CHS football team seeks first win at Minuteman
The Chelsea High football team battled hard through all four quarters Friday evening against Whittier Tech, but ultimately came out on the short end of a 42-20 decision.
Despite the outcome, CHS head coach Jack Halas was pleased with many aspects of his team’s performance.
“I thought our offense showed some solid improvements,” said Halas, noting the performances of senior quarterback Mike Rowan, who was 14-for-18 for 123 yards and one touchdown; junior Javier St. Leger, who had eight catches for 96 yards with a TD, while also making six tackles on defense; and junior Nick Ieng, who had 224 all-purpose yards with two kickoff returns for touchdowns.
“However, defensively we struggled against Whittier’s single wing-based offense,” said Halas. “Kevin Ruiz played an excellent game defensively with four tackles and also did a very unselfish job that gave us a chance on many plays.
“We also had a few, new, young guys step up in new roles, such as sophomore Frantz Favard at outside linebacker,” continued Halas. “I thought sophomore Malik Bissettt played well on the defensive line, adding four tackles.
“Although, we were never in the contest, I was pleased with our effort throughout the course of the game,” continued Halas. “Our kids played hard for 44 minutes of football.”
Halas and his Red Devil crew will play at Minuteman Tech Saturday in Lexington. Kick-off is at noon.
CHS boys soccer team defeats Everett
Coach Mick Milutinovic’s Chelsea High boys soccer team turned in a pair of outstanding performances this past week in a home-and-home series with Everett, the Red Devils’ former ancient foe with whom Chelsea has rekindled their rivalry in recent years on the soccer pitch.
Everett hosted the teams’ initial meeting last Wednesday evening before a large gathering of boisterous and enthusiastic fans from both sides at Everett Stadium that was more akin to an international football contest than an American high school soccer game.
“The atmosphere was just incredible,” said CHS assistant coach Evan Protasowicki. “We’d never played before a crowd that loud or that big, so the team was sky-high and perhaps a bit over-excited at the start. It took us the first 10 minutes just to settle down.”
After both teams adjusted to the intensity of the ambience in the stadium, they battled to a scoreless deadlock through the first half. Both squads had numerous scoring chances as they attacked and counter-attacked each other non-stop, but outstanding goalkeeping by Chelsea’s Angel Figueroa and Everett’s David Rosa kept the ball from reaching the back of the net.
However, the Red Devils broke the nil-nil duel 10 minutes after the intermission when Derilson DePina received a ball in the air, controlled it and went 1-on-1 with a defender, and after beating the defender, took on the Everett keeper by shielding the ball with his body, and then flicking a shot ini the net.
“It was an odd, but beautiful, move,” said Protasowicki.
However, the Red Devils yielded their advantage within a minute when Everett scored to knot matters at 1-1. Then with about 20 minutes to play, the Crimson Tide moved into the lead with another marker.
The Red Devils at that point took their game up a notch, bolstered by the appearance of their leading scorer, Carlos Cartagena, who had been sitting out with a sore ankle.
“Carlos was physically ready to play, but we knew it would be hard for him to go an entire game,” said Protasowicki. “So we put him in after they scored their goal and it changed the way we attacked.”
Chelsea began to apply pressure and the effort paid off, as Cartagena put home a rebound from a rocket by Francsico Vasquez that the Everett keeper could not handle.
The goal, which came with about 2:00 to go, sent the CHS fans into a frenzy, and made for a happy short trip home across the Parkway.
“The team didn’t quit,” said Protasowicki. “They fought to the very end and believed in themselves. This is the kind of game that you have to play in the post-season and to achieve this result was huge for us.”
After their 80 minutes of emotional, all-out battle, Chelsea had a few days off to await the rematch Monday afternoon on the holiday at Chelsea Stadium.
Once again the teams came out slugging (metaphorically) with excellent, up-and-down, all-out soccer. After another scoreless first half and 28 minutes of the second, DePina once again broke the ice, delivering a powerful blast from left-to-right from the corner of the 18 that cleanly beat the Everett keeper.
“Derilson’s shot was perfectly-placed,” said Protasowicki. “We’ve been urging him to be more aggressive with shooting the ball on net — he’s typically been a passer for us — and he really created his own shot on that play.”
Cartagena then added an insurance goal with four minutes to go when he was taken down in the box and was awarded a penalty kick. The Everett keeper made the initial save, deflecting the ball with his hand, but Carlos alertly moved in for the rebound and put the ball into the back of the net.
“We really picked up the tempo against Everett in both games,” said Protasowicki. “They’re stronger and faster than the teams we typically play against, so we needed to step up our game and we did.”
The duo of Figueroa and Daniel Benitez evenly split the goalkeeping duties to share the shutout in the second game. “Both of our keepers were excellent,” noted Protasowicki. “They were aggressive and came out to challenge the Everett forwards when they needed to do so.”
The Red Devils, who now stand at 11-0-1 on the season, have their most difficult stretch of the season this week. They were set to play at Essex/North Shore yesterday (Wednesday) and then travel to Greater Lowell today in a contest that promises to be the most physical battle of the season. They then will trek to Shawsheen Tuesday for an encounter that could decide the CAC Large School championship.
CHS cross country teams now stand at 5-2
Both the Chelsea High boys and girls cross-country teams continue to excel against their Commonwealth Athletic Conference rivals with both squads sporting fine 5-2 records.
The boys this past week won a tri-meet with victories over Mystic Valley and Essex/North Shore (formerly Essex Aggie and North Shore). The Red Devils shut out Mystic Valley, 15-50. Senior Jose Aguiar was the overall winner in a time of 19:38 over the three-mile course. Jonathan Gomez was third against Mystic Valley in 20:09, followed by Jose Cintron in 20:30. Sophomore Diego Estrada was the fourth Chelsea runner, finishing in 20:42. Senior Jansel Claudio was the fifth Red Devil, grabbing seventh against Mystic Valley, followed by Alecio Dasilva and Adriel Cedano to finish the scoring for Chelsea.
The contest with Essex/No. Shore was much tighter, thanks to the finishing kicks by a couple of Essex runners who overtook some Chelsea runners down the stretch.
The final score was 26-31 in Chelsea’s favor. Aguiar was first, followed by Gomez in fourth. Cintron finished in fifth place and Estrada was seventh. Claudio, Dasilva, and Cedano finished ninth, 10th, and 11th to clinch the meet against Essex.
The boys were set to travel to Greater Lawrence yesterday (Wednesday) to face Greater Lowell, Greater Lawrence, and Shawsheen Tech in a quad-meet that will decide the large school title of the CAC.
On the girls’ side, the Lady Red Devils split their tri-meet, defeating Mystic Valley, 25-30, but coming up just short against Essex/No. Shore, 26-33.
CHS senior captain Wendy Becerra was second overall for Chelsea, running 23:35 for the three mile course. Melanie Nguyen was fourth overall in a time of 24:23. “Melanie has been steadily getting better every week and is running closer to Wendy,” said CHS head coach Don Fay.
Freshman Jocelyn Poste was eighth overall, running 25:08. Yarid Deras and Cynthia Guzman finished together in 14th and 15th place, both clocking a time of 27:59.
“Both meets were close,” said Fay. “We just need to do a better job of running as a pack and limiting the time elapsed between Wendy and our fifth runner.”
The girls also were set to compete at Greater Lawrence yesterday (Wednesday). Notre Dame has clinched the CAC’s dual meet title, so the outcome of Wednesday’s meet decided second place in the large school division.
Bruins Beat by Bob Morello
Bruins: The Agony of defeat
Patience is a virtue – that’s true. But, patience is becoming harder to find when it pertains to Boston Bruins fans. The 2015-16 season has gotten off to a rocky start that fans were hoping would be much different, three defeats in three contests only rekindles those awful memories of the B’s missing the playoffs last season. While the fans dwell on the not so good start, management is looking at the big picture and searching for ways to remedy the constant errors that have happened on the ice thus far.
The Bruins traveled to Colorado yesterday (Wednesday) to take on the Avalanche, who have two points in the standings, thanks to their recent win over the Dallas Stars. Having played only two games thus far, Colorado is already two points ahead if you’re keeping score. In an attempt to make something happen, Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney recalled defenseman Tommy Cross from the Providence Bruins to replace Joe Morrow, currently out of the lineup and placed on injured reserve. Cross competed at Boston College for four seasons, winning the NCAA National Championship twice (2010 & 2012). That move followed by a couple of days, the demotion of defenseman Matt Irwin to Providence. Obviously one of the major problems has been the defensive corps, both rookies and veterans alike. The loss of Zdeno Chara in the lineup certainly did not help, nor did the loss of Dennis Seidenberg, but that naturally, is part of the game.
Chara’s return to the lineup from his upper-body injury will likely bolster the rookies, as they will be subject to seeing his effort and hard-working style. Add into the mix, the loss of Brad Marchand to a concussion, the overall lack of scoring, and you have a deadly mix of boring play. With rumors spreading that the possibility exists that both Chara and Marchand are being shopped around, whether true or not, certainly does not help the team morale. Surrendering 16 goals in three games says volumes about the way the team is playing, a fact further punctuated by the mere seven the B’s have been able to net.
The question now arises, is the current lineup playing with the same ‘defense-first’ plan which has always been at the top of Bruins coach Claude Julien’s list, or are the new breakouts and attack modes not fitting the personnel of this team? Enough with the Julien being on the ‘hot seat’ – that’s just fodder for radio sports talk shows, the fact is that the team is just playing too loose, and in doing that they are making multiple mistakes, mistakes that are converted into goals, which easily translates into losses. This two game road trip to Colorado, with a second stop to take on the Arizona Coyotes (Saturday, 10/17), will give management a more accurate idea of how to correct the problem. By the same token, being on the road will give the players a chance to resolve how to fix some of the mental mistakes, and return to the tight defense they so often displayed in previous seasons. Following their brief two-game road trip, the Bruins return to Garden ice on Wednesday, 10/21 to take on he Philadelphia Flyers.
THE SPORTS MUSEUM’S ‘THE TRADITION’
Mark the date, Wednesday, December 2nd at TD Garden, the new class of Boston sports legends will grace the Garden floor. Headed by Bruins favorite Gerry Cheevers, (Boston Bruins (1965-1972, 1976-1980, Two-time Stanley Cup Champion (1970, 1972). Presented by Harry Sinden. The remaining lineup will also include Danny Ainge (Boston Celtics 1981-1989, two-time NBA Champion as player (1984, 1986) NBA Champion as executive (2008), Joan Benoit Samuelson (Boston Marathon Champion 1979, 1983, Olympic Champion (1984) Running world ambassador, Roger Clemens (Boston Red Sox (1984-1996), 1986 American League MVP and seven-time Cy Young Award winner, the winningest pitcher in Red Sox history), Richard Seymour (New England Patriots 2001-2008. Seven-time Pro Bowl participant. Three-time Super Bowl Champion, and Don Rodman, accomplished Boston sportsman, Rodman Ride for Kids (1991-present), more than $100 million raised for kids. Hosting this year’s induction ceremony will be Tom Caron and Michael Holley.