13th induction will take place Saturday at the Crystal Community Club
WAKEFIELD — When the 13th induction of the Wakefield Memorial High School Sports Hall of Fame takes places on Saturday, Nov. 15 at the Crystal Community Club, some of the finest athletes, a coach, a contributor and team will be honored for their contributions to the Warrior sports programs over the years.
The social hour begins at 6 p.m. and the dinner is at 7 p.m.
The inductees to the Hall of Fame will include Rick Boyages (Class of 1980, Basketball and Tennis), Peter Buckley (Class of 1959, Football, Basketball, Baseball and Track), Andrew Conley (Class of 1997, Baseball and Soccer), Dennis Melanson (Class of 1985, Hockey, Soccer and Baseball), Lee-J Mirasolo (Class of 2004, Hockey, Field Hockey and Softball), Michael Sorrentino (Class of 1998, Baseball and Football), David McCarthy (Varsity Boys’ Hockey Coach from 1980-2006, Peter Rossi (Wakefield Daily Item Sports Editor and Editor) and the 1999 Super Bowl champion 10-0-1 football team.
Rick Boyages, a 1980 graduate, was an outstanding two-sport athlete in both basketball and tennis.
Boyages was captain of the basketball team, coached by Hall of Famer, Sonny Lane. Sonny was quoted by saying, “Rick was the best point guard ever to play at Wakefield High.”
Boyages was named Middlesex League MVP in 1980 and Boston Globe All-Scholastic. He still holds the all-time assist record at Wakefield High with 396.
Rick was also named to the 1979 Globe All-Scholastic Tennis Team.
After a post graduate year at Northfield Mount Herman, where he captained both the tennis and basketball teams, Boyages enrolled at Bowdoin College. At Bowdoin, Boyages was a four-year starter and captain of the basketball team. His accolades include: All New England Team and Haldane Cup Commencement Award for Leadership and Character.
In 2009, Boyages was inducted into the New England Basketball Hall of Fame.
From 1987-91 Boyages was the head basketball coach at Bates College at only 25 years old. At the time of his hire, the former Warrior was the youngest NCAA head coach in the country.
Boyages then went on to Boston College as associate head basketball coach from 1991-1997. His 1994 BC team made it to the Elite Eight in the NCAA Tournament beating Dean Smith’s North Carolina team and Bobby Knight’s Indiana squad. In 1997, BC was crowned Big East Champions.
Boyages’ next stop was Ohio State from 1997-2000 as associate head basketball coach. In 1999 his team made it the NCAA Final Four. From 2000-2003, Rick was head basketball coach at William and Mary. In his final coaching assignment (2003-2004), Rick returned as associate head basketball coach at Ohio State.
Currently, Boyages is associate basketball commissioner of the Big Ten Conference. He has held this position since 2010.
Peter Buckley was a three-year varsity football starter. In Buckley’s senior year he was switched to fullback and was the Middlesex League’s leading scorer. Buckley was a co-captain of the 1958 Middlesex League football champions and was also on the 1957 league champion.
Buckley was named to the 1958 Globe first team All-Scholastic plus the Middlesex League All-Star team and was his team’s Most Valuable Player. Buckley also received the Alfred A. Minihan Trophy for the outstanding player of the Wakefield-Winchester football game.
Buckley also played varsity basketball, baseball and track. In 1960 Buckley was named to the Wakefield Daily Item All Decade Football Team from 1950-60.
Buckley went to the U.S. Military Academy and graduated in 1963. He played varsity football and track where he set the college’s javelin record in 1963.
Buckley served in Vietnam from 1966-1968 and was awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart. Buckley was also very active in many volunteer services.
Andrew Conley was an outstanding athlete who played basketball and soccer at Wakefield Memorial High School. As captain of the legendary 1996-1997 basketball team, he led the team to an undefeated 25-0 season, winning the Middlesex League, Div. 2 North Sectional and Div. 2 State Championship.
Conley, the recipient of the Dr. Robert Dutton Scholar Athlete Award, graduated in 1997.
Conley was an exceptional basketball player, amassing over 1,000 points in his four-year career. Conley garnered virtually every available award his stellar senior year: Middlesex League Most Valuable Player, his team’s Most Valuable Player, a member of both the Boston Globe and Boston Herald All-Scholastic Teams and a member of the Massachusetts Basketball Coaches Association All-State Academic Team. Conley capped his individual awards by being nominated in 1997 to the prestigious McDonald’s All-American High School Team.
Conley also excelled at soccer. In his three-year varsity career, he was named a Middlesex League All-Star his junior and senior years. Conley, team captain his senior year, helped lead his team to the state tournament in 1995 and 1996. He was honored with the Ernest J. Donahue Award.
After graduation, Conley attended Williams College where he played basketball. Conley was a four-year varsity letterman and elected a captain of the team his senior year. His personal accomplishments his senior year included winning the following accolades: Team Most Valuable Player, Conference Defensive Player of the Year, New England Division III Basketball Coaches Association Unsung Hero Award and New England Division III Defensive Player of the Year.
David McCarthy started his head coaching career in 1980 — a position he held for 26 years. During that tenure he went 253-233-66 and became Wakefield’s winningest boys’ hockey coach.
McCarthy’s teams made 14 tournament appearances including nine straight years from 1988-1997. His team also went to the Div. 1 North final in 1984-1985 and Div. 1 semifinals in 1994-1995. In 1993-1994 his team was the undefeated Middlesex League champion and also was selected to play in the Super Eight Tournament.
McCarthy’s 1997-1998 team won the Jim Malloy Sportsmanship Award for all of Div. 1.
McCarthy was named Coach of the Year in 1994 by the Daily Times Chronicle and in 2007 Dave was elected to the Massachusetts State Hockey Hall of Fame. Since 2008 McCarthy has been Medford High’s girls’ varsity head coach and is still making tournament appearances.
Dennis Melanson was a popular three sport athlete who excelled in hockey, baseball and soccer. He was one of the few student athletes in the annals of Wakefield Memorial High School history to serve as captain of three varsity sports teams.
Melanson, the Daily Times Chronicle 1985 Warrior of the Year, graduated in 1985.
Melanson, a three-year varsity letterman, was an excellent hockey player. A Middlesex League All-Star and All-League selection, he led his team to the Div. 1 North final his senior year. Capping his superior senior year, Melanson was selected to the Boston Globe and Boston Herald All-Scholastic Teams.
Melanson also starred on the baseball diamond. He was one of the few Warrior pitchers to throw a no-hitter, humbling Middlesex League rival Reading in April 1985. A Middlesex League All-Star and All-League selection, Melanson earned three varsity letters in baseball.
In the fall Melanson dominated the soccer field, earning Middlesex League All-Star selections his junior and senior years. The three-year varsity letterman helped propel his team to the Div. 1 North final his senior year.
After graduation, Melanson attended Saint Anselm College where he played both hockey and baseball. A four-year varsity letterman in hockey, Melanson captained the Hawks hockey team his junior and senior years. He also earned two varsity letters on the baseball field. Melanson was also selected as captain of the Hawks baseball team his junior and senior years. However, an injury ended his baseball career, preventing him from playing his senior year.
Lee-J Mirasolo, Wakefield Memorial High School’s Outstanding Athlete Award winner of 2004, was the premier female athlete at Wakefield Memorial High School in the first decade of this century. She excelled at field hockey, softball and ice hockey. Possessing superior leadership skills, Mirasolo captained the field hockey, softball and ice hockey teams her senior year.
Mirasolo was an outstanding hockey player. A high-scoring forward, she tallied 128 goals and 77 assists during her career as a Warrior. Mirasolo was a four-time Middlesex League All-Star. She capped her senior year by being named co-MVP of the Middlesex League. In her junior and senior years, Mirasolo was named to the Boston Herald All-Scholastic Team. Twice she helped her team reach the semifinals of the Div. 1 state tournament.
Mirasolo also excelled at field hockey and softball. As a field hockey goalie, the three-year starter garnered League All-Star accolades in 2003. On Vets’ Field, Mirasolo starred at third base, achieving league all-star recognition twice. A four-year starter at the hot corner, she was the team’s most valuable player her senior year.
After graduation, Mirasolo attended Boston College and played four years of Div. 1 varsity hockey. A consummate team player, she was elected by her teammates as a captain in her senior year. After completion of her fine four-year career at Boston College, Mirasolo entered the hockey coaching ranks. Currently, Mirasolo is entering her fourth year as an assistant coach at Princeton University.
A graduate of Suffolk University in Boston, Rossi worked at the Wakefield Daily Item from 1973 until 2013, retiring in June of that year.
He served as Sports Editor of the Daily Item from 1973 until May of 1988 where he covered some of the major Wakefield Memorial High sports events of that era, while also editing all of the local sports stories. During much of that period he was also the police and fire reporter for the newspaper, documenting some of the major conflagrations that hit the community as well as notable crime events. He was named Editor of the Daily Item in May of 1988 and served in that capacity until his retirement.
As Rossi wrote upon his retirement, “In constantly contrasting experiences on a small-town newspaper, there were days of joyous events, many of them coming during the days covering Wakefield High sports.”
Some of the memorable events he covered included: The unbeaten 1980 Wakefield Memorial High School hockey team that lost in the playoffs at the old Boston Garden to a St. John’s Prep squad led by future NHL star Bobby Carpenter; the impressive string of victories in track and cross country from squads led by John DiComandrea and Jim Duff; the Div. 2 state title won in 1988 by the WMHS girls’ basketball team under the renowned Coach Bernie Plansky, and the dominance of Dick Kelley’s WMHS soccer teams and Sonny Lane’s basketball teams during much of his tenure as sports editor.
Today, in retirement, Rossi resides in his home town of Kingston with his wife Marilyn. He also continues to have a keen interest in the town of Wakefield since his son’s family lives here and his grandchildren attend schools in the Wakefield Public School system.
Sorrentino graduated from Wakefield Memorial High School in 1998. At Wakefield Memorial High School, Sorrentino excelled at football and baseball, being elected co-captain of the baseball team in 1998. He was a Middlesex League All-Star in both sports.
Sorrentino played football for four years. On the varsity he was a receiver and defensive back, lettering his junior and senior years. He was a key part of the first Wakefield Memorial High School football team to play in a Super Bowl Game.
Sorrentino was selected as a first team all-star and played in the Carroll Classic football game. Sorretino was the proud recipient of the Michael Magliozzi Memorial Award given to the football player who demonstrates the best combination of academics and sportsmanship.
Sorrentino played four years of baseball at Wakefield Memorial High School and was selected a Middlesex League All-Star his junior and senior years. He was elected co-captain his senior year and was awarded the MVP Trophy.
Sorrentino excelled in academics as well, and was a member of the National Honor Society.
After graduation he attended Worcester Politechnical Institute where he was a four-year letterman in baseball. He was named All-Conference NEWMAC for four straight years. As a senior, he was selected co-captain.
Sorrentino still plays baseball for the Wakefield Merchants in the Intercity League, where he is still an all-star and was named co-MVP in 2010.
1999 Football 10-0-1 Middlesex League and Super Bowl Champions
The 1999 varsity football squad, coached by Mike Boyages, was one of the best teams to ever play at Wakefield Memorial High. The Warriors finished the season undefeated and were crowned Middlesex League champion and were Wakefield’s first Super Bowl champion.
The team was led by Globe and Herald All-Scholastic and All-State Team member, Bill Morrison. Team captains were Justin Chapman and Wayne Ulwick. Running back Mark Sullivan led the team in scoring with 12 TDs while quarterback Kirk Irons threw for 864 yards and eight TDs.
The Warriors ran off a legendary string of victories during the season. Many of them were nail-biters that came down to the wire. The team was named “Destiny’s Team” following their many comeback victories throughout the season.
On Thanksgiving Day in Melrose, both the Warriors and Red Raiders played what many called “The Game of the Century” as both teams entered the game with identical 9-0 records. With over 8,000 fans and every major television network in attendance. the atmosphere was electric.
On the last play of the third quarter down 14-0, Wakefield lost a fumble into the Melrose end zone when it appeared it was going to score and cut the lead. Most in attendance thought the Warriors’ Cinderella season would come to a close. The Warriors had different thoughts and their never say die attitude went on to display as they staged one of the greatest pressure comebacks in school history.
With only 4:24 to go in the fourth quarter, Morrison scored on a one yard plunge on a fourth down. The Warriors then ran a fake PAT as holder Nathan Wood hit Dan Relihan to make it 14-8. With just 1:03 left in the game and no time outs remaining, the Warriors went to their no huddle offense. In deplorable field conditions due to heavy rain and with just 26 seconds left in the game, Irons hit Bob Caira on a slant route for a 20 yard TD to tie the game. The PAT just missed left and the game ended in tie.
Without an overtime rule in the Middlesex League at that time, Melrose and Wakefield players and coaches were forced to wait until the next morning for a “coin flip” tiebreaker (all other tiebreakers cancelled each other out) to determine which team would go the Super Bowl. The rest is history as the Warriors won the coin flip and the Super Bowl defeating Acton-Boxboro, 13-7, to cap off their amazing season.