EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

February 8, 2013

More honors for Collins

By Bill Burt
The Eagle-Tribune

---- — Merrimack hockey junior Mike Collins, of Boston, is one of 16 semifinalists for the 2013 Walter Brown Award, given to the best American-Born hockey player in New England, as announced by the Gridiron Club of Greater Boston on Tuesday.

The award, established in 1953, is also the nation’s oldest nationally-recognized college hockey honor.

The Hockey East has the most semifinalists (8) while the ECAC (7) and Atlantic Hockey (1) also have representatives up for the prestigious award. Last year’s winner, Brett Gensler, from Bentley University is also up for the award again this year.

The Hockey East Player of the Month for January, Collins, leads the team and is second in the Hockey East in total points (32), 14 goals and 18 assists. Collins also leads all Hockey East players in conference scoring as he has racked up 27 points in 18 conference games so far this year.

Curtain has Andover ties

We had a nugget in today’s paper about Jim Curtain officially retiring as the boys baseball coach at Burlington High after 52 years and 612 wins. Well, we left one minor fact out about Curtain.

He is the grandfather of E.J. Perry III, an eighth grader in Andover and one of the best up-and-coming three sport athletes in the area. Perry’s mom, Kathleen, is Curtain’s daughter. Mrs. Perry’s two brothers were also star baseball players at Boston College.

We hear that young E.J. is following in his uncles’ and grandfather’s footsteps when it comes to baseball. While E.J.’s father, E.J. Jr., was a great athlete in his day, he gets no credit for his son’s baseball skills as he competed in track in the spring.

Want play bocce or

ump softball? Call Mario

Methuen’s Mario Pagnoni is the point man for locals who would like to play bocce or take classes to become a softball umpire.

There will be a class for ASA Softball Umpires beginning in March. Contact Pagnoni, of the ASA, for details at 978-686-8679 or Strikerpag@aol.com .

Pagnoni is also running morning and afternoon bocce leagues at the Sons of Italy in Methuen as part of the Ken Waldie Senior Sports Circuit which begin in February. Contact Pagnoni to register at 978-686-8679 or StrikerPag@aol.com.

Central-Prep II coming at

IAABO Board 130 tourney

Are you ready for another St. John’s Prep-Central Catholic boys hoop rematch? Well, you will get it.

The two teams are scheduled to meet in the first round of the four-team IAABO Board 130 (local basketball officials) at Central Catholic on Sunday, Feb. 17 at 7:15 p.m.

The winner of that game would face the winner of the Springfield Central-Lynn English game at 5:30 p.m. The winners of each game face off on Monday at 7:15 p.m. (consolation game at 3:45 p.m.).

There will be girls division, too, including powers Newton South vs. Pentucket on Sunday at 2 p.m. while the Central girls host Auburn High at 3:45 p.m. The winners play at 5:30 p.m. before the boys title game and the consolation game will be at 2 p.m.

Three boys teams are ranked in the top 10 in the state and two of the girls entrants are in the top 13. It should be a great Sunday-Monday of basketball.

Merrimack hockey hosts KidsFest versus UMass Amherst

After big wins this past weekend over Hockey East rivals UMass-Lowell (1-0) and New Hampshire (4-1), the 20th ranked Warriors are in sole possession of third place in league standings.

After they play at Boston University of Friday night, Merrimack will hosting UMass on Saturday at 4 p.m. following the annual “KidsFest” starting at 2:30 p.m. in the Volpe Gym.

Kids tickets are available online and at the box office for only $5 while supplies. For those paying online (www.merrimack.edu), enter promo code “MCKIDS” or mention this e-mail at the box office. Group rates are available.

Saturday’s game will also be broadcast live on NESN and is this year’s “Warrior Whiteout.” Merrimack fans are encouraged to wear white to the game. The first 1,000 fans in the door will also receive a white T-Shirt courtesy of Cedar’s Foods.

Sox bring back Levangie to coach

The Red Sox named Dana Levangie as the team’s new major league bullpen coach.

Executive Vice President/General Manager Ben Cherington and Manager John Farrell made the announcement. Levangie fills the role of Gary Tuck, who retired last week after spending six seasons in that position.

Levangie, 43, has spent the past seven seasons (2006-12) as a major league advance scout for the Red Sox. In addition to his duties as bullpen coach, he will continue to assist in advance scouting for the club.

Including his playing career, Levangie has spent 22 years in professional baseball, all of them in the Red Sox organization. Prior to his time on the major league scouting staff, he was a pro scout for the team in 2005. The 2013 season will mark Levangie’s return to the bullpen, as he held the position of bullpen catcher for eight years from 1997 through 2004.