EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

October 17, 2013

Sports in a Minute

By David Willis

---- — Playing for a cause

Windham field hockey is hosting Souhegan tomorrow at 5:30 p.m. It’s Senior Day and it features the two top teams in Division 2, but it’s more than that. The team has organized a blackout to raise money for the March of Dimes in honor of Clairee Ann Ward, Windham coach Amanda Ward’s daughter, who was stillborn on Aug. 22. T-shirts will be available for $10 with proceeds going to the March of Dimes.

Griffin on the board

Londonderry’s Ryan Griffin registered his first two NFL catches on Sunday as his Houston Texans fell to St. Louis.

Griffin made a pair of grabs for 18 yards, as he saw more time at tight end in place of injured Pro Bowler Owen Daniels. Griffin, a UConn product, previously had made two special teams tackles this season, his rookie campaign.

Local low

While Griffin did have two catches, it is a decidedly rough time to be an NFL player from The Eagle-Tribune local area.

Griffin’s Texans — expected to contend for a Super Bowl — have lost four straight, while North Andover’s Zak DeOssie is of course a member of the New York Giants, who are 0-6.

Family ties

Pentucket field hockey midfielder Sam Fiore notched her first goal of the season last Thursday.

That last name is a very familiar one to Sachem sports fans, and should ring a bell for anyone that follows the local football scene,

Sam is the younger sister of Pentucket football great Matt Fiore, a two-time Eagle-Tribune All-Star lineman (2007-08) who went on to have a stellar career at Plymouth State, making 46 tackles and 6.5 sacks as a senior last fall. Matt is now a football coach at Pentucket.


Patriots rookie receiver Kenbrell Thompkins has been indispensable this season, highlighted by his game-winning touchdown catch on Sunday. Hard to believe he was not selected in the 2013 NFL draft. But his is not the only undrafted rookie free agent making a mark.

Detroit Lions tight end Joseph Fauria already has five touchdown catches this season, more than All-Pro teammate Calvin “Megatron” Johnson.

That name should sound familiar to Patriots fans. Fauria is the nephew of former New England tight end Christian Fauria, a key member of two Super Bowl champion teams.

Kicking’s key

Every season, we are reminded how important a placekicker who can reliably kick extra points is to a high school team. Look at the difference Andover’s Ryan Payne made in a season-opening win over North Andover.

Concord-Carlisle found a kicker they could count on this season in a very unlikely place — the girls soccer team.

Abigail Ojemann is the team’s varsity kicker, and was 5 for 5 on extra points in its win over Lexington.

Spinners honored

It’s been a big fall for former Lowell Spinners, including Saturday’s near no-hitter for Anibal Sanchez. But it’s not just on the field.

The Spinners were awarded with the “Golden Bobble Head” with the “best theme night” of the year in minor league baseball last week. Their “Military Hero Card Set,” honoring military from the Merrimack Valley, won the honor, which was accepted by general manager Tim Bawmann and media relations guru Jon Boswell.

Beasley bust

Any NBA fan will tell you that former star prospect Michael Beasley, currently with his fourth NBA team, is as big a bust as your will find. At least Greg Oden had injuries. But, even for Beasley, this is pretty dumb.

On Friday, the forward punched himself in the face so hard he needed treatment for a swollen eye.