Akeem Belnavis led Bartlett to the semifinals
in Auburn before losing to Main South
Text and photos By Steev Riccardo
Hello Sports Fans!
It was almost exactly one year ago that the first View from the Sidelines column was published in The Patriot and I must admit, it has been a great pleasure writing this column every week. The local sports scene continues to thrive here and it’s a great honor and privilege for me to be able to cover it every week for you.
As the new school gets ready to start in the next few weeks, the excitement is starting to build. Before you know it, the fields will be active, the crowds will be cheering, and the action will be hot and heavy.
Of all the high school sports, it's high school football that always seems to generate the most excitement. You not only have the schools and the players, but you have the cheerleaders and the marching bands; it’s a real production. The countdown is on, and September 7 is the magical kickoff day!
Let's not forget about the summer so quickly though. It was an awesome few months of basketball camps, basketball leagues, baseball, softball, and a fantastic Nichols College football camp, which brought back memories of the days when Joe Namath and his cohorts were raising you-know-what around Webster Lake.
There were several great camps this summer, one of which was Tony Paranto’s BHS Sweat and Desire Camp, which was a huge success and further demonstrated that high school basketball is more popular than ever.
Nichols College head football coach Kevin Loney ran an outstanding camp for football players, which showcased the tremendous talent that can be found at area high schools. Most of the local high school coaches were at the camp held on the school campus in Dudley as well as a couple of quarterbacks that will be key to their teams this fall in Bartlett’s Ricky Spooner and Shepherd Hill’s Drew Ravenelle.
In Girls Summer Basketball league action, the Shepherd Hill Rams finished in an impressive second place in the Shrewsbury league, which gives coach Jim Hackenson a lot to look forward to in the post Meghan Fornaro (22.5) era that ended when the 1000-point scorer graduated in June.
The Rams will be led next season by all-star junior guard Brooke Packard (9.2), a defensive specialist, senior Taylor Daniels (8.5), and sophomore Ciara McKissick (5.1). On paper they look awfully good.
Nick Kobel is off to Springfield College to play soccer
Speaking of star players graduating, the Bartlett Indians basketball squad also lost its leader in Nick Kobel, who will be attending Springfield College in the fall to play soccer. Have no fear though, Bartlett fans, the Indians made it to the semi-finals of the Auburn Summer League before losing 70-67 at the buzzer to Main South last week.
Despite Kobel’s departure, the team may be even better next year than they were in 2011-12. The Indians have a great core of players returning, including forwards Akeem Belnavis (14.6) and junior Alex Givens Perry (10.5) and guards Matt Huberdault (8.1), and junior Evan Anderson (5.3). They also have sophomore transfer Jacob Mailloux, who will give them tremendous depth up front, and looked fantastic this summer.
Shepherd Hill Football: The Shepherd Hill varsity football schedule was made available this week and the Rams will be opening on September 7 at home against Westborough High School. They travel to St. Peter-Marian for a key week two match-up. They will meet Bartlett at home on October 12.
Cody Peck: Before moving on this week, we need to give a shout-out to Shepherd Hill 2012 graduate and football star Cody Peck, who ran for 863 yards and scored four times last year for the Rams.
Peck, who is heading to Westfield State in the fall, is going to make history when he gets written up here in this column one week and has his band Scan The Sky written up in the Arts column next week. Not only does Peck excel on the football field, but he is also an outstanding lead singer in a really good punk band.
If you want to check out Cody on stage, Scan The Sky will be doing a free show at the Oxford bandstand on Saturday, August 25!
- Wednesday, 15 August 2012
- Posted in Categories: : View from the Sidelines