The Burke School fifth grade boys' basketball team not only had a perfect record during the regular season, but was unbeaten in the March Madness Tournament. The Peabody boys received trophies for their regular season championship and playoff wins.
The Burke team, which is coached by John Federico and assistant Cameron Forgitano, went 7-0 during the regular season with victories over Brown, Carroll, Center, McCarthy, South, Welch, and West elementary teams.
In the March Madness Tournament top seed Burke had two tough opponents in No. 2 seed Carroll School and No. 3 South. In the second round Burke knocked off South and then edged Carroll in a thriller. Carroll had gone unbeaten since losing to Burke in the opening week of the season. Carroll and South had a combined 9-3-2 record, but couldn't upset Burke.
"The Carroll team like our Burke had improved greatly as the season progressed," said Federico. "There was a great turnout when we played at Peabody High School with parents, grandparents, students, and the girls' fifth grade teams from both schools there. Students and faculty from both schools also came to watch us play.
It was a back and forth game until Burke pulled ahead late and went on to a 28-26 victory to end the year with a 10-0 record. The Burke fifth grade girls were also league champs (6-1), but lost to No. 3 seed and eventual champ West in the second round.
Federico praised the Peabody Recreation Department for doing a great job running the league.
"I can tell you first hand they do a terrific job from scorekeepers to referees," said Federico. "Nothing is overlooked, and everything ran smoothly. This was truly a wonderful experience for the boys and something they will remember for years to come.
Team members are Mike Beader, Ed Campbell, Sean Cardello, Nick Federico, Ryan Fiandaca, Eric Higgins, Drew Howard, Derek Jalbert, Joe O'Neill, Bob Rapino, Joe Richard, Chris Ruggiero, Noah Surman, Mike Sabella, and Tyler Wallace.