Monday, July 2, 2012

Tying Up Summertime Loose Ends

With only seven weeks to go to the opening of preseason practice, the Pioneers are ramping up their offseason work in preparation for what is looking to be a very competitive 2012 season.

Today we'll clean out the beach bag a bit and hit on a few topics while the sun beats down and the humidity shoots up.

Roberto Impresses In Agganis Victory
Let's start with the first real football action of the year with the 51st Annual Harry Agganis All Star Classic played at Manning Field last Friday night.

2011 Pioneer captain Jonathan Roberto was the only Lynnfield represented in the contest and was part of the North's 26-25 win over the South. Roberto played the entire game at defensive end and made several solo tackles as well as assisting on a number of others.

Pioneer head coach Neal Weidman said that he had talked to several people that were helping out at the practices and the coaches had a lot of positive things to say about Roberto.

"I was glad he did ok," said Roberto's dad Fred, who is not known for his easy grading. "They were out there playing and had a good time."

Roberto will reunite with his brother A. J., a captain of the 2010 Pioneers and a key piece of the 2009 Lynnfield championship team, at Merrimac College in the fall. A. J. saw some varsity action as a freshman linebacker last year. Jonathan will be working at defensive end for the Warriors.

It was nice to see him end his his high school career on a positive note.

7 v 7 Action
Lynnfield again participated in the St. Anselm's 7 v 7 shootout in Manchester N.H on June 24 and finished 1-3. The Pioneers were competitive losing to Bedford 12-10 and to Winchester 17-14.

The Pioneers continued their busy 7 v 7 schedule over the past few weeks. They started play in the Reading 7 v 7 league playing a double header every Sunday morning at 9 am at Reading High School. The Pioneers are 2-2 playing against Reading, Boston Latin and Methuen.

Reading in particular offers a tough challenge in that league. I took in Sunday's contest and the Pioneers matched the high powered Rockets, a perennial Middlesex League power, score for score in the early going before falling in the second half. It was a solid performance against a team that has won four straight league titles and has appeared in two Super Bowls in the last three seasons.

If you can't wait for the season to get started, I suggest you head over and catch a couple of games. The Pioneers will be playing on July 15th and August 8th, two games each Sunday.

In other action, the Pioneers will be playing in the Underarmour 7 v 7 Tournament at Bishop Fenwick on Saturday, July 21st. There will be 32 teams participating in eight four team brackets and each squad is guaranteed three games. The top three teams in each bracket advance to the playoffs.

The schedule for the event will be posted on the Tournament website on July 16th.

A Little Hardball
Finally, I want to cross over and give a shout out to the Pioneer baseball team which recently completed a highly successful season.

Pioneer defensive coordinator John O'Brien is the hardball head coach as well and led Lynnfield to a 20-4 season, CAL Co Championship and a berth in the Division III North Finals.  Only a heartbreaking 3-2 loss to arch rival North Reading prevented the Pioneers from making a trip to the state semifinals.

Pioneer gridsters who played on the championship nine were Conor Lordan, Andrew Mucci, Tyler Palumbo and A. J. Gallo.

Congrats to Coach O'Brien and the rest of the team on an outstanding season.

That's it for now. My next post will be on August 3 when we'll be within shouting distance of the season.