Melrose Sports

Sports Lead: 02/16/18

Posted by on Feb 15, 2018 in Melrose Sports | Comments Off on Sports Lead: 02/16/18


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Red Raider wrestlers are repeat Sectional Champs

Posted by on Feb 15, 2018 in Melrose Sports, Melrose Weekly News | Comments Off on Red Raider wrestlers are repeat Sectional Champs

Melrose sweeps Div. 3 North; fights for State title on Sat. Published in the February 16, 2018 edition By JENNIFER GENTILE MELROSE—It was another historic showing for the reigning state champ Melrose Red Raider wrestling team, who on Saturday, February 10 repeated their D3 North Champion title at the MIAA Div. 3 North Sectional at Melrose High School. It represents Melrose’s second straight Sectional win and Melrose’s 6th all-time North victory. For Melrose, it’s time to update the athletic banners.  “Our guys rose to the challenge,” said Melrose head coach James Bleiler. “I’m proud of the whole team for earning this repeat victory.”  Earning individual sectional titles were current All-State champion Hunter Adrian in the106 weight class, junior Isaac Seide in the 182, Sean Herbert in 138 and Steve Macintosh in the 145. Helping to earn Melrose’s 218 points with spots on the podium were Mike Calvert (second in the 12) Jackson Curran (2nd in the 220) and Cam Rosie (3rd in the 170). To get there, Melrose had top rival Wakefield, who placed second with 206 points. “We knew [Wakefield] would be strong, since we saw them at leagues” says Bleiler. Competing for Melrose on Saturday were Cam Rosie, Chong Qing Ping, Eric Pimental, Hunter Adrian, Issac Seide, Jackson Curran, Joe Denton, Lou Izzi, Matt Hickey, Mike Calvert, Sean Herbert, Stephen MacIntosh and Thomas Brodeur. Four of the five Melrose wrestlers who advanced to finals prevailed with wins.  According to coach Bleiler, the match of the day was the upset win by Steven MacIntosh, who saw his #1 seed rival, Jared Purkin of Triton, bump up a weight and unprepared for MacIntosh, a junior standout. Says Bleiler, “I don’t think they saw him coming.” MacIntosh dominated and had Durkin on his back several times before earning a 16-5 major decision. “That was the match of the day,” says his coach. For his efforts, MacIntosh was awarded Outstanding Wrestler in the tournament. Bleiler tipped his cap to all his team’s first place performers. “Sean [Herbert] took an easy win, as well as Hunter, and Issac always gets the job done.” While Melrose’s top four helped the Raiders go deep in tournament play, their success also comes behind the efforts of wrestlers who place high, such as Calvert, Curran and Rosie. Calvert had a great run in the 152, only falling in finals to Anthony Ostrander of Triton, while Curran showed the coach he can contend with the best when he advanced to finals and fell to winner Derek Dimascio of Wakefield. “That was a close decision against Wakefield. Like Cam, he has the ability to go deep and we will need them to for States.”  Melrose has more reason to celebrate. Sophomore Sean Herbert recently celebrated his 100th win of his high school career.  This weekend, Melrose will fight to retain their Div. 3 State title at the MIAA D3 State Finals at Wakefield High starting on Friday. First round matches begin at 4:15 p.m. and continue on Saturday morning at 9:30 a.m. until Championship matches, which begin at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday. Fans will want to be on hand to see if Melrose can defend their state title. “I always like our chances, we need every guy to earn points so we can go deep,” says Bleiler. Look for teams such as Dedham, Foxboro, Wayland, Norton and Wakefield to be in the mix with...

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Melrose girls’ hoop are league champs

Posted by on Feb 15, 2018 in Melrose Sports, Melrose Weekly News | Comments Off on Melrose girls’ hoop are league champs

First title in eight years after upsetting Wakefield Published in the February 16, 2018 edition By JENNIFER GENTILE MELROSE—After eight long years, the Melrose High girls basketball team is one again a Middlesex League champion. It’s a sweet reunion for Melrose, who clinched the Middlesex Freedom League on Tuesday, Feb. 13 in a winner-take-all victory at home against top dog Wakefield (13-4), 65-55, to improve their season record to 14-3 on the eve of playoffs.  Both Melrose and Wakefield entered the Melrose Middle School gym with records of 13-3 and looking to secure league title, but only one would walk away 14-3. That honor belonged to Melrose, who saw Lily Cunningham (17 pts) and Peri MacDonald (16 pts) combine for 33 points to help reverse a 17-8 deficit in the first quarter. Melrose was sharp in all facets of the game, with Sam Smith sparking tremendous defense against a tough Warrior team, Sam Dewey leading in rebounds (12), and Alexis Doherty in command of the floor with 10 points. Overall, Melrose fired on all cylinders, giving a packed home crowd a memorable night.  For coach Bill Hirschfeld, it was a moment to savor, particularly on a Senior Night that honored his two outgoing upperclassmen, Alexis Doherty and JaNajia Walker-Holliman. The victory also avenged Melrose’s one-point loss to the Warriors in January. “This was probably our most complete game of the season,” said the coach. “I think this team is conditioned for comebacks, they always accept a challenge and it was important to keep a cool head with a large crowd. This was just a good win that we wanted for our seniors.” Melrose has seen a few appearances in playoffs since 2010 but has not reached a winning level that has matched their 2000 era dominance. But they sit pretty close now. Melrose’s only losses this season have come to the Warriors and Div. 1 standouts Belmont (15-2) and Woburn (14-1).  For Hirschfeld, this young team is peaking at the right time. “We’re just more of a complete team than earlier this season. This team sticks together, support each other and tonight they really proved it.” The Lady Raiders opened the game in a deficit of 11-4 as Wakefield’s Allee Purcell and Hannah Butler poured on the points. Melrose was down 17-8 at the end of the first and looking for answers.  Melrose turned the game around in the second quarter on a tremendous run sparked by Melrose’s Sam Smith (9 pts), who tore the floor apart with a number of steals and assists that aided shooters Alexis Doherty and Sam Dewey. They flipped the script with a 9-0 run before a three-pointer from Lily Cunningham tied the game up at 17 a piece. Peri MacDonald brought Melrose closer at 19-20 and another trey by Lily Cunningham tied it up 22-22. Melrose took their first lead of the game with a Peri MacDonald layup at 24-22 and then never lost the lead. MacDonald struck again to make it a 26-24 game before Abby Cunningham entered the game with two fast break baskets that helped Melrose keep the edge at 30-29. Wakefield hit a basket near the buzzer at the half that brought the game to a 31-31 draw going into the break. Sam Dewey came up big for Melrose in the third with a number of points on the foul line, while Sam Smith also shined there. Lily Cunningham maintained a lead of 45-38 for Melrose, who...

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Red Raider hockey playoff bound

Posted by on Feb 15, 2018 in Melrose Sports, Melrose Weekly News | Comments Off on Red Raider hockey playoff bound

Wins over Stoneham, Wakefield punch ticket to D1N tourney Published in the February 16, 2018 edition By JENNIFER GENTILE MELROSE—After a two-year absence in the Div. 1 North playoff field, the Melrose Red Raider hockey team is returning to a post season after back-to-back wins over Stoneham and Wakefield this week. Melrose improves to 10-7-1 with two games left on the regular schedule and readying for a playoff run that begins February 26. It’s a welcome return for Melrose coach Vin Mirasolo and his Red Raider squad. “This is a feather on the cap for the team,” says the coach. “We’ve been playing a higher level of hockey in the last 4-5 games and our best hockey is still ahead of us.” While Melrose’s 3-1 victory over Wakefield on Tuesday officially got the job done, it was Melrose’s 3-1 win over Stoneham that proved critical to a post season.  The Red Raiders faced the Spartans (13-2-1) on Saturday, Feb. 10 at the Stoneham Arena with the hope of beating the Spartans twice in one season (Melrose previously beat Stoneham, 7-5, on Jan. 6) It was mission accomplished thanks to Melrose goals from Cam Marks, Zack Farrell and an empty netter by Liam Crovo.  According to Mirasolo, their win over the tough Stoneham squad was evidence of Melrose’s improved defense. “There’s been a team commitment to improving defense and our work in the neutral zone. Our defenders and goalie do the job but it takes a whole team.” He points to recent efforts against teams such as Winchester and Reading, in which Melrose tied and came up short a goal. “We’re in every game and letting less goals in, things are always changing in this league and we know if we want to make a run we have to limit goals, and that’s happening now.” On Tuesday, Melrose traveled to the Stoneham Arena to take on the Wakefield Warriors (4-12-1) and enjoyed another 3-1 win. Melrose took a 2-0 lead after two periods with goals from Shea Champagne and Brendan Fennell.  A third period goal by Charles Haggerty made it a 3-1 final.  As Melrose picks up their 10th win, they have one eye on playoffs. With Burlington a possible Super 8 contender and Stoneham dropped to Div. 2, Melrose will look to duke it out with familiar large school foes such as Arlington, Belmont and Winchester. “The Div. 1 field is loaded, the toughest in the state and our first goal was to get in,” says Mirasolo. “And now our goal to improve in the next two weeks to pick up some wins.” But until then, there is more hockey to be played. Melrose will host Burlington on Saturday at 4:30 at Kasabuski Arena, hoping to upset the Red Devils, who were upset by Stoneham last weekend. Stay...

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Gymnasts earn silver at league meet

Posted by on Feb 15, 2018 in Melrose Sports | Comments Off on Gymnasts earn silver at league meet

Wright tops the field in floor with 9.65 Published in the February 16, 2018 edition By JENNIFER GENTILE MELROSE—The Melrose High gymnastics team shined at the 2018 Middlesex League Championship held on Monday at Stoneham High. Melrose nabbed a second place finish thanks to a solid bar performance and dynamic floor routine, with Melrose’s Katie Wright wowing the crowd with a meet-high score of 9.65 on floor, a first place finish in the event.  Reading ultimately took the league title, with a hefty 145.725 points, while Melrose placed second at 137.825. Melrose finishes the regular season with a 5-1 record, their only loss to Reading.   “The girls had a great meet, I am very proud of them,” says the coach. “Reading is a team that we think could go far in the state so we told them after the meet to represent the Middlesex League strong.” Melrose started the evening off with a solid vault effort behind Brooke Heidebrecht, Nicole Bzui, Ciara Smith and Katie Wright, who led with an 8.8. Melrose took 34 points in the event. Valdez was proud of their effort and pointed out Heidebrecht’s role. “She did a great job and is part of a great group of freshmen who I’m excited to have in the coming years.” Melrose performed strongly in the bar routine, led by Shay Fennell, Jane Harrington, Katie Wright (9.1) and Ciara Smith, who topped at 9.2. Smith’s score gave her a silver medal in the event. Melrose earned 69.45 points which put them just below Reading. While Melrose struggled in bars, (some falling off the apparatus) they earned a solid 9.175 score from Katie Wright, which helped keep Melrose ahead of most of the pack after three events at 101.825.  The Lady Raiders made up for lost points in their final event of the night: the floor exercise. Melrose sent Olivia Bernis, Gabrielle Prodgers, Izzy Abuja, Shay Fennell, Ciara Smith and Katie Wright to the floor. Shay Fennell earned 8.55 and Albuja impressed with a 8.65. Ciara Smith wowed with a 9.15 and Katie Wright blew the competition away (including Reading) with her 9.65, easily taking the event.  “That was her best routine all year and I had tears in my eyes watching her,” says Valdez. “She has a 10.0 start value and we add bonuses for her. She is a wonderful performer.” Valdez also spoke with pride of the efforts of her seniors, Izzy Albuja, Shay Fennell, Mya Marshall and Olivia Bernis. “They competed wonderfully, and fought hard this season. I’m proud to see the work Shay in particular worked hard to come back from injury.” Melrose hopes to qualify for a post season North Sectional appearance, a strong likelihood given their 140.00 point total in regular season competition. They will know on Thursday (post deadline) if they will compete in the MIAA North Sectional. On Monday, Melrose sends two of its gymnasts to compete in the MIAA individual competition: Katie Wright and Ciara...

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Melrose girls’ hoop continues to roll at 12-3

Posted by on Feb 8, 2018 in Melrose Sports | Comments Off on Melrose girls’ hoop continues to roll at 12-3

Neck-in-neck with Wakefield for league rights Published in the February 9, 2018 edition By JENNIFER GENTILE MELROSE—The five remaining games for the playoff-bound Melrose Lady Raider basketball team will pit them in second round play against Freedom League rivals in their final stretch towards post season.  On Tuesday, Melrose began that second take when they hosted the Stoneham Spartans and ran away with a 49-32 victory, which brought the Lady Raiders to 12-3, their best record in nearly a decade, thanks to their stellar defense and assorted offensive weapons.  Melrose is in the position to attempt a league championship over Wakefield (13-2) and make a formidable post season run. They will battle the Warriors for a second time next Tuesday at home, and as they are just one game behind Wakefield, every league game is going to count.  On Tuesday, Melrose helped their effort with a solid win over the Stoneham Spartans, who found themselves down 25-20 at the half, despite solid shooting from center Kaitlyn Driscoll. Stoneham couldn’t contend with Melrose’s tough starting five, and in the second half, Melrose saw efforts from Sam Dewey, Alexis Doherty, Peri MacDonald, Sam Smith and Lily Cunningham outscoring the Spartans by a good margin and take the game away from them.   Doherty started the second half with a clean layup followed by another from Peri MacDonald. Sam Dewey made it a 31-22 game before forcing a turnover and drawing a foul that increased that score to 33-22. Doherty nailed a three and Cunningham finished the third with a basket that gave Melrose an advantage of 38-28. Peri MacDonald showed relentless defense and rebounding in the fourth while Sam Smith hit a three to help give Melrose a 42-28 lead. JaNajia Walker-Holliman and Abby Cunningham shined on the foul line to help finish the job, 49-32.  Melrose travels to Watertown on Friday night for another league contest. On Tuesday, they host Wakefield in a highly anticipated rematch from their Jan. 12 bout, when Wakefield prevailed in a 51-50 thriller. Should Melrose top Wakefield on Tuesday, the two teams could find themselves tied at the top of the league. Tuesday’s action starts at 6:00 p.m. at the MVMMS...

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Young Melrose judo star set for national stage

Posted by on Feb 8, 2018 in Melrose Sports | Comments Off on Young Melrose judo star set for national stage

Declan Lippman, 8, to compete in Judo Youth Nationals Published in the February 9, 2018 edition By JENNIFER GENTILE MELROSE—It’s not very often that an eight-year-old gets a chance to compete on the national stage. But that honor goes to Melrose’s Declan Lippman, who will be traveling to the U.S.A. Judo Youth Nationals on March 3 and 4 in York, PA. The event is expected to draw as many as 700 competitors across the country and 900 spectators. The eight-year-old Roosevelt School student is a member of Pedro’s Judo Studio in Wakefield and is coached by Sensei Riley MciIlwain, Program Director of Jimmy Pedro’s Judo Center. He joins fifteen athletes from Pedro’s who will travel to compete in the high stakes competition after he and his teammates earned spots in the competitive season. A highlight is their 2nd place finish in the New England Championships in October. For some athletes, like Lipman, this will be his first appearance. According to his sensei Riley McIllwain, its the result of a lot of hard work.  “This group dedicated many hours and worked so hard and now they are happy to represent their dojo nationally,” he said. “Many of our kids train five days a week. This builds great experience. It’s not common for kids this age to compete on a National level so I expect to see some nervous faces. But it is a springboard to a great future in this sport for them.”  Declan joins teammates Xavier Moreau, Victoria Minor, Sofia Arya, Cameron Arya, Dylan Greenstein, Dylan Galex, Shelby Galex, Devin Leggett, Katherine Lieby, Rian Russo, Nate Blanchette, Skylar Hattendorf and Domenico Ternullo on their trip to Pennsylvania. According to Lipman’s coach, the young athlete set out specific goals this season, and in doing so won the Travis Stevens Competitive Spirit Award and the Kayla Harrison Goal Setting award. “He surpassed his goals,” says his coach. “He blew us away this season.”  Declan began taking judo when he was 5 years old and, right now, has a clear goal in mind: “To win a medal at Junior Nationals.” Declan tells the Melrose Weekly that he is looking forward to traveling to Nationals with his family and teammates. “Because I’ll be able to compete with the best kids in judo.” When asked what his favorite thing is in competing in Judo he gave a wise answer. “The goal of judo is not to be better than anyone else, it is to be better than you were yesterday.” Overall, it’s been a memorable experience for the eight-year-old. “I have made really good friends at judo,” he said. “Competing in matches sometimes means you compete against your friends. That’s okay, because you are helping each other get better at...

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Melrose gymnasts stick it to Winchester

Posted by on Feb 8, 2018 in Melrose Sports | Comments Off on Melrose gymnasts stick it to Winchester

Beat rivals with season-high point total; now 5-1 Published in the February 9, 2018 edition By JENNIFER GENTILE MELROSE—The Melrose Lady Raider gymnastic team remains 5-1 on the season after a victory over Burlington and a satisfying home win over arch rival Winchester on Friday, Feb. 2 by a score of 140.5-134.35. It represents Melrose’s highest point total of the season as Melrose dominated in all four events.  Against the Sachems, Melrose’s best event of the night was the floor exercise, with a total of 35.5 behind the efforts of Shay Fennell (8.55), Izzy Albuja (8.7), Ciara Smith (8.95) and Katie Wright (9.3). Winchester’s top scorer of the day was Dan Barksy on vault (9.35) but otherwise the Sachem gymnasts struggled to produce top scores, while Melrose also dominated in vault bars and beam.  Melrose started the night with a very strong vault routine led by Katie Wright (9.15) Brooke Barriss (9.0), Ciara Smith (8.7) and Nicole Nzui (8.5). Leading the beam contingent were Ciara Smith (9.1), Katie Wright (8.7) Shay Fennell (8.7) and Mya Marshall (8.4). And Melrose took 34.8 points on the bars behind the work of Shay Fennell (8.2), Jane Harrington (8.4), Ciara Smith 8.75) and Katie Wright (9.05). Their collaborative effort knocked off their rivals for Melrose’s fourth win.  On Tuesday, Melrose posted another victory over Burlington on the road by a score of 136.09-128.85. Melrose swept three events with their best effort in the vault, with Nicole Nzui, Ciara Smith, Brooke Barriss and Katie Wright (9.1) coming up big. Melrose also saw impressive efforts in bars with Ciara Smith, Katie Wright, Jane Harrington leading, and in the floor Katie Wright earned a meet-high score of 9.3.  Melrose hosts Wakefield tonight at 7:00 p.m. before competing in the 2018 Middlesex League Championship in Stoneham at 5:30 at Stoneham...

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Girls’ track scores big at league meet

Posted by on Feb 8, 2018 in Melrose Sports | Comments Off on Girls’ track scores big at league meet

4×200 relay team crowned league champs Published in the February 9, 2018 edition By JENNIFER GENTILE BOSTON—The Melrose Lady Raider indoor track team had one of their most impressive showings in recent years at the 2018 Middlesex League Meet at the Reggie Lewis Center on Feb. 5. Melrose cracked the top ten in several events and earned plenty of hardware, including their 4×200 relay team, who swept the field in the top spot of the podium.  Melrose stared the day off incredibly strong in the 55 dash where Lucia Seide and Nora Daley finished 2-3 for silver and bronze. Seide ran a 7.56 and Daly 7.79. Both were edged by less than half a second by winner Augusta Burhans of Winchester, at 7.38.  Giovanna dos Santson Machado also impressed in the 300, with a bronze medal finish at 43.13. Sarah Herron also cracked the top ten with a 5th place finish in the 600 meter run while teammates Alyssa Champagne and Lauren Pedrini weren’t far behind at 13th and 16th, respectively. Alex Cotugno had a nice finish in the 1 mile, placing 8th. After qualifying in the preliminaries, Kaiya Thompson finished 7th overall in the 55 hurdles.  Melrose’s main event of the day was their 4×200 relay team and they didn’t disappoint. The speedy quartet of Lucia Seide, Kaleya Casterglow, Nora Daley and Giovanna dos Santos Machado topped the entire field with a first place finish of 1:49.52, a personal best for the crew. And Melrose’s 4×400 relay team placed 6th behind the efforts of Kate Bidgood, Lauren Pedrini, Sarah Herron and Jenna Thorpe.  Overall, Melrose earned 5th place out of 12 ML teams, besting all Middlesex Freedom rivals.  On Feb. 14 Melrose will look to earn more hardware at the Div. 4 State Championships. Stay...

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Tourney time for Melrose girls’ hockey

Posted by on Feb 1, 2018 in Melrose Sports | Comments Off on Tourney time for Melrose girls’ hockey

Melrose (11-2-1) could be best girls hockey team to date Published in the February 2, 2018 edition By JENNIFER GENTILE MELROSE—The Melrose High girls’ hockey team have punched their ticket into the Div. 1 North playoffs after two straight wins, including a convincing 2-0 victory over Reading on Saturday, January 27 at Flynn Rink in Medford. This was a first win over Reading in the history of the program and the earliest Melrose has earned entry into a post season, their 4th playoff bid in 5 years. On Tuesday, Melrose piggy-backed that win with a 3-2 victory over Winchester, their 11th win of the season. Details at press time were limited.  Melrose – leaders of the Freedom League – currently holds their best record to date at 11-2-1 (10-1 league) in the five years as a MHS team. Now the Lady Raiders are poised to break their previous best record of 12-8 in 2016. Reason to celebrate? Definitely.  “We have had a lot of ‘firsts’ this season and I’m very proud of the progress that the girls have made,” said Melrose head coach Sam Tetreau, now in her fifth year as MHS’s first girl’s hockey coach. “Against Reading, I think everyone on the team played phenomenal. Right from the beginning the girls played with high intensity.” In the opening minutes of the game, senior captain Saoirse Connolly scored on an assist by senior captain Sam Kroon to give Melrose a 1-0 edge. Meanwhile, Melrose goalie Courtney O’Connor held tight at the net. “After the first period, we knew that Reading would come out hard in the second so we made sure not to give up a goal,” says Tetreau. “Courtney played an amazing game in net. She made some big saves for us and was very active in helping our D break it out of our D-zone.”  Melrose’s second goal was scored ten seconds into the second period when Sam Kroon found the net on an assist by senior capt. Jill Mercer and 8th grader Emily Crovo. It was this collective team effort that Tetreau expressed pride in, particularly from her senior captains. “Our four captains play a big role in our success. Not only are they skilled on the ice but their experience and intensity push our team to new level.” She also credited Maggie O’Donnell for some intense play. “She remained in great position in our D-zone and offensively she crashed the Reading net after every shot. It’s nerve-racking as a goalie to know that a team will play the puck to the whistle.” Melrose senior Emma Sikora worked the puck well down low in the offensive zone and also put a lot of pressure on their goalie. Teammate Mairead Clark and Emma Lynch-Gavin forechecked hard and caused Reading to frequently give up the puck. And Melrose center Linnea Kelley remains a big presence on the ice. “Linnea’s long reach and physical play shut down any offensive attack Reading had,” says Tetreau. Meanwhile, Marie Maher and Emily Crovo also shined. “Marie rose up to the challenge and her smart play definitely helped us to win the game,” says the coach. “And Emily consistently puts points up on the board and starts each shift off right by winning the face-off the majority of the time.” On Thursday, Melrose traveled to Woburn to host the Winchester Sachems and earned a 3-2 victory thanks to scores from...

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