers from Saugus will perform in Melrose Youth Ballet’s “The Nutcracker,” Dec. 2-4. They include, from left, Samantha Murray, Nicole Rourke, Jenna Rusconi, Gianna Filaretos and Jocelyn McCarrier.

By BILL BROTHERTON

Saugus dancers in ‘Nutcracker’

MELROSE Twelve Saugus residents are preparing to perform in Melrose Youth Ballet’s production of “The Nutcracker,”  which returns to Memorial Hall, 590 Main St., Dec. 2-4.

These young dancers, who range in age from 7 to 18, auditioned and were cast by Artistic Director Matthew Cox Parello and Assistant Director Travers King.

They are Samantha Murray, Nicole Rourke, Jenna Rusconi, Gianna Filaretos, Jocelyn McCarrier, Samantha Martin, Alyssa Milton, Lauren Payne, Ana Beatriz Silva, Maria Clara Silva, Lacey Warner and Molly Warner.

For details and ticket information, go to www.melroseyouthballet.org or call (781) 665-4MYB.  

Christmas Charcuterie Cabaret

LYNN — Arts After Hours is celebrating a great year and the launch of season 7 through song, food and drink (cash bar) Dec. 15, 7 p.m. at LynnArts, 25 Exchange St.

“Christmas Charcuterie Cabaret” will feature talent that is no stranger to AAH: James Tallach, Micah Greene, Corey and Sarah Jackson, Thomas Martin, Mario Cruz and more to be announced.

Tickets: $50 at artsafterhours.com or (781) 205-4010.

‘Nutcracker’ ballet

LYNN — The Greater Salem Ballet Company will present “The Nutcracker,” Saturday, Dec. 3, 1 and 5 p.m., at Lynn Auditorium.

More than 100 local adults and children make up the cast. The leading role of Clara is performed by Clara Szalewicz of Marblehead.

Performers include, from Marblehead: Jenny Minney, Snow Queen; Nicole Klemm, General; Lucia Beurer, Tree Angel; Carolyn Black, Peppermint; from Swampscott: Morgan McBurney, Arabian; Jillian Kirby, Trepak; Alex Reames, Peppermint; Hailey Bucklin, Gift Doll; Hannah Maercklein, Marzipan; Haley Carola, Dew Drop Fairy; from Lynn: Vasia Fotopoulos, Angel Princess; from Salem: Olivia Hauber, Chinese; Yasmine Gonzales, Mouse King; Jillian Angeramo, Spanish; from Danvers: Audrey Chmura, Fritz.

GSBC is a nonprofit organization based at A Performing Arts Academy in Salem. Its goal is to give dance students an opportunity to perform locally in professional-quality productions while learning in a warm, encouraging and nurturing environment.

Seanna Chmura and Susan Byrne bring more than 20 years of experience producing “The Nutcracker.”  Guest choreographer is Lauren Ganther, who has a BFA in Dance from the Boston Conservatory and is in the José Mateo Ballet Theatre.

The Cavalier is Alan Alberto of the Festival Ballet of Providence; the Sugar Plum is Emily Loscocco, a freelance performer formerly with the Alaska Ballet Theater.

Tickets, $18-$30: 781-599-SHOW or at lynnauditorium.com. Discounted $10 tickets are available for seats in the upper balcony; purchase code is “student.”

Economist/poet visit ‘Loom’ing

GLOUCESTER Economist and poet Kevin Gallagher will read from his new book, “Loom,” at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 30, at Gloucester Writers Center, 126 E. Main St.

The program is co-sponsored by Cape Ann Forum. “Loom” examines the historical connections between racism, labor rights and wealth in the old mills of Massachusetts, and makes them available for analysis through a poetic experience.

Gallagher is an economist, an associate professor at the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies, and co-director of the Global Economic Governance Initiative at Boston University.

For more information go to www.GloucesterWriters.org

‘Ella and Her Fellas’

MARBLEHEAD — The Follen Angels, international jazz and cabaret artists, celebrate the music of Ella Fitzgerald at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, at Marblehead Little Theater.

“Ella and Her Fellas” features some of the jazz vocalist’s most beloved songs, including “How High the Moon,” “Lady Be Good,” “A Tisket a Tasket,” “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore,” “The Man I Love,” “I Got Rhythm,” “April in Paris” and many others.

The Follen Angels have recorded six CDs and have earned much praise for their performances. Band members are Hildy Grossman on vocals, Shinichi Otsu on piano, Kenneth W. Dantzig on drums, Rick Stone on sax/clarinet and Sven Larson on bass.

For information and tickets, go to http://follenangels.com/performances/

Cape Ann Symphony

MANCHESTER-BY-THE-SEA — The Cape Ann Symphony’s annual Holiday Pops Concert kicks off the holiday season at 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 26, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 27, at Manchester-Essex High School Auditorium, 36 Lincoln St.

A holiday tradition, the Cape Ann Symphony Pops concert features the Cape Ann Symphony Chorus under the direction of Rockport’s Wendy Betts performing with the orchestra under the musical direction of conductor Yoichi Udagawa.

Tickets: $40 for adults, $35 for senior citizens and $5 for youth age 18 and younger; (978) 281-0543 or www.capeannsymphony.org.

Gretchen Peters at me&thee

MARBLEHEAD Gretchen Peters, one of Nashville’s most respected artists, will perform at 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9, at the me&thee coffeehouse, 28 Mugford St. She will be accompanied by her husband/co-producer and pianist Barry Walsh.

Peters was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in October 2014 by singer-songwriter Rodney Crowell and has accumulated accolades as a songwriter for artists as diverse as Etta James, Bonnie Raitt, the Neville Brothers, Patty Loveless, George Strait, Bryan Adams and Faith Hill.

Her 2015 album, “Blackbirds,” debuted at  No. 1 on the UK Country chart and in the top 40 UK pop chart, and was awarded International Album of the Year and Song of the Year (for “Blackbirds”, which Rolling Stone called “one of the most affecting murder ballads since Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Nebraska’ left a trail of corpses strewn across the American landscape”) at the UK Americana awards.

Tickets: $20 in advance, $23 at the door, $10 for students; www.meandthee.org

Classical takes a tough road to Thanksgiving

FILE PHOTO
Matt Lauria (left) and the Rams will look to end their season with a win over rival English. 

By HAROLD RIVERA

The road to Thanksgiving has been a tough one for the Lynn Classical football team.

The Rams sit at 2-9, but the record doesn’t tell the story. Classical lost its season opener to Gloucester by two points (21-19) in the game’s last minute, and lost to Division 2 North champ Beverly by six points (28-22). Both of those opponents made it to the state tournament.

Although the Rams failed to reach the playoffs, coach Tim Phelps said his team is still hungry for a win against English Thursday (10 a.m.).

“Our players have been pretty good (in practice),” Phelps said. “They’ve been motivated all year. Our varsity guys are motivated and we have younger guys looking to make strides.

“We’re excited,” he said. “For some of them, this will be their first varsity Thanksgiving game. They’ll always remember playing on Thanksgiving. They’re excited to and ready to play in front of the city.”

Offensively, the Rams are led by a pair of talented seniors in quarterback Matt Lauria and running back Marcus Rivera. Lauria’s athleticism has allowed the Rams to expand their playbook.

“He’s (Lauria) a three-year starter so he really knows the ins and outs of the offense,” Phelps said. “We’ve been able to design some plays for him because of his ability. He’s come up big for us as at times.”

Rivera suffered an injury on Classical’s third play of the season, but has given the Rams a boost now that he’s healthy.

“He’s kind of like an instant spark plug for us,” Phelps said. “Marcus, being a senior captain, the ability he has allows us to cover some of the mistakes we make. He can make a guy miss in a hole and cover up a missed block.”

On defense, Classical is led by a pair of sophomores in linebacker David Barnard — who was a stalwart for the Lynn Babe Ruth World Series team — and safety Chase Buono.

“We had high expectations for them this year and they’ve lived up to those expectations,” Phelps said of his defensive leaders. “We hope to have them lead us for the next two years.”

The unsung hero for the Rams this season is tight end Dennis Pierce. A sophomore, Pierce transferred to Classical from Mystic Valley and was moved to the tight end position midway through the season.

“He (Pierce) has stepped up,” Phelps said. “We moved him to tight end we’ve played better football since we moved him there.”

Although Classical hopes to end its season on a high note, English has other plans. When the two teams meet at Manning Field, Phelps said his group will need to look out for an athletic opponent that can move the chains on offense.

“They’ve struggled but they have some tremendous athletes,” Phelps said. “They’ve gone to a more running scheme but they run a little play action and shotgun spread. They have great athletes just like us. They can kill the clock and move the ball so we’ll have to look out for that.”

Phelps added, “If we can play mistake-free football and play our game, if we can run the ball and sustain mistake-free drives, that can be very beneficial for us. Defensively if we can play for four quarters and get to the ball, and make tackles it could be a good game for us.”

Phelps mentioned that the underclassmen on the team are using the seniors as a source of motivation. The goal is for the younger players to send the seniors off with a win against their rival.

“It’s always about the seniors on Thanksgiving,” Phelps said. “It’s our last game with them and it’s special for those kids. Hopefully we can pull out that win for them.”


Harold Rivera can be reached at hrivera@itemlive.com. 

Danvers, Gloucester set to renew Thanksgiving rivalry

FILE PHOTO
Danvers quarterback Dean Borders readies to throw a pass. 

By SCOT COOPER 

If the Gloucester-Danvers Thanksgiving (10 a.m., Dr. Deering Stadium) clash were a TV game, it would be flexed to prime time.

Both teams and both had hoped for games on the schedule after Thursday.

“The goal at the beginning of every season is to win the Super Bowl, and short of that you want to win on Thanksgiving,” Gloucester coach Tony Zerilli said. “We didn’t make it to the Super Bowl, but now this team has a chance to send our seniors off with a big win over Danvers on Thanksgiving, so that’s what we’re preparing for.”

There are lots of similarities. Both schools made the Division 2A North playoffs, won their first game, and then lost the next one.

Danvers was looking for a potential rematch with Marblehead, which beat the Falcons 30-23 on September 23, but North Reading spoiled that. The Fishermen beat Melrose in their first playoff game, but were ground down by the Magicians in the second round, 41-26, on Nov. 4.

Danvers coach Shawn Theriault said that his team worked hard to get to the playoffs, but lost to a very good team.

“At this point,” he said, “either a Super Bowl win or a win on Thanksgiving is what you’re hoping to end your season with, and unfortunately, we didn’t make it to the Super Bowl, so the job now is to go out with a win on Thanksgiving,” Theriault said.  “A win on Thanksgiving will feel pretty good.”

This will be Theriault’s third Thanksgiving game. He split the first two.

“This is kind of the rubber match for me, and the thing about this game is the kids up and down the line are excited about playing, and the coaches are excited too,” Theriault said.

“It’s a little bit of an advantage to have the game at home, but at the end of the day, everybody’s even. They’re going to bring it, so we’ve got to be ready to bring it too.

Theriault said his offensive line has been outstanding all season, with four of the five guys starting for the first Time. Theriault said that senior Kyle Purcell was fantastic at guard, before he was felled with an injury. Tackles Jack Ackerly, Cole Johnson and Brad Anderson have all been solid on the offensive line for the Falcons, opening holes for Matt Andreas and protecting quarterback Dean Borders.

Danvers will be hampered Thursday as Andreas, a sure candidate for Northeastern Conference MVP, broke his leg against North Reading.

Still, he said, “we’ve had a lot of guys step up and contribute to this team, you don’t win eight games without a lot of guys working together and playing as a team,” Theriault said.

For the visiting Fishermen, ending the season with a win over Danvers will feel great alongside capturing the NEC/South crown. Zerilli said this game is always circled on the calendar whether the teams are both unbeaten or winless, it’s a big game for both communities, no matter what the records are.

Gloucester enters the game after beating Melrose, losing to Marblehead and then knocking off Wakefield. Zerilli said that it’s been a treat watching as his young team got better as the season wore on.

“Last year we were really a senior dominated team, so we came into this season with a much younger team, and the guys have really done a nice job in their roles as full time players as the season went along,” Zerilli said. “It’s been a learning experience, we just asked the kids to get better every week and they’ve done that.”

“Whether it was a bad game or a bad play, the kids have put it behind them, worked to get better and they really have done a great job as the season went along,” Zerilli said.

Zerilli will be coaching his seventh Turkey Day game, and he played a few of them for Fisherman coach Terry Silva.

“Myself and every one on my staff played for Gloucester High, so we all know how big this game is, no matter what the records are,” Zerilli said. “The fact that we have two teams having great seasons makes it even better. We’re all going to treat this like it’s our last game at Gloucester, and make our last game great.”

Zerilli said Gloucester would be looking for big games from seniors Christian Sanfilippo, Nate Young, Kyle Aquipel, Eric Cameron, Jermaine Edward, and juniors Kevin Gabriele, Ryan Terry, and Jake Russell. Zerilli also said he’s looking for sophomores Marc Smith and Cam Ortiz to have an impact in their first holiday game.

Nicholas P. Rouvalis, 84

LYNN Mr. Nicholas P. Rouvalis, 84, died on Friday, Nov. 11, 2016, at his home, surrounded by his loving family, after a lengthy illness. He was the husband of Portia (Mourginis) Rouvalis. Born in Gloucester on Dec. 15, 1931, he lived in Lynn most of his life. He was the son of the late Panagiotis “Peter” Rouvalis and Pota (Koutroubis) Rouvalis. As a youngster, he moved with his parents to Greece and later to New York. They moved back to Lynn where he was raised and educated, and was a graduate of Lynn Technical and Vocational High School, Class of 1948. Mr. Rouvalis served with the Air National Guard. He was employed a Manager of the Richdale Store on Euclid Avenue in Lynn. He started his career as a machinist for General Electric and then was employed with Kentron. After retirement from full-time work at the age of 81, he worked at Market Basket in Middleton. He was a member of St. George Greek Orthodox Church, where he served as an alter boy. He enjoyed yard work and gardening and handy work around the house. He enjoyed swimming and walking.

Besides his wife Portia of 63 years, he is survived by two children, a daughter Angela Tenedios and her husband Kerry of Danvers, and a son, Peter Rouvalis and his wife Nikki of Danvers. He leaves four grandchildren, Christina Tenedios and her partner Jonathan Davis, Amanda Martin and her husband Christopher, Stephanie and Sophia Rouvalis; his brother-in-law Constantine and his wife Cynthia of Worcester, Nicholas and his wife Yola of Boston; sister-in-law, Aglaia of Meredith, N. H. He also leaves several nieces, nephews and cousins. He was the brother of the late Charles Rouvalis.

Service information: His funeral will be held on Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016, at 9 a.m. from the SOLIMINE Funeral Home, 426 Broadway (Rt. 129), Lynn, followed by a funeral service in St. George Greek Orthodox Church, 54 So. Common St., Lynn, at 10a.m. Interment will follow in Pine Grove Cemetery, Lynn. Relatives and friends invited. Visiting hours are on Wednesday from 4–8 p.m. Donations may be made to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, c/o Dr. Choueiri Research Fund, 450 Brookline Ave., Boston MA 02115 or St. George Greek Orthodox Church, 54 So. Common St., Lynn, MA 01902. Directions and guest book at Solimine.com.

Marblehead, North Reading fight for spot in Div. 2A Super Bowl

FILE PHOTO
Jaason Lopez and the Marblehead Magicians will clash against North Reading on Friday night. 

By MIKE ALONGI 

There’s only one team standing in front of Marblehead on its quest to a Division 2A Super Bowl, and it may be the Magicians’ toughest test of the year.

Marblehead will face off against the North Reading Hornets in the Division 2A North Final at 7 p.m. on Friday at Piper Field in Marblehead.

The No. 2 Hornets have a track record similar to the top-ranked Magicians. Both teams won their respective conferences (Marblehead, at 9-0, topped the Northeastern Conference North division while North Reading, at 8-1, won the Cape Ann League Kinney division with Masconomet), both teams rolled through the Division 2A North playoffs and both teams have a high-powered offensive attack.

The Magicians come into the final on a roll, having outscored their opponents 74-26 in the Division 2A North playoffs to this point. After a 33-0 shutout of No. 8 Wayland in the opener, the Magicians defeated NEC South champion and fourth-ranked Gloucester 41-26 in the semifinal. Marblehead had a potent offensive attack, with five different players reaching the endzone. Quarterback Drew Gally threw for 242 yards and three touchdowns along with a rushing touchdown, while running back Jaason Lopez scored two touchdowns on the ground.

But it hasn’t been all about the offense for the Magicians, who forced three turnovers against the Fishermen. Defensive back Justin Faia had two interceptions, while defensive lineman Bo Millett recovered a fumble.

The Hornets are coming in at about the same clip following a first-round shutout of No. 7 Bedford (35-0) and a 35-14 win over a strong No. 3 Danvers team in the semifinal. North Reading’s offensive attack is led by standout senior running back Matt McCarthy, who rushed for 354 yards and three touchdowns in the win over Danvers last week.

The winner of this game will get a bye straight into the Division 2A Super Bowl, where they will face off against either the South or Central division champion. Kickoff is set for Friday night at 7 p.m. at Piper Field in Marblehead.

Philip J. Cronin, 65

SALEMPhilip J. Cronin, 65, of Salem passed away unexpectedly on Oct. 31, 2016. Son of the late Edward and Rita (Coughlin) Cronin, Phil was born and raised in Peabody and graduated from St. Peter’s High School in Gloucester in 1969.

Phil settled in Salem and was employed by National Grid (Boston Gas, Keyspan) from 1978 until the time of his death. Phil loved the City of Salem and was a kind soul who genuinely enjoyed helping his neighbors in the community whenever the opportunity arose. Phil had a passion for music and New England sports teams, and was an extremely talented chef and gardener.

Phil leaves behind his wife of 44 years, Jennifer (DeMauro) Cronin, as well as his two children, Jeremy Cronin and his wife Lisa of Boxford, and Maria Cronin of Salem and her fiancée, Jodi Bourgeois of Burlington; his three grandchildren whom he adored, Mackenzie, Seamus and Logan Cronin, all of Boxford; his brother, Edward Cronin of Hubbardston; two sisters, Elizabeth McGivern and her Husband James of Danvers and Janet Flynn and her husband Paul of Peabody, and several nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his brother Neil Cronin, his sister Joyce Cunney and his childhood friend Keith “The Big Ape” Richardson. Phil’s family takes comfort in knowing that he has reunited with his loved ones in Heaven.

Service information: His visiting hours will be held at the MURPHY Funeral Home, 85 Federal St. (corner of North Street) Salem on Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016, from 4-8 p.m. His funeral service will be held at Murphy Funeral Home on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016 at 11 a.m. Burial in Greenlawn Cemetery, Salem. Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend. For additional information please call 978-744-0497 or visit MurphyFuneralHome.com.

High School Football: Local interaction tonight

PHOTO BY BOB ROCHE
Lynnfield co-captain Mike Stellato’s father, also Mike, coached St. Mary’s to a Super Bowl title in 2005. The two teams play tonight in the Division 3A North semifinal.

By STEVE KRAUSE

The first week of playoff football winnowed some of the area’s teams out a bit, but there are still seven of them left in the state championship hunt.

And whatever happens this weekend, two of them won’t be. That’s because Gloucester will travel to Piper Field in Marblehead tonight (7) to face the top-seeded Magicians in Division 2A North while No. 4 Lynnfield takes a ride down to Manning Field in Lynn (7) to try its hand at slowing down No. 1 St. Mary’s in Division 3A.  

In other tournament games tonight, No. 5 Peabody is at No. 1 Lincoln-Sudbury in Division 1A (7); Danvers travels to North Reading (7) in battle between Nos. 2 and 3 in Division 2A; and Bishop Fenwick is in Byfield to face Triton (7) in a 2-3 game in Division 3.

Saturday, No. 3 St. John’s Prep hosts No. 7 Andover at 2 p.m. and No. 3 Beverly travels to No. 1 Tewksbury in in Division 2.

In the second weekend of non-playoff games tonight (all games at 7), it’ll be Classical at North Andover, Lynn Tech at Essex Tech, Westford Academy at Revere, Burlington at Salem and Greater Lawrence at Winthrop.

Saturday, Lawrence is at Manning Field (11) to play English, Pentucket is at Swampscott (2) and Saugus goes to Arlington Catholic (5)

Lynnfield at St. Mary’s

At Manning Field, this was supposed to be a rebuilding year for the Pioneers, but the construction proved to be more efficient than anyone expected.

They are 5-2 coming into this game, and they’re coming off a deceptive 34-14 win over Northeast Regional in which special teams and big plays proved to be the difference. In fact, Lynnfield ran only a handful of plays in the first half.

The offense is balanced, with running backs Anthony and Tyler Murphy (not related) leading the way. And quarterback Matt Mortellite and receiver Nick Kinnon are one of the better aerial combos in the region.

An interesting sidenote to this game: co-captain Mike Stellato’s father, also Mike, coached the Spartans to their only Super Bowl victory in 2005.

Nobody has been able to slow down St. Mary’s this season. The Spartans defeated No. 8 Winthrop, 52-8, in the quarterfinals last week. Once again, it was the combined running of Abraham Toe and Calvin Johnson, both of whom ran for more than 100 yards in only one half of action, that led the way. The Vikings did not score until the game was well in hand for the Spartans.

Since the beginning of the season, St. Mary’s has scored 336 points to its opponents’ 61. Its closest game, in terms of point differential, was its 38-12 win over Lynn English in Week 2.

To further emphasize St. Mary’s domination over its foes, once the Spartans began Catholic Central League play, they only gave up 19 points, and most of them were at the ends of games that were no longer in doubt. They gave up only seven against Cardinal Spellman, and shut out both Archbishop Williams and Austin Prep with scores of 44-0 and 40-0 respectively.

Gloucester at Marblehead

At Piper Field, fans of the old Northeastern Conference, in which all the teams battled each other, will undoubtedly love this game against the two champions of the respective league divisions.

The Fishermen, who for most of the last two decades have been the gold standard in the league, had a fabulous regular season, going 6-1 (losing only at Beverly) and winning the NEC/South. Since eking out a win over Classical at sweltering Manning Field in Week 1, and then losing to the Panthers the next week, the Fish have reeled off six wins in a row, including last week’s 18-6 Division 3A quarterfinal win over Melrose of the Middlesex League. Christian Sanfilippo scored two touchdowns in the victory.

After a tough 30-23 win against No. 3 Danvers in Week 3, the Magicians found their stride, rolling to wins over Peabody, Beverly (handing the Panthers their first loss of the season), Lynn Classical and Lynn English. They have outscored their opponents, 273-126 in their eight games.

Last week, Marblehead’s 35-0 win over Wayland was essentially over in the first quarter, when the Magicians scored 21 points. Everything clicked as Drew Gally threw for two touchdowns, and the Magicians got touchdowns from a defensive turnover and from special teams.

Fenwick at Triton

At Triton, the Vikings, 6-2, who opened up their season with five straight wins, recovered nicely from their end-of-season two-game losing streak with a quarterfinal win over Swampscott, 22-10.

Triton quarterback Lewi L’Heureux ran for two touchdowns and 87 yards in the win. Both Triton’s losses are against higher-division teams. One was to North Reading, the No. 2 seed in Division 2A; and the other Masconomet, the No. 3 seed in Division 2.

For the Crusaders, the same cast of characters has propelled them to a 7-1 record, including last week’s 31-6 romp over Amesbury. Running back Isaiah Cashwell-Doe rushed for 57 yards and two touchdowns, and sophomore quarterback Cory Bright threw for 126 yards and a score. Alex Kaupp and Dylan Mullen also scored touchdowns, and Cam Eon was perfect on extra points and added a field goal to boot.

Peabody at Lincoln-Sudbury

At Lincoln Sudbury, the No. 5 Tanners put it all together last week in a 35-19 win over No. 4 Westford Academy. The win evened Peabody’s record at 4-4.

The Warriors are the top seed in Division 1A with a 6-1 record. Their only loss was at Holliston, the second seed in Division 3 South, in Week 2, 30-20.

Last week, the Warriors defeated No. 8 Cambridge in the quarterfinal.

Noah Freedman, co-winner of this week’s Item/Agganis Foundation Player of the Week award, scored twice in last week’s Peabody win over the Grey Ghosts, with Jake Doherty, Matt D’Amato and Eric DeMayo reaching the end zone as well.

For most of the season, the Tanners relied on a strong defense. But the offense has picked up speed over the last month, with 111 points over the past four games.

Danvers at North Reading

At North Reading, the iron of the Northeastern Conference goes up against the iron of the Cape Ann League in this matchup. The Hornets, 7-1, suffered their only loss Sept. 30 against Masconomet. Last Friday, they blasted Bedford, 35-0, in the Division 2A quarterfinal.

The No. 3 Falcons, also 7-1, had a similarly easy time of it against Wakefield last Friday, winning 28-0. Matt Andreas, the other Player of the Week winner, scored a touchdown, ran for 124 yards and had 57 additional yards in pass receptions.

Andover at St. John’s

At Brother Linus Athletic Commons, the No. 3 Eagles’ defense will have to contend with Golden Warrior team that scored 54 points last week.

And the Eagles’ offense will face a Golden Eagles’ defense that gave up 48.

Only the last six of those combined points occurred in overtime.

The Golden Warriors are the seventh seed in Division 1, but their quarterback E.J. Perry, whose uncle, James, starred for Malden Catholic and Brown University, has committed to Boston College. And he has a sure target in Cedric Gillette, who had 276 receiving yards last week.

The Eagles played half of last week’s 32-7 win over Acton-Boxborough with backup quarterback Chris Burke after starter Mike Yarin went down with an injury in the first half. In addition, lineman Nick Favazza had to be taken off the field, and receiver Hayden Rockett suffered a concussion during practice last week.

Since losing two of its first three, The Prep has reeled off five wins in a row, sweeping the three games they played in the Catholic Conference, defeating powerhouse Bridgewater-Raynham, and the Colonials last weekend.

Beverly at Tewksbury

At Tewksbury, the Redmen have run the table in their first eight games while the Panthers had a late-season dip in losses to Marblehead and Danvers before eking out a Week 7 win over Lynn Classical.

In non-playoff games, Classical’s game last week was a defensive struggle before Woburn broke away for a 19-6 win. The Rams will try for victory No. 2 at North Andover tonight. The Scarlet Knights defeated English last weekend.

The Bulldogs will be home Saturday at 11 a.m. against Lawrence in their quest for their second victory of the season. Lynn Tech is at Essex Tech tonight. Both lost opening-round games last weekend.

Revere would like to move closer to a winning season tonight when it hosts Westford Academy. Winthrop, too, would like to say in shape for its Thanksgiving game against Revere by entertaining Greater Lawrence at East Boston Stadium. Swampscott tries to get back on the winning track at home Saturday against Pentucket and Saugus goes to Arlington Catholic Saturday at 5. Something will have to give in that game, as neither team has tasted victory.

 

Lynn Tech wins league cross country meet

PHOTO BY BOB ROCHE
Marcelo Rocha of Peabody and Classical’s Gilley Kabamba lead the field of 68 runners at the start of the Northeastern Conference cross country championship.

By KATIE MORRISON

Lynn Tech competes in a league where its closest rivals are in Chelsea, Wakefield and Middleton, and that includes teams from as far north as Tyngsborough.

As such, it’s hard for the Tigers to get the constant recognition as schools whose leagues are comprised mainly of teams concentrated in the immediate Lynn area. Nevertheless, when it comes to cross country and track, Tech is working on something special.

Saturday, the Tech boys cross country team won the Commonwealth Conference title for the second year in a row at Essex Technical High School in Danvers with 29 points, topping second-place Essex Tech.

edgar

PHOTO COURTESY OF LYNN TECH
Lynn Tech’s Edgar Ortega won the Commonwealth Conference boys cross country mee
t.

Tech’s Edgar Ortega took the top spot, finishing in 17:27. Brandon Mendez placed third, followed by Rodrigo Mora (6th), Jayden Lowe (8th) and Jose Morel (11th).

It wasn’t just the win that impressed coach John Hogan. It was the way in which his runners prepared that gave him an extra sense of pride.

“Some of our guys have been going up to Lynn Woods, to Stone Tower, to prepare on their own,” said Hogan, who explained that Essex Tech’s course was hilly.

“I was worried about (the course),” Hogan said. “I knew we’d run a good race, but it’s their course. They’re familiar with it, so that concerned me.

“We usually practice behind the school,” he said. “But Edgar, Brendan and Jose all went up there on their own so they could run on the hills. They put the time in.

“Edgar has been working on this for four years,” said Hogan. “This was his coming-out party.”

For the girls, Tech’s top finishers were Massa Freeman (21st), Gianna Peredina (24th) and Patricia Araujo (31st).

The Tech boys will run Wednesday in the state vocational meet, which will be held at the Wrentham Development Center.

Northeastern Conference

The Peabody boys dominated at the meet at Bradley Palmer State Park in Hamilton Saturday, scoring 22 points en route to a victory over Marblehead, which scored 49 points.

On the girls side, Beverly (40) edged Peabody (45) and Gloucester (67) for the NEC title.

Marcelo Rocha led the way for Peabody, finishing first overall in 15 minutes, 50 seconds. Marblehead’s Oliver Jacob finished second (16:22), followed by Peabody’s Claudio Rocha (16:47) and Shane Braz (16:50). Marblehead’s Elrik Larson finished fifth at 16:54.

Gilley Kabamba was Classical’s finisher, coming in 10th overall (17:23). Swampscott’s Oliver Daniels-Koch finished 12th (17:34), English’s Abrar Jalal finished 17th (17:55) and Classical’s Kevin Durant came in 19th (18:06).

Marblehead had six finishers in the top 20, including Ian Strothers (17:30, 11th), Oliver Daniels-Koch (17:34, 12th), Oliver Glass (17:36, 14th), Ethan Snook (17:43, 16th) and Zach Phelan (18:03, 18th). Peabody’s William Aylward (17:15, 9th), Joe Farhat (17:36, 13th) and Garrett Braz (17:41, 15th) also finished in the top 20.

Beverly took two of the top four spots for the girls, with Ashley Foley (18:42) finishing first and Abby Walsh finishing third (19:29), while Peabody’s Jessica Ostrowski (19:11) and Sophie Anderle (19:51) finished second and fourth, respectively. Peabody had four finishers in the top 20. Peabody had four finishers in the top 20 (including Emily Christiansen, 6th, 20:22 and Ally Barrett, 11th, 20:59), as did Marblehead (Ellie Emerick, 7th, 20:24; Mia Forster, 16th, 21:42; Lily Gillis, 17th, 21:46; Montana Joyce, 20th, 22:04).

Laurie Rodriguez was Classical’s top finisher (24:58) and Jacquelyn Ramirez finished first for English (24:07). Revere’s Hannah Fitzpatrick (22:11) and Monica Posada (22:31) finished 23rd and 26th, respectively. Veronica Rizzo was Swampscott’s top finisher (39th, 24:24).

Cape Ann League Meet

Ann Olson was Lynnfield’s top finisher at the CAL meet at Bradley Palmer, placing 28th (21:21), and Zachary Shone was the Pioneers’ top male finisher (57th, 19:03).

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Katie Morrison can be reached at kmorrison@itemlive.com

Marblehead romps past Wayland

ITEM FILE PHOTO
Justin Faia caught a 14-yard touchdown pass in Marblehead’s 35-0 rout of Wayland Friday.

By GORDON VINCENT

MARBLEHEAD — There will be an opponent that challenges the Marblehead High football team in this year’s MIAA Division 2A North playoffs. That team wasn’t Wayland, though.

The Magicians (8-0) scored three touchdowns in the first quarter and rolled to a 35-0 win over Wayland (3-5), in a quarterfinal round tournament game Friday at Piper Field. Top-ranked Marblehead plays 4th-seeded Gloucester (7-1) in the sectional semifinals Friday (7) at Piper Field.

The Magicians scored on offense, defense and special teams. Drew Gally threw touchdown passes to Manning Sears and Justin Faia, while Derek Marino ran for an 81-yard score. Andy Clough returned a Wayland fumble 52 yards, while Ted Mayle recovered a blocked a punt in the end zone.

“We knew nothing about (Wayland) except that they play in a good league and have a great program,” said Marblehead coach Jim Rudloff, who tied Bruce Jordan‘s school record with his 67th career win at Marblehead High. “So it was important for us to get off to a good start.”

An interception by Marino on the third play of the game set up the Magicians for their first touchdown, a 14-yard throw from Gally to Faia on 4th-and-4. Marblehead held Wayland without a first down on its next drive, and Devin Romain blocked the ensuing punt (his second blocked punt of the season) that Mayle caught in the end zone.

Marblehead’s next offensive series lasted one play, an 81-yard touchdown run by Marino on a sweep to the left. Jaason Lopez‘s two-point conversion rush gave the Magicians a 21-0 lead with 32 seconds left in the first quarter.

The Magicians scored their fourth touchdown with six seconds left in the first half. Gally engineered a 72-yard, 12-play drive that included a 19-yard run by Marino, which set up a 4th-and-2 from the Wayland 15. Gally connected with Sears on a post pattern to give the Magicians a 28-0 lead.

The only touchdown in the second half came on Clough’s fumble return. Sam Frontero stripped the ball from Wayland halfback Jeremiah Darlington. Sears had the first crack at a recovery, but Clough gathered the ball and raced down the left sideline, deftly avoiding Wayland quarterback Liam Henning at about the 10-yard line.

Wayland’s deepest penetration in the game was Marblehead’s 19 late in the first quarter, but Faia broke up a halfback option pass on 4th-and-1 to turn the ball over to the Magicians on downs.

Football: Second season is about to kick off

FILE PHOTO
James Brumfield and the St. Mary’s Spartans will host Winthrop on Friday night. 

By STEVE KRAUSE

The first round of the MIAA football playoffs tonight will see 13 out of the 17 teams in the Item coverage area in action — and all of them will play opponents they haven’t faced yet this season.

And in that sense, it will truly be a second season.

Tonight, two of Lynn’s teams are in action, with Lynn Tech traveling to Daly Field in Boston to play Brighton at 6:30 while an hour later, because of a Manning Field doubleheader, St. Mary’s kicks off at home against Winthrop.

Also tonight (games at 7 unless otherwise noted), Swampscott travels to Triton, Marblehead hosts Wayland, Lynnfield is at home against Northeast Regional, Bishop Fenwick hosts Amesbury, Revere travels to Chelmsford, Peabody is up at Westford Academy, Danvers is home against Wakefield, and Gloucester is at Newell Stadium against Melrose.

In non-playoff games, Classical is home against Woburn (5, the front end of the Manning doubleheader), English is at North Andover and Salem travels to Winchester.

Saturday will see St. John’s Prep at home against Acton-Boxborough (1:30), Beverly at Hurd Stadium against Somerville (1) in tournament games; and Saugus hosting Boston Latin (11) in a non-playoff contest.

Tech at Brighton

At Daly Field, outside of an opening-week victory over O’Bryant (28-20) the Bengals, top seeds in Division 4, have run roughshod over their opponents, both in their league and out. They have a 6-0 record coming into the tournament.

Tech (3-4), seeded eighth, has had a season reflective of its record. In the games the Tigers have won, all have been decisive, and all have featured the one-two punch of Item/Agganis Foundation Player of the Week award-winner Steffan Gravely and Keoni Gaskins.

However, in the games they’ve lost, it’s been a different story. Tech has competed in all of them, but have made mistakes at critical times that have cost the Tigers games.

Should Tech win this weekend, the Tigers would play the winner of Mystic Valley and Georgetown. The Tigers have played both teams this season, losing to each.

Winthrop at St. Mary’s

At Manning Field, of all the games this weekend, these are the two teams that could possibly be the most familiar with each other. They have a common opponent: Lynn English. St. Mary’s, the top seed in Division 3A, defeated the Bulldogs handily in Week 2, 38-12, while English got its only win of the season against Winthrop, in overtime, at Manning Field.

Both come into this game on rolls. The Spartans have been on one all season long. They are 7-0, and are coming off a 40-0 rout of Austin Prep.

Winthrop didn’t get its first victory until Week 4, 14-0 over Salem, but won its next two out of three games to grab the No. 8 slot.

Both teams have Players of the Week. St. Mary’s has Calvin Johnson, who, last week against Austin Prep, ran for 188 yards and scored three touchdowns — all in one half. Winthrop has Jon Gonzalez, who ran for 200 yards last Friday night against Swampscott.

Other St. Mary’s weapons on offense include James Brumfield, quarterback Marcus Atkins, and, on defense, Liam Reddy.

Swampscott at Triton

At Triton, the Big Blue, seeded seventh in Division 3,  come into this game on a three-game losing streak, having dropped games to Salem, Revere and Winthrop. Triton has lost two straight, to North Reading and Masconomet.

It was looking to be a promising season for the Big Blue. A high-powered spread offense, led by quarterback Colin Frary and receiver/kicker Sean Lahrizi, was carving up defenses, including both English and Classical, to the tune of a 3-1 start. It was after a loss to Gloucester and a win over Saugus that things went south.

Triton got off to a 5-0 start, the high-water mark being in Week 1 with a victory over Division 1A Peabody.

Should the Big Blue get past Triton, they’d face the winner of No. 3 Bishop Fenwick and No. 6 Amesbury.

Wayland at Marblehead

At Piper Field, the Magicians, No. 1 in Division 2A, like St. Mary’s in Division 3, have taken on, and dismissed, all comers, entering the tournament with a 7-0 record.

The Warriors (3-4) play in the always-tough Dual County League/Small. Their record is deceiving; three of their losses were against non-league teams, including to Division 1A top seed Lincoln-Sudbury and Masconomet, the third seed in Division 2.

Along with gliding through the Northeastern Conference/North schedule, the Magicians won non-league games against Wakefield and Walpole. They have lots of leaders on the squad, two of the biggest being quarterback Drew Gally and running back and Item Player of the Week winner Jaason Lopez.

Northeast Regional at Lynnfield

At Pioneer Stadium, The Pioneers survived a slow start to finish the regular season at 4-2 and draw the No. 4 seed in Division 3A. The Golden Knights, 5-2, are right behind them at No. 5.

Lynnfield has a host of offensive weapons, starting with Item Player of the Week winner Matt Mortellite.

The Knights, out of the Commonwealth Athletic Conference, have built a solid program under coach Don Heres. Their only two blemishes came in Week 1 against Manchester-Essex and in Week 5 against Shawsheen, the team that was set up to be the top seed in 3A until it lost last weekend to Greater Lawrence.

The winner of this game will play either St. Mary’s or Winthrop next weekend.

Peabody at Westford Academy

At Westford Academy, the Tanners, seeded fifth in Division 1A, take on the No. 4 Grey Ghosts (3-4), who finished fifth out of six teams in the Dual County League/Large.

The Tanners are also 3-4, having finished fourth in the Northeastern Conference/North, ahead of Classical and English.

Peabody is coming off a loss to Danvers in its final game of the regular season.

Should the Tanners win Friday, they’d play the winner of No. 1 Lincoln-Sudbury and No. 8 Cambridge next weekend.

Revere at Chelmsford

At Chelmsford, the Lions, No. 3 in Division 1A, are one of four teams in the sectional that finished with a 3-4 record, the others being Peabody, Westford and the Patriots. On point value, the Patriots drew the sixth seed.

However, Revere comes into the tournament on a hot streak, having won crucial games over Saugus, Salem and Swampscott to claw its way into the postseason. Patriots quarterback Eddie Sullivan has proven to be a very effective on-field leader, and he’s had plenty of help offensively.

Should Revere win Friday night, the Patriots would play the winner of No. 2 Reading and No. 7 Malden Catholic.

Amesbury at Fenwick

At Donaldson Field, the Crusaders come in at No. 3 with a 6-1 mark, but were a point-and-a-half behind Triton in the rankings. North Reading is the top seed.

Amesbury is 2-5 and No. 6 in Division 3. The Indians started out losing their first five games, but wins over Manchester Essex and Hamilton-Wenham gave them enough points to leap into the sixth spot.

If you’re looking for a comparison, the Indians lost to Pentucket earlier this season while the Crusaders defeated the Sachems, 21-6, in the non-league portion of their schedule.

Fenwick is led by Isaiah Cashwell-Doe, who won a Player of the Week award this season, and sophomore quarterback Cory Bright.

Also playing Friday night in tournament games are Danvers (at home vs. Wakefield) and Gloucester (home vs. Melrose).

The Falcons, seeded third in 2A, are led by quarterback Dean Borders and running/all-purpose back Matt Andreas, who is sure to be in the conversation for MVP of the Northeastern Conference/North.

The Fishermen, fourth in 2A, were winners of the Northeastern Conference/South (they were a perfect 5-0 within their league). There were several key players, most key among them Christian Sanfilippo, who scored five touchdowns last week in a win over Saugus.

Acton-Boxborough at St. John’s

At Brother Linus Commons Saturday, the Eagles, led by Player of the Week Mike Yarin at quarterback, turned a tough start into a 5-2 record by winning their last four, and snagging the No. 3 seed in Division 1, just behind Lexington.

So far, the Eagles have swept through the Catholic Conference (they play Xaverian on Thanksgiving), losing only to No. 1 Central Catholic and No. 5 Everett. They won a big road game last Friday against Bridgewater-Raynham.

The Colonials, 4-3 and No. 6, lost their first two games, reeled off four wins in a row, and fell last week to Division 1A top seed Lincoln-Sudbury.

The winner of this round will face either Andover or Lexington next weekend.

Somerville at Beverly

At Hurd Stadium Saturday (1), the Panthers finished up in the win column with a hard-fought win over Lynn Classical at Manning Field last Friday night. For the season, the Panthers finished 5-2, having lost back-to-back games to Marblehead and Danvers, and are seeded fourth in Division 2.

They’ve been led all season by quarterback Kevin Morency, as well as Sam Abate, Kevin Flaherty and Hugh Calice.

In non-tournament games, it doesn’t get any easier for English, which travels to North Andover Friday night. The Bulldogs are 1-6 coming into the game, and were thrashed last weekend by Marblehead, 43-0.

Classical is also 1-6, but the Rams are coming off a tough loss, 28-22, at home to Beverly. The game between the Rams and Woburn is at 5 p.m.

Saturday, Saugus will try for its first win of the season at home against Boston Latin. Tonight, Salem travels to Winchester (7).


Steve Krause can be reached at skrause@itemlive.com. 

Coming Attractions

Andrew Bunar and Elizabeth Daly are in the cast of Stoneham Theatre Company’s production of “James and the Giant Peach.”

Program looks at Beat Scene

GLOUCESTER — The Gloucester Writers Center and the Cape Ann Museum bring Beat-era memoirist Hettie Jones to Gloucester to share her recollections of Worcester-born poet Charles Olson. Jones will present the seventh annual Charles Olson Lecture at the Cape Ann Museum on Saturday at 1 p.m. Jones is best known for her memoir “How I Became Hettie Jones” in which she recalls her many experiences in and around the Beat Scene. She has authored 23 books for both adults and children, and “Drive” — her first poetry collection — won the Poetry Society of America’s Norma Faber Award.

During the 1950s and ’60s, Jones co-edited a publication that Olson had read called “Yugen.” Copies of volumes 2, 5, 7 and 8 can be found in the Maud /Olson Library, which the Gloucester Writers Center opened to the public in June.

Suggested donation: $10. No one turned away for lack of funds. The Gloucester Writers Center offers readings, workshops and classes, as well as residencies for writers, and encourages diverse voices to be heard through the literary arts. For more information, contact the Cape Ann Museum at 978-283-0455, or the Gloucester Writers Center at GloucesterWriters@gmail.com, or head to the Writers Center website www.GloucesterWriters.org.

‘James and the Giant Peach’

STONEHAM — The Stoneham Theatre Company will present Roald Dahl’s “James and the Giant Peach” Nov. 5 and 6. It is the inaugural production of the Advanced Young Company Ensemble, an audition-based performance program. The cast features two actors from Lynnfield, Andrew Bunar and Elizabeth Daly, Caroline Castro of Peabody and Talia Cutulle of Saugus. Tickets, $15 to $25, may be purchased by calling 781-279-2200 or going to www.stonehamtheatre.org.

‘Jimmy Tingle for President’

GLOUCESTER — Gloucester Stage Company and Cape Ann Community Cinema and Stage present “Jimmy Tingle for President” Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at Gloucester Stage Company, 267 East Main St., Gloucester. Tingle has constructed a hilarious, thought-provoking and politically charged one-man show based on his 2016 run for the presidency. As the founder of Humor for Humanity, Tingle is running on his comedic record. The campaign underlines his passion and creative thinking on every issue the next president must grapple with, from money in politics and free speech to climate change, immigration, gun safety and technology. The Cambridge-born Tingle has a career spanning three decades as a comedian, writer, actor, activist and entrepreneur. He rose up from the Boston comedy boom of the ’80s, the scene that spawned Denis Leary, Bobcat Goldthwait and Paula Poundstone. Tickets, $25, at www.gloucesterstage.com or 978-281-4433.

Artists ‘Drawn to Peabody’

PEABODY — Celebrate autumn during National Recycling Week by visiting “Drawn to Peabody” at the Peabody Institute Library, 82 Main St., on Saturday, Nov. 5, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Sunday, Nov. 6, 1-4 p.m. This free public event will show recycled artwork created by Peabody students in grades 5-12. On Saturday only, Peabody High AP art students will display their work in the Sutton Room, next to the library’s collection of original Audubon prints. Both days, visitors can view student paintings, drawings, photographs and sculptures that will be on display on the second floor. For more information, visit www.greenpeabody.org.

Local artist showcase

MARBLEHEAD — The Cloister Gallery at St. Andrew’s Church, 135 Lafayette St., is featuring an exhibition by local artists Judy Beals, Pat Dunbar and Annette Sykes. The show will open with a reception on Sunday, Nov. 6 from 11:15 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and run through Jan. 12. Gallery hours are Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Friday, 9 a.m.-noon, Saturday, 8:30-11:30 a.m. and Sunday, 8 a.m.-noon. For more information, call 781-631-4951 or visit standrewsmhd.org/cloistergallery.html.

Saugus soccer continues to improve

ITEM PHOTO BY KATIE MORRISON
Saugus captain Brian Rivas and Kyle Kariores of Gloucester battle for the ball. 

By KATIE MORRISON 

SAUGUS — For the Saugus boys soccer team, this season has been a challenge.

The Sachems are still winless with two games left to play, but this young team has improved by leaps and bounds as the season has gone on. That was evident Wednesday at Anna Parker Playground.

The Sachems fell, 2-0, to Gloucester, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. The last time the two teams met back on Sept. 20, Fishermen coach Armando Marnoto said he had to tell his team to back off and stop shooting in a 7-0 win for Gloucester.

That was certainly not the case Wednesday. The Fishermen had to fight for both goals, and Saugus made several bids to get on the scoreboard.

Gloucester also had to deal with sophomore goalie Juan Lopez, who moved from the midfield into the net earlier in the season, but looked like a natural between the pipes for Saugus.

“He really works his butt off,” Saugus coach Larry Bolduc, who’s in his first year at the helm of the Sachems, said. “In his spare time he’s working with his brother on diving and punting and it’s just crazy.”

Lopez turned away at least 10 shots in the first half, a few of them from point-blank range. But he also had the help of a solid defense in front of him that limited Gloucester’s shots in the second half.

“It’s unbelievable. Even the Gloucester coach said we’re like a 100 percent different team,” Bolduc said. “Everyone’s a different player. It’s incredible. Everybody can make passes and take shots that they weren’t able to make in the beginning of the year, the goalie can make saves he couldn’t make at the beginning of the year. It’s been a complete overhaul, it’s great to see.”

Gloucester got off to a hot start, peppering Lopez with shots. Lopez made a diving save on a shot from Elijah Elliot, and later made a point-blank save on another Elliot shot, kicking the ball out of the box.

The Fishermen got on the board late in the first half. Midfielder Gianluca LoContro found the corner of the net past Lopez’s dive for the 1-0 lead. But Gloucester wasn’t done yet. Joe Kibango picked up a pass and drove to the net, uncontested. Lopez met him far outside the goal and knocked the ball away with a slide.

Early in the second half, Saugus had what may have been its best chance to score. Brian Rivas launched a direct kick that was on goal but hung up for just a bit too long, and the Gloucester defense cleared it out.

Gloucester’s second goal came on an unlucky break for Saugus. Kibango took the ball in on a breakaway and Lopez came out to knock it away, but Jean Uminwe was waiting to knock the rebound into the open net.

“We played a game today of controlling the ball very well, we just had a tough time finishing,” Marnoto said. “In the second half, we just kept at it, trying to spread the ball wide and trying to get some through balls, and that’s how we got our second goal. But (Saugus) worked really hard against us, and played a lot better this time around. They’re coming along, and I told the coach I hope he stays with the program.”

Bolduc credited senior captain Angelo Andrade with playing strong defensively and keeping Gloucester at bay.

“He’s incredible at center back. Nothing gets by him,” Bolduc said. “He can contain any player. He wins balls and finds people open.”

With two games left to play, the Sachems have their eyes on the season finale against Winthrop on Halloween.

“Winthrop is a winnable game for us,” Bolduc said. “We played really well against them, we had a lot of offense. We want to finish off strong to end the year.”


Katie Morrison can be reached at kmorrison@itemlive.com. 

Swampscott, Gloucester tie at NEC Open

PHOTO BY PAULA MULLER
Classical’s Steven Patrie tees off in the North Eastern Conference Golf Championship at Gannon Golf Course in Lynn.

By STEVE KRAUSE 

LYNN — Swampscott and Gloucester tied for the championship of the Northeastern Conference Open Wednesday at Gannon, with both golfing duos recording a 165.

Each of the 12 teams in the Northeastern Conference brings a pair of golfers to the tournament, which was played in blustery conditions that, combined with the fast greens, made for some interesting matches, said several of the participants.

Swampscott’s Andrew Dove shot a 79 to finish second behind Winthrop’s Jack Wallace, who scored a 77. The Big Blue’s other participant, Adam Dishman, had an 86.

“Under the conditions, I thought my guys played well,” said Swampscott coach Jason Knowles. “I am proud of the way they represented Swampscott and Big Blue golf in the three years I’ve had them.”

For Wallace, winning Wednesday was a bit of a consolation prize for not advancing in the state tournament.

“I needed this,” he said. “I missed the cut for the states, so this is sort of my redemption prize.”

Wallace said cold and windy conditions were exacerbated by the fact that the one golf glove he was wearing ripped halfway through the match.

“It was hard to keep my hands warm,” he said.

Wallace had played a few practice rounds at Gannon this summer, and played another one recently, “so I kind of knew what to expect.”

Dove became a junior member this summer, so he knew the course well. Between his familiarity with Gannon and Tedesco, which is where the Big Blue play their home matches, “I’m used to putting on greens that are this fast. But the terrain here is very hilly.”

Despite the cold, Dove feels he could have done better.

“I’m a bit disappointed,” he said. “I hit some bad shots.”

English’s Chris Cole, who finished with an 82, said playing in the cold weather, with slick greens, “is more of a mental challenge than a physical. The greens were strategically located today.”

By that, he meant that “they were situated in places where you never seemed to have a level putt.”

Cole was very happy with his round.

“Considering the conditions, very happy,” he said. “It was difficult to play today because of the cold and wind.”

Although the NEC all-star team will not be announced until later this week, Classical’s Jack Morrison was named Coach of the Year. His two players, Travis Ryan and Steve Patrie, shot 92 and 94 respectively.

“Metal play is good experience for them,” said Morrison. “It was cold and windy, and scores were high all around.”


Steve Krause can be reached at skrause@itemlive.com. 

Football postseason is about to kick off

 

By Steve Krause

 

St. Mary’s and Marblehead will be the top seeds in their respective divisions this weekend as the area’s football teams begin their quest for state championships in eight divisions.

The Spartans, who punctuated their regular season with a 40-0 win over Austin Prep Friday night to finish at 7-0, have drawn the No. 1 seed in Division 3A North. They will play this Friday (7:30) at Manning Field against Winthrop, the eighth seed, which defeated Swampscott, 20-7, Friday night. The game is a half-hour later because Classical will host Woburn in a non-playoff game at Manning, beginning at 5 p.m.

Also in Division 3A, Lynnfield — a big winner Saturday over Hamilton-Wenham, is seeded fourth at 4-2. The Pioneers get a home game Friday night against Northeast Regional.

In Division 2A, Marblehead also finished at 7-0, finishing up with a 40-0 win over English Friday. The Magicians, who lost in the sectional finals to Danvers last year, will be at home Friday (7) against 3-4 Wayland. The Magicians have won the NEC/North title with a 5-0 record — the only undefeated team in the league.

The Falcons, 6-1 (and whose only loss came earlier this season against the Magicians) are the third seed and will play Friday night at Dr. Deering Stadium against No. 6 Wakefield.

Also in 2A, No. 4 Gloucester (6-1) hosts No. 5 Melrose (5-2). The Fishermen finished a perfect 5-0 in the Northeastern Conference/South to clinch the league title.

In other divisions, Lynn Tech snuck in at No. 8 in Division 4 despite losing Saturday, 36-26, to Northeast Regional. The Tigers, who finished at 3-4 after a 1-3 start, will travel to Brighton this weekend (time, date, and venue to be determined).

St. John’s Prep, by virtue of its 17-7 win Friday night over Bridgewater-Raynham, moved up from fourth to third in Division 1, and will host No. 6 Acton-Boxborough Saturday at a time to be determined.

The Eagles reeled off four straight wins after a 1-3 start. By moving up, they avoided Everett, one of the two teams that beat them, in the first round. The No. 5 Crimson Tide travel to No. 4 Haverhill Friday night.

Both Peabody and Revere made the cut in Division 1A. The Tanners, 3-4, are seeded fifth and will travel Friday to Westford Academy (7). The Patriots, who won three straight after dropping their first four, are the No. 6 seed and will travel to Chelmsford Friday (7).

Beverly is the lone area team in Division 2. The Panthers, who finished up at 5-2 after a 4-0 start, are the fourth seed, and will have a home game Saturday (1) against No. 5 Somerville.

Bishop Fenwick grabbed the third seed in a top-heavy Division 3. The Crusaders beat Cardinal Spellman, 27-24, Saturday night to finish at 6-1 overall. They are 3-1 in the CCL/Large but will play St. Mary’s on Thanksgiving and still have a shot at sharing the league title with the Spartans.

Fenwick will host Amesbury (2-5) Friday at 7.

“We don’t know much about them, we have just one common opponent up to this point. We beat Pentucket, and Pentucket beat them, so we’ll try to glean everything we can from watching film, which we’ve already started doing,” Fenwick coach Dave Woods said. “It’s a new season for both teams and it begins Friday night.

“You like to see a team play in person, that’s ideal, film doesn’t really give the true picture, but we’ll take a look and make the best of it this week,” Woods said.

Also in Division 3, Swampscott, despite losing its final three games, made the cut at No. 7 and will travel to Triton Friday (7) to face a team that dropped its last two after starting out at 5-0.

In other non-playoff games, English will be at North Andover Friday (7), Saugus hosts Boston Latin Saturday (11) and particulars on the Salem-at-Winchester game were not available.

Item correspondent Scot Cooper also contributed to this report.

 

SECOND AND LONG: BREAKING DOWN THE PLAYOFF PICTURE

By Steve Krause

There is one more week to go before playoff pairings are announced, and teams either begin the winnowing process toward a state championship or they go on a three-week tour of places they’ve never been and perhaps wouldn’t want to go if they had a choice.

Let’s go from top to bottom and see where the teams are, and what they perhaps need to do. As of this writing, there would appear to be only three teams — Classical, English and Saugus — that would be far down in their respective divisions. The rest, at best, have a shot.

Division 1

One would have thought St. John’s Prep might have moved up from No. 4 after knocking BC High off the undefeated bus last Saturday, but alas for the Eagles, they’re still there, and still set up to play No. 5 Everett in the first playoff game.

The Eagles have a tough task Friday night, though. They’re traveling to Bridgewater-Raynham, a 4-2 Division 1A South team, that beat them last year.

Division 1A

Peabody looks pretty solid at No. 4, although that could change depending on how the Tanners do Friday night against a red-hot Danvers team that went into Hurd Stadium Saturday and defeated Beverly. Malden Catholic, despite losing three straight Catholic Conference games, is still at No. 6.

Revere has snuck into a tie for the No. 8 slot with Woburn, thanks in large part to its win over Swampscott Saturday. The Patriots finish the regular portion of their season Friday night at home against Salem, in a game that shapes up to a a big one for both teams.

Classical and English are No.  11 and 12 respectively.

Division 2

Beverly’s early-season success keeps the Panthers in the upper echelons despite its last two losses to Marblehead and Danvers. The Panthers are on the road Friday night against Classical.

Division 2A

Marblehead maintains its No. 1 ranking, but No. 2 North Reading got a ton of points for its win Friday night over previously undefeated Triton. Still, the Magicians, who face English at home Friday, are more than three full points up on the Hornets, who face Newburyport this week.

Danvers and Gloucester are next at 3-4. If all things remain the same, it’s possible these two Thanksgiving rivals could meet prior to Turkey Day, just like St. Mary’s and Fenwick did last year. Danvers will be busy this week with Peabody while Gloucester wraps up its regular season at home against Saugus.

Salem’s loss to Gloucester hurt the Witches, who are now tied for the 8-spot with Dracut and Wayland.

Division 3

Bishop Fenwick was No. 2 last week, but the Crusaders dropped down to No. 3 even though they defeated Arlington Catholic. Watertown, a winner last weekend over Wilmington, snuck in there at No. 2. Triton, despite losing to North Reading last week, is still on top.

Swampscott dropped down a peg to No. 5 as the result of its loss last week to Revere. The Big Blue, a full two points (8.33-6.33) ahead of No. 8 Amesbury, travel Friday to East Boston Stadium to play Winthrop.

Saugus is ranked 12th in Division 3.

Division 3A

St. Mary’s and Shawsheen keep playing leapfrog. This week, the two teams are tied, each having won last weekend. Since the Spartans were second a week ago, they got more value out of their win Saturday night over Cardinal Spellman than the Rams got for their overtime win against Essex Tech.

Both teams  have tough games this weekend. St. Mary’s is at Austin Prep, and despite the Cougars’ 2-4 record, they’re still coached by one of the best around in Bill Maradei. Meanwhile, Shawsheen has Greater Lawrence, which is right behind the Rams at No. 3 in the division with a 4-2 mark.

Austin Prep is one division higher, so St. Mary’s would get extra points for beating the Cougars. But Greater Lawrence has a better record. This is definitely going down to the wire.

Elsewhere in the division, Lynnfield, which didn’t play last weekend, is No. 6. However, No. 4-7 are all bunched up. If the Pioneers want to move up, they have to beat 3-3 Hamilton-Wenham Saturday. But the Lynn Tech-Northeast game Saturday is a big one for the Pioneers too, as the Knights are above them, in a tie with Stoneham at No. 4.

Winthrop, which hosts Swampscott Friday night, is at No. 9. A win over the Big Blue would be huge, as Hamilton-Wenham is the No. 8 team.

Division 4

Lynn Tech has done a very good job of getting itself into the playoff hunt. In fact, the Tigers have made the eighth spot, but they’re more than a point away from No. 7 Essex Tech. However, Tech is also just .33 points from being out of the running.

So, a win over Northeast Regional Saturday would be incredibly important for the Tigers.

—A few notes to close this column. First, congratulations to St. Mary’s Matt Durgin for getting his 150 win Saturday night. Durgin, in two stints with Classical and a year with Malden Catholic under his belt before coming to St. Mary’s, has always conducted himself with class, and his teams have as well … Thanks go out to the Agganis Foundation for its continuing support of the area’s high school football programs. The foundation pays tribute to the best of high school sports and academics, so it is a big honor indeed to be named a Player of the Week … At Saturday’s Tech-Northeast game, awards will be given after the game in memory of Ed Reppucci and Rick Drislane from the Golden Knights and Tigers respectively. Both were standout athletes who were killed in automobile accidents. The two teams gather in a circle, and the two coaches talk about the two players, their ability, and the tragedy of their deaths.

Second and long: Playoff system takes luster off regular-season games

FILE PHOTO

By STEVE KRAUSE

First things first. There is a legitimate “big game” Friday night involving Marblehead and Beverly.

It’s big because it’ll go a long way toward determining who wins the Northeastern Conference/North. But while that still matters to the players and the coaches, it doesn’t matter a whole lot in terms of postseason eligibility. As it stands now, all three NEC/North competitors — Danvers, Marblehead and Beverly — are in the money.

Those who do not like this current postseason system — and I’m definitely one of them — point to the above as just another drawback to it. It takes the drama out of the regular season.

If the playoffs were to begin this weekend, just in the North, there would be eight teams participating with sub-.500 records (five of them alone in Division 4A, which must be the AFC East equivalent). How do you justify that?

Traditionally, what always made football unique in high school sports was the fact that you had to win your league to have any shot at all of advancing — and even then it wasn’t a guarantee. It might not have been fair, and I can remember one year when Winthrop was undefeated and was on the outside looking in on Super Bowl Saturday.

But I’ve always believed that if you erred in these matters, it should be on the side of increased selectivity, not the other way around. This isn’t to say that there’s no satisfaction in winning a championship where you have to go through a process. I’m sure the Cleveland Cavaliers aren’t going to give the NBA title back because there were seven other teams in the NBA East — not all of them good — in the playoffs too. But that’s professional sports, and it’s 100 percent money driven. Nor would I ever suggest that an undefeated team doesn’t have a beef over whatever process is used if it is not selected.

Some might suggest that high school sports is getting that way too, of course. Goodness knows the MIAA hasn’t been immune to such charges. But there’s just so much about this current system not to like, including the idea that a bonafide mid-season game between what would appear to be two excellent teams is almost an afterthought because, unless something totally unforeseen happens, they’re both going on to the postseason.

To anyone who really savors a good high school football game, that might not be the case. Beverly and Marblehead has pretty much become THE non-thanksgiving rivalry on the North Shore. Going back almost a decade, these two schools have been fighting for the same slice of pie more often than not. Both Marblehead’s Jim Rudloff and his predecessor, Doug Chernovitz, were assistants for Dan Bauer when he was at Beverly. And now, Bauer is principal at, of all places, Marblehead. So there’s some history there.

I just can’t help thinking, though, that this would be a lot more fun if a postseason berth was at stake.

— Onward and upward. If the North playoffs were to start today, the North Shore would have 10 of the 17 teams in the Item coverage area going: St. Mary’s, Swampscott, Marblehead, Lynnfield, Bishop Fenwick, Danvers, Beverly, Gloucester, Winthrop and St. John’s Prep.

Of these 10, only Winthrop (1-3) does not have at least a .500 record. On the other hand, one of the teams that, as of today, would be out of the hunt is 2-2 Salem.

Why is that? Because the teams are rated on several variables, the Witches’ two victories are against two winless teams: Saugus and Bishop Connolly, and both are in lower divisions. Its losses are to Archbishop Williams, which may be 3-1, but is also in Division 3A as opposed to 2A; and Winthrop, another division lower.

Starting in Division 1, St. John’s, at 2-2, is fifth out of eight, but remember the Eagles play one of the toughest schedules in the state, so they don’t lose a lot by defeats to Everett and Central Catholic. And they beat 3-1 Haverhill.

Neither Classical nor English, at this point, has cracked the top eight in Division 1A. Of the two, English may have the better shot because its only win is against Winthrop, which has at least won a game. Classical’s lone victory is against winless Revere.

In Division 2, Beverly is No. 3. Even though they’re undefeated, the Panthers suffer for being in the same division as Billerica, which got a huge bump from its win over Division 1 Everett last weekend. The Panthers are the only area school in D2.

Marblehead (4-0), Danvers and Gloucester (3-1) are 1-2-3 in Division 2A.

In Division 3, Triton’s hot start leaves the Tigers on top of the pack, and a decisive win over Peabody hasn’t exactly hurt them. Bishop Fenwick is third, followed by Swampscott at No. 4. Both are 3-1.

St. Mary’s gets the top spot in Division 3A at 4-0, even though both Stoneham and Shawsheen are unbeaten as well. Obviously, beating a Division 1A team (English) helps, and it also helps that English has won a game. Everything counts one way or the other in this system.

Going down the line, Lynnfield (2-2) has climbed back into the hunt at No. 5, and Winthrop is sixth at 1-3. The Vikings may have only won once, but it was against Salem, which has two wins and is a whole two divisions higher.

Lynn Tech is the lone area representative in Division 3A but the Tigers, after walloping Chelsea in Week 1, have lost three straight.

— Finally, I’d be remiss if I didn’t wish a happy retirement to John Kasian, who has been the city’s point man at both Manning and Fraser Field for the last decade. Sept. 30 was officially Kasian’s last day on the job. He has balanced the demands of five high schools, middle schools, Pop Warner, The Lynn Generals, Fisher Junior College and the North Shore Navigators. The two facilities have hosted baseball, soccer and lacrosse state tournament games. And in what might have been Kasian’s official Fraser swan song, Lynn was host to the New England Regional Babe Ruth tournament in July. Through it all, Kasian has been a model of accessibility and good grace.

And best of luck to Rich Avery, who will be the new point man going forward. Rich has some shoes to fill, but I’m sure he’ll fill them quite nicely.

Michael Vient, 62

GLOUCESTER — In the afternoon of July 18, 2016, Michael passed away at Beverly Hospital after complications on a long bike ride around the North Shore, pursuing one of his passions of cycling. Michael was 62 years old.

Michael was born in Saugus on Jan. 31, 1954. He was the third child of Jean Kudera and Louis Vient Jr.

Michael spent his life as a favored son of Massachusetts, living in Saugus, Beverly and finally Gloucester. He graduated from Saugus High School in 1972. As a lifelong Red Sox fan, Michael kept the games on in the background of most every night. Michael was always listening to music, loving Bob Dylan, Neil Young, the Stones, and most recently, Town Meeting.

Michael loved to travel, whether it was camping along the Kancamagus, cruising to Bermuda, driving through the American West or exploring Australia. Michael enjoyed a passion for cycling, spending his days riding many miles through Northeastern Massachusetts. He loved kayaking in Essex with his wife, Robin, and hiking the tallest mountains of New England with his brothers and sons.

Michael worked over 30 years for Gorton’s Seafood as a warehouse manager. He loved history, and tracked the ancestry of his family tree all the way back to the 17th century. He was a collector of model trains, with a working railroad track along the ceiling of his basement. Michael always had a loyal dog by his side, Derek, Belle, Toby, Cooper and Jax.

Michael will best be remembered by his commitment, responsibility, pride and love for his children, Keith and Nicholas, as well as the rest of the youth of the community. He followed his sons every step of the way, as a Cub and Boy Scout Leader, a Little League baseball coach, and a loyal, passionate, steadfast, generous source of love and inspiration.

Michael was preceded in death by his sister, Denise Vient, his mother, Jean Vient, his stepmother, Ann Healey, and his father, Louis Vient Jr.

Michael is survived by his wife, Robin, his sons, Keith and Nicholas and wife, Lauren Vient, his siblings, Cathy and Dean Adrien, David and Charlene Vient, Dana and Melissa Vient, Peter and Nicole Vient, his step-siblings David Healey, John Healey, Susan and Jack Milton, Mary Ann and the late Pat Cushman his step-children, Chris and Carleen Melanson, Courtney Melanson and Carrie Melanson, his step-grandchildren, Aidan, Vera and Dana.

Service information: A memorial service will be held in his honor on Friday, July 22, at 9:30 a.m., at St. Ann’s Church, Holy Family Parish, on Prospect Street in Gloucester. Family and friends are cordially invited. There are no visiting hours and burial will be held privately. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that a donation be made in his honor to a charity of your choosing. Arrangements are by the Greely Funeral Home, 212 Washington St., Gloucester, MA. Online condolences may be given at Greelyfuneralhome.com.

Award-winning production ‘Albatross’ about to set sail

COURTESY PHOTO
Benjamin Evett in the Gloucester Stage Company’s production of “Albatross.”

BY JACK BUTTEWORTH

GLOUCESTEROne of the most famous mariners of all has landed in this seaside community in a haunting mashup of classic literature, contemporary wit and timeless compassion.

Matthew Spangler and Benjamin Evett’s 2015 Boston production of “Albatross” celebrates and modernizes Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s epic 1798 fantasy poem “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, and the play won awards for production and Evett’s performance.

This interpretation is as relevant to a post-Orlando massacre world as it was to Coleridge’s 18th century England. The creators know there’s a reason the mariner tells his tale. He knows this is a world of unexpected tragedy, a world where sometimes bad things happen for no reason. It’s ultimately a world in which God still loves us, if we can just realize it.

Fair warning: landlubbers and sailors are advised to move quickly if they wish to see it. The limited run ends Sunday. Then it sets sail for Edinburgh and eventually an off-Broadway run.

Spangler and Evett reimagine the Ancient Mariner as an eternal figure, doomed to tell his fantastic story to anyone who needs to hear it. The audience responds warmly to every word, even when the mariner contemptuously tells them to go home and look up an archaic word on Wikipedia.

The play is written as a 90-minute one-man show, which Evett tackles with gusto, sadness and everything in between. Is there a conversation between him and another character? He plays both sides. If there’s a storm, he roars. If the ship is becalmed in monster-infested waters, he gasps at the things that appear before him.

The creators love what they have done. Evett has the audience from the onset, when he uses a cell phone to determine his location and tries his near cross-eyed comic best to demonstrate the mariner’s “glittering eye.”

Director Rick Lombardo keeps it moving. The pacing is so tight that some in the audience may check their watches in amazement to see that the first hour has passed. Lombardo’s timber-shivering sound design underscores and intensifies the mariner’s predicaments.

Cristina Todesco’s set and Garrett Herzig’s filmed projections of fire and ocean transport us to a 1720 Bristol slum and the sea voyage the mariner is forced to take.

“Albatross” is a theatrical trip worth taking.

Man arrested on carjacking, assault charges

BY GAYLA CAWLEY

LYNN — A Gloucester man was arrested after allegedly assaulting a police officer and attempting to carjack two taxi drivers on Thursday morning.  

Lynn Police responded to a disturbance at George’s Roast Beef on Broad Street at about 1 a.m. Officers were told that a white man, later identified as Salvatore Aiello, 33, came into the shop and jumped the counter, knocked over the cash register and caused it to break, Lynn Police Lt. Rick Donnelly said.

“Aiello yelled that someone was trying to shoot him,” Donnelly said. “Employees behind the counter escorted Aiello from behind the counter and out the front door of George’s Roast Beef.”

Employees saw Aiello run down Broad Street towards Market Street. After police were given a description of the suspect, Lynn Police dispatchers radioed that there was an attempted robbery in progress at the nearby MBTA garage by a suspect matching Aiello’s description, Donnelly said.

Officers spoke with a cab driver parked in the garage. The male driver told police that a white man wearing black and white checkered shorts ran up to his window and started punching the glass. Aiello then opened the rear passenger sliding door of the taxi van, Donnelly said.

“Aiello attempted to get into the driver’s seat and struggled with the driver,” Donnelly said. “Aiello and the cab driver fought and struggled for control of the motor vehicle as Aiello was trying to put the van in drive.”

The cab driver was able to fight off Aiello, who ran up to the next taxi in line and took off on foot near North Shore Community College, Donnelly said.

Police were flagged down by another cab driver on Market Street. The driver told officers that the person inside his taxi was trying to steal the vehicle. Officers looked inside and saw that Aiello was in the cab, bleeding.

“Aiello had his arms wrapped around the steering, and was lying around the front portion of the cab,” Donnelly said.

When officers tried to remove Aiello from the vehicle, he resisted. The cab was running and Aiello grabbed the gear shift with one hand and placed the other on the steering wheel and said “shoot me, just shoot me.”

Officers tried to move his hands and grabbed his legs and attempted to pull him from the vehicle. Aiello put the taxi in reverse, striking an unmarked police cruiser behind it, and knocked down a police officer and dragged him several feet, Donnelly said.

After a struggle, Aiello was arrested.

The police officer struck and dragged suffered a leg injury and was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital. It was determined at the hospital that the officer had a large contusion to his lower leg, Donnelly said.

The second cab driver told police that Aiello had jumped into his taxi, shouting incomprehensible words while he grabbed the steering wheel. The two engaged in a fist fight in the vehicle until the cab driver flagged down police. The driver thought he broke his hand in the fight and was taken to Salem Hospital. He also told police he thought Aiello was high on something, Donnelly said.

Officers thought that Aiello was under the influence of drugs. He was taken to Union Hospital, where it was learned that Aiello had a fractured skull. He was then taken to Massachusetts  General Hospital where he remains under police guard, Donnelly said.

Aiello’s injuries are not believed to be life-threatening and his arraignment date has not been set. Officers went through his pockets at the hospital and found 5.5 grams of what they  believe is crack cocaine, Donnelly said.

Aiello is charged with two counts of carjacking, assault and battery on a police officer, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, possession of a Class B drug, resisting arrest and operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license.


Gayla Cawley can be reached at gcawley@itemlive.com. Follow her on Twitter @GaylaCawley.

Swampscott softball dominates Gloucester

PHOTO BY BOB ROCHE
Swampscott’s Katie Watts, right, gets a handshake from Kasey Kennedy after making a catch against Gloucester in a Division 2 North semifinal game on Friday.

BY SCOT COOPER

LOWELL — There are a few new faces on the field and a new coach in the dugout, but the Swampscott softball team is still back in the Division 2 North Final with Friday’s 8-0 romp over Gloucester.

Swampscott was in control from the first inning on, taking a quick 2-0 lead before Gloucester could get to the plate. This outcome of this game was far different from the two games the teams played during the regular season.

Swampscott won 1-0 at home and Gloucester took their home game 3-2. There would be no tight game Friday, and Gloucester coach John Nicastro said Hannah Leahy was the main reason for that.

“What can you say, she was great. We saw her twice already this season and she seems to be getting stronger each time,” Nicastro said. “We couldn’t get anything going, and it seemed like Swampscott had the bases loaded every other inning.”

Blue coach Gary Moran said the only thing that didn’t go Swampscott’s way Friday was that they left some runners on base. The flip side of that is the Blue put runners on in every inning but the second.

“We left 11 on in this game, we’ll work on that, we’re putting the ball in play, so that’s a positive,” Moran said. “All the coaches have been preaching all season to put the ball in play, and we did that pretty well in this game.”

Katie Watts walked in the top of the first and scored on a groundout by Olivia Cooke. Christina King then knocked Leahy home and the Blue were in gear.

Swampscott didn’t strikeout against Gloucester starter Karina Keenan or her replacement, Sydney McKay. The winners sent 39 batters to the plate and put the ball in play 36 times, with three players reaching on walks.

Swampscott kept it up in the third inning, loading the bases and getting Riley Lord home on a fielder’s choice for a 3-0 lead.

Lord was in the offensive mix in the fourth inning as well. She doubled, plating Michaela Freddo, who ran for Maisie Vasquez. Watts singled to score Sydney Cresta, and Leahy helped herself again, hitting a single that brought Lord home.

Any thoughts of a miraculous Gloucester comeback were dimmed in the top of the seventh when Lord delivered again, this time with a triple that brought in Sarah Ryan and Kasey Kennedy.

Leahy was the story when Swampscott was in the field. She retired 15 of the last 16 batters, punching out Tracy Wood to end the game, her fifth strikeout.

Cooke said it’s fun to be behind the plate when Leahy is on target.

“It’s kind of easy for me, she was pitching great and our defense made the plays,” Cooke said. “We’re excited to win this game, and we’re excited about being in the finals again this year, looking for a better result.”

Swampscott will get this season’s top seed, Tewksbury, in the North Final on Sunday at 2:30 p.m.


Scot Cooper can be reached at bscotcooper@gmail.com, follow him on Twitter @bscooper60.         

 

Swampscott’s Leahy named NEC Player of the Year in softball

ITEM FILE PHOTO
Swampscott pitcher Hannah Leahy was named the Northeastern Conference Player of the Year in softball on Friday.

Swampscott pitcher Hannah Leahy, who has helped the Big Blue get to the Division 2 North Final, is the player of the year in Northeastern Conference softball.

The selections, made by the league’s coaches, were announced Friday.

Beverly’s Megan Sudak was named the coach of the year and English received the sportsmanship award.

Danvers High was the NEC North champion this spring while Marblehead and Swampscott shared the south title.

Besides Leahy, pitchers on the all-conference team are Brooke Westmoreland, Saugus; and Karina Keenan, Gloucester; catchers are Allison Kapoll, Marblehead, Meaghan Leavitt, Classical and Juliana Cecere, Revere..

Infielders are Ally Hinojosa, Revere; Montana Joyce and Sara Bornstein, Marblehead; and Hannah Llewellyn, Danvers.

Outfielders are Ally Cabral and Marlee Hamor, Beverly; and Madison Mucci, Danvers.

North all-stars are Elizabeth Prentiss and Daria Papamechail, Danvers; Gia Santanello, Revere; Julia Pitman and Olivia George, Beverly; Tianna Dawe, Amanda Crawford and Ashley Jenkins, Peabody; Alaina Gridley and Kaitlin Marcinko, Classical; and Rachel Calnan and Sarah Tobin, English.

South stars are Sara Francis and Meagan Manning, Gloucester; Emily Promise and McKenzie Joyce, Marblehead; Katie Watts, Olivia Cooke and Riley Lord, Swampscott; Caity Sheehan and Alex Almquist, Saugus; Gabbie Kenniston, Winthrop; and Tayla O’Leary, Salem.

Big Blue, Pioneers prep for crucial games

ITEM FILE PHOTO
Hannah Leahy will try to pitch her Big Blue past Gloucester Friday.

BY STEVE KRAUSE

The Lynnfield High girls tennis team will try to win its third straight Division 1 North title today (3:30) at Beverly High when it takes on a familiar foe.

The Pioneers play Cape Ann League rival Manchester Essex in the sectional title game — a team they know well. The Hornets handed Lynnfield its only loss this season, a 4-1 defeat over April vacation. However, the circumstances were a bit on the extenuating side. Because it was vacation week, Lynnfield’s first and second singles players and one girl from each doubles team did not participate.

“It’s tough to gain anything too much from that match,” said coach Craig Stone, “but I’m familiar with them in terms of comparison scores and what they did in the league, and in non-league competition.”

For example, Lynnfield defeated Marblehead, which made it to the semifinals in Division 2 North this spring while the Hornets lost to the Magicians, 4-1.

“Still,” said Stone, “it all comes down to matchups and styles. If you play aggressive, and you come up against a team that’s more defensive minded, and they stay back and hit a lot of lobs, that can be frustrating. Styles are everything and matchups are intriguing.”

Stone said the PIoneers are optimistic coming into today’s match, “but we go into every match optimistic,” he said. “We always feel as if we have a shot in every match we play. We’re pretty deep and pretty balanced. If we have trouble up top, we usually have the advantage coming down to the doubles.”

Last year, Lynnfield won the Division 3 North title but lost to Martha’s Vineyard in the North-South game. The Pioneers went all the way in 2014.

Tuesday, the Pioneers punched their ticket to the final with a 4-1 win over North Reading. They got wins from Sarah Mezini and Katie Nevils at first and second singles; and Olivia SkelleyCamie Foley and  Hayley TimmonsKatie Nugent in doubles.

In Division 3 North softball, Swampscott will try to earn the right to play in Sunday’s Division 2 North sectional final when the Big Blue go up against Northeastern Conference foe Gloucester tonight (6:30) at Martin Field in Lowell.

Last month, the Big Blue and the Fishermen hooked up in a classic duel at the Swampscott Middle School, with Hannah Leahy twirling the shutout in a 1-0 win. The Big Blue was buoyed in the game by the return of Christina King, who had missed most of the season to that point due to injuries.

Leahy has been a mainstay on the mound for Swampscott. In the Big Blue’s 5-2 victory over North Reading in the D2 quarterfinal, she held the Hornets in check in pitching a complete game.

A game earlier, in an 11-0 win over another NEC rival, Saugus, Leahy pitched a two-hitter against a dangerous Saugus lineup and also hit a three-run homer.

SCHOOL: St. John’s falls in Super 8 opener

ITEM FILE PHOTO
St.John’s Sean McGinnis went 3-for-4 with a run scored in a loss to Braintree in the Super 8 baseball tournament.

By ANNE MARIE TOBIN

 

Defending Division 1A baseball champion Braintree, paced by a 11-hit attack that included three home runs and three doubles, defeated St. John’s Prep 10-4 in the opening round of the Super 8 tournament. The Prep led 2-1 after the first inning on a two-run homer by left fielder Jacob Yish, but Braintree took the lead for good with a five-run third to lead 6-2. The Eagles closed to 6-4 in the bottom of the fourth on a two-run blast by first baseman Andrew Selima, but that was as close as they would come. Braintree added two more in the sixth on a two-run home run by leadoff hitter Erik MacDonald and solo runs in the eighth and ninth innings. Prep starting pitcher Brendan Powicki (2 1/3 innings, five earned runs, five hits) and relievers Colin Nye (6 1/3 innings, three earned runs, six hits) and Zach Begin (1/3 innings) issued six combined free passes with one hit batter. Left fielder Sean McGinnis (3-for-4, run scored) and Selima (2-for-5, two RBI) were the only Eagles with multiple hits. Catcher Jack Arend, shortstop Chris Francoeur, right fielder Frank DiOrio and second baseman Jake Spada (double) also had hits. The loss relegated St. John’s to the losers’ bracket where the Eagles will take on Plymouth North, which lost 12-9 to St. John’s Shrewsbury, in an elimination game at Campanelli Stadium in Brockton on Friday.

In boys lacrosse action, in Division 1, Revere fell to North Andover, 19-2, in Division 1 first-round action; Gloucester came up a goal short, losing to Burlington, 10-9 in a Division 2 first-rounder; Winthrop dropped one to Manchester-Essex, 10-2, in Division 3 North.

Hunting for Treasure

Your guests will be thrilled by Rosalie’s Chilled Strawberry Soup, and you’ll be excited by how easy it is to prepare.

BY ROLASIE HARRINGTON

My granddaughter Emma wrote me the sweetest Mother’s Day note: “I wish I didn’t have to go to school so I could spend more time together,” she she said. “I miss looking for sea glass the most.”

Now pinned to the fridge along with my various diets restricting various foods, her words stand out as a reminder of what is important to me.  Long before Emma, now fifteen, was old enough to walk the beach and look for sea glass, we would scavenge together.  She would be in her three wheel stroller and I would be pushing.  She would spot various articles. pointing so I could fetch, and I collected them in her little bucket.  This was during my care giving years, when I would spend days babysitting so mom could work. We would have treasure hunts on the beach, with Emma directing me, issuing commands such as “find the yellow thing I just saw,” or, “get that shiny thing over there.”  After all the gathering we often made mobiles and hung them on trees in the yard.  When Emma was a little older we started searching for sea glass.  We both loved the hard to find blue and purple glass and we adored the pieces of pottery that were even scarcer.  I occupied myself when she was still napping, sewing the sea glass into a sheer fabric, doubling it to create a pocket of sorts.  It took the whole summer to collect enough glass so a window in her bedroom could be covered in the biggest of these curtains.  It was magical to see the sun reflecting on the little jewels of glass.  Emma loved it.

When her younger sister Maddie was old enough, the three of us often went to Gloucester where we had a special place for finding sea glass and pottery.  Our collection of pottery shards grew large enough for me to make a back splash behind the sink in my little bathroom outside the kitchen when we moved in a decade ago.  The sink is a tiny French porcelain vessel that I have been “schlepping” around for years that finally found a home. The faucets are Italian which most people don’t know how to use and the bathroom occasionally has a little puddle after a guest visits.  Italians generally achieve the best in aesthetics with their designs, but functionality is a different matter.  The shards of pottery at the back of the sink provide a lasting memory of a wonderful period with my beautiful granddaughters.

In the front hall of their new house there is a giant jar of sea glass and these days it hardly gets added to.  Boys and bikinis have replaced the search for the precious glass and pottery.  I recently asked Emma if she remembered the curtain that I made her.  She was embarrassed to tell me that she eventually cut the pieces out of the curtain.  Apparently, she had a creative urge to reinvent the pieces.  They probably ended up in that giant jar in the front hall, but she did remember the curtain fondly.

Last weekend, an old friend invited me to walk the beach at her club in Magnolia.  I arrived a little earlier and decided to take a short walk on my own, which always involves looking down, watching for surprises. Lo and behold, the first piece of sea glass I found was the rare blue, and my pulse quickened with the excitement of discovery.  I recalled one day that I was looking for pottery in Gloucester, behind the restaurants on Rocky Neck.  I figured that many a broken plate had been discarded in this area as it had long been occupied by restaurants. It was low tide, one of my clogs got stuck in the mud, and as I tried to free myself from what seemed like quick sand I fell and was covered with mud.  A well dressed gentlemen whose house was right on the water’s edge where I was searching was leaving for work and spotted me struggling.  “Don’t I know you?”  Yes, he had eaten at my restaurant many times.  He went into his house and brought out a clean towel. After he helped me get my balance from the “quick sand” we chatted a little more.  It was quite the experience and one I shared with my granddaughters, who were happy I’m sure that they were not with me on this most embarrassing adventure.

My walk on the beach in Magnolia ended when I spotted my friend, Barbara, arriving. We sat and had a picnic and shared stories that we have told over and over.  Barbara loves the one about the day that her daughter Nancy was born, fifty years ago. As it happens, she came to my house for lunch and I made her gnocchi. That night she went into labor and she claimed that the gnocchi, which she said were like “bullets,” had contributed to her going into labor early.  It was my first attempt at making them, but they weren’t that bad, as I recalled.  The stories get better with “exaggeration,” which my family considers to be one of my greatest skills. “Exaggerator” was also my horse in the Kentucky Derby last month. He almost came in, but that’s another story – which I’m happy to share.
My son asked if we could take care of Emma and Maddie recently while they went to “the Derby” for the week end.  We gladly accepted because we love being with the girls who are growing up too fast, making such opportunities rare.  I encouraged them to have a party and before you could say “they’re off” they had neatened up the house, texted invites to a bunch of friends, we had gone to the store for snacks, I made brownies and twelve wonderful polite beautiful kids arrived for a party. Todd and I sat in the TV room and watched our favorite show and listened to the sounds of kids a couple of rooms away, having a good time.

Chilled Strawberry Soup

— Wash, clean and cut up a quart of strawberries.
— Place them in a heavy pot and cover them with red wine and sprinkle a cup of sugar over them. Don’t worry about the alcohol in the wine, as it will burn off when the soup is simmering. If there is any sparkling wine or rose opened and you would like to finish up the bottle, this is fine, too.
— Bring the soup to a simmer and watch carefully as it will make a mess if it spills over. If you like cinnamon you can sprinkle a little on the simmering soup.
— After about fifteen minutes the berries will be cooked. Allow the soup to cool, then puree in the food processor and stir in any combination: a pint of Half and Half or yogurt mixed with sour cream, whole milk or heavy cream. It all works.
— Add three tbsp. of chopped mint.
— Chill and serve with an edible flower and a mint leaf for a pretty garnish.

Fenwick girls lacrosse breezes through to second round

ITEM FILE PHOTO
Bishop Fenwick co-captain Colleen Corcoran had three goals and one assist in a win over Gloucester in the first round of the Division 2 North tournament on Tuesday.

By MIKE ALONGI

 

PEABODY — The Bishop Fenwick girls lacrosse team had its offense clicking on Tuesday afternoon, and the Crusaders defeated Gloucester, 19-5, at home in the first round of the Division 2 North tournament.

Senior captain Merry Harrington led the way for Fenwick (16-3) with five goals and an assist, while senior captain Colleen Corcoran had three goals and an assist and senior Tori Hernandez scored two goals. Junior Molly Camelo, junior Hannah Durkin, sophomore Brigid Waldron, junior Maddie Bethune, senior captain Ellen Fantozzi, senior Teagan Ahern, junior Sarah Morgan, sophomore Francesca Carpinella and junior Ally Charette each scored one goal. Senior goalie Meghan Woodworth had five saves.

“I thought we came out strong today and had really good intensity,” said Fenwick coach Karen Guillemette. “We just wanted to try to do the things we did well out there, and it worked out for us today.”

For Gloucester (6-12), junior Rachel Alexander led the way with three goals and one assist. Junior Maggie Destino and sophomore Emily Kenyon each scored one goal, while junior Callie O’Leary had one assist. Junior goalie Lily Kuhns had four saves in the loss.

The Crusaders jumped all over Gloucester early, with Harrington and Corcoran teaming up to score five goals in the first five minutes of action. The key for Fenwick was great ball movement, which Guillemette says the team has been working on.

“It’s something we’ve been trying to build on all season,” said Guillemette. “We always want to get out quick in transition, and we did a great job of that today.”

Fenwick stretched the lead out to 14-0 before Destino put Gloucester on the board on an assist from O’Leary with 3:45 remaining in the first half. Fenwick added one more goal to go up 15-1 at halftime.

Gloucester came out much stronger in the second half, scoring four goals and only giving up four to the Crusaders. Alexander completed her hat trick with 8:45 remaining and then assisted on Kenyon’s goal to make it 19-5 with just under five minutes to go.

With the win, Fenwick moves on to face No. 5 Newburyport (13-3) in the quarterfinals on Friday afternoon at Bishop Fenwick. Guillemette knows that Newburyport, who defeated St. Mary’s in the first round, will be a tough test for her team.

“That’s going to be a very tough game for us, we know they’re a very good team,” said Guillemette. “Fortunately we’ll be at home, and we just need to keep working on everything and keep up this level of play.”

Familiar opponents set to square off in softball tournament

ITEM FILE PHOTO
Lynn Classical’s Alaina Gridley will try to keep her bat hot going into the Division 1 North softball tournament.

By KATIE MORRISON

 

The MIAA softball tournament pairings were announced on Tuesday, and there are plenty of exciting matchups ahead for local teams.

Lynn Classical earned the No. 16 seed in the Division 1 bracket, the lowest seed to earn a home game. They’ll take on a familiar opponent, Beverly, in the preliminary round on Friday at 4 p.m.

Classical won on a walk-off the first time they faced off against Beverly, a 4-3 win in eight innings. Later in the season, the Panthers topped the Rams, 10-7.

Classical coach Erica Richard knows that the game could go either way between two evenly-matched teams.

“It all depends on how we show up, and we hope for the best,” said Richard. “When we play the way we can, we could make a run. We’ve prepared all year, and I think we’re in good shape.”

Classical (11-9) gets to play one last home game at Grace Rogato Field. If they win, they’ll have to go on the road to take on top-seeded Central Catholic.

“I think it’s great for the seniors to get one last game at home,” said Richard. “It makes a big difference to be familiar with the field and to not have to get on a bus.”

The other Lynn softball team in the tournament, St. Mary’s, earned the fourth seed in Division 3, giving them a bye in the prelims. They’ll play the winner of Thursday’s matchup between No. 13 Boston Latin and No. 20 Ipswich. St. Mary’s (16-4) will host the first-round game on Saturday at 4 p.m.

One of the more exciting games on the schedule is between two Northeastern Conference foes, No. 7 Swampscott and No. 10 Saugus. The Sachems, in the tournament for the first time in five years under first-year coach Steve Almquist, finished the regular season at 13-7. But the Big Blue swept their season series with Saugus, winning early in the season, 5-4, and blowing out the Sachems, 15-3, in the regular season finale last week.

Almquist says that the chance for his team to redeem themselves, especially so quickly, is exciting for the Sachems.

“We’re not going to change much, we’re going to try to play our game,” said Almquist. “We’ve bounced back pretty well from losses, especially bad losses. But (Swampscott is) tough. There’s not an easy out in their lineup. They’re well-coached, and they’re not going to beat themselves. We’re going to have to play pretty close to a perfect game if we want to beat them.”

Almquist says that Swampscott starter Hannah Leahy is one of, if not the best, pitcher the Sachems have faced all year.

“She’s got good control, good offspeed stuff, and doesn’t walk anyone,” he said.

The timing is not ideal for the Sachems, who play the Big Blue on Thursday…the day after the Saugus High senior prom. But Almquist isn’t worried about how his team will prepare.

Also in the Division 2 bracket are the NEC champions, Marblehead. The Magicians earned a bye in the preliminary round with the third seed, and will play No. 14 Arlington Catholic on Thursday at 4 p.m. at home.

Danvers earned the No. 8 seed in D2 and will play No. 9 Pentucket in Danvers at home on Friday at 4 p.m.. No. 6 Gloucester will play No. 11 Wilmington on Thursday at 3:30 p.m. in Gloucester.

Another interesting matchup comes out of Division 1. No. 10 Revere will go on the road to take on No. 7 Westford Academy on Saturday at 4 p.m. Westford, seeded 19th last season, upset the Patriots in the 2015 tournament in an eight-inning heartbreaker in the D1 quarterfinals.

The other local team in the Division 1 bracket is Peabody, who earned the 19th and last seed with an 11-9 record. They’ll take on No. 15 Lowell in the preliminary round on Thursday at 4 p.m.

Lynnfield made the Division 3 tournament with a 9-9 record, earning the 22nd seed. They’ll play No. 11 Snowden on Thursday at 4 p.m. in Boston. Winthrop also snuck into the tournament at 6-14, and will have their work cut out for them against No. 9 Mystic Valley in the preliminary round on Thursday at 3 p.m.

MIAA boys and girls lacrosse pairings released

By MATT FRASER and NATALIE DURAZO

 

With the regular season officially under wraps, the MIAA announced Friday the brackets for the boys and girls lacrosse state tournaments, set to begin play Wednesday.

A plethora of local teams are in the mix including seven boys teams spanning Divisions 1, 2 and 3.

In Division 3 North, Lynnfield garnered the No. 3 seed and an all important opening round bye after compiling a beneficial 12-4 mark. In the quarterfinals, the No. 3 Pioneers meet the winner of No. 11 Winthrop (9-9) and No. 6 Manchester-Essex, who they defeated, 10-3, on May 16.

“We made a deep run (to the sectional finals) last year so the goal is to take it one game further,” said coach Joe Papagni, whose team fell in a 9-8 thriller to Ipswich, the one-seed again this year.

The Pioneers defeated the Tigers, 8-3 on May 10, leaving the thought of a potential finals rematch in the back of Papagni’s mind, for the time being anyways.

“There’s a lot of work to be done to get back to that point but I know I speak for my guys in saying we’d love the opportunity to see (Ipswich), our Cape Ann League rivals, one more time.”

For that to happen, Lynnfield, in addition to its aforementioned quarterfinals matchup, would likely need a victory over fellow CAL members in  No. 2 Triton or No. 7 Pentucket.

As has been the case all season, the Pioneers will rely on a ruthless defense first approach, spearheaded by goaltender Jack Ganter along with Max Robert and Trevor Caswell.

Offensively, Lynnfield will lean on its top two leading scorers in Pat Garrity and CJ Finn.

Swampscott, the No. 9 seed, and will take on a rather familiar opponent in No. 8 North Reading,  who it was handily defeated by, 11-0, just over a week ago. The Big Blue lost four straight games to conclude its regular season at 11-9 but finished with a plus-9 goal differential (187-178).

The winner draws the top-seeded Tigers in the quarterfinals.

In Division 2 North, defending sectional champion Beverly is once again the team to beat after a sensational 19-1 mark in the regular season.

After a first-round bye, the Panthers meet the victor of No. 8 Burlington and No. 9 Gloucester, who returns to the postseason for the first time since 2011, clinching its spot with an 8-8 mark. Taking up residence on the other side of the bracket is No. 7 Marblehead (9-9) who opens with No. 10 Northeast Regional. The winner meets No. 2 Winchester, Saturday (5 pm). The Magicians lost to Beverly, their Northeastern Conference-rival, 12-4, in the sectionals finals last season

Rounding out the boys qualifiers is Revere (15-5), the No. 10 seed in Division 1 North.

The Patriots, the lone Northeastern Conference representative, will take on No. 7 North Andover with the victor moving on to play No. 2 Reading.

GIRLS

Among the teams looking to have a strong tournament is Division 2 North No. 10-seed Swampscott, who went (10-8) in the regular season. When talking to Swampscott coach Al Eaton, he said these last couple practices they have are meant to work out any last minute bugs they might have. Swampscott is set to face off against No. 7 Melrose who went (11-5) in the regular season, but this didn’t bother Eaton.

“I don’t know much about them, but if we do our best and play our own game maybe we can steal one here, stranger things have happened,” he said.

Eaton, who is coaching in his first season for the Big Blue after spending the last three years at St. Mary’s, brought a new approach to this team, who have been adapting all season.

“The girls had a learning curve this year, I brought in a lot of different ideas for offense and defense, and a new system that was a lot different from the coach before me,” said Eaton.

The new changes proved to be effective for Swampscott, as this is the first tournament bid since 2010. Eaton plans on sticking with the lineup that got them to this point, and leading the pack is senior captain Jessica Gambale, who he calls their ‘rock’. Along with Gambale will be four freshmen starters who will be counted on to step up.

Earning the No. 1 spot and a first-round bye in the Division 2 North bracket was Marblehead, who racked up an impressive 19 wins in the regular season, with their only loss coming at the hands of Concord-Carlisle early on.

“We are excited we received the number one seed, we worked hard all year to get here and to see it payoff is nice,” said Marblehead coach Anne Pugh.

All season long the Magicians overpowered their opponents, but Pugh knows you can’t take any team for granted in the tournament.

“We are focused on playing our own game and we are taking no team for granted no matter what their record was before,” she said.

Marblehead plays its opening game on Thursday against the winner between Lowell Catholic and Shawsheen Tech. The Magicians are stacked with talent as they are playing with all 28 girls after combining their Varsity and JV teams all season during practices.

“The camaraderie between the girls is very strong and they love competing with one another,” said Pugh.

The biggest strength for Marblehead going into the tournament is the balanced attack on both offense and defense. Senior captain goaltender Brittany Lydon is expected to have a strong tournament, as she has experience in tournament play and knows what to expect.

Elaine L. Curtis, 89

PEABODYElaine L. “Skip” (Colburn) Curtis, 89, beloved wife of the late Frank W. Curtis, died peacefully on Tuesday, May 17, 2016, at the Abbott House Nursing Home in Lynn, following an extended illness.

Born in Plymouth, N.H., she was the daughter of the late Carl and Esther (Ramsay) Colburn. She lived there for several years, then moved to Gloucester, where she graduated from Gloucester High School, Class of 1943. She lived in Peabody for many years.

Mrs. Curtis worked as a mail clerk at General Electric in Lynn, where she met her husband.

Skip, as she was affectionately known, was a 50-year member of the Order of the Eastern Star, and was a member of the Daughters of the Nile, the Rebekahs, and the Beauceant. She enjoyed country music, family and social gatherings, and will be remembered for her spunky personality.

She is survived by two daughters, Carla Smithers of Peabody and Marilyn Barnes of Milwaukee, Ore., three sons, William Curtis of Epping, N.H., Bruce Curtis of Haverhill, and Brian Curtis of Amesbury, 12 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren, a half-brother, David Colburn, and several nieces and nephews.

Service information: Relatives and friends are kindly invited to gather for a visitation on Wednesday from 4-8 p.m., in the Conway, Cahill-Brodeur Funeral Home, 82 Lynn St., Peabody, and for a funeral service held on Thursday, May 26, 2016, at 10 a.m., in the in the funeral home. Following the service, interment will be in Riverside Cemetery, Plymouth, N.H. Memorial donations may be made to either Care Dimensions, 75 Sylvan St., Suite B-102, Danvers, MA 01923 or to the Shriners Hospital for Children, 51 Blossom St., Boston, MA 02116. Please visit www.ccbfuneral.com for online obituary or to sign condolences.

Arrest made in attempted robbery

BY GAYLA CAWLEY

LYNN — A panhandling led to an assault and attempted robbery on Monday.

Lynn Police Lt. Rick Donnelly said a 20-year-old Gloucester man told police that he was assaulted by a beggar at about 10:40 p.m., while he was waiting at the bus stop at the intersection of Market and Broad streets.

The victim told police that he was walking by the taxi cabs when Julio Jimenez, 24, of 23 Lexington St., asked him for a dollar, Donnelly said.

“He initially just asked the victim for a dollar,” Donnelly said. “The victim told him he didn’t have any money. Next thing you know, the suspect grabbed him, started punching him and asked for money.”

Donnelly said several cab drivers assisted and confronted Jimenez. He said the drivers were still confronting the Lynn man when police cruisers arrived.

“He was pointed out to officers and placed under arrest,” Donnelly said.

Jimenez was charged with an attempt to commit a crime (unarmed robbery).


Gayla Cawley can be reached at gcawley@itemlive.com. Follow her on Twitter @GaylaCawley

NEC-GBL merger clears high hurdle

By STEVE KRAUSE

 

A proposed merger of the Northeastern Conference and the Greater Boston League cleared a hurdle Friday when the NEC, the larger of the two entities, voted 9-3 to formally invite the four GBL teams to join forces.

The offer was made on the condition that after four years, the arrangement can be reviewed by the NEC teams. Two other stipulations are that Everett, among the state’s premier football teams, would play an independent league schedule in that sport and participate in the merged league in all others; and that the two teams each from the GBL be placed in both the North and the South divisions of the newly-merged conference.

“There was concern,” said Classical principal Gene Constantino, an outspoken proponent of both this proposal and the one that failed to receive the required nine votes several years ago, “of losing the flavor of the NEC if all the GBL teams ended up on one division. So we proposed that we put two teams in each.”

A verbal offer has already been presented to the Greater Boston League. Should the GBL accept, the proposal would have to go before Districts A and B of the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association for the approval of the principals and athletic directors in each.

Les Murray, secretary/treasurer of the Northeastern Conference, said that the earliest he sees the newly-merged league ready for full intra-league play would be spring of 2017.

“Most of the schools are already well into making fall schedules,” he said. “It would be very hard to get it done by winter, so the earliest I see it happening in the spring.”

Also, said Murray, the GBL, down to four teams, has relied on non-league scheduling for most of the last decade, and some of the schools may still have contractual commitments to honor.

The reason for the four-year review, Murray said, is that some NEC schools were worried about logistical issues involving scheduling and wanted to have the opportunity to adjust whatever arrangements are ultimately made.

Both Classical and English are in the Northeastern Conference as well as Swampscott, Saugus, Marblehead, Peabody, Revere and Winthrop. Also included in the NEC are Salem, Beverly, Gloucester and Danvers.

The four remaining GBL teams are Everett, Somerville, Malden and Medford. At one time, both the NEC and GBL had 10 teams each, and Revere and Peabody were in the GBL.

Currently, the NEC is divided into the North and South divisions, with six teams in each. Under the new arrangement there would be eight teams in each.

Murray said that it hasn’t been determined which GBL teams would go into the newly-configured divisions.

Moulton brings $325,000 to fight opiates in Lynn

ITEM PHOTO BY OWEN O’ROURKE
Lori Abrams Berry, CEO of the Lynn Community Health Center, is congratulated by Rep Seth Moulton during a ceremony announcing federal grants for opiate addiction held at the North Shore Community Health Center in Salem on Thursday.

By GAYLA CAWLEY

LYNN — Community health centers are on the front lines for battling opioid addiction, an issue that has become a public health crisis.

On Thursday, U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton said the Lynn Community Health Center received a $325,000 grant to expand narcotics dependence treatment services. The Massachusetts Democrat delivered the good news at Salem’s North Shore Community Center, which received $352,083. The center also has locations in Gloucester and Peabody.

Nationwide, 271 health centers received cash from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to combat the problem.

Lori Abrams Berry, CEO of the Lynn Community Health Center, said she sees Lynn as the epicenter of drug addiction. Since March, 10 deaths and 63 overdoses have been reported to the Lynn Police Department. Last year, there were 54 deaths from opioid overdoses, up from 38 in 2014.

“We were already thinking it was a crisis,” Berry said. “It seems to be getting worse, not better. These funds really are a godsend.”

The funds will expand the number of patients the center can serve through its Integrated Primary Care, Behavioral Health and Addictions Treatment Program. Currently, she said, the center treats 375 people suffering from addiction. Of that number, 350 are being treated with Suboxone, a drug used to treat addiction, while the remaining 25 are being treated with Vivitrol, an alternative opioid blocker taken as a monthly injection.

Berry said the goal is to treat 1,000 patients suffering from addiction. She said the funds would also be used to hire more nurses and therapists.

Moulton said the opioid problem should be treated as a health crisis and should not be solved by putting addicts in prison.

“The opioid epidemic is cutting lives short, tearing families apart and draining the resources our law enforcement and health care professionals have to treat addiction,” he said.

Margaret Brennan, director of the North Shore Community Health Center, said their funds would be focused on Gloucester, which she said is one of the hardest hit communities in the state’s opioid epidemic.


Gayla Cawley can be reached at gcawley@itemlive.com. Follow her on Twitter @GaylaCawley.

Go fish

BY ROSALIE HARRINGTON

Similar to the card game I play with my grandsons, I didn’t get what I wanted.   

A few years ago, I was asked to compete in a cooking contest — the Seafood Smackdown — at the farmers market in Gloucester. The idea is that you don’t know what fish you will have to work with until the last minute when you are presented with your catch. My friend and accomplished chef, Paolo, and I competed in this contest. The idea of the contest was to promote sustainability by having us cook fish that is abundant, but not popular, and we were each surprised with our own whole, huge dogfish to cook with — it sure is an ugly fish. In spite of this, we both turned out delicious dishes: Paolo made a risotto and I made a Sicilian fish soup and a pate from the enormous liver. Last year, I was asked to compete in a similar contest in Rockport, and I was fully expecting another ugly, unpopular breed, but, to my surprise, a French chef and I were given lobsters for the cook-off. What could be better? Since we were provided with a propane-heated grill as one of our cooking options, I immediately split them in half and grilled them. I removed the meat after about 10 minutes, five on each side, and then made a fresh tomato sauce and simmered the lobster meat in it for a few minutes. Next, more lobster meat became a pizza topping, sharing space with sautéed kale, ricotta cheese and pesto, with the lobster meat and pesto going on last for just a few minutes. The judges in both towns seemed to enjoy my creations, and the audience seemed fascinated with seeing both pizza and lobster cooked on the grill top.  

We are very spoiled with the ease in which we can make lobster these days, and the prices have been pleasing, too, the past couple of seasons. Market Basket in Gloucester sells it at the best price I’ve found, and will steam them for you for no extra charge! You can quickly make lobster rolls or mac and cheese with the precooked lobster. I prefer the lobsters to be live when I am going to use the whole lobster – cut up — for a pasta dish with fresh tomato sauce like lobster fra diavolo, a favorite of mine.

I have wonderful memories of lobster in Ogonquit, Maine. My family rented a cottage every summer in this charming town, and the highlight for me was going to the Lobster Pound for a boiled lobster and an ear of corn. Back in the day, the restaurant was rustic — picnic tables and pine groves. But it has grown a bit bigger through the years. I think Maine has the best lobsters; the meat is so white and tender and delicious. My mother holds the record for taking the longest time to devour a lobster. While my brother and I waited patiently for her to finish her lobster so that she’d take us for ice cream, she would pick and suck the meat out of the small claws. It was like a ritual for her. She would twist off the claws and separate the tailpiece from the body by arching the back until she heard a crack. Like magic with a fork, she would pull the meat from the body, arranging it in on a plate. We were generally about done with ours before she’d even finished her dissection procedure, let alone start to eat. The tomalley, which she treated like caviar, was carefully placed on the plate, and then she would dip the pieces of lobster in the warm butter and enjoy. The last thing was attempting to get every morsel out of the legs and tiny claws. “Come on, come on, you’ve got it all,” I can still hear my brother and I begging her to finish.  

When I had a young family and she would come to Marblehead to visit, we would often have lobster on the porch. Since I had plenty to do after serving a meal, I could just leave her there to enjoy her lobster. I would always tell her I was going to get the garden hose so I could spray her down to get rid of the lobster juices that had covered her clothes. When my mother and I traveled to Italy together, she shook her head in disbelief at the spiny creatures they call lobster. She told them they were in for a treat when they visited us, and she was right. They can never get enough when they visit.

I often make what I call a “kitchen clambake.” You need a huge pot for steaming on the stove, with layers of goodness, beginning with a wire rack that will sit on the bottom, just above a few inches of beer or wine or water. Once the liquid is giving off gusts of steam, you can start adding ingredients. The lobsters go in first, followed by halved onions, kielbasa, steamers, corn on the cob and fresh herbs. Tightly cover the pot and steam for 20 minutes.  

Other than eating out at a great lobster shack, I like to eat lobster at home. No lobster tastes as good as the ones you cook yourself. Here is some helpful information about cooking lobsters: To boil them, grab the lobster behind the head and plunge it head first into rapidly boiling water, allowing five minutes for the first pound AFTER the water comes back to a boil, and three minutes for each additional pound. Ask your fish monger to verify how much your lobsters weigh. They should be cooked as soon as possible after your purchase. Place them on a rack in the fridge loosely covered with a cloth that has been wrung out in cold water. They need to breathe, so avoid air tight bags.

When my son George was eight, he was determined to put his own traps in the water.  We had a small boat, called The Puffin, and after several trips to Gloucester and a few hundred dollars, we found the equipment he needed to begin his lobstering career. It was a very exciting summer and we enjoyed George’s efforts. We joked that we could have had Lobster Savannah at Locke-Ober nightly that summer for what we spent on his lobster business.

My grandsons really like mac and cheese, although 7-year-old Nick claims that he prefers Annie’s (store bought, in a box) to mine. I like my mac and cheese with a little lobster meat, and buttery crumbs on top. It is a delicious meal for guests because you can do the preparation the day before. Lobster rolls are still a favorite. Maybe I’ll convince Todd to take a drive to Maine so I can experience the real deal.  


Lobster Breakfast Sandwich

Try this simply delicious breakfast sandwich for two with lobster, spinach or kale, cheddar, egg, pesto and mayonnaise.      

Choose a hearty bread for toast. We really like English muffin bread from A&J King in Salem. They only make it on Thursdays, however, it freezes well and it is necessary to do this because it has no preservatives.  

From a precooked boiled lobster, cut four thin slices of meat.  

  • In a sauté pan, melt two teaspoons of butter and when foamy add two jumbo eggs. After a minute, place two cups of baby spinach or kale in the pan and cover. In the meantime, toast four slices of bread.  
  • Grate about a half cup of good cheddar.  
  • Spread a teaspoon of pesto mixed with a tsp of mayo on two of the slices of toast.  
  • The veggie should be nicely wilted by now, as it only takes a minute.  
  • Carefully sprinkle the cheddar over the pesto, place the egg on top of this, then the lobster slices, and then the veggie. Place another piece of toast on top to create a sandwich.  

Slice each sandwich in half. Garnish the plate with a nice big strawberry, enjoy.

Nancy K. Benevento, 86

PRIDES CROSSINGNancy Keith Benevento, 86, of Prides Crossing, passed away on Sunday, Dec. 20, 2015, at her home surrounded by her family and friends.

Nancy was born in Gloucester on July 30, 1929. She was the only child of Harold and Anne Keith. Throughout her life Nancy would hold dear to her heart Gloucester and her fond memories of growing up there. When living in Gloucester during WWII, Nancy worked on the fish pier and often stated that this was one of the most enjoyable times in her life.

Nancy was a graduate of the Class of 1947 from Lynn English High School. After graduation she went to work at New England Telephone and Telegraph in Boston. She was especially proud of her promotion to Service Representative.

On Jan. 10, 1953, Nancy married John Benevento. They lived in Lynn until 1971, until they moved to Prides Crossing, where they purchased their home. Once settled in their new home, Nancy soon made many friends, became involved with many community organizations and became a parishioner of Saint Margaret’s Church.

Nancy soon discovered her love for the game of tennis. She formed lifelong friendships with people she met through the game of tennis. Everyone so enjoyed playing tennis with Nancy on the court at her home and looked forward to the frequent tournaments she would host.

Her strong spirit and enthusiasm led her to become involved with many organizations in the community. Nancy was an active member of the Beverly Historical Society, Garden Club and the Beverly Farms/ Prides Crossing Improvement Society for many years. As a member of these organizations, she graciously opened her beautiful home for fundraising and social events.
One of Nancy’s greatest enjoyments in life was her association with the Grange. Nancy was recently a member of Beverly Grange # 306, but was a member of many Granges and Pomona’s over her 60 years of membership with the Grange.

As one would expect of Nancy, she held several offices and was on numerous committees as a member of the Grange. By far her greatest enjoyment came from her work on the Topsfield Fair Committee. As a fair committee member, she was part of numerous ribbon winnings for her work on Grange booth exhibits. Nancy formed lifelong friendships with many members of the Grange.

Nancy was a proud member and past Regent of the Colonel Timothy Pickering chapter of the D.A.R. She was extremely proud of her ancestral heritage and shared many great times with the society members.

She is survived by her daughter, Mary Anne Benevento and her husband, Loren Morgan Jr., two sons, Michael Benevento and Charles Benevento and his wife, Minina, all of Prides Crossing and four grandsons, Giovani Benevento, Michael Benevento, Loren Morgan III and Luke Morgan.

Service information: Her funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Margaret’s Church, 672 Hale St., Beverly Farms, Thursday, Dec. 24, 2015, at 9 a.m. Relatives and friends are invited to attend. Visiting hours at the Campbell Funeral Home, 525 Cabot St., Beverly, Wednesday from 4–8 p.m. Burial in the Swampscott Cemetery. Information, directions, and condolences at www.campbellfuneral.com.