EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

February 12, 2013

Sports in a Minute

Dave Dyer
The Eagle-Tribune

---- — Leading the way

Statistics are a bit difficult to confirm in girls hockey but, as of last week, Methuen sophomore Amanda Conway was the top scorer in Eastern Mass. among girls hockey players with 29 goals. Molly Connolly of Wellesley was next with 27.

Conway, who now has 32 goals, comes from a hockey-loving family. Not only did older brothers Dylan and Cam play for Methuen but her sister, Taylor, also plays the game and her father, Brian, coached youth hockey for years.

Hart on the harmonica

North Andover’s Randy Hart, who has been playing the harmonica for years, played an impressive National Anthem last week prior to the big MVC wrestling showdown between North Andover and Lawrence. Hart, who also played before the girls Christmas Tournament game between Central Catholic and North Andover, learned the National Anthem last year after being inspired by his daughter, Britt, who is a softball pitcher at Bryant University.

Britt Hart had surprised her teammates by playing the saxaphone on Senior Day last year, which motivated Hart to learn the National Anthem on the harmonica. He then surprised his daughter by playing before one of her softball games.

Timely postponement

The Andover boys gymnastics team and star Brian Manning certainly weren’t complaining about last weekend’s snow storm that postponed the state meet. If it had been held last Friday, Manning would have missed it because he was off on a recruiting visit to Penn State. But it was moved to this Friday in Braintree and Manning will be on hand as one of the all-around favorites.

Multilingual team

Speaking of the Andover boys gymnastics team, it’s full of scholars and they speak several languages. Three members can converse in Russian and Evan Igo knows five languages.

Tough for swimmers

Much as it was tough for the wrestling sectionals to be postponed Saturday, thereby putting a trip to the New England tournament in jeopardy for Massachusetts wrestlers, it was even tougher for state swimmers. They had their sectionals cancelled completely, meaning that only those who had previously met state-qualifying times would advance to this weekend’s state meet.

45th year as coach

Bob DeFelice recently began his 45th season as the head Bentley College baseball coach, during which he has won 684 games, which is third all-time among Division 2 coaches. No. 2 on the list is former Atkinson, N.H., resident Jim Stone, who retired from UMass. Lowell in 2003 with 803 victories.

Valentine race postponed

In case you missed it, the popular Valentine’s Race in Bradford, which was called off last week because of the snow storm, was rescheduled for this Saturday. All of the original particulars of the race remain the same, with the 6K/5-Mile combination scheduled to get off at 10 a.m.

Not again!

The wait for former great prospect Ryan Kalish to become a fixture in the Boston Red Sox outfield continues after his recent shoulder surgery. It’s his second surgery within 18 months, the last of which limited him to 36 games in 2012, during which he batted .229 with no home runs.

Rough week for U.S.

Last week was a tough one for those who root for the United States on the world stage. With Bode Miller already out, top skier Lindsey Vonn suffered a crash that will — despite her insistence to the contrary — likely prevent her from competing in the next Winter Olympics. Then the U.S. soccer team fell to Honduras 2-1 in the opener of the final round of World Cup qualifying.