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York's Langenheim on the move again

Sport: Football  Posted: April 2nd, 2008 by Tom Nolette

York's Langenheim on the move again
By Jay Pinsonnault
April 02, 2008 6:00 AM

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Scott Langenheim left York High School and a probable captain's position with the school's football team last summer to help support his father, who was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer.

After spending the first half of the school year at Marshwood High School, Langenheim returned to York High School in January, once his father became cancer-free after a couple of successful surgeries.

However, once again Langenheim will not be at York this fall when the upcoming school year begins.

But this time the move is a positive one for Langenheim and his family.

The 6-foot, 215-pound Langenheim attended the third annual Blue Chip Football Invitational, featuring more than 200 of New England's finest football prospects.

"We were just trying to position Scott to be able to play college football," Langenheim's father, Don said. "Going to this combine was somewhat out of the blue. We really didn't know this was possible. It really caught us by surprise."

Langenheim's performance at the December event in Sudbury, Mass., attracted the attention of several New England prep school coaches.

Langenheim ran a time of 4.17 seconds in the shuttle, 4.72 in the 40-yard dash, had a vertical leap of 27 inches and had nine reps of 185 pounds at the bench press.

Seven schools were interested in Langenheim joining their program for the 2008 season, and he applied at four schools. He was accepted at all four schools, before accepting a full scholarship to attend The Taft School in Watertown, Conn. Langenheim, a junior at York, will have to repeat his junior year next season.

"I am really excited," said Langenheim, who will also play lacrosse at the New England Class A conference school. "It will be a tough program, but I feel blessed given this opportunity."

Langenheim also was accepted to The Gunnery (Conn.), Kents Hill School and Tabor (Mass.) Academy, but accepted Taft's offer shortly after his visit.

"Walking onto campus really takes your breath away," Langenheim said. "It's an amazing school. They are ranked in the top 10 academically, and that really caught my eye. The football team has notoriously done well. I seemed to click with the football team."

Langenheim said Taft first-year head coach Panos Voulgaris told him he would be the school's starting middle linebacker in the fall.

"Coach (Voulgaris) is a great guy," Langenheim said. "They went 2-6 last season and he's looking to change things up a bit."

Langenheim is scheduled to visit the school and coaching staff again this Friday.

"It just gives me a chance to meet with the kids on the football team and sit in on a class," Langenheim said.

Dan Langenheim was diagnosed with eccrine cancer last spring and moved to South Berwick due to financial reasons.

"It was a pretty hard time for my family," Scott said. "He was forced to move, and I decided to go with him and enroll at Marshwood. It was a difficult decision to leave York. I missed those guys and the coaches, but I wanted to support my dad."

Langenheim, who saw a lot of playing time at York his freshman and sophomore seasons, was third on the depth chart at Marshwood before starting the game against Bonny Eagle, then ranked 36th in the country. Langenheim had 11 tackles, one interception return for 64 yards, two quarterback hurries and one forced fumble.

"That was the high note of the season for me," Langenheim said. "I struggled at the beginning because I had two senior captains ahead of me and Marshwood doesn't welcome newcomers too well. I kind of grew with the team as the year went on. I missed York, and had the opportunity to go back and I did. York welcomed me back with open arms and I was excited to be back."

Langenheim will once again leave York, but this time under much different circumstances.

Sirois ready to lead York baseball program

Sport: Baseball  Posted: April 2nd, 2008 by Tom Nolette

Sirois ready to lead York baseball program
By Jay Pinsonnault
April 02, 2008 6:00 AM

Don Clark/dclark@seacoastonline.com First-year York High School baseball coach Richard Sirois talks with pitcher Alex Blasik at the first day of tryouts last week.Don Clark/dclark@seacoastonline

Richard Sirois has enjoyed success the past two seasons as the York High School junior varsity baseball coach. He hopes that success continues this season in his first year at the helm of the varsity team.

Sirois was hired last December as the school's baseball coach, replacing Gordon Lewis, who resigned from the position after two seasons.

"Gordon (Lewis) was a very good mentor off the baseball field for me," Sirois said. "I have all the respect in the world for Gordon. When I was hired, he kind of left me alone. He knows our styles were a little bit different, so I think he wanted me to implement my style by myself. I am somewhat more of a disciplinarian.

"These kids have the potential to be very good and win some games this year," Sirois continued. "They need to work hard, they need to be more disciplined and they have to set the goal high enough. The seniors here are very familiar with how I run my program. This isn't anything new to them and it appears they have embraced me."

The York junior varsity team went 26-6 under Sirois the last two seasons.

"There's enough talent here to win," Sirois said. "But you have to want to win. I have had the majority of these kids with me at the JV level and these kids know how to win with me. They know what I expect. I know everybody will make physical errors from time to time, but what we want to do is to eliminate the mental errors."

Sirois coached baseball at the junior varsity level at Presque Isle for six seasons before coming to York to get away from "188 inches of snow."

"I think it will take little time to instill wanting to win with this group, I think it will come quickly," Sirois said. "My biggest challenge with high school baseball is keeping enough fresh arms to succeed because of the pitching rule. If I can get four or five kids who can succeed on the mound, we will be highly successful. The kids here are talented enough to do very well."

Sirois also coached varsity golf for seven seasons at Presque Isle, building a "dull" program with six or seven kids to a "cool" program with 25 to 30 kids.

"Coaching at the varsity level is not something new to me," Sirois said. "I had some talented golfers who wanted to compete at a high level. We may not have had the most athletic kids, but they were extremely dedicated golfers. We were second or third in the state a couple of years, and won a couple regionals. To be successful in high school athletics, you have to be dedicated and focused and you have to set the goal high enough."

The only games that matter are conference

Sport: Softball  Posted: April 2nd, 2008 by Tom Nolette

By Jenn Menendez

STACEY SULLIVAN'S softball team may have 29 losses, but she said the 2-1 record in America East is what counts.

The team went 2-1 against Stony Brook last weekend, pulling out a 10-5 victory Saturday and an 8-6 extra-innings win to close the series Sunday.

The Black Bears lost 7-2 in the second game of Saturday's doubleheader.

"The only games that matter are conference," said Sullivan. "We weren't as phased by our record as I think everyone else was. We knew what we were gaining and we believe in our strengths. We are peaking, hopefully, at the right time now."

The team batting average on the weekend was .392, said Sullivan, topped by the performance of freshman Tarren Hall, who hit two home runs in Sunday's game and was named the America East Rookie of the Week.

Sullivan said she set up a tough schedule to prepare the team for conference play.

"We've always played a cake schedule," said Sullivan. "We're trying to change the culture of this program. We're trying to expose them to what college softball is. We'll see how it pans out. We're certainly not coloring in May 11 to 13 (the league tournament) on our calendar yet, but as my assistant said to me today we are so much further along than we were at this point last year. People need to be a little patient with us."

Staff Writer Jenn Menendez can be contacted at 791-6426 or at:


UMAINE BEAT Black Bears bitten by talent in recruiting

Sport: Hockey (Boys)  Posted: April 2nd, 2008 by Tom Nolette

UMAINE BEAT Black Bears bitten by talent in recruiting
Andrew Sweetland leaves Maine after a year for the NHL, a growing trend.

JENN MENENDEZ April 2, 2008

The changing landscape of college hockey was brought to the forefront again this week when forward Andrew Sweetland, an undrafted freshman, signed with the Florida Panthers, forfeiting three years of college eligibility.

Sweetland is the latest in a string of freshman free agents who have left after one year at Maine. Teddy Purcell signed with the Los Angeles Kings last spring, and Dustin Penner signed with the Anaheim Mighty Ducks in 2004.

"I knew our window of opportunity with Andrew would not last more than a year or two," said Maine Coach Tim Whitehead.

Whitehead said he believes the phenomenon is twofold.

First, Maine has developed a reputation for finding previously overlooked players with significant upside.

Second, the minimum salary in the collective bargaining agreement is low enough that NHL teams can take chances more often now than was previously prudent.

"It's unfortunate, the way the (bargaining agreement) is structured we can't retain players for at least two years," said Whitehead. "They don't need to spend a lot of money to attract a college freshman and really all an advisor needs to do is get two teams to show interest and you've got a contract if you want one."

What does it mean for Maine's recruiting?

"We're looking more long term. We're going younger and smaller," said Whitehead. "It's not to say we wouldn't take another Sweetland, Penner or Purcell. But we're taking them with the understanding we might have them for one year. I had a hunch this might happen once we earned a reputation for developing players."

Whitehead said because he suspected Sweetland might leave early, he and his staff do not need to scramble to find another forward for next fall.

Sweetland, who was Maine's fourth-leading scorer (8 goals, 9 assists) said he was approached toward the end of the season and spent three or four weeks laboring over the decision.

"I wasn't really expecting anything like this," said Sweetland. "But it's the opportunity to get to the next level. These opportunities don't come around every day so you have to take them when they're there."

The 6-foot-4, 204-pound wing from Nova Scotia said his family was surprised but eventually embraced the idea.

"They kept telling me to do what I felt was right and that they would support me in whatever the decision was," said Sweetland.

Whitehead said he can't blame the NHL.

"He's our top returning guy. If I'm an NHL team, I'm thinking he stays at Maine and he'll have a breakout season and we'll roll the dice in getting him," said Whitehead. "It's a smart move."

Sweetland said he will remain at Maine this spring to finish his classes, and will join the Panthers at rookie camp in May.

Staff Writer Jenn Menendez can be contacted at 791-6426 or at:


Copyright © 2008 Blethen Maine Newspapers

'Women in Sports Conference explores female athlete's topics

Sport: Basketball (Girls)  Posted: April 2nd, 2008 by Tom Nolette

'Women in Sports Conference explores female athlete's topics

Stefanie Pemp

AUGUSTA — Have you ever stopped to think that coaching male and female athletes is extremely different?

The Maine Principals Association has pin-pointed that exact notion, and yearly hosts a conference where high school and junior high coaches receive insight from those who deal with female athletes on a daily basis, with talks centered on what works and what doesn't work in the realm of coaching girls.

The 10th "Women in Sports Conference" was recently held at the MPA Conference Center to emphasize the difference in coaching male and female athletes, and the need to handle coaching females with a different perspective.

With member schools representating both public and private institutions, the MPA, formed in 1921, has grown throughout the years and has constantly looked for ways to eliminate some of the confusion surrounding high school athletics in Maine.

From ideas on how to help create the ideal parent of a student/athlete to learning to build long-term life skills, the MPA has continued to strive for ways to prepare coaches and school officials to deal with a variety of situations.

Larry LaBrie, Assistant Executive Director of the MPA, said since the Women in Sports conference's inception, coaches and athletes throughout the state have experienced the benefits of the program's exploration on the topic of female athletes.

"There is a difference (coaching females), and I think in the nine years that we have offered this conference, the results have been astounding around the state," said LaBrie.

Each year the organization selects a keynote speaker to discuss the importance of women in sports and how parents and coaches can nurture a well-rounded athlete. This year, the MPA selected Bowdoin College women's basketball head coach, Stefanie Pemper, to discuss building team leadership and spirit.

"Stefanie was high on our list of keynote speakers for several years. Her list of accomplishments are aplenty," said LaBrie.

Pemper spoke about building team leadership and spirit and offered advice to coaches from a collegiate coaching perspective.

"I never forget that I am coaching females, and little things can creep in. I think at the high-school level, it almost has to be more about the head coach than it does at my level (Division III college). In high school I think there is more responsibility on the coaches," said Pemper, who added that coaching junior high and high school students is the "toughest job in the country. Coaches need to know how to balance, be a giver not a taker."

She explained how she coaches her players so they are "not loving to win, but hating to lose."

Pemper touched on many of the outside factors that challenge team unity and the sportsmanship of today's athletes, from media like the all-sports network ESPN taking sports and transforming into entertainment to "keeping it about sports and not about winning streaks and championships, and getting on television."

Distraction, distractions
Other distractions, Pemper noted, can be closer to home.

"Parents are not a big distraction to me. How I have to deal with parents is when they are a distraction to their daughters," said Pemper.

Pemper spoke about how the community members and the media were handling her team's losses over the course of the season. When her team was on television. she felt that it may have caused some distractions for her players.

"My team was handling losing better than the community and the parents," said Pemper. "When I think of parents being potential distractions to their daughters, in my coaching life, I think dads. Will that change? What will happen when the moms are more invested? Relationships between mothers and daughters are different than daughters and fathers."

Pemper also explained the need for coaches to make connections with female athletes since those players usually spend large quantities of time together as a team.

"We are not dictators, we are there for them," Pemper said.

If there is conflict on the team, Pemper explained that she tries to coach her girls to understand "it doesn't matter who is right, we just want to get it right."

Rachel Bouchard, a former Hall-Dale High School and University of Maine basketball standout, spoke about building long-term life skills in female athletes.

"As a coach/administrator we have such a big role in the lives of student/athletes," said Bouchard, who touched on the differences in coaching boys to girls. "Girls take things more personally and internalize things. Girls want to do what they can to be successful. Girls take it (coaching) personally and if you have a close team, that can be infectious."

Bouchard, like Pemper, felt that the media has influenced today's athletes, transforming goals from being a successful college athlete to being a professional athlete.

"We as coaches don't want to diminish our students' goals, but we want to help them set realistic goals and go through the steps to attain those goals. Our job as coaches is to empower our student athletes," said Bouchard.

The MPA facilitated a panel of female student/athletes that answered questions from the audience and MPA board members. Staying healthy, being a good parent of an athlete, coaching styles and contributions to the teams were among the topics.

One member of the student panel, Kayla Cummings, a field hockey and basketball player from Edward Little High School, said that an ideal parent "should be as dedicated to you as you are to your sport. It puts a smile on my face knowing that my parents are willing to sacrifice their weekend for something that I want to do."

Cummings also explained that in order to keep female participation in athletics up, students need to see what a positive experience playing a sport can be.

"Sports have such a positive impact on us. It's great to see how much we gain through one sports season, not just in the sport, but we mature and it changes our lives," said Cummings. "Representing my school, representing my community is important to me.

"When I was younger I used to go to a lot of the high school girls games, and I used to think, 'wow, I want to be like them and play like them.' I thought they were superstars," Cummings added.

For more information about the MPA or its upcoming events, call 622-0217, or e-mail mpa@mpa.cc.

Belfast wrestler Spencer earns high school All-America status

Sport:   Posted: April 2nd, 2008 by Tom Nolette

All-American Travis Spencer Belfast Area High School

Belfast wrestler Spencer earns high school All-America status
By Ernie Clark
Wednesday, April 02, 2008 - Bangor Daily News

BELFAST, Maine — Travis Spencer has dominated his competition through three years of high school wrestling in Maine.

Now he’s getting it done on a national level — and is an All-American to prove it.

Spencer, a three-time state champion from Belfast Area High School, placed sixth in the junior 189-pound weight class over the weekend at the 19th annual National High School Wrestling Championships held at Virginia Beach, Va.

Spencer went 4-3 in his matches against the top junior-class wrestlers in the nation to earn All-America status, which goes to the top six finishers in each weight division from each scholastic class.

"When I went down there my sophomore year, I was one match short of placing," said Spencer, who helped Belfast win the 2008 Class B team state championship in February before finishing third in his weight class at the New England championships.

"As I was going down there, I didn’t think I was going to place."

But Spencer won his first two matches, a 14-0 major decision over Ohio’s Mike Lanigan and a 4-3 decision over two-time Maryland state champion Daniel Miller, before dropping an 8-2 decision to Ohio state champion Andrew Tumlin.

Spencer rallied through the consolation bracket to defeat Floridian Charles Fox 15-0 and Joey Piro of Pennsylvania by pin in 1 minute, 23 seconds. He then was edged by Pennsylvanian Zachary Benzio 9-6 before losing to Tumlin 4-2 in the fifth-place match.

Spencer became the second Belfast wrestler in as many years to attain All-America status. Kote Aldus, this year’s New England champion at 160 pounds, placed fourth in the national freshman championships last spring.

Spencer, who finished his junior season with a 49-2 record after an undefeated sophomore year, credited Belfast assistant coach Mike Cummings for encouraging him and several of his teammates to continue to work out in the school’s wrestling room during the offseason to prepare for the nationals.

Spencer was one of several Belfast wrestlers to compete during the three-day meet at the Virginia Beach Convention Center, which hosted more than 2,100 competitors in separate freshman, sophomore, junior and senior divisions.

Aldus, Josh Robbins, Mike Rolerson, Zach Shellabarger and Kornealius Wood also represented the Lions as part of a sizeable Maine contingent that also included New England 103-pound champion Carlin Dubay of Caribou, Jon Pelletier of Bucksport, P.J. Richards of Hermon and Brandon Wright of Maine Central Institute of Pittsfield.

Another Maine wrestler, two-time state champion Nate Lavallee of Cape Elizabeth, joined Spencer as an All-American with a fourth-place finish in the junior 285-pound class.

This meet is held in conjunction with the National High School Coaches Association wrestling convention, and the chance to be seen by college recruiters is an additional reason for making the trip south, Spencer said.

"As we’re getting older, some of us are starting to look toward going to college to wrestle," said Spencer, who also competes in football and outdoor track and field at Belfast. "There are a lot of college coaches at this meet."

The National High School Seniors Wrestling Championships is open to any high school senior wrestler who has been a finalist in his high school state tournament or the National Prep Championships. The national junior, sophomore and freshman championships are open events, with any wrestler eligible to enter at his grade level.

"The National High School Wrestling Championships have become the nation’s outstanding high school event in any sport and the response from our member wrestling coaches has been truly gratifying," NHSCA associate executive director Bob Ferraro Jr. said. "This event brings together the nation’s outstanding high school seniors and gives the nation’s college coaches the opportunity to meet and to connect in a professional setting surrounded by top-notch national competition."

Swampscott doubles up Fenwick

Sport:   Posted: April 1st, 2008 by Tom Nolette

Lacrosse: Swampscott doubles up Fenwick

By Joyce Erekson / The Daily Item

Swampscott's John DeAngelis and Bishop Fenwick's Mike Dedard battle it during Monday's boys lacrosse game at the Crusaders' home field. ITEM PHOTO / REBA M. SALDANHA

Ben Wollersheid scored five goals to help the Swampscott boys lacrosse team to a 10-5 win over Bishop Fenwick Monday at Peabody.

Although the Big Blue are coming off a 15-7 season, they lost 11 or 12 players from that team. They do, however, have several players returning with experience including Wollersheid.

A.J. Zarinsky (2 goals), Charlie Fisher (3 goals) and John Poth (5 assists). Senior Sam Phillips (12 saves) is also back in net.

Fenwick didn't go quietly into the night. The Crusaders were still in the game heading into the fourth quarter.

"Everytime we tried to get away, they were on our backs," Swampscott coach Josh Field said. "They played well.

Senior Jordan Mizioch, who moved from lone pole defender to middie this season, scored the first two goalis of his high school career. Eamon Barrett, Brandon Ballard and Pat Doliber also scored for the Crusaders (1-1).

Sophomore Joe Terry played well on defense and Craig Forrest had 20 saves.

"The kids hustled. They played a great game, but the bounces didn't go our way," coach Jay Richards said.

Fenwick plays the combined Classical/English team Thursday at Manning Field.

South Shore 8, Tech 7

At Manning Field, South Shore scored the game-winner with 51 seconds remaining after the Tigers had managed to tie it up. Senior attackman Mike Donovan had three goals and three assists and Jeff Valley had two goals and three assists. Jordan Rucker also had an assist.

Joey Estrella and Manolo Morales also played well, as did the defense, led by Bulger Limchau, Pedro Aparacio and Anthony Gallo.

Tech is home Wednesday against Minuteman at Manning Field (5).

Crowley steps down as Lynn Tech girls hoop coach

Sport:   Posted: April 1st, 2008 by Tom Nolette

Crowley steps down as Lynn Tech girls hoop coach

By Joyce Erekson / The Daily Item

John Crowley

LYNN -- The Lynn Tech girls basketball team is in the market for a new head coach.

John Crowley, who led the Tigers to Commonwealth Conference titles the last four years, is stepping down after 16 years as head coach. Crowley informed director James Ridley of his decision on Monday.

"He'll be sorely missed," Ridley said. "He put his time in. He's a tireless worker and a professional in all aspects. He had that program up and running and successful for a lot of years."

Crowley said he has some family health issues that are going to crop up in the coming year and as a result, he won't be able to put in all the time the job requires.

"It's probably a good time for somebody else to come in. This group that just left, I promised them five years ago that if they stayed with me, I'd stay with them and they stayed," Crowley said.

Crowley took over the job, previously held by retired Tech athletic director Dave Johnson, in 1993. Since then, Crowley has compiled a record of 205 win and 125 losses. His teams qualified for the state tournament 12 times and were the state vocational champions three times (2000, 2007, 2008) since the tournament was started in 2000. The Tigers went to the North final three times during his tenure (1998, 2000 and 2004).

Crowley is the first to admit that coaching at a vocational school brings with it a unique set of challenges, not the least of which involves working around and through the co-op jobs that make it difficult for players to play a sport through their senior year.

"They have distractions with their jobs, their co-ops situations. It's a different kind of student, but once you accept that, you appreciate how much more they're doing than an academic student. There's so much more they have to do ... you try and make sports important to them, but they're divided for their shot, for work. Their mindset isn't totally on sports all the time," Crowley said.

Crowley's record speaks to the success his team's have enjoyed, but he also takes pride in some of the individual accomplisments of his past and present players. One of those former players is Rania (Ioanidis) Caldwell, who is currently his assistant.

"Ranis was the most driven player I've coached," Crowley said. "She had tunnel vision for winning. She played hard, played hurt and never accepted losing. She went to Salem State, got her teaching degree and now she's coaching."

Crowley had three 1,000 point scorers during his tenure. Two of them, Jessica Underwood and Shena Mitchell, hit the milestone this year. The third, Ebony White, went on to play basketball at Newbury College, where she served as a captain for two years.

Crowley had a number of other players leave their mark at Tech, including Karen Graciale, Sandy Baker,Patti Murat, Darcell Clare,Jamie Cornacchini and Stacie Baker.

Tech finished 17-5 last year including two wins in the vocational tournament. Although the nucleus of that team will be gone, Crowley said there's still a good group of players remaining.

"There's a nice little group that's left there for whoever come in. We had a nice, solid group of sophomores," Crowley said.

Crowley, who was the head baseball coach from 1992 until 2006, said the success of the team has also depended on how well players accept their roles and the overall team concept.

"The coach is driving the bus, but they're putting the gas in the bus and they're making it go," Crowley said.

Crowley thanked his past and present assistants, Caldwell, Coughlin and Gene Gallo, for their help. He also thanked former athletic director Johnson, former school directors Al Malagrifa and Bart Conlon and the entire Tech faculty for their support over the years.

The Boston Herald presents the top Eastern Mass. girls basketball stars

Sport:   Posted: April 1st, 2008 by Tom Nolette

Girls basketball all-scholastics
By Herald staff   

The Boston Herald presents the top Eastern Mass. girls basketball stars

Members of the 2008 Herald girls...
Photo by Stuart Cahill
Members of the 2008 Herald girls basketball Dream Team (left to right): Caroline Stewart of Masconomet, Ashley Rivera of Lowell, Kelly Meredith of Franklin, Taryn Johnson of Brockton, and Christine Duffy of Archbishop Williams.

Dream Team

Christine Duffy Archbishop Williams - In leading the 22-2 Bishops to the Division 3 state title over Quaboag, the senior guard averaged 14.5 points, 8.5 assists, six steals and four rebounds and earned the Catholic Central League MVP. The 5-foot-6 guard is no stranger to winning, having celebrated AAU championships on four different occasions. She is undecided about college.

Taryn Johnson
Brockton - Making her third appearance as an All-Scholastic, the 5-foot-11 forward finished her senior season averaging 18 points and 10 rebounds, leading the Boxers to a 17-4 record. One of the most athletic forwards in the state, she also earned her third straight All-Big Three selection as she eclipsed the 1,000-point career plateau. She’ll continue on to Fairfield University in the fall.

Kelly Meredith Franklin - While leading her Panthers to an 18-4 finish, the 5-foot-10 senior averaged 24.6 points and 10 rebounds a game. She helped Franklin capture its second consecutive Hockomock League championship while notching a fourth league All-Star selection, a second league MVP trophy and McDonald’s All-American consideration. The Assumption-bound Meredith leaves as the school’s all-time leading scorer with 1,632 points.

Ashley Rivera Lowell - In earning her second straight Merrimack Valley Conference MVP honor, the pint-sized senior point guard averaged 19 points a game to lead the Red Raiders to a 19-3 record and the Division 1 North semifinals. She’ll graduate as Lowell’s second all-time leading scorer with 1,232 points. Aside from a fourth straight appearance on the All-MVC team, she also was nominated for the McDonald’s All-America squad.

Caroline Stewart Masconomet - The 6-foot senior finishes her stellar Masco career with 1,329 points, 1,089 rebounds and a selection as the Cape Ann League Player of the Year. In leading the 20-2 Chieftains into the Division 2 North semis, Stewart averaged more than 17 points a game and earned her third straight all-league selection, as well as a McDonald’s All-America nomination. Next year, she’ll lace up for Boston University.

All Scholastics

Erin Baldwin Fairhaven - During a season in which Baldwin averaged 16.9 points and nine rebounds a game, the 5-foot-8 shooting guard broke Fairhaven’s all-time scoring record, finishing with 1,466 career points and more than 200 3-pointers. The senior captain led the Blue Devils to the school’s first South Coast Conference championships in 2007 and 2008. Next year, Baldwin is off to Southern New Hampshire University.

Casey Capello Archbishop Williams - A key component behind the Bishops’ back-to-back Division 3 state championship runs, the 5-foot-10 senior guard averaged 14 points a game, ending her career with 1,251 points. Capello was deadly at the foul line, shooting free throws at an 82 percent clip. A member of the National Honor Society and a Peer Leader, Capello is undecided about her college plans.

Michelle DeRoma
Mount Alvernia - The senior guard/forward ended her Mount Alvernia career as the school’s new offensive standard, scoring 1,464 points. The 5-foot-10 DeRoma also snagged her 900th rebound while leading the Mustangs to a 17-3 record and earning her fourth straight Catholic Conference All-Star selection. She will attend American International College in the fall.

Courtney Finn Winthrop - The frightening thing about the 5-9 Finn, a Northeastern Conference Small All-Star and its Most Valuable Player, is she still has another year left. The junior already has amassed 1,335 career points and is primed to help the Vikings sail even farther next season. Until then, she will concentrate on school, softball and soccer.

Ellery Gould Sandwich - A four-time Atlantic Coast League All-Star, the senior point guard led the Blue Knights to the Division 1 South final, averaging more than 21 points a game. She leaves as the school’s all-time leading scorer with 1,545 points. A standout soccer player as well, Gould scored 18 goals during the regular season. She will play both sports at Bowdoin College.

Jill Greenberg Westwood - The senior floor general put up stellar numbers, averaging 16.7 points, six assists and six steals per game for the 21-2 Wolverines. Not surprisingly, those statistics earned the point guard Tri-Valley League MVP honors, as well as a McDonald’s All-American Team nomination. She ends her career with 1,002 points, 503 assists and 456 steals, and will attend Williams College.

Morgan Kendrew Barnstable - A four-time Old Colony League All-Star and McDonald’s All-American Team nominee, the senior guard led the Red Raiders to an OCL championship while becoming Barnstable’s all-time leading scorer with 1,544 points. For her career, she averaged 24 points and 10 rebounds a game, finishing it off on the Comcast All-Tournament Team. Next year, she’ll attend Brandeis.

Kathleen King
Framingham - The 6-foot senior forward was a post menace for opposing squads all season, earning 22 points, 13 boards and two blocks a game. Her presence was daunting enough to earn the captain the Bay State Carey Division Most Valuable Player award. King, who also has excelled in lacrosse and volleyball, will take her talents to Babson College in the fall.

Amy Lepley Bishop Feehan - The Shamrocks didn’t earn a 22-1 record on luck; they had help from Amy Lepley. The 6-foot junior guard averaged 22.8 points, 10 rebounds and five assists a game as an EAC All-Star and Sporting News All-America honorable mention. With 898 career points, Lepley helped lead her squad to the Division 2 South semifinals in 2006 and 2007.

Jaclyn Lyons
Reading - After tearing her ACL as a sophomore, the 5-foot-6 point guard attacked her junior season with a vengeance, averaging 18.1 points, six assists and five rebounds a game on her way to All-Middlesex League honors. With her offensive leadership, the 19-4 Rockets cruised all the way to Tsongas Arena before falling to Lincoln-Sudbury in the Division 2 North final.

Amanda McCarthy Pope John - It didn’t take McCarthy long to get comfortable after transferring in from Savio Prep. The 5-foot-5 senior guard averaged 21 points, 11 assists and five rebounds a game - all while carrying a 4.0 GPA. Those numbers were good enough to earn “A-Mac” the league MVP and lead the 19-2 Tigers to a Catholic Central Small championship. She finished with 1,529 career points.

Mary Nwachukwu Dighton-Rehoboth - Unfortunately for the rest of the state, the leading scorer in Massachusetts is only a junior. The 6-foot-2 forward/center petrified the South Coast Conference all season, averaging 30 points, 18 rebounds and seven blocks a game, earning her an SCC All-Star nod. On Nwachukwu’s shoulders, the Falcons soared to a 17-5 record before falling in the Division 2 South quaterfinals.

Cori O’Kane
Cardinal Spellman - The four-year starter and two-year captain finished her career with her third Catholic Central League All-Star nod and a share of the league’s MVP. In orchestrating the offense with eight points and 11 assists a game, the 5-foot-11 point guard led the Cardinals to a 22-2 record and their fourth-straight CCL title. Next season she’ll attend Stonehill on a full basketball scholarship.

Laura Renfro Andover - By employing a long-range arsenal that sunk 65 3-pointers, the All-Merrimack Valley guard led the Golden Warriors to a conference championship and Division 1 North title before finishing as a runner-up in the state final. The 5-foot-7 senior, who also ran cross country and is a member of the National Honor Society, will continue her basketball career at Williams College.

Amber Smith Ipswich - As a junior, the 5-foot-9 forward guard averaged 22.3 points (sixth in eastern Massachusetts) and 11.4 rebounds while leading the Tigers to a 17-4 record and a Cape Ann Small championship. These numbers earned her the league MVP and All-League honors for the third straight season. She already is Ipswich’s all-time leading scorer with 1,341 points.

Meghan Thomann Andover - The 5-foot-8 senior guard joined teammate Laura Renfro to form one of the most frightening long-range combos in Eastern Mass., as she sank 66 3-pointers to earn her third straight All-MVC nod. She finishes her career with 1,173 points and 232 3s, as well as a McDonald’s All-American nomination. She’ll suit up for Bentley College next season.

Emily Trapp Whitman-Hanson - The 6-foot junior already is Whitman-Hanson’s record-holder for points and rebounds in a single season, but she passed the 1,000-point plateau this season as well. After earning the MVP in the Hingham Holiday Tournament, she was named an All-Atlantic Coast League selection, averaging 20 points and 10 rebounds a game for the 18-5 Panthers.

Sarah Wetmore
Lincoln-Sudbury - The senior was a Dual County League All-Star for the third straight season, but also was honored as the league’s MVP after leading her team to the cusp of a second straight Division 2 state championship before falling to Wellesley in the state semifinals. The 5-foot-9 guard helped secure the Division 2 North title while averaging more than 12 points a game.

Katie Zenevitch Central Catholic - With averages of 15 points and 14.5 rebounds a game as a sophomore, the 6-foot-2 center seems to be just getting started. She earned her second straight All-MVC selection and the Comcast Tournament MVP after sailing the Raiders to the Division 1 North title game. With 692 points and 598 rebounds already, she may have found a home in this annual section.
Article URL: http://www.bostonherald.com/sports/high_school/basketball/view.bg?articleid=1084053

Geraghty named assistant national hockey coach for Ireland

Sport:   Posted: April 1st, 2008 by Tom Nolette

Geraghty named assistant national hockey coach for Ireland
By Bill Kipouras
Staff writer

Bill Kipouras

Jimmy Geraghty admitted he never could have imagined this.

The 45-year-old Peabody High hockey Hall of Famer has been granted an opportunity to serve on the coaching staff for the Irish National hockey team that will compete in the Division 2 World Hockey Championships starting next week in Romania.

Geraghty has heard that old tale about bad things happening in threes. This latest development is in sharp contrast to that superstition; the exact opposite, in fact.

Geraghty leaves Friday for Dublin, will run a youth clinic Saturday, skate with the nationals on Sunday before heading off to Romania.

The biggest highlight of his hockey-side parenthood was watching his son, Jimmy III, skate on the wing this March for the Westford Academy Grey Ghosts at the TD Banknorth Garden in a 4-1 loss to Needham in the Division 1 state finals. The site of that game took the father back to his senior year at Peabody High when he skated in the Tanners' 6-5 overtime loss to Danvers before a crowd of about 11,000 at the old Boston Garden in 1981.

It's stretching it a bit in terms of time, but the success of his daughter Anne in girls' lacrosse last spring made her parents also feel like beacons of pride. Anne was the leading goal scorer (100 goals, plus 38 assists) in Eastern Massachusetts. She's now doing her thing at Colby.

So how does Geraghty, an executive director at Morgan Stanley in Boston, wind up in an international role?

He's worn many hats for Mass. Hockey over the years. He coaches Select Hockey, started the Mass. Children's Hockey Foundation and is also a member of the Mass. Player Development Committee.

"Out of that I met Jim Tibbetts, the Irish National head coach who is from Charlestown, and he remembered me playing at Brown," Geraghty said. "He also was an assistant under Herb Brooks when Brooks coached the French Olympic team.

"Tibbetts invited me to Ireland last year to play in an exhibition game at the rink in Dundalk on St. Patrick's Day weekend. It's the only Olympic-sized rink in the Irish Republic."

It's also the only public rink that exists in the Republic, he said. Northern Belfast has four or five, Geraghty pointed out.

"The exhibition was a lot of fun ... until I broke a couple of ribs," he said with a laugh.

Former Harvard ace and two-time Olympian Scott Fusco had been Tibbetts' assistant on the nationals for three years and couldn't commit to the job this year. Tibbetts asked Geraghty to succeed Fusco, and didn't need to ask twice.

Geraghty is of Irish and Scottish descent, but his late grandfather, John, was born in Galway, Ireland.

"I'm sure he'll be looking down on me. That's cool," he said.

Geraghty agreed there probably aren't many people who even know that ice hockey is alive and well in Ireland.

The Irish Nationals did win a silver medal at the Division 3 worlds a year go in their own rink and moved up to Division 2 this year, joining Romania, Belgium, Israel, Australia, China, Serbia and New Zealand. Members of the Irish Nationals range in age 18 to 25, Geraghty said.

It's interesting to note that the squad is split evenly between Protestants and Catholics, and Geraghty said there are "absolutely no problems" over who is from Northern Ireland or who is from the Republic of Ireland.

"It says something for hockey, I think. There are no politics. The players get along great," he said.

Geraghty said he was amazed to see all the kids playing when he was there on his first visit last year, a quick four-day trip. He even sponsors a 10-year-old team in Dundalk.

The Division 2 Worlds don't end in Rumania until mid April. Geraghty said that's not enough time to develop a brogue.


Doug Chernovetz was probably feeling like his football life was in limbo for 41/2 months. The hard-working Marblehead High head coach said it was a very trying time for him and his family when his job with the Magicians seemed to be in jeopardy.

"Certainly there was some stress. In fact, a lot of stress, set off by one parent who questioned my integrity," Chernovetz said.

Chernovetz was told by school authorities that he'd get the word on his future today, on whether or not the job would be opened. But yesterday, he received a vote of confidence from School Supintendent Paul Dulac.

"I wasn't interested in going anywhere else. I'm a coach and I want to coach in Marblehead. I still have a job to do (after 2-8, 4-7, 4-7 seasons) and I want to get that job done," Chernovetz said.

It's amazing that one parent can set off an investigation of a coach.

Congratulations to Mr. Dulac and the town of Marblehead for not running Chernovetz out of town, as it did former football coach Billy Manchester.

Marblehead hasn't had a winning football season since 1992. It hasn't had much patience, either.

"I can't thank the players and parents enough for their support in this," Chernovetz said.


Danvers High should be striking up the band to welcome back Barbara Damon as its varsity field hockey coach.


Andrew Irving of Beverly, Trip Franzese of Marblehead and Cam O'Neill of Lynn are members of the Valley Junior Warriors of Haverhill who just won a state hockey championship in their 12-13 age group. They'll soon be off for the nationals in Hackensack, N.J. Irving is the son of former Olympian Stu Irving, who has a coaching role with Bill Fanzese.

Bill Kipouras is a staff writer at The Salem News. He can be reached at 978-338-2615 or by e-mail:bkipouras@salemnews.com.

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Hammond battles on after cancer surgery

Sport:   Posted: April 1st, 2008 by Tom Nolette

Hammond battles on after cancer surgery
By Bill Kipouras
Staff writer

Herb Hammond's battle against cancer of the mouth, a 10-hour surgery for a benign tumor in the back of his tongue, hasn't effected his sense of humor.

The classy 67-year-old Beverly native, who made his mark as a 17-year National Hockey League scout and college hockey coach at Elmira, Plattsburgh and Brown, is not above joking about his setback.

"I really don't know where I got this. I never smoked or chewed (tobacco) and never drank much," he said. "Maybe it was the water at Kelleher's Pond (in Beverly, where he skated growing up). I grew up down the street in Monserrat and played a lot of hockey there. If we got thirsty we'd chip the ice with our skate and drink the pond water."

Hammond has come a long way since Kelleher's, where he played goalie between two rocks and the games were 3-on-3

It's a wonder he didn't hire a private operator to handle all the good luck calls he received from all over the country. Phone calls from hockey folks such as Boston College head coach Jerry York, Minnesota coach Don Lucier and one from Neil McPhee, his old boss with the New York Rangers, who offered to fly up and spend a week with Herb in Fort Gratiot, Mich. That's next door to Port Huron, where Hammond is probably the best known sports figure in town. San Jose scout Tim Burke of Melrose also was in contact.

His local newspaper, The Port Huron Times Herald, aptly described Hammond's arduous cancer procedure from Feb. 4:

"The procedure for the cancer surgery in his mouth took 10 hours and involved the surgeon cutting through Hammond's chin, the left side of his neck and lifting up the skin to take our five teeth, all of his lymph nodes and a chunk of his tongue. His jawbone also was narrowed. The surgeon rebuilt the tongue and the floor of his mouth with skin grafts from Hammond's left thigh."

Hammond was fed through a tube after surgery, ate baby food after that, and underwent all the painful post-operative side effects. Three of the lymph nodes removed showed Stage 3 cancer.

"I played goalie without a mask all those years and never lost a tooth. Now I lose five and can't chew," Hammond said, "but my spirits are good. And the doctors told me they got all the cancerous tissue. I'm feeling positive."

At the same time, Hammond hasn't eaten meat for almost two months.

He was scheduled for radiation treatments five days a week for seven weeks, and was told after radiation that he would start on chemotherapy.

Don't think all of those supportive callers didn't boost his morale. He learned that he was on a lot of people's prayer lists.

"The only thing is that it was like listening to eulogies — and here I was, still alive," he said.

Hammond's life was indeed on the line when he passed through the operating room doors at the hospital in Port Huron. Since the surgery, he has dropped around 50 pounds, and said the feeling on the left side of his face may not return for six months.

He is looking forward to his 50th Beverly High School class reunion next summer, and stays in touch with long-time friend Billy Whalen on the details.

Hammond sounds very positive.

"I'm hanging in there. The surgeon said he got all the cancer," said Hammond. "Radiation and chemo are common with my problem in the mouth, tongue and lymph node area.

"I can't believe I got this. It's rare for people who never smoked, chewed or who had little to drink," he said. "I had problems with my tongue before, but never cancer there; only lesions. This time I was having pains, and the dentist couldn't see it."

His doctor did a biopsy, where the cancer was discovered.

The surgery, he said, was the worst part; he couldn't breathe afterwards, and a tracheotomy was performed on him. A hole was cut in Hammond's neck and a tube was inserted.

He told the Port Huron paper that he never thought of dying — but he did.

"I was feeling healthy. All of a sudden, you feeling worse and worse," Hammond said. "You start getting a grave in sight, that kind of stuff. It's only natural," he said.

He always knew he was blessed with a great family.

His brother Fred, who preceded him in the Beverly High Athletic Hall of Fame, and nephew Chris Hammond, who ran track at Hamilton-Wenham Regional, were quick visitors. His two daughters, Leslie and Heather, came on from Arizona and joined his wife Patti in a five-night vigil at the hospital. Patti's sister also was a regular at the hospital.

"They stayed overnight making sure Dad could breath," Hammond said.

Hammond has been a baseball fan his whole life, starting age five when his grandmother would take him to see the Boston Braves and he was a member of the Knot Hole Gang for $5. The the kids would be seen on a TV show and invited to clinics.

He was a huge '48 Braves fan and still is. He can still tell you the starting team and most of the bench.

He loves the Red Sox, too. He was up at 6 a.m. to watch the first game in Japan last week. Hammond has a satellite dish and gets NESN.

Once a New Englander, always a New Englander.

The Wrestling Team

Sport:   Posted: April 1st, 2008 by Tom Nolette

The Wrestling Team
The Lowell Sun
Article Last Updated: 03/30/2008 06:35:38 AM EDT

Wrestler of the Year
Anderson was an unstoppable force this season compiling a record of 46-0 en route to winning the 119-pound New England championship. He finished first at the All-State, Division 1 State, Division 1 North Sectional and Lowell Holiday Tournaments.

Anderson only lost four matches over the past three seasons. He finished his four-year varsity career with a 161-19 record. Anderson, the MVC Co-Wrestler of the Year, is a three-time state champion and two-time All-State champion. He also is a three-time New England finalist.

Wrestler of the Year
Rich capped off his brilliant high school wrestling career in style, posting a 50-1 record this winter while winning the 135-pound New England title. He won all the major tournaments, finishing first at the All-State, Division 1 State and Division 1 North Sectional.

This talented senior had a four-year varsity record of 189-12. He is a three-time Division 1 State and All-State champion. Rich was the MVC's Co-Wrestler of the Year. He also was the MVC Co-Player of the Year in football. He quarterbacked the Lions to the EMass. Division 1A Super Bowl title. Rich plans on wrestling in college and has been accepted at Indiana University and Edinboro University, as well as Northfield Mount Hermon prep school.

Wrestler of the Year
Gauthier played a key role in the Red Raiders drive to
a 24-0-1 record and the Division 1 state dual-meet team championship. A four-year varsity wrestler, this senior co-captain was at his best when it mattered most, finishing first at 112-pounds at the New England, All-State, Division 1 State, Division 1 North Sectional and Lowell Holiday Tournaments.

He ended the season with a sparkling individual record of 53-1 with 35 pins. Gauthier, the MVC Co-Wrestler of the Year, is an honor roll student. He plans on continuing his wrestling career in college.

Wrestler of the Year
This hard-working senior made sure his last hurrah was a loud one as Connors capped off his Red Raider career by winning the 140-pound New England crown. Connors also finished first at the Division 1 State and Division 1 North Sectional Tournaments. He placed second at the All-State Tournament.

Connors, a Red Raider co-captain, helped spearhead Lowell's drive to the Division 1 state dual-meet team title. He ended the season with a 51-2 record and 33 pins. Connors, the MVC Co-Wrestler of the Year, is an honor roll student. Connors plans on attending Phillips Exeter Academy next year.

Carter took an undefeated record into the New Englands. He notched first place finishes at the New Hampshire Division 1 State and New Hampshire Meet of Champions tournaments. This senior two-year captain, checked in with an impressive overall record of 48-2.

Carter was undefeated during the regular season each of the past two seasons. This winter, he posted first place finishes at the Bronco Invitational, Bow, Newfound and Capital City Classic tournaments. Carter ended his varsity career with close to 120 wins. His twin brother, Seth, also is a Sun first-team selection.


Carter powered his way to a 50-3 record while wrestling at 152-pounds this season. A senior three-year captain, Carter finished first at the New Hampshire Division 1 State and New Hampshire Meet of Champions tournaments. He placed second at the New Englands.

Carter posted first place finishes at the Bronco Invitational, Merrimack and Capital Classic tournaments. A two-time state champion, he concluded his four-year varsity career with close to 130 wins. His twin brother, Evan, also is a Sun first-team all-star selection.

Greater Lowell Tech
This junior heavyweight came into his own this winter. Gregory, who stands 6-foot-5 and weighs 265-pounds, posted a final record of 41-6 with over 30 pins. He placed at all the major year-end tournaments, finishing first at the Division 2 State and State Vocational Tournaments.

Gregory was second at the All-State Meet and Division 2 North Sectional. He placed sixth at the New Englands. An honor roll student, he is a standout lineman on the Gryphons football team. Gregory, a first-team CAC All-Star, has over 70 career victories.

Golner was a force a 140-pounds this season. He finished first at the All-State, Division 3 State, Division 3 North Sectional, Dual County League and Lowell Holiday Tournaments. Golner was named the Outstanding Wrestler at the Division 3 State Tournament.

This talented sophomore checked in with an overall record of 43-3. Golner's overall varsity record is 83-10. He is a two-time state and sectional champion.


McCarthy came on strong in the postseason for Lowell, winning the 125-pound championship at the Division 1 State and Division 1 North Sectional Tournaments. A two-year varsity performer, this talented junior placed fifth at the All-State Tournament.

McCarthy finished the season with a 38-12 record with 24 pins. He came up with plenty of big wins during the Red Raiders' drive to the Division 1 state dual-meet team championship. McCarthy plays football in the fall.

This senior co-captain checked in with a 39-8 record while wrestling at 215-pounds this winter. Joyce, a three-year varsity performer, finished first at the Division 3 State and Division 3 North Sectional Tournaments. He also came in first at the Haverhill Tournament.

Joyce, an excellent technical wrestler with great balance, posted close to 100 wins for his varsity career. He was a Cape Ann League All-Star.

Bailey evolved into one of the best wrestlers in the area over the course of his four-year varsity career. This talented senior was a force in the postseason, winning the 160-pound crown at the Division 1 State and Division 1 North Sectional tournaments.

Bailey placed second at the All-State Tournament and was fifth at the New Englands. He had an overall record of 45-5 this season and over 100 wins for his varsity career. Bailey, an MVC All-Conference selection, also is a standout on the Lions' football and spring track teams.

After missing his junior season with a knee injury, Ludwig came back strong this winter, posting an overall record of 36-5 while wrestling at 135-pounds. Ludwig finished first at the Division 2 State and Division 2 North Sectional tournaments. He placed sixth at the All-State Tournament.

Ludwig was an MVC All-Conference selection. He has also pinned down a great deal of success in the classroom where he is a National Honor Society student. Ludwig plans on continuing his wrestling career in college.

This talented freshman made an immediate impact in the Middies' lineup, compiling a 36-4 record at 103-pounds. Myers was at his best in the postseason, posting wins at the Division 2 State and Division 2 North Sectional tournaments.

Myers gave a glimpse of things to come when he finished second at the Lowell Holiday Tournament in December. He is a year-round wrestler, who is constantly working on his skills. Myers was an MVC All-Conference selection.

Tarpey peaked in the postseason, finishing first at 145-pounds at the All-State, Division 2 State and Division 2 North Sectional Tournaments. A senior four-year varsity wrestler, Tarpey checked in with a 54-8 record this season. He had close to 120 wins for his high school career.

This Redmen co-captain is an honor roll student. He was an MVC All-Star defensive back in football. He plans on wrestling in college and Bridgewater State and Plymouth State are among the schools he is looking into.

This four-year varsity wrestler finished his career with 150 wins. Willey wrestled at 152-pounds this winter and posted a 54-8 record. He placed at all the major year-end tournaments, finishing second at the Division 2 North Sectional, second at the Division 2 State, third at the All-State and fourth at the New Englands.

Willey, a Redmen co-captain, finished first at the Woburn, Wilmington and Methuen tournaments. He is a two-time MVC All-Conference selection in both wrestling and football.

This gritty senior definitely flexed his muscle at 215-pounds in the postseason, finishing first at the Division 2 North Sectional, second at the Division 2 State, sixth at the All-State and fourth at the New Englands. Lowe, who didn't wrestle until his junior year, compiled an overall record of 57-7 this season.

This honor roll student was a standout on both sides of the ball on Tewksbury's football team. He was named the MVC Defensive Player of the Year in football. Lowe plans on playing football at Marist College.

Barrucci puts a lot of work into wrestling and it certainly showed in his performance this winter. This talented sophomore was a force at 135-pounds, finishing first at the Division 3 State and Division 3 North Sectional tournaments. Barrucci placed second at the All-State Tournament and finished third at the New Englands.

Barrucci is a two-time Division 3 State champion and two-time Middlesex League MVP. He has already compiled 89 career wins. Barrucci, an honor roll student, plays football in the fall.

Sherman got better and better as the season went along. This hard-working sophomore peaked early in the postseason, finishing first at 125-pounds at the Division 3 State and Division 3 North Sectional tournaments.

Sherman checked in with an overall record of 35-7. He was a first-team Middlesex League All-Star. Sherman was a finalist at his weight at the 2007 summer Bay State Games. He is an honor roll student.

Coach of the Year
O'Keefe's Red Raider teams keep adding to Lowell's winning tradition. This winter he directed Lowell to a 24-0-1 record and the Division 1 state team championship. During the five seasons O'Keefe has been in charge of Lowell's program the Red Raiders have won four state championships and a New England crown in 2007.

A former Red Raider wrestling standout, O'Keefe wrestled at Edinboro University under Olympic gold medal winner Bruce Baumgartner. Away from the mat, O'Keefe enjoys spending time with his family. O'Keefe has run two marathons.

Second Team
Acton-Boxboro: Nick Peterson. Billerica: Bobby Cole. Burlington: John Murphy, Jake Sherman. Chelmsford: Tim Sheehan, Nick Kugler. Concord-Carlisle: Sam Eisenstat. Dracut: Ryan Oliver. Greater Lowell Tech: Curt Henderson. Lowell: Colm Sullivan, Victor DeJesus. Pelham: Mike Perruccio, Billy Sullivan. Shawsheen Tech: Derek Sorenson, Stephen McIsaac, Alex Najjar. Tyngsboro: Matt Donohoe. Westford Academy: Jon Steele, Greg Bohenko, Ian McEnaney. Wilmington: Steve Sughrue.

Honorable Mention

Billerica: Kyle Aylward. Bishop Guertin: Mitch Fokas. Burlington: Derek Maia. Central Catholic: Brandon Dowling. Chelmsford: Phil Gallant, Kevin Fleming, Kyle Nazzaro, Joe Gennero, Willy Brown. Concord-Carlisle: Jason Mestancik. Greater Lowell Tech: Brice Jenkins, William Fuller. Lowell: Nick Bedard, James Downing, Dave Hubert, Ryan Ahearn, Andrew Gauthier, Robert Kolley, Amadu Jalloh. Pelham: Richie Sullivan. Shawsheen Tech: Ryan Ahearn, Brandon Spinosa, Matthew Companeschi, Andrew Companeschi, Chris Baum, Calvin McMillan, Derek Harting. Tewksbury: Joel Altavesta. Tyngsboro: Shane Niven. Wilmington: John Transaglia, Tyler Strem, Shawn Adams, Mike DeNufrio, Matt Sullivan. Westford Academy: Brendan McEnaney, Ross Grand, Bobby Dick, Justin Belinsky, Gehrig Leary, Donny Barnas.

Darmody sisters push each other to success

Sport:   Posted: April 1st, 2008 by Tom Nolette

GIRLS TRACK: Darmody sisters push each other to success
ANDREW T. GALLAGHER/Standard-Times special Sisters Katie, left, and Lindsay Darmody will be taking the track for Stang a week from Wednesday.

DARTMOUTH — When Bishop Stang coach Jeff Tracey talked about Lindsay Darmody, the crux of the story was, despite injuries, Lindsay was the fastest girl he'd ever coached.

Then came Lindsay's younger sister Katie.

Now, when Tracey talks about the fastest runner he's ever coached, it's Katie he's talking about.

Running the same race — the 300 meters — the sisters excelled and naturally neither wanted to lose to the other. The competition, at times, was a little difficult for both to accept.

"It was a typical sibling rivalry," Tracey said. "But Lindsay just accepted the fact that Katie is that good."

The competition began in the winter season of 2006-07, when Katie was a freshman.

"It's very true," Lindsay said. "At first "¦ it was always about who beat who. Now she comes to me for help and I come to her for help. And we can run a lot better knowing that we're on the sidelines rooting for each other."

In the past, the two weren't quick to offer each other their times. Neither wanted to acknowledge a defeat.

"It wasn't really friendly," Lindsay said.

"It was like we were against each other," Katie said.

But the rivalry was fruitful. At the indoor Division 4 championship last year, Lindsey finished sixth and Katie finished 12th.

Eventually, Katie showed a knack for the longer races and won the Division 4 championship this winter in the 600 meters.

"Running two different races has really allowed us to support each other," said Lindsay, who finished 11th in the Division 4 300 meters after missing a month and a half with Achilles' tendonitis. "She helps me. I help her. We're really each other's best fans."

"(Lindsay) always works really hard," Katie said. "And she's really determined. So I always try to follow what she does."

This spring, Tracey hopes to have Katie run the 400 and 800 meters and possibly the mile, depending on the matchup. The goal is to have Katie run the 400 meters in under a minute, he said.

"Katie is very fast," Lindsay said. "I had no idea, until this year, how fast she really was. In a short distance it won't really show as much. Where I'm more of a sprinter, I don't think I could do an 800 in the time that she could."

The goals for Lindsay are a little different. While both would like a healthy senior to show off superior athleticism and versatility, running the 200, 400 and long and triple jumping, they'd be happy if she just gets through a season with her healthy.

Lindsay first caught the injury bug her sophomore year when she suffered a torn meniscus in her left leg and missed the spring season after arthroscopic surgery. Her sixth-place finish in the 300 two winters ago was done with a torn meniscus in the right knee. The subsequent surgery forced her to miss all but the last couple of weeks of the spring season. She returned in time to help the Spartans' 4x400-meter relay team, which featured Katie and graduated seniors Caitlin McQueen and Christine Lanagan and reached the All State championship.

"Hopefully, cross my fingers, this spring nothing happens," Lindsay said.

Both hope they can help the Spartans, who finished 1-4 last season, be more competitive in the Eastern Athetic Conference.

"We've got a lot of people come out this year," Lindsay said. "We've got a lot of talent."

While Lindsay will be running track at the University of New Hampshire next year, Katie will be turning even more heads. At the indoor postseason meeting, one of the Bishop Feehan coaches gave Tracey a new Katie Darmody story.

"They said, we've got the star of the future."

Contact Mike Rocha at


Wareham's Smith has team goals in mind

Sport:   Posted: April 1st, 2008 by Tom Nolette

High School boys track preview
Wareham's Smith has team goals in mind
March 31, 2008 6:00 AM

Wareham’s Rob Smith, left, and Mike Zine work out on a stairwell inside the high school. Smith and Zine have emerged as some of the best middle-distance runners in the South Coast Conference. MIKE VALERI/ The Standard-Timesmike valer

WAREHAM — Some preach the team concept and some live it. Wareham's Rob Smith is one individual that happens to do both.

Coming off an impressive indoor track season in which he and teammate Mike Zine represented Wareham in the 600 meters at the Division 3 State Meet, Smith pushed aside the individual aspect of track and field and focused on his team's status for the upcoming season.

No talk of setting personal records or qualifying for state meets. Those aspects of track, Smith said, will have their time. For now, he's focused on Wareham winning its first South Coast Conference title, which this year, with this team, seems possible.

"Everybody will have their time to shine when it comes to the conference meet and the individual state meets," Smith said, "but during the conference season, it's about team."

And after last year's upset win over Seekonk, plenty of returning members from last year's team, plus breakout indoor seasons from several athletes, Smith is thinking this year is a good time for the Vikings to cash in on a conference title.

"The conference has been here 20 years? Wareham has not won the conference once. It's always been D-R and Seekonk. When we beat Seekonk last year, guaranteed we wouldn't beat them if we weren't a team, if we weren't as close-knit as we were," Smith said. "Nobody expected us to do that. It's just a matter of getting people out there and believing what they could do. It's our time to prove how good we are."

In a sport that is largely looked at as individual, Smith has taken himself out of the limelight in order to give his team a chance at winning a meet. This past indoor track season, with Zine acclimating himself to an indoor track, Smith stepped out and filled Wareham's depleted distance events, even though he wasn't comfortable in them.

"Granted, I didn't like it because I wanted to run my event, but I knew it was helping the team win," Smith said. "For me, myself, I would rather have this school have a conference championship than have an individual sectional title myself because I think it would prove to the school that we're not just basketball and football. We're a track school as well."

As his coach Tina Clark said: "He's such a track kid that he knows the scoring and the strategy. He'll come to me with a game plan for Voc-Tech. He will. He goes, 'I think they're going to do this with this kid, and I think this person should go here and this person should go here.' And we actually compare game plans."

His dedication to the team has also helped the team grow in numbers, something vital in the dual-meet season. While a small team may have four or five athletes winning events, teams with larger numbers can take second- and third-place points, virtually voiding out victories.

"I'm always out there recruiting people, trying to convince everybody that's it's not just about running. It's not just individual, it's a team sport," Smith said.

Zine's emergence on the team has given Smith a practice peer of equal running ability. The middle-distance duo feed off each other in practice, with Smith taking a leadership role for Zine, who improved in winter track from a time of 1 minute, 34 seconds down to an All-State qualifying time of 1:26.28.

"Rob helped me a lot. At practice he's pushing me. It's made us both better runners," Zine said. "I'm one of the people that kind of think for the worst. Rob's always saying, 'You can win. You can do anything.'"

Together, they've become some of the better middle-distance runners in the SCC and Division 3.

"When we're out at practice we're always yelling at each other, giving each other motivation. We realize that we need each other in order to run faster," Smith said. "I don't know where I'd be without Mike Zine. I'd be out there every day at practice by myself and I wouldn't know where I stand."

In a way, they're unique in a competitive, seemingly individual sport. They push each other instead of beat each other down. They don't compete. Even when the two ran in the same race at the Division 3 State Meet, Smith was trying to motivate Zine before the race.

"There's nothing wrong with a teammate doing better," Smith said.

Lancers' star headed to Exeter

Sport:   Posted: April 1st, 2008 by Tom Nolette

Lancers' star headed to Exeter
Tuesday, April 01, 2008

All the bright future questions are now a thing of the past for Pat Donnelly of Longmeadow.

The senior at Longmeadow High School has made it official - he's headed to Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, N.H., this fall.

"It is so nice to know where you're going, what it's going to be like," Donnelly, 18, said. "It's nice to have the decision out of the way."

Donnelly had also considered Phillips Andover and Worcester academies, saying the prep route was always the planned path.

"I like the school so much because it had the best combination for me ... with basketball, football and academics," Donnelly said. "My parents and I have known it was going to be a PG (post-graduate) year for me. I think I needed another year to grow, a year living away from home."

The 6-foot-3, 175-pounder has secured himself as one of the region's top schoolboy athletes, and he plans to play both sports at Exeter.

"With a successful year there, his options (for college) are going to be unlimited," Longmeadow football coach Alex Rotsko said. "A year of preps will be great for him not just academically, but physically, if he puts on 20 or 25 pounds. His goal all along has been to play at the highest level possible in college."

Donnelly led the Lancers to an undefeated and Division I Super Bowl championship season in football last fall and last month led the way to the program's first Western Mass. title in basketball.

"My mind has been on the sports seasons, and we didn't hear (about admissions) until March 10," Donnelly said. "

At Longmeadow, Donnelly went 35-0 in three seasons as a starting quarterback, directing the Lancers to three straight Division I Super Bowl titles. In 324 career passing attempts, he threw for 3,023 yards, 43 touchdowns and only five interceptions.

The all-state selection also won the Angelo Bertelli Award, named for the former Heisman Trophy Award winner from West Springfield and given to the region's most valuable player.

"In football, everyone expected us to win ... we almost had to win," Donnelly said. "It was different in basketball, nobody outside of the team thought we'd do anything. So it was fun like that, to be (an underdog)."

The small forward averaged 27.3 points in the postseason, leading Longmeadow (19-5) to a 17-game winning streak that ended in the state semifinals. The 1,000-point scorer averaged 21.8 points during the regular season.

At Exeter, Donnelly will join a football team that is coming off a 5-3 season and a basketball squad that won a school-record 17 games this winter.

Donnelly holds a weighted grade point average of 3.3 and said he is not leaning toward any particular field of future study in college.

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