EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

October 26, 2012

Sports in a Minute


The Eagle-Tribune

---- — STAKES JUST GOT RAISED

It’s a huge week on several fronts of the high school football scene.

Central and Lowell collide in the marquee matchup of the night, a true elimination type affair in the MVC race.

Lowell’s Cam Latta and Jack Galvin vs. the amazingly resilient Raiders.

Something tells me it’s coming down to one big play tonight at Cawley, and I like Ryan Doherty and Santino Brancato in that situation. Those two Central seniors are gamers.

Realizing that Chelmsford has reeled without its starting quarterback Bob Sullivan, all three losses were to quality teams and all came by one touchdown. It makes tonight’s collision on the slow turf in the Lions’ den a nightmare for unbeaten Andover.

The New Hampshire game of the week is clearly tonight’s Windham-Trinity (each is 7-1) matchup with the Division 4 No. 2 seed and a home playoff game hanging in the balance.

What do you do if you’re Windham coach Bill Raycraft? Do you go all out against the powerhouse Pioneers, knowing full well that you are facing them a week from tomorrow in the D4 state semis? Or do you hold something in reserve?

TOUGH BREAK

Best wishes and a hearty get well go out to Northern Essex Community College freshman, Jaylen Alicea, of Lawrence. The former

Eagle-Tribune Super Teamer will lose at least two months of his early freshman season with a fractured foot, suffered on the court about a week ago.

Hopefully, all goes accordingly and coach Darrin Stratton can have him back running the show before January.

OFF AND RUNNING

A solid opening round of two-under par 69 has Andover’s Rob Oppenheim in a 19th place tie after one round of the Web.com Tour Championship. Oppenheim enters the final event of the 2012 season in 41st place in the money leaders, about $44,000 behind the 25th and pivotal spot, which comes with a PGA Tour card.

Oppenheim currently stands four shots off the pace in an event where he’ll most likely need a top three finish to bump into “The 25.”

THE ‘GODFATHER’ HONORED

Got an email the other day from former Central Catholic and UMass Lowell hoop legend Bob Licare, who was proud and wanted to remind all that his older brother Dick will join his dad, Bob, in the MBCA Hall of Fame.

The event will take place at the College of the Holy Cross on Nov. 18.

Is the honor deserved. Absolutely.

Licare basically built the Central Catholic basketball dynasty from the ground up. But it stretches beyond wins, losses and titles.

Think about the impact on the region Licare has with his coaching protégés. Remember, you have Dave Fazio at Andover, Rick Nault at Central, Mike Trovato at Haverhill, Ray Nunez at Lawrence and Tom Sipsey at Whittier, all area head coaches who played for Licare at Central.

HE’S JUST LISTENING TO THE WIFE

Had a great chuckle this morning when Fox-25 news pounced on a Boston Herald report that Wes Welker was selling his Back Bay condominium and moving to Foxboro, where he is renting a house.

The Herald and Fox-25 surmise this means the end of Welker’s stay here in New England.

At dinner with Welker on Monday night, he openly discussed the sale of his city dwelling and the move to the burbs. But it has nothing to do with his future employment.

Simply put, Mrs. Welker — his wife of five months, Anna — wanted out of the bachelor pad. And the new hubby was quick to oblige. Clearly, the producer of the story has never been a newlywed before.

Follow Eagle-Tribune Sports Reporter Hector Longo on Twitter under the screen name @MVcreature.