, Gloucester, MA

February 14, 2013

Crunch Time

Gloucester Daily Times

---- — Hornets commit

Two Manchester Essex football players have made their college plans official over the last week.

Senior captain John Beardsley will be taking his game to UMass Dartmouth this coming fall. Beardsley, a speedy wide receiver, was one of the leading receivers on the North Shore leading the Hornets with 514 yards and seven touchdowns on 33 receptions this season.

Fellow senior captain and offensive lineman Julian Flavin will be playing football at Mass. Maritime this coming fall. Flavin was a staple on the Hornets interior line, both offensively and defensively for the last three years and is a Commonwealth Athletic Conference All Star.

Senior captains Corey Burnham and Jake Fitzgerald are also looking to play college football according to head coach Mike Athanas, but both are still weighing their options.

Barbosa’s season over

Boston Celtics guard Leandro Barbosa underwent an MRI yesterday at New England Baptist Hospital and it revealed that he suffered a torn ACL in his left knee. No surgery date is scheduled yet. He will miss the rest of the season.

Barbosa appeared in 41 games for the Celtics this year and averaged 5.2 ppg.

Flutie’s Knuckleball

Former quarterbacks John David Booty (USC), Josh Booty (LSU), Doug Flutie (Boston College), David Greene (Georgia) and Ryan Perrilloux (LSU & Jacksonville State) will compete for an invitation to the Arizona Diamondbacks spring training camp in MLB Network’s reality series competition “The Next Knuckler,” which premiers today at 9 p.m.

It will be co-hosted former Red Sox All-Star knuckleball pitcher Tim Wakefield and ex-Red Sox player and MLB Network analyst Kevin Millar.

Each episode will feature the contestants learning from Wakefield how to throw the pitch before facing challenges to test the effectiveness of their knuckleball. One contestant will be eliminated from the competition in each episode based on his performance and input from Wakefield and Millar. The winner will have a chance to pitch for the Diamondbacks during spring training.

“You don’t have to grip the baseball the way I threw it, but if you want to win, you have to lose the spin,” Wakefield said in a statement.

The show also features special guests R.A. Dickey, the Toronto Blue Jays star knuckleballer and Boston Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia.

-Compiled by Nick Curcuru and Christopher Smith