Behind a game-high 25 points from sophomore forward Fru'nwi Che, the Somerville boys' basketball team defeated East Boston, 54-45, Tuesday night to advance to the quarterfinal round of the Division 1 North tournament.
“Fru’s the coach's dream,” Highlanders coach Mark Antonelli said. “You can yell at him, you can praise him, and his expression never changes."
Somerville kicked off the scoring but Jets junior guard Dion Knight answered with two straight layups to give East Boston and early 4-2 advantage.
After a low-scoring first quarter, Somerville led, 12-8.
“We made a lot of mistakes,” Antonelli said. “It was a sloppy game offensively for us but I felt like they really stuck together and made the key defensive plays.”
The second quarter was another poor offensive showing for both teams. With just seconds left on the clock, the Highlanders held a 23-19 lead. But as the buzzer sounded, Knight drilled a 3-pointer to cut Somerville's lead to just 1.
“At halftime in the locker room the last thing I said to them was ‘do you want to go home or do you want to keep on playing?’” Antonelli said.
Somerville jumped out to a 29-23 lead early in the third quarter, but Jets junior forward Kevin Sinatra and Knight nailed back-to-back treys to tie the game.
Despite the brief burst of sharp shooting, the Highlanders defense refused to let East Boston find an offensive rhythm. Knight nailed another 3-pointer but Somerville senior guard Rayoni Matos answered with a 3 of his own, stifling the Jets’ surge.
Somerville led, 37-36, after three quarters.
“Honestly we needed to step up, we were making too many mistakes on offense, too many turnovers,” Che said. “Transition defense was kinda shaky.”
Knight opened the final quarter with a nifty move to the rim, scoring and drawing a foul. He hit the free throw to complete the 3-point play and give East Boston the lead.
A layup from senior guard Marcus Shaw extended the Jets' lead to four, but Che answered to pull Somerville within 2.
Two free throws by Somerville junior guard Salim Warsame knotted the game at 41 with four minutes to play.
A Che layup gave the Highlanders the lead. The Jets struggled to score as time ran off the clock, thanks to relentless defense from senior guard Kervinson Exilus and a strong rebounding effort by the entire Somerville squad.
Che said he knew the Highlanders could wrap up the win in the final two minutes.
“We hit our free throws,” Che said. “We got the ball over half and just broke their press.”
Eight points from Che and 3 from Exilus closed out the victory.
Knight finished with 23 points for the Jets. Warsame and junior forward Jonathan Santana Arias each finished with 10 points for Somerville.
The Highlanders will take on Greater Boston League rival Everett in the quarterfinal round.
“It’s gonna be a typical GBL battle,” Antonelli said. “Both teams know each other, both coaches know each other. It’s gonna be a lot of fun.”
Everett won both matchups with Somerville in the regular season, but the score was close in both games. In the season opener, Everett won by 6 points. In the most recent contest Feb. 7, the Crimson Tide won by 8.
“They’re a good team. They’re a really good team,” Che said of Everett. “Last time we faced them it was close. We just gotta fix some mistakes and get back to practice tomorrow and hope for a win.”
Senior guard Shaquan Murray notched his 1,000th career point and senior forward Asante Sandiford earned tournament MVP honors, but New Mission’s 73-54 City League championship victory over East Boston Thursday was truly a team effort.
“They’re such a great group of kids. I can’t even put it into logical words,” New Mission coach Cory McCarthy said. “Those are incredibly good kids.”
Sandiford scored a game-high 21 points, Murray added 19, and junior guard Tyrique Lee finished with 12.
Sandiford said although it felt “really good” to be named the MVP, the award is actually for all of his teammates.
“I really appreciate them, they’re giving me the ball, they’re feeding me inside so I just really appreciate that,” Sandiford said. “The MVP doesn’t go to me, it’s a team game. We have team chemistry and we’re a family.”
The 6-foot- 4-inch Sandiford led the Titans’ offensive charge from the opening tip. He drew a foul with an aggressive drive on New Mission’s first possession and sank one of two free throws to give New Mission a lead they would never relinquish.
After one quarter, the Titans led, 22-11.
New Mission’s offensive dominance continued in the second quarter. Murray, who entered the game 10 points away from the 1,000 mark, nailed a 3-pointer with 2:55 to play in the frame to eclipse the milestone.
“It’s amazing. It’s a blessing,” Murray said. “Words cannot express how I feel about it right now.”
At halftime, New Mission held a 38-27 advantage.
East Boston (14-7) tried to stage a comeback in the second half, but struggled to find an offensive rhythm. Jets junior guard Dion Knight, who scored 35 points in East Boston’s semifinal matchup, was well-defended by Lee and senior guard Kordell Harris.
“Dion Knight’s a stud,” McCarthy said. “And we had to really focus on him to make sure he wasn’t the one that was gonna beat us. And that formula worked tonight.”
Knight finished with 18 points for East Boston. Senior guard Marcus Shaw scored 11.
The Titans played with intensity until the final buzzer. Sandiford scored 5 points in the final frame to complete his MVP performance.
McCarthy praised Sandiford’s effort in the game.
“He came to play,” McCarthy said. “His hand is a little bit banged up from yesterday’s game, he was all banged up, he’s running around with a band-aid on his head. But you know what, he’s a kid who has developed to a utility basketball player that any college program could use. 6-4, can shoot, can dribble, can pass, can play defense.”
The Titans (18-2) posted the best record in the city league this season and are in position to make a serious run in the state tournament. Sandiford said the team is going to work hard and “bring a lot of heart” in the postseason.
“At the end of the games when it’s close and tight, it’s not about talent,” Sandiford said. “It’s about your heart and who really wants it. And we want it. We’re hungry.”
East Boston earned a 59-57 overtime victory over Dorchester in the first matchup and New Mission defeated Snowden, 66-50, in the late game Wednesday at Madison Park. The two teams will go head-to-head in the city championship Thursday.
In the first semifinal, junior guard Dion Knight carried East Boston with a game-high 35 points. He scored 9 in the first quarter and gave the Jets an early 16-7 lead.
“We gotta ride him, he’s our go-to guy. We go as Dion goes,” East Boston coach Shawn Brown said. “And in that situation it’s get the ball to Dion and we play off of Dion, it’s no secret.”
Dorchester’s defense tightened up in the second quarter. After trailing, 23-10, The Bears went on a 16-4 run behind two 3-pointers from senior guard/forward Tavon Smallpiece and trailed by just 1 at halftime.
After a low-scoring third quarter, Dorchester led, 36-35.
The teams swapped 1-point leads to start the fourth quarter. Down 42-41, Knight gave East Boston its largest lead of the frame after a layup and a 3-pointer. Layups from Dorchester junior guard Justin Clarke and Smallpiece tied the game at 46 with just over a minute to play.
Neither team could score in the final seconds and the game headed to overtime.
“It was a scary thing,” Knight said. “I thought we were gonna lose. I had to keep my head in the game.”
Brown said he told his team that overtime was just four more minutes to win the game.
“I told them at that point it’s about them,” Brown said. “They gotta want it more, it’s about who wants it more. And they came out and worked hard.”
Overtime was much like the final quarter. The teams traded buckets and the score was knotted at 55 with 1:47 to play. Knight sank two free throws to give East Boston the edge, but senior guard Khail Newson made a layup to tie the game once again.
With just 34.8 seconds left on the clock, Mitchell scored to put the Jets on top. Dorchester was unable to score on its final possession and East Boston escaped with the victory.
Dorchester senior guard Markus Neale notched his 1,000th career point and finished with 15 in the loss.
In the second game, New Mission coach Cory McCarthy earned his 200th win and senior forward Fred Rivers scored a game-high 21 points for the Titans. Senior forward Asante Sandiford added 12 points, including three huge one-handed dunks.
“Snowden, they’re a good team,” Rivers said. “They came out, they gave us their best in the first and then we felt we needed to turn it up a little notch so we came out and tried to have as much fun as we could playing.”
Boston City League champions will be crowned this week in girls’ basketball, boys’ basketball and boys’ hockey. Basketball will be held at Madison Park with the hockey championship at Northeastern’s Matthews Arena.
The action kicks off Tuesday with the girls’ basketball semifinals. The Boston South champion Dorchester Bears take on the runner-up from the North Division, South Boston, at 4 p.m.
South Boston earned an impressive 15-2 record this season. Dorchester, which finished at 9-8, will face an uphill battle as they try to knock off the Knights.
The second girls’ semifinal will begin at 5:30 p.m. with the champion from the North, Fenway, challenging Brighton, the South Division’s runner-up.
Fenway cruised to a perfect 12-0 City League record this season and is the favorite to win the title. Sophomore guard Takora McIntyre will look to carry her team in the tournament with her relentless defense and ability to score from all areas of the floor.
The winner of each semifinal will advance to the championship. The title game is scheduled for Thursday at 5 p.m.
The boys’ semifinals begin Wednesday at 4 p.m. with Central Division champion Dorchester going head-to-head with East Boston, the runner-up in the North Division.
Dorchester posted a 16-4 record this season courtesy of a high-powered offense comprised of seniors Markus Neale, Tavon Smallpiece, and Khail Newson. But Dorchester did lose to East Boston earlier this season, and the Bears’ defense will have its hands full with East Boston’s sharpshooting junior forward Kevin Sinatra and junior guard Dion Knight. Knight has been one of the city’s top scorers this season, consistently posting over 20 points per game.
Boston North champion New Mission will take on South champion Snowden in the second semifinal at 5:30 p.m.
New Mission fell to Brighton in last year’s city championship, but this year the Titans are in position to bring home the title. Snowden posted a 7-14 record this season and struggled against teams outside of the City League South Division. The Cougars will have a tough time containing New Mission’s high-scoring seniors Shaquan Murray and Asante Sandiford.
The boys’ championship game will be Thursday at 6:30 p.m., right after the girls’ championship.
A City League championship trophy for hockey will be awarded Wednesday morning at Matthews. Six-time defending champion Latin Academy will face off with East Boston for the title at 10 a.m.
The first time these two teams met this season, Latin Academy captain Mark Guerard netted a hat trick to give the Dragons a 5-3 victory. But East Boston refused to drop the second matchup and the two teams skated to a 3-3 tie. Although Latin Academy has won six straight titles, this is anyone’s game. If the Jets score early on Latin Academy goalie Thomas Guarino, who is only in eighth grade, East Boston could come away as the new City League champion.
Behind a game-high 19 points from senior forward Asante Sandiford, the New Mission boys’ basketball team defeated Boston City League North rival East Boston, 69-61, Wednesday night on the Titans’ home court.
New Mission's seven standout senior Titans — Sandiford, guards Jared Brown, Kordell Harris, Shaquan Murray and Reylando Rise, and forwards Sochika Nzerem and Frederick Rivers — were recognized before tipoff for their contributions to the team.
“Those are good guys,” New Mission coach Cory McCarthy said. “I’ve had a lot of good kids come through this door but the most important thing is all seven of those guys have been accepted to four-year schools and will go to college. Their contribution off the court is greater to our program than what they did on the court tonight.”
In addition to Sandiford’s 19, Murray finished with 15 points and Rivers chipped in 12.
After the first quarter, East Boston held a slim 15-14 lead over the Titans. New Mission battled back in the second quarter and took a 23-18 lead behind aggressive play from Rivers and sophomore guard Tyrique Lee.
McCarthy said Lee and Harris were the “unsung heroes” Wednesday, holding East Boston’s leading scorer, junior guard Dion Knight, to just 15 points.
“The rest of our defense wasn’t great, but those guys, Kordell and Tyrique, really came to play and showed up for us,” McCarthy said.
At halftime, the Titans led, 35-31.
New Mission continued to lead throughout the third quarter, until Jets junior forward Kevin Sinatra, who finished with 14 points, nailed two 3-pointers as the frame came to a close to give East Boston a 50-47 advantage.
Sandiford kicked off the final eight minutes with a lay-in to cut into East Boston’s lead. After the two teams traded buckets, Sandiford scored under the rim and drew a foul. He sank the free throw to complete the 3-point play and tie the game at 54.
“I didn’t feel I had to lead the charge, we all lead the charge as a team,” Sandiford said. “I just made big plays at the end. I found some openings and I just hit big shots like any other of my teammates do.”
After Sandiford tied the game for New Mission, Lee sank a wide-open 3 from way behind the arc to give the Titans the lead. Despite East Boston’s valiant attempt at a comeback, New Mission’s defense held on to the lead.
Sandiford sealed the win at the stripe, hitting three free throws after taking two Jets’ intentional fouls. He then closed out the game with a lay-up.
“I think he really came out and he showed what kind of physical presence he has inside,” McCarthy said of Sandiford. “These are high school boys, and Asante is built like a man. He’s a man. He was a man in the fourth quarter and the end of the third quarter and it worked out for us because he was able to get to his left hand, get to the left side of the basket where he does his most work.”
New Mission improved to 15-2 with Wednesday’s victory. The Titans will head into next week’s City League championships as the team to beat, but McCarthy said his only focus is on the state tournament.
“I don’t really care about the cities. The cities are for the kids,” McCarthy said. “So I’ll treat it like we’re going to an amusement park. You know, like I’m taking the kids out for a walk or something. So we’ll be there, we’ll show up, but our main focus at New Mission is always the state tournament and we’re trying to get ready.”
Sandiford said he is also focused on the state tournament and is confident that New Mission will play deep into the postseason.
“We’re looking to win it all. If we stay together, we keep our composure as a team we will win it all,” Sandiford said. “We’re looking to win the city championship, the state championship. We just want to have a great year. We want to win our last game. We want to win our last game and our last game will be at the DCU center.”
The Latin Academy coed swim team cruised to its seventh straight Boston City League championship Thursday at Madison Park. The Dragons have now won 23 of the last 24 City League titles.
“It’s good to keep the tradition,” Dragons senior captain Colby Cahill said. “We’ve held this title for so long so I’m glad I can kinda keep it going. I just feel really proud of my team and also my other co-captains.”
Cahill finished second in the 100-yard backstroke to help Latin Academy's winning total of 141 points. O’Bryant earned second place with 68 points. East Boston finished just behind the Tigers with 63 points.
Latin Academy coach Mark Thomas will retire from coaching after this season. He said this final City League championship brought out “a lot of emotion.”
“To finish off this way means a lot,” Thomas said. “You know, I’m thrilled for the kids and thrilled for the program. Just very, very happy.”
Senior Cristian Mojica was part of the winning Latin Academy 400-yard freestyle relay team and won the 100-yard backstroke and the 200-yard freestyle.
“It feels good,” Mojica said. “End senior year with a bang.”
Dragons sophomore Jason Zernitsky captured the 100-yard butterfly title in 1:00.97. He also finished second in the 200-yard individual medley. Latin Academy junior Kevin Zhang won the 100-yard freestyle in a speedy 56.28 seconds and was the runner-up in the 50-yard freestyle.
Freshman Abigail Bowers won the 500-yard freestyle, swimming the 20-length race in 6:25.82.
Latin Academy swept the relays, winning the 200-yard medley in 1:58.90, the 200-freestyle in 1:47.33 and the 400-yard freestyle in 4:06.40.
O’Bryant sophomore Justin Chung won the 100-yard breaststroke in 1:07.06 and the 200-yard individual medley in 2:12.45. He was also a part of the Tigers’ second-place 200-yard freestyle relay.
“We beat Eastie, I’m proud of that,” Chung said. “But we’re trying to beat BLA. BLA’s a big team and we’re a small team compared to them but we did pretty good against them.”
Thomas said he was happy that the Latin Academy seniors were able to end their swimming career with a title.
“I feel great for the seniors but this is a great, great team that’s very young,” Thomas said. “Out of the 60 swimmers we have on the team we only have three seniors. Fifty-seven kids will be back next year. I feel like I’m leaving the team in good hands.”
The Boston City League indoor track championship kicked off Monday at the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center, and the three-time defending champion Latin Academy girls’ and boys’ indoor track teams stand in first place after the first day of competition.
The girls’ team racked up 80 points in Monday’s events. O’Bryant currently stands in second place with 33 points, and West Roxbury holds the third spot with 32 points.
Sophomore Ashley Lewis led the way for Latin Academy, winning the 300-meter dash in an impressive 41.52 seconds. She also finished fourth in the long jump.
“It feels great because last year I came in second and I got my best time today,” Lewis said of her 300 victory. “It feels really good.”
Latin Academy sophomore Imani Presley finished second in the 300, just behind Lewis in 44.52.
“This is my second time since eighth grade running it and this is my best time,” Presley said. “It was exhausting but I was glad I was able to push myself and get second.”
Latin Academy swept the 2-mile run. Kelly Dao took the top spot in 15:46.12.
O’Bryant’s Juleen Lewis won the 55-meter dash and the long jump. West Roxbury’s Hirmine Francois won the high jump and also finished fourth in the 300.
The Latin Academy boys’ squad earned 65 points Monday. Second-place O’Bryant scored 40 points, and Charlestown rounds out the top three with 22 points.
Senior Malik Anderson captured 20 points for the Dragons’ team total with wins in the 55-meter dash and the high jump.
Anderson edged East Boston’s Orlandino Gray to win the 55. Anderson finished in 6.69 seconds and Gray finished in 6.80.
“I’ve been working at the 55 all my track career and I've always been pretty good at it but I’ve gotten better this year,” Anderson said.
O’Bryant senior Brian Donna defeated Latin Academy senior Xavier Hill in the 55-meter hurdles, but Hill topped Donna in the long jump with a 20-foot-1-inch leap.
Snowden's Joseph West won the 300-meter dash in 38.35 seconds, just barely topping South Boston freshman J'Saun Bastien's time of 38.64.
Anderson will be back on the track tomorrow as part of Latin Academy’s 4x400-meter relay team. He said he thinks his team is in good shape heading into the second day of competition.
“I think we stand pretty well,” he said. “Everyone’s been doing their best and getting good times and getting good heights. In long jumps and shot puts everyone’s been doing their best, so I think we have good standing.”
The second and final day of competition begins Tuesday at 3:00 p.m.
Perennial favorite Latin Academy will look to earn its seventh-straight Boston City League swimming championship title Wednesday at Madison Park High School. The Dragons will take on City League rivals O’Bryant and East Boston at 3:30 p.m.
“I just think what I’ve geared the team towards is to peak at this time of year,” Latin Academy coach Mark Thomas said.
The Latin Academy coed swim team has won 22 of the 23 City League championships ever held. The continued success stems from a constant influx of young, eager swimmers and a schedule of non-league meets that provide tough competition.
The Dragons posted an impressive 7-3 record this season, racking up wins against Arlington Catholic, Somerville, St. Mary’s and Matignon. The Dragons’ most recent meet was a hard-fought 86-82 loss to Catholic Memorial on Jan. 30.
Despite dominating the City League this season, Thomas said he thinks “there’s going to be a number of close races” in Wednesday’s meet.
“The very first event, the 200-yard medley relay, I think all three teams in the city, Latin Academy, O’Bryant and East Boston can finish within a second [of each other],” he said.
Thomas added that he thinks the 50-yard freestyle, 100-yard butterfly and 100-yard backstroke will be tightly-contested races. Dragons senior captains Colby Cahill and Cristian Mojica will most likely vie for the victory in the backstroke.
O’Bryant sophomore Justin Chung will lead the way for the Tigers. In a matchup with Latin Academy earlier this season, Chung won the 100-yard breaststroke in a speedy 1:08.
“O’Bryant has probably the top swimmer in the city,” Thomas said of Chung. “Whatever he will be swimming that day, he’ll be the person to beat.”
While Latin Academy stands as the front-runner to capture another title, the O’Bryant and East Boston squads also had successful seasons.
“It is going to be very, very close between East Boston and O’Bryant,” Thomas said.
O’Bryant fared well against non-league competitors this year, topping Matignon, Somerville and St. Mary’s. East Boston enters the championship meet coming off of a tight 88-81 victory over Somerville on Jan. 29.
Latin Academy will swim one more time before the title meet. The Dragons will take on O’Bryant Monday and Thomas said he will use the meet as a final tune-up for the championship.
“We’ve swum them once already,” Thomas said. “I’ll be swimming a lot of my kids in different events so I can get a look at them.”
After Monday’s contest, Thomas will know what swimmers will compete in each event in the championship meet and will set a lineup that gives Latin Academy the best chance to defend the City League crown. Latin Academy’s talent and depth make them the obvious team to beat Wednesday, but if East Boston and O’Bryant post the best swims of the season, at the end of the day the Dragons could be dethroned.
With just seconds to play in Friday’s Boston City League battle between O’Bryant and East Boston, Jets junior forward John Mitchell brought the home crowd to its feet as he collected an offensive rebound, scored, and drew a foul. The bucket broke a 59-59 tie and crushed the Tigers’ hopes for a comeback.
Mitchell sank the free throw to complete the 3-point play and seal the 62-59 win for East Boston.
“I had to get the rebound and finish and that’s what I had to do,” Mitchell said. “It was a great team effort from everybody.”
Mitchell finished with 10 points in the winning effort. Jets coach Shawn Brown said he was proud of Mitchell for his play in the game’s final minutes after struggling in the first half.
“In the second half John came out and played better,” Brown said. “And you can see his passion down that stretch was huge for us. He came up with the big rebound, and-1, and that’s what the kid’s capable of when he plays and plays with heart.”
East Boston junior guard Dion Knight and O’Bryant senior center Ben Lawler each scored 22 points. Jets junior forward Kevin Sinatra chipped in 9.
“He’s a 6-5 post player who can also shoot,” O’Bryant coach Drew Brock said of Lawler. “He’s a five-tool athlete. He can post up, he can shoot, he can shoot threes, he makes free throws. He plays with a little bit of a chip, which I kinda like. It kinda makes him good that he plays with that edge.”
Propelled by senior captain Mark Guerard’s hat trick, the Latin Academy boys’ hockey team skated to a 5-3 win over Boston City League rival East Boston Monday morning at Northeastern’s Matthews Arena.
“All I did was just try to help my team win,” Guerard said. “I mean, Eastie’s a great team, they got great players, can’t say anything bad about that team and their goalie played outstanding. I was just lucky to get a few lucky bounces and you know what, I just needed to put my chances away and I did.”
Guerard, a forward, brought his goal total for the season to nine. Freshman forward Joey O’Leary and senior defeseman Peter O’Donnell also scored for the Dragons. Latin Academy goalie Thomas Guarino, an East Boston native, recorded more than 20 saves in the victory.
“He’s from East Boston, so this is a real rivalry game for him,” Dragons coach Bob McCormick said. “He’s outstanding. He’s only in eighth grade and he has been sensational all year and we’re real lucky to have him.”
O’Leary kicked off the scoring in the first period, but East Boston got on the board shortly thereafter. The score remained tied at one at the end of the first period.
“Joey O’Leary was outstanding today, played two-way hockey, he’s a real good talent,” McCormick said. “We’re looking forward to seeing him develop.”
Guerard scored his first goal midway through the second period to give Latin Academy a 2-1 lead. But East Boston tallied the equalizer less than a minute later, following a scramble in front of the net. The game was knotted, 2-2, after two periods.
“The thing was, we were kind of skating with them,” Guerard said. “We needed to show that we could skate harder. And so what I said to the guys in the locker room was just move your feet, look up, make the right play, don’t take any dumb penalties and we’ll win this game.”
Latin Academy controlled the faceoff to begin the third period. The Dragons had a number of scoring chances in the first few minutes of the frame, including a breakaway by O’Leary that was well-defended by two East Boston skaters.
O’Donnell finally broke the tie and gave Latin Academy a 3-2 advantage with 10:57 left, but the Dragons were not content with the slim lead, fully aware that East Boston could come back again.
Guerard gave Latin Academy a two-goal cushion with 4:50 to go as he notched his second goal of the game with a sizzling shot from the right circle. The puck ripped past the goaltender and ended up in the opposite corner of the net.
East Boston scored a power-play goal with just over four minutes to play, cutting the Dragons’ lead to one. The Jets threatened to tie the game once again, but Latin Academy’s defense shut down quality scoring chances and Guarino made some big saves in the final minutes.
“The end of the game, it was really nerve-racking, but I knew I had to come up big,” Guarino said. “I think I could’ve done better still, but it was a good game.”
McCormick praised his team’s defense.
“The defense was strong,” McCormick said. “[Junior defenseman] Nick Mastrogiacomo was unbelievable today. He’s been a junior leader, too, one of the assistant captains. Nick Mastrogiacomo is one of our best players and he’s really talented. He’s been stepping up every game lately.”
With just 28 seconds left to play, Guerard scored on a breakaway to complete the hat trick and seal the win.
“Our captain, Mark Guerard, has been carrying this team on his back all year and we’re really grateful,” McCormick said. “His leadership is second to none. We’re really excited and very lucky to have him.
"We have a very young team — 11 freshmen and two eighth graders — and Mark Guerard and our other captain, Peter O’Donnell, a defenseman, have been playing outstanding and [have displayed] great leadership.”
The Dragons improved to 4-6 overall with the win. They are undefeated in City League play and are a serious threat to repeat as City League champions.
“The thing we need to do to be successful is just keep our heads about us, go out there with the mind-set every team can beat us but we can also beat them,” Guerard said. “You know every team is good, nothing’s for sure. We need to go out there, play our game, know how we can and just put the puck in the back of the net.”
A busy first Friday of football and we're spread out across eight different games.
Dorchester 36, New Mission 0 - The Bears looked good in their opener, having little trouble with New Mission which was playing its first ever varsity football game.
Latin Academy 26, South Boston 20 (OT) - LA ran out to a 20-0 lead before host Southie scored 20 straight points to send the game to overtime. The Dragons won in overtime.
Blue Hills 24 East Boston 6 - Host Blue Hills took a commanding lead. Vincent Burton had one touchdown and ran for more than 100 yards.
Hingham 33, Medway 7 - The visiting Harbormen turned a 7-0 halftime lead into a second-half route.
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.”
The 2012 Bay State games have already begun, and there are at least eight Boston public school athletes taking part.
Four athletes hail from Boston Latin, including junior left fielder Malcolm Nachmanoff for baseball, sophomore shortstop Paige Mulry (West Roxbury) in softball, and one of Boston public school’s leading pitchers, sophomore Caitlyn Berry (Roslindale) in softball. In basketball, center Maggie Mulligan (Brighton) will also take part.
Kareem Murrell (Dorchester) and Francis DePina are competing in 9th and 10th grade boys basketball. Both players represent Snowden International.
A top scorer for East Boston, Jonathan Perez (Lowell) is playing for the boys soccer team in the games.
Just one student represents New Mission, Diandra Humphries. She's playing girls basketball.
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.
Billy Owens / For the Boston Globe
WESTWOOD — Most of the players running through the tunnel at Gillette Stadium Friday for the Massachusetts Shriners All-Star high school football game will imagine what it would sound like to enter the stadium as a New England Patriot on an NFL Sunday.
Leo Parnell, however, can only imagine what it feels like.
“You can feel the rumble and the vibrations and you know it’s that time,” said the East Boston lineman who is legally deaf in one ear and only has 10 percent hearing in the other. “When you come out of the tunnel and things start shaking it gets your nerves going whether you can hear it or not.”
Playing without a hearing aid because his was stolen several years ago and his family can’t afford a new one, the three-year starter for the Jets on both lines racked up a mantel full of awards during his senior year.
In addition to naming Parnell one of two Boston Scholar Athlete football players of the year, the BSA also awarded Parnell its Academic Excellence award this winter. Parnell was one of nine players to earn a Courageous Player Award from the Massachusetts High School Football Coaches Association.
Last month, Parnell was one of 34 local players to win the National Football Foundation’s Scholar-Athlete Award.
Parnell, who turns 20 on Friday, said the accolades serve as a reminder of all he’s endured, including scores of ear surgeries that caused him to be held back in elementary school twice. (Parnell received a waiver from the MIAA to play as a 19-year-old this past fall).
The South Boston native who lives in East Boston also says the awards stacked up in his “parlor” — what he quickly explains is his “old school Boston” way of saying living room — are a forewarning as well, “to make sure I’m always straight and narrow and I’m acting respectful to my peers, at a Shriners game and on other teams I will play on.”
This week Parnell’s Shriners teammates named him one of four captains for the South all-stars.
“From day one he’s been here every single day, he’s been working extremely hard in every single drill that we’ve been doing, he shows how to lead in each play,” Weymouth quarterback Cam McLevedge said during Tuesday afternoon’s practice at Xaverian Brothers High School in Westwood. “He’s 100 percent each time. After the whistle he keeps going.”
East Boston coach John Parziale said that’s often because he can’t hear the whistle.
Parnell also has a difficult time hearing the snap count, which offensive linemen are trained to listen for rather than watching the center snap the ball so they can get off the line of scrimmage faster than their defensive counterparts.
Wearing a helmet doesn’t help Parnell’s cause either.
Parziale’s predecessor, John Sousa, moved Parnell from left guard to right guard during his sophomore year because Parnell hears better in his left ear than he does in his right. Parnell also asks his quarterback to shout the snap count more clearly even though quarterbacks often bark it in a low grinding voice so linebackers don’t pick up on it.
A few months after he was switched to right guard, Parnell developed several tactics to make sure he didn’t jump off sides before the ball was snapped.
“The way I line up I have a peripheral of the ball at all times,” Parnell said. “If I don’t understand [the snap count] I just make sure I keep paying attention to the ball. I line up an inch or so off the [center’s] heel. I line up a little bit farther back so when I look forward I can see the middle to the end of [the center’s] forearm and I can always see the ball.”
Parnell had perfected those tactics so well by his senior year that he made 83 percent of his blocks on the offensive line for the Jets, who lost to Blue Hills by a field goal with 3.7 seconds left in the Division 4A semifinals.
The nose guard and defensive tackle was also the team’s leading tackler, collecting 72 tackles, including 22 for a loss and 9 sacks.
“It’s been a big year for him and it’s been good for East Boston in general,” Parziale said.
As accomplished as he is, Parnell is always overcoming obstacles.
Working with a lot of different quarterbacks this week in the Shriners game is difficult for Parnell because the quarterbacks all have different cadences at the line of scrimmage. Nevertheless, Parnell will still start for South coach John Bartlett on Friday night.
Parnell also filled in at left guard during practice this week even though he doesn’t like to play on that side of the center.
“It shows you the type of character he has,” said Bartlett, who is also the Boston College High coach and athletic director. “He doesn’t complain about it. He just goes right after it. He’s a real inspiration to his teammates.”
On top of all his football accomplishments, Parnell also graduated from East Boston High this month.
“I’m like speechless of everything he’s gotten so far,” Parnell’s mother, Margaret Parnell, said of all her son’s awards. “I’m just in shock to be honest with you. It didn’t hit me till he graduated the other day and I started crying and I realized how much he overcame.”
Six months after Parnell was born he had constant ear infections that didn’t subside no matter how many times he had new tubes put in his ears.
After years of suffering, he was eventually diagnosed with cholesteatoma in both ears. An abnormal skin cyst located in the middle ear behind the ear drum, cholesteatoma can cause dizziness, drainage from the ear and hearing loss.
Over the years Parnell has had 15 surgeries, including one to remove a benign tumor that left a large scar behind his right ear and inflamed part of his head.
“The scar was horrendous, it was really bad and he always thought he looked ugly,” Margaret Parnell said. “He also had to become a lot stronger because of that.”
Another surgery temporarily removed the bones in Parnell’s ears.
“I held onto those tiny bones for a year until they could put them back in,” Margaret Parnell said. “It was pretty cool to have his hearing bones in the cabinets.”
Parnell missed so much school that he was held back in both the first and third grades, his mother said. He was often bullied and made fun of for wearing hearing aids on both ears. His hearing loss also affected the pitch and clarity of his voice. He struggled to pronounce some words as well.
“It’s very nerve racking, people are very judgmental and often times associate hearing loss with speech impediments,” Parnell said. “They think you sound funny or illiterate or stupid.”
His mother would tell her son, “‘don’t worry, blow them off, someday you’ll be something’ … I started to tell him how big he was.”
Parnell started to play football for East Boston Pop Warner when he was 12 years old and then for the Clearance R. Edwards Middle School in Charlestown.
Today Parnell shows few signs of being hearing impaired, and amazingly, he said he never had help from a speech therapist.
Instead, he would retreat to his room with his favorite heavy metal albums, namely Godsmack, and teach himself how to talk properly.
“I would sit there and practice doing what they did vocally and singing and watched myself,” he said. “So I kind of trained myself. My family and my mother was very adamant about it too. She would tell me, ‘You have to speak up, you have to speak louder. Slow yourself down’ and I would take hints from what they did as well as practicing in my room myself.
“I got sick and tired of using the excuse that I couldn’t hear anything.”
He also learned how to read lips, something he mostly relies on now since he’s developed shadow hearing, which means he can’t hear what someone says unless he’s looking at their face.
His ability to read lips has been especially important since he’s been without a hearing aid for almost two years. Parnell and his mother said one was stolen while they were camping in New Hampshire and the replacement went missing as well.
Both cost more than $1,000, according to Parnell’s mother.
“It’s disgusting, she said. “I didn’t think there was a big racket out there for them but I guess where there’s a will [there’s a way] … I have five children and each one we pay for out of pocket. We just haven’t had the money to pay for it.”
Parnell has no problem hearing his heavy metal music, which pumps full blast from his iPod and car stereo. The running joke among his teammates and coaches is that the music caused his hearing loss.
“I don’t really care,” he said of annoying people with his loud music. “I have to deal with people when I’m on the train going to work. Everyone has their own flaws. I just try to be respectful. If there’s a crowd full of people at 6:45 in the morning I may not have it all the way up.”
Cholesteatoma is something Parnell will have to deal with for the rest of his life. He will have to continue to have doctors scrape off the cyst when it grows back every so often and he might have to have new tubes put in soon.
In the fall, Parnell will attend North Shore Community College with the hopes that his grades will improve enough so he can study biology and play college football at a four-year university in a few years. He said both Curry College and Mount Ida College are interested in him and he is also going to look into playing for Gallaudet University, a school in Washington D.C. for the deaf and hard of hearing.
“The schools I narrowed it down to wanted me for both reasons, not just one,” he said pursuing a degree in biology. “I wanted to feel like I was still an everyday student and an athlete at the same time.”
With football on his backburner for the time being, Parnell will make the most of playing his first game at Gillette Stadium on Friday. But he’s trying not to focus on what it will feel like to run out of the tunnel for the Shriners game.
“I can’t even imagine, I don’t even want to know because it’s going to make me so nervous,” he said. “I can’t even imagine how many people are going to be there and the atmosphere and I’m not going to think about it because I don’t want to psych myself out.
“I’m going to go there like a pro player and have the right attitude and focus on the game and kind of take the crowd out of it.”
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.”
Latin Academy’s ace pitcher Sam Steeves pitched in the Dragon’s city championship semifinal victory on Saturday afternoon against East Boston and won’t be available for Monday’s championship against North conference rival Boston English.
The Dragons (11-8) defeated the Central conference champion Jets 12-3 as Steeves (4-2) got the win by striking out 10 batters and allowing five hits in six innings.
But Steeves, who pitched twice against North conference champions Boston English during the regular season, will not get the ball in the title game at 10 a.m. Monday at English High.
“At this point in the season we’re down to a three-man rotation, it was his turn to come up,” Latin Academy coach Anthony Bernazzani said of Steeves after Saturday’s game. “You gotta win today to get to Monday. It was his turn in the rotation. He’s been our best pitcher and you gotta go with your No. 1 to get to Monday.”
Junior Vincent Lopriore will pitch Monday while Steeves plays shortstop.
Bernazzani said Steeves won’t be available to pitch in relief either.
“It’s not the smart thing to do, you’re setting him up for injury,” he said of Steeves. “Although he would [pitch] in a second. But I would never do that to him.”
English and Latin Academy split their season series. English won the first meeting, 5-4, on Jessey Valdez’s walk-off double in the bottom of the seventh inning on April 25. Steeves struck out Valdez, his friend and American Legion teammate, in the last at-bat to clinch a 6-3 victory in Latin’s May 16 meeting with English.
“Vince is also a very good pitcher so we’re excited,” Steeves said when asked if he was disappointed about not pitching on Monday. ‘We’re really comparable on the mound anyway and it’s a different look. As long as we get our bats going early like we did today, we’ll be fine.”
Latin Academy scored six runs in the opening inning against Eastie on Saturday.
“That’s what we talked about, coming out early and scoring a bunch of runs and playing tight the rest of the way,” Bernazzani said.“We played a lot of close games [this season] so hopefully we know what to do in a close game. We preached, focus on every single pitch.”
Bernazzani and Steeves said they fully expect Monday’s game against English to be close.
“We’re not done, we gotta get the big one on Monday,” Steeves said. “We’re trying not to get too excited about this one because English is much better than East Boston. The game is going to be tough. English is a good team.”
East Boston finally got on the board on Saturday in the fifth inning when senior infielder Kevin Lara hit a base hit but advanced the third when the throw to first was overthrown. He scored after a wild pitch hit the backstop.
The Jets (7-11) added another two runs in the sixth inning when sophomore Michael
Theriault hit a 2 RBI double that brought home junior Manuel Martinez and freshman John Cinelli.
“I was glad that we didn’t quit,” East Boston coach Phil Brangiforte said. “Latin Academy is a good team. They hit the ball well. We struggled to hit the ball but we turned it on at the end there. We hung tough. We’re a young team and we’re looking for good things.”
Offensively, Latin Academy was led on Saturday by infielder Brendan Woods who was 3 for 4 with an RBI. Sophomore outfielder Edward Funes was 2 for 3 with two RBIs.
Lopriore, who will pitch Monday’s championship game, was 2 for 4 with a double and two RBIs.
“Two good teams are going at it for the city title,” Bernazzani said. “That’s how it should be.”
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.
Pavel Dzemianok / For the Boston Globe
With three freshmen on his squad this year, East Boston baseball coach Phil Brangiforte is starting to have more and more players on his team that weren’t around for his wife’s bout with colon cancer four years ago.
“They don’t really know the meaning behind it and stuff but they know we wear our blue shirts and stuff,” Brangiforte said of this weekend's fourth annual Strike Out Colon Cancer tournament at East Boston Stadium.
“They have been good about it. Everybody gets up for that tournament they want to win it and stuff. We do have some players who played in it. They know what the meaning is. They hear that cancer word and it’s scary for everybody.”
Shortly after delivering their fifth child four years ago, Brangiforte’s wife, Carrie, was diagnosed with colon cancer and survived emergency surgery at Boston Medical Center. Brangiforte’s mother-in-law, Jacki Anthony — the wife of East Boston hockey coach Robert Anthony — was also treated at BMC last year when her breast cancer that was in remission for 11 years spread to her bones.
The tournament has already raised more than $20,000 for colon cancer research at Boston Medical Center. The family also runs the Deep Freeze hockey tournament every year to benefit breast cancer.
“BMC saved her life so I figured this is the way to go, they helped us so we’re trying to help them,” Brangiforte said during a post-game interview last month. “It’s definitely [bittersweet]. It always brings up memories. It’s good to see she is healthy and they did a good job. Dr. [James] Petros from BMC is a blessing.”
The two-day tournament starts Saturday and besides, East Boston, will feature Madison Park, Newton South and Malden. Madison Park, the first city league team besides East Boston to participate in the tournament, will play the Jets at 3 p.m. on Saturday.
After opening ceremonies at 11:45 a.m. on Saturday, Newton South will play Malden at noon. Sunday's consolation game will be at noon followed by the championship game at 3 p.m. The closing ceremony and awards will follow the championship game.
“It’s going to be a lot of fun and we look forward to going up against Madison Park,” Brangiforte said.
But Brangiforte knows the weekend is about so much more than baseball. His family and his team work nonstop selling hotdogs and hamburgers and raffle tickets to raise funds for cancer research. They also hold a silent auction.
“We’re here from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.” Brangiforte said. “My team, we [usually] play the first game, the 12 o’clock game, and we’re getting ready for a game but all those kids stay afterwards and they are helping out afterwards and they are cleaning up at the end.”
East Boston High Principal, Mike Rubin, said the school rallies around the baseball and hockey tournaments each year.
“It supports our mission in our school,” Rubin said of the tournament. “I want our student body to always be giving back and help those less fortunate than them. We do a lot of that at East Boston. It’s important for us to realize there’s people out there in the world that need help and if you are blessed you should try to help those less fortunate.”
Rubin said he especially looks forward to the baseball tournament because it’s his tradition to throw out the opening pitch with Mayor Thomas Menino.
“I do, my schedule is very busy but I make sure I’m at the the breast cancer hockey fundraiser and I’m always at this one as well,” Rubin said.
Although it chokes him up, Brangiforte said he’s not shy about telling his family’s story to his new players.
“I tell them what it’s all about and a lot of them know and they see it,” he said. “I want them to know ‘Hey, we’re not just raising money.’ But I want them to know why we are raising money. But it’s tough. would I ever had that tournament like that if my wife didn’t have colon cancer? Probably not because you don’t do things unless it affects you.
But Brangiforte said it makes his players take both life and baseball more seriously.
"I think it definitely does open them up," he said. "Those games, it’s more about those kids caring. Which they do, they are here.”
Following are games of the Week in the city league for May 14-19:
Monday: East Boston at English, 3:30 – Both teams are off to a strong start to the season, but will need to continue that success to guarantee themselves a place in the postseason. Monday's game could be a jumping off point for both teams.
Wednesday: Brighton at Madison Park, 3 – After going to the city championship game last season, the Cardinals have had a rough start this year. They can still finish on a high note but will have to get through a Brighton team that has only one loss.
Wednesday: English at Latin Academy, Town Field, 3:30 – The two squads are neck and neck for a shot at the postseason with identical 5-2 league records. The Blue & Blue have a slight advantage with a 7-4 overall record to the Dragons’ 6-5 standing. Wednesday’s game will be big for both teams.
Thursday: Dorchester at Boston International, 3:30, Fallon Field – Boston International still boasts an undefeated league record at 4-0, but Dorchester sits in third in the standings and is hungry to solidify themselves as playoff contenders. An upset for Dorchester could give them the momentum they need heading into the final week and a half of regular season action.
Saturday: Brighton at Wellesley, 12 p.m. – Brighton has a solid record at 6-1 and is sitting on top of the standings with a trip to the postseason in sight. They haven’t played any non-league games, however, and Saturday’s tilt will be a good measuring stick for just how good the Tigers are.
Monday: Boston International at Burke, Casey Field, 4 – Boston International has had a strong season with a young team of players. They currently sit on the outside of the playoff picture, but could make a late push to make the tournament. A win over a struggling Burke (3-5) could be a jumping off point.
Monday: Charlestown at Madison Park, 3 – Madison Park is coming off a big win over West Roxbury, but needs to keep raking in the victories if they want to qualify for the tournament. A win over struggling Charlestown (1-5) could be what the Cardinals need to get the ball rolling.
Tuesday: East Boston at Bishop Fenwick, 3:30 – Eastie is a strong 5-0 in conference action, but has yet to win a non-conference match-up with a 0-4 record in non-league match-ups. A win against Fenwick could give the Jets a ton of confidence heading into the final weeks.
Thursday: Dorchester at O’Bryant, Madison Park, 3:30 – O’Bryant is currently in position to make the tournament, while Dorchester sits just out of reach. The game will be more important to the Bears, but both teams could use a win as a turning point.
Thursday: West Roxbury at Snowden, Fens (Cobe), 3:30 – The Raiders have just one loss, a 14-6 setback to Madison Park. They’ll look to get back on track against a Snowden team that needs wins down the stretch in order to make the tournament.
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.
A familiar father/son duo leads the list of honorees for the Jack Grinold Eastern Massachusetts Chapter of the National Football Foundation.
John and Jonathan DiBiaso of Everett High School head the 2012 award recipients who will be honored Monday, May 14, at Lombardo’s in Randolph. The pair, along with Bentley University quarterback Bryant Johnson, Curry College head coach Skip Bandini, and 33 additional high school scholar-athletes will be recognized at the foundation’s annual dinner.
The elder DiBiaso will receive the Ed Schluntz Contributions to Amateur Football Award. DiBiaso has been the coach at Everett for the past 20 years and has compiled a 198-21 record. His 2011 team, led by his quarterback son Jonathan, compiled a perfect 13-0 record and captured the Division IA Eastern Massachusetts Super Bowl. Jonathan has been selected as one of 34 scholar-athletes by the Chapter. DiBiaso has also been head coach at St. Patrick’s High School in Watertown and Weston High School. His teams have won 10 Eastern Massachusetts Super Bowls, and his Everett teams have won the Greater Boston League title for 16 consecutive seasons.
Johnson is the recipient of the inaugural Jack Daly Award for Academics, Citizenship and Football. The Hopedale native started every game at quarterback for Bentley for the past three years. He holds the Bentley career completion percentage record (.613) and ranks in the top three in all major passing categories. A two time All-Northeast 10 selection, Johnson was named the Conference Most Valuable Offensive Player in 2010. Johnson is a master’s degree candidate in Business Administration with a concentration in Accountancy and Financial Planning who was named a Capital One Academic All-District selection in 2011. He has coached youth football and basketball in Waltham, been a Special Olympics volunteer, and was a member of the Bentley Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.
Bandini has been the head coach at Curry for the past six years and will receive the Ron Burton Distinguished American Award. A member of the Massachusetts Maritime Academy Hall of Fame as an offensive lineman, Bandini has been head coach at St. Clement and Don Bosco (his alma mater) high schools, and has been an assistant at Dom Savio, Stoneham, Reading, MIT, UMass-Lowell, Mount Ida, and Curry. His Curry teams have compiled a 52-16 record (.765), won two New England Football Conference Championships, and been selected for the NCAA Division III Championship Tournament three times. Off the field, Bandini is the founder of MasterSports, a non-profit corporation providing scholarship money to deserving high school football players.
For ticket information, call Jim Seavey at 508-830-5054.
A look at the 34 winners of this year’s Scholar-Athlete Award:
High School: Buckingham Browne & Nichols
College choice: Bowdoin
A three-year starter at wide receiver and defensive back for coach John Papas ... received Independent School League honors his senior year and was named team student-athlete award winner ... also plays varsity golf and basketball ... his lowest grade at BB&N was an A- ... studied in Russia as exchange student.
High School: Holliston High School
College choice: Bowdoin
A Boston Globe and Boston Herald All-Scholastic selection, Barone was the Globe’s Division 3 Player of the Year. A three-year starter at quarterback, he was the leading scorer in Division 3 last fall with 135 points ... Has participated in annual Mission trips to Mississippi and coaches youth football and basketball.
High School: Wakefield
College choice: Boston College
Broke Wakefield’s all-time records for yards passing in a single season with 1,718 and was named a Middlesex League All-Star ... Led by Bourque, Wakefield went 9-2 and won the Middlesex Small title ... Ranked 24th in a class of 239 ... a three-sport athlete, he also runs outdoor track and plays basketball.
High School: Belmont Hill
College choice: Bowdoin
A three-year starter at tight end and linebacker, Bowser was named an ISL All-Star his senior year as well as earning recognition as All New England in Class B ... Bowser was team captain and led Belmont Hill in tackles ... Bowser also plays lacrosse ... volunteers with the “Work Crew,” a group that helps the elderly.
High school: Concord-Carlisle
College choice: Brown
The 6-6, 225-pound tight end was a Boston Herald, Boston Globe, ESPNBoston, and Lowell Sun All-Scholastic for the Super Bowl winning Patriots ... Also named to the Mass Coaches All-State team and Shriners All-Star roster ... Bumpus has a 3.64 GPA ... Also plays varsity basketball and lacrosse.
High School: Lincoln-Sudbury
College choice: Tufts
A three-year starter at quarterback and defensive back for the Warriors, he was twice named to the Dual County League All-Star team ... Cahill holds all career passing records at L-S (attempts, completions, yards and TDs) ... captain of the football, basketball, and baseball teams ... 3.99 GPA and won Harvard Book Award as a junior.
High School: Andover
College choice: Brown
A two-time Boston Globe and Boston Herald All-Scholastic as a running back and defensive back for the Golden Warriors ... Was the leading scorer in Division 1, third leading scorer as a senior ... Coke ran for 1,200 yards and caught passes for another 400 yards his senior year ... has a 3.3 GPA and was team captain.
High School: St. Sebastian’s
College choice: Dartmouth
Three-year starter for St. Seb’s at running back and a two-time Independent School League All-Star ... Also named to the Mass Coaches All-State team and to the All New England team for Class B ... ranked 11th in his class ... Connolly also a two-time ISL All-Star in lacrosse ... National Honor Society member.
High School: Barnstable
College choice: Worcester Academy
One of the top quarterbacks in state history, Crook finished his career with 76 touchdown passes, good for fifth place all-time ... A two-time Old Colony League All-Star and four-year starter, Crook led Barnstable to a Division 1A playoff berth ... Also plays basketball and baseball and is a member of the National Honor Society ... A Special Olympics volunteer.
High School: Hopkinton
College choice: Bates
A two-time Tri-Valley League All-Star, Decina started three years at Hopkinton at quarterback and defensive back ... Decina is a three-sport captain (football, hockey, baseball) ... Finished his career with 3,210 yards passing and this year led Division 3 with 18 touchdown passes ... has a 3.6 GPA ... is a peer mentor for younger students.
High School: Everett
Next fall: Philips Exeter
The record-setting quarterback finished as the leading passer in state history with 103 career touchdown passes. He also holds the state single-season mark with 44 ... DiBiaso played for his father and head coach John ... Everett won Super Bowl titles the last two years ... DiBiaso is ranked 24th in a class of 394 and is a member of the National Honor Society.
High School: Buckingham Browne & Nichols
College choice: Colgate
A four-year starter at fullback and linebacker for BB&N, DiChiara was a two-time ISL All-Star ... he was also chosen for the Mass Coaches All-State team as well as the Shriners game ... also plays varsity basketball and lacrosse ... was captain of the basketball and football teams ... was voted junior class president.
High School: Thayer Academy
College choice: Wesleyan
The 6-0, 290-pound lineman was a four-year starter for the Braintree ISL school ... Donovan was a two-time winner of ISL All-Star honors ... named to the NEPSAC All-New England team ... was captain of the football and track teams and one of the top wrestlers in the ISL ... scored a 780 on math SAT and is a talented musician.
High School: Austin Prep
College choice: Notre Dame
A two-year starter at one both sides on the line at tackle, he earned Catholic Central Large All-Star honors his senior year ... also runs indoor track and plays lacrosse ... president of the student council, vice-president of the Russian Club and the New England Club ... scored a perfect 800 on the math portion of SAT.
High School: North Andover
College choice: Wesleyan
Playing wide receiver and safety for the Knights, Laorenza earned CAL/NEC Division 1 All-Star honors ... football captain as well as two-year starter for the North Andover baseball team ... also earned the 2011 team Sportsmanship Award ... writes for the school newspaper ... volunteer with the Special Olympics.
High School: Mansfield
College choice: Boston College
As a two-year starter for Mansfield at offensive guard and linebacker, Leonard was a key figure in the Hornets 19-3 regular season record ... a member of the Sun-Chronicle All-Area team and team captain ... ranked 13th in a class of 361 ... a member of both the National Honor Society and Spanish National Honor Society.
High School: Hingham
College choice: Columbia
A three-year starter and two-time Patriot League All-Star, McCarthy excelled at running back and defensive back ... captain of the football team. Also plays basketball and runs track ... McCarthy volunteers at homeless shelter and Hingham Food Pantry ... was MVP of the Thanksgiving game his junior year ... selected to play in Shriners game.
High School: Boston Latin
College choice: Boston College
A two-year starter at center and linebacker, McKie was named a Dual County League All-Star his senior year ... also an expert long snapper on kicking team ... responsible for calling assignments on both sides of the ball ... also plays baseball ... a member of the National Honor Society as well as an accomplished saxophone player.
High School: BC High
College choice: Harvard
One of the top players in the state, McShea was the Boston Globe’s Division 1 Player of the Year, a Boston Herald All-Scholastic, a member of the Coaches All-State team, and the Catholic Conference Lineman of the Year ... an accomplished artist as well the football team captain ... volunteered in New Jersey helping at a soup kitchen.
High School: Belmont Hill
College choice: Georgetown
A wide receiver and defensive back, he started two years at Belmont Hill and earned both ISL and All New England honors his senior year ... a rare three-sport captain at Belmont Hill with football, basketball, and track ... a member of the student admission committee as well as the drug & alcohol committee ... did volunteer work at a Jamaican orphanage.
High School: Dennis-Yarmouth
College choice: Bentley
A two-time Boston Herald and Boston Globe All-Scholastic, Montalto was also named the Globe’s Division 2A Player of the Year ... He threw for 25 touchdowns and ran for another 15 as the Dolphins won the Div. 2A Super Bowl ... captain of the football, ice hockey, and baseball teams ... was an ACL All-Star in hockey ... a member of the National Honor Society.
High School: Duxbury
College choice: Yale
A three-year starter at receiver and safety for one of the most successful teams in the state, Naton earned Patriot League All-Star honors his senior year during which Duxbury won the Division 2 Super Bowl ... caught 27 passes for 526 yards his senior year ... captain for football and lacrosse and a National Honor Society member.
High School: North Andover
College choice: Colby
The center and linebacker earned Cape Ann/Northeastern Conference All-Star honors his senior ... A three-year starter, North Andover went 26-8 over that time. Also a Cape Ann All-League player his junior year and a Lawrence Eagle-Tribune All-Star his senior year ... Ranked 8th in a class of 300, he’s a member of the National Honor Society.
High School: Duxbury
College choice: Johns Hopkins
The Globe’s Division 2 Player of the Year, O’Keefe also was named to the Boston Herald All-Scholastic team ... O’Keefe threw for 35 touchdowns and 2,300 yards his senior year and led the Green Dragons to the Division 2 Super Bowl title ... also one of the top lacrosse players in the state ... involved in mentor program for freshman students.
High School: East Boston
College choice: North Shore Community College
A three-year starter for the Jets on both lines, Parnell was recognized this year as the Player of the Year in Boston as well as Boston Herald All-Scholastic ... also one of nine players to earn Courageous Player Awards from the Massachusetts High School Football Coaches Association ... ranked in top half of his graduating class.
High School: Needham
College choice: Middlebury
The Rockets won the Bay State Carey title and a berth in the Division 1 playoffs led by their talented receiver and safety. A two-year starter, he earned conference all-star honors his senior year ... finished with six touchdown receptions and 750 yards his senior year ... has done volunteer work in Costa Rica and has a 4.64 GPA.
High School: Marblehead
College choice: Brown
A Boston Herald and Boston Globe All-Scholastic, Quigley was a three-year starter at running back and corner ... finished as Marblehead’s all-time leading scorer with 45 touchdowns ... also finished with 3,900 career all-purpose yards and 11 interceptions ... the varsity baseball captain ... member of the Bridging Lives program at Marblehead.
High School: Catholic Memorial
College choice: Ohio State
One of the most talented players in the state, Reeves finished as the sixth leading scorer in Division 1 with 16 touchdowns. A three-year starter, he ran for 1,103 yards and caught 21 passes, also had 51 tackles on defense ... captain of the football and basketball teams ... a member of the CM Leadership Program and Campus Ministry.
High School: Needham
College choice: Bates
The two-year starter and Bay State Carey All-Star had 72 receptions for 15 touchdowns and 1,266 yards his senior year ... named to the Boston Globe All-Scholastic team ... the Rockets captain, he led team to Division 1 Super Bowl at Gillette for first time in school history ... brother Bobby a former NFF recipient.
High School: Acton-Boxboro
College choice: Virginia
Trombly was the sole captain of 2011 Colonials and a Dual County Large All-Star playing offensive guard and linebacker ... also wrestles and was a US Lacrosse Academic All-American ... Trombly is a member of the National Honor Society and Spanish National Honor Society ... an MIAA Student Ambassador.
High School: Lincoln-Sudbury
College choice: Brown
A tight end and linebacker, Twyman was a three-year starter at L-S and a two-time Dual County League All-Star ... was named to the Boston Globe All-Scholastic team his senior year ... recorded 117 tackles, 4 interceptions, and three forced fumbles as L-S won the DCL Large title ... also a member of the Coaches All-State team.
High School: Concord-Carlisle
College choice: Brown
A three-year starter and two-time Dual County League Lineman of the Year, VanderWilden was named to the Boston Herald All-Scholastic team ... The Patriots finished 11-0 this fall and won the Division 3 Super Bowl title at Gillette led by their senior captain ... volunteered in Louisiana building houses ... also coaches youth football.
High School: Swampscott
College choice: Brown
Walsh threw for 2,200 yards and 25 touchdowns in leading his team to a 9-2 record ... Earned Boston Globe and Boston Herald All-Scholastic honors after being named the CAL/NEC Division 2 Player of the Year ... captain of the football, basketball, and baseball teams ... volunteers for meals on wheels and North Shore Holocaust Center.
High School: Catholic Memorial
College choice: Ohio State
A Boston Globe and Boston Herald All-Scholastic, Williams was one of the top linebackers in the state. A three-year starter, he was named to the Coaches All-State team and was a Catholic Conference All-Star ... made 119 tackles in 9 games ... also a member of the National Honor Society, the Campus Ministry, and the CM leadership team.
Keith Parker will become just the third coach in Boston English history to be inducted to the Massachusetts High School Football Coaches Association Sunday and two longtime rivals couldn’t be happier for him.
‘‘We had some great times together,’’ said former East Boston coach John Sousa. ‘‘Keith Parker is just a great role model, just a great presence for these kids in the city. I can’t tell you how many kids he’s taken under his wing and got scholarships, set up for college and given them guidance. He gave them what they don’t have in their home life. He’s given his heart and soul to English and this is well deserved and it’s an honor for me to present him the award.”
Parker will be one of six coaches inducted into the hall of fame at an annual awards banquet Sunday night in Randolph. He’ll join Tony Wood of St. John’s of Shrewsbury, North Quincy’s Ken McPhee, Bay Path’s Al Dhembe, Dighton-Rehoboth’s Dave Driscoll and Mahar’s James Woodward.
Known to his players simply as PK because that’s the way he signed into school each morning, Parker will be just the 15th coach from Boston to be inducted into the hall of fame, including two coaches from Boston Latin School. Bill Ohrenberger, who was inducted in 1965, and William Stewart, who was inducted in 1984, are the only other coaches from English in the football hall of fame.
‘‘It’s a special honor,’’ Parker said. “I’m thrilled to be able to be inducted.”
Parker chose to be introduced by Sousa, also his former assistant of 14 years and who retired from East Boston in 2009, the same year Parker retired.
Sousa is likely to be the next coach from Boston inducted into the hall of fame and he said he will return the favor by having Parker induct him. Parker will give a speech Sunday in front of about 50 family, friends, former colleagues and former players who will attend the ceremony as his guests.
‘‘I’ll be quite welled up because as I said I’ll have five tables worth of family and friends that are going to be there,” Parker said. “In my acceptance speech I’m going to point out a few things that it’s not easy to be a coach at Boston English for 30-plus years.’’
After his tenure as English’s head coach ended in 2009, Parker finished his career 141-169-5, with five Boston City League titles and two Super Bowl titles.
"He’s done a great job, and he stayed with it,” said former Boston Latin coach and Hall of Famer Paul Costello. ‘‘There were times he had better people than we did and he gave us a tough time. Other times we had a great team and he gave us fits. Most of the time he was always in the game.
‘‘He was a class act. When I retired [in 2000] they came over at halftime and gave me a plaque from English. That was very thoughtful, very classy.’’
In his first year as head coach in 1980, Parker went 8-1-1 (including a victory against Latin) and won the English’s first city title in 14 years. Parker would not beat the Wolfpack again until his best season in 1997 when the Bulldogs topped off an undefeated campaign with a 24-18 win against Greater Lawrence in the Super Bowl.
"This induction, me receiving this honor totally verifies the years I spent at English High School because you don’t get this honor unless you deserve it,’’ Parker said. ‘‘And it’s an honor from my peers.’’
EAST BOSTON — Winthrop starting pitcher Zack Mills put himself ahead of the game before he even took the mound in the opening inning on Thursday morning at East Boston Stadium.
The sophomore hit a two-run, inside-the-park home run to lift the Vikings to a 15-2 victory against East Boston that snapped a four-game losing streak.
“He hit a home run then went out to pitch; his feet weren’t even touching the ground when he went out there,” Winthrop coach Fred DeMarco said. “[It helps] when you’re a pitcher and you hit yourself a two-run home run before you even get out there.”
Mills (2-0) struck out seven in five innings and allowed one earned run. He went 2 for 4 at bat with 3 RBIs.
“It was a high pitch but I was lucky to get a piece of it,” Mills said of the home run that also knocked in senior first baseman Michael Paulson. “I got it over the left fielder’s head and I put my head down and kept running.
“It helped me because it gave me breathing room and gave us a lead in the first.”
Mills’ first victory of the season came after a relief appearance in a season-opening, 7-6 walk-off victory against Watertown. He pitched 2.1 innings against Watertown before Winthrop (2-4, 0-4 Northeast Conference) dropped four straight games.
“Oh man it’s been really tough,” DeMarco said of the losing streak. “We went through some really bad stints where we couldn’t pitch well or hit well.”
Freshman leftfielder Tyler Gillis also collected his own inside-the-park home run in the sixth inning that scored three runs. He finished the game 2 for 4. Danny Eruzione was 2 for 3 with an RBI.
East Boston (3-4, 2-0 Boston City League) scored its only runs of the game in the second and the fifth innings. First, senior Anthony Difeo (1 for 3) tripled to knock in sophomore Michael Theriault (2 for 4), who singled in the fifth to score freshman John Cinelli. Junior Manuel Martinez was also 1 for 3 on the day.
Sophomore pitcher Henry Conner (1-1) recorded the loss after striking out four batters and walking six in four innings. He gave up six runs, including two earned runs.
The Jets were also playing without two starters who were benched for missing practice. Those two players, along with two other starters, also sat out in a 10-6 loss to Chelsea earlier in the week for the same transgression.
“We’ve only played one game with our full lineup,” Eastie coach Phil Brangiforte said. “They need to come to practice and do what they need to do to play ball. I think we have a good team when we’re together. We just need to stay together.
“We couldn’t string anything together. We made a couple mistakes and the kids get down on themselves. They don’t realize if you get a hit in three out of 10 at bats you’re hitting .300. They strike out and they think it’s the end of the world. It’s not.”
Winthrop hosts Beverly at 4:30 p.m. on Monday and East Boston plays at Maimonides at 2 p.m. on Sunday before traveling to Madison Park at 3:30 p.m. on Monday.
Chelsea scored in each inning to complete a 10-6 victory over non-conference foe East Boston fueled by an outstanding pitching performance by senior O’Danys Urbaez.
The three-year starter protected his home turf, striking out 15 batters in six innings of work. He gave up five hits and four earned runs while walking one.
“This is his first start of the season; he had some arm trouble early so this is the first time he has really been stretched out,” Chelsea coach Alan Beausoleil said. “When he’s around the strike zone, he’s hard to hit.”
Chelsea put two runs up in the bottom of the first to collect an early lead. After a leadoff walk, the Red Devils strung together two hits while capitalizing on miscues by the East Boston defense. Sophomore third baseman Carlos Vega picked up one of his five RBIs on the day to push the second runner across the plate.
East Boston managed a run in the second to cut the Chelsea lead in half. After back-to-back singles to start the inning, the runners moved over on an infield fly play before senior catcher Danny Auch hit a sacrifice fly. He finished the day two-for-two with 2 RBIs.
But the Red Devils scored one run in each the second and third innings to keep the pressure on the Jets.
“Just the offensive game plan is when you get a pitch to hit, you have to be ready to swing and that’s what our guys were doing today,” Beausoleil said. “We weren’t going to be overpowered, their pitcher was around the plate, so we knew he was going to throw it in there so we had to be ready.”
East Boston’s best offensive inning came in the top of the fourth where they netted three runs.
Shortstop Ramon Quinenes led off with a triple and was pushed home by a single from Martinez. Auch came to the plate later in the inning with two on and one out, the senior hit a single up the middle to drive home the two runners and tie the score at four.
Chelsea retook the lead in the bottom half of the frame, picking up two more runs, the second of which was walked in by Jets pitcher Mike Theriault. The sophomore went 4.2 innings, giving up four hits and five earned runs with four walks. He struck out nine.
“We try to have balance throughout the lineup, try to make sure that whether you’re the nine hitter or the one hitter, that everyone is ready to go,” Beausoleil said. “Everyone is counted on to contribute and that finally came through today.”
Theriault was relieved by southpaw Anthony Difeo. The senior went 2.1 innings, giving up four runs on two hits and two walks while striking out four.
Chelsea kept East Boston off the board in each the fifth and sixth innings.
“(Defensively) it’s much easier when the pitcher strikes out (15) guys, you don’t have to make a lot of plays,” Beausoleil said. “But when he had to make the play, we play the play so that’s what we focus on.”
The Jets went into the top of the seventh down 10-4. They faced Red Devils reliever Seison Reyes, who allowed East Boston’s final two runs of the game.
Difeo led the seventh off with a double and later scored on a 2-out RBI single from Quinenes. Martinez picked up his second RBI of the morning, pushing Quinenes across the plate with an RBI single up the middle. That was as close as the Jets would get as Reyes (1 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 3 K) struck out the final batter to end the game.
East Boston falls to 3-3 on a morning when head coach Phil Brangiforte said four starters were on the bench after not showing up to scheduled practices.
Chelsea improves to 2-2 and 1-1 in the Commonwealth Conference.
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.
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.”
The Boston Scholar Athlete Program announced the official girls and boys basketball rosters for the second annual Dr. Joseph D. Warren Memorial Boston City League Basketball All-Star Game.
The All-Star game, which will be held Saturday, March 31 at Northeastern University's Cabot Center, will feature 61 student-athletes from Boston Public Schools split by the North and South.
The girls' game is scheduled to start at 3 p.m. Saturday. Here is the rosters:
Boston Latin Academy: Virginia McCaughney, Julia Rosario; Charlestown: Sara Centeio, Shannon Simpson; East Boston: Maria Delvecchio, Marta Chacon; Fenway: Tajanay Veiga Lee, Kayla Cox, Julissa Ross; Madison Park: Krystal Edwards, Khiyana Isaac, Amber Edward; Snowden: Jovanna Sandifer, Tania Ortiz; South Boston: Elaina Wright McCarthy, Daitannah Smith.
Brighton: Amy Bernardez, Shantal Solomon; Dorchester: Shyla Fitzpatrick, Kymesha Kelley; English: Trayana Mair, Timilia Lattimore; O'Bryant: Araion Bradshaw, Raven Kelsey, Kiana Daley; Burke: Briana Hooks; New Mission: Tianna Johnson, Jazala Laracuente, Tiffany Williams; West Roxbury: Marissa Sarette, Makayla Williams.
The boys' game is scheduled to start at 5 p.m. Saturday. Here are the rosters:
Boston Latin Academy: DeVaughn Riley; Charlestown: Tyrese Hoxter, Rony Fernandes, Omar Orriols; East Boston: Travon Moore, Kyle Jimenez Fox, Zack Gattereau; Kenny Ramos Fenway: Jonathon Roman; Madison Park: Rayshaw Matthews, David Stewart, Dakim Murray, O'Shea Joy; Snowden: Paul Maurice; South Boston: Alexander Brown.
Brighton: Jerard Mayes, Decorsie James, Tre Downman, Malik James; Dorchester: Jedaun Langston; English: Kwame Townshend, Bryanne Toney; Community Academy of Science & Health: Josh Baptista, Anthony Ware; Burke: Charles Slayden; New Mission: Leroy Hamilton, Isshiah Coleman; West Roxbury: Sterling Brown, Freddie Oliveira; O'Bryant: Wesley Ogebeveon.
Boston Public high school student-athletes were chosen by their coaches.
The event is sponsored by Boston Scholar Athletes and the Boston Center for Youth and Families.
East Boston epitomized winning ugly last night, going 3-of-27 from the free throw line in the second half before eking out a 61-59 win at Madison Park in a Boston City League showdown.
“I’m disappointed in my team because of those free throws right there,” said East Boston coach Malcolm Smith. “We’ll never shoot that bad again. It’s not about me keeping them in the gym for six straight hours shooting free throws. It’s about checking yourself as a young man.”
Patrick Santos's steal and ensuing layup in the opening seconds of play set the tone for the No. 19 Jets (5-2), whose swarming defense was the difference in the game.
The loss was the first of the season for the Cardinals (6-1), who committed 31 turnovers, playing without starters Joy O’Shea and Dane Lawladownie.
“Anytime you’re missing two starters it’s going to be tough,” said Madison Park Coach Dennis Wilson. “[Joy] O’Shea is my leading scorer and Dane [Lawiadownie] is one of my best defenders. That’s like [Brandon] Bass and Ray Allen to me, so you do the math.”
Travon Moore led the Jets with 12 points, followed by Algeno Jean, who netted nine off the bench.
Eastie carried a 40-27 lead into halftime, despite being out rebounded by a 22-11 margin.
Madison Park made a concerted effort to work the ball down low and play physical in the second half, forcing East Boston over the foul limit with 2:01 to play in the third quarter.
Rayshaw Matthews led the Cardinals with a game-high 19 points, but it was forwards Dakim Murray (18 points, 16 rebounds) and David Stewart (12 rebounds, 7 points) that keyed the comeback attempt.
“Our strength is Dakim Murray,” said Wilson. “Our strength is down low, where people can make plays, and we looked for that in the second half.”
East Boston’s dismal shooting from the line allowed the Cardinals to climb within four points after Shaquille Leather’s put-back with 4:55 remaining in the third made the score 40-36.
Momentum swung back and forth for the remainder of the third, with East Boston entering the fourth up 51-41.
Madison Park cut the Jet's lead to three, 60-57, with 50 seconds remaining, but failed to convert on a desperation three in the final seconds.
“We only have ourselves to blame,” Wilson said. “We missed too many foul shots and [committed] too many turnovers and that’s what happens with a young team, but we’ll be back.
“I’m proud of my kids,” added Wilson. “They’ve got to grow up. They’re cubs right now, they’ll be lions one day.”
Smith downplayed the win, but was happy to have it.
“With East Boston it’s a turbulent ride in the jet all the time, OK, and we’re up and down and everything else,” he said. “I knew that [comeback] was going to happen, I just didn’t know it was going to happen that ugly.
“We played a terrible game,” continued Smith, “but that’s a testament to Madison Park. We’ll work on our mistakes. I’ll always take a win. I’m happy about the win, I’m not happy how we got it, but hey, when it comes down to it, there’s a win, there’s a loss, we got the ‘W’.”
The Jets are quietly building an impressive resume of wins this season with victories over No. 1 Charlestown, Archbishop Carroll (PA), and now Madison Park.
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.”
Thanksgiving, in all of its glory, tradition, and sleepless nights around here, has passed. That leaves us with nothing but playoffs and Super Bowls to ponder.
There are 16 games on Tuesday to account for and we cover a number of them in the latest edition of The Huddle, including the Division 1 matchup between Chelmsford and BC High, Concord-Carlisle vs. Holliston, King Philip against Duxbury, Everett vs. Lynn English and more.
On Friday, we'll come back with another special episode of The Huddle to preview Saturday's Super Bowls.
It was pretty much destined to happen as soon as he strapped on a helmet for the New York Jets way back in 1999 as an undrafted rookie out of Georgia. His chances were only bolstered in 2000 when, in his second year in the NFL, he signed on with his hometown team the New England Patriots. And in 2001, he might as well have started planning the date with his alma mater, East Boston High School, for the ceremony in which the school would retire his jersey.
The date has come for Jermaine Wiggins, the retired NFL tight end who won a Super Bowl with Patriots in 2001. Wiggins will have his jersey retired at Airport Stadium in East Boston tonight, along with longtime coach John Sousa, when the Jets host Boston English. It will be a long overdue honor for the North Shore resident who continues to opine and analyze football on TV, radio and on the web. He also runs a football program on the North Shore for young football players, “Train like a Pro … With a Pro.” (Editor’s Note: Wiggins also contributes to a weekly video series on Boston.com called “Inside the Playbook.”)
“You know I didn’t really expect it,” Wiggins explained. “It wasn’t something I thought about.
“I was a good player in high school, [but] more of a basketball player,” Wiggins continued. “I didn’t set a whole lot of records. Basketball is more of where I laid my hat.”
Wiggins’ old basketball coach, Michael Rubin, now the headmaster at East Boston High School, approached him about being getting his jersey retired.
“Hopefully, it’ll show my kids that with hard work -- and the kids that go to East Boston high school, -- is that anything can be done,” Wiggins said. “To me, that’s the biggest accomplishment. Is, you know, have those kids see that.”
East Boston High School’s head soccer coach Lorenzo Dibenedetto earned his 200th career coaching victory as his Jets thrashed Boston International, 6-3, Thursday at Memorial Stadium in East Boston.
Entering the game, Dibenedetto, 52, chose not to inform his team about the potential milestone.
“This group wasn’t aware of it. I wanted to concentrate on the kids getting the victory and playing well,” said Dibenedetto, a 1977 East Boston High School graduate. “Afterwards we celebrated and it was a special moment to share with my players.”
The Jets led 3-1 after the first half after senior midfielder and captain Carlos Ruiz scored two finesse goals. Ruiz had an encore performance in the second half and scored two goals within 10 minutes of each other.
“Carlos has been playing varsity for four years and is probably one of the top players in the city of Boston,” Dibenedetto said. “He is a multifaceted player and can play forward and midfielder.”
Ruiz, who was named an all-state player last year after scoring a team high 24 points, leads East Boston (2-0) with six goals and four assists after two games this season.
In his day, Dibenedetto was also a standout soccer player for East Boston. The former Jet finished his career as an All-New Englander as well as a city league all-star and enrolled in Middlebury College in Vermont where he was a four year starter.
His passion for soccer eventually took him overseas where he played for Barbarino Al Mugullo, an Italian club team, while he worked on his Master’s degree in Italian Literature at the University of Florence in 1982.
He began coaching in 1997 at Madison Park and after eight years began his head coaching career at East Boston where he has lead the Jets to three Boston City League Championships and five finals appearances.
“We have a very successful program at East Boston High,” Dibenedetto said. “It has been great to go back to East Boston high and earn this accomplishment.”
Ultimately, Dibenedetto does not want to dwell on his milestone, instead preferring to focus on coaching because this year’s team features an inexperienced lineup, after 13 seniors graduated including seven starters.
“We have a lot of new and young players,” Dibenedetto said. “It’s going to be a long road and it has been nice to get off on the right foot.”
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 email@example.com. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @GlobeSchools for all of the latest updates.
Then there are our winter correspondents:
- Emily McCarthy | @EmilyMcCahthy | BPS correspondent
- Jake Fischer | @GlobeFischer | Boys basketball
- Michelle Fenelon | @michfenelon | Girls basketball
- Andrew MacDougall | @Andy_MacDougall | Boys hockey
- Liz Torres | @etorres446 | Girls hockey
To reach the high school sports department, e-mail email@example.com.