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Girls soccer All-Scholastics and league All-Stars



Girls soccer All-Scholastics and league All-Stars


Bria Abbiati (Newton South)

Juliana Anastopoulos (Brookline)

Megan Banzi (Plymouth North)

Arianna Bezanson (Danvers)

Carolina Bettaro (Revere)

Olivia Borgen (Whitman-Hanson)

Rory Clare (Wellesley)

Lauren Dwyer (Silver Lake)

Abbey Finn (Dedham)

Giulianna Gianino (Norwell)

Kyra Hacker (Natick)

Nia Hislop (Concord-Carlisle)

Claudia Keith (Bishop Fenwick)

Caroline Kennard (Nauset)

Maddie Ledbury (Needham)

Jane Maguire (Hamilton-Wenham)

Maya Mathis (Acton-Boxboro)

Kailee McCabe (Foxboro)

Molly McGlame (Hanover)

Ava Murphy (Winchester)

Camryn O’Connor (Oliver Ames)

Anne Pearl (Bishop Feehan)

Maddi Peck (Westwood)

Ashlee Purcell (Wakefield)

Sophie Reale (Hingham)

Ella Slayton (North Andover)


BRIA ABBIATI, Newton South

Abbaiti scored 13 goals to go with five assists for the Newton South team that went to the Div. 1 State Semifinals. The junior has been the Lions leading scorer in each of her first three years. A standout student, Abbiati also skis and plays lacrosse.


The senior set a school record by allowing just four goals during the regular season. In addition, she set Warriors school records for shutouts with 15 on the year. The four-year varsity starter is hoping to continue her playing career in college and is a member of National Honor Society.

MEGAN BANZI, Plymouth North

The All-State senior midfielder scored 20 goals and added seven assists as she earned Patriot League All-Star honors. A three-time Herald All-Scholastic selection, Banzi has been a league All-Star since her freshman year. Banzi will play her college soccer and study nursing at UMass-Lowell.


Bettero scored 33 goals while also tallying 13 assists to earn Greater Boston League Co-MVP honors. The senior finished her career with a school-record 109 goals and a pair of Greater Boston League MVPs. A three sport athlete, Bettero is also a league All-Star in basketball and outdoor track. She plans on pursuing a degree in criminal justice.


Bezanson scored 22 goals and added 12 assists to finish her time as a Falcon with 86 goals and 36 assists. Bezanson is set to continue her playing career at Colgate University.

OLIVIA BORGEN, Whitman-Hanson

The senior led the Div. 2 state champion Panthers, scoring 23 goals to finish her career with 62 goals and 39 assists. An All-New England selection, Borgen is also the school record holder for the 100-meter dash in track and field. Borgen will continue her playing career at Penn State.

RORY CLARE, Wellesley

The senior forward led the Raiders in goals and assists for the fourth consecutive year. Scoring 21 goals, she earned Bay State Herget Division MVP and All-New England recognition. She is also a track standout, being named a USATF All-American in 2021. A high honor roll student and a member of the National Honor Society, Clare is committed to run track at Columbia University.


Dwyer led Silver Lake to the Div. 2 state title game as she scored seven goals and six assists while being a standout outside defender. A two-time Patriot League All-Star and four-year varsity starter, Dwyer is committed to play Division 1 women’s soccer at Florida Gulf Coast University.


The senior midfielder took home Tri-Valley League MVP honors and All-New England recognition. She was team MVP as a sophomore. A member of the National Honor Society, Finn will continue her playing career at Providence College.


The senior midfielder was the South Shore League Player of the Year after scoring 16 goals and adding 17 assists in leading the Clippers to a 20-1-2 record and the Div. 3 state title. In the offseason, Gianino competes as a member of the South Shore Select. A high honors student, she will play her college soccer at Boston University.


The center back helped guide the Redhawks to 14 shutouts in 2021. During Natick’s run to the Div. 1 state championship they allowed just two goals largely due to Hacker’s play. A member of National Honor Society, Hacker will continue her playing career at Bowdoin College.

NIA HISLOP, Concord-Carlisle

The senior forward was All-New England for the second year in a row as she scored eight goals to go with 17 assists. Hilsop’s play earned her Dual County League All-Star recognition. A member of the FC Stars ECNL club team in the offseason, Hislop is committed to UMass Amherst for soccer.

CLAUDIA KEITH, Bishop Fenwick

Keith finished the season with 12 shutouts and just five goals against, garnering Catholic Central League MVP honors and All-New England recognition. For her career, Keith racked up 40 shutouts and was a three-time CCL All-Star. A member of Aztec Soccer Club, Keith will continue her playing career at Southern New Hampshire University.


Kennard totaled 23 goals and 13 assists despite being only a sophomore. The 2021 Cape & Islands league MVP now has 28 career goals. A high-academic student with a 4.52 GPA, Kennard is hoping to attend a Division 1 school that excels in both academics and athletics.


The senior center forward scored 14 goals and had seven assists to become the highest-scoring player for Needham in 21 years. A first team all-state selection from the United Soccer Coaches Association, Ledbury totaled 60 points over her career. The captain of the Rockets varsity hockey team will play soccer at Hamilton College.

JANE MAGUIRE, Hamilton-Wenham

The senior piled up 21 goals and 11 assists as the top player in the Cape Ann League. The CAL Baker’s MVP finished her career with 30 goals and 15 assists. Also a CAL All-Star on the basketball court and a member of National Honor Society, Maguire is committed to continuing her playing career at Colby College.

MAYA MATHIS, Acton-Boxboro

The junior had 12 goals and nine assists to earn Dual County League Player of the Year. Mathis plays for the FC Stars on the club circuit. Mathis is committed to the University of Connecticut beginning in the fall of 2023.


The striker scored 32 goals, a program single season record. A four-year starter, McCabe finished her career with an astounding 78 goals. The Hockomock MVP in 2020 and 2021, McCabe is committed to Holy Cross.


The senior forward scored 23 goals to earn Patriot League Fisher Division MVP honors. Between her freshman and senior seasons, McGlame totaled 43 goals including 20 in her freshman season when she helped the Hawks reach the South Sectional Final. An honor roll student, McGlame will continue her playing career at St. John’s University.

AVA MURPHY, Winchester

The junior forward scored 21 goals and tallied four assists to Middlesex League Liberty Division MVP. Murphy was named to the United Soccer Coaches Association All-Region team. A member of National Honor Society, Murphy hopes to play college soccer.


The senior midfielder scored 22 goals and had six assists to lead the Tigers to the Hockomock crown and earn All-New England recognition. The National Honor Society student will continue her playing career at Boston University.

ANNE PEARL, Bishop Feehan

The Shamrocks center back scored eight goals while also being part of a defense that allowed just seven goals all season. The Shamrocks reached the Div. 1 state semifinals two year after she helped them capture the crown in 2019. Pearl will continue her playing career at Union College.

MADDI PECK, Westwood

Peck had six goals and 10 assists while serving as the Wolverines attacking midfielder. The Tri-Valley League Large MVP, Peck’s efforts helped lead Westwood to the Div. 2 State quarterfinals. A member of the New England Futbol Club (NEFC) in the offseason, Peck will play soccer at Fordham University.


The senior striker scored 20 goals and had three assists, finishing her varsity career with 45 goals and 19 assists. The Middlesex League Freedom Division’s MVP guided her team to a league championship. The three-sport star also won league MVP honors in basketball and was a Middlesex League All-Star in track last spring. Purcell is committed to Merrimack College to continue her soccer career in 2022.


The junior striker scored 27 goals and added 21 assists in leading Hingham to the Div. 1 state championship game. An All-New England and United Coaches All-American, Reale has 48 goals for her career. One of the top junior recruits, Reale has already given a verbal commitment to UCLA.

ELLA SLAYTON, North Andover

Slayton scored 16 goals and had six assists to earn the Merrimack Valley Conference’s Div. 1 player of the year. An All-New England selection, Slayton is also a standout runner as she has led the Scarlet Knights to state relay titles in both indoor and outdoor track. A member of Seacoast United Girls Academy on the club circuit, Slayton is planning to continue her soccer career at a premier academic school.



Rory Clare, Catherine Smith, Abigail Tucker (Wellesley); Kyra Hacker, Allison Jeter, Briar Grady, Mikayla Henderson, Zoe Graves (Natick); Juliana Anastopoulos, Hope Leschly, Cecelia Wager (Brookline); Brooke Haarala, Ali Jones (Framingham); Maddie Ledbury, Caroline Hood, Jackie Pucillo, Ava Chiappinelli (Needham); Riley Grable (Wellesley); Brooke Walonis (Walpole); Lily Ranalli (Newton North); Loli Morales (Braintree)

MVP: Rory Clare, Maddie Ledbury


Petranella Duross Conklin, Majella Alice Cremin, Lillian Casey Crowley, Lilah Rose Fleischer, Alexa Desforges Poremba (Latin Academy); Rosandra Batista Silva (Boston International); Emanuela Estrela, Mariana Tavares (Burke); Fallow-Me Charles (CASH); Roberssi Reynoso (Charlestown); Brandy Hernandez Augilar, Valeria Erazo, Diana Melgar, Jenifer Sanabria Vasquez (East Boston); Brianna Duran, Dana Duran, Juliana Green (Madison Park); Karina Correa Restrepo (Snowden/Fenway); Lavinia Gomes, Mila Lord, Kaylee Orellana, Jane Yannis (O’Bryant)


ATLANTIC DIVISION: Caroline Kennard, Olivia Avellar, Brady Deschamps, Emma Easley, Sam Schiffenhaus (Nauset); Macy Crowell (Nantucket); Grace Cohen, Lily Hofmann, Megan Jukubicka (Sandwich); Ella Sieger, Mia Cavossa, Elizabeth Janes, Tisharona Blackwood (Falmouth 10); Madelyn Brennan (Dennis-Yarmouth); Livi Varetimos, Lexi Varetimos, Dakota Hesse (Barnstable); Paige Malowski (Martha’s Vineyard)

MVP: Caroline Kennard, Macy Crowell

LIGHTHOUSE DIVISION: Alexandra Palmer, Kara Olonam, Kendal O’Brien, Ella Cheney, Hannah Kalkus (St. John Paul); Lexie Hyora, Audrey Smith, Karah Deveau, Hanna Slater (Monomoy); Kate Donahue, Alexa Bound, Jocelyn Hurrie, Raquel Collins, (Sturgis West); Peyton Joyce, Ellie Smith, Lily Goldmann (Rising Tide); Julietta Marzot (Falmouth Academy); Lilian Shanahan (Cape Cod Academy)

MVP: Kate Donahue


Jane Maguire, Claire Nistl, Jackie Chapdelaine (Hamilton-Wenham); Deirdre McElhinney, Gabriella Loughran, Katelyn Gallagher (Newburyport); Mollie Cahalane, Sabrina Campbell (Pentucket); Samantha Bunar, Adriana Parisi (Lynnfield); Carter King (Ipswich); Madison DiNapoli, Elizabeth Janasiewicz (North Reading); MaryKate McElaney (Amesbury); Casey Mahoney (Georgetown); Morgan Hall (Triton); Kylie Shrock (Rockport)

PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Deirdre McElhinney, Jane Maguire


Allyson Carey, Maeve White (Archbishop Williams); Michelle Donahue (Arlington Catholic); Delaney McNinch, Isabella Tenreiro, Sydney Deroche, Samantha MacCormack, Catherine Gallagher (Austin Prep); Anne Pearl, Grace Robison, Kileigh Gorman, Kaitryn Franchino, Brooke Kennedy, Briana Marrero , Ava Detorie (Bishop Feehan): Claudia Keith, Amy Hatfield, McKenna Gilligan, Isabella Delvecchio, Ella Morgan (Bishop Fenwick); Lily Shields, Taylor Oliveira, Sophie Caldwell (Bishop Stang); Jessica Pulsifer, Alyssa Belmont (Cardinal Spellman); Sophie Skabeikis (St. Mary’s); Kelsie McNamara, Cece Yee (*Matignon); Emmaline Nolan, Katie-Lynne Anderson (*St. Joseph)

* – played an independent schedule


Jenna Savaria, Olivia Mucci, Sydney Comeau (Notre Dame); Krista Murphy, Nuala Rodgers (Ursuline); Maddie Turner, Kayla Francillon (Malden Catholic); Ava Duffy (Fontbonne); Catherine MacLeod (Mt. Alvernia)


UPPER DIVISION: Hope McCarthy, Deanna DelBene, Carrie Martinez, Isabella Santana (Essex Tech); Emily Haas, Athenna Mao, Emily Sandelli (Greater Lowell); Keira Frazier, Delaney Scanlon, Felicia Vitorino (Innovation Academy); Charlotte Morey, Taylor West (Lowell Catholic); Lucia Antonucci, Gianna Gray, Hailey Hickey, Reilly Hickey, Millie Reynolds (Mystic Valley); Falyn Hunt (Northeast); Brielle Pigott, Caitlyn Aprile (Shawsheen)

MVP: Hope McCarthy

LOWER DIVISION: Katharine McNamee, Katherine Vieira (Academy of Notre Dame); Briana Peralta, Lisette Perez (Greater Lawrence); Rebecca Unubun (KIPP); Maria Barrios, Sandy Garcia, Helen Poloy (Lynn Tech); Annie Brosnan, Zoe Callahan, Alice Dalton, Eleanor Silvadurso (Minuteman); Tayla Contino, Carolyn Dorman, Sadie Tracy (Nashoba Tech); Madison Dawkins, Madison Gosse, Ariella Jones, Madison Noury, Natalie Vienneau (Whittier)

MVP: Helen Poloy


THORPE: Maya Mathis, Kacie Benn, Sadie Mathis (Acton-Boxboro); Charlotte Beakley, Nia Hislop (Concord-Carlisle); Bria Abbiati, Sienna Masood (Newton South); Izzy Doherty (Westford Academy)

FOLEY: Emilia Tutun, Brady Jacobson, Lily Swanson, Morgan Rome, Natalie Ladocsi, Julia Hanson, Emma Darling (Weston); Sydney Cox, Gianna Missiti, Sabrina Harris (Bedford); Reagan O’Brien, Allie Golden (Boston Latin); Lauren Medeiros, Sophie Ellenbogen, Samantha Tyska (Wayland); Gabriella Anserlian, Emilie Zinda, Christina LaFauci, Abigail Wilder (Waltham)


Anna Flaherty, Delaney Dana, Lauren Wilson, Jayda Mateo (Lynn Classical); Emma Casey, Maria Colombo (Medford); Carolina Bettero, Nahomey Martinez, Samarah Paiva (Revere); Elizaberth DaSilva, Kailegh Kosta (Somerville); Olivia Doanhue, Sara Dzaferagic (Malden); Marian Madrigal Orrego, Layla Bettancur-Cardona (Everett); Anadia Whelton (Lynn English); Katie Arias (Chelsea)

MVP: Carolina Bettero, Anna Flaherty


Kailee McCabe, Jordan Carman, Meg Burke (Foxboro); Emily Dunlea, Emily Khang (Attleboro); Emily McCabe , Ava Gilmore (Canton); Anya Zub, Stella Regan, Norah Anderson, Rachel Welch (Franklin); Ella Pisani, Grace Lawler (King Philip); Katherine Miller, Kara Santos, Gabrielle Smith (Mansfield); Dani Atherton (Milford); Haley Sinacola, Steph McKenna, Emma Pratt (North Attleboro); Camryn O’Connor, Lucinda Li Cotter, Allison Evin, Lauren Sellmayer (Oliver Ames); Sofia Goclowski (Sharon); Shayla Ford (Stoughton)

MVP: Kailee McCabe


LARGE SCHOOLS: Emily Lehane, Bella Prisco, Kathleen Murphy, Nicole Nihtila (Blue Hills); Isabelle Dias, Noelle Kennedy, Hannah Clarke (Tri-County); Emily Gonzalez, Elizabeth Kinnane (Diman); Paige Crockett, Agapi Kouvlis (Southeastern); Rylie Riendeau (Bristol-Plymouth)

MVP: Isabelle Dias

SMALL SCHOOLS: Josie Ammons, Monica Coghlan, Nevaeh Towne, Brianna Poles (Norfolk Aggie); Heather Cormier, Jessica Rotondo, Paige Borgault (Upper Cape); Haylie Fernandes, Melanie Wood (Old Colony); Aubrie Lindo, Eva Washko (Bristol Aggie); Madison Saben-Hambleton (Cape Cod Tech)

MVP: Josie Ammons

COMPREHENSIVE SCHOOLS: Rachael Geniuch, Arianna Georgantas, Amanda Jacques, Kylie Fuller (West Bridgewater); Emily Cochran, Dalice Viera-Rodriquez, Marissa Todd (Holbrook); Hannah Anselmo, Bethany Slivka (Bishop Connolly); Laura Martel, Jesse Skov (Westport); Emma MacDonald (Avon)

MVP: Rachel Genuich


Emma Slayton, Maddie Jackson, Samantha Klimas (North Andover); Courtnee Pickles, Brooke Tardugno, Hailee Pickles (Methuen); Maci Gould, Mallory Amirian (Haverhill); Michaela Buckley, Ashley Sheldon, Dylan Troy (Andover); Sara MacLeod, Sofia Manne (Billerica); Adrianna Marinello, Zarina Pinto (Central Catholic); Allie LoCoco, Eliana Parreira (Chelmsford); Larissa Agostino (Dracut); Daniela Almeida (Tewksbury)

MVP: Emma Slayton, Hailee Pickles


Arianna Bezanson, Gabby Chisholm, Georgia Prouty (Danvers); Elena Lindonen, Taylor Bovardi (Masconomet); Kayleigh Crowell (Beverly); Emma Bloom, McKayla Fisher (Peabody); Maddie Hudson, Victoria Quagrello (Swampscott); Darcy Muller (Gloucester); Ella Kramer (Marblehead)

MVP: Arianna Bezanson


KEENAN: Sophie Reale, Claire Murray, Ava Maguire, Emily Gibbons, Maddie Aughe (Hingham); Megan Banzi, Carly Schofield, Kylee Carafoli, Erin Richards (Plymouth North); Lauren Dwyer, Shea Kelleher, Mckenna Sylvester, Emma Hudson (Silver Lake); Olivia Borgen, Ava Melia (Whitman-Hanson); Bridgett Barrowman, Samantha Zaslaw (Marshfield), Beth Yucius (Duxbury)

MVP: Sophie Reale

FISHER: Molly McGlame, Mia Pongratz, Ava Toner, Sophia Foley, Mary Carven (Hanover); Brooke Pireotti, Sarah Fogarty, Tess Railton, Hayley Mccarthy (Scituate); Kendra Foley, Ella Rose, Paige Kunkle (Plymouth South); Abigail Flynn, Carleton Gough, Maggie Eva (Pembroke); Jamie McAleavey, Melanie Chretien (North Quincy); Avery Pitta (Quincy)

MVP: Molly McGlame


Devin Sylvia, Abigail Menendez, Morgan Hayward (Apponequet); Abigail Sirois (Case); Carleigh Hall, Caroline Reed, Caitlin Morgado, Julia Tavares (Dighton-Rehoboth); Liza Pinette (Fairhaven); Gracie Maloney, Kaitlyn Duarte (Greater New Bedford); Maddie Wright, Cameran Weaver (Old Rochester); Emily Chin, Lauren Couitt (Seekonk); Alex Cook (Somerset Berkley)

MVP: Devin Sylvia


Jennah Quill, Ava Forbes-Smith, Lily Ford, Isabella Johnson, Lily Coelho, Maya Daryanani (Bridgewater-Raynham); Jarah Rodrigues, Olivia Spadea, Ashley Demosthenes (Brockton); Alexia Almeida, Serena Carnes, Kaitlyn DaSilva (Dartmouth); Margaret O’Connell, Camryn Letendre, Meadow Worsley (Durfee); Madalena Morris, Victoria Perry (New Bedford)


Shannon Groom (Abington); Claudia Peirce , Morgan Reed-Davis (Carver); Catrina Herman, Georgia Barrett, Gracyn Lord, Mia Froio, Tess Barrett (Cohasset); Arinana Snelgrove, Caroline McCormack, Chloe Lang, Erin Condon (East Bridgewater); Bridget Fleming, Elsie Harper, Nina Tiani (Hull); Callia Eaton, Samantha Kersey (Mashpee); Addison Enos, Mallory McKenna, Shawn Gallagher (Middleboro); Anna Kirchner, Bridget Shaw, Chloe Kirchner, Guilianna Gianino, Grace Oliver, Paige Flanders, Sarah Kenney, Smilla Spasic (Norwell); Ngozi Nwaoha (Randolph); Emilee Dunham, Emma Cameron, Emma Radzik, Shea McDougal (Rockland)

MVP: Tess Barrett, Guilianna Gianino


Abbey Finn, Lily Roslonek, Alyssa Keane, Jamie McDonough (Dedham); Rachel Herman, Waverly Sumner, Tessa Broderick, Eloisa Luczkow (Dover-Sherborn); Mia Luisi, Mia Wolfgang (Holliston); Ashley Butler (Hopkinton); Isabella Brown, Bella Gangemi, Shannon Burns, Kate Olenik (Medfield); Shannon Mejia, Mikayla Perez (Medway); Caroline Mundy (Millis); Lily Newell (Norton); Cecilia Venditti (Norwood); Maddi Peck, Haley Jacobson, Sofia Roberts (Westwood)

MVP: Abbey Finn, Maddi Peck


Yankees bats awake late in 7-2 win over Rays



Yankees bats awake late in 7-2 win over Rays

ST. PETERSBURG — Aaron Boone popped out of the dugout in the ninth inning to boos. It was not the Rays fans booing, but the large group of Yankees fans. The manager was headed to the mound to get Nestor Cortes, who had just given a leadoff single to Wander Franco—but had been brilliant all night.

Cortes dominated the Rays’ dangerous lineup for eight innings as the Yankees beat the Rays 7-2 at Tropicana Field Thursday night in the first of the four-game series.

The Yankees (32-13) have won three straight games and 13 of their last 18. They maintained the best record in baseball and increased their cushion in the American League East to 5.5 games over the Rays (26-18)

Cortes threw eight scoreless innings, but Franco scored on Manuel Margot’s single off Wandy Peralta to charge him with a run. It was his 18th consecutive start allowing three earned runs or less. The 27-year old scattered four  hits, walked one and struck out five for his fourth win of the season. It was just the second time in his career that Cortes pitched into the eighth inning.

Cortes walked Yandy Diaz to lead off the bottom of the first and then gave up a single to Harold Ramirez before getting out of the inning unscathed. Cortes matched scoreless innings with Yarborough, retiring 14 straight Rays. The Yankees most consistent starter this season, Cortes threw 109 pitches and got seven swings and misses, four off his four-seam fastball.

It was just the second time in his career Cortes had gotten through eight innings. He spared a bullpen that has been hit hard recently by injuries.

And gave a lineup that has also been hit by the injury bug a chance to catch up.

The Yankees were no-hit through five innings by Ryan Yarborough, who walked Anthony Rizzo in the first and then retired 14 straight before it unraveled in the sixth. Matt Carpenter, who had arrived in the Yankees clubhouse just hours before, was hit by a pitch, the first base runner since the first, and Marwin Gonzalez’s line drive to center field was the Bombers’ first hit of the night.

Aaron Judge grounded a single—98 miles an hour off the bat—up the middle to bring in the Yankees’ first run. The slugger, playing center field after Aaron Hicks was a late scratch, stole second. Miguel Andujar singled to drive in another and a  second run scored on the Rays’ throwing error on the play.

Isaiah Kiner-Falefa led off the seventh with a walk and scored on a Ralph Garza, Jr. wild pitch. Judge drove in the Yankees’ fifth run on a sacrifice fly with the bases loaded in the ninth. Anthony Rizzo followed with a sharp line drive double that plated two more.

The Yankees signed Carpenter, who exercised his opt-out earlier this week, and immediately brought him into the fold with uncertainty about DJ LeMahieu, Josh Donaldson and Giancarlo Stanton on the injured list.

LeMahieu, who had a cortisone shot in his wrist, was still out of the lineup and he tried hitting and took balls at third base before Thursday night’s game. He said the shot had not yet helped enough. The Yankees are also without Josh Donaldson, who is on the COVID-19 list but has not tested positive for the coronavirus. The third baseman is back in New York dealing with a respiratory illness. He is also facing a possible one-game suspension after his altercation with White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson, whom he repeatedly called “Jackie,” in reference to Jackie Robinson. Donaldson issued a statement saying that he and Anderson, who is Black and interpreted the comments as racist, have a mutual understanding. Donaldson is appealing the league’s discipline.

Thursday night, the Yankees were just trying to get through their first series against the always tough Rays. It is also the first of a streak in which the Bombers will play 10 out of 13 games against teams with a winning record, after facing the perpetually rebuilding Orioles seven out of the last 10.

Carpenter, signed by the Yankees after opting out of his minor league deal with the Rangers last week, arrived at the visitors’ clubhouse about an hour and a half before first pitch and minutes before he was hustled off to the hitters’ meeting. The three-time All-Star and former Cardinal was rushed into the lineup less than an hour before first pitch when Hicks was scratched with tightness in his right hamstring.


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Jessica Gelt: Why The Onion’s take on the Uvalde shooting captures every parent’s worst nightmare



Jessica Gelt: Why The Onion’s take on the Uvalde shooting captures every parent’s worst nightmare

It’s the yellow caution tape that gets to me when I look at the pictures tweeted by the satirical website The Onion in the wake of the massacre at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, this week. Emblazoned with the words “Sheriff’s Line Do Not Cross,” the yellow tape is draped around the schoolyard after an 18-year-old man gunned down 19 small children who had recently finished their honor-roll ceremony.

Yellow is a bright, cheery color. It’s one of my 6-year-old daughter’s favorites. It’s the color of the sun, of sunflowers, of balloons and candy. It’s the color of her hair — soft and fine as corn silk.

On police tape, however, yellow is the color of every parent’s worst nightmare: that their child’s school became the target of yet another mass shooting, and that maybe their precious baby has been violently murdered.

It’s a fear we have lived with since the unthinkable tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary in 2012, after which absolutely nothing was done to effect change when it comes to guns in America. In fact, since 20 children were shot down in cold blood in Newtown, Connecticut, gun laws have actually loosened in this country. The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to soon deliver a decision undoing a long-standing New York law that forbids people from carrying guns in public without first demonstrating a “special need” for self-defense.

Wednesday morning, The Onion devoted its entire home page to dozens of images from mass shootings dating back to 2014, accompanied by the same devastating headline: “‘No Way To Prevent This,’ Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens.”

The picture at the very top is the one of Robb Elementary in Uvalde, with the yellow tape circling a schoolyard that should have been filled with joyful kids. The image made the rounds across Twitter and trended rapidly. The Onion has a history of cutting to the chase when it comes to moments of extreme national tragedy in the way that only razor-sharp satire can. No one looking at it was laughing, though. Especially not parents, for whom that specific set of signifiers has a particularly horrific resonance.

The image of yellow tape, paired with police cars, sirens flashing, in front of a school — that’s the image that fills parents with the kind of grief they can taste. The kind that keeps them up at night, wondering if one day they too will have to face such a scene at their child’s school.

The crushing news out of Uvalde came about an hour before I was due to pick up my 6-year-old and her best friend from kindergarten. I could not get to the elementary school fast enough. My heart pounded, and I wiped at my eyes because I couldn’t see through my tears to drive. The radio didn’t help, as the scope and scale of the carnage in Texas began to crystallize. I was not alone in my race to get to my child. The schoolyard was filled with parents who had shown up early, who could not wait to wrap arms around their babies. Our worried, pained eyes met as we hustled toward the pickup line. But we didn’t speak. We couldn’t. What would we say?

The bell rang, and children burst forth from the school doors — yelling and laughing, chasing one another and running to their waiting parents. Little kids full of giggles and questions, wearing clothes dirty from play, shoelaces untied, hair messy, faces caked in food, bearing lopsided smiles.

As we walked back to the car, my daughter and her friend chattered on about the dance party they had in school and the glow-in-the-dark bracelets they got as a special treat. They wore paper crowns that they made in art class, decorated with tender kid drawings: smiling faces, stick arms, flowers and birds.

The worry and fear were more palpable Wednesday morning, as parents who had spent the night stewing in this new horror were further processing its vast implications — and realizing that this grief was theirs to shoulder forever, maybe, unless actual change was made in favor of common-sense gun legislation.

This week had been spirit week at Robb Elementary, and Tuesday was foot loose and fancy-free day, with the kids encouraged to wear their fanciest footwear. We parents had to grapple with images of tiny bodies in glittery, fabulous shoes — shoes that made the morning fun and exciting to kids who were still learning to read. I thought about that as I put my daughter’s feet into her own glittery shoes as we got ready for school. They are the kind that light up when she runs. She finds so much joy in those shoes. Because little kids can find joy in anything.

I thought about not taking my daughter to school this morning. But I did. And I wasn’t alone. We parents got up and did it again. As we walked toward the main doors, we held our children’s hands a bit more tightly. Many parents got down on their knees at the school gate and hugged their kids longer than usual. Our eyes still filled with worry. We were not yet ready to speak.

I haven’t been able to stop thinking about a conversation I had with my daughter a few nights ago, just before the nightmare in Uvalde. I had just put her to bed, when she got up again and came timidly into my room. She said two things were “concerning her.”

She asked if dying meant she would never imagine anything again. I said that was likely the case. I told her everyone dies. That her daddy would die one day, that I would and that she would too. But, I said, she didn’t have to worry about that for a long, long time.

She asked how people die. I told her it happens when our hearts stop beating — from sickness, or accidents, or when we are very, very old.

She nodded and then said, “Maybe if I die, I’ll come back as a little baby somewhere else.”

“Maybe,” I said. “Some people believe that. Your grandma Boo always said she would come back as a yellow butterfly. That’s why when we see yellow butterflies, we think of her.”

She thought about this for a moment.

“I’m going to come back as a black and white cat,” she said. “And I’m going to show up at your door, and you’ll know it’s me. I’ll push up against your door, and I won’t go.”

I liked the image of the cat, but I didn’t at all like the idea that I would still be around when she was not.

I told her, “Oh, sweetheart, I hope I’ll be long gone before then.”

“What do you mean?” she asked.

I said, “I hope I die before you. Mamas should die before their babies.”

“Most mamas and daddies stay alive until their babies are gone,” she said.

I could tell she needed me to say I’d never leave her, so I said, “OK, deal. I’m not going anywhere, as long as you promise not to either.”

“Deal,” she said.

I kissed her and tucked her back in. Then I went to my room and cried my eyes out.

Parents aren’t supposed to lose their babies. We aren’t supposed to show up at school to be confronted by the shock and horror of yellow tape and police cars on a clear blue day just before summer vacation is about to begin. We aren’t supposed to digest one mass shooting after another after another, always hoping that the bullets won’t one day fly closer to home.

And we should never have learned to accept the standard line after such a tragedy occurs, the one currently blanketing The Onion’s homepage in a heart-shattering tableau of yellow tape and emergency vehicles. Like a relentless funeral dirge, it reads: “‘No Way To Prevent This,’ Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens.”

Jessica Gelt writes for the Los Angeles Times.


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Yankees, Rays tweet about gun violence instead of game



Yankees, Rays tweet about gun violence instead of game

The Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays shared facts about gun violence instead of baseball on their Twitter timelines during Thursday night’s game.

“In lieu of game coverage and in collaboration with the Tampa Bay Rays, we will be using our channel to offer facts about the impacts of gun violence,” the Yankees said in a statement before first pitch. “The devastating events that have taken place in Uvalde, Buffalo and countless other communities across our nation are tragedies that are intolerable.”

On Tuesday, an 18-year-old fatally shot 19 children and two teachers at an elementary school in Uvalde. Ten days earlier, a white teenager targeted a Black grocery store in Buffalo for his own rampage, killing 10 people and wounding three more.

One of the Yankees’ and Rays’ tweets was about the disproportionate impact of gun violence on Black communities.

“Every three hours, a young Black man dies by gun homicide,” the teams wrote.

In addition to the tweets, the Rays announced a $50,000 donation to Everytown for Gun Safety. Rays relief pitcher Brooks Raley is from Uvalde and graduated from Uvalde High School, the same school that killer Salvador Ramos attended.

“Every day, more than 110 Americans are killed with guns, and more than 200 are shot and injured,” the teams wrote to open the game.

Other tweets touched on topics such as domestic violence and suicide, and how access to guns can make things worse.


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