EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

October 23, 2013

Sports in a minute

By David Willis

---- — Wild for Woodsy

The best catch in the state of Massachusetts last weekend, in this reporter’s opinion, didn’t occur with the clock running in any local high school or college game.

It came courtesy of Andover football student manager Nicholas Woods.

During halftime of the Golden Warriors’ win over La Salle (R.I.), the senior, known as Woodsy to the team, went deep for a pass thrown by former Andover star and current Endicott College receiver Cam Farnham.

The throw was over Woodsy’s head, but the enthusiastic fan favorite went into an all-out dive to make the catch along the sideline, sending the crowd into a frenzy of cheers.

His ribs were a little worse for wear from the dive, but it was worth it.

Hayden’s heart

Pentucket’s Steve Hayden has accomplished a great deal in his 32 years as Sachems head football coach. He has won 189 games, a Super Bowl (EMass. Division 4, 1999) which started a run of four straight Cape Ann League titles, and this year has already clinched the CAL Division 1 title and a playoff berth.

But, after all these years, the former Pentucket wrestling legend has not lost his immense compassion.

When a Saugus player began to panic and hyperventilate after a leg injury last Saturday, it was Hayden who sprinted over to hold the opposing player’s hand and calm his down as medical professionals hustled to help.

Tough stuff

Hayden’s Sachems, undefeated at 5-0, may field the smallest inside linebacker duo in all of football in 5-foot-5, 140-pound Josh Wesolowski and 5-foot-7, 160-pound senior co-captain Chris Croteau.

Perhaps toughness and fearlessness run in the family for the two hard-hitters. They are cousins.

In her blood

That athletic trait doesn’t have to come in the same sport. Georgina Christopulos, a key member of the Andover High once-beaten field hockey team, is the cousin of former Andover lineman and current Bentley center Andreas Christopulos,

Ready for prime time

Possibly the best name in local sports this fall comes courtesy of Phillips Academy football.

It is none other than Andover resident John Belluche — yes, pronounced like the legendary comedian and Saturday Night Live icon John Belushi.

The last name is also a familiar one to local sports fans. His big sister Emily Belluche was an Eagle-Tribune All-Star hurdler for Andover track, and older brother David Belluche was a hockey star first at Andover then at Phillips, and was selected in the USHL Draft this summer.

Kreider back

Speaking of Phillips hockey, former Big Blue star Chris Kreider is back in the NHL. The slick-scoring forward was promoted by a New York Rangers team that has struggled in the offensive end this season (11 goals in seven games).

Spinners promoted

Congrats go out to new Lowell Spinners assistant general manager Jon Boswell on his promotion this week. Boswell, a Woburn native and graduate of Duquesne University, has served as media relations director for the Spinners since 2008.

“He’s earned it,” said Spinners GM Tim Bawmann in an e-mail. “He deserves it and the sky is the limit for this talented young man.”