EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


January 29, 2013

Sports in a Minute

Intriguing game

Two local hockey rivals enjoying competitive seasons will square off tomorrow night for a rematch when Amesbury/Whittier plays host to Pentucket. Both teams have played strong defense this year, but there were nine goals scored in the first meeting last month when Amesbury won a 5-4 thriller.

The Sachems have been led by the offense of Ian Mitchell, who scored two goals in the first matchup. Anthony Licciardello led Amesbury with two goals and two assists.

Tourney change

Lawrence, which has struggled in recent years, has dropped out of the Methuen Invitational Softball Tournament. It will be replaced by Amesbury, a perennially strong team which was in the tourney three years ago, joining Methuen, Andover and Whittier. The dates of the tournament this year are Friday and Saturday, May 24-25. Andover won the tournament last year.

Seeking new coach

Speaking of Lawrence, the Lancers are seeking a new softball coach to replace Jenn Arrajj, who was not rehired. Athletic director Tim Finn expects to name a new coach in the next two or three weeks and hopes that the next coach will help build a stronger feeder system.

Lawrence was just 1-18 last year and, in five seasons under Arrajj, the Lancers were 31-70 overall.

Boys gymnastics future

Despite the sport being dropped by the MIAA after this year, the seven Massachusetts teams with boys gymnastics intends to continue on a club basis according to Andover coach Steve Sirois. “Everything will be the same except the (MIAA) medals,” said Sirois.

The Andover coach also pointed out that some schools with boys on girls teams could eventually become all-boys teams, citing the experience of Lowell, which had four boys on a girls team, fielded a boys team the next year and now has a state-high 52 boys on the team.

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