Cambridge Rindge & Latin Sweeps Somerville Girls’ Volleyball to Win GBL

(written, shot, edited and narrated for Somerville Patch)

The Cambridge Rindge & Latin Falcons overcame a five-point deficit in their first game Friday, then took control of the next two, sweeping the Somerville Highlanders in three games to win the GBL Championship at the Somerville High Field House.

Cambridge’s win capped an undefeated regular season within the Greater Boston League, including two 3-0 sweeps of the Highlanders.

“I don’t just coach for the year, I coach for the program,” Cambridge coach Kelley Leary said. “I try to keep it flowing.”

Just like their match against the Falcons on Oct. 19, the Highlanders started their first game strong, going up 5-0 thanks in part to a kill and subsequent ace from senior Lorenza Etienne.

The Highlanders held that five-point lead until the Falcons scored four in a row to cut the lead to 12-11. Falcon senior Brigitte Boursiquot scored her first of 12 points Friday to cap that run.

Highlander execution virtually ceased at that point in the game, with 11 of the Highlander’s next 12 points coming from Falcon errors instead of their own play. And though the Highlanders built a 23-18 lead, they just couldn’t put the game away.

Cambridge sophomore Nathielly De Oliveira cut the lead to 23-21 with an ace, then Boursiquot tied it with a dump over the Somerville block and into the center-court sinkhole. De Oliveira’s ace completed the Falcons’ 25-23 comeback in Game 1.

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Rob Gronkowski Need Not Apologize

Really, people? Is THIS photo worth forcing Rob Gronkowski to apolgize? (www.larrybrownsports.com)

When I first posted about New England Patriot Rob Gronkowski‘s adult-film photo buddy Monday, I treated the story with appropriate mirth. The silliness of it seemed to dwarf anything else.

But when I saw Gronkowski’s backtracking apology Wednesday, my attitude changed completely. And my response will be anything but silly.

Gronkowski has done absolutely nothing wrong. Abso… lutely…. nothing. Gronkowski doesn’t have a wife, nor does he have a girlfriend. He in no way cheated on anyone. His association with a porn star did not violate any romantic relationship he previously had.

Additionally, Bibi Jones is 20 years old. She is a legal, consenting adult. That shouldn’t even matter, because she and Gronkowski (who’s only 2 years older, btw) didn’t have sex. But had they, and assuming no alcohol or coercion was involved, there still wouldn’t be a problem.

All Jones and Gronkowski did was take a couple of pictures. They aren’t pornographic pictures, either: All the important stuff is left to the imagination.

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Critiquing the Best

One hundred pages in, I've realized Hunter S. Thompson's greatest attributes were his vocabulary, his awareness of the spirit of the 60s, and his dishonesty.
Since buying it over a year ago, I’ve continually put aside Hunter S. Thompson’s The Great Shark Hunt – his earliest essays, mostly on sports – in favor of more-recent sports books. Which is kind of silly, when you think about it. It’s like skipping an art exhibition of Monet or Van Gogh to go look at Stefan Duncan paintings.

Now, because The Great Shark Hunt is very dense, I won’t finish it for awhile. Thompson is too stream-of-consciousness, too all-over-the-place to read quickly. I’m sure I’ll take multiple breaks, if only to read something with actual narrative flow.

But having read the first 10 or so stories (just over 100 pages), I’ve discovered the thing that made him such a successful writer/reporter.

Or, rather, the three things:

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Somerville Senior Emma Youte Reflects on Highlander FOOTBALL Career

Emma Youte stretches at a Somerville Football practice. (Wicked Local photo/Donald Rockhead)

Somerville High senior Emma Youte is a quadruple threat: student, singer, actor, athlete.

She’s even a three-sport athlete. In the spring, she runs track and field. In the winter, basketball. And in the fall… football?

Yes, football. And wearing No. 16 and playing in an almost-entirely male league hasn’t always been easy.

“When I came to the high school, I got it so much from the guys,” Youte says.

“They would make these little comments like, ‘go play volleyball,’ ‘you’re soft,’ ‘we don’t need girls on the team.’”

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Rob Gronkowski and Porn Star Bibi Jones: Which is the Hotter Tight End?

Somehow, I think both male and female football fans can enjoy this picture of Rob Gronkowski and porn star Bibi Jones. (www.larrybrownsports.com)

So with no Patriots game last weekend, what did everyone do? Me, I split my time between working at the Head of the Charles Regatta, working at home, and hanging at a few bars that I’d been in many times before.

What did New England Patriot Rob Gronkowski do with his weekend off? He hung out with college buddies in Arizona.

And Bibi Jones.

The porn star.

As much as we love professional athletes, we also secretly hate them. Their jobs are the games we played as children, then gave up when our bodies wouldn’t grow beyond 5’8″, 180 pounds. They make more in one-third of a year than we’ll make in our lifetimes. And they always get the girls.

Continue reading Rob Gronkowski and Porn Star Bibi Jones: Which is the Hotter Tight End?

Somerville’s Charlemers Pierre-Louis Scores Twice, Forces Draw with Madison Park Boys’ Soccer

(written, shot and edited for Somerville Patch)

In a game that could very well be repeated when the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association state soccer tournament begins on Nov. 5, the Somerville Highlanders and Madison Park (Roxbury) Cardinals played to a 3-3 draw Friday afternoon at Dilboy Stadium.

The Cardinals played with the same aggression, precision and speed the Highlanders have played with all season, and in the opening minutes they surprised the Highlander defense, forcing a turnover right outside the goal.

Madison Park sophomore Jairo Ortiz grabbed it, slipped behind the Somerville defense and fired a shot past goalie Richard Rodrigues for a 1-0 lead less than five minutes into the game.

Somerville striker Charlemers “Junior” Pierre-Louis had clanged an open shot off the Cardinal goalpost earlier in the game, so he was itching for another chance. That chance came three minutes after Ortiz’s goal, when strong Highlander offensive pressure earned them a corner kick.

Sophomore Franscisco Fernandes Neto kicked the ball towards the center of the field, and Madison Park goalie Joao Rosa came out to play it. Rosa could only deflect the ball, however, and the ball rolled out to Matheus Augusto Reis. Reis played the ball up to Pierre-Louis, who quickly turned and fired past Rosa to tie the game at 7:09.

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Wisconsin Seeking Payback for 2010 Loss at Michigan State Saturday

The Spartans will need to not only pressure Badger QB Russell Wilson, but also need to keep him in the pocket on Saturday – a tough task for MSU. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Wisconsin’s only loss last season came in the first week of Big Ten play, when the Michigan State Spartans hung 444 offensive yards – including 175 rushing yards – on the Badgers, beating them 34-24. The No. 6 Badgers return to East Lansing this Saturday seeking payback. The Badgers are an undefeated, explosive, high-scoring offensive juggernaut, but so was Denard Robinson and his Michigan Wolverines. How’d that work out?

Though Wisconsin still has to beat Ohio State on the road and survive two games with surprisingly ranked Penn State and Illinois, this game will in all likelihood be their most challenging. And if the Badgers want to make sure Russell Wilson‘s season as the Badgers’ hired-gun quarterback ends in the Rose Bowl or BCS Championshiop, they’ll have to solve the No. 16 Spartans.

Offensively, It’s No Contest

The Spartans can’t hang with the Badgers on offense. The Badgers average 136 more yards per game (523.2 – eighth-most in the NCAA), including over 100 more yards on the ground (257.5 – seventh-most in the NCAA). Montee Ball leads the Badger ground game, having in six games already compiled 653 yards and 16 touchdown runs, making him the second-best scoring back in the country. Ball’s speed lets him shoot through gaps in the line, then his agility helps him elude tacklers down-field. Although he runs less along the sidelines than up the gut, he’s occasionally been quick enough to round the corner once Wisconsin’s beefy linemen set an edge for him.

The Spartans, meanwhile, don’t even have a top-75 running back. Edwin Baker has been their best, but he’s gained just 419 yards and scored twice on the ground. Le’Veon Bell has six rushing touchdowns, but he’s been used so sparingly that the Badgers defense should know that whenever the Spartans are near the end zone and Bell’s in, it’s a running play.

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Strong Power Play Helps Bruins Dominate Maple Leafs

Chris Kelly backhands a shot before getting the rebound past goalie Jonas Gustavsson for a goal in the first period of Thursday's game at the TD Garden. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

When Shawn Thornton threw down with Toronto Maple Leaf right winger Colton Orr early in the Bruins’ game Thursday night at the TD Garden, he sent a clear message: No more listless hockey. We’re fighting back.

And boy, did they ever.

Four different Bruins posted three-point games, and two first-period power play goals kick-started a high-energy, high-intensity 6-2 Bruins victory over the Maple Leafs.

The Bruins’ Powerful Power Play

Despite aggressive offensive play from the Bruins in the game’s opening minutes, the Leafs struck first when center Tyler Bozak found David Steckel, who fired a slapshot past Tim Thomas with 7:29 gone in the first. The Leafs went up 1-0, and once again it looked like the dejected Bruins would have to play from behind.

This time, however, Boston only had to play from behind for three minutes. Matt Frattin took out Benoit Pouliot, and halfway through the resulting power play David Krejci won a faceoff in Toronto’s zone. Krejci fed it back to Andrew Ference, who crossed to Zdeno Chara inside the blue line. Chara fired a bullet at Leafs goalie Jonas Gustavsson, who blocked the shot, but the puck bounced in front of the goal. Nathan Horton collected the rebound and quickly put it in the net to tie the game with just over 10 minutes left in the first.

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GBL-Leading Cambridge Rindge & Latin Sweeps Somerville Girls’ Volleyball

(written, shot, edited and narrated for Somerville Patch)

The Cambridge Rindge & Latin Falcons overcame a five-point deficit in the first game of their girls’ volleyball match Wednesday against Somerville High and never looked back, sweeping the Highlanders in three games at the War Memorial Gym in Cambridge.

After the Highlanders and Falcons split the first 12 points of their first game Wednesday, the Highlanders built the only sizable lead they would have all match. Falcons mistakes – including two serves into the net and two hits out of bounds – helped the Highlanders to a 7-1 run that pushed their lead all the way to 13-8. The run finally ended when senior setter Brittany Cassidy served into the net – an error common to many Highlanders Wednesday.

The Highlanders maintained their lead with a spike off a Falcons overpass by middle-hitter Jacqueline Homsi and two kills from powerful outside-hitter Nicole Genard.

But Cambridge remained undaunted, using two late-game, three-point runs to get back in the game. Senior Kayla Sena – their most powerful hitter – scored two points in the first run to cut Somerville’s lead to two, and junior captain Lydia Vital capped the second run with an ace for a 21-20 Cambridge lead.

“The problem was, weren’t putting the ball away,” Cambridge coach Kelley Leary said. “The setting was a little tight, so we just adjusted that, and that was all we needed to do.”

A third three-point run clinched the first game, with Cambridge winning 25-22 after Somerville senior Zhanea Nicholson was penalized for carrying.

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