EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

October 22, 2012

Sports in a minute

Christopher Smith
The Eagle-Tribune

---- — COME ON, PARENTS!

In Eagle-Tribune sports reporter Mike Muldoon’s “Oath to our athletes, parents and coaches” column that runs before every new school year, he writes: “Ted Williams was dead wrong. The toughest thing in sports isn’t hitting a baseball. It’s being a parent of an athlete. Good parents shut their mouths, stay glued to their seats and let the players play, the coaches coach and the officials officiate.”

It’s only Oct. 22 and I’ve already seen too many parents yelling and even cursing at referees during high school games.

By doing so, parents not only are embarrassing themselves but also their kids.

Remember: Just a couple of loud parents can make a whole school look bad.

HEAD OF THE CHARLES

UMass Lowell’s varsity four finished 31st out of 38 in the Women’s Collegiate Fours at the Head of the Charles Regatta on Saturday.

The varsity four rowed the 5,000-meter course in 12 minutes, 18.08 seconds and was led by junior coxswain Rachel Paquette and also consisted of seniors Melinda Neale of Plaistow and Kim Haskins, as well as sophomores Jenna Bueno of Methuen and Rachel Piela.

They carried a 500-meter pace of 2:03, 2 seconds better than their previous best time.

BOUDREAU’S MOTIVATION

North Andover boys soccer co-captain Connor Boudreau gained some perspective from watching his brother Ryan Boudreau’s injury-proned high school soccer career.

Ryan, who graduated from North Andover in 2011, injured his hip as a freshman. His junior year, he suffered a fractured back. Then, he broke his collarbone his senior year.

“He loves the game and he taught me to never really take anything for granted in the game because every second counts and at any moment you could get hurt and end up losing your season like he did,” Connor said.

Connor has never played any other organized sport except soccer.

“My dad didn’t really play when he was younger but as he got older, he joined a men’s league,” Connor said. “So he got me into it and my brother Ryan got me into it a lot.”

Connor would like to play in college. He has looked at Endicott and Southern Connecticut.

MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL

The Chicago Bears (4-1, 2-0 at home) host the Detroit Lions (2-3, 1-2 on road) today on Monday Night Football at 8:30 p.m. on ESPN.

Lions QB Matthew Stafford has thrown for 1,493 yards, four touchdowns and five interceptions this year while Jay Cutler has thrown for 1,209 yards, seven touchdowns and seven interceptions.

BIG GAME ALERT!

Central Catholic hosts North Andover today in field hockey.

It should be an exciting one after North Andover won 2-1 over Central on Oct. 8 with the two teams battling for first place in the MVC.

In the first meeting, Kali Otis scored the game-winner in the second half and also added an assist while Kendra Poulin scored for the Raiders.

THE GREAT VERLANDER

Justin Verlander has been simply awesome this postseason. I can’t wait to see him pitch in the World Series.

The right-hander is 3-0 with a 0.74 ERA in his three postseason starts so far (24.1 innings).

“It’s fun to catch him because you can see how he builds up from the first pitch to his 120th pitch,” Detroit catcher Gerald Laird said. “He’s matured, too, as a pitcher. Instead of just going out there and using his stuff, he’s learned how to pitch. And he has an idea every time he goes out. It’s electric. It’s fun. He’s just gifted to where he can go out and throw 90 mph in the first inning and his last pitch of the game be 101, 102 (mph).

“(He threw) one of the most impressive innings I’ve ever seen against the Cleveland Indians (on May 24) when we were at Cleveland,” Laird added. “The last inning they had no chance. He was putting up 101, 102 and (mixing his) curveball. Like I said, he’s gifted and he works hard. He works his tail off to be the best in the game. He wants to be the best in the game. He’s a competitor and I’m just fortunate I get to catch him and not have to hit against him.”