CHS football team blanks Minuteman
The Chelsea High football team put it all together for four full quarters to earn a hard-fought 12-0 victory over Minuteman Regional Friday evening under the lights at Chelsea Stadium.
“This victory was a great way to cure the blues with a total team win against an undefeated opponent,” said CHS head coach Mike Stellato, whose Red Devils had been struggling in the past few weeks after winning their season opener.
After a scoreless initial period, both teams had scoring chances, but the Red Devil defense proved to be the decisive factor, making two big stops of the Minuteman offense inside the red zone.
The first occurred after a Minuteman punt return brought the ball deep in Chelsea territory to the CHS 15 yard line. However, the Chelsea defense ended the threat by forcing a fumble that was recovered by junior defensive end Lucas DeOliveira.
The Red Devils took over at their own 25, but two plays later returned the favor, fumbling the ball away to Minuteman at the CHS 20. However, the Chelsea D once again rose to the occasion, stopping Minuteman on four downs to end the half at a 0-0 deadlock.
The Chelsea defense was called upon once again late in the third period to make a similar stand when another punt return set up the Minuteman offense at the CHS 15. However, for a third time the Red Devil defenders stood like a brick wall in the shadow of their own goalposts, smothering the Minuteman offense and taking over on downs.
With the Red Devil defense taking the spotlight through the first three frames, the fourth quarter saw the CHS offense come to life. Taking over at the Chelsea 45 after the defense snuffed a fake Minuteman punt, the Red Devil offense went to work with junior running backs Sammy Rivera and Yvad Rosario taking turns punching holes in the Minuteman defense. Rivera delivered the penultimate blow on a four yard touchdown run.
After a trade of possessions, an interception by sophomore safety Nelson Vega, his third pick of the night, set up the Chelsea offense inside Minuteman territory. Two plays later, Rosado rumbled 34 yards to pay dirt to make it a 12-0 contest and seal the win for the Red Devils.
“We were playing without four of our starters,” said Stellato, whose squad was without the services of starting quarterback Mark Anthony Williams and running backs Kalvin Duran, Jose Martinez, and Elyer Lobo because of injuries. “However, the team responded well to the adversity it faced. Albie Alicea filled in like a seasoned veteran, running the show at quarterback. He showed great poise and leadership throughout the game.”
Stellato praised a host of his defensive players, including Vega, junior linebacker Jomael Dejesus, senior linebacker Anthony Cuellar, and junior defensive end Adrial Rodriguez, as well as the offensive performances from Rivera, Rosado, Alicea, and junior offensive tackle Isaias Gonzalez.
Stellato and his crew will be back in action for another Friday Night Lights encounter against Mystic Valley this Friday at the Stadium. Kick off time is 7:00.
Devils win pair, but lose Kottu
The Chelsea High boys soccer team raised its record to a sterling 8-1-1 with victories of 4-1 and 3-0 over Lynn Tech in a home-and-home series this past week. However, the second triumph proved to be costly for the Red Devils, who lost the services of speedy senior Michael Kottu, who suffered an apparent fractured collarbone when he was subjected to a hard foul by a Tech player shortly after Michael had scored a goal to give Chelsea a 1-0 lead.
“This is a very tough loss for our team,” said CHS assistant coach Evan Protasowicki. “Michael is our fastest player and always gives the other team something to think about, which in turn opens things up for our other offensive threats.”
The Red Devils’ first triumph, a 4-1 victory on their home turf, was highlighted by a hat trick from Luis Cruz, Chelsea’s leading scorer and the top goal scorer in the Commonwealth Athletic Conference. After Tech took an early 1-0 lead, Luis knotted matters before the intermission with the first of his trio of tallies.
The second half belonged to the Red Devils, with Cruz making it 2-1 about 10 minutes after the intermission when he put home a loose ball amidst a scramble in the box. Kottu upped the lead to 3-1 when he used his speed to take a through pass from Anthony Ortiz deep into the Tech box and then directed a precise shot from a tough angle into the back of the Tech net. Cruz applied the icing on the CHS victory cake on a header on a beautiful crossing pass from the right that was delivered by Ortiz. Defenseman Christian Torres made the play happen when he carried the ball about 50 yards up the wing and passed it to Ortiz in the corner.
Monday’s 3-0 win at Tech would have been a perfect afternoon for the Red Devils had Kottu not been injured. Cruz scored the second CHS marker and senior Josue Ramirez applied the extra insurance tally with a perfect strike on a direct kick from about 20 yards out.
Head coach Mick Milutinovic and his crew were scheduled to meet Everett last night (Wednesday) in a contest in which the Red Devils were seeking to avenge their only defeat of the season. They trek to North Shore Tech Friday and then journey to Greater Lowell Monday afternoon. The Red Devils remain on the road at Shawsheen Wednesday.
CHS volleyball team plays hard vs. Tigers
Although the Chelsea High volleyball team came out on the short end of a 3-0 decision to Pope John XXIII High of Everett last week, CHS head coach Lisa Ceccherini was pleased with the solid effort turned in by her Lady Red Devils.
“We always have a fierce rivalry with Pope John that seems to bring out the best in our team,” said Ceccherini. “Pope John has some very talented offensive players, but we never gave up and battled them all the way.”
The Chelsea girls gave an indication early on of the toughness and grit they would exhibit throughout the match when they fell behind 18-7 early in the first game, but battled back to close the gap before succumbing by a score of 25-18.
“Pope John had some servers whom we had a hard time handling and that helped them close out the first game,” sad Ceccherini.
The second game once again saw Pope John jump out to an early lead, only to have Chelsea make a run that closed the gap. Although Pope John eventually took the middle game by a 25-14 score, the Lady Red Devils had given notice that they would be bringing their best effort for the third game.
Indeed, Chelsea refused to yield quietly, battling Pope John evenly until the end. The teams stood at 17-17 and 18-18, until Pope John puled away slightly at 21-19 and then made a run to claim the game and match.
Cecchrini lauded the play of her setters, senior captain Marina Melendez and fellow senior Tivisay
Sanchez, for their fine performances throughout the match. “Both Marina and Tivisay worked really hard to set up our offense,” said the coach.
Ceccherini and her crew face a crucial week ahead, taking on their three opponents in the Middle Division of the Commonwealth Athletic Conference. The Lady Red Devils journey to Fellowship of Christian Academy today (Thursday), host Presentation of Mary Academy next Thursday, and then play at Whittier next Friday.
Cross country teams fall to Shawsheen Tech
Last Wednesday at Admirals Hill, the Chelsea High boys and girls cross country teams both lost to Shawsheen Tech, the girls by a score of 24-37 and the boys by a close 25-30 outcome.
In the girls’ contest, the race began with the top Shawsheen runners appearing to be in full command and headed for a 1-2 finish, leading by about 75 yards after the first mile. However, Lady Red Devils Wendy Becerra and Katherine Cabral had other ideas. The duo started running together and picked up their pace so that by the two mile mark, they had closed most of the gap on their Shawsheen opponents.
At about two and a half miles, Wendy passed the two Shawsheen girls and Katherine ended up catching one of them right before the finish line. Becerra finished with a first-place clocking of 23:20 and Cabral was third in 23:30.
However, despite the 1-3 Chelsea finish, Shawsheen took the the next eight spots to win the meet. For the Lady Red Devils, Melanie Nguyen was 12th in 28:07, senior captain Yessenia Motta was 14th in 28:33, and senior captain Katherine Villagran was 15th in 30:17.
On the boys’ side, Shawsheen set the pace by taking the first two places. “It’s difficult to win a meet when the opposing team goes 1-2 on you,” said CHS head coach Don Fay. “We had five of the next seven spots, but it wasn’t enough.”
CHS captain Jeffrey Estrada was third in 19:29, followed by Sam Hernandez in fourth in 19:49, Biruk Mulaw in sixth in 20:00, Jay Pedrero in eighth in 20:10, and Luis Maradiago in ninth in 20:17. Brian Horn made a good showing in 11th place in 20:44.
“We had a nice pack, but we just needed to be a little closer to the front of the race,” noted Fay. “However, the team is training very hard and we are getting better every week.”
Both the girls and boys teams were set to travel to Greater Lowell yesterday (Wednesday) for their next meet.
Excel players fall to McAuliffe in soccer
For their first (and only) away game of the season, the Excel Chelsea Challengers traveled to Framingham to take on McAuliffe on Monday, October 7. Coming into the game with an 0-2 record and a -10 goal differential, Excel Chelsea was hungry to score some goals. However, McAuliffe entered the contest with a 1-1 record and a +5 goal differential, so the Challengers knew the task ahead would be tough.
Boy, was it ever tough. Led by Damain Winchester, McAuliffe ended up winning the game by a score of 12-2. While the final score may not show it, Excel Chelsea’s three goalies, Brian Pagoada, Karel Gonzalez, and Kerry Bell, played extremely well against the unyielding competitors from McAuliffe. Pedro Viani, Paul Flaherty-Hohmann and Aidan Parker also led the way for McAuliffe on the way to victory.
After losing their first two games of the season by identical scores of 5-0, Excel Chelsea scored their first two goals of the season. The first goal was scored in the second half by Jose Portillo, a 6th grade student at Excel Chelsea. From the left wing, Portillo was able to break free from the defense and chip the ball over the goalie’s head. Excel Chelsea’s second goal was scored by 7th grade student Jesus Rivera, who displayed hustle throughout the entire game, and it finally paid off with a goal late in the second half.
With a combined 14 goals scored, the ball flying into the back of the net was a regular sight, as was teamwork and sportsmanship amongst teammates and competitors. McAuliffe Coach Michaela Rupp, who couldn’t help but be satisfied with her team’s performance, said, “We were given a good run and we thank Excel Chelsea for a good game!”
Similarly, Excel Chelsea walked away pleased with their performance. The Challengers have improved markedly from their first game of the season and, if current trends continue, will be increasingly competitive in the league. Coach Dan Doverspike again came away impressed with the team’s effort: “I give all of the credit to our student-athletes. They are never deterred by any obstacle that they are faced with. I routinely see perseverance and effort and that’s all any coach ever wants to see.” The Challengers have three games remaining: Wednesday, 10/9, Wednesday, 10/16, and Wednesday, 10/30. All remaining games will be played at Old Savio Prep Field in East Boston at 4pm.