Sports 10-26-2016

October 28, 2016
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EHS Roundup

Boys soccer team tops Chelsea, 4-0

The Everett High boys soccer team claimed the Battle of the Parkway II with a 4-0 shutout of archival Chelsea last Monday evening under the lights of Everett Stadium.

The Crimson Tide, who have engaged in some epic encounters with their ancient archrivals on the soccer pitch in recent years, won both contests this season in convincing fashion. Everett cruised to a 6-0 victory in the teams’ first meeting in early September and then repeated their shutout effort last Monday.

Gabriel Meireles was the offensive star for the Crimson Tide, reaching the back of the Chelsea net three times for a hat trick. Pablo Miranda also potted a goal for Everett.

This past Monday the Crimson Tide dropped a 1-0 decision at St. John’s Prep. A less-than-successful clear of a ball from the Everett box provided the Prep with an opportunity that led to the only goal of the game at the 20-minute mark of the first half.

“Overall we played well and had more possession than they did, but we did not have a lot of chances to score,” said EHS head coach Oswaldo Constanza. “We’re still trying to get back to 100 percent in terms of injuries to some of our key players. Hopefully, we’ll be back to full strength by the time the state tourney gets underway.”

The Crimson Tide, who now stand at 9-3-4, are set to wrap up their regular season in the coming week. They host Somerville, one of the top teams in the state, tonight (Wednesday) under the lights at the Stadium at 7:00 in a contest that will be highlighted by Senior Night festivities as well as an Alumni Night gathering. They will play at Needham Tuesday in the season finale.

EHS volleyball team edges closer to berth in tourney

The Everett High volleyball team clinched second place in the Greater Boston League and kept alive their hopes for qualifying for the post-season state tournament with a 3-1 victory over Somerville on Friday.

Everett (4-2 GBL, 8-10 overall) was propelled by a balanced attack up front, with six players combining for 18 kills and six blocks. The Lady Crimson Tide also served well, tallying 21 aces in the match.

“We knew it was going to be a tight match. Our games against Somerville always seem to go down to the wire, and we needed everybody to be on our game,” said head coach Mike Fineran.

Everett was in control for most of the first set, thanks to strong efforts from Nyomi Dottin (3 assists, 2 kills, 1 ace, 1 block) Jalissa Harding (1 ace, 1 kill, 1 block), and Sabrina Moreta (2 kills). Middle hitters Ariele Da Cunha and Isabella Lyles earned a pair of kills each as Everett took a 12-7 lead.

Somerville went on a run to move out to a 19-16 advantage, but Lyles served three winning points to deadlock the game. Dottin got the serve with Everett up 22-21, and closed out the set with three straight points.

In the second set, Everett failed to keep the momentum going and could not solve Somerville’s servers, falling behind 11-4 and 19-7 before mounting a mini-comeback behind strong play from Mariah Matos (3 assists, 2 digs) and Mia LaRosa (2 aces, 1 kill).

“We kept fighting, and by the end of the set we were looking like ourselves again,” noted Fineran. “Unfortunately, the hole we found ourselves in was too deep.” Everett dropped the set 25-16.

Somerville jumped out to an 8-3 lead to start the third set, but Everett found its footing and bounced back. Lyles had an ace and Moreta served twice to chip away at the lead, and Dottin’s two aces gave Everett a lead it never would relinquish.

“We had been making mistakes, but Somerville gets the credit for playing hard and playing well,” said Fineran. “They were serving tough, and they blocked a lot of our good swings. But the difference was we kept at it, kept swinging, kept fighting.”

Da Cunha had three kills, and Harding and Lyles had two apiece. Dottin took the serve leading 21-19 and closed out the set for the second time.

The fourth set was another back-and-forth affair. Three straight aces from Lyles put Everett up 9-8, and aces from Dottin, Moreta, and freshman Bianca May gave Everett the edge, 16-13. Junior Yasmeen Guerrier served five in a row to put Everett up 23-16, but Everett could not put Somerville away. The Highlanders tied it 23-23, but missed the next serve.

With Everett leading 24-23, Lyles hit a jump serve to end the match.

“We relaxed a little too much when we were up, and we panicked a little bit more as each point got them closer,” said Fineran. “In the past couple of years, we would have softened our approach and played too cautiously. But we stayed aggressive, hitting and serving, we stayed true to ourselves, and we came out on top.”

Fineran also credited the play of seniors Danniela Duperior, Brennan Moore, and Catherine Gerrard. “They made a lot of great plays saving rallies and setting up our offense,” said Fineran. “It doesn’t show up on the stat sheet, but we don’t get any kills without them.”

Fineran and his crew now need to win their final two matches of the season in order to punch their ticket for a Journey to the Tourney. They trekked to Brockton this past Monday and were set to host Saugus last night (Tuesday) on Senior Night.

Perkins nets hat trick for EHS girls soccer

Senior Stephanie Perkins scored the hat trick to lead the Everett High girls soccer team to a 3-1 victory over East Boston this past week.

The Lady Crimson Tide the dropped a tough, 1-0 decision to Methuen last Saturday.

Coach Sabrina Carvalho and her crew have a busy week on tap to conclude their 2016 campaign. The Lady Crimson Tide were set to host Lynn English last night (Tuesday) in a contest to be highlighted by Senior Night festivities.

They travel to Somerville today (Wednesday), to Lowell on Friday, and host Triton in the season finale Saturday.

Former Everett star Judah Jackson named new CHS boys hoop coach

By Cary Shuman

Judah Jackson knows all about winning traditions, having excelled in the Everett High School football and basketball programs.

Jackson, 28, will now try to duplicate his own high school successes as the new head coach of the Chelsea High School boys basketball team. Jackson was appointed to the position last week following a selection process that attracted several candidates.

“I am very grateful and appreciative of this new position and I look forward to taking on the challenge,” said Jackson.

The former Everett and Bridgewater State College basketball star applied for the position after former coach Jay Seigal resigned. Jackson was an assistant varsity coach on the CHS staff last season and previously served as the junior varsity coach.

Jackson, a teacher at Chelsea High School, has been building a following among the city’s student-athletes. He hosted an instructional clinic at the school in September that drew a sizable turnout. Jackson also works in the REACH after-school program.

The goal for Jackson will be to lead Chelsea to the top of the Commonwealth Athletic Conference and to a Division 2 state title. The Red Devils were a perennial postseason participant under former coach Seigal.

“The program has been moving in the right direction but there’s always room for improvement so I’m prepared to try help in that improvement,” said Jackson.

The 6-foot-2-inch Jackson was a standout at Bridgewater State where he was named the Mass. State College Athletic Conference (MASCAC) rookie of the year, All-Conference second team, and Tournament MVP. He completed his stellar career with more than 1,500 points.

His former coach, John DiBiaso, congratulated Jackson on joining the head coaching ranks. “It’s always great to see one of your former players become a head coach and I know he’ll do a great job in Chelsea. We hope to schedule games with Chelsea for this winter.”

Jackson also received congratulatory wishes from his girlfriend, former EHS cheerleader Courtney Pietrantonio, and Chelsea city councilor-at-large Leo Robinson, whose nephew, Justin, played football at Everett High.

“I had the opportunity to watch Judah go though his high school and college athletic career and everything that he’s accomplished – no one deserves this more than he does and I’m very excited to begin on this new journey with him,” said Pietrantonio.

Robinson presented a signed basketball to Jackson at a celebration in his honor Sunday in Saugus.

Jackson thanked the Everett community for their support during his years in the city.

“Like I’ve said before, Everett is one of the top sports programs in the state and I would love to model my program after theirs,” said Jackson. “They prepared me to overcome obstacles and adversity and they were influential in me being where I am today.”

Everett has an old score to settle

Recalling the 1936 season in advance of Saturday’s EHS-Haverhill playoff game

To current members of the Everett High School (EHS) football team and the vast majority of its fans, nothing connects the Crimson Tide to the Haverhill Hillies. The participants in Saturday night’s MIAA Div. 1 North quarterfinal at Trinity Stadium have never met in the postseason. Nor are the Hillies on the expansive list of nonleague opponents EHS has played since John DiBiaso took over the program 25 years ago.

But there’s a history there. And, no, we’re not talking about the 1970s, when Everett and Haverhill played each other every season between 1974 and 1979. Those were good games, actually — five of the six games were decided by seven points or less.

No, we’re digging even deeper into the history books.

We’re talking about 1936.

That season, Haverhill was crowned Class A State Champions over Everett under a point system that was originally unveiled by the Headmasters Association in 1934. When the final points were tallied at the end of the ’36 season, Haverhill’s rating was 4.56, Everett’s 4.44. It was like the margin between two Olympic-class sprinters. According to the late EHS football historian Arnold Boardman, Everett “city officials protested vehemently but to no avail. There was no provision in the [system] for co-champions.”

The ’36 Crimson Tide and Hillies both went a perfect 9-0 and both were dominant. The Hillies outscored their opponents, 174-6, while Everett’s aggregate score was 134-12. In fact, EHS didn’t allow a single point to any of its Bay State foes. They had eight shutouts, plus a hard-fought 18-12 victory over Manchester (NH) High.

According to Boardman, in 1936 the ratings system was changed to include Class C and D teams. Wins against Class C and D schools were worth six and four points, respectively — a big difference between the 10 and eight points you got for wins over Class A and B squads. When all the numbers were crunched, Everett’s ever-so-slightly “weaker” schedule proved to be the difference in the final ratings.

There is a small but harmless bit of irony in this brief history lesson. After years of using a straightforward division system to determine postseason teams, the MIAA in 2013 went back to a ratings system that, while far more inclusive than old formats, can result in some slight oddities. For example, this year’s Division 1 North teams are, from one to eight, Central Catholic, Lexington, St. John’s Prep, Haverhill, Everett, Acton-Boxboro, and Methuen; in head-to-head matchups during the regular season, however, No. 5 Everett beat No. 3 St. John’s Prep and No. 4 Haverhill (6-1) upended No. 1 Central Catholic.

But this isn’t 1936. Everything will get settled on the field, not by a calculator.

Haverhill might be a newcomer to the MIAA playoffs, but you can’t say the ’16 Hillies aren’t prepared. The champions of the Merrimack Valley Conference Large Division played four of the eight Division 1 North participants during the regular season. After a season-opening loss to St. John’s Prep, Haverhill has ripped off six straight double-digit victories over North Andover, Westford Academy, Methuen, Central Catholic, Andover, and Lawrence. The Boston Globe ranks Haverhill No. 3 in Eastern Mass., Everett fifth. The Boston Herald sees things in a similar light, ranking the Crimson Tide third and Haverhill fourth.

Everett is seeking its first Super Bowl title since 2012 and its 11th under Coach DiBiaso. The Crimson Tide have won at least two playoff games in each of the last six seasons, including the three since the MIAA adopted a sectional postseason format: In 2013, Everett defeated Malden and Lowell before falling to Central Catholic in the North final; the 2014 team defeated Malden, Peabody, and St. John’s Prep en route to a loss to Xaverian in the Division 1 Super Bowl at Gillette Stadium; and last year’s team shook off a rocky regular season to upset St. John’s Prep and Peabody to reach its third consecutive appearance in the Division 1 North final, where the Tide were defeated by Central Catholic.

In other Division 1 North matchups this weekend, Central Catholic hosts Methuen, Andover travels to Lexington, and St. John’s Prep is home to Acton-Boxboro.