Act on Your Dream Julio Henriquez’s Dugout Baseball Facility Celebrates Its First Anniversary

Act on Your Dream Julio Henriquez’s Dugout Baseball Facility Celebrates Its First Anniversary

Julio Henriquez was a youth baseball phenom growing up in Chelsea. His skills were so advanced that he became a starting varsity player at Chelsea High as an eighth grader. He played one more year of varsity baseball before he chose not to continue his career.

Julio and Gina Henriquez, with their son, Jordan, at the first anniversary celebration of The Dugout baseball training facility in Lynn.

Every day I regret that decision,” said Henriquez. “I’m not looking for excuses, but I didn’t have anybody driving me to continue playing the game.”

Henriquez tells that story of a dream unfulfilled to the many baseball players who train at The Dugout, his baseball facility located at 71 Linden St., Suite 202B, in Lynn. The Dugout is celebrating its first anniversary this month. Committed to helping players improve and grow as baseball players and student-athletes, the Dugout’s mission is: Act On Your Dream.

“We’re here to help players take their game to the next level,” said Henriquez. “It’s been a great first year. I feel I’ve grown as a businessman, a trainer, and a mentor. I’m inspired by what we’ve accomplished here, and I can’t wait to see what the future brings.”

Henriquez and his coaching staff offer individualized and group instruction to youth baseball players. They give hitting lessons in the batting cages, along with pitching, fielding, and catching clinics.

Henriquez has been a coach himself for 20 years. His oldest son, Jovan, played in the Malden Little League and for the Boston Astros before Julio founded the Angel Baseball Giants travel teams that have won two state championships. The teams compete in the annual Lou Tompkins Tournament of Champions.

Players from Lynn, other local communities, and as far away as Portsmouth (N.H.) have been traveling to the Dugout in preparation for the 2019 baseball season. In addition to the baseball skills clinics, there are also strength, agility, and conditioning sessions.

“I’m happy to say we’re getting a lot of Lynn’s high school baseball players training here,” said Henriquez. “They also love my Manimal Camp (for strength and conditioning).”

Jason Harper, a former independent league baseball player, is the pitching coach at the Dugout. Other coaches are Dustin Voss and Sharom Urdaneta.

Henriquez said the Dugout is expanding its instructional program to include softball. He is in the process of hiring a pitching coach.

The reviews from parents have been positive. Henriquez is optimistic about the increasing enrollment at the facility and proud of the players’ improvement in all facets of their game.

“The athletes tell me they love being in a baseball environment during the winter,” said Henriquez. “One player told me, ‘when I walk in to this space, it’s like it has its own heartbeat.’”

One of the well-known local athletes who works out at the Dugout is Ryan January of Swampscott, a player in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization.

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Chelsea’s Turner Conquers the Track Physically and Mentally in Distance Events

Chelsea’s Turner Conquers the Track Physically and Mentally in Distance Events

Chelsea’s Justin Turner is coming off of a league MVP season in Cross Country, and has been racking up wins for indoor track this winter as well. The senior captain said he loves chemistry, but hopes to working in computer programming. Here, he is shown running the two-mile at a meet last Weds., Jan 9, during a meet at Lynn Tech.

When Chelsea High track standout Justin Turner hits the last lap of a two-mile race, it isn’t so much the training or preparation, but the mental toughness to find energy that just isn’t there. He would know.

The senior captain has prevailed in most every two-mile event already in the indoor track season, and he also made a huge splash in the Commonwealth Athletic Conference (CAC) as the League MVP in cross country.

“I think the finish is more mental, probably because you know you’re so close to the finish and you want to do anything you can to get there and also hold off anyone who is exact same thing to try to catch you…At the beginning, I try to hold off the adrenaline rush for the start. It’s about getting a good pace and settling in and focusing. On the last few laps, you pull out everything you have left in order to finish – and that’s the mental part.”

Turner, 17, attended the Early Learning Center, the Berkowitz Elementary, the Wright Middle School and Chelsea High. He said he started being athletic at a young age, playing football and other youth sports, and becoming the athlete in his family.

He began cross country and track his freshman year, and has participated continuously all four years. Having been mentored by star athlete Jose LeClerc, who graduated last year, Turner said he stepped up to lead the team this year. Though he is a quiet leader, he said that he believes other team members look up to him.

Turner said he enjoys distance running because it’s a very controlled sport.

“It’s more about paying attention to what I’m doing and not getting distracted by what’s around me,” he said.

“You have to motivate yourself and if you don’t it’s hard to stay focused,” he added.

When it comes to the classroom, Turner has never had a GPA below 3.5, and he said he enjoys chemistry the most. However, he hopes to focus his attention on computer programming in the future.

He said his older sister is involved in that, and he watched her over the summer programming video games, and he felt that was something he really wanted to do.

He has applied to seven colleges so far, but said he hopes to be able to go to Suffolk University so he can try to run track and cross country there as well.

Beyond the classroom and the athletic fields, one might have seen Turner in the front row of the concert band, where he plays flute and piccolo.

He said his mom and dad, Russell and Erikka Turner, have been a support system throughout his track career not only for himself, but also the whole team.

“My mom and dad and family came to my first meet and they always come when they can,” he said. “They support me throughout my years and they support the rest of the team too. They don’t just support me, but everyone on the team.”

Turner also has three siblings, Jyllian, Teri and Kyle, and he said he has enjoyed growing up in Chelsea. “There is a stereotype out there that Chelsea isn’t the best place, but people in this community fight that stereotype and they do everything they can to make it the best city it can be,” he said.

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Maronski Elected Chair Of School Committee

Maronski Elected Chair Of School Committee

The School Committee elected Richard Maronski as its new chair during its first meeting of 2019 at City Hall. Maronski, who has been a member of the committee for three-and-half years, succeeds Jeanette Velez, who held the position for the past three years.

“I’m honored to be selected by my colleagues to lead the School Committee in the coming year,” said Maronski. “I want to thank Jeannette for her leadership and the commitment he has shown to the students in Chelsea.”

The son of Ann Maronski and the late Charles Maronski, Richard is well known in the community. He was the Chelsea High star quarterback who led coach Bob Fee’s Red Devils to an amazing come-from-behind 34-26 victory over Everett in the 1980 Thanksgiving game. Maronski threw touchdown passes to Paul Driscoll to spark Chelsea’s rally from a 20-0 deficit. Some fans call it the greatest game in the long history of the Chelsea-Everett series that ended in 1989.

Several members of Richard’s family graduated from Chelsea High School, including several uncles and aunts, brothers and sisters, in a time period that ranged from the 1930s to 1990s. His popular sister, Patricia Maronski Yee, was a CHS cheerleader and graduated in 1990. Richard graduated in 1982.

“I’m very proud of my family’s long history of attending Chelsea schools,” said Maronski. ‘Everyone received a good, solid all-around education and each has fond memories of their positive experiences in the Chelsea schools. In particular, my father loved Chelsea. He was there the day we beat Everett on Thanksgiving.”

Maronski also served as president of the Chelsea Youth Basketball League and coached two teams in the league. He was also the CHS freshman boys basketball coach.

A former Chelsea city councillor, Maronski has established his priorities for the new year.

“My first priority is to form a committee of Chelsea residents to help select a new school superintendent (Supt. of Schools Dr. Mary Bourque has announced that she will be retiring from the position),” said Maronski. “We are working with the Collins Center at UMass in the selection process.”

Maronski would also like to address the issue of Chelsea teachers leaving the school system for positions in other school districts.

“We have a high turnover in teachers in the Chelsea schools,” said Maronski. “I’d like to see more stability in our teaching positions.”

Maronski said the School Committee meets the first Thursday (7 p.m.) of every month. He welcomes parents to attend the meetings and speak during the public portion.

The School Committee elected Julio Hernandez as vice chair of the board.

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The Movement Kicks off Third Year of Low-Key, Summer Hoops

The Movement Kicks off Third Year of Low-Key, Summer Hoops

Historically, there’s been very little to do on a summer night in Chelsea, and that’s been the problem.

Now, in its third summer, The Movement has been the cure to hapless wandering for local youth.

Instead, they hoop it up.

Coordinated by Councilors Yamir Rodriguez and Damali Vidot, along with Isidra Quinonez and Danny Mojica, The Movement keeps Chelsea kids age 13-20 busy on Wednesday nights and Saturday mornings.

“I think it’s just a great environment because a lot of the younger kids play with the older kids and they can see them on the street outside of the league and say ‘hi,’” said Rodriguez. “A lot of friendships start because of The Movement. It develops kind of a mentor situation because a lot of these kids don’t have an older brother and this helps that too. It’s kind of an unintended consequence, but it’s one of the best things about it.

“The kids love hanging out and playing ball,” he continued.

Vidot said it helps to bring youth together in a relaxed, but supervised, environment.

“On Saturday morning, they don’t hand out, but they come to play,” she said. “After playing all day long, they will not want to go out to the streets when they get home. They’ll stay in and take it easy. On Friday night, they don’t want to stay out because they have to be here on Saturday morning. You have the 13-year-old playing with the 20-year-old, so it helps them become better players. It also builds community. It’s not like a lot of other youth leagues where you have to sign in and sign out. It’s street ball. They can be themselves.”

The Movement came out of a desperate situation, where the community was reeling in the spring of 2016 after the shooting death of Pablo Villeda during an early morning teen party on Washington Avenue. The shooting also injured numerous other young people, and it showed that the youth who are not “at-risk” needed some activities as well.

That’s when The Movement came together.

Now, the league has several hundred young people playing against one another all summer. Typically, the games are played at Highland Park, but a renovation project there may force them to move to the Williams School.

The Movement will begin play in early July, and it had its annual kick-off at Chelsea High last weekend – with the Battle of the Classes and Police vs. Fire basketball games.

“Basketball is the entertainment,” said Rodriguez, “but it’s the environment that has become very important.”

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Remembering ‘Bear’ Burke

Remembering ‘Bear’ Burke

 When the Chelsea Youth Baseball League, more widely known as the Pony League, was at its height of popularity from the late 1960s through the 1980s, when large crowds made their way to Merritt and Voke Parks for nightly games, James “Bear” Burke was one of the true coaching legends.

James Burke

James Burke

Mr. Burke, a Chelsea baseball coaching force and former employee of the Chelsea DPW, died on Jan. 24, 2018. He was 75.

The managers in the Pony League were giants in the eyes of their players. Pony League was huge in those days and you had to tryout and be selected in a player draft.

You begin with manager Larry Notkin, whose eye for talent was second to none and whose Red Sox, Cubs, and Royals teams were always a title contender. Al Palladino was the knowledgeable and nervous manager of the Twins (and then the Yankees), perpetually dispensing words of baseball wisdom to his players.

Paul Casino, clerk to the Chelsea City Council, was so popular and respected as the manager of the Angels. He was elected easily to the Chelsea School Committee and Board of Aldermen and served this city well. Casino coached some of the league’s all-time greats including Bobby Spinney, Paul Spracklin, and Eric Shuman.

Richie Pezzuto was the highly energetic manager of the Astros, taking Dennis “Hawk” Murray as the No. 1 pick in one of the drafts and building a powerhouse.

George Triant managed the Orioles, who with a lineup of Mike Lush, Jerry Dion, Bobby Ham, Larry Skara, Wayne Morris, Paul Halas, and other big-time players, became the only team in league history to go undefeated.

Steve Socha took over the Red Sox and had all-time Little League All-Star southpaw Paul Wheeler, a terrific hockey and baseball player, on his roster.

And then there was Jimmy “Bear” Burke, the beloved manager of the Pirates who exuded his enthusiasm for the game of baseball every time he stepped on the field. The “Bear,” as he was affectionately known, knew his baseball well. His in-game exchanges with the other managers, especially Notkin, were of a competitive nature. All the managers were friendly rivals trying hard and devoting countless hours of practice time to their teams with the hope of claiming the coveted playoff championship.

Al Palladino remembers tangling with “Bear” as an opposing coach and then having him as his assistant coach. He has fond memories of his longtime friend.

“I feel so bad that Bear has passed away,” said Palladino. “He was such a good guy. He had a kind heart. I coached against him when he had the Pirates and he came back and coached with me when I had Paul Nowicki on my team.”

Palladino recalled a humorous interaction that the Bear had with another local sports legend, the late Arnold Goodman, during a league meeting. “They were on opposites of an issue but the Bear stood up and said, ‘I make a motion because Arnie Goodman says so,’ “and everyone in the room just broke out in laughter because Jimmy and Arnie had finally agreed to agree on the matter.”

Bucky Cole, one of the Pony League’s greatest ballplayers, was a member of Bear’s Pirates team in the mid-1960s. Cole joined the Pirates after a sensational career in the Chelsea Little League where he was that era’s Mike Lush.

“I was a proud member of his Pirates team and we played Larry Notkin’s Red Sox team in the finals and we lost to them,” recalled Cole. “The Bear put his heart and soul in to coaching. He really loved coaching. He and Larry were good friends but they were always rivals to the final game. It was like the Yankees and the Red Sox going at it. He was a great guy.”

Cole said he also worked with James “Bear” Burke in the Chelsea Park Department.

“What’s interesting is that my son, Tommy, also had the Bear as a coach when he was 16 years old,” said Cole. “That’s how long he coached.”

And that’s how long the Bear was a positive influence on Chelsea youths – for a lifetime.

The city of Chelsea has lost another widely revered personality in its sports history.

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Appreciation:Jeanette Weiner Lee is Fondly Remembered

Appreciation:Jeanette Weiner Lee is Fondly Remembered

Jeanette (Weiner) Lee, of Wayland, formerly of Chelsea, matriarch of a longtime and well-known Chelsea family and a, died on January 23, 2018.

Jeanette Weiner Lee.

Jeanette Weiner Lee.

She was the beloved wife of the late Charles L. Lee. and the devoted and loving mother of Donald Charles Lee and wife Nancy of Holbrook, JoAnne D. Lee-Nieves and husband Carlos Juan of Mattapan, Michele L. (Lee) LaCosta and husband Charles of Holbrook and Brian R. Lee and wife Jodi Pages-Lee of Wayland. She was the loving daughter of the late Morris Paul Weiner and Anne (Babner) Weiner. She was the dear sister of Esther Wexler of Norton, Irving D. Weiner of Norton, and the late Lily Celata, Evelyn Sweeney and Rae Cummings. She was the loving grandmother of 12 and great-grandmother of 3.

Mrs. Lee was born and raised in Chelsea and educated in the Chelsea School System. In her later years, Jeanette influenced and impacted many young lives in Chelsea. She taught Sunday school at the People’s Baptist Church Chelsea for 25 years. She was the Past President of the PTA at the Williams School, Chelsea, Secretary of the Women’s’ Progressive Club in Everett, a member of the Wayland Women’s Club, Secretary of the Greater Boston Baptist Association, Secretary of the Sister International and most recently a member of the Women’s Ministry of Ebenezer Baptist Church but her greatest love of all time was her family.

Mrs. Lee regularly attended her children’s school activities and took considerable pride in their accomplishments on the athletic field and in the classroom.

Throughout their lives, the Lee children exhibited the kindness, generosity, warmth, and personable manner of their parents, reaching out to those less fortunate and mentoring young people through their exemplary actions and uplifting words.

The Lee family was admired in Chelsea.

Longtime Chelsea softball fans will fondly remember Mrs. Lee’s husband, the late Charles Lee, who made umpiring in the Chelsea Fast Pitch Softball League a work of art.  Players, coaches, and fans admired the charismatic umpire who called balls and strikes with aplomb and grace and was always impeccably dressed in his official uniform. Mr. Lee sponsored the Charles Lee Disposal team in the Chelsea Men’s Basketball League, reuniting Donald Lee with his former high school teammates, including his cousin, Leo Robinson, Bobby Long, Dale Johnson and Donald Wolcott.

Joanne Lee-Nieves became a highly successful women’s basketball coach, receiving state Hall of Fame honors. She was a role model to the inner-city women whom she coached and mentored.

Councillor-at-Large Leo Robinson said his aunt, Jeanette, was “a big influence on many young people in Chelsea who grew up to lead very positive lives.”

“She was a beautiful, wonderful person – a great lady,” said Robinson. “She was a very sensitive human being who really loved people.”

The city of Chelsea has lost a wonderful woman who brought much love and joy to her proud family and to all who had the honor of being in her company.

A Funeral Service will be at the Torf Funeral Chapel, 151 Washington Avenue, Cary Sq, Chelsea on Monday, January 29th at 11AM. Relatives and friends invited to attend. Interment in North Cemetery, Wayland. A Memorial Service will be held in Jeanette’s honor on Saturday, February 3rd at 11AM in the Ebenezer Baptist Church-157 West Springfield St., South End, Boston, MA. In lieu of flowers donations in Jeanette’s memory may be made to the Animal Rescue League of Boston-10 Chandler St., Boston, MA 02116 or to the American Kidney Fund-11921 Rockville Pike, Suite 300, Rockville, MD 20852. Visit www.torffuneralservice.com for guestbook and directions.

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Sports 03-17-2016

Fenwick ousts St. Mary’s from MIAA State Tournament, 56-40

By Cary Shuman

The St. Mary’s High School girls basketball team beat some of the best teams in Massachusetts – Revere Rockland, and Martha’s Vineyard to name three – but couldn’t topple its Catholic Central League rival, Bishop Fenwick, this season.

A very deep and talented Fenwick contingent started quickly and kept the pressure on for four quarters on its way to defeating St. Mary’s, 56-40, in the Division 3 North semifinals Tuesday at Essex Tech. It was Fenwick’s third victory over the Spartans.

The Crusaders bolted to a 17-2 lead after one quarter and 29-14 at the half to take firm control of the game. The Crusaders did what few teams were able to do this season: contain St. Mary’s sensational sophomore guard, Marnelle Garraud, who was held to eight points. Olivia Nazaire, another talented sophomore, led St. Mary’s with 15 points. Kayla Carter, playing the last game of an outstanding career that was highlighted by her tremendous defensive play, contributed eight points. The other scorers were Temi Falayi (4 points), Mia Nowicki (3), and Katie Dixon (2).

Fenwick senior Syndey Brennan had 17 points, including four three-pointers. Fredi DeGugliemo had 14 points while Colleen Corcoran and Jaxson Nadeau each had nine points.

Fenwick coach Adam DeBaggis felt the difference in the game was his team’s defensive effort.

“Just constant, good defense,” said DeBaggis. “We hit some really big shots and we had kids like Jaxson [Nadeau] and Ellen [Fantozzi] who played such great defense. We played them three times and pretty much every time it’s gone that way – we’ve played very, very consistently defensively and I think it really bothers them.”

What did Fenwick do to slow down Garraud, the Spartans’ leading scorer?

“We put our two best defenders on her and made sure we knew where she was at all times,” said DeBaggis.

St. Mary’s High School coach Jeff Newhall credited Fenwick after the game.

“Tonight it’s Fenwick’s night and all the best to them,” said Newhall. “This isn’t a one-game fluke-type situation. It’s happened three times.”

Newhall said the program is losing a great senior class to graduation. “They’ve won over 100 games, a state title, two league championships but we have some good young players and the future is very bright here.”

Bruins Beat by Bob Morello

Bruins Jeremy Jacobs honored again

The Bruins continue their West Coast road trip following Tuesday night’s 3-2 loss at the hands of the San Jose Sharks, the B’s suffering their first regulation loss in eight games, following the NHL trade deadline on February 29. Despite the loss, the Bruins showed intensity and effort, but lost on a third period power play goal. The loss kept Boston in second place behind the Florida Panthers. The team will enjoy two days off before facing a back-to-back weekend, in which they face the Anaheim Ducks, Friday at 10:00pm, and the Los Angeles Kings the following night, Saturday 3/19 at 10:30pm. A three-day break will end the road trip with a Wednesday 3/23 at 8:00pm stopover to take on the New York Rangers.

Less than three months have passed since Boston Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs was named recipient of the 2015 Lester Patrick Trophy for outstanding service to hockey in the United States. The Lester Patrick Trophy is one of the most prestigious in hockey, and was presented to the National Hockey League by the New York Rangers in 1966. It honors the memory of Lester Patrick, who spent 50 years in hockey as a player, coach and general manager and was a pioneer in the sport’s development.

The honors just keep coming for Mr. Jacobs, owner of the Boston Bruins for 41 years. The Massachusetts Hockey Hall of Fame announced that they will induct Jeremy Jacobs, Bruins Owner and Chairman of Delaware North, into the 21st Massachusetts Hockey Hall of Fame class. The fellow inductees include David A. Jensen, Stephen Palmacci and Jack Parker. They will be joining a roster of past and current hockey greats recognized for their accomplishments and contributions to the sport of ice hockey in Massachusetts. The ceremony and dinner will be held the evening of Saturday, June 18, 2016.

When informed of his selection Mr. Jacobs responded, “My selection reflects the entire Bruins organization as well as the team’s true owners, its dedicated and loyal fans. Massachusetts is a great hockey state, and we are proud to play a role in the sport’s continued growth and development. I am tremendously honored.”

Mr. Jacobs was also a 2006 inductee into the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame, he has worked in charitable endeavors and was honored with the St. Jude Award for Inspiration in Sports at the 2013 Global Sports Summit. His honors are just one side of the story of this generous man who has supported causes and sports-related charities tied to the Boston Bruins Foundation, including pledging $200,000 to Denna Laing’s recovery after her injury at the 2016 Winter Classic at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA and $100,000 to The One Fund Boston to help victims of the Boston Marathon bombing and their families.

CUTS FOR A CAUSE: Bruins Forward Patrice Bergeron is teaming up with 98.5 The Sports Hub and members of the 2015-16 Bruins roster for the ninth annual “Cuts for a Cause” event to raise money to fight pediatric cancer on Wednesday, March 30 from 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. (VIP session: 3:00 – 4:00 pm) at the Westin Boston Waterfront. Bergeron and his teammates will have their heads shaved by auction winners to show their support and raise money for the Boston Bruins Foundation and Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center.

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Sports 02-04-2016

CHS Roundup

CHS boys hoop

wins two contests

The Chelsea High boys basketball team enjoyed a successful week, defeating two opponents, Lynn Tech and Whittier Tech.

Friday’s 65-34 triumph over Lynn Tech never was in doubt. The Red Devils grabbed the lead from the outset and never looked back as they built a commanding 35-9 advantage at the half.

The Red Devils continued to add to their margin after the intermission, allowing CHS head coach Jay Seigal to use all of his players starting in the third period.

Jahro Marshall forwarded a big game for the Red Devils with a double-double of 16 points and 12 rebounds. Jahro also added three blocks to his repertoire for the evening.

Ralph Otero played a strong game and reached double figures with 10 points. Other scorers for the Red Devils were Chris Torrez with eight points, the trio of Werner Mazariegos, Angel Alvarez, and Guillermo Zelata with six points apiece, Mohamed Ghell with five, Jaime Celorio with four, and the duo of Steve Lacey and Cobi Molina with two each.

“We came out at the start with a lot of energy,” said Seigal. “We played strong defense and controlled the boards to get out on the fast break.”

Monday evening the Red Devils made their long ride to Whittier Tech in Haverhill a worthwhile trip with a 69-55 triumph.

Although Chelsea struggled a bit on the offensive end to start the game, the Red Devils displayed the same level of intensity as they had shown against Lynn Tech. A 35-30 CHS halftime edge expanded to a 57-43 bulge at the third buzzer, from where the Red Devils cruised to the win.

A well-balanced CHS scoring attack featured Lacey and Marshall with nine points each; Alvarez and Torrez with eight apiece; the trio of Zelata, Mazariegos, and Otero hitting for seven; Balmeiro Daveiga with four; and Molina with two.

“Our practices have been going well and that has been translating into playing well in our games,” said Seigal. “We’ve been getting better with every game and hopefully that is a trend that will continue.”

The Red Devils now stand at 8-6 overall and 5-2 in the Commonwealth. They need two more wins in their final six contests in order to qualify for the post-season state tourney. They begin that quest Friday evening when they host Mystic Valley (which features a 6’-7” center). They travel to Shawsheen Tech Tuesday and then make the short ride down Broadway Wednesday evening for the Battle of Broadway II with archrival Revere.

CHS track teams

turn in strong

showings at GBL

Both the Chelsea High girls and boys indoor track teams finished the season with solid showings at the Greater Boston League Championship Meet held last Saturday at the Reggie Lewis Athletic Center in Boston.

The Lady Red Devils came through with an outstanding performance, finishing third in the team rankings behind only Division 1 powerhouses Somerville and Malden.

Senior Katherine Cabral had an amazing day, finishing first in the long jump (15’-13”), second in the 300 (43.59), and anchoring the first place 4 x 400 relay squad (4:29.1).

Sophomore Martine Simon also had a great day, finishing second in the long jump (14-’8”), 7th in the 55 meter dash (7.88), and leading off the winning 4 x 400 quartet.

Also part of the 4 x 400 foursome were sophomore Awa Bajinka and freshman Jocelyn Poste. It was in Poste’s third leg of the relay that Chelsea took control of the race. Jocelyn also had a great performance in the 1000, finishing second in a close race.

Senior Wendy Becerra was the iron-woman of the day, competing in the two-mile (second place, 13:36.78), one mile (seventh, 6:35.21), and anchoring the fifth place 4 x 800 relay.

Senior Mariama Kamara competed injured and finished third in the 55 dash (7.54). “Had Mariama run the time in the final race that she ran in the trials, she would have won,” said CHS head coach Mark Martineau.

Freshman Masireh Ceesay finished fourth in the shotput with a toss of 27’-4″. Freshman Yarid Deras ran a tough race in the mile, finishing sixth with a personal best time of 6:32.23.

“Just about every girl who ran had a personal best,” said Martineau. “It was a great way to finish the GBL season.”

The boys also had a good day, finishing fourth behind Somerville, Malden, and Everett. As was the case with the girls, almost every Red Devil competitor turned in a personal record (PR).

The long jump was the best event for the Red Devils, with three of the six places going to Chelsea athletes. Junior Adriel Cedano finished second with a jump of 19’-3”; Junior Leonardo DeAlmedia came out of nowhere to finish fourth with a jump of 18’-9”; and senior Alezio DaSilva finished sixth with a jump of 18’-0”

Other Red Devils who contributed points to the CHS scoring column included: Jose Aguiar in the 600 (third, 1:30.44); Adriel Cedano in the 55 dash (fifth, 7.01); DeAlmedia in the 300 (sixth, 39.66); and Johnny Gomez in the two mile (sixth, 12:16.65).

Chelsea also picked up more points in the relays with the 4 x 400 squad (Cedano, DaSliva, DeAlmedia, Aguiar) finishing third in a time of 3:44.15. The 4 x 200 team (Nick Ieng, Isaac Colcord, Luis Jimenez, Bryan Rivas) finished fourth.

“The boys fought for every point they got,” said Martineau. “As coaches we could not be prouder of the performance they delivered. What makes our team performances, girls and boys, even more impressive is that we compete against schools that all have over 100 athletes, combined girls and boys. This season we finished with just under 40 athletes. Every member of our team is a major contributor. We are so proud of the teams who competed this season.”

A number of CHS performers have qualified for the State Meet and will be competing in that meet are February 10th.

On the girls’ side are: Cabral in the 300m and long jump, Kamara and Simon in the 55m, and the 4 x 200m relay team of Kamara, Simon, Bajinka, and Cabral.

The boys are sending two relay teams: The 4 x 200 (Ieng, Cedano, DeSilva, Aguiar) and the 4 x 400m of (Cedano, DeSilva, DeAlmedia, Aguiar).

Bruins Beat by Bob Morello

Bruins seek stability

The Bruins find themselves right back in the mode of inconsistent play following Tuesday’s 4-3 overtime loss to Toronto. The fact remains that when this team ends up in a 3-on-3 overtime, they just can’t find a way to dig down deep and notch that game-winning goal. One needs to look no further than in the six games in which they’ve been in 3-on-3 situation, and they’ve lost five or the six times.

With the standings as tight as they are, points are crucial at this time… for example, a two-point win last night would have moved the Bs into second place in the Atlantic Division, jumping them over Tampa Bay and Detroit. Instead they remain in fourth place in the division. More importantly, they could’ve jumped into a tie with the New York Rangers for third spot in the Eastern Conference standings.

Boston’s problem continues to be the inability to hold a lead in the third period, as they did on Tuesday versus Toronto. Up by two goals early in the third period, they allowed the Maple Leafs to tie the game on tip-in goals, and finally let the additional point disappear with Toronto’s overtime winner. The winning goal was scored on a power play in the overtime, with David Krejci in the box serving a penalty for holding. The Leafs’ P.A. Parenteau gathered a rebound, and was able to find the back of the net at 3:06 of the overtime, to end the game. Coach Claude Julien explained, “We go out there in the third, and determined to win. We score two goals, and then we turn around and we get sloppy again. So I don’t know if it’s relaxing, or losing focus, but certainly not good enough right now for our hockey team to think that we can contend if we keep making those kind of mistakes.”

Boston’s loss spoiled a solid two-goal effort from Brad Marchand who has now scored a total of seven goals in the last seven games, and wasted a 31 save performance from Tuukka Rask. In Rask’s defense, all three Toronto goals in regulation came via tip-ins. “It was poor coverage, all three goals were tipped 10-15 feet from our net,” stated Julien, “The slot area was not covered very well.”

Now, it is ‘on to Buffalo’ for a home-and-home series to face the lowly Sabres who are members of the ‘bottom six,’ clustered at the base of the league standings, with Winnipeg, Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton, and Columbus currently in possession of last place overall in the National Hockey League. The Sabres host the Bruins tonight (Thursday 2/4), before the Bs return to Garden ice for Saturday’s (2/6) second half of the home-and-home series, with both games beginning at 7:00pm. The Los Angeles Kings will complete Boston’s two-game homestand on Tuesday (2/9 @ 7:00pm), before the Bruins head out on an extended, six-game, 10-day road trip that includes stops in Winnipeg, Minnesota, Detroit, Columbus, Nashville and ending in Dallas.

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Bocce League Offers Seniors Social Time,Competitive Environment

Don’t let anyone be fooled, the senior citizens who congregate every Tuesday morning at the bocce court in the Chelsea Commons may tell one that they’re just there to socialize, but it becomes pretty plain by the “oohs” and “ahhs” at every bowl that these folks are pretty serious about their game.

The league is sponsored by the Chelsea Senior Center, and has been going for 10 years. However, long-time bocce bowlers Kenny and Pat Hyland will tell you the league goes back as many as 18 years.

“I’ve been with it for 18 years or so,” said Ken Hyland on Monday, as the league held a make-u

The Senior Citizen Bocce League is in full force every Tuesday morning at the Chelsea Commons Park, a temporary location until Voke Park is finished. The League is good competition and great camaraderie, local seniors say. Here, Nino Bongiovanni gives some advice to Irene Malachowski before she bowls during a make-up match Monday morning. League President Clara Lander said the current league has been ongoing for 10 years, but summer bocce leagues in Chelsea go back nearly 20 years.

The Senior Citizen Bocce League is in full force every Tuesday
morning at the Chelsea Commons Park, a temporary location until Voke Park is finished. The League is good competition and great camaraderie, local seniors say. Here, Nino Bongiovanni gives some advice to Irene Malachowski before she bowls during a make-up match Monday morning.
League President Clara Lander said the current league has been ongoing for 10 years, but summer bocce leagues in Chelsea go back nearly 20 years.

p contest. “We’ve been at several locations. There was a league even before that too.”

League President Clara Lander said the league typically plays at Voke Park, but had to relocate this year due to construction on the park. About 40 or so seniors from Chelsea come regularly and the season lasts from April to September – with a break up banquet every October.

“Everybody loves playing,” said Landers. “Everybody comes to play bocce and to have fun. We are pretty good though. There can be some good competition between teams, but nobody is going to kill anyone over it. We just all love each other and get together and enjoy it. People do get competitive though and they take it seriously.”

The league welcomes all seniors, from those just recently retired to folks as old as 90-plus.

“I do have three or four in their 90s,” said Lander. “A lot of them still bowl too.”

Donna Bongiovanni is in her first year at the league with her husband, Nino Bongiovanni, both who are recently retired.

“Everybody’s wonderful,” she said. “If someone new comes in, they open up their arms to us. My husband and I recently retired and joined this year and they opened up their arms to us. We’re all young at heart here.”

And it’s evident from the game.

“One, Green,” yelled Referee Chet Lander, calling out the score on Monday.

“I’m the referee, and it’s the easiest job in the world – until the want a measurement,” he said.

Shortly after that, there was a bit of a dispute about which ball was closest. Lander was called to measure the length and no one was quite sure what the outcome would be – and it was crucial to the close contest. All the team members gathered around to see the outcome.

“See what I mean,” he said with a laugh, putting his measuring string back in his pocket.

Most do enjoy the game, but the consensus is that the league is good exercise and good conversation.

“I do enjoy it,” said Mary Carbone. “It’s great to get outside and the people are very good here. It’s also good exercise. They really need more stuff like this for seniors to do in Chelsea.”

Carol Phillips and Mary Casucci both said they transferred their bowling interests over to the bocce league.

“About three years ago, a friend met someone from the league and she joined,” said Casucci. “She told a friend about it and that friend joined. That friend told me and next thing you know I was coming too. We bowl two times a week. We all enjoy everyone getting together and it’s a fun time too. It’s good to be out with other people enjoying the summer weather. It’s certainly better than staying in the house.”

Cindy Millman said she had never played bocce, but picked it up quickly after joining this year.

“It’s really so much fun,” she said. “It’s my first year and I had never played before. I was a good bowler and so I decided to try this too. I loved it from the beginning. I look forward to coming every week.”

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FRONT 3012 –

The Senior Citizen Bocce League is in full force every Tuesday morning at the Chelsea Commons Park, a temporary location until Voke Park is finished. The League is good competition and great camaraderie, local seniors say. Here, Nino Bongiovanni gives some advice to Irene Malachowski before she bowls during a make-up match Monday morning. League President Clara Lander said the current league has been ongoing for 10 years, but summer bocce leagues in Chelsea go back nearly 20 years.

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Referee Chet Lander calls out the score as interested players look on.

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The competition can get heated sometimes, and here Referee Chet Lander is called to make a measurement on who gets the point.

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Alfred Uminski bowls during a game on Monday morning at Chelsea Commons.

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Marie Diamond racked up the points on Monday for her team.

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The Best of the Beacons:Michelle Zullo Set Pitching Records at UMass/Boston

The Best of the Beacons:Michelle Zullo Set Pitching Records at UMass/Boston

Michelle Zullo felt comfortable on the pitcher’s mound from the very beginning.

She made her debut in the Everett Girls Softball League at the age of six, becoming one of the top pitchers in the league and eventually taking lessons from Bob Carr and his daughter, Christine Carr.

By the time Zullo entered the Everett High School softball program, she had six pitches in her repertoire: fastball, changeup, drop, drop curve, curve, and screwball. She later perfected a riseball.

At Everett High under the tutelage of head coach Stacy Poste, a former All-Scholastic pitcher, Zullo developed in to a force on the mound. The 5-foot-6-inch flamethrower won 46 games, made three Greater Boston League All-Star Teams, helped Everett win a GBL title, and stood her ground in a big-time rivalry with Malden ace Kiara Amos, who went on to pitch at Providence College.

“I loved coach Poste and I still go to some of the Everett practices and pitch batting practice,” said Zullo. “I had a great catcher [Rachel Pierce] to work with. Playing softball for Everett High was a phenomenal experience.”

Zullo also spread her athletic talents to the hockey rink and the golf course, earning 12 varsity letters and receiving the Madelyn English Award as Everett High’s best female athlete. Interestingly, Michelle is related to Madelyn English (her grandfather’s cousin), who played women’s professional baseball during World War II (The league was portrayed in the movie, “A League of Their Own”). She was also selected to the Harry Agganis Softball All-Star Classic.

During the summers, Zullo bolstered her softball resume with a stellar AAU career for the Orange Crush, Lady Rebels, and Mass Inferno teams. She received several MVP and Outstanding Pitcher Awards in tournament play and excelled in college showcases.

Zullo selected the University of Massachusetts/Boston for her collegiate destination over Worcester State, Rivier College, Curry, and Mount Ida.

What she accomplished at UMass/Boston was becoming the most outstanding pitcher in school history. She was an instant freshman sensation for the Lady Beacons, winning 10 games and emerging as a candidate for the league’s Rookie of the Year award. Following a four-year career that ended this spring, Zullo had established all-time records in wins (27), strikeouts (253), innings pitched, complete games, and earned run average.

“I played softball with a lot of talented athletes at UMass,” said Zullo. “The league was very competitive and I enjoyed traveling throughout New England and to Florida each year.”

Zullo is majoring in Early Childhood Education and will graduate this fall.

She says she would eventually like to coach high school softball. She has been giving pitching lessons to younger players for a few years.

Zullo credits her parents, Richard and Maureen Zullo, for their support from the outset. Her father, Richard, was an outstanding athlete himself at Chelsea High School.

“I learned a lot from my dad,” said Michelle. “He used to catch my pitching in the backyard and was my coach on the Inferno. It’s always nice to have your parents and family at your games cheering you on and giving you encouragement.”

Former Everett High star athlete Michelle Zullo completed an outstanding career as a pitcher for the University of Massachusetts/ Boston softball team.

Former Everett High star athlete Michelle Zullo completed an outstanding career as a pitcher for the University of Massachusetts/
Boston softball team.

While her record-setting collegiate career is over, Michelle will continue to play slow pitch softball in area leagues, reuniting with Rachel Pierce, her former high school batterymate.

“I may pitch if I can find a fast pitch league,” said Zullo, who will turn 23 in June. “I’m a little sad that my competitive pitching days are over but it was 17 great years.”

Though she will not be wearing the UMass/Boston uniform again, it’s safe to say that she will be a candidate for the school’s Hall of Fame one day.

Michelle Zullo is truly one of the all-time greats for the Beacons.

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