The Salem News
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Last year’s record: 16-7 (NEC Large champions, lost in Division 1 North first round)
Head coach: Mark Bettencourt (9th season, 130-53)
Captains: Matt McIsaac, Sr., SS/2B; George Tsonis, Sr., 3B; Frank Lowry, Sr., 1B; Steve Leavitt, Sr., MI/OF
Key Returnees: Pat Ruotolo, Sr., P; Brandon Poglione, Sr., C; Andrew McLaughlin, Jr., P; David Apostolitis, Jr., P, Brandon Butcher, Jr., P; Derek Demild, Jr., P; Maynard Wheeler, Sr., OF; Robbie Crovo, Sr., OF; Sean McGrath, So., OF; Matt Correale, So., OF; Matt Gonick, So., IF/OF; Tanner Moquin, So., OF; Ryan Collins, So., IF; Christian Morales, So., OF; Mike Petrosino, So., MI.
Strengths: Frontline pitching. Routolo won eight games, fanned 130 men and had three no-hitters last season. Besides that, he ate up innings, with 76 frames pitched and nine complete games. The Tanners have the most reliable starter in the area to pencil in at least once a week.
Concerns: Defensive experience. Peabody will have new starters at catcher, shortstop and in center field. The candidates are athletic and capable, but replacing those crucial “up the middle” defensive spots at once may not come without growing pains.
Coach’s Outlook: “There’s been a lot of competition in a different kind of preseason. A lot of things haven’t panned out yet because our scrimmages were limited, but we have a lot of good athletes that can play multiple positions and we’ll put out the best lineup we can. We’ll work our tails off and follow our philosophy of discipline, dedication and work ethic.”
Last year’s record: 11-10 (Lost in the Div. 1 first round to North Andover)
Head coach: Butch Melanaphy (7th season)
Captains: Olivia Brothers, Sr., C; Jess Raymond, Sr., CF; Holly Smith, Sr., 3B.
Key Returnees: Shelby Wilson, Soph., P; Alex Romano, Sr., LF; Shannon Pires, Jr., OF/P; Mikayla Wallace, Sr., 1B; Kaylee Brazell, Sr., OF; Katie French, Sr., OF/IF.
Strengths: Returning seven seniors, plus the pitcher-catcher duo of Wilson and Brothers.
Concerns: Melanaphy is looking for girls to step in as starters at shortstop and second base.
Coach’s Outlook: “I think we should be one of the favorites in the NEC North with our returning team. Revere can be a sleeper and Lynn Classical is always at the top of the conference.”
Last year’s record: 8-10
Head coach: Anthony O’Donnell (2nd season)
Captains: Keifer Heckman, Sr. attack; Nick Ouellette, Sr. attack; Andrew Najjar, Sr. defense; Kevin Connolly, Sr. goalie
Key Returnees: Josh Fiore, Soph. middie; Eric Hennessey, Sr. attack; Mike Vadala, Jr. middie; Jeremiah Manfra, Jr. middie; Ryan Wolf, Jr. middie; Ross Deroo, Sr. defense; Reed Foster, Soph. middie.
Strengths: Scoring. The Tanners return their top three scorers, led by Heckman, who led the NEC in scoring in 2012 and had the third-highest single season scoring output in PVMHS history). He started the season 60 points away from becoming the Tanners’ all-time leading scorer.
Concerns: Team defense. O’Donnell lost two defenders to graduation, and used the preseason to find the right pieces to replace them.
Coach’s Outlook: “I think the expectations are high for this team. Keifer and Nick have been here for four years, and Andrew has been a three-year starter — and they’ve never made the state tournament. We were one game of doing so last year, and lost once in double overtime and once in overtime. Making the tournament this year is the expectation; it’s not really a goal.”
Last year’s record: 9-9 (Lost in Division 1 North first round)
Head coach: Lorraine Benoit (16th season)
Captains: Winger Ma, Sr., second singles; Rachael Gillis, Jr., first singles.
Key Returnees: Dany Chhan, Jr., third singles; Anna Grimalyak, Jr., first doubles; Kayla Hodas, Soph., first doubles; Beverly Ejiofor, Sr., Ashley Eddy, Sr.,; Eleni Tetronelis, Soph.
This season will be successful if: The Tanners have good weather and wind at the courts, a huge homecourt advantage. The kids are ready and they’re very dedicated.
Last year’s record: 7-0
Head coach: Fernando Braz (15th season)
Team captains: Thomas Drover, Sr., 400 Hurdles/400/800/Relay; Chris Cennami, Sr., 100/200/Relay; Scotty Myers, Sr., 200/400/Relay; Steve Villani, Sr., 100/200/Long Jump/Relay; James Christopher, Sr., 800/Mile/Two Mile; Tyler O’Shea, Sr., Discus/Shot Put; Kristofer Tite, Sr., Discus/Shot Put; Pat Lendall, Sr., Discus/Shot Put; Chris Therrien, Sr., 200/400/Relay.
Key returnees: All of the captains
Coach’s outlook: “This is a hard working team with energy and focus to be competitive at every opportunity. Our strength is work ethic. Concerns are youth, inexperience, and lack of depth in all disciplines.”
Last year’s record: 7-0
Head coach: Joe Rocha (15th season)
Team captains: Pam Zabala, Sr., Shot Put/Discus; Lauryn Zaimes, Sr., Shot Put/Discus; Alex Butler, Sr., 400/800; Joanne Frangias, Sr., 400/800; Catarina Rocha, Sr., Middle Distance/Distance/Javelin.
Key returnees: Heather MacLean, Sr., Middle Distance; Carrera Dean, Soph., 400 Meter Hurdles; Hayley Dowd, Sr., Sprints; Sabrina Rizzo, Sr., Sprints; Sam Allen, Jr., Distance; Lauren Barrett, Soph., Middle Distance.
Coach’s outlook: “We have some holes to fill, especially in the hurdles events, and the jumps are a little weak, but we have depth.”