Monday, March 30, 2015

2015 Central Mass Lax Previews: Algonquin Tomahawks

Seniors Stu Bleck (3) and Paul Nardone (5) will lead what could be a suffocating Tomahawk defense.
By Joe Parello (@HerewegoJoe)

Over the next few days I will be unveiling season previews of the top high school lacrosse programs in Central Massachusetts, leading up to the season opening in early April on what we can only hope will be snow-free fields.

You can access past previews here in our SuitePreps section, and we continue our look around the region with perennial power Algonquin. The T-Hawks captured Central Mass titles in 2011 and 2012, appearing in the state title game in the latter season, and again contended for a district title in 2013. After "only" making the second round of the Division 2 Central/West playoffs last year, Gonk appears ready to break out with a talented, and now, experienced team.

Bob Lobel: Big Papi Doth Protest Too Much?


By Bob Lobel (@boblobel)

This Ortiz thing is putting me between a rock and hard place. Lying or not lying? Taken PEDs or not taken PEDs? Working on the next best thing for himself at the moment? 

Polishing up the Hall of Fame voters to vote for the first time, to overlook that he plays a position that's not really a position.  

Overlooking that he was on a sample 2003 list of the top juicers. No word if it was in alphabetical order or the extent of use. We know of no one who was on the list who was proven guilty but, perhaps the  worst thing of all, is the reputation that sticks after the career years melt away. Ortiz is trying at a very unusual time to create a persona that allows the sanctimonious sports writers, with a vote five years after Ortiz retires, to admit that David is a champion for the elimination of PEDs.  

Why now?

Sunday, March 29, 2015

2015 Central Mass Lax Previews: Westboro Rangers

Westboro senior middie Jake Foster.
By Joe Parello (@HerewegoJoe)

Over the next few days I will be unveiling season previews of the top high school lacrosse programs in Central Massachusetts, leading up to the season opening in early April on what we can only hope will be snow-free fields.

You can access past previews here in our SuitePreps section, and we continue our look around the region with talented Westboro. The Rangers took another step in 2014, finishing second in the competitive Mid-Wach A, notching sweeps over league foes Wachusett, Nashoba and Groton-Dunstable, and scoring impressive wins over regional powers Algonquin and Grafton.

Led by a sensational midfield and improving back line, the Rangers won a playoff game for the second year in a row under coach Tom Baker. After two years of improvement under Baker, Westboro is preparing for yet another transition under new coach Kyle Biancardi, and the former Grafton star will certainly have the talent to win immediately at his new gig.
 

Saturday, March 28, 2015

2015 Central Mass Lax Previews: St. John's (Shrewsbury) Pioneers

St. John's senior attack Jared Ward.
By Joe Parello (@HerewegoJoe)

Over the next few days I will be unveiling season previews of the top high school lacrosse programs in Central Massachusetts, leading up to the season opening in early April on what we can only hope will be snow-free fields.

You can access past previews here in our SuitePreps section, and we continue our look around the region with perennial power St. John's (Shrewsbury). Last season the Pioneers enjoyed, arguably, the greatest regular season in Central Mass lacrosse history. St. John's began the year 13-0, and finished the regular season with only a loss at Western Mass power Longmeadow. The Pioneers' regular season included a 12-3 blowout of consensus MA Top-5 Xaverian, a convincing win over EMass power Acton-Boxborough, and wins over Catholic school powers St. John's Prep and BC High.

Oh yeah, and the Pioneers rolled through Central Mass unbeaten, topping the established regional powers (Algonquin, Shrewsbury and Grafton) by a combined score of 30-8.

But it would all be for naught, as St. John's was shocked by cross-town rival Shrewsbury in a playoff rematch, ending the Pioneers' promising season in the Division 2 Central/West semifinals, and finishing the outstanding high school careers of a number of accomplished seniors, including All-American Drew Smiley. 

Friday, March 27, 2015

Your WrestleMania 31 Primer


 By Mike Abelson (@MikeAbelson4324)

When it comes to professional wrestling, no event is bigger than WrestleMania.

This year’s showcase, the 31st in WWE’s history, will play out in front of nearly 70,000 fans at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, CA. With four hours of wrestling scheduled for Sunday night, I could spend 5,000 words previewing it all, but instead, here are my must-see three.