Help keep me in the “loop”
If you know of a “Townie” who is participating in a sports or recreational activity (elementary school, high school, college, or otherwise), please E-Mail me at email@example.com with the information and/or photographs and I will be sure to include them in a column. I’d also love to hear about any honor roll students or scholar athletes, or just about any story which would recognize the accomplishments of past and present “Townies.”
“Townies” sports update
HOCKEY NEWS: Tufts University senior sensation Tom DeRosa reached the 90-point milestone in his collegiate career…St. Clements 7th grader Sean Wrenn tallied 3 assists in a 6-1 win over Mystic Valley and a goal in a 4-4 tie against Lowell Catholic…Not to be outdone, Sophomore teammate Kevin Flanagan popped in two goals in a 6-2 victory over East Boston, two more in a 3-1 win over rival Trinity Catholic, and incredibly, two more against Lowell Catholic…Congrats to forwards Ryan Considine and Reardan Sweeney for helping Everett High School break into the win column…Malden Catholic (JV) first-line center Nolan Carrier netted 2 goals and an assist in a one-sided conquest of Bishop Fenwick…Hebron Academy (ME) winger Michael Settipani notched a goal and an assist during a 5-1 conquest of Bridgton Prep…Highly coveted Malden Catholic junior sensation Brendan Collier announced his intent to attend Boston University…Winger Michael Doherty had a goal and two assists as Groton School pummeled St. George by a score of 8-0. Jillian Doherty, a sophomore at the Brooks School, posted a goal and an assist in her team’s 4-3 victory over St. Paul’s…Co-captain John Humphrey contributed a goal and two assists in New Hampton’s 12-1 demolition of Vermont Academy.
Boston Latin swingman Colin Murphy bombed in three 3-pointers during his team’s 74-48 trouncing of Waltham…Akosa Maduegnunam (16 points), Iser Barnes (14 points), Tyrik Jackson (12 points, 15 rebounds) and Rony Fernandes (14 points, 11 assists) help lead #10 ranked Charlestown High School (10-1) to a 93-43 shellacking of Rhode Island’s Hope High School…Mt. St. Joseph (JV) center Kiersten Kelly tossed in 10 points in a 41-32 loss to Mt. Alvernia.
88 Days ‘til Opening Day
Beginning on March 1 and running for seven weeks, Charlestown Little League will hold indoor pre-season practice sessions every Tuesday at the Charlestown Community Center gymnasium. However, it is required that all players participating in the sessions be members of the Charlestown Community Center. Membership is free for children and applications are available at the gym desk. The practice times will be 6 to 7 p.m. for 6- to 9-year-olds, and 7 to 8 p.m. for 10- to 12-year-olds. If weather allows, the practices will held outdoors on the field adjacent to the tennis bubble.
With the Boston City League (BCL) basketball playoffs looming on the horizon, Charlestown High School (10-1, ranked #10) has reclaimed their position among the elite teams of Eastern Massachusetts. In addition, a plethora of highly-skilled, athletic underclassmen are making important contributions as third-year coach Edson Cardoso builds a program which should keep Charlestown at or near the top of the BCL for years to come.
Prep/High School records of teams with “Townies”
BOYS BASKETBALL W L
Charlestown (ranked #10) 10 1
East Boston 4 3
Boston Latin 6 6
South Boston 3 3
St. Clements 4 5
Northeast Regional 2 6
GIRLS BASKETBALL W L
Mt. St. Joseph 5 7
Charlestown 2 4
BOYS HOCKEY W L T
Malden Catholic (ranked #1) 8 2 1
Arlington Catholic (ranked #10) 4 2 4
Austin Prep (ranked #12) S5 3 3
Boston Latin 7 1 2
New Hampton School NH 15 6 1
Belmont Hill 10 4 2
Hebron Academy ME 12 7 1
Groton School 8 4 1
St. Clements 5 4 1
Latin Academy 4 3 0
Brewster Academy NH 5 12 0
Everett 1 7 2
East Boston 1 10 0
GIRLS HOCKEY W L T
Arlington Catholic 4 5 1
Brooks School 6 8 1
Boston Latin 1 7 1
Latin Academy 0 12 1
Townies by electricity/reverse polarity Townies
Remember as a kid when playing tag you would be “it by electricity” because you touched someone who was touching someone who was “it?” Adhering to this philosophy, I consider some of the following athletes to be “Townies by electricity.”
Boston College hockey standouts Jimmy and Kevin Hayes (both Chicago Black Hawks prospects) are “Townies by electricity.” I don’t doubt for a second that they get their natural athletic ability from their dad, Kevin, a “Dot rat” and sensational baseball and basketball player in his own right, but, more than likely mom Sheila instilled the “edge” to their hockey game which is serving them quite nicely. The spirit of “Crash” McNeil lives!
Phoenix Coyote star defenseman Keith Yandle, son of former BC standout “Buddy” Yandle, is also a “Townie by electricity.” So is NFL Hall-of-Famer Howie Long, who I remember from the games room at the Boys Club many years ago. Michael Doherty, Jimmy Vesey, Ryan Considine and Joe and Nick Codair no longer live in Charlestown, but they played Little League baseball, Pop Warner football and Pee Wee hockey here, so they’re “Townies by electricity” too.
There are also “reverse polarity Townies.” These are people who have settled here and enmeshed themselves into the fabric of our community. Lindy Williamson, Tony Viveiros, Dave Cahill, Tom Ward and Al Carrier are examples of “reverse polarity Townies.” Charlestown is a very special place to live because our residents make it so, “Toonie,” “Townie” or otherwise. Being a good neighbor, making a difference, doing the “right thing,” working hard and getting involved are the rule, not the exception. I have never been more proud of being from Charlestown.
My “pimple ball” summer of ‘68
When I completed the sixth grade at St. Mary’s Parochial School in 1968, my best friends were required to go to summer classes at the Harvard School in order to be promoted to the seventh grade. Inasmuch as they were the kids I hung around and did things with, I decided I’d go to classes with them and pleaded with my parents to allow me to do so. They enthusiastically agreed. After the first day of school, I realized what a horrible mistake I made.
I didn’t want to go to classes anymore but was terrified at the prospect of telling my parents, so I did what any other kid my age would do. I got up in the morning, put my school clothes on, ate breakfast, and went to the “old” Charlestown High for a day of stickball. I did this for a month, never once letting on that I stopped going to classes, making sure to return home at the same time the kids were dismissed. Eventually, my parents became suspicious and contacted the Harvard School regarding my attendance. I was able to sit down, pain-free, about a week later.
Looking back, it was a lesson learned but I’d do it again for the chance to play stickball, corporal punishment notwithstanding. The “old” Charlestown High was packed every day during the summer with kids of all ages actively engaged in stickball and halfball. The building was also wide enough for three games to be played simultaneously. The older teenagers and young adults usually played halfball, which included using a white pimple ball or a hollow pink rubber ball, cut in half, and an ordinary broom stick with the broom sawed off at the end. The penny candy store around the corner on Bartlett Street always had a plentiful supply of both types of balls, for a nickel each, in case you ran out.
The large metal grates covering the windows, and pretty much any nook and cranny in front of the high school, were crammed with perfectly-placed, hard-struck halfballs. I wouldn’t want to venture a guess as to how many thousands of balls still sit atop the roof of the building.
Most of the pre-teens would play stickball, which used the same balls except not cut in half, because it was easier and just about anyone could play. Halfball required much more skill, especially from the pitchers. A vertigo-inducing batted halfball cascading down from the third floor level of the high school would often result in a “Keystone Cop” defensive miscue and, of course, a badly scraped knee or elbow.
Local drivers were also considerate (read: smart) enough to avoid that section of Monument Square so as to not interrupt a game and incur the wrath of the hordes of participants. Though parking was legal at that location, there always seemed to be enough room for the games to be played. The hill adjacent to the school behind the wrought-iron fence surrounding the monument was the perfect place to watch games. Stickballers waiting for their turn to play, “old-timers” sitting in lawn chairs soaking up the sun, teenage girls admiring their crushes, even passersby relaxing on the grass and eating lunch would watch the action and most everyone knew each other.
It was complicated trying to explain to the other players why I was always so nattily attired because I didn’t want word to get back to my parents as to my whereabouts. However, coming home daily with a buttoned shirt soaked in sweat and an overall disheveled appearance from running around catching pimple balls all day probably led to my undoing.
Through the years there have been other venues, such as the Bond building at Hayes Square or the vacant brick properties on Terminal Street, where generations of “Townies” have displayed their stickball and halfball prowess but none, in my opinion, compare to the “old” Charlestown High. It was a special era, indeed.