---- — Lopez keeps going
Mike Lopez of Lawrence just completed yet another successful season coaching youth basketball teams for Our Lady of Good Counsel, in the Merrimack Valley Catholic Basketball League. Last week, as the coach of two 5th grade teams and coach of the 6th, 7th and 8th grade girls, he had two of his five teams in the finals.
Then, over the past weekend, his fourth grade team won five straight games to win a tournament.
A Marine Corps veteran, Lopez is a busy man from October to March with two practices per week in addition to the games. He has been coaching for 28 years and says he has amassed more than 550 victories. He’s already gearing up to coach next year.
Faces in Crowd
In case you missed it, North Andover’s Danielle Coughlin received another honor last week when she was featured in Sports Illustrated’s “Faces in the Crowd” for becoming the first girl to win a state wrestling title in Massachusetts and only the fourth in the U.S. Coughlin, who had a 115-44 career record, was also the first girl to win a match in the New England Tournament.
Drover ranked again
Speaking of North Andover wrestling, congratulations are in order for Brad Drover, who recently was ranked the No. 25 junior in the country at 160 by USA Wrestling Magazine. Last year, Drover was number 22 for freshmen and sophomores at 145.
Dzieman skis to titles
East Hampstead’s Nessa Dziemian is having quite the season. The Carrabassett Valley (Maine) Academy mogul skier started the month by securing her first Nor Am win at Stratton Mountain in Vermont. A week later at the Freestyle Junior National Championships in Park City, Utah, she won her third Junior National title in the past four years.
She also was awarded the USSA Eastern MVP award for the 2012-2013 season.
Ortiz second again
Methuen’s Jose Ortiz was runner-up again in the second race of the Wild Rover Series, the Hynes 5-Miler in Lowell. He finished in 26:51, 28 seconds behind Stephen Gendron of Lowell. Kara Haas of Chelmsford finished sixth overall and was the woman’s winner. There were 951 listed finishers.
The final race in the Wild Rover series will be the postponed Frozen Shamrock 3-Miler in Haverhill. That’s on April 14.
Lacroix coaches on
Former New England wrestling champion Andy Lacroix of Salem continues to have success. After making major contributions as an assistant at national power Wyoming Seminary, Lacroix moved on to become head coach at St. Vincent Pallotti, a private school in Maryland.
In his first year, the 26-year-old Lacroix led his team to a 10th-place finish in the state meet and had two wrestlers place in the state finals. He teaches English at the school and lives in Washington, D.C.
Crowell goes 2-2
Former Pinkerton standout Collin Crowell of Roger Williams University wrestled well at the Division 3 nationals over the weekend. Crowell, a junior who was recently named an Academic All-American, won his first two matches in the 165-pound division and then dropped a 3-2 decision to fall into the consolation bracket, where he lost another tough decision, 2-1.