EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Sports

June 25, 2014

Agganis Games: Four North Andover High soccer players reunited

All-time program scoring leader Mike Skarbelis, Todd Patnaude, Jeff Warden and Sina Samali already have their place in North Andover High history.

The four recent graduates were mainstays on Scarlet Knight soccer teams which made the Division 2 state semifinals in 2012 and the North finals (after a perfect regular season) last fall.

Today’s Agganis All-Star game at Lynn’s Manning Field (5:30 p.m. start) will serve as a neat last hurrah.

Patnaude said, “It will be awesome. Four players, that’s awesome.”

“I’m more excited than anything,” said Warden, an Eagle-Tribune All-Star defender. “It will be a fun time. I’m not too stressed. All of us are really proud to represent our school.”

Warden is headed to Holy Cross, where he won’t be playing. So this could be the last high-level game of his life.

“I gave it a lot of thought,” he said. “It was a hard decision. I’m content. (Division 1 soccer) is a huge commitment.”

The other three will be playing in college. Skarbelis, the Eagle-Tribune MVP, and Samali are bound for New England College in Henniker, N.H., while Patnaude is headed to Keene State.

Patnaude said he’ll miss playing with all his teammates but especially Warden.

“Me and him have been playing defense together since sixth grade,” he said. “It will be tough playing with other defenders.”

There will be a fifth Turkey Towner, St. John’s Prep’s Gregory French, who played with the four Knights on town teams growing up.

North Andoverites have already made their mark on the Agganis Games including Monday in a wild 133-112 win. Max Burt was the North MVP with a game-high 26 points and his St. John’s Prep teammate Max Butterbrodt added 23 for the winners.

The Agganis Games began with opening ceremonies on Sunday and will conclude with the 53rd annual football all-star game tomorrow at 7 p.m. at Lynn’s Manning Field.

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