Revere High softball has been very good for years. There have been excellent players that have made the team competitive every time it stepped on the diamond at the former Hill Park.
From the great pitcher Jen Wells (who helped Revere upset powerful Bishop Fenwick) to our city clerk, Ashley Melnik who went on to star in college, to Nancy Arsenault, Lisa Sliwinski, Colleen Dolan, the Polsonetti and the Ardagna sisters and so many other standouts – the Lady Patriots have been perennial contenders for league supremacy.
Championships, however, have always been elusive. But last Friday afternoon on a quaint field surrounded by commuter trains rolling on tracks above the outfield fence, boats docked in the water just past the left field foul pole, a bowling alley sitting next door, and it all transpiring in a light rain, head coach Joe Ciccarello and his determined players beat Beverly 2-0 to take home the Northeastern Conference championship.
The optimism was high as Ciccarello and assistant coaches Butch Bruno and Paige Licata assembled the team in the preseason. Revere had the best pitcher in the league in Sabrina Palermo returning, but did it have the heart, tenacity, and togetherness to be a champion?
We had watched Joe Ciccarello accomplish great things in the past. He was a master motivator and championship builder for Savio Prep softball and ice hockey teams that exceeded expectations each season. This year’s RHS hockey team was another example of how Joe gets the best out of each one of his student-athletes.
Ciccarello challenged this year’s softball team to be great and the players did not back down from the challenge. They worked hard but more importantly they worked together, never letting individual goals get in the way of the grandest prize of all: the right to be called a champion forever.
We would be remiss if we didn’t recognize the leadership of the athletic program by director of athletics Shaun Hart, who made the trek to Beverly to root on the Lady Patriots in their biggest softball game in years. Hart has been so very supportive of all of Revere’s sports teams and he wanted to be there in person when one of his team’s had a chance to make school history.
And finally, a word of appreciation to legendary coach Peter DiCarlo, who set the foundation to this unforgettable season by coaching many of these players – including his daughter, RHS team captain and NEC Scholar-Athlete Award recipient Logan DiCarlo – on the Revere middle school softball team.
We congratulate the RHS softball team on their championship season and wish them well in the State Tournament. We hope Revere residents will be there on Sunday to support the team as it begins its postseason run.