Published in the December 13, 2019 edition.

WATERTOWN — The winter sports season begins tonight for Wakefield Memorial High School. The girls’ and boys’ basketball teams start their season against Watertown today while the hockey teams drop the puck in Reading tomorrow night.

The boys’ basketball team kicks things off with a 5:15 p.m. tip at Watertown High. The Warriors are coming off a 14-7 season in which they were Middlesex League Freedom Division champs. The Warriors will be led by senior captains Ryan Marcus (G/F), Quinn Bayers (G) and Pat Collins (F). Wakefield will need multiple players to step up following the loss of five key contributors from last season. For that to be accomplished during head coach Brad Simpson’s 33rd year at the helm, he will turn to returning varsity players like senior Chris Miller and juniors Chris Alden, Mike Iannuzzi, Zack Atoui and Paul Holman.

The Raiders finished the season 12-8. Wakefield native and WMHS hall-of-famer Steve Harrington is looking to replace two-year starting point guard Gabe Spinelli who transferred to a private school.

Following the boys’ game, the girls will take the court at 7 p.m.

Coming off a trip to the North Finals in 2017-18, the Warriors rebuilt with a young team last year and are ready to improve on a 7-13 season in which they went 6-10 in the league.

Wakefield head coach Jason Pavey will have two captains to lead the way during his third season at the helm as seniors Winnie Mylan and Kyleigh Flannigan will lead the charge. Juniors Clara Butler and Brianna Lotti are returning contributors as are sophomores Ashlee Purcell, Sophie Brown and Maeve Gaffney.

On Saturday, the girls’ hockey team will travel to Burbank Arena to play Reading in their first game of the season. The puck drops at 6 p.m.

Head coach Chrissy Weeden returns many strong players for her second year. Wakefield finished 7-11-2 last season. Among the returners is a terrific senior class including Hope Melanson, Sarah Melanson, Erin Heffernan, Annabella Forziati and Carestin Stewart. Wakefield will also count on sophomore goalie and two-year starter Abby Boudreau as well as multiple others from a talented class of ‘22 including Olivia Johnson and Kayli Porter.

The Warriors will play a great Div. 1 Reading team who finished last season at 11-3-6.

Following the girls’ game at 7:45 p.m. the boys will take the ice at Burbank to start head coach Mike Geary’s first year. Wakefield will rely on seniors Cam Souza, Scott Elwell, Chris Coombs and goalie Luke Roberts. During a scrimmage against Medford on Wednesday, the Warriors won 3-1 behind goals from Souza and juniors Oliver Miller and Cal Tryder.

Wakefield, who finished 6-11-3 last year and made the Div. 2 North tournament will be playing an always tough D1 Rockets team. Reading went 12-6-4 last year.