EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

November 28, 2012

Sports in a Minute

Bill Burt
The Eagle-Tribune

---- — Williams headed to Navy

Former Central Catholic star goalie @text5:Kyle Williams, of North Andover, has decided to hang up his pads for good after a few opportunities in junior hockey this fall and will be joining the Navy.

Williams, who helped put Central hockey on the map in the region and in the state, with two Super 8 appearances, said that while playing in Norfolk, Va. in the fall he become interested in the Navy.

“I was living pretty close to the Navy base in Norfolk,” said Williams, who graduated from Central in May. “It’s an impressive place. And then I talked to a bunch of guys down there. I just (came to the conclusion that I) wanted to serve my country.”

Williams, who hasn’t received his start date yet, has all but retired from the sport.

“It was a hard decision to make,” said Williams, who has been playing since early elementary school. “It was just time to put it away.”

Oppenheim shoots 73 in

Q-school opening round

Andover native Rob Oppenheim opened his quest for the berth into the 2013 PGA Tour with a one-over-par 73 in the first round of the PGA Qualifying School’s final stage in La Quinta, Calif.

Oppenheim will be playing six rounds of qualifying with the top 25 gaining their PGA Tour exemptions for 2013.

Oppenheim is currently tied for 139th place out of 172 entries. A year ago, Oppenheim finished two strokes behind the 27 golfers who qualified a year ago.

Andover Country Club head pro Mike Menery is caddying for Oppenheim. Round 2 is today.

More applause for Scarpa

Andover High’s 5-foot-7 quarterback @text5:C.J. Scarpa may not have padded his stats in his finale (the Warriors didn’t score), but he was impressive in the loss on Tuesday night to St. John’s Prep.

He guided Andover on four drives inside the 10-yard line, including three inside the 5-yard line, only to see Prep’s stout defense deny a score.

Few expected Scarpa to on an All-League level, never mind one of the best quarterbacks ever to play in this region. He showed that determination and diligence can win out in the end.

Belichick and white lies

There are lies and there are, well, evasions of the truth.@text5: Bill Belichick appears to be guilty of the latter yesterday when asked about his team’s dominance in the second half of the season beginning in 2010.

The Patriots are 19-0, which is pretty self-explanatory.

Here are Belichick’s answers to those numbers:

White Lie No. 1: “I don’t know. I don’t really concern myself too much with what happened in the past or didn’t happen in the past. Right now, I’m just worried about Miami. Hopefully we can do a good job and go down there and play well Sunday. I don’t think what our record was two years ago really has anything to do with this week’s game. So, we’ll just try to focus on what we can do to play well this week.

White Lie No. 2: “Again, we can look back at other years and talk about them, but I don’t know whether that’s true this year or not. We’ll see.”

New Sox hitting coach

has some impressive stats

The Red Sox new hitting coach, 43-year-old @text5:Greg Colbrunn, has spent the past six years with the Yankees’ Single-A Charleston affiliate, serving five seasons as the RiverDogs hitting coach from 2007-09 and 2011-12, and one campaign as the club’s manager in 2010.

Here are some interesting tidbits on his career:

— He made 260 career appearances as a pinch-hitter, batting .310 (71-for-229) with 11 doubles, nine home runs, 48 RBI and 20 walks. His .310 average and .476 slugging percentage as a pinch-hitter are both the second-best career marks among players with at least 250 plate appearances in the pinch since 1974.

— He hit for the cycle on September 18, 2002 at San Diego while playing for Arizona, collecting five hits including two home runs. He became the first player with a multi-homer cycle in a nine-inning game since Ralph Kiner did it in 1950.

— In 21 postseason games, including six with the Diamondbacks during their 2001 title run, he compiled a .344 average (11-for-32) in postseason play.