Willcox named Boston Herald Star of the Week
By Cary Shuman
In the much-anticipated duel of two of the state’s top quarterbacks, Jake Willcox of Everett high outdueled Sal Frelick of Lexington High.
Willcox was accurate from the start, connecting with Anthony Norcia for catches of 20 and 22 yards on Everett’s first possession. Norcia completed the drive with a 5-yard touchdown run.
Willcox wrapped up another poised effort with 14-of-17 completions for 203 yards and three touchdowns. His best moment was a perfect thread-the-need pass to Jason Maitre in the end zone for a TD.
“I though Jake played great,” said Everett coach John DiBiaso.
Lexington’s Frelick had praise for Willcox and the Everett defense.
“He’s excellent,” said Frelick about Everett’s junior signal caller. “Everett did a really good of spreading out their defense. They brought a lot of pressure, too. Everett flew to the ball. They’re a bunch of hungry guys. It was tough for us, seeing this type of competition, but I felt we ready for the challenge, though. Everett is definitely the best team we’ve seen so far and it was just a great opportunity for my team to play them.”
Willcox, a 6-foot-1-inch, 185-pound junior, will lead Everett in to the Division 1 North final against Central Catholic Saturday.
Frelick will close out his football career and then focus on baseball. A middle infielder, Frelick will play baseball at Boston College next year.
EHS volleyball team meets its match in tourney
The Everett High volleyball team closed out its season with a first-round loss in the state tournament last Thursday night.
The Lady Crimson Tide, who won 10 games during the regular season to qualify for the post-season, traveled to sixth-seeded North Quincy (13-7) and put up a good fight before falling to the host Red Raiders in straight sets.
“It was a good experience for us,” said EHS head coach Mike Fineran. “Obviously we are disappointed we couldn’t pull off the upset, but I am proud of the way we played in that environment.”
Early in the first set, Everett got service points from seniors Stephanie Ariste and Yasmeen Guerrier to pull within a point, 5-4, before North Quincy started to pull away. Everett got three blocks and two kills from senior middle Isabella Lyles and junior outside hitter Kayla Gomes, but it was not enough, as North Quincy took the opening set, 25-12.
“We weren’t playing badly, really, but we did not get any of the lucky bounces,” said Fineran. “We passed a couple of their serves off the ceiling and some of our hits went long. It was the first tournament experience for all of the girls, and it was clear that we were nervous.”
In the second set, Fineran’s team relaxed and their play improved. Again, Lyles and Gomes were strong up front, with three kills and a block. Everett held early leads of 5-3 and 6-5 by playing better defense, led by sophomore libero Bianca May and senior Gianna McDonald.
Everett’s servers, however, started slumping. Down 12-9, Everett hit the fourth serve of the set into the net.
“We were down by four, and we had given them those four points on missed serves. You can’t get away with mistakes like that against strong competition,” said Fineran.
Everett dropped that set, 25-15, and then the third set, 25-12. However, Fineran said that the more important outcome was seeing how his team could perform.
“We showed we belonged. We made some unforced errors, but we also made some great plays. North Quincy pulled away in each of the sets, but it was important, especially for the players who will return next year, to see how much higher the intensity and the competition are in the tournament and what it will take to be able to raise our game to match the opposition,” noted Fineran.
Fourteen members of the team saw action, including seven sophomores and juniors. Seven more underclassmen were on hand to watch the match. “That experience can only help us when we play the tougher teams on our schedule, and when we make it back to the tournament,” noted Fineran. “Another win or two, and we might not have to face such a tough opponent in the opening round, and no matter who we face, we won’t be as nervous, because it won’t be our first time.”
With 10 girls on the tournament roster returning, and with a junior varsity team that went 14-6 under assistant coach Jen Cruciotti, the Everett program will be in good shape to make another run at the tournament in 2018.
EHS boys soccer falls short in bid for tourney
The Everett high boys soccer team, which entered the final week of the season needing to win its three remaining contests in order to achieve the .500 record necessary to qualify for the state tourney, fell short in its quest, winning one game, tying one, and dropping another.
The triumph was a 3-0 shutout of Salem last Tuesday, a team which had topped the Crimson Tide in their first meeting earlier this season. Goal-scorers for Everett were HarchidySouffrance, Juan Mesa, and Henrique Da Silva. EHS keeper MikerlenzAccilien earned the shutout in net.
The Tide’s next contest came against St. John’s Prep, a traditional Division 1 powerhouse that has advanced to the semifinals of the state tourney in the D-1 North sectional.
Coach Oswaldo Constanza’s squad fell short by a score of 3-0, but battled fiercely to the final whistle. The Prep held a slim 1-0 edge after 65 minutes of play, but with Everett trying to push the ball forward in the later stages of the contest, the Prepmen scored a second tally to move ahead 2-0.
St. John’s added a final score in the waning seconds off a corner kick in which Everett had sent its players upfield in the hope of achieving a quick counterattack.
“We had nothing to lose at that point,” noted Constanza. “We had to do whatever we could to score goals and get a win.”
The season finale saw Lowell come to Everett Stadium on Saturday for Senior Day festivities. The six Crimson Tide members of the Class of 2018 were honored for their contributions to the EHS boys soccer program: captain Rodney Landaverde, Victor Thomas, DerlinEldieu, Luis Avendano, Bryan Hernandez, and MikerlenzAccilien.
“Our seniors this year were great leaders who served as excellent role models for our many younger players,” said Constanza. “All off them contributed immensely to our team this season and they will be sorely missed.”
Everett and Lowell dueled to a 1-1 deadlock, with Juan Mesa scoring the goal for the Crimson Tide.
Although the Crimson Tide fell short in their effort to reach the state tourney, Constanza noted that his team improved immensely over the second half of the season.
“After our slow start (2-6-1), we were 4-3-2 in the second half,” noted the coach. “We had a very young team in many respects, but we worked hard and improved. We achieved four shutouts in a stretch of five games and won some points from teams that reached the tourney.”
Senior DerlinEldieu was the lone member of the Crimson Tide who attained Northeastern Conference all-star recognition. Derlin was named to the second team.
“Derlin played superbly in the midfield for us,” said Constanza. “He fought hard for every ball and won most of the 50/50 balls. He was an excellent passer who distributed the ball to all of his teammates.”
Miller emerges with a big effort versus Lexington
By Cary Shuman
Everett running back Jacob Miller was one of the standouts in Everett’s 49-21 victory over Lexington in the Division 1 North final.
Miller and backfield mate, Kevin Brown, consistently racked up a large gains, shaking off tacklers and keeping the offense moving toward the Minutemen’s end zone.
Miller, a 6-foot, 1-inch, 225-pound senior, said the backs were ready to contribute to what has been a prolifc offense all season.
“We just had to pound the rock and it was really great,” said Miller. “We had a lot of momentum on the ball. We just kept doing we do usually in practice. Kevin and I work as a team perfectly. We’re a really great duo. We have a great line, and they did a great job tonight.”
Miller said the playcalling was significant in the victory.
“The coaches knew what plays we needed to run,” said Miller.
Miller was asked what he does best as member of Everett’s backfield.
“I bounce off tackles, I have good movement off the rock and I hit the hole fast,” said Miller.
He would like to end his career with back-to-back games at Fenway Park and Gillette Stadium.
“I never knew you could play football at Fenway Park and that’s one of the things I found out,” said Miller. “It would be an honor to play at Gillette Stadium. That’s one of my biggest dreams: playing on an NFL field in my life.”