East Boston High boys soccer
seeks both league and city titles
By Cary Shuman
The East Boston High School boys soccer team is right where it wants to be in the final week of the regular season: in contention for the league and city championships.
Coach Lorenzo DiBenedetto’s surprising Jets are 11-1 in the Boston North Division and 12-2 overall with two games remaining on the regular season schedule.
“Our goal has been all along to win the North Division,” said DiBenedetto. “The second goal is to win the City Championship and then to make the playoffs and advance.”
Eastie last won the league championship four years ago. The Jets have claimed three titles during DiBenedetto’s 12-year tenure.
After going 1-2 to start the season, the Jets have won 11 games in a row.
“We have 12 new players and five new starters so we had to reload again,” said DiBenedetto. “We’re adapting the new players to our system. We’ve been playing well as a team.”
Sebastian Toro, one of the captains, is the leading scorer with eight goals and five assists. Captain Juan Landaverde has been a four-year player who transitioned to the sweeper position this season. “Juan has been tremendous on defense,” said DiBenedetto.
Marvin Melgar, also a captain, has been a sold player at the right fullback position.
“Our three senior captains have really stepped it up and done a nice job,” said DiBenedetto. “They lead by example.”
Senior Losano Argenis has been impressive in his first season as the starting goalkeeper. Junior backup goalkeeper Steven Lopez has also contributed to the team’s success. Thami Elhor has excelled in his first season in the program.
The Jets were scheduled to play Brighton Tuesday. They will play West Roxbury Thursday on “Senior Day” in East Boston. The City Championships begin Monday.
Pastrana stars as Eastie football
defeats unbeaten Dorchester
By Cary Shuman
Sophomore Joel Pastrana rushed for 140 yards and one touchdown as the East Boston High football team stayed red hot with a 34-20 victory over Dorchester Friday night at East Boston Stadium.
The Jets (4-3) bolstered their playoff hopes with their fourth straight victory while handing Dorchester (5-1) its first defeat of the season.
Pastrana had a key 48-yard touchdown run late in the second quarter and then added his second two-point conversion of the game to give Eastie a 22-20 lead at the half. The Jets’ defense held Dorchester scoreless in the second half while Justin Roman and Jose Harry produced touchdowns on the ground to help seal the victory.
Quarterback Kevin Sinatra and running back Terrance Moore had touchdown runs in the first half.
East Boston coach John Parziale said the offensive line played very well, citing the “great blocking” by Jack Hartnett, Joe Manta, Tom Wilson, Edwin Munguia, and Edwin Benevides, Billy Saunders, and tight end Mike Nastari.
Junior linebacker Richard Dilworth led the Eastie defense with several tackles. Senior linebacker David Garcia was a force while and safety Jeff Benzan made a couple of touchdown-saving tackles.
“We ran the ball for over 300 yards and the defense played great,” said Parziale.
The Eastie coach is pleased with his team’s four-game winning streak and the 34-point showing against a very good Dorchester team that is No. 1 in the Division 6 ratings.
“We’re healthy now and we have people in the right positions doing the right things,” said Parziale. “We’re working hard and we’ve gone to more one-players as opposed to two-way players and the kids are a lot more energized and I think that helps, too.”
East Boston is currently fourth in the Division 5 ratings. The top eight teams qualify for the playoffs. The Jets have a bye this week and then will await word on its playoff berth.