What may rate as the youngest Chelsea High boys basketball team ever, and certainly in recent memory, will take to the floor Tuesday for the 2012-13 season opener when the Red Devils host Minuteman Regional. Tip off time is 5:30.
However, despite his team’s youth, CHS head coach Jay Seigal said he is looking forward to the upcoming campaign.
“We lost a lot of players to graduation and then one of our seniors and our leading scorer, Sammy Mojica, went to private school at Brimmer and May,” said Seigal, whose affiliation with Chelsea High basketball goes back to 1972 (yes, that’s 40 years ago) when Jay played as a sophomore at CHS under the late Jack Niven in Niven’s first season at the CHS helm. “But we have an energetic group with a lot of raw talent and some size. It’s been fun developing them and teaching the fundamentals.”
The Red Devils feature two seniors, Eddie Irizarry and Carlos Vazquez, who will serve as the CHS captains. Both are returning from last year’s team. Another senior, Daquan Starwood, is a transfer student who is new to the CHS program.
Carlos Vega and Oscar Sabillon are the two juniors on the squad. Nelson Vega, Tito Medrano, Guillermo Zelada, Brendan Horn, Montel Johnson, George Ramos, Faisal Naisimi, and Hector Sarmiento all are either freshmen and sophomores and comprise the remainder of Seigal’s varsity crew.
“We’ll be running and pressing more than we have in past seasons,” said Seigal, whose squad played Saugus (which went to the state finals last year) in a scrimmage earlier this week and turned in a strong effort. The Red Devils were scheduled to meet Wakefield, also a powerful team, yesterday (Wednesday) in another pre-season scrimmage.
“We set the bar high for our pre-season opponents because we have a very strong non-league schedule,” said Seigal, whose Red Devils will be facing the likes of strong Division 1 foes such as Lexington, Beverly, and Masconomet. Revere also is on the Chelsea schedule and the rival from the Beach City always seems to get up to play the Red Devils fiercely. (And once again this year, Seigal’s son, Jason, is a member of the Patriot quintet.)
Whittier, which lost only one game last season (to Chelsea) is the defending Commonwealth Athletic League champion and figures to be at the top of the CAC once again.
After Tuesday’s battle with Minuteman, the Red Devils will travel to Greater Lowell Friday.