Red Devils fall to Greater Lowell
The Chelsea High football team returned to action after a bye week and came out on the short end of a 28-6 decision to Greater Lowell Friday evening.
Greater Lowell (ow 3-1 on the season) established control of the contest early on, moving out to a 28-0 advantage at the half.
“Defensively, we just could not make the play to get us off the field,” said CHS head coach Jack Halas. “Greater Lowell extended some drives on third and long and fourth and long,which was very disappointing.”
As for the Red Devil offense, Halas saw some good signs which should bode well for the remainder of the season.
“I thought our offense made some solid improvements in our running game,” said Halas. “We gained 197 yards on the ground on 33 carries.” Leading the way for Chelsea were junior Javier St. Leger, who piled up 122 yards on 18 carries, including a four yard run for the CHS touchdown, and sophomore David Bui, who was impressive with 47 yards on six attempts.
Defensively, Halas lauded the play of sophomore Nelson Hernandez, St. Leger, junior Dashawn Alves, and junior Nick Ieng, all of whom accounted for five tackles apiece.
Junior Kevin Ruiz made a superb play for Chelsea, intercepting a Greater Lowell pass early in the second half that provided some momentum for the Red Devils.
“We have a young team with only three seniors starting on both sides of the ball,” said Halas. “Regardless, we made too many errors on both sides to give ourselves a chance to win. Not being able to get our defense off the field on third and fourth down, as well as having multiple false start penalties offensively, really hurt us.
“I have no doubt we will continue to work hard and improve as a team,” Halas added, “but we need to clean up our football and stop beating ourselves.”
The Red Devils will host Whittier Tech this Friday evening under the lights. Kick-off is set for 7:00 at Chelsea Stadium.
Dramatic victory keeps CHS boys soccer team perfect
The Chelsea High boys soccer team earned its most dramatic victory of the season with a 2-1 triumph at Whittier Tech last Thursday, as coach Mick Milutinovic’s squad maintained their perfect record and officially qualified for the post-season state tournament.
Whittier, clearly realizing from the outset that it did not have the talent to compete with the Red Devils, utilized a tight, defensive formation that forced Chelsea to bring the ball to the outside, rather than attacking down the middle of the field.
The Whittier tactics proved highly-effective for most of the game, as Chelsea had to adjust its offensive thinking in an effort to figure out how to break through the Whittier defense.
Meanwhile, although the Red Devils controlled the possession, Whittier took advantage of its one of its few scoring opportunities by converting a corner kick with a header to take a 1-0 lead with about 25 minutes to play.
For the next 20 minutes, the Red Devils continued to meet with nothing but frustration as they were unable to make a dent in the Whittier defensive scheme.
Burt with 5:00 to play, the Red Devils finally began to assert their dominant skills. Fullback Eric DePina made a run up the field, pushing the ball up near the Whittier box. Eric then sent a perfect cross to the opposite side of the pitch, where teammate Carlos Cartagena headed the ball past the Whittier keeper.
With the momentum on their side, the Red Devils continued to apply the pressure. Center midfielder Oscar Murillo then took a star turn for Chelsea, carrying the ball up the left sideline, beating an opponent, and then drilling a perfect strike from outside the 18 that clearly beat the Whittier keeper to the upper right corner.
“It was one of the prettiest goals I’ve seen in a long time,” marveled CHS assistant coach Evan Protasowicki. Murillo’s go-ahead marker came with about 2:00 to play, from where Chelsea held on for the big victory.
“This had the feel of a tournament game,” said Protasowicki. “It was a close and hard-fought battle all the way against an opponent that was highly-disciplined. We were forced to change our game plan mid-game and make adjustments, which often is what you need to do in a tourney game. This was a great experience for our team at this point of the season.”
This past Monday the Red Devils encountered another worthy foe in Lynn Tech. Although Chelsea prevailed, 2-0, this contest likewise was a tough battle through all 80 minutes of play.
After a nil-nil deadlock at the half, the Red Devils scored soon after the intermission at 8:00 when Carlos Cruz notched his 12th goal of the season with a header from a corner kick by Yefferson Padilla.
Cartagena duplicated that feat 12 minutes later with a header from a corner by Humberto Suarez for an insurance goal.
Sophomore keeper Daniel Benitez, who was making his first varsity start in goal because of illness and injuries to Chelsea’s two other keepers, Angel Figueroa and Cruz Barrientos, earned the shutout.
The pair of victories improved the Red Devils’ record to 10-0 as they passed the halfway mark of the season. However, what looms as their most challenging stretch of the year lies ahead in the next week. Milutinovic’s crew was set to face Everett, a Division 1 team that sports a 5-3 record, yesterday (Wednesday) and then will entertain the Crimson Tide in a rematch on the holiday Monday at 4:00.
The Red Devils travel to North Shore/Essex Wednesday and then will journey to Greater Lowell next Thursday for a match with a Greater Lowell squad that is the most physical team Chelsea encounters on its schedule.
Tri-umphs for CHS boys, girls cross-country
Both the Chelsea High boys and girls cross-country teams defeated their opponents, Northeast Regional and Minuteman Regional, in a tri-meet held last Thursday on the CHS home course at Admiral’s Hill.
On the boys’ side, the Red Devils improved to 3-2 in the Commonwealth Athletic Conference (CAC) with a pair of close victories, defeating both rivals by identical scores of 25-30. CHS senior captain Johnny Gomez was the top Red Devil with a fourth place finish overall in a time of 20:09, which was just four seconds off his personal record (PR). Jose Cintron (20:46), Adriel Cedano (20:49), and Diego Estrada (20:50) all finished together and all three also achieved PRs. They finished sixth, seventh and eighth overall.
“These three guys helped immensely in our winning this meet,” said CHS head coach Don Fay. ”Cross-country is all about pack running. They ran the whole race together and helped each other during the race.”
Senior captain Eric Orellana was the fifth Chelsea runner and took the clinching spot for the Red Devils against both opponents.
The Lady Red Devils also earned a pair of victories to raise their record in the CAC to 4-1. The girls defeated both rivals handily, 19-40 vs. Northeast and a 15-50 shutout vs. Minuteman.
Senior captain Wendy Becerra tied her PR on her home course, running an outstanding 22:17 on the 3.1 mile route and outdistancing all competitors by over a minute. Melanie Nguyen was third overall in a time of 24:09, which was a PR for Melanie by 42 seconds.
Freshman Jocelyn Poste finished in fourth place in a PR time of 25:20. “Jocelyn has been working real hard in practice and you can tell she likes to compete,” noted Fay.
Cynthia Guzman was next for Chelsea in 25:43, which bettered her previous PR by 14 seconds. Yarid Deras was the fifth and clinching runner for the Lady Red Devils with a clocking of 26:57, which was a PR by almost a full two minutes (1:52). She was followed closely by Tiana Jurisic, who had the same official time of 26:57.
Both the boys and girls were set to make the trek yesterday (Wednesday) to the new Essex North Shore High School where they were scheduled to engage Essex North Shore and Mystic Valley in another tri-meet.
Next Wednesday (October 14) the teams will make the journey to Greater Lawrence for a quad-meet with the Gr. Lawrence host team, Greater Lowell, and Shawsheen Tech