Softball Team Awaits Tourney Seeding, Foe

The Revere High softball team, which finished the year with a fine 12-8 record, was awaiting word yesterday (Tuesday) of their seeding and opening round opponent for the Division 1 North Sectional of the MIAA State Softball Tournament.

Although the Lady Patriots had punched their ticket for a  Journey to the Tourney two weeks ago when they notched their 10th victory of the season, they put on one of their best performances of the 2013 campaign last week in a 2-0 triumph at Peabody, which is one of the top teams in the area.

Revere sophomore pitcher Sabrina Palermo turned in a superb pitching performance in which she blinded the normally heavy-hitting Peabody squad. Sabrina fanned 13 Lady Tanners and allowed just one base hit, which came in the bottom of the seventh inning with one out.

“Sabrina was immense,” said RHS head coach Joe Ciccarello. “Considering the strength of her opponent, this may have been the best game of her career.”

Her teammates pushed across the deciding runs in the sixth frame. Ally Hinojosa scored what would prove to the game-winning tally when she got on with a base hit, stole second, went to third on a wild pitch, and then raced home on a sacrifice fly Logan DiCarlo.

The Lady Patriots added an insurance run when Cassandra DiBella walked and eventually worked her away around the bases to come home on a ground ball deep into the hole at second base by Stephanie Gregorio.

“The whole team was pumped and came ready to play,” said Ciccarello. “We started this season with the watchword, ‘Elevate,’ which meant that we wanted to bring our program to the next level after our 10-10 season last year (in which Revere also qualified for the state tourney). We put two more games into the win column from a year ago against two perennially-strong opponents, Lynn Classical and Peabody. Now we want to build on that momentum and make a run in the state tourney.”

Maddrey finishes second in NEC in high jump

Revere High’s Tarik Maddrey brought home a second place ribbon in the high jump in last week’s Northeastern Conference All-League Meet. Maddrey cleared the bar at 6’, 2” to earn eight second place points for the Revere squad.

Tarik also earned two points for the Patriots, who accumulated 23 points in the meet to finish in seventh place among the 12 teams at the meet, with a fifth place effort in the 100 meter dash in a time of 11.82 seconds.

Karim Sahila was the next-highest finisher for the Revere boys, taking third in the 400 meter intermediate hurdles in a clocking of 58.15. Kristi Nushi turned in a superb effort of 4:44.55 to finish in fourth spot in the mile. Omar Morales tossed the shotput 43’, 5” to grab fifth place in that event. Rawlings Toglan sped one lap around the oval in 54.21 to earn a sixth place ribbon in the 400 dash.

Five RHS boys named NEC all-stars, Mosko is named Coach of the Year.

The Revere High boys outdoor track team, which completed an outstanding 6-1 season, placed five of its members on the Northeastern Conference All-Star track team. The quintet are Karim Sahila, Tarik Maddrey, Bobby Rose, Omar Morales and Kristi Nushi.

The boys team also received the NEC Sportsmanship of the year award for the NEC Large Conference.

The Patriots also received another accolade with the naming of head coach Jack Mosko as the NEC Large’s Coach of the Year. This marked the sixth Coach of the Year award for Mosko, who also was named the Coach of the Year for this past indoor track season.

RHS girls conclude successful track season

The 2013 edition of the Revere High girls outdoor track team recently completed a season in which they finished 3-2 (3-4 overall) and in second place in their division of the Northeastern Conference.

The team was under the direction of Revere High teacher Rosalind Murphy, who took over the head coaching reins  this year and immediately developed a great rapport with all of the girls on the team. Murphy, a track standout at Beverly High School and later at UMass-Amherst, brought great expertise in all areas of the sport and was a positive addition to the program. Coach Murphy was well-respected and well-liked by the entire team and was ably assisted by Samnang Ros and former head coach Peter DiGiulio.

The Lady Patriots featured 21 girls who scored at least one point. They were led by senior Captain Caitlyn Caramello, who achieved a team-high 65.25 points. Caitlin competed in several different events,  including the 400 dash and 400 low hurdles, two events in which she never had competed prior to this season.

However, typical of the ultra-coachable athlete that she is, Caitlyn jumped right in and filled the gaps in those two events left by the graduation of former RHS superstar Racquel MacDonald (who now runs at Boston College). Caramello, who is bound for Catholic University in Washington, D.C., attained personal records (PR) in her new events each time that she raced.

Caitlyn also improved her PR in the high jump by leaping 4’,10” on three different occasions.

“Caitlyn surely will be missed as she has been one of Revere’s best track athletes ever in her four years participating in the sport,” said her former head coach, DiGiulio.

Another senior, RHS Class of 2013 Salutatorian Lindsay Gurska (who will attend WPI in the fall), made a big splash in her first year on the outdoor team by earning sixth place ribbons at the recent All-NEC Meet in the 100 meter high hurdles in 17.51 and in the javelin with a throw of 95’, 7” to qualify in the latter event not only for the State Meet, but also for the National Meet in South Carolina in late June.

Lindsay was the second-highest scorer on the team with 60 points and was an inspirational leader for the Lady Patriots all season long.

Other top senior point-scorers included Jen Dandrow (28.5 points) in the hurdles and jumps; Maggie DiPlatzi (20 points) in the distance events; Noelle Galli (19 points) in the shot put and discus; and Danielle Smith in the discus, shot put, and javelin Seniors Allie Sabella and Racquel Neary also put forth fine efforts throughout the season.

Leading the way among the juniors on the team were Comfort Toglan (41.25 points), Brenda Rudecindo (34.75 points), and Nikki Nelson (32.25 points). Comfort excelled in the 200 and tied the RHS record with a clocking of 27.2 seconds vs. Lynn Classical. She also was the top finisher for the Lady Patriots at the All-NEC Meet with a fifth place performance in the 200 dash in 27.58.

Rudecindo set PRs in the 100 hurdles and was part of the state-qualifying 4 x 100 relay team. Nelson ran PRs in the mile and two mile in meet-after-meet and was part of the 4 x 800 relay team that brought home a ribbon at the All-NEC Meet.

“Nikki trains hard daily and heads into her senior year with the sky being the limit,” said her coaches.

Another 11th grader, Angie Buenaventura, was limited by injury, but managed to score 8.25 points in the dashes when she was able to compete. Other junior point-scorers were Herlinda Fernandez (javelin), Taylor O’Neil (mile),  Katie Tuck (discus), and Jacqueline Pisano (hurdles). Sabrina Apel, Victoria Guarino, Lauren Hayes, Maria Maffucci, Nicole Marmol, Sindy Moradel, and Antonia Robinson are all juniors who should be back next year and will be counted upon to  make positive contributions.

Two sophomores who should be making a run at school records next year are Danielle Fortuna in the 800 and Ariana Licata, who is a mere six inches short from reaching the RHS school record in the discus of 87’, 9”.

Yesenia Orango, Immaculate Langat, Cristina Martinez, and Fiona Kerthi are four other 10th graders who scored points and should make major contributions next year. The remaining second year team members are Susan Baghough, Asmaa Belhaouari, Nancy Mancia, Jen Matta, and Olivia Recupero

Finally, a host of freshmen made the track scene this year and some made an immediate impact. Jaclynn Dion stood out as a promising middle distance runner and triple jumper.  “Jaclynn is very coachable and is not afraid to try new events,” said her coaches.

Angeliki Hodaj emerged as one of the team’s top javelin throwers and finished fourth at the NEC freshmen/sophomore meet. Vanessa Leone is a superb athlete who is searching for the events that suit her best. She undoubtedly will make an impact next year.

Other ninth graders who impressed in the sprints and relays this season were twins Angelina and Angelisa Nguyen and My Nguyen (no relation). Justyne Pennachio, Marcela Porpino, Maria Vargas, Rayana Benzohra, Melissa Garcia, Manuela Giraldo, Suellen Guerreiro, Sabrina Oulengzaki and Chaimae Hartout round out the freshmen team members who participated in multiple meets this season.

“All in all, the season went well with a bunch of great kids,” said Murphy. “We can look forward to welcoming back what should be a very young, competitive team in 2014.”

Middle School softball finishes undefeated season

The Revere Middle School softball team finished up an undefeated 2013 season with a 14-10 win at Marblehead May 17. The Junior Lady Patriots, coached by Richie McManus, consisted entirely of seventh and eighth graders, but played a schedule against freshman high school teams. Even so, most of their games were blowouts in the tough Northeastern Conference.

“I was very pleased with the progress that the girls made considering that most of them had not faced that level of competition before,” said McManus. “I was very proud of the way that the girls performed throughout the season and had a great time working with them.”

The team got together at Kelly’s in Saugus last week and RHS varsity coach Joe Ciccarello stopped by to say a few words to the ladies. “It was a great gesture for Coach Ciccarello to stop by and let the girls know how proud he was of them. This team will serve as a great feeder program for his high school team,” noted McManus.

The end of this season brings to a close the Middle School sports program for the 2012-2013 school year. All of the Middle School sports programs enjoyed highly successful seasons and were universally praised not only for their athletic prowess, but more importantly, for their sense of fair play and sportsmanship. All of the Revere teams represented their school and their city in a way that every Revere resident can all be proud of.

RHS boys lacrosse qualifies for tourney

The Revere High boys lacrosse team will play in the opening round of the MIAA Division 1 East State Lacrosse Tournament today (Wednesday) at Billerica at the Marshall Middle School at 4:00 this afternoon.

The Patriots qualified for the post-season state tournament in its first year of varsity play, which is no small feat considering that not one of the team’s players ever had picked up a lacrosse stick until last year.

Earning a tournament berth is an accomplishment in itself, but under the circumstances, it is nothing short of remarkable for a first year varsity program to make a Journey to the Tourney.

The lacrosse program at RHS was the brainchild a year ago of Athletic Director Shaun Hart and high school Assistant Principal Steve Magno. Last year a tryout was held and over 70 kids showed up. After trimming the number down to 26, Magno, as head coach, formed a club team which played a fairly competitive schedule and under his guidance finished a more than respectable 8-5.

After the season, thanks to the success that the team enjoyed, the decision was made to make the jump to a varsity schedule for the 2013 season. Because of a contractual glitch, Magno was forced to step down as coach and Hart hired Mike Guanci, a teacher at Lynn English, as Magno’s replacement. Guanci added Nick Punditt (a lawyer) and Bill Drewnowski (a Revere High School teacher) as his assistants: Three young, tough, knowledgeable guys who ran a tight ship and molded a bunch of novices into a team to be reckoned with.

Hart entered the team into the Northeastern Conference small division and they played against established programs both within the division (Saugus, Salem, Winthrop, and Lynn) and out (Matignon, Malden, Cambridge, Lowell Catholic, and North Shore).

The Patriots played hard every second of every game. At times their inexperience showed, but they were in every game this season except for two and ended up finishing second in the conference at 5-3 and at 9-8 overall, which easily could have been 11-6 or better, having lost in OT to Malden after coming back from a 7-1 third quarter deficit and dropping a heartbreaker to Cambridge on a last second goal.

The credit for the fine season goes to the coaches and the players. These 22 young men bonded from day one. It was a team effort all the way. They won together and picked each other up in the losses.

In order for any lacrosse team to succeed, first and foremost it needs a tough, fearless goalie. Junior Captain Doug Zingali fit that bill perfectly. Zingali turned away shot after shot and kept the Revere squad in just about every game. They say that a goalie is only as good as the defense in front of him and Zingali reaped the benefits of a fine corps of D-men. A lacrosse defenseman is akin to a football lineman, all guts and no glory, and Revere’s long stick brigade was led by junior Ben DiGiulio, who was joined by fellow juniors Matt Roncevich and Taylor Saraceni. They were ably assisted by stellar seniors Austin Powers and Steve Reyes and junior backups John Carnabucci, Kevin Madrigal, and Jeff Kingston, all of whom performed well when called upon.

As in any sport, the glory positions are the scoring ones and the Patriots had a variety of attack men and midfielders who could find the back of the net. Senior Captain Anthony Padova and fellow 12th graders Nick Carini and Kyle Gotham were all multiple goal scorers with juniors Jason Seigal, Mike Ciambelli, Mike Dreeszen, Brian McNitt, and Pope John transfer Stevie Piazza all ringing up numerous goals apiece throughout the season. Senior Chris Venezia, sophomore Dan Redding, and freshman Steve Noel all made major contributions when they stepped on the field.

The most difficult position on a lacrosse team might be the backup goalie and junior Gennaro Cataldo had the perfect disposition for it. He practiced hard every day and patiently waited his turn to contribute. He lent great support to his teammates game after game.

All in all, the RHS boys’ lacrosse team has been an enormous success in its first varsity campaign and with only six seniors (Padova, Reyes, Carini, Gotham, Venezia, and Powers) departing, the program will have at least 16 experienced players to carry on next season.

Already, the Patriot lax team has created quite a buzz throughout the city and there are many athletes considering coming out for the team next year.

The brain “child” of Hart and Magno has matured into a fine, talented group of “young men” of whom the City of Revere can be proud.

RHS boys tennis team top English

The Revere High boys tennis team defeated Lynn English 3-2 last Monday. The Patriots were led to the victory by their three singles players, Mladen Pepic, Ryan Tran, and Nick Mucci, all of whom won in straight sets.

Pepic was a winner at first singles in a tight match, 6-2, 7-6 (7-5), which was the last match of the day to be completed and thus took on the aura of being the dramatic deciding contest. “The English layer came on very strong in that second set, but Mladen rose t the occasion for us,” said RHS head coach Mike Fynn.

Sophomore Ryan Tran handily disposed of his English counterpart at second singles, 6-0, 6-2, and Mucci did likewise at No. 3, 6-0, 6-1.

“Nick has been playing the best tennis of his career,” noted Flynn of Mucci’s recent fine performances.

The first doubles tandem of Satyak Som and Dan Talic played well in a 6-3, 6-2 loss, as did the second doubles duo of Brian Monroy and Talal Kahn in their match despite a 6-2, 6-1 defeat.

The English triumph marked the second straight win for Flynn’s crew and allowed them to end the season on a high note (despite a subsequent season-ending loss to Beverly) with two victories in their last three matches in the concluding week of their 2013 campaign.

“The team worked hard all season and it was fitting that we ended the year in a positive way in the final week,” said Flynn. “We had a great group of seniors in Mladen, Nick, Brian, and Talal and they’ll be sorely missed.

“But we have a nice contingent of returning players who gained a lot of valuable experience this season and we’ll be counting upon them to play a lot during the summer to work on their game,” added the coach, noting that Tran,.Som, Talic, Henry Mancia, Badr Kistas, and Jordael Valdez will be  coming back to lead the Patriots to good things in 2014.

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