EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

April 2, 2013

Sports in a Minute

Dave Dyer
The Eagle-Tribune

---- — McGrath takes second

Andover’s Scott McGrath finished second at Saturday’s April Fool’s 4-Miler in Salisbury, recording a 20:19.1, eight seconds behind Patrick Rich of South Hamilton. Jose Ortiz of Methuen was third in 20:34 and North Andover’s Brett Budzinski came in fifth.

Under ideal conditions, there were 914 finishers.

Where are 13-year-olds?

As of a week ago, there were only a dozen 13-year-olds signed up for the Haverhill Senior League spring baseball season, enough for just one team. Directors Larry O’Brien and Dan Francescone hoped to get enough for at least one more team. If anyone is interested, a call to one of them in the next day or two will still secure a spot.

No freshman team

For the first time in recent memory, because of insufficient numbers, there will be no freshman softball team at Andover High. Andover had the option of applying for a waiver to allow eighth graders to play on a freshman team, as Tewksbury did last year, but decided against that.

Constantine takes 4th

Former Whittier Tech wrestler Shannon Constantine, wrestling for King College (Tenn.), finished fourth in the 105.5-pound class at the (women’s) University Nationals over the weekend. Constantine, a junior, won three matches and lost her third-place match by a 4-2 decision.

Raiders rule

Taking a look at the final Eastern Mass. rankings for the winter makes one realize how successful a season Central Catholic had. The Raiders were second (behind Archbishop Williams) in girls basketball, third in boys basketball and sixth in hockey.

Although it didn’t win any titles, the Merrimack Valley truly had a great season in boys basketball based on the rankings. Following Central Catholic, Andover was fourth, St. John’s Prep fifth and North Andover sixth. Also, Lowell was 12th and North Reading checked in at No. 14.

Local running flavor

There were plenty of local ties at the recent Shamrock Shuffle 2-mile road race in Manchester, N.H. Kara Haas of Chelmsford was the winner while Jen Mortimer, the wife of former Londonderry star John Mortimer, was third, former Sanborn Regional track coach Tammie Robie was fourth and North Andover middle schooler Michaela Jones came in fifth.

Late start in NH

This probably makes sense, but that doesn’t make boys volleyball coaches in New Hampshire any happier. In order to allow the other spring teams to use the gyms in bad weather, volleyball practice started a week later than any other sport.

Most famous arena?

At a visit to Madison Square Garden a week ago, I was struck by the public address announcer welcoming all the fans to “The World’s Most Famous Arena.” I questioned the label, but I couldn’t think of another one more famous. Any opinions?