Sometimes, sports really suck.
And not for the obvious wrong reasons, like an over-boisterous fan, zealous parents or a coach who does not get it. After 30 years in this business, I get all those and simply move past them.
I just can’t overcome Trey Johnson.
A trip to Amherst and Saber Country this week yielded painful news, for him, for me and for all of us.
The knee issue, suffered at a one-day football camp at UNH, was more than just a hyper-extension.
“He went back in for a follow-up after the first diagnosis and they found a 90 percent tear (of his ACL),” said Souhegan coach Robin Bowkett of Johnson, a two-time All-Conference receiver who is heading into his senior year. “He had the surgery. It will most likely cost him basketball too.
“This hurts. When he’s on the field, he’s obviously our best player. I just feel awful for him.”
A kid like Johnson deserved to have his high school football career end in Durham, most certainly. In November at the state title game not in early July at a potential prospect workout.
Johnson checks all the boxes on and off the field.
A tireless worker in the offseason, he flips the switch and becomes a smiling assassin when the whistle blows.
He plays brutally hard with very little if any attitude, both on the turf and the court, and he flashes from the opening play.
I distinctly remember a Friday night on the sidelines, listening to Hollis Brookline head coach Chris Lones and offensive coordinator Shawn Aubut gush as Johnson riddled some overwhelmed opponent with his speed, moves and savvy.
These are guys who’ve coached monster athletes
“That kid is dynamic, he was impressive, just a bitch to cover,” said Lones.
And now the kid is done at Souhegan, before we’ve even started. It’s simply not right, unacceptable.
Trey, you’ll always have a fan here. Best wishes in the recovery. Can’t wait for the comeback.
A quick buzz through some of the high school football camps in the early going yielded an interesting tidbit on numbers.
Things are down at Hollis Brookline where Lones has welcomed under 40 candidates in the four grades to the fold. That’s surprising.
The Cavs play a wide-open fun style of football with a couple of exciting playmakers in Sander and Quinten Wimmer leading the way. Reports in Hollis say the athletic numbers are extremely healthy in the other fall sports, including boys soccer where it appears HB will go at all three levels.
Numbers will again be solid for Alvirne football as coach Tarek Rothe’s club rides the crest of last year’s stirring run to the Division II state finals.
Milford High, another playoff team last year, has almost 60 athletes in the football fold, while Souhegan is right around 50.
Here and there
Finally, after a couple weeks of vacation, some stray thoughts on the Boston professional sports scene.
I am going to re-state the premise of a column written here way back in April about the two athletes I now admire most.
Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale and Yankees ace Luis Severino somehow conned the mega-billionaire owners off the two clubs for a total of $185 million in the past offseason despite arms made of al dente linguine.
In 2019, they have combined for six wins, all from Sale as Severino has not pitched. And now Sale has been shut down for the year.
Each has severe doubt in their pitching futures. However, financially, they are both set for generations.
Had the chance to chat with Los Angeles Kings executive Luc Robitaille at a wedding in California last weekend, and of course, forced him to talk Bruins.
The top point I inferred from the Hockey Hall of Famer? Boston had better find a way to sign his young stars on the blue line.
“Their ‘D’ corps is very good,” said Robitaille, who obviously couldn’t talk about individuals but likes the unit as a whole.
I don’t love Charlie McAvoy but will defer to the expert’s opinion for sure on this one.
Contact Hector Longo at 594-1253 or firstname.lastname@example.org.