Women’s Sports Pioneer: Chelsea Native Lee-Nieves Receives MIAA Distinguished Service Award

Women’s Sports Pioneer: Chelsea Native Lee-Nieves Receives MIAA Distinguished Service Award

Johanna DiCarlo (right) presents the Massachusetts Women in Athletics Distinguished Service Award to JoAnne Lee-Nieves at the 2019 Girls and Women in Sports Day program Feb. 1 at Faneuil Hall, Boston.

When the Title IX law was first enacted, leading to increased athletic opportunities for females in the mid-to-late 1970s and setting the foundation for the explosion of high school girls’ sports that exists today, there was a Chelsea woman just getting started in coaching.

She was a pioneer in every sense, introducing the joy of organized sports participation to Boston girls, teaching them about teamwork and sportsmanship, instilling self-confidence in her student-athletes, and providing lessons about life that they would carry beyond the basketball court.

JoAnne Lee-Nieves was a woman ahead of her time, recognizing right away the importance of athletics for girls as an extension of the classroom. Her players at Jeremiah Burke would achieve phenomenal success on the court. Long before ESPN started bringing attention to women’s sports, Lee-Nieves was building a program and sending her athletes on to college.

For four decades, Lee-Nieves earned multiple championship and coach-of-the-year awards. No one did it better in Boston than Lee-Nieves.

Last Friday, in an impressive ceremony at historic Faneuil Hall in the city where Lee-Nieves became a high school coaching giant, she received one of the MIAA’s most prestigious awards.

Before a capacity crowd of female high school athletes, athletic directors and many of her former colleagues in the profession, Lee-Nieves accepted the Massachusetts Women in Athletics Distinguished Service Award.

One could only imagine how very proud her parents, the late Charles Lee and Jeanette Weiner Lee, would have been to see JoAnne’s amazing career recognized so deservedly in such an awesome setting as Fanueil Hall.

Councillor-at-Large Leo Robinson understands the magnitude of his cousin JoAnne’s statewide award and the immense contributions that she made to high school sports. His own daughter, Lucia Robinson-Griggs, is a former high school athlete and now a women’s basketball coach at MIT.

“JoAnne is a very outstanding individual who has achieved a lot in teaching and coaching,” said Robinson. “This is very special for me that she was recognized for all the hard work that she has done throughout the years. She is a true pioneer in women’s high school sports in Boston. It’s a tremendous honor and I congratulate Joanne. We in Chelsea are all proud of her.”

In a tribute to JoAnne that appeared in the Girls and Women In Sports Day souvenir booklet, Jeremiah Burke Guidance Counselor Ron Innes said, “JoAnne was a very reliable and dedicated teacher who was well respected by her students as well as faculty and staff. Her knowledge about her chosen discipline (Physical Education) and ability to reach and connect with students made her a truly exceptional teacher. These great qualities carried over to the many sports she coached. Her teams always played the game with great discipline and pride.”

Burke Athletic Coordinator Sean Ryan had nominated Lee-Nieves for the award. Said Ryan, “Her ability to engage a veteran or a newcomer to the sport make her special. We evaluate a coach by how their team progresses during the year, and JoAnne’s team each year plays their best toward the end of the season. She truly provides each student-athlete with a memorable experience.”

In her acceptance speech, Lee-Nieves was humble and gracious. She thanked the MIAA for the recognition, but focused her remarks on encouraging the young ladies in the audience to work hard and pursue their dreams.

As she left the stage and walked to the VIP area where she and husband Juan Nieves were seated, you could sense that JoAnne Lee-Nieves was touched by this lifetime-achievement recognition from the state’s official governing organization for high school sports.

It was indeed a special day for a special teacher, coach, and role model.

CUTLINE

Johanna DiCarlo (right) presents the Massachusetts Women in Athletics Distinguished Service Award to JoAnne Lee-Nieves at the 2019 Girls and Women in Sports Day program Feb. 1 at Faneuil Hall, Boston. JoAnne Lee-Nieves and her husband, Juan Nieves, are pictured following the presentation of the Distinguished Service Award.

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Sports 01-31-2019

Sports 01-31-2019

CHS Sports Roundup

CHS TRACK TEAMS DROP FIRST CONTESTS

The Chelsea High boys and girls indoor track teams dropped their first meets of the season last week to Greater Lawrence.

The outcome of the Lady Red Devils’ contest came down to the final race, the 4 x 400 relay. Chelsea held a 41-40 lead entering the relay, but Greater Lawrence won the race to win the meet by a score of 45-41.

Highlights from girls meet included:

1st and third in the high hurdles: Stephanie Simon, Sandra Tun

1st and third in the 50 yard dash: Stephanie Simon, Sandra Tun

1st in the 300: Ana Chang

1st in the 600: Yarelis Torres Diaz

1st in the High Jump: Stephanie Simon

1st in the mile: Yarid Deras

On the boys’ side, the Red Devils came up short by a score of 54-31. The highlights for Chelsea were:

1st in Shot Put: Rigo Flores

1st in the 600: Jazmany Reyes

1st, 2nd, 3rd in mile: Jazmany Reyes, Oscar Amaya, Ian Padilla

1st, 2nd in 1000: Justin Turner, Limilson Tavares

SIMON WINS LONG JUMP AT STATE COACHES

Chelsea High track star Stephanie Simon captured the long jump event at this past weekend’s State Coaches Meet, an event that features the top athletes in Division 1, with a leap of 18′-0.75″, a distance that qualified Stephanie for the nationals.

Teammate Ana Chang turned in a strong performance in the 300 dash, finishing in 20th place among a field of 58 competitors. For the boys, Red Devil Justin Turner improved his two-mile school record from 10:18 to 10:13.36.

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Sports 01-24-2019

Sports 01-24-2019

CHS Roundup

CHS track teams defeat Greater Lowell

The Chelsea High girls and boys indoor track and field teams remained undefeated with victories over Greater Lowell this past week.

For the Red Devil boys, who triumphed by a score of 45-33, the highlights were as follows:

1st in the two-mile — Ian Padilla

1st in the 300 — Jesus Matos (44.7)

1-2-3 in the shot put — Rigo Flores (40’5), Anthony Del Rosario, Josue Rios

1st in the high jump — Jesus Matos

1-2-3 in the mile — Justin Turner (4:57), Jazmany Reyes, Julio Valladares

For the Lady Red Devils, who won their side of the meet by a score of 50-32, highlights included:

1st in hurdles — Stephanie Simon

1st in the 300 — Ana Chang (49.5)

1-2-3 in the shot put — Masireh Ceesay, Jessica Martinez, Deanna Christmas

1-2 in the 600 — Jocelyn Poste, Yarelis Torres

1st in the high jump — Stephanie Simon

1st in the 1000 — Yarid Deras (3:43)

4×400 win — Jocelyn Poste, Yarelis Torres, Denali Mejia, Ana Chang

Steph Simon wins two events at the Dartmouth Relays

Chelsea High track star Stephanie Simon won two events this past Saturday at the Dartmouth Relays in Hanover, New Hampshire, a meet that annually attracts some of the best track and field athletes in the Northeast.

Stephanie won the long jump by a quarter of an inch with her leap of 17′-7″ and captured the triple jump with a distance of 38′-5″, the latter being a national-qualifying mark.

Bruins Beat

Bruins enjoying bye week

Without the excitement of the Patriots win over the Kansas City Chiefs, on their way to the Super Bowl, this would have been a boring week for Bruins fans. With the bye week before the All-Star break, the Bs have been blessed with a 9-day hiatus. The reason for feeling blessed is due to the concussion suffered by goaltender Tuukka Rask versus the New York Rangers last Saturday. Recent comments from Rask’s agent, Brett Peterson, were a shade encouraging, stating that he believes, “There isn’t “anything to be too concerned about in respect to Rask’s recovery, and I think it is day to day for him right now.” Rask’s concussion extended the list of Bruins concussed this season, adding his name to the list that included, David Backes, Urho Vaakanainen, Jake DeBrusk, and Charlie McAvoy. Boston resumes their regular season schedule on Tuesday, January 29, when they face the streaking Winnipeg Jets on Garden ice.

The Bruins can certainly count their lucky stars, as one of the major reason for the team currently holding on to sixth place (27-17-5) in the Eastern Conference has been the goaltending duo of Rask and Jaroslav Halak’s steady performances in net. Numbers wise, Rask is 14-8-3, 2.43 goals-against, and a .919 save percentage – Halak is 13-9-2, 2.47 goals-against, and a .919 save percentage. The mirrored numbers attest to their outstanding and mostly consistent play. Add to that the powerful first line, Patrice Bergeron, David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand, the trio responsible for 60 of the Bs 143 goals scored, and an impressive 150 points to date. Combine those stats with the solid play on the defense, and it certainly looks promising for this team when their full roster is on board.

As is the case every season, each point is crucial, as it shows in the present playoff picture, where seven teams are clustered in the East, battling for position. Teams trailing the Eastern Conference-leading Tampa Bay Lightning (76 points), New York Islanders (63), Toronto Maple Leafs (60), Washington Capitals (60), Bruins, Columbus Blue Jackets, and Montreal Canadiens, all with 59 points, and the Pittsburgh Penguins hanging in there with 58.

David Pastrnak is the lone Bruins representative at the 2019 NHL All-Star game in San Jose, California. Fans tuning in are reminded of the change in programming, this year’s event will be played this Saturday, January 26th at 8:00pm EST, instead of the usual Sunday date, with the Skills Competition moved from its traditional Saturday night to this Friday, January 25. Following the All-Star break, the Bruins return to Garden ice for a two-game homestand, beginning Tuesday (1/29 at 7 p.m.) to take on the Winnipeg Jets, and back on the ice again Thursday (1/31 at 7 p.m.) to host the Philadelphia Flyers.

ZDENO CHARA TO CAPTAIN 12th ANNUAL PJ DRIVE

The Boston Bruins and the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners are teaming up with Cradles to Crayons and DCF Wonderfund, both non-profits that ensure positive living conditions for children, to present the 12th Annual “PJ Drive” to benefit Massachusetts’ youth in need. The drive will run from February 1, until March 15. The PJ Drive provides new, unused pajamas to babies, children, and teens in communities across Massachusetts. Bruins Captain Zdeno Chara will lead this year’s PJ Drive for the fourth time. The PJ Drive originally started during the 2007-2008 season by former Bruin P.J. Axelsson and his wife Siw. Since then, over 100,000 Massachusetts children have received PJs through the Bruins PJ drive.

The Boston Bruins will be hosting an in-game PJ collection on Saturday, February 9, at the Boston Bruins vs. LA Kings game at 1 p.m. at TD Garden. Fans who donate PJs or $10 at this game will be entered in a raffle to win Bruins autographed prizes. Please note that all PJs must be new and unused to be donated. Fans can register their own organization to be a PJ Drive donation site. The top three organizations that collect the most PJs will receive five tickets to one of the following games: Bruins vs. New York Rangers on Wednesday, March 27, at 7:30 p.m., or Bruins vs. Florida Panthers on Saturday, March 30, at 7 p.m.

BLOOD DRIVE THIS WEEKEND

The Bruins will host their annual Blood Drive with the American Red Cross on this Sunday, January 27 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at TD Garden. The day will be filled with family-friendly activities, including a kids’ obstacle course, plus touch-a-truck, and appearances by Bruins mascot Blades. Donors can make appointments by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767), visiting RedCrossBlood.org, and by entering sponsor code BRUINS, or by using the American Red Cross Blood Donor app. All donors will receive a long-sleeve American Red Cross T-shirt. Free parking for the Blood Drive will be provided at the North Station Garage. Also taking place on this day at the Garden will be the First Responder Challenge powered by National Grid.

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Sports 01-03-2019

Sports 01-03-2019

Bruins Beat

by Bob Morello

Bruins look to ride Classic win

With the satisfaction of having pinned a 4-2 loss on the Chicago Blackhawks at the 2019 NHL Winter Classic at Notre Dame Stadium, the Bruins will take the two points and look forward to continuing the New Year’s festivities during their four-game homestand. At the end of the game Tuukka Rask took off his specially designed for the Classic goalie mask, knowing that he had delivered an impressive effort, and could take pleasure in having one-upped the Rask-haters. His effort was solid from beginning to end, as he allowed an early goal to Chicago’s Brendan Perlini in the first period, and then put up the barricade, stopping all but one of the Blackhawks’ remaining shots.

Rask came up big twice on Chicago’s All-Star, Patrick Kane, stopping him first on a breakaway close to the end of the first period, and again with a spectacular stop on Kane’s shot from the slot with less than 40 seconds remaining in the game and the Bruins up by one goal. With a jam-packed stadium of 79.126 in attendance, Rask disappointed the majority of them, as the crowd was heavily weighted with Blackhawks fans from nearby (90 miles) Chicago. Rask earned high praise from his teammates who appreciated his efforts that once again put the Bs into a playoff spot, but Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy summed it up best with: “You get two points, but it’s more than just an average game. You’re playing in front of what, 80,000 people on national TV, two historical franchises. Everyone wants to see a good hockey game, and we just want to be on top. It worked out well for everybody, specifically for us.”

David Pastrnak tied things up (1-1) for Boston, scoring his 24th goal on a nice feed from Patrice Bergeron. Pastrnak returned the favor, feeding Bergeron who scored (#13) in the second period to tie the game at 2-2. The solid performance throughout the game by the fourth-line, saw Chris Wagner setting up the game-winner, as Matt Grzelcyk’s shot bounced off Kane’s body, landing in the perfect spot on the ice for Sean Kuraly to cash in with the go-ahead goal (#4). Putting the cherry on the tasty win was Brad Marchand’s empty-netter (#13) with 33 seconds remaining.

The Bruins return to Garden ice for a four-game homestand, beginning with tonight’s game (Thursday 7:00pm) as they take on the Calgary Flames. The Flames are currently battling the Vegas Golden Knights and the San Jose Sharks for the top spot in the Pacific Division. Saturday (1/5 at 7:00pm), the Buffalo Sabres, who at press time were tied with Boston (48 points), will provide the opposition. The Sabres, despite their red-hot start to the season have cooled off a bit, posting a record of 4-4-2 of for their last ten games. The Minnesota Wild are battling to get into a playoff spot, and will be hosted by the Bruins on Tuesday (1/8 at 7:00pm). The Wild have been struggling of late, with a lackluster 3-6-1 record in their last ten games. The Bruins’ homestand will end Thursday (1/10 7:00pm), when the streaking Washington Capitals invade the Garden, looking to add to their impressive record, as they ride on the strength of eight wins in their previous ten games.

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Sports 11-15-2018

Sports 11-15-2018

CHS Roundup

CHS football team

gears up for season

finale with Brighton

The Chelsea High football team will seek to end its season on a high note when the Red Devils travel to Brighton for a Thanksgiving Eve battle next Wednesday evening.

Kick off is slated for 7:00 p.m.

Chelsea dropped a 32-2 decision to O’Bryant High this past week. Red Devil Richard Flores accounted for the Chelsea points when he alertly scooped up a Brighton fumble on a two-point conversion attempt and raced 98 yards to the opposite end of the field to earn two points for the Red Devils.

Although this has been a trying season for first-year head coach Rasi Chau and his squad, Chau remains upbeat about his team’s performance and effort.

“We are in our growing pain season,” said Chau. “My guys all have worked hard, regardless of our record.  There’s no quitting with our guys.  I am proud of each and every single one of them, from my seniors all the way to my freshmen.

“We are looking forward to playing Brighton on Thanksgiving Eve. Hopefully we can grab a win, because that turkey will taste much better if we can do so.”

Turner, Deras top

CHS runners at D-2

Justin Turner and Yarid Deras were the top finishers for the Chelsea High boys and girls cross country teams at Saturday’s Eastern Mass. Division 2 Meet held at the Wrentham Training Center.

Turner came across the line in 51st place in a time of 17:22 over the 5K (3.1 miles) course. He was followed by teammates Julio Validates in 18:20, Jazmany Reyes in 18:39, Limilson Tavares in 19:14, and Oscar Amaya in 19:15.

On the girls’ side, Deras crossed the line in a clocking of 22:04 in 103rd place. Jocelyn Poste ran a 24:49 and Saira Carrento came across in 25:00.

 

Bruins Beat.

by Bob Morello

Bruins on the road again

The Bruins began their four-game road trip last night (Wednesday) in Colorado for the first stop, as the Record went to press. That meeting matched up two of the NHL’s top lines, with Boston’s red-hot threesome of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak, taking on Colorado’s trio of Gabriel Landeskog, Nathan McKinnon and Mikko Rantanen. Despite the return of Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask from his ‘personal leave’ hiatus, coach Bruce Cassidy named Jaroslav Halak to face the Avalanche on Wednesday. Rask was quick to assure those in attendance at practice on Tuesday, that the matter had been resolved, and that he was now focusing on the future. The hope is that Rask will quickly return to form and display the number one goalie performances expected of him, while for now, he steps into the backup role to Halak.

Today (Thursday), the Bruins traveled to Dallas and will take on the Stars tomorrow (Friday 8 p.m.), who have been playing some decent hockey of late with a record of 5-3-2 in their last ten games, good enough for fourth place in the Central Division. Former Bruin Tyler Seguin leads the Stars in points with 17, while former Bruins backup goaltender Anton Khudobin has performed well, posting a 3-2-0-1 record in six starts, and a respective 2.32 goals-against-average – with a .926 save percentage. The Arizona Coyotes with host Boston (Saturday 8 p.m.), and Detroit will provide the opposition for the Bs as they take on their Atlantic Division rival, the Red Wings (Wednesday 7 p.m.), in the fourth and final stop of their weeklong road trip.

The NHL named Bruins forward David Pastrnak as the NHL’s first star of the week for the week ending November 11. The Bruins went 3-1-0 last week with Pastrnak leading the team in scoring, posting five goals and two assists for seven points in four games. Four of Pastrnak’s five goals came on the man-advantage, giving him seven power play goals on the season, and had him tied for first in the NHL with Winnipeg’s Patrick Laine. The 22-year-old Havirov, CZE native posted his second hat trick of the season, his third of his career in the regular season. Pastrnak’s 16 goals lead the NHL.

Former Bruin Willie O’Ree was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame during this weeks festivities in the Builder category. O’Ree joined the NHL/USA Hockey Diversity Task Force in 1998, and has been credited with impacting over 120,000 individuals while introducing hockey to people from all different backgrounds.

The Sports Museum’s THE TRADITION – NOVEMBER 28th

The Sports Museum has announced presenters for Tradition honorees: Former Boston Bruins coach Don Cherry, a Canadian hockey icon will receive his award from Bs legend Terry O’Reilly; Paul Pierce, Boston Celtics will be presented by former teammate Kendrick Perkins; Two-time FIFA Women’s World Cup champion and Olympic gold medalist Julie Foudy, will be presented by former teammate Kristine Lilly; Boston Red Sox Hall of Famer, Jim Lonborg, will receive his award from legendary Major League Baseball pitcher Jim Kaat; Super Bowl XXXIX MVP and former New England Patriot wide receiver, Deion Branch will be presented by former teammate Troy Brown/ and seven-time NASCAR Championship winner, Richard Petty, will be presented by NASCAR journalist Dick Berggren. Hosting the event will be Jackie MacMullan and Tom Caron. Ticketed guests will receive a once in a lifetime experience to mingle with some of New England’s most legendary athletes and industry leaders. Each ticket includes access to complimentary premium food and beverage during the gala reception on TD Garden’s arena floor and a seat at the ‘talk-show’ style awards ceremony. During the ceremony, honorees share career highlights and anecdotal stories that give fans a glimpse into the lives of these living legends.

Rick Middleton’s #16 to be raised to the Garden rafters – NOVEMBER 29

The Bruins will retire Rick Middleton’s number prior to the team’s game against the New York Islanders on Thursday, November 29, and raise the #16 banner. The right wing spent 12 seasons with the Bruins, scoring 402 goals with 496 assists for 898 points. He enjoyed five straight seasons with at least 40 goals from 1979 through the 1983-84 season. Middleton’s #16 will become the 11th number sent to the rafters by the B’s, joining Lionel Hitchman, Dit Clapper, Eddie Shore, Milt Schmidt, Bobby Orr, Johnny Bucyk, Phil Esposito, Ray Bourque, Terry O’Reilly and Cam Neely.

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Sports 11-08-2018

Sports 11-08-2018

CHS Roundup

CHS boys soccer

falls in state tourney

The Chelsea High boys soccer team dropped a heartbreaking 2-1 decision to Acton-Boxboro in a first round contest of the Division 1 North Sectional of the MIAA state soccer tournament last Friday evening on the turf at Highland Park.

The Red Devils grabbed a 1-0 lead at the 30 minute mark of the opening half when Delmer Romero found the back of the A-B net with a beautiful strike from the top of the box.

Delmer, Chelsea’s leading scorer this season, initially took possession of the ball in the right corner of the box and then made a few moves toward the center to create some space from the A-B defenders. When he obtained a small window of opportunity, Romero let go a powerful drive high to the opposite corner to beat the A-B keeper.

However, that would prove to be the apogee of coach Mick Milutinovic and his Red Devils’ hopes for advancing to the next round of the tournament.

Five minutes after Romero’s goal, a ref whistled Chelsea for a controversial hand-ball in the box and awarded a penalty kick to A-B. The alleged hand-ball call was not evident to anyone else on or in the field — and the ref who made the call was 60 yards aways from the action.

Acton-Boxboro converted the PK, bringing the contest back to level at the half.

The contest remained deadlocked for the next 55 minutes — 40 minutes of the second half, 10 minutes of the first overtime, and five minutes of the second OT — until A-B reached the back of the Chelsea net for the victory with five minutes left in the second overtime period.

“This was a great tourney game,” said CHS assistant coach Evan Protasowicki. “Our defense was solid and our keeper, Roberto Portillo, played the best game of his career with some outstanding saves.

“We had a great crowd and the team fought hard the whole way,” added Protasowicki, who noted that the Red Devils had enjoyed a superb season with a 13-0-3 record entering the tournament. “It’s too bad that the outcome of the game hinged on that hand-ball call.”

CHS runners do

well at Coaches Meet

Last Saturday a small contingent of the Chelsea High boys and girls cross country teams traveled to Wrentham to participate in the Frank Mooney State Coaches Invitational.

Senior Justin Turner raced to a personal best of 17:05 on the 3.1 mile course to finish seventh out of 189 runners.

“Every week Justin gets better,” said CHS head coach Don Fay. “He had a great summer of training and it is translating into a remarkable season. He hasn’t missed a day of practice and he is a great leader.”

Senior Julio Valladares ran 17:51 to improve by over a minute and was 30th overall out of 189.

“Earlier this season Julio had a virus he couldn’t shake,” said Fay. “The last three weeks he has finally been running to his potential.”

Jazmany Reyes ran 18:29 and also had a personal best by almost a minute. Oscar Amaya ran 19:22 in the sophomore race while freshman Ian Padilla also ran in the sophomore race and ran 20:10.  Only nine other freshman beat Ian in the race.

Limilson Tavares raced to a 19:09 time in the junior race.  Joseph Terval ran 20:07 to smash his former best time by almost two minutes.  WidinButras finished in a time of 22:10.

On the girls’ side, YaridDeras finished 28th in a time of 22:11 for the 3.1 miles.

This Saturday both the boys and girls squats will go back to Wrentham for the Division 2 State Meet.

CHS football team

meets O’Bryant Friday

The Chelsea High football team turned in its most-productive offensive effort of the season, but came out on the short end of a 40-22 decision to Cathedral High this past Friday evening.

“Unfortunately, it’s not the outcome we wanted, but I am proud of my guys for putting up a fight until the last whistle,” said CHS head coach Rasi Chau. “Our new quarterback, freshman Joshua Sosa, took the call and did a great job controlling the field.”

Sosa threw a 76 yard touchdown pass to Daps Olunbuson and ran a quarterback sneak for a two-point conversion.  Jabes Escalante did a great job running the ball,  scoring touchdowns, including his longest run of the year of 57 yards, plus a two-point conversion. Jabes ended up with 176 yards on the ground.

Ivan Soto, Chelsea’s leading tackler this season with more than 100 tackles, recorded 13 solo tackles of Cathedral ballcarriers.

Chau and his squad will play at O’Bryant High School in Boston tomorrow (Friday). Kickoff is set for 4:00.

CHS girls soccer

completes season

Although the Chelsea High girls soccer team dropped its last four games of the season to finish with a final record of 5-10-2, CHS head coach Randy Grajal was upbeat about his team’s performance and its future.

“We have a very young team and we improved as our season went along,” said CHS head coach Randy Grajal. “I am looking forward to our next season.”

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Sports 06-07-2018

Sports 06-07-2018

CHS Roundup

STEPHANIE SIMON MAKES MORE CHS TRACK HISTORY

Stephanie Simon became the first Chelsea High girl ever to compete in three events at the MIAA all-state meet this past Saturday at Fitchburg State University.

The sophomore turned in a strong performance, taking 11th in the high jump with a leap of 5’-4”; 15th in the 100 dash with a time of 12.65; and 17th in the triple jump with a distance of of 35’-3”.

“While none of the performances were personal bests for Stephanie, she performed well competing in multiple events,” said CHS coach Mark Martineau.

Senior Martine Simon also competed in the all-state meet, finishing in 18th place in the triple jump with a leap of 35’-2”.

Both of the Simon sisters and junior Jocelyn Poste will compete in the state heptathlon this Tuesday and Thursday at North Reading High School.

sports museum hosts 2018 stand strong graduation

The Sports Museum hosted its 2018 Stand Strong Graduation on June 4 at TD Garden in Legends.

Members of the Jordan Boys and Girls Club of Chelsea received framed certificates of completion at the ceremony that was led by Sports Museum Director of Education Michelle Gormley.

Sports Museum Executive Director Rusty Sullivan and Northeastern University basketball star Jeremy Miller held a question-and-answer session for the youths.

Miller responded to questions such as: How tall are you? (6-foot, 9 and three-quarter-inches); What is your favorite NBA team? (San Antonio Spurs; and When will you enter the NBA draft? (in 2019).

The youths appreciated Miller’s story about how he kept a positive attitude after sustaining a knee injury in his freshman season. Miller worked hard during the rehabilitation process and became a star player on a very good Northeastern team that will contend for an NCAA Tournament berth again next season.

Miller said that some of his outside-of-basketball interests are improvisational comedy, acting, and music.  Miller was a huge hit with the youths, graciously posing for photographs and signing autographs.

Stand Strong is a 12-week interactive character development program focusing on the core values of Teamwork, Courage, Fairness, Determination, and Responsibilty.

The Stand Strong curriculum includes a number of field trips where students engage in fun activities centered on the aspects of character.

FUN-DAMENTAL BASKETBALL CAMP TO START

The annual FUN-damental Basketball Camp, open to boys and girls in the local area, will be held July 16-July 20, at the Immaculate Conception Parish Center, located at 59 Summer Street in Everett.

The camp will be held between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. for boys and girls entering grades three thru nine as of September 2018.  The cost of the camp is $100.

Tony Ferullo, boys’ varsity basketball coach at Mystic Valley Regional Charter School in Malden, will be the camp director.

Each camper, who will receive a t-shirt, certificate and medal, will participate in various drills, scrimmages and individual contests.  Special guests will speak and share their personal basketball tips.  An awards ceremony will take place on the last day of the camp, and parents and friends are welcome to attend.

For more information about the FUN-damental Basketball Camp, please contact  Camp Director Tony Ferullo: 857-312-7002 or tferullo@suffolk.edu.

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Sports 03-22-2018

Sports 03-22-2018

Pope John I

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 Beat

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.

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City Council, Quiet Man Spar Over Meeting to Discuss Community Center

City Council, Quiet Man Spar Over Meeting to Discuss Community Center

A proposal by former heavyweight boxing champ, and Chelsea native, John ‘The Quietman’ Ruiz has sparked major controversy over the past week in the follow-up to a preliminary meeting on the issue Feb. 6.

The meeting on Feb. 6 was a preliminary presentation to the City Council by Quietman Sports, which included Ruiz and his Business Manager Mark Giblin, in a Committee on Conference.

During the meeting, the presentation included a preliminary written proposal that called for using the CCC Club in Bellingham Square to create a new youth athletic and education center. The CCC Club folded last year and was sold to Chelsea’s Jim D’Amico – who is refurbishing apartments above the old club. The City had bid on the building as well to establish a youth center in the downtown, but did not win the bid. In the aftermath, the City and D’Amico agreed that they could possibly partner with a non-profit to establish the center in the D’Amico building.

Since that verbal agreement, no one had really come along, until Ruiz floated the initial idea of putting a center there using his name. He has opened similar boxing clubs in Medford in the past. The effort, he indicated, was a move to give back to the City he grew up in and to help many youth who are straying from the right path.

“Mr. Ruiz and his team…know what it takes to overcome the same obstacles Chelsea youth face,” read the proposal. “Maybe by sharing their personal success stories, providing scientific and historic educational programs, and athletic programs, it can make a difference. In the least, Quietman Sports hopes their influence can prevent tragedies such as the March 2016 incident in Chelsea where a 19-year old was gunned down and several other teenagers injured by another 16 year old at an empty apartment. Stories such as this are unnecessary and preventable. The community must act soon or by failing to do so will affect Chelsea for generations to come.”

One of the other stipulations was that the City would provide a $475,000 grant to Quietman Sports over three years to help launch the programming. Quietman Sports would put up $195,171 and would fundraise $75,000.

City Councilors were lukewarm to the idea, though, asking many questions about the expenditure and if the venture had coordinated with existing programs like the Explorers Post 109 and other activities.

Council President Damali Vidot, Judith Garcia and others asked a lot of questions.

In all, the welcome wasn’t as warm as Ruiz seemed to expect.

After the meeting, he attacked Vidot in a post on Instagram, and she said she was highly offended by it.

“In my thoughts I assumed they would welcome my intension to give back to my hometown that I love, but it became a backlash from Council President Damali Vidot,” Ruiz posted. “Council President Damali Vidot comments ‘why do we need your help; you don’t liver here’ and her resistance threw me back. It’s a sad moment when a City representative especially the Council President who should lead by example is taking a stance against anyone trying to extend a hand and who has it slapped away…Call Council President Damali Vidot to leave her power hungry attitude at home and embrace anyone who is willing to help my city that I love.”

Vidot, in an op-ed in today’s paper, said the matter needed clarity. She said Ruiz misrepresented what she said.

“Let’s be clear that the City Council does not decide whether we grant Mr. Ruiz funds for his proposal,” she wrote. “That decision-making process rests solely with the City Manager. The City Council as a body then votes on the appropriation of requested funds in which I am 1/11th of the vote. Unfortunately, following the meeting, Mr. Ruiz chose to turn to social media and misrepresent my comments. At that moment it became clear to me that residents deserved more clarity around the facts as to how things transpired.”

She said anyone who is proposing to work with children should be a better example – not taking to social media to complain when they don’t get their way.

“As a longtime boxing fan of Puerto Rican roots, I was ecstatic to meet the first Latino heavyweight boxer of the world,” she wrote. “However, my fandom doesn’t equate to disregarding my role as a public servant…As a longtime youth worker, I am appalled that someone who is proposing to manage a youth center would not look for better ways to demonstrate leadership. I cannot take responsibility for the ill-advice given to Mr. Ruiz prior to the meeting; I did however encourage dialogue and identified ways in which Mr. Ruiz could seek out community input.”

Giblin did not return an e-mail immediately to the Record asking for comment.

Councillor Leo Robinson, who helped Ruiz in bringing the proposal by filing an order to have the meeting, said he wasn’t happy with the champ’s reception.

“It wasn’t professional,” he said of his fellow councillors. “You don’t treat people like that.”

Councillor Giovanni Recupero said he isn’t opposed to the center, but he would like to see it be for everyone, not just the youth.

Meanwhile, City Manager Tom Ambrosino said the proposal was extremely preliminary. He said the City would have to issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) before anyone could even begin talking seriously. Any proposal would have to officially apply to an RFP.

“We’re a long way from anything being there yet,” he said. “I actually have an interest in having youth programming in the downtown and the CCC is a great facility for that. I’m interested in the idea. I would first need direction from the Council for putting out an RFP. I don’t have that. I would say we’re very early in the process.”

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MGC,Wynn and Others Watching Federal Sports Betting Case Closely

MGC,Wynn and Others Watching Federal Sports Betting Case Closely

By Seth Daniel

As the U.S. Supreme Court weighs the merits of legalizing sports betting nationwide, eyes in the region and at the state Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) can’t help but focus on that decision as well.

Were the court to side with those pushing to legalize sports betting nationwide – as it currently only exists legally as a grandfathered provision in Las Vegas – it could mean billions of dollars in added gaming revenues to the Wynn Boston Harbor casino when it opens in 2019.

While plans are already in place for the typical table games and slot machines at the casino, expanding it to include sports betting would mean an opportunity for the City, state and Wynn to capitalize on an even larger gaming market.

The American Gaming Association (AGA), a trade organization that represents all gaming entities, estimates that $150 billion is wagered on sports illegally every year, and often postulates that such illegal betting on the Super Bowl and NCAA Final Four events have become commonplace – making the prohibition almost a joke in their opinion.

Last summer, the AGA estimated that Massachusetts could gain $682 million in economic output, $133 million in added tax revenue and an additional 3,261 new  jobs if sports betting were allowed as part of the expanded gaming act.

For Wynn, it would simply mean an expansion of their existing, and very popular, sports and racing book in Las Vegas.

After oral arguments on Dec. 4 at the high court in Washington, D.C., Wynn officials said they remain interested in the case.

“We at Wynn Boston Harbor are watching the court case with interest,” said Bob DeSalvio, president of Wynn Boston Harbor. “Our industry supports legalized and regulated sports betting but the ultimate decision rests with the courts, state and federal lawmakers and the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.”

The MGC will deliberated precisely on the matter last week at their monthly meeting Thursday, Dec. 7. Spokesperson Elaine Driscoll said there hasn’t been much discussion of the issue by the Commission aside from a short mention in a paper drafted last year on Daily Fantasy Sports. The Supreme Court case, however, is expected to have discussion before the Commission this week.

“We are following any developments closely,” said Driscoll. “The Commission has not taken an official position on this topic. I do anticipate it will be raised at the Commission meeting on Thursday. Part of that conversation will be a report on the arguments before the Supreme Court, as the Commission decides next steps.”

Following the meeting, the MGC did call for a White Paper to be researched and drafted on the possibility of legalized sports betting in the Commonwealth.

For the AGA, President Geoff Freeman said after the arguments that he was encouraged by the questions and will await to see the courts ruling in the months to come.

“It was a positive day for the millions of Americans seeking to legally wager on sporting events,” he said on the afternoon of Dec. 4. “While we can’t predict the intentions of Supreme Court Justices, we can accurately predict the demise of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection of 1992 (PASPA). The justices of the Court expressed deep interest in the role of the federal government – a role that we believe has created a thriving illegal market that has driven trillions of dollars to offshore websites and corner bookies. States and tribal sovereign nations have proven to be effective regulators of gaming and today’s oral arguments before the Supreme Court moved them one giant step closer to offering a new product that Americans demand.”

At issue in the case is the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992, which has come up through the case Christie (as in New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie) vs. NCAA. The state of New Jersey pushed the boundaries of sports betting in 2012 and tried to institute it within their state – only to be stopped by lawsuits from five sports leagues, including Major League Baseball. That case has wound itself through several federal jurisdictions until landing at the high court earlier this year.

The act was put in place following the fallout from the Pete Rose baseball betting scandal, which is often forgotten nowadays. At the time, it was a popular sentiment and seen as a necessary protection. However, as time has gone on, the public has clamored to the trend of betting on sports of all kinds – and most all of it done illegally.

When the act passed, both New Jersey and Nevada – the only jurisdictions that qualified for grandfathering – had the ability to continue with sports betting. Only Nevada proceeded, which is why today the only legal sports bets in the United States are in Nevada.

That is where Wynn keeps its blockbuster Race & Sports Book, an actual area of its casino in Las Vegas that the company has just renovated at great expense.

The new area at the Wynn Las Vegas resort offers 1,600 sw. ft. of wraparound LED televisions for viewing events, food, a bar, and personal viewing areas with all the comforts one demands. A smaller Race & Sports Book venue at Wynn Encore also exists there.

The Wynn Race & Sports Book also offers a mobile app for placing a wager in that jurisdiction on any horse race or sports contest without ever having to leave one’s seat if in the state of Nevada in the City of Las Vegas.

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