The Everett High softball team trounced two opponents this past week to improve its record to a sterling 10-2 on the season and earn an early qualification for the state tournament.
The Lady Crimson Tide embarked on their Journey to the Tourney with a 10-2 win at Cambridge in a contest that was moved from Everett’s home field because of the unplayable conditions.
Taylor Sweeney set the tone for the afternoon with a lead off home run and the Everett girls never looked back. The Lady Crimson Tide added three more markers in that opening frame. Alea Martinelli drew a walk, stole second, and came home on a base hit by cleanup batter Janyne Sierra. After Tori Cyrus worked a base on balls, Franki Perreault singled to bring in Sierra and Samantha Batres followed with another safety to deliver Cyrus.
Cambridge finally got on the board in the sixth inning, reaching EHS pitcher Franki Perreault for two runs to close the gap to 4-2, but the Lady Crimson Tide put the game away with a six run barrage in the sixth.
Brianna Uga and Perreault drew walks to get the ball rolling for Everett and both Uga and Sophia Marchant (Perreault’s courtesy runner) stole a base. Another base on balls to Batres loaded the bases for Sweeney, whose base hit scored Uga, though Marchant was thrown out at the plate trying to score. However, Martinelli stepped up and cleared the bases with a roundtripper to make it an 8-2 contest.
Erin McLaughlin kept the rally going, finding her groove again and stroking a triple. A ground ball by Sierra was misplayed by Cambridge, allowing McLaughlin to score and then Sierra raced home on a three bagger by Cyrus.
Other than the brief Cambridge rally in the fourth, Perreault was in control all the way, allowing just four hits and one earned run while fanning six and walking only two in her seven innings of work.
“This was a great game for us at the start, but we got a little lazy with our bats until the sixth inning,” said EHS head coach Stacy Poste. “The rain started to come down and the ball started getting wet. However, Franki did a great job on the mound controlling the ball. Our defense backed her up and made plays to keep Cambridge from scoring any more runs.”
The Lady Crimson Tide once again was forced to turn what was supposed to be a home game into an away game, traveling to Newburyport. But once again the outcome was favorable for Everett to the tune of a 7-2 final score.
Perreault once again was in command, limiting Newburyport to just six hits and one earned run. She struck out four and issued only two bases on balls. Two of those Newburyport hits came in the first inning, but Perreault kept her opponents off the board.
Taylor Sweeney made it 1-0 in favor of Everett in the bottom of the first when she walked, stole second and third, and scored on an error by the Newburyport pitcher.
Newburyport tied matters with a marker in the second, but the Lady Crimson Tide took the lead for good in the third. Perreault doubled and a sacrifice bunt by Vicki Burge moved Marchant (Perreault’s courtesy runner) to third, from where she scored on a sac fly hit by Sweeney.
Everett then opened up some distance from their hosts in the fifth. Uga started things with a single and moved to second on passed ball. After Brianna got to third on a ground out by Batres, she scored on an error by Newburyport’s first baseman on a ball hit by Perreault, who took second on a dead ball. After Kayla Lombardo drew a walk, Sweeney continued to be a thorn in the side of Newburyport by laying down a perfect bunt, moving everyone along safely and loading the bases.
Martinelli then drew a walk, allowing Marchant to walk across the plate and McLaughlin did likewise, bringing in Lombardo. Sierra then came through with a base hit into the outfield, bringing around Sweeney and Martinelli to make it a 7-1 affair.
Newburyport mustered only a solo tally in the sixth for the 7-2 finale.
“This win qualified us for the tournament and it’s a nice feeling not to have to wait until the end of the season to qualify,” noted Poste. “These girls have worked hard all season and are deserving of the great year they are having.”
The lone setback for the Lady Crimson Tide came via a heartbreaking, last inning loss at Central Catholic, a traditional Division 1 powerhouse.
Everett grabbed a 1-0 lead in the third when Jess Wade, who had tripled, stole home when the catcher threw the ball to second on a steal by Sweeney, who had reached first on an infield hit.
Central got that one back in the fourth, but Perreault helped her own cause with a lead off homer over the fence to start the fifth. Everett then turned to small ball, with both Sweeney and Martinelli laying down successive bunts to reach base. That set the table for McLaughlin, who knocked in her teammates with a double.
Sierra singled into the outfield to bring in McLaughlin and took second on the throw to the plate to get Erin. Cyrus then came through with a double to knock in Sierra. With two outs, Batres singled, moving Cyrus to third, bringing up Perreault for her second trip to the plate in the inning. Franki added to the Everett lead with a single up the middle, scoring Cyrus. Wade would single to load the bases, but Central managed to escape the jam.
That left matters at 7-1 in favor of the Lady Crimson Tide, but an uncharacteristic three errors by Everett allowed Central to push across four runs to close the gap to 7-5.
“I think we were so pumped up from our big inning that we became lackadaisical in the field,” said Poste. “We threw the ball around when we didn’t need to and it hurt us. And then there was an obstruction call at the plate that would be a factor in them getting a run that should not have happened.”
The Everett bats undid some of the damage in the sixth when McLaughlin led off with a double, moved to third on a base hit by Sierra, and scored on fly ball by Cyrus to right field that was misjudged.
The Everett defense settled down in the sixth, and thus matters stood at 8-5 entering the bottom of the seventh. Perreault had been mostly untouchable to that point, but Central put together four hits and received some assistance from the ump (who called a balk that brought in a run) to score four runs to come away with a 9-8 decision.
“This loss was hard to swallow,” said Poste afterwards. “We played at CC’s level and we were aggressive with our bats. We hit the ball well and made the plays early in the game, but we opened the doors and gave CC the opportunity to score in that fifth inning.
“There were a few bad calls against us that hurt us in the end,” continued the coach, “but we just need to be consistent the entire game and not just for one or two innings. I would rather lose by 10 runs than watch the girls have a six run lead and then lose by one run. Central Catholic is ranked in the state and we gave them a run for their money.”
The Lady Crimson Tide’s final eight games of the season shape up as follows: Yesterday (Tuesday) at Malden; today hosting Medford; tomorrow at Medford; entertaining Swampscott Friday under the lights at 6:30; at Lowell Monday at 6 p.m.; hosting North Quincy next Tuesday; entertaining Marblehead next Thursday at 3:00 (early game due to a banquet); and then hosting Somerville next Friday.
EHS baseball team beats two GBL foes
The Everett High baseball team won two of its three contests this past week to raise its overall season record to 7-6. Both victories came against a pair of Greater Boston League opponents, Somerville and Cambridge, improving the Crimson Tide’s mark to 5-1 in the GBL and setting the stage for a first place showdown with 5-1 Malden yesterday (Tuesday) and then 4-2 Medford tomorrow.
Last Tuesday’s 4-3 triumph over Cambridge was the result of an outstanding pitching performance by senior captain Matt Cafarella. Cafarella, who has seen only spot duty on the mound, came on in the third inning with Everett trailing 3-1 and shut out Cambridge the rest of the way, allowing just one hit and fanning three in his four and one-third innings of work.
“Matt was superb,” said EHS head coach Joe Marchese. “He moves his fastball in and out and throws a change up, and he throws strikes.”
Cafarella came on in relief of Matt Pothier, who pitched well through two and two-thirds frames in which he yielded just two hits. But Matt P. was victimized by some Everett errors (all three of the Cambridge runs were unearned) and the four bases on balls that he gave up.
After scoring a single run in the third to take a short- lived 1-0 lead on an RBI base hit by Chris DiNapoli (who was 3-for-4 on the day), the Tide retook the lead in the fourth with a three run rally. Cafarella delivered the key blow, a two run double, and he eventually would come around to score what prove to be the game winning tally on a passed ball.
Jonathan DiBiaso also had a nice day at the plate for the Tide with a pair of base hits.
Two days later Everett took the measure of Somerville, 8-4. Sophomore Michael Rossi earned his first varsity win with a nice effort in which he allowed just four hits and three earned runs in five and two thirds innings. Rossi fanned three, though he walked six. Teddy Feble took the hill in relief and finished out the remaining one and one third innings, allowing two hits and a run.
Mac Singleton provided the main offensive spark with two hits, three RBI, a run scored, and a stolen base. Pothier contributed a two-run two-bagger and Cafarella had two hits, a run, an RBI, and swiped two bases.
The Crimson Tide came out on the short end of a 5-3 decision to Marblehead on Saturday. Laurence Falter hurled the first four frames, yielding just four hits. Laurence deserved a better fate, but some costly fielding miscues allowed two unearned Marblehead runs to cross the plate. DiNapoli came on in relief in the fifth, but an Everett error marred his fine pitching effort which saw him give up just three hits in three innings.
Everett scored a single run in the first and two more in the second, but proved unable to muster anything after that. DiNapoli had two hits and two RBI. Singleton banged out two hits and drew a walk. Jamel Vilmont also added two hits on the day.
After the battles with Malden and Medford, which will close out their GBL season, the Crimson Tide will host Methuen Friday and travel to Haverhill Monday and to Charlestown Wednesday.
Freeman, Mendez, Gabriel Tejada win for EHS boys track
Trevor Freeman, Jonathan Mendoza, Andres Tejada, and Justin Gabriel turned in first place performances for the Everett High boys track team in their meet last week against Cambridge. Freeman won the 110 high hurdles in 19.0 seconds, Mendez captured the long jump with a leap of 18-4.5, Tejada sped to victory in the 200 in a personal record time of 23.5, and Gabriel took the javelin with a toss of 127-1.
Mendez also came through with a second place showing in the 400 in 53.6 to finish with eight points on the day. Tejada led a sweep of the 200 with Crimson Tide comrades Donaldo Joseph taking second in 25.4 and Soufiane Fdal grabbing third in 26.0.
A number of their Crimson Tide teammates turned in strong efforts for second place performances:: Ricky Perez in the two mile in 12:33; Jordi Oliveira in the 110 hurdles in 19.1; Jason Mendoza in the 800 in 2:29; Bashar Albadri with a discus spin of 93-11; and Daniel Plunkett with a javelin toss of 121-11.
Third place showings were forwarded by: Oliveira in the 400 low hurdles in 72.9; Brandon Conde with a shotput heave of 33-35 and a discus toss of 87-7.5; Edwasner Ambroise with a triple jump of 29-3; and Heiu Vo-Tran with a high jump of 5-4.
Pham, Jackie Steves win first places for girls
Kathy Pham and Jackie Steeves took first place for the Everett High girls track and field team in their meet against Cambridge last week. Pham won the high jump with a leap of 4-0, while Steeves took the top spot in the javelin with a toss of 83-9.
The top point producer for the Lady Crimson Tide was Katie Steeves, who placed nine points onto the Everett side of the scoresheet with a trifecta of second place finishes in the100 dash in 13.7, the 200 dash in 28.0, and the long jump with a leap of 14-0.
Second place performances for the Lady Crimson Tide were turned in by: Vesna Imsirovic in the 400 low hurdles in 1:30.9; Maeve Kernan in the two mile run in 13:12;; Emila Ponikiewski in the 800 in 2:40.3; Jessica Mangan in the mile in 6:35.1; and Jackie Steeves with a discus twirl of 79-7.25.
Adding single points to the Everett cause with third place efforts were: Elspeth Colson in the 400 hurdles in 1:34.1 and the 100 high hurdles in 20.7; Mangan in the two mile in 13:27; Amanda Nabasaliza in the shotput with a throw of 23-7; Pham with a long jump of 13-5; and Zoulikha Madkour with a javelin throw of 69-5 and a discus spin of 51-10.
“Overall both the boys and girls teams put forth a good effort against Cambridge,” said EHS head coach Shelanda Irish.
Irish and her squads will compete in the GBL championships in Somerville tomorrow (Thursday). A select group also will compete in the last chance meet on Saturday at Notre Dame Academy in Hingham in their “last chance” to qualify for the State Divisional Meet.
Crimson Tide compete at State Coaches Meet
A number of Crimson Tide boys and girls competed at Saturday’s State Coaches Meet (for which they needed to have turned in qualifying times and distances during the season) at nearby Dilboy Stadium in Somerville.
On the girls’ side, Katie Steeves competed in the 100 and 200 dashes and achieved personal records (PR) in both with times of 13.82 and 28.85. Katie also competed in the long jump with a leap of 14-0.
Sister Jackie Steeves also trekked to Dilboy and tossed the javelin 82-3.
For the boys, Andres Tejada ran in the 200 with a clocking of 24.07. Andres also competed in the long jump in which he leaped a PR distance of 19-1.25. Teammate Jonathan Mendez came through with a PR long jump of 19-2.5. Mendez also ran the 400 dash and turned in a time of 54.94. Daniel Plunkett tossed the javelin 116-8.
Everett also was represented in the 4 x100 and 4 x 400m relays. The 4 x 100 quartet consisted of Soufiane Fdal, Kenny Phan, Edwasner Ambroise, and Bryan Cedeno. The 4 x 400 foursome were Fdal, Donaldo Joseph, Jose Portillo, and Cedeno.
“I think overall, some of the performances were not where I had anticipated them to be,” said EHS head coach Shelanda Irish. “I think a big factor in that was that it was such a long meet for the kids. They got to the meet at 8:30 a.m. and didn’t leave until 5:30 p.m. A few of them didn’t even compete until around 5:00. The majority of the events took a very long time to complete so I think it affected our kids a bit in regards to maintaining their focus.”
Football Royalty DiBiasos receive prestigious awards at Hall of Fame dinner
Everett High football coach John DiBiaso received the Ed Schluntz Contributions to Amateur Football Award while his son, quarterback Jonathan DiBiaso, received a Scholar-Athlete Award at the 37th Annual National Fooftball Foundation and Hall of Fame Dinner Monday night at Lombardo’s in Randolph.
The DiBiasos are the first father-son duo to be honored for their accomplishments by the Jack Grinold Eastern Massachusetts Chapter of the National Football Foundation.
Jonathan, who set the state’s all-time touchdown passing record (103 TDs) while leading the Crimson Tide to back-to-back Super Bowl championships, was first in the spotlight at the dinner when he was introduced as one of 34 recipients of the Scholar-Athlete Award.
The 24th-ranked student in the EHS Class of 2012 and a member of the National Honor Society, DiBiaso was cited for his outstanding football ability and performance, outstanding academic application and achievement, and outstanding school leadership and example.
Boston Globe high school sports editor Bob Holmes introduced DiBiaso, listing the EHS signal caller’s numerous achievements on the gridiron including his single-season (44) and career touchdown passing records. DiBiaso, who grew up playing Pop Warner football in Everett and has now taken his place among the pantheon of Crimson Tide greats, will be continuing his education at two of the country’s most prestigious institutions, Phillips Exeter Academy and Dartmouth College.
Jonathan was listed on the program as the presenter of the Schluntz Award to his father, but he called an audible at the last minute and asked his sister Kristina, a screenwriting major at Emerson College, to handle the introduction.
“She [Kristina] is very articulate,” said Jonathan. “I knew she’d do a great job.”
Kristina stood at the podium and delivered a heartfelt and thoughtful speech to an attentive audience.
“It’s true my father has achieved amazing things as a football coach and I’ve always been very proud of that,” said Kristina, a former EHS cheerleading captain. “However, what’s most admirable about my dad is his actions off the field.
“Anyone can take special interests in star football players; what’s unique about my father is the way he cares about players who aren’t stars, especially the way he treats students with special needs,” said Kristina.
She said that even after players graduate from Everett High School, her father continues to be a part of their lives, “whether that be helping them get accepted to a great college or aiding them in to the work force, or guiding them to be leaders in life.
“My father has been an amazing parent to my brother and me,” said Kristina. “When we need him he’s always there, day or night. Every athlete, including my brother Jonathan, who has the opportunity to play under my dad has been extremely lucky. And both Jonathan and I are extremely lucky to have him as a father.”
John DiBiaso thanked the National Football Foundation “for this prestigious award,” noting that Ed Schluntz is a fellow alumnus of Tufts University.
DiBiaso reflected on his amazing head coaching career that began at St. Patrick’s High School in Watertown, one of the state’s smallest schools that he brought from 1-9 in his first season to the brink of a Super Bowl berth. He continued his success at Weston High where he said told the freshman class that they would be champions and he was proven right, developing a multi-sport athlete, Cy Butler, into one of the state’s most exciting quarterbacks.
His record at Everett High School is unmatched in state history. His team currently holds a 25-game winning streak and owns back-to-back Super Bowl crowns.
In his speech, DiBiaso noted some of the outstanding student-athletes that he has coached and the successes they have achieved in their lives after their college football careers.
He left the crowd with a message, “Never quit on a kid because you wouldn’t want someone to quit on your kid.” And John DiBiaso has never quit on a kid.
The crowd gave the legendary coach a standing ovation.
Superintendent of Schools Frederick Foresteire, who was accompanied by Assistant Superintendents of Schools Dr. Thomas Stella and Charles Obremski at the dinner, offered his congratulations to John DiBiaso and his son, Jonathan.
“Both the coach and his son are very deserving of these prestigious awards,” said Foresteire. “They are special in what they have done. They are at the top of their game and a credit to the city of Everett. They’ve done a lot for the city in terms of promoting spirit and cooperation. We’re glad and happy to have them.”