Troy Flutie is following in the footsteps steps of his father, Darren, his Heisman Trophy-winning uncle, Doug, and his first cousin, Billy, to play football at Boston College.
On Wednesday, the Natick High junior quarterback verbally committed to attend BC with the Class of 2014, accepting an offer from first-year coach Steve Addazio after an on-campus visit. He had made quite an impression on the coaching staff in a workout at The Heights on Sunday.
“It’s an athlete-slash-wide receiver scholarship,” said Flutie, who also plays baseball and basketball at Natick High.
“The second half of the workout they put him at receiver,” said Darren Flutie, who snared 134 catches in four seasons (1984-87) for Jack Bicknell's Eagles before starring with three franchises (BC Lions, Edmonton Eskimos, Hamilton Tiger-Cats) in the Canadian Football League, where he ranks third all-time in receptions.
It’s too early to say if Flutie will get a chance to play quarterback at BC. His uncle, Doug, went to BC in similar fashion. He was thought to be undersized and was given no promises that he’d play quarterback. But he rose on the depth chart and went on to win the Heisman Trophy in 1984.
“The recruiting similarities between Doug and Troy are unbelievable,” said Darren Flutie.
A terrific two-way threat, Flutie utilized his nimble feet (167 rushes, 1,075 yards, 14 TDs) and accurate right arm (3,153 yards, 35 TDs, 8 interceptions) to direct the Red Hawks to the EMass. Division 2A Super Bowl last fall.
As with Doug, there have been concerns with Troy’s size. “He’s just under 6-feet and 178 pounds,” said Darren, about the same size Darren was when he played for the Eagles.
Darren said there were doubters whether Troy had “the size and arm strength to play Division 1.”
Addazio may use the versatile Flutie in creative ways on offense. “He was very honest with me,” said Troy.
For the past three months, he has worked with former BC quarterback Mark Hartsell at East Bridgewater High and St Sebastian’s in Needham. “He helped me most with technique and getting more power in my throwing,” said Flutie.
He also worked out for the University of Massachusetts Amherst. “I thought that went well, but I threw the ball better at BC," he said.
If BC hadn’t come through, Flutie said “I had no clue where I’d go. Maybe Rhode Island, UNH, Maine.”
That’s reminiscent of Doug Flutie’s recruitment days also.
He is the sixth in-state recruit to commit to BC for 2014, a group that includes Millis-Hopedale lineman Jon Baker and Connor Strachan, a linebacker from St. Sebastian's in Needham.
The MIAA announced Wednesday that retired deputy director Bill Gaine will replace Dick Neal as the organization's new executive director.
The MIAA released the following statement:
William N. Gaine, Jr., the former Deputy Executive Director of the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) and Massachusetts Secondary School Administrators' Association (MSSAA), has been chosen as the Executive Director of the two organizations. The announcement was made by Ann Knell, President of the MSSAA and Brian McCann, President of the MIAA who chaired the search committee to select a new leader.
Mr. Gaine succeeds Richard F. Neal who has served as Executive Director for 34 years. The appointment is effective July 1.
Mr. Gaine was formerly the Deputy Executive Director, a position he held from 1994 until June, 2012 when he retired. Following his retirement he continued to serve the two Associations in a part-time position.
"We had many excellent candidates express an interest in the Executive Director's position" Ms. Knell and Mr. McCann said. "However, Bill Gaine with his 34 years of experience was uniquely qualified. He will enable the two organizations to transition to a new leader without missing a beat. We are fortunate he decided to come back to full-time employment and accept this position."
Mr. Gaine joined the Associations as Assistant Executive Director in October, 1979 and has had major responsibility in the areas of student eligibility, as well as student/athlete health and safety initiatives over the years. He also had executive responsibility for all phases of management for most Association-sponsored sports.
The Presidents further stated that, "Bill Gaine has been an incredible leader of MIAA and MSSAA for almost their entire histories. There are few people indeed who could have had as much impact on more young people and their education than Bill has had in his more than three decades of leadership and service. He has positively impacted students, schools, and their leaders throughout the State and the Nation. Bill Gaine has earned a national reputation for vision, leadership, and determination to get the most and best out of every situation and person".
Mr. Gaine has been the architect and catalyst for the development and growth of the MIAA's Student Services Program which includes Sportsmanship, Wellness, Leadership, Community Service and Coaches' Education. The MIAA and Mr. Gaine have been recognized statewide and nationally for creating programming focused on student athletes that enrich their interscholastic experience through a curriculum of educational athletics.
Among the initiatives Mr. Gaine established to advance these programs are relationships and partnerships with the Anti-Defamation League, the Massachusetts Medical Society, the Governor's Alliance Against Drugs, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Partnership for a Drug-free America, and the Center of Sport at Northeastern University. Mr. Gaine founded the MIAA's Partners in Prevention, a network of over 65 prevention agencies in Massachusetts to assist schools with prevention and healthy lifestyle resources for students.
As Deputy Executive Director of the Massachusetts Secondary School Administrators' Association (MSSAA), the professional association of approximately 1,200 principals and assistant principals throughout Massachusetts, Bill has contributed to the remarkable growth of that organization since the 1970s.
A resident of Ashland, Mr. Gaine has served on the South Middlesex Regional Vocational Technical School committee for two decades. In addition, his community service at the local level has included several committee initiatives at Ashland High School, as well as years of service at coaching and administration for Ashland softball and baseball.
Funeral arrangements have been announced for former Cardinal Spellman star Joey Glynn. Visiting hours will be Sunday afternoon from 2-6 p.m. at the Quealey and Son Funeral Home in his hometown of Abington, and his funeral will be held at St. Bridget's Church in Abington at 9 a.m. Monday.
A two-time Globe All-Scholastic for basketball, Glynn died after collapsing at a men's recreational summer league game in Watertown.
Glynn, 19, served for two years as the captain of his basketball team, was the football captain his senior year, and lettered in baseball.
As a junior, he had the distinction of playing at Gillette Stadium and TD Garden. He scored the Cardinals' only touchdown in a 21-7 loss to Holliston in the Div. 3A Super Bowl at Gillette in December, 2010. Later that winter, he led the basketball team to the Div. 3 South title before losing to Watertown at TD Garden.
Glynn received a full scholarship to Bentley, and had just completed his first year. He started 16 games for the Falcons as a freshman.
Spellman is offering Joey Glynn Commemorative Jerseys. The proceeds earned from the sale of the jerseys will go to a scholarship fund in Joey's name at Cardinal Spellman.
The MIAA board of directors voted Thursday to reinstate boys' gymnastics, a reversal from the winter when the same board voted to no longer recognize the sport.
“I’m very happy. I’m not really thinking about myself but for the 50-plus kids who are waiting for the news from me," said Lowell coach Samnang Hor, a 2002 Lowell grad and coach of the biggest boys’ gymnastics team in the state. "I know they’re going to be super excited. I can’t wait to see their faces. It gets to continue on, this tradition of boys’ gymnastics. It’s going to keep a lot of the kids off the streets. It’s a great thing for them.”
The decision reversed a 10-3 vote in January ending MIAA sponsorship of boys' gymnastics. That vote came after the National Federation said it would withdraw support after the 2012-13 school year and would no longer write rules for the sport. Protest from the gymnastics community, including Olympians Peter Korman and Aly Raisman, kept the issue alive and pushed it onto Thursday’s agenda.
As previously reported by the Globe's Emily Sweeney, the MIAA’s Jan. 16 vote to end sanctioned competition for boys' gymnastics had drawn harsh criticism from coaches, parents, and gymnasts all over the country. That vote had essentially downgraded boys’ gymnastics to a club activity next season.
MIAA officials said then that the decision was driven by low participation rates. There are only seven public high schools — Andover, Attleboro, Braintree, Burlington, Lowell, Newton North, and Newton South — that have boys' gymnastics teams.
Milford's Shannon Smith has been named the 2012-13 Gatorade Massachusetts Softball Player of the Year, a title she knows well.
The 5-foot-7 righthanded pitcher received the honor last year, when she led Milford to the state title, and in 2009-10. Milford had a 21-1 record entering the Division 1 South quarterfinals this year and Smith had a 20-1 record with a 0.05 ERA. The three-time returning Mid-Wach A League MVP batted .486 with seven home runs and 29 RBI through 22 games.
Her 1,154 career strikeouts are a state record.
The National Honor Society member has a 3.64 GPA and when she's not donating her time as a youth softball instructor, she's volunteering in her church's youth group and the Special Olympics.
Smith his committed to the University of Kentucky.
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Danvers baseball coach Roger Day will take over from Shawn Thornton as the new athletic director at Pope John in Everett.
Thornton, who is in his second year at Pope John after eight as St. Clement's athletic director, is leaving at the end of this school year to take an administrative role at the Clarence Edwards Middle School in Charlestown.
This past winter, Thornton was honored at the District H Athletic Director of the Year and also as the MIAA girls' basketball Coach of the Year. He will step down as girls' basketball coach as well.
Day was elected to the Massachusetts State Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in January, and with more than 400 career victories, he is one of the winningest coaches in state history. His team was 19-2 going into Tuesday's Division 2 North quarterfinal game against Reading.
In addition to coaching, Day recently retired as a physical education teacher at the Holten Richmond Middle School in Danvers.
If you see a kid from BC High’s boys lacrosse team and ask him how he played Friday night, his response is going to be: OK. Well, at least that’s what coach Tim Kelly wants his kids to say.
After the Eagles beat Peabody, 11-6, in the preliminary round on Wednesday, they automatically flipped the page to their next opponent – the Duxbury Green Dragons.
Duxbury has won nine of the last 11 championships. Duxbury was the. No 3 seed, only losing a single in-state game this season. But on Friday, the Eagles flew high and stunned the Green Dragons, 10-9, in an overtime thriller.
Although it was down 6-3 at the half, BC High cut into the deficit and only trailed by 1 at the end of the third quarter. Midway through the fourth it was tied at 8.
Duxbury’s Brendan Burke gave his team the lead again with a little over two minutes remaining. But the relentless Eagles continued to attack as time wound down and freshman AJ Kucinski was able to net the equalizer with 16 ticks on the clock, sending the game to overtime.
“Composure,” Kelly said to his team at the end of regulation. “Win face-off, gain possession, and we call a timeout. We’re going to walk out of this with a win.”
Said and done.
BC High controlled the overtime in two possessions, and within a little over a minute Sam Friedman, who finished with a hat trick, found the back of the net to send the Eagles into a frenzy of celebration.
“They were excited as could be, but they are also aware,” said Kelly. “We’re starting to climb the mountain but we’re not anywhere near the top yet.”
BC High will play the winner of St. John’s Prep – who beat the Eagles twice this season – or Andover in a quarterfinal match on Wednesday.
Thirteen years after being inducted into Archbishop Williams hall of fame, Brian Holden will return as the new boys' basketball head coach, athletic director Gordie McClay announced on Friday.
Holden, a former Globe All-Scholastic, played his freshman season as a point guard for Boston University. From there he transferred to Drexel University, where he etched himself into the history books in just three seasons.
Holden ranks ninth in all-time career scoring, seventh in all-time career assists, and owns the highest career 3-point FG record (41 percent) in school history.
Holden will be taking over for Ged Phelan, looking to jumpstart a team that finished with a 3-17 record last season and didn't win a single league game.
Coach Joe Ciccarello had one request for the Revere girls' softball team in the first round of the MIAA Division 1 North state tournament against Lowell Thursday: finish off strong for the sake of Hill Park.
The field has been home to the Patriots since the team first started playing softball, but an elementary school will be built on it this summer. The Patriots were able to finish off strong in honor of the field, beating the Red Raiders, 3-2, in eight innings.
"These girls have played at [Hill Park] their whole lives," said Ciccarello. "We might have to find a temporary place to play for a year, so we had to finish off strong."
Revere got off to a great start in the first inning as freshman Juliana Cecere had a solid basehit that drove in senior Jackie Noel. The scoring continued in the second inning when sophomore Kristina Stella came home on a passed ball.
But the Red Raiders stepped up their defense to keep the Patriots from scoring again and fired back with a big hit in the sixth inning that drove in two runs.
With the game tied, 2-2, it was almost over for Revere when Lowell got two hits in the seventh. The Patriots were able to hold, though, sending the game to eight innings.
The Red Raiders got two outs in the eighth, but freshman Ally Hinojossa hit a triple and senior Eliza Anderson's hit brought her home with the winning run.
"When I took over the program three years ago, I started our slogan: 'Elevate,' " said Ciccarello. "We came a long way, and winning the first round of the tournament is part of the elevation process."
The Patriots will rise to the second round of the tournament at 7 p.m. Saturday against Lexington, a team Revere beat in the first round of last year's tournament.
"We beat them, 2-0, last year and definitely took them by surprise," Ciccarello said. "We need to work hard because this year, they'll be ready for us."
NORTH ANDOVER — Tucker Ciessau’s final high school lacrosse game didn’t end the way he would have liked. The high-scoring senior and his Scituate High teammates fell to North Andover, 17-6, in the preliminary round of the Division 2 state tournament, but he did walk away with something to celebrate: his 400th career point.
With the game already in effect out of hand — the Scarlet Knights were up 17-4 with just a couple minutes to play — the senior attackman ended up with the ball behind the North Andover net. He fed it to sophomore midfielder/attackman Sean Williams, who promptly found the back of the net.
The assist served as the 113th point of Ciessau’s season and 400th of his career. The 6-foot-2, 190-pounder quickly exited the field for a hug from his coach, Mark Puzzangara.
“I just congratulated him. I said, ‘I’m proud of you,’” Puzzangara said. “We’ve been together so long, coaching him in the summer, coaching him in Laxachusetts, I’ve seen him grow and develop into the player we always knew he could be.”
Puzzangara took Scituate’s final timeout right before the goal, deciding to make Ciessau’s pending milestone a point of emphasis.
“I pulled the guys in and said, ‘Listen, let’s pull something positive out of this. He needs one more point to get to 400,’” Puzzangara said. “We’re not about points, but when you can hit that milestone, to be a member of the 400 club, that’s special. I’m proud of him and I wanted him to be able to get to that point.”
Ciessau will graduate as the program’s all-time leading scorer with an even 400 points, including 67 goals and 46 assists this season. He was named an All-American by the Eastern Mass. Lacrosse Coaches Association in 2012 and will suit up for Division 1 Bellarmine University in Louisville, Ky., next year.
Tim Healey can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @timbhealey.
Senior Ben Bowden of Lynn English, who signed a National Letter of Intent to play baseball at Vanderbilt University this fall, was elected the 28th Gatorade Player of the year for High School baseball in Massachusetts, becoming the first Bulldog in school history to earn the honor.
During his senior year at English, the 6-foot-4, 220-pound lefty posted a 4-2 record with a stifling 0.67 ERA on the mound for the Bulldogs (8-10). In 52 innings pitched, Bowden struck out 84 batters, scattering 29 hits and 10 walks. He even held up at the plate, owning an on-base percentage of .459 while racking up 13 RBI in support of his team.
Jason Tarasuik, head coach of rival Marblehead High, had only praise for Bowden and his skill from the hill. Marbelhead faced off with English twice this past season and lost both meetings.
“When Bowden hits his spots, he’s unhittable,” said Tarasuik. “He has a dominating fastball, he changes speeds and hits his locations. He has a great presence on the mound.”
The award, handed out each of the past 28 years, recognizes the best high school athletes in the nation. Bowden is now also a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Baseball Player of the Year award to be announced in May.
It’s been a rainy week throughout New England and the weather has led to more than a few Massachusetts baseball games suffering from rain outs.
The teams that had both bad weather and bad results were No. 5 Walpole and No. 10 Billerica. Last week, both teams were riding high in the top 20. This week, the Rebels went 0-2, losing to both Norwood and No. 9 Braintree. Meanwhile, the Indians went 1-2, losing to Lowell and Malden Catholic with a win against Tewksbury in between. Walpole and Billerica will be high seeds in the tournament when the pairings come out on Tuesday, but neither is entering it with a ton of momentum.
A team that made the most of a lackluster week for baseball was No. 19 Xaverian. The Hawks got their 10th victory of the season this past week, which means the defending Division 1 champions will be in the state tournament this year. Xaverian knocked off Central Mass. power St. John’s (S) 8-4 this past Tuesday before defeating Millis, 10-6, Thursday. The Hawks’ season struggles cannot be forgotten but that doesn’t make them any less of a scary team going into the postseason.
With the final week of the regular season coming to a close, there is some movement in the softball Top 20. Bridgewater-Raynham and Milford remain locked in the No. 1 and No. 2 positions after completing another week unbeaten. Scarlet Hawk pitcher Shannon Smith has earned herself a spot in the record books, setting the all-time career strikeout record at 1,128.
Taunton earned the biggest jump this week, moving from No. 13 to No. 4 as the Tigers defeated Hockomock foe and No. 6 King Philip, 9-5, Monday.
No. 15 Tewksbury earned a spot on the poll after defeating No. 16 Central Catholic, 11-9. Central Catholic also dropped in the poll after losing to No. 8 Burlington, 7-0.
Amesbury climbed up to No. 14, finishing the week with two easy wins. Abington dropped from No. 10 to No. 19 after losing to Plymouth South, 9-8, Wednesday.
Tournament pairings come out Tuesday.
The Massachusetts Youth Rugby Organization will host the 2013 boys' state finals Saturday at Fort Devens.
* Division 1A: Scituate vs. Needham, 12
* Division 2: Andover vs. Milton, 12
* Division 1: Bishop Hendricken, R.I. vs. Belmont, 1:30
Needham coach Diana Parkhurst is excited about her team’s rematch against defending champion Scituate.
“This is the first year we moved into varsity status here at the high school,” Parkhurst said. “But we’ve been a part of the tournament before.”
Her Rockets finished the season undefeated, and knocked off Scituate, 35-12, a week ago..
“We lost to Scituate last year in the finals,” said Parkhurst. “This is a big chance for redemption for us.”
Scituate coach Tucker Patterson, well aware of the recent history between the two squads, said “Needham is strong. But it’s rugby and anything can happen, we’re hoping to win.”
And beyond tomorrow, Patterson is excited for the future of the sport.
“It’s a growing sport in high school,” Patterson said. “Most schools are strictly club teams, and we are trying to get MIAA approved at some point down the road.”
In addition to the three state finals, a number of teams from across the state will be participating in jamboree at the site.
Morgan Andrews of Milford, N.H. was named the Gatorade National Girls' Soccer Player of the Year for the second year in a row Wednesday. Andrews was surprised by the Gatorade staff, her teammates, coaches and her family when she was awarded the trophy by former Gatorade Player of the Year, Heather O’Reilly.
In her final season at Milford High School, Andrews helped lead the Spartans to a 16-3-1 record and a Division 2 state title. She netted 21 goals and added 18 assists this season, bringing her career totals to 116 goals and 53 assists.
The Gatorade National Player of the Year is recognized for leadership on and off the field. Andrews is nothing short of a leader. She started a charity called Kicks for Cans with her mother about two-and-a-half years ago. Their motto is, “feed the goal.” Children are asked to bring in canned goods to a two-hour soccer clinic. The clinics happen every few months and canned goods are brought to SHARE, Milford’s local food pantry.
"We try to show kids we can have fun and still make an impact on community,” said Andrews."
Andrews will use her love of sports to benefit her future, which includes playing at Notre Dame this fall. She plans to major in Film, Television and Theater with a minor in photography journalism in hopes of pursuing a career in sports broadcasting.
Andrews was captain of this year’s U-17 Women’s National World Cup team while maintaining a 3.13 GPA in school which prepared her for the balance between collegiate soccer and her academics.
“I’m nervous, excited, happy,” said Andrews. “Words can’t describe it. I’m not sure what to expect. The future is bright and I’ll try my hardest and push myself to be the best I can be on the field and off the field.”
Andrews was also named National Soccer Coaches Association of America High School Player of the Year in 2012. She is a three-time NSCAA All-American and a member of the U-20 Women’s National Team.
ISL title now a two-team race – What was once a four-team race for the ISL title has come down to two. This is the last week of the season for the ISL, with Governor’s and Belmont Hill tied for first with just two losses. Governor's and Belmont Hill have just two games left, with the latter having the tougher schedule. Belmont Hill’s final game is against third-place BB&N.
Norwood upsets Walpole – Before May 20, Walpole hadn’t lost a game since April 4, but it lost to Norwood, 2-1, on the road. Not an embarrassing loss by any means, but not what coach Bill Tompkins was looking for a week before the tournament seeding is announced. The Rebels are still heavy favorites heading into the postseason, but their momentum was halted by the Mustangs.
North Reading no longer undefeated – The Rebels weren’t the only Globe Top 20 powerhouse to get upset. North Reading’s undefeated-season hopes were dashed on the road against Masconomet May 18. The Hornets fell, 2-1, to their Cape Ann League rival thanks to Speros Verinos’s complete-game one-hitter. Coach Frank Carey is as veteran a skipper as you can ask for, so the Hornets are likely to move past the loss come tournament time.
Medford and Everett share GBL title – The Mustangs finished as GBL champions for the first time in 12 seasons -- but they’ll have to share trophy custody with rival Everett. Medford clinched a share by beating Everett, 6-4, on May 13. The Crimson Tide did rebound against Cambridge last Monday, however, winning, 7-2. Thanks to that victory, there are GBL co-champions.
MIAA seeding just one week away – Next Tuesday around 3 p.m., the MIAA will release its tournament seedings. The postseason is creeping closer, and the seedings give us another reason to get excited.
Alex Hall is a high school sports correspondent for The Boston Globe. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @AlexKHall
It took No. 8 North Reading 17 games to suffer its first loss, a 2-1 decision to Masconomet on Saturday. The loss dropped Frank Carey’s crew one spot from last week, giving Danvers the No. 7 spot after a 2-0 week. The Falcons defeated Winthrop and Marblehead by a combined 13-2.
Also moving up a spot was No. 3 Newton North after an undefeated week.
The top 20 added four newcomers to the bottom four spots. No. 17 Central Catholic currently leads the Merrimack Valley Conference and No. 18 Medford clinched the Greater Boston League title this week. No. 19 Bishop Fenwick is also leading the Catholic Central. The Crusaders’ consideration was also helped by its upset of Peabody.
Former top 20 teams in Lincoln Sudbury, Acton-Boxborough, and Malden Catholic all lost at least two games last week.
By Colleen Casey, Globe Correspondent
Bridgewater-Raynham improved to 16-0 to claim the top spot for another week. Milford remains in the second spot, powered by Shannon Smith, who has the chance to make history this week as she looks to break the state's all-time strikeout record. She needs 13 to break it.
Danvers suffered the biggest drop, moving from No. 3 to No. 12 after losing to St. Mary's, 1-0, on Saturday. Both Abington and Silver Lake climbed this week continuing their winning streaks.
No. 15 Coyle & Cassidy broke into the rankings after defeating No. 5 King Philip, 1-0, on Tuesday. Bellingham earned the 16th spot, proving themselves in a 7-6 win over No. 6 Hopkinton.
Take a look at this week's Top 10 rankings.
First-ranked Lawrence and second-ranked Milford are unbeaten in their last eight matches.
The Lancers (18-1) close out the regular season Monday against Chelmsford, the only team besides Billerica to take the Lancers to five sets. In their last meeting, twin brothers Anibal and Jeyson Henriquez delivered 11 kills apiece.
The Scarlet Hawks' only loss this season was to Lawrence on April 25, 3-1, and the squad ended the season strong with a 3-2 win over No. 5 Newton North.
Needham, Newton North, and Newton South all dropped a spot after losses this week.
Norwood has been on the bubble of the Top 10 and defeated Needham, 3-2, Wednesday, but fell to Newton North, 3-0. With four losses this season, the squad remains right outside the rankings.
Cambridge was bumped up to No. 3 after avenging a loss to Newton South in a clean sweep with Jalen Penrose's 28 kills.
North Quincy fell to No. 8 after falling to Taunton, 3-1.
St. John's Prep was bumped up to No. 7 after beating No. 9 Chelmsford, 3-2, with 22 kills from outside hitter Brian Keogh. Medfield stays at the bottom of the rankings with a loss to Barnstable, its second of the season.
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T.J. Hajjar, third-year coach of the Merrimack volleyball team, announced Thursday that four players had committed to the Class of 2017.
Among them is Jennifer Cain, who played four years at Melrose. The 5-foot-8-inch outside hitter was named Most Improved Player her freshman and junior years. She was also the team's Unsung Hero her sophomore year.
Cain helped anchor Melrose to a magnificent 26-1 record in her senior season, which the Red Raiders capped by winning the Division 2 state title -- the school's first in more than 40 years.
"Jen Cain comes to Merrimack with the understanding of what it takes to win," said Hajjar. "Jen has to be one of the most athletic kids I have seen in the sport. We are extremely excited to have a player who can do so many things on the court."
The other three girls headed to Merrimack are Juliette McCall (California), Jocelyn McLain (Colorado), and Tara Stuhr (California).
"I truly feel our 2012 season was a successful one as we doubled our wins from the previous year," said Hajjar. "With 10 returners and what looks to be one of the strongest recruiting classes the program has ever seen, I believe 2013 will be a great year for Merrimack to make some noise in the NE-10."
By Craig Larson, Globe Staff
The road to the Catholic Central League title was hardly routine for the Austin Prep boys' lacrosse team.
The trip started with a 2-hour-45-minute commute from North Reading to Braintree Wednesday, resulting in a 7:45 p.m. faceoff.
In the third quarter of the league showdown against host Archbishop Williams, there was a power outage, resulting in darkness.
But when play finally did resume, Prep wrapped up its second CCL crown in three years with a thrilling 7-6 overtime win, thanks to a strike from sophomore Bobo Carpenter with a minute left in the extra session.
"Dodged a defender, sprinted down the alley, and let it fly," summed up Austin Prep third-year coach Peter Smyth of Carpenter, who finished the night with four goals, raising his team-leading point total to 49 (42 goals, 7 assists).
Senior goalie Luke Tetrault (17 saves) triggered the transition to Carpenter's game-winner with his biggest save of the night. Sophomore Matt Morgan (35 goals, 13 assists this season) had a goal and an assist.
Prep won the title in 2011 in Smyth's first season at the helm. Archies captured the crown last year.
Overall, it was a pretty draining but satisfying night for the Prep team (14-1 overall, 10-1 CCL), which did not arrive back at school until nearly midnight.
1. Wednesday games will shape ISL – Rivers, Belmont Hill, Governor’s Academy, and BB&N are all deadlocked atop the ISL standings with two losses each. The Red Wings, Govs, and Belmont Hill have games Wednesday, and the results could significantly change the landscape going into the final leg of the season. A dark horse for the ISL title is Lawrence Academy, which is just behind the top four teams at 7-3. The Spartans can edge into the hunt if they knock off Rivers Wednesday.
2. St. John’s Prep wins Catholic Conference – The Eagles faced off against conference foe BC High Monday, winning, 3-2, on a walkoff homer in the ninth inning by David Bornstein. Not only did the Prep win in classic style, it sealed the Catholic Conference title in the process. St. John’s is 15-1 and swept one of its biggest rivals to earn the crown. It’ll be tough for any team to knock off these Eagles in the state tournament.
3. North Reading closing in on perfect season – The 14-0 Hornets are just five games away from finishing the season undefeated. Earlier this year, coach Frank Carey earned his 700th career victory, and his team hopes to continue adding to that tally. The road is not an easy one, however, as the Hornets take on Newburyport and Masconomet in two of their next three contests. Masco and the Clippers own the second- and third-place spots in the Cape Ann League. The Hornets will try their luck against Newburyport tonight and meet Masconomet Saturday.
4. Silver Lake’s Lundin having a gem of a season – The Lakers own the best record in the Patriot League at 13-1. Almost half of those victories have come with Mike Lundin on the mound. Lundin is 6-0 with 51 strikeouts in 38 innings. He has been a big part of Silver Lake’s impressive season and will be a tough hurler to beat in the state tournament.
5. Peabody bounces back – The Tanners couldn’t get things going against Northeastern Conference rival Beverly last Wednesday, losing, 6-1. Since that game, however, Peabody has gone 2-0, defeating Everett and Lynn English in close encounters. The Tanners won each game by a run, defeating Everett, 3-2, and Lynn English, 4-3. Beverly’s victory did not rattle Peabody. The Tanners have been out to prove last week’s game was just one bad day at the office.
Alex Hall is a high school sports correspondent for the Boston Globe. He can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @AlexKHall.
This week sees the return of Duxbury to the No. 1 spot in the Globe's Top 20 boys' lacrosse rankings. The Dragons have 13 wins (including the recent four-overtime victory over Lincoln-Sudbury) and their four losses have come solely against out-of-state competition.
Lincoln-Sudbury moves down one spot to No. 2 after suffering their only defeat of the season against Duxbury. Total number of wins and the schedule of both of these top teams factored into the decision making as to who would take the top spot.
The Reading Rockets moved up a few spots to No. 9. The team has not lost since mid April and are on a nine game winning streak.
Wellesley made its debut in the Top 20 this week at No. 12. The Raiders have won eight in a row and have done so in convincing fashion by outscoring their opponents 107-40 during this streak.
Westford fell this week to No. 18 from No. 8. The Grey Ghosts are 4-4 in their last eight games after starting the season 7 - 1.
No. 1 St. John’s Prep continues to roll along this season, taking down Xaverian and St. John’s of Shrewsbury before traveling to Chelmsford and Catholic Memorial for road victories. The Eagles easily retain their top spot this week.
As for No. 3 Peabody, the Tanners move up in the rankings despite a lopsided 6-1 loss to No. 16 Beverly this past Wednesday. What aided Peabody were two losses this week by then No. 3 Newton North. The Tigers dropped two of their three games last week, losing to unranked Weymouth and Woburn respectively.
With the victory over the Tanners, Beverly qualifed for the state tournament and cracked into the Globe Top 20 this week. The Panthers haven’t lost since the first of the month and could easiliy continue to rise up the rankings in the coming weeks. Another team making its top 20 debut is No. 19 Acton-Boxboro. The Colonials defeated Concord-Carlisle and Easton of Pennslyvania this week by a combined scored of 19-7.
A team notably missing from the top 20 this week is defending Division 1 champion Xaverian. The Hawks are just 6-8 on the year and have lost four of their last five contests. An argument could no longer be made for Xaverian among the top 20 teams in Eastern Massachusetts.
Bridgewater Raynham has held onto the top spot for a second week in a row, still undefeated. The Trojans completed another fantastic week with a perfect game on Friday. Sophomore pitcher Sarah Dawson struck out nine in five innings to propel B-R past Barnstable, 17-0.
Milford remains in the second spot, finishing last week with two wins. While Milford held serve, Hockomock power North Attleboro dropped to No. 9 after losing to Top 20 newcomer Taunton and No. 6 King Philip.
Dracut and Central Catholic flip-flop after Dracut’s, 6-5, 12-inning victory over Central Monday. Abington continues to climb the rankings, sporting a seven-game win streak. Newcomers include Silver Lake and Lexington, both of which have managed to lose only one game so far.
Newton North drops to No. 2 after losing to Bay State rival Weymouth and Woburn.
Several reporters and editors contribute updates, news and analysis to the High School Sports Blog.
- Bob Holmes: A Reading resident (Go Rockets!) and Boston College graduate, Holmes is the Boston Globe High School Sports Editor. We remind you now that his weekly picks are often made in jest so everyone just calm down when he picks against Everett for 11 straight weeks. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeHolmes.
- Craig Larson: A native of West Springfield (Leo Durocher anyone? Tim Daggett?) and Curry College graduate (a proud Colonel!), Larson is the sports editor for the Globe's regional sections: South, West and North, as well as a frequent contributor on the college beat. Abington to Xaverian: it all starts with the schools. Have a compelling story idea? Contact him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeLars.
- Zuri Berry: Berry attended the same high school as sports legends O.J. Simpson and Joe DiMaggio. (Guess which one is his hero.) He's a South Boston resident (formerly of Eastie) and the editor of the High School Sports blog as well as the go-to-guy for everything high school sports on Boston.com. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @ZuriBerry for all of the latest updates.
Then there are our winter correspondents:
- Alex Hall | @AlexKHall | Baseball
- Colleen Casey | @ColleenCasey226 | Softball
- Mike Giesta | Boys lacrosse
- Catherine Calsolaro | @catrenee13 | Girls lacrosse
- Liz Torres | @etorres446 | Boys volleyball
To reach the high school sports department, e-mail email@example.com.