LYNN — With a new venue that was forced upon the Rotary and Lions Clubs with the closing of the Porthole Restaurant earlier this year, the annual captains’ luncheon was held Tuesday at the Lynn Museum.
The event recognizes the captains of the five Lynn high school football teams, plus the cheerleaders, as well as the Lynn Public School Band.
The service organizations, which run the luncheon with sponsorship from three of the city’s credit unions, welcome one new coach (Sean Driscoll of St. Mary’s) that resulted in there being a new “dean” of the city’s coaches (now James Runner of Tech) — so named for the one who’s been at his post the longest.
Other coaches attending were Brian Vaughan, Classical; Chris Carroll, English; and James Rabbitt of KIPP Academy.
New faces abounded. Representing the city for Mayor Thomas M. McGee, who was traveling with his family, was Meaghen Hamill, his chief of staff, and Sen. Brendan Crighton — who replaced McGee in the state senate, was in attendance as well.
Also new to the proceedings this year was Dr. Patrick Tutwiler, Lynn’s new Superintendent of Schools. Tutwiler told the crowd of coaches, cheerleaders, athletic directors, principals and assorted city business leaders, and “I may be a big guy, but I never played football. I’m really impressed by this.
“When I moved to this state, I was pleased to see we had this tradition,” he said. “You don’t have this everywhere in the United States. Soak this up, and enjoy every minute of it. It will end soon enough.”
Tutwiler knows the value of sports and education, though. It’s just that he was a basketball player.
“I have strong feelings (about the connection between athletics and education),” Tutwiler said. “I’ve had experiences both in high school and in college. I know about the many lessons that you can learn. And I’m thrilled with the prominence that it has for the kids in Lynn.”
Tutwiler said the luncheon, and the attention played to school sports, “is amazing. It reflects so much of what I love about this community.
“Here you have volunteer groups bringing together student leaders. It’s wonderful. It’s also wonderful that this has been going on for 98 years. It just reflects what this city is about.”
Not only do the service organizations put on the luncheon, but the Brotherhood, RiverWorks and St. Jean’s credit unions sponsor the event. Among those at the luncheon were Adam Shermanm Brotherhood and Dave Surface, St. Jean’s. Also heavily involved is Matt Williams from RiverWorks.
Each coach from the five schools got to recognize his administration, and his captains — both the players and cheerleaders.
The following captains, for both football and cheering, were present Tuesday:
St. Mary’s: Stella Bourgeois and Mariele DiPrizio; seniors (St. Mary’s appoints game captains): DJ DiCenso, Jalen Echevarria, Connor Donohue, George Freeman and Jack Maguire.
KIPP Academy: cheerleaders: Aysha Mende and Shantel Encarnacion; captains: J’Doni Vincent, Mike Brice, Matthew Wagnac, Dave Filias, Tomi Oladunjoye, Alix Pierre-Toussaint and Daniel Oluwasuyi.
Tech: cheerleaders: Jackie Benevidas, Karla Lopez, Jaliyah Mata, Ariana Anaya; captains: Emerson Ramirez, Kenneth Perez, Brendon Touy, David Barrios.
Classical: cheerleaders: Gabby Soares, Cheyanne Kostin, Jillian Brown, Megan DeLeo and Kylie Tucker; captains: Chase Buono, Keith Ridley, Cam Greene, Robert Sirois.
English: cheerleaders: coach Carla Rose; captains: Vanessa Paul, Dylan Sok; football captains: Matt Severance, Alex Brenes, Jadiel Tejada.
Band: Alex Patten, Sofia Fontan, Noemi Hernandez, Erik Whittier.
“See you Wednesday night and Thursday,” said Tutwiler. “I’ll be dressed pretty warmly and I suggest all of you who are going do the same.”
Reports say Thursday will be the coldest Thanksgiving since the National Weather Service began keeping records.