EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

March 2, 2013

Sports in a Minute

By David Willis

---- — Sifferlen ready to play

Malden Catholic star @text5:Tyler Sifferlen@text5: of North Andover appears to be fine after having to leave the Lancers’ 9-1 bludgeoning of Archbishop Williams in the Super 8 play-in round on Monday.

Sifferlen left the game in the second period after having the wind knocked out of him and did not return. Prior to that he had three assists on the night. Sifferlen now has 33 points on the season (14 goals, 19 assists). He ranks second on MC in goals and points, trailing just Ara Nazarian (20-18—38), who is from Boxford by played his youth hockey in North Andover.

Malden Catholic opens play tomorrow in the first of a three-game series against Springfield Cathedral at the Tsongas Arena at 4:30 p.m. Central Catholic and St. John’s Prep opens the day’s four games at noon.

Mountain of a man

My nomination for the most intimidating athlete in sports:

Mike Clifford@text5:, Merrimack basketball senior.

The 6-foot-7, 230-pounder with shoulder-length hair and an impressive goatee could strike fear into the toughest of players, and looks the part of a WWE superstar.

The former Bishop Fenwick star can also play some basketball. He’s averaging 16.2 points and 8.5 rebounds a game this season.

Martiniello still coaching

Caught up with former Andover High varsity hockey coach @text5:Mario Martiniello@text5: this week, and he remains very active on the area hockey scene. Martiniello is the head coach of the Boston Junior Rangers of the Atlantic Junior Hockey League (AJHL). The Rangers stand at 22-11-9.

Martiniello was 81-48-19 in just under seven complete seasons as Andover High coach, leading them to the Division 2 state title game in 2007. He was let go with three games left in the 2010-11 season, a decision that drew a great deal of criticism.

Betcha didn’t know

Assuming it is real, the video that recently surfaced of Celtics legend@text5: Bill Russell@text5: jumping over a defender is spectacular.

But did you know Russell was also a talented high jumper in track?

While at the University of San Francisco, Russell competed in track in 1956 and high jumped 6-9 1/4 at a meet. Track & Field News ranked him the third best high jumper in the USA that year. But what was Russell’s greatest reason for going out for track in college? He told Sports Illustrated in 1968 that the track team had the best looking varsity sweaters and he wanted one.

Lasting love of hockey

Are you a disabled veteran with a passion for hockey? Want to give sled hockey a try? Want to learn to skate with a prosthesis? Want to join a team of your military peers for great fun and exercise? Come celebrate Hockey Weekend Across America with the USA Hockey Warriors Ice Hockey today from 7:40 -9:30 p.m. at the Jim Roche Community Ice Arena in West Roxbury, MA.

Regular weekly USAHWIP-Boston skates for both sled and upright standing hockey players to continue at the Roche Arena through the Spring. All equipment provided. For addition information or questions contact @text5:George Carvalho@text5: at George.M.Carvalho1969@gmail.com or 781-535-2337.