EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

August 26, 2013

Sports in a mInute

By David Willis
The Eagle-Tribune

---- — Football season nears

There may still be 11 (VERY long) days until opening night of Massachusetts high school football next Friday. But for those looking for their high school gridiron fix, there are plenty of quality scrimmages hitting the field this week.

One highlight is tomorrow at Andover High when the defending MVC Large champion Golden Warriors — led by game-breaking back Jack Sylvester — host EMass. Division 3A Super Bowl finalist Lynnfield at 5 p.m..

Then on Wednesday, Haverhill will travel to face defending EMass. Division 1 Super Bowl champion St. John’s Prep and Maryland recruit Johnny Thomas at 4 p.m. An interesting side note is that new Hillies back Ian Kessel played his freshman season at the Prep.

Griff’s great

It’s looking more and more like New York Giant Zak DeOssie — who will be in Foxboro on Thursday — soon will not be the only local in the NFL, as Londonderry’s Ryan Griffin seems poised to make the Houston Texans’ roster. Coach Gary Kubiak recently noted how impressed he was with the tight end’s athleticism. Griffin caught two more passes in last night’s Texans loss.

Less impressive, however, is the Q&A the Texans’ website did with Griffin. Of the seven questions, two are about pizza and one is simply “Where’s Waldo?’ Very, very strange.

Pay up

Former Merrimack College star Shawn Loiseau was fined $7,875 for a late hit in the Indianapolis Colts’ preseason matchup with Zak DeOssie and the Giants.

Joy set to go

Andover’s Brian Miller and North Reading’s Bobby Vardaro aren’t the only Boston College football players with Merrimack Valley ties.

Former Chelmsford High star Tim Joy is entering his sophomore season with the Eagles. The linebacker/special teams ace made 13 tackles in nine games last season, including five against Florida State.

Joy missed all of spring ball due to a hamstring injury, but is now healthy and ready to go.

Web Gem

San Antonio Spurs sharpshooter Matt Bonner — the greatest NBA player ever to play New Hampshire high school hoops — also happens to be a pretty good pitchman.

Bonner is now a spokesman for baby carrots. Not, seriously....baby carrots. Specifically, the former Concord High star is doing commercials for “ShakeDowns” baby carrots.

Google “Matt Bonner” “Baby Carrots.” It’s very surreal.

NOT BAD AT ALL

I’ve spent a fair amount of time mocking the newly launched Fox Sports 1 station — for being an ESPN clone and hiring Regis Philbin as a go-to host. But perhaps there is hope for it yet.

To avoid repeating ESPN’s obsession with Tim Tebow, Fox Sports has instituted a “Tebow Jar” where hosts and guests have to pay a quarter every time they say his name.

Funny, and I am pro anything that means less Tebow.