Red Devils rout Charlestown, 57-6
The Chelsea High football team put it all together for the second time in its last three outings with a 57-6 rout of Charlestown Friday evening at the local Stadium.
Just as they had done two weeks ago in a 41-6 romp over Minuteman Regional, the Red Devils asserted control of the contest from the outset, piling up a 27-0 lead after one period and never looking back. A Charlestown fumble on the second play of the game was recovered by sophomore defensive end Muktar Mhammed, setting up the Red Devil offense at the CHS 45. Two plays later, senior running back Kalvin Duran rumbled the distance for a 6-0 Chelsea lead.
What happened moments later must have seemed like deja vu all over again for Charlestown, as the Townies misplayed the ensuing kickoff and once again Mohammed fell on top of the loose pigskin, this time at the Charlestown 35. Chelsea crossed the goal line in short order, a 21 yard pass play from quarterback Albie Alicea to Francesco Mercedes sealing the deal. The Alicea-Mercedes connection then reconnected for the two-point conversion and a 14-0 Chelsea advantage.
Although Charlestown did not turn the ball over on its next possession, its best effort was a three-and-out that resulted in a punt and subsequent runback by Duran for a score, Kalvin’s second TD within minutes of his first.
Charlestown’s first quarter version of the movie Groundhog Day continued with its third fumble of the period, again on the kickoff, with Red Devil senior Carlos Lobo recovering the ball at the Townie 45.
Alicea wasted no time in plunging a dagger into his opponents, tossing a 45 yard pass to senior Moises Casado on the first play for six more points and a dominating 27-0 lead after Lucas DeOliveira split the uprights for the PAT.
Chelsea continued to build its advantage in the second quarter. A one-yard run by Alicea and another PAT by DeOliveira increased the margin to 34-0. A safety, a 65 yard TD dash by Casado (with another PAT by DeOliveira), and a one-yard plunge by Duran (with another DeOliveira PAT) brought Chelsea to the half-century mark 50-0, raising the question in the minds of diehard Red Devil fans whether the Chelsea team on the field had set a scoring record of some sort for one-half of play.
Charlestown finally got on the board with a 70 yard return of the ensuing kickoff to leave matters standing at 50-6 at the intermission. Mohammed added a touchdown on an 18 yard run in the third frame after Chelsea took the opening kickoff to close out the
scoring (with DeOliveira’s PAT) and the 57-6 final score.
Duran enjoyed a career day with three touchdowns and 135 yards rushing on seven carries. The Chelsea offensive line of Petherson Braga, Christian Calix, Christain Caceres, Dennys Hernandez, and DeOliveira did a superb job all day in opening up holes for the Chelsea runners.
Defensively, Josue Theosmy, Austin Teneval, Carlos Lobo, and Javier St. Leger all earned plaudits from the CHS coaching staff.
“This was a total team win,” said CHS head coach Mike Stellato. “It was great to be able to put into the game all the players who dressed for valuable experience.”
The Red Devils will play under the lights Saturday evening in Lynn when they take on Lynn Tech. Kick-off is at 7:00 p.m.
Boys soccer team rolls to three straight
The Chelsea High boys soccer team seems to have found its groove.
Despite facing what should have been a rebuilding season, veteran CHS head coach Mick Milutinovic’s squad is on the verge of capturing yet another Commonwealth Athletic Conference Large Division title after vanquishing three CAC rivals this past week, including chief challenger Greater Lowell.
“The team has been playing excellent soccer,” said CHS assistant coach Evan Protasowicki. “The defense has been outstanding and we’re controlling the ball on offense.”
In last Wednesday’s 2-0 triumph over Greater Lowell at Chelsea Memorial Stadium, the Red Devils grabbed a 1-0 lead in the opening half thanks to a goal by freshman Carlos Cartagena, who returned to the lineup after a week’s absence because of a sprained ankle. Carlos, who stands at a strong six feet, headed a nice crossing pass from Alan Garcia into the back of the GL net.
“Greater Lowell was marking Carlos all game, but with his size, he’s very tough to cover,” said Protasowicki. Yefferson Padilla, assisted by Wilber Tejada, then added a crucial insurance tally midway through the second half with a beautiful left-footed shot from the vicinity of the 18 that beat the GL keeper to the right corner.
“Yefferson’s scored some big goals for us this season, and this was another one,” noted Protasowicki. The outcome of the contest was all but determinative of the CAC Large title inasmuch as the teams had battled to a 2-2 draw in their earlier encounter this season.
The Red Devils continued their fine play Friday with a 4-0 blanking of Shawsheen Tech, another CAC foe that usually gives Chelsea a tough battle. However with leading scorer Cartagena out of action because of a work conflict, senior captain Tejada stepped to the forefront, notching a hat trick, including two goals in the first half. Wilber added his third goal in the second half as did teammate Eric DePina.
“Wilber usually is our playmaker, but whenever we’ve needed him to take the leading role for us, he’s done so,” said Protasowicki.
The Red Devils, who now stand 10-0-1 in the CAC (10-4-1 overall) concluded their unblemished week with a 5-1 win over Mystic Valley Tuesday. Garcia put Chelsea on the board early with a perfect strike from 30 yards out. Carlos Cruz made it 2-0 and senior Wilber Alfaro-Castro, who has been a solid performer all season for Chelsea, made it 3-0. Cartagena added the fourth CHS marker and Alfredo Cerron, who was up from the junior varsity, iced the CHS victory cake when he put home a rebound off a shot by Elias Sahile.
The duo of Cruz Barrientos and Dominic Hightower shared the keeping duties in place of CHS regular keeper Angel Figeuroa, who had earned the shutouts in the previous Chelsea victories.
The Red Devils, who already have qualified for a state tourney berth, will wrap up their regular season this week. They play at Northeast Regional today (Thursday) and will host Minuteman tomorrow and Whitter Monday. All games will kick off at 4:00.
Young CHS volleyball
team continues to improve
Although this has been a rebuilding season for the Chelsea High volleyball program, veteran CHS head coach Lisa Ceccherini has been pleased with the progress her young squad has shown throughout the season.
“We returned only three girls from last year, of whom only one was a starter and two are seniors,” said Ceccherini. “But the girls have worked hard and we’ve had great leadership from our three captains, who have embraced their responsibilities and who truly have been an inspiration for our younger players.”
The trio of captains for the Lady Red Devils are seniors Helen Karini and Beverly Maldonado and junior Ruby Rodriguez, the lone returning starter from last year. “This has been a difficult transition year for all of the girls who have come up from the junior varsity, but our captains have helped them make that adjustment,” said Ceccherini.
The 2014 Lady Red Devils feature six sophomores, Ana Davies, Alexandra Martinez, Kia Guggsa, Tashneal Africa, Adri Colon, and Zulma Escalante; five juniors, Fior Canngieter, Jamine Castellone, Brenda Rodas, Gloria Valentine, and Hadijat Umarova; and senior Jossimiar Sorto, a newcomer this year to the sport.
Although the squad still is seeking its first win of the season, Ceccherini said her team’s effort cannot be measured in wins and losses. “The growth I’ve seen in the second half of the season has been tremendous,” said the coach. “It has taken awhile, but the younger players have been coming into their own in the past few games.”
In last Thursday’s match with Northeast Regional Vocational School, traditionally the Lady Red Devils’ archival in the Commonwealth Conference, the Chelsea squad showed the promise of better things to come. “This was our best match of the season,” noted Ceccherini. “I feel it was a real turning point for us. We played together as a team and we were aggressive, instead of being tentative.”
Although Chelsea lost 3-0, the first two sets saw the Lady Red Devils battle to scores of 26-24 and 25-19. Chelsea was led by Karini, who served four aces; Africa, who recorded four blocks; and Escalante, who smacked five of her team’s 12 kills on the match.
“I’ve been so proud of everybody on the team,” said Ceccherini. “We’re working hard and never have given up.”
The Lady Red Devils will conclude their season in the coming week. They were set to travel to Notre Dame of Tyngsboro yesterday (Wednesday), host Whittier tomorrow, and then entertain Lynn Tech Tuesday in the season finale.
team splits tri-meet
The Chelsea High boys’ cross country team traveled to Malden this past week to face Mystic Valley and North Shore/Essex Aggie in a tri-meet. The Red Devils defeated North Shore/Essex Aggie by the score of 20-41 and lost to Mystic Valley, 19-43.
Jeffrey Estrada was second overall in a time of 20:29 on a hilly 3.1 mile course. Josue Vargas was third against Essex Aggie in 22:18, while Jonathon Gomez was fourth in 22:23. Eric Orellanna was fifth in 22:52. Co-captain Brian Horn was seventh against Essex Aggie and Josue Reyes finished eighth in a time of 23:46. Coach Don Fay’s crew finished with an overall record of 5-5 and will be competing at the league meet this Saturday at Greater Lowell.
The CHS cross country girls lost to Notre Dame of Tyngsborough, who clinched their third straight CAC dual meet title. Running well for the Lady Devils on their home course was Wendy Becerra, who had a terrific battle with the second runner for Notre Dame for most of the race. Becerra eventually finished third in a time of 22:20. Wendy was only three seconds off her personal best on a very warm and muggy day. Katherine Cabral finished seventh in a time of 23:48. Melanie Nguyen was 11th overall running 26:07. Cynthia Guzman was next in 12th place in 26:59, which was a personal best. The fifth girl for Chelsea was Hassatou Diallo, in 27:54, who ran 90 seconds faster than her previous best time. This Saturday the girls also will be competing at Greater Lowell for the league championship.