EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

November 6, 2013

Sports in a Minute

By David Willis

---- — Playoff Prep

Tomorrow kicks off the second week of the new MIAA football playoff system, with Central Catholic, Haverhill and Pentucket all hosting games.

What better way to prepare for those games than watch the three teams at their best this season?

For video of Pentucket’s playoff victory over Hamilton-Wenham, the Hillies’ postseason win over Lynn English and plenty of Central Catholic action, visit eagletribune.com/sports.

Betcha didn’t know

Athletes come from around the country to play a post-graduate year for Phillip Academy. But Ian Maag, the QB who has been so crucial in the team’s turnaround this season, is only from about 30 minutes away in Marblehead.

Not only that, he was limited to just 72 passing yards by Pentucket a season ago while playing for his hometown team. He has thrown for 940 yards and nine touchdowns for the 7-0 Big Blue.

In his blood

The Flutie football legacy is alive and well in Massachusetts, as Doug’s nephew Troy Flutie of Natick, is rewriting the state’s passing records.

The Boston College-bound Flutie has set a Mass. record with 8,346 passing yards, and is three away from the state record for touchdown passes. That’s 103 held by Everett’s John DiBiaso.

Curse of Flutie?

Speaking of the Flutie family, consider that the last time the Buffalo Bills made the playoffs, Bill Clinton was still president. It was 1999 and Doug Flutie was their QB, until the playoffs.

Kreider breakout

Heading into the season, many New York publications were wondering if former Phillips Academy star Chris Kreider was on his way to being a bust.

Since his promotion from the AHL back to the N.Y. Rangers, however, Kreider has potted two goals and four assists in seven games. That is leading to glowing stories like “How Bright does Chris Kreider’s future look?” from the New York Daily News.

Learning from the best

Perhaps Harry Kraft, grandson of Patriots owner Robert Kraft, has been taking notes from Pats QB Tom Brady over the years, because he has looked sharp recently.

Over the weekend, Kraft completed 14 of his 16 passes for 208 yards to lead Belmont Hill to a 31-14 drubbing of St. Paul’s.

Poor song choice

I loved watching the Red Sox win the World Series. I love the band Pearl Jam, like just about everyone from my generation.

But I question Fox’s decision to use the Pearl Jam song “Yellow Ledbetter” as the music to its postgame montage of the Sox winning the title.

The song was inspired by singer Eddie Vedder’s friend, whose brother died in the Gulf War. But even if you don’t know the background, it’s clearly a sad song.


Football is full of dirty plays and players, but how horrifying is this story. A Florida high school running back/linebacker was arrested for, allegedly, hiding a knife in his uniform during a game. He was caught when a fan saw the knife sticking out of TreVante Taylor’s waistband.

Seriously? …. Part 2

A high school cross country runner in Kentucky refused to run in the state’s regional meet due to religious reasons. She was given bib No. 666 -- said to be the “mark of the beast” from the Book of Revelations.

Whether you agree with the runner, Codie Thacker, or not, why in the world couldn’t the race organizers have just given her another bib if she felt that strongly?