EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

February 8, 2014

Sports in a Minute

By Bill Burt
The Eagle-Tribune

---- — Parcells: Scarnecchia was a Patriot

Former New England Patriots coach and Pro Football Hall of Famer Bill Parcells had some touching words for the recently-retired Patriots offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia.

Parcells cleaned house when he was named head coach in 1993, but one of the few coaches he kept was Scarnecchia.

”I knew about him before I got to New England,” said Parcells, from his winter home in Jupiter, Fla. “I had heard he was a pretty darn good coach. When I arrived I gave him a couple of difference jobs. The thing I remembered was that whenever you gave him something, it was done very, very well.”

Parcells said he could tell that the area was very important to Scarnecchia.

”I’m very fond of Dante,” said Parcells. “He’s been part of a lot of the success there, a big part.”

Rugby club adding girls team

Fresh from their 2013 Boys High School Club Division State Title, the Essex County Bulldogs Rugby Club today announced the launch of a new team for high school girls. The team is headed by experienced coaches Michael Duffield and Morgan Roberts.

“We’ll been running indoor skill sessions throughout the winter and the team is really shaping up,” said Roberts, who played for Boston University. “Women’s rugby is one of the fastest growing sports in the US, and Mike and I excited to offer the thrill of playing rugby to girls in Essex County and Southern New Hampshire,” she added. “We’re still looking for players, and the indoor skill sessions are a great way to meet the other players and learn about the sport,” she said.

The girls will be competing against Algonquin, Berkshire, Lincoln-Sudbury, Newton South, North Quincy and Worcester high schools as well as club teams.

For more information, contact Mark Rustle at mrustle@comcast.net.

PacquiAo-Mayweather in our future?

Fighter of the Decade Manny Pacquiao (55-5-2, 38 KOs) appeared on ESPN’s “Olbermann” earlier in the week. Host Keith Olbermann asked Pacquiao if he will ever fight Floyd Mayweather Jr. (45-0, 26 KOs).

His response: “Our line is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If he calls and says he will fight, we will do it.”

Pacquiao is fighting undefeated welterweight title holder Timothy Bradley Jr. (31-0, 12 KOs) on April 12 in Las Vegas. Bradley won a controversial split decision, ending Pacquiao’s Welterweight title reign, in their first fight back in 2012.

My hope? Knockout of Bradley Jr., which won’t be easy and a fight in the late fall, probably November with Mayweather.

Bogaerts at shortstop, please!

The Stephen Drew daily drama hopefully will end in Queens, N.Y., where he and his agent (Scott Boras) are haggling over an opt-out clause after one year with the N.Y. Mets, who actually need a starting shortstop.

The Red Sox don’t need a shortstop, with Xander Bogaerts ready to ascent into the role as the Red Sox next franchise player.

Bogaerts needs to play shortstop and needs to play the position now. There will probably be some growing pains, defensively, but that’s OK.

This Red Sox team appears to be as good, on paper, as it was last year.

A prayer for Schilling

Let’s be honest, very few people/athletes have done what Curt Schilling has done for charities. It’s in the millions.

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, the No. 1 reason the Red Sox won the World Series in 2004, the first in 86 years, was the acquisition of Schilling.

He deserves support and prayers with his fight to beat cancer.