Griffin Cardew had an outstanding year for the Bowdoin football team and, for his efforts, was recently named First Team NESCAC All-Conference.
The junior linebacker from Ipswich led the league in tackles with 97, including 6 1/2 for losses. He also had two sacks, a fumble recovery, forced a fumble and had an interception.
“It’s pretty cool to get this recognition,” said Cardew. “I wasn’t in the lead for tackles all season; it was pretty close until the last couple of games. In the second-to-last week we played Bates, and they run the triple option. I had a lot of tackles because they hardly ever threw the ball, then got lucky in the final game against Colby. I think the kid in second place wound up with 84, but until those last two games we were right together.”
Cardew finished 10th in all of Division 3 in tackles, averaging a fantastic 12.1 per game. He had 17 against Bates to tie the Polar Bears’ single game figure, and in six of the eight games he had 10 or more tackles. He also had a big game in a loss to Colby, making 15 tackles.
“The season was not what we hoped for (going 1-7, with the only win against Tufts),” said the former St. John’s Prep standout, who prepped at Loomis-Chaffee for a year. “Coming off a 4-4 season with a lot of people back, we thought this would be our year. But we had so many injuries. Our defense played really well, though.
“We have a lot coming back next year, although we’ll lose some very good seniors. Our wide receiver, (senior) Sean O’Malley, tore his ACL early and took a semester off, so he’ll be back. One guy that’s going to be a big loss is one of our captains, Marty Robledo (via St. John’s Prep/Beverly). Fortunately, we have a very strong junior class. We’re hoping to win the NESCAC and get some much-needed vengeance on all those teams that beat us.”
Cardew went through this season with only bumps and bruises, but no real injuries. A history major, he is undecided about going to law school after taking a couple of years off, looking into construction management, or teaching and coaching. Cardew is taking a short break before getting ready for the lacrosse season.
“I met with the coaches right after football ended,” said Cardew. “They gave me a couple of weeks off, but as soon as I return to school after Thanksgiving break I’ll get back in the gym and start playing a lot of wall ball. There are a couple other guys from the football team that play lacrosse, too.
“I’m lucky to have two very close sets of friends on both teams. I think this will be a good year for us. We have a new lacrosse coach (Jason Archbell) and everybody is optimistic. It’s a change for the good.”
Last year the 6-foot-1, 205-pound midfielder played in 19 games and had 8 goals and 3 assists along with 27 ground balls.
Patrick Maher also found out a couple of days ago that he was named First Team center for the North Coast Athletic Conference. The Kenyon College senior from Marblehead, who played at Phillips Andover Academy, played a big role in Kenyon’s most successful season in the past seven years. The Lords were 6-4 overall and 5-2 in the league. They broke a 24-game losing streak early in the season and went on a winning streak.
The 6-foot-2, 265-pound center anchored an offensive line that helped the team average 165 rushing yards per game, third best in the conference.
“The coaches told us the all-stars would be announced online, so I checked and I saw my name,” said Maher. “I was a little surprised to be named to the First Team. It’s a big honor, the first for me, and feels great. Right after I found out one of my coaches sent a text message congratulating me.
“It was disappointing to lose our last game, but overall this was the best season for Kenyon in a long time. It’s a very big step in the right direction for the program, and I’m happy to be a part of the turnaround.”
Jim Smerczynski wants to set the record straight and give all the credit to the late Tony Juliano for starting the Lou Gehrig League in Peabody back in the late 1970s. It gave all youngsters a place to play baseball if they didn’t make Babe Ruth.
Smerczynski, who was president of Peabody Babe Ruth at the time, fully supported Juliano and helped him get it going.
“Eastern Mass Babe Ruth is working to develop a way to introduce travel teams into their local leagues,” said Smerczynski, who was inducted into the New England Babe Ruth Hall of Fame recently. “Peabody’s Tom Bettencourt and state commissioner Mark Matanes are spearheading the concept. The decline in Babe Ruth numbers in local leagues is due to AAU lacrosse and soccer. That can be offset by following the lead of hockey and soccer in establishing travel teams.”
Jean DePlacido is a part-time writer and columnist for The Salem News. Contact her at email@example.com.