EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

July 20, 2013

Sports in a Minute

David Willis
The Eagle-Tribune

---- — Griffin off and running

The NFL career of Londonderry’s Ryan Griffin seems to be off to a huge start with the Houston Texans.

“He has a chance to be a really good player and I think he can get bigger, too, so we’re excited,” Texans head coach Gary Kubiak told CSN Houston last month. “He fits the mold with what we do at tight end with the guys we have, and he’s very smart.”

The 6-foot-6, 250-pound tight end was selected by Houston in the sixth round of the 2013 NFL Draft after a career at UConn where he caught 116 passes for exactly 1,500 yards and 10 touchdowns. Griffin graduated from Londonderry in 2008 after three years at New Hampton. He was an Eagle-Tribune All-Star as a senior, making 68 tackles, four interceptions and rushing for 757 yards.

N.H. in NFL

If Londonderry’s Griffin does make the Texans — or any other team — this season, he would be only the second player from New Hampshire currently on an NFL roster. The only other is Nashua’s Kendall Reyes, Griffin’s former UConn teammate who was a second-round pick of San Diego last season. Griffin told CSN Houston that he and Reyes are close friends who used to drive to school together every year.

Best of the best

Tate Jozokos, the son of Methuen great Matt Jozokos, continues to prove his place as one of the country’s premier lacrosse players.

He scored a goal and added a ground ball for the North team at the Under Armour Senior All-American Game last week.

Jozokos, also a star football player at Governor’s Academy, will continue his lacrosse career at North Carolina, where he committed as a sophomore.

Also representing NH

A pair of locals will be leading the New Hampshire team in the 39th annual Lions Twin State Soccer Cup match against Vermont scheduled for today in Rindge, N.H.

Pinkerton midfielders Haley Hicks and Rebecca McGrath are playing for the NH squad. Joining them is national high school player of the year Morgan Andrews of Milford.

Begos a Shark

Former Merrimack College hockey tough guy Kyle Begos will be starting his NHL career close to where he pushed players around with the Warriors.

Begos signed a two-year deal with the San Jose Sharks this week, and will play for their AHL affiliate the Worcester Sharks. They call the DCU Center home.

“Kyle is a big, strong defenseman that is full of character,” said Sharks general manager Joe Will, according to The Eagle-Tribune’s Mike McMahon.

KG’s tribute

It hurts to see Celtics legend Kevin Garnett in a Brooklyn Nets jersey after the recent trade from the C’s. But at least there is a worthy story to his number.

KG will be wearing No. 2 in honor of his late friend and former Minnesota teammate Malik Sealy, who was killed on his way home from Garnett’s 24th birthday party in 2000 when his car was hit by a driver on the wrong side of the road.

Garnett wore No. 5 with the Celtics, a number that is unavailable for Brooklyn since it was worn by Nets legend and current coach Jason Kidd.

Early bird burnt

NFL fantasy football magazines have to publish earlier and earlier to compete with their internet counterparts, which tends to lead to inconsistencies come the season due to trades, injuries and such. But this past month has proved rather problematic. Who did a recent NFL magazine call the biggest value in a fantasy draft?

Aaron Hernandez. Oops.

It’s not really their fault since it hit newsstands before the former Pats tight end was arrested. But they might be well advised to issue a new edition sans Hernandez.