Fasten your seat belts for a busy beginning to June
Here’s a few local, regional and national tids and bits as we welcome in June with what could generally be considered the busiest day of the local high school sports year, with tons of boys and girls quarterfinals and semifinals in three different sports plus the track Meet of Champions:
It was tough to see the Hollis Brookline High School boys tennis team go down the way it did, 8-1, in the Division II finals in Bedford the other day at the hands of Portsmouth.
But it wasn’t completely surprising, except for the final score. Their 5-4 regular season win at Portsmouth back in early April had three tiebreakers, two won by the Cavs. The finals had three tiebreakers, but the Clippers won all three. Portsmouth hadn’t lost since that April 5 match, and the warning sign to yours truly was the Clips’ 7-2 thrashing of defending champion Souhegan in the semis.
The window is closing soon for two area teams – the HB boys, and the Bishop Guertin girls. Next year will be the theoretical last shot for the current nucleus of both teams during what could be perceived as a three-year window.
Meanwhile, like in a few other sports, the seacoast appears to be the center of high school tennis. Portsmouth and St. Thomas of Dover each won both the boys and girls titles in Divisions II and III, respectively. Wow.
—- We’re sticking with our Bruins In Six prediction for the Cup Finals. St. Louis is an aggressive team, and you always beware of a team that has had the best record in the NHL since January. But its inevitable that the Bruins’ top line and scorers will come alive, and Boston’s power play is in these eyes the main reason (other than the way teams fell by the wayside) that Boston is in the Finals. A split in St. Louis, and then Games 5 and 6 to Boston.
—- Be aware that today’s Bishop Guertin-Bedford High School baseball quarterfinal at Holman Stadium will begin at 2 p.m. due to some scheduling conflicts. Yes, the BG-Bedford rivalry is at it again, and the two teams face each other in the girls lacrosse semis as well (a rematch of last year’s finals). It’s just incredible how often these two meet in the semis. This is big for BG baseball, because this is one of the best groups the Cards have had in a while. And remember, Bedford laid a beating on them 13-3 a few weeks ago in Bedford. Should be a great take.
—- Somehow, some way, the Silver Knights are going to have to solve the fireworks dilemma. Pausing any game in the seventh inning or so to put on what is supposed to be a post game fireworks display is never a good thing. Unfortunately, that’s what Knights management had to for its Opening Night this past Wednesday.
The 10 p.m. fireworks “curfew” by city ordinance is the reason it’s a race, and it’s a law to appease the Holman Stadium neighbors and shouldn’t be tinkered with out of respect for the neighborhood, of course.
So what to do? Why wasn’t this so much of an issue in the past? Probably because the pace of play was faster in other seasons because the level of play was often better in the FCBL than it really is now.
Start the games prior to 6:45 you say? Well, you don’t want to go too much earlier, because with the two Fridays in June (next Friday the 7th, June 28) and two in July (12, 19) complete darkness won’t fall till close to 9 p.m.
Tough call. Maybe next year go 6:30, no earlier than 6:20?
—- Still on the Knights: In case you missed it, they were collectively no-hit by their now-sister team, Worcester, on Thursday night. There were evidently technical issues with the statistical provider for the FCBL, Pointstreak, from Fitton Field in Worcester so the exact details were hard to pinpoint in time for print Thursday night. But the deal was that Braveheart hurlers Shawn Babineau, Ethan Teixeira, Alex Rosario and Angelo Baez all combined on the no-hitter. They had a collective 13 strikeouts and issued four walks. Worcester committed two errors as Nashua scored two unearned runs without the benefit of a hit in the eighth inning. Tough first two games for the local nine.
—- Get this: Major League baseball attendance right now is collectively down, according to reports, for the fourth straight year – 26, 854 through Wednesday, when last year at this time it was 27,242. The main culprits are Tampa and Miami. In fact, the two teams drew a combined – yes, combined – 12,653 fans on Wednesday night. The Marlins average attendance is less than Triple A Las Vegas, according to a report on SI.com. MLB, you have a big problem on your hands.
Tom King may be reached at 594-1251, or@Telegraph_TomK, or firstname.lastname@example.org