Everett wins GBL championship
By Cary Shuman
No one ever said that winning championships is easy.
The Everett High football team faced a stern test from a very good Malden team, eventually emerging with a 42-27 victory to claim the Greater Boston League title Friday night at Everett Memorial Stadium.
The Tide (6-2) will begin the Division 1 North playoffs against Malden Friday at 7 p.m. It is the second year in row that the Tide and the Tornados will square off in the opening round. Lukas Denis turned in another brilliant two-way performance to power Everett to victory in its GBL title showdown. Denis made the defensive play of the game early in the third quarter when he intercepted a Malden pass and returned it 67 yards for a touchdown, giving Everett a 20-14 lead.
Denis, who is headed to Boston College on a football scholarship, also scored two touchdowns on runs of 1 and 10 yards.
Sophomore quarterback Jordan McAfee threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to Jean Richard and a 49-yard touchdown pass to Gary Clark. McAfee made a triumphant return to the starting lineup after missing the last two games due to an injury.
Luis Cardona and Jackinson Joacine led a balanced rushing effort for the Tide.
“We played well and our offensive line did a very good job,” said Everett coach John DiBiaso.
Everett (6-1) enters the playoffs as the No. 1 seed in Division 1 North. Malden (5-2) is the No. 8 seed. The Everett-Malden winner will play the winner of the Peabody-Lexington game in the semifinal.
Everett holds the No. 2 ranking in the Boston Globe, Boston Herald, and ESPN Boston polls behind No. 1 Xaverian (7-0), who is the No. 1 seed in the Division 1 South playoffs.
Boys soccer team
wins three straight
to qualify for tourney
The Everett High boys soccer team, needing four points in their final four games in order to qualify for a spot in the post-season state tourney, punched their ticket for a Journey to the Tourney in high style with three consecutive victories this past week.
The Crimson Tide, who now stand at 10-7, will wrap up their regular season when they host Somerville this evening (Wednesday) that will be highlighted by traditional Senior Night festivities.
The Tide began their run to the tourney with a 3-0 triumph over Whittier last Wednesday. Eric Senibaldi gave Everett a 1-0 lead in the first half and Raul Ramos made it 2-0 midway through the second half. Sophomore Cayo Morare then put the icing on the EHS victory cake with a goal in the final minutes.
The following day saw the Crimson Tide take the measure of Malden Catholic, 6-2. Two goals by Senibaldi and a marker by Edgar Escobar provided a 3-1 advantage for Everett through the first half. Malden Catholic sliced the margin to 3-2 shortly after the intermission, but three unanswered markers by Escobar, Morare, and Kevin Salmeron sealed the deal for the Crimson Tide.
With a tourney spot already in hand, though playing for a higher tourney seeding, the Tide edged Lynn Classical Monday evening, 1-0. Morare provided the lone marker of the night, heading a free kick from midfield by Carlos Alvarez into the back of the Classical net.
“I’m very proud of the way this team has grown and improved since we first got together in August in the pre-season,” said Constanza, who is in his second year at the helm of the EHS boys soccer program. “This is the first time that we’ve made the tourney in four years, so for the seniors especially, this is quite an accomplishment.”
Constanza also cited the cohesion of his team, which has been evident in the spread-out scoring by his charges this season compared to the past few years. “In the past, we only had a couple of boys score all of our goals, but this year we’ve received goals from a large number of players. The motto for our team this year has been, ‘Fanme,’ which is Haitian-Creole for ‘Family.’ Our team members speak many different languages and come originally from many different countries, but after overcoming our differences, we have come together like a family.”
After tonight’s contest, Constanza and his crew will await the announcement of their tourney seeding and first round opponent, which should come from the MIAA by the end of this week.
EHS volleyball team
wraps up season;
Fineran stepping down
The Everett High volleyball team wrapped up its season last Wednesday at home against Triton Regional Academy in a match that was highlighted by Senior Night festivities. Although Everett had downed Triton 3-0 earlier in the year, Triton held off Everett rallies in games two and three for a clean sweep in the rematch.
“It wasn’t our night,” said EHS coach Mike Fineran. “We had our chances, and held leads late in the sets, but Triton played much stronger than they did just a month ago.”
Before the game, Everett honored six seniors: Lula Abdullahi, normally a back row defender who started as setter in place of injured sophomore Nathanny Balbino; Maddie Morelli, a three-year player whose strong serves and solid passing were called upon more frequently as the season progressed; Shannice Araujo, a right-side hitter with impressive power; Nikita Jules, who has been a versatile and dependable player for four years; Khaoula Oakar, an intimidating middle hitter and another four-year player; and captain Nicole Sylvester, a fierce competitor and an elite talent who started every game since coming to Everett at the start of her junior year.
“We didn’t have all the wins we would have liked, but we can’t say enough about the job our seniors did this year. It’s tough to keep it together when things get tough, and it’s a credit to their leadership that the team kept fighting until the final point,” said Fineran.
“The talent coming up in the next few years is promising, and a lot of players got invaluable experience this year,” added Fineran, who following the game informed Superintendent of Schools Frederick Forestiere and Athletic Director John DiBiaso that he would be stepping down after 12 seasons at the helm of the EHS volleyball program. “I am very grateful for the opportunities I’ve been given as coach, and for the experiences I’ve had with hundreds of dedicated, awesome kids. I will miss it, but it’s the right time for me to pass the torch,” Fineran stated.
Girls soccer team
in tight 1-0 loss to E.B.
The Everett High girls soccer team came close to earning its first win of the season, but yielded a goal late in the game with about 15 minutes to play to drop a 1-0 decision to East Boston last Wednesday afternoon in the nor’easter at the Madeleine English School soccer field.
“This was the best we’ve played this season and it shows how far the team has come,” said EHS head coach DeAnn Larrabee, whose squad dropped a 3-0 contest to Eastie earlier in the year. “We played a good game overall, despite the conditions.”
Larrabee cited the fine play of senior Marilyn Duarte, who has been the Lady Crimson Tide’s starting keeper on most occasions this season, but who also is a fine field player, as she was last week against East Boston at forward. “Marilyn has been a huge asset for us and a great team player who has done a superb job wherever we’ve needed her,” noted Larrabee.
The coach also lauded the performances of senior defender Kerri Buonopane, sophomore midfielder Erin Bessler, and junior keeper Casarra Roderick, whose fine goaltending has allowed Duarte to play in the field.
The Lady Crimson Tide were scheduled to host Lynn English last night (Tuesday) in a contest that will be highlighted by Senior Night festivities and then will conclude their 2014 campaign tonight at Somerville.