North Andover's star junior guard Derek Collins is making fine progress after microdiscectomy surgery on Nov. 23 at Children's Hospital. The family said his back and leg feel great and he's aggressively rehabbing. The doctor said it's an 8-12 week recovery period.
Derek isn't the only talented athlete in the family. His sister, Meagan, was a standout goalie for the soccer team and the 5-7 guard is a promising freshman on the varsity hoop team, too.
Can't miss kid
When Jordan Hulls was in the middle of a 7-for-12 streak from the line early last year, nobody had the sense he was an amazing free throw shooter. But since last Dec. 11, he hasn't missed. The bad news is the Indiana University guard rarely goes to the line, but he has made 56 straight.
Got a kick out of one Ayer family which went to a book signing with Bruins coach Claude Julien at the Northshore Mall in Peabody. Their names? Brandon, Nicole and Paige Bruin.
Quite an honor for Merrimack's dominating linebacker Shawn Loiseau, who was selected to play in the East-West Shrine Game on Jan. 21 in St. Petersburg, Fla. Last year's game featured a whopping 45 players who were drafted.
"This is a great honor for Shawn," said Warrior coach John Perry. "He has put in the work on the field as well as off the field to get to this point and I know he will do whatever it takes to make it at the next level."
Drive of the year
Carencro High of Louisiana had an unforgettable 28-play drive which lasted 14:52 in its 34-21, Class 5A state semifinal victory against Byrd High a couple weeks ago. Byrd only had the ball 14:43 the entire 48-minute game.
game of the year
What a way to end a career. North Bergen (N.J.) stunned heavily favored and previously unbeaten Montclair when triple-teamed Debray Tavarez hauled in a 22-yard TD pass with no time remaining. The PAT gave North Bergen the win and sent 50th-year coach Vincent Ascolese out as a champion.
Fan of the Year
Joe Myers of North Carolina made it his mission to see all 372 North Carolina high schools play football. A playoff game this fall was No. 372. He saw 270 of them in the last eight years.
like old times
Greater Lawrence Tech head coach Tara Mansour-Neilon of Methuen and new JV coach Melissa Tarpy of Haverhill go way back. Both are in the Endicott College Hall of Fame for their basketball/softball exploits in the '90s.
It's not surprising that Phillips sophomore Katie Kreider is a promising varsity athlete. The surprise is her sport is basketball. After all, her brother, Chris, was a phenom at Phillips and was selected in the first round of the 2009 NHL draft by the Islanders.