Shawsheen Tech's Kasey McFadden competes in the 500-meter freestyle

Shawsheen Tech's Kasey McFadden competes in the 500-meter freestyle during an earlier season home swim meet. (photo by JoeBrownphotos.com).

BILLERICA – The Shaw­sheen Tech Boys Hockey team continued their strong start to the season this past week, with a big win over non-league rival Rockport, downing their former Commonwealth Ath­­letic Conference rivals by a score of 5-1 last Thursday night at the Hal­lenborg Ice Pavilion.

While Rockport is no longer a member of the CAC, as they are now in the Cape Ann League, the two longstanding rivals continue to meet on the ice, as it is a matchup that both schools always look forward to every year. Through the course of their history the vast majority of their games have been close, hard fought battles, making Thursday’s 5-1 win all the more satisfying for the Rams. But Baker also cautions that there are still things for his players to improve on.

“I was happy with the result. They always battle us and circle the games with Shawsheen on their schedules. They always have done that for years,” Shawsheen coach Chuck Baker said. “They are a scrappy team. We played well. Not an entire game though. We had too many let downs. We had a great second period. The kids responded well after the first intermission break.”

The Rams did indeed have a strong second period, and into the third as well, extending their lead to 5-0 before Rockport finally got on the board with a late goal. The Rams offense was powered by the Darcey brothers, with sophomore Chase Darcey leading the way with two goals, while junior Brady Darcey had a goal and an assist.

“They are playing well and working hard,” Baker said. “They are helping the team to get production out of two lines at this time.”

Junior forward Matt DiZoglio of Wilmington added a goal as well, the first varsity goal of his career, as joined a growing list of Rams who are getting onto the varsity score sheet for the first time. Baker was happy to see DiZoglio become the latest addition to the first time goal scorer’s club.

“Matt works hard,” Ba­ker said. “The coaches and team were psyched that he put his first in the back of the net.”

Sophomore defenseman Mike DeRose of Wilming­ton added the Rams other goal, while junior defenseman Kevin Ackerly of Wil­mington, along with senior defenseman Tom Samp­son and senior forward Zack Patterson added one assist each.

The Rams got 18 saves in net rom senior goalie Tom Dalton of Wilmington, as he tries to solidify his spot as the Rams number one goalie

“Tom has been playing well and getting wins,” Baker said. “That is what matters, especially early out of the gates. We have a long way to go.”

BOYS BASKETBALL

As they prepared for the start of the season, Shaw­sheen Boys Basketball coach Joe Gore and his coaching staff decided they weren’t going to take the easy route in their non-league games, in­stead choosing to fill their non-league schedule with some challenging foes in order to better prepare themselves for not only their Commonwealth Ath­letic Conference schedule, but also hopefully for the post season.

Last Thursday night the Rams faced one of those non-league challenges, as they took to the road to take on North Reading of the Middlesex League. The Rams battled the Hor­nets throughout, but ultimately came up a little short, dropping a 54-40 decision to leave them with a 3-2 overall record on the season, while the are 2-0 within the CAC.

Gore knew going in that North Reading would be a tough matchup and the Hornets proved to be as good as advertised. Gore just wishes his team had played up to their potential in this very tough matchup.

“Truthfully, we didn’t play our best game,” Gore said. “North Reading show­­ed that they were a lot stronger than us, but we also struggled to match their intensity. Creating our own offense was tough for us. We did a good job defensively, but we are still struggling to put together our offense.”

If the Rams could get their offense to match their defensive intensity, they could be a very dangerous team, whether it be a CAC or non-league opponent, but unfortunately, they are just not there yet.

“We pride ourselves on the defensive side of the ball, but we have to start to create our own of­fense.” Gore said. “That has to come from trusting each other to make the extra pass. Right now, we are still forcing things a little bit, be it by one dribble to many or forcing a shot, and it is costing us points.”

One player not struggling on offense, or really any part of his game, has been senior point guard and captain Jeremy Perez of Tewksbury. Perez had eight points, seven steals, five assists and five re­bounds in an outstanding overall performance in a losing effort.

“Unless you watch Jere­my play, I don’t think people understand what an impact he has on our team,” Gore said. “With­out him, we would have struggled to score 20 points, that’s how big of an impact he has for us. Not only does he run our offense, but defensively he consistently covers the other team’s best player. He never takes a minute off. His scoring alone doesn’t always reflect everything he does for us.”

Cam Pontes also added ten points for the Rams off the bench, marking the third straight game the junior has come off the bench to score in double digits, including a 19- point, seven rebound ef­fort in a 65-62 Rams win over Minuteman in their first meeting last Tuesday.

“Cam has been a huge boost for us on both sides of the ball,” Gore said. “Offensively and defensively, he has really step­ped up and he is going to be a huge part of any success we have the rest of the season. We are excited to see what he can do the rest of the way.”

The Rams were scheduled to take on Arlington Catholic this Tuesday night at Shawsheen, but the game was postponed. As a result, they will not return to game action until, Fri­day, January 7, when they take on Minuteman in a road contest.

Gore is hoping the extra practice time without a game will benefit his team when they resume their schedule.

“These two weeks are very critical for us a far as getting our offense in­stalled and getting that chemistry going before we head into out league sche­dule,” Gore said. “We want to just keep getting better as a team, and we want to be hitting our stride as we head into that Minuteman game.”

WRESTLING

With a roster full of young and inexperienced wrestlers, there are going to be some ups and downs for the Shawsheen Tech Wrestling team. That was evident this past week, when they suffered a pair of losses in a tri-meet against Lowell and Tyngs­boro/Dracut, losing to Lo­well by a score of 46-33 and to Tyngsboro/Dracut by a margin of 42-36.

“We wrestled well, but those are a couple of very good, very well coached teams, and we are still very young,” Shawsheen coach Doug Pratt said. “We are going to have to battle against these teams.”

The Tyngsboro match came down to the last match of the day, at 106 pounds, where freshman Dante Graziano of Tewks­bury battled hard before getting pinned late in the match. While he is wrest­ling in the 106-pound weight class, Graziano actually weighs just 92 pounds. He has already been off to a fine start this season, and nearly pulled off a great upset against Tyngsboro as well.

“He wrestled tough be­fore he lost. He wrestled hard,” Pratt said. “This was a great experience for him. It is something that will pay off for him down the road, even as early as this week in the Bossi Tournament. And I think it will definitely pay off for him at sectionals at the end of the year.”

The Rams did have some multiple winners on the day, including freshman Brayton Carbone at 113 and 120 pounds, who had a pair of victories by pin as did fellow freshman Sid Tildsley, who had pins in 47 seconds against Lowell at 138 pounds and in 1:26 at 132 pounds against Tyngs­boro/Dracut, while sophomore Caleb Caceres win in 1:17 against Lowell and 2:51 against Tyngs­boro/Dracut at 145 pounds.

“Those guys are young, but they are the nucleus of our team,” Pratt said. “They are picking up wins for us and doing a great job. Sid is undefeated and Caleb and Brayton only have a couple of losses. As long as they keep work­ing and we keep this group together, we are go­ing to be all right.”

Austin Malandain also picked up a pair of wins for the Rams at 195 pounds, winning both of his matches by decision, winning 4-2 over Lowell and 11-9 over Tyngsboro/Dracut.

“Austin started off slow for us this season, but he is coming into his own now,” Pratt said. “He beat a couple of kids, so his confidence is growing. He has faced a tough schedule and wrestled a lot of tough kids, but we expect him to be one of our studs for the rest of this year and into next year.”

Other winners for the Rams against Lowell were Lucien Tremblay at 120 pounds with a pin at 5:49 and Jake Metcalf at 170 pounds with a pin at 170 pounds. Other winners against Tyngsboro/Dra­cut were Ben Gooltz at 160 pounds with a 9-2 decision and Xavier Santiago at 220 pounds with a pin at 37 seconds.

On Monday, the Rams competed in the first day of the George Bossi Lo­well Holiday Tournament and after one day of wrestling, they will have five wrestlers moving on to the second day, with Brayton Carbone at 113 pounds and Sid Tildsley at 132 pounds moving on to the semifinals, while Lu­cien Tremblay, Calen Ca­ceres and Xavier Santiago have will compete in the consolation semifinals.

CO-ED SWIMMING

The Shawsheen Swim team picked up a big win this past week, earning a victory over CAC rival Greater Lowell last Wed­nesday afternoon to im­prove their record on the season to 2-1 overall and 2-0 in the CAC.

Making the Rams victory all the more impressive was that they started the meet facing a ten point deficit due to not having any divers. But once the swimming action got un­derway, the Rams were in control from the start.

“The kids did really well in the water. We started out down 10-0, but by the second race we had tied it at 10-10 and we never looked back,” Shawsheen coach Rick Menard said

The Rams got things started with a nice win in the mixed 200-yard medley relay, when the foursome of seniors Aidan Singh, Kevin Stevens of Wilmington, freshman Eli­ot Hong and sophomore Jared Krueger of Tewks­bury won in a time of 2:09.67.

Later in the day, the Rams would also come away with a win in the mixed 400-yard freestyle relay behind the efforts of juniors David Penney, An­thony Bastianelli and Krueger along with Singh in a time of 4:20.08

The Rams kept things rolling in the first three individual events of the day, with freshman Harri­son Kinsella picking up a win in the mixed 200-yard freestyle in a time of 2:27.43, while senior John Zembeck was second in a time of 2:38.10.

Penney took first place in the mixed 200-yard individual medley in a time of 2:56.05, narrowly edging out senior captain Kasey McFadden of Tewksbury who finished with and identical time, while Singh and Stevens followed up their relay success with a one-two finish in the mixed 50-yard freestyle, with Singh winning in a time of 25.73, while Stevens was right on his tail at 28.64.

Hong and Zembeck continued their strong days in the mixed 100-yard free­style with Hong taking first place in 1:11.40, followed by Zembeck in 1:25.25, while junior Na­than Barnes was first in the mixed 100-yard free­style in a time of 1:02.50, with Kinsella taking second in 1:09.27. Singh and Krueger, meanwhile, took the top two spots in the mixed 500-yard freestyle with Singh finishing in a time of 6:01.09 to earn top honors.

Bastianelli and Barnes took the top two spots in the mixed 100-yard backstroke with Bastianelli finishing in a time of 1:21.04 to narrowly edge out Barnes, who finished in 1:21.54.

Stevens and Krueger meanwhile took the top two spots in the mixed 100-yard breaststroke, with Stevens winning in 1:23.06, while Krueger took second in 1:33.85 and McFad­den took third in 1:36.96.

“We won every individual swimming event and swept six out of ten overall,” Menard said. “Kasey McFadden was huge in our win for the girls and Jared Krueger continues to impress as his strong second place in the 500 got us to the point with the score where we could "take a knee" so to speak.

“It was our second meet against another Vocation­al team and our natural rival so the small crew of kids really stepped up and swam really well. It makes us 2-0 against vocational schools which is what we are striving for in the end!”

The Rams will be back in action on January 7, when they travel to Mystic Valley for a 4:30 pm start.

GIRLS HOCKEY

It has been a rough start to the season for the Shaw­sheen Tech/Bedford Girls Hockey team, as the Rams have battled through CO­VID issues on their roster, as well as a very challenging schedule in losing their first three games by a combined score of 26-5.

Clearly it was not the kind of start that first year coach Kate O’Shea or the Rams wanted, but their past couple of games have offered hope that they may very well be on the verge of turning things around. Last Wednesday the Rams battled a talented New­buryport team to the finish before falling by a score of 4-2 in a road game at Governor’s Academy. Things did not go as well for the Rams on Monday afternoon in a 9-3 loss to Burlington, but they did get two of their goals from first time goal scorers, showing that more and more members of this team are ready to contribute to their success.

The Newburyport game was especially encouraging for the Rams, as they played very well against a Newburyport team that already has some big wins on the season, as well as 1-1 tie with a Beverly/Dan­vers squad that beat Shawsheen 8-2 earlier in the season.

“They looked very strong in warmups and we had seen their record against other teams,” O’Shea said. “So, we talked about what we had to do to win, like making strong passes and converting our chances.

“They were great competition, but our girls played hard. We made strong pas­ses and we played well. Overall, it was really a great effort.”

The Rams got goals from sophomore forward Alexis Fox of Wilmington as well as sophomore de­fenseman Laney Mead. It was the first varsity goal of Fox’s career, and O’Shea felt like it gave her team a big boost.

“That was the first goal of the game, and it was very exciting for us,” O’Shea said. “I think that is the reason why we kept pushing the way we did. It was uplifting for all of us.”

Sophomore Elianna Mun­roe played well in net de­spite the loss. It has of course been a rough start to the season for Munroe, but O’Shea knows her goalie has been put in a tough situation in most games.

“It has been tough to judge how she has done so far,” O’Shea said. “She plays well, but she faces a lot of shots. We definitely need the defense to help clear out in front of the net.”

In the 9-3 loss to Bur­lington on Monday, the Rams got goals from sophomore Jane Stewart as well as freshman Mia Pace, the first varsity goals of each of their careers.

“It’s always great to see kids get their first goal and the other girls on the team love to see that,” O’Shea said. “It helps to motivate the kids going forward. We got a great effort in the third period, but it was too little, too late.

Despite the losses, the Rams have not been discouraged. If anything, they have been working even harder in practice in search of their first win.

“The kids are having fun and that is what we are all about this season,” O’Shea said. “The kids are still working hard together and nobody is getting down on themselves.”

The Rams were back in action on Wednesday at the Janas Ice Arena against Oakmont, with results of the game unavailable as of press time, and they will return to the ice on Jan­uary 5 in a home game back at the Janas against Marblehead.

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