Milton Academy senior Peter Graves, who had mutual interest with Harvard football, has chosen to take a postgraduate year before pursuing a spot with the Crimson. He is not headed to Sacred Heart this fall, as one report listed.
The defensive end is leaning towards Phillips Exeter, where he plans on converting to inside linebacker. The Mustangs (8-1 overall) finished their season with a commanding 62-18 win over Dexter in the Tom Flaherty New England Championship Bowl game on Nov. 16, 2013.
“It’s just an extra year for me to develop physically and academically,” Graves said on making his decision. “I need to do both before I get to Harvard.”
Westford Academy (13-4-3) kept their foot wedged in the door of the Super 8 conversation with a 4-2 victory over Billerica on Wednesday night in Woburn.
"That's a very big win for us," said Westford head coach Bob Carpenter.
The No. 12 Grey Ghosts went down early to the Indians in the opening game of the Irish American Shootout at O’Brien Rink, but managed to bounce back quickly, getting two first period goals from sophomore Cam MacDonald to take a 2-1 lead into the first intermission.
"[The first line] just has an unbelievable knack of knowing where the other guys is," said Carpenter. "When [Billerica] scored that first one it got us down a little."
Midway through the second period, the Indians knotted the game at two when Conor Kelly ripped a shot blocker-side on Zach Webert, which is where the score would remain until the third period.
Just three minutes into the final frame, Cam MacDonald notched his third goal of the game, which would stand as the game-winner.
A couple of minutes later, MacDonald would find Ian Speliotis for a 4-2 lead with under ten minutes to play and the Grey Ghosts defense took care of the rest, advancing them to the finals against Milton on Friday night at 8:00 p.m.
"We'd love to get there," said Carpenter of his team's Super 8 chances. "We're going right down to it. We think we're deserving, as many other clubs do. Friday night will be a big night for whoever comes out of that with a win."
In the second game of the night, No. 18 Milton (16-3-2) surprised Woburn in their own building and put a little heat of their own on the Super 8 selection committee with a strong 4-2 victory on Wednesday night.
"I'm not going to say we don't get any respect," said Milton coach Paul Noonan. "This was big for us to maybe start having people talk a little about Milton."
The No. 13 Tanners (12-5-3) played the game without their top defense pair of Adam Tanner and Jake Secatore and the Wildcats took full advantage of it, outplaying Woburn at almost every turn.
Paul Curran got things going for the Wildcats when he skated up the right wing on a shorthanded bid and buried it past Jeremy Flibotte for a 1-0 lead just two minutes into the game.
The Tanners got back at it when Colin Flynn carried the play up the right side, making a great move to pull a defender out of the play at the blue line, and tossed a tape-to-tape pass to Danny Holland on the left side of the net to tie the game at one.
In the second period the Milton attack was insufferable, throwing 16 shots on net and getting two power play goals from Terrance Walsh and Brian Higgins.
"The boys came out in the second period playing hard," said Noonan. "I got a lot seniors and they take charge and they do a nice job."
Despite Joe Connors notching a power play goal of his own to tie the game at two, the Tanners never got any closer and the Wildcats maintained a one goal lead heading into the last fifteen minutes.
As play wound on in the third period, Woburn was unable to mount an attack that sustained any serious pressure and when Paul Curran stole the puck and snapped home his second goal of the game with six minutes to play, the wind was knocked out of the hosts.
"He's all heart, all the time," said Noonan of Curran. "He's been like this since he was a freshman, but what you don't see is how smart he is. All of his decisions seem to be the best one at that particular time."
Milton seems to be peaking at just the right time, winning their eighth straight game and running their Division 1 leading goal total to 114 on the year.
John Magliozzi's decision to honor his commitment to the University of Florida was not a difficult one.
The Milton resident and recent Dexter Academy graduate was drafted in the 35th round by the Tampa Bay Rays and was looking to sign for a bonus "in the $1 million range." The Rays never came close, though, and the standout righthanded pitcher's decision was made for him.
"[The Rays] said they couldn't go there," Magliozzi said. "I had a certain number that my family and I were dealing with. We knew they weren't going to get there and so we said 'That's fine,' and decided to go to school."
At 5-foot-10, Magliozzi has a fastball that hovers in the low 90-mph range and he hit 97 miles per hour at the Aflac All-American Baseball Classic last summer. He was named a Louisville Slugger Preseason First Team All-American before his senior season at Dexter.
Magliozzi had a feeling he would be enrolling at Florida as soon as negotiations with the Rays began. According to him, the Rays never offered anything outside of the "$100,000 range."
He recently returned to Milton after spending six weeks in Gainesville, Fla. where he took two classes and worked out five days a week with Gators strength coach Paul Chandler. He'll return to campus on Thursday to be ready for classes which begin on Aug. 23.
"I can't wait," Magliozzi said. "I really wanna have the opportunity to win an SEC Championship and a National Championship."
Marblehead's Ashley Noyes won the girls' 18-year old division, beating Milton resident and training partner, Sophie Panarese, 6-4, 6-1.
Winchester's Nicole Frenkel beat Ellyse Hamlin (Fairfield, Conn.), 6-2, 6-1, in the girls' 16-year old division.
Frenkel's victory added to her impressive resume, which includes a national title at the Orange Bowl Championships last year.
In the boys' 14-year old division, Charles Shewalter (Winchester) beat top-seeded Weston Brach.
Will Barry of Beverly won the boys' 12-year old division title, beating South Dennis resident Cam Mizzoni in the championship match.
Dennis Clifford is a seven-foot center at Milton Academy averaging 15.8 points per game and will be trading in his Milton orange and blue for the Boston College maroon and gold next season. We got the chance to catch up with the big fella and ask him a few questions after practice – no ladder necessary.What are you most excited about playing basketball at Boston College next season?
Clifford: Mostly I think its just being part of the team and playing college basketball. It seems like they’re a family up there and I can’t wait to be a part of it.
Who was your favorite athlete growing up?
Clifford: Id have to go with Shaquille O’Neal. He’s the most dominant center ever and I always try to be like him.
What’s been the best moment of your basketball career?
Clifford: The best moment I think was the open gym last spring when I first saw [Boston College] coach [Steve] Donauhue. I recognized him from Cornell and after the workout I went over to shake his hand and he was wearing the BC shirt.
What’s been the most embarrassing moment?
Clifford: Seventh grade travel, I was going on a fast break and someone threw me a long pass so I tried to outrun it, but it ended up hitting me in the back of the head and everyone started laughing – so I think that’s got to be the most embarrassing part.
What would you say is the best part of being seven feet tall?
Clifford: The best and worse is you get a lot of attention wherever you go – that can come to bite you in the rear end. I’m always getting attention when I go to public places and people are always talking to me.
Do you ever have a hard time finding a date when you’re seven feet tall?
Clifford: They come easier just cause the girls want to get the attention, the only thing is they won’t stop talking about your height.
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