Sports in a Minute: McLaren, O'Connor set to make college basketball debuts

JIM VAIKNORAS/Staff photoNewburyport’s Casey McLaren will make his debut for Tufts men’s basketball next Saturday, Nov. 16, when the Jumbos open their season against Emerson.

Hoops tipping off

College basketball season is officially underway, and over the next week or so our local college standouts will begin their latest winter season. Among those expected to hit the hardwood are Newburyport’s Casey McLaren, now with Tufts University, Newburyport’s Krysta Padellaro and Amesbury’s Flannery O’Connor, both of whom now play for Framingham State, and Triton’s Will Parsons, who is now at Emmanuel College. If you know of any others playing any winter college sport, please feel free to give us a heads up at as we work to update our records of local college athletes.

NECC Cross Country

Former Newburyport High track coach Tim Foley wrapped up his first season as Northern Essex Community College’s cross country coach last weekend, competing at the National Junior College Athletic Association National Championships held at Westfield State. The Knights placed 21st out of 43 teams from across the country while seeing four out of five runners set personal records. Kyle Manley led the Knights by taking 29th overall in the 8K race with a time of 28:21.88.

Triton Plays 4 Kay

The Triton girls basketball program will be hosting a “Play4Kay” night as part of its Jan. 3, 2020 game against North Reading. The game will be held in honor of those who have beaten or who are currently battling any form of women’s cancer, and is in memory of longtime North Carolina State women’s basketball coach Kay Yow, who battled breast cancer on and off for 22 years. In conjunction to the event, Triton’s varsity and JV teams will also be participating in a month-long free throw challenge in which people will pledge money to the Kay Yow Cancer Fund based on the number of free throws both teams make in the program’s eight games scheduled for January.

Triton is inviting all breast cancer survivors to be a part of the evening’s festivities, and any survivor who plans to attend that might like a t-shirt should contact coach Dan Boyle at before Thanksgiving so he can make sure to get the proper size. Anyone interested making a donation, or any businesses interested in sponsoring the event itself, should also contact Boyle as soon as possible.

Learn to Skate USA

Enrollment for the November Learn to Skate USA program at the Graf Rink is now open. The Merrimack Valley Skating Club will hold its classes from 4 to 4:50 p.m. on Sunday and 6 to 6:50 p.m. on Thursday. Classes begin on Nov. 14. The classes are designed to teach the basic fundamentals for hockey and figure skating skill development, and classes are available for skaters age 3 through adult. The program runs as seven-week sessions continuously throughout the year. Visit for registration forms and more information, and contact Nikki in the front office at 978-462-8112 or with any questions.

Pats honor Vietnam vets

Patriots Foundation head Josh Kraft and Patriots Hall of Famer Andre Tippett will be representing the organization at an event at Gillette Stadium honoring 50 Vietnam War veterans on Thursday, Nov. 7. The USA Vietnam War Commemoration established the Commemorative Partner Program, an initiative to thank and honor Vietnam veterans and their families. The vets will receive lapel pins to honor them for their service. Ten Gold Star families will also be in attendance.

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