The Chelsea Police Department will increase impaired driving patrols on local roads with grant funds from the Highway Safety Division of the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS). Chelsea Police will join local departments across the state as well as the Massachusetts State Police in the national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Overenforcement mobilization and public information campaign.
This year’s campaign will urge drivers drinking alcohol or using marijuana and other drugs to plan ahead and designate a sober driver, use a ride-share service or take public transportation.
“Impaired drivers create a dangerous situation for everyone around them, threatening the destruction of lives and entire families,” said Chief Brian A. Kyes. “This grant will help increase our efforts during the busy summer travel season to keep our roads free of impaired drivers and avoid the tragedy they wreak.”
“Getting behind the wheel after drinking alcohol, using marijuana or both is one of the most dangerous things drivers can do,” said Jeff Larason, Director of the Highway Safety Division. “A little planning can save your life or someone else’s. Regret or remorse won’t bring someone back.”
Marijuana or marijuana-type drugs were the most prevalent types of drugs found in people killed in crashes from 2011 to 2016.
From 2015 to 2016, alcohol-impaired driving fatalities increased 9 percent (109 to 119).
From 2011-2015, 82 percent of impaired drivers in fatal crashes were men.
From 2011-2015, 45 percent of all alcohol-related driver fatalities were ages 21 to 34.
National Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:
Approximately one-third of all traffic crash fatalities in the United States involve drunk drivers. On average, more than 10,000 people have died each year (2012- 2016) in drunk-driving crashes. To put it in perspective, that’s equal to about 20 jumbo jets crashing, with no survivors.
In 2016, almost one in five children (14 and younger) killed in traffic crashes were killed in drunk-driving crashes. Fifty-four percent of the time, it was the child’s own driver who was drunk.
Drugs were present in 43 percent of the fatally-injured drivers with a known test result in 2015, more frequently than alcohol was present.
NHTSA’s 2013–2014 roadside survey found drugs in 22 percent of all drivers both on weekend nights and on weekdays.
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)—the chemical responsible for most of marijuana’s psychological effects—slows reaction times, impairs cognitive performance, and makes it more difficult for drivers to keep a steady position in their lane.
Mixing alcohol and marijuana may dramatically produce effects greater than either drug on its own.
To view the Highway Safety Division’s (HSD) “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” TV spots, or for more information about the HSD’s public information campaign, go to www.mass.gov/DriveSober
Rasi Chau has been a championship coach at various points in his career. He was an assistant coach for the 2005
Super Bowl champion St. Mary’s High School football team, and most recently, for the Women’s Football Alliance national champion Boston Renegades.
Chelsea High School Director of Athletics Amanda Alpert was a player on the Renegades’ professional football team, so she witnessed first hand the highly skilled coaching techniques and winning attitude that Chau brought to the field each day.
Alpert has appointed Chau as the new head football coach at Chelsea High School. He was the defensive coordinator for the Red Devils last year.
Chau succeeds Jack Halas at the helm of the program and joins a group of CHS head coaches that includes such familiar names as Henry McCarthy, Anthony “Chubby” Tiro, Todd Flaherty, Bobby Fee, Anthony Cardarelli, Robert Tiro, Joe Gaff, and many others.
Chau, 37, is a 1999 graduate of Lynn Classical High School where he played football. He went on to play college football at Mount Ida.
He is excited to take over a high school program as its head coach for the first time in his career. He had served one season as a head coach of the Southern New Hampshire Beavers semi-professional team.
“I’m looking forward to the new season,” said Chau, who is also a certified football referee. “I’ve met with the players and they’re doing their summer workouts. We have 32 players in the program right now and hope to have between 35-40 players on the team.”
Chau has selected Joseph Solomon as the team’s offensive coordinator, along with assistant coaches Richard Wilson, David Roque, and Steph Jeffers, who like Alpert, is a women’s professional football player for the Renegades. Mike Lopez has been named as equipment manager.
Chelsea will compete in the Division 8 Commonwealth Athletic Conference Small Division. Non-league opponents are Nashoba Valley, Whittier Tech, Greater Lowell, and Pope John (Thanksgiving game).
“I’m going to try to lead this team to the playoffs, but the first year as a new coach is always challenging because you’re trying to change the culture and make sure the players believe in you,” said Chau. “Right now, I like what I’m seeing with 20-plus kids lifting weights every day and participating in the pre-season conditioning drills.”
With the Chelsea High School football field being rebuilt, the Red Devils will play almost all of their games on the road this season. Chau said he has already introduced himself to the coaches in Chelsea’s two youth football organizations, Chelsea Pop Warner and Chelsea Pride.
Jose Sanchez, 21, 63 Marlborough St., Chelsea, was arrested for a warrant.
Bryan Cabrera, 21, 45 Heard St., Chelsea, was arrested for stop sign violation, operating motor vehicle with a suspended license and carrying dangerous weapon.
Gustavo Contreras, 45, 151 Division St., Chelsea, was arrested for operating motor vehicle unlicensed.
David Hernandez Arevalo, 20, 40 Maverick St., Chelsea, was arrested for a warrant.
William Hernandez-Galdamez, 35, 263 Chestnut St., Chelsea, was arrested for assault and battery.
Weimar Pineda-Bedoya, 25, 1061 Saratoga St., East Boston, was arrested for witness intimidation.
Thales Silva, 21, 74 Chestnut St., Chelsea, was arrested for operating motor vehicle unlicensed and unregistered motor vehicle.
Marco Roman, 21, 31 Crescent Ave., Everett, was arrested on warrants.
Luis Llanso, 34, 69 McGreevey Way, Roxbury, was arrested for assault and battery, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and on warrants.
Harold Aguirre Godoy, 23, 154 Shawmut St., Chelsea, was arrested for assault and battery, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.
Jose Guerrero, 30, 69 Addison St., Chelsea, was arrested for operating motor vehicle unlicensed and stop sign violation.
Kiana Rivera, 23, 284 Washington Ave., Chelsea, was arrested on a warrant.
Daniel Lopez-Galdamez, 32, 13 Blossom, St., Chelsea, was arrested for operating under the influence of liquor, reckless operation of motor vehicle, leaving scene of property damage, marked lanes violation, speeding and operating motor vehicle with suspended license.
Camilo Ruiz, 44, 57 Heard St., Chelsea, was arrested for operating motor vehicle unlicensed and red light violation.
Juan Ramos, 32, 117 Spencer Ave., Chelsea, was arrested for witness intimidation, miscellaneous common law violation and disorderly conduct.
Tito Ebanks-Lopez, 29, 61 Exeter St., Chelsea, was arrested for assault with a dangerous weapon.
Frank Arsenault, 48, 34 Grove St., Chelsea, was arrested for operating under the influence of liquor, leaving scene of property damage, marked lanes violation and possessing alcoholic beverage.
Frederick Stearns, 46, 76 Tudor St., Chelsea, was arrested on a warrant.
Sandra Sargent, 33, 71 Winthrop Ave., ,Revere, was arrested on warrants.
Eddy Torres, 24, 165 Mountain Ave., Revere, was arrested for operating under the influence of liquor, marked lanes violation, negligent operation of motor vehicle and threat to commit a crime.
Kevin Johnson, 19, 250 Congress Ave., Chelsea, was arrested on a warrant, operating motor vehicle with suspended license and one way violation.
Justin Williams, 29, 547 Proctor Ave., Revere, was arrested for trespassing.
Luis Cahuil, 37, 649 Washington Ave., Chelsea, was arrested for operating under the influence of liquor.
Miguel Munguia, 32, 84 Marlborough St., Chelsea, was arrested for trespassing, disturbing the peace and possessing open container of alcohol in motor vehicle.
Abel Jimenez, 29, 444 Harrison Ave., Boston, was arrested for possessing alcoholic beverage.
Julio Portillo, 51, Pine Street Inn, Boston, was arrested for possessing alcoholic beverage.
Jennifer Corey, 37, 28 Park St., Malden, was arrested for utter false check, forgery of c heck and larceny by check over $250.
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.
Chelsea High track star Stephanie Simons became the first female athlete to participate in the National High School championship meet last weekend in North Carolina, doing the city proud as she took 15th in the high jump and 27th
CHS Sophomore track star Stephanie Simon in a promotional photo from the New Balance High School National Championships last weekend at North Carolina A&T University.Simon was the first female athlete in CHS history to go to the nationals, and she competed in two events. She placed 15th out of 54 in the high jump.
in the triple jump.
Simon, only a sophomore, has starred for the track team over the past year, along with her sister, Martine, who is a senior. Stephanie distanced herself from the pack in qualifying earlier this year to compete at the New Balance High School National Championships last weekend at North Carolina A&T University.
In the high jump, the talented sophomore finished 15th out of 54 competitors from all over the United States.
Meanwhile, in the triple jump, she placed 27th out of 44 competitors.
“The sky is the future for this talented student athlete – who is just a sophomore,” said Coach Mark Martineau. “She is already looking forward to next year and even better performances.”
Simon has already set several school records and placed high at the Division 1 State Meet earlier this year.
We join the local sports community and the Catholic Central League in congratulating Pope John XXIII High School of Everett on winning its first basketball state championship in its history.
Coach Leo Boucher and his team that included Chelsea standouts Luis Velasquez and Mehkhi Collins, brought much excitement to their fans this season and many students, alumni, and supporters traveled to Springfield Saturday to watch their Pope John Tigers defeat the defending state champion Maynard High Tigers for the Division 4 title.
It was a great day for the small school who rose up and defeated much larger schools and teams from powerful conferences in the MIAA Tournament. The team’s spectacular guard, Angel Price-Espada, submitted a performance for the ages with 49 points, including 10 three-pointers.
Mr. Boucher, a resident of Charlestown and a former basketball standout himself, previously showed his tremendous coaching skills at the St. Clement School, winning a state title there. When the school closed its doors, Pope John officials made a wise decision to bring him on board as its basketball coach.
It was also inspiring to see school administrators, Head of School Carl DiMaiti, Principal Thomas Mahoney, and Director of Athletics Ryan Murphy being a part of the fan delegation at the game and holding the championship so proudly following the Tigers’ 89-57 victory.
Mr. DiMaiti has presided over athletic successes before as the head of school at St. Mary’s High School in Lynn. A former track coach, Mr. DiMaiti understands the importance of interscholastic sports competition and how it can help build a positive foundation for student-athletes and pave the way to a college education. Mr. DiMaiti’s children, Drew and Carole, were both outstanding high school athletes, with Drew winning an individual state hurdles title before moving on to nearby Tufts University.
Mr. Mahoney is in the Chelsea High School Hall of Fame as the founder and head coach of the CHS soccer program that produced GBL titles and All-Scholastic players when he was leading the program. He is an alumnus of Pope John (and Boston College) as a member of the Everett school’s first graduating class, so this championship is doubly meaningful to him.
Mr. Murphy was an excellent choice to lead the school’s athletic program. He is always accessible to those who call upon him. He has helped student-athletes proceed through the college application process and been an exceptional representative for the school at AD meetings. A school’s athletic success begins at the top, and Mr. Murphy has the entire program heading in the right direction. And now he has a state championship team in his program.
To Coach Leo Boucher, associate head coach Larry Washington, freshman coach Paul Williams, and the Pope John basketball players – thanks for the memories and congratulations on an historic championship season.
We’ll see you all in the Pope John XXIII High School Hall of Fame one day.
Price-Espada scores 49 as the Tigers win the Div. 4 state title
By Cary Shuman
Sparked by a sensational 49-point performance by junior guard Angel Price-Espada, the Pope John XXIII High School basketball team blitzed Maynard, 89-57, to capture the Division 4 state championship Saturday at Springfield College.
The decisive victory marked the Everett school’s first state title in basketball as coach Leo Boucher and his team claimed the crown via a phenomenal 24-1 season.
Price-Espada, the 5-foot-7-inch Catholic Central League MVP and All-Scholastic, had the Pope John fans standing and cheering during one of the greatest individual offensive performances in MIAA state tournament history. He hit six consecutive 3-pointers in the second quarter as part of an extraordinary, long-range shooting showcase that gave the Tigers a 52-31 lead at the half.
Included in the Price-Espada thrill-a-second package was a mid-air, behind-the back pass to senior Michael Thompson who finished the spectacular play with a layup.
“Angel played phenomenal today,” said Boucher. “I haven’t seen a performance as great as that, not as a player in high school, not as a player in college, not as a basketball coach for 27-plus years – the closest thing I ever saw was Dana Barros versus Don Bosco 100 years ago, and I’ll date myself. That was probably the most incredible shooting performance I’ve seen in a long time.”
In addition to Espada, other members of the Pope John cast stepped up in the state final just as they done in postseason victories over Winthrop, Fenway, Austin Prep, and Mashpee.
Marquis Bouyer, senior center, scored 8 of his 17 points in the first quarter, establishing his powerful presence in the paint as Pope John led 18-11 after one period. Bouyer also finished with 11 rebounds.
Michael Thompson, a senior forward, contributed six points, following his clutch, 14-point effort that helped Pope John defeat Mashpee in the state semifinal.
Junior forward Luis Velasquez, one of the most unsung players for the Pope John contingent, scored 10 points, including a pair of baskets amidst the Tigers’ 34-point explosion in the second quarter.
Senior Mehkhi Collins, a late-game hero against Mashpee, juniors Cam Erikson and Conor Kelly, and freshman Jason Ford also contributed well for the Tigers.
Pope John led 5-0 in the opening minutes, thanks to a Price-Espada three-pointer and a Bouyer basket inside the lane. Maynard would close the gap to three, 9-6, but Bouyer’s mini-surge of five points (two off a nifty pass from Collins), and Velasquez’s basket keyed a 7-0 spurt. Price-Espada hit two of three free throws (he was 9-of-11 overall) after he was fouled attempting a three-pointer.
And then it happened. Price-Espada took over the game with a rapid succession of three-pointers, the majority hitting nothing but net. In eight, breathtaking minutes, the dynamic backcourtman scored 23 points, 31 total for the half.
Price-Espada stayed red hot in the third period and at one point, he had 41 points while the entire Maynard team combined also had 41.
Bouyer closed out the Tigers’ memorable day with seven fourth-quarter points. Rashid Griffin had a three-pointer as the Tigers rolled to an impressive 32-point victory over the defending state champions.
Boucher was asked what it was like to be able to deliver to Pope John its first-ever state championship.
“I didn’t deliver anything – the kids behind me delivered,” he responded humbly. “That’s who made the delivery. I put them in the right position for them to make that happen. It’s a real honor to be able to coach a group of kids like that. The kids came to play.”
Bruins face tough, brief road trip
With the excitement of Ryan Donato’s dynamic debut just starting to settle, the Bruins are once again, back on the road again. Their one game homestand following on the heels of a four game road trip (in seven days), shows how messed up the NHL schedule really is. For Boston it means another stretch of four games on the road in seven days. Those games will be played against four teams, St. Louis Blues, Dallas Stars, Minnesota Wild, and the Winnipeg Jets. Each of them is either attempting to gain a playoff spot, or move up in their conference standings, which means tough competition.
With the tight races currently changing many team’s positions daily, the Bruins will not have an easy game in the road trip. As the Record went to press last night (Wednesday), the Bs were hosted by St. Louis. The Blues were just three points out of a playoff spot, trailing eighth place Anaheim, with a single game in hand. The Blues have been playing .500 hockey over their last ten games, but are on a two-game win streak. Next stop will have Boston taking facing the Stars (Friday, 8:30pm), as the struggling Stars continue to fall out of a possible playoff spot, riding a two-game losing streak after posting a 2-5-3 record for their last ten contests. Sunday (7:30pm) will have the Bruins playing the Minnesota Wild. The Wild sit in the fifth spot of the Western Conference, rather precariously as the eighth spot is only four points in the rear, as they look over their shoulder, having only put up numbers good enough for a 5-4-1 record for their last ten games. Boston’s final game of their four-game road trip, will be in Winnipeg to match up against the streaking Jets on Tuesday (8:00pm), the Jets are rolling along on a three game win streak, and a hot 7-2-1 stretch for their last ten. The Bruins return to TD Garden ice on Thursday, March 29 (7:00pm) to host Atlantic Division leading Tampa Bay Lightning.
The Bruins’ 99 points at press time had them tied for third most in the league with the Vegas Golden Knights. Which is rather startling when one looks back over the 2017-18 season, and the unbelievable amount of injuries that the Bs have endured to many of their top players. Patrice Bergeron sustained both a lower-body-injury, and is currently out of the lineup with a fractured foot. Recently acquired Rick Nash is out with an upper-body-injury; Bruins captain Zdeno Chara is missing, also with an upper-body-injury; David Backes has missed 21 of the 71 games played thus far this season, due to medical issues that included a bout with diverticulitis and colon surgery, multiple suspensions, and most recently a leg cut that has him presently off the ice. The loss on defense of Charlie McAvoy to an MCL knee sprain had left a void on the local’s blueline, which Boston has somehow been able to manage; dependable Adam McQuaid lost time due to a broken right fibula; also on defense, Kevan Miller suffered an upper-body-injury; Brad Marchand and Tuukka Rask missed some action following concussion-related problems; David Krejci missed time with an upper-body injury; defenseman Torey Krug felt the effects of a fractured jaw; Noel Acciari was the beneficiary of a fractured finger; Jake DeBrusk is currently missing action with an upper-body-injury; and rookie Anders Bjork suffered a shoulder injury that sidelined him for the remainder of the season.
Congratulations to Hockey East Commissioner Joe Bertagna who will be inducted into the Eastern College Athletic Conference Hall of Fame. The ECAC Hall of Fame committee announced the ceremony honoring Bertagna will take place Friday, May 4 at the Crowne Plaza in Danbury, Connecticut. Bertagna began his professional coaching career in 1985 with the Boston Bruins, remaining with the team as their goaltending coach until 1991, and rejoined the team for the 1994-95 season. Bertagna is currently in his 36th year as a college hockey administrator. This season marks his 21st year with Hockey East, after serving in a similar capacity with the ECAC for 15 years. He is the longest serving commissioner in Hockey East history and is currently the longest serving hockey commissioner in the NCAA.
the potential to be spoiled – like many Chelsea commutes – by the often untimely lifting of the Chelsea Street Bridge.
The Bridge is a key pinch point on the new SL-3 route as it heads to and from Chelsea to East Boston and the Seaport. As great as the projected 30-minute ride to South Station sounds, it could easily be thwarted by the Bridge being in the “up” position.
The Chelsea Street Bridge goes up multiple times a day, and from start to finish lasts more than 20 minutes. Such delays could drastically impair the service of the Silver Line.
That was identified as early as last summer as a looming problem for operations of the SL-3 by the MBTA Board.
On Monday, in a presentation to the Board, the MBTA revealed a new software system that will help in trying to mitigate what could totally ruin the reliability of the new service.
The new software will be used by the Chelsea Street Bridge operator, who will notify the MBTA bus dispatch center when the bridge is going up.
The software will provide bus dispatch with estimated duration and projected travel time for each of two possible detours around the Bridge. The dispatch will then use that information to determine the best response for each bus.
MBTA officials said that the Bus Operations Division is in the process of developing a Standard Operating Procedure to divert the SL-3 service in response to the Bridge going up. An alternative roué has been identified and will be tested during various times of the day to project run times and reliability.
When the lights were the brightest, Mehki Collins was at its best.
Collins, who has Chelsea connections, scored 23 points and was Mr. Clutch in the final minutes as the Pope John XXIII High School basketball team defeated Mashpee, 70-62, in the state semifinal Monday at the TD Garden.
Mehki is the son of Teresa Baker and Michael Collins. He is the grandson of Beverly Martin-Ross and the godson of former Chelsea High basketball standout John Martin. It was a proud family gathering at the Garden as Mehki, a junior guard, and Michael Thompson (14 points), a senior forward, took over the game and delivered a thrilling victory to the Tigers.
Luis Velasquez, a junior forward from Chelsea, also propelled the Tigers with six points and a key steal in the fourth quarter. He, too, has been a major contributor for the Catholic Central League champions.
Pope John will play Maynard for the Division 4 state championship Saturday at Springfield College. The school principal at Pope John is former Chelsea resident Thomas Mahoney, who founded and coached the CHS boys soccer team.
Pope John coach Leo Boucher said Collins has earned his reputation as a clutch player.
“Mekhi has always stepped up and been a leader,” said Boucher. “He is always there at the end of the game to take care of the basketball when we need him to. I thought he played really well offensively and was a catalyst for us. He hit some big shots and free throws in the fourth quarter.”
Collins said the team has played as a close-knit team all season.
“We play together and have so much fight in us, and I’m so proud of my teammates and my coaching staff,” said Collins. “We never give up.”
He was excited to play at the TD Garden, home of the Boston Celtics.
“It means a lot to win this game on the Garden floor,” said Collins. “I didn’t feel any more pressure in this game. They passed the reins to me and I did what I had to do. My teammates put me in the best position to score.”
Collins attended the Hooks School and began his basketball career in the Chelsea Youth Basketball where he played for coach Maurice Cromwell. His skills were well known and his coaches predicted a bright future for him.
And they were right.
On Saturday, Collins and the 23-1 Pope John Tigers will try to bring home a state championship for the first time in school history.
Pope John basketball team beats Mashpee at the Garden
Collins, Thompson lead Tiger team into the Massachusetts state finals
By Cary Shuman
Pope John’s brilliant guard Angel Price-Espada was hobbled by a leg injury so head coach Leo Boucher looked to other players to give his team a boost in the decisive fourth quarter of Monday’s state semifinal at the TD Garden.
Senior forward Michael Thompson and junior guard Mehkhi Collins both answered the call with heroic efforts in the final stanza. Thompson scored 12 of his 14 points, including two clutch free throws, in the second half, while Collins had 14 of his game-high 23 points, as North champion Pope John defeated South champion Mashpee, 70-62, on the famous parquet floor.
The Tigers (22-1) advance to the Division 4 state championship game in Springfield against defending state champion Maynard (22-3).
Espada came out dishing and had seven assists, to go along with nine points (11 overall) in the first half. The Tigers’ dependable inside player, Marques Bouyer, also made an early statement with 10 points in the first half as Pope John led 37-32 at intermission. Bouyer also reigned over Pope John’s control the defensive boards. Luis Velasquez helped out the Tigers’ offensive with six points. Cam Erickson, the Tigers’ sharpshooting junior, had a basket while Connor Kelly was a key contributor off the bench, also netting two points.
Velasquez had two hoops in the third quarter before Thompson went on a mini-tear with three baskets and a key steal with the game tied at 49-49. A basket by Collins gave Pope John a 51-49 lead after three quarters.
Pope John was leading 59-57 when Price-Espada left the game after sustaining a right leg injury. He would return to the game, though clearly not at 100 percent.
Collins connected on a free throw and Collins added a basket to keep Pope John ahead, 64-61. Another Thompson hoop, two free throws by Collins, a steal by Velasquez allowed the Tigers to seal the victory.
“That was a terrific basketball game,” said Boucher. “Mashpee just keeps coming at you, they’re a phenomenal basketball team. They were everything we thought they would be and more.”
Collins was a catalyst in the first quarter for the Pope John offense with eight points. He saved his best for last with the game on the line.
“We got together as one unit and played together and we have so much fight – I’m so proud of my teammates, our coaching staff and Pope John” said Collins. “They passed the reins to me and I did what I had to do. My teammates put me in the best position to what I had to do and score.”
Thompson was equally humble about his clutch effort.
“I have to thank my teammates for putting me in that situation,” said Thompson. “I was struggling a little bit, but they kept giving the ball. Their confidence in me and keeping me motivated is what decided those final layups for me.”
Boucher said Collins and Thompson were difference makers in the game.
“I thought our upperclassmen, our junior [Collins] and our senior [Thompson] stepped up,” said Boucher. “Angel was hurt and the leg was bothering him the whole game, but these kids stepped up. They’ve worked hard to get to where they got to, and they won’t be denied. They’re trying to earn the respect they truly deserve.”
Boucher was asked what it meant for the school to be playing in its first state final.
“It’s pretty exciting,” said Boucher. “For a little school like us, we have about 200 boys – our basketball team is just about everything to us, so it’s pretty cool. We have a great administrators, great kids, and great supporters.
Two of those administrators, Head of School Carl DiMaiti and Principal Thomas Mahoney, a member of the school’s first graduating class, sat courtside Monday and will now join a legion of PJ students and alumni in Springfield in search of the school’s first state basketball title.
by Bob Morello
Bruins continue to show their resilency by scoring five unansewered goals
Just when it looked like the Bruins were headed for the rare (this season), two losses in row, the Bruins on Tuesday night had an epiphany, scoring five unanswered goals in the third period to notch a 6-4 win over the Carolina Hurricanes. The realization that they had lost the services of defensemen, Zdeno Chara and Torey Krug, and forward Jake DeBrusk, due to injury, the future looked bleak. The forecast had the Hurricanes holding a 4-1 lead and a solid look at a win going into the third period, like many New Englander’s, the youth playing for Boston felt the prognosticators were wrong and decided to do something about it.
Boston’s lone goal late in the first period came from Brad Marchand for a 1-0 lead. For Marchand was his 30th goal of the season, the third consecutive time he’s hit that mark, tying him with Glen Murray, the last Bruin to have three straight 30-goal seasons (2001-2004). At 10:04 of the third period the youngster Matt Grzelcyk scored Boston’s second goal to cut the deficit to 4-2. Then the floodgates opened as David Pastrnak, 56 seconds later, deposited his 25th goal at 11:00, Danton Heinen found a spark 21 seconds after, taking a pass from David Krejci to score his 13th at 11:21, to tie the game at 4-4. Just over five minutes later and no goals scored, Pastrnak took over, scoring the game-winner (#26) at 16:30 and an empty-netter (#27), for the first hat trick of his young career. A startling, entertaining ten minutes that earned the Bruins the two points, leaving them just four points behind the Tampa Bay Lightning who lost to the Ottawa Senators, with the Bs still holding two games in hand.
Once again the moves and non-moves Bruins general manager Don Sweeney made at the trade deadline have proved to be good, decisive ones. Sweeney’s addition of veterans Rick Nash, Brian Gionta, and Tommy Wingels up front, and Nick Holden on the blueline may have looked like overstock a bit, but has proved to be vital, with the loss of Patrice Bergeron and Charlie McAvoy. Add to that the undisclosed, possible injuries Tuesday night to Chara, Krug, DeBrusk, and it almost makes Sweeney seem clairvoyant.
Tuukka Rask in net has not looked as sharp as he had been earlier in the season, but despite the fact that he has given up a handful of goals in his last six appearances, with four goals in three of those games, he has managed a record of 5-1 in those six games. In 44 games thus far this season his record is still an impressive 29-11-0-4, goals-against-average 2.35, and save percentage of .917.
Boston’s four-game road trip continues with two more stops: Tonight (Thursday 7:30pm) versus Florida Panthers who are still fighting for a playoff spot (3 points back), with a huge game on Saturday, 7:00pm, with the Bs taking on the Tampa Bay Lightning, in what could still be a battle for the top spot in both the Atlantic Division and the Eastern Conference. The odd NHL schedule has the Bruins returning to TD Garden ice on Monday (10/19 at 7:00pm) to host the streaking Columbus Blue Jackets who are currently riding a five game win streak, for a single game, before embarking on a five-game road trip beginning in St. Louis Blues on Wednesday (10/21 at 8:00pm). St. Louis is also three points out of a playoff spot. In summary, it will be a tough four games coming up for Boston with each time they face, still battling for position, and a spot in the playoffs.
Brad Marchand was named NHL second star of the week for the week ending March 11. General Manager Don Sweeney announced that the team has signed University of Wisconsin forward Trent Frederic to a three-year entry-level contract, beginning with the 2018-19 season. Frederic will join the Providence Bruins on an Amateur Tryout Agreement (ATO) for the remainder of the 2017-18 season. Sweeney also announced that the team has signed University of Wisconsin forward Cameron Hughes to a three-year entry-level contract, beginning with the 2018-19 season. Hughes will also join the Providence Bruins on an Amateur Tryout Agreement (ATO) for the remainder of the 2017-18 season.
STEPHANIE SIMON COMPETES IN TRACK MEET IN NEW YORK CITY
This past Friday, Chelsea High sophomore Stephanie Simon competed in the New Balance Indoor High School Track & Field National Championships held at the Armory in NYC.
“Stephanie went into this meet with a personal best high jump of 5’-5”,” said CHS head coach Mark Martineau. “While the results were not what we had hoped for, it was a great achievement for Stephanie. She is the first national-qualified track performer we have had at CHS since the legendary Bobby Goss. The future is bright for this student-athlete.”
St. Mary’s High School sophomore guard Christina Nowicki played in the Boverini Basketball Tournament in Lynn with a heavy heart, having lost her grandmother, Beverly Nowicki, who died on Dec. 27 after a long and courageous battle against illnesses.
Christina and her sister, Mia, a St. Mary’s 2017 graduate, a freshman at Assumption College and an All-Scholastic softball pitcher, each delivered beautiful remarks in memory of their beloved grandmother at the funeral Dec. 29 at the Welsh Funeral Home in Chelsea. Grandson John Paul Nowicki was also present at the memorial observance.
Paul Nowicki gave a heartfelt eulogy about his mother, who was a registered nurse and director of the Cottage Manor and On Broadway Nursing Homes in Chelsea.
Paul remembered how residents of the nursing home would often comment to him about the tremendous care his mother and her staff provided to the residents.
“It was overwhelming how much good she brought to everyone else,” related Paul.
Mrs. Nowicki and her husband, retired Chelsea firefighter Fred Nowicki, provided tremendous support and encouragement to Paul and his brother, Scott throughout their lives. Paul is undisputedly one of the greatest athletes in Chelsea history. He was a three-sport performer and two-sport All-Scholastic at Matignon High School and went on to earn a spot in the Division 1 Clemson University football program. Mr. and Mrs. Nowicki were at all their sons’ games beginning in Chelsea Little League and Chelsea Youth Hockey, humbly remaining in the background as Paul brought countless memories with his exploits on the field and in the rink, and the many individual awards he received.
“Scott and I always said that Mom was our foundation,” said Paul. “Dad was the provider and the protector and mom was the foundation. Mom was everything to Scott and me and it is something that will never be replaced. In good times and bad times, mom was always there for both of us.’’
Speaking to his father, Paul noted, “As Mia and Christina said, your love for my mom, how you treated mom, how you provided for mom, how you protected mom – it inspires us every day and will continue to inspire us every day.”
Paul was elected as an alderman and city councillor in Chelsea and it was mother, a popular resident of the city and the daughter of Police Capt. Robert Renfrew, who organized those successful political campaigns.
Paul told the gathering how the doors of the family home were always open to family and friends, thanks to the warmth and kindness of his gracious mother, who made everyone feel welcomed at the Nowicki residence.
“It was always an open door at the house and there was no better time than Christmastime – mom and dad would host both sides of the family and then around 5 o’clock the doors would open and in come all the friends and those are the times I remember,” said Paul. “You realized you were a part of something bigger.”
Addressing his many friends, Paul said, “No matter when you came in to our lives, my mother always loved you guys because you were loyal to Scott and me and that meant a lot to us because my mom respected and liked you so much an that Scott and I made good decisions with our friends.”
In Beverly Nowicki, Chelsea has lost one of its most popular and well-known citizens. The children of Paul and Tracy Nowicki and the grandchildren of Fred Nowicki and Beverly Nowicki are carrying on the family’s legacy with their excellence in athletics, combined with their exemplary character, cordiality, and kindness.