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Jamaica Plain

Boston English field plans move forward

Posted by Zuri Berry, Boston.com Staff October 16, 2012 11:24 AM
The Boston public school community deemed Boston English’s turf field unplayable early last month, and a Boston Parks and Recreation meeting was held on Monday evening to discuss plans to replace it.

The field installation is to start in the spring and finish by late summer in order to be ready in August for fall sports.

The board approved Huntress Associates to replace the field because athletic renovations are its specialty. Owner Chris Huntress attended the meeting and said the full replacement is crucial; the field cannot simply be repaired.

“Most have seen the failures which are beyond repair at this point,” Huntress said. “It gets a lot of use, so I’m not surprised by the shape it’s in.”

The company will replace the soccer, football, and baseball fields by expanding the turf and moving the scoreboard farther out.

Huntress Associates will limit cuts in the turf so renovations aren’t needed every season. He cited the cuts as the main issue with turf fields, and the fewer there are, the better the field will be long-term.

The company has plans to do research to find three quality kinds of artificial turf and narrow it down to one. Huntress said it must be able to withstand Massachusetts weather.

“We live in New England,” he said. “We get cold and we get heat, these products will perform with strong backing.”

Boston Parks and Recreation project manager Cathy Baker-Eclipse stressed that the majority of the renovation is to replace the field with new artificial turf.

While the budget for the renovation looks like a large amount, she said that it will just fit the cost of the new turf.

“We have a 1.5 million dollar budget,” she said, “but when you’re looking at 140,000 square feet, it does go quickly.”

The field was first installed with turf in 2002, and the Parks department expected at least 10 years out of it. The renovation company that completed the project went bankrupt soon after the installation, which Baker-Eclipse cited as the cause for the shape the field now.

Since then, 12 of Boston's public schools’ fields have been renovated.

“We’ve learned a lot since those early days,” Baker-Eclipse said.

She said that Huntress Associates is a “reputable trustworthy and responsible turf vendor,” and is confident that the installation will meet the needs of the Boston public school system.

Community members arrived at the meeting with other concerns.

Neighbor Shirley Grohs, who lives directly next to the field, was in attendance to inquire about maintenance of the field. She described waking up at 6 a.m. on Sundays to hear screaming from the field because there is nothing to absorb the sound.

“It’s too early to tell,” she said when asked if the meeting was helpful. “I’m glad they’re fixing [the field,] it’s a great facility for the kids. It’s when adults use it that it becomes problematic, and the management of it.”

“But I’ll keep showing up,” she said of the remaining meetings.

Grohs wasn’t alone. The majority of the audience came to the meeting to express other concerns.

Most suggested that the field should be locked at night in order to maintain its quality. Others had concern about bathrooms, lighting, electrical plugs, and maintenance of the field.

Baker-Eclipse said her concern with maintenance is that the city does not have staff to lock the field, nor keep up the cleanliness of bathrooms.

She added that lighting is not included in the budget; not much else is other than the turf. Huntress Associates will be running tests on the field this week and will be ready with a final plan for the next meeting Nov. 13.

“Hopefully it just looks a lot better at the end of the 10 years,” Huntress said.

Mary Pavlu covers Boston Public school athletics. She can be reached at Mary.Pavlu@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @MaryPavlu

Week 6: BPS soccer players of the week

Posted by Zuri Berry, Boston.com Staff October 14, 2012 05:05 PM

The stars have only been getting brighter as the city championships are just two weeks away. Here's a look at the players that shined this week.


Marc Thebaud, C.A.S.H.: C.A.S.H. was desperate for a new goalkeeper this season. While Thebaud had always been a midfielder, he stepped up for his team. Coach Ian Glaude said he’s been fantastic and has played a big part in its 1-0 win over Latin Academy last week.

Mendel Moise, O’Bryant: While O’Bryant had a tough week with three losses, this senior defender never gave up. Coach Ian Doreain said that this is his first full year playing soccer and he continues to play well in the back.

Guy Charlot Destin, Dorchester: This week was the best week yet for the senior sweeper and captain. The strong defender was flawless, playing through the entirety of the Bears’ two shutouts against Boston English (7-0) and West Roxbury (6-0.) He also had a goal in the first and an assist in the second, all from the back.

Adilson Alves, Boston International: This junior dominated the field this week in the Lions’ game against West Roxbury. His speed and fancy footwork paved the way for one header and three additional goals, all within 10 minutes.

Mahmoud Hayek, West Roxbury: This goalkeeper never gives up, shown by the Raiders’ match against Boston International this week. The Raiders had many impressive shots on goal and Hayek stopped 16 of them in the 10-2 loss.


Jessica Martinez, Burke: Martinez is Burke’s best forward. While the team has yet to win its first game, she never gives up no matter what the score is. She also had two impressive goals in the match against Charlestown that ended 2-2.

Angelina Machante, Snowden: Coach Wade Wall calls her a star forward who continues to improve with each game. The Cougars lost all three, but Machante scored the only goal of the week against Boston International on Friday, ending 4-1.

Janiel Gordon, Charlestown: Gordon had her best week yet with her first hat trick in the 5-1 win against C.A.S.H. on Tuesday. She also scored on a penalty kick against Burke Thursday which tied the game 1-1.

Coach Conor Treacy called her a key member of the team with excellent natural ability.

“It is easy to forget at times that she is only in the 10th grade,” Treacy said. “She has the potential to become a very talented soccer player. She will continue to be a key player for Charlestown over the next couple of seasons.”

Mirlande Philogene, Dorchester: The senior midfielder was a key player in the Bears’ 3-0 shut out against Burke on Tuesday. She scored two goals within the first 15 minutes of the game.

Mary Pavlu covers Boston Public school athletics. She can be reached at Mary.Pavlu@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @MaryPavlu

Boston International dominates West Roxbury in boys' soccer

Posted by Zuri Berry, Boston.com Staff October 10, 2012 06:19 PM

It initially looked like it could have been anyone’s game on Wednesday in the Boston International-West Roxbury boys' soccer match. Both displayed strong defense during the first 15 minutes, until West Roxbury scored the first goal. A turnaround occurred soon after, and Boston International came out on top, 12-2.

Once Raiders sophomore forward Richter Mirville netted the first goal, the scoring was dominated by the Lions.

Only two minutes after Mirville scored, Boston International junior Jerard Kasemba scored on an impressive shot after a lengthy dribble past defenders.

Soon after, Mirville scored what would be the Raiders' last goal.

Lions junior Adilson Alves then took the field by storm and headed in his first goal. He went on to score three more, all in the last 10 minutes of the first half.

The second half started 5-2, with a chance for West Roxbury to strike back. Yet it seemed to have lost confidence, and had trouble defending Boston International.

“I think fitness is an issue,” said West Roxbury coach Daniel McDonald. “We start well but don’t finish well. When we get behind we start to lose our shape and nobody keeps position anymore.”

Alves had one more goal off an assist by sophomore Aderito Rodriguez.

Kasemba was also a key player with two goals; one from the 20-yard line in the second half. Despite the high score, Kasemba believes his team could have played better.

“We didn’t do as good as usual because of the rain, and the grass made us slip a lot,” he said. “We didn’t pass as much as usual, either.”

When the Lions did pass, the exchanges were fast and concise, which played a big part in the win. Boston International sophomore keeper Eliseu De Pina was also a factor with six saves.

Raiders goalkeeper Mahmoud Hayek made 16 saves, some impressive. Still, he was disappointed and is looking to improve.

“We could play better,” he said. “We need to improve on positioning and more communication.”

Mary Pavlu covers Boston Public school athletics. She can be reached at Mary.Pavlu@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @MaryPavlu

Heather O'Reilly makes appearance at Boston SCORES gala

Posted by Zuri Berry, Boston.com Staff September 28, 2012 10:50 AM


Photo courtesy of America Scores Boston

Heather O'Reilly, who won a gold medal with the US Women's Soccer team at the 2012 London Olympics, showed off her hardware at the 2012 SCORES Celebration in the South End. She is flanked on her left by John Maconga, executive director America SCORES Boston, and Dwayne Simmons, program director for America SCORES Boston.

The South End was abuzz with soccer enthusiasts of all ages to celebrate at the 2012 SCORES Celebration Thursday night with special guest, U.S. women’s national soccer team star Heather O’Reilly. Students, athletes and Boston public school supporters gathered at the high-energy gala at Cyclorama for a night of soccer activities, poetry performances and food from local restaurants.

The faces of Boston public school athletes lit up as they received pointers from O'Reilly in the kid's clinic that kicked off the event. The olympic gold champion enthusiastically assisted each player in shooting and passing drills and coached them in a scrimmage.

“I've been involved for close to seven years," O'Reilly said. "I fell in love with the program and its uniqueness. I was an education major in college so it sort of blended together everything I find important. When I heard America SCORES was [in Boston] I jumped at the opportunity to help.”

O'Reilly also spoke about competing in the London olympics, signed autographs and posed for photos.

O’Reilly, New England Revolution team President Brian Bilello and New England Revolution broadcaster Brad Feldman spoke about their love of America SCORES and the impact it’s making on students.

“It’s a great organization,” Bilello said. “The fact that they’re combining soccer and education is great. It’s made a lot of sense for a long time for the Revs to be involved.”

After the soccer events, Lael Watson, a fifth-grader at Orchard Gardens K-8 School in Roxbury, made a poetry performance.

“My poem ‘I Am’ is about where I’m from and who I am,” Watson said. “I’m nervous, but I have a lot of confidence. I’m really happy I was chosen.”

Coach Mark Salzillo was thrilled and grateful that SCORES invited the Orchard Garden School.

“It’s an amazing opportunity to meet professional soccer players and create the idea of soccer at a bigger level for them, because they’re all beginners,” Salzillo said.

The celebration was provided by America SCORES Boston, a non-profit organization dedicated to help urban youth attain life skills, literacy, and health through soccer.

“America SCORES is a very special organization because it gives kids the platform to believe in themselves,” O’Reilly said. “Keep it up America SCORES because you’re doing fantastic things.”

Mary Pavlu covers Boston Public school athletics. She can be reached at Mary.Pavlu@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @MaryPavlu

Week 3: Three games to watch in BPS soccer

Posted by Zuri Berry, Boston.com Staff September 23, 2012 06:33 PM

For the boys:

East Boston at Malden at 3:45 p.m, Friday.

East Boston just gets stronger by the week. The undefeated Jets have dominated every match this season, most recently shutting out South Boston, 8-0. Freshman keeper Edwin Avelar has only surrendered one goal thus far, to Boston International.

East Boston’s rein may be over on Friday, however, as they are playing outside of the city. Malden also has a strong team with only one loss against Somerville.

West Roxbury vs. Boston English at Ceylon at 3:30 p.m, Monday.

Neither West Roxbury nor Boston English are off to a strong start this season, as both are still in search of their first victory. West Roxbury struggled against CASH in the one game they’ve played so far, losing 10-1.

English has played three matches and at least had three goals against mighty Brighton last week. It looks like English has this one set, but West Roxbury will definitely put up a fight.

Snowden vs. O’Bryant at Madison Park at 3:30 p.m., Thursday.

Snowden has had a weak presence in the league so far, but you wouldn’t know it by the way they played last Friday. The team dominated the usually strong Charlestown, winning the match, 4-0. This was the team’s first win of the season, and it’s likely they’ll keep that momentum going this week.

O’Bryant has also had a successful week, even after playing outside the city. They shut out CASH, 6-0, as well as Revere, 3-0, on Saturday.

Coming out of two equally nice wins, the match on Thursday is sure to be a thriller.

For the girls:

New Mission vs. Brighton at Portsmouth field at 3:30 p.m., Monday.

This will be the best girls game of the week by far. New Mission is this season’s team to watch and Brighton is trying to recover that title.

New Mission is still undefeated while Brighton lost their first game against Latin Academy 6-0. Brighton won both games against South Boston and Snowden and there is no way they’re going down again without a fight.

O’Bryant vs. Dorchester at Franklin Field #2 at 3:30 p.m., Monday.

Both O’Bryant and Dorchester have lost just once thus far, and both teams will do what they can to ensure they come out victorious.

O’Bryant had a stellar week, shutting out CASH, 10-0, and Burke, 4-0. It’s likely that they’ll be using this game against Dorchester to get them ready for Mt. Alverania on Tuesday.

Although the game is slightly in O’Bryant’s favor, Dorchester shouldn’t be counted out. They’re coming from Friday’s thrilling 3-2 win over Boston English and will be sure to provide a high-energy match.

East Boston at Charlestown at 3:30 p.m., Tuesday.
Charlestown is not happy with its tie against South Boston last Wednesday. The team has yet to win a match, but if their first win is against East Boston they are definitely a team to watch.

East Boston lost 7-0 to North Quincy Tuesday but came back victorious against West Roxbury on Friday, winning 7-2. If they come into the game against Charlestown with the spirits of Friday, it’s likely they’ll be the winners.

Mary Pavlu covers Boston Public school athletics. She can be reached at Mary.Pavlu@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @MaryPavlu

Heather O'Reilly to appear at America SCORES Boston event

Posted by Zuri Berry, Boston.com Staff September 16, 2012 04:25 PM

U.S. Women’s National Soccer star and three-time Olympic gold medalist Heather O’Reilly will appear at America SCORES Boston’s “SCORES Celebration event” on Thursday, Sept. 27. The gala event that will feature soccer activities and live poetry performances, will present O’Reilly with an award for her athleticism and support of the program. Guests will also get the opportunity to meet the Olympic champion.

The event will be held from 6-8:30 p.m. at Cyclorama at the Boston Center for the Arts located at 539 Tremont Street.

This past summer, O’Reilly helped the U.S. Women’s team win the gold medal in London. She also competed in 2004 in Athens and 2008 in Beijing. In addition to the US National team, O’Reilly also plays for the Boston Breakers in the WPSL Elite League.

For more information on the event or America SCORES Boston, contact Carl Pett at (617) 553-4709 or cpett@americascores.org.

Mary Pavlu covers Boston Public school athletics. She can be reached at Mary.Pavlu@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @MaryPavlu

Week 1: Players of the Week in BPS soccer

Posted by Zuri Berry, Boston.com Staff September 16, 2012 03:42 PM

The stars made their debut as the Boston public school soccer season got underway.

For the boys

Rossel Cacho, Brighton: The captain and senior forward had two gorgeous assists as well as two goals in Brighton’s 10-0 shut out of Snowden. His intense speed and fancy footwork did not go unnoticed.

Elmar Ventura, East Boston: The senior midfielder is on fire so far with one goal and one assist in the team’s first win against Dorchester, 2-0. He scored again in the Jets’ second win against Boston International, 2-1.

Kevin O’Neill, Latin Academy: While Latin Academy lost 6-0 against Dedham, coach Dennis Allen believes the score does not reflect his players effort. O’Neill, a forward who played multiple positions in the game, is one of them. Even in defeat the sophomore excelled and put a stop to many opposing players.

Stanley Gourge, Snowden: Even though Snowden was dominated by Brighton 10-0 last week, the Quincy Upper keeper helped hold the team together. A newcomer to the sport, he had 11 saves in the game.

And the girls

Keena Nicholas, O’Bryant: The forward is only a freshman but was the star of the show in O’Bryant’s 6-0 shut out of Charlestown. She scored one goal in each half in her varsity debut.

Emma Lama, Brighton: The senior midfielder scored the two goals in the Bengals' first win of the season against West Roxbury, 2-1.

Lyne Justal, CASH:Coach Amy Offret nominated Justal for “pulling the team together” this past week. Due to this, the forward was chosen as team captain.

Ruth Rivas, East Boston:The sophomore forward had two goals in the Jets’ first win, a 4-0 blanking of Madison Park.

Mary Pavlu covers Boston Public school athletics. She can be reached at Mary.Pavlu@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @MaryPavlu

Week 2: Games to watch in BPS soccer

Posted by Zuri Berry, Boston.com Staff September 16, 2012 02:29 PM

Here are the three games to watch in boys’ city soccer this week.

No. 1 -- Brighton vs. Madison Park at Madison Park, Monday, 3:30 p.m.

With two of the strongest teams in the league going head to head, this match may leave viewers on the edge of their seats. Madison Park is determined for a three-peat this season and Brighton is determined to put a stop to that.

Brighton forfeited their first game but dominated Snowden, 10-0, last week, proving to the rest of the league that they’re a team to watch.

No. 2 -- Snowden vs. Dorchester at White Stadium, Wednesday, 3:30 p.m.

After losing to East Boston in their first game, Dorchester’s confidence was lifted when they shut out C.A.S.H. 7-0 last Wednesday.

What looks like an easy win for Dorchester may just be the opposite. While Snowden was dominated by Brighton last Friday, 10-0, coach Joao Barros is determined for his team to make a come back.

No. 3 -- East Boston vs. South Boston at South Boston, Thursday, 3:30 p.m.

East Boston is on fire and has yet to be put out. The Jets beat Dorchester, 2-0, on Monday as well as Boston International, 2-1, on Thursday, proving that they’re a top contender in the league.

Meanwhile, South Boston did not play their first game but won a close match to Boston English, 4-3. It will be interesting to see whether the team will be defeated or put an end the Jets winning streak.

Girls’ action

Here are the three games to watch for girls’ city soccer this week.

No. 1 -- Brighton vs. South Boston at South Boston #2, Tuesday, 3:30 p.m.

It seems the mighty have fallen. Last Tuesday Brighton suffered a devastating loss to Latin Academy, 6-0, in the season opener. However the team rose again on Thursday against West Roxbur,y 2-1, in an attempt to prove that they’re still a team to be reckoned with.

We’ll see whether the usual champions can make a comeback on their third game -- or surrender to Southie.

No. 2 -- Charlestown vs. New Mission at Reservation, Monday, 3:30 p.m.

New Mission is another team that has yet to be defeated. Their first win ended 2-1 in a close match against East Boston last Tuesday. The second was not so close -- they shut out Dorchester, 5-0, last Thursday.

Charlestown suffered a disappointing loss on their season opener to O’Bryant, 6-0, and are looking for vengeance. A win against the so far unstoppable New Mission could make for a complete turnaround for Charlestown.

No. 3 -- East Boston vs. Boston English at Boston English, Monday, 3:30 p.m.

Boston English forfeited the season opener to Madison Park last Monday and lost to Dedham, 6-0, last Friday. The underdogs are looking for a comeback. A win against a team like East Boston will show the league that they’re a team that shouldn’t be counted out.

East Boston is just as determined to win with one loss already under their belt. The team has a better outlook after shutting out Madison Park, 4-0, last Friday.

With both teams fiercely depending on this win, it’s a definite toss up.

Mary Pavlu covers Boston Public school athletics. She can be reached at Mary.Pavlu@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @MaryPavlu

About Boston Public Schools Sports Blog

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Several reporters, editors and correspondents contribute updates, news and features to the BPS Sports Blog:
  • Justin A. Rice -- A metro Detroit native, Rice is a Michigan State University (Go Spartans!) and Northeastern University graduate. Rice lives in the South End with his dog and wife, who unfortunately attended the University of Michigan ... his wife, that is. He curates the BPS Sports Blog and is always looking to write about city athletes with great stories. Have an idea? He can be reached at jrice.globe@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeJustinRice or @BPSspts.
  • Ryan Butler -- A Rhode Island native and avid Boston sports fan, Butler played basketball, baseball and football throughout his time in Barrington Public Schools. Now currently in his middler year at Northeastern University, he joins Boston.com as a correspondent for the site's BPS coverage. Have a story idea? Contact him at butler.globe@gmail.com. Follow him on his Twitter @butler_globe.
Also expect updates from Boston.com High School sports editor Zuri Berry and the Globe staff.