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WooSox Community Skating Event at the Worcester Common Oval

The WooSox will be hosting a community skating event in the Worcester Common Oval on Thursday, February 2 from 6pm-8pm for members of the Worcester Red Sox Booster Club.

Joining our booster club is free and easy, and fans can learn more by visiting the link on our event page or www.gowoosox.com.


Dale Lepage and Steve Bourassa Talk
Worcester Jazz Festival 2019

Click Image to watch!

Unity Radio to Air Holy Cross Women's Basketball, Men's Ice Hockey and Women's Ice Hockey in 2019-20


#RailersRadioHour will now take place on Wednesdays from 12-1pm
 on Unity Radio 97.9fm, streaming at wuty979fm.org and Facebook Live!

Local Coach Receives Prestigious Honor

SUTTON – Sutton High School boys’ head coach Mike Elster has earned one of his profession’s highest
The United Soccer Coaches, a 30,000-member national organization, with members from the youth, high
school, college and professional ranks has presented him with its High School Coach of Significance
The honor recognizes members “who are coaching for character, and using the soccer field to teach life
lessons at the high school level.” Honorees “make an impact within their schools and communities well
beyond their records of wins and losses.”
Each state honors one coach from its ranks. Coach Elster was selected for Massachusetts. “These
outstanding coaches represent the ultimate spirit of coaching while making an impact on player’s lives in
all aspects of their core development both on and off the field,” says Rusty Oglesby, United Soccer
Coaches high school advocacy chair.”
Elster, who is in his 12th year as Sutton’s head coach, 15 th year on the Sutton Youth Soccer Board –
including the last 5 as president, owner of Fortis FC, LLC premier soccer club, and owner of Elster
Training, says he is “humbled” by this honor. “In some ways, this award is the most meaningful of my
career because it recognizes what I believe is most important about coaching. The vast majority of the
students that I coach will not play in college. My goal is to help them develop into good leaders, good
people, and good citizens to have positive impacts on their families, places of employment, and
Robert Magner, one of Coach Elster’s former players and assistant coach since 2012, states, “Mike’s
record as a coach speaks for itself, but his impact as a leader and as a coach in the community is what
determines his worth.” Rob has learned from his mentor that you as an individual can always give more,
to your team, to your family, and to your community. He says that “coach has had a huge impact on my
life first as a player and as a young man, and I appreciate the chance to still learn from him as one of his
assistant coaches.” He reminisces that the team will often read a poem titled Push before big games to
remind themselves, “your biggest challenge isn't someone else; it's the ache in your lungs, the burning in
your legs, & the voice inside you that yells can't, but you don't listen, you push harder.”
Ryan Elster, Mike’s son, former player and current assistant coach knows firsthand what is most important
to his father is not the state championships or awards but rather the impact in life he can make on all of
his players as they make their way through the program. He shares, “Immediately when you enter the
varsity program, principles of leadership, community service, motivation, and the importance of team are
taught in a variety of ways. For example, at the beginning of the season we set goals and not just related
to soccer. We made goals for grades, behavior, yellow cards for dissent, and sportsmanship. He read
articles, told stories, had us watch videos, and more that taught us different lessons on leadership, service
to others, hard work, commitment, and character.” Coach Elster also strives to stay relevant and keep it
light to make his points. For example you may see coach wearing a Yoda mask or wearing a Hulk t-shirt
because although Yoda is small in size, his wisdom and quiet leadership make him a prominent figure
while Hulk, on the other hand, is a symbol of strength, courage, and durability.
Justin Rothermich, one of Coach Elster’s most talented high school soccer players, echoes the important
lessons that Coach taught him about what it means to be a student-athlete on and off the field. “He
showed me that being a leader doesn’t mean just performing on the field, it means leading by example in
your academics and community. He illustrated that the needs of others and the team far outweighs the

needs of the individual, a life lesson I brought with me beyond my high school years”, Rothermich shared.
He sums up the impact Coach has had on the Sutton program and its players, “It is safe to say that
without Coach Elster, Sutton High School soccer would not have had the success that it has had, and I
would not be the player or the man I am today.”
Coach Elster has served the town’s recreational program since 2003. Sutton Youth Soccer vice president,
Shawn Rogan, points out that “the town program’s board positions are volunteer and even though Mike
has a soccer club to run and a varsity team to coach, he spends countless hours ensuring children who
don’t have the resources or skill to play at the club level have access to a competitive, fun program. We
have approximately 500 kids who get their start in soccer because of this program. Considering today’s
“win at all cost” attitude, how refreshing is it to have a person like Coach Elster who looks at what is best
for the young person over what is best for the bottom dollar?”
In addition, Coach Elster has his varsity boys’ team lead free clinics for Sutton Youth Soccer players to
remind them the importance of giving back to your community. This is fun for the young players but also
reminds the High School students that they are always role models to kids in our community – both on
and off the field. Brian Jankins, Sutton Youth Soccer boys coordinator, reflects “A resume that includes 4
State Championships would typically be the most significant line item for many but in the case of Mike it is
just a small part of who he is. He leads by example and develops champions on the field and more
importantly champions in life. His players truly understand giving back to the community. I realized very
quickly that his coaching goes way beyond creating good players; it’s all about developing young people
into becoming the best version of themselves.”
Coach Elster has not confined his impact on the Sutton community to just its soccer programs.
Understanding our communities fight with cancer, in 2004 he and his family began putting together an
annual tournament each season called “Kicks for Cancer”. The Sutton Youth Soccer U6 and U8 teams
participate in multiple 3v3 games throughout the day. Both the girls and boys varsity soccer teams at
Sutton coach and officiate the games. The money raised from the event is then donated in honor of
someone who in the Sutton community who has been affected by cancer to the charity of their choice.
One example of the good work done through this event involved a young girl in town who was struck with
cancer. The funds that year were donated to a room at the UMASS hospital where parents and children
could go during treatment.  Lily’s Pad was formed with the help of the donations created through the Kicks
for Cancer tournament.  Every year it is a new story but Coach Elster and his players are a constant
Dan Delongchamp, Sutton High School Assistant Principal, states, “It is important to know that Michael
doesn’t coach with the primary focus of winning championships. Mike is acutely aware that he is raising
young men. His players learn countless lessons on community service, leadership, and giving back to
society through this experience.”
His son Ryan, summarizes his father’s impact as, “He is not just a soccer coach, but a teacher whose
responsibility is developing the next generation. He never stops learning or finding new ways to do this
which is why he will always be successful. Of course, success for him can be defined by how far the team
goes and what they win, but more important for him is the impact that the players have within their
community and people who they come across after they have left the program. By influencing the
community of Sutton in a positive way, he has inspired and educated his players to take all of what they
have learned and share it with others.” This is what it means to be a coach of significance.

Pirates Sign OL Wilson Bell

By Mick Moninghoff
December 9, 2019
Worcester, MA

The Massachusetts Pirates have signed offensive lineman Wilson Bell for the 2020 season. Bell played this past year with the Baltimore Brigade of the Arena Football League. A former NCAA National Champion, Bell played in both the ACC and SEC and signed a contract with the Buffalo Bills in 2018.

A former member of the Jacksonville Sharks, Bell said it was a 2018 postgame conversation with two-time All National Arena League defensive end JD Griggs that sparked his interest in Massachusetts.

“I heard about the organization when I played against the Pirates,” he said. A few of the players told me they had a good thing going (in Massachusetts). I’m just so grateful to still be playing football. I’m going to be 25 this year. A lot of people don’t get this opportunity so I’m grateful to be playing, that people are interested in keeping me around and that they believe in me. I want to maximize my potential and be able to influence guys around me in a good way, a positive way. I want everybody to have just as much fun as I’m having on the field. I try to bring that energy to whatever team I’m on,” he added.

Pirates President and General Manager Jawad Yatim is hopeful that Bell plays as well for the Pirates as he did in Jacksonville.

"I remember Wilson from our first season when he was playing for Jacksonville and he was impressive every time we played one another. I thought he was one of the best players in the league that year, and to be able to add someone like that to our offensive front is a great move in my opinion. We’re certainly glad to have Wilson on board," Yatim said.

Bell arrived at Florida State in 2013 and played in two games before suffering a knee injury. He took the season as a redshirt year as the Seminoles went on to claim the Atlantic Coast Conference title and the BCS National Championship with a 34-31 win over Auburn. The lessons he learned that season are still with him today.

“It was amazing. When I was a Florida State, I’d never been around so many leaders on one team and that’s how we got there. Everybody wanted to see everybody make it. The leaders on that team made you want to practice. We were always prepared for business. That was my first experience as a freshman in college and that (attitude) is what I have taken with me. That’s what I was looking for and I want to bring that to any team that I am on. It was an amazing first experience,” he said.

After seeing action in two games in 2014, Bell started every game on the offensive line for the Seminoles in 2015. He helped pave the way for running back Dalvin Cook, who rushed for single season records of 1,691 rushing yards and 1,935 all-purpose yards. He also blocked for Cook’s record setting day as he gained 266 yards and three touchdowns in a 34-14 win over the University of South Florida.

In 2016 he started just five games and the following season enrolled at Auburn as a graduate transfer where he was used in a backup role. Still the Eight Mile, AL native did draw attention as he was named to play in both the SPIRAL Tropical Bowl and the College Gridiron Showcase.

Many believe that the South East Conference is the best in college football and Bell, who stands in at 6’5”, 335 lbs. concurs.

“Yes, everybody is big in the SEC. Don’t ever think that you are the biggest guy on the field. You might get away with that in the ACC; you might have a few guys who are undersized who are quick, but in the SEC, everybody is big and that was an eye-opening moment for me. I had no idea that the competition was so much better. Some teams might not win as much like Ole Miss or Mississippi State, but everyone is well trained, and they know what they are doing. I didn’t fear going to the NFL after my experience in the SEC,” Bell said.

The NFL did not come calling right away. In 2017 Bell signed with the Jacksonville Sharks where he started three games. In 2018 he signed and had a look from the Buffalo Bills. There he learned that physical size was not the number one asset.

“It’s less about brawn and more about brains. People last longer in the NFL because they know what they are doing, they know how to be coached and technique is everything. I was the biggest guy there and I thought I was going to over-power some vets, but these guys were good with their hands. They had their technique down that prevails overall. You don’t have to be the biggest guy but know what you’re doing, be coachable, and have good technique. That’s what I took away from that.” Wilson said.

After his stint in Buffalo, Wilson returned to the Sharks. In 2019 he signed with the Baltimore of the AFL and appeared in three games.  Bell, who majored in writing, editing and media at FSU has been putting those skills to use, currently working as a teacher in an alternative school, teaching classes in photo shop and Microsoft Office.

The Massachusetts Pirates are members of the National Arena League (NAL). The Pirates play all home games at the DCU Center located at 50 Forster St. Worcester, MA, 01608. Pirates season tickets for the 2020 season are now available starting at $99.00. For more information on the Massachusetts Pirates please call (508) 452-MASS (6277), email contact@masspiratesfootball.com or visit www.masspiratesfootball.com. Follow the Pirates on Facebook, at Facebook.com/MAPirates, on Instagram @mass.pirates, as well as on Twitter @mass_pirates.