This is the fifth installment of our Shawsheen Tech All-Local Decade Teams. We will conclude the series next week with the football team.
BILLERICA – There have been many successful teams in the fall season over the past decade for Shawsheen Tech, and this week the Town Crier takes a look back at those team’s accomplishments, with the exception of the Rams Football team, which we will take a look back at next week.
But for this week, we will focus on the Rams Boys and Girls Soccer teams, Boys and Girls Cross Country teams as well as the Volleyball, and Golf teams, and more specifically, the Tewksbury and Wilmington athletes who have helped lead them to their success over the past decade.
Over course of the past decade, these teams have all had their share of success, with the Golf and Girls Soccer teams leading the way. The Rams Golf team won their league title in each of the ten years of the decade, while also winning three state vocational titles, while the Girls Soccer team has won five league titles and four vocational crowns.
There have been many other second place finishes, tournament berths and outstanding performances over the past ten years for all of these teams, and many Tewksbury and Wilmington residents have contributed along the way.
As we have stated every week during these selections, there were some tough omissions we had to make along the way when compiling a list of the greatest players of an entire decade. Another tough part of these omissions was limiting our choices to Tewksbury and Wilmington residents, meaning that many talented and deserving athletes from Bedford, Billerica and Burlington were not considered, but in the end, we felt this was the fairest way to best represent our local athletes. As a reminder, each of the selections below have been made solely by this reporter after covering each of these teams for the past ten years.
One of the most successful teams in all of Shawsheen sports over the first half of the decade, the Rams won Commonwealth Athletic Conference (CAC) titles every year from 2010-2014, going undefeated in the league in each of those seasons. They also won the state vocational championship in each of those years with the exception of 2013.
While not really relevant as far as this decade goes, it is worth mentioning that the Rams actually won six league titles a row starting in 2008, and were undefeated in the CAC from 2008 to the early part of the 2015 season, with a 92-game (88-0-4) unbeaten stretch over those years.
The Rams qualified for the MIAA state tournament every year from 2010-2016 under the direction of coach Doug Michaud, with their only tournament win coming in 2011, when they picked up a first round win over Winthrop as part of a 19-2 campaign.
Times have gotten a little tougher for the Rams over the second half of the decade, as they missed the tournament two years in a row in 2017 and 2018, but they returned to post season play in 2019 with an 8-6-3 record.
Over the course of the decade, the Rams have posted an overall record of 114-64-15 under the direction of Michaud, who picked up his 100th career win back in 2011. Heading into his 14th season with the Rams, Michaud is rapidly approaching his 200th, with 191 career wins as the Rams prepare (hopefully) for the 2020 season.
Goalie: Janina Kennedy (Tewksbury) - Kennedy was a four-year starter for the Rams, winning three league titles and twice being named to the CAC All-Star team. She was a Lowell Sun Second Team selection in her sophomore year of 2013 when she had 12 shutouts. She moved out of the net midway through her senior year and became a very effective defender.
Defense: Jackie Farraher (Tewksbury) - A CAC All-Star in her senior year of 2014, Jackie was a four-year member of the Rams varsity squad, and a four-time CAC champion. She used her tremendous speed to track down opponents. Also a member of the All-Decade Girls Lacrosse team.
Defense: Michelle Farraher (Tewksbury) - Like Jackie, Michelle is also a member of the All-Decade Girls Lacrosse team. A four-year starter, she was part of three league titles ('12-'14) and was the leader of a strong defensive core, particularly during her senior year of 2015, when because of her great speed she was used as a sweeper.
Defense: Darien Lavino (Tewksbury) - A two-time CAC All-Star. Lavino was a four-year member of the Rams varsity squad and a four-time league champion, along with being a three-time state vocational champ. She assisted on the game winning goal in overtime against Greater Lowell in the first round of the 2012 vocational tournament.
Midfielder: Nicole Malfa (Tewksbury) - A two-time CAC All-Star, Malfa was also a Lowell Sun Second Team selection in her senior year of 2015. The versatile three-time CAC champion could play either center or outside mid.
Midfielder: Rachel McLaren (Wilmington) - A two-time CAC All-Star and a four-time CAC and vocational champion, McLaren is also a member of the All-Decade Lacrosse and Hockey teams. Among her many career highlights were a goal in the league title clinching win over Northeast in 2013 and a big goal to start the comeback win over Greater Lowell in the 2012 vocational tournament.
Midfielder: Arianna Medeiros (Tewksbury) - A three-time CAC All-Star, Medeiros was the league MVP and a Lowell Sun First Team All-Star in her senior year of 2012 when she scored 30 goals and added ten assists. She was even better in the post season, scoring the game winning goal in overtime to beat Greater Lowell in the first round of the state vocational tournament, and then scoring four goals during a 6-0 rout of Diman Voke in the finals. A three-year starter, she finished her career with 96 points. She is also a member of the Rams All-Decade Basketball and Lacrosse teams.
Midfielder: Lynne Snook (Tewksbury) - Another three-time CAC All-Star, Snook was also a Lowell Sun First team All-Star in her senior year of 2015 when she led the Rams to the state tournament with a team high 20 points. Despite her offensive prowess, she was also versatile enough to move back and play defense late that season, playing a key role in helping the Rams clinch that tournament berth.
Forward: Kristen Carroll (Tewksbury) - Carroll, who is also a member of the Rams All-Decade Track team, made a habit of stepping up in big games for the Rams, scoring a goal in their CAC title clinching win over PMA in 2012. Even more importantly, she scored the game winning goal with just 1:06 left to give the Rams a 2-1 win over Diman Voke in the 2011 state vocational championship game. A three-time CAC All-Star, she was also a Lowell Sun Second team selection in her senior year of 2012.
Forward: Angie Bankowski (Tewksbury) - A captain in her senior year of 2017, the versatile Bankowski also saw time at midfielder for the Rams. A CAC All-Star that season, she scored several big goals throughout her career, particularly late in the 2016 season when she helped the Rams clinch a playoff berth with a goal in a 2-2 tie with Greater Lowell and two tallies the game before that in a win over Whittier.
Forward: Brittany Malfa (Tewksbury) - A captain along with Bankowski in her senior year, the duo combined to give the Rams a formidable scoring punch. A CAC All-Star in her senior year of 2017, she received Lowell Sun Honorable Mention honors twice. Like Bankowski, she also stepped up big time late in the 2016 season, with a huge goal in the 2-2 tie with Greater Lowell as well as a goal in their previous game against Whittier.
The Shawsheen Boys Soccer team has not had the success of their female counterparts in terms of league or vocational titles, but they have been a model of consistency over the past ten years, producing winning records nearly every season.
After narrowly missing out on the post season in 2010 with a 7-8-3 record, the Rams qualified for the state tournament in seven of the next nine seasons, and posted an 84-66-31 overall record for the decade, including an 0-7 mark in state tournament play.
That includes a 34-25-8 mark under the direction of former coach Dick Barriss, who retired after the 2013 season with 142 career wins, and a 50-41-23 mark under Tom Severo, who took over for Barriss in 2014 after a 30-plus year career coaching the Billerica High Girls Soccer team.
After struggling to a 4-10-4 record in Severo's first season, the Rams have qualified for the state tournament in four of the past five years, including 2019, when they were 11-4-4.
ALL DECADE TEAM:
Goalie: Mike Reppucci (Tewksbury) - A three-year starter for the Rams and a two-time CAC All-Star, Reppucci was also a Lowell Sun First Team All-Star in his senior season of 2018 when he posted seven shutouts and a 1.13 Goals Against Average. He also moved out of the net and provided a goal and four assists, thanks to his booming kicks, leading the Rams to a surprising tournament berth that season.
Goalie/Defense: James Gibb (Wilmington) - Gibb was a three-year member of the varsity squad, and split time between defense and goalie, but it was in net where he made his presence felt the most. A Lowell Sun Second team All-Star in his senior season of 2013, his best game came late in the season when he made an incredible 18 saves to secure a 1-1 tie against perennial CAC powerhouse Chelsea, clinching a state tournament berth for the Rams.
Defense: Billy Eagan (Tewksbury) - Eagan was a three-year starter and a two-time CAC All-Star for the Rams. In his senior season of 2017, he was named a Lowell Sun First Team All-Star after a season where he played every minute of every game, always covering the opponent’s best forward. The Team MVP that season, Eagan scored the game-tying goal in a 2-2 tie Essex Tech that put the Rams into the state tournament.
Defense: Jon Fitzpatrick (Wilmington) - A CAC All-Star and a Lowell Sun Honorable Mention in his senior year of 2013 when he was a team captain, Fitzpatrick was a three-year member of the varsity squad and a two-year starter.
Defense: Jake Snook (Tewksbury) – A two-time CAC All-Star, Snook was a rock solid defender for the Rams, especially during his senior season of 2012 when the Rams had lost several key defenders to graduation, but he helped lead the team to an improbable playoff berth.
Midfielder: Mike Biondo (Wilmington) – Biondo was a CAC All-Star in his senior season of 2012, a season in which he had eight assists for the Rams causing him to miss the last few games of the season with a broken bone in his foot. Nobody could ever question his toughness. In the game in which he was injured, unaware of the extent of his injury, he played through the pain and assisted on the game winning goal with 3:00 left in a 2-1 Rams victory.
Midfielder: Scott Callahan (Tewksbury) - Callahan was a four-year member of the Rams squad and a two-time CAC All-Star. He was also selected as a Lowell Sun First Team All-Star in his senior year of 2015, when he helped lead the Rams turnaround from a four win team the year before to 14 wins that season.
A team captain that year, he had five goals and 11 assists on the season, and was named the Team MVP.
Midfielder: Christian Lucchesi (Tewksbury) – A Lowell Sun Second Team and CAC All-Star in his senior season of 2015, he scored the game tying goal as part of a comeback win over Greater Lawrence in the Rams season finale. Also a member of the Rams All-Decade Track team.
Midfielder: Shawn Marshall (Wilmington) – A two-time CAC All-Star, Marshall was a team captain for the Rams in his senior season of 2017. Helped lead the Rams to the state tournament that season, playing great in the second half of the season as the team posted a 5-1-2 record over their final eight games to overcome a slow start.
Forward: Jared Rizzo (Tewksbury) – Also a member of the Rams All-Decade Basketball team, Rizzo’s best sport was probably soccer, where he led the Rams in scoring in his senior year of 2018 and was named both a Lowell Sun Second team and CAC All-Star.
Rizzo scored the only goal of the game in a late season 1-0 win over Lynn Tech, to hand the Tigers their only home loss of the season and help propel the Rams into the state tournament.
Forward: Andy Sutton (Wilmington) – A three-year starter for the Rams, Sutton was a tri-captain in his senior year of 2013. He helped lead the Rams to three straight tournament berths, and provided tremendous leadership for the Rams during Barriss’ last season with the team, ensuring that the long-time coach would advance to the playoffs.
Forward: Alex Terk (Wilmington) – A three-year varsity player and a two-year starter, Terk could do it all for the Rams, playing defense, midfield and forward during his career. He had a hat trick in late season 6-0 win over North Shore in his senior year of 2011 to help team’s surge towards a state tournament berth.
The Shawsheen Volleyball team is another program that experienced a great deal of success over the first half the decade. Over a seven year stretch from 2010-2016, the Rams made six state tournament appearances under the direction of former head coach Chet Flynn, qualifying for post season in every year except 2014, and compiling a record of 102-43, including a 3-6 mark in the MIAA Tournament.
Despite some great seasons in the CAC, the Rams were never able to capture a league title during that great run, finishing second four times and third once.
Flynn retired after the 2016 season, wrapping up a 28-year career with the Rams with what is believed to be over 300 wins.
Flynn’s former assistant coach and UMass Lowell Volleyball star Anne DeMarco took over for Flynn in 2017, and guided the Rams to a 19-41 record during her three years with the team, narrowly missing out on a tournament berth in 2018 when the team went 9-11.
ALL DECADE TEAM:
Danielle Cacciola (Tewksbury) - Cacciola, who is also a member of the Rams All-Decade Softball team, was a team captain and a CAC All-Star in 2013. Cacciola was a three-year starter and four-year member of the of the varsity squad. Softball was clearly her number one sport, but she used her great athleticism to make several big plays on the volleyball court as well.
Taylor Simas (Tewksbury) – Simas was another four-year member and three-year starter for the Rams during a very successful run for team. In her senior year of 2012, the Rams went 18-4, won a first round state tournament game and advanced to the vocational finals. One of the Rams most consistent players, Simas was one of the top assist leaders throughout her career doing a great job setting up the offense. Also a member of the Rams All-Decade Tennis team.
Katie Welch (Tewksbury) – Probably the top Rams player of the decade, Welch was a three-time CAC All-Star and was a Lowell Sun First Team All-Star in 2016, after being selected to the second team in 2015. During that senior season of 2016, Welch averaged 18 assists per match. She was also the Rams No. 1 server, averaging seven aces per match and she only served eight balls out all season. Welch was also a member of the Rams All-Decade Softball team.
Victoria Basler (Tewksbury) - An outside hitter, Basler was a two-year starter for the Rams. She helped lead the Rams to a 16-6 overall record and a state tournament win over Mystic Valley in her senior year of 2016. Basler had a big match in the Rams tournament clinching win over Chelsea with seven aces and six kills. She is also a member of the Rams All-Decade Softball team.
Kiley Barrett (Tewksbury) – Barrett was a three-year starter for the Rams and a team captain in her senior season of 2016 when she led the team to a 16-6 record and a first round state tournament win. She played well down the stretch that season, with seven digs and two kills in a win over Greater Lowell and 12 kills to go along with three aces against St. Joe’s.
Stephanie Champoux (Tewksbury) – Champoux was a team captain and a CAC All-Star in 2012. She was tremendous all season, but saved one of her best performances for the post season, when she had nine service points and 11 kills in the Rams first round state tournament win over PMA.
Allyson Trayah (Tewksbury) – Only her 2010 senior season qualifies for this decade, but Trayah made the most of that season, earning CAC All-Star honors as well as being named to the Lowell Sun Second team. A captain in her senior year with the Rams, the three-year starter took to the leadership role right from the start, leading by example with her tremendous work ethic. Trayah was also a captain for both the Rams Softball and Basketball teams, including a three-year captain with the basketball team.
Jess Vitale (Tewksbury) – A team captain in her senior year of 2013, Vitale missed part of that season due to injury, but she came back for the stretch run to help lead the Rams to the tournament. A three-year starter for the Rams, she was also outstanding in her junior year, including scoring the match winning point in the Rams state tournament win over PMA.
Emily Knoops (Tewksbury) – Knoops, who is also a member of the Rams All-Decade Softball team, was a CAC All-Star in 2013 and a three-year starter for the Rams. Had a pair of outstanding performances in two late season wins over Nashoba Tech late that season to help the Rams secure a tournament berth, with 11 kills in each match.
The start of the decade started off really well for the Shawsheen Boys Cross-Country team as the Rams were crowned the champions of the CAC League Championship Meets in both 2010 and '11, while in those same two years finished second and third at the State Voc Meets. That success carried on later in the decade as the team posted a 9-1 overall record in 2015, then was second at the CAC Meet in 2016 and second at the State Voc Meet in 2017. Throughout all of that success, the program enjoyed individual success as well, especially from a handful of local athletes from Tewksbury and Wilmington who comprise our All-Decade team.
Dan Boudreau (Tewksbury) – Very consistent at his craft, Boudreau was a big part of the team's success in the early goings of the decade. In 2010, he finished fourth at the CAC Meet with a 17:58 time before taking tenth at the State Voc Meet and the following year he was sixth and 23rd at the same two meets.
Anthony Federico (Wilmington) – Another member of the successful '11 and '12 teams, Federico's top performance came at the 2011 State Voc Meet where he was the team's No. 1 finisher coming in 13th at 18:17, which came after being the third finisher and seventh overall the week before at the CAC Meet.
Marty Glynn (Tewksbury) - In 2012, Glynn emerged onto the scene and was the team's No. 4 runner at the post-season meets taking 15th and 25th overall, and then he bumped up to the No. 2 spot in 2013, which included finishing 9th at the CAC Championship Meet with a time of 18:34.
Matt Mann (Wilmington) – For two years that counts for this distinction, he was the program's No. 1 runner and he excelled in that role. In 2010, he was third at the CAC Meet, running at a 17:51 clip, and seventh at the State Voc Meet and that came as a sophomore. In 2011, he was fifth and 21st overall in those same two meets.
Richard Silk (Tewksbury) – During the 2011 season, he served as a captain on the team that finished first at the CAC Meet and third at the State Voc Meets. He placed 11th and 27th, respectively with times of 19:43 and 19:13.
Ryan Tirabissi (Tewksbury) – When it comes to cross-country, the key to success is running as a pack, and Tirabissi was an important part of the team's pack during the 2010 and '11 seasons. In 2010, he was eighth at the CAC meet and 37th at the State Voc Meet and then followed that up by taking 9th and 20th at the same two meets in 2011.
Throughout the entire decade, minus maybe one or two meets, the Shawsheen Tech girls' cross-country team was extremely consistent in its place finishes at both the CAC and State Voc Championship Meets. We are missing one year of results, so not counting 2015, the Rams finished in the top four of the CAC Meets eight times and also were in the top four at the State Voc Meets four times.
And much like their counterparts on the boys side, the girls also had both team and individual success, including the local runners from Tewksbury and Wilmington.
Megan Lynch (Tewksbury) – Some of her top highlights came with an 11th place finish in the 2012 State Voc Meet with a 22:46 time as well as a 14th place finish at the CAC Meet in 2013 with a time of 23:08.
Taylor Lynch (Tewksbury) – A solid, consistent force in the line-up in both the 2011 and '12 seasons, Lynch finished 8th and 17th at the CAC and Voc Championship Meets in 2011, and then was 13th and 15th in the same two meets the following year.
Kathleen Silk (Tewksbury) – Silk enjoyed a fantastic career where she was up in the forefront of many meets for a three-year stretch. She was the team's No. 1 runner from 2011-'13, including taking fourth (23:57), 11th (23:10) and 13th (23:07) at the CAC Meets, while also enjoying a 13th and 14th overall finishes at the State Voc Meets.
Jessica Stevens (Wilmington) – Strangely she is the only Wilmington resident to make the team, thus that makes her the best Wilmington runner at Shawsheen for the past ten years. She was a steady performer during the 2018 and '19 seasons, with her top highlight coming by taking 15th at the State Voc Meet in '18 with a time of 24:58.
Alesha Talbot (Tewksbury) – Making her second appearance on an All-Decade team following lacrosse, Talbot excelled from the 2014-2017 seasons for the Rams. In 2014, she was 24th at the CAC Meet and two years later she improved to take 11th and then was 8th in '17 with a time of 23:15.
Ivana Wisky (Tewksbury) – The Town Crier featured Wisky during her dominating senior year, as the team's No. 1 runner emerged by taking second at the CAC Championship Meet and third at the State Voc Meet with respective times of 22:59 and 22:44.
Rarely does any team in any sport dominate a decade (or longer) the way the Shawsheen Tech Golf team has over the past ten (actually 15) years. From 2010-2019, the Rams won the CAC championship every season, while also taking home three state vocational titles, taking home the state crown in 2010, 2015 and 2016, while also finishing second in the vocational tournament on three other occasions.
Overall, the Rams have actually won 15 consecutive league titles, dating back to 2005, but for purposes of just this decade, their ten league titles have brought them an overall league record of 96-6-4, all under the direction of head coach Tom Struthers. The Rams started the decade playing in the Colonial Athletic League where they won four straight titles from 2010-2013, posting a 46-3-2 record. In 2014 they moved back to Commonwealth Athletic Conference and have gone 50-3-2 since in the league, with three undefeated league seasons along the way, including an 11-0 mark last season.
Overall, for the past decade, including non-league matches, the Rams have posted a 115-44-4 record.
ALL DECADE TEAM
Ryan Donnell (Wilmington) – A Lowell Sun Second team All-Star selection in his senior year. Donnell was a walk on at the start of that season, but by the end of the season, he had improved enough to be one of the Rams representatives at the CAC Tournament at Hillview Country Club, firing a score of 80 to lead the Rams to the tournament title. Also shot an 81 at the state vocational tournament to lead the Rams that tournament title. Also a member of the Rams All-Decade Basketball team.
Steven Ferreira (Tewksbury) - Ferreira was the medalist in five of Shawsheen’s matches in his senior, helping the Rams to the straight CAC championship. A team captain, Ferreira had an average score of 39 in 2014, and was a three-time CAC All-Star selection.
Ferreira shot a 75 at the CAC league tournament at Hillview Golf Course, good enough to tie for the low score of the tournament. He then went on to shoot an 80 at the Mass Vocational tournament at Gardner.
Nick Maffeo (Wilmington) - Maffeo was a CAC All-Star and a Lowell Sun Honorable Mention selection in his senior year of 2012, and was a three-year member of the varsity squad. Shot an 84 at the Colonial Athletic League Meet that season at the challenging Gardner Golf Course, the second lowest score for the Rams on the day, leading them to the league title.
Brady McFadden (Tewksbury) – McFadden was a team captain in his senior year for the Rams and was part of back to back undefeated CAC champions in his junior and senior year, as the Rams went 23-0 during those two league seasons.
McFadden played in either the number one or two position throughout his senior year, and was also a key member of the championship team in 2018, firing a 43 in the league title clinching meet against Essex at Reedy Meadows.
Sean Murphy (Tewksbury) – Murphy still has one year remaining with the Rams, but he has already made quite a mark on the program, shooting a team low 81 for the Rams in the state vocational tournament last season to lead the team to a second place finish. Murphy has been among the top three Rams golfers ever since his sophomore season when he played in the number three slot and averaged a 41 for the season.
Stephen O’Connor (Wilmington) - Already a three-year member of the Rams varsity squad, O’Connor averaged a 44 during his sophomore year of 2018 and then averaging a 41 in his junior year, including firing a 37 as part of a big late season win over Nashoba to help lead the Rams to the CAC title.
Connor Preble (Tewksbury) – The younger of the two Preble brothers also still has one season left in his career, but he has also already made some history for the Rams. As just a sophomore in 2018, Preble fired a 36, earning medalist honors while leading the Rams to a CAC title clinching win over Essex Tech, one of several times in his sophomore year that he earned medalist honors.
He returned for an even better season in his junior year this past season, leasing the Rams to another undefeated league record.
Kyle Preble (Tewksbury) – Preble capped off an outstanding career for the Rams by shooting a team low 79 to lead his team to the CAC Tournament title at Hillview Golf Course in his senior year. A four-year member of the varsity squad, Preble worked himself up from being a part-time player to being part of two state vocational championships and playing at or near the top of the Rams lineup as a senior.