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10 WEEKLYNEWS.NET - 978-532-5880 APRIL 12, 2018 Spring sports begin with football chill OPENING DAY ROUNDUP By Anne Marie Tobin With temperatures hovering in the low 40’s and a cold breeze throughout most of the afternoon, it felt more like a day best suited for a late November football game. But that didn’t stop four Peabody high teams from kicking off the 2018 spring season this past Monday. The boys and girls lacrosse teams have already experienced their fair share of winter-like game conditions and have two games under their belts so far. But on Monday, it was time for the Tanners’ baseball, softball and boys and girls tennis teams to pack on the layers and brave the elements against Revere. Overall, it was a very good opening day for the Tanners with softball winning a 7-6 walkoff thriller in the bottom of the seventh inning, baseball crushing the Patriots 11-3 and girls tennis coming from behind to prevail 3-2. The boys tennis team came close to making a clean sweep, but came up on the short end of a 3-2 score at home. SOFTBALL Peabody 7, Revere 6 The Tanners had been scheduled to open last Thursday at home against Middlesex League powerhouse Reading, but that game was postponed due to unplayable conditions and rescheduled for April 28. Sunday was the first time the city allowed the team to practice outside on their home field behind the Kiley Bros. School. “We finally got permission, so we raked it a little and managed to get the field playable and was able to practice on it for a little bit Sunday,” said coach Butch Melanaphy. “There is nothing you can do but dress for cold weather and try to keep moving. Nobody in our league has turf fields, though, so it’s the same for everyone pretty much.” It was well worth the wait as a pair of newcomers to the Peabody softball team helped lift the Tanners to a 7-6 victory over visiting Revere, led by sophomore Makayla Rooney. She went 2-for-4 and had the game-winning RBI double scoring pinch runner Janelle Richard (on base for Sydney Lowry who singled) Peabody, Danvers boys tennis teams join forces By Anne Marie Tobin PEABODY -- Sometimes in times of a crisis, it’s not a friend who bails you out, it’s an rival that steps up and saves the day. Such was the case last week for the Peabody boys tennis team, which turned its program around with help in a big way from the Tanners’ newest best buddies at Danvers High. Last week, the Tanners were in serious jeopardy of having to disband the team for second time in the last three years after three of the original seven players who tried out for this year’s team quit, putting the future of this year’s team in question. The good news, however, was the Tanners’ request to the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) Alex D’Angelo threw two scoreless innings to get the win in Peabody’s win over Revere. from second base in the seventh inning, while MacKenzie Marmion went 3-for-3 with two RBI. On the mound, veteran pitcher Tianna Dawe (2-for-4, RBI) gave up just one earned run on three hits with 11 strikeouts in the win. Eight Tanners got into the hit parade, including Bishop Fenwick transfer Lucianna Mastromatteo, who was 3-for-4 and scored a run. Leadoff hitter Mallory LeBlanc also had a big game with two hits, an RBI and two runs scored, while Kelsie Blake and Makayla Iannalfo also had hits. “It was back-and-forth and we had a shaky start, but bounced back,” Melanaphy said. “Mackenzie and Makayla were the big surprises and Tianna just got stronger as the game went on.” The Tanners’ next game is at home Saturday at 4 p.m. against Wakefield. BASEBALL Peabody 11, Revere 3 At Revere, the Tanners scored all the runs they needed with a 7-run top of the first, then added a solo run in the third and three more in the fourth to take a commanding 11-0 lead. Revere cut into the lead with three runs in the bottom of the fifth, two of them unearned, but the Tanners shut the door the rest of the way. While he didn’t quite match his first varsity start last year when he threw a perfect game, senior southpaw Alex to form a co-operative team with NEC rival Danvers was approved, thereby ensuring that boys tennis will be played in Peabody and Danvers this spring and turning what traditionally has been bitter rivals into fast friends. Peabody will serve as the host school with home matches being played on the newly resurfaced courts at Peabody High and the teams wearing Peabody blue. Danvers head coach Paul Vecchione will serve as one of Kelly’s assistants along with former Peabody head coach Keith McCabe. “We found out this week that the co-op with Danvers is going to happen,” said Peabody coach Maureen Kelly. “We also picked up one more Peabody freshman so together we have about 12 athletes. We had our first practice together last Thursday and have only had two in all but neither has been with all of our athletes. It’s just great that someone was pulling the strings for us and made this happen. I don’t know that either team would have been disbanded but it would have been a rough season both both teams. The co-op, however, guarantees that boys from both schools will have the opportunity to compete.” Unfortunately, the Tanners came up short, dropping a close 3-2 decision at home. “Overall, I was pleased but a little disappointed we didn’t get a win, but considering we have had only two practices together and have been outside as a co-op just once, I thought the kids did well.” Peabody Seventh grader D’Angelo threw two gritty innings of scoreless ball to earn the win. He got off to a shaky start in the top of the first with runners at first and second with one out, but picked off the runner at second, then struck out the final batter to escape the jam. In the second, the Patriots had the bases loaded with two outs, but got out of the inning unscathed with another strikeout. “We are going to have to pitch better than that,” said coach Mark Bettencourt. “We got lucky today in that they made some errors, but overall we hit the ball pretty well and played solid defensively.” Bettencourt highlighted the performance of closer Joe Gilmartin, who struck out five of the six batters he faced. Offensively, the Tanners were led by Bryant University bound shortstop Jake Gustin, who blasted a home run and finished 2-for-3 with two runs scored and two walks. Left fielder Evan Mullen (2-for-3, 2 runs) and right fielder Michael Martinez (2-for-3, run) also had multiple hit games. The Tanners’ next game is Monday against Malden at Maplewood Park at 5 p.m. GIRLS TENNIS Peabody 3, Revere 2 Behind a come-from-behind effort from Brooke Hodas at first singles, the girls tennis team defeated Revere 3-2. FILE PHOTO With the score tied at 2-2, Hodas was the only match left on the court. She dropped the first set, 4-6 but rallied to take the next two sets, 6-3, 6-1, to seal the win. “It was a very good start as we had not beaten them last year,” said coach Lorraine Benoit. “With only four courts, it all came down to Brooke’s match at first singles. Today was her claim to fame to come back after having to sit around so long waiting and it was cold and windy, so she did a great job today.” In the second singles match Shaelyn Kelley also prevailed in three sets, 6-2, 1-6, 6-3. Angela Ferrera dropped a very close match at third singles, 4-6, 5-7. Peabody split the doubles matches. Lindsay Kouroyed and April Horwarth took the second doubles match 6-4, 6-1, while, at first doubles, Rebecca Truong and Caitlyn Bettencourt came up short, 2-6, 0-6. “Overall, it was a good outing,” said Benoit. “The girls were tested, but they stayed with, so I was very pleased with our performance.” Peabody’s next match is Monday morning at 10 against Malden at Amerige Park. • See story below for boys tennis results Paul Neal cruised through his first singles match, winning 6-0, 6-0, while Danvers’ Alex Nadeau followed with an easy 6-1, 6-1 win at second singles. Peabody seventh grader Cacper Latacz dropped his match at third singles, 4-6, 2-6. In doubles, the Danvers duo of Mikey Jeannotte and Max Leete lost 1-6, 4-6 at first doubles, while Peabody’s Calvin Anton and Danvers’ Jason Davis lost at second doubles, 0-6, 2-6. “With so little time together, we decided to pair the two Danvers kids who are used to playing with each together and then Calvin and Jason at second doubles. Both teams had some good moments and will only get better once they have more time to practice and once we can figure out who the best combinations are. Overall, first doubles looked pretty good.” Peabody athletic director Bob Bua said the co-op was a logical solution to keeping tennis going in both communities. “Hopefully it will be the way to keep the program alive and give the kids the chance to play,” he said. “A lot of the kids as it is were beginners just learning how to play tennis, so for them it gives them an opportunity to try the program. It kind of happened pretty quickly when Danvers only had a few kids sign up so they reach out, and of course we only had a few kids sign up as well, so it kind of made sense. It all kind of came together last week and I know we are are thrilled that it did so the kids can keep playing.” Peabody’s next match is at home on Tuesday at 10 a.m. against NEC rival Malden.

APRIL 12, 2018 WEEKLYNEWS.NET - 978-532-5880 11 Welch is interim boys lacrosse coach By Anne Marie Tobin PEABODY — The Peabody High boys lacrosse team may not have gotten off to a great start last week, losing its home opener Saturday to Cape Ann League powerhouse Masconomet 14-4 and also falling two days earlier on the road to North Reading, 18-6, but there is still plenty of optimism to go around. Just one week into the preseason, things were in flux following the resignation of coach Tony O’Donnell, who came on board in 1999 as an assistant and served the last six seasons as head coach. But with the appointment of assistant Greg Welch as interim head coach, the Tanners are back in business in a big way. Welch, a 2003 PVMHS grad, knows a thing or two about Tanners’ lacrosse, having owned the school record for most career points (225) for 10 years. He is also the first, and only, Tanner to be named a U.S. Lacrosse high school All-American. Welch played four years under O’Donnell at Peabody. Originally recruited to play Division 1 at Bryant University, Welch switched gears after redshirting as a freshman and transferred to Springfield College, where he played four years, serving as senior captain in 2008. “Coaching is extremely time-consuming, especially when you have full-time job and other responsibilities, so we had talked about it,” said Welch. “The plan had been this year for me to do most of the coaching and Tony to handle the administrative duties, but things changed. At first the kids were shocked a little bit. But it is business as usual and I told them everything isn’t handed to you on a silver platter where you walk through life and everything is easy. Sometimes you just have to go outside your comfort zone, and this is one of those times.” Peabody athletic director Bob Bua said Welch was a logical choice as O’Donnell’s successor and that the transition has been smooth. “Greg brings a lot of enthusiasm to the program and has been a part of it for several years,” Bua said. “He relates well to the kids and he brings a lot of intensity to the sideline. I think once the kids get adapted to his style everything is going to get better. The expectation is that the team will pick up where they left off without interruption. It has been a seamless transition, a good transition. “Obviously, like Greg, with Tony, it was always all about the kids. He put his heart and soul into Peabody lacrosse and I know it meant a lot to him. He did a lot for the program and did a lot for the kids. I wish him nothing but the best.” As far as team goals goes, Welch said there is no reason why Peabody cannot get back to the tournament, which it has not made since 2015. “We are very young with five freshmen, and I think we are having a hard time taking the shot when they are open,” he said. “If I saw a shot I liked, I took it and am trying to instill that in them. We are still teaching kids the fundamentals, but we will get there.” 2013 Peabody High graduate Keifer Heckman should be able to help in that department. Heckman, who signed on as an assistant coach this season, knows a thing or two about taking shots as he is the man who broke Welch’s scoring record in 2013. He finished his career with 286 points, scoring a staggering 77 goals and 49 assists that year to lead the state in scoring. Ironically, he broke it in a game against Smithfield High at Bryant University while Welch was an assistant coach. “I had nothing but good feelings about what Keifer did, especially considering the irony that he did it at Bryant, I guess the stars were aligned,” said Welch. “He was one tough kid that had an incredible will to win and I am hoping that he can instil that toughness and desire 1 3/30/2018 9:58:01 AM PHOTO | ANNE MARIE TOBIN Greg Welch talks to the Peabody boys lacrosse team during a break in the action in Saturday’s loss to Masconomet. to win in these young kids.” So far, Welch’s biggest challenge has been off the field. “The biggest thing is the non-lacrosse stuff, dealing with the boosters, the school administrators, the parents, who so far have been great,” Welch said. “There’s a lot more to to coaching than just coaching.” Masconomet 14, Peabody 4 Against Masconomet at Coley Lee Field, the Tanners trailed 4-0 late in the first quarter, but Stephen Ell cut the deficit to 4-1 with a goal at the 1:38 mark (from sophomore Colby Therrien). The Tanners carried the momentum into the second quarter and had Masco pinned in its own end for the first five minutes of the frame. They had a 3-minute man-up stretch that included 30 seconds on a 6v4, but could not break through. The turning point came with just under three minutes to go before halftime when Tanner goalie Austin Leggett go caught out of the net on a clear attempt. The Chieftains pounced on the opportunity, scoring an empty net goal. They broke the game wide open with four unanswered goals in the final two and a half minutes of the half to take a 9-1 lead into halftime, then stretched the lead to 14-1 in the third. The Tanners finally got untracked and finished with a third quarter strike by Ryan Fera and two fourth quarter strikes by Ell. No. Reading 18, Peabody 6 In the Tanners’ opening game of the season last Thursday, both teams battled sub-40 temperatures and 20 mph wind gusts. Ell (2 goals, assist) and Connor McCarron (goal, 2 assists, 3 ground balls) led the way with three points each. Nick Patturelli (2 ground balls), freshman Jack Houlden (3 ground balls), and Trevor Smith also scored. Mason Zeuli (5 ground balls) and freshman Andrew Lucas (3 ground balls) had solid all-around games. Leggett made 14 saves. Welch said it’s way too early to panic despite the two lopsided losses, adding he feels Peabody is ahead of schedule. “Actually we are ahead of where we normally would be,” he said. “We started out with two tough teams. Today we were better than we were at North Reading. We had Masco back on their heels at the end of the first and much of the second quarter, so we showed flashes today, just like the weather today, which showed flashes of spring.” AUTO | HOME | BUSINESS | LIFE • We make shopping for insurance EASY. • Ask for a quote! DISCOUNTS available. 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