Sunday, June 23, 2013

Pioneers Prep for Agganis All Star Game

by Tom Condardo

Lynnfield Head Coach Neal Weidman and his Traveling Past and Present Pioneer All Star Coaching Staff have begun practice for the 52nd Annual Harry Agganis All Star Football Classic to be played this Thursday night at 7 pm at Manning Field.

DJ DeGeorge

Five Pioneers will be suiting up for Weidman's South squad which will have former LHS captain, offensive coordinator and current Triton head coach Pat Sheehan running the offense and former Pioneer defensive coordinator and current North Shore Tech coach Greg Haberland heading the defense. The current Pioneer staff is also on hand helping coach the talented squad.

I took in a scrimmage last Saturday morning to watch the graduated Pioneers along with Allstars from schools in the Northeast Conference  Middlesex League, Greater Boston League, and others prepare for the North Squad made of players from the Cape Ann League, Merrimac Valley Conference, Catholic Conference and others.

Tyler Palumbo

Michael Karavetsos will be one of the quarterbacks, Alex Pascucci will be a wideout and DJ George will be on the offensive line.

Tyler Palumbo will be a linebacker and Andrew Kibarian will be at defensive end.

Here are some shots of the scrimmage.

If you can't wait another month and a half for high school football, then you need to take in what should be an interesting contest Thursday night.

Andrew Kibarian (L) and DJ DeGeorge (R)

Andrew Kibarian

Alex Pascucci

Head Coach Neal Weidman and Asst. Coach Gino Fodera (background)

Michael Karavetsos

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Busy Summer Schedule for Pioneers

by Tom Condardo

We're just about three months away from the start of the 2013 season and the Pioneers will be gearing up with a busy summer schedule.

As you may have read in my Villager article last week, Pioneer fans won't have to wait until August to see some football. Head Coach Neal Weidman is putting the coaching band back together and will be leading the South team in the 52nd Annual Harry Agganis Classic on Thursday, June 27th at 7 pm. The five captains from the 2012 Division 3A Super Bowl finalists - D. J. DeGeorge, Mike Karavetsos, Alex Pascucci, Andrew Kibarian and Tyler Palumbo - will suit up for the final time as high schoolers for Weidman and his All Star Pioneer Coaching staff.

Prowling the sideline with Weidman at Manning Field in Lynn will be the current Lynnfield staff of John O’Brien, Jon Demarco, Chris Sakelakos, Gino Fodera and Fern Lavoie, with former Lynnfield coaches Pat Sheehan (Triton head coach), Greg Haberland (North Shore Tech defensive coordinator), and Mike Geary. Current Pioneer JV coaches Peter Marinelli, Vinnie Calderone, Jeff Gannon and John Bossi will help out as drill coaches.

The traditional contest honors the memory of Harry Agganis, legendary athlete from Lynn Classical, Boston University, and the Boston Red Sox. The game features all-stars from teams in the Northeastern Conference, Cape Ann League, Greater Boston League, Catholic Conference, Catholic Central League, Commonwealth Conference, Middlesex League, and Merrimack Valley Conference.

“Lynnfield is the only Cape Ann League team on the South,” Weidman said. “But we did get Everett."

“It’s obviously an honor to get picked to coach in this game."

Weidman was also asked to coach in the Shriner's game but decided to do the Agganis because of it's importance on the North Shore. 

"AK (Kibarian) and DJ (DeGeorge) had a chance to play in the Shriners' game as well and I told them to do whatever they wanted," Weidman told me. "They said 'if you're going to coach in the Agganis game, we're going to play in the Agganis game.' It's an honor for them to play in it."

Five Pioneers are the most I can remember playing in the game. I know there were years when we had two or three, but having five is quite a tribute to the program and recognition of last year's championship season.

Weidman said practices for the game start on June 18th with an intrasquad scrimmage set for 9 am on Saturday, June 22.

7 v 7 Action
Meanwhile, the 2013 squad will be active in 7 v 7 action over the next few months. The Pioneers started play in the Reading 7 v 7 league last Sunday along with Reading, Methuen, and Boston Latin. They play a doubleheader each week with games at 9:15 and 10:00 at Reading High.

The Pioneers will again play in the St. Anselm's tournament in New Hampshire and the UnderArmour North East Championship in Peabody with 39 other schools. There will also be the annual Spread Camp at the high school in July. 

The full summer schedule:

Sunday, June 9 - Reading League
Sunday, June 16 - Reading league
Sunday, June 23 - Reading League
Sunday, June 30 - St. Anselm's 7 v 7 Tournament in Manchester, N. H
Sunday, July 14 - Reading League
Saturday & Sunday, July 20 & 21 - Spread Camp at LHS
Saturday, July 27 - UnderArmour 7 v 7 North East Championship at Bishop Fenwick HS, Peabody

In addition, the Pioneers will be doing strength and conditioning workouts Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from June 24 to August 8 at LHS.

Enthusiasm and interest appears to be extremely high.

"Someone told me they had 40 kids one Sunday going through plays which is good," Weidman said.

Moving On
Congratulations to all the graduating Pioneers who picked up their diplomas last week. Although for many their football careers are now at an end, some will be going on to play next year. Weidman told me that DeGeorge will be playing at Assumption, Kibarian is headed to Stonehill, and Pascucci will be suiting up for Nichols. 

If you know of any other Pioneers who will be playing at the next level next season, send me an email at and I'll be happy to share the news.

That's it for now. Check back next month and I'll have an update on all the summer activity and a look ahead to the preseason.