Effort being renewed to retire Tony Conigliaro’s Red Sox jersey
Mickey “Say No To Drugs” Casoli is among the supporters for long overdue recognition
By Cary Shuman
Richie Conigliaro said his family is renewing its campaign to have his late brother Tony Conigliaro’s Red Sox jersey No. 25 retired.
One of the local supporters of the effort is Mickey “Say No To Drugs” Casoli, who knew Tony C. when he was growing up in Revere and remains a close friend of the Conigliaro family.
“Tony C. was not only a great baseball player but a terrific young man,” said Casoli, a former outstanding athlete himself at Revere High School in the 1940s. “Tony is the youngest player in American League history to win the home run title and to reach the 100-home run mark. He was a local boy and I truly believe he deserves the honor of having his number retired. If not for the injury [a fractured left cheekbone and damaged retina as the result of being hit by a pitch] in the 1967 season, Tony C. would be in the Baseball Hall of Fame today.”
The 64-year-old Richie Conigliaro said he’s grateful for Casoli’s support and friendship.
“Mickey has always been a great friend of the family and supporter of mine and my brothers,” said Richie. “We’re happy that he’s committed to this project.”
Stephen Quigley, president of the Independent Newspaper Group, joined Conigliaro and Casoli for the announcement of the Tony C. jersey retirement campaign.
Richie Conigliaro said he is requesting a meeting with Sox owners John Henry and Tom Werner to discuss the possibility of retiring Tony’s number.
“We had over 250,000 signatures the last time, but the former [Red Sox] owners didn’t consider it,” said Conigliaro. “We want to sit down with Mr. Henry and Mr. Werner and talk about it. We have so many people helping us, including my brother Billy [who also played for the Boston Red Sox] and the Farrelly brothers, Bobby and Peter.”
Richie Conigliaro remembers fondly the days when he was a baseball star at Swampscott High School and his two older brothers, Tony and Billy, were playing for the Red Sox at the time.
“When I was a senior in high school, I was the captain of my baseball team and the starting outfield for the Red Sox was Yaz [Carl Yastrzemski] in left, Billy in center, and Tony in right.”
Anyone who watched Tony C. play for the Sox in the mid-1960s realized he was a developing superstar. A pull hitter with a swing tailor-made for Fenway’s Green Monster, Tony C. quickly became one of the most feared sluggers in the game. Most baseball fans projected the powerful 6-foot-3-inch right-handed hitting “Conig” as a threat to break Babe Ruth’s existing all-time home run record. (Both Hank Aaron and Barry Bonds eventually surpassed Ruth’s record).
“Tony should have his number retired – everyone agrees with that,” said Richie Conigliaro.
Mickey “Say No To Drugs” Casoli remembers the Congiliaro family’s home on Tapley Avenue in Revere.
“Tony and Billy used to play baseball at Ambrose Park,” recalled Casoli. “They were out there all the time until the sun went down.”
The Conigliaro family lived in Revere until 1951 when Sal and Theresa Conigliaro and three sons moved to East Boston. In 1962, the family relocated to Swampscott. Tony C. attended St. Mary’s High School in Lynn before being drafted by the Boston Red Sox. The high school gymnasium at St. Mary’s is named in memory of Tony Conigliaro.
Richie Conigliaro said in addition to the jersey retirement campaign, there is also a movie proposal in the works about Tony’s life.
Anthony Richard “Tony” Conigliaro died in 1990 at the age of 45. Richie has honored the memory of his deceased brother by naming one of his sons, Anthony Conigliaro II. The next “Tony C.” is a student at St. John’s Prep in Danvers where he is the second baseman for the freshman baseball team.
RhS sports Roundup
Flanders wins two NEC titles at league meet; Cevallos is high jump champ
Revere High senior Josh Flanders won two Northeastern Conference championships at this past weekend’s All-NEC Meet.
Flanders captured the 110 high hurdles in a time of 16.11 (compared to 16.23 for the runner-up) and took the top spot in the long jump with a leap of 20’-11”, which was eight inches longer than his closest opponent.
In addition, Josh was a member of the 4 x 100 relay team (along with teammates David Sinatra, Andy Em, and Talal Hamza) that took fourth place in a time of 46.24. Altogether, Josh scored 21 points at the meet, a total that is believed to be the highest ever recorded by an RHS boys track and field athlete at an NEC conference meet. He also is the first to win two individual titles at an all-NEC meet.
“Josh had a monster day,” said RHS head coach Sam Ros. “Josh’s road to being a double champion was not foreseen by anyone. We knew he had a legitimate shot to win the long jump, which he proved to everyone. The hurdles was a surprise win.”
Ros noted that Flanders only took up the hurdles a few weeks ago. “He was just messing around with the hurdles by jumping over and between them,” said Ros. “When I saw this, I told him to do a few things differently and he was picking it up quickly. I didn’t entertain the thought of him hurdling in a race back then because we didn’t have much practice time for it.
“Two weeks ago, we set up half the hurdles and I had Josh try to go over them again which he did. Then, I taught him how to really hurdle instead of jumping. Finally, the week of NEC’s, we fixed his start and taught him to sprint between the hurdles. I timed him in a race against himself with all 10 hurdles and he ran 17.0. I entered him for the conference meet knowing we would spend all week trying to refine his hurdling even more and with competition, I knew he could run in the 16s. I knew he had a shot to score, but winning it was a surprise.”
In the finals of the hurdles, teammate David Sinatra (who had finished second to Flanders in the preliminaries) had the lead until the eighth hurdle, when he had the bad luck to hit it, taking David out of the race. (Sintara ended up in eighth place in 18.29).
“Luckily, Josh was right on David’s heels and took over the lead with David out,” noted Ros. “Josh’s win was as much a surprise to me as it was for everyone else that day. It’s a shame that I can’t coach Josh for more than just this one season. He has so much potential.”
As for Sintara, the day was not lost entirely, as David ended up with a third place medal in the long jump with a leap of 19’-7.75” in addition to running a leg of true 4 x 100 medalist quartet.
Although Flanders’s double-victory was the main headline for the RHS squad, a number of other Patriots also turned in stellar efforts that helped propel Revere to a fourth place finish (out of the 12 NEC schools) with 49 points.
Nelson Cevallos earned the title of NEC champion in the high jump, crossing the bar at 6’-0”, to win the event on fewer misses than his closest rival from Peabody, who also cleared the six-foot mark.
“Nelson was a relative unknown this past year going back to indoor track,” said Ros. “HIs first season with the team was indoor track of last year. He had no clue what he was going to do for an event. I saw potential in him for the high jump. It was not an easy task at first. He was barely able to make opening height in his first meet. But by the end of indoor track junior year, we got him getting up to 5’10 for a personal record (PR).
“Then this year, he came back out for the team and was able to get confidence in himself that he could be one of the top jumpers in the conference,” continued Ros. “During indoor he PR’ed with a 6’-0”. He wasn’t sure about coming out for outdoor track, but I was able to convince him to join with the goal of jumping 6’-2”. That 6’-2” PR was achieved last weekend at the State Coaches Invite. He just missed out on a medal there.
“So going into the conference meet, I knew Nelson was one of only two jumpers who have cleared 6’2” this season,” added Ros. “I had a feeling that if Nelson could jump at least 6’-0”, he would be in the driver’s seat for the win, which he did, and beat out the boy from Peabody, who also cleared six feet, with fewer misses.”
Senior Zak Attioui, who was only completing his second year of track, continued to be the Patriots’ top distance runner this year. Though Zak did not run a best time, his time of 4:47.7 in the mile was good enough to finish fourth and to earn a medal.
“The mile race was a battle right from the start and Zak was right in the middle of it all,” said Ros.”Some of the conference’s top milers, some of whom have beaten Zak during the season, were all gunning for each other. There was a lot of jostling around for position. It was such a battle that we even saw one runner get tripped up and fall on the track with two laps to go.
“Luckily, Zak was able to avoid that mishap,” continued Ros. “However, half a lap later he was tripped from behind by a Lynn Classical runner, but was able to stay on his feet. The slow time is a testament to how tough of a strategic race it was. Zak has worked hard all year and I was happy to see him earn a medal in his last high school race ever.”
Ros also was effusive in his praise of Pho Tran, who grabbed a fourth place medal in the javelin with a throw of 129’-2”.
“Pho showed why he was a top thrower all season,” said Ros. “He would have scored in any of the three throwing events, but we entered him in the javelin because he likes it the most. Throwing conditions weren’t too favorable as there was a slight breeze and the runway was on grass that had uneven footing. Nonetheless, Pho was able to get in a throw good enough to earn that medal.”
In the 4 x 100 relay, Sinatra gave Revere a great start. Flanders took the baton from David and extended Revere’s fine beginning. When his exchange with Em was perfect, Revere was on pace to run a fast time.
Unfortunately Andy’s hand-off to Hamza had a little snafu. Andy’s first pass to Talal missed. Talal was smart enough to realize that the end of the exchange zone was fast approaching. He slowed down enough to almost a complete stop to get the baton in time and not get disqualified.
“Had that hand-off gone smoothly, we probably could have run a second faster,” noted Ros.
The 4 x 800 relay team of Zak Attioui, Sebastian Mejia, Arthur Lacerda, and Alexis Umana earned a sixth place medal for Revere.
“Alexis deserves a lot of credit for this one,” said Ros. “The original relay team had our top 800 runner, Zach Gentile, as part of the team, but I made a last-minute decision to replace Zach with Alexis. To Alexis’s credit, he did not panic or deny the opportunity. Some runners would have caved under that last-minute pressure. Thankfully, Alexis ran tough and the team was able to hang on to score.
“The conference meet was a great way for us to end the season,” concluded Ros. “It validated us as a team that we can keep up with the rest of the conference in big championship meets. Our team doesn’t have the depth to beat some of these teams head-to-head, but when it comes to our big dogs versus theirs, we can compete with any of them.”
A contingent of Ros’s squad now will compete in the upcoming state divisional meet.
Boys’ lacrosse team
extends winning streak
The Revere High boys lacrosse team remained undefeated in the month of May, extending its winning streak to nine games, with a pair of victories this past week over Everett (13-3) and Malden (18-4) last Thursday on Senior Night.
The Patriots have been on cruise control in their last three contests, outscoring their opponents by a combined score of 39-9.
“We seem to be hitting our stride,” said RHS head coach Steve Magno, whose squad stands at a lofty 14-5 mark with one game left to play in the regular season. “We’ve been on fire offensively and our defense has been superb. We have some great individual players, but what’s really been the key to our success is that we have been playing as a team — attack, midfield, and defense — and spreading around the offense, which will be essential as we head into the post-season state tourney.”
Freshmen Eric Bua has been superb for Revere on face-offs and clears and has added eight points in the past two games. The Patriot attack unit has been torching defenses over the past two games: Eddie Sullivan and Anthony DeStefano have led the way with 10 points each. Dan Muller has scored six points and Rickie Briana has chipped in four points.
The midfield unit also has been outstanding with fine, two-way lacrosse and also has added some scoring punch, led by Steve Noel with nine points, Wes Spagnuolo with four points, and one point each for Nick Sujko, Matt Stasio, Kevin Chiles, John DiGregorio. Sebastian Bolivar, and Felipe Catano-Medina. Vito Grillo also has gotten into the fray with several quality scoring chances.
The Patriot defensive unit of Mike Dellorfano, Kevin Chiles, Julian Giraldo, Nick Smith, Jordi Palma, Cody Jeglinski, and Jason Reyes has been stingy. “Not only have they shut down the opponents’ offense, they have improved greatly with clearing the ball and making smooth transitions from defense to offense,” said Magno.
In the Everett victory, Revere wasted little time in seizing control of the contest. “The guys were well-prepared for the game, as we put six goals on the board right away,” said Magno. “It was nice to see the team get out to an early lead so we could start to implement a number of things we have been working on in practice. We were also able to utilize the bench more during this game. Every player got significant playing time. This experience is critical in order to continue to develop the team from year-to-year. We put together a solid game from beginning to end.”
A gleaming Harry Della Russo Stadium provided an electric atmosphere for Thursday evening’s Senior Night game and festivities, as the Patriots bade farewell to their six seniors — captain Steve Noel captain Mike Dellorfano, Alex Rindone, Kevin Chiles, Jordi Palma, and Joe Ristino — and honored them for their contributions to the RHS boys lacrosse program.
“We’ve received great leadership from our seniors, especially Steve and Mike, our captains, and Kevin is an example of someone who really has come into his own on defense,” said Magno.
Revere came out firing on all cylinders, scoring early and often to take a 13-1 lead at the half. Among the highlights of the contest were the first goal of the season by Ristino, who joined the lacrosse team this season, and an unusual goal by Cam Mazza, the Patriot goalie, whose clearing pass of 80 yards bad-bounced past the Malden goalie and all the way into the Malden net.
“It was great to dominate on Senior Night in front of a number of fans and alumni who packed Harry Dello Russo Stadium,” said Magno. “It was a great offensive and defensive display. We were able to showcase the sport and show how far this program has grown in our four short varsity seasons.”
Magno and his crew were set to close out their regular season this past Monday with a rematch against Everett and then will await word of their seeding and pairing in the first round of the Division 1 MIAA state tournament, which is expected to be announced Friday.
RHS girls lacrosse
team wins two contests
The Revere High girls lacrosse team won both of its games this past week, defeating Winthrop, 11-6, and Saugus, 13-4.
In last Monday’s contest at Winthrop, the Lady Patriots were able to control the game play, which enabled coach Karen Atkinson’s squad to run through their offenses for a majority of the game.
Kiana Napolitano and Amina Mansouri both notched a hat trick. Emily DiGiulio and Dzenana Omerovic scored two goals apiece and Jenna Wells added a single tally. Marina Robinson earned three assists and Napolitano also was created with an assist.
RHS goalie Shateya Travis stopped 10 Winthrop shots.
In the victory at Saugus two days later, Napolitano led the scoring with three goals. Mansouri and DiGiulio both reached the back of the enemy net twice, and Robinson, Omerovic, Taylor Giuffre-Catalano, Danela Ortez, Gloria Pais, and Lily DelloIacono scored one goal apiece.
DiGiulio, Robinson, and DelloIacono also were credited with one assist each and Travis made seven saves.
“Defensively we were beat in the transition, which resulted in the goals being scored against us in those games. That is something we will need to focus on next year,” noted Atkinson.
The Lady Patriots, who now stand at 6-12 on the season, were set to play at Salem this past Monday and will host Gloucester today (Wednesday).
Shanbar takes third
at all-NEC Meet; Perez
is fourth in 400 hurdles
Rachel Shanbar took third place in the discus with a throw of 86’-7” for the Revere High girls track team in Saturday’s Northeastern Conference Meet.
Rachel’s strong toss also qualified her for the upcoming Division 1 State Meet this weekend.
“Rachel was a scoring machine for us this season, scoring in every meet and finishing the year with a team-leading 54 points,” said RHS head coach Antonio LaBruna.
Teammate Helen Perez ran a personal record (PR) time of 71.2 in the 400 hurdles to bring home a fourth place medal in the NEC meet. “Helen did a great job conditioning herself all year long,” said LaBruna. “She ran cross-country in the fall, worked extremely hard during the indoor season, and has been alternating between mid-distance and distance workouts this spring. She was only 1.8 seconds off the NEC champ, so bigger and better things are sure to come for Helen during her senior season.”
The Lady Patriot 4 X 800 team of Hannah Fitzpatrick, Suellen Guerreiro, Trisha Cheever, and Helen Perez gutted-out an 11:08 to finish sixth in the NEC.
“All four of the girls ran tough, highly-competitive races earlier in the meet and Hannah and Trisha were coming off an 800 race about 15 minutes earlier, so I was happy they were able to fight off a couple of teams to grab a point for us,” noted LaBruna.
At the D-1 meet this Sunday in Somerville, Shanbar will be competing in the discus and shot-put, Perez will compete in the 400M hurdles, and the 4 X 100 team of Claritza Vasquez, Angelina Nguyen, Catherine Elam, and Duyen Nguyen will round out the Revere entries. Duyen is replacing Janine So, who injured her quad during her leg of the 4 X 100M relay on Saturday at the NEC Meet. Janine has been ruled out for Sunday.
Rough week for
RHS softball team
The Revere High softball team endured a rough stretch this past week, dropping all three of its encounters,
“It’s just not so much that we are losing, it’s how we are losing,” said RHS head coach Joe Ciccarello. “We are giving up too many unearned runs.”
Last Wednesday’s loss to Lynn Classical was a case in point. Revere was trailing by a slim 3-2 margin when the Patriots yielded six unearned tallies in the fourth that allowed the game to get out of reach.
In a 7-5 loss to Peabody the following day, Revere was ahead, 3-1, thanks primarily to a two run homer by Victoria Correia, but four unearned runs propelled Peabody into a 5-3 lead.
The Lady Patriots rallied to tie matters in the sixth thanks to base hits by twins Taylor and Jordan Sullivan, who recently have been called up to the varsity, but errors allowed Peabody to push across two markers in the seventh.
The Lady Patriots threatened in the bottom of the seventh, placing two runners on base with no outs, but could not deliver a timely base hit.
“We have got to find our game or we are going limping into the tournament,” said Ciccarello, whose squad stands at 10-6 on the season and concludes its regular season’s schedule with four games this week. The Lady Patriots were set to play at Wakefield yesterday (Tuesday) and then entertain Lynn English today, Everett Saturday at 11:00, and Marblehead Monday at 11:00. The three home games are scheduled for Ambrose Field.
RHS girls track
edged by Gloucester
The Revere High girls track team narrowly dropped a 72-63 decision to Gloucester last Monday (May 16) in the final dual meet of the season.
“Gloucester really beat us up in the running events and won a couple of events that could have gone either way so it was definitely a tough loss,” said RHS head coach Antonio LaBruna. “I was happy with our team’s compete level and we ran some good times despite a brutal cross-wind that lasted throughout the meet.”
First place finishers in their events for Revere were:
Estefania Velasquez (High Hurdles) 17.9
Helen Perez (400M) 73.0
Janine So (Javelin) 89’1
Rachel Shanbar (Shot-put) 27’10
Rachel Shanbar (Discus) 80’8
4X400M Relay (Hannah Fitzpatrick, Monica Posada, Liza Gonzalez, Trisha Cheever) 5:09
Second place finishers who added three points to the Lady Patriot cause were:
Angelina Nguyen (100M) 13.5 (PR)
Arielys Garcia (Javelin) 78’5
Azra Lakacha (Shot-put) 22’1
Anela Demir (Discus) 66’5 (PR)
Valentina Montoya (High Jump) 4’4
Catherine Elam (Long Jump) 14’4 ½ (PR)
Catherine Elam (Triple Jump) 30’3
Third place finishers contributing single points were:
Amanda Edmunds (High Hurdles) 20.6
Estefania Velasquez (400M Hurdles) 77.3
Janine So (100M) 13.9
Catherine Elam (200M) 29.1
Helen Perez (400M) 67.5
Suellen Guerreiro (2 Mile) 13:27
Estefania Velasquez (Javelin) 66’3
Anela Demir (Shot-put) 20’9 ½
Janine So (Discus) 61’5
Claritza Vasquez (Long Jump) 14’3
Hannah Fitzpatrick (Triple Jump) 28’5
Hannah Fitzpatrick (Mile) 6:13
“There were a few events that could have gone either way including long jump, which was decided by a half inch, and the 100M and 4X100M relay where they edged us at the finish. That was the difference,” said LaBruna. “We outscored Gloucester 27-0 in the throwing events. It was nice to see our throwers have big days.”