Friday, July 9, 2010

More Coaching Moves; Geary Departs; Summer Workouts Underway

Welcome to the July edition of the Gridblog.

Broiling in 90 degree heat, you would think we'd be focused more on the beach than on football, but that is certainly not the case. We have much to cover so let's get to it.

Coaching Staff Set
Another domino has fallen as a result of Pat Sheehan's move to Triton. Head Coach Neal Weidman revealed that Line Coach Mike Geary has decided to accompany Sheehan on his move up Route 95 to Byfield.

Geary, a former Pioneer Captain (2000), four year starting lineman and teammate of Sheehan, has been on the Pioneer staff since 2007.   He moves on to Triton to handle the offensive and defensive lines as Sheehan begins to build his program.

"I left to help Pat because it's not easy for him to find a staff as a young head coach not from the area," Geary explained. "Since I teach in Lynn I was planning on coaching there in the next few years anyway.  I think it's important to coach in the same system that you teach in if you can.  So the plan is to help Pat for a year or two to get started then help out in Lynn.  Also competing against the Masco's of the world creates a great challenge.

"As far as my role I am hoping to be able work with the lines primarily because of how many challenges are presented with installing the new blocking for the spread offense we are putting in," Geary continued. "It can be a disaster when you are starting to put it in."

"It's very sad to leave and a tough decision," Geary said of departing from his hometown team  "The main reason I decided to go was that I knew Lynnfield would still have a good staff even after leaving. Gino will take over coaching the line and will certainly do a good job. Plus John O'Brien and Greg Haberland have plenty of experience so they will be fine."

Gino Fodera, who worked with Geary and the linemen as well as coaching the JV team last season, will take on full responsibility for the offensive and defensive lines.

Weidman also announced that Chris Sakelakos, former tight end at Bowdoin, will join the staff helping Fodera with the line and working with the receivers. Sakelakos is a Math teacher at LHS and had been coaching at Salem.

Also joining the staff are Dan Dawson and Andrew Fodera who will coach the JV's. Dawson is a former captain at Curry.

"The defensive coordinator at Curry is a former college housemate and highly recommends Dan," said Weidman.

Fodera is the younger brother of Gino.

The newcomers will join returnees Greg Haberland, John O'Brien and Fern Lavoie on the Pioneer staff.

Summer Workout Update
The Pioneer summer schedule is in full swing in preparation for preseason camp which begins in about six weeks.

The Pioneers showed well in the St.Anselms 7 on 7 Tournament held on June 13. Lynnfield won its bracket, beating Melrose and Conval High School from Peterborough, N. H. in overtime and Central Manchester (NH). They advanced to the playoffs where they lost in the first round to Methuen.

"Winning our bracket was good, but I was not pleased with that game," Weidman said of playoff loss. "Overall we played well. We got some consistent play from a lot of people."

Weidman singled out the play of defensive backs Ricky Berardino, Tim Shannon and Wes Sullivan.

"They all played well," the coach said. "We have to replace our entire secondary from last year but I am optimistic about doing that."

The Pioneers have begun play in their 7 on 7 league and are looking forward to co-hosting the 7th Annual Lynnfield/Swampscott Shootout Tournament at the High School on July 24. Twenty-Eight teams will be participating with games starting at 9 am.

Meanwhile Weidman reports good participation in summer workouts with between 24-32 players taking part in the three-day-a-week sessions.

Newest Pioneer
The coach also said that a newcomer will be joining the team this year. Mike Doherty, a 5'8", 161 lb junior DB/RB is moving to town from New Jersey. Doherty played on the JV team at West Morris Central High.

The Wolfpack varsity is a New Jersey powerhouse and last year won the North 2 Group III State Championship. It was the sixth state title for West Morris who won playoff games 50-7 and 42-0 before downing Passaic Valley 28-19 in Giants Stadium to capture the crown.

Agganis Games
Finally, George Hennessey and Chris Grassi will represent the Pioneers in the 49th Annual Harry Agganis Football Classic on Wednesday, July 14th at 7:00 pm at Manning Field in Lynn.  Hennessey will be wearing number 31 while Grassi will don number 81 for the North Squad.

Pioneer gridsters Nick Roberts and Dante Padovani will suit up for the South team in the Agganis Baseball game on Sunday, July 11 at 2 pm at Fraser Field in Lynn.

While on the topic of the Agganis games, Pioneers' Abby Tobin, Jamie Harris and Carolyn LaRosa will play for the North squad in the Agganis Soccer game on Tuesday, July 13 at 7:30 at Manning Field.

Tobin will also play in the Agganis Softball game on Sunday, July 11 at noon at Fraser Field.

That's it for now. See you on August 9th for my next post.