North Reading Sports

PHOTO: Final Thanksgiving Day Game

Posted by on Nov 22, 2017 in North Reading Sports | Comments Off on PHOTO: Final Thanksgiving Day Game

Published in the November 22, 2017 edition

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2017 NRHS football season in review

Posted by on Nov 22, 2017 in North Reading Sports, North Reading Transcript | Comments Off on 2017 NRHS football season in review

Published in the November 22, 2017 edition NORTH READING — The Hornets had a great 2017 season with plenty of highlights. The following is a week-by-week recap of each game courtesy of our man on the gridiron, Andrew Mounter. Beat Brighton, 31-8 (1-0) Senior quarterback and co-captain Kyle Bythrow got the Hornets off to a great start by gaining 281 all-purpose yards (191 rushing, 90 passing) as North Reading crushed Brighton on the road, 31-8 in the season opener. “Kyle is a tremendous athlete,” said head coach Jeff Wall. “He is a leader in the classroom as well as on the football field, and he is respected by his teammates and coaches alike.” Bythrow found senior Lionel Beane for a 30-yard touchdown to open the scoring. Then he threw a 28-yard TD pass to fellow senior Jake Bedell to make the score 16-0 at the half. In the second half, the Hornets kept rolling as senior running back Ryan Edison ran one in from 10 yards to make it 24-0. Bythrow found Bedell in the end zone again, this time from 13 yards out to account for the final score of 31-8. Conquered by Generals, 28-14 (1-1) The Hornets came into the game with a five-game winning streak against Hamilton-Wenham, who proved to be a different team than the Hornets are used to seeing, as they controlled this game from start to finish and beat North Reading 28-14. “I told them after the game: ‘sometimes you can’t have progress without having some downfalls’ and this was a downfall,” said Wall. “Hopefully we’ll learn from our mistakes, grow from this and become a better team.” The Generals took an early 7-0 lead and after a Hornet touchdown was erased due to a penalty, Hamilton-Wenham capitalized with another touchdown to take a 14-0 lead into halftime. The Hornets showed some fight to begin the second half as Bythrow found junior Alex D’Ambrosio for a 39-yard touchdown pass, and after a failed two-point conversion, the Generals led 14-6. Hamilton-Wenham put their foot down as the second half wore on, getting two unanswered touchdowns to take a commanding 28-6 lead into the fourth quarter. Bythrow hit Bedell for a 29-yard touchdown, but it wouldn’t be enough as the Hornets’ home-opener was spoiled. Shut out by Lynn English, 14-0 (1-2) The Hornets played another non-league game in week three, as they traveled to Lynn English, where the Bulldogs’ defense stole the show. “It was a tough game,” said Wall. “We hung in there but didn’t capitalize on field position when we needed to. We knew they were going to be big and strong, but we just didn’t show up to play.” Come back to beat Triton, 40-31 (2-2) Despite a rocky start to the season, the Hornets shifted their focus to league play and showed up to Arthur J. Kenney Field ready to play against Triton. In the end, it was an exciting comeback that really set the tone for the season, and showed Hornet fans what this 2017 team was all about. Jake Bedell was the star in this game as he scored four second half touchdowns to help dig his team out of a 14-7 halftime deficit. This performance was especially vital because Bedell was filling in at QB for Bythrow who...

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Hornets and Pioneers ready for another classic in the 59th annual Thanksgiving Day Game

Posted by on Nov 22, 2017 in North Reading Sports, North Reading Transcript | Comments Off on Hornets and Pioneers ready for another classic in the 59th annual Thanksgiving Day Game

Published in the November 22, 2017 edition NORTH READING — The North Reading Hornets and the Lynnfield Pioneers meet up yet again tomorrow morning, for the annual Thanksgiving football game. Both teams are entering the game with successful seasons as North Reading (6-4) captured the Cape Ann League Kinney division and reached the semifinals of the MIAA Division 4 North while Lynnfield comes in with a 9-2 record as they reached the final of the MIAA Division 5 North but lost to Watertown in a close one, 38-34. “Lynnfield is big, fast, strong and talented,” said Hornet head coach Jeff Wall. “They do not have a strong suit on offense as they run the ball well and they pass the ball well. Their defense is aggressive and they are well-coached.” Lynnfield’s offense is very well balanced and might be the best offense the Green and Gold will face this season. The Pioneers are quarterbacked by Matt Mortellite who threw for 1,778 yards on 99 completions against 148 attempts with 16 touchdowns. He also ran for 358 yards with 5 touchdowns. The Murphy Connection owned the backfield for the Pioneers, as Anthony and Tyler Murphy ran a combined 1,004 yards and scored 10 touchdowns each. Defensively, they are just as good as they have players who can create turnovers including Jason Ndansi who had 6 of the team’s 13 interceptions. The defense gave up only 161 points, which is just 14.6 points per game. North Reading’s offense was good as well as it was led by senior captain quarterback Kyle Bythrow. Unfortunately, Bythrow was lost in the third week of the season with an upper body injury and appeared lost for the season but amazingly came back for the MIAA Division 4 semifinal game against Melrose and was productive running 127 yards with a touchdown. Senior Jake Bedell and freshman Brian Heffernan stepped in for Bythrow, and after starting 1-2, the Hornets won 5 straight games to win the division title, including one of the biggest wins in the Wall-era, as they beat Masco 20-14 in overtime. Bedell and Heffernan were big in the win, as Bedell ran for 89 yards and a touchdown and Heffernan went 5 for 9 for 42 yards and a touchdown, to help keep the Hornet offense honest. The offensive line of Dylan Cole, Colin Boucher, senior captain Jackson D’Angelo and Sean McCullough were key to the offensive success and were study all season, helping create holes for whoever ran the ball. Special teams has been strong for the Green and Gold, as they were 5 for 5 in onside kick attempts, helping them win games. Kicking those onside kicks was junior Alex D’Ambrosio, who also made some big extra points and field goal tries including the game-ending field goal to give North Reading a 17-14 win over Wayland to advance them to the semifinal round of the MIAA playoffs. The Hornet defense was stable all season getting big hits and plays from seniors Nick Arena, D’Angelo, Boucher, Ryan Edison, Xavier Scribner, Tommy Patch, and juniors Mike Sheridan and D’Ambrosio. “Thanksgiving is a special game,” said Coach Wall. “I hope the seniors relish every moment because when the clock is zeroed out, this chapter of their lives will come to a close.” The Turkey Day festivities start at 10 a.m....

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A Pioneer’s view of the big Thanksgiving Day game

Posted by on Nov 22, 2017 in North Reading Sports, North Reading Transcript | Comments Off on A Pioneer’s view of the big Thanksgiving Day game

Published in the November 22, 2017 edition By TOM CONDARDO NORTH READING — One big question hangs over the 59th meeting on Thanksgiving Day between the archrival Hornets and Pioneers tomorrow morning at Arthur J. Kenney Field in North Reading: which team can best bounce back from their late season disappointments? The Pioneers suffered a devastating last second loss in the Division 5 North Final against Watertown a week ago Friday. The Hornets experienced a similar fate in their Division 4 semi-final when they failed to convert a two-point conversion with 16 seconds left in their bid to upset top-seeded Melrose. North Reading followed that up with a 21-7 loss to Wilmington last week. Both teams need to shake off the losses if they hope to finish their season with a win over their rival. “Sometimes having a game to get it out of your system is better but we’re not in that situation,” said Pioneer Head Coach Neal Weidman, who comes into the traditional holiday clash with a 6-3 mark against North Reading. “So we need to find a way to be ready to go. We don’t have a ton of time to get over (the loss) so we just need to pick ourselves up, prepare the best we can, and put our best foot forward.” It’s not only a mental hurdle facing the Pioneers. They also must overcome the loss of leading rusher, scorer, and key inside linebacker in captain Anthony Murphy who suffered a broken leg against Watertown. Murphy rushed for 535 yards, averaging 4.9 yards per carry and scored 10 touchdowns and a pair of two point conversions for a total of 70 points. The Pioneers will have to rely on the running of senior Tyler Murphy (469 yards, 10 TD’s, 60 points) and senior quarterback Matt Mortellite (358 yards, 5 TD’s). Also look for the Pioneers to unleash their potent passing game. Mortellite has been lethal, completing 99 of 148 passes (67%) for 1,778 yards, 16 touchdowns, and four two point conversions against only five interceptions. He has a fleet of speedy receivers in captain Nick Kinnon (32 catches, 7 TD’s, 2 two point conversions, 67 points), senior Peter Look (21 catches, 402 yards, 2 TD’s, 2 conversions), and senior Jason Ndansi (22 catches, 337 yards, 4 TD’s, 1 conversion). Sophomore John Lee (152 yards, TD) and Murphy out of the backfield (113 yards, TD) bring even more speed into the mix. Ground and Pound Hornets North Reading, which captured the Kinney Division championship for the second year in a row with a 4-0 mark, will bring its usual physical running game into the contest. For the past four years, the Pioneer defense has had to deal with one of the hard-running McCarthy boys (Matt & C. J.) but that won’t be the case tomorrow. That doesn’t mean the Hornet rushing attack will be any less effective. “They have some kids that run like (the McCarthy’s),” said Weidman. “They run the ball very well. Their running backs are very good.” Jake Bedell leads a bevy of Hornet backs that include Alex D’Ambrosio and Ryan Edison. They also have quarterback Kyle Bythrow who was injured in North Reading’s third game but returned for the Melrose playoff game. He adds a dangerous running and passing threat....

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Get Your Tickets Here!

Posted by on Nov 22, 2017 in North Reading Sports | Comments Off on Get Your Tickets Here!

Published in the November 22, 2017 edition NORTH READING — Thanksgiving Day football tickets are on sale in the NRHS Athletics Office through today, Nov. 22. Tickets are: $7 for Adults and $5 for Students. Game day tickets are all $10. North Reading hosts this year’s turkey tilt at Arthur J. Kenney Field. Kickoff is at 10:30 a.m. 

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Outstanding athletes inducted into Hornet Hall of Fame

Posted by on Nov 17, 2017 in North Reading Sports | Comments Off on Outstanding athletes inducted into Hornet Hall of Fame

Published in the November 16, 2017 edition NORTH READING — The North Reading High School Hall of Fame induction ceremony was held at the Hillview Country Club on October 21 where 130 guests welcomed and honored the class of 2017.  Six individual athletes, the 1979 Football team and one legendary coach/athletic director were inducted for sports glories past, while a community service award was presented to someone who went above in beyond in support of NRHS athletics. The Community Service award was presented to Rita Mullin, an NRHS alumnus from the class of 1967. Mullin has been a member of the Town Recreation Committee for 42 years and the Land Utilization Committee for 23 years. Some of her work and contributions includes helping build Ipswich River Park and the new Arthur J. Kenney Field as a member of the Design and Build Committee. Mullin is also a 10-year member of the Youth Services Committee, a Community Impact Team member, and a long-time member of the NRHS Athletic Sub Committee. Inducted into what is typically known as the coaches category was Roy Condon, although the longtime fixture of NRHS athletics created his own category as most might remember him as the NRHS Director of Athletics from 1982 to 2005. Condon was the boys’ soccer coach from 1971 to 1981; the Cape Ann League boys’ lacrosse Commissioner from 1974 to 2018; the CAL boys’ and girls’ soccer Commissioner from 1982 to 2017; a MIAA boys’ lacrosse Committee member from 1975 to 2005, a MIAA soccer Committee member from 1995 to 2005 and the MIAA District 1 Representative from 1985 to 2000.  Individual athletes inducted were:  Chuck Carucci, Class of 1960: 8 varsity letters in football, baseball and track. Carucci was the captain of the football team in 1959 and scored the first touchdown in NRHS history. He also scored the first touchdown on what would become Arthur J. Kenney Field. Carucci played in the Greater Lawrence/Lowell All Star game in 1960. Carucci was a three-year starter and captain of the baseball team in 1960, as well as a two-year varsity track sprinter. Keri Forrest Verdonck, Class of 1993: 9 varsity letters in tennis, volleyball and swimming. Forrest Verdonck was the captain of the 1992 Division 2 North Championship Volleyball team, the team MVP in 1992 and 1993 and a Boston Globe and Boston Herald All-Scholastic in 1992. For the Tennis team, Forrest Verdonck was the captain in 1992 and 1993 and the team MVP for three consecutive years from 1991 to 1993. For the NR swim team, Forrest Verdonck was the team MVP in 1992 (the inaugural year of the program) and the captain in 1993. She would go on to play four years of volleyball at St. Michael’s College. Forrest Verdonck returned to the NRHS athletic program as a a volleyball coach from 1999 to 2009, guiding the team to a State Title in 2008. Ann Brophy Flaherty, Class of 1996: 8 varsity letters in soccer, basketball and softball. Brophy Flaherty was the soccer captain in 1994 and 1995. She was a three-time CAL All-League member in soccer and the CAL Player of the Year in 1994, the same year she was named to the All-State team by the MA Soccer Coaches Association. Brophy Flaherty was a two-time CAL All-Star in basketball and a 1994...

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NR gridmen drop consolation round game to Wilmington

Posted by on Nov 17, 2017 in North Reading Sports | Comments Off on NR gridmen drop consolation round game to Wilmington

Hornets begin preparation for Thanksgiving Published in the November 16, 2017 edition By ANDREW MOUNTER WILMINGTON — Next door neighbors, the North Reading Hornets and the Wilmington Wildcats met up in high school football for the first time in over a decade last Thursday night at Wilmington High School. The contest could have been considered the third place game in the Division 4 North playoffs, as both teams lost in the semi-final round. So technically speaking, the Wildcats received the bronze medal as they defeated the Green and Gold 21-7. “It was a tough loss because I felt like we played well the first half,” said North Reading head coach Jeff Wall. “We were hoping to rebound from the close loss the week before. We had opportunities early on but a few untimely penalties killed drives. Our defense played very well in the first half.” Both defenses were up of the task, as most of the first half remained scoreless until an interception return by Wilmington’s Jason Marquard went over 60 yards for a defensive touchdown, giving the Wildcats a 7-0 lead. This was probably the play of the game as North Reading couldn’t wrestle the momentum back for the rest of the game. Wilmington would increase their lead to 14-0 with 5:13 left in the third quarter. On their first offensive drive of the second half, the Wilds went 66 yards on five plays, concluding with a 10-yard touchdown from senior captain quarterback Graham Smith to senior wide receiver Mike DuCharme. Smith and DuCharme would connect again on their ensuing drive, set up by a Hornet turnover. This time, the throw and catch went for 63 yards to put the game away for the Wildcats. North Reading would not get shut out as freshman quarterback Brian Heffernan found junior Mike Mikula for a 10-yard touchdown. The score was set up by a great 40-yard run by senior running back Jake Bedell. Alex D’Ambrosio kicked the extra point to make it 21-7, with just under nine minutes to go in the game. That score would stand until the scoreboard turned triple zeros. The back-to-back Cape Ann League Kinney champions are now 6-4 on the 2017 season and are off this week as they prepare for the last game of the year, against another next door neighbor, Lynnfield, for the annual Thanksgiving meeting. Check in for the Thanksgiving game supplement which will appear in the Transcript’s Wednesday Nov. 22...

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D’Orlando, Forcellese are CAL volleyball All-Stars

Posted by on Nov 17, 2017 in North Reading Sports | Comments Off on D’Orlando, Forcellese are CAL volleyball All-Stars

Published in the November 16, 2017 edition By STEPHEN MARTELLUCCI NORTH READING — Two members of the North Reading High volleyball team recently received post-season honors from the Cape Ann League. Senior co-captain, Jenna Forcellese, was named to the CAL First-Team All-Stars while fellow senior co-captain, Abby D’Orlando was named to the CAL Second-Team All-Stars. It is the second year in a row that both girls made those respective teams. “I gave them the team’s co-MVP’s this year,” said North Reading head coach Mile Milone. Forcellese, who played libero, led the team in digs while D’Orlando, a setter, led the team in service points, aces and assists. The team also recently had its awards night and two other players received awards. Senior outside hitter, Seren Ventullo, took home the Coaches Award for the second year in a row. Middle hitter, Lauren Gulbicki, received the Unsung Heroine Award. Gulbicki led the team in kills with 106 while fellow senior outside hitter, Noel Riley had 105 kills. Along with Forcellese, D’Orlando, Ventullo, Gulbicki and Riley, the Horents will also lose four other seniors to graduation: Katie Lonsdale (outside hitter), Ketelyn DiChiara (outside hitter), Abby Paine (setter) and Taylor Moore (middle hitter). Milone, who just completed his eighth season at the helm, said will miss his nine seniors who were all contributors this fall. On Nov. 4, in the first round of the Division 2 North state tournament, the Hornets lost at Arlington Catholic, 3-0, to end the year at 11-9. North Reading finished at 7-7 in the CAL as they tied Ipswich for fourth place. Next year, the Hornets are slated to return just four veterans. “We are going to be a very young team,” said...

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Thanksgiving Football Pre-Sale tickets now available

Posted by on Nov 17, 2017 in North Reading Sports | Comments Off on Thanksgiving Football Pre-Sale tickets now available

Published in the November 16, 2017 edition Thanksgiving football Pre-Sale tickets are now available for purchase in the NRHS athletic office.  Pre-Sale ticket prices are as follows: Adults – $7; Student/Senior Citizens – $5 Game Day General Admission tickets are $10  Parking: Please park in the large Middle School/High School parking lot on the hill  Special assistance required? Please call the Athletic Office at (978) 526-5290 to arrange for handicap parking...

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Girls’ soccer comes to heartbreaking end in first round of North sectional

Posted by on Nov 9, 2017 in North Reading Sports | Comments Off on Girls’ soccer comes to heartbreaking end in first round of North sectional

Published in the November 9, 2017 edition By DAN NUNN NORTH READING — The 11th seed Swampscott Big Blue scored in the waning seconds of double overtime to hand the 6th seed Lady Hornets a gut wrenching 2-1 home defeat in the first round of the Division 3 North State Sectional on Friday night. Junior Mia DeNofrio scored for North Reading. With the loss, the Hornets will fail to reach the North Final for the first time since 2013. NRHS came out strong and controlled the first ten minutes. They created a few quality chances but couldn’t find the scoring touch. The rest of the first half would be played around the midfield and the game remained scoreless at halftime. At the start of the second half it was the Big Blue’s turn to control the run of play. But they were held of the scoreboard and in the 53rd minute, the Hornets struck. On the play, senior captain Juliette Nadeau corralled a long pass, patiently dribbled to the top of the box and sent a terrific pass to DeNofrio who ripped a beautiful shot into the upper far corner of the net for the goal. Unfortunately, the lead lasted less than a minute and a half when Swampscott’s Hailey Bernhardt delivered a free kick that somehow slipped between junior Alyssa Crugnale’s legs to tie it up. After the tying goal, neither team could generate much offense and the game ended up heading to overtime. Both teams were cautious to start the first overtime period, but towards the end of the first overtime, senior Jerlin Kaithamattam streaked toward the box all alone but was ruled offside and the game went to a second overtime. The second overtime was a defensive struggle and it looked like the game was destined for a shootout. But in the final seconds, Swampscott’s Sarah Tribendis headed home a free kick to break North Reading’s...

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