Youth Sports League Grants Available to Make Sure All Watertown Children Can Play

The following announcement was provided by the Watertown Community Foundation:

With the announcement of The Watertown Community Foundation’s (WCF) Youth Sports League Grant Program, WCF aims to serve Watertown youth from pre-k through high school, their families, and the volunteer coaches who run the leagues. Many children cannot participate in organized sports due to the cost and many coaches assume the added burden of paying players’ fees themselves. The goal is to allow greater participation in team sports of all kinds for all youth regardless of their ability to pay. “WCF is committed to helping every Watertown child that is interested have the experience of playing a team sport” said WCF board member Bob Airasian, the driving force behind the program. “The Youth Sports League Grant Program will provide financial support to youth sports leagues to reduce costs as barriers to participation. We couldn’t have done this on our own and are incredibly thankful for the support from The Bilezikian Family Foundation and NESN.”

“Youth sports leagues teach children athletic and social skills, foster community among families, and attract and retain families in Watertown.

Watertown Boxer Faces First Pro Fight, Looking to Become Firefighter

Watertown’s Rico DePaolis, center, will make his professional boxing debut on March 13. He is shown here with Matt and Mark Nolan, who own the gym where he trains. For several years, Rico DePaolis pursued a career in college basketball coaching, but now the 30-year-old has set his athletic sights on the boxing ring while he looks to start a career in firefighting. The Watertown native will make is professional boxing debut on March 13 in Windham, N.H. DePaolis has a 3-1 record as an amateur, with three victories by stoppage. “I am fighting a gentleman from New York who has a lot of experience in boxing and MMA,” DePaolis said.

One of the Best WHS Basketball Players Looking to Play at College’s Highest Level

Gabe Spinelli returned to Watertown for his senior year. Coach Steve Harrington called him one of the best players he has coached. The pandemic has altered plans for many. While most of those changes fall in the negative column, there was a positive one for the Watertown High School boys basketball team, as it led to the return of a star player who’s looking to take his game to the Division I college level. Gabe Spinelli spent his first two years playing for the Raiders, and got some quality playing time on Watertown’s 2018 State Championship team his freshman year.

Sign Ups Open for Waltham/Watertown Youth Lacrosse

The following announcement was provided by Waltham/Watertown Youth Lacrosse:

Registration for Waltham/Watertown Boys Youth Lacrosse is open! We are looking for new and experienced players from grades K-8 to join the Waltham/Watertown Lacrosse community. Practices are held one-to-two weekday nights per week (and/or Saturday mornings) depending on age group. Practices, weather and COVID guidelines permitting, will begin in March with games scheduled to begin in early April. We know folks may have questions/concerns regarding the coming season.Waltham/Watertown Youth Lacrosse will adhere to all COVID related guidelines for the season for the safety of the players and the community.Please see our website for more information at Walthamlacrosse.com and be sure to follow Waltham/Watertown Youth Lacrosse on Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/Waltham-Youth-Lacrosse-103060247927982

If you have any questions, please reach out to:Jim Helie: jimh9906@gmail.com, 857-272-1351Pete Bennett: peter_m_bennett@hotmail.com, 617-510-7060

We look forward to getting started!

Watertown Claims League Basketball Crown by Beating Winchester

The Watertown boys basketball team poses after winning the Middlesex League Tournament by beating Winchester, 64-57. An empty Watertown High Gym does not have the same feel as a rowdy TD Garden, but Saturday’s Middlesex League Boys Basketball Championship on Saturday had a special feel for the victorious Raiders. The league tournament was the only postseason on offer during COVID-19, and senior Gabe Spinelli put an exclamation mark on the win by dunking the ball as time ran out in Watertown’s 64-57 defeat of Winchester. “It’s not the state championship but it’s something,” Spinelli said. “The fact that we had (a game with) a postseason feel is huge, and that helped us a lot in this game.”

Girls Hoops Coach Thanks Team After Challenging 2021 Season, Boys Hoops Makes League Final

Three seniors on the Watertown girls basketball team closed out their career this week, from left, Leah D’Amico, Morgan Beirne and Christina Zouein. The season ended Wednesday for the Watertown High School girls basketball team with a loss in the first round of the Middlesex League playoffs, but Head Coach Pat Ferdinand still called it an “incredible season.” The Raiders had to adjust to the season shortened by COVID-19, and the safety guidelines put in during the pandemic, including having to wear masks while playing and not having fans in the stands. The team even had to find ways to work on their game even when they couldn’t practice in person, Ferdinand said. He particularly thanked the three seniors, Leah D’Amico, Morgan Beirne and Christina Zouein.

Watertown Boys Hoops Cruises vs. Lexington, Girls Fall & Boys Hockey Triumphs

Watertown senior Gabe Spinelli scored 39 points in the Raiders’ win over Lexington in the Middlesex League Tournament. Gabe Spinelli’s 39 points led Watertown’s dominating 75-57 win over Lexington in the first round Middlesex League boys basketball tournament game, Wednesday at WHS. The Raiders claimed the second seed in the special tournament organized by the league after the MIAA decided not to hold winter sports tournaments due to COVID-19. After the game, Watertown Head Coach Steve Harrington said he would love to be coaching the team in the State Tournament, but was happy with how his team played in the league tourney. Lexington, the seventh seed, kept the game tight in the first half.

Post Season Play for Watertown Basketball, Hockey Teams

The boys basketball team will be one of three Watertown High School teams playing in Middlesex League postseason games on Wednesday. While the MIAA will not be having winter state tournaments due to the pandemic, Watertown High School has three teams playing postseason games on Wednesday. The Raiders had a successful winter, with two teams winning the Middlesex League Freedom Division — boys basketball and girls hockey — and a third having a winning season. This week, three teams will be playing Middlesex League foes in a special tournament, said WHS Athletic Director Ryan Murphy. “We knew we couldn’t have a State Tournament, but wanted to have some kind of year ending, season ending experience for the kids,” Murphy said.