EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

December 19, 2013

Sports in a Minute

By David Willis
dwillis@eagletribune.com

---- — High expectations

Central Catholic hockey knows the bar has been set high for this season, coming off another trip to the Super 8 a season ago and returning Eagle-Tribune Player of the Year Colin Soucy and Eagle-Tribune All-Star Lloyd Hayes.

Heading into this week, Central was ranked No. 5 in Eastern Mass., which is selected by the Boston Herald’s Jim Clark, who has a major voice in selecting teams for the Super 8.

The Raiders, however, were not represented on Clark’s preseason Dream Team, but that didn’t mean the squad did not have quite a bit of local flavor.

Named to the team were UMass Lowell-bound forward Tyler Sifferlen, a North Andover resident from Malden Catholic, goalie Elijah Harris of Haverhill and Austin Prep and Ara Nazarian of Malden Catholic, who resides in Boxford but grew up playing hockey in North Andover.

Unacceptable absence

A major thumbs down to ESPNBoston.com, which named its All-State high school football team over the weekend.

How, in the world, do you leave Central Catholic big play machine Cody Demers off your team?

Demers was a force for the Raiders in their quest for a Super Bowl title. He was a dominant receiver — turning in possibly the best play of the year with his acrobatic touchdown at Gillette Stadium — as well as a shutdown cornerback and a dynamic kick and punt returner.

At the risk of sounding like a homer, how can Demers (the Merrimack Valley Conference Player of the Year) not be selected?

Siegel honored

Former Eagle-Tribune scribe Alan Siegel was recognized this week with one of the most underrated stories of the year by Deadspin.com, for his feature on former Olympic snowboarder Ross Rebagliati. As always for Alan, it’s a heck of a read.

Family affair

Brothers D.J. and Keith Petruzzelli of Springfield Cathedral both committed this week to play college hockey at Quinnipiac.

They became the third set of brothers to commit to Quinnipiac, a team that already has two brother combos on the team!

Crabbe to Pawtucket

The Lowell Spinners will be welcoming a new manager to LeLacheur Park in the summer, as manager Bruce Crabbe was promoted to the Pawtucket Red Sox coaching staff yesterday.

Crabbe has had three stints as manager of the Spinners, heading the team in 2006, 2010 and 2012-13. No news yet on who will be replacing him.

Betcha didn’t know

Longtime NBA swingman Jamal Crawford has, in 15 years as an NBA player, played for a stunning 17 different head coaches, the current being former Celtics coach Doc Rivers with the Los Angeles Clippers.

His has played for six different teams, with those teams frequently firing coaches during or after the season.

The only time he played two straight years with the same coach was 2006-08 when he played for epic coaching bust Isiah Thomas with the New York Knicks.

Contact David Willis at dwillis@eagletribune.com

Web Gem

With the legend of Muhammad Ali the man being so intense, it’s easy to remember just how amazing an athlete he really was.

Check out the video of Ali dodging 21 punches in 10 seconds during a fight. That will show you what he was.

Search “Muhammad Ali 21 punches” on YouTube.