Published December 23, 2020
By STEPHEN MARTELLUCCI
LYNNFIELD — This season, former Lynnfield High player Jeannine Cavallaro will coach the Pioneers girls’ varsity basketball team. She replaces Peter Bocchino who stepped down after last winter.
Cavallaro was a three-sport athlete at Lynnfield High playing volleyball and softball along with basketball as she graduated back in 1988.
Cavallaro continued her basketball career at Gordon College as she played point guard at the school.
After graduation, she stated her coaching career at Gordon as well staying for 16 years with the last ten being the women’s head coach.
From there she went to Lexington Christian Academy where she was the boys basketball head coach and the school’s athletic director for three years.
Cavallaro then lived in Guatemala for a couple of years and coached youth players down there as well.
After moving back to town, her job is now the State Director for the Fellowship of Christian Athletics.
Cavallaro found out about the coaching opening at Lynnfield High last month.
“A friend told me about it and I applied at the start of the month,” she recalled.
After her interviews she was hired and tryouts started on Dec. 14th.
“Last week went pretty well,” she said. “I have been impressed with the talent back and some of the younger players I have seen.”
Last season, Lynnfield finished at 13-7 overall as they fell at Bishop Fenwick, 59-44, in the quarterfinal round of the Division 3 North state tournament.
They lost two seniors from that squad, the Morelli twins, Victoria and Melissa to graduation. Victoria was a Cape Ann League All-Star last season.
Due to the Covid-19 crisis, the Cape Ann League teams will play each other once for a ten-game schedule. There will be no non-league games and the league is hoping to have a league playoff in February. Each school in the league will play five home and five road games.
Just like for the fall sports, there will be no MIAA state tournament.
“It calls for us to be flexible,” said Cavallaro, about the challenge of playing during the coronavirus.
With the delayed start to the season, it allows Cavallaro to form a bond with her new team and implement her system.
“We are going to be a running team with the quickness we have,” she said. “We do not have that much size.”
The Pioneers are slated to open the season on Jan. 5th as they visit Manchester-Essex.