So throughout this month I’ve received two different articles from readers recounting Wellesley based teams or sports figures which I wanted to share with you. The first comes from Shaun Kelly who wrote an article about Wellesley’s own Ned Martin, former Red Sox announcer and the second comes from Jimmy Lucenta with an article from the Wellesley Townsmen about the 1968 junior high baseball team who finished undefeated.
So I posted a little while back looking for people’s thoughts on whether or not there should be permanent lights at the football field and the results were mainly on the positive side, but now I wanted to add my two cents on this issue. First of all I’ll come right out and say that I would fully support having permanent lights, as I believe strongly given what I have seen at the one night game a year that having permanent lights would be a huge asset to our football program and athletic department in general in terms of the obvious incentive, revenue among other things. Attendance for football every year is at its highest for two games, the night game and the thanksgiving game and adding permanent lights would surely increase that figure for football as well as other sports, who could then hold night games of their own on the field. When I look around the area, in particular the Bay State Conference, the undeniable truth is that we are the only team in the conference now that does not have a permanently lighted football field as the few remaining schools have adopted permanent lights over the past few years (Norwood, Newton North, Dedham). One other argument I will make for the lights is that it would give the students something to do on Friday nights, in lieu of more potentially dangerous behaviors. Now I know the two arguments that are predominantly made against permanent lights is rowdy behavior, and the lights/traffic affecting the neighborhoods surrounding the fields. For the rowdy behavior issue yes there was an issue four years ago where there was excessive drunkiness in the stands, however the school and the athletic department has done a great job clamping down since then and have prevented similar behaviors these last few years, and I believe that having more of these games would curtail this issue as opposed to once a year which may encourage excessive behavior. In terms of lights/traffic affecting the surrounding neighborhoods, I would point to the Reidy Field project which did an effective job at substantially limiting the impact of the lights on any surrounding neighborhoods, and in terms of traffic I see any added traffic being limited to a small area right around the field, and honestly I would think that it wouldn’t be that far off from the usual high school traffic on a daily basis.
One other piece of news that has come across the wire the last day or two is the news that former Raider football standout Thomas Claiborne will be returning to the program as a coach for the middle school football team. Claiborne, an 06 graduate of Wellesley High was a two year starter for the Raiders and went on to play at BC where he was a starting offensive guard his final two years. Claiborne will bring a lot of energy and enthusiasm to the program as well as experience in the Wellesley football ranks.
So today was the championship game of the little league world series in Williamsport. Pennsylvania and any time I watch the game I can’t help but think of the 2012 Wellesley South Little Leaguers who made town history capturing the town’s first ever state championship. The being said in this post, I want to take a look back at how they did it and relive the glory that was that 2012 Williamsport Tournament. The team, coached by Dave Rosenblatt, Matt Stein, and Blake Bentley started out in the District 10 tournament, entering their second year in the district, having won the district title the year before. For the second straight year the South finished first in their pool, and for the second straight year squared off with Wellesley North in the semifinals, knocking them out of the tournament and advancing to play Parkway in the district title game. It was a back and forth affair which ended with South pulling out the victory for their second straight district title. It was then on to the sectionals in Medford where South made easy work of South Boston, host Medford, and Hopkinton in the round robin before meeting Hopkinton again for the sectional title. This one was much closer as South was able to hold on for a 5-2 win propelling themselves for a second year in a row into the state finals, this time in Worcester. The team dropped its first game of that round robin against Acton Boxboro but bounced back with wins over Pittsfield South and Middleboro to earn a berth in the state championship game against that same Acton Boxboro team. This was another back and forth affair which saw the South boys trailing 3-2 entering the bottom of the sixth inning, but then with 2 outs and 2 on John Frates etched his name into Wellesley town lore as he ripped a double to the right field wall scoring both runners and earning Wellesley South the towns first state title. The team then moved on to Bristol, CT for the New England regionals where the team split their 4 round robin games, beating Maine and New Hampshire, while falling to Vermont and Connecticut. The 2-2 record though earned the team in the berth in the semifinals where they took on New Hampshire once again, but unfortunately this time it was not meant to be as South fell 2-0. Despite coming up a little short of the ultimate goal, a trip to Williamsport, this team made memories that will last a lifetime, beating out over 160 other Massachusetts teams to earn the title state champion and being one of the final four teams in all of New England. Below you’ll find the roster for this now infamous team, that captivated an entire community during their magical run.
As first reported by hometownweekly.com Wellesley has hired Tim Broe as their new boys cross country head coach this fall. Broe is a former Olympian, having finished 11th in the 5,000 meters at the 2004 games in Athens. He also was the United States champion in the 5,000 from 2003-2005 and was a two time indoor champion and record holder in the 3,000 meters. Prior to taking the job at Wellesley Broe coached high school cross country for eight years in Michigan.
So as we all know the Needham Rockets have and will always be our Raider’s archrival, this rivalry has withstood and will continue to withstand the test of time. However it got me thinking who is Wellesley’s biggest rival besides the neighboring Rockets. I mean there’s a lot of teams to choose from a variety of different sports, so I wanted to put it out to you the viewer, so leave a comment with your thoughts and I will reveal the results in a later post.
The extremely talented Rebekah Caron, co sports producer at Wellesley Media is at it again. Before I showed you some clips she put together about the boys and girls hockey teams, but now she has released a full length documentary chronicling the 2014-15 girls hockey team’s run to the state finals at TD Garden. Please take some time to view this well done piece which includes interviews with coach George Campbell, and the teams 3 captains Cecily Docktor, Keely Corscadden, and Sarah Goss.
I put the call out a little while ago for some favorite items of Wellesley sports memorabilia from over the years and so far the only item is a Pep Club Bow Tie from 1962. If you want your favorite/memorable item mentioned feel free to comment and take a trip down memory lane.
So the comments/votes have been coming in on the question of whether or not there should be permanent lights at the Hunnewell football field and so far the vote stands 4 yes and 2 no, obviously this continues to be a topic of interest around town and I would love to hear from more of you on your thoughts on this issue.
Despite temperatures in the 80’s and 90’s and humidity more condusive to Florida, Wellesley’s fall teams will begin their preseason practices this week, with football beginning tomorrow and all other sports reporting Thursday. Wellesley Sports Blitz would like to wish all the athletes best of luck in their tryouts and best of luck in their upcoming season. Also another reminder to stay tuned to the blog on a daily basis as we will be bringing you up to date game results and other news items from the 2015 fall season.