Boston High School: Track and Field

Malden High announces Hall of Fame class

September, 18, 2014
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Malden High School announces its class for this year's Athletics Hall of Fame, which includes current New York Jets tackle and Super Bowl chanmpion Breno Giacomini.

Courtesy of Steve Freker, here is the press release:



The Golden Tornado Club Hall of Fame Committee has announced that four former Malden High School exemplary athletes, including 2014 Super Bowl champ Breno Giacomini (Class of 2004), now with the New York Jets; one former Tornado team and a longtime Malden High coach have been selected for induction into the Golden Tornado Hall of Fame Class of 2014.

The inductees are as follows:

John DeBenedictis, Class of 1985, Hockey, Baseball

Olivia Choate, Class of 2001, Field Hockey, Softball

Michael Hudd, Class of 2002, Hockey, Baseball

Breno Giacomini, Class of 2004, Football, Basketball

The 1962 Boys Basketball Team, Tech Tourney finalist

Coach Steve Rubin, Soccer, Indoor Track, Outdoor Track

The 2014 Induction Ceremony and Banquet will be held on Saturday, November 15, 2014, at the Loyal Order of Moose Hall, Malden. Tickets are now on sale. The price is $40 per ticket and tables of 10 are available. To purchase/reserve tickets or for more event information, email GTC Hall of Fame Committee at editor@maldennews or call the Malden High School Athletic Dept. office at 781-397-6000. Make checks payable to: Golden Tornado Club.


Middlesex School's O'Toole named Gatorade track POTY

June, 20, 2014
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In its 29th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with USA TODAY High School Sports, today announced Garrett O'Toole of Middlesex School as its 2013-14 Gatorade Massachusetts Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year. O'Toole is the first Gatorade Massachusetts Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year to be chosen from Middlesex School.

The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the track, distinguishes O'Toole as Massachusetts’s best high school boys track & field athlete. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year award to be announced in June, O'Toole joins an elite alumni association of state award-winners in 12 sports, including Ryan Hall (1999-01, Big Bear HS, Calif.), Meb Keflezighi (1993-94, San Diego HS, Calif.), Derek Jeter (1991-92, Kalamazoo HS, Mich.), Candace Parker (2001-02, Naperville Central HS, Ill.), Mark Sanchez (2004-05, Mission Viejo HS, Calif.) and Lolo Jones (1997-98, Roosevelt HS, Ia.).

The 5-foot-11, 135-pound senior won the 800-meter run in a meet-record time of 1:52.32 as well as the 1,500 in a meet-record 3:58.24 at the Independent Schools Track Association championship meet this season, leading the Zebras to fourth place as a team. A returning Boys’ Track All-Scholastic selection as named by The Boston Globe, O’Toole also anchored the bronze medal-winning 4x400-meter relay quartet that crossed the line in 3:34.98. His 1-mile time of 4:01.89 at the Adrian Martinez Classic and his 1,500 time of 3:45.55 at the Princeton Elite Meet both ranked as the nation’s No. 1 performance by prep competitors in 2014 and amongst the top 25 clockings in U.S. prep history.

O’Toole has maintained a 3.37 GPA in the classroom. In addition to participating in his school’s drama program as well as its FOCUS and jazz lunch clubs, he has volunteered locally on behalf of a nursing home, the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life and the Open Table community assistance organization.

“Over the last four years, I have watched Garrett develop as a person and an athlete,” said Scott Bosworth, head coach of rival Milton Academy. “With all the success that he has earned, he has remained humble, approachable and thoughtful. He is quick to support his teammates and athletes from other teams. He is universally liked and respected by his contemporaries at all of the 16 ISL schools. He has been a terrific role model. In all respects, Garrett is an ideal student athlete.”

O’Toole will attend Princeton University this fall, where he will compete in track and field.

Dracut's Shepard named Gatorade Player of Year

June, 19, 2014
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In its 29th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with USA TODAY High School Sports, today announced Karina Shepard of Dracut High School as its 2013-14 Gatorade Massachusetts Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year. Shepard is the first Gatorade Massachusetts Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year to be chosen from Dracut High School.

The 5-foot-10 senior middle-distance runner won the 800-meter run with a meet-record time of 2:07.14 at the All-State championships this season. The state’s returning Gatorade Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year, Shepard also anchored the fourth-place 4x800-meter relay squad that crossed the line in 9:25.57. At the Division III East championships, Shepard also won the 800 in 2:13.12 and anchored the winning 4x800 in 9:41.85. Her 800 at the All-State meet ranked as the nation’s No. 9 performance among prep competitors in 2014 at the time of her selection.

Shepard has maintained a 4.46 weighted GPA in the classroom. In addition to donating her time as a member of the National Honor Society, she has also volunteered locally on behalf of her church, the BayState Marathon and as a youth track instructor.

“Karina Shepard is perfect for an award like this,” said John Byrnes, head coach of rival Tewksbury High. “To be honest, she’s so good that she can make a 2:07 look boring. I’ve seen her routinely take 800’s out in 61 seconds in the quarter. Well, when she’s in that mode—who cares if it’s a league championship, state class meet or all-states—the race is over.”

Shepard has signed a National Letter of Intent to compete in track and field on scholarship at Stanford University this fall.

Two-time winner Shepard joins Gatorade Massachusetts Girls Track & Field Athletes of the Year Carla Forbes (2011-12, Newton North High School), Nadia Eke (2010 – 11, Holy Name Central Catholic High School), Deanna Latham (2009-10, Triton Regional), Emily Jones (2008–09 & 2007-08,The Bromfield School), and Arantxa King (2006-2007, Medford) among the state’s list of former award winners.

Podcast: North's Herber discusses scoring decision

June, 6, 2014
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North Attleborough boys' track and field coach Derek Herber became the subject of national headlines this week when he reported a scoring error that cost his team a second straight Division 2 Eastern Mass. title.

After a whirlwind week, Herber joined the crew on ESPN's Inside Out podcast to talk about his decision to do the right thing.

Listen HERE.
A Massachusetts high school track and field coach took away a district championship from his own team after realizing a scoring error was made at this weekend’s meet.

After North Attleborough High was awarded the boys’ track and field Division 2 Eastern Mass. title on Sunday, Red Rocketeers coach Derek Herber on Monday noticed a discrepancy in the scoring of the 110-meter hurdle event. Herber notified race director Rick Kates of the error.

As originally tabulated, North Attleborough edged second-place Central Catholic by one point, with the Red Rocketeers tallying 69 points to the Raiders’ 68. After adjusting with the correct scores, North Attleborough placed third with 63 points behind both Central Catholic (68) and Woburn (65).

It would have marked the Red Rocketeers’ second straight district title.

Central Catholic coach Mike Leal was notified of his team’s championship Monday afternoon.

“I was shocked,” Leal told ESPN Boston Monday afternoon. “We had finals today, so we were already out of school, but I couldn’t wait to tell my coaching staff and my captains.”

The announcement marked quite a turnaround in the spirits of Leal’s athletes. With top-two finishers in five events, the Raiders felt good about their chance in taking home the title, only to fall a single point short. Or so they thought.

“It’s been quite a rollercoaster ride the last twelve hours,” Leal said. “To come so close in a meet like that can really deflate a team, especially because we’d had such a good day. It’s easier if you lose by 15 points, but to compete like that and lose by one point is really tough.”

Leal was contacted by Herber, North Attleborough’s athletic director and the race director on Monday, to elucidate the error. He remained thankful for Herber’s act of humility and for immediately bringing it to the attention of the organizers.

“It speaks volumes to his integrity,” Leal said of Herber. “I don’t know him that well, but I see him a couple times a year at the meets. I look forward to shaking his hand again and to wish them the best of luck in the future. I’m sure it’s tough for their kids.

“I don’t want to say that other coaches wouldn’t do the same thing -- I’d like to think that we’d all do the same thing -- but he actually stepped forward and did it. He should be commended for it.”

Central Catholic is holding a gathering on Friday to honor the team’s individual achievements throughout the year.

“Now, we’ll have something more to celebrate now,” Leal said.
Kyle ArietaScott Barboza/ESPNDighton-Rehoboth football player and track athlete Kyle Arieta met with his favorite player, Patriots defensive end Chandler Jones, at Gillette Stadium on Thursday.


FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – About this time last year, as a high school junior, Kyle Arieta was confronted with his mortality.

A seemingly healthy, multi-sport athlete at Dighton-Rehoboth Regional, Arieta fell ill suddenly due to a non-malignant tumor that was growing – unbeknownst to him — inside his brain. After suffering hemorrhaging of the pituitary gland, doctors performed emergency surgery at Boston Children’s Hospital on May 15.

But even then, as Arieta was in a fight for his life, all he could think about was football.

“After a life-changing event like that, knowing that anything can happen to you at any time, it’s just about going out and having fun,” Arieta said Thursday.

About as soon as Arieta was out of surgery and the ensuing week spent in the hospital recovering, he had one goal in mind: joining his Falcons teammates for opening night of his senior football season.

Everything he did was with the intent of healing, getting stronger and preparing for one last go-round, whether for a game or the entire season.

“Football kept me motivated,” said Arieta, who played tight and contributed on special teams units. “I just wanted life to be back to normal and I knew that my senior year and football was coming up. I needed to be on the field to help my teammates, that kept me motivated.”

Meanwhile, those teammates were also there to lift Arieta along the way.

“They’d come to the hospital, that meant so much,” he said. “I couldn’t have done it without the support from them, telling me they couldn’t wait to see me back on the field. I felt that helped me through recovery more, knowing that they were helping me along the way.”

As summer practices approached, the unthinkable happened when doctors gave Arieta a clean bill of health, clearing him for contact on the football field.

He took the field with the Falcons at home when they opened their season against South Coast Conference rival Bourne and played the entire season, as D-R went 7-4 this year, including a two-game run in the Division 3 state tournament.

Arieta’s recovery and return earned him the Henry Smith Courage Award from The Gridiron Club of Greater Boston.

With his football career behind him, Arieta has competed with the Falcons track and field team this winter and into the spring. He plans to attend Bridgewater State University and study physical education, with the intent of getting into teaching. He wants to play intramural sports as well.

Doctor’s continue to monitor the tumor with follow-up MRIs, but, looking back on an otherwise scary ordeal, Arieta emerged with a new perspective.

“I came out stronger than I was before.”

On Thursday, Arieta was invited by the New England Patriots to tour Gillette Stadium, taking his picture on the field before getting a guided tour of the team’s Hall of Fame.

What Arieta didn’t know was that he was about to be surprised by his favorite football player – Patriots defensive end Chandler Jones.

After being drafted by the Patriots out of Syracuse in 2012, Arieta quickly gravitated to Jones. An avid follower of the NFL Draft, Arieta immediately predicted big things in New England for the pass-rusher.

“I was watching one of the preseason games with my friends and I was telling them about Chandler and how he was going to change the defense,” Arieta said. “Then, as soon as I said it, he came up with a sack. That was it.”

Jones startled Arieta in their meeting on Thursday the way he would an opposing quarterback. As Arieta and his family posed for pictures, Jones snuck up from behind interjecting, “Mind if I take a picture?”

“When I was walking out here I saw him with my jersey and that brought a smile to me,” Jones said.

Jones signed a football for Arieta and took him out on the turf, instructing him in how to get down in a stance, adding he was a “quick learner.”

“It just shows how strong he is, mentally and physically,” Jones said of Arieta. “With the illness he had, some people really don’t come back from that. A kid like Kyle, just showing how strong he is, I’m happy and I’m proud of him.”

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Dighton-Rehoboth senior football player and track athlete Kyle Arieta received a surprise from his favorite NFL player as Patriots defensive end Chandler Jones surprised him and his family Thursday at Gillette Stadium.

Arieta, who was treated for a brain tumor last year, returned to the gridiron for his senior season of football, just months after undergoing a life-saving surgery last May.

We'll have more on Arieta's story coming later on the blog, but here's the scene from earlier when Jones snuck up and surprised Arieta with a visit on Gillette's field:

Dunleavy named Beverly boys' track coach

October, 9, 2013
10/09/13
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Beverly High athletic director James Coffey announced today in a press release that Panthers cross country coach Sean Dunleavy has also been named head coach of the boys' winter indoor track team.

Here's more from today's release:
In the early 2000's Coach Dunleavy served as the cross-country coach at Endicott College for three years. In college, Sean ran four years at the University of Maine. Coach Dunleavy is a 6th grade teacher at the Holten-Richmond Middle School in Danvers, MA and he resides in Beverly.

"We are extremely excited to have Coach Dunleavy take over our boy's indoor program. Sean has an extensive background in athletics, particularly cross-country and track which includes high school and collegiate experience. Sean fits right in with our Beverly High School athletic philosophy. He is the right person to take this program forward."

Chicopee Comp's Niemiec named Gatorade POY

June, 20, 2013
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In its 28th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with USA TODAY High School Sports, today announced Alex Niemiec of Chicopee Comprehensive High School as its 2012-13 Gatorade Massachusetts Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year. Niemiec is the first Gatorade Massachusetts Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year to be chosen from Chicopee Comprehensive High School.

The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the track, distinguishes Niemiec as Massachusetts’s best high school boys track & field athlete. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year award to be announced in June, Niemiec joins an elite alumni association of state award-winners in 12 sports, including Ryan Hall (1999-01, Big Bear HS, Calif.), Meb Keflezighi (1993-94, San Diego HS, Calif.), Derek Jeter (1991-92, Kalamazoo HS, Mich.), Candace Parker (2001-02, Naperville Central HS, Ill.), Mark Sanchez (2004-05, Mission Viejo HS, Calif.) and Lolo Jones (1997-98, Roosevelt HS, Ia.).

The 5-foot-7 senior won the high jump with a clearance of 6 feet, 6 inches and the long jump with an leap of 23-5.25 at the All-State meet this season. This past winter’s Indoor Track Athlete of the Year as named by The Republican, Niemiec also swept the high jump at 6-4 and long jump in 23-4 while placing third in the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.14 seconds at the Central/West Division 1 championships. His winning long jump of 24-11 broke a 21-year-old meet record at the New England championships, where he also captured third in the high jump at 6-7.

Niemiec has maintained a 3.06 GPA in the classroom. In addition to donating his time as a youth athletic instructor, he has volunteered locally on behalf of the Special Olympics and Lorraine’s Soup Kitchen & Pantry.

“In my 25 years of coaching in Massachusetts, Alex Niemiec has been one of the best track athletes I have ever seen,” said Alex Efstratios, head coach of rival Chicopee High. “There is nothing he cannot do in the sport of track and field, and I have observed him on many occasions helping other athletes and displaying great sportsmanship with his competitors.”

Niemiec will attend Springfield College this fall, where he will compete in track and field.

The Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one winner in the District of Columbia and each of the 50 states that sanction high school football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, baseball, softball, and boys and girls track & field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport. The selection process is administered by the Gatorade high school sports leadership team in partnership with USA TODAY High School Sports, which work with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport.

Niemiec joins recent Gatorade Massachusetts Boys Track & Field Athletes of the Year Josh Lampron (2011-12 & 2010–11, Mansfield High School), Sam Bombaugh (2009-10, Falmouth), Mark Vetere (2008–09, Andover), Omar Aden (2007-08, Charlestown), and Mark Amirault (2006-2007, Xaverian Brothers) among the state’s list of former award winners.

New England Gatorade girls' track honorees

June, 19, 2013
6/19/13
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Gatorade announced its girls' track and field state Players of the Year today.

Here's a look at the winners across New England:

CONNECTICUT - Claire Howlett, Westhill
The 5-foot-7 junior won the 3200-meter run with a state-record time of 10:20.03 and the 1600-meter run in 4:53.97 at the State Open Championship this spring. At the Class LL divisional championships, Howlett broke the tape in the 3200-meter run in 10:20.03 and finished second in the 1600-meter run in 4:56.25. Her 3200- and 1600 meter run times at the state meet, respectively, ranked No. 12 and No. 65 among U.S. prep competitors in 2013 at the time of her selection.

Also a cross country standout, Howlett has maintained a 4.54 weighted GPA in the classroom. The Online Editor-In-Chief of her school’s student newspaper, she has also donated her time on behalf of Westhill’s buildOn club, serving the Darien Book Aid, St. Luke’s Lifeworks and the Bruce Museum. She has also completed a service-mission trip to the Republic of Malawi.

MAINE - Kate Hall, Lake Region
The 5-foot-9 sophomore won three individual championships at the Class B state meet this spring, leading the Lakers to second place as a team. This past winter’s Indoor Track Female Performer of the Year as named by the Portland Press Herald, Hall captured the long jump outdoors with a leap of 18 feet, 5.75 inches in addition to sweeping the 100-meter dash (with a time of 12.12 seconds) and the 200 (in 25.49). She also anchored the 4x100-meter relay quartet that broke the tape in 50.65. Her 100-meter dash time of 11.68 at the Western Maine Conference Championships, her 200-meter dash time of 24.89 and her long jump leap of 19-0.75 at the New England championships all set state records.

Also a soccer standout, Hall has maintained a 4.00 GPA in the classroom. In addition to donating her time as a youth track and piano instructor, she has volunteered locally on behalf of a foster care program and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s Walk to Cure Diabetes.

NEW HAMPSHIRE - Hannah Parker, Coe-Brown Nortwood Academy
The 5-foot-9 sophomore won two individual state championships this spring and led the Black Bears to the Division II state title as a team. Parker won the 800-meter run with a time of 2:14.73 and the 1600-meter run in 5:12.29. At the Meet of Champions, she won the 800 in 2:10.62 and ran the second leg on Coe-Brown’s winning 4x800-meter relay quartet. Parker also won the 800 at the New England Outdoor Championships in a meet-record time of 2:06.42, which ranked as the nation’s No. 3 performance among prep competitors in 2013 at the time of her selection.

Parker has maintained a B average in the classroom. A member of her school’s student council, she has volunteered locally at the Nottingham Recreation Center and as a mentor at an area school.

RHODE ISLAND - Maddy Berkson, Classical
The state’s returning Gatorade Track & Field Athlete of the Year, the 5-foot-4 junior won the 1500 meters at the state meet this spring and led the Purple to a state title. Berkson, hampered earlier this spring by a health issue, also ran the second leg for Classical’s winning 4x400-meter relay quartet and placed third in both the 800-meter run and the 3000-meter run. At the New Balance Nationals Outdoor, Berkson placed third in the 800 with a state-record time of 2:08.40, which ranked as the nation’s No. 12 performance among prep competitors in 2013 at the time of her selection. She holds five state records and her best times in the mile (5:02.01), 1500 (4:34.27) and 3000 (10:09.86) all rank in the top 100 nationally this spring.

Berkson has maintained an unweighted 4.07 GPA in the classroom. She has volunteered locally as a lab technician in her Advanced Placement Biology class and at youth track events.

VERMONT - Autumn Eastman, Champlain Valley Union
The 5-foot-3 junior won two individual state championships at the Division I state meet this spring and led the Redhawks to a second-place finish as a team. Eastman won the 800-meter run with a state-record time of 2:13.06 and the 1500-meter run in 4:40.72, which ranked as the nation’s No. 63 performance among prep competitors in 2013 at the time of her selection. Eastman ran the anchor leg for CVU’s 4x800-meter relay quartet that won with a state-record time of 9:29.75, and she ran the second leg for the 4x400-meter relay squad that finished third.

Eastman has maintained an A average in the classroom. She has volunteered locally with Champlain Valley Union’s Athletic Leadership Club to promote positive sportsmanship and was accepted into the MedQuest Health Careers Exploration Program at the University of Vermont this summer to explore her interests in science.

Dracut's Shepard is Gatorade track POY

June, 19, 2013
6/19/13
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Today, Gatorade named Dracut High junior Karina Shepard as its 2013 Massachusetts girls' track and field Player of the Year.

Here's more from today's press release:
The 5-foot-10 junior won the 800-meter run with a time of 2:09.29 at the All-State meet this season. Shepard also anchored the third-place 4x800-meter relay quartet that crossed the line in 9:25.51. At the Division II East championships, Shepard took first in the 800-meter run in 2:11.33 and anchored the winning 4x800-meter relay squad that broke the tape in 9:35.00. Her second-place 800-meter run time of 2:08.05 at the New England championships ranked No. 9 among U.S. prep competitors in 2013 at the time of her selection.

Shepard has maintained a 4.53 weighted GPA in the classroom. A member of the National Honor Society, she has volunteered locally on behalf of her church, the BayState Marathon and as a youth track instructor.

“Karina’s understanding of what it takes to achieve a high level of success is what distinguishes her from the competition,” said Dracut head coach Erik Taber. “Two years ago, she would have never believed that she could have achieved what she has. She has worked incredibly hard to work her way from the bottom of a varsity lineup to All-State champion in just two years. After all of her success, she still believes she is capable of more.”

New England Roundup: Maine

May, 8, 2013
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Waterville senior Bethanie Brown is coming off a winter season where she posted new state records in the mile and 2-mile. She was also state champion in the 800, 1,600, and 3,200 last spring. She also found time to be a state finalist in the Poetry Out Loud competition and blog for a high school running website, and she recently won the 2013 Maine Principals' Association Award, which takes into account a student's academic excellence, outstanding school citizenship, and leadership.

MaineBrown will be running for the University of Connecticut this fall. She recently took time to answer some questions about UConn and her high school career.

Q: What made you decide on the University of Connecticut?

A: "It was a number of things. Overall, out of all of the colleges that I looked at, it seemed to be the best fit for me. Recruiting junior year and especially last summer and fall was a crazy, once-in-a-lifetime experience. I got multiple calls every week last summer, and got to talk to a lot of coaches about their college, the team, and their coaching style. I finally narrowed it down to my top five, and those were the ones I took official visits to. After visiting each one and thinking about all the pros and cons of each school, I felt like UConn was the best fit. The University is big, so I’ll have lots of options open for majors, which is important since I’m sort of undecided. I really like the coach, and I feel like her coaching style will work well with my personality. I met the team and really liked them, and I also know some people in Connecticut so it won’t be as nerve-wracking to live there without my parents."

Q: You mentioned in one of your blogs about running laps and seeing the same neighbors walking their dogs five times. Obviously, there's some drudgery in running. What kinds of things do you do to stay motivated?

A: "Yes, I tend to joke about that. Since one loop of my neighborhood is 0.9 miles, it’s kind of like a giant track! It’s fun to see all my neighbors when I’m out running. We’ll say hello and even chat sometimes when I finish my run. It’s nice to have neighborhood support. Obviously, running loops can get boring at times, so when I feel bored I switch it up and run other routes. But, as a track person, I like running in circles! During the track season I usually run near the high school instead of in my neighborhood, so that gives my running a little bit of variety.

"In terms of staying motivated, it’s not that hard because I like to run. There are days when I’m tired, and maybe not as anxious for my run as on other days, but I know the importance of continuity in training, and so I just do it. But I usually look forward to racing and going to practice, because running is something that I genuinely enjoy."

Q: You and the Waterville girls have had such an incredible run during your high school years. Do you find yourself thinking a lot about how your high school career is almost over?

A: "I don’t think it’s really hit me yet that this is actually my last high school track season. It feels so normal to be a part of the Waterville track team! It has been an incredibly exciting experience to go into each year aiming for a state title as a team. It creates a supportive, focused atmosphere, because each person knows that they need their teammates to do their best in order to win. As a freshman, I was intimidated by the team of older kids who were so good at their events, and so knowledgeable and serious about track. I remember being nervous to compete, but really enjoying being a part of such a successful team. Now, I guess I’m the older, serious track athlete. It feels strange to think I won’t be there next year to help out the team. I will miss it so much, even though I’m excited for next year too. It’s been so fun."

Q: Ian Wilson is regarded as one of the best coaches in the state. What makes him so good at what he does?

A: "He’s really serious about track, and he devotes a lot of time to the team. He studies and continually learns more about the sport, so even though he never ran track, he is really good at helping his athletes to have good mechanics. He can look at someone who has never run track before, and know what they will be good at. He has made a lot of individual state champions, and, well, the team championships speak for themselves. It might seem like Waterville has a lot of talent, but really, it’s that kids who have just as much talent as any other kids in any other school are spending 6 days a week at track practice, running and doing strength work, and working really hard to improve.

"Every meet, he emphasizes the importance of getting better each week. He plans tough, demanding workouts for his team, and the team toughs it out because they respect him and are motivated by him and his goals for the team. Not only is he good at the training side of track, he is also really good at the psychology of it too. He tells motivating stories, puts motivational quotes on the practice plan every day, and knows how to make his team feel confident in their abilities. He has a good sense of what motivates certain individuals, and what helps them specifically to do well.

"As a freshman, I was a little scared of him, I will admit. Scared because he seems very intimidating. In reality, he knows what he’s doing, and isn’t actually as scary as I thought he wasthat is, as long as you stay clean from drugs and alcohol, wear practice uniforms, never miss practice without permission, and give 110% effort in practice and at meets. He’s the coach you’ll hear bellowing from the sidelines at track meets. Trust me, it’s like magic. When he yells, you do go faster. Even if you feel like you’re giving your all, you just find another gear. It’s sort of like a lion’s chasing youbut instead it’s Wilson yelling at you. Overall, he’s just a really experienced, knowledgeable, motivating coach. I feel very lucky to have been able to work with him."

Q: Bill Stewart wrote a column in the Morning Sentinel, urging people to go watch you run so they could see greatness. What were some of the reactions you had when you read that column? Did your teammates kid you about it?

"My parents told me about it and read me some quotes from the article, because they really liked it, but they didn’t have me read it. They are saving it for me to read at the end of the season. They don’t want to put too much pressure on me. I’ve gotten a lot of comments from members of the community who saw the article and thought it was very nice, so I’m excited to read it. A parent of one of my friends told me that he liked seeing that article because he had been telling people at work for a while that they should come and watch me run."

Q: Alex Jenson is such a key part of your team, and she's out for the season with an injury. What's it like to watch a teammate go through that?

A: "It’s really hard because I know it must be so frustrating for her to watch other people compete, and not be able to. It’s her senior year, and she has loved being coached by Wilson, and has been such a key part of our team even since freshman year. I live near her, and so we have been friends since she moved to Waterville in fourth grade and we rode the bus together. I’ve always been impressed with her talent and work ethic, and I know that she’ll find a way to stay positive through this disappointment because she’s really tough."

Q: What kind of goals do you have for this season?

A: "My goal is to improve! It sounds so simple, but it can be difficult to keep finding ways to improve yourself. And when you finally get a PR, it feels so good! It’s a feeling of accomplishment to know that you just ran faster than you have ever run before. This season, I started off with a lifetime PR in the 3200 (two-mile) of 10:22, and so I’d be thrilled to improve that time. In my races I have to run at the front a lot, which is different than running with a pack of girls, and can be hard to do sometimes. So, another goal is to just be really focused and tough even when I’m just racing the clock."

NEW INDUCTEES FOR MAINE SPORTS HALL OF FAME

The Maine Sports Hall of Fame inducted 10 new members at its annual banquet May 5 at the Augusta Civic Center. Included on that list are four people who are inducted based on their contributions to Maine high school sports:

- Skowhegan field hockey coach Paula Doughty, who has won 438 career games and 14 Class A state championships. Doughty has twice won the National Coach of the Year award, and her teams have won 11 of the last 12 Class A state titles.

-Cony girls basketball coach Paul Vachon. Now the athletic director at Cony, Vachon compiled a 451-40 record while coaching the Rams. He won 11 regional and seven Class A state championships.

-Football coach John Wolfgram, who has won a total of 10 state championships at four different high schools. Wolfgram's Cheverus team won 34 consecutive games from 2010 to 2012. That broke the previous state record of 31, set by Wolfgram's South Portland team from 1995 to 1997.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

With spring season under way, here are eight athletes you should know about. This isn’t meant to be a list of the best athletes in their sports, but it is clear that all of them can be expected to be at the top of their game this season:

Ryan Rebar, Foxcroft baseball: An outstanding three-sport athlete, baseball is Rebar’s best sport. He’s a pitcher and shortstop. “A sign of a top notch pitcher is the ability to put up great numbers even when he does not have his best stuff,” says Marc Calnan of Examiner.com. “Ryan Rebar does that. I have covered many games that Rebar has pitched between high school and American Legion in the last four years. I have not seen any situation overwhelm him. As a shortstop, he is as smooth as anyone in any class.”

Sonja Morse, Cony softball: Softball is still a game dominated by talented pitchers, and Morse carried Cony to the state title last year and could do so again this spring. Morse went 13-0 with 0.50 ERA last season, with 146 strikeouts in 87 innings. At the plate, she hit .479 and drove in 30 runs in 22 games. In the state final against South Portland, Morse retired the first 20 batters before losing her perfect game on a two-out single in the seventh of Cony’s 2-0 victory.

Patrick Ordway, Waynflete tennis: Ordway won the state singles title as a sophomore, and seemed poised to do it again last spring. He was the No. 1 seed and breezed into the semifinals, losing a total of five games in his first three matches. But in the semis, Ordway was stunned by fifth-seeded Jordan Friedland of Lincoln Academy, 5-7, 6-1, 6-4. Friedland went on to win the state title, and is back as a senior to defend his title. Their teams don’t meet in the regular season and can’t meet in the playoffs, but if Ordway and Friedland meet in the state singles tournament, it will be a fun match to watch.

Maisie Silverman, Brunswick tennis: Silverman was the state singles runner-up as a freshman in 2011, and took the title last year as a sophomore, defeating Falmouth senior Annie Criscione, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4. Silverman was also tested in the tournament by Waterville’s Colleen O’Donnell and Falmouth’s Olivia Leavitt, both of whom are back this year. Brunswick is also out to defend its team Class A state title.

Nicco DeLorenzo, Kennebunk lacrosse: The name rolls off the tongue, but he’s more than just a name. According to a preseason feature article in the Portland Press Herald, DeLorenzo, a junior at Kennebunk, has already verbally committed to play at Colgate. DeLorenzo had 120 ground balls last season, and is a presence as a long-stick midfielder.

Lauren Steidl, Cape Elizabeth lacrosse: Steidl is coming off a season in which she scored 58 goals and dished out 26 assists as the Capers reached the Western B championship game. Steidl will play for Princeton next year. She’s actually one of two 50-goal scorers on the Cape Elizabeth roster. Talley Perkins, who will play at Boston University next season, had 50 goals last year.

Alex Shain, Sanford track and field: Shain was a Fitzpatrick Trophy finalist after rushing for 1,400 yards and scoring 28 touchdowns for the Sanford football team this fall. He does the running thing pretty well in the spring, too. Shain is the defending Class A state champion in the 100 (11.33 seconds) and the triple jump (42 feet, 6.75 inches). He was also part of the school’s state champion 4x100 relay team, and placed fifth in the long jump (20 feet, 0.25 inches).

Bethanie Brown, Waterville track and field: Brown has one of the best résumés of any runner around. Last spring, she won the Class A state title in the 1,600 (4 minutes, 55.23 seconds) and 3,200 (10:34.79) then went out and won both of those events at the New England championships. She also helped Waterville’s 4x400 relay team win the state title. The winter, she set Class B state indoor record in the mile and 2-mile. Brown is headed to the University of Connecticut this fall. In a preseason column, the Morning Sentinel’s Bill Stewart wrote, “As you fill the calendars with what you hope to see this spring, particularly when the weather pleasantly warms, do yourself a favor and go see Waterville senior Bethanie Brown run. Do it. You won’t be disappointed.”

New England Roundup: Connecticut

May, 8, 2013
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Next winter, Bill Gerosa will get to sleep in.

Gerosa resigned as Notre Dame-West Haven's boys hockey coach Thursday after holding that position for the last 15 years. He guided the Green Knights to the Division I state title in 2002 and 2012.

“It's time for me to do something different,” Gerosa told the New Haven Register. “I really don't want to get up at 5 a.m. anymore.

“I had a great experience at Notre Dame, but I need to do other things even though I don't know what those other things are right now.”

Gerosa will also retire as an English teacher at Notre Dame after the current school year.

Gerosa, 68, began his high school coaching career at Guilford in 1987 and remained with that program through the 1995-96 season. Guilford won the Division II state title in 1994.

Gerosa was an assistant coach for the Fairfield University men's hockey team during the 1996-97 season, and became the Notre Dame-West Haven coach in 1998-99.

Notre Dame had a 215-115-0 record with Gerosa behind the bench.

FAIRFIELD LUDLOWE HIRES CAMERA
Vincent Camera is the new varsity football coach at Fairfield Ludlowe. Camera spent the last six seasons as the head coach at Platt Tech, which started its program in 2007.

“Vinnie was the standout candidate in the interview process and we are looking forward to him joining our staff at Fairfield Ludlowe,” Fairfield Ludlowe athletic director Dave Schulz said in a statement.

A 1997 East Haven High graduate who played football at Fairfield University, Camera posted a 24-37-1 record at Platt Tech The Panthers were 6-4 last season –- the first winning season in the program's history.

Fairfield Ludlowe finished with a 5-5 record last season. Former Fairifield Ludlowe coach Matt McCloskey resigned at midseason when his team was 1-5. Fairfield Ludlowe won its last four games.

CROMWELL SEEKING REPEAT
The Cromwell baseball team won last year's Class S title, and the Panthers appear to be just as strong this season.

Cromwell improved its record to 13-1 and stretched its winning streak to 12 games when it beat Old Saybrook 11-2 last Wednesday. Cromwell hasn't lost since it dropped a 6-2 decision against Haddam-Killingworth on April 5.

Logan Lessard pitched a complete game and struck out seven against Old Saybrook. He improved his record to 4-1 and lowered his ERA to 1.52.

The Panthers aren't lacking pitching depth, as Doug Davenport is 5-0 with a 0.90 ERA, and Christian Budzik is 4-0 with a 0.28 ERA. Davenport was the winning pitcher –- either as a starter or in relief -– in Cromwell's final four tournament games last season. He finished the season with a 9-1 record and a 2.09 ERA.

ON THE RISE
Weston's Emily Savage set a state record in the pole vault at the Penn Relays, where she cleared 13 feet, 1-1/2 inches. Savage beat Emma King of Oakdale High School in Maryland (12-91/2) to win the event.

Darien's Robin Bone set the previous record (12-61/4) in 2010. Savage's performance also established a meet record.

FORAN TERRITORY
Former Foran boys basketball standout Steve Schuler has been named to the New England Basketball Hall of Fame's 2013 class.

Schuler, currently the women's basketball coach at Post University, will be inducted during a June 22 banquet in Worcester, Mass.
Schuler scored more than 1,300 points at Foran. He played college basketball for St. Joseph's College in Standish, Maine, and completed his college career seventh on the program's all-time scoring list. He is the only player in St. Joseph's history who never lost a home game.

GENTILE GIANT
Windsor Locks pitcher Mike Gentile struck out a school-record 19 batters during a no-hitter against Canton on April 22. Windsor Locks won the game 2-0.

Gentile, a senior who throws left-handed, walked two and one batter reached on an error. The victory improved his record to 3-1 with a 1.15 ERA.

Gentile also carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning of an April 11 game against Ellington. He ended up allowing two hits in his team's 4-0 triumph.


Roger Brown is a staff writer for the New Hampshire Union Leader and has been covering high school sports throughout New England sine 1992.

New England Roundup: Rhode Island

February, 16, 2013
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Officially, the nickname of the Classical High boys’ basketball team is the Purple.

Rhode IslandBut given how well head coach John Kavanagh’s team has played in recent weeks, perhaps that nickname should be preceded by the adjective “red-hot.”

Classical clinched the Division I-Central title by reeling off three consecutive victories – 79-75 over Hope, 82-58 over Smithfield and 89-70 over defending Division I state champion Central.

Ironically, Classical (14-3 in I-Central and 17-5 overall) is led by three of the shortest players on the team: 5-8 guard Kealen Ives, 5-10 forward Ismael Batista and 6-1 center Terrill Toe.

Ives is Classical’s leading scorer while Batista has proven to be a force on the offensive glass.

Toe buried a 3-point shot with 16.5 seconds left in regulation to break a tie and give the Purple a 79-75 victory over Hope. Ives celebrated his 17th birthday by scoring a game-high 34 points, which included 15-of-18 from the free throw line.

Ives just missed a triple-double when Classical belted Smithfield.

He finished with 21 points, 11 assists and eight steals while Batista and Toe combined for 51 points; Toe nailed seven 3-point shots).

Classical held its senior night on Feb. 12, and Batista made sure his classmates would go out as winners as he scored 19 points – including a quintet of 3-point baskets – which helped the Purple crown the Knights.

SKIPPERS REBOUND
North Kingstown’s Skippers, who had been cruising along in Division I-South, dropped an ugly 53-46 decision to La Salle in a crossover game.

Ugly was defined by the fact North Kingstown shot a frigid 29.3 percent (17-of-58) from the floor and 53.3 percent (8-of-15) from the free throw line.

But the Skippers (15-2) held onto first place in their division by rebounding to beat St. Raphael, 55-52, on Kazre Cummings’ 3-point shot at the buzzer and South Kingstown, 58-33, with Justin Pratt and Owen Heath combining to score 30 points.

North Kingstown (20-2 overall) leads the power-point standings while Classical is in second.

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCES
Austin Cilley broke the career scoring record for Westerly boys’ basketball – one that had stood since 1952 – by pouring in 38 points during a 61-58 overtime conquest of Barrington in a Division II crossover game.

Cilley raised his career total to 1,399 points, which eclipsed the previous mark of 1,386 set by Bob Serra in 1952. In the game where Cilley broke the career record, he tossed in 38 points, including nine in overtime, as the Bulldogs beat Barrington, 61-58.

Three other boys surpassed the 1,000-point mark for their careers in recent games: La Salle’s Jared Thompson; Mount Pleasant’s Jovel Beckford; and Ponaganset’s Scott Peterson.

PERFECTION ELUDES SAINTS
The St. Raphael Academy girls’ had their sights set on at least an undefeated season in Division II-Central. But Johnston derailed the Saints by handing them their first loss of the season, 65-63 when Isabella DiRaimo nailed a 3-point shot with 3.2 seconds left and, following a turnover, Alex DiRaimo tossed in a basket at the buzzer.

The Saints still led II-Central with a 10-1 record.

Elsewhere:
  • Exeter/West Greenwich coach Steven McGrane notched the 350th victory of his career when the Scarlet Knights belted Cranston West, 64-37, due in part to Taylor Buckley’s game-high 17 points.
  • Middletown (13-1) remained atop the III-South standings as the Islanders beat Hope, 58-31, with Chelsea Dowler posting a double-double (14 points and 10 rebounds).
  • Juanita Sanchez handed the Islanders their first loss, 53-47, and maintained a firm grip on second place (10-1).
“WEIGHTY” ACCOMPLISHMENT
Barrington High senior Charlie Ionata is inhaling rarified air after his performance at the East Coast Track & Field Invitational.

Ionata uncorked a heave of 77 feet, 6.5 inches in the weight throw, which not only captured first place, but, according to the U.S. High School Weight Throw Performance List, was the longest in the nation.

In addition, he beat the previous meet record of 73-feet and three-quarter inches and moved into 11th place on the all-time national list – good for second on Rhode Island’s all-time list.

SIGNING ON THE DOTTED LINE
Several Rhode Island high school football players inked National Letters of Intent during the recent signing period.

One of the more notable “signees” was La Salle’s All-State quarterback Anthony Francis – the 2012 Gatorade Rhode Island High School Football Player of the Year – who opted for Marist College.

Cumberland wide receiver Mitchell Baxter and North Kingstown tight end Alex Madoian signed with Bryant University.

Portsmouth native Charlie McKeeman, who played for Bishop Stang of Dartmouth, Mass., signed to play fullback for the University of Rhode Island.

THE “BUTLER” DID IT
Not only was Alex Butler one of the best basketball players ever produced by East Providence High – where he is the head coach these days – but he also was one of the best ever to play for Rhode Island College.

Not surprisingly, Butler was one of 11 players recently inducted into the Little East Conference Hall of Fame.

Butler, who was an All-Stater in high school, was a two-time Division III All-American at RIC.

Mike Scandura has been covering high school sports, college basketball, football and hockey plus minor league baseball in Rhode Island since the early 1970s. A native of Oswego, N.Y, he’s a member of the Words Unlimited Hall of Fame which is the statewide organization of sportswriters, sportscasters and sports publicists.

New England Roundup: Maine

January, 25, 2013
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Max McHugh, a standout soccer and girls' basketball player at Central High School, suffered a broken leg recently as the result of a head-on auto accident. Shortly after, the school had a “white-out” night at a home game, where fans were asked to wear white in support of McHugh and her family.

MaineMcHugh was a key figure in Central’s Class C state championship last season. She played solid defense on Hall-Dale’s Carylanne Wolfington (now a freshman at Colby College) and hit two free throws with 11.4 seconds left for the final points in Central’s 40-39 victory.

The driver of the other car was Tanya Clement, of Corinth. The Bangor Daily News reported that Clement’s 6-year-old daughter was still hospitalized eight days later from her injuries as a result of the accident.

Bangor television station WABI reported that according to the police report, “McHugh admitted she was changing a song on her I-pod and not paying attention.”

GOODRICH WINS FITZPATRICK TROPHY
Cheverus star Donald Goodrich won the James J. Fitzpatrick Trophy, given annually to the top senior football player in the state. Goodrich, who ranks 58th in a class of 122 students, played two years at Cheverus after transferring from York following his sophomore year.

Goodrich rushed for 8.65 yards per carry, 1,722 yards, and 22 touchdowns this season. On defense, he had seven sacks. Cheverus had won 34 consecutive games before losing to eventual Class A state champion Thornton in the state final.

The other finalists for the award were Sanford’s Alex Shain and Cony’s Chandler Shostak. Shain rushed for over 1,400 yards and scored 28 touchdowns, while Shostak had 58 receptions for 853 yards and 12 touchdowns, while also intercepting 11 passes on defense.

TRACK AND FIELD ONLINE
Track and cross country coach Derek Veilleux has created an outstanding website for Maine high school track and field at http://me.milesplit.com. Veilleux coaches the Scarborough boys in indoor and outdoor track, and Cape Elizabeth in cross country.

Veilleux told the Morning Sentinel he spends about 30 to 40 hours per week putting information on the site. He also frequently updates his Twitter account (@MaineTrackXC).

“I’ve got a regular full-time job, and then I coach in the afternoon,” Veilleux told the Sentinel. “This is done late at night and early in the morning.”

The site has regular updates, as well as lists of the top times and performances across the state in each event. Several athletes also contribute blogs. One of those is written by Waterville’s Bethanie Brown, who was recently named Gatorade Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year for Maine and will be heading to the University of Connecticut in the fall. Brown was the first Maine high school girl to run a mile in undr 5 minutes in a competition.

Brunswick’s Alex Nichols, the defending Class A indoor boys champion in the 400 meters, also blogs for the site. Here’s an excerpt from his latest blog:

“Oh but wait, that sounds like a boring meet doesn’t it? You’re right, it was. That is until our bus, cruising at 50 mph down the highway, was assaulted by a large turkey. ... A turkey had crashed directly into the bus windshield, shattering it, and hitting the bus so hard that the rear-view mirror INSIDE the bus had been shattered. We slowed down and pulled off to the side of the highway to wait for another bus, which took approximately an hour. While we were waiting, an SUV came flying down the highway towards us. I don’t understand how it is even possible not to see a school bus on the highway, but he jerked out of the way at the last second, spun a full 360 degrees, and ended up in the snow bank 200 meters in front of us. For those of you who don’t know how far 200 meters is, you’re on the wrong website. Anyways, we finally got home in one piece and went out to eat. I obviously got a turkey sandwich.”

LOAN MEASURE AT NOKOMIS FAILS
Regional School Unit 19, which includes Nokomis Regional High School, recently asked voters in its eight communities to approve a $2.9 million loan. The communities denied a $3.6 million loan on Election Day. After making approximately $750,000 in cuts, RSU 19 asked for the reduced loan.

Among the cuts originally slated were all sub-varsity sports at the high school in winter and spring sports, and travel to away games for winter and spring varsity teams. The teams and travel were all restored for this school year by private fundraising.

EASTERN A GIRLS' BASKETBALL UP FOR GRABS
Whoever wins the Eastern A tournament will be a huge underdog against Catherine McAuley High School. The Lions are the defending state champions, and have three talented six-footers, as well as one of the state’s best point guards in Allie Clement.

But the team that comes out of the East will have the advantage in number of close games. There are at least six and as many as nine teams that are more or less even, depending on the day. Every team in the league has at least three losses.

Mt. Blue is one of the league’s favorites. Within the span of a week, the Cougars defeated previously unbeaten Mt. Ararat by making all 18 of their foul shots over the final three minutes, then lost in double overtime to a .500 Skowhegan team, then edged Brewer, another .500 team, in overtime. And Skowhegan? Three days after knocking off Mt. Blue to earn a leg up on one of the final playoff spots, the Indians lost 56-51 to Hampden, which was 0-11 entering the game.

Cony is holding on to the final playoff spot at 7-6. The Rams got that high by defeating Edward Little, a team that was 10-2 at that point. Cony also lost to Lawrence, 51-50, on a 23-foot 3-point heave by freshman Dominqiue Lewis with two seconds left. Cony has no one taller in its regular rotation than 5-foot-8 Josie Lee, but the Rams take about to 25 to 30 3-pointers per game, and the tournament is played a few miles from their school at the Augusta Civic Center.

No. 1 seed Edward Little is 10-3, with those three losses by a total of eight points. In contrast, Presque Isle is the top-ranked team in Eastern B. The Wildcats are 13-0, and exactly one of those wins has been by less than 25 points.

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