Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category

Spring Sports 2015

Posted: June 26, 2015 in School, Sports

Building on the skills he’d learned in last year’s debut season, Jake was a regular starter on the varsity lacrosse team this year.

Playing as a defensive midfielder, he was credited with many stops and steals.

He’d also put his speed to work after obtaining the ball to deliver it to the attack.

Senor night honored the ten soon-to-graduate seniors that will be greatly missed by next year’s team. Shawn and John were certainly proud parents!

The team punched their ticket to the 2015 MIAA Boys Lacrosse North Division 3 tournament but, after a blow out win in the first round, came up against the #1 seeded Ipswich, and couldn’t hang. We were still so very proud of the team and of Jake’s growth as a player in his short two-year career! He went from clueless ot the “#1 defensive midfielder” on his team in the words of his coach!

Here’s a video of their season! (Jake’s #3. He first appears about 5:30 in.)

In a slightly more relaxed fashion, Jake played soccer again this spring with the now U19 Black Hornets. Comprised mostly of players from the High School Team,they were a force to be reckoned with. Many of the team had been playing together since at least their U-8 season and could well anticipate each other’s moves.

Finishing in first place in the league, they took the #1 seed into the tournament and played Hamilton-Wenham in the finals. The Hornets took a 1-0 lead when Jake caught a long pass, beat his man into the box, drew the keeper, and then made a sweet pass to a teammate at the six who one-touched it in for the goal. Unfortunately, a sketchy call with only a couple of minutes to go gave H-W a penalty kick on which they tied it up. After two scoreless overtime periods, the game was decided on PKs and North Reading came up short. It was a horrible way to end what had been a stellar run for the Black Hornets. Many hats off to Joe and Peter and all the others who helped coach along the way. The boys will never forget their NRYS experiences!!

Fall Sports 2014

Posted: November 28, 2014 in Sports

With Josh already off at college and Jake now a High School Senior, this is likely our final Fall Sports blog post. It’s certainly been Jake’s final season of High School Soccer – but what a season it was!

Jake and the Hornets came out of the hive buzzing and avenged last years opening game loss with a 7-0 stinging of Newburyport. One of those goals was Jake’s – and it was far from his last. The game set the tone for the entire season. The Hornets played possession soccer, capitalized on key match-ups, and never gave up.

By the time the regular season was over, Jake led the team with 16 goals. He led the Cape Ann League with 23 total points (Goals + Assists) and was named to the Cape Ann League First Team All-Stars, the Eastern Massachusetts All-Star, and the All-State teams, not to mention earning Hornet of the Week honors along the way!

Of course, all of this made Jake a marked man. He’d regularly be assigned an “escort” from the other team to go wherever he went. Sometimes it was a really big escort!

No matter, Jake still exploited his speed and scored regularly with both right and left feet – this one’s going in!

The Hornets finished the regular season at 12-3-3 and earned the #1 seed in the MIAA Division III North Tournament. With a bye in the first round, they began their championship quest with a quarterfinal match against Watertown – the same team that knocked them out of last year’s tournament with a 0-1 OT loss in the semifinals. This year, it was the Hornets who scored the 1-0 win in OT but, unfortunately for Jake, it would also be the end of his season. Ten minutes into the game, he challenged two defenders, went airborne, and landed on his shoulder breaking his collarbone. He’d watch the rest of the tournament from the bench.

The Hornets went on to win that quarterfinal as well as the semifinal that followed. But when they go to the finals, despite a mid-game lead, they were defeated by Wayland, finishing their season.

Jake’s season finished with being honored as the team’s MVP at the school’s Fall Sports Awards Ceremony.

Here’s a video that John made for the team summarizing their season…

We’re wicked proud of Jake’s accomplishments in soccer. We certainly had a lot of fun watching him on the field.  Congratulations Jake! (And heal up for the spring tournaments!)

Spring Sports 2014

Posted: June 30, 2014 in Sports

It was a tale of two sports for Jake this spring. Some of his buddies talked him into going out for the Lacrosse team. So, never one to shy from a challenge, Jake decided to give it a shot.

With snow still on the ground, Jake set up a rebound board in the driveway and began practicing with the stick. He’d barely held a lacrosse stick before this year so many tosses went astray and there were many balls buried in the snow. But, after a bit, he began to get the hang of it.

Jake’s coaches placed him as a defensive midfielder where he could use his speed to stay with opponents’ attackers and to deliver the ball back upfield on a turnover. He took the field for the first time in a pre-season tournament in Woburn with borrowed equipment and only a vague sense of what was going on. He got burned once or twice but, for the most part, held his own.

Jake played most of the season with the JV’s, developing his skills and becoming a valuable player on both ends of the field.

Jake did get in some Varsity games including their playoff run in the MIAA tournament.

Jake really enjoyed the game and expects to play the whole year on the varsity team in his Senior year! No doubt that his speed and athletic ability will be an asset to the team!

Of course, over at the soccer pitch, Jake continued to play Striker for his club team. Their spring season began with an absolutely freezing tournament in New Hampshire. Kickoff temperature for the first game on March 1 was 5° F!

There was another spring tournament or two and than the regular season New England Premiership games. They’d finish third of eight teams in their bracket and proceed to the NEP Open Tournament.

The Mad Dog Mania tournament in Saratoga capped the season. A beautiful if slightly warm weekend made for some great play and good fun!

Hats off to the Knights!


Fall Sports 2013

Posted: November 19, 2013 in School, Sports

With Josh off at Syracuse, we only had one “kid” to follow around this fall.

Jake was up to the challenge and provided plenty of excitement! As a junior playing his second year of Varsity soccer at the High School, he won the job of starting striker. He and the team were great to watch as they improved from a low point of 2-4-0 to a regular season finish of 12-5-1 and managed to place themselves as the #3 seed heading into the sectional tournament. They made it as far as the semi finals before loosing to the eventual champions on a fluke goal in overtime.

An overall record of 13-6-1 was awesome and Jake was tied for most goals scored for the team and even picked up “Hornet of the Week” honors in the local newspaper!

Here’s a video that John made for the team that recaps their great season.  Jake is #3.

Can’t wait for next year!!!

2013 Spring Sports

Posted: July 25, 2013 in Sports

Both boys shunned school teams this spring in favor of concentrating on club soccer. Both again played for their respective age group teams with the MPS Knights out of Woburn.

Jake played Striker for the U-16 team.  Tournaments started with snow on the ground!

Josh and his mates were the first U-18 team for the Knights!

Jake continued to use his speed to beat his opponents to the ball.

Josh continued his wall-like style in goal.

Jake’s vertical leap was another weapon.

Josh, never afraid to come off his line, had continued success in the scrum.

Jake beat backs and keepers alike.

Josh set up several goals with his long punts!

And Jake chipped a few too!

It was Josh’s last season of “Youth” soccer. Lot’s of good memories left on the pitch!

Winter Sports 2012-13

Posted: February 22, 2013 in School, Sports

Even though the temperatures dropped, soccer continued to be played into the winter, as usual. The outdoor season finished up with the MPS Showcase Tournament over Thanksgiving weekend. Josh had played for MPS last year but this would be Jake’s debut with MPS after coming over from Benfica.

Jake started things off right with a goal and an assist in his first MPS game helping them toward a 3-0 win. Unfortunately, they’d end up 1-2 for the weekend, with a proper trouncing in their final game.

Josh and his team went 1-1-1 for a respectable finish. Josh made some great saves!

Jake played indoor league for the first session at Danvers. The guys just have a lot of fun there, thanks much to their coaches who keep it light.

The indoor track season got underway with Jake running the 300m dash, a relay or two, and even giving a try at the long jump. Performances vary with the venue as indoor tracks range from something less than 100 to 200m and surfaces range from slick to spike-able. On the team’s first visit of the year to the Reggie Lewis Center in Boston, known as one of the fastest indoor tracks, Jake won his heat to set a new personal best in the 300!

Meanwhile, the Lynnfield-North Reading cooperative wrestling team was off to an 8-0 start with Josh too going 8-0 in his individual matches. Along the way he also scored a third place at the Pentucket Holiday Tournament.

By the time they got to Masco, the largest school in their league and a perennial wrestling powerhouse, the grapplers were 11-0 and riding high. The match was back and forth with neither team establishing a clear advantage. When Josh’s opponent made a desperate lunge for a takedown in the last minute, Josh stopped him with his nose. Though he bled all over the place, he managed to finish the match and win it, contributing to the team’s 38-33 win, their closest match of the season.

Jake returned to the Reggie Lewis Center for the annual MSTCA Freshman-Sophomore meet and ran even faster, setting another new PR.

Josh wrestled for the next month or so wearing a mask to protect his broken nose. While it spared him pain and intimidated opponents, it was also hot and limited his vision, but he pushed on, making great contributions to his team’s success. They’d finish their dual meet schedule with a first ever undefeated record of 25 – 0!! Josh himself would finish at 19-5 for the dual meet season and earn a nod as Hornet of the Week (his second of the year!) along the way. Dang respectable.

Jake returned to the Reggie once again for the CAL Championship, and, though he ran yet another PR and continued to improve his form and speed, he missed the qualifying mark for the State Tournament by just 3/10 of a second. He’s got two more years of high school track eligibility – our money is on him to make it!

The Pioneer-Hornet wrestling team went on to be crowned the Division III North Sectional Champions placing 13 of 14 wrestlers in the top six at the sectional tournament including Josh, who took fourth in his division.

Josh finished his season with his appearance at the statewide Division III tournament. Things didn’t go as well here as they might have for either Josh or the team. Josh was beaten by the #1 seed from Pembroke in his first match, and then lost a close consolation match in overtime to be eliminated. Though three of the Pioneer-Hornets would go on to wrestle at the cross-divisional All-States, this was it for Josh.

Josh wistfully surveyed the mats after his final loss, knowing this was likely the last competition of his high school sports career. We’re dang proud of his successes in multiple sports and the focused and sportsmanlike approach he brought to his efforts. Way to go Josh!

Fall Sports 2012

Posted: November 14, 2012 in School, Sports

It was an exciting fall season full of soccer! Neither kid can double-roster anymore so the High School teams are their only fall focus. Both Josh and Jake eagerly anticipated the soccer season and jumped right into double sessions the week before school started. Twice-a-day practices and a few scrimmages got them ready for what would be a heck of a Cape Ann League season!

Jake had a great preseason and was one of a handful of sophomores, most of whom have played together for years on the “Black Hornets” youth league team, to be placed on the Varsity roster. That meant that, for the first time in years, he and Josh would be playing together on the same team for Josh’s senior year. John and Shawn were thrilled to have only one set of games to go to – but mostly to see Intorcios at both ends of the field. Better still, because of a Triple-E scare in northeastern Massachusetts, several of the team’s “away” games were played at home reducing travel.

Things got off to a snappy start when Jake found an early gap and scored the Hornets’ first goal of the season in their 3-1 opening win against Bishop Fenwick (Slideshow). We were ALL pretty thrilled for him – not a bad debut!

The hornets would be competitive but drop their next two home games to Newburyport 1-2 (Slideshow) and Pentucket 0-1 (Slideshow) before taking on the league powerhouse, Masconomet (Slideshow), under North Reading’s Kenney Field lights. The two highly physical teams battled for a full eighty minutes of scoreless soccer under the setting sun. It was the first time in six years that North Reading had not lost to the Chieftains. Josh had fourteen saves to help keep the Hornets in it.

After the Masco game, Josh was named “Hornet of the Week” by the local newspaper!

The green team would travel to Hamilton-Wenham for a 2-2 tie (John was in Alabama so no pictures from this one), and then lost a home heart breaker to Triton 2-3 (Slideshow).

The Hornets stung Manchester-Essex 3-1 (Slideshow) on the away turf before, despite dominating the second half and putting 14 shots on the home-field goal, loosing 2-1 to a well-matched Rockport (Slideshow).

North Reading shut out Amesbury 3-0 (Slideshow) in the North Reading fog, and then hosted Georgetown (Slideshow) for a scoreless tie.

For the first time in recent years, the swarm defeated neighboring rival Lynnfield 1-0 (Slideshow) away and then came back from a three goal halftime deficit to play Ipswich (Slideshow) to a 3-3 tie at home.

Second rounds against Newburyport (Slideshow), a hard-fought back and forth battle on the home field, and at Pentucket (Slideshow), a scoreless tie until three minutes remained and the defense flinched, both resulted in frustrating 0-1 losses.

Senior Day was celebrated with a 1-0 win in the rematch with Hamilton-Wenham (Slideshow). Ceremonies were held on the North Reading turf during which each of the eleven seniors was honored and their parents thanked for their support.

Following the Hamilton-Wenham game, Josh got a very flattering write-up in the local newspaper.

The Hornets traveled to Triton (Slideshow) for a late night game and a 3-1 win that clenched their entry into the MIAA Division 3 North tournament.

In their final regular season match, the NRHS team beat their buddies at Austin Prep 3-1 (Slideshow) on Cancer Awareness Day with the Cougars in pink. The Austin Prep team included a number of players from North Reading and several former youth league teammates.

Perhaps in celebration of the Hornet’s victory, at the end of this game, there was a pretty awesome show in the Reading sky with a very distinct parhelic circle and arcs

The regular season ended with a Masconomet re-match that took place in the wind and rain preceding hurricane Sandy. Appropriately, it was the Hornet’s only blow out as they lost 0-4 in the tsunami conditions. (The camera stayed dry in the car for this one.)

As the MIAA tournament approached, most of the team donned Mohawk haircuts as a sign of solidarity. We flashed back to some of Joshua’s early days in goal.

In the preliminary tournament round, the Hornets had home field advantage. On a damp Friday afternoon to the thrill of the home town crowd, they crushed the Mystic Valley Charter School Eagles 6-1 (Slideshow).

The next tournament round was the following Sunday night: a rematch at Rockport (Slideshow) with a huge crowd looking on. The offense threatened early, the defensive back line held strong, and Josh made several early saves that kept the Hornets even through halftime and then again through the first half of the second period. The Gloucester Times said “Were it not for the impressive play of Intorcio, the Vikings may have run away with last night’s game, out-shooting North Reading, 18-12.” Despite some great play and intense effort by the whole team, the game ended 0-1 in favor of the other guys and the season was suddenly done.

Overall, the 2012 North Reading Hornets finished at 9-7-4. Of the seven losses, six were by a one goal margin. Josh and the defense averaged a petty 1.2 goals against. Jake logged two goals and three assists in his varsity debut season, setting the stage for what we hope will be an exciting couple of years to come.

At the fall sports awards night (Slideshow), Jake picked up his varsity letter and Josh was called to the podium three times: he was honored with his varsity letter; presented with a plaque commemorating his selection to the Cape Ann “All-League” team (the top 16 players in the league); and, accompanied by a very flattering speech from his coach, awarded the “Unsung Hero” title for the year.

The final official event of the season was the annual Soccer Banquet held the following night at The Hillview Country Club (Slideshow). As usual, the Coach gave a review of the season and had great things to say about each of the teams and, in particular, the Seniors. Coach credited Josh with “saving the team’s bacon” several times.

It was a great year all around!  All of us had a blast in our own ways!

Spring Sports 2012

Posted: July 17, 2012 in Family, Grampa, Sports

While Jake made his debut with the High School spring track team AND played with the North Reading’s own Black Hornets soccer team, Josh completed his first season in the New England Premiership league with the MPS Knights. Between them, we saw a lot of fun sports…

Seemed like the High School‘s winter track team just picked up a few more people and all of a sudden became the spring track team. Jake was right back in there running the 100 and 200 meter sprints, the 4×100 relay, and even giving the long and high jump events a try! Throughout the season, Jake lowered his PRs and had a lot of fun.  Except maybe on the jumping events – those may not be his gig.

Joshua and the MPS Knights had a great season. They had to compete in the play-in rounds to get to the State Cup tournament and finished just one win short. At 7-0-1, they won their division of the NEP but were knocked out in the first round of playoffs by a lesser team that outplayed them on that day. With a couple college showcase tournaments to round out the year, there was plenty of soccer played!

Jake and the North Reading Black Hornets finished 5-0-1 to win their division of the ECYSA but also didn’t fair well in the playoffs, being knocked off in the first round. They played in the DIT again this year, but were knocked off in the semi-finals there by the eventual champions.

Maybe the best part of the spring season was having so many family members watch the play! Though this was Grampa’s last season to watch, Gramsie and even Poppa made it out for a game or two!  Thanks for all the cheers!

Sweet Sixteen

Posted: March 23, 2012 in Family, Health, Sports

It was with great sadness that we heard that a friend of ours was under the weather and wouldn’t be able to use her tickets to see the Sweet Sixteen round of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at the TD Garden.  Great sadness. Really. Poor thing.

To help relieve her misery, we took the tickets off of her hands and promised they wouldn’t go to waste.

After a bit of negotiation, it was decided that Josh and John would be the lucky attendees!

The first game was classic: #1 Syracuse against #4 Wisconsin. Things were close for a while and then the  Orangemen put on a burst before halftime and opened up a bit of a lead. The Badgers would fight back in the second half though and things got way too close for the largely Syracuse-biased crowd. ‘Cuse would hold on to win it by one point!

The second game featured #2 Ohio State vs. #6 Cincinnati. Again, the game was close for a while but then Ohio State started to pull out and never looked back.

Our premium club seats featured wait-service, padded chairs, and an awesome view. Really sad about our friend. Really.

Winter Sports 2011-12

Posted: March 13, 2012 in School, Sports

The winter sports season kicked off with some extended fall sports!! After playing the last few years with Benfica as a defensive back and unused backup goalkeeper, Josh got the roll he wanted with a new club, Mass Premier Soccer. He made his debut as starting keeper with the MPS Knights at a Thanksgiving weekend showcase tournament. His team went three games without allowing a single goal! Nice start!

Jake made a debut of his own as he went out for the indoor track team at the high school. He made his first 300m appearance in December at North Andover. He was a bit nervous, having never competed in a track meet before, but quickly found his stride and performed like an old pro!

The wrestling season kicked off with Josh leaning out to move down a weight this year and compete at the 145lb class. He was pretty dominant (9-1) in most of the JV matches he wrestled and competitive (3-2) in the Varsity slots that he got.

Next to start was Jake’s indoor soccer season with the Black Hornets. They played at a new facility in Danvers this year on Saturday nights.The competition was a bit variable – a mix of pickup teams that were really no match for the Hornets and some club teams that were very competitive. It made for some good action and a lot of fun!

Gaining confidence in his abilities, Jake gave the 40yd dash a try at a JV meet – running quick enough to win his heat! A quick rest and he’d take off to win his 300m heat as well!

Josh scored his first Varsity points wrestling up at 152 against Malden Catholic. His first period pin even scored him a picture in the local newspaper!

Jake competed in the MSTCA statewide Freshman/Sophomore meet at the Reggie Lewis Center in Boston. He had a pretty good day – first running a personal best in the 300m and then helping power the 4x400m relay team to a fifth place medal!

Josh and some pals from his club team joined up to form an indoor team competing at Soccer Etc. in Beverly. Seventeen year-olds playing on a hockey rink-sized field makes for a pretty fast game!

There were many more games and meets – mostly quite successful!!

Though Josh didn’t get to compete, his wrestling team made it to the State Dual Meet championship. After a bye in the first round, they drew the number one seed and eventual champion in their second round match and failed to advance further. But there was some fun and exciting action and it was a great year for the team!!

Finally, the winter season finished up in early March with the winter sports awards! Jake received a JV certificate for his efforts on the track team and Josh a varsity letter for wrestling!

We officially laid the season to rest with the March 13th wrestling banquet where Josh was recognized with an Ironman award for attendance, more apologies for his name being skipped at the sports night, and a little ribbing from his coach for finishing third place in the “Piggy Award” post-season weight gain contest!

Indoor soccer continues for several more weeks, but we’ve already had the first outdoor soccer games!!  Bring on the spring!!