It was to everyone’s surprise, especially Mansfield High Athletic Director Joe Russo and Hornets football coach Mike Redding, that they were asked by the administration to head to Alumni Field late last week to chaperone a “celebrity” filming and to restrict access to the field.

Lo and behold, former New England Patriot and current Tampa Bay Buccaneeer Rob Gronkowski showed up for a video shoot.

“No one knew who it was going to be, other than it was a high profile individual,” Russo said of Gronkowski’s film crew seeking availability for the site. “They had worked it out with the high school administration. They needed a turf field.”

No one is sure what film crew (NFL, ESPN, Tampa Bay etc.) did the video.

“All they asked was that no one be there, and at 2 p.m., they showed up,” Russo said …

Meanwhile, Mike Redding has added a few more hats at Mansfield High, becoming the assistant principal and athletic director at the school.

Redding retired as a social studies instructor after 32 years in the classroom and also as girls’ basketball coach. He will remain the Hornets’ football coach this fall for Mansfield, the defending MIAA Division 2 Super Bowl champion.

Redding is concerned with taking as many safety precautions as possible out on the athletic fields in the wake of the ongoing coronavirus.

“To me, the biggest thing is kids just breathing and spitting,” Redding said. “That’s the biggest means of transferring it. We have helmets on, but what about the soccer and field hockey kids, will they have to wear masks? And what about the officials? A lot of them in soccer and field hockey are older people, do they want to put themselves as risk? And how about the bus drivers too, most of them are older and do they want to drive a busload of kids around? It’s complicated for sure.” …

It was a disappointing end to the softball careers of former North Attleboro High standouts Mycala Moody and Kaylea Sherman with defending MASCAC champion Framingham State. The Rams were unable to take to the field for even one game this season due to the coronavirus.

Moody had an illustrious four-year career, playing in 124 games over three seasons, totaling 133 hits, a career .345 batting average, .429 slugging percentage (51 RBI, 22 extra base hits) and a .399 on base percentage (35 walks, 20 stolen bases). Moody, a shortstop and outfielder, totaled 193 putouts and 80 assists in the field. Sherman played in 54 games, having 31 hits and 27 RBI …

Ditto for former Bishop Feehan High ace softball pitcher Sarah Magro, who had her collegiate softball career snipped short by elbow and arm injuries at Bucknell. The junior is now serving with the Bison program as a team manager and volunteer assistant coach …

The Canton A’s of the Cranberry Baseball League have a “who’s who” of former local high school luminaries. From Attleboro High are Eoin Kelleher (St. Olaf), Alvaro Espinal (Bryant) and Jon Candiales (UMass Dartmouth); from North Attleboro High are Kyle Bolger (Framingham State) and Tyler Lafreniere (Western New England); and from Mansfield High are Aidan Cahill (Clark) and Matt Farragher (Stonehill) …

On the national College Hoops podcast, PC men’s basketball coach Ed Cooley bemoaned the “get rich quick” mindset of many student-athletes.

“In today’s day and age,” Cooley said, “kids are looking for the easy road. That’s why you see kids (going to) multiple high schools and multiple AAU programs. Nobody wants to stick it out and compete to get better.” …

Bishop Feehan grad and new Brown University women’s basketball coach Monique LeBlanc has six incoming freshmen, courtesy of former coach and Boston College Eagle great Sarah Behn. “I want us to be smart and we’re planning to shoot a lot of 3’s,” LeBlanc told the Bears’ website. The former Merrmack coach, a native of Cumberland, R.I., left the area in 1998 after graduating from Bishop Feehan, attended Bucknell, graduate school and then got caught in the coaching whirlwind, “I kind of left and never returned and here I am back,” said LeBlanc. “There was no much that I didn’t know about Brown.” ...

King Philip High girls’ hockey coach Ken Assad has room for a half-dozen girls for a summer camp at the Franklin ice rink starting Monday and runs through Friday with on ice hours from 2;30-4 P.M. For registration and info, email k.assadjr@comcast.net

One of the up and coming stars of head coach Mark DiSanto‘s wrestling program at Mansfield High is sophomore 132-pounder Max Farley, who took sixth place at the Division 1 South Sectional and finished his first full-time varsity duty with a 24-14 record …

Former North Attleboro High tennis standout Anthony Rinaldi, working in the Endicott College Sports Information office, is always tooting the horn of the merits of the Gulls, citing graduates Lauren Sheehan (Class of 2018) working with the Oklahoma-KC Thunder, Jake Pelletier (’17) as the recruiting director for he Yale University football team and Alexandra Barmore (’17) in the development program for the Indianapolis Colts.

Peter Gobis may be reached at 508-236-0375

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(1) comment

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