Did you know that Boston Bruins star Patrice Bergeron spent the first year of his career with the Bruins living in Andover?
He was only 18 at the time and without a full-time place to live when Marty Lapointe, a fellow French Canadian, offered Bergeron a place to stay while he was getting his feet wet professionally.
Apparently, Bergeron’s parents were grateful.
“I really learned a lot being with Marty, really about being a professional athlete and working hard,” Bergeron said. “I loved living with his family in Andover. It was a nice place to be.”
Bergeron had a few chores to do around the house, to earn his keep; one of which was baby-sitting Lapointe’s three children.
“He baby-sat a few times and the kids loved it,” said Lapointe, who left the Bruins for the Chicago Blackhawks after three seasons. “I do know that every time he (baby-sat), the basement was a mess. They wrestled down there and played floor hockey.”
Chapman getting better
A year ago, Hannah Chapman was a good triple jumper for Andover High, finishing fifth in the MVC meet and 10th at the state meet as a freshman.
A year later, Chapman is the best ever with a 37-foot, 2-inch jump to take first place at the state meet last week.
“I’ve been coaching Hannah since she was in fourth grade,” coach Peter Comeau said. “I told everyone when she was just a kid that she was going to be a star. So I’m not surprised at all.”
But the best part was the person Chapman passed, Andover grad Emily Belluche, who had the record of 36-7.
Belluche, who just finished her sophomore year on the Colgate University track team, was there for the state meet rooting on her former team and especially Chapman.
“Emily was at the meet and I talked to her just before I jumped,” Chapman said. “She gave me her blessing to break her record, so I knew I had to do it this time.”
With the words of encouragement from the record-holder in her mind, Chapman made history on her next jump, setting a new school mark with a 37-2, a leap also good enough for the title at the Eastern Massachusetts Division 1 meet yesterday afternoon.
Another Hunt on horizon
The Hunt boys from Andover, Don Jr. (sophomore at Trinity College) and Dustin (a senior at St. John’s Prep), have had wonderful spring seasons for their respective schools.
Don was named to the second team on the All-NESCAC golf team, helping Trinity to a second-place finish in the league match. And Dustin, who is among a handful of the most talented pitchers in Massachusetts, has helped the Prep to a 21-1 record while regularly touching 90 mph on the radar gun.
But their kid sister, Cassandra, a sophomore at Brooks School, is no slouch herself on the mound. Cassandra recorded 42 strikeouts in 54 innings this spring, including a no-hitter against ISL opponent Middlesex. She was just one walk shy of a perfect game.
Her bat also came alive near the end of the season, including a 3-RBI game in Brooks’ finale against Phillips Academy.
Bill Burt is executive sports editor of The Eagle-Tribune and columnist for the Andover Townsman. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.