EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Sports

December 24, 2012

Saluting the Unsung Heroes of the Christmas Tourney

Saluting the overachievers, the quiet leaders and the often overlooked athletes in the Greater Lawrence Christmas Basketball Tourney.

TYLER VERRETTE

Andover High

The Glove

Verrette’s ballhawking defense has earned him three nicknames! He’s The Glove, Psycho T and Mad Dog.

Coach Dave Fazio said of the 6-1 senior: “He epitomizes the saying, ‘It’s amazing what can be accomplished when no one cares who receives the credit.’”

He received plenty of credit for his defense against North Andover.

Verrette never made any travel teams growing up but just continued to work and now is starting.

“I want it more than everyone else,” he said.

His father, Keith, played baseball at Andover and his brother, Zach, played volleyball. The Glove’s uncle, Glenn Verrette, was named one of the Eagle-Tribune’s top 25 athletes of the 20th century. Another uncle, Bob Verrette, has been an inspiration to many. He graduated from Holy Cross despite being blind.

Tyler, whose favorites include Pulp Fiction and Kendrick Lamar, hopes to attend Michigan or Maryland.

JAMAHL LOPEZ

Central Catholic

Waited His Turn

Just because Lopez hadn’t played much, didn’t mean he wasn’t a talented ballplayer. The senior waited his turn and this year has opened eyes with his defense.

It’s no surprise that his favorite player is another relentless guard ... Avery Bradley of the Celtics.

“I feel strongly about Jamahl and the impact he can make on this team,” said coach Rick Nault. “More importantly, he is a special young man who will go on to be successful in all aspects of his life.”

The athleticism that is evident on the floor paid dividends when he went out for track for the first time last spring. The 5-8, 145-pounder triple jumped 40-4 1/2 and high jumped 6-0.

In his down time, the Lawrencian enjoys ballislife.com, Big Sean and a big plate of Bertucci’s four-cheese ravioli. He is a student ambassador and active in the campus ministry.

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