Remembering Beverly Nowicki as a Friend to All

Remembering Beverly Nowicki as a Friend to All

By Cary Shuman

St. Mary’s High School sophomore guard Christina Nowicki played in the Boverini Basketball Tournament in Lynn with a heavy heart, having lost her grandmother, Beverly Nowicki, who died on Dec. 27 after a long and courageous battle against illnesses.

Christina and her sister, Mia, a St. Mary’s 2017 graduate, a freshman at Assumption College and an All-Scholastic softball pitcher, each delivered beautiful remarks in memory of their beloved grandmother at the funeral Dec. 29 at the Welsh Funeral Home in Chelsea. Grandson John Paul Nowicki was also present at the memorial observance.

Paul Nowicki gave a heartfelt eulogy about his mother, who was a registered nurse and director of the Cottage Manor and On Broadway Nursing Homes in Chelsea.

Paul remembered how residents of the nursing home would often comment to him about the tremendous care his mother and her staff provided to the residents.

“It was overwhelming how much good she brought to everyone else,” related Paul.

Mrs. Nowicki and her husband, retired Chelsea firefighter Fred Nowicki, provided tremendous support and encouragement to Paul and his brother, Scott throughout their lives. Paul is undisputedly one of the greatest athletes in Chelsea history. He was a three-sport performer and two-sport All-Scholastic at Matignon High School and went on to earn a spot in the Division 1 Clemson University football program. Mr. and Mrs. Nowicki were at all their sons’ games beginning in Chelsea Little League and Chelsea Youth Hockey, humbly remaining in the background as Paul brought countless memories with his exploits on the field and in the rink, and the many individual awards he received.

“Scott and I always said that Mom was our  foundation,” said Paul. “Dad was the provider and the protector and mom was the foundation. Mom was everything to Scott and me and it is something that will never be replaced. In good times and bad times, mom was always there for both of us.’’

Speaking to his father, Paul noted, “As Mia and Christina said, your love for my mom, how you treated mom, how you provided for mom, how you protected mom – it inspires us every day and will continue to inspire us every day.”

Paul was elected as an alderman and city councillor in Chelsea and it was mother, a popular resident of the city and the daughter of Police Capt. Robert Renfrew, who organized those successful political campaigns.

Paul told the gathering how the doors of the family home were always open to family and friends, thanks to the warmth and kindness of his gracious mother, who made everyone feel welcomed at the Nowicki residence.

“It was always an open door at the house and there was no better time than Christmastime – mom and dad would host both sides of the family and then around 5 o’clock the doors would open and in come all the friends and those are the times I remember,” said Paul. “You realized you were a part of something bigger.”

Addressing his many friends, Paul said, “No matter when you came in to our lives, my mother always loved you guys because you were loyal to Scott and me and that meant a lot to us because my mom respected and liked you so much an that Scott and I made good decisions with our friends.”

In Beverly Nowicki, Chelsea has lost one of its most popular and well-known citizens. The children of Paul and Tracy Nowicki and the grandchildren of Fred Nowicki and Beverly Nowicki are carrying on the family’s legacy with their excellence in athletics, combined with their exemplary character, cordiality, and kindness.

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It’s Showtime Again:Castro,Umemba Will Hold Second Annual Let It Fly Classic Aug13

By Cary Shuman

Tournament co-directors Cesar Castro and Kyle Umemba hold a jersey promoting their Second Annual Let It Fly Classic on Saturday, Aug. 13 at Highland Park.

Tournament co-directors Cesar Castro and Kyle Umemba hold a jersey promoting their Second Annual Let It Fly Classic on Saturday, Aug. 13 at Highland Park.

The first annual Let It Fly Basketball Classic was such an overwhelming success that it surpassed the expectations of co-tournament directors Cesar Castro and Kyle Umemba.

Eight teams competed in the inaugural event on a hot summer day at Highland Park. Teams from Revere, Cambridge, and Lynn came to Chelsea to play in the highly competitive tournament. Lynn won the title.

The Chelsea Police, led by Chief Brian Kyes and Officer Sammy Mojica, supported the event with their presence at Highland Park. There were trophies, music, basketball jerseys, and great food, free of charge, for all participants.

Castro, a Chelsea High basketball coach and former star (1,252 career points) and a student at Salem State University, and Umemba, a graduate of Buckingham Browne and Nichols and George Washington University, are back for a second year of “Let It Fly” on Saturday, Aug. 13, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., at Highland.

Castro, 25, and Umemba, 23, were surprised but quite pleased that last year’s event was so well received by local basketball players and the Chelsea community.

“We knew it was going to be a decent event, but as it was going on, we said, ‘wow, this may be something big,’” said Castro.

“We had a vision of it and a plan to execute, but when it actually happened, so many people were there to support it and enjoy it,” said Umemba. “I hadn’t experienced an event in Chelsea like that in a long time. Everybody was happy.”

Castro said in high school he had played in tournaments in other cities and his thought was, “Why not do a tournament in Chelsea? Let’s bring basketball back to Chelsea.”

Umemba and Castro are role models who want to inspire youths to have an impact on their community.

“We want to show the youths that we can do this tournament, raise a lot of money for scholarships, and then give out scholarships to kids who aren’t that much younger than we are,” said Umemba. “You can make an impact at any age.”

Through proceeds from the tournament, the Let It Fly Classic was able to give scholarships to three Chelsea High School graduates who will be attending Providence, Bates, and UMass/Amherst.

“We’re aiming for five scholarships this year,” said Castro.

“We want to help students who have taken the initiative of going to college,” said Umemba.

The tournament co-directors said they are grateful to local businesses and organizations including Alex Johnson of Early Start Co (a clothing line), main sponsor Chelsea Black Community, an organization led by Kyle’s mother, Joan Cromwell, the Chelsea Department of Public Works and Joe Foti, and the Chelsea High Scholarship Committee.

City Manager Thomas Ambrosino and Chief Brian Kyes are sponsoring teams. Robert Bradley, executive director of Chelsea Community Cable Television, hosted a show with the co-directors promoting the tournament.

The two long-time friends are proud of the tournament they founded and they welcome Chelsea residents to attend the games at Highland next week.

“Kyle and I have been friends for a long time – you know what they say, teamwork will make the dream work,” said Castro.

“We just go and do it – we leave the extra stuff aside,” added Umemba. “We’re here for the kids.”

(Please visit the Web site: www.letitflyclassic.com for more information).

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Grand Achievement Rivera Scores 1,000th point

Chelsea High basketball star Allysa Rivera is pictured with her parents, Jose Rivera and Nilda Justiniano.

Chelsea High basketball star Allysa Rivera is pictured with her parents, Jose Rivera and Nilda Justiniano.

By Cary Shuman

Chelsea High School senior Allysa Rivera entered the 1,000-point club in the manner one would expect – converting her specialty, the three-point shot.

Rivera hit a three-pointer deep in the left corner in the second quarter of Chelsea’s 44-19 victory over Minuteman Tech to reach the milestone, joining former CHS greats Denise Chappell and Autumn Lopez in the exclusive club. She needed 14 for her 1,000th point and she finished the game with 25.

The 5-foot-2-inch guard is an outside shooter extraordinaire, rekindling memories of former three-point artist John Saunders, who played for coach Jack Niven’s Red Devils in the 1980s.

Chelsea coach Ted Freeley has been Rivera’s coach for four varsity seasons. He’s helped develop her talents and built a winning program around the prolific scorer and reigning conference MVP. Chelsea has qualified for the State Tournament in three of the last four years.

“Allysa is an unbelievable ballhandler. She’s a one-person press breaker,” said Freeley. “And she’s an outstanding shooter, particularly on three-pointers.”

While Stephen Curry has been lighting up the NBA from three-point land, Rivera has been hitting nothing but net in the Commonwealth Athletic Conference. She set a school-record with 7 three-pointers and 21 points in one quarter versus Northeast Regional and had 10 three-pointers and 30 points overall in the game.

“Allysa has worked hard on her outside shooting,” said Freeley. “We’ve been working on her short-range game and driving to the basket because I think that’s what she is going to need down the road.”

A very good student, Rivera has been in correspondence with Mitchell College in Connecticut, Nichols College, and New England College.

“Allysa can definitely play at the next level,” said Freeley.

Rivera’s achievement was part of a special night for the program. The Red Devils won their tenth game of the season to qualify for the State Tournament and Rivera and her fellow seniors, Amalia Alvarado and Ida Fernandes, were honored during “Senior Night” festivities before the game.

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Sports 12-31-2015

CHS Roundup

Red Devils fall

to Medford, 43-34

The Chelsea High boys basketball team dropped its first contest of the season, coming out on the short end of a 43-34 decision at Medford, one of Chelsea’s former long-time rivals from the Greater Boston League.

The Red Devils led for most of the way, grabbing an 8-7 lead after one period and a 25–20 advantage at the half which Chelsea extended to as many as nine points in the third period.

However, a turnover that turned into a three-point play for the Mustangs switched the momentum of the contest. Medford soon erased the CHS lead and took control in the fourth period.

Chelsea battled back when Medford moved ahead, but poor foul shooting — the Red Devils missed 14 attempts from the charity stripe on the night — sank their comeback efforts.

“We hd a chance to put the game away in the third period, but we couldn’t hit our free throws,” said CHS head coach Jay Seigal. “This was a very disappointing loss, because it was a game we could have — and should have — won. We did not execute in the fourth period and that led to too many turnovers.”

Steve Lacey topped the CHS scoring chart with 14 points. Chris Torrez added nine points, followed by Malik Bissett with four, Balmeiro Daveiga with three, and Ralphie Otero and Angel Alvarez with two each.

Seigal and his crew, who now stand at 3-1 on the season, were set to take on Melrose last night (Wednesday) in another non-league encounter. They will host Medford in a rematch Monday and then entertain Shawsheen Tech Thursday.

A Successful season

The BHCC men’s soccer team, the Bulldogs, ended another incredible soccer season with a new high. For the first time in its history, the Bulldogs soundly trounced two higher-ranked teams to advance to the third and final game of the NJCAA National Tournament, held November 12-16 at Herkimer Community College in Herkimer, New York.

This is the fourth consecutive year that the Bulldogs have won the Region XXI NJCAA New England championship, beating Roxbury Community College and Holyoke Community College this year to become regional champions for the fifth time on November 1, 2015. Their win placed them among the top eight teams in the nation in their division, and qualified them for the NJCAA National Tournament in Herkimer.

The Bulldogs were unranked during the season and were the clear underdogs going into nationals, seeded eight of eight teams. Their regular season had ended with a record of 14-7. “The only people that believed we could win were the people in the BHCC uniforms,” said Head Coach Scott Benjamin.

Featuring a healthy mix of first-year and veteran players and a high-pressure style of play, the Bulldogs upset the top-seeded team, the #1-ranked Genesee Community College Cougars, who entered the tournament with an undefeated, 19-0 regular season record. In the opening round, Bulldog offensive threat, BHCC sophomore Tevin Reid, scored the first goal for the Bulldogs, his tenth of the season, to even up the score at 1-1 in the first half of the contest. First-year midfielder Eric Marakami scored his fourth goal of the season in the second half to put the Bulldogs up for good.

After taking down #1-ranked Genesee Community College, the Bulldogs set their sights on another group of cougars, the #4-seeded Camden Community College Cougars from New Jersey. The Bulldogs had the majority of possession but Camden played a strong defensive style. The two teams remained deadlocked until the nail-biting 81st minute of the contest, when Bulldog sophomore forward Nuno Pereira scored his second goal in three games, his third of the entire season and the game winner. The goal propelled the Bulldogs to the third round national title game.

From underdogs, the Bulldogs almost became top dogs. The team fought hard in the first half, only allowing one goal by the #3-ranked Nassau County Community College Lions. After having a number of scoring opportunities fall short, the Bulldogs gave up three more goals to the Lions to finish as a NJCAA National Tournament Finalist. The new season—and the Bulldogs’ quest for further dominance—begins August 1, 2016.

Bruins Beat

by Bob Morello

Bruins-Montreal: The NHL Cold War

Tuesday night’s Boston-Ottawa game produced 110 minutes of penalties, and it also produced a 7-3 victory for the Bruins who ended their three-game skid. Despite having lost David Krejci who was placed on injured reserve Tuesday, the Bruins were able to mount a sustained attack good enough for two goals in the first period, one in the second, and finally four goals in the third. Dorchester’s Jimmy Hayes joined the Bruins to start the season, and was off on a slow scoring pace, but he found his groove against Ottawa, scoring his first hat trick, and boosting his goals total to eight. Also finding the back of the net with a pair of goals each, were Patrice Bergeron and Matt Beleskey, as the Bruins hit their season-high for goals.

With their impressive effort and win behind them, the Bruins prepare to renew their rivalry with the Montreal Canadiens on New Year’s Day (Friday at 1:00pm), as they face-off for the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. Since their 1924 NHL beginnings, these two teams have met 909 times, with Montreal winning 454 games, and Boston 343, with 103 games tied.

The National Hockey League has produced a lineup for the event that includes musical guest, Montreal-based band Simple Plan. The band will perform the Canadian national anthem, and return to the stage during the second intermission. With over 10 million sales worldwide, the band’s single, “I Don’t Wanna Go To Bed,” featuring Nelly, is currently climbing the global charts. Jordan Smith, season nine winner of “The Voice,” will sing the U.S. national anthem, accompanied by musicians from the Boston Pops. Both anthems will be followed by pilots from the 143rd Airlift Squadron of the Rhode Island National Guard, who will fly a single C-130J plane over Gillette Stadium to celebrate the start of the Winter Classic.

In addition, a color guard made up of members from each of the five military branches, with Greater Boston Junior Bruins’ youth hockey players serving as flag bearers. As previously announced, alternative rock band American Authors and singer/songwriter Nate Ruess, lead vocalist of the indie pop band Fun, will give pre-game and first intermission performances, respectively.

While the temperature at game time will surely be cold, fans can expect both teams to turn up the heat for this highly-contested rivalry, in a game that is highly important in the standings, as the Bruins currently in third place in the Atlantic Division, trail Montreal by a single point (with three games in hand), and first-place Florida by two points (with one game in hand). Eastern Conference standings presently have the B’s in the fifth spot, and a victory in the Winter Classic would vault them over Montreal for fourth place, and could possibly move them into a tie for second place with Florida.

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Winnisimmet Golf Tournament Saturday

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Winnisimmet 38th Charity Golf Tournament members are warming up for the big event that will be held Saturday, Sept. 26 at the Lynnfield Center Golf Course. Front row, from left, are Chet Hoak, Joe Gallant, Jim Guidi, Bob Gallant, Arthur Bouchie, and Fred Nowicki. Back row, from left, are Bruce Black, Joe Shea, Steve LaRosa, Steve Tierney, Peter Steriti, Dean Spiriti, and Bob Chiuve.

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Summer’s End

Summer’s End

Summer doesn’t officially end until Sept. 22, but when our students start returning to school and our Revere High School and Pop Warner football and cheerleading teams begin practices, we know that the “real” summer season is coming to a close.

It’s been a great summer in Revere where the annual Revere Beach National Sand Sculpting Festival was a tremendous success, along with the seventh annual “Reach the Beach” Festival, the Revere Beach Foundation’s Kite Festival, and the Revere Firefighters Volleyball Tournament — all wonderful events that bring our community together in the months of the summer. We’re fortunate to have in our midst a true treasure in Revere Beach, the first public beach in America.

Of course, any reflection on the Summer of 2014, must include the tornado that struck our city on the morning of July 28. That incredible weather event will remain indelibly etched in the minds of our residents for years to come. Mayor Dan Rizzo’s outstanding leadership — and the tremendous work of Revere’s Police and Fire Departments and its Department of Public Works — in the immediate aftermath of this incredible storm and in the days following, were efforts that the entire city could be proud of. Mayor Rizzo was on the scene coordinating emergency response efforts, keeping the public well-informed, and making sure that the cleanup was safe and swift. Our mayor deserves commendation for his leadership and decision-making in what was the first tornado ever to strike Suffolk County.

Students have begun their final year at the McKinley School — a new school will open on the former site of Hill Park in 2015. Our other students will begin school Monday and we wish them well in the 2014-15 academic year. With students back in school, we ask motorists to be cautious in their travels throughout our city.

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Chelsea Fire Hockey Team Wins the 6th Annual Metro-fire Hockey Tournament

The Chelsea Fire Department Hockey Team took first place in the 6th Annual Metro-Fire Hockey Tournament, which took place last week at the Stoneham Arena.

Some 16 fire departments participated in the tournament, which was put together by Somerville Fire Department’s Mark Wall. Proceeds from the tournament were donated to the families of Boston Fire Lt. Edward Walsh and Firefighter Michael Kennedy, who were killed in the line of duty in March while battling a 9-alarm fire in Boston.

The Chelsea Fire Department team defeated Medford Fire on Friday, April 4, 4-0 and Cambridge Fire, 6-2, on Wednesday, April 9. The Everett/Revere Fire Department team handed Chelsea their only loss on April 10, by a score of 10-8.

The Chelsea Fire Department Team advanced to the semi finals where they defeated Somerville Fire 2-0, then defeated Wakefield Fire 3-1 to advance to the tournament finals.

On April 13, Chelsea Fire faced off against Everett/Revere Fire for the championship and a year’s worth of bragging rights. Chelsea jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead with goals by Karl Houghton and Nick Quatieri. Everett answered with a power play goal to make it 2-1 at the end of the 1st period. The score was 3-3 with 10 minutes remaining in the game when Karl Houghton scored his 3rd goal of the game putting Chelsea out in front 4-3. Despite an all out assault by the Everett/Revere team in the last two minutes of the game, Chelsea Fire held on to win.

This is the first time the Championship was won by a team other than Somerville or Malden.

The 2014 Metro-Fire Hockey Tournament Champions, Chelsea Fire Department Hockey Team. Pictured in front row, Kevin O’Keefe, Nick Quatieri, Sean Fitzpatrick and Dave Asci. Back row, Al Peters, Steve Purcell, Artie Caissie, Mike Lee, Chris Troisi and Karl Houghton

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Hoop Star Sammy Mojica Will Play in Prep Classic

Hoop Star Sammy Mojica Will Play in Prep Classic

Sammy Mojica

Sammy Mojica

Brimmer and May basketball star Sammy Mojica of Chelsea will be playing at Chelsea High School in the BABC Prep Classic Sunday at 5 p.m. at the Saul Nechtem Gymnasium.

Mojica, who will be heading to Division 1 Drexel University in Philadelphia on a basketball scholarship, will lead his Brimmer and May team into action against Boston Trinity High School.

Mojica played three seasons for the CHS basketball team high before transferring to Brimmer and May, where he has been a starting guard for one of the top prep school teams in New England.

“We’re very excited to host this tournament at Chelsea High and welcome back Sammy Mojica for his final high school game in the city,” said CHS Athletic Director Frank DePatto. “BABC Coach Leo Papile always runs a great tournament that has outstanding teams. We hope Chelsea basketball fans will come out and support the teams and enjoy the games.”

The schedule for the Prep Classic is as follows:

(At Chelsea High)

11 a.m. Vermont Academy vs. Pingree

12:30 p.m. Rivers vs. Cheshire Academy

2 p.m. St. John’s Prep vs. Melrose

3:30 Milton Academy vs. Marianapolis Prep

5 p.m. Brimmer and May vs. Boston Trinity

“We’re very excited to host this tournament at Chelsea High and welcome back Sammy Mojica for his final high school game in Chelsea,” said CHS Athletic Director Frank DePatto. “BABC Coach Leo Papile always conducts a great tournament that has outstanding teams. We hope Chelsea fans will come out and enjoy the games.”

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Lester Erickson and Brigham’s on Broadway

We always enjoy seeing our old friends and long-time readers of The Chelsea Record and thus was the occasion when we ran into former Chelsea resident Lester Erickson Wednesday morning.

What a pleasure it was to see Lester and reminisce about his days at Shurtleff Junior High School where was ninth grade class president (Students didn’t enter Chelsea High until the tenth grade), a star on the Shurtleff School basketball team, captain of the school traffic squad, and one of the school’s most popular students and best athletes.

“I peaked in the ninth grade,” Lester told us with a smile.

At the age of 14, Lester began working at Brigham’s Restaurant on Broadway. He said it was Shurtleff School Principal, the late Joseph E. Henry, who helped him get his first job.

Brigham’s was a popular restaurant, widely known for its iconic ice cream brand. Lester eventually became the manager of the Brigham’s in what then a thriving franchise of restaurants.

Lester always had a smile and knew his customers well from his many years in Chelsea.

Lester is now living on the North Shore and he told us that he follows the Chelsea High sports teams, especially in the State Tournament.

And like all Shurtleff School students who had the honor of having Mr. Arnold Goodman as their English teacher, Lester had great memories of Mr. Goodman, his former teacher and coach who passed away this year.

Lester Erickson is a wonderful link to the Chelsea we knew years ago.

Once a Chelsea kid, always a Chelsea kid.

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Chelsea’s Eighth Grade Boys’ Basketball Team Won the Shamrock Tournament Championship

Chelsea’s Eighth Grade Boys’ Basketball Team Won the Shamrock Tournament Championship

On Saturday, March 16th, Chelsea’s eighth grade boys’ basketball team accomplished a great feat; eleven of our city’s student athletes won the Shamrock Tournament championship game. This win is only the beginning of a series of victories that I envision for our Chelsea youth.

From day one of practice, my message to all of our youth has been to become a student first, then an athlete. This basketball program is being built on the foundation of academic excellence, discipline, sportsmanship, dedication, and persistence. Once our athletes embody these values, they will experience success both on the basketball court and in our classrooms. Chelsea’s youth is full of potential, both academically and athletically. Volunteers, mentors, and adults in Chelsea can help our children manifest their potential by lending a guiding hand and fostering a strong sense of values.

As a former Chelsea High School student athlete, a paraprofessional in a Chelsea Elementary School, and as a coach, my goal is to change the culture in our city for our youth. From personal experience, I have learned that we can reach our young community through sports, for me, through basketball. I want to give them hope, something to look forward to, and something to be excited about from an early age. I believe that by creating a strong sense of community, loyalty, persistence, and hope on the court at a young age, our student athletes will embody this behavior off the court. For my dream for our youth to come true, we need community support. We need all of the members of the Chelsea community, regardless of age, to believe and support the mission together. Our young student athletes need more parents and more mentors to be on board and on the same page. Having open communication between parents, mentors, and children is the key. Our children, parents, and mentors in the community need to know and feel comfortable approaching one another about academic, athletic, and life concerns. Each child needs a team of adults behind them; supporting and pushing them down the path to success. As a community, we can become an unstoppable force on the court, in the classrooms, and on the streets, if we pave a successful, focused, righteous path for our youth.

Community members that are invested in creating a successful future for Chelsea have realized that we need to dedicate time to and effort into our youths’ lives. At the end of the day, it’s all about the kids. We need to keep our local talent at home in order to build something great for the City of Chelsea, our public schools, and our students. Throughout my years spent in Chelsea, I have noticed a lot of students leaving the Chelsea Public Schools once they reach middle school or high school. I don’t want parents to be nervous or worried about sending their kids through Chelsea Public Schools. We have great leaders in the Chelsea Public School Department that are doing their best everyday to make sure our children are getting the best education possible. We have great teachers who understand what it takes for our youth to become academically and socially successful. Principals, such as Joe Mullaney at the Chelsea Public High School, Andy O’Brien at the Eugene Wright Middle School, and Adele Lubarsky at the Edgar F. Hooks Elementary School, all put in the time and the hard work that it takes to make sure all our kids are able to exceed their potential in academics. I am confident in all of Chelsea’s educators and staff and I urge all members of the community to feel likewise.

Over the past month, our basketball program has experienced great success because the children are listening, learning, and growing as student athletes. Although this travelling basketball team was only fastened together one month ago, I am already very impressed with the successes we have experienced and with the direction we are heading towards. In both of the tournaments we participated in we competed with highly skilled teams from around the State of Massachusetts. Recently, we placed in third at the Reggie Lewis Tournament in Boston, and most recently we won the Shamrock Tournament in Billerica. The excitement and enthusiasm generated from the players and parents throughout the tournaments was more than enough to confirm a victory for Chelsea. As their coach and mentor, I was really proud of them and without their dedication and hard work both on the court and in the classroom we wouldn’t be able to accomplish this as a team and community. We already have been invited back to play in those tournaments next year and the tournament hosts requested we bring in more teams to compete.

Within the next year my goal is to add in a fifth grade, sixth grade, and a seventh grade team to go along with the existing eighth grade team. I would like to establish a traveling team that will play in the North Shore League to compete against other traveling teams in the greater Boston area. I am also going to develop and create the Greater Boston Basketball Club AAU teams for our youth, the children who are putting in the hard work need to be recognized for things other than all the negatives they read or see on the newspapers. For all the negatives there are way more positives. As a community we tend to tune in and focus on the negatives. This can and needs to change. As their coach and mentor, I will have high expectations for all the children who come on board. The program participants will be molded into community leaders and their behavior and dedication will serve as a beacon for their classmates and fellow athletes. A leader always leads by example, and as they grow they can mentor all the young kids in Chelsea. We will give every child a chance to make all teams by having open tryouts. Every child will get a chance to compete. I don’t want to turn away any kid who has potential and is willing to put in the effort. If I can get more help and people on board, I will be able to add B teams so every kid who doesn’t make the A team can still be part of the program. These programs will be year-round and will keep them busy and on the right path. Michelle Lopez does a great job running the CYBL program and I want to build on to that. We can have both CYBL and traveling teams.

Our kids need to experience the competition outside of Chelsea and beyond. As long as they are putting as much effort in education and discipline as they are on the playing field, I will do everything I can in my power to get them all the resources they need to become successful. We can give them all the tools in the world by supporting them as a community. I just need them to use the tools to help them get somewhere in life and through college. I grew up in Chelsea so it was my goal to come back and be involved as a mentor to our youth once I graduated from the University of New Hampshire. Three years ago, I was lucky enough to get an opportunity to be a volunteer assistant for Jay Siegal, the varsity basketball coach at Chelsea High School, and that gave me good insight on what needed to be done in our community. I just want to do more and what I can to help the Chelsea youth to stay on track.  I want all my teams and kids to be recognized not only for outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the court. Rome wasn’t built overnight, so it’s going to take one step at a time but I like the direction we are heading in. If we unite as a community, we can accomplish these goals and the children of Chelsea will experience success academically and athletically.

Best Regards,

Abbas Abdo

Paraprofessional- Edgar F. Hooks School

Varsity Assistant Basketball Coach- Chelsea High School

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