Chelsea High School Sports Roundup

Red Devils fall to North Shore

The Chelsea High football team dropped a 40-15 decision to North Shore Tech Saturday afternoon on a perfect day for football.

The contest was not as lopsided as the final score might indicate. After spotting North Shore a 16-0 lead in the opening quarter, the Red Devils drove 65 yards to paydirt early in the second frame to slice the N.S. lead to 16-7.  Nice runs by junior running backs Eyler Lobo,  Kalvin Duran, and Yvad Rosado moved the sticks for the Red Devils, with Rosado scoring from 10 yards out.  Jeffrey Mejia successfully  kicked the PAT.

However, North Shore responded on the ensuing kickoff with a 75 yard return for a touchdown. The successful two point conversion made it a 24-7 encounter. Although one might have expected the Red Devils to be deflated after that counterpunch by N.S., the Red & Black instead responded with some scoring magic of their own.

Junior running back Sammy Rivera took the next kickoff and rambled to the North Shore 45. It took the Chelsea offense just five plays to reach the endzone, with Rivera going in from 10 yards out. CHS quarterback Mark Anthony Williams found sophomore wide receiver Nelson Vega for the two point conversion and the Red Devils were back within striking distance at 24-15.

North Shore made a deep drive as the half was ending, but the Chelsea defense came through in a big way to halt the N.S. attack. “I thought that was a huge stop by our defense,” said CHS head coach Mike Stellato. “It gave us some confidence before the half.”

However, North Shore put the game out of reach shortly after the intermission. The Techies took the opening kickoff and marched 65 yards in 10 plays, which with another two point conversion, made it a 32-15 contest. No. Shore added a final TD in the fourth quarter for the 40-15 final score.

“We had a difficult time stopping the run,” commented Stellato. “The North Shore offensive line did a great job opening up huge holes. If you can’t stop the other team’s running game, it definitely will be a very long day.”

Among the Red Devils who earned plaudits from their coach for their fine performances were Duran, Rivera, Lobo, and Rosado on the offensive side of the ball, and junior safety Jefferson Elien, junior defensive end  Lucas DeOliveira, and junior defensive back Nate Budwah on the defensive side of the line of scrimmage.

The Red Devils return home for a Friday Night Lights encounter at Chelsea Memorial Stadium with undefeated Minuteman Regional Technical High School. Kick off time is 7:00.

Two weeks ago, the Red Devils came out on the short end of a 44-0 decision to Northeast Regional Vocational High School on the local field. Conventional wisdom holds that turnovers are as much an indicator of the final score of a football game as the score itself and the truth of that axiom was evident in the contest with N.E. Voke. The Red Devils committed four  turnovers that led to four Northeast Regional Vocational touchdowns.

Chelsea trailed 8-0 after the first quarter and 16-0 at the half, with both Northeast touchdowns coming after costly Chelsea fumbles. The second half proved more of the same, with Northeast taking advantage of two more Red Devil fumbles for  a pair of scores in the third frame that sealed the contest.

Despite the four turnovers, Chelsea was not without its scoring chances. The Red Devils ventured into the red zone on four occasions, but came up empty-handed each time.

“After a good week of preparation, I was disappointed with the end result,” said Stellato. “We need to give credit to Northeast, who was the better team on this day.”

Earning the coach’s plaudits for their fine performances in the Northeast contest were senior running back Jose Martinez on offense and sophomore safety Nelson Vega and junior linebacker Jomael Dejesus on the other side of the ball.

CHS boys soccer team is on a roll

The Chelsea High boys soccer team won three straight contests this past to week improve to 6-1-1 on the season and extend its unbeaten streak to six games. “The team played its best soccer of the season this week,” said CHS assistant coach Evan Protasowicki. “We’ve really come together and are playing as a unit for the full 80 minutes of every game.”

The Red Devils turned in what Protasowicki termed as the team’s best performance of the season with a 3-0 win over big rival Revere Monday night under the lights at Chelsea Stadium. “Revere was the best opponent we’ve faced to date, but we played our best game of the year to beat them,” said Protasowicki. “We knew that we had it in us, and we finally did it.”

After a scoreless and evenly-played first half in which the Red Devils were unable to make a dent in the Revere defense, Michael Kottu broke the deadlock midway into the second half  with an assist from Luis Cruz. Luis gave Michael a nice pass into the box, from where Kottu used his speed to beat the Revere defender and then let go a pinpoint shot from a tough angle to beat the Revere keeper.

Christian Torres made it a 2-0 advantage in Chelsea’s favor a few minutes later with his first varsity goal. The tally was set up thanks to the speed and hustle of Antony Ortiz,  who beat a Revere defender to the end line and then directed a nice crossing pass across the goal mouth that was put home by Christian.

Dominic Hightower then reached the back of the Revere net for what also was his first varsity marker, with Thoai Nruyen making a nice through-pass for the assist. Dominic’s shot came from a tough angle that caught the post and ricocheted over the goal line.

The Red Devils picked up where they left off from the Revere tilt with a 7-0 blanking of Whittier Tech the following afternoon on Tuesday. Cruz got the Red Devils off and running with a marker less than a minute into the fray. Luis would go on to add another goal on the day. Teammates Anthony Ortiz-Juarez and Hightower also potted two goals and captain Jaime Barahona added a single tally.

“It was good to see that we had no letdown, either physically or mentally, after our big win Monday night against Revere,” noted Protasowicki. “We came out strong and never let up.”

Last Friday afternoon saw the Red Devils trek to Northeast Regional where the Red Devils earned a hard-fought 4-1 win over their traditionally-tough rival from the Commonwealth Athletic Conference. The Chelsea squad went into “Cruz Control,” as the dynamic CHS senior forward and captain earned a natural hat trick with a goal in the first half and then two more after the intermission to break a 1-1 deadlock. Juan Diaz applied the coup de grace with his first varsity goal for the 4-1 finale.

The trio of victories extended the Red Devils’ unbeaten streak to six games, a string of success that began with a 1-1 tie with Greater Lowell two weeks ago. The match on the local turf against Greater Lowell, perhaps Chelsea’s strongest foe in the Commonwealth Athletic Conference, was a physical affair in which the Red Devils had difficulty getting their offense untracked for most of the match. After a nil-nil first half, Greater Lowell drew first blood soon after the intermission and then added another marker just minutes later to move out to a 2-0 advantage.

However, the Greater Lowell tallies seemed to light a fire under the Red Devils, who began to step up the intensity of their play. Senior captain Cruz shifted the momentum firmly in Chelsea’s favor when he settled a difficult ball in the air just inside the 18 yard line (with his back to the GL goal) and, shaking off a defender (who had been marking the Chelsea star all game), created just enough space to pivot and let fly a powerful strike that beat the Gr. Lowell keeper to the upper far corner.

That tally came with about 12 minutes to play. Six minutes later, Captain Luis struck again, this time thanks to a nice crossing pass from teammate Kottu, who used his speed to beat a Gr. Lowell defender  to the end line. Michael then delivered a nice ball into the box and Luis snuck past his defenders to get a foot on the ball to beat the Gr. Lowell keeper for the second time.

“It was our sloppiest game of the year until the final 15 minutes,” said Protasowicki. “We never got into a rhythm until the final part of the game.”

Two weeks ago the Red Devils took the measure of another top CAC rival, Shawsheen Tech, 3-1, on the local field. Chelsea jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the opening half thanks to tallies by Cruz on a breakaway and Wilbur Tejada on a penalty kick on which the Shawsheen keeper made the initial stop, but Wilbur alertly put home the rebound.

However, Shawsheen closed the margin to 2-1 with a goal off a set play on which a Shawsheen player tossed a throw-in into the box and a teammate put the ball into the CHS net.

But five minutes later, the Red Devils counterpunched with an insurance goal when Kottu took a crossing pass from Nguyen and beat the Shawsheen keeper with a header. “We aren’t a particularly strong team with the ball in the air, so it was nice to see us score like that,” noted  Protasowicki.

In between those two encounters, the Red Devils easily handled Greater Lawrence, 13-0. Red Devils who scored two goals each were Kottu, Cruz, Alan Garcia, and Yefferson Padilla (his first varsity goals). Adding single tallies in the rout were Nguyen, Carlos Duvon (his first varsity goal), Christopher Pacas (his first varsity goal), and Ronald Alfaro-Castro.

Coach Mick Milutinovic and his crew have a home-and-home series on tap with Lynn Tech, always a dangerous rival, hosting Tech here today (Thursday) and going there Monday. The Red Devils will seek revenge for their only loss of the year when they meet Everett at Everett Stadium Wednesday night at 7:00.

CHS volleyball team tops Northeast Regional

The Chelsea High volleyball team earned its second win of the season with a 3-0 blanking of Northeast Regional last Tuesday.

“The team has been improving as the season has progressed,” said CHS head coach Lisa Ceccherini. “We always get sky-high for the Northeast game, one of our big rivals, and we put it all together for the victory. It was our best performance of the year.”

The Lady Red Devils have had a tough schedule over the first part of the season, with just two home matches among their seven contests. Chelsea’s other victory was a rousing, come-from-behind triumph over Lynn Tech in which the Lady Red Devils overcame a 2-0 deficit and swept the final three games to claim the match.

The 12 members of this year’s varsity squad are led by senior captains Rebeca Torrento and Marina Melendez. Their 10 teammates are: seniors Melicia Ivanis, Stephanie Moni, Claire Pizarro, Simone Gomes,  Tivisay Sanchez, Marilyn Flores and Marlene Cole (both Marilyn and Marlene are new to the CHS program); juniors Helen Kasimi and Beverly Maldonado; and sophomore Ruby Rodriguez, of whom Ceccherini said, “Ruby has been a pleasant addition to the team as a defensive specialist. She’s an extremely  hard worker and always gives 100 percent, both in the games and at every practice.”

In two contests against Upper Division teams of the Commonwealth Athletic Conference this past week, the Lady Red Devils fell  at Shawsheen Thursday and to Notre Dame of Tyngsboro Tuesday. The contest with NDA was one of the Lady Red Devils’ better performances of the year, coming as it did against a perennial CAC power.

“We put a scare into Notre Dame,” noted Ceccherini. “We played them very well in the first set, but their power hitting at the net eventually wore us down.” The coach lauded the performances of senior captain Rebeca Torento for her passing and defense and senior Tivisan Sanchez for her setting.

Ceccherini and her crew host Pope John XXIII of Everett  Friday evening in a contest between two teams who always are fierce rivals on the volleyball floor.

Red Devil runners fall to Gr. Lawrence

The Chelsea High boys cross country team dropped its first meet of the season, falling to defending league champ Greater  Lawrence by a score of 23-33 on the Admirals Hill course last Wednesday.  The Red Devils now are 3-1 on the season.

Junior captain Jeffrey Estrada was the first Chelsea runner across the line, finishing in fourth place in 19:19. Biruk Mulaw was fifth in 19:30, followed by teammates Sam Hernandez in seventh in 19:34, Jay Pedrero in eighth in 19:57,  Brian Horn in was ninth in 20:04, and Luis Maradiago win 10th with a clocking of 20:14.

“We had a good pack, but Greater Lawrence had the top three runners and four in the top six, so it was too much up front to overcome,” said CHS head coach Don Fay. “We are a young team,  we are improving every week, and we have a lot of enthusiasm.”

In their meet the previous week at Whittier Tech in Haverhill, the Red Devils showed their depth, easily  running past the host team by a score of  20-42. This was the first upper division contest of the year for Chelsea and the big win showed that the Red Devils will be one of the top teams this season in the Commonwealth Athletic Conference.

The boys were led by Biruk Mulaw, who was second overall in a time of 18:27.  Capt. Jeffrey Estrada was third overall, running 18:29. Samuel Hernandez was next at 18:30 and Jay Pedrero was right behind in 18:37.  Finishing as the fifth runner for Chelsea was Brian Horn in 19:09. Luis Maradiago came home in 19:27 and was seventh overall.  Haidar Kareem was eighth overall, clocking in at 19:29.

The Red Devils were set to take on Shawsheen Tech yesterday (Wednesday) on the Admiral’s Hill course.

CHS cross country girls edged by GL

The Chelsea High girls cross country team dropped a close 25-32 contest to Greater Lawrence last week in a meet on the Admiral’s Hill course. The Lady Red Devils now are 2-2 on the season.

Wendy Becera led the way for Chelsea, finishing in first place in a time of 22:51. Teammate Katherine Cabral took second in in 23:21. However,  unfortunately for the Chelsea girls, the next five spots were taken by Greater Lawrence to win the meet. Senior captain Yessenia Motta  was eighth in 26:44 and Melanie Nguyen was ninth in 26:48 for Chelsea.

“We had the top two places in the girls race, but Greater  Lawrence’s pack was too much for us to overcome,” noted CHS head coach Don Fay.

The week before, the Lady Red Devils ran against Whittier Tech, coming out on the short end of a 22-37 decision.

The Lady Red Devils were led by Wendy Becera, who was second overall with a time of  21:36 over Tech’s 2.9 mile course. Next for Chelsea was Katherine Cabral, who was fifth overall with a clocking of  22:22.  Chelsea’s third runner was Sara Beqo who finished seventh overall. Capt. Yessenia Motta  was 12th overall in a time of  25:29.

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