It’s time for playoff soccer here in Massachusetts, and below is the pairing for the upcoming Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) playoffs for both the boys and girls soccer teams that will begin later this week.
We wish all teams participating in this year’s MIAA soccer tournaments best of luck!
Despite trailing for a majority of the opening quarter, St. Mary’s of Lynn rallied to net back-to-back baskets to end the first session with a 17-15 lead, which they never relinquished, as the Spartans defeated Cathedral High School, 70-64 in the MIAA Div. 4 eastern finals.
“These guys did everything you asked them to, [and] we knew that this Cathedral team was going to comeback,” said St. Mary’s head coach Kevin Moran.
“Our school’s doing really well right now. Hockey teams, girls basketball team, [so] we just wanted to make our mark in the school and make our school proud,” said St. Mary’s junior Randolf Thurman.
Cathedral mounted a 12-2 comeback late in the fourth quarter, but various free throws helped St. Mary’s preserve their first quarter lead, as well as the victory, too.
Senior George Merry paced Danvers with 22 points, while junior Nick Bates added 17 points, as the Falcons flew past Wareham in the semi-final match, and punched their ticket to the state championship on Saturday, Mar. 17.
Danvers held Wareham to nine points in the first frame, but the Vikings responded in the third quarter with 36 unanswered points. However, their comeback wasn’t enough as the Falcons preserved their lead and outscored the Vikings in the final session, 14-9.
Senior Decorise James and sophomore Malik James each turned in 11 points, while junior Theo Oribharbor added 10 points, as Brighton defeated Stoughton, and clinched a spot in the Div. II state championship.
Both teams entered their dressing rooms with the score locked at 26-26, but once the second half started, Brighton registered nine points in the third and 18 points in the fourth, which secured the victory.
Legendary Oakland Raiders owner and general manager Al Davis passed away on Saturday at the age of 82.
Davis was one of the last remaining links between the present day game of football and its pre-merger predecessor days.
A former local native from Brockton, Massachusetts, he is only person in the game to serve as head coach, general manager, owner, and commissioner capacities over his tenure.
Davis, who spent most of his lifetime with the Raider franchise, became general manager and head coach of the organization in 1962. At the time, he was the youngest person in professional football history to hold the position. He is credited with introducing the “vertical offense” to the Raider organization, a style of play developed by legendary Charger head coach Sid Gillman. As a variation, it used passing as a primary form of attack, which was something unseen in the professional ranks at the time.
After being named AFL coach of the year in 1963, as well as coaching the Raiders through 1966, Davis was named commissioner of the American Football League in 1966. As head of the league, the AFL began unprecedented attacks on the National Football league. The attacks, coupled with the AFL style of play, allowed the league to make major headway against the incumbent power of the NFL. Davis, who wanted to overtake the NFL and defeat it as the major football league, would never see that dream through to fruition when fellow AFL owners negotiated a merger with the NFL. Davis was vehemently opposed to the merger, and his lingering disdain for the NFL would be seen in countless votes and seminal moments throughout the rest of his life.
Al Davis returned to the Raiders following the merger announcement as one of three general partners. He shrewdly negotiated a ruthless coup of the Raiders until he became the sole owner in 1972. Before this time, the Raiders qualified as AFL champions for Super Bowl II, but they lost to the Vince Lombardi-led Green Bay Packers, 33-14.
Yet, once Davis became sole owner and controlling partner, the Raiders became one of the league’s premier franchises – winning three Super Bowls in Super Bowls XI, XV, and XVIII along with 15 playoff appearances too.
Also, despite their success on the field, the Oakland Raiders players found themselves constantly at the center of controversy and were unable to secure a new stadium in Oakland, which forced Davis to move the team to Los Angeles to play in the LA Coliseum. After an attempt to secure a new stadium in the greater Los Angeles area, one with luxury boxes that were becoming the major moneymakers for franchises in the NFL, he would move his team back to Oakland.
The moves left a legal rubble field in his wake. On both occasions, Davis was the plaintiff in a lawsuit against the NFL, where he claimed the league was trying to force him to do what they wanted him to instead of letting him control his team how he wanted to.
Al Davis also caused a major stir during a federal anti-trust lawsuit against the NFL brought by the United States Football League. As a witness for the USFL, he was the only owner to break from the pack, siding with the rival league in its ill-fated lawsuit.
But Al Davis’ greatest legacy will be the success and tradition of the Raider franchise. His attitude as being the league’s greatest “renegade” shined on the field, where the Raider franchise became known for its physical style and fierce competitive edge. The Raiders themselves were renegades, castoffs from other teams that brought a swagger and attitude never before seen in football. They didn’t so much beat teams as they did beat them up, and the gang atmosphere on the field was reflected in its sometimes-mysterious owner.
Al Davis will best be known for his two mantras – “Commitment to Excellence” and “Just Win, Baby.” Both terms, trademarked by the Raider franchise are the building blocks of the Oakland/Los Angeles legacy, and it’s an attitude that’s taken on by players who wore the Silver and Black. In fact, the colors, which were dictated by Davis were intended to insinuate that his team could go out and win at any cost. He was the perfect icon for the perfect logo, in a city hardened like its team, as well as a pioneer, he remained defiant to the end, plowing through head coaches in the attempt to find one that could do what hasn’t happened in over 20 years – bring a Super Bowl championship back to the Raiders.
One of these days, the Raiders will win another championship, and the Lombardi Trophy will be handed to someone wearing Silver and Black. In the memory of Al Davis, the commissioner should be mortified to have to hand it to him, and a team that wasn’t so much a football squad, but instead a gang that bullied and sullied their way to a championship. That’s how Al would’ve wanted it, a renegade pioneer that can never be replicated by anybody in not just football, but also all of sports.
BROCKTON, MA – The Brockton Rox made headlines this past offseason, as they hired former Boston Red Sox first basemen, Bill Buckner. Here is our interview with the former Sox slugger.
How does it feel to be back in the Boston area?
“Well, I’d like to see the sun come out a little bit. It’s been real difficult to workout and evaluate players. We have such a short time to get ready for the season and we haven’t been able to get on the field for a few days, so [we’re] making do, working out inside, working out on AstroTurf, just whatever we can to get ready.”
Who are some of the key veterans, players and new faces that fans will want to know before Opening Day?
“The centerfielder [Chris Valencia], first basemen [Melvin Falu], right fielder [Keith Brachold], shortstop [Dominic Ramos], guys that really contributed last year, catcher [Chris Grossman], Freddy [Flores] and Mike Smith, pitchers that had good years last years, so [I’m] counting on what they did last year and then some other guys are going to have to step up.”
The Brockton Rox lost to the Pittsfield Colonials during the first round of the 2010 CanAm League playoffs last season, will that be on the minds of all your players once the season begins?
“Well, first thing is we’ve got to get [to the] playoffs, [but], I’m just focused on what’s happening now and what’s going [to] happen Saturday, [we’ll] play an exhibition game and try to get the team together and the try to win some ballgames and get to the playoffs and go from there.”
What’s so intriguing about Minor League Baseball?
“It’s just the fans atmosphere at the ballpark, the players [are] here, they’re having fun and they’re not making a lot of money, they’re just trying to get to the next level, so it’s a lot of good things about it. They’re not spoiled, they’re just here because they love baseball.”
What was it like when you were named the Brockton Rox manager?
“It was a little strange, but it’s all good. The people here have been great. [Brockton] is a great community and the people in the front office here have been great and they’re into it [and] so am I.”
What does it mean to be a member of the Brockton Rox organization?
“I’m going to do everything I can to make them a successful organization. Minor League baseball, Independent baseball is very competitive. It’s a daily grind and getting people out to the ballpark, that’s the bottom line, we’ve got to have people at the park. [Brockton fans] like to see a good product [and] we’re going to try and put a good product out there [every night].”
BROCKTON, MA – Last year, the Brockton Rox saw a promising season end during the first round of the CanAm League playoffs, as the Pittsfield Colonials beat them in a best of five-game series, three games to one.
“Well, I don’t think I ever get over a loss,” Brockton Rox CEO Chris Carminucci said. “I’m still getting over that butt-kicking last year.”
Yet, last September is in their rearview mirror because a brand new CanAm League season is right around the corner and yes, the Rox are ready to win.
“We’ve made some improvements, we’ve [improved] our bullpen and we think we’re ready to go, so all we can do is go out their and play,” Carminucci said.
“Right now, we want to win right away,” Rox pitcher Mike Smith said. “We have a great core [of players], we got a lot of new faces that are going to help and our manager and hitting coach are going to be great assets to us.”
The Rox have indeed made a few changes to their roster, but one of their biggest acquisitions this past off-season was hiring former Boston Red Sox first basemen, Bill Buckner, who certainly is excited to begin his stint as Brockton’s manager.
“I’m going to do everything I can to make them a successful organization,” Buckner said. “Minor League baseball, Independent baseball is very competitive. It’s a daily grind and getting people out to the ballpark, that’s the bottom line, we’ve got to have people at the park. [Brockton fans] like to see a good product [and] we’re going to try and put a good product out there [every night].”
Brockton’s season begins on Thursday May 26, at Campanelli Stadium, as the Rox host the Worcester Tornadoes at 7:05pm.
“Long and short, our goal is to win this whole thing, our goal is to draw a lot of fans and our goal is to make sure this is a great season and the only way it’s going to be a great season if we go all the way and last year, we thought we had the team to do it [but] the better team won.”