Paige Licata knows she is stepping into a good situation as the varsity softball coach at St. Mary’s High School, and she couldn’t be happier.
“I’m honored and excited to take on the challenge,” said Licata, a former Revere High standout who has served as an assistant coach at her alma mater the last two years. “St. Mary’s has a program that is highly respected. This is a great opportunity.”
Licata replaces Colleen (Parker) Newbury, who led the Spartans to two state championships and eight North sectional titles in 15 years. Newbury will coach at Danvers High this year.
“We feel very fortunate to get a coach with Paige’s ability, enthusiasm and potential,” said St. Mary’s Athletic Director Jeff Newhall. “She brings with her a passion for the game that translates well to student-athletes. We’re thrilled to have her on board.”
Licata graduated from UMass Boston in 2014 after spending three years at Assumption College, where she played softball from 2011-13. She works as director of operations at Bay State Softball in Framingham, providing instruction, overseeing clinics and marketing the facility.
Licata also owns PAL Athletics, a company that provides softball instruction and college consultation.
“After college I decided I wanted to work in softball and help kids get to the highest level they can,” she said. “It’s worked out well so far.”
Licata said she has benefitted greatly from working under Revere High head coach Joe Ciccarello – for whom she played as a senior in 2010 — the last two years, in which the Patriots have won back-to-back Northeastern Conference titles and their first MIAA Div. 1 North championship ever, in 2014.
“I played the game at a high level and knew I wanted to be a coach,” said Licata, who also serves as JV field hockey coach at Revere High. “I wanted to learn about managing a team and everything that goes with it. Coach Ciccarello taught me a lot, and I feel prepared to take the next step.”
Licata also counts Revere High field hockey coach Erin Parker and girls basketball coach Diana DeCristoforo as mentors and friends.
“I’ve tried to take something from each of them to the point that I feel confident in taking my first head coaching position,” she said.
A three-sport captain – field hockey, basketball, softball – at Revere High, Licata hit .680 as a junior and holds the school record for home runs, doubles and stolen bases. She suffered a torn ACL injury in field hockey as a senior, causing her to miss the entire basketball season and all but the final three softball games.
Licata, who lives in Newton, is well aware that coaching at a school with the tradition of St. Mary’s is not a low-pressure position. And she wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I’m driven and determined,” she said. “St. Mary’s has a reputation for outstanding academics and athletics. I’m proud to be part of that and ready to do my part in continuing that tradition.”