EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Sports

November 24, 2012

Unsung Veras does his part for Knights

HAVERHILL — Unlike the much acclaimed Jaylen Alicea, Junior Veras has never been a headline-type player.

A 6-foot-2 “tweener,” the sophomore from Lawrence does not have great statistics and he is not overly flashy. And yet, as Northern Essex has put together a 5-2 record, head coach Darren Stratton calls Veras perhaps his most valuable player.

“He does everything for us, whatever I need,’ said Stratton. “He leads the team in charges — he’s got 21 in seven games which is incredible — and he’s our best defensive player.

“He can play anywhere and guard really quick guards or big men. Against Bristol (Community College), we needed someone to guard their biggest guy and he came in and shut him down.”

Veras definitely enjoys doing the dirty work.

“I love playing the bigger guys because they think they’ll pick on me,” he said. “Some people are afraid of the charges, but I think it’s fun. They can hurt, but I just think ahead to the next play.”

Although Veras started every game for the Knights last year, after a couple of games this year, he volunteered to come off the bench.

“I was struggling the first couple of games, and I can see the way the game is going (while) on the bench,” said Veras. “I try to play hard and they use me as a spark, to keep everyone focused. Good things seem to happen when i come off the bench.”

Veras’ unselfish attitude does not surprise Stratton.

“I can’t say enough good things about him,’ said Stratton. “He’s really one of my favorite players I’ve had here.”

Veras began his college career at UMass Lowell but he didn’t play there because he was coming off knee surgery the summer before. Then, when his mother got sick, his grades went down and he eventually returned home to help out.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports

Local Sports Videos
Sports Videos
Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft NHL playoff preview: Boston Bruins vs. Detroit Red Wings NHL playoff preview: Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Montreal Canadiens NHL playoff preview: Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Columbus Blue Jackets Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Carolina Panthers NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Atlanta Falcons Too Hot or Too Cold: Brewers and Rangers NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Baltimore Ravens NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Arizona Cardinals NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs – Oakland Raiders NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs – Houston Texans NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs – Jacksonville Jaguars Olympic Great Michael Phelps Ending Retirement Draft Preview: Chris Davis Draft Preview: Jay Prosch Watson: 'I'm always going to cry' Is the use of pine tar considered cheating? Draft Preview: Jake Matthews Draft Preview: L'Damian Washington
Boston Sports
Iginla hungry for first Stanley Cup Running Strong: How the Bruins National Anthem brought Boston together Patriots Talk TV: Should the Pats abandon the 2 TE system? Brad Stevens: Hopeful season was a 'learning experience' for young Celtics Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft NHL playoff preview: Boston Bruins vs. Detroit Red Wings NHL playoff preview: Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Montreal Canadiens NHL playoff preview: Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Columbus Blue Jackets Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday McAdam: MLB replay system already affecting Sox Running Strong: Marathon Sports Manager, Shane O'Hara reflects back on Marathon bombings Merloni: An imperfect game we're trying to make perfect Felger sounds of on the MLB replay system McAdam: Pedroia D.L. stint 'not hard to imagine' NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Carolina Panthers NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Atlanta Falcons Too Hot or Too Cold: Brewers and Rangers NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Baltimore Ravens NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Arizona Cardinals NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs – Oakland Raiders