Red Devils host
The Chelsea High football team will be seeking its first win of the season Friday night when the Red Devils host Minuteman Regional Vocational School under the lights at Chelsea Stadium. Kick-off time for the Friday Night Lights affair is set for 7:00.
In their game this past week, Chelsea dropped a 20-14 decision to Essex Tech Friday evening in a hard-fought battle.
“The team battled until the end,” said CHS head coach Mike Stellato. “Although we lost, I was pleased with with the total team effort.”
After a scoreless first period which saw Essex fumble away a scoring drive at the Chelsea 25 and the Red Devils get as far as the Tech 40 before turning the ball over on downs, Essex drew first blood early in the second period with a 60 yard drive to move out to an 8-0 lead. The key play in the Aggie drive was a 36-yard pass play on a third-and-21 situation that brought the ball to the CHS 35.
However, the Red Devils bounced back before the half ended to close the gap to 8-6. A muffed punt and fumble recovery by senior Lucas DeOliveira put Chelsea in business at the Essex 40. Three plays later, senior quarterback Albert Alicea connected with senior wide receiver Francisco Mercedes for a 20 yard touchdown. Although the conversion rush failed, the Devils had sliced the margin to 8-6.
Essex drove to the Chelsea 15 yard line in the waning moments of the first half, but junior safety Nelson Vega intercepted an Aggie pass to end the half and give the Red Devils some momentum heading into the locker room.
Chelsea received the ball o start the second half and took over at its own 45, from where the Red Devils traveled to the Essex 12. However, the Red Devils could not convert on a fourth down play and turned the ball over to Essex, which then put together a long drive that was capped by a 45 yard TD pass which benefited from some miscommunication in the Red Devil secondary.
Chelsea, now trailing 14-6, took the ensuing kickoff and got as far as the Essex 25. However, that drive fizzled when Chelsea yielded possession of the ball thanks to an Aggie interception.
With the Red Devil defense stiffening, Chelsea got the ball back at its own 35 in the fourth quarter. A personal foul on an Essex player on a punt situation gave Chelsea new life and the Red Devils made the most of the Essex gift by scoring six plays later, the capper coming on a nine yard TD pass from Alicea to senior receiver Moises Casado. Albie then rushed for the two-point conversion to deadlock the contest at 14-14.
But just as quickly as the Red Devils seemed to have turned the tide in their favor, so too did their bubble soon become deflated when an Essex player took the ensuing kickoff and dashed 85 yards to paydirt with that would prove to be the winning score.
“We battled from start to finish,” said Stellato. “I know the kids are disappointed, as are the coaches, with the end result. We need to build from this and move on to prepare for our next opponent.”
Among the Red Devils who won Stellato’s plaudits for their fine efforts on offense were Alicea, senior running back Ely Lobo, junior center Petherson Braga, and junior tackle Dennys Hernandez. On the defensive side of the ball, the coach cited senior linebackers Moises Casado, Hector Zelaya, and Yvad Rosado (who had a fumble recovery), and senior lineman Isaias Gonzalez.
CHS boys soccer
team wins two more
The Chelsea High big soccer team won a pair of key contests this past week, defeating two rivals from the Large Division of the Commonwealth Athletic Conference.
In a smashing 5-0 triumph over Lynn Tech last Wednesday, freshman Carlos Cartagena went on a scoring spree, reaching the back of the Tech net three times within a two-minute span at 7:30, 8:30, and 9:30 of the first half. The hat trick by Carlos, who only the game before was moved from the back line to the forward line, provided all of the offense that the Red Devils would need to claim the victory. CHS captain Wilbert Tejada assisted on two of the goals.
“Carlos has really emerged for us as a scorer,” said CHS assistant coach Evan Protasowicki. “He’s given our attack a new dimension.”
Eric DePina made it a 4-0 contest 12 minutes into the second half when he finished a nice crossing pass from Yefferson Padilla and Tejada put the icing on the CHS victory cake with 5:00 to go when he beat a pair of Tech defenders just outside of the box and then burst in on the Lynn net for the fifth and final Red Devil tally.
“We dominated the game,” said CHS assistant coach Evan Protasowicki. “The team played really well both defensively and offensively.”
Two days later, the Red Devils nipped their always-tough CAC foe, Northeast Regional, in a fiercely-contested 2-1 decision. Derilson DePina scored to give Chelsea a 1-0 lead midway through the first half, but Northeast tied the match with a marker at the 10:00 minute mark of the second 40 when a mistake in communication in the Chelsea backfield provided NE with the scoring opportunity.
However, with about 15 minutes to go, Jonathan Vasquez notched his first goal of the season to provide Chelsea with the game-winner. Tejada set up the goal beautifully when he dribbled into dangerous territory, drawing the attention of the Northeast defense and freeing some space for Vasquez to whom Wilbert delivered a nice pass that Jonathan finished.
“We controlled the game in the second half, but we were unable to make the most of our opportunities,” noted Protasowicki of the Red Devils, who were without the services of Cartagena because of a work conflict.
Chelsea, which now stands at 5-2-1 on the season, will play three encounters in the coming week that will include rematches with a pair of tough, non-league rivals. The Red Devils were set to take on Everett last night (Wednesday) and will host Marblehead next Thursday. In between those contests, they will travel to Lynn Tech tomorrow (Friday).
Cross country teams
fall to Greater Lawrence
Last week the Chelsea High boys and girls cross country teams traveled to Greater Lawrence for a meet with the Reggies.
On the girls’ side, for the third week in a row the Lady Red Devils again engaged in a closely-contested meet, but fell short by a slim score of 26-31.
“It was another frustrating meet,” said CHS head coach Don Fay. “We were once again in a close, competitive race, but were unable to come out on top.”
CHS junior captains Wendy Becerra and Katherine Cabral finished second and third, finishing only six seconds apart. Clarissa Sosa was the next Red Devil in sixth place, Melanie Nguyen was eighth and Owliyo Mohamud came across the line in 12th.
“There were a couple of close finishes that we lost at the end. We have to learn to be tougher at the end. We have had three meets decided by five points or less ( two of them by a single point), all of them Chelsea losses. The good news was that our top three were within 43 seconds of each other which is very promising for the future.”
On the boys’ side, the Red Devils lost by a score of 16-47. “The last three or four years, Greater Lawrence has had some very good teams,” said Fay. “Greater Lawrence was tougher than us and wanted it more. This was a good eye-opener for the boys to see what it takes to challenge for a league title.”
Senior captain Jeffrey Estrada was the top Chelsea runner, finishing in fifth place. Junior Sam Hernandez was the next Red Devil across the line in 11th position and freshman Josue Vargas was right behind Sam in 12th place. Jonathon Gomez and Eric Orellana were 14th and 15th respectively for Chelsea. Newcomer Chris Sanyet finished strong to eke out 16th place and Josue Reyes was 18th overall.
The boys and girls travel to Billerica this week to take on Shawsheen Tech.