Page 14 THE REVERE ADVOCATE - Friday, April 5, 2019 Patriots begin season Saturday at East Boston Second-year Revere baseball coach has his program heading in the right direction By Joe Mitchell M ike Manning is beginning his second year as the Revere High School baseball coach, and he likes what he has been seeing thus far. “Last year was my first year, and I definitely think the program took some positive strides,” Manning said. “We fell short of making the postseason, but our seven wins in 2018 was more than the previous three years combined, and were the most by a Revere baseball team in a very long time. “We did it with a relatively young team. We had six or seven players in our starting lineup each day that were either sophomores or freshmen. We are still working on building a culture that is conducive to winning, like doing all the small things on and mostly off the field that all add up and translate into winning ballgames, so we can build off of last year.” The Patriots graduated just three, but they also lost their starting catcher to St. Mary’s of many of the NEC schools, so I think it’s a good fit.” Revere’s strengths this year Baseball Pats Matt Cravotta and EJ Leone. (Advocate file photo) Lynn. However, they are still returning 11 varsity players who all received significant playing time last year. The program is also fielding a JV team to keep the future looking bright. Senior Matt Cravotta and junior EJ Leone are the team’s captains this year. This is the last season that the baseball Pats will be playing in the Northeastern Conference (NEC), as they, along with Everett, Medford, Malden and Somerville, have committed together to reestablish the Greater Boston League (GBL) in the fall. Manning has a mixed reaction to the move. “I have enjoyed playing in the NEC, because there are a lot of strong teams here, and I think it is an underrated conference by many in the high school baseball community. But at the same time, we are looking forward to rejoining the GBL version 2.0,” he said. “I think we are probably more similar to the four other GBL teams in terms of program size, student demographics and resources than lie on offense and its speed, according to the coach. “We are looking to be more of a contact team this year,” said Manning. “If our pitchers can throw strikes and make guys earn their way on by limiting walks and errors, we will compete in all our games. Our defense was the Achilles’ heel at times for us last year, so hopefully, we can turn the corner there, as well.” Leone will lead a bunch of talented starting pitchers on the Revere staff throughout the next three months that also includes seniors Frank Sims and Dayven Diaz. Senior Matt Cravotta is designated as the team’s closer. Junior Kevin DePaula, sophomore Kasey Cummings and junior Jonathon Murphy should also get some innings on the mound. Senior Johnny Leone will transition from the outfield to catcher this year. Junior David Guillama, Murphy, DePaula and Cummings will provide the team with much experience in the infield. E.J. Leone, junior Zach Furlong, senior Brandon Sarmanian and Cravotta will be the regular outfielders. Newcomers junior Josh Laurina, senior Frankie Rodriguez and senior Alan Giron will all provide needed depth to the roster. Manning assessed the competition in the NEC South Division, the teams that Revere must beat to challenge for the title. “Salem is returning a lot of good players, and both Lynn schools are always tough,” he said. “Medford is a well-coached team. Malden, Somerville and Everett are scrappy clubs [that never give up].” Manning’s Patriots will begin the regular season Saturday, April 6 against non-league host East Boston, starting at 11 a.m. They will then be at Greater Lawrence on Thursday, April 11, at 4:30 p.m., before heading to Everett to face the Crimson Tide on Monday, April 15, at 10 a.m. They will finally play the home opener on Wednesday, April 17 against Salem, also at 10 a.m. Pats softball begins on the road Tuesday with the home opener slated for Patriots’ Day Looks to maintain streak of winning seasons, state tournament appearances have had a habit of being on By Joe Mitchell T he Revere High School girls’ softball team under the direction of Joe Ciccarello had a solid season last spring, ending up with a 14-8 overall record after losing in the second round of the state tournament. Their winning record was far from unusual for this program with Ciccarello at the helm. They the plus side most seasons. “We have made it that far [second round] for seven out of the last nine years that I have been the coach,” Ciccarello said. “We lost last year to a very good Methuen team in the bottom of the seventh inning. We had a young team with four freshmen and one sophomore in the starting lineup, but they certainly got a lot of varsity experience right away.” Butch Bruno, Marissa Gambale and Phil Goldstich are Ciccarello’s varsity assistants. Lauren Hayes, Cassandra DiBella and Noel MacDonald comprise the JV staff, and Brian McKenna is in charge of the freshman club. There are a total of four players that have graduated. “They ~ Home of the Week ~ SAUGUS Custom,OUT-OF-A-MAGAZINE Contemporary. 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Offered at $1,399,900 335 Central Street, Saugus, MA 01906 (781) 233-7300 View the interior of this home right on your smartphone. View all our listings at: CarpenitoRealEstate.com provided great leadership and character to our team last year,” said Ciccarello, “and replacing all-star third baseman Vicoria Correia will be very difficult.” Olivia McManus, Joli Giuliano and Danielle Dion will attempt to follow in their footsteps, as this year’s senior representatives. Since this is the last school year that Revere will be in the Northeastern Conference (NEC) after officially announcing last month that it will join Everett, Somerville, Medford and Malden in the new Greater Boston League (GBL) in the fall, Ciccarello gave his thoughts on the move. “I have great respect for our NEC rivals, and would like to continue our relationship,” he said. “Revere also has great history with the GBL programs. I do not have a preference either way. I just enjoy the competition each season, while also remaining committed to winning a league title.” But back to this spring – Ciccarello envisions a team that will dominate on the mound. “We have two good pitchers that will share the workload in Olivia McManus and Adrianna Fusco. Both have different styles, and bring different things to the mound,” the coach said. “Our defense should be scrappy and work hard. The offense will get better as the season progresses. We don’t have many power hitters, but we have been called scrappy at the plate and on the bases. Still relatively young, we have some experience behind us, and, hopefully, that turns into some big wins.” At the time of this interview, Ciccarello was still undecided about any set starting lineup, preferring to see what his players are capable of doing in scrimmages this week. Medford, Lynn Classical, Everett and Salem with its good pitcher will challenge for the conference title, according to Ciccarello. But his Revere kids will still be in the mix piling up the wins to get to the postseason, once again. The Pats will begin the regular season Tuesday, April 9 against host Chelmsford, starting at 4:30 p.m. They will then return to Revere for the home opener against Everett at St. Mary’s Park on Monday, April 15, beginning at 10 a.m.

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