EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

December 22, 2012

Ferullo in charge

Dave Dyer
The Eagle-Tribune

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With only a couple of controversial calls (one on each side), wrestling official Lou Ferullo was on top of his game last weekend when Timberlane hosted North Andover in the border showdown. Ferullo is a well-respected veteran official from Rochester as well as a former New England champion.

It was good for both teams to have an official of his caliber assigned to the meet and he was definitely pleased with the assignment,.

“I’m not sure how I got this, but I’m happy I did,” he said.

Raiders’ rankings

One can’t say that the Central Catholic basketball team doesn’t get respect. In the Eastern Mass. preseason rankings, the Raiders’ boys were ranked No. 1, one spot ahead of North Andover, and the girls were ranked No. 2, trailing only Braintree. Three-time defending champion Andover was ranked seventh and defending Division 3 state champ Pentucket came in at 12th.

Sunday matinee

With Christmas nearly upon us, there is very little high school action on tap for the upcoming Sunday and Monday. But, for those addicted to high school basketball, the Haverhill boys are hosting Reading tomorrow afternoon. Tipoff time is 1 p.m.

Jones finishes fifth

In case you missed it, North Andover’s Michaela Jones finished fifth overall in the Junior Olympics 3K Midget Girls division in Albuquerque, finishing in 11:23.30, just 19 seconds behind the winner.

Chelsea transfer

The Chelsea boys basketball team looks to be weaker than usual this year, dropping its first three games, but there’s a good reason for that. Highly touted senior Sam Mojica, who had already scored 950 points, decided to transfer to a private school, Brimmer and May, and repeat his junior year.

Really necessary?

The University of North Alabama says a walk-on football player is off the team after sending a racist tweet about President Barack Obama.

The university said coaches made the move after the player described Obama with a racial slur while complaining that the president’s speech about the Connecticut school massacre pre-empted an NFL game last Sunday night.

Perhaps this deserved a suspension and some counseling but an automatic expulsion from the team seems harsh for a slip of the tongue.

New Salem (Mass.) coach

Paul Caron has been around North Shore baseball for most of his life, and the Salem High teacher is bringing that knowledge to the Witches dugout.

Caron is taking over as Salem’s head baseball coach, replacing the retiring Jim Tgettis, who led the Witches to the state tournament and won his milestone 400th career game last spring.

Caron, 37, grew up in Middleton, played at Masconomet and now lives in Peabody. His father is a longtime umpire on the North Shore.

Wrestling mat inflation

The Pentucket wrestling team wants to thank wrestling boosters and members of the Pentucket Athletic Association for purchasing a new wrestling mat, and well it should. What cost about $4,000 just five years ago now costs $8,000.

Don’t wait so long!

The Louisiana Tech football team, buoyed by its 9-3 record and the highest point average per game (51.5) in the country, got invited to the Independence Bowl. Unfortunately, hoping for a better offer, it waited too long to respond and was replaced by another team and was then shut out completely.