Soaring to New Heights:Simon Completes a Sensational Sophomore Season

Soaring to New Heights:Simon Completes a Sensational Sophomore Season

Every time Chelsea High girls track coach Mark Martineau set a goal for Stephanie Simon this season, the 5-foot-4-inch sophomore eclipsed it.

Stephanie Simon is on her
way to another victory for the Chelsea High girls track team.

“I think Stephanie exceeded our expectations to the point that we don’t know what the expectations should be for Stephanie,” said Martineau, who has piloted the CHS track program’s resurgence and helped Simon develop in to its marquee performer.

Simon just completed an outdoor track season that was unprecedented in school history. She was the Commonwealth Athletic Conference MVP in the track and field events at the CAC Meet and the season-long honoree. She set six school records and won every event in which she competed, with the exception of one. Her older sister, Martine, an All-State performer heading to Mass. College of Art, edged her out one time in the triple jump.

Stephanie qualified for the Division 1 State Meet in six events (high jump, triple jump, long jump, 100 meters, 200 meters, and 100-meter hurdles). She entered three events in the Division 1 Meet and finished second in the triple jump, third in the high jump, and third in the 100-meter dash.

Competing in the New Balance Nationals at North Carolina A & T State University against the trop track athletes in the country, Simon placed 15th in the high jump and 27th in the triple jump.

Martineau believes Simon’s improvement has been striking and that her future is exceedingly bright.

“Stephanie has improved a ton from freshman to sophomore year, which leads us to believe that there is more room to grow,” said Martineau. “It’s hard to predict what her ceiling is.”

So who is this emerging superstar that is already drawing comparisons to Autumn Lopez, Denise Chappell, Kristin Rosa, Tiffany Moore, Katrina Hill, Nancy Pilcher, Laurie Taraskiewicz, Minerva Cruz, and Loreen Bradley – some of the greatest female athletes to wear the CHS uniform?

Stephanie is the 16-year-old daughter of Hubert and Mathilde Simon, who are of Haitian descent. Both parents played soccer in Haiti. Stephanie attended the Early Childhood Learning Center, the Berkowitz School and the Clark Avenue Middle School. In addition to an older sister, Martine, she has an older brother, Norbert, a graduate of CHS and UMass/Boston and a former CHS track athlete, and a younger brother, Emmanuel, who will be a freshman at CHS.

What is Stephanie Simon’s best track event?

“The high jump is my favorite event, but my best event is the triple jump,” she said.

Simon is already raising the bar for next season.

“My goal for the high jump is to jump 5-6 by the end of indoor season and 5-8 in the outdoor season. For the triple jump, I want to be able to jump 38 feet consistently and in the 100 meters, I want to be in the high, 11-seconds. And we’re going to try out the 400 meters next year,” she said confidently.

She views her sister, Martine, as a role model and a motivating influence in her track career.

“Martine taught me in my freshman year the do’s and don’ts and I appreciate all that she has done for me,” said Stephanie.

The MVC (Most Valuable Coach) in her athletic career is Martineau, without a doubt. Martineau, however, is stepping down as coach to be the Grade 9 assistant principal at CHS.

“Coach Martineau has been an incredible mentor who has brought out all the excellence in me and I’m definitely going to miss him as my coach,” said Stephanie, with emotion in her voice. She added that she was also appreciative of CHS Athletic Director Amanda Alpert’s support and encouragement.

College coaches are becoming aware of Stephanie Simon’s record-breaking accomplishments. A good student, Simon is looking at such prestigious institutions as Amherst College, Smith College, and Tufts University.

“I’m only a sophomore and I believe I can get better,” said Stephanie.

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Sports 12-07-2017

Sports 12-07-2017

CHS track teams set for new season

The Chelsea High boys and girls indoor rack teams were set to open their season last night (Wednesday) against Greater Lowell at Lynn Tech.

For the first time ever, the Commonwealth Athletic Conference will host an indoor track league.

Chelsea has competed for the past three years in the Greater Boston League. However, the GBL has disbanded, with all of its remaining teams joining the Northeastern Conference.

“Just like every year the boys will have to fight for every win,” said CHS coach Mark Martineau.

Coming off a good cross country season, the Red Devil distance crew will be the backbone of the team.  Senior Jose Leclerc earned CAC MVP honors for both this past cross country season and also was the CAC MVP last spring.

“Jose is looking to have another great season,” noted Martineau.

Junior Justin Turner had a breakout season in the fall that he is looking to build on.  The throws team will be led by seniors Tony Bui and Nelson Hernandez.

However, the sprint team for the boys is a big question mark at this point.  Senior Alex Pedrero is the only returning sprinter with more than one season of experience.

“Much of our season will be determined by how well this group comes together,” added Martineau.

The Lady Red Devil squad is coming off CAC cross country and spring track titles.  The team is led by standout senior Martine Simon.

“Martine has been competing well at the state level since her sophomore year,” said Martineau. “She is looking to have another great season in the 55m dash as well as the long jump.”

The CHS distance team is strong, but thin.  The trio of Yarid Deras, Jocelyn Poste, and Amanda Dias should all compete well at the state level.

“We are hoping to continue to develop our younger runners to support them,” said Martineau. Sophomores Stephanie Simon and Isha Osman are coming off great freshman years.  Stephanie already has achieved the state-qualifying mark of 4′-10″ in the high jump in her second practice of the year.

Junior Masireh Ceesay and senior Adamaris Perez will lead a strong throws team.

“The throws have been the foundation of this team for some years now,” said Martineau. “We will continue to rely on this crew.

“The challenge the girls will face this year is in terms of depth” Martineau added. “In many events we will only have one or two athletes.  This will make it hard to win.  If we have one or two injuries, it could be a tough season.”

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French Club Comes Down to Make Way for Affordable Housing

French Club Comes Down to Make Way for Affordable Housing

By Seth Daniel

After hundreds of athletic banquets, wedding receptions and a whose who list of Chelsea political functions, that history all came tumbling down last Friday when the French Naturalization Club on Spencer Avenue was demolished for affordable housing.

Crews secured the area last Thursday, and began the demo on Friday – taking down the old Function Hall that many had known from the old days of political times or youth sports banquets. By the end of it’s stretch, though, it had seen better times, as a man was murdered in the Club during a party a few years ago.

That led to the Club’s end, and it became vacant until The Neighborhood Developers (TND) purchased the property for an affordable housing development.

That development was controversial when Mill Hill neighbors learned late in the game of TND’s plans to put up the housing.

That sparked a vigorous debate throughout the community two years ago, and led to a scaling back of the project and a return of the Spencer Avenue Extension to the City so cars could continue using it.

Now, the project will include 34 units of affordable rental housing in a brand new building that will feature a community space on the bottom floor and the activation of the sidewalks with front porches on ground-floor units.

City Manager Tom Ambrosino said TND has its permits and its financing in place. They are ready to commence the construction phase now.

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Sports 05-25-2017

Sports 05-25-2017

CHS Roundup

CHS girls capture CAC track title; Martine Simon is named meet MVP

The Chelsea High girls track team scored a dominating 154 points — a total that was more than the second (Essex Tech with 97 points) and third-place (Shawsheen Tech with 54 points) schools combined — to capture the 2017 championship of the Commonwealth Athletic Conference in a meet held Saturday at Shawsheen Tech.

Martine Simon was named the Meet MVP in recognition of her three CAC title-winning performances in the 100 meter dash (12.96), 200 dash (26.72), and the long jump (15’-10”). In addition, Martine took third in the triple jump with a distance of 33’-5”.

To put her feat into perspective, Martine’s total of 36 points for the Lady Red Devils was more than what half the other teams at the meet scored.

Senior Sylvia Agywaa was another standout for Chelsea. Sylvia took first in both the high hurdles (16.20, a new meet and CHS school record) and the low hurdles (1:11.86).

“Sylvia has had an amazing season and is getting stronger heading into next week’s state meet,” said CHS head coach Mark Martineau.

Sophomore  Amanda Dias continued her winning ways, taking first place in the two mile and adding a third in the one mile for 16 points.

Fellow sophomore Jocelyn Poste enjoyed a fine day, taking second places in the 800 (2:36.39) and the 400 hurdles (1:13.19) to post 16 points in the Chelsea column.

Senior Owliyo Mohamud took second in the 400 in a personal record (PR) time of 1:01.48 and third in the 200m (27.75).  Freshman Stephanie Simon also turned in a splendid day, grabbing second in the high jump with a PR leap of 5’-0”.

The throwing events continued to be a strength for Chelsea. The Lady Red Devils took second, third, and fourth places in the shotput, led by Alex Martinez and Michena Eugene.

Chelsea also grabbed three places in the discus with Masireh Ceesay taking second (87’-7”), Tracy Flores third (81’-0”), and Jessica Martinez fifth (77’-2”).

“This was a great way to cap off a record-setting season for this girls’ squad,” said Martineau. “This is an amazing and special group of girls.  Graduation will hit us hard on the track and in terms of leadership.  We will be looking for new girls to step up and continue the winning ways.”

The 2017 crown mark the second straight CAC Meet title and the third straight undefeated duial-meet season for the CHS girls.

“The graduating seniors will have finished their career with a record of 40 wins, one loss, and one tie,” added Martineau. “Not bad for four years of work.”

CHS boys take  second at CAC; LeClerc named MVP

The Chelsea High boys track & field team turned in a superb performance, scoring 78 points to place second, behind only Shawsheen Tech, at Saturday’s Commonwealth Athletic Conference championship meet.

“This was an amazing day,” said CHS head coach Mark Matineau.  “What makes this accomplishment really amazing is the fact that we only had 12 individual boys compete at this meet.”

Leading the way of Chelsea was league MVP Jose Leclerc, who won a tough double, taking the two-mile (10:45) as well as the 800 (2:09).

“Jose has been undefeated in both events this year and had to be really focused and disciplined to pull off the tough double in a big meet like this one,” said Martineau.

Adriel Cedano also had a big day, winning the 400m (52.53) and finishing second in the triple jump with a new CHS school record jump of 41’-4”.  The old record had stood since 1973.

Nick Ieng had a big points-day, finishing fourth in the 100 (11.6), third in the shotput, third in the javelin, and fourth in the 200m.

“Nick’s performance sums up the story of this team — kids working really hard, competing in multiple events, and leaving it all out on the track,” noted Martineau. “I can honestly say that this is one of the toughest squads ever to come through our program.  They refuse to quit or give in.  Like the girls, the boys will graduate much of their leadership and points.  We have a strong young distance core that is progressing well, we will need to fill some sprints and jumps to round out this team.”

This Saturday the girls and boys travel to the MIAA D2 state championships at Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical High School.

“With 10 girls and six boys going, this looks to be the biggest squad we have ever brought,” said Martineau.

CHS baseball team  ready to wrap up 2017

The Chelsea High baseball team was set to conclude its 2017 campaign this week. Coach Alan Beausoleil’s Red Devils were scheduled to play at Essex Tech this past Tuesday and will play their season finale today (Thursday) against Whittier Tech at Carter Park.

The CHS squad dropped both of its contests this past week, falling to Greater Lawrence, 10-0, and to St. Clement’s, 11-5.

In the latter contest, Luis Jimenez had a hit, stole three bases, and scored a run. Andrew Falcon banged a double for an RBI and drew a base-on-balls.

Chelsea had closed to within 7-5 by the middle of the sixth inning, but St. Clem’s pulled away with four markers in the bottom of the sixth.

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End Of An Era:Frank DePatto Retires As CHS Director Of Athletics

By Cary Shuman

Frank DePatto and the position of Chelsea High School director of athletics were a perfect fit for 28 years.

DePatto was a Chelsea guy, the CHS class of 1957 president and a student-athlete. He had been a lifelong advocate for Chelsea sports, from the time he had sponsored and coached a team in the local summer basketball league to the countless Chelsea High School games he had attended as a fan.

DePatto succeeded Saul Nechtem as head of the entire CHS athletic program in 1988. No one had to tell DePatto how prestigious it was to be at the helm of a high school athletic program in the vaunted Greater Boston League. And no one had to tell DePatto about the legendary figure he was succeeding as director of athletics.

In fact, it was Frank DePatto who recommended that the gymnasium inside the new Chelsea High School be named the “Saul Nechtem Gymnasium,” which it was.

DePatto’s superb reign as the leader of Chelsea High boys and girls sports ended on July 1 when he retired from the position.

“After 28 years as the AD at my alma mater, there are many people to thank, especially State Senator and School Committee member, the late Andrew P. Quigley and School Committee member, the late Morris Seigal – they were my mentors,” said DePatto. I also want to thank the many superintendents and principals who supported me along the way.

“It has a been a pleasure to serve the youth of the city of Chelsea, a city I truly love.”

One of DePatto’s closest friends and supporters through the years was former city manager Jay Ash, who played college basketball at Clark University. Ash is the State Secretary of Housing and Economic Development.

“I’m proud that I’ve been one of Jay Ash’s mentors,” he said.

DePatto said his first immersion in to the fabric of the Chelsea sports community came when he organized and sponsored a very successful men’s and women’s summer basketball league. He coached the Chelsea Record and Salon 312 teams in the men’s league that drew sizable crowds to the old Merritt Park courts. One of the opposing teams, Charles Lee Disposal, featured none other than Councillor-at-Large Leo Robinson, a former CHS hoop player, at point guard.

DePatto also coached semi-professional basketball with many college stars on the roster including Jay Ash, Rudy Williams, Jerry Scott, Stu Primus, Danny O’Callaghan, John Miller, and Eddie Thurman.

From summer basketball, DePatto made the jump to the Chelsea High athletic program as its director in 1988.

“Replacing the great Saul Nechtem upon his retirement – it was a job made from heaven,” said DePatto.

Very early in his tenure DePatto made a monumental decision: he recommended that the Chelsea-Everett Thanksgiving football series be discontinued after the 1989 contest in which Everett prevailed by a dominating 32-0 score. Chelsea hasn’t played Everett in football since that blowout.

“Everett was always just too good with many more skilled players than Chelsea and the score mostly always favored Everett,” related DePatto about his decision to end the century-old rivalry. “As someone who played in the Chelsea-Everett game in the mid-1950s, it was a hard decision to make, especially when we drew 10,000-12,000 fans for some of the Thanksgiving games. Times were changing and it was time to move on.”

DePatto hired Joe Gaff as head football coach in 1993 and two years later he led the Red Devils to their only Super Bowl championship, defeating Old Colony for the title.

Around the same time DePatto brought Ramona Foster on board as the new Chelsea High girls basketball coach and Foster “turned the program around.”

DePatto made it a point during his directorship to recognize those individuals who contributed much to CHS athletics. It was DePatto who recommended that the press box at Chelsea Memorial Stadium be named in memory of the late Arnold Goodman, a beloved teacher, player and coach.

DePatto helped launch the Stop & Shop High School Basketball Tournament, bringing the best teams in New England to Chelsea. Teaming up with Leo Papile of the BABC and philanthropist Herbie Kupersmith, DePatto raised more than $55,000 for Chelsea scholarships. Teams from as far away as Hawaii and Florida played in the tournament “and we were the talk of the basketball universe for 15 years.”

When Boston hosted the NBA Summer League, the Philadelphia (76ers) and Indiana (Pacers) teams held their practices at Chelsea High.

DePatto said his proudest accomplishment was sending many CHS athletes on to compete at the college level. DePatto was instrumental in former soccer star Michael Bustamante’s matriculation at Boston University. Bustamante later continued his career for the New York Red Bulls in Major League Soccer (MLS), a professional league in the United States.

DePatto always stood up for Chelsea High athletes, once packing the Aldermanic Chambers for a School Committee meeting at City Hall to help change a rule that brought Chelsea’s academic eligibility requirements for athletes in line with MIAA requirements.

He re-instituted the indoor and outdoor track programs that are now producing championship teams. He organized the first Chelsea High Annual Awards Assembly 26 years ago. He also launched the girls soccer program.

During his time as AD, DePatto returned to the sidelines as an assistant coach on Jack Niven’s boys basketball staff. He served as the head coach for three seasons before Jay Seigal succeeded him.

Last year, DePatto was selected to represent the Commonwealth Athletic Conference at the National Athletic Directors Conference. He received numerous awards in recognition of his outstanding service at Chelsea High.

“I made many friends as athletic director – a job that I loved,” said DePatto. “I am a former player, a former coach, and now a former AD, and I will always be –a No. 1 fan of the Red Devils. I’m proud to have followed Saul Nechtem and a great line of coaches and athletic directors.”

DePatto made it a point to wish new director of athletics Amanda Alpert “success in her endeavors.”

“I’m going to miss Chelsea greatly,” said DePatto, who finished out the 2015-16 school year at the request of Supt. of Schools Dr. Mary Bourque, who wanted him to be part of the transition process. “There will be a void in my life. This job truly has been a labor of love.”

Frank DePatto

Frank DePatto

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Chelsea Sports Awards

CHEL_20160602_A1

Outgoing Athletic Director Frank DePatto was honored with a football jersey bearing his original number during the 26th Annual Chelsea Sports Awards last Thursday night, May 26. DePatto spoke of the game he played at which he cost the team a victory, but learned a valuable lesson in life.

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Amanda Alpert Named CHS Athletic Director

By Cary Shuman

When Amanda Alpert takes office on July 1 as athle

New Chelsea High School director of athletics Amanda Alpert is pictured adjacent to the school sign. Alpert will take office July 1 as the leader of the athletic program

New Chelsea High School director of athletics Amanda Alpert is pictured adjacent to the school sign. Alpert will take office July 1 as the leader of the athletic program

tic director (AD) at Chelsea High School, she will be the first woman to serve in the prestigious position.

Alpert’s official title is coordinator of physical education, comprehensive health, and athletics for the Chelsea school district but it’s those two letters – AD – that all will recognize for being the person in charge of all CHS sports programs.

The late Saul Nechtem held the position for a half century before Frank DePatto succeeded Nechtem in 1989. DePatto is stepping down this year after a sterling 27-year career.

Supt. of Schools Dr. Mary Bourque appointed Alpert to the new position that also includes overseeing physical education and health classes in all local schools. Alpert is a guidance counselor at CHS but has begun the transition to her new office.

“I’m excited about my new position and putting my thoughts in to action,” said the 32-year-old Alpert.

She is currently a CHS boys and girls assistant track coach and she previously served as an assistant coach on Mike Stellato’s football staff.

Alpert has made a name for herself as a women’s professional tackle football player, having won all-league honors as an offensive lineman 11 times. She has played on three Super Bowl championship teams and is still active as a player for the Boston Renegades, who play their home games at Dilboy Stadium in Somerville. This weekend, Alpert and her team will fly to Pittsburgh for a professional game that will be televised by the local Pittsburgh station.

Alpert played tennis and competed in indoor and outdoor track at Saugus High and went on to compete in track at Endicott College. She holds a Master’s degree in School Counseling from Suffolk University and is pursuing a Master’s degree in Athletic Administration.

She was a teacher at Malden High School before becoming a guidance counselor at CHS in 2009. Alpert is now poised to build on the success of the CHS athletic program that competes in the Commonwealth Athletic Conference.

Alpert feels that CHS athletes should be receiving more recognition for their accomplishments.

“I would like to see the community more involved in the athletic program,” said Alpert. “I think the accomplishments of our athletes need to be publicized. Some of our athletes are amazing scholars and I want the community to know about them and where they’re going to college. I want our student-athletes to focus more on their studies and be more serious about their education.”

She will also stress sportsmanship to the CHS student-athletes. “I would love to say that winning a championship for every team is my goal but realistically it’s not. I think what’s more important is what the students are learning through playing sports.”

Alpert intends to meet with Chelsea parents to discuss the school’s expectations for student-athletes. She will also reach out to the leaders of Chelsea youth sports programs.

She thanked Dr. Bourque for the opportunity and said the schools’ top administrator has been very helpful to her in her new role. “Dr. Bourque has been super supportive through this whole process and I’m very lucky to have someone like her involved in this transition.”

Amanda Alpert has been immersed in Chelsea for much of her life. She is a member of a well-known philanthropic Chelsea family. Her father, Allan, is the city’s emergency management director and the esteemed toastmaster general for local social events. Her grandfather, Norman Alpert, played sports at Chelsea High and was a CHS teacher, while his brother, Julius Alpert, was also a standout athlete at Chelsea High School.

She is grateful to her parents, Allan and Laraine Alpert, for their support and encouragement throughout her athletic and professional career.

“When I told my parents that athletic administration was a field I wanted to pursue, they were 100 percent supportive,” said Alpert. “Whether it’s been women’s pro football games or coming to track meets or tennis matches in high school, they would come by to watch me compete. I think my father has missed one only one home football game in my playing career. They’ve been great through everything. They’re excited for me and I think my dad is really excited for me to be so involved in sports in Chelsea because they were really important to his dad. I think he’s proud that I found a love for Chelsea that he has and that his father had.”

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Alpert Chosen as New CHS Athletic Director

By Seth Daniel

The Chelsea Public School announced on Wednesday that Amanda Alpert has been chosen the next Director of Athletics for the Chelsea Public Schools.

She will begin her role on July 1, and the role will be expanded to include director of physical education and health. The official title, which is new, is Coordinator of PE, Health and Athletics, and it is a full-time position.

The former Athletics Director, Frank DePatto, served for decades in the position, and had been serving on a part time basis.

“Amanda has served as Track & Field Coach from 2006 to the present and Assistant Junior Varsity Football Coach from 2009 to 2012,” said Supt. Mary Bourque in an official announcement. “Since her involvement with the Chelsea High School Girls Track and Field Team, the team has experienced five undefeated season and four conference meet championships. Amanda believes deeply that these awards are wonderful, but it is the Sportsmanship Award that she wants all our teams bringing home. Amanda was awarded the Commonwealth Conference Coach of the Year Award in 2012. Amanda will spend the next few weeks transitioning from guidance counselor to Coordinator for PE, Health, and Athletics. We thank Frank DePatto for serving and supporting her during these transition months.”

Alpert holds a B.S. in Psychology; a M.Ed. in School Counseling and she will soon receive her second Master’s Degree, a M.Ed. in Athletic Administration. She is the daughter of Chelsea Emergency Management Director Allan Alpert.

Alpert’s Chelsea career began in 2008 as a Special Education Inclusion Teacher at the Brown Middle School. Since 2009, she has been a guidance counselor at Chelsea High School.

“She understands the vision of the school district to integrate over the next few years: PE, Health, and Athletics as one comprehensive K-12 model where healthy eating and active living are the key skills our students leave us with; active living will include a vibrant sports program,” said Bourque. “Amanda’s experience as a guidance counselor brings to the athletics position a high regard and high standard for promoting Chelsea scholar-athletes.”

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Sports 12-10-2015

CHS Roundup

CHS track girls open

season Thursday

The 2015-16 winter season kicks off today (Thursday) with the Chelsea High Lady Red Devils facing Greater Lawrence at Somerville High. This is Chelsea’s second year competing as a varsity sport in indoor track, with the Red Devils reuniting with their old friends in the Greater Boston League featuring Everett, Medford, Malden, and Somerville. Greater Lawrence, which is a member of the Commonwealth Athletic Conference with Chelsea in all other sports, also is in the GBL.

Last year the CHS girls finished in the middle of the pack in the GBL, but coach Mark Martineau and his squad have high hopes for the coming season.

“This year we are looking to build upon the success of last year with most of the major contributors back from last season,” said Martineau.

Leading the way is Mariama Kamara, who finished 5th at last year’s MIAA Division 2 meet in the 55 meter dash. “In this, her senior season, Mariama worked hard in the off-season to have a monster year,” noted Martineau.

Fellow senior Katherine Cabral is also poised to have a great year as one of the best 300M runners in the GBL and MIAA Division 2. Katherine is the current CHS school record-holder outdoors in the 400M.

Junior long sprinter Owliyo Mohamud (300M and 600M) and sophomore short sprinter (55M) Martine Simon are coming off great indoor and outdoor seasons from last year. Combined with Cabral and Kamara, the quartet forms one of the best 4 x 200M relay teams in the state. This foursome finished just out of placing in both the 4 x 200 and the 4 x 400 at last year’s state meet.

Senior Wendy Becerra leads the Lady Red Devils distance squadron. Becerra had a great cross country season and is primed to maintain her winning ways on the track. Freshman Jocelyn Poste also was a strong contributor during the cross country season and looks to continue that breakthrough on the track.

In the throws, senior Jasmine Castillion will be one of the best in the conference and will have to play a big part in developing the new, young CHS athletes.

“For this team to be successful, every member will have to contribute,” said Martineau, mentioning in particular junior Melanie Nguyen (55 hurdles and 600) and senior Cynthia Guzman (1000 and mile). “Our many returning sophomores and new freshmen also will have to work hard to contribute. While this team has lots of star power, for us to compete for a GBL title we will need every athlete to do their best,” asked Martineau.

The Lady Red Devils’ next dual meet will take place Wednesday at Somerville.

CHS boys indoor track

team opens season today

Today (Thursday) marks the season-opener for the 2015-16 indoor track season with Chelsea taking on Greater Lawrence at Somerville High. Chelsea will compete in the Greater Boston League against Everett, Somerville, Medford, and Malden.

“This is our second year as an indoor track program and we are looking to build upon the success of last year,” said CHS head coach Mark Martineau.

Among the Red Devils who should have big indoor campaigns is senior captain Jose Aguiar, who is coming off a breakout cross country season where he earned all-conference honors by finishing fourth at the Commonwealth Athletic Conference championship meet.

“Jose’s ‘reward’ for this success is moving from a short sprinter, where he has spent most of his career, to the land of middle distance,” said CHS head coach Mark Martineau. “Jose will compete in all events from the 55M dash to the 1000. On the state level Jose will focus on the 300 and 600. Jose has had an amazing two weeks of training. His work ethic and dedication set an example that the whole team benefits from.”

Another sprinter coming off a solid cross country season is junior Adriel Cedano. “Adriel has worked hard since since the end of last year’s outdoor season to get himself ready to compete at the highest level,” said Martineau. “Last spring as a sophomore, Adriel qualified for the Division II state meet.” Cedano will compete in the 55, 300, long jump, and high jump.

Also coming off solid cross country seasons are seniors Johnny Gomez (also a captain) and Jansel Claudio. “This duo forms the nucleus of our distance team,” noted Martineau. “Cross country is the best off-season training track athletes can do no matter what event they run. We have seen the difference in practice alone, where the athletes who competed on the cross country team are performing at such a higher level than those who did not.”

Another bright spot for the boys’ team is the number of underclassmen on the squad. “We have a tremendous amount of young talent,” enthused Martineau. “The challenge to the coaches and captains is to develop this talent as quickly as possible to contribute to the success of the team.”

In the throwing events, senior captain Luka Braga continues to provide leadership by the example of his work ethic. “Luka has taken the responsibility for leading the throws team personally,” noted Martineau.

“We have a promising season in front of us,” added Martineau. “It’s exciting to be around a group of athletes who work so hard and find a way to have some fun while trying to do so.”

Chelsea’s next meet is set for Wednesday at Somerville.

CHS boys basketball

team opens Tuesday

The Chelsea High boys basketball team will open its 2015-16 season Tuesday when the Red Devils host Minuteman Regional. Tip-off is set for 5:30 at the CHS gym.

The Lady Red Devils also open their season Tuesday, traveling to Minuteman.

Bruins Beat

by Bob Morello

Bruins continue to fight

The possibility exists that Monday night’s 3-2 loss to the Nashville Predators was due to the tough schedule which had the Bruins playing four games in six nights – although the stronger indication is that a major part of the team’s downfall was the total lack of discipline. Whether attributed to the fatigue factor, or not, it earned Boston 10 penalties against the Preds, that resulted in two Nashville power-play goals. The momentum the Bruins built up on their recent three-game West Coast trip while taking four of the six available points, eventually disappeared on Garden ice by game time on Monday.

The fact that the B’s have such a problem in trying to earn a win on Garden ice is astounding, their 5-7-1 home record pales in comparison to their impressive 9-2-2 road record. At press time last night (Wednesday) the Bruins faced the Montreal Canadiens, a team they have had little success with over the years. The game, a prelude to the 2016 NHL Winter Classic on New Year’s Day, would have a lineup littered with injured Boston players. The ‘walking wounded’ presently entrenched in the trainer’s room – Chris Kelly, Dennis Seidenberg, Colin Miller, David Pastrnak, and most recently Joonas Kemppainen on injured reserve, with the ‘domino’ effect taking its toll on the team’s penalty-killing efforts.

Hoping their road game success will continue with a victory in Montreal may seem unlikely, but the way Boston has played lately, anything is possible. The Canadiens game will leave the Bruins with just two more road games (Pittsburgh and Ottawa) in December, with seven games remaining on Garden ice. Despite the roller-coaster season the Bruins have created, they currently maintain a ‘tentative’ playoff spot, holding on to eighth and final spot in the Eastern Conference standings. With a couple of victories during their upcoming three-game homestand, they can put themselves in a much more comfortable position in the conference standings, plus if they had success against Montreal last night (Wednesday).

Schedule wise, the Bruins return from Montreal and will have a couple of days off to prepare to face teams that are right behind them in the conference standings. On Saturday (12/12 @ 1:00pm) the B’s have a matinee game with the Florida Panthers, Monday (12/14 @ 7:00pm) Boston will take on the highly touted Connor McDavid and the struggling Edmonton Oilers who will be making their initial appearance at the Garden this season. Wednesday (12/16 @ 8:00pm) the B’s will host the Pittsburgh Penguins as the first part of a home-and-home series that will continue in Pittsburgh on Friday (12/18 @ 7:00pm), for the second half of the back-to-back. At press time on Wednesday the Penguins were hot on the Bruins’ heels in the standings.

Toys for Tots Program: The Bruins and U.S. Marines Corps Reserve will be collecting new, unwrapped toys to benefit the Toys for Tots Program prior to home games in December (December 12, 14, 16, 20 & 22). Fans are encouraged to bring a new, unwrapped toy to donate or give a $10 donation to the Toys for Tots Program. For every toy or $10 donation made, fans will receive a raffle ticket for a chance to win Bruins autographed memorabilia. Representatives from the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve will be on hand at the East and West turnstiles of TD Garden to collect toys and monetary donations. All toys will be distributed to less fortunate children in the community during the holidays. All monetary donations will be used to purchase additional toys.

Fans who cannot make it to any of the December games but still want to support Toys for Tots, can purchase a ticket to the Boston Bruins Foundation Benefit Show. Fans can enjoy a night of great live music, on Saturday, December 12, 2015 from 5-8 PM at West End Johnnie’s (Portland Street, Boston). Proceeds from the show will benefit the Boston Bruins Foundation and Toys for Tots.

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Jack Halas Named Head Football Coach at Chelsea High School

Chelsea High School director of athletics Frank DePatto announced this week that Jack Halas has been appointed as the new head coach of the CHS football team.

Halas, an assistant football coach at CHS for the past six years, succeeds Michael Stellato as the leader of the Red Devils’ football program that competes in the Commonwealth Athletic Conference Small Division.

“Jack brings a lot of experience and he’s committed to building a strong foundation and moving the program in the right direction,” said DePatto. “We’re very happy to have Jack on board as our head football coach.”

The Halas name is well known in the Chelsea community and represents an excellence in sports ranging from basketball and football to baseball, fast pitch softball, and even candlepin bowling (Jack’s cousin, Richie Halas, is a Candlepin Bowling Hall of Fame inductee).

Halas, 34, played football and baseball at Savio Prep in East Boston and at Hamilton College in New York. He was a Catholic Central League All-Star athlete at Savio and played four years in the Hamilton baseball program.

Halas has met with some of the returning CHS players and he’s looking forward to beginning practices August 24 for the 2015 season. The Red Devils open their season Sept. 11 versus Lynn Tech.

“We have 48 players and that doesn’t include the incoming freshmen. The players are excited. I’m excited. I’m in the process of selecting my staff of assistant coaches who will be former Red Devils.”

One of the interesting matchups on the CHS schedule is a game against former Greater Boston League rival Revere High on Sept. 18 at the brand new Harry Della Russo Stadium in Revere.

“I’m confident that I can lead the program to great heights,” said Halas. “We’re looking to restore some of the pride back in the football p

Jack Halas

Jack Halas

rogram and the city. We not only want to develop good football players but also respectful young men.”

Halas said he will be reaching out to leaders of the Chelsea Pride and Chelsea Pop Warner youth football organizations. “I will help those organizations in any way I can and strengthen our relationship with those programs.”

Halas, who served as defensive coordinator on Michael Stellato’s staff, said about his former coaching colleague, “Mike was a great guy and it was a pleasure to work with him in the program.”

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