EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

October 31, 2013

Sports in a Minute

By David Willis
The Eagle-Tribune

---- — Hartwell in charge

It has been great to see a very familiar face helping run the show around the New England Patriots this season.

Former North Reading legend and Eagle-Tribune All-Star receiver Darren Hartwell is working as an intern in the public relations department for the Patriots this season, doing everything from coordinating interviews to distributing game notes.

Hartwell, who also starred in football and baseball at elite Williams College, has already built an impressive resume in the media. He interned for Patriots Football Weekly last season and has covered the Red Sox and Bruins for espnboston.com.

Star of stars

Rachel Schnakenberg may very well be the MVP of the 2013 Andover volleyball team, which finished the regular season on Monday on a 19-game winning streak and earned MVC co-champ honors.

Schnakenberg, a senior who moved to Andover last year from Virginia, leads the Golden Warriors in kills (152) and blocks (116).

She also comes from an interesting household. Her mother worked at the Pentagon and her mother’s boyfriend is former NASA astronaut Robert Curbeam, who holds the record for most spacewalks in a single space flight with four, and notched seven spacewalks in total. He now works for Raytheon.

Dempsey goes deep

C.J. Scarpa received plenty of ink for his record-setting career as Andover High quarterback, but the man that held the job before him is also posting some monster numbers in college.

Former Golden Warriors QB Tommy Dempsey (Andover class of 2011), now a junior at Ithaca, earned Empire 8 Offensive Player of the Week honors yesterday after throwing for 220 yards and the game-winning touchdown pass in a 25-22 victory over St. John Fisher. Dempsey completed 14 of his first 16 throws in his third straight start for the Bombers.

Thanksgiving three-fer

If this weekend plays out as expected, Pentucket and Triton football are going to be very tired of one another once Thanksgiving Day rolls around.

If the Sachems, the top-seed in Division 4 North, and the No. 4 seed Vikings both win their quarterfinals game this weekend they will meet in the North semifinals next week.

The two teams already played once this season, a 19-13 nail-biter Pentucket won on a last-second goal-line stand, and will again play their traditional Thanksgiving matchup.

That is the only possible postseason matchup of Thanksgiving foes.

Double standard?

It is admirable to see the NFL honor the fight against breast cancer by wearing pink attire during games. But that makes this NFL penalty that much more questionable.

Bears receiver Brandon Marshall was fined $5,250 by the league for wearing green shoes — to honor Mental Health Awareness week. Remember, Marshall suffers from borderline personality disorder.

So, why is it OK to support one illness, but not another?

Web Gem

Hard-core basketball fans likely remember the story of Bison Dele, the talented NBA bigman with the curious personality who walked away from a $36 million deal to travel the world. During his travels he disappeared and is believed to have been murdered by his brother, although the case remains unsolved officially.

His amazing and tragic life story was captured beautifully in a recent feature by Sports Illustrated’s Chris Ballard.

It can be found on the magazine’s website “sportsillustrated.cnn.com” under the title “Lost Soul.”