Billy Owens / For the Boston Globe
Football is back in Boston.
And Monday's opening day of training camp marked major new beginnings at several city league programs.
Besides being the first day of practice for new coaches at Brighton High, Charlestown High and West Roxbury High, Monday was the first ever football practice for New Mission High.
New Mission secured a football program after it was announced last school year that the school would move from Mission Hill to the former Hyde Park Education Complex.
About 13 New Mission students participated in practice at Ross Field on Monday.
“This is surreal,” said New Mission coach Michael Pittman Forman, who used to coach at Cathedral High in the South End. ”I’ve been in Boston for a while and I’ve wanted to get into the city [league] and coach. It feels surreal and I’m happy for the turnout we have right now. It’s a little low but we should be getting more guys.”
Known for their formidable basketball teams, the Titans looked athletic as they ran through conditioning drills on Monday morning.
“Once we start running with helmets and shoulder pads we’ll see if they are football players,” Pittman Forman said. “I have a feeling it’s going to be great. Everything starts with baby steps and we’re taking baby steps right now. We’ll see how it goes from this point on.”
Over in West Roxbury, another new era of football started as Derek Wright was in place as head coach instead of Leo Sybertz. The 74-year-old retired after the 2007 season only to return for the 2010 and 2011 seasons.
Wright served as Sybertz' assistant for two seasons.
“It was a restless night, the anxiety, now it’s all on my shoulders to be the head guy,” Wright said.
The Raiders junior quarterback David Bertucci said it was strange without Sybertz at practice on Monday.
“But I’ve been with these coaches since I was a freshman and I love them all to death,” he said. “But you can’t really replace a coach Sy, it’s always tough. Coach Wright coached me since JV year so I’ve been under his tutelage. It’s always good working with a coach you’ve worked with before. It makes everything easier. I’m happy they made Coach Wright head coach, I wouldn’t want anyone else to be head coach.”
Bertucci also said it’s a little tough coming back to practice and conditioning because it means summer is over and school is about to start.
“But the football helps to remove that pit [in your stomach] and makes everything better,” said Buertucci, whose father played at Westie in the 1980s and is an assistant for the Raiders. “I’m just happy to be back. I’ve been waiting for this since the last game of the year last year against Brighton. We finished off strong and we have a good group of guys here and we’re hoping to go deep in the playoffs.”
At Brighton’s camp in Cleveland Circle on Monday, longtime Bengals’ assistant Randolph Abraham officially took over the reins from James “Timo” Philip, who retired last year after coaching the Bengals for 30 years.
Abraham played for Philip until 2000 and became his assistant coach after graduating from Nichole’s College in 2004.
“It feels awesome, this is a dream of mine, I’ve wanted to do since I was a student here,” he said. “It’s going to be a grind but I think we’ve got great coaching.”
Last week Abraham joked that he wouldn’t be surprised if Philip turned up at the first day of practice. While Philip was a no show on Monday, Abraham joked that Philip would "hate" how organized practice is.
“He likes to roll with it,” Abraham said of Philip. “Me, I’m the opposite. We’re very organized and precise as you can see. We’re getting a lot done today. It feels like we’ve been here for four hours but we’ve only been here for two. They’re working.”
During the first week of Brighton’s practice last year, Brighton's star tight end Prince Unaegbu suffered a dislocating wrist and played most of the season with a cast on his forearm.
“It feels good, I’ve been waiting all year for this," the 6-foot-6, 240-pounder said. "When I came in today it felt like I was getting ready for a game or something.”
The Boston Scholar Athletes program is hosting the POWERADE/AE Pre-Season Nike Sparq Football Combine on Saturday at the Salvation Army Kroc Center in Dorchester (650 Dudley St.).
Running from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., the combine will provide Boston public high school football players with a chance to receive a Nike SPARQ rating, which will allow them to compare themselves to other high school football players. The attendees will also participate in a series of Nike SPARQ training drills.
No more than 25 members of each BPS football team can attend the combine and all students must be academically eligible.
Each athlete will partake in four tests (40 yard dash, pro agility, vertical
jump, and kneeling power ball throw). At the completion each score will be put into
a computer system and the player will then receive a Nike SPARQ rating.
There will also be six stations (agility cones, speed hurdles, speed
ladder, parachutes, power ball, linear speed) with each station lasting between eight to
An hour of position specific teaching and fundamentals will also be conducted.
8:00am-9:00am: Registration (handled by BSA staff)
12:00pm-1:00pm: Hydration & Lunch
1:00pm-2:00pm: Nike Sparq Training
2:10pm-3:10pm: Position Specific
3:20pm-4:20pm: Half Line Drills and Skelly
4:30pm-5:00pm Wrap Up
Several teams in the Boston Neighborhood Basketball League started their seasons about a week late last week after league officials cracked down on a long-time residency rule that was never truly enforced before now.
The 43-year-old summer basketball league known as BNBL is — like all programs run by Boston Centers for Youth & Families — only for Boston residents because it’s funded by the city and its taxpayers.
But in past years, a player’s residency was only checked if it was challenged by another team during the course of the season. BCYF Director of Recreation, Sports and Fitness Ryan Fitzgerald said the policy was too hard to enforce once the season already started.
So this year BCYF officials required BNBL players to prove residency before the season started by showing a report card, birth certificate or another document that proved their address is in Boston — a process that delayed the start of the season for some teams.
“This is no different from what a lot of programs and leagues in the city require anyway,” Fitzgerald said. “We had many coaches and players and participants in the program voice concerns on the issue so we’ve taken steps to address it and minimize the infractions.”
While Fitzgerald said he hopes the missed games will be made up on off days, many teams and players a still irked.
“It’s very frustrating because I wanted to play basketball and I wanted to be with my team last week when we should’ve started,” Jaleel Bell of the Dorchester YMCA team said after his squad played its first game last Wednesday night at the Perkins Community Center in Dorchester.
“In Massachusetts you’re a Massachusetts player, if other people want to play its OK. We’re all playing basketball, it’s for the youth, we’re not doing anything dangerous, we’re not doing drugs; we’re playing basketball so it’s something positive.”
Dorchester YMCA coach, Andrew Angus agreed that the league should be open to everyone because it helps keeps kids off the streets.
“We also go down there and join their leagues too, it goes hand-in-hand, I think we’re Massachusetts it’s not anything else, we’re all one,” Angus said.
The former BNBL player, who won three MIAA state titles as a player with Charlestown High from 2000 to 2003, said competing against players from outside the city in the summer made him a better player during the school year.
“It kind of made the league a little better with people who come from all over to just play BNBL [from outside the city]," he said. “That’s just bringing different talent inside the city. You’re just playing everybody. So trying to keep it in the city you kind of take away a little bit but it’s what the city wants I guess.”
Fitzgerald, who played in the league himself as a youngster, said he sees both sides of the issue.
“I can certainly see that point of view,” he said. “As a young kid I was excited to play against all competition no matter where it came from. I get that. The only problem is this is a program run by the City of Boston with city resources so it becomes complicated about who we can provide services to.
“For every person that has [Bell and Angus’] opinion there is another one who feels that it should be City of Boston kids and that’s what the program was started for. I’m not saying either one is wrong but as it is currently constituted that’s what we have to do.”
Perkins Community Center coach Eric Bradshaw said the residency issue has been a problem since he started coaching BNBL 20 years ago. He said he doesn’t’ have a problem with cracking down on residency but said that that BCYF should start figuring out who can and can’t play earlier in the school year.
“Every year it’s always been the same thing,” he said. “I don’t know why it took so long to be honest with you but it’s been an issue for 20 years.”
Fitzgerald said they notified coaches and players of the new policy starting in May.
“We feel there was ample amount of time to get this information,” he said. “But I don’t begrudge anyone who had trouble and I certainly understand it takes more work to collect it. … We knew it might be a little bumpy this year. When things are new and different, especially when they were done the same way for such a long time, there are hiccups.
“But I think next year when people are prepared for it I anticipate it to be a lot more smooth.”
One of the league’s founders, Alfreda J. Harris, said she would’ve liked to see the policy shift happen years ago.
“It’s very simple, the program originated 43 years ago and it’s for Boston residence,” said Harris, who is a school committee member in Boston. “The money comes from city of Boston tax payers, it’s always been that way. It’s better to get it clear now than wait till the end of the season when teams lost to teams because they had illegitimate players.
“I think it was a good idea for Ryan [Fitzgerald] to clamp down and get the paperwork in at the beginning of the season.”
Photo courtesy of John Maconga
The eighth annual SCORES Cup corporate charity soccer tournament returns to Gillette Stadium on Saturday.
The 32-team tournament benefits America SCORES Boston, a non-profit organization that uses soccer to inspire literacy and health in Boston public schools.
The seven-on-seven coed tournament provides corporate soccer teams the chance to show off their skills on the Gillette Stadium turf before watching the New England Revolution play the Seattle Sounders FC.
Each team will play a minimum of three 30-minute games.
Participants also receive an Official SCORES Cup Adidas jerseys, their company logos in the game day program as well as post-tournament activities at Patriot Place.
Some of Boston's largest companies will participate in the event that is expected to raise close to $200,000 for SCORES.
The Boston Scholar Athlete program will conduct a free six-week fitness program for Boston public school athletes beginning next month.
The BSA Summer Fit 2012 program will run from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays from July 9 to Aug. 15 at the Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center on Dudley Street in Dorchester.
"BSA Fit is open to every male and female athlete (or prospective athlete) in our schools," according to the BSA's most recent monthly newsletter. "Come and get ready for the fall season with BSA Fit!"
The six-week program will be operated by BSA fitness and training partner, Athletic Evolution.
"Athletic Evolution’s philosophies are to help athletes train the correct way, while always keeping in mind the reason for training," according to the BSA newsletter. "While mastering the skills of a sport is one element of becoming a better athlete; mastering the training techniques for that sport along with the skills will breed ultimate success in sports."
The BSA is also looking for "smart and driven scholar-athletes" to participate in its three-day Summer Zone Program, from July 25-27.
The program, which will take participants to institutions such as Boston College, is free for qualifying BSA Zone members.
"The program offers an opportunity for scholar-athletes to interact and learn together in a healthy and fun environment with emphasis on leadership skills, team building, and reinforcing athlete self-confidence," the newsletter says. "Activities include a ropes course, team activities, mental and physical challenges, in addition to career and life skills training."
Interested Zone members can apply on the BSA website.
The Boston City League baseball all-star game will return to Fenway Park next month after a short hiatus at Harvard’s O’Donnell Field.
The annual City of Boston All-City Baseball Classic will be at 5:30 p.m. on June 10 at Fenway Park.
The game is organized by the Boston Center for Youth & Families and held in partnership with the Boston Scholar Athlete Program and sponsored by the Boston Red Sox.
The game was held at Harvard the last two years. Three years ago it was scheduled to be played at Fenway but had to be moved to Harvard due to inclement weather. It was last played at the iconic ballpark in 2008.
In the last three years the all-star game has struggled to garner full participation due to a lack of interest, lack of transportation to Harvard or conflicts with graduations and proms.
Boston schools Athletic Director Ken Still said Fenway Park should help remedy participation issues.
“Fenway Park is a lure because it’s Fenway park, you have people coming from all over the world to sit in Fenway Park,” Still said during a telephone interview on Tuesday morning. “To have a chance to play there as a youngster and baseball person, that’s overwhelming.”
Still announced that the game will be back at Fenway during the Boston City League championship baseball game on Monday morning at Boston English High.
On Tuesday morning, he said he hopes the weather cooperates this year.
“[Fenway is] very tough to get but when we’re able to I say take advantage and let’s do it,” he said. “I hope they are able to get on the field and represent."
The BSA’s new Athletic Director, Chris Rooks, said “It’s an amazing opportunity for the kids.”
Tuesday's full slate of Boston schools' baseball and softball games has been canceled due to inclement weather, wreaking havoc on the race for the city championships. The softball and baseball city championships are slated for this weekend but mother nature is making it difficult to determine who will be playing.
In softball, East Boston (9-6, 8-0) and O’Bryant (7-5, 7-3) are poised to represent the North conference in the city championships while Latin Academy (9-10, 7-0) and South Boston (9-3, 9-3) and Dorchester (8-3, 8-3) are fighting for the South conference slot.
The forecast isn’t much better for Wednesday, when Brighton and Latin Academy are slated to square off in a baseball battle that could be the key to determining who represents the North conference in the baseball city championships.
In baseball, the top two teams from the North conference qualify for the tournament so
English High is also in the running to make cities.
The top team from the Central and South also qualify for cities. East Boston is looking like the runaway leader in the Central conference while Boston International and Fenway are battling to represent the South conference.
International (8-3, 5-1), which has already had eight or nine rain outs this year, has several conference games to make up this week. They are slated to play a double header against Charlestown on Thursday and back-to-back games against Snowden and Burke on Friday.
Boston International coach Christian Irizarry said he has plenty of pitching to get his team through the nonstop schedule of games.
“I have five arms besides my regular pitcher,” he said. “So for our league we are pretty good in terms of pitching.”
Fenway (9-7, 7-3), which clinched the state tournament for the first time in eight years on Monday, feels like they deserve to be the South representatives in the city tournament, especially because they defeated Boston International, 8-4, on Saturday. International beat Fenway 6-5 earlier in the season.
First-year Fenway coach David Walsh said his team would go to cities if the tiebreak came down to runs scored.
“We would definitely do damage in the cities,” he said. “If we don’t get in at least I know we’re in states.”
If the remainder of Boston International’s league games are rained out, it’s unclear how they will be counted in the standings.
“If I don’t play anyone because of the weather why should [Fenway] be on top?” Irizarry said.
The baseball city championship semifinals will be at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Saturday at English High. The title bout will be on Monday at 10 a.m.
The softball semifinals will be at 11 a.m. at Clemente and Cobe Fields in the Fens. The championship game will be at 10 a.m. on Monday at Cobe Field.
Fenway stole 12 bases en route to defeating Charlestown, 8-2, at Ryan Field Monday afternoon to qualify for the state tournament for the first time in eight years.
The Panthers (9-7, 7-3 Boston City League South) even stole home. Junior infielder Eddie Santos avoided the tag at the plate to tie the game at 2 in the fifth inning.
“It’s mad exciting,” said Santos, who logged three steals on the day. “It’s really exciting. You’re out there on third and you don’t know when coach will tell you to run. You don’t know when you’re going to get the call. If his windup is slow you just go. It’s not expected. Nobody thinks you are going to steal home plate.”
Anyone who has watched Fenway, however, should expect it from Fenway.
The Panthers, who average 10 stolen bases a game, have stolen home 10 times this season and have only been caught once.
“We’re aggressive on the base paths,” Santos said. “That’s how we win games. If we run bases well it’s always going to be a good game. It brings us momentum and it changes the game.”
Santos started the game on the mound but was replaced by senior pitcher Jeff Pena after he allowed Charlestown senior pitcher Frank Rosabal to knock in runs in the first and third innings. Rosabal recorded the loss for the Townies (5-8, 5-6) after striking out 10 batters, dropping to 3-4.
“That was the strongest he had pitched this year up until that last inning there,” said Charlestown coach Matt Sances. “There was a couple of errors there. He almost carried us.”
Fenway sophomore outfielder Julian Gonzalez knocked in Pena in the sixth inning to go up, 3-2, Fenway broke open the game in the final inning with five runs, including Pena’s 3-run triple.
“I was just winging it, I had to hustle it out,’’ Pena said. “I was a little winded — I’m not going to lie. I felt like we needed those runs.”
Pena entered the game with his team down, 2-1, with the bases loaded in the fourth and no outs. He struck out nine in four innings, including the first three batters he faced. Charlestown also left the bases loaded in the sixth.
Sances said he's proud of his team, which features seven underclassmen.
“This is a big jump, there’s a big — obviously — skill level jump as you get older in baseball,” Sances said. “It’s tough for freshman to play against seniors in there. The fact that they even hang in the games is a credit to how they play.”
Pena improved to 6-3 and has struck out more than 80 hitters. He said he's looking forward to being the underdog in the state tournament.
“That’s a big deal to us because we haven’t been in eight years,” Pena said. “I feel like we can do it though, I don’t feel the pressure [of being the ace]. I feel the pressure is on the other team to beat us.”
Rooks will manage all athletic programs run by the nonprofit organization designed
to support Boston Public School athletics.
“What I’m really excited about is the opportunity to work with the kids, work with the constituents in Boston and grow a program that helps them use the foundation of athletics to improve themselves as individuals, academically as well as in life,” Rooks said during an interview on Tuesday morning.
Founded in 2009 by Mayor Thomas M. Menino and Suffolk Construction CEO and chairman John Fish, the BSA provides support to all 19 Boston Public High Schools, 157 athletic teams, 3,900 players and 132 coaches.
The program, which was started after the Globe ran a seven-part series on the sad state of the district's athletic program called Failing our Athletes, has also established learning centers for athletes at each of Boston’s public high schools known as the BSA Zones.
“I am excited to have Chris on the BSA team,” Fish said in a statement. “The
experience and relationships he gained working for the NBA, combined with his
passion for athletics and professional development, will elevate the BSA
athletic program to a whole new level as we work to help Boston’s
scholar-athletes play to achieve.”
Rooks spent more than 11 years working for the NBA. He was most recently a senior manager
for player development who was responsible for the creation and administration
of athlete life skills programs, transitional workshops, awareness and prevention seminars and professional development resources.
“I come from a background of business development and player development,” Rooks said. “For the last six years I worked in the player development department where our role was to work with teams, players and our partners to try to benefit the personal, professional and social development of our players."
Rooks said his background in the NBA will help him build rapport with the BPS student-athletes.
“One of the things we wanted to make sure that the [NBA] understood is that the fame and the popularity of both [the players] and their sport kind of obligates them to take a position in social responsibility because of so many people who are looking up to them,” Rooks said. “It’s one of
the things we really pushed hard was that guys do more in the community so they can
be seen because of the impact they have."
At the BSA, Rooks will be responsible for building long-term local and national
relationships as well as providing leadership, strategic direction, management
and coordination for all aspects of the BSA’s athletic program. Rooks will
also be responsible for the development of relationships with the BSA’s current
and potential markets along with increasing the program’s athletic support for
players and coaches.
Rooks received his bachelor’s degree in economics from Ohio State in 1994 and he earned his master’s degree in sport administration in 2000 from OSU. Rooks replaces Evan Davis, who is currently the chief operating office at the Sports Legacy Institute.
“I’m really excited to be here working with the quality staff at BSA, the folks at BPS athletics and our athletic community here throughout all of Boston,” Rooks said.
Pavel Dzemianok for the Boston Globe
Ben Groleau is hitting .500 lifetime at the boys’ Boston Athletic Association Scholastic Invitational Mile.
Running the race — which loops around Boylston and Newbury Streets before finishing on the Boston Marathon’s finish line — Sunday morning for the fourth straight year, the Framingham High senior had a winning time of 4 minutes, 27.2 seconds. The race features two athletes from each city or town along the Boston Marathon course.
“That was rough,” said Groleau, who also won the race as a sophomore. “Coming into it I knew it was going to be a hard field, I knew I was going to have to take it out early, but man I didn’t know I had [that kind of kick] in me. I’m excited. I guess experience paid off a lot.”
Groleau said he was surprised to win by such a large margin. Justin Keefe from Newton North (4:39.7) finished second and Tim Bolick of Hopkinton (4:40.4) was third.
“You can’t get caught up behind anyone right off the bat,” Groleau said when asked about what he’s learned from running the race in the past. “On a course with this many turns, you get boxed in way too much on the corners so you have to take it out. I knew that going in, so I jumped in front at the beginning of the race and I figured I’d let those guys figure it out.”
In the girls’ race, Newton North sophomore, Evelyn Heffernan, won with a time of 5:23.1. Shelby Aarden (5:24) of Hopkinton was second and Melissa Lodge (5:24.8), also of Hopkinton, third.
“It was great,” Heffernan said. “The crowd is incredible and they are really helpful. There are people all around and they just push you through the whole thing and it’s great.”
A freshman, Aarden was running the race for the first time.
“I was trying to keep up with the leaders,” Aarden said. “At the end I had some more energy so I went ahead, I passed one or two in the final 100 yards.”
The morning also featured a boys’ and girls’ middle school 1-kilometer race. Zachary O'Leary of Ashland won the boys’ race in 2:54.5, ahead of John Lara of Boston (3:00) and Thomas D’Anieri of Wellesley. Leah Metzger of Newton won the girls' race in 3:35.9, ahead of Piper Higgins of Wellesley (3:43.3) and Nicole Anselmo of Natick (3:44.5).
“I was really nervous so I just decided to go out and have fun,” Metzger said.
O’Leary said, “John Lara caught me at the end of the first lap; I had to pump through it. I couldn’t feel my legs. The first lap I had to pump it. Then I said to myself ‘I have to kick it in.’
"I can't feel my legs right now but it was worth it."
In the high school boys’ race, Newton North’s Keefe didn’t have enough kick to eclipse Groleau. Keefe was running the race for the first time.
“I was hoping for the win but what can I say, he has the most experience,” Keefe said of Groleau. “He’s a strong kid. I’ll get him later in the season.”
The six Boston Marathon runners raising money for the Boston Scholar Athlete Program have received words of encouragement from friends, family and colleagues during training.
But they never expected a pep talk from Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino.
“This weekend is marathon weekend, I want to congratulate the runners who are running the Boston Marathon for the Boston Scholar Athlete Program, I’ll be watching you,” Menino said during the first-ever Boston Scholar Athlete Zone Party on the floor of the TD Garden on Tuesday night.
The gala raised $1.9 million for the program which has established a dedicated, staffed learning center for athletes inside each of Boston’s 19 public high schools. The program was co-founded by Menino and Suffolk Construction CEO and Chairman, John Fish.
“That was great, I didn’t expect that at all," BSA Academic Associate Colin Campbell said. "To have him recognize us meant a lot to us. Even though it was at such a big event, where people are putting a lot more into it than we are to fund raise, and [for him to] recognize us along with everyone there to support our program overall was great.”
Besides Campbell, Nicole Reither of Swampscott, Michelle Nielsen of Falls Church, Va., Kate Hensley of Quincy, Joseph Cappellano of South Boston and Liz Collins of Boston are the other BSA or Suffolk Construction employees running.
So far they have raised about $23,000 for the BSA.
“Every one of the runners for our team has a connection to BSA which is unique,” Campbell said. “I think that’s something you don’t see in a lot of other charity teams. They don’t have that connection. So for us explaining BSA [to donors] has been great."
Each runner has a month after the marathon to raise a minimum $5,000 or the difference comes out of their pocket. And in these tough times many charity runners have had a hard time finding donors to reach their goals.
Joseph Cappellano, a senior facilitator for BSA who works with athletes at Boston Latin School, said it can be tough to raise money since they all know each other and are all raising money for the same cause. But he also said they’ve come up with creative ways to raise money such as conducting a March Madness bracket.
“Most of us have reached [$5,000] or are close but obviously our goal is not to stop at $20,000 but go beyond it,” Cappellano said.
The South Boston native said his friends and family are receptive to helping Boston Public School athletes.
“As soon as I tell them we’re trying to revamp high school sports in Boston they are kind of like ‘I wish they had that when I was there,’ ” he said. “So people are very, very receptive.”
Another challenge is the fact that while the group trains together, Hensley is the only one with marathon experience.
“It’s interesting, we were all athletes in high school and college and we all have old injuries and they start to come back to haunt you,” Cappellano said.
On Monday, the group plans to start the race together and then branch off as the race progresses. They hope to all run under four hours.
“It’s a little up in the air,” Cappellano said when asked what time he is shooting for. “Before Tuesday would be nice.”
For more information on the BSA runners, go to their fundraising website.
The Boston City League track teams were in action on Thursday’s rainy afternoon as the city schools competed in a dual meet at White Stadium in Dorchester.
Nine girls teams and nine boys teams came out to compete in the second meet of the season.
The boys’ results were highlighted by a tie between East Boston and Latin Academy at 52 points. O’Bryant picked up the most points in the meet with 72 in a win over West Roxbury, who collected 13 points. O’Bryant also defeated Brighton 61 to 39. Madison Park picked up 58 points in a win over Charlestown (nine points) and West Roxbury lost their second match-up with 12 points to Brighton’s 43. South Boston defeated New Mission 47 points to 34 points.
O’Bryant picked up wins in three events, including both relays. The Tigers won the 4x100 in 50.70, over a second ahead of second place finishers South Boston. They also took the 4x400 relay in 4:40:00, 10.1 seconds faster than Madison Park, which finished second.
The Tigers’ third win came in the 800-meter, which Patrick Powell finished in 2:17.70.
Also picking up three wins was South Boston, who controlled the field events. Carson Passes won the discus, throwing for 99 feet and 11 inches. Tony Nguyen took home the shot put with a distance of 37 feet, 5.5 inches. The Knights’ third victory came in the 400 meter, where William Arrington finished in 55.2 seconds for a full three-second victory.
Madison Park, East Boston and Brighton each picked up victories in two different events to help bolster their point totals.
Boston Latin Academy, who won the Boston City League indoor track championship this past season, finished in the top three in six of the 15 events, including a win in the 1-mile from Sonny Finch who finished in 5:25.40.
West Roxbury and Madison Park took the jumping events with the Raiders’ Jonas Ogaus taking the long jump at 18-feet 1-inch and the Cardinals’ Kevin Bevnardez winning the triple jump at 35-feet 2-inches.
In girls’ action, Brighton picked up the largest point total of the afternoon with a 67-18 win over West Roxbury. The Raiders also picked up a loss to O’Bryant, 60-18. O’Bryant’s second win came with a 52-46 takeover of Brighton. Latin Academy defeated East Boston 54-44 and New Mission/English defeated South Boston 49-19. The biggest margin of victory came in Madison Park’s 40-8 defeat over Charlestown.
O’Bryant’s Adrienne Thornton, the state record holder in the 20-pound throw and defending New England champion in the discus, won the discus throwing for 120-feet, 3-inches.
Latin Academy won six events on the girls’ side including both the 4x100 and 4x400 relays. Each of the four individual events won by the Dragons was claimed by a different athlete, marking the team’s depth.
Brighton took three events highlighted by Jaquasia Anderson’s narrow defeat of New Missions Akkeia Dickerson. Anderson finished in 26.3, just three tenths of a second ahead of Dickerson. Brighton’s Esther Hkwah won the long jump at 15-feet 1-inch and also won the 100 meter hurdles as the only female racing.
New Mission, Madison Park, South Boston, and East Boston each had a winner in one event.
Moments before former Charlestown guard Akosa Maduegbunam signed a national letter of intent to play basketball for Penn State on Wednesday afternoon in the Townie's gymnasium, Charlestown coach Edson Cardoso explained when Maduegbunam should place the crisp new Penn State hat on his head as carefully as a clergy member telling a groom how to place the ring on his bride’s finger.
“I know, I’ve seen it on TV, I’ve just never been a part of it,” Maduegbunam told his old coach, surrounded by family, friends, classmates, and media members.
After averaging 22.3 points per game as a junior for the Townies, Maduegbunam decided to complete his senior year at Winchendon School despite receiving an athletic scholarship to Boston University. He repeated his sophomore year at Charlestown after transferring from Cushing Academy halfway through the year but was eligible to graduate from Charlestown after his junior year.
“We’re very proud of his accomplishments at Charlestown High school and we’re very proud that he has become a young man right in front of our eyes,” Cardoso said during the press conference. “I’ve known Akosa for a couple years now and one thing I can say is he’s a hard working student athlete. He cares about school as much as he cares about basketball and that’s what gives him an option to go to such a great school like Penn State University.”
Maduegbunam said it took a village to get him to this point.
“I want to thank everybody, my little brother, my older sister, all my aunts and uncles and all the male role models I had in life with my father passing early,” he said. “I thank Charlestown High for letting me play my game and being the student athlete I’ve always dreamed of becoming.
“Early in my career I had doubts of ever becoming a Division 1 basketball player but along the way I’ve always had big brothers in my life to build my confidence up, to help me realize I could go after whatever I want. It’s been a long time coming and I still have a long way to go.”
Maduegbunam’s mother, Gina Maduegbunam, said, “I’m really very happy today for my son, I’m very proud of him, he worked hard to be here and I wanted to use this opportunity to thank everyone who has supported him along the way.”
Akosa was also accompanied by his mentor Marques Simpson and Charlestown Headmaster Margaret Bledsoe.
“We’re very proud of Akosa and we’re very proud of our sports program and we’re very proud of the way we use sports as a way to be successful academically and to learn to be more successful in life,” Bledsoe said. “We’re looking forward to more signings in the future and we’re very happy about this one.”
During the press conference Maduegbunam was asked what his top three choices for colleges were.
“Penn State, Penn State, Penn State,” he said with his new hat firmly placed on his head.
Justin A. Rice for Boston.com
The first-ever Boston Scholar Athlete Zone Party was held on the floor of the TD Garden Tuesday night. The gala benefited the two-year-old program that has established learning centers for athletes at each of Boston’s 19 public high schools.
“The Boston Scholar athlete program believes there is a link, a proven link, between athletics and academic achievement,” said BSA founder and Suffolk Construction CEO and chairman John Fish.
Fish and Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino collaborated to create the BSA after the Globe ran a seven-part series on the sad state of the district's athletic program called Failing our athletes.
“The mayor called me about two and a half years ago and said, ‘John we have some challenges with the Boston Public Schools athletic program, I think we can make a difference by putting some additional resources and putting some advice and guidance into it,’” Fish said. “That’s all our team needed to hear was [that we had] an opportunity to work with Boston Public Schools and [Superintendent] Carol Johnson.
“As a result of that phone call we are sitting here tonight and we’re impacting over 4,000 high school athletes in the city of Boston.”
The program — which also provides uniforms for more than 157 teams, skill clinics, all-star games and banquets for 13 sports — has kept 92 percent of its participants eligible to play their sports and has increased SAT scores by an average of 150 points, according to Menino.
“We know it’s working, so let’s come together to reach even more of the young people in our city,” Menino said.
Menino said while Fish defers credit he actually deserves most of it.
“I can remember the day he came to my office after it was reported [in the Globe] about the athletic programs in the Boston Public Schools, he came with the idea and he said ‘I’m going to make sure we have a program in Boston that works both scholastically and athletically for the young people in our city,’” Menino said during the event. “John worked at it, he put his resources behind it and built a great team.
“We wouldn’t be here without the foundation John set up, the Suffolk Red and Blue foundation. … enough can’t be said about this great program. This is a true public private program that is helping the Boston Public School students excel in the classroom, on the field and after graduation.”
West Roxbury High senior football and basketball player Muller Mirville said his GPA increased from a 2.0 to a 2.6 after attending the Zone.
“As of right now it’s getting higher and higher,” he said. “The Zone is a place where people that were in your footsteps help motivate you to become in a position that they are in, which is successful. The experience tonight went well; I see the people that are helping me out and are funding what’s helping me become a successful person.”
BSA Executive Director Rebekah Splaine Salwasser said some of the students in the program have increased their GPA from 1.0 to 4.0.
“And all have improved their chances of graduating from high school by 28 percent as members of our program,” she said. “Tonight we are here to honor the commitment that all these young people have made to improving their opportunities for success.
“All of us in this room contributed to that opportunity. We must continue to work together to provide structured, enriching, sustainable academic and athletic support for our youth."
She said the program is beginning to change the culture of athletics in the district.
“Together with our partners we are starting to see an increase in school and community pride and a renewed sense of confidence," she said, "particularly with our young female athletes.”
Former Charlestown guard Akosa Maduegbunam will sign his letter of intent to play basketball at Penn State 2 p.m. Wednesday at Charlestown High School.
After averaging 22.3 points per game as a junior for the Townies, Maduegbunam decided to complete his senior year at Winchendon School despite receiving an athletic scholarship to Boston University. He repeated his sophomore year at Charlestown after transferring from Cushing Academy halfway through the year but was eligible to graduate from Charlestown after his junior year.
"Charlestown is where I first got to display my talent, it’s basically where I got my confidence," Maduegbunam said about the signing being at Charlestown during a telephone interview on Monday afternoon.
Charlestown coach Edson Cardoso said Penn State asked to do the signing at Charlestown High, which Maduegbunam had no problem with.
"I'm the type of young man that family is everything," he said. "I'm blessed coach is back in my corner. He's great. He’s been to family events and I'm able to talk to him about anything."
Cardoso said Maduegbunam is proof that players can use the Boston City League to springboard into a Division 1 school. Cardoso also expects senior Rony Fernandes to earn a basketball scholarship.
"It also shows that they worked hard and are a prime example of a kid from the inner city that if they do what they have to do, you have an option in front of you," Cardoso said.
Even though he's not going to BU, Maduegbunam will still be playing for the Terriers' former coach, Pat Chambers, in Happy Valley. He said the fact that Chambers spent time in Boston will help ease his transition to a new school and environment.
"That makes everything so much easier," Maduegbunam said. "Coach Chambers, he's just the man. Having him there makes it a lot easier. If I'm home sick, we can probably talk about things.
"He has a lot of confidence in me and makes me confident."
Maduegbunam said he tries not to let the recent child sex abuse scandal in the Penn State football program distract him from his goals, but added that Chambers is the type of coach who can help heal the school's sports culture.
"I know that has nothing to do with the basketball program, people make jokes here and there but that’s not my focus," he said. "Everything else I have to minimize as just a distraction. I couldn't tell you more about it. All I know about Penn State is basketball and academics."
Between his mother subscribing to the Big 10 Network on Direct TV and watching ESPN3 online, Maduegbunam watched as much Penn State basketball as possible this winter. In addition to studying the Nittany Lions on TV, he said he also maintained a 3.0 grade point average at Winchendon and averaged 19 points per game.
On top of that, he said he also learned how to play within a system and to play team defense while at Winchendon.
"I took it as a job here in Winchendon," he said.
Penn State originally made him an offer last summer, according to Maduegbunam, but ended up not having a scholarship available in the Class of 2011 for him.
"Since I wasn't able to sign back in November I always thought April would never come," he said. "Now that the day is approaching I'm excited, I'm ready to get to work. It's just another step closer, just another checkpoint. I'm happy for the people who got to see me grow and for myself I just want to continue to grow and encourage others to push me anytime I seem misguided."
Maduegbunam said he'll always be willing to come back to talk to Charlestown High's teams to "let them know it is possible coming from the city of Boston. There are a lot of distractions and rough neighborhoods. But everything is possible if you put the time in."
Sayvonn Houston finished with 22 points for Brockton, none bigger than the two free throws he made with 15 seconds left in overtime, to put the Boxers up by three points over Charlestown in the Division 1 EMass championship at the TD Garden on Monday night.
Charlestown's Rony Fernandez followed with a missed 3-pointer and Brockton's William Baker chipped in two more free throws as the Boxers walked away, 67-64, winners.
“I love moments like that,” said Houston, who stands 6-foot-7. “I love the pressure, I like to feed off it. I told all my teammates, I’m going to make the free throws. I do it all the time in the heat of the moment when I know I’ve got to do it,I just go out and do it.”
Brockton’s Jamal Reuben (10 points), who only had six points in regulation, came up with two huge drives to set the tone in overtime and put the Boxers up 4.
“What worked [in overtime] was that we continued to be aggressive,” said Brockton coach Robert Boen. “Reuben got the ball and took it to the hoop strong a couple of times. He hadn’t done too much tonight, but at the end of the game he got in two very powerful moves to the basket."
With seven seconds left in regulation, Baker (6 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 steals) drove the baseline and went up for the game-winner but was turned away by Charlestown's Tyrik Jackson (6 points) who blocked his fifth shot on the attempt to send the game to overtime.
“We’ve lost three years in a row in the tournament in overtime,” Boen said. “So when we got there again tonight, I have to admit it crossed my mind.”
The Townies led for most of the first quarter, but with 20 seconds to play Baker went coast-to-coast for the Boxers to tie the game at 19.
Brockton’s Jaylen Blakely (15 points) called his own number with 4:15 to play in the second quarter to put the Boxers up, 30-23. Blakely drove on Fernandez (10 points), then faked a pull up jumper – which got Fernandez off his feet – and ducked under for the lay in, to the delight of the crowd. After one half of play, Brockton led 34-30.
Brockton fell behind in the third but finished with a flurry, highlighted by the play of Drew Fiske. The senior shooting guard hit an NBA-range three, took a huge charge and then connected on a last-second three as time expired to tie the game at 44.
“Fiske’s a fantastic shooter,” Boen said. “We count on him to come in and hit a couple of threes like that. The charge was just the perfect play. He got himself back, we were in trouble, they had numbers going to the basket, but he just stood there and [Tyrese Hoxter] ran over him.”
Hoxter came out aggressive in the fourth, scoring Charlestown's first 11 points, but the Boxers, who finished the game with 14 offensive rebounds, fought their way back to tie the game at 57. Neither team would score again in regulation.
Hoxter and Houston (14 rebounds) finished tied for the game-high in scoring with 22 points apiece.
The Boxers will now play for the Division 1 State title on Saturday at the DCU Center in Worcester against the winner of Tuesday’s St. John’s (Shrewsbury) and Central matchup.
“We’re feeling really good right now,” Houston said. “We have a big game Saturday, we're not satisfied yet, we wanted to win at the Garden, but right now we're going to get right back to focusing on the next game."
LOWELL -- The Division 1 North final between Lexington and Charlestown was a traditional clash of styles: size versus speed.
In the end, the smaller, quicker boys from Charlestown won out. Their timely outside shooting and fast-paced game proved to be too much for the Minutemen as Charlestown won, 48-44, to advance to the Division 1 Eastern Mass final at TD Garden Tuesday.
Charlestown senior Rony Fernandez put Lexington away in what was a back-and-forth contest until the final seconds. His three-point basket with less than 10 seconds remaining gave the Townies a 46-42 lead. After a Lexington basket by Chris O'Keefe, Fernandez was fouled with 2.8 seconds remaining. He hit both free throws to effectively end the game and waved goodbye to the sizable Lexington student section in attendance.
"I dream to make those type of shots," said Fernandez, relishing his team’s win in the belly of the Tsongas Center.
Fernandez's three-pointer from about 25 feet away with just over a minute left in the game gave Charlestown a 42-40 lead.
"We weren't really getting out to their shooters out at the top of the key," said Lexington senior captain Pat Burns (11 points, six rebounds). "They were hitting tough shots and they seemed to come at the worst times."
Charlestown appeared to wear down their bigger Lexington opponents in the third quarter. Back-to-back threes by Fernandez and senior Omar Orriols gave the Townies a 33-28 lead. Fernandez’s trey handed Charlestown its first lead of the game since leading 4-2 in the first quarter. The Townies went on to finish the third quarter on a 16-4 run that gave them a 35-30 lead.
Lexington was able to take advantage of its size in the first half, winning with their defense in the paint. The Minutemen, the No. 11 seed in the North, featured a front court trio of players 6-foot-5 and taller for the majority of the game, fortifying their 2-3 zone defense down low. Burns (6-6), senior Chris Lee (6-5), senior Miles Penniman (6-8), senior Caleb Lenderking-Brill (6-6) and sophomore Josh Sharma (6-9) all did their best to frustrate the fast-paced No. 5 Townies.
Unable to score inside, Charlestown struggled as it couldn't find its touch from the outside in the first half, either. Behind six points and four rebounds from Lexington forward Chris Lee (12 points, 7 rebounds in the game), Lexington was able to take a 20-16 lead into the locker room at halftime.
"We came in here, big arena ... jitters came out," said Charlestown coach Edson Cardoso. "I said, 'Guys, calm down. We've been here before. Let's take it one play at a time, and remember Charlestown plays defense first.' "
The Townies were a different team in the second half. They held Lexington to just 10 points in the third quarter and appeared to find their shooting range. After not making a single trey in the first half, they made six in the second, including four from Fernandez (19 points, two assists).
When the last of his long-distance shots fell through the net, Fernandez couldn't help but look ahead to Tuesday.
"We to the Garden, baby," he told himself. "We to the Garden."
Tyrik Jackson’s 20-point, 10-rebound effort led Charlestown over Boston City League rival, East Boston, 61-58, in the quarterfinals of the Division 1 North Tournament at East Boston High School Saturday afternoon.
Jackson netted 13 of his team-high 20 points in the second half, as the Townies (18-4) rallied to defeat a Jets (18-5) team fresh off winning the Boston City League championship.
“I thought Jackson played with confidence today,” said Charlestown coach Edson Cardoso. “Ever since we played Brockton High School [in the Comcast Basketball Classic] and [Jackson] went against Brockton's 6-foot-8 kid (Sayvonn Houston). He’s become more confident with his offensive moves and being more aggressive. I think Jackson really helped us get this victory tonight.
“The game was up and down,” continued Cardoso. “Nobody had a big lead. I think that our guys just continued to stay with their game. It was a tough environment, but I told my guys that this was a winnable game if we played together as a team.”
Omar Orriols chipped in with 17 points and nine rebounds of his own for the Townies, who trailed 14-11 after the first quarter.
Orriols connected on the Townies only 3-pointer of the game with 30 seconds remaining in the second half to send Charlestown into the half trailing by just one, 30-29.
Tyrik Jackson’s dunk set up by a nice pass from Rony Fernandez (9 points, five assists) with 1:25 remaining in the third tied the game at 40. However, the Jets, led by Kyle Fox (20 points, including five 3-pointers) refused to allow the Townies to take the lead, as the teams entered the fourth tied at 46.
Orriols finally gave the Townies a lead on the opening play of the fourth quarter, driving the lane, getting fouled, and hitting the shot to put Charlestown up 49-46.
With the score tied at 44 and 1:45 to play, Jackson grabbed his ninth rebound of the game and put it back to give the Townies a 57-55 edge. Charlestown then went up 59-55 on two Tyrese Hoxter (7 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists) free throws with 40 seconds to play.
“[Eastie] wasn’t boxing out, so I tried to crash and be aggressive and I got my chance at the end of the game,” said Jackson. “It was the perfect moment."
Zack Gattereau (10 points) connected on a three with 2.5 seconds remaining to cut the lead to 59-58, however Hoxter made on two more free throws and the Jets couldn't convert a desperation three at the buzzer.
The Townies will take on the winner to Sunday’s game between Lowell and top-ranked Central Catholic in the North semifinals.
“We’re coming together as a team, we’re coming together as a family and we’re playing hard and good basketball, said Cardoso of the Townies, who have now won four straight.
"We’re confident, our defense is clicking, and we’re trying to win a championship,” added Jackson.
Tuesday night was a busy one in boy's hoops. Here’s a look at some of the highlights.
No. 19 East Boston knocks off top-ranked Charlestown, 68-58
East Boston point guard Patrick Santos gave the Townies fits with his ability to penetrate and dish, finishing with 14 points, seven assists, and six rebounds for the Jets, who walked away 10-point winners.
“We just couldn’t keep [Santos] from penetrating on us,” said Charlestown coach Edson Cardoso. “We didn’t do a good job protecting the paint tonight.”
On the receiving end of a fair share of Santos’ passes was senior shooting guard Zack Gattereau, who finished with a team-high 24 points.
Gattereau played with edge after coming off the East Boston bench for the first time this season.
“I benched [Gattereau] for the start of the game for his lack of effort on defense lately," said East Boson coach Malcolm Smith. “We’re not the most talented team but when we play hard we can stay with anyone. Gattereau can coast from time-to-time, I just wanted to keep him motivated.”
Tyrese Hoxter, who coach Smith called the most talented player in the state after the matchup, scored a game-high 25 points in a losing effort for the Townies, who went a combined 0-for-13 from behind the arc.
After trailing 34-21 at the half, Charlestown cut the lead to eight in the third quarter, but the team's continued poor shooting killed any chance of a fourth quarter comeback.
“We just had one of those off nights,” Cardoso said. “There’s a real rivalry between our programs. We don’t like to lose to Eastie, some of our guys took it pretty hard, but in the end will learn from this and move forward.
“No loss is good, but overall we’re going to be stronger because of this,” Cardoso continue.
“This is one of the fiercest rivalries around,” Smith said. “It doesn’t matter if they’re ranked first or 20th, you can throw all that stuff out when these two teams play each other.”
Charlestown, which won't play another game until Jan. 7, should have plenty of time to right the ship. East Boston will try to stay hot against Bishop Loughlin (N.Y.) in the Reebok Tournament next Wednesday.
“Our plan is to sit down and watch the game film and go over what we need to do to get back on track,” Cardoso said.
Beverley stuns No. 5 Lynn English, 51-49
The NEC is shaping up to be a tough conference this season with Beverley, Peabody, and now Lynn English all tied at 2-1.
Chris Keaton finished with 17 points and six steals – three of which came in the fourth quarter -- for the Panthers.
Six-foot-seven Beverly center Zach Zigelbaum did an admirable job defending the Bulldog’s six-foot-eight All-State big man Keandre Stanton who finished with a game-high 21 points.
No. 10 Mansfield upsets Jake Layman and King Philip, 59-50
Coming into its game against No. 8-ranked King Phillip, Mansfield, at No. 10, knew it was going to be perceived as the underdog. But Hornets’ coach Mike Vaughan told his team as long as they were confident they would have chance.
In the end, Mansfield had more than a chance, defeating King Philip 59-50 in Wrentham, even with one of the best players in the state, Jake Layman, at the other end of the court.
“We made it difficult for [Layman],” Vaughan said. “He’s a special player, but we changed matchups on him to wear him out a little bit.”
After winning the rebound battle in the first two quarters, the Hornets went into the half up, 28-21. Vaughan praised his team during the break and told them that if they continued to play the way they were playing they could make a statement to the rest of the Hockomock League.
“I told them, ‘We’re here as the underdog and we just beat them in the first two quarters. We’ll be taken more serious in the league [if we win],' ” Vaughan said.
Coming out of the half, Layman started to get hot, so Vaughan decided to put junior forward Greg Lomanko on him to try and cool him off.
“He did a good job of containing him once he heated up,” Vaughan said.
While Lomanko was one of the stars on defense, forward and senior captain Terry O’Mara (12 points, 11 rebounds) led the way on offense.
Vaughan was quick to spread the credit around.
“We got contributions from a lot of guys and kind of proved to everyone that we were a pretty good team ourselves,” he said.
As for how far Vaughan thinks his team can go this season, he referred to what he termed “one of those clichés.”
“We play one game at a time,” he said. “Coming into the year we had a young team and I wasn’t sure how they would hold up and respond. But we’re pretty talented and as long as we focus and play well on defense, I like where we can go.”
Charlestown junior guard Akosa Maduegbunam has decided to complete his senior year at Winchendon School next year, despite receiving an athletic scholarship to Boston University.
Maduegbunam, who repeated his sophomore year at Charlestown after transferring from Cushing Academy halfway through the year, was eligible to graduate from Charlestown after his junior year.
"Akosa is a very competitive player, he likes to win," Charlestown coach Edson Cardoso said. "He likes to bring the best out of his teammates. At Winchendon, he''ll get to play against the top guards in the region and improve himself to play at the next level."
Despite losing Maduegbunam, Charlestown will still compete as one of the top teams in the state next season.
Cardoso will have a strong lineup with returning seniors Tyrik Jackson, Rony Fernandes and Iser Barnes. Juniors Tyrese Hoxter and Omar Orriols also bring a strong skill set to the back court.
Sophomore Jon Grullon, who transferred to Charlestown from Brooklyn, N.Y., is a 6-9 post player that Cardoso said will be a strong defensive addition.
"I think he’s a raw basketball player that's still learning the game," Cardoso said. "He can grab rebounds and block shots. He's not an offensive threat yet, but we can work with him and make him an offensive presence."
Akosa Maduegbunam scored 15 points and Charlestown beat East Boston 63-56 for the Boston City League championship. Highlights right here.
East Boston topped New Mission 64-59 and Charlestown beat West Roxbury 79-65 in the Boston City League semifinals at Madison Park high school. Check out the highlights in this video recap.
Last week, we got the chance to catch up with Charlestown junior Akosa Maduegbunam. The versatile guard is averaging 23.6 points, 8.2 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game for the No. 4 Townies. The best part is we didn’t even need a linguistics expert to help us pronounce his last name – he did it for us.
Can you spell that for us?
Where are you from originally?
My family’s from Nigeria but I was born and raised in Boston.
How have you been dealing with all this snow we’ve been getting lately?
I’ve been staying in – I haven’t been able to go to the gym much. I try to do a little in the house, some push-ups and sit-ups.
Have you been doing most of the shoveling lately?
I live on a big hill so I gotta shovel the whole hill.
Can you take us through your pre-game routine?
I don’t like to be early to the [game], but not late. At least thirty minutes before the game because players go through a lot of emotions. Sometimes I listen to music, sometimes I don’t. My main way to get ready before a game is focus.
What’s more satisfying for you, climbing over someone for a rebound or dunking on them?
Definitely dunking on them because I like to see the faces of the victim.
You had 25 points against St. John’s Prep and Coach Connolly teaches here at Charlestown, so how motivating was it to get the win?
It was a big boost for us. Connolly’s a great guy I look up to him as a mentor. After the win after the win, I saw him on Monday and went up to his class and was rubbing it in his face.
Are you a big trash talker?
Uh, a little bit.
You're averaging 23 and 8 a game so what do you do for yourself to make sure you’re an effective corer, but an effective rebounder as well?
Sometimes you gotta do little things to get extra points. I probably I get about 14 points ff my own miss. You gotta do the little clean up and get your own rebounds and sometimes I always need the ball in my hands so I go get the ball myself and make sure I get the rebound.
What’s the best dunk you’ve ever had on someone?
I’ve been slouching this year when it comes to dunking on people. I would say the BC High game when I went baseline.
Last week, the Charlestown Townies took down top-ranked St. John's Prep, slightly shaking up the Top 20.
The Townies move up to No. 4 from the No. 8 spot, but was the win enough to clip the Eagles wings?
Senior guard Pat Connaughton is leading the charge for the Eagles, averaging 21.9 points per game, and a supporting cast led by junior Steve Haladyna, who's averaging 19.5 points per game is bound to give any team trouble.
Juniors Owen Marchetti and Mike Carbone, who's a threat to go off from 3-point land at any time, help give the Eagles a powerful offense.
St. John's Prep wii face a true test right before tournament time when they take on No. 2 Central Catholic Feb. 23.
Andover slid from No.4 to No. 8 after Lawrence handed the Golden Warriors their third loss of the season last week.
With the basketball season turning down the home stretch, things are about to get heavy come tournament time.
Several reporters and editors contribute updates, news and analysis to the High School Sports Blog.
- Bob Holmes: A Reading resident (Go Rockets!) and Boston College graduate, Holmes is the Boston Globe High School Sports Editor. We remind you now that his weekly picks are often made in jest so everyone just calm down when he picks against Everett for 11 straight weeks. Contact him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeHolmes.
- Craig Larson: A native of West Springfield (Leo Durocher anyone? Tim Daggett?) and Curry College graduate (a proud Colonel!), Larson is the sports editor for the Globe's regional sections: South, West and North, as well as a frequent contributor on the college beat. Abington to Xaverian: it all starts with the schools. Have a compelling story idea? Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeLars.
- Zuri Berry: Berry attended the same high school as sports legends O.J. Simpson and Joe DiMaggio. (Guess which one is his hero.) He's a South Boston resident (formerly of Eastie) and the editor of the High School Sports blog as well as the go-to-guy for everything high school sports on Boston.com. Contact him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @GlobeSchools for all of the latest updates.
Then there are our fall correspondents:
- Anthony Gulizia | @gulizia_a | Div. 1 football
- Eric Russo | @erusso22 | Div. 2 football
- Stephen Sellner | @stephen_sellner | Div. 3 football
- Andrew MacDougall | @Andy_MacDougall | Div. 4 football
- Greg Joyce | @GJoyce9 | Div. 5 football
- Lorenzo Recupero | @LorenzoRecupero | Div. 6 football
- Liz Torres | @etorres446 | Girls volleyball
To reach the high school sports department, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.