As the coach of the Hyde Park High football team in 2005, Rich Moran could not have been more prepared to take his team to the Division 4 Super Bowl against Southeastern.
The problem was he was too prepared. And his team lost 13-0.
“I changed a few things up, with Hyde Park we played Southeastern and I thought too much, I changed up a few things offensively and changed up a few things defensively,” said Moran, who will return to the Super Bowl at 1 p.m. Saturday afternoon at Curry College as the head coach of the undefeated Dorchester Bears.
“I was sort of second guessing myself, over preparing. This year I told the coaches 'We’re doing the same stuff. We are doing the things that got us here and we’re not changing a thing.'”
But Dorchester, who plays Upper Cape Cod in Saturday’s Division 5 Super Bowl, also got a warning this week on the dangers of not being prepared well enough. Moran said a member of the Bears 1982 team that lost in the Super Bowl addressed the team on Tuesday.
“He told the kids he lost in the Super Bowl and he remembers it like it was yesterday,” Moran recalled. “He said they weren’t prepared. All the coaching staff looked at each other and we said ‘We’ll be prepared.’”
Dorchester (10-0) has also had a long time to prepare for Upper Cape Cod (9-1). The Bears don’t have a Thanksgiving game so they haven’t played a game since Nov. 17, when they beat Madison Park in a game that was dubbed the “unofficial city championship.”
“It was my buy week,” Moran said of Thanksgiving week. “We went back to the basics during Thanksgiving week. We practiced Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. We went over blocking and did full tackling drills.
“We even practiced Saturday morning. I gave them Thanksgiving and Friday off and we were right back at it on Saturday.”
In the meantime, Upper Cape Cod was battling for its slot in the Super Bowl. While Dorchester clinched its Super Bowl berth with a 12-0 win against Burke on Nov. 2, Upper Cape Cod needed a 42-18 victory against Cape Tech on Thanksgiving to clinch the Super Bowl.
“They are a fast and confident team, they are used to winning,” Moran said.
But neither the Rams nor the Bears did much winning last year. While Dorchester only won four games, Upper Cape Cod only collected two victories last year.
And Moran said there’s no telling how good his team will be next year.
“I don’t know what we can do next year, we might be 2-8,” he said. “You can never predict the future.”
That’s why Moran doesn’t view Saturday’s game as his team’s best and last chance to win a Super Bowl, despite the fact that starting next year teams will have to win at least two playoff games to clinch a Super Bowl under the new MIAA playoff format.
Moran said he likes the new playoff format even though the winner of the Boston City League South will lose its automatic bid to the Division 5 Super Bowl.
“I like the competition, I think it’s good for the city kids,” he said. “I think they need the exposure. We don’t get the exposure. It brings out the best in you.”
Under the new playoff format, all the Super Bowls will be played in Gillette Stadium.
And while some of the Dorchester players are disappointed they aren’t playing at Gillette Stadium on Saturday, winning at Curry College would be special because Moran is a member of the 1977 Curry College football and baseball teams. He was inducted into the school’s athletic hall of fame in 1987.
“[They are] a little disappointed but, again, trying to fill up that stadium with the people that follow us would be hard,” Moran said of Gillette. “Playing on that turf would be nice. The kids are a little disappointed but they are in the Super Bowl.
“And I’m a Curry College Alumni so it’s kind of nice. All week the kids have been saying ‘We are going back to coach’s field.’”
Madison Park tries to cook up breakfast of champions before early-morning Super Bowl matchup with Cathedral
After beating Bristol-Plymouth in the Division 4A semifinals Tuesday night in Weymouth, some members of the Madison Park camp griped about their early Super Bowl time slot Saturday morning at Gillette Stadium.
But Alexis Santiago wasn’t complaining about playing Cathedral High at 9 a.m.
“I don’t believe it will be rough,” said the senior running back who recovered two fumbles against Bristol-Plymouth. “[My teammates] will come to realize what they need to do. So they’re going to go to bed early, hopefully. I will make sure personally that they go to bed. I’ll text them, call them, everything. Give them sleeping pills or something. I’m going to wake up at 6, go on my little jog and head to the school."
Madison Park (8-4) will be looking for its first Super Bowl title.
Tuesday night's win was the Cardinals' first playoff victory. Madison Park lost Super Bowls in 1997 and 1998 but at that time the Boston City League North Division winner had an automatic bid to the Super Bowl.
“We were placed in different divisions so we were totally outclassed at the previous Super Bowls,” Madison Park coach Roosevelt Robinson said after Tuesday night’s 18-6 victory.
“I’ve been coaching 21-plus [years] and never played at Gillette. Taking the kids is something special, for this group of kids this is special.”
Robinson credited assistant coach (and boys’ basketball coach) Dennis Wilson with helping the team get to this point.
“This is my profession, this is something I and Coach Wilson do, I don’t do this by myself,” he said. “And if you look at the stats and see what we do at Madison Park we’re happy because this is what we do. This is our life and we enjoy it.”
Winning Saturday's game will be no small order either.
One of the fastest teams in the state, Cathedral (10-2) is playing with a chip on its shoulder. In last year's Super Bowl, Cathedral’s go-ahead touchdown was called back in the final minutes because of a controversial excessive celebration penalty; the quarterback briefly raised his arm before scoring, and the infraction cost Cathedral the game.
“That plays a lot into it, they know what it took and why they lost and they are coming back,” Robinson said during a telephone interview from Gillette Stadium. “Yeah, and we’re trying to get our first [Super Bowl win].
“Hey, we have to get there. There are a lot of champions. It’s a day of champions and we’re going to try to be one of the champions.”
Robinson said he's only seen Cathedral play briefly, early in the season. He did not let on to his plans for slowing Cathedral's speed other than to say they run a spread offense similar Latin Academy's. The Dragons beat Madison Park, 22-20, on a 25-yard touchdown pass as time expired in the second game of the season.
But Madison park has some speed of its own, specifically tight end David Stewart, whose 72-yard kickoff return for a touchdown put MP ahead, 18-6, against Bristol-Plymouth.
“We do have speed and David, he’s an all-around athlete, track, football and he has speed, he’s a big guy and he has great hands,” Robinson said after Tuesday’s win. “So we can throw him a ball [and] he can run. We’re just trying to get him to our potential.”
Robinson said he believes Saturday’s Super Bowl will be the program’s best shot at winning a state title for some time to come. That’s because the new statewide playoff system, starting next year, will require teams to win at least two playoff games before qualifying for the Super Bowl.
Currently, the Boston City League North champ plays one playoff game before the Division 4A Super Bowl and the South champ automatically goes to the Division 5 Super Bowl.
Robinson, who dressed only 27 players Tuesday, argues that city schools have a tougher time getting players to come out for football. And by late November and December, many of their two-way starters are banged up or sidelined.
“This year and the last few years were very good with the parody,” Robinson said. “Now we’re going to something very foreign. I think we had a fair shot this time around and now they’re going to change it.
“We’re going to try going to win some games. We got to this point and we’re very happy.”
Nobody will be happier to wake up early for Saturday morning's Super Bowl than Santiago, who said his breakfast of champions will be "whatever my mom cooks me.”
The Dorchester Eagles Junior Midgets are raising money so they can compete for a national title at Disney World this weekend.
Here is a link to Bob Hohler's story on the team's fund-raising efforts.
The program is holding a fund-raiser Thursday at 8 p.m. at Slades Bar and Grill at 958 Tremont Street in Boston.
Those interested in supporting the program may send donations to Members Plus Credit Union, 494 Gallivan Boulevard, Dorchester, MA 02124, c/o the Dorchester Eagles.
WEYMOUTH — On a snowy and wet night with a combined 10 fumbles, no one was more surehanded than Madison Park's Alexis Santiago.
“We had to bring out the heart, it’s all about heart and pride,” the senior said after recovering two key fumbles in an 18-6 victory against Bristol-Plymouth that sent the Cardinals to their first Super Bowl since 1998.
The tone of the Division 4A semifinal game at Weymouth High was set from the first play when Santiago recovered a B-P fumble.
Each team fumbled five times. B-P (5-7) lost two fumbles and Madison Park (8-4) lost only one.
With 7:15 left in the half, Santiago recovered the Craftsmen’s second lost fumble before going on to rush for a 5-yard touchdown run eight plays later. Despite an unsuccessful pass attempt on the 2-point conversion, the Cardinals still took a 12-0 lead at the half.
“We just had to get used to the way the ball was,” Santiago said. “It was really wet, so it took us time to get used to it.”
The victory came after Madison Park lost to Dorchester and then to O’Bryant on Thanksgiving. After B-P upset Blue Hills on Thanksgiving, it seemed that it would be the team to move on to the Super Bowl at Gillette Stadium at 9 a.m. Saturday. But the Cardinals had surprises in store.
“The last two games we didn’t play with any desire,” Santiago said. “We came out at this game and we knew what we had to do individually and as a team.”
Santiago said that the difference between their last two losses and Tuesday night was that they committed a lot of penalties against Dorchester and O’Bryant.
“We knew coming into this game what we had to do. We couldn’t have too many miscues or too many penalties.
“I think last game we had 135 yards in penalties – we can’t have that.”
Madison Park will play Cathedral, which beat North Shore Tech, 30-14.
“It will be amazing, it will be a new experience, said Santiago. "I’ve never been there. Personally, it’s going to be my first time.”
Santiago is confident that the Cardinals will pull together for Madison Park’s first Super Bowl win to cap off his senior year.
“It will be historic, something to hang my hat on,” he said. “They’ve never had one before, so it will be something really awesome to have our first Super Bowl.”
After losing to its campus rival for the second straight Thanksgiving, the Madison Park football team must defeat a team that is coming off a Thanksgiving miracle if it wants to play in the Super Bowl.
Just five days after losing 6-0 to O’Bryant on Thanksgiving, the Cardinals (7-4) will play Bristol-Plymouth in the Division 4A semifinal game at 5:15 p.m. on Tuesday at Weymouth High.
Bristol-Plymouth advanced by taking out the all-mighty Vincent Burton and the Blue Hills Warriors 28-26 on Thanksgiving morning.
Burton led Eastern Massachusetts in scoring this fall with 35 touchdowns.
“I would like to face him, but it’s still going to be a challenge to face Bristol-Plymouth if they beat Vincent Burton,” Madison Park quarterback Hector Villar said. “It’s going to be fun.
“The main thing right now is to stay focused and play with MP pride. That’s what we have to do right now and if we do that we could play with anybody in any division basically.”
Bristol-Plymouth’s nail-biting win ended Blue Hills' two-year postseason streak and propelled the Craftsmen to their first visit to the postseason since 2009.
Longtime Madison Park coach Roosevelt Robinson is taking his team to the postseason for the first time since losing to Shawsheen Tech 21-0 two years ago. Robinson said while he would like to play the best in Burton and Blue Hills, he also always wants to face the team that won the chance to play in the postseason.
“You can have the best team and just not have the right formula,” Robinson said. “And it’s kids, emotionally our children, they have their days. When you have a player that exceeded his capability for that day he definitely got his rewards. That’s what it sounds like happened with Bristol-Plymouth, they came together and they believed and they performed well.”
Bristol-Plymouth (5-6) has won four of its last five games while Madison Park won four straight before losing to Boston City League South champion Dorchester 16-14 in the “unofficially city championship game” and losing to O’Bryant 6-0 on Thanksgiving for the second straight year.
“We just have to play tough, play hard, play with pride, that’s what we have to do,” Villar said. “We could go to a Super Bowl; that is what’s changed our attitude. We see what is in our grasp. It makes us more hungry; we just didn’t do what we had to do [against Dorchester and O’Bryant] so we have to do that [Tuesday].
“They are a tough team, we have to play our hardest; we have to play better than we played every game this season to beat them.”
Robinson said his team had too many penalties against Dorchester and O’Bryant.
“We’re going to keep working on our mistakes that we made and to improve them,” he said. “We played some good teams that willed their way and they played well and we didn’t play well.”
After Thanksgiving, there is no question Bristol-Plymouth knows how to will itself to victory. Bristol-Plymouth managed to beat Blue Hills despite Burton's 218 yards on 30 carries.
Beating Bristol-Plymouth on Tuesday could be Madison Park’s best chance to go to a Super Bowl for a while because a new playoff format is being adopted next season that will force teams to win more than one playoff game to qualify for the Super Bowl.
“They want to try things and some of us coaches are comfortable with the way things are now,” Robinson said. “That’s one thing, now you’re going to change it and we’re facing opponents that we know nothing about. That’s very challenging right now looking at what’s happening next year because we’re looking at something totally different.”
The Boston Scholar Athlete program released its first All-BSA team on Sunday.
The All-BSA team recognizes the scholar-athletes who epitomize what it means to be both a scholar and an athlete. The award winners listed below are successful in the classroom and on the field or court. They also give back to their communities.
The award winners were chosen for their leadership skills, effort and dedication:
Avery Riggs, Boston Latin Academy; Sebastian D’Amico; Boston Latin School; Nixon Marcelon, Brighton; Brandon Newton, Burke; Jonathan Marcel, Charlestown; Darius Patterson, Dorchester; Gamaliel Chavez, East Boston; Jordan Carder, English High; Alexis Santiago, Madison Park; George Gomez, O’Bryant; Steven Thomas, New Mission; Kingsley Okoye South Boston; Michael Obianigwe, West Roxbury.
Lauren Palermo, Boston Latin; Crystal Figueroa, Brighton; Whanellely Guerrero, Burke; Jasmine Anam, Charlestown; Rebekah Soto, Dorchester Academy; Raquelle Louis, English High; Georgina Williams, Madison Park; Demari Gilmore, South Boston High.
Erwin Fuentes, Boston Latin Academy; Seth Philistin, Brighton; Prince Collins, Burke; Jonathan Perez, East Boston; Cyril Quaye, English High; Anis Medjahad, O’Bryant; Shaiqwan Williams, Snowden; Wilson Estrada, South Boston.
Nicole Sandell, BCLA, Paola Villatoro, Latin Academy; Isabel Delaura, Latin School; Meybel Lopez-Flores, Brighton; Steice DoCanto, Burke; Sara Centeio, Charlestown; Wendy Campos, East Boston; Brankely, English High; Noelia Rodriquez, Snowden; Naomi Christiansen, South Boston; Kaylin Thomas-Bennett, TechBoston Academy.
Victoria Thong, Latin Academy; Reyna Joint, Brighton; Jussara Pontes, Burke; Kim Huynh, Charlestown; Nelsey Barriero, English High; Patricia Bello, Boston International; Krystal Edwards, Madison Park; Hong Tran, O’Bryant; Stephanie Chen, Snowden; Alina Rivera, South Boston; Lily Rosario, Tech Boston Academy; Lori Phillips, West Roxbury.
Xavier Hill, Latin Academy
In an age of aerial fireworks, Boston Latin went to the old-school running game to the tune of four touchdowns and 250 rushing yards en route to a 44-15 victory over Boston English at Harvard Stadium.
Latin won its 15th straight game in the oldest continuous high school football rivalry in the country.
“We didn’t think it was necessary to throw the ball today,” said Latin coach John McDonough. “We felt we could control the line of scrimmage with our depth.”
The Wolfpack took the opening kickoff and marched 65 yards in just six plays. The highlight came courtesy of senior Jhalen Bien-Aime, who took a handoff straight to the house from 26 yards for the game’s first score.
Bien-Aime (112 yards on 10 carries), who dislocated a finger Wednesday in practice, kept things rolling on the Wolfpack’s second possession, scoring from 13 for a 14-0 first-quarter lead.
“He did what he always does for us, he gets those hard yards for us and the easy ones,” said McDonough.
Latin only ran two plays on offense in the second quarter, but for touchdowns. The backbreaker was a 59-yard run by senior Mike Surdek, who recovered an English fumble on the previous play.
“Obviously that was a big change,” said Surdek. “I saw the hole opposite of where it was designed, so I cut back and all I saw was green.”
Trailing, 30-0, at the half, English refused to quit and took control of the third quarter, running off a 13-play, nine-minute drive that was kept alive by quarterback Dhe’Jour Releford. He capped the drive with a 1-yard dive. English hadn’t attempted an extra point all season, but senior Daquawnn Gunter nailed the PAT.
“Thank god there was a second half,” said English coach Chris Boswell. “We just wanted to finish the game and try to win the half.”
Latin answered with a touchdown run by Mike Cronin from 13 yards early in the fourth quarter.
Releford, who surpassed 100 yards rushing, took the Bulldogs (3-7) back down the field and got them into the end zone again, this time through the air. Facing a third-and-goal from the 11, Releford escpaed pressure and found Gunter, who caught a deflected pass for the score.
“[Releford] is absolutely a playmaker,” said Boswell. “He has such poise and confidence, he can get popped and he comes back looking the same.”
Cronin capped the scoring for Latin (2-9), taking the ensuing kickoff 62 yards for a TD.
“We’re on a two-game win streak,” said McDonough. “It turned out the way we hoped.”
Burke shut out New Mission, 22-0, in what was dubbed the first-ever “Unity Bowl” on Thursday morning at Saunders Stadium in South Boston — an effort to bring two communities together peacefully during the Boston City League’s newest annual Thanksgiving rivalry football game.
Senior quarterback Elvin Perez scored the first touchdown of the game on a 14-yard run in the opening quarter to put Burke up 6-0.
“I started the momentum for us and it helped our confidence to win the game,” Perez said. “I always knew we could pull off the win. We've been down before and we came back and won.”
Sophomore fullback Brandon Newton extended the Bulldogs lead on a 34-yard rush in the third quarter.
“It felt pretty good [because] I don’t start, so coming off the bench I felt motivated,” Newton said. “If people get in my way, I have to fight through everything.”
Finally, Anderson Raymond scored the last touchdown of the game in the fourth quarter on a 23 yard run.
Rayhan Abdur-Rahman also snagged an interception in the fourth quarter.
“Earlier I had an opportunity to get an interception and I dropped it so I made sure that this time I was going to take it,” he said. “Coach just told me to just play the middle and I did. My teammates got in there and rushed the quarterback. The quarterback just threw it up and I made the move on it.”
Burke finishes its season 4-7 while New Mission completes its inaugural football season 0-8.
New Mission coach Michael Pittman-Forman said he believed his team was still in the game even after they went down a touchdown.
“Oh yeah, we had a lot a whole lot of confidence,” he said. “After they scored the touchdown we thought about our plays but then my offense, we made a lot of mistakes. Obviously every game that we are behind the youngsters start to get down on themselves. But as long as they can fight it then we have a chance to win.
“I think we will be able pull this game off next year without a doubt. We have a lot of guys returning. We have only lost five seniors. So we should have a lot of guys back. We’ll be OK. We’ll keep working on all that stuff, their grades, make sure we got their grades together.”
Burke coach Byron Beaman said he was pleased with the crowd turnout but disappointed in his teams play, despite the shut out.
“We just have to run harder, we got blocks but you have to sustain your blocks,” he said. “We were making good initial contact and then we were doing a lot of watching … They weren't playing at the level they were capable of.”
There was a lot on the line for the South Boston and East Boston football teams at their 95th Thanksgiving Day game Thursday at White Stadium. The rivalry was as intense as ever because East Boston recently gave up the Boston North title to Madison Park, while South Boston was seeking its first Thanksgiving win since 2008.
East Boston emerged with a 22-14 victory.
“It’s been going on for practically 100 years, so it feels really good to win with past players watching,” East Boston senior running back Matthew Robinson said. “It’s my senior year and we’ve won the past 4 years I’ve been in school, so it means a lot.”
East Boston (4-5) junior quarterback Vincent Lepore scored on a quarterback sneak at the goal line to give the Jets a 6-0 lead.
East Boston continued to dominate using its running game. Two minutes into the second quarter, senior running back Matthew Robinson scored on a 2-yard run to make it 14-0.
South Boston (3-7) made it onto the scoreboard with 15 seconds left before halftime.
After three incomplete passes in row, quarterback Hakine Walcott completed a 22-yard pass to sophomore wide receiver Demario Taylor on fourth down.
Walcott then sent a 7-yard pass to junior running back Pannell Davis for a touchdown to cut East Boston's lead to 14-8.
“In the beginning we thought we had the game,” Robinson said. “When they got that pass it messed with us, but we just stayed focused and kept doing what we were doing.”
East Boston responded on its first drive in the third quarter. Robinson scored again on a 38-yard run up the middle to give East Boston a 22-8 lead.
Then South Boston's Sean Hunter decided to take some action. The Knights marched down the field, led by running backs Davis and Hunter. Hunter ran it in at the goal line for a touchdown to cut East Boston's lead to 22-14.
South Boston got the ball back with about a minute left, but couldn’t manage to get past the Jets’ defense.
“Eastie came out strong and moved the ball pretty easily,” South Boston coach Sean Guthrie said. “I’m proud of the overall effort, but mistakes hurt us in the end.”
East Boston coach John Parziale knew his team had its work cut out.
“They fought back and we had a lapse of coverage,” East Boston coach John Parziale said. “South Boston is tough and we throw records out the window on Thanksgiving.”
It was East Boston's fourth Thanksgiving win in a row.
“For a lot of years South Boston was on top, but now we are," Parziale said. “We want to keep it like that.”
Alison Davey is used to succeeding. The New Mission junior is a BSA athlete, a star soccer and basketball player, and excels at academics -- all while tirelessly raising money to support cancer research.
In 2009, Davey was devastated upon hearing that her aunt in California was diagnosed with cancer and decided to do something about it.
“She’s my whole world,” Davey said. “I write about her in school and I text her every day to stay strong.
“Everything she does inspires me, and everything she does, I want to do. She’s the best.”
A recent visit with her aunt triggered her big idea to support cancer research.
“Seeing her was emotional and I was just like, ‘I have to do something,’ ” Davey said.
“With my guidance counselors, I set a goal of raising $1,000 for the cause from Oct. 13th to Nov. 13th. And then it just blew up.”
Because it was breast cancer awareness month, Davey decided that October was the perfect month to start a fundraiser. She baked brownies, cupcakes, and other goods every night to sell for a dollar the following day during her lunch period. She also handmade pink ribbons she sold, posted flyers, and provided her soccer team with pink shoelaces.
Then, she had a bigger idea.
“I decided if I reached my goal of raising $1,000 I would shave my head and donate it to locks of love,” she said.
As if shaving her head weren't courageous enough, she decided to do it in front of her entire school.
“I heard there would be a pep rally in November and everyone suggested I shave my head during it,” she said. “I’m not nervous about shaving it.
“It will grow back.”
With her hair braided in two, Davey walked into a packed gym ready to kick off the pep rally.
“Today, [Davey] will donate her beautiful hair to Locks of Love and is doing it with tremendous courage in front of us,” BCLA headmaster Brett Dickens said in her introduction. “We’re here to support Aly, but she’s the one giving us so much strength.”
Davey then took the stage to thank her classmates before her haircut.
“I’m proud to stand before you and say I raised $1,250 to support cancer research,” she said to a roaring crowd. “By shaving my head, my hair will be more than my everyday ponytail.
“It will provide security for a child with cancer, and that is a great thing.”
Davey’s brother, Joe Davey, a former BCLA student proceeded to shave her head in front of the audience that chanted “Aly!”
“I was a little overwhelmed, but she has such a great attitude,” said her mother, Catherine Davey. “She was like, ‘I’m doing it Mom!’ I’m very proud of her.”
After the shave, Davey’s soccer teammates sprayed her new haircut pink.
“I thought If I was going to do it I had to go all out and get people’s attention,” Davey said, triumphantly packaging her braids to deliver to Locks of Love. “It felt really good and I’m happy I did it.”
The South Boston and East Boston Thanksgiving Day game will be televised live in the city, according to the mayor's office.
The traditional Thanksgiving rivalry will be taking place at 9:30 a.m. at White Stadium and will be broadcast on Boston City TV (Comcast Ch. 24, RCN Ch. 13) as Mayor Thomas M. Menino's "Game of the Week."
The game will also be streamed on the City of Boston's website, http://www.cityofboston.gov/cable/live.asp.
On Thursday, Latin Academy and Charlestown will face off for the big Thanksgiving game.
For both teams, this will be the last game of their season. Latin Academy (7-3) is looking to break the record for the number of games the team has won in a season.
“Last year, we were in the Super Bowl,” said Latin Academy coach Rocco Zizza. “But if we win this game, this year we’ll have the team record of eight wins.”
Latin Academy has had a strong season, scoring an average 20.8 points per game, while allowing 18 points per game. Junior quarterback Kyle Dance and senior wide receiver Alex Guerrier are tied for fifth place in Division 5 for scoring. They have each scored seven touchdowns.
“We had a couple of losses early, some key injuries, but despite that, [it would be] a great way to finish off the season,” Zizza said. “The seniors [have] set a good precedent for the younger players.”
It’s the first year for Charlestown (0-9) coach George Munroe, who praised his players.
“I like coaching my guys, they’re really intelligent,” Munroe said. “Most of these [players] have never played before, this season was about training new players.”
Munroe believes that the strength of his team is their age.
“Youth,” he said. “[Our strength is] our players are younger.”
On the other hand, Zizza likes his team’s experience.
“I think we outnumber them talent wise,” Zizza said. “We are a more experienced team and have greater numbers.”
The coaches both said they were impressed with their players, Zizza with his players’
resiliency, and Munroe with his players’ tenacity.
For the last few years, Latin Academy has beaten Charlestown, but with the spirit of theses coaches and their players, this will definitely be a game to watch on Thanksgiving.
“We’ll be fine,” Munroe said. “It’s still a football game.”
Eliza Mauro is a junior at Latin Academy
Following is the fourth in a series of Thanksgiving football previews.
Madison Park looks to bounce back from a disappointing loss to Dorchester in its annual Thanksgiving Day game at 10 a.m. against O'Bryant at Madison Park.
After a tough 16-14 loss to the Boston City League South division champs, Dorchester, last Friday in the “unofficial city championship,” the North division champion Cardinals will suit up again on Thursday morning to take on their neighboring school, O’Bryant.
Madison Park coach Roosevelt Robinson believes his team can move on from the tough loss and pull out the win.
“Thanksgiving is another big event so they have to get it up, we have pep rallies and stuff going on so hopefully that inspires them," said Coach Robinson “And O’Bryant is having a tough year but you know we’ll come out with something."
Robinson also stressed the importance of his team working on their blocking after their senior quarterback Hector Villar threw an interception in the fourth quarter on a drive that could have given the Cardinals the lead.
“Today our blocking was not good so we just have to key in on the blocking,” Robinson said after the loss to Dorchester Friday night. "We just gotta go back and not make the mistakes we made today. We didn't block well and our quarterback twisted his ankle right from the start today. So that was big for us. Our backup was hurt too."
Although Madison Park and O’Bryant are familiar with each other, they don’t get the chance to face off until Thanksgiving each season.
“It’s a tough situation, we are one of the unique fixtures in the season,” O’Bryant coach Kevin Gadson said. “We share the same campus; we see each other all the time in practice.”
O’Bryant (5-5), led by star quarterback Christian Ramson, will look to repeat last year’s performance when they defeated Madison Park, 14-12, in a hard fought overtime victory. Ramson ran for a 5-yard touchdown in the first quarter last year and then threw the game-tying 10-yard touchdown pass to Randy Jean in overtime. He also ran in the game-winning 2-point conversion.
Madison Park (7-3) looks to be the tougher side on paper, averaging 23 points per game while only allowing 7.8 points per game, compared to their opponents, who average 16.6 points per game while giving up 13.5.
Villar leads the Cardinals with seven touchdowns.
O’Bryant coach Kevin Gadson agrees Madison Park is the favorite because of their performance this season but he continues to keep faith in his team.
“They are the favorites,” he said. “They are going to the [playoffs]. We are the underdogs, but if we execute and play hard and do the things we’re capable of doing, we will be successful and uphold the O’Bryant tradition.”
Globe correspondent Justin A. Rice contributed this report.
Ralph Karnuah is a junior at Brighton High.
Three years ago Jhalen Bien-Aime was among a group of Boston Latin freshman football players who were brought up to practice and dress with the varsity for the annual Thanksgiving rivalry game against Boston English at Harvard Stadium — the nation's longest continuous high school football rivalry game.
Bien-Aime didn’t step foot onto the turf at Harvard Stadium for that 27-16 victory against English, but he was more than on his coaches' radar by that point of the season.
“He caught people’s eye, he was running hard like he wanted to prove something, he surprised a lot of the older kids, he’s just improved since then,” Boston Latin coach John McDonough said. “We were pretty certain we had potential for pretty good back then. The six or seven practice he had with the varsity he did an excellent job.”
The game also left an impression on Bien-Aime, who rushed for three touchdowns on 148 yards in a 50-0 victory against English last year, the Wolfpack’s 14th straight victory against the Blue & Blue.
“Being so young, I had never known how serious the rivalry was as a seventh and eighth grader,” he recalled three days before English and Latin were set to meet for the 126th time at 10 a.m. Thursday morning.
“I saw how those seniors took it serious, how big the crowd was at that game. Ever since then it clicked how serious that rivalry is. People don’t take it lightly.”
Last year’s performance also caught the eye of English coach Chris Boswell.
“He’s a good back, maybe even a great back,” Boswell said. “He should play at the next level. I wish him all the best. He’s fast, he can catch, he can run and he’s experienced.”
So far this year, Bien-Aime has rushed for more than 1,000 yards and has scored 16 touchdowns.
Despite that impressive resume, the Wolfpack (1-9) haven’t had much success on the field this year. A 38-0 victory against Weston on Nov. 9 was their only victory of the season, and Bien-Aime said the shot in the arm was a much needed boost going into the game against English (3-7).
“I feel like we are a lot more comfortable,” he said. “It was definitely a huge boost in our confidence. That was the main thing, guys got confident and now we know we can win football games. It’s definitely big.”
But that’s not to say that the season on the whole hasn’t been frustrating for Bien-Aime. He said the most frustrating part of this season has been the fact that much of their woes have come off self-inflicted wounds.
“I’d be lying if said it wasn’t, it’s definitely frustrating,” he said. “But at end of the day I’m playing football and I’m blessed to be able to do that and have that opportunity. Our record is definitely frustrating but at the end of the day I’m doing what I love to do and getting better at it.”
Before he plays college football, however, Bien-Aime, feels that he needs a year of prep school to get ever better at football. And then, he said, he hopes to play at the Division 1 level.
“I’m pretty much sold on going prep,” he said. “I’m not sure where I’ll go but I think that will be the best thing for me is a post-grad year.”
In the meantime, he’ll have to settle for playing at Harvard Stadium on Thanksgiving morning.
“It was amazing being in that stadium, I’d never been in a stadium so big,” he said of suiting up for the English-Latin game as a freshman. “Just the atmosphere, it’s the closest thing you can get to a college atmosphere. The crowd was huge, the stadium was huge.
“Just before the game starts you look around and you’re kind of amazed.”
Following is the third in a series of Thanksgiving football previews.
The more things change in the disparities between the Boston English and Boston Latin football teams, the more they stay the same.
A season that was shaping up to culminate in perhaps the most competitive meeting between the historic rivals on Thanksgiving morning in years, has once again ended with the Blue & Blue struggling to field a team to play in Harvard Stadium at 10 a.m.
“We are going to have a game,” a harried Boston English coach Chris Boswell said on Monday afternoon as he came out of a meeting about the status of the team with the school’s headmaster. “We’re just dealing with our normal challenges, just making sure we have enough kids to play."
After English’s only wins the last two seasons came on forfeitures, they started this season with 24 players.
But a rash of injuries and other issues have left them with about 17 players, Boswell said.
Earlier this fall, however, it seemed like things would be different in the 126th meeting between English and Latin.
English (3-7) won two straight games in September and then, after losing a nail biter to O’Bryant in overtime, won their third game of the season against Charlestown.
In the meantime, Latin School (1-9) looked like it would be winless going into
Thanksgiving before they finally beat Weston, 38-0, Nov. 9. They haven’t played since.
“We finally figured out how to win, that’s obviously huge going into this game,” said Latin's standout senior running back Jhalen Bien-Aime, who scored three touchdowns on 148 yards last year against English.
“If it wasn’t for that win maybe we are a little nervous coming into this game because we literally didn’t know how to win a game.”
Bien-Aime also noted that his team still has an edge since they play in the tougher Dual County League while English plays in the Boston City League's weaker South division. And Boswell noted that English has only beat Latin once since 1981 and has lost the last 14 meetings between the two schools.
“The odds aren’t necessarily in our favor just because they had a bad season,” he said. “They still have good kids. [Bien-Aime] is a really good player.”
It also hasn’t helped that over the last month English has been plagued by the usual combination of injuries, player disinterest, and eligibility concerns.
“We’ll have a kid who plays a game and then he doesn’t want to play anymore,” Boswell said. “And then we had a bunch of injuries. … We just stick with our philosophy, keep grinding it out, living off the fact that we need to run, block and tackle. It doesn’t change the fact that we need to do that it.
"It doesn’t matter who’s on the field or not; next man up. You can’t sit there and whine and complain. You just have to play.”
Boston Latin coach John McDonough is pleased English will be able to field a team.
“It’s nice to keep it going, there’s obviously been a discrepancy in wins and losses over the years but the last couple of years they’ve had a change of coaches and they have gotten better. They won three games this year, that’s a big thing.
“Being that it’s Thanksgiving it makes it special. We don’t go in there overconfident. You might say it’s a one-game season. This is one the kids are going to remember when they come back for their reunion.”
And for the English players who do remain, the dream of beating Latin is alive and well.
"The whole team has been talking about it," senior center Jordan Carter said. “If that were to happen, that’s amazing. We’ll be like ‘It’s our first year beating Latin in 14 years.’ This will be the team, this will be the turnaround. That would feel really good.
“That’s my Super Bowl; if we could beat Latin that’s my Super Bowl.”
Following is the second in a series of Thanksgiving football previews.
Burke and New Mission are set to face each other for the first time in history at 10 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day at Saunders Stadium in South Boston.
The game is also being called the Unity Bowl and the winning team will take home a trophy that they get to keep for the entire year.
Burke coach Byron Beaman said this exemplifies two communities unifying.
“We’re unifying two separate communities,” Beaman said. “The players come from different neighborhoods, and we are showing sportsmanship.”
The two team’s logos will be featured on the trophy, which to New Mission coach Michael Pittman-Forman is also a sign of respect.
“I think we need something like that in the community,” Pittman-Forman said of the Unity Bowl. “Thanksgiving is a very special holiday, most people watch football on Thanksgiving. It’s our last game, most of our seniors are not going to be here, so it’s special for them.”
This season is New Mission’s first ever in football and Thursday’s game is also the Titans (0-7) last chance to get a win this year. New Mission is in 5th place in the Boston City League South Division. They average 6.3 points per game and let up 29.9 points per games.
But Pittman-Forman is still optimistic.
“I think we could win against Burke and any other team on Thanksgiving Day as long as our young guys do what they’re supposed to do,” Pittman-Forman said.
Pittman-Forman also thinks his players have to be more astute to each play in order to come out victorious.
“My boys have to play smarter,” he said, “and eliminate a lot of mistakes.”
The Burke (3-7) also hasn’t been in top form this season. Burke currently holds 4th place in the South. The Bulldogs average 7.7 points per game and give up an average of 14.8 points per game.
Beaman believes stamina and a lot of effort from the beginning to the end of the game is what it will take for his squad to pull off the win against the Titans.
“We are going to have to play four quarters and do as they were coached to do,” Beaman said.
Beaman is looking forward to a competitive game.
“It’s two teams getting together,” he said. “I have a lot of respect for the staff at New Mission.Their guys will come out to win, I’m looking forward to it.”
New Mission and Burke plan to play every Thanksgiving and Beaman couldn’t be more excited.
“It’s a special game for the seniors, it is their last game of high school football and I’m looking forward to a nice competitive game,” Beaman said.
Dennis Membah is a junior at Brighton High school.
Following is the first in a series of Thanksgiving football previews.
To football coaches Sean Guthrie of South Boston and John Parziale of East Boston, Thanksgiving is the most important day of the season. Forget records and championships – it’s all about victory on the 22nd.
“It’s a big day and everyone knows no matter where you are,” said Guthrie. “I was in Connecticut and someone came up to me and asked, ‘Did you beat Eastie?”
“Southie has a lot of followers and they don’t want to know your record. They want to know if you beat Eastie.”
The biggest city rivals are going head-to-head again on Thursday at 10 a.m. at White Stadium in a tradition that dates back to 1901.
“Every Thanksgiving we’re the first game at 9:30,” said Parziale. “It’s a great tradition for the city and very important to our community and those who have played for East Boston.”
“It’s near and dear to their hearts to get a win against South Boston.”
Even though the Knights (3-7) haven’t defeated the Jets (4-5) since 2008, both know that this season it’s anybody’s game.
South Boston is known for its strong defense and speed with star wide receiver junior Pannel Davis, junior quarterback Sean Hunter and senior lineman Kingsley Okoye.
Guthrie noted it will be a tough game but that the Knights are on a three-game winning streak.
In order to prepare for the Jets, Guthrie thinks it’s all about sticking to their original plan.
“It’s something we’ve been planning for forever,” he said, “and the same thing we always do; get the guys prepared for East Boston’s offensive attack and prepare them for defensive looks.”
Unlike the Knights, the Jets’ season ended on a disappointing note.
East Boston lost to Madison Park earlier this month and gave up the Boston North title, making a Thanksgiving victory more desirable than ever.
The Jets plan to redeem themselves with their strong attack lead by star junior running back Juan Bonilla and senior center Lyndry Green.
“We didn’t have a game last week, we’ve just been practicing,” Parziale said. “We’re trying to get ourselves a little better after that tough loss against Madison Park.”
“We only had an okay year so we’re going to work extra hard to get the victory.”
Both Guthrie and Parziale stressed the importance of the Thanksgiving game win not only for the team, but the community.
“We’re going to bring alumni back to inspire them and let them know about the tradition,” Guthrie said. “It has an emotional impact because they know those guys are looking at them.”
Parziale agreed that he wants the win for alumni and East Boston supporters.
“Everyone knows the tradition,” said Parziale. “Most kids have brothers, uncles and fathers that played years ago.
“A lot of people come out for the game to cheer us on and South Boston is very similar in that way.”
With the Jets entering the game for redemption and the Knights looking to get their first win since 2008, this is bound to be the biggest Thanksgiving game in the city league.
A week after putting up 62 points against East Boston, Madison Park realized it was in the fight of its season right off the bat during what many dubbed the “unofficial city championship” against Dorchester Friday night.
“I realized the first hit, the first hit is always the hit that shows how real the game is going to be,” Madison Park junior running back Dawhensky Frederic said after the 16-14 loss at White Stadium. “And I realized everything is on the line now.”
The Cardinals (7-3) scored six rushing touchdowns against East Boston and averaged a city-high 23 points per game before meeting the undefeated Bears (10-0).
But Dorchester, whose defense only allowed a city-best 5.8 points per game going into Friday, held the Cardinals to just one rushing touchdown and just 9 yards rushing in the first half.
“They played good, they came hard, they came tough, they really played hard,” Madison Park coach and Dorchester alum Roosevelt Robinson said of the Bears' defense. “It was the city championship for sure. And they came to play.”
The winners of the Boston City League North and South divisions don’t meet for an official city championship game.
But even though the top team in the North (Madison Park) and the top team in the South (Dorchester) were meeting in the final regular season game before Thanksgiving, Dorchester coach Rich Moran downplayed the city championship billing because Madison Park plays in a higher division.
“We went to the [Madison Park-East Boston] game on Friday night and we saw them,” Moran said after the Madison Park victory. “Of course you get nervous when you see their size and you see their speed. But again I called [defensive] coach [Joe] Cain and I said ‘They are big and they are fast’ and he goes ‘We can beat them.’
“He’s just such a confident guy, very analytical, very on the ball and prepared. And he said ‘We can beat them’ and we did.”
In a night full of big hits and big stuffs in the backfield by the Bears, perhaps no defensive play was bigger than when Dorchester junior linebacker Trevaughn McCoy recovered Madison Park's fumble on its 9-yard line with 1:18 left to play. The play came just after Dorchester punted the ball away to the Cardinals.
“Before they snapped the ball coach told me ‘Trevaughn, blitz, blitz,’ so I shot the B gap,” McCoy said. “Once I saw the two running backs collide into each other I started to see the ball pop out and go out back toward the goal line and I ran over there and got it. When I got up I felt like nobody touched me so I turned around and kept running. I thought it was a touchdown but it wasn’t.
“Once I realized we had the game I wanted to get emotional or cry like I always want to do but I didn’t.”
McCoy, who also plays running back, also had a key third-down conversion with four minutes left in the game. Needing only five yards for the first down, McCoy looked as if he was going to be tackled for a loss before he exploded for a 7-yard gain.
“Usually I play fullback. I don’t usually play at the running back position but I felt like it was a big important thing to get the first down,” he said. “So when I got the ball I ran as hard as I could. I kept my head down and kept chugging.”
Those were the kinds of plays that Madison Park lacked all day as they finished the game with just 104 yards on the ground.
“We couldn’t get started today, we just didn’t get started,” Robinson said. “We had a slow start. We wanted to throw the ball. We had some opportunities but it didn’t work. Dorchester played really good. They played a tough game. We kind of knew what they were doing and they came through with it, so it was a grinding game.”
And Frederic, who only had 11 rushing yards, said he felt the force of the Bears' defense well beyond the first hit of the game.
“Shooting the gaps and shooting the gaps and shooting the gaps,” he said when asked to describe what Dorchester did to stop their run game. “It’s hard for the line to point out who they had when they are shooting the gaps and stuff.”
With 1 minute 35 seconds to play in the Boston’s middle school football City Championship game on Thursday night, 39 cheerleaders stampeded down White Stadium's track as Victor Rivera rushed down the opposite sideline.
Rivera said he saw the cheerleaders running with him as he crossed the goal line to give the Edwards Middle School a 30-28 victory.
“That’s our cheerleaders right there, they represent us real good, they represent,” he said as the cheerleaders, who won the Battle of the Cheerleaders during halftime of the middle school semifinals at Harvard Stadium last Friday night, continued to cheer behind him after the game. “I knew they were running with us. They are always supporting us, they are always supporting us."
Rivera's TD also handed the Rogers its first loss of the year.
“I was just like, I need to get this for the team, I need to get this for the team," he said after Edwards improved to 7-0 on the year. “They gave me the reverse and I saw the hole there and I saw the glory and I was like, yeah I’m going to go right up the middle and I’m going to score for my team, and that’s what I did.”
Before Edwards won its second straight city title in Thursday's nightcap, the Mildred Avenue Middle School defeated the Lila G. Fredericks Pilot School, 26-0, in the first middle school Town Championship game.
This year the Play Ball! Foundation, which funds and helps organize the Boston middle school football league, decided to have two flights of playoffs so they could award both a Town and City champion.
“Everybody loves to be a champion, everybody loves to compete and play and be recognized for being a champion and in our opinion these kids are kind of defying odds, enjoying their time out here and if we can make two divisions and two champions out of this, all the better,” Play Ball! board member Ian Franke said during the first game.
“This league is up and coming and there are a lot of teams that are less developed that haven’t had as much time or as long of tenure and when you get teams like that there’s certain disparities and we think that they’ll certainly step in up in the next few years but right now we want everyone to feel like a champion. This allows that opportunity.”
Rivera, who scored two touchdowns for Edwards was awarded the Jim Peete sportsmanship award after the game.
In Thursday's first game, running back Stephon Anderson won the Peete award for Mildred Avenue (5-2) after he scored two touchdowns.
“I really want to thank my line,” Anderson said.
Mildred quarterback Lusaniro Tavaras scored the first TD of the game on a 10-yard run in the second quarter. In the fourth quarter, Tavaras tossed a 23-yard TD pass to Jordan Pimentel.
“It’s exciting since it’s the first year of the school having the team,” Mildred coach Duane Nelson said. “Very exciting.”
This was the Fredericks' second season playing football. Last year it didn’t win a single game.
“I’m just completely impressed at how far they came,” first-year Fredericks coach Jason Colburn said. “We started off 0-4 and we rallied our way back to win. This is just a tribute to the players and the coaching staff.
“We didn’t get the championship that they wanted but I’m proud of my team.”
Rogers running back Dakari Cox’s championship dreams also flamed out Thursday night despite his four touchdowns against Edwards. His fourth TD put Rogers (6-1) up, 28-24, with 4:29 left in the game.
“It’s tough because we battled so hard this year," he said. "We just did a whole lot and I don’t like losing.”
Rogers coach Steve Cahill said his squad played Edwards tougher than any other team this season.
“Nobody was within 30 points of them, I don’t think,” he said. “We expected to win but nobody played with them at all this year. We knew we could. We did. Another minute on that clock we have them."
Cahill noted that the difference between the teams ended up being a 75-yard kickoff return for a touchdown on the first play of the game by Edwards quarterback Jeffrey Benzan.
“It was awesome,” Benzan, who finished with three touchdowns total, including a 41-yard scamper in the second quarter, said of his kick return. “There was a lot of tension between the two teams, both of us undefeated; they are one [heck] of a good team.
"All I know is me and my teammates played our hearts out tonight. This was one good game.”
The fact that the two best teams in the Boston City League happen to be from opposite divisions and they happen to be meeting in the last regular season game of the season before Thanksgiving morning is serendipitous in itself.
But what is even more amazing is the fact that one of those teams playing at 3:30 p.m. on Friday at White Stadium is Dorchester.
And what’s even more miraculous than that is that the Bears are undefeated.
“Nobody ever thought Dorchester could do it at all,” senior wide receiver Robinson Cyprien said after a 12-0 victory against Boston English High on Friday that improved the Bears' record to 9-0. “But we came out and we really did it.”
Dorchester’s opponent on Friday is Madison Park, who’s lopsided 62-20 win against rival East Boston clinched the Cardinals’ trip to the Division 4A postseason.
So with undefeated Dorchester clinching the Boston South league and a slot in the Division 5 Super Bowl two weeks ago, and Madison Park (7-2, 5-0) sitting on a three-game win streak, the stage for the “unofficial Boston City League championship” on Friday.
At least that’s what almost everyone who watches city league football is calling the game.
But Dorchester coach Rich Moran is not taking the bait.
“No, they are a division higher, I’m not even worried about them, I don’t see it like that,” Moran said Monday. “I see it as another game we’re playing.
“We’re playing Madison Park. We won the city championship in the South [division] and they won it in the North. That’s how we look at it.”
Madison Park coach, Roosevelt Robinson, who gave his team Veterans Day off, however, said he does see the game as a city championship.
“For us in Boston, we have enough schools here, and so it will be a city championship,” he said as his players chanted behind him after the Easton Boston victory on Friday night. “And we’ll be there.
“One thing about us, we will not be late for that game. And we’re visiting, so I hope they’re serving some warm drinks because we will be there. Whether it snows, rains Madison Park will be there.”
Robinson, who team won its only non-shutout victory all season in beating Eastie, also showed a sliver of a diplomacy after the game as well.
“We respect every opponent, and we’re looking forward to playing Dorchester, I’ll put it that way,” he said. “We are really looking forward to it because we have something to prove and they better bring it.”
If anything, Moran sees playing a team that has shut out six of its opponents this year, as a litmus test for where his team really stands.
“They’re a big physical team so it will be a good game in the sense of testing the kids,” he said. “They are a big and physical so we’ll see how we do. … We’re going to play the way we play we won’t change up anything and that’s what we’ll do.”
Dorchester will need to change the fact that it fumbled the ball three times against Boston English and lost two of those fumbles in the fourth quarter.
“It’s concerning,” Moran said. “We talk about it all the time. We still haven’t played that perfect offensive game yet and we need to do that.”
Globe Correspondent Lorenzo Recupero contributed this report.
Justin A. Rice covers Boston Public school athletics. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeJustinRice or @BPSspts.
The best high school soccer players took the field tonight in the Boston Scholar Athlete All Star games and for both the boys and girls, all results pointed North.
Teams were divided based on city location, and the North boys team had a 7-3 victory over the South while the North girls secured a 4-0 shut out over the South.
The North stars that dominated the boys’ win over the South didn’t come as much as a surprise. Season standouts like Brighton senior forward Rossel Cacho and Madison Park senior forward Edmilson Barros lead the team like they had played together for years.
Barros scored in the left corner of the goal in the fifth minute after a beautiful assist from Cacho, and ten minutes later Cacho scored off an assist from Barros.
Wowed by their dynamic, the South stepped up its defense.
Another top scorer in the league, Dorchester’s Warren Exceus scored in the last eight minutes of the half to get the South on the scoreboard before half time.
The South continued to make a comeback in the second half when O’Bryant sophomore Mikias Gurmesa tied up the score with 20 minutes left, and five minutes later Boston International senior Stephan Teixera garnered a goal providing a 3-2 lead.
Down by one, Barros and Cacho orchestrated a miraculous come back for the North. With only ten minutes left on the clock, Barros scored once and Cacho scored three more times.
“We were losing and then we got it back,” Cacho said. “This team was amazing. I’m speechless.”
North freshman goalkeeper Jozef Pineda of Snowden was also a standout and blocked many of the South’s shots on goal.
Latin Academy coach Denis Allen led the South while Brighton’s Adrian Kawuba, who was honored to be a coach of the year and to have had the star of the all-star game this season, coached the North.
“Both teams played hard and they’re all here for a reason,” Kawuba said. “It was tough in the beginning but Cacho got us back in the game, which was nice to see since he’s one of my players.”
“This city has a lot of unbelievable talent and it was great for Boston to showcase it tonight.”
The girls teams showed off plenty of skill as well, but there was no stopping the North.
The first half almost went scoreless until New Mission senior forward Bonnie Ramos sent the ball soaring into the middle of the goal with four minutes left.
The North came back even harder in the second as Madison Park senior forward Dulcelina Tavares scored in the first two minutes off of an impressive assist from East Boston senior forward Ruth Rivas.
“It felt so good to win,” Tavares said. “I’m a senior so I was excited to get picked as an all star and represent Madison Park.”
Ramos had another goal in the middle of the second half and Brighton senior striker Emma Lama capped off the game after a goal with eight minutes left.
Latin Academy senior forward Virginia McCaughey and Charlestown senior forward Sara Centeio were impressive on offense but couldn’t pull off a goal against Latin Academy sophomore keeper Sandra Seone-Serri.
North coach Richard La Cara of the East Boston girls soccer team is no stranger to victory as the Jets won the city championships this year.
“It was nice to win,” La Cara said. “We strive to have fun but I think winning is more fun than losing and we’re very pleased to have won.”
“My hat goes off to the other coaches who have limited resources and are still able to field competitive teams.”
Patriots safety Patrick Chung and Revolution defender A.J. Soares joined officials from Boston schools and The Sports Museum to help educate Boston youth about bullying on Tuesday afternoon at the Tobin Community Center in Roxbury.
The event was part of Boston vs. Bullies, which brings together the Boston sports community and local organizations to help stop bullying in Boston schools and communities.
Madison Park coach Gladys Perez-Byrd finally got one back on her friend, O’Bryant's coach Gertrude Fisher, during Tuesday night’s Boston City League girls’ volleyball All-Star game at Emmanuel College.
A scheduling conflict prevented the Tigers and Cardinals — who share a campus — from playing their usual match this fall, But O’Bryant did beat Madison Park in the semifinals of the city championships earlier this month.
In Tuesday’s all-star game, however, Perez-Byrd’s North squad defeated Fisher’s South Squad, 3-0 (26-24, 25-21, 25-21).
“This is all for fun, it’s not about revenge, it’s about the kids,” Perez-Byrd said after the game which was sponsored by the Boston Scholar Athlete Program.
North started off slow in the opening set as South jumped out to an 8-1 lead thanks to stellar serving from Snowden senior Shirley Peng and O’Bryant senior Diep Nguyen.
North finally tied the set, 17-17, before South came back to knot the set at 23. But Madison Park senior Amber Edwards successfully served out the set with three straight service points to win, 26-24.
“They just had to get used to playing with each other," Perez-Byrd said. "We didn’t have a chance to practice so positions were something we had to work out, but they worked it out."
In the second set it was the South’s turn to make a comeback, cutting the North’s lead to 23-21. But once again Edwards was there to serve out the set. And this time she had an ace that hit the far left corner of the South's side to ice the set, 25-21.
“Honestly I was just here to have a good time, I kind of zoned out during the game,” Edwards said. “But when I made that final point it was really good, I really enjoyed myself.”
South started strong in the third set to go up, 15-9, but South Boston junior Jose Honore served five straight points to tie the game at 15 and then four more points to go up, 19-15.
“[It took] a lot of concentration and my teammates really supported me so it was really good,” Honore said. “It was very big because we caught up.”
South caught up to get within four points but North ultimately won the final set, 25-21.
“It wasn’t about winning in the first place,” Latin Academy sophomore Alex Wilson said. “It was about having fun and I really enjoyed being with all the girls we were with and it was a great experience.”
O’Bryant junior Camly Pham said the South’s push in the second set was too little too late.
“Everybody has their ups and downs, you’re not always perfect,” she said. “I guess we had a spark and our team got into the rhythm of it, but I guess we were too late when that spark happened.”
South finally picked up two sets when the teams played two friendly sets at the end of the night. South won both friendly sets, 15-11.
“I think they had fun,” Fisher said. ”I’m glad they let them play five games because at least they could walk away with something.
North senior Dora Chen was playing in front of her mother, AiMeichen Chen, for the first time ever. Chen said her mother is a garment worker during the week and restaurant worker during the day and doesn’t have time to come see her matches.
“She’s very proud of me because it’s her first time to see me play volleyball ever and she’s excited and happy to see me get an all-star,” Chens said, translating for her mother before adding, “every time I go home I say ‘I played volleyball and I got an all-star game’ and it’s like ‘what is that?’"
“I want them to know what this is. And I played well.”
Patriots safety Patrick Chung and Revolution defender A.J. Soares will join officials from Boston schools and The Sports Museum to Help educate Boston youth about bullying on Tuesday afternoon at the Tobin Community Center in Roxbury (1481 Tremont St.)
Boston vs. Bullies brings together the Boston sports community and local organizations to help stop bullying in Boston schools and communities.
Tuesday's interactive event will be held from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. and is designed to educate youth about the dangers of bullying.
Chung and Soares will be joined by Boston schools Superintendent Carol Johnson, BPS Assistant Chief Operating Office Sam DePina and Chief of Human Services and
Executive Director Boston Centers for Youth & Families Daphne Griffin.
Executive Director of The Sports Museum Rusty Sullivan will also be on hand.
"This unique event will bring together members of Boston’s sports community to help address and stop bullying among upper elementary and middle school students throughout the Greater Boston Area," a press release for the event said.
A multi-faceted campaign, Boston vs. Bullies will include public service announcements, an interactive website and educational curriculum.
"This interactive assembly ... will help kick off The Sports Museum’s dissemination of the Boston vs. Bullies educational curriculum in the Boston public schools and the Boston Centers for Youth & Families (BCYF)," the press release said, "the initiative’s lead community partners along with the City of Boston. The lead sponsors of Boston vs. Bullies are The Highland Street Foundation and New Balance Athletic Shoe, Inc."
The Edwards Middle School will look to defend its title Thursday afternoon in the Boston middle school football championship at White Stadium.
This year the Play Ball! Foundation, which funds and helps organize the middle school football league, had two flights of playoffs that will result in a City and Town champion.
Before the Edwards battles the Rogers at 5 p.m., the Mildred Avenue School and the Fredrick School will play for the Town title at 3:30 p.m.
"Halfway through the season, toward the end of the season it became clear we had two different levels of experience," Play Ball! board member, Pat Arcand said, explaining why the playoffs were split into two flights this year.
Edwards coach John Rice said the afternoon should be a showcase for the city’s high school football coaches.
“It’s great because [the Rogers] are in the other division, we’re both division champs, we’re both 6-0, so the winner is going to have an undefeated season and the loser will have their one loss being in the championship game,” Rice said.
“So it’s high stakes poker here. Someone will go home 6-1 and someone will go 7-0 and I certainly don’t want it to be me.”
Rice said the Rogers is the biggest and most physical team in the league.
“We just have to tackle well, that’s just the key to it, we have to tackle well,” he said.
Rogers coach Steve Cahill said he likes his chances against the Edwards.
“They are a good, well coached team, but honestly I think we are going to do very well,” he said. “We surprised ourselves this year, we worked hard and we are doing great.”
The semifinals were played on Friday under the lights at Harvard Stadium for the first time. This is also the first year the championships will be at White Stadium. Last year the championship game was at Moakley Field.
“It was great experience for not only the kids but the coaches,” Cahill said of playing at Harvard. “It was an unbelievable time to play in a stadium with that much history and that large. And not only that but just to walk around and to show the kids what a great education can get you, it was great to point it out and give them something to aim for.
“White Stadium is great but it’s no comparison to Harvard. But it’s still a pretty beautiful stadium to play in for the championship. We’re looking forward to it. I think we will do well.
Winning for Ware
During Friday afternoon’s 12-0 victory against Boston English, several Dorchester players wore No. 40 painted on their face in honor of JV wide receiver and defensive back Landon Ware.
The freshman was hit by a car while walking home on Tuesday after practice last week. The Dorchester coaches said he was in the Intensive Care Unit at Boston Medical Center last week but is doing much better this week.
“The kids wanted to dedicate the game to him so that’s what they did,” Dorchester coach Rich Moran said after Friday’s game.
On Monday afternoon, assistant coach John Evans said Ware, who suffered head trauma, recently opened his eyes for the first time.
“He opened his eyes, took the tube out and moments later he knew his name and jersey number so that was pretty good,” Evans said. “Just yesterday one of his teachers sent me a text with him getting up and walking.
“He’s a good kid.”
Evans said Ware still has a long road to recovery.
“He still not out of the woods yet but what is positive is the fact that he does know who he is,” Evans said.
The first-ever Thanksgiving football game between New Mission and Burke was moved to Saunders Field in South Boston at the request of New Mission coach Michael Pittman-Forman.
The 10 a.m. game was originally scheduled to be played at Boston English but was moved to Reservation Field when English’s field was determined to be unplayable for high school games earlier this season because of the condition of the artificial turf.
Boston schools Athletic Director Ken Still said Pittman-Foreman asked that the game be moved to South Boston because Reservation Field doesn’t have enough seating.
“At least it has stands for a Thanksgiving game, parents, friends, family, other students will be at that game,” Still said. “Reservation Road really has no real seating of any kind. So we’re just trying to help them out to see if we can find them a place to play.”
Shedding light poles
After a 70-foot stadium lighting pole at White Stadium was knocked over by Hurricane Sandy earlier this month, the district had all the other poles tested to see if they are structurally sound.
While Boston schools’ athletic director Ken Still said the report concluded that play can resume under those poles for the remainder of this season, four of those poles were removed on Friday.
The poles, which were first installed in the 1940s, will eventually all of be replaced, Still said.
“The four of them were taken out because they were weak at the bottom,” Still said. “They were in bad shape anyway but sometime down the road they are going to take all of them out. These ones are not as bad but they are going to be bad so they are working ahead.”
Still said he had no timeline for when all of the poles would be replaced.
“It all has to do with the capital budget,” he said. “I’m not sure.”
Still said the base of the pole that fell was rusted through the bottom and it fell into the parking lot and didn’t hurt anyone. He said a crew came and chopped it up and hauled it away.
After the incident, the city soccer championships were moved from White Stadium to other fields until all the other poles could be x-rayed for corrosion.
After a scheduling conflict prevented the Madison Park and O’Bryant girls’ volleyball teams from playing their usual match this fall, O’Bryant beat Madison Park in the semifinals of the city championships earlier this month.
Now the coaches of the two schools that share a campus are set to lead their respective divisions in the annual volleyball All-Star game at 7 p.m. on Tuesday night at Emmanuel College.
“It’s not quite the same thing,” said Madison Park coach Gladys Perez-Byrd, who will lead the North All-Stars. “We do have a friendly rivalry but all-star games are completely different. It’s fun. It’s about letting the kids play. It’s a completely different thing.”
Click here to see the rosters for each team.
O’Bryant coach Gertrude Fisher, who will lead the South, said she was honored to be chosen to coach the game.
“It really shows that they think I deserve it and I coach well and I have their respect and that means a lot as a coach that the people you work with respect you,” she said. “I want all the kids to play and I want all the kids to have fun but of course ultimately you want to come out on top.
“It should be very competitive because I know on our side I’ll be getting the kids from Snowden, O’Bryant, the Burke and English should have some top players. I’m not too familiar with the girls from the North but I do know the North won the cities with Latin Academy so it probably will make the kids feel good if the South won the all-star game.”
The game is being sponsored by the Boston Scholar Athlete program and for the first time this year the BSA hosted both the North and the South teams for a pregame meal last week.
“The kids feel special,” Fisher said. “They kids feel special when they are selected so it should be fun.”
Perez-Byrd said her top priority isn’t to win but she still doesn’t want to lose to her friend and rival from O’Bryant.
“It’s hard to get them all in and stay competitive because not all the teams, obviously, are at the same level,” she said. “You want to give everyone playing time and make sure all the girls get in and play.
“At same time you don’t want to get killed.”
The Madison Park Cardinals are getting it done again in November, claiming the Boston North title for the second time in three years. And on Friday night at Airport stadium against East Boston, they proved they too can turn on the jets.
With an explosive 62-20 win over rival East Boston (4-5, 2-2), the only team between them and a league title, the Cardinals punched their ticket to the Division 4A postseason.
Riding a three-game winning streak and the momentum of a defense that has pitched six shutouts, the Cardinals (7-2, 5-0) rolled up their highest scoring total of the season.
After a one-year hiatus from the playoffs, the Cardinals unseated the Jets, who went undefeated in the league last season to clinch the crown.
The Cardinals seem unbeatable. They came into the game giving up a Division 4A best 5.3 points per game.
And one glaring difference from last year for the Cardinals is their balance.
They got touchdowns from seven players in the win. They threw for a touchdown (a 43-yarder from Hector Villar to David Stewart), rushed for six, and even their defense got points on the board when Villar peeled off an 80-yard fumble return for a score in the second quarter.
David Stewart also had a fumble recovery for a touchdown in the second quarter but it was called back because of an illegal block in the back. But just five plays later, the Cardinals capitalized on the Eastie turnover with Villar pounding it in from 7 yards. The two scores off turnovers in the final five minutes of the second quarter stretched the Cardinals lead to 32-6 at halftime.
In the second half, the Cardinals’ run game took control. The onslaught included a 51-yard touchdown rush by Kalvin Jones and a 58-yarder by Tevin Regis in the third quarter. The Cardinals rushed for a total of 300 yards, including five runs of 25 yards or longer.
“It wasn’t a grind today for us [in the rushing game],” said Cardinals coach Roosevelt Robinson. “We had some really big, long runs that really changed the game. We had a great week of practice and [the players] were pretty much focused. And boy did it show.”
Robinson pointed to his players, who were celebrating at midfield and said, “They’re feeling good right now and that’s what’s most important to me.”
Madison Park will get primed for the playoffs with games against undefeated Dorchester next week and O’Bryant on Thanksgiving.
When asked if the team was looking forward to playing the only undefeated team in the city, Robinson replied “We’re really looking forward to Dorchester, we have something to prove and they better bring it.”
<Lorenzo Recupero covers Boston Public school football. He can be reached at Lorenzorecupero@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @LorenzoRecupero
The Madison Park boys' soccer team went to the semifinals against Somerville on Friday for the first time in eight years. After a 15-3 season and with star senior forward Edmilson Barros back in the game after a two-game hiatus because of a red card in its city league championship win, the Cardinals thought the match would be in its favor.
Although after an intense and often physical game, Madison Park fell to the Highlanders, 5-1.
“They played well,” Madison Park coach Joao Gomes said. “There were some mistakes and they let up easy goals, especially the third.”
“Somerville knows how to finish and they punish you if you make a mistake.”
While Somerville dominated the scoreboard, it doesn’t reflect the Cardinals' effort.
Both teams showed off great defensive skill in the first half, until Somerville junior striker Thayrone Miranda headed the ball into the net to start off the scoring 30 minutes into the game.
Barros wasn’t ready to let Somerville take the lead though, and sent a successful shot to the high right corner off of a penalty kick.
Junior defender Emike Pires played extraordinarily throughout the entire game, especially at the end of the first half.
The Highlanders drove the ball up the field and Cardinals goalkeeper Joao Rosa came out too far, leaving Somerville with a clear shot.
Pires used his body to defend the goal for an unbelievable save.
Despite Pires's impressive presence in defense, the Highlanders would not settle for a tie to finish the half.
With just under 17 minutes left, senior forward Felix De Bona scored for Somerville to take the lead, ending the first half, 2-1.
The Cardinals stormed the field in the second half, chanting, “Don’t give them anything!”
The energy became increasingly intense and physical.
Although the Cardinals were confident, 15 minutes into the second half, Miranda re-directed a corner kick to De Bona to score.
Down by two, Madison Park, while mostly maintaining possession of the ball, was often called for being offsides.
Within 10 minutes, De Bona and Miranda scored twice more.
It looked like the game wouldn’t end without another goal from the Cardinals, as it had many free kicks on the Highlanders side of the field.
Somerville junior goalkeeper Luis Guerra blocked every shot for the four-goal edge.
“Madison Park is a great team with a lot of talent,” Somerville coach George Scarpelli said. “If you’re not prepared for them at the start, you’re in trouble. They’re a class act and make the city proud.”
Somerville will face St. John’s Prep in the Division 1 North final at Manning field in Lynn on Sunday at noon.
Despite the tough loss, Madison Park is the city league champion.
“This season overall has been great,” Barros said. “It’s been eight years since we’ve been to the semifinals which makes me proud. We’re keeping our heads up.”
Coach Gomes also refused to let the loss sour his best season yet.
“This has been one of the best seasons we’ve ever had at Madison Park. Not only for the wins, but for the team chemistry and effort.”
“This has been the farthest run since I’ve been coaching and losing to Somerville is nothing to be embarrassed about.”
While the Cardinals will be losing many seniors including Barros next year, all of them plan on showing their support for their alma mater.
“My entire experience at Madison Park has been excellent,” Barros said. “Even when I’m in college I’ll still come back to visit and support the team.”
“I love Madison. My heart belongs to Madison.”
Even though Dorchester clinched the Boston City League South division and a trip to the Division 5 Super Bowl last week with a victory against Burke, the Bears maintained the mentality going into Friday afternoon’s game against Boston English that they were on the hunt for the division title.
“Sometimes you lose a game like this and teams start to argue ‘If we won this or we won that and we could’ve beat you’ but guess what we’re undefeated,” Rich Moran shouted during his now traditional fiery post-game address to players, parents and alumni after beating English 12-0 at White Stadium.
“No one can question this team now. We are the champs of the South division.”
Dorchester (9-0) coughed up two fourth-quarter fumbles and fumbled a total of three times on Friday but still managed to maintain its undefeated season by holding English to 66 yards of total offense.
“We did [win the division last week] but we talked about that with the kids to motivate them this week,” Moran said in an interview. “In the City of Boston, if we lost a game like today's, sometimes teams say ‘We beat English but you didn’t, we should be going' and all that stuff, so if we won this game there was nobody that could say ‘Well we beat you, or any of that stuff.
“So that’s the way we motivated the kids this week.”
That tactic seemed to work right off the bat as the Bears scored on their opening drive.
Junior fullback Trevaughn McCoy capped the drive with a 1-yard TD run at the 5:12 mark of the first quarter.
In the second quarter, junior quarterback Demetrius Leary threw a short pass to senior wide receiver Robinson Cyprien, who broke through a mob of tacklers down the far sideline to score the 25-yard TD.
“They tried to strip the ball and I just protected the ball and spun right off of them and ran right to the end zone,” Cyprien said. “In my head I was telling myself ‘To fight to the finish’ and that’s what I did.”
Moran said he was worried that Cyprien would fumble on the play.
“I was yelling at him to get out of bounce and all of a sudden I see him in the end zone,” Moran said. “I was going to yell at him.”
In the end Moran had plenty to yell about on the “protecting the ball” front.
Dorchester lost its first fumble at the start of the fourth quarter.
English took over on the 49 and started what looked like a promising drive despite suffering a 9-yard loss to make it third and long.
But English senior running back Daquawn Gunter ripped off a 12-yard run and then a 10-yard run before junior running back Jeff Reid added a 9-yard run of his own. But junior quarterback Dhe’Jour Releford was sacked on two of the final three plays of the drive and English was forced to punt.
Dorchester fumbled the ball away at the 26 on the second play of its next drive with 3:43 left in the game but English went three-and-out on its ensuing drive.
“We always talk in practice about keeping our composure,” Robinson said when asked how they managed to hold on for the victory. “We mess up one time and we keep our heads up and come back at it in the next play.”
After the game English coach Chris Boswell said he was “speechless.” He said they hoped to catch Dorchester off guard and was dismayed by the fact that they couldn’t capitalize on the Bears’ mistakes.
“That was the plan but plans don’t go according to what you plan,” he said. “I’m very proud of our kids. We were 0-20 for two years and we got a couple victories [this year]. We just have to keep pushing forward and stay positive.”
Now Dorchester will have to try to cure its fumblitis before its big showdown next week against the top team in the Boston City League North division: Madison Park.
“We prep the same way, we’re not going to change anything we do,” Moran said. “We just have to on offense be a lot cleaner because you can’t fumble the ball away against Madison.”
After applying for a Sun Life Rising Star scholarship last year Terel Andrews forgot all about it.
So the senior captain of the Burke football and baseball teams didn’t think much about it when his guidance counselor told him he could bring two friends to the Celtics game against the Wizards on Wednesday night at TD Garden.
It wasn’t until Boston Celtics guard Avery Bradley, Boston Celtics co-owner Steve Pagliuca and Sun Life executive Mike Joyce surprised Andrews and East Boston senior Vickie Miranda with two giant $5,000 checks that Andrews put it all together.
“I honestly didn’t remember it, I really forgot all about it,” Andrews recalled during a telephone interview on Thursday afternoon. “Then when they said it I was like ‘Wow I forgot about this’ but I was excited when I won.”
Miranda, however, didn’t forget about her application once she applied. She was urged to apply for the scholarship through her bosses at the nonprofit, Sociedad Latina.
“I didn’t forget, I kept asking the people I work with ‘When am I going to find out, when am I going to find out?” she said. “They were like ‘We don’t know yet, we’ll let you know.’”
They told her she was going to the Celtics game to meet with potential donors for their organization.
“I was like ‘OK,’” she said. “When I went they surprised me. They were like, your mom knew for the last few days.”
The scholarships are awarded through the Sun Life Rising Star Awards program, which will provide $110,000 in grants and scholarships to Boston students and nonprofit organizations this year.
Through the program, Sun Life has granted nearly $3 million to 54 students and 47 nonprofit organizations across the country.
Both students said they will put the money towards books and other incidentals while attending college.
Miranda, who carries a 3.44 GPA and is applying to Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Simmons College, UMass, UMass-Lowell and Northeastern, said she enjoyed meeting Pagliuca.
“Meeting the owner was really awesome,” she said. “It was really nice. He let one of my friends wear the big [championship] ring. He was really nice and cool.”
Andrews, who has a 2.7 GPA and hopes to attend Framingham State, said it wasn’t a memory that he will soon forget either.
“It was awesome,” he said. “It was pretty surprising.”
Madison Park (6-2) vs. East Boston (4-4) at White Stadium, 6:30 p.m. Friday
The top two teams in the Boston North division will clash in this one. It’s unlikely that East Boston can eclipse Madison Park in the division standings since the Cardinals are 4-0 in league play and East Boston is 2-1.
But it should be entertaining nonetheless as these two teams are consistently among the best in the league.
Madison Park is on a three-game winning steak and a win would be huge for the Cardinals' confidence going into next week’s big showdown with undefeated Dorchester.
East Boston is coming off two straight strong wins against Latin Academy and Brighton.
After losing four of its first six games, the Jets might just be peaking at the right time.
Latin Academy (6-3) vs. O’Bryant (5-4) at Madison Park, 6:30 p.m. Friday
Dorchester already has the South division title in its pocket but there are still plenty of bragging rights to be played for here.
The winner of this game will own second place in the South as both Latin Academy and O’Bryant are each 3-1 in league play.
By all accounts this should be a tight game. Latin Academy’s last three games have all been decided by less than five points and, other than a 34-6 drumming of New Mission last week, O’Bryant’s two previous games were each decided by six points.
This game also pits two of the city’s most dynamic quarterbacks against each other in Latin Academy’s Kyle Dance and O’Bryant’s Christian Ransom. Ransom has accounted for 10 touchdowns while Dance has racked up 25, throwing 18 TD passes this season.
Boston English (3-5) vs. Dorchester (8-0) at White Stadium, 3:30 p.m. Friday
Dorchester should handle Boston English to improve to 9-0 before going into what might be its toughest game of the season next week against Madison Park.
But English only lost to Madison Park 6-0 earlier this year and is not a team to take lightly. Last week, English lost to Latin Academy, but only by five points.
The Madison Park boys' soccer team (15-3) can hardly wait for the MIAA state tournament semifinal match against Somerville (18-0-2) Thursday; especially senior forward Edmilson Barros.
Because of a red card in the Cardinals' city league championship win against Boston International, the talented player had to sit out the first round and the quarterfinal. Thursday, he’s off the bench and back in the game.
Barros has his team to thank after it secured an exhilarating win Tuesday against Methuen. The Cardinals were down by one in the first half but pulled it together and scored five in the second, resulting in a 5-1 victory.
Barros joined his teammates in celebration at the end of the game with the assurance that he finally had the opportunity to play in the tournament.
“It is definitely exciting to have Edmilson back,” Madison Park coach Joao Gomes said. “He is a good player and a great young man. He was supportive of his teammates and they played hard when he was out which shows tremendous character of his team.”
Gomes said the game against second place in the state Somerville wont be easy, especially since the Cardinals suffered a 6-2 loss the last time they played the Highlanders. Madison Park has faced Somerville three times within the last year and has yet to pull off a win.
“They can score on you in the blink of an eye especially if you give them space,” Gomes said. “They are strong, physical and quick. However, we also know we can score on them.
“This will not be an easy game but we are ready to give it out best shot.”
Gomes naturally declined to share the Cardinals' game plan, but hinted it will be different from the last time they faced the Highlanders. One thing Somerville can expect is Madison’s secret weapon – Barros.
“We are not timid to play anybody,” Gomes said. “I trust my players and have confidence in their ability.”
“We are ready to upset Somerville.”
America SCORES Boston will host the 14th annual Poetry SLAM! featuring 360 elementary school student athletes who will perform original work in front of peers, parents, friends and the Boston community on Nov. 15 from 5-7 p.m. at the Strand Theatre.
The theme of the spoken pieces that the children will share is “My American Dream.” Andre Dubus III, acclaimed author of “House of Sand and Fog,” will also speak at the Poetry SLAM!
America SCORES Boston’s mission is to promote academic excellence and healthy choices for Boston public school athletes. For more information visit americascoresboston.org.
The Boston schools athletic department announced its All-Stars for its city-wide cross country team.
Sean Martinez from the Mary Lyons School got the nod on the boys' side while O'Bryant's Juleen Lewis was named an All-Star on the girls' side.
Here's a story about how the team was revived for this fall's season.
The Boston schools athletic department released its soccer All-Stars on Wednesday.
Here are the boys' All-Stars:
1. Erwin Fuentes
2. Nikiander Pelari
3. Diego Villafuerte
1. Danilton Fernandes
2. Bruno Pires
3. Stephen Teixeira
1. Joshua DePina
2. Seth Phillistin
3. Cacho Rossel
1. Danilson Pina
2. Manuel Pires
3. Dony Resende
1. Gelson Gomes
2. Marc Thebaud
3 Stanley Ulysse
1. Mahamed Abdirahman
2. Gustavo Bendezu Villa
3. Hung Huynh
1. Warren Exceus
2. Tevin Reid
3. Jeffrey Valbrun
1. Marvin Elgar
2. Jonathan Perez
3. Elmer Ventura
1. Aloiso Barbosa
2. Edmilson Barros
3. Emiky Pires
1. Fabio Cabral
2. Mendel Moise
3 Arlix Maldonado
1. Hernan Escobar
2. Richard Lopez
3. Wilton Zuo
1. Eric Dos Santos
2. Wilson Estrada
1. Emmanuel Jean Charles
2. Ricarfens Saintil
3. Rodler Ulysse
Here are the girls' All-Stars:
1. Virginia McCaughey
2. Samantha Powell
3. Sandra Seoane-Seri
1. Love Awah
2. Christy Cruz
3. Emma Lama
1. Steice Do Canto
2. Deahjah Francoeur Gardner
3. Jessica Semedomatins
1. Suad Diriye
2. Jaela Ruggs
3. Kayla Simmons
1. Ayan Abdi
2. Sarah Centeio
3. Janiel Gordon
1. Mirlande Philogene
2. Sandy St. Felix
3. Kaylin Thomas
1. Brittany Brancato
2. Hannah Lunetta
3. Mariah Roberts
The annual Boston Scholar Athlete All-Star soccer game rosters have been released.
The girls will play at 5 p.m., while the boys will play at 7 p.m. at Wentworth Institute of Technology on Nov. 14.
The North Girls’ Soccer All-Stars:
# Player Team Year
1 Emma Lama, Brighton, 2013
2 Love Awah, Brighton, 2013
3 Sara Centeio, Charlestown, 2015
4 Janiel Gordon Charlestown 2015
5 Virgina McCaughey, Latin Academy, 2013
6 Jillian Eweka, Latin Academy, 2014
7 Daitannah Smith, South Boston, 2014
8 Chelsea Rogers, South Boston, 2013
9 Bonnie Ramos, New Mission, 2013
10 Alison Davey, New Mission, 2014
11 Hannah Lunetta, East Boston, 2014
12 Ruth Rivas, East Boston, 2013
13 Dulcelina Tavares, Madison Park, 2013
14 Heidymara Gomes, Madison Park, 2013
15 Pamela Sepulveda, East Boston, 2016
16 Sandra Seone-Serri, Latin Academy, 2015
Coach of the Year: Richard LaCara, East Boston
The South Girls’ Soccer All-Stars
# Player Team Year
1 Ajyanna Jones, O’Bryant, 2013
2 Yonetta Harris, O’Bryant, 2014
3 Elizabeth Lewis, West Roxbury, 2013
4 Mackala McPherson, West Roxbury, 2013
5 Aida Cornier, English, 2013
6 Trayana Mairn, English, 2013
7 Mirlande Philogene, Dorchester, 2013
8 Kaylin-Thomas-Bennett, Dorchester, 2015
9 Lyne Justal, CASH, 2013
10 Samarah Jean. CASH, 2013
11 Jessica Semedomatins, Burke, 2013
12 Steice Do Canto, Burke, 2013
13 Angeline Marchante, Snowden, 2013
14 Diahalt Loazio, Snowden, 2013
Coach of the Year: Edner Catemite, West Roxbury
The North Boys’ Soccer All-Stars:
1 Wilton Zuo, Snowden, 2013
2 Jozef Pineda, Snowden, 2016
3 Eric Dos Santos, South Boston, 2014
4 Wilson Estrada, South Boston, 2014
5 Rossel Cacho, Brighton, 2013
6 Joshua Depina, Brighton, 2013
7 Marvin Melgar, East Boston, 2013
8 Elmer Ventura, East Boston, 2013
9 Gustavo Bendezu Villa, Charlestown, 2013
10 Hung Huynh, Charlestown, 2014
11 Dony Resende, Burke, 2015
12 Nicholas Knight, Burke, 2013
13 Edmilson Barros, Madison Park, 2013
14 Aloiso Barbosa, Madison Park, 2013
15 Joao Rosa, Madison Park, 2014
Coach of the Year: Adrian Kawuba, Brighton
The South Boys’ Soccer All-Stars
# Player Team Year
1 Guy Charlot Destin, Dorchester, 2014
2 Warren Exceus, Dorchester, 2014
3 Ricarfens Saintil, West Roxbury, 2014
4 Emmanuel Jean-Charles, West Roxbury, 2014
5 Gelson Gomes, CASH, 2015
6 Marc Thebaud, CASH, 2013
7 Mikias Gurmesa, O’Bryant, 2015
8 Ibrahim Kallon, O’Bryant, 2013
9 Makhdum Quarashei, English, 2014
10 Mohammad Avais, English, 2014
11 Bruno Pires, Boston International, 2013
12 Damlton Fernandes, Boston International, 2014
13 Matteo Grando, Latin Academy, 2015
14 Erwin Fuentes, Latin Academy, 2013
15 Stephan Teixeira, Boston International, 2013
Coach of the Year: Denis Allen, Latin Academy
The Boston schools athletic department released its volleyball All-Stars on Wednesday:
1. Victoria Thong
2. Christina Wong
1. Patricia Bello
2. Jazmine Soto
1. Sahila Benjamin
2. Reyna Joint
3. Christille Vilme
1. Brenda Calderon
2. Klrina Laryea
3. Cassandra Teneus
1. Stephanie DePina
2. Cora Chen Libero
3. Aleja Quintero
1. Gabriela Caruffo
2. Mariamma Bah
1. Juliana Grillo
2. Natalia Preciaso
3. Clarita Prudencio
1. Heidy Barreiro
2. Nelsy Barreiro
3. Idil Barros
1. Amber Edwards
2. Krystal Edwards
3. Dayma Santana
1. Fanny Chan
2. Diep Nguyen
3. Camly Phan
1. Stephanie Chen
2. Shirley Peng
3. Baolan Xie
1. Stanasa Dowdye
2. Jose Horne
3. Natalia Reyes
1. Jasmine Sudhu
2. Edili Rosario Tavares
3 Radiesha Vassell
1. Angelica Avugara
2. Joseangie Francois
3 Yarieliz Ortiz
The Boston schools athletic department released its football All-Stars on Wednesday:
Elvin Perez, J.E. Burke
Sedeeq Rheddick, J.E. Burke
Demetrius Richards, J.E. Burke
Jalen Apperwhite, Brighton
Chris Desanero, Brighton
Prince Unaegbu, Brighton
Ibrahima Diallo, Charlestown
Donnell Dunn, Charlestown
Marcelo Holliday, Charlestown
Jose Amaro, Dorchester
Darius Patterson, Dorchester
Jeffry Rhodes, Dorchester
Juan Bonilla, East Boston
Marcellus Eitenne, East Boston
Lyndry Green, East Boston
Jordan Carter, English
Dhe'Jour Relerford, English
Colin Thompson, English
Brendan Harriet, Latin Academy
Chinedu Igbokwe, Latin Academy
Ernest Kellough, Latin Academy
Michael Alexander, Madision Park
Alexis Santiato, Madision Park
Hector Villar, Madision Park
Darian Amado, New Mission
Isshiah Coleman, New Mission
Steven Thomas, New Mission
Joseph Farrell, J.D. O'Bryant
Oloruntobi Fashemi, J.D. O'Bryant
Sam Martin, J.D. O'Bryant
Pannel Davis, South Boston
Sean Hunter, South Boston
Kingsley Okoye, South Boston
Berthony Henri, West Roxbury
Jovan Johnson , West Roxbury
Michael Obianigwe, West Roxbury
The Boston Scholar Athlete program released rosters for its annual volleyball All-Star game this week.
The Boston City League All-Star volleyball game will be played Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Emmanuel College.
Here are the rosters:
North Girls’ Volleyball All-Stars
# Player Team Year
1 Sahila Benjamain Brighton 2013
2 Reyna Joint Brighton 2014
3 Alex Wilson BLA 2015
4 Christina Wong BLA 2014
5 Jose Honore South Boston 2014
6 Stanasa Dowdye South Boston 2013
7 Stephanie Depina Charlestown 2013
8 Dora Chen Charlestown 2013
9 Lesley Rodriguez East Boston 2013
10 Stephanie Rincon East Boston 2013
11 Patricia Bello International 2013
12 Jasmin Soto International 2015
13 Krystal Edwards Madison Park 2013
14 Amber Edwards Madison Park 2013
15 Victoria Thong BLA 2015
Coach of the Year: Gladys Perez-Byrd, Madison Park
South Girls’ Volleyball All-Stars
# Player Team Year
1 Stephanie Chen Snowden 2013
2 Shirley Peng Snowden 2013
3 Brenda Calderon Burke 2013
4 Cassandra Teneus Burke 2013
5 Nelsy Barreiro English 2013
6 Heidy Barreiro English 2014
7 Marlyn Mejia West Roxbury 2013
8 Ortiz Yarielis West Roxbury 2014
9 Jasmine Sudhu Dorchester 2015
10 Radiesha Vassell Dorchester 2015
11 Gabriella Caruffo CASH 2013
12 Mariama Bah CASH 2013
13 Diep Nguyen O'Bryant 2013
14 Camly Pham O'Bryant 2014
15 Hong Tran O'Bryant 2013
Coach of the Year: Gertrude Fisher, O’Bryant
During an academic summer program at Harvard University this past summer, Edili Rosario was given a ton of work to do and only a week to do it.
“I would go to the gym, go anywhere but do my homework,” said the TechBoston Academy sophomore volleyball player, whose procrastination caused her to fail one of her summer classes at the Crimson Summer Academy. “I’m the type that if I fail I think the world ended.”
During the summer program’s college preparatory class, an instructor told Rosario and her classmates that they had better learn how to manage their time in high school, because it will be a much harder lesson to learn in college.
The lesson was more than learned by Rosario and it paid off when she was named the Boston Scholar Athlete program’s November Scholar-Athlete of the Month.
“I literally screamed in class,” Rosario said of her reaction when the BSA Zone facilitator at her school, Terrell Maddox, told her that she won the award. “I was happy and emotional at the same time. It was very exciting for me.”
In their nomination of the second-year volleyball player, Maddox and TechBoston’s Zone Assistant Alise Dumais said that Rosario visits the Zone every day, carries a 4.33 GPA and works at the Bird Street Community Center with children ages 6 to 18 years old.
“She is an incredibly hard worker on and off the court it was honestly a no-brainer,” Maddox said of nominating Rosario. “She puts in countless hours in the Zone. She is in there every day and comes in after school.
“She’s a strong leader. She showcased that leadership and dedication I’m looking for. It was an obvious choice for me.”
Maddox also said that Rosario is the first student from TechBoston to win the award.
“That’s a very cool accomplishment,” he said, “I think that’s pretty amazing. It speaks for itself. She’s a great person to be around. She’s great with her teammates.”
Dorchester coach Amie Capodanno, who just completed her second year as head coach, said Rosario has stayed positive even though the team went 2-12 last year and were 3-11 this year.
“Lilly has been such an exceptional leader, she’s at practice on time, she really shows by example, she will warm the team up without coaches being around, she knows how to take hold of the team,” Capodanno said. “She will get the balls, get the net set up and get the practice going before [the coaches] are there.
“On the court she’s just encouraging kids always. She doesn’t let herself get too down when we’re losing. She tries to be supportive as possible. When she’s on the bench she’s one of the loudest on the team. She’s always energetic and just someone you can count on every game.”
Rosario said when she first joined the team last year she worried she wouldn’t be able juggle both academic and sports.
“I was able to handle it pretty well, I thought I wouldn’t be able to, but I pushed myself to see if I could,” she said. “I balanced it out and it worked out well and I did it again this year and it’s worked out well.”
And, of course, her secret to success is keeping busy.
“So I’m never really looking around trying to count the stars or something,” she said. “I’m always keeping myself busy.”
Similar to a presidential election, the Boston International boys’ soccer team got some early results in its Division 3 North quarterfinal game against Weston Tuesday night that didn't predict the game's outcome.
As it turned out, No. 8 seed Weston upset the top-seeded Lions, 2-1, in dramatic fashion at Ceylon Field in Dorchester.
After Boston International junior midfielder Dario De Pina scored 2:30 into the game, the Lions (14-4) dominated play until Weston tied the game with six minutes left and scored the game-winning goal four minutes later. Senior Andrew Bromfield got the winner for Weston (11-4-4) and also assisted on senior Chason Timko’s equalizing goal.
“I don’t believe that we lost this game,” said first-year Boston International coach Djon Ramos. “We controlled the game all day. We tried.”
Ramos decried a foul called near his team’s bench that lead to the free kick that Weston scored its second goal off.
“The second goal, it was not our fault,” he said. “The ref just talked to me and said [he had] a little bit of doubt but, ‘I have to call it,’ ” Ramos said. “We played very well. The only thing that we didn’t do was to score.
"We missed probably five goals, at least two or three for sure. The guy's in front of the netbut couldn’t put it in. That’s why they say in soccer you miss and then you suffer. And that’s what happened. Of course, Weston is a very good team and they kept consistent all the way. We did our part but unfortunately that’s the result.”
Nobody missed more in the second half than Boston International junior midfielder Aderito Rodrigues, who had scored two goals in a first-round win Sunday night against Manchester. Senior forward Bruno Pires also scored against Manchester. But in doing so, Pires reinjured the knee that kept him out of the city championships against Madison Park.
The injury kept Pires out of Tuesday’s game as well.
This was not the only hard knock Boston International suffered this season. The Lions also lost in the city championship final on penalty kicks to Madison Park.
“I don’t know what happened,” De Pina said of Tuesday’s loss. “The defense couldn’t get the ball down, that’s what happens. We were attacking but it didn’t work. We couldn’t get it in because they were tough, they are a good team.”
The junior said his team will be back next year.
“I will just get my team together and ready,” he said, “Go to practice every day and get ready for the next year.”
Ramos agreed that he will have a strong team for his second season next year.
“We have to rebuild," he said. "We are a small school, again. Whoever is there we try to work early with the team, build it up and see if we can do the same thing as this year.
“We’re definitely going to learn from our mistakes from Madison Park to this game. We’re definitely going to build on those and regroup and try to have a good season next year.”
Coming off a 4-0 win over Brighton Saturday, the East Boston boys' soccer team stepped onto the field Tuesday in high spirits to face Masconomet – the No. 1 team in the state. But the Jets could not keep up with the Chieftains and were blanked, 3-0, in the second round of the MIAA Division 1 North tournament.
The Jets were stunned soon after the whistle blew, as Masconomet senior striker Keyon Olia scored into the high right corner in the first minute.
“I definitely felt challenged,” said East Boston junior defender Ben Lara. “[Masconomet’s] forwards and midfielders ran together and I wasn’t used to so much pressure.”
Realizing just how strong a team it was facing, East Boston stepped it up a notch
and brought the ball to the Chieftains side of the field. The Jets got off four impressive shots, but were all blocked by junior goalkeeper William Stewart.
Masconomet junior striker Edison Forbes scored toward the end of the first half, bringing the score to 2-0 at halftime.
In the second half, East Boston worked hard to move the ball up the field and get on the scoreboard. With intense pressure from Masconomet not letting up, the Jets instead excelled in defense, led by junior defenders Ben Buenorostro and Lara.
With 10 minutes left, it looked as though East Boston would finally make it onto the scoreboard as Lara took a free kick at the 18-yard line. He fired a powerful shot to the upper middle of the goal, but Stewart blocked it.
With eight minutes left, after a crowded fight for the ball in the goal box, Chieftains junior midfielder Adam Grammer scored again.
So the tournament ends with a 3-0 loss for East Boston, but the Jets are proud of their season and the fact that they made it to the second round.
“It was nice to pass the first round,” Lara said. “It was my first time and everyone else’s. We haven’t made it this far in six years.”
While coach Lorenzo Di Benedetto was disappointed by the Jets’ performance against the Chieftains, he is happy with the success of the season.
“We didn’t perform as well as I thought we would,” he said, “but this was a really good season, especially because we replaced 10 seniors from last year. We’ve had a great run and they’re just great kids.”
Di Benedetto said he will lose nine seniors next year, and that the team will most likely be led by underclassmen.
“We’ve had this program for two years and everybody just gets stronger,” he said. “Brighton, Dorchester, Boston International – we all keep moving ahead. It could be anybody's game and it keeps everybody on their toes.”
Masconomet will proceed to the semifinals against St. John’s Prep at Manning Field in Lynn at 7:30 p.m. Thursday.
Boston Celtics guard Avery Bradley, Boston Celtics co-owner Steve Pagliuca and Sun Life executives will surprise two Boston schools high school seniors with college scholarships before the Celtics' game against the Washington Wizards at TD Garden on Wednesday night.
The scholarships are awarded through the Sun Life Rising Star Awards program, which will provide $110,000 in grants and scholarships to Boston students and nonprofit organizations this year.
Through the program, Sun Life has granted nearly $3 million to 54 students and 47 nonprofit organizations across the country.
“Sinking a game-winning basket seems effortless compared to what these two outstanding Boston students overcame to achieve academic success,” a press release for the event said. “The students will receive Sun Life Rising Star Award scholarships for their remarkable achievements and meet Bradley on the famed parquet floor for autographs after they watch the game from a private suite with families and friends.”
This volleyball season has been filled with hard knocks for Stephanie Chen.
The senior setter/hitter and middle blocker who plays on the Snowden girls’ volleyball team with her twin sisters Emily and Elaine, played her last varsity game on Monday night as Saint Clement defeated the Cougars 3-0 in the quarterfinals of the Division 3 North state tournament.
Last week the Cougars also missed out on making their first-ever trip to the city championships when they were edged out by Burke. Tied with Burke for second place in the Boston City League South division at the end of the regular season, Snowden didn’t get into cities because they lost by a wider margin to Burke than the margin they beat Burke by earlier in the season.
And on Monday night the reality that her senior season was over set in immediately for the eldest Chen sister.
“I’ll still be playing with them at home but it’s not like playing with them in a [high school] competition,” Chen said of her sisters after she finally stopped sobbing. “It’s already sunk in.”
Snowden jumped out to a 6-2 lead in the first set before Saint Clement came back to tie the set at six all. The rest of the set was neck and neck before Saint Clement pulled away to win 25-20.
In the second set Saint Clement jumped out to a 9-1 lead before winning 25-9.
“We stopped communicating and we started to blame each other,” Chen said of the second set. “It’s because everybody is so competitive and we are out to win.”
Saint Clement coach Lisa Regione said her team was nervous in the first set.
“The second set we just took it to them and played our volleyball,” said Regione, whose squad lost 3-0 to Winfield in the finals of the Division 3 North bracket last year. “The third set was nerves again because I wanted them to close out the game.”
Snowden got a boost in the final set from a group of students that streamed into the gym bleachers late and made their presence known.
The final set was tied at 15 points apiece before St. Clement pulled away and won 25-18.
Senior setter Allison Caloggero had 22 digs and nine assists for Saint Clement. Junior outside hitter Megan Berg had 15 service points with 9 aces while senior middle hitter Kristina O’Foedu added 13 services points with eight aces for St. Clement. Freshman middle hitter/setter Katie Monestime had 9 kills.
Saint Clement (17-4) advances to play Academy of Notre Dame and Mystic Valley in the semifinals on Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Higher Speed.
Snowden finishes its season with a 13-4 record.
Snowden coach Margaret Cash-Griffin opted out of the state tournament last year even though her team qualified because she said they weren’t ready for post-season play. Next year she said she will add more nonconference games to her schedule to make sure her team is battle tested.
“They’ll fight back, I’m not worried,” she said. “Because at least know they know where they are going. At least now they know what their completion is. With the cities they found out that just one game, not a match, set us back and they didn’t know it was so important that they had to win 3-0.
“I think it was a good year, an excellent year and I think they all worked hard and they had a lot of support. The team itself, I think it will grow from here, even the rookies that sat the bench.”
After a 70-foot stadium lighting pole at White Stadium was knocked over by Hurricane Sandy last week, the district had all the other poles tested to see if they are structurally sound.
Boston schools’ athletic director Ken Still said play can resume there, although they may need to truck in a generator-powered light to replace the one that fell in the west side of the stadium.
Still said the base of the pole was rusted through the bottom and it fell into the parking lot and didn’t hurt anyone. He said a crew came and chopped it up and hauled it away.
After the incident, the city soccer championships were moved from White Stadium to other fields until all the other poles could be x-rayed for rust. Still said he received the positive results on Friday.
The poles, Still said, haven’t been replaced since they were first installed in the 1940s.
“Hopefully we’ll have it fixed by next year,” Still said.
If White Stadium was deemed unplayable, it would be the second field this season given such a designation. Earlier this fall, the field at Boston English high was determined to be unplayable for games because the artificial turf is ripped up and needs to be replaced.
Globe Correspondent Lorenzo Recupero contributed to this report.
The Division 1 Central East volleyball quarterfinal match between Boston Latin Academy and King Philip has been moved to Tuesday at 4 p.m. at Latin Academy because the King Philip coach had a death in the family.
The match was originally slated for Monday.
Times have also been given for two boys' soccer games in Boston on Tuesday. Madison Park will host Methuen at 4 p.m. in the Division 1 North bracket while Boston International and Weston will play at 4 p.m. at Ceylon Field in Dorchester.
Just as soon as Bruno Pires returned to Boston International's lineup for its first-round tournament game against Manchester Sunday night, the senior captain was back on the turf clutching the same injured knee that kept him out of last week's loss in the city championship game to Madison Park.
But just before he was carried off the field in the sixth minute of the game at Madison Park, Pires scored the first goal of the Lions’ 3-1 victory in the first round of the Division 3 North tournament.
One moment Pires watched his header hit the back of the net. The next moment he felt a sharp pain as he landed funny on his left knee, the same knee that was kicked during Boston Internationals’ victory against East Boston in the city championship semifinals.
Pires said he wasn't 100 percent going into the game. He wore a knee brace and wasn't sure how long he'd last.
“That’s why I tried to score that goal; just in time,” he said. “I was in the right place at the right time.”
But the pain in his knee was not as painful as watching the rest of Sunday’s game from the sideline. It is unclear if Pires will return for the quarterfinal match against Weston on Tuesday.
“The thing that went through my head when I scored the goal, I thought, ‘My defense will play well so they are not going to score, so maybe my goal will be the [winning] goal of the game,’” he said. “Then when I feel the pain I felt like ‘I’m done for the night.’
“I’m going to do everything to come back to help the team. I’m going to try my best because if we lose one game we go home and it’s going to be my last game so I need to play and give all I have on the field. If I can’t play I trust my teammates. I’m 100 percent sure they are going to win the game on Tuesday.”
Winning on Tuesday will be much easier if junior midfielder Aderito Rodrigues plays as well as he did on Sunday. In Pires’s absence, Rodrigues scored two goals.
His first goal was a header off a corner kick from senior midfielder Stephan Teixeira with four minutes left in the half. Rodrigues dribbled past two defenders in the box before scoring his second goal in the 28th minute of the second half.
“I wasn’t happy when Bruno was out even though he scored a beautiful goal, I don’t want to see him out because he is one of our forwards and captains,” Rodrigues said through the translation of his coach Djon Ramos.
“I had to put in more effort to help the team because Bruno wasn’t there. I had to put in extra effort and work.”
Manchester finally responded with a goal of its own with about six minutes left in the game. Sophomore Jack Parker headed in a long free kick taken from about 35 yards out by sophomore Parker Edington.
Ramos was pleased by how his team responded in its first game after losing to Madison Park, 2-1, on penalty kicks in the city championship last week.
“We lost against Madison, it was very emotional, we bounced back, we got ready,”
Ramos said. “It was a 1-1 game [in regulation], penalties don’t decide who’s better so we bounced back and we were ready for this game.”
Ramos said they will be ready for Weston on Tuesday.
“I like my chances and we’ve been collecting information on them so we have an idea of what kind of team they are,” he said. “So we will be ready for them.”
And Pires, who has scored 24 goals in 10 games this season, said he is confident that his team can win even if he can’t play.
“I trust them, I know they can do anything if I’m not there,” he said. “Next year they are not going to have me so it’s good for them to try the new guys so they can get used to it.”
The New Mission girls were discouraged after losing 1-0 to East Boston in last week's city soccer semi-finals and wanted to make a come back in the MIAA Division 3 North tournament against Winthrop.
The Titans were not able to deliver, however, and lost, 5-0.
“I heard they have a strong middle,” New Mission coach Kerry Haczyk said prior to the game. “And a very strong sweeper. We’re going to do everything we can to challenge that.”
The game started looking like New Mission could have a chance until the 15-minute mark.
Freshman forward Holli Benson sent an excellent pass on the ground from the left side of the goal to senior forward Jessica Dowson to score in the lower left corner.
Only five minutes later, Vikings senior midfielder Liana Ferullo sent a successful shot into the upper right corner.
Vikings senior forward Renee LoPresti kept the goals coming, five minutes later, after redirecting sophomore midfielder Carly O’Keefe’s corner kick.
“We didn’t know what to expect coming in but we pushed ourselves,” LoPresti said. “It was a great game and a great fight.”
By the end of the first half, the Vikings were up 3-0.
“We knew it would be a tough game coming in,” New Mission junior defender Alison Davey said. “The coaches really helped us step it up and regain our confidence at half time.”
Upon hearing Titans coach Kerry Haczyk’s encouraging words, New Mission stormed onto the field in the second half in hopes of a goal. The Titans had more shots on goal than the first and upped its defense, but could not manage to score.
Meanwhile for the Vikings, LoPresti and Ferullo both scored again resulting in a 5-0 victory.
“We hoped for the win,” Vikings coach Tracey Martucci said. “But you never know because we didn’t see them play all season.”
“We struggled all season with scoring so it was nice to get five to boost our confidence.”
Winthrop will move forward to the quarterfinals against St. Mary’s on Tuesday at 4 pm at Manning field in Lynn.
While that means New Mission’s season has come to an end at 13-2-1, the Titans are proud of a successful first year transition into the city league.
“This being our first year and combining two schools into one,” Haczyk said, “I didn’t expect such a great turnout. I couldn’t believe that we got this far and I am so proud of them.”
The first round of the North Division 1 MIAA state soccer tournament on Saturday started with two city teams, East Boston and Brighton. Both were missing four star seniors due to the SATS, making it difficult to predict which team would move on to the quarterfinals.
Despite being shut out 5-0 by Brighton earlier in the season, East Boston came out on top today, 4-0.
“We were missing a lot of seniors and didn’t expect the win,” Jets senior forward Juan Restrepo said. “It was definitely a tough game, but we kept our heads high and came out with a victory.”
Meanwhile Bengals coach Adrian Kawuba did not foresee the loss, but said that it had to do with the absence of some senior players.
“Not having seniors affected us a lot today,” Brighton coach Adrian Kawuba said. “Especially in the back.”
Defense is definitely what the Bengals lacked today, as East Boston scored all four goals in a 20-minute span.
The four goals came as a surprise after the first half went scoreless. The first 10 minutes of the second half started the same way, until Jets sophomore midfielder Bernard Xhullima tucked the ball into the lower left corner.
Xhullima also had an assist to senior forward Marvin Melgar ten minutes later.
With Brighton realizing East Boston was not planning on letting up, the game started to get tense and increasingly physical. Even with the usually indestructible Bengals senior forward Rossel Cacho, the team did not manage to score.
“We lost 5-0 to them last time and I felt like we got mugged,” East Boston coach Lorenzo Di Benedetto said. “This time we opened the field used our speed and maneuvered the ball to secure a win.”
The Bengals didn’t expect the loss and became emotional as the final whistle blew.
“Wins and losses are going to happen, not just in the game but in life,” Kawuba said to console his team. “You’ll lose a lot and win a lot but never regret losses, no one can take away your heart.”
Cacho was disappointed with the final score, but believes he received something better than wins this season.
“We didn’t make it to the finals, but we made a family,” he said. “That’s what’s important.”
East Boston will continue to the quarterfinals to battle Masconomet at 2pm on Tuesday.
Dorchester’s 12-0 win over Burke at White Stadium Friday was twice as nice, clinching the Bears both the Boston South championship and a date in the Division 5 Super Bowl.
The Bulldogs (2-8) tried to play spoiler and hand Dorchester its first league loss of the season, but instead helped boost the Bears to their first Super Bowl berth in 23 years.
Dorchester (8-0), which has two games remaining, including a league game against Boston English, clinched the berth under the two-league Division 5 format. Even if they lose next week to English, which could potentially pin them in a three-way tie with O’Bryant and Latin Academy, the Bears would still get the nod because they beat both teams. English is out of contention.
Dorchester hasn’t gotten this far since 1989. Olympian Calvin Davis — who won the bronze medal in the 400-meter hurdles at the 1996 Games in Atlanta — helped Dorchester to a 14-7 win over Bristol-Plymouth at Boston University, providing the winning points on a kick return for a TD. That was the school’s third visit to the Super Bowl and its only win.
Pitching their second consecutive shutout and fifth of the season, the Bears were able to make it to the school’s fourth Super Bowl.
And if they win, a good, old-fashioned shutdown team defense will get the credit. The Bears are allowing a Division 5-best 5.5 points per game.
“We prepare very, very well [defensively],” said coach Richard Moran, “and as you can see, the kids played great and caused a lot of fumbles because of it.”
Dorchester forced a hard-hitting Burke team to commit three first-half fumbles and five total (Dorchester recovered four of them). Burke ran just 11 plays for 39 yards in the first half.
“The thing is they understand formations and looks and what other teams want to do to us and that’s a credit to our defensive coach Joe Cain teaching them very, very well,” said Moran.
Robinson Cyprien, Dorchester’s hard-nosed rusher, eclipsed Burke’s total offensive output (102 yards) on his own.
"This is a great feeling, we've never been to the Super Bowl before," said Cyprien, who noted that teamwork is the Bears secret weapon this season. "As a team we're a family. The chemistry we have together is the reason we're undefeated now.
"The teams that have low chemistry aren't winning."
The senior rushed for 103 yards on 13 carries, (7.9 yards per carry),including the Bears’ first score on a 1-yard spurt — led by a huge block from quarterback Demetrius Leary — as time expired in the first quarter. Leary helped score the final touchdown as well, finding a diving Arrik Bell at the corner pylon in the end zone for a 5-yard touchdown pass before the half.
“It’s nice to get [Dorchester] back into the Super Bowl,” said Moran, who will be coaching in his first championship game.
Madison Park's chances for a win on Friday against Lexington looked as grim as the weather. Despite a major setback, Madison Park beat Lexington 1-0 in the first round of the MIAA Division 1 North soccer state tournament.
Star junior midfielder Edmilson Barros was forced to sit out due to the red card he received in the Cardinals’ championship win against Boston International on Thursday.
“I’m so disappointed, I want to play,” Barros said prior to the game. “I hear [Lexington] is good, but I believe in my team.”
The good vibes Barros produced showed on the field. Madison Park challenged Lexington by playing its most aggressive game of the season.
Thirty minutes in and the score at 0-0, both teams upped its game. With speed and aggression, Madison Park freshman forward Bill Tuloe and senior midfielder Patrick Teixeira took shot after shot, but Lexington senior goalkeeper Joey McWeeney blocked all attempts.
With two minutes left in the first half, Madison Park defender Emike Pires shot the ball from the middle of the field. With one touch Tuloe redirected the ball and scored in the upper left corner.
“We weren’t as confident without Edmilson [Barros,]” Teixeira said. “We wanted to win but I didn’t think we would. It’s hard in the tournament, but we’re also underestimated.
“We fought together and got what we wanted.”
Lexington stormed onto the field with determination at the start of the second half, but despite its impressive touch and passing skills, the Minutemen could not trump Madison Park sophomore goalkeeper Joao Rosa.
Lexington senior captain and defender Alan Bartels was disappointed by the loss, but proud of the Minutemen’s season.
“It was a tough, unlucky goal that we couldn’t get back from,” he said. “But this season was better than our previous one, and we look forward to building for next year.”
Depending on the outcome of the match between Methuen and Chelsea, Madison Park will face the winner in the quarterfinal on Tuesday, a match that Madison coach Joao Gomes was not expecting.
“I didn’t look past this game,” he said. “I wanted to take it one game at a time. The boys were challenged and played three consecutive games.
“They came out, responded and I am very proud of them.”
Due to his red card, Barros has to sit out and cheer on his team for one more game, but he’s confident he’ll get to play in the tournament.
“Like I said before,” he said, “I believe in my team.”
The MIAA girls’ volleyball state tournament kicks off this weekend with six schools representing Boston public schools.
Newly crowned city champs, Latin Academy (16-2), earned the highest seed of all Boston schools and will host the winner of No. 7-seed King Philip and No. 10 seed Cambridge Rindge & Latin at 4 p.m. on Monday in the Division 1 Central East bracket.
In the same bracket, Madison Park (12-4), which lost in the city semifinals to O’Bryant, is the No. 5-seed. The Cardinals will play at No. 4 North Quincy at 7 p.m. on Monday.
Boston Latin (11-9) is the No. 8 seed in the Division 1 Central East and they will host No. 9-seeded Needham at 2 p.m. on Saturday.
In Division 2 North, Burke, which lost in the city semis to Latin Academy, is the No. 4 seed. The Bulldogs (13-4) will host No. 13 Greater Lowell at 3 p.m. on Saturday. Also, in that bracket, No. 7 O’Bryant (12-5), the city league runner up, will host No. 10 Boston English (8-5) at 3 p.m. on Saturday.
Before this season, English won three straight city titles.
Finally, in the Division 3 North tournament, No.4 Snowden (13-3), will host No. 5 St. Clement at 4 p.m. on Monday.
It’s well known that when city girls' soccer teams battle against the suburbs, the suburbs usually come out on top. This theory will be put to the test in this weekend’s MIAA state soccer tournament, where top girls and boys teams in the city league will compete against suburban teams with the goal of a state title.
The boys' soccer teams shouldn’t be worried, as the top teams ventured outside the city and did well. Boston International beat Randolph, 3-2, and East Boston beat Malden,1-0, and Medford, 3-2, this season.
It’s the girls who have been having trouble, most evident in last year’s tournament.
Brighton and East Boston, the only teams that competed, both lost in the first round; Brighton, 9-0, against Acton-Boxboro, and East Boston, 5-0, to Medford.
The same effect happened when top girls teams like Latin Academy and East Boston ventured outside the city.
Latin Academy lost its three games to Ursuline, Dedham, and North Quincy. East Boston lost its three games to North Quincy, Everett, and Minuteman.
Despite the losses, coach Richard La Cara pointed to the suburban experience as a crucial element of the Jets’ city league victory on Thursday.
By looking at the Jets’ record, La Cara’s point is clear. The Jets started out with a 7-0 loss to North Quincy, followed by a a 5-0 loss to Everett and a 1-0 loss to Minuteman.
Since then the Jets have come a long way, and freshman forward Mariah Roberts believes they will shake things up in the tournament.
“I think we’ll change the negative stereotype of the city league,” Roberts said. “We just have to make sure we keep playing as a team and have lots of communication.”
While East Boston coach Richard La Cara believes that he has a group of gifted players, proven by their city championship victory, he knows that a tournament win will require a bit of luck.
“We’re playing the number nine team in the state,” he said of Saturday’s match against Westford. “We’re going to give it our all but honestly, we know it very well could be our last game.
“We played out of the league three times this season and it’s more strenuous [than the city league,] to say the least. We’ve got our work cut out for us but we’ll let the chips fall where they may.”
What should give the city league hope is the variety of teams competing in the tournament. While last year only Brighton and East Boston challenged the suburbs, this year East Boston, Madison Park, Latin Academy, New Mission and O’Bryant will all compete.
Latin Academy junior defender Jillian Eweka said that Latin Academy’s performance in the tournament shouldn’t fall into the city stereotype, since it’s the Dragons’ first year in the league.
“We weren’t a team last year so maybe we’ll change things for the city league,” she said. “We’re going to practice and do our best and hopefully pull out a win.
“I think we have a good chance at getting far in the tournament.”
Dragons coach Nick Kamberidis thinks his girls have what it takes to at least make it past the first round – but they’ll need to work for it.
“We’re going to spend all of tomorrow trying to adapt to [Bishop Fenwick’s] style and challenge their years of experience.
“It’s definitely going to be our most challenging game of the year.”
After winning the North conference, Latin Academy was determined to continue its success and did exactly that by beating O’Bryant, 3-0, to win the Boston City League championship Thursday afternoon at Burke High.
The Lady Dragons swept O’Bryant twice in the regular season but this one wasn’t only more important, it also helped them gain revenge from last year when they were eliminated by the Tigers in the semifinals.
Captain Alex Wilson helped give her team an early four-point lead in the first set which O’Bryant promptly erased. Both teams fought hard throughout the set but Latin Academy prevailed, winning 25-23.
The Dragons other two captains, Christina Wong and Victoria Thong, completely dominated the second set. Thong’s tough serving helped give Latin Academy another quick lead that O’Bryant wasn’t able to recover from. Wong, the Dragons five-foot-one libero, served for eight consecutive points to lead her team to a 25-14 victory in that set.
“In my mind it’s about getting the serve over and bringing the team together,” said Wong who admitted she has been significantly practicing on her serving. “It’s all adrenaline.”
Being ahead 2-0 going into the third set was familiar territory for Latin Academy which had a similar lead in Wednesday’s semifinals against Burke. However, unlike the semis, the Dragons didn’t allow a rally this time.
The captains once again carried Latin Academy with incredible serving and hitting, securing the championship with a 25-19 victory.
While the Dragons celebrated its feat, O’Bryant coach Trudy Fisher gathered her girls to remind them of their accomplishments this season. Despite losing both times, this was the Tigers second-consecutive trip to the finals. Fisher also reminded her team to be proud of its south conference championship and to use the experience as motivation for the upcoming season.
“I know they might look upset right now but that’s perfectly okay because I know they’re going to be back next year,” Fisher exclaimed. “Give Latin Academy credit because they deserve it. They outplayed us today.”
As for the Dragons, they’ll celebrate what coach Phuong Cao called a “sweet win” with much optimism for a repeat in the future.
“We only have 2 seniors; most of them are sophomores,” said Cao about his young roster. “We’re going to have another run in the next couple of years. I’m looking forward to next season.”
The Cardinals still survived a Boston International comeback before winning its third straight city championship, 2-1, in penalty kicks.
Senior midfielder Edmilson Barros — who scored his seventh hat trick of the season in Madison Park's semifinal victory against Brighton on Wednesday — was forced to watch from the sidelines after he got his second yellow card 10 minutes into the second half.
“I tried to kick the ball, I had the net wide open but I tried to kick it the second time but the goalie faked and I guess the ref didn’t see it and he just gave me a red card,” Barros said of his ejection. “He said I kicked the goalie and I didn’t.
“I felt disappointed in myself. I apologized to all my teammates.”
Even though they were forced to play shorthanded the rest of the way, the Cardinals (17-3) still scored a few minutes after Barros' ejection. Freshman forward Bill Toloe guided the ball past the Lions’ freshman keeper, Eliseu de Pina, to go up 1-0.
“It shows a lot of character in the team [that they scored] even though [Barros] went out,” Madison Park coach Joao Gomes said. “He’s a great leader, he’s a great scorer, when he went out the players just got together [and said] ‘Win one for him.’
But Boston International (15-3) tied the game 10 minutes later on a goal by sophomore midfielder Fabio Goncalves who put the ball away after it deflected off sophomore goalkeeper Joao Rosa.
“I thought we were going to win the game but we lost in the final,” Goncalves said.
After regulation ended, the game went straight into penalty kicks because both sides agreed before the game to forgo the usual two 10-minute extra periods. Madison Park plays its first state tournament game against Lexington on Friday and both teams played on Wednesday as well.
During the shootout, Rosa stopped two of Boston International's four penalty kicks while his team netted four kicks to secure the victory.
“I was kind of nervous, but after I saved the first one I knew the kid was going to kick it to the same spot so I didn’t go to my right, I went to my left so that’s how I saved the second one,” Rosa said.
“I’m looking for a four-peat next year.”
Boston International coach Djon Ramos said his team could’ve won if they had an overtime.
“This is obviously a very competitive game and we played very well,” he said. “We lost by penalty kicks and that could happen to anybody. We did a good job and we scored but that’s the way it is in penalty kicks. Penalty kicks don’t define whose best. It was disappointing but I thought we played very well.”
Senior midfielder Alosio Barbosa, Toloe, junior Kovin Ortiz and junior defender Emike Pires scored penalty kicks for Madison Park while freshman midfielder Aderito Rodriques and senior midfielder Stephan Teixeira scored PKs for the Lions.
“We were missing one player, our best forward, I don’t know what happened, he got his second yellow card,” Rosa said of Barros. “I didn’t want it to go to overtime because anything can happen and they were attacking us all the time.
“I feel lucky.”
After the game Barros broke down in his coaches arms.
“I just gotta go out there and do better [on Friday],” he said during an interview, “I’ve seen the suffering they went through and I apologized for that and tomorrow I just have to go and do better.”
Since the East Boston girls soccer team lost to Brighton in last year's Boston City League championship, it wanted revenge. On Thursday afternoon, the third-place Jets beat first-place Latin Academy, 1-0, to win this year’s championship, its first since 2006.
To senior captain and forward Maria Vargas, the underdogs’ win did not come as much of a surprise. The Jets were eyeing the trophy before the season started.
“Getting to the City League championship is going to take a lot of practice and a lot of time. But we have time; we just need to be patient,” she said in August. “If we’re all committed, we’ll be able to win.”
Vargas’ prediction was correct. Unlike his captain, East Boston coach Richard La Cara wasn’t so sure his team would be the champion.
“We’re nervous, but excited,” La Cara said prior to the game. "We’ve made it to the finals a couple times, but haven’t won in six years. We’re relying on our defense and goalie.”
Most of the first half was a tug-of-war between both teams, each equally possessing the ball and exhibiting strong defense.
Then speedy freshman forward Mariah Roberts made a long run with the ball and Latin Academy’s defense failed to keep up. Roberts scored in the lower left corner in the 25th minute.
“I felt relieved when I scored the first goal,” Roberts said. “I was so happy. I thought they would come back, but we just communicated, worked together and had great defense.”
Latin Academy tried to rally. Senior forward Virginia McCaughey, senior midfielder Tianna Johnson, and even junior defender Jillian Eweka all had shots on goal, but they could not beat goalkeeper Brittany Brancato.
“I think we did really well,” Eweka said. “We had the ball on their side for most of the second half. We have nothing to be ashamed of, we’re just sad.”
This was Latin Academy’s first season competing in the City League, and Eweka and coach Nick Kamberidis said they were proud they made it to the final.
“We just couldn’t score,” Kamberidis said. “They played excellent defense and buried our chances. Hats off to [East Boston,] they deserve it.”
Despite getting a bucket of water dumped on his head in the chilly weather after the win, La Cara still looked like he was in disbelief.
“When we started in August,” he said, “I never thought this would have happened. With Latin Academy and New Mission in the league, we knew the season would be very difficult.”
“But I just have a great group of girls, and today we avenged our loss.”
East Boston and Latin Academy will compete in the state tournament this weekend.
East Boston will take on Westford at East Boston Stadium on Saturday at 3 p.m. and Latin Academy will face Bishop Fenwick at Reservation Road on Saturday at 2 p.m.
No. 1 Dorchester (7-0) vs. Burke (2-5) at White Stadium, 3 p.m. Friday
Can anyone say trap game?
Last week Burke proved that its program is down but not out by winning its first non-forfeit game in second-year coach Byron Beaman’s tenure. Last week the Bulldogs defeated English, 22-8. And English is no slouch this year. English shut out Southie, 14-0, earlier in the year and beat Charlestown, 38-8.
The Bears will most likely improve to 8-0 after this one but it won’t be as easy as it looks on paper.
No. 2 East Boston (3-4) vs. Brighton (3-4) at White Stadium, 6:30 p.m. Friday
This game is huge in the fight for second place in the Boston North standings.
Brighton, West Roxbury and East Boston all only have one league loss while Brighton and Westie each have two league victories and Easton Boston has one.
This game should also be a shootout as both Eastie and Brighton give up about 23 points per game.
Brighton has the edge offensively, averaging 18.4 points per game compared to Eastie’s 14.9.
No. 3 Latin Academy (5-3) vs. English (3-4) at East Boston Stadium, 6 p.m. Friday
On paper it looks like Latin Academy should run away with the win. They average 20.4 points per game compared to English’s 12.6.
But it seems like every Latin Academy game comes down to the wire this year.
Aside from beating Burke, 14-0, and New Mission, 26-8, the Dragons' wins have all been by six points or less. And they have lost a game to Madison Park by two points and a game to East Boston by one point.
English has a stout defense though, giving up 9.4 points per game compared to Latin Academy’s 18 points per game.
English also needs a win as they are on a two-game slide. Although they’d much rather beat another team with “Latin” in their title on Thanksgiving morning, this would be a good start.
The 2012 boys' and girls' soccer pairings have been released by the MIAA and city teams are looking to make a stand against the suburbs. The tournament opens this weekend and will crown three state champions. Most teams will start with a preliminary-round game with hopes to move on.
Division 1 North features the East Boston boys against Brighton Saturday at Ceylon at 12:30 pm.
The last time Brighton faced East Boston the Bengals came out on top, 5-0, putting this game in its favor. Whichever team wins will proceed to the first round to face Masconomet at home Sunday at 1 pm.
"We're going to try to regroup in the next couple days and see what happens," East Boston coach Lorenzo Di Benedetto said. "Unfortunately we got some injuries and we’re going to try to regroup. Brighton is a very strong team."
In Division 1 North girls, East Boston will take on Westford at East Boston Stadium on Saturday at 3 pm.
The Madison Park girls team will also play in Division 1 against Cambridge at home on Friday at 7 pm.
In Division 2 North, the Burke boys' team will play against North Andover at Ceylon Park on Friday at 3:30 p.m. The Latin Academy girls will face Bishop Fenwick at Reservation Road on Saturday at 2 pm.
In Division 3 North, Boston International will go head-to-head with Manchester on Friday at 1:30 and the New Mission girls will play Whittier in the first round on Sunday at 1pm.
The Cannonball Foundation will conduct a free baseball and softball clinic on Sunday for underprivileged youth.
The Peak Performance Baseball Clinic will be conducted from 1:30-4:30 p.m. on Sunday at the Route1 SportsPlex (199 Newbury St.) in Danvers.
Presenters will include Julie Nicoletti, founder of Kinetic Fuel Nutrition - "Eat to Compete"; Sam Sturgis of Pure Performance Training, "Building Baseball Muscle";
Jeff Kane, assistant coach for the Holy Cross baseball team, "What Scouts Look For"; and Hans Hanson, founder Total College Advisory, "Winning the College Admissions Game."
The clinic coaching staff includes Ron Frazier, Cannonball Prospects head coach; Bob Boutin, former Brandeis University coach and owner of 4 for 4 Hitting Instruction; Jeff Kane, former Clemson University player and current Holy Cross assistant coach; JP Craven, former Davidson College player and current assistant varsity coach at St. Sebastian's; Eric Oxford, former Holy Cross player and current coach at Danvers High School; Stephen Gray, former Bentley University player; Matt Gnolfo, former Vassar College player; and Nate Charette, former Stonehill College player and Cannonball Prospects assistant coach.
The Boston schools' middle school football playoffs begin Thursday afternoon, culminating with the championship games on Nov. 15 at White Stadium.
This year the Play Ball! Foundation, which funds and helps organize the middle school football league, has two flights of playoffs that will result in a City and Town champion.
The Murphy, Timility, Irving, and Frederick middle schools will compete in the Township quarterfinals at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday at Mildred Avenue and Frederick's fields.
The Township semifinals will be next Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. at a field to be determined. The Edwards, Orchard Gardens, McCormack, and Rogers middle schools will play in the semifinals for the City championship at 4 p.m. next Friday at Harvard Stadium.
The City and Town championship games will be at 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Nov. 15 at White Stadium.
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- Justin A. Rice -- A metro Detroit native, Rice is a Michigan State University (Go Spartans!) and Northeastern University graduate. Rice lives in the South End with his dog and wife, who unfortunately attended the University of Michigan ... his wife, that is. He curates the BPS Sports Blog and is always looking to write about city athletes with great stories. Have an idea? He can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeJustinRice or @BPSspts.
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