Sports 04-21-2016

Bruins season-end press conference

The Boston Bruins scheduled a mid-morning press conference yesterday (Wednesday) that included Owner Jeremy Jacobs, CEO Charlie Jacobs and Bruins President Cam Neely. While many questions were asked and situations addressed, it all came down to the answer that many reasons were responsible for the Bs to have missed the playoffs for the second year in a row. None of the speakers put the blame on any one person or persons, but the bottom line is that much needs to be done to be sure that missing the playoffs does not become a three-peat for the Bruins. The following information was culled from the press conference.

It began with Neely addressing the season end results with the following explanations: “We’re all extremely disappointed the way the season ended. But having said that, that plan was not a one-offseason fix. We know what our goals are, we know what we need to improve, and we’re taking the necessary steps to continue to do that. I believe the group was a closer group; they enjoyed playing for each other and working hard for each other. I thought there was, you know aside from a couple stretches, we were a team that showed more passion probably than the year prior. But it’s still an area we need to improve upon.”

Charlie Jacobs interjected, “ I concur with Cam that there were some listless moments last season when the team, in my opinion, really for lack of a better term, didn’t have the heart that we had seen in years prior, and that came back. I think some of the youth that (general manager) Don Sweeney was able to inject into our roster reflected some enthusiasm that we frankly hadn’t seen in a while and it was refreshing.” Owner Jeremy Jacobs explained his thoughts by comparing the Bruins in being playoff contenders with the Detroit Red Wings. “I’ve been watching Detroit and they’re…you don’t understand or I don’t understand the issues that they have in front of them. They are a great team and have been for a very long time and they’ve got some wonderful stars there that…but age, you do pay a price for age and all and bringing in the youth. What you admire though is their evolution versus the revolution and so far as that’s concerned you admire the fact that they’ve been on a consistent course. I think we admire that, and I think Cam is playing a similar role now. When Neely was asked at to where the accountability falls, he responded, ”Well it’s all of us really. I mean from me, myself, Don, the coaching staff – all of us. But like I said, the plan that Don put in place wasn’t a one-offseason fix, you know. It’s not easy during the course of the season to make deals to try and improve your club, but a lot of things happen in the offseason. So we’re going to get to work this offseason.

As expected, coach Claude Julien’s decision-making process came up, to which Neely explained, “Well I thought he did a great job coaching this year. It was a big transition year for him, different player personnel than he’s accustomed to. He tried to integrate a lot of younger players and I think he did a good job with the roster. There’s areas where we can all still evolve and I think Claude is looking at that. I think he did a great job with some of the circumstances we had throughout the year. So I really…when Don said he wanted to keep Claude I had no problem with that at all.”

On what came across as a ‘vote of confidence’ as to the team’s direction, and if they were a better team this year, Neely summed it up with, “I believe so, yeah. I mean I think we had a productive offseason. Now obviously there was a curveball thrown in there but we had a productive offseason where I think the first two rounds we should get some good players out of. Granted, it may not be next season, but I believe bringing in Matt Beleskey who’s a guy that gives it every game, I mean his consistency was there throughout the year. I mean he may not have scored as much as he would’ve hoped or we would’ve liked, but his consistency, his physical play, you know was something that we as a group liked from him this year. So there are steps along the way that we need to take and we need to continue to do that to improve. And this offseason hopefully is going to be fruitful for us.” Adding, “I think we’re deeper in the prospects than we’ve been in a long, long time. You know that’s one of the areas where it’s failed us to be able to plug in some young guys the last couple years.”

The press conference wrapped up with Charlie Jacobs being asked, who the product on the ice is a reflections of. Jacobs’ response was clear and concise: “I say without question this is Cam. If people were to ask who is head of hockey operations, it’s a collaborative effort between a numbers of people. But if you ask for one sort of name I would say its Cam Neely. I’m fairly certain my father (Jeremy) would share that sentiment. I just want to clarify one question that was asked earlier. It was about investing, it was about investing in our team. It’s something that we continually do. We had leveraged our future to the point where something had to change last summer. We made the change and we’re writing the ledger, if you will, by stocking our team back up with prospects with the ability for cap flexibility to make the proper moves moving forward. We will always invest in this team. I think now we’re back on the right side of the ledger, we have an opportunity in front of us to move forward. We are a cap team and there should be expectations in an Original Six market that we continue to be a playoff contender, and frankly a Stanley Cup contender. Given the mix of talent that we currently have on the roster and the youth that’s coming in, Cam’s aware of those expectations, as is Don.”

CHS Roundup

CHS girls track

rolls past Essex Tech

The Chelsea High girls outdoor track & field team chalked up a 90-45 triumph over Commonwealth Athletic Conference rival Essex Tech last week.

It was a strong day for the Lady Red Devils, who won last year’s Commonwealth Athletic Conference title and who are returning all of their major contributors.

Sophomore Martine Simon set the pace by winning the long jump (16’-4”) and the triple jump (33’-8.5”), as well as adding second place finishes in the 100 (13.6) and 200 (29.03) dashes. Martine qualified for the state meet in both jumping events.

Senior speedster Mariama Kamara also qualified for the state meet in the 100 with a first-place finish in 13.0. Mariama also won the 200 in 27.62. Senior Katherine Cabral led a sweep of the 400 dash in 1:04.56, with junior Owliyo Mohamud (1:06.05) and sophomore Awa Bajika (1:10.77) taking second and third.

Freshman Jocelyn Poste was a double winner in the 800 (2:47.63) and 400 hurdles (1:18.8).

Junior Melanie Nguyen won the 100 hurdles in 20.7 and took second in the 400 hurdles in 1:23.8. Freshman Amanda Dias, competing in her first-ever track meet, topped the field in the two-mile run in 13:42.4.

In the throwing events, a Chelsea sweep of the discus was the big story. Sophomore Xiana Herasme won the event with a toss of 74’07”, with freshman Masireh Ceesay finishing second (67’-3”) and senior Jazmin Castellan taking third (67’-1”).

Other point-scorers for Chelsea were: Jazmin Castellan with a second in the shotput with throw of 25’-10”; Katherine Cabral with a second in the triple jump (30’-10”) and a third in the high jump (4’-4”); Alex Martine with a third in the javelin with a toss of 52’-1”; Yarid Deras with a second in the mile (6:33.4) and a third in the 800 (3:02.40); and Wendy Becerra (who also competed in the mile) in the two-mile in 14:36.3.

Chelsea also won both relays, the 4 x 400 (4:52 vs. 5:03 for Essex) and the 4 x 100 in 1:01.

“This was a great start to our season,” said CHS coach Mark Martineau. “Our girls’ squad is very young, deep, and full of potential. We are paced by seniors Mariama Kamara, Wendy Becerra, and Katherine Cabral.  For this squad, expectations are high.”

CHS boys track team

wins meet in final relay

The Chelsea High boys outdoor track and field team pulled out a 71-65 triumph over Essex Tech in a meet that came down to an exciting relay in the last event of the day, the 4 x 400, in which the Red Devils edged their opponents by eight seconds with a time of 3:56.

Pacing the CHS victory was junior Adriel Cedano who won three events, the high jump (tied for first with a leap of 5’-6”), triple jump (37’-8”), and 100 dash (11.8),

as well as leading off the winning 4 x 100 relay.

Junior Nick Ing won the 200 in 24.91 and teammate Lugman Shariff grabbed second place in 25.45. Ing also took a third in the javelin with a throw of 82’-6”.

Other first-place finishers for Chelsea were: junior Leonardo DeAlmedia, who won the 400 in 57.0 (Leonardo also took second in the long jump with a  leap of 18’-8.5”); senior Jose Aguiar, who captured the 800 in 2:17.12.; sophomore Jose LeClerc, who topped the field in the mile in 5:20.9 (Jose also grabbed a second in the 800 in 2:18.32); senior Jansel Claudio, who won the two mile in 12:14.5; and junior Bryan Rivas, who won the 400 hurdles in 1:06.58.

Other scorers for Chelsea who added important points in such a close meet were: Nelson Hernadez with a second in the shotput with a throw of 33’-7.75”; Isaac Colcord with a third in the discus with a toss of 81’-4”; Alex Pedrero with a second in the 110 hurdles in 20.5;  and Kevin Umanzor with a third in the 800 in 2:26.54.

“Usually when you take first place in this many events, the meet is not as close as this one was,” noted CHS head coach Mark Martineau. “Essex was able to stay close due to the depth of their squad and lack of depth for ours.  In many events we only have one competitor.  In all of those events we were able to take first place, but by giving up free points for second and third, we allowed Essex to stay in the meet.  Every meet will be tough for this team this year.  If we can avoid injuries we should be competitive all season.

“Though this is the smallest team we have had in many years,” added Martineau,”the good news is that the athletes we do have are committed and talented.”

CHS track to hold

Car Wash Fundraiser

this Saturday at CHS

The Chelsea High boys and girls track teams will hold a Car Wash fundraiser this Saturday morning (April 23) on the Everett Ave. side of the high school from 9-12.

Give your car a nice spring washing and support the CHS track program!

Ortiz tosses complete

game in 10-0 victory

Manny Ortiz tossed a complete game, striking out nine enemy batters, to lead the Chelsea High baseball team to its first victory of the season, 10-0 over Notre Dame/Cristo Rey Monday.

Andony Turcios went 2-4 with four RBIs to lead the Red Devil offense to its best production of the season.

Also contributing significantly to the CHS scoring output were Luis Jimenez, who scored two runs and had an RBI triple, and Thomas Melanson, who went 3-for-4 with two runs scored.

In a pair of losses last week, Chelsea fell by a score of 10-2 to Mystic Valley and

10-0 to Northeast Regional. In the former contest, Eduardo Nunez and Ortiz both reached base twice via walks. Nunez and John Acker scored the runs for Chelsea.

In the contest with Northeast, Jimenez, Nunez, and Turcios all had singles for Chelsea.

Coach Alan Beausoleil and his crew, who are 1-3 on the season, trek to Minuteman Regional this morning (Thursday) and will host Whittier tomorrow. They travel to Essex Tech Tuesday and entertain Greater Lawrence next Thursday and Pope John next Friday.

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