Sports 04-26-2017

David Sacco named boys basketball coach at Winthrop High School

By Cary Shuman

East Boston native David Sacco, Pope John XXII High School’s all-time leading boys basketball scorer with 1,331 points, has been named the boys basketball head coach at Winthrop High School.

Sacco, 41, was an assistant at Saugus High last season and previously served as an assistant at Melrose High School. He was a coach at Pope John for 13 seasons, six as an assistant and seven as the head coach.

The son of East Boston residents George and Rita Sacco, he grew up in East Boston and attended St. Mary’s Star of the Sea School. He was a three-sport athlete (baseball, basketball, and football) at Pope John where the 6-foot-4-inch standout is an inductee in the school’s Hall of Fame. He played football at Plymouth State College.

Sacco said he is looking forward to working with Winthrop athletic director Matt Serino.

“Matt Serino is a tireless worker who clearly loves Winthrop sports and he’s all about the kids, so he and I have hit it off right from the get go,” said Sacco.

Having grown up next door in Eastie, Sacco has watched the Winthrop High program through the years.

“I’ve not only followed Winthrop basketball but I have followed Winthrop boys and girls sports,” said Sacco. “Being a small school in the Northeastern Conference, Winthrop has clearly had a ton of success. They’re tough, hard-nosed kids growing up in Winthrop. I’ve followed Winthrop basketball from the days of Peter Grimes and the success he had and I grew up with Peter Grimes’s daughters, so I’ve always admired him from afar. From Peter [Grimes] to David Brown, they’ve had success. We’re going to hit the ground running and we hope to get Winthrop basketball back on the map.”

Sacco is in the process of selecting his assistant coaches. He will be holding a meeting with the Winthrop players Thursday.

“They won a state tournament game this season, so they know what it takes to win in the postseason. Now the guys have to be committed to taking that next step. They have to put in a lot of work in the offseason.”

Sacco resides in Saugus and has two children, Nicholas, 12, and Gianna, 9.

“Nicholas just turned 12 and he has a size 10 ½ shoe. He plays basketball, football, and baseball just like his old man and Gianna plays softball and is a cheerleader.”


East Boston High football coach John Sousa to be inducted in to State Hall of Fame Sunday

Former East Boston High School football coach John Sousa will be inducted in to the Massachusetts State Football Coaches Hall of Fame at a dinner Sunday, April 30 at the Doubletree Hotel in Westboro.

Sousa led his EBHS teams to nine Boston league titles and a Super Bowl championship during his illustrious 15-year career as head coach. His record was 119-45.

Sousa retired in 2009 and became a certified high school football referee.

Sousa was the captain of the undefeated 1968 EBHS football team. The school retired his jersey No. 66 in a ceremony in 2011.

Current East Boston football coach John Parziale served as an assistant coach on Sousa’s staff. Parziale will lead a delegation of former coaches and players who are expected to be on hand at coach Sousa’s induction ceremony.

Tickets for the event may be purchased on the Mass. State Football Coaches Web site.



Eastie High Baseball

 by Bob Marra/

East Boston erupted for five runs in the third inning, then coasted on Jake Scanlon’s 10-strikeout pitching performance to an 9-1 win over Amesbury in the opening game of the Christie Serino Memorial Baseball tournament Sunday morning, April 23, at East Boston Memorial Park.

The Jets got their first run in the first inning after Nick Giardina’s mile-high pop-up landed amid a collection of Amesbury fielders for a single. After a pitch hit Jimmy Giardina, and Frank Serpa struck out, right fielder Josue Baez lashed the first of his four hits on the day, a single to center to score Nick Giardina.

Amesbury tied it 1-1 in the top of the third on singles by Patrick Birmingham and Logan Burrill, but the drama ended in the bottom of the inning. Nick Giardina started things off with a walk, then stole second and scored on a base hit by Jimmy Giardina and the Jets were out front to stay. Frank Serpa doubled to score Jimmy Giardina. Josue Baez singled, advanced on a sacrifice by Izzy Vega, and then the parade continued when Darrick Tolbert and Jonathon Pimental singled, scoring Serpa, followed by walks to Jake Scanlan and Giovanni Acevedo setting the stage for a two-run base hit by Nick Giardina as the Jets batted through the order.

East Boston added two runs in the fourth (Serpa and Baez) and another in the sixth (Jimmy Giardina) while Scanlan held Amesbury at bay the rest of the way.

The tournament honors the late Christie Serino, a Saugus resident and one of the few coaches nationally to have served as an NCAA Division 1 head coach in two major sports.

Serino coached baseball at the University of New Hampshire early 1990s and then was head hockey coach at Merrimack College later in the `90s. He added the title of Athletic Director at Malden Catholic before his untimely death in 2012.

East Boston will play Saugus in the championship game Sunday, April 30.

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