Here are a few Saturday summer sizzlers to ponder
It’s been a sizzling start to summer so far, so here are some tids and bits to throw on the grill:
One thing you can say about the current United States women’s soccer team’s run to a likely second straight World Cup title, with the finals vs. the Netherlands on Sunday, is that the march has not been dull, beginning with a 13-0 controversial rout of Thailand, to the thrilling 2-1 wins over France and England, to the great story of Alex Morgan scoring the game-winning goal on her 30th birthday and then seemingly mocking the Brits sipping tea at the end of Tuesday’s big semifinal win. Then you had the huge penalty kick save Tuesday by U.S. goalie Alyssa Naeher. When all is said and done, this will be a memorable ride.
But too bad it’s in July and not early to mid-August when the high school teams are trying out; perhaps the interest would spill over. Even so, we hope the fall high school girls soccer season has its share of thrills and chills as well.
— Still on soccer, another Eagle has landed. Former Daniel Webster College assistant coach and four-year player Brad Hosey was recently named the new head men’s soccer coach at Becker College in Leicester, Mass. Hosey’s hiring starts the Matt Correia tree, stemming from former Eagles and Rivier head coach Bill Lawler’s tree. Yes, connect the dots as Hosey coached as an assistant for both Lawler (at Riv) and Correia (at DWC and most recently, Salem State). Hosey was an All New England Collegiate Conference player at DWC and was a two-year Eagles captain.
“Brad’s enthusiasm and passion for coaching made him the right person for the job,” Becker athletic director Frank Millerick said. “I’m excited to see him strengthen the men’s soccer program.”
—- There don’t seem to be any negatives with the new Encore Boston Harbor Casino by all acounts. It’s said to be extremely Vegas-like except for one thing: No sports book. The Supreme Court ruling of the spring of 2018 allowing states to legalize sports betting if they so choose has yet to take hold in Massachusetts – or New Hampshire for that matter. Don’t hold your breath on the Granite State; it will be years before that happens. But Massachusetts should get into the act with two major casinos in place in Boston and Springfield. According to the American Gaming Association, since the Supreme Court’s actions, nearly $7.9 billion has been wagered legally nationwide on sports, generating $55.3 million in state and local tax revenue, and nearly $3 billion of the legally wagered dollars came from outside Nevada. Interesting.
— Want an early look at the fall high school tournaments? A couple of notables:
First, the Division I, II and III title games will be held at the University of New Hampshire on a Sunday – Nov. 24 – rather than Saturday, Nov. 23. Why? Because UNH has its final home regular season game on Nov. 23 vs. the University of Maine.
In soccer, Divison I and II finals for boys (Sunday Nov. 10) and girls (Sunday Nov. 10) will be at Southern New Hampshire University, a departure from the last couple of years. If local Division I teams make the semis for both genders they’ll be playing close to or at home at Stellos Stadium; Division II teams go to Exeter’s Bill Ball Stadium. Division III and IV boys and girls will have their semis and finals once again at Laconia High School’s Bank of New Hampshire Stadium. It’s a good venue with concessions and field turf but on the selfish side has a lousy, poorly maintained press box; yours truly was told by a source last year that the tourneys wouldn’t return there. Guess again.
— Celtics fans, don’t pooh-pooh the signing of center Enos Kanter. Watching him with the Knicks, he was something that’s lacking a lot in the 3-point happy NBA these days: a down and dirty rebounder, especially on the offensive end. While not a great defender, the guy can rebound and score. He’s outspoken, and that could get him in trouble, but you’ll like him.
—- One of the best sports events of the year locally is the annual New England Patriots Alumni “Football For You” clinic at Stellos Stadium. The one held just over a week ago at Stellos didn’t disappoint with a lot of kids of all ages having fun and learning about football.
One of the most recognizable Patriots: former linebacker Vernon Crawford. He almost looks like he can still play; he was a Patriot in the Pete Carroll era from 1997-99, played briefly for Green Bay and then even for the Manchester Wolves Arena II team in 2004. Great to see him again.
Tom King may be reached at 594-1251,firstname.lastname@example.org, or@Telegraph _TomK.