Chris Warren has played quarterback in the high school Super Bowl at the New England Patriots’ home stadium and led his Lynn Classical softball team to 38 consecutive conference wins.
But Wednesday night’s 9-0 win over Lynn English – in which senior pitcher Katie Cuozzo hurled a masterful three-hit shutout – ranks as one of the most memorable in his highly successful coaching and playing career.
Warren and the Classical program had promoted the event as the Coaches Versus Cancer Classic and a large crowd turned out for the charity game between the two cross-town rivals. Judy Bertrand, Warren’s mother, died in 2010 after waging a valiant battle against cancer, so there was plenty of emotion as his team took the field in their purple jerseys (Purple is the official color of the American Cancer Society).
The Rams played to a championship caliber level. Cuozzo, who will attend Regis College, displayed her All-Star credentials on the mound while Samantha Earp, Danielle Moran, newly minted league MVP Chelsey Bartlett, Olivia DeJoie, and Angela Erelli all contributed to the Rams’ potent offense.
Afterwards Warren, who wore “MOM” on the back of his jersey in tribute to his late mother, talked about what the game meant to him and his players.
“This was one of the most special nights as a coach and an athlete that I’ve ever been involved in,” said Warren. “The girls were at the field since 4 p.m., setting up the streamers and the bags. A lot of people were on our minds today, between my mom, Mr. Garrity, Jay Alicudo, Miss Miles, Mr. Calnan – and all the people that were represented on the back of our jerseys.
“That’s what this game was all about and I was just happy to be a part of it. It was very special organizing it and our players couldn’t wait to play this game. And we were able to raise more than $2,000 for the American Cancer Society. This is a night that I will look back on forever as will our players.”
Warren also reflected on the 38-game intra-conference winning streak and back-to-back 16-0 campaigns.
“I don’t think we’ll realize how special that is until five or six years from now,” said Warren. “I don’t know if any NEC team has ever put together a streak like that in softball. It’s very exciting to be a part of it. They’re a great bunch of kids.”
Classical will be a high seed in the Division 1 North Sectionals of the State Tournament that gets underway this week.
I think we’re in a good spot and hopefully we can make a run,” said Warren.