Revere Roundup

Panzini is the front man

Whether he finishes first, last, or somewhere in the middle, there’s no doubt that Chris Panzini is the pace setter of the Revere High School boys cross country team.

A senior captain and a four-year runner, Panzini stands as the vocal and emotional leader of this year’s squad, which was slated to open the season yesterday (September 15) at Danvers. His leadership skills were evident during the pre-season, when he organized captain’s practices for a team that has a lot of new faces in uniform and a new coach at the helm.

“He’s extremely dedicated and a great leader,” coach Michael Flynn said of Panzini. “I’m very proud of what he’s done for the program.”

Flynn is a teacher in the Revere public schools. He went to high school at Dom Savio, where he ran for Paul Dakin, former Savio headmaster and current superintendent of schools in Revere. Flynn succeeds Steve Pavey as coach of the Patriots.

“I’m excited about the present and future of the team,” Flynn said. “We’ve got a really nice mix of upper- and underclassmen.”

In addition to Panzini, Flynn will rely heavily on seniors David Krassnoff, Robert Driscoll and Jonathan Tran to put together consistent performances.

Two juniors, Ernesto Bonilla and Anthony Cantone, have had impressive pre-season workouts, Flynn said, and both should be among Revere’s top finishers on a weekly basis.

The sophomore class also has Flynn buzzing. Brian Collins, Nick Tran (Jonathan’s brother) and Michael Stotnaiuolo are what the head coach calls “the present and future”.

All three finished inside the top 75 of last year’s season-ending Northeastern Conference junior varsity meet.

Three freshmen will also suit up for the varsity — William Truong, Rowlings Toglen and Kristi Nushi.

The Patriots will run their first home meet at the 2.89-mile Belle Isle course on Tuesday, September 22, vs. the Gloucester Fishermen.

Girls cross country team  is long on experience

The Revere High School girls cross country team returns most of its key performers from a year ago, and appears to be in position to pass some of its competitors in the Northeastern Conference.

The team’s top three finishers in last year’s NEC meet are back to headline coach Katie Sinnott’s lineup: Jessica Simpson and the Hough sisters, Colby and Tayla. In 2008, Simpson finished 35 out of 72 runners in the season-ending NEC meet, while Colby and Tayla finished 37th and 39th, respectively.

Seniors Liz Nutile, Joanna Greene, Margaret Cresta, Andrea Ornelas, Theresa Santiano-McHatton, Stephanie Leonard and Angelica Cimino also return to give the Patriots an impressive amount of depth. Newcomers include seniors Shay Nelson and Melissa Patti.

Freshman Caitlyn Caramello should also see some action in varsity races. As an eighth-grader last year, she finished 13th (out of 244 runners) in the NEC middle school race.

The Patriots ran vs. Danvers on September 15. They compete against Gloucester next Tuesday.

Boys soccer team takes aim at a postseason berth

A new year has begun, and a new coach is at the helm. Time will tell if a new era is underway for the Revere High boys soccer team.

Coach Niklas Tower is now in charge of the Patriots, and he is confident that he can build RHS into a consistent winner in the Northeastern Conference.

“There’s a lot of talent in Revere,” said Tower, a teacher in the system who spent that past four years coaching for his high school alma mater, Melrose, of the Middlesex League. “We’re working hard with these guys. The goal is to compete for the NEC title.”

If that sounds like the brazen musings of a first-year coach, it shouldn’t. Revere had solid seasons in 2007 and 2008, but was unable to establish itself as a consistent force in the conference. Last year’s season ended in particularly frustrating fashion. Needing two points (a win or two ties) to qualify for the state tournament, the Pats dropped their last three games of the campaign and remained home for the postseason. Still, a foundation is in place. A proverbial push, and the 2009 Patriots could fulfill the promise of the 2007 and 2008 teams by qualifying for the postseason, which Tower calls “Priority No. 1”.

The Patriots opened the season with a 3-1 non-league loss to Malden Catholic last Friday night, a performance that Tower chalked up to early season jitters. “There’s definitely a learning curve, and that showed in the first half,” he said. After falling behind 2-0 early in the first half, the Patriots settled down and placed MC to a 1-1 draw the rest of the way, with the Revere’s goal coming off the foot of senior Carlos Aguilar.

Tower said he is stressing team building, and he’s hesitant to put too much pressure on any one or group of individuals. He has 20 players on the varsity rosters, and that definitive positions and roles will be determined as the team makes its way through the first part of its schedule.

One position, however, is settled. Junior Alfonzo Rosales is the team’s starting goalie, and Tower said he has the chance to be one of the best ‘keepers in the NEC. The team’s captain is senior Max Ochoa, while brothers Brenny and Jensi Guzman are also sure to crack the starting lineup.

Revere will play its first home game on Thursday vs. Lynn English.

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