EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

June 27, 2013

Sports in a Minute

By David Willis
The Eagle-Tribune

---- — CHaD All-Star game

Eagle-Tribune area stars dominate the East roster for the annual Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth (CHad) New Hampshire All-Star football game on Saturday at 1 p.m. at UNH’s Cowell Stadium.

New Hampshire Division 1 runner-up Pinkerton leads the local list, represented by Eagle-Tribune All-Stars lineman Jake Bernaiche and defensive back Brett Stuart along with twins Chris St. Onge and Matt St. Onge and lineman/linebacker David Hansen.

A pair of Eagle-Tribune All-Stars represent Windham in lineman/fullback Kevin Cooney and QB/safety Joe Lorenz along with Jaguar running back/linebacker Danny Cannone. Defensive back Ryan McCarthy and running back Josh David of Timberlane, lineman Chadd Loring of Pelham and fullback/defensive end Troy Ward of Londonderry round out the locals.

Simpson to UNH

Two-time Eagle-Tribune Super Teamer Aliza Simpson verbally committed to play at the University of New Hampshire earlier this week.

As a junior last season, the Londonderry guard averaged 16.9 points, 9.5 assists, 6.8 steals and 5.8 rebounds. Sacred Heart, Southern New Hampshire and Holy Cross had also offered her scholarships.

Lacrosse honors

Congrats to Sam Caro of North Andover and Michael Biddle of Andover, who were both selected to play for the New England All-Star Middle School team at the Brine National Lacrosse Classic next week in Baltimore.

Versatile coach

Former Pentucket star Annie Pugh was the coach of the North team of the Agganis Lacrosse Classic on Tuesday, after being named Northeastern Conference girls lacrosse Coach of the Year this spring.

But did you know the current Marblehead coach didn’t play lacrosse in high school?

She couldn’t. Pentucket didn’t offer lacrosse as a sport until 2003. Pugh, who graduated in 2001, was a Cape Ann League All-Star catcher for the Sachem softball team, and took up lacrosse while at Stony Brook, where she was a two-year starter.

Merrimack misses out

Merrimack College men’s basketball nearly scored a big recruit last week in reigning Gatorade Massachusetts boys basketball Player of the Year Tyler Gibson of Rockland. Initially signed to play at UMass Lowell, according to reports he was informed by new coach Pat Duquette that he would likely not play for the River Hawks and should consider transferring.

The All-Scholastic was choosing between Bentley and Merrimack before deciding to play for the Falcons. The 6-foot-6 Gibson averaged 21.4 points, 15.3 rebounds, 4.8 blocks this past season.

Ballard trumps Tebow

With the constant injuries to Rob Gronkowski and the tragic story surrounding Aaron Hernandez, people are jumping to the conclusion that Tim Tebow (a quarterback) is the answer at tight end for the Patriots.

But the real savior at the position could be former New York Giants standout Jake Ballard. The 25-year-old caught 38 passes for 604 yards and four touchdowns for the Giants in 2011, including the game-winner against the Pats at Foxboro in the regular season. He missed all of last season after suffering a torn ACL in the Super Bowl win over New England. The Pats scooped him from the Giants due to a loophole in the NFL rules prior to last season.