, Newburyport, MA

October 23, 2013

Sports in a minute

Dan Guttenplan
Newburyport Daily News

---- — The season of Triton?

The Daily News sold the Triton girls soccer team short in yesterday’s paper when we stated the Vikings qualified for the state tournament for the first time in more than 10 years. The Daily News’ records only go back to 2003, but it appears the Triton girls soccer team has never qualified for the state tournament in its more than 30 years of existence. First-year coach Mike Weisberg credited senior captains Casey Ross and Madison Williams, along with seniors Rachel Hall and Shannon Dube, for the team’s success.

The girls soccer team is not the only program at Triton having a good season. The Triton boys soccer team, girls cross-country team and football team all have records of .500 or better. The field hockey team, at 6-7-3, could still make a late push for a tournament berth.

Football playoffs

With one weekend of play remaining in the regular season, it appears that Pentucket, Triton, Newburyport and Amesbury all control their own destiny in terms of qualifying for the Division 4 North playoffs. Pentucket has already clinched as the champion of the CAL Kinney Division. Amesbury can clinch second place in the CAL Baker Division — and a playoff berth — with a victory over Manchester Essex. Triton will be in great shape with a victory over Masconomet on Friday. Newburyport can likely earn a wildcard berth with a victory over Saugus on Saturday. The eight teams most likely to represent Division 4 North heading into the final weekend are Amesbury, Bedford, Lynnfield, Newburyport, Pentucket, Stoneham, Triton and Watertown.

Hayden’s heart

Pentucket’s Steve Hayden has accomplished a great deal in his 32 years as Sachems head football coach. He has won 189 games, a Super Bowl (EMass. Division 4, 1999) that started a run of four straight Cape Ann League titles, and this year has already clinched the CAL Division 1 title and a playoff berth.

After all these years, the former Pentucket wrestling legend has not lost his compassion. When a Saugus player began to panic and hyperventilate after a leg injury last Saturday, Hayden sprinted over to hold the opposing player’s hand and calm him down as medical professionals hustled to help.

Tough stuff

Hayden’s Sachems, undefeated at 5-0, may field the smallest inside linebacker duo in all of football in 5-foot-5, 140-pound Josh Wesolowski and 5-foot-7, 160-pound senior co-captain Chris Croteau. Perhaps toughness and fearlessness run in the family for the two hard-hitters. They are cousins.

Mally’s farewell

The Newburyport golf team placed 10th out of 19 teams in the EMass. Division 3 North tournament. Brendan Crowther led the Clippers with a score of 84 over 18 holes at Far Corner. Travis Koocher (86), Ben Ventura (86), Kyle Bushnell (91), Griffin Brown (93) and Steven Simkins (95) also competed for Newburyport (10-5).

In his final comments to the team, Malenfant shared that only 2 percent of the golfing public is able to play 18 holes in less than 100 strokes. As someone who is in the 98 percent of the golfing public, I enjoyed that stat.

Help on the way

While the Georgetown varsity football team has had a forgettable start at 0-6, the Royals freshman team provided reason for optimism Monday when it posted a 38-30 victory over Amesbury. The Royals forced a turnover in the final two minutes and drove for the game-winning score.

Today’s games

BOYS SOCCER: Newburyport at Pentucket, 3:45 p.m.; Rockport at Amesbury, 7 p.m.

GIRLS SOCCER: Newburyport at Pentucket, 3:45 p.m.; Amesbury at Rockport, 6 p.m.

FIELD HOCKEY: Triton at Newburyport, 7 p.m. (Amesbury Sports Park); Pentucket at North Reading, 7 p.m.

Tomorrow’s games

FIELD HOCKEY: Newburyport at Georgetown, 3:45 p.m.