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Tourney-bound Tanners football team falls short against Danvers




After two dominating wins at home in which they outscored the opposition by 61 points, the Peabody Tanners traveled to face the formidable Danvers Falcons last Friday and came back with a disappointing result. The Tanners defense, which had been stingy giving up yards on the ground all year, got carved up for more than 200 yards rushing, as the Falcons bulled their way to a 22-7 Northeastern Conference victory in very wet conditions at Dr. Deering Stadium.

The loss left Peabody at 3-4 overall entering the opening round of the Division 1A North playoffs. The Tanners take to the road for a contest at Westford Academy this Friday (scheduled 7 p.m. kickoff).

“Didn’t see this coming – I thought we had a real nice week of practice, but we got manhandled and out-toughed up front on both sides of the ball,” said Peabody head coach Mark Bettencourt. “We lost the battle of the trenches. We even knew they were going to run the ball, and they were still getting seven to eight yards a clip. It was tough to watch.”

Doing a major bulk of the damage for Danvers was star running back Matt Andreas, who gained 141 yards, 102 of those in the second half, when the Falcons put together a 20-play, 80-yard march that consumed close to 11 minutes. The drive ended early in the fourth quarter; a TD and subsequent 2-point conversion turned a 14-7 halftime lead into a 15-point advantage for the hosts.

The Tanners were unable to respond on their next possession. Quarterback Matt D’Amato was intercepted, pretty much ending any hopes for a comeback.

Bettencourt thought his team might be able to carry some momentum into the final two quarters. The Tanners scored in the final minute of the first half to cut a 14-0 deficit to 14-7. “Coming out of the locker room I felt like we were in a good position,” he explained. “We deferred after winning the [pre-game] toss, so we knew we were getting the ball to start the second half. We were still able to control our destiny but we just didn’t execute.”

The late first-half score – 1-yard TD run and PAT kick by D’Amato – was set up by a 43-yard pass connection to Jake Doherty. It turned out to be the lone highlight for Peabody, which was held to under 100 total yards on offense.

The contest was scoreless until the final three minutes of the second quarter. The Falcons, who improved to 6-1 overall with the win, scored twice in a span of 1:18 on touchdown plays of 42 and 55 yards. With 1:25 left in the half, the Tanners managed to drive down the field for their only points.

After the game Bettencourt said his squad will need to upgrade its performance if it is to make any noise in the post-season tournament. The Tanners scored a first-round playoff win over Malden last year. “There’s never any easy road in the playoffs,” he said. “We have to correct our mistakes and get ready for the challenge.”

By Greg Phipps


PHS Boys’ Soccer team supports No Thanks Needed


Peabody High School Boys’ Soccer, together with Luso-American Credit Union and the Couto family, made a donation to No Thanks Needed, a foundation helping terminally ill children. Pictured is PHS Boys’ Soccer Head Coach Stan McKeen, Capt. Lucas Amaral, Brian Bombaci, Alex Martins, Sean Mullins, No Thanks Needed Founder Tom Quigley, Capt. Jake Zeuli, Capt. Mark Couto, Cameron Anderson, Capt. Stephen Panzini and Mike Fay. (Courtesy photo)


Tanner team effort helps blank Lynn Classical, 5-0





Head coach Stan McKeen was feeling good after seeing his Peabody boys’ soccer team record its fifth shutout win in its last eight games.

Two goals by Mark Cuoto and single tallies from Jonathan Alves, Zack Silva and Noah Sherman helped the Tanners to a 5-0 blanking of the Lynn Classical Rams in their Senior Night game Monday evening, Oct. 24.

Peabody scored twice in the opening 40 minutes and added three more in the second half. There was also some redemption in the triumph as Peabody lost, 2-1, to the Rams earlier in the year.

“A 2-0 lead [at halftime] is the worst lead to have in soccer but we kept control of the game,” McKeen said. “We moved the ball well and we’re playing great defense. It was a real team effort all the way around.”

After failing to make the playoffs for the first time in 15 seasons last year, the Tanners have turned their 2016 season around after going 1-5-1 over their first seven games. Peabody improved to 8-6-1 with Monday’s win and was on a 7-1 streak. As of Monday, the Tanners needed just one point, meaning at least a tie in their final three contests, to qualify for the state tournament.

“We struggled early in the year and didn’t have an identity. We’re definitely playing better now,” said McKeen. “Our defense is working well together and the offense seems to be coming around. We’ve had difficulty scoring goals most of the year but the defense and goaltending have been our biggest strengths and have kept us in games.”

The Tanners have allowed just two goals in their last eight games. McKeen cited a tough loss to Revere earlier in the year as being the wake-up call the team needed.

“It was a bad loss. We were ahead 3-0 in that game but let it get away from us. We’ve played much better since then. I think that was the turning point for us,” he observed.

As for making the playoffs, McKeen is encouraged by his team’s surge over the second half of the season. He thinks they’ll be a formidable foe for anyone if they make it into the tournament.

“If we’re able to put a few goals in the net, with our defense, I thing we can play with anyone,” he said.

In Monday’s win, Nicolo Klinger, Brian Bombaci, Cameron Anderson, and Lucas Amaral contributed assists, as the Tanners put 11 shots on goal. Peabody goalie Jacob Zeuli faced just four shots on the other end.

The team’s senior players were also honored before the game. They are: Amaral, Anderson, Cuoto, Bombaci, Michael Fay, Alex Martins, Zeuli, Sean Mullins, and Stephen Panzini.

McKeen credited his senior captains Cuoto, Amaral, Panzini and Zeuli for “doing a good job and showing great leadership.”

Girls’ soccer continues to roll

The Peabody girls’ soccer team notched its 13th victory of the season by shutting out Lynn Classical in Lynn Monday.

The playoff-bound Tanners, 13-1-1 after Monday’s win, didn’t give up a shot on goal against the Rams. Alexandria Demeo and Alyssa Shashaty played solid defense and midfielder Jillian Arigo performed well.

Emily Nelson collected two goals while Chloe Gizzi and Marissa Orlando each scored for the Tanners.


PHS Boys Soccer Senior Night










PeaBOOdy and area Halloween events








Halloween is three days from now, but there’s still time to take in a spooktacular event or two. Here are some recommendations.

Witch’s Brew Tea Tasting

Jolie Tea Co., 105 Essex St., Salem, October 28, 2-4 p.m.; free

Get a free sample of witch’s brew tea and then spend the evening on the lookout for the ghosts and ghouls that haunt Witch City.

Halloween Family Bash

Torigian YMCA, 259 Lynnfield St., Peabody, Oct. 28 (6-8 p.m.), Oct. 29 (7-9 p.m.); $10 per family

Wear your costume and have your picture taken in the photo booth. Make Halloween crafts, play games and walk through the Wicked Woods of Camp Eastman … if you dare.

Woop-di-BOO! Revue!

Neverland Theatre, Bolles Hall, 211 Bridge St., Salem, Oct. 28 (7 & 9 p.m.); Oct. 29 (2, 5 & 8 p.m.); Oct. 30 (1, 4 and 7 p.m.); $12.50

This hour-long musical-comedy show is suitable for families.

Mahi Mahi Haunted Happenings Harbor Cruise

Pickering Wharf, Salem, October 28-31, various sailing times; $15-$25

Cruise the local harbors to see haunted lighthouses. Come in costume for spooky photo opportunities and a free tarot card reading. Call 978-825-0001 for reservations.

Tales at the Witch House

Witch House, 310 ½ Essex St., Salem, October 28, 7-10:30 p.m.; $13

Listen to ghost tales in the darkened rooms of the house that was once owned by the judge of the Salem Witch Trials. Ghostly tours are every half hour until 9:30 p.m.

Messages from the Spirit World: a séance

Omen Psychic Parlor and Witchcraft Emporium, 184 Essex St., Salem, October 28, 9-10:30 p.m.; $40

Limited to 35 participants, this event features two mediums who try to contact the spirit world in a real séance. Call 978-666-0763 for reservations.

Haunted Theatre at the Gables

House of the Seven Gables & Hawthorne Birth House, 115 Derby St., Salem, Oct. 28-29 (8-10:30 p.m.), Oct. 31 (7-9 p.m.); $15 for one play or $28 for two

Magistrate John Hawthorne, Nathaniel’s great-great grandfather, interrogates visitors during “Legacy of the Hanging Judge.” Watch as Hawthorne’s troubled characters haunt mansions while tangled in a family curse in “Spirits of the Gables.” Performances run every five to 10 minutes throughout the evening.

Hysteria at Connors Farm

30 Valley Rd., Danvers, Oct. 28-31, dusk until 11 p.m.; $15-$40

From a Flashlight Maze (non-haunted) to a Haunted Barn and Zombie Paintball, there’s a Halloween happening for all age groups.

Haunted Movie: Disney’s “Hocus Pocus”

Salem Common, Salem, Oct. 29, 6-8 p.m.; free

Watch a free al fresco showing of Walt Disney’s “Hocus Pocus,” starring Bette Midler and Sarah Jessica Parker.

Rockin’ and Dancing All Day at the Fountain Stage

Museum Place Mall, Essex St., Salem, October 29, 6-11 p.m.; free

Don your costume, get in the spirit of Halloween and come out to dance to live music by local bands.

Haunting at Witch Hill

Peirce Farm at Witch Hill, 116 Boston St., Topsfield, October 30, 6:30 p.m.; $65

Travel back to Victorian times to listen to ghost stories in a manor house and enjoy music and a complimentary cocktail. Victorian attire is encouraged at this fundraising event for Essex Heritage.

Tricks, Treats and Treasures at the Phillips House

34 Chestnut St., Salem, October 31, 5:30-7 p.m.; free

This family event features sea-shanty-singing pirates and lots of tricks, treats and treasures at the historic Phillips House.


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