EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

May 18, 2013

Sports in a Minute

By Bill Burt
The Eagle-Tribune

---- — Kittredge needs a gym

I spoke at an event at Kittredge School in North Andover last month and realized they were missing something almost every other elementary school in America has: A gymnasium.

Instead, it has a “cafegymatorium,” which doesn’t have enough room for a 3-point shot (if there was a hoop!).

Anyway, the town will be voting on May 21 whether to build a gym for the school. The hope here is that the vote is a resounding “yes!”

The school, which was built in 1950, originally had 150 students. Now that number is 310.

It’s time to have an indoor space to run, jump, shoot and let it all hang out once in a while. It also gives the school a place to hold assemblies, plays and, get this, games.

By the way, the town desperately needs more indoor gyms for their basketball programs.

Folks in North Andover, this is a no-brainer.

Merrimack in NCAAs

In a press release we received about Merrimack College baseball and its quest for a Div. 2 NCAA tourney berth — which it never got — it stated that the program was hoping for its first NCAA berth ever.

Well, that’s not true.

Merrimack baseball has qualified three times for the NCAAs, including twice under the tenure of Andover resident Barry Rosen (1995 and 1999), who is now the head coach at St. Anselm. The Warriors also qualified once under coach Ed Morrison (1990).

Bullish on Bramanti

University of New Hampshire men’s basketball head coach Bill Herrion, a 1977 Merrimack College grad, was beaming recently about one of his newest pickups, transfer student Joe Bramanti, formerly of Andover High, Brewster Academy and Wright State.

Bramanti is transferring to UNH after one year at Wright State, which is in Dayton, Ohio.

“We are really happy to have Joe join our program here at UNH,” said Herrion. “Even though he has to sit out next year, we are getting a player that is coming from two very successful programs, at Brewster Academy and Wright State. So he has been exposed to what it takes to win. With next year’s recruiting class, we needed to bring in a guard that could play a couple of different positions on the perimeter. He will fill that need with next year’s class and will bring toughness, competitiveness and a defensive mindset to our team.”

The 6-foot-2 guard will transfer to UNH for his sophomore season. Per NCAA rules, he will sit out next year and return to the court for the 2014-15 season. Bramanti started in 12 games this past winter at Wright State. In eight of his appearances, he registered at least 20 minutes on the floor, including a string of three-consecutive games in which he played 27.

Walk for CF today

If you have some time this morning, it would be nice to stop down at the Great Strides Walk for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation at the Youth Center in North Andover.

The event is hosted by former North Andover High and Boston College hockey star Robbie Cheevers and his wife, Kim, who have two daughters with CF.

About 350 walkers are expected, with breakfast and lunch served before and afterward for the walkers. Refreshments will also be available for families, friends and well-wishers.

Registration begins at 9 a.m. and the 3-mile walk around the Common begins at 10 a.m. There will also be a big raffle and a DJ playing tunes.

Hunt and Hunt

The Hunts of Andover can pitch. Cassandra Hunt, a sophomore at Brooks School, and her brother, Dustin, a senior at St. John’s Prep, are both on rolls.

Cassandra threw a no-hitter on Wednesday for Brooks, striking out eight and didn’t walk a batter in the 15-0 win, which was shortened to five innings because of the “mercy rule.”

Dustin is coming off a one-hit win (6-0) over Chelmsford recently and two shut-down innings of relief in the 3-2, nine-innings win over rival B.C. High. The Northeastern-bound fire-baller has hit 90 mph with his fastball.