SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

July 6, 2013

Jean DePlacido column: Cella Family Foundation donates to Newtown football team

Jean DePlacido
The Salem News

---- — The fourth annual Silvio Cella Family Foundation Golf Tournament will be held on Monday, July 22 at the Ferncroft Country Club in Middleton. Registration starts at 12:30 p.m., with a shotgun start at 1:30. There will be gifts, prizes, and awards along with a BBQ.

Each summer this event is held to raise money for the foundation established in memory of the late Silvio Cella, who was the athletic director and head football coach at Revere High for 49 years. His son Michael, who lives in Peabody and daughter Gina of Lynnfield play key roles in the foundation.

Silvio Cella was a highly respected coach and administrator who was an All-American player at Boston University and a Marine in World War II. For many years, former Peabody High football coach Art Adamopoulos and Cella were gridiron rivals as well as good friends.

The foundation has given close to $40,000 to 12 high school football programs across the state along with a special donation for Cella’s beloved Revere Patriots. The funding is used to purchase uniforms, helmets, needed equipment, renovate locker rooms and increase player safety.

The generosity extended to Connecticut recently. On the six-month anniversary of the shootings at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, the day was marked in a special way. The Cella Family Foundation and the Western Massachusetts High School Football Coaches Association presented a $4,500 check to the Newtown High School football team at the annual spring game on June 14. The donation was the result of high school football programs in the western part of the state, parents groups, and supporters teaming up with the foundation to raise the money.

Scott Raymond, head coach at East Longmeadow High School and president of the coaches association that includes 11 schools, Michael and Gina Cella, players and coaches from several high schools in Massachusetts were on hand to watch the game. The donation was presented to Newtown High School coach Steve George.

“Silvio Cella understood the important role high school football can have, not only for the players, but also for an entire community,” said Michael Cella in making the presentation. “We stand behind the Newtown football program and the entire town of Newtown as they continue to heal.”

Raymond talked about how football teaches people about how to overcome adversity and face challenges. He said he hoped the team and the community would realize the football community in Massachusetts offered support.

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Lisa Albano was one of the best young tennis players in the nation when she played at the Pingree School, and the former Peabody resident’s sons are following in her footsteps.

Albano went on to Cal Berkeley after high school, where she was ranked as the NCAA’s No. 2 player her senior year. A four-time All-American in singles and three times in doubles, she now lives in Andover with husband Michael Fu and sons Connor and Ryan. Albano-Fu is a tennis pro at Cedardale and has been coaching her sons since they were five.

Connor, age 12, is the U12 champ in both singles and doubles while 13-year old Ryan took the 14’s singles title. Both have been playing in national tournaments. Ryan is nationally ranked (25th) as well as first in Massachusetts and New England in his age group, while Connor is 65th nationally, first in Mass. and first in New England.

Both boys excelled at the New England Regional Tennis Tournament ,which was held at UMass Amherst and Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley from June 22-27. They are now ranked No. 1 in their respective age groups in the six-state area. Connor was the top seed and won a three-set battle in the finals, 2-6, 7-5, 6-3 in singles play. Ryan, the No. 2 seed, won his match, 6-0, 6-0. The weather was very hot during the tournament, reaching 94 degrees.

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Abbey D’Agostino of Topsfield is not only the best 5,000 meter collegiate runner in the country, but pretty remarkable in the classrooms at Dartmouth College as well. The junior psychology major had a perfect 4.0 grade point average for the spring semester and cumulative 3.69.

D’Agostino has been named 2013 Capital One Academic All-American Division 1 Women’s Track and Field/Cross Country first team. The team is selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America.

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Jean DePlacido is a part-time writer and columnist for The Salem News. Contact her at jmdeplacido@aol.com.