The football pick
Triton is the only local team opening its football season this weekend. The Vikings will play at Swampscott tomorrow at noon. On paper, Triton looks like the underdog after a 1-10 season that ended with a drubbing at the hands of Pentucket on Thanksgiving Day. Swampscott was 5-6 last season, which constitutes as a down year under 15-year head coach Steve Dembowski. Swampscott is 106-53 with Dembowski at the helm. The good news for Triton: The Big Blue did not return a rusher who amassed more than 73 yards last season, and they also graduated their quarterback. That being said, the Vikings will have to show they are a different team with Bradley Whitman in his second season at quarterback before they start getting picked to win. I’ll take Swampscott by a score of 14-7.
Mass. Maritime starters
Two former Newburyport football players are penciled in as starters for the Massachusetts Maritime football team this fall. Jon Wright, a 2011 NHS graduate, will start for the third season in a row at receiver. The two-sport high school letterman (football, lacrosse) had 25 catches for 425 yards and three touchdowns last year as a sophomore. Against Westfield State, he had two touchdown catches, including a season-long 78-yard reception. His NHS classmate, Timothy Lawler, is slated to be an opening-day starter on the offensive line after serving a reserve role for his freshman and sophomore seasons.
Mass. Maritime will open against Maritime (N.Y.) next Thursday at the Sixth Annual Chowder Bowl.
The Clippers Relays
More than 1,300 runners are expected for the Clippers relays at Maudslay State Park tomorrow morning. The meet has become one of the top cross-country relay races in the state, and a great way for athletes to get into the competitive spirit in early September.
Hines named captain
Avery Hines, a 2011 graduate of Newburyport High, was recently named captain of the field hockey team at Simmons College. Hines, a junior defenseman, is hoping to lead Simmons to its third straight North Atlantic Conference Tournament in a row this season. Hines, who is studying in the nursing program, also plays lacrosse at Simmons.
From sports writer to soccer coach
Former Daily News staff writer John Shimer is serving as an assistant coach on the Endicott College men’s soccer staff this fall. Shimer’s Gulls are off to a 1-2 start. They play at Salem State College tomorrow at noon.
Triton’s new XC course
The Triton cross-country team will compete on a new course starting September 14, when Old Town Hill becomes the Vikings’ home. The Vikings were set to host their first meet against Masconomet at Old Town Hill on Tuesday, but the weekend rain made the course unusable.
BOYS SOCCER: Hamilton-Wenham at Triton, 3:45 p.m.
GIRLS SOCCER: Triton at Hamilton-Wenham, 3:45 p.m.
FIELD HOCKEY: Triton at Saugus, 3:45 p.m.; Pentucket at Masconomet, 3:45 p.m.
FOOTBALL: Triton at Swampscott, noon
FIELD HOCKEY: Newburyport at Hamilton-Wenham, TBD; Amesbury at Manchester Essex, 11 a.m.
CROSS COUNTRY: Clipper Relays, 9:15 a.m.