Bay State Games Fruitful for Stow Athletes

Published in the July 16, 2008 issue of The Stow Independent

By Jordana Bieze Foster

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High school soccer season won't start for another two months. For athletes in wrestling, track, tennis, and softball, the wait will be even longer. But Stow residents in all of those sports saw action last weekend at the Bay State Games, bringing home a cache of medals and a closet full of the coveted jackets awarded to the top six athletes in each event.

Top honors for the weekend went to dual-sport athlete Tyler Masi, who will be a senior this fall at St. John's High School in Shrewsbury. Masi, a defender on the Pioneers soccer team that won the Division I state championship last fall, reprised that role for the Central team that brought home a BSG gold medal on Sunday with a 2-0 win over Coastal. The win avenged a 1-0 loss to Coastal the previous day—a game that featured the only goal allowed by Masi and his backfield mates all tournament.

“It was a good opportunity for me to get some touches on the ball, and get ready for tryouts this fall,” he said.

Masi not only brought home a gold medal and jacket for his accomplishments on the soccer field, he also collected a second jacket for his performance on the track. Masi , a member of the St. John's 4x400 relay team that won the all-New England meet this spring, placed fifth in the men's open 400 meters on Saturday.

Rachel Busch, who will be a sophomore at Nashoba Regional in the fall, also medaled in track and field on Saturday with a third-place finish in the pole vault. Busch's bronze-medal effort cleared eight feet, equaling the height she recorded two weeks earlier at the New England Junior Olympics.

“It was a good experience,” she said, adding that the off-season meets have an extra element of unpredictability compared with high school meets. “There are fewer people you know, so you don't really know what your competition will be like.”

Nashoba senior-to-be Joe Doyle of Lancaster also had an impressive showing at the Games, winning the 800 meter event in 1:59.33. Doyle placed third in the same event at the all-New England meet with a time of 1:56.82.

Dan Trefry of Stow, who will also be a senior at Nashoba in the fall, earned a jacket in wrestling for his fifth place finish in the 215-pound weight class. Trefry lost by fall in the semifinals to eventual champion Derek Papagianopoulos of Buckingham, Brown & Nichols Prep, then lost a close 4-3 decision to Don Sheridan of Bridgewater-Raynham in the consolation semifinal.

“It was probably one of the better tournaments I've been in,” Trefry said. “It gives me a good idea of what I'm going to be up against next season.”

Trefry, whose sixth-place finish in the Division II state tournament in February qualified him for the All-State meet, continued a Chieftain wrestling tradition at the Games; Frank DeMeo, the team captain who was killed in an accident at the end of last season, won a gold medal in the 112-pound weight class at the 2007 Games. Also continuing a Chieftain tradition, head coach Matt Schiller wrestled in the 170-pound open division and took home a jacket of his own with a sixth-place finish.

Other Stow athletes competing in the Games included Allison Wyand in softball and Jeff Stefanis in tennis, both of whom will be seniors at Nashoba in the fall. Stefanis, captain of the Chieftain team that made it to the state final this past spring, received a Verizon Future Leaders Scholarship in conjunction with the Games. The Central softball team went 0-4 for the tournament; tennis results were not available at press time.

Copyright 2008 Jordana Foster – 24 Kirkland Dr, Stow, MA – Email: – Fax: (815) 346-5239