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~ The Old Sachem ~ A look back at the start of SHS Hockey

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By Bill Stewart


Before we get to Sachems hockey, we have another list of Sachems who made all-star teams this fall. Conference all-stars for girls’ volleyball are Ava Rogers and Ana Silva. Girls’ soccer Conference all-stars are Madison Botta and Violet Howley. Division all-stars are Madi Femino and Veronica Ortega.

The team made the state tourney for Division 3 after 15 wins, three losses and a tie. In the tourney they beat North Reading 1-0. The teams battled through the regulation time and overtime to a 0-0 draw. The game went into penalty kicks and Saugus won on kicks by Botta, Shay Sewell, Ortega and Natalie Justice.

Northeastern Conference boys’ soccer all-stars in the Lynch Division are Sachems Nicolas de Oliveira and Xavier Martinez.

High school hockey started in Saugus in 1941 when faculty members William Donovan and Tony Marandos got students to play against each other. The team mostly played against each other on Lily Pond and did compete with Essex Agricultural, Malden, Wakefield, Malden Catholic, Swampscott and Essex Agricultural a second time. They had three wins, two losses and a tie. They continued on through to 1946.

In 1947 the Sachems played in the North Shore Hockey League – the first year of the league – Jack and Charlie Prentice, Randy Popp in net, and Parrott. The team played in Boston on Saturdays. They won four, lost three, and tied one. The team practiced on Lily Pond when there was ice, and in the schoolyard shooting off plywood when ice was not available.

The year 1948 was a great time for the Sachems: They had a record of eight wins, one loss and a tie. They beat St. John’s Prep, Lawrence Central, Beverly, Marblehead, Salem and Gloucester. They tied Peabody, beat Revere, lost to Danvers, then beat Swampscott. They won the North Shore Championship and qualified for the Metropolitan Hockey Tournament, but lost twice, to Malden and Hyde Park. Ronnie Carlton was Captain with Dick Hussey and Don Deveau in net. The league games were played in an outdoor rink while the Lynn Arena was being built.

The 1949 season was the first time the league played on artificial ice. The Sachems continued the heroics for Saugus hockey as they again won the North Shore League with a record of eight wins and a single loss. They beat Salem, Revere and Marblehead, lost to Peabody by a goal, and went on to win over Swampscott, Gloucester, St. John’s, Beverly and Danvers. The Prentice brothers were the top scorers for the team and Hussey was still in the nets.

The 1950 season was a disappointment as the team went zero wins, eight losses and two ties. The great players of yore had graduated and the Meagher brothers, Robert and George, Richard Emmett, George Nicholson, Richard Eastman and Charles Green were among the youngsters starting out. The year 1951 was another disappointment as the team won two, lost six and tied two.

Saugus would not see a Championship team until 1960 – another in 1965.


  (Editor’s Note: Bill Stewart, who is better known to Saugus Advocate readers as “The Old Sachem,” writes a weekly column about sports – and sometimes he opines on current or historical events or famous people.)

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