Common name, uncommon bond
Tyler Smith , a sophomore at Massachusetts Maritime Academy from Bellingham, and 11-year-old Tyler Smith of Falmouth share a name and a special bond.
The former has twice been named to the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference honor roll, after pitching the Buccaneers to wins over Geneva College and Emerson College.
He met the younger Smith last fall when Mass. Maritime “drafted’’ him through Team IMPACT, a Quincy-based nonprofit that partners with colleges to improve the quality of life for children facing adversity.
The younger Smith, who is battling leukemia, signed his “letter of intent’’ in October at home plate on the academy’s Commodore Hendy Field in Wareham.
“Tyler’s dad’s name is Brian, who also went to Mass. Maritime, and that’s also my father’s name, so it’s quite a coincidence,’’ said the elder Tyler Smith, who was a three-sport athlete at Bellingham High.
“We stay in contact mainly through texting. He’s a huge Bruins fan and he wears uniform No. 4, which is the same number I wear. I’ve visited Tyler at his hockey practice with three of my teammates, and it was a great surprise for him.
“Knowing him has meant a lot. He was diagnosed when he was quite young, but he’s always upbeat and he has made me put life in perspective.’’
Baseball coach Bob Corradi said Smith worked on improving his arm strength in the offseason, and that preparation was evident when the team headed to Florida in February.
“I’ve really worked on my off-speed pitches and going after the batter,’’ said Smith, a Tri-Valley League all-star as both an outfielder and a pitcher.
“Tyler is an effective leader who is mature beyond his years,’’ said Corradi, “and words can’t describe the pure joy that he and everyone on our team and in our community felt in welcoming young Tyler to our family.”
In the starting lineup for Roger Williams
Sophomores Caroline Atkinson of Milford and Molly Petrone of Northborough are starters on the Roger Williams University softball team that had won seven of eight games through last weekend.
Atkinson, a softball and indoor track captain at Milford High, was batting .339 and leading the Hawks with eight doubles. After missing a week because of injury, she returned to the lineup last Saturday and went 3 for 7 in a doubleheader against Gordon College.
A third baseman last season when she hit .294 and was a Commonwealth Coast Conference honorable mention selection, Atkinson was moved to shortstop this season by head coach Joyce Maudie.
“She’s had a great college career, and this year she’s kind of a veteran because we have only one upperclassman on our entire roster,’’ said Maudie, whose team was 10-12 overall and 9-1 in the conference. “Caroline is an incredible worker and it’s nice to see her hard work pay off. We needed her at short and she’s settled in and done a very capable job.’’
Petrone, who played on four varsity teams at Algonquin Regional High, has warmed to the task of transitioning to the college game. She started 39 games last year, and all of her team’s games this season.
“Molly puts a lot of pressure on defenses when she gets on base, she has a great arm and she’s quick,’’ said Maudie.
Petrone, who led the team with seven stolen bases last year and had five through 22 games this season, plays center and right field.
Two figure skaters receive scholarships
Lexington’s Lauren Lapuck and Jennifer Skerker were among 10 individuals named to the 2013 US Figure Skating Scholastic Honors Team. Both are seniors, Lapuck at Beaver Country Day School in Chestnut Hill and Skerker at Lexington High, who compete for the Hayden Synchronized Skating organization in Lexington.
Each received $2,500 scholarships, $1,000 donations to the charity of their choice, jackets and certificates.
Lapuck, a member of the Haydenettes skating team, is class president at Beaver Country Day and coeditor-in-chief of the school newspaper. She carries a 3.7 grade-point average, is a member of Students Against Destructive Decisions, and is president of the school’s Best Buddies program, which provides mentoring to special education students.
Skerker, a National Merit Scholar with a 3.97 GPA, is a peer tutor in the Lexington High Learning Center and a drug prevention peer leader. An active supporter of Special Olympics, Walk for Hunger, and the American Cancer Society, Skerker skates with the Lexettes synchronized squad.
Here and there
Wrentham’s Alec Palioca, a junior at Wheaton College, was named New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Week on Monday after throwing seven innings of no-hit ball last Friday to key a 4-0 win over Coast Guard. The King Philip Regional graduate was 5-1 with a 1.83 earned run average and 41 strikeouts in 39.1 innings. . . Bentley University junior forward Brett Gensler was selected to the New England Division 1 hockey all-star team by a vote of head coaches and members of the news media. The native of St. Charles, Mo., led the Falcons in scoring for the second straight year (16 goals, 24 assists). . . Boston College junior Bill Arnold of Needham has been named an assistant hockey captain for next season. A fourth-round pick of the Calgary Flames in 2010, the forward had 17 goals and 18 assists this winter. . . Kevin Cohee of Chestnut Hill, a 6-foot-3, 240-pound junior tight end/linebacker at Roxbury Latin, has received a full scholarship offer from Boston College’s first-year coach, Steve Addazio. He also has offers from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and University of Connecticut. . . . The Connecticut College men’s lacrosse team, which recently reeled off five straight wins, has been led offensively by senior attack Andrew Freedman of Sudbury, who had 26 goals and nine assists through last weekend.Marvin Pave can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org