EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Sports

December 25, 2012

Plenty of Christmas gifts needed in Merrimack Valley

Okay, Christmas is over, and I must admit that I didn’t get a whole lot that was on my wish list.

On the other hand, as far as the local sporting scene, it’s a lengthy list and most of what I’d like could take awhile. And, maybe, just maybe, I’ll have a better chance of seeing some of these things happen if I share.

So here are some of the wishes I put on my list for the year 2013.

A return of the New England Wrestling Tournament to the Merrimack Valley. This is where it belongs, in the hotbed of wrestling, in a central spot for all the states that participate.

An all-weather playing facility for Methuen High. Most of the other large schools in the Merrimack Valley already have one and it’s a tremendous boon for sports teams from the youth through college levels.

Similarly, an all-weather facility at Timberlane, Salem, Londonderry or Pinkerton. There should be at least one in southern New Hampshire. Not only would the schools and communities benefit, but it would make tournament scheduling and travel much easier.

A swimming pool for Andover High. Why does the premier program in the state, and perhaps the east coast, not have one, what with all the other fine facilities at the high school?

A revival of the Haverhill Baseball Tournament at Haverhill Stadium. The best facility in the region, with the possible exception of St. John’s Prep, should have a major tournament there every year.

A new athletic complex at Pentucket. Luckily, there are plans to build one, and it’s not a moment too soon. The tennis courts and track are all but unusable and several fields need a makeover.

More respect for wrestling at Andover. The Warriors shouldn’t be forced to practice or have meets at the Wood Hill Middle School, which is a good 15 minutes from the high school, when much closer facilities are available at the West Middle School and Doherty School.

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