Lattrell, Coke star
A pair of former Eagle-Tribune All-Stars — ex-Central Catholic linebacker and 2010 Eagle-Tribune Athlete of the Year Zack Lattrell and former Andover running back Andy Coke — both made their mark on the Brown University spring game last weekend.
Lattrell made five tackles, including a key sack in the second half, while Coke caught a 10-yard touchdown pass to help spark a late rally for the White team, and carried six times for 37 yards.
Also in attendance was two-time Eagle-Tribune football All-Star Will Heikkinen of Andover, an incoming Brown recruit.
With the massive media coverage of former Celtics center Jason Collins’ recent announcement, it seems appropriate to mention another athlete that made the same choice 14 years ago.
In 1999, Masconomet football captain Corey Johnson came out as gay to his teammates prior to his senior season. The starting guard/linebacker was accepted by his teammates and led the Chieftains to a 7-4 record including an upset of eventual EMass. Division 4 Super Bowl champion Pentucket.
Like Collins, Johnson’s story was featured in Sports Illustrated, an article written by acclaimed sportswriter and current ESPN columnist Rick Reilly.
The story can be found at sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault.
Speaking of Sports Illustrated, there is a tremendous story on Andover’s Dick Kelley at sportsillustrated.cnn.com.
Kelley, who was featured by the Eagle-Tribune’s Michael Muldoon last month, is a long-time Boston College assistant sports information director who is suffering with advanced ALS.
Current Atlanta Falcons star QB Matt Ryan and former Celtic and best-selling author Chris Herren — both former Boston College athletes — comment on Kelley’s impact on them.
Made for success
Record-setting Merrimack College receiver Isaiah Voegeli seems to have picked the ideal spot to fight for an NFL job when he signed with the Philadelphia Eagles as an undrafted free agent earlier this week.
The Eagles are coached by former Oregon coach and offensive guru Chip Kelly, who developed his fast-paced, pass-happy spread attack while a coach at UNH.
Who coached with Kelly at UNH? Recently departed Merrimack head coach John Perry, who ran Kelly’s air-it-out spread offense during Voegeli’s time in North Andover, allowing the receiver to become the Warriors’ all-time leader in career catches (211) and yards (3,554).
Voegeli, of course, joins former Merrimack star Shawn Loiseau in the NFL. Loiseau is currently a member of the Indianapolis Colts after spending most of last year on their practice squad.
Cheers to the Red Sox for making a naming Celtics play-by-play guy Sean Grande and former Sox infielder and sports talk guy Lou Merloni as their new fill-in announcers to replace departed John Rish.
Anybody who listens to the C’s on the radio knows Grande may be the most underrated announcer in sports, both thoughtful and entertaining. Merloni is also a good listen and brings quality insight. They will trade off when Dave O’Brien is handling his ESPN duties.