Sports 11-12-2014

RHS football team opens up in second half, rolls past Wilmington, 27-6

It was a tale of two halves for the Revere High football team Friday evening at Wilmington. The worst of times occurred in the opening two quarters in which the Patriots found themselves trailing 6-0 as they entered the locker room. The best of times took place after the intermission as the Patriots scored 27 unanswered points to post a 27-6 victory in a consolation round contest of the Division 3 Northeast MIAA football playoffs.

A combination of tough luck and an at-times listless offensive effort marked the Revere effort through much of the the first half. An apparent 80 yard run from scrimmage for a touchdown by Kaleb Silva was called back for an illegal block and a drive into Wilmington territory fizzled on downs.

However, the Patriots came out firing on all cylinders to start the third period, marching 80 yards on their opening possession, with Silva barreling in from the 20 yard line to tie matters at 6-6. After the Revere defense, which played outstandingly all game, forced a three-and-out, the Patriots launched a 60 yard drive that was highlighted by a 30 yard TD burst by junior quarterback Danny Murphy. With Silva rushing successfully for the two-point conversion, the Pats forged into a 14-6 lead.

Revere continued to assert its control over the host Wildcats, embarking on yet another scoring drive to start the final frame that was capped by a 40 yard jaunt to paydirt by Murphy. A successful PAT kick by Steve Noel put Revere in command, 21-6. The Patriots then put the icing on their victory cake with the duo of Murphy and Silva again doing most of the legwork, Silva scoring on a 30 yard run after a long gain by Murphy had moved the ball into Wilmington territory.

Both Silva and Murphy ended up with 150 yards rushing apiece. Anthony DeStefano also made some key runs when called open, accumulating 45 yards on three carries.

“We made some adjustments in our offense at the half that enabled us to open things up,” said RHS head coach Lou Cicatelli. “Our defense was solid all game and our special teams also played well.”

Cicatelli lauded the defensive efforts of Steve Noel, Mike Norton, Brandon Britto, Gabe Martinez, and Silva. The coach also cited the long kick-offs of senior Jose Ceja, one of which went into the end zone, that kept Wilmington pinned in its own end throughout the second half.

“I was very proud of the team’s performance,” added Cicatelli. “We knocked off a higher-seeded team (Wilmington was the fifth seed in the D-3 Northeast playoff bracket, while the Patriots were seeded eighth) and that was very satisfying.”

Cicatelli and his crew, who stand at 3-6 on the season, now will encounter Danvers Friday evening in a rematch of their earlier contest this season in the last week of September in which the Falcons prevailed 27-0. Kick-off time at Deering Stadium is 7:00.

RHS cross-country teams compete at D-2 state meet

The Revere High girls cross country team put the finishing touch to a successful 2014 season, in which they compiled a superb 6-2 dual meet record, with a fine team effort at the Eastern Mass. Division 2 competition held at the Wrentham training facility Saturday.

“The course was the same as last week with lots of rolling hills, wide open fields, and great spectating,” said RHS head coach Katie Sinnott, referring to the Mass. State Coaches Invitational Meet that was held the week before on the 5K Wrentham course. “The weather on the other hand was completely different.  Though a bit chilly, the sun was shining, the course was dry, and all the girls ran faster than last week.”

Despite a couple of roster changes and substitutions, the Lady Patriots performed well. “Both Nicole Paddock and Monica Posada ran personal bests, each breaking out to realize what they truly can do,” noted Sinnott. “I was proud of all the girls for working hard all season and giving it everything they had.”

Leading the way for Revere was Suellen Guerreiro in  114th place overall in a time of  22:42. Hannah Fitzpatrick was the next Lady Patriot across the line in 119th position with a clocking of 23:04. She was followed by Paddock in 126th in overall 24:05, Jaclynne Dion in 129th in 24:27, Trisha Cheever in 131st in 24:45, Joanna Severino Perez in 135th in 25:42, and Posada in 137th in 26:00.

On the boys’ side, thanks to a combination of prior commitments and injuries on the course (Salah Barhoum and Christ Genty both came up with muscle pulls along the way), senior Bounlaing Chea was the lone Patriot to finish the race. Bounlaing came across the line in a time of 20:34.8, good for 135th place in the large field.

“Bounlaing ran very well,” said boys’ head coach Mike Flynn. “He was 45 seconds faster than he was at last week’s State Coaches Meet. I was very proud of his performance, as I was of every member of the team this year. Everybody improved tremendously from the start of the season to the end. We’ll be looking forward to having a lot of new faces joining the program next year to go along with the boys who are returning.”

Al Blasi was a great baseball coach

By Cary Shuman

The local sports community is mourning the loss of Al Blasi, who was the Revere High baseball coach for 43 years and a popular social studies teacher at the high school. Mr. Blasi died Saturday at the age of 81.

Mr. Blasi was a legendary figure in high school baseball and his stellar career was recognized with induction in to the Massachusetts Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame in 1997.

Blasi helped develop the talents of some of the school’s most illustrious players including Red Sox draft pick Michael Spinelli, Cleveland Indians draft pick Steve Cushing, David Lightbody (New Haven), Vincent Martelli Jr. (Harvard), Kyle Bussey (Curry) and many others.

Dr. Paul Dakin, superintendent of Revere schools, praised Mr. Blasi’s teaching and coaching career.

“Al was an all-around good guy that was appreciated by all staff members and all students,” said Dakin. “He brought a calmness in to school with a deep intellectual, rigorous academic program. He was one of those people who could motivate kids and keep kids in control with his soft approach to teaching and learning. He was a very successful baseball coach and he was beloved by everybody. He was willing to share his knowledge of baseball with others and serve as a mentor to young coaches.”

Dakin said he will be meeting with athletic department personnel to discuss ideas for a school tribute to Mr. Blasi.

“Al was a fixture at the high school for a number of years and many students passed through his classroom and sports teams that would be looking for us to remember his contribution,” said Dakin.

Mickey “Say No To Drugs” Casoli had a 60-year friendship with Mr. Blasi.

“Al Blasi was one of the best baseball coaches around,” said Casoli. “Not only was he a great coach but he was a standup person and a man of real character. I want to extend my sincerest condolence to Al’s family. He will certainly missed by this community and the athletic program.”

Opposing coaches and sports officials said Mr. Blasi’s teams were always well prepared and played the game with sportsmanship.

Former Chelsea High coach Joe Bevere, whose  teams played Revere in the Greater Boston League, remained a close friend with Mr. Blasi following their respective retirements from coaching.

“Al Blasi was a gentleman’s gentleman,” said Bevere. “He was a great guy. You couldn’t find anybody better. He was a real credit to the profession.”
“Al Blasi was an outstanding coach who was very knowledgeable about the game of baseball,” said Chelsea High School director of athletic Frank DePatto. “He was a gentleman and it was always great competing against his teams. He always had his teams ready to play.”

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