Mass. College Football: Harvard’s Bicknell Earns Spot On CFPA FCS Punter Award Watch List

By NoontimeSports.com 

Courtesy of the Harvard University athletics communication office, here’s this afternoon’s release about rising senior punter David Bicknell, who has been named to the College Football Performance Awards (CFPA) Football Championship Subdivision Punter Award Watch List:

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Rising senior punter David Bicknell of the Harvard football team has been named to the College Football Performance Awards (CFPA) Football Championship Subdivision Punter Award Watch List.

A native of Boca Raton, Fla., Bicknell is one of 38 punters in the FCS vying for this award.

“Congratulations to Harvard’s David Bicknell on earning a spot on this year’s watch list,” said CFPA Executive Director Brad Smith. “Bicknell will be one of the top Ivy League players to watch this season.”

As a junior in 2013, Bicknell received All-Ivy League second team honors after averaging 40.2 years per punt on 45 total kicks. Fourteen of those punts were placed inside the opponents’ 20 yard-line with 18 fair catches. Bicknell also booted five punts for more than 50 yards.

Three Harvard players have earned CFPA honors. Last season, Zach Hodges shared the CFPA Defensive End Award. Hodges followed fellow CFPA winners Colton Chapple ’13 in 2012 and 2011 recipient Kyle Juszczyk ’13.

The full list of 2014 CFPA winners will be announced January 14, 2015.

Lowell Spinners Host Mahoning Valley This Afternoon At Fenway Park

By NoontimeSports.com 

Looking for a way to cap the weekend? Then head over to Fenway Park this afternoon as the historic ballpark hosts the Lowell Spinners, the Boston Red Sox’ Class A Affiliate, who’ll host the Mahoning Valley Scrappers at 3:30 p.m.

According to the Spinners’ website, this will be the ninth time Lowell will be participating in the annual “Futures at Fenway.” The Scrappers, who have also competed in this yearly ritual, will be making their sixth appearance in this particular game.

Admission is $15, which includes the game, as well as post-game screening of “Field of Dreams.” Fans are also welcome to bring their dogs to the ballpark, too.

For more information on the Lowell Spinners, hop here!

Mass. College Lax: Nichols Names Beal Head Women’s Lax Coach

By NoontimeSports.com 

Courtesy of the Nichols College sports information department, here’s this afternoon’s release about Kathryn Beal, who was named the women’s lacrosse head coach:

DUDLEY, Mass. – Nichols College Director of Athletics Charlyn Robert has announced the hiring of Kathryn Beall as women’s lacrosse head coach. Beall replaces Damir Pesa, who stepped down to become the head of equipment operations.

Bell was a four-year standout lacrosse student-athlete at nearby Assumption College, from which she graduated in May with a degree in marketing. A two-year captain for the Greyhounds, Beall was named to the Northeast-10 Second Team this past season after tallying 22 points (19-3-22), 38 draw controls, 25 ground balls, and 14 caused turnovers. Earlier this month, she participated in the IWCLA/DeBeer Division II North/South Senior All-Star Game.

For her career, Beall appeared in 63 games (60 starts) and graduated as the program’s all-time leader in draw controls with 175. She also collected 124 ground balls, which is No. 10 in program history.

“We are very excited to have Kathryn Beall on staff as our head women’s lacrosse coach,” said Robert. “She has had a great career at Assumption College and, as a IWLCA Senior All-Star, we look forward to her sharing her passion for the game with our players.”

Pesa – who will remain head coach of the women’s soccer program – saw his lacrosse squad match the program’s highest single-season win total in 2014, his fifth as head coach. In his new role, he will assist longtime equipment manager Bates Craver.

Mass. Summer Baseball: The First Weekend Is Upon Us

By Matt Noonan 

Ah, it’s Friday and it’s technically “the first weekend” of the summer, but who is keeping track?

This weekend marks the first of many weekends featuring local college baseball in the Futures Collegiate Baseball League (FCBL) and New England College Baseball League (NECBL), so go out and catch a game!

You’ll be treated to some great pitching and hitting, along with impressive defense, too. You may see a player from a local college team from Massachusetts or even New England. Maybe you’ll run into an old friend at the snack bar or sing along to ‘Take Me Out To The Ballgame.’

As someone who covers, as well as works in college athletics, I highly recommend seeing a game. It doesn’t have to be this weekend, but maybe sometime next week or the following weekend or in July or early August?

While these teams may not be the Boston Red Sox and stadiums like Fenway Park, summer college baseball is not only exciting, but also a lot of fun. Tickets aren’t too expensive either and it’s a perfect date option or family outing, just saying! So, make sure to support your local team by heading to a game either today, tomorrow or Sunday or at some point this summer.

Below are links to both leagues, so check out the schedules and head to a game!

* FCBL SCHEDULE

* NECBL SCHEDULE

Mass. College Hoops: Bentley’s Battista Earns NE-10 Woman Of The Year & NE-10 Outstanding Female Scholar-Athlete Awards

By NoontimeSports.com 

Courtesy of the Bentley University Sports Information Department, here’s last night’s release about Lauren Battista, who was named both the Northeast-10 Conference Woman of the Year and NE-10 Outstanding Female Scholar-Athlete:

     WALTHAM, Mass. – Lauren Battista (North Easton/Oliver Ames HS), who led the Bentley University women’s basketball team to a 35-0 season and the NCAA Division II national championship, has added both the Northeast-10 Conference Woman of the Year and NE-10 Outstanding Female Scholar-Athlete awards to her already impressive list of honors.

The recent Bentley Summa Cum Laude graduate received both awards Monday night during the conference’s annual year-end banquet at the Essex Spa and Resort in Essex, Vt.

“Congratulations to Lauren for being named the NE-10 Woman of the Year and NE-10 Women’s Scholar Athlete of the Year,” said Bentley Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame coach Barbara Stevens. “To be recognized by the member institutions of the NE-10 Conference for outstanding achievement on the court and in the classroom is a tremendous honor.  In a year full of outstanding accomplishments for Lauren, these NE-10 awards cap off a storybook season and an exceptional career.  We are extremely proud of her.”

Battista distinguished herself both on and off the court during her four years at Bentley.  Her senior year, which culminated with a come-from-behind 73-65 win over West Texas A&M in the national championship game, saw her recognized as the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association Division II Player of the Year, the Capital One NCAA Division II Academic All-America of the Year and the women’s basketball nominee for the Collegiate Women’s Sports Awards DII Woman of the Year.

The three-time WBCA All-America totaled a school-record 2,112 points while leading the Falcons to a four-year record of 124-11, including a remarkable 96-6 over the last three seasons and 93-6 in conference play (regular season and tournament). She earned All-Conference recognition four times, including three straight first-team nods, and was the conference’s Player of the Year in both 2012 and 2014. Her four straight NE-10 Championship Most Outstanding Player awards is unprecedented in conference history, in any sport.

“Since my team’s national championship victory, I have been approached by aspiring athletes, fellow students, faculty, alumni, and other fans who have showered me with praise and admiration for being a positive role model and ambassador for women’s college athletics,” said Battista.

The success carried over into the classroom with Battista graduating with a 3.96 GPA while majoring in both marketing and liberal studies. She earned Capital One Academic All-America honors three times, including first team recognition the last two years, and was the NE-10 Sport Excellence Scholar-Athlete for women’s basketball three times.

In the community, Battista has volunteered with Team IMPACT, Habitat for Humanity and Bentley’s Student-Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC).

“My roles as a scholar and as an athlete have defined critical components of my character, but my experience giving back to others has had the biggest influence on the person I am today,” said Battista. “Through my work with Team IMPACT, I have been able to foster a relationship with a young girl battling leukemia and her family. Her optimism and strength inspire me daily. The experience has taught me to be grateful for everything I have been blessed with in life and that no challenge is too big to overcome.”

As the NE-10 Woman of the Year, which was selected by the conference’s Senior Woman Administrator (SWA) Council, Battista will now be considered for the NCAA Woman of the Year Award.

Mass. College Football: Assumption’s Bates Earns NE-10 Man Of The Year Award

By NoontimeSports.com 

Courtesy of the Assumption College Athletics Communication Office, here’s last night’s release about senior football defensive back Mike Bates, who was named the 2014 Northeast-10 Co-Man of the Year Award:

Essex, Vt. (June 2) — Assumption College senior football defensive back Mike Bates (Holden, Mass./Wachusett) has been named as the 2014 Northeast-10 Co-Man of the Year, as selected by a panel of administrators from the Northeast-10 Conference member institutions. Bates becomes the first Assumption student-athlete to receive the Man of the Year Award, which was established in 2013.

The award was presented at the 2014 Northeast-10 Conference Year-End Awards Banquet, which was held on Monday evening at the Essex Spa and Resort in Essex, Vt.

“This is a tremendous accomplishment for Mike and I am extremely proud of him for being recognized with this award,” said Nick Smith, director of athletics and recreation. “Mike has excelled on the football field as an All-Conference athlete, but has showed that same commitment in the classroom and in the community. To be able to balance so many different areas and achieve at a high level in each, it is a sign of a student-athlete with tremendous character and work ethic who is truly deserving of this award.”

Bates, the winner of the 2014 Rev. Armand Desautels Memorial Award as the College’s “Premier Senior Student-Athlete,” is a three-time Northeast-10 Academic All-Conference selection and a three-time All-Conference selection for his performance on the field. A First Team honoree and a Worcester Area Football First Team All-Star in 2013, Bates led the team and ranked fourth in the league with 96 tackles. At the 2014 Assumption Senior Student-Athlete Awards Night, Bates was also honored with the Steve “Merc” Morris Memorial Award, which is given to the College’s “Top Four-Year Student-Athletes.”

A Preseason All-American and team captain this past season, Bates claimed the 2012 Northeast-10 Conference Football Sport Excellence Award, which is awarded to the top student-athlete in each of the conference-sponsored sports.

In addition to his work on the field, Bates is an active member in the community as he volunteers his time to a number of worthy causes both on and off campus. One of his biggest contributions was his work initiating a relationship with Team IMPACT over the last three seasons as the Hounds football program adopted Yan and Jose Perez onto the team. His other community service work includes the Mentors in Violence Program (MVP), Red Watch Program, Toys for Tots and more. With the MVP Program, he acted as a lead mentor for the national program in 2012-2013.

An accounting major, he is a four-time recipient of the Assumption College Student-Athlete Director’s Citation for a GPA of 3.5 or higher and a four-time member of the Assumption College Student-Athlete Honor Roll. He was also inducted into the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame (NFF) Hampshire Honor Society following the 2014 season.

Bates is a four-year recipient of the Milleret Merit Scholarship from 2010-2014 and received the 2013 St. Augustine Scholarship, which is given annually and voted on by the College’s faculty, staff and administration, to six junior class students that “most notably embody the characteristics of leadership, academic excellence, service and overall commitment.”

Program Note: Transitioning To Our Summer Sports Coverage

By Matt Noonan 

Happy Monday, everyone!

Hope you’re having a great day and enjoying the second day of June – how’d it become June? Seems like time is flying by way too fast!

With another college sports season in the books – yes, there are other colleges around the country still competing! – we’ll be slowly winding down our coverage and transitioning into summer mode.

So, what does that mean? Well, since school is out and lacrosse season is technically over (our spring sport), expect a few posts each week on either the local college baseball summer teams or perhaps stories or links about the Boston Breakers (women’s soccer) or Boston Cannons (men’s lacrosse).

As usual, you can stay up to date with our social media channels, which includes Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. And who knows, you may see a video or a post about non-college sports topics, too. Perhaps we’ll attempt to use this time to return our ‘Sunday Columns,’ a weekly piece we did a few years ago about various athletes, coaches, teams and colleges.

It’s truly been an exciting year of coverage and we want to thank all of you for your support over the past nine months. It’s been a lot of fun covering the local teams, producing highlights and photo galleries, while also telling stories that you may not always find on the front page of your local sports section.

We also want to thank all the colleges, administrators, sports information directors, coaches and players for their assistance in making this year (2013-14) a special one. We had the chance to cover teams that we didn’t have the opportunity to see in past years, while also returning to some old stomping grounds.

Again, thank you for all your support – we truly appreciate it! -and look forward to beginning our summer coverage beginning later this week.

Noonan: Reflecting On Tufts’ Championship Win & Mass. D3 Lax

The Tufts University men's lacrosse team captured its second NCAA crown on Sunday with a 12-9 win over Salisbury University. (Photo Credit: Matt Noonan for NoontimeSports.com)

The Tufts University men’s lacrosse team captured its second NCAA crown on Sunday with a 12-9 win over Salisbury University. (Photo Credit: Matt Noonan for NoontimeSports.com)

By Matt Noonan 

Before the first game of the 2014 college lacrosse season had been recorded, I thought, ‘could a Massachusetts team reach the NCAA semifinals or finals in May?”

The answer: Yes.

Tufts University, one of the teams I was eying at the end of February and early March, captured its second NCAA Division III crown with a 12-9 victory over Salisbury University on Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium, the home of the Baltimore Ravens.

The Jumbos concluded the 2014 season as not only champions, but also record-holders in goals (423 goals, a new NCAA single-season record for all divisions) and assists (45 helpers in the postseason, a new NCAA record, too). They also finished with a program-best 21 victories and a 14-game winning streak.

Junior Cole Bailey, who registered a game-high six points on five helpers and one marker, was named the game’s Most Outstanding Player. Bailey was instrumental in helping the Jumbos rally from a 4-1 deficit in the second quarter to claim their second national crown in program history (Tufts defeated Salisbury for its first NCAA crown in 2010, but lost to the Sea Gulls a year later).

“I wouldn’t have that award without the guys who are playing with me,” Bailey told the media following the conclusion of Sunday’s championship. “They set me up for so many successful plays. It’s an honor to play with them, so that’s that.”

Bailey will return next year, but capping their four-year run with the Powder Blue and White were seniors Patton Watkins and Kane Delaney. Watkins, who is the unit’s goaltender, turned away 17 shots, including eight attempts in final stanza. Delaney recorded five ground balls.

“So honored to be a part of this. I couldn’t be happier right now,” Watkins told the media. “I don’t even know what to say. The emotions are just all over the place.

“It was so much fun.”

Tufts head coach Mike Daly, who guided the Jumbos to its fifth-straight New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) crown earlier this month with a 20-13 win over Amherst College, told the Boston Herald how proud he was of his seniors, as well as each member of the squad.

“I’m certainly proud of this team, all the guys, our senior class,” he said. “It’s an amazing achievement.”

The Jumbos are the only Massachusetts squad to capture the NCAA Division III crown since 1980, according to NCAA.com. Middlebury College – a school from Vermont and one of Tufts’ conference foes – has won a few titles, but hasn’t appeared in the championship since falling to the Sea Gulls in 2005.

While the win may or may not have set in for Daly and his players, this Jumbos squad will certainly be remembered for their high-powered offense, but also their passion for the game of lacrosse.

“The only thing that gets bigger in the second half is our smiles, and just go out there and show everyone how much fun we have playing this game, how much passion this team can play with, and just smile,” Daly said of his team’s halftime chat.

The passion was always on display. Whether they scored a goal or made a great stop on defense, the players exhibited their excitement both on and off the field.

Tufts will certainly be one of the team’s to keep an eye on next season, but so will Amherst, Endicott College, Springfield College and Western New England. And while we continue to eye these programs’ schedules and box scores, let’s also not forget about the remainder of the pack that continues to get stronger.

Becker College and Emmanuel College, two teams from the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) should certainly improve next season (The Hawks will be moving to the NECC next spring). The Saints defeated the Hawks in the conference championship, while the Hawks fell short to Salve Regina in the ECAC title match. Both teams are well coached and have players that are excited to build on this particular year.

Other teams to watch include Lasell College, Babson College, Clark University, MIT, Regis College and Wheaton College. All six teams ended their respective campaigns with different marks, but showed signs that they’re going to be a lot better in the future. Babson, Clark, MIT and Wheaton all hail from the NEWMAC, and should certainly provide challenges for the Pride, who has won 56 consecutive conference games.

Also, let’s not forget about Williams College, a squad that defeated the national champions on April 1, but fell to the Jumbos in the NESCAC semifinals. The Ephs rarely played in Williamstown due to construction on their new turf field, but exhibited resiliency in each game and practice.

All in all, it was certainly a fun and exciting season for the local Division III squads. Expect the excitement to continue next season and beyond, but for the time being, let’s also enjoy this particular win for Tufts, as well as Massachusetts.

QUICK NOTE: Quotes from Tufts’ players came from the athletic department’s release on Sunday. 

Mass. College Football: Harvard’s Medes Tabbed To CFPA Linebacker Award Watch List

By NoontimeSports.com 

Courtesy of the Harvard Athletics Communication office, here’s today’s release about linebacker Eric Medes, who has been named to the College Football Performance Awards (CPFA) Football Championship Subdivision Linebacker Award Watch List: 

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Rising junior linebacker Eric Medes of the Harvard football team has been named to the College Football Performance Awards (CPFA) Football Championship Subdivision Linebacker Award Watch List.

Medes, who is among 38 linebackers in the FCS vying for this award, led Harvard with 72 tackles last season, helping the Crimson go 9-1 and win a share of the Ivy League title.

“Congratulations to Eric Medes on earning a spot on this year’s watch list,” said CFPA Executive Director Brad Smith. “After leading Harvard in total tackles last season, Medes will likely play an important defensive role for Harvard in 2014.”

A native of Mt. Laurel, N.J., Medes made two fumble recoveries, had 2.5 tackles for a loss and added an interception and a forced fumble last fall. Medes returned one of his fumble recoveries for a touchdown in the win over Holy Cross Oct. 5.

Three Harvard players have earned CFPA honors. Last season, Zach Hodges shared the CFPA Defensive End Award. Hodges followed fellow CFPA winners Colton Chapple ’13 in 2012 and 2011 recipient Kyle Juszczyk ’13.

The full list of 2014 CFPA winners will be announced January 14, 2015.

Mass. College Lax: NEILA Announces 2014 East-West Senior All-Star Game

By NoontimeSports.com 

The New England Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (NEILA) released the rosters for the annual East-West Senior All-Star Game, which will be held next Friday, May 30 at Springfield College. The game is scheduled to commence at 5 p.m. with a 6:45 p.m. barbecue to follow for the players and their families.

Below is the rosters for both teams, which features numerous seniors from numerous Massachusetts squads:

East

 

West