Mass. College Football: Harvard Football Mic’d Up (VIDEO)

By Matt Noonan 

Harvard’s football team will be kicking off their 2014 campaign in a few weeks when they host Holy Cross on Friday, September 19 at 7:00 p.m. at Harvard Stadium.

Yesterday, the athletic communication department released a behind the scenes video of the Crimsons’ practice, which features assistant coaches Jeremy Bandy and Chris Batti mic’d up. We’ve provided the video below – it can also be found on the athletic department’s YouTube channel too.

For more information on Harvard’s football team – HOP HERE

Mass. College Football: Welcome To Week One (Game Matchup Links)

By NoontimeSports.com 

The college football season, which technically commenced earlier this week, officially kicks off this afternoon with a slew of games, including two local contests.

Boston College and UMass – “Battle for the Bay State” – will square off at 3 p.m. at Gillette Stadium, while Holy Cross travels to Albany at 6 p.m.

Below are a few links about these contests, so enjoy. Also, make sure to circle back later on Facebook and Twitter for posts about each game:

Mass. College Baseball: Wheaton’s Gibbons Signs With New York Mets

By NoontimeSports.com 

Wheaton College rising senior Mike Gibbons signed a free agent contract with the New York Mets of Major League Baseball (MLB) for the 2015 season, as announced in a release this afternoon (which we’ve provided below). The release is courtesy of Wheaton College’s sports information office:

NORTON, Mass. – Wheaton College rising senior and right-handed pitcher Mike Gibbons (Simsbury, Conn./Avon Old Farms) has signed a free agent contract with the New York Mets of Major League Baseball (MLB) for the 2015 season.

“It’s difficult to find the words to match the current emotions that I am feeling from signing with the New York Mets. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity, and something I have always dreamed about. I am ecstatic to be able to represent Wheaton College and Wheaton’s baseball program at the professional level,” said Gibbons. “Coach [Eric] Podbelski and coach [Ryan] Parker have helped mold me into becoming the pitcher that I am today, and I am grateful to have played under them for three years at Wheaton. My family has given me the love and support to achieve my goals, and the ability to attend a college with superb academics and athletics.”

Last season, Gibbons appeared in 12 games (nine starts) and posted a 4-1 record with a 1.89 earned run average (ERA) alongside 37 strikeouts in 57 innings pitched. Gibbons also held opponents to a .203 batting average and induced an 11.84 groundouts per game ratio. Overall in his Wheaton career, Gibbons compiled a 9-3 record for the Lyons and a 2.63 ERA through 106 innings of work.

“I’m really happy for Mike, and while we’ll certainly miss his contributions, I know that this represents an opportunity that is very difficult to pass up,” said Wheaton College baseball head coach Eric Podbelski. “I told Mike when this started to develop that he had our full support and to concentrate on making the choice that was right for him.”

“Mike’s talent and further potential is obvious. He has come so far since he first arrived, making big leaps in his development each year. That is a testament, first of all to his natural ability, but also to his determination to keep getting better. Nothing has been handed to Mike, he has earned every inning that he has pitched at Wheaton and has gotten significantly better as a result.”

This summer, Gibbons shined for the Torrington Titans of the Futures Collegiate Baseball League (FCBL) going 4-2 with 59 strikeouts – ranked third best in the league – in 50 2/3 innings pitched. Gibbons also held opponents to a .240 batting average, posted a 1.26 WHIP, a 10.48 strikeout per nine innings ratio and fanned a season-high 11 batters in two different games for the Titans.

“In the offseason this past winter, I worked hard to gain strength and stamina to help my pitching ability and I think it carried through this summer. I continued to work out and follow a regime to give my body the foundation to throw well. I gained a decent amount of velocity in the summer thanks to the regime I was following and becoming more fluid throughout my pitching delivery,” explained Gibbons. “Early on, I was not getting the results I wanted even though I felt like my stuff was pretty good, so I just kept persisting and looking forward to the next start and just trying to have a quality outing. At the end of the season, I started to string along quality starts which built up my confidence and allowed me to throw more aggressively. There are obviously things that I still need to work on, but that is the beauty of baseball and sports in general, because you can always improve and that’s what drives me.”

Gibbons joins Chris Denorfia ’02 and Jamie Baker ’06 as the only Wheaton student-athletes to sign with an MLB team in the program’s 17-year varsity existence. Denorfia was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the 19th round of the MLB amateur draft in June 2002 and currently plays for the Seattle Mariners, while Baker inked a deal with the San Diego Padres in September 2006 after completing his first year of professional baseball with the Canadian-American Association of Professional Baseball’s Nashua Pride.

Gibbons also becomes the eighth student-athlete in program history to sign a professional contract to play baseball, joining Mark Brown ’06Chris Martin ’06Adam Laplante ’07Chris McDonough ’08 and Jon Shepard ’10 and the aforementioned Denorfia and Baker on the list. In addition, among all eight student-athletes to sign a professional baseball contract, Gibbons is the first to be offered, and sign, a professional contract before his senior season.

“It’s further proof that if a young man chooses Wheaton as the place to further his academic and baseball career, and if you truly have the ability, you will not go unnoticed,” stated Podbelski. “You don’t choose Wheaton to ‘get drafted,’ you choose it for the whole package – the academics, the community feel in and out of the classroom, the beautiful campus and the chance to be part of a traditionally successful baseball program.”

“That said, it doesn’t hurt that we have some concrete examples which show that you can develop here and be noticed. For the majority who don’t get the opportunity, they walk away with a great education and four years’ worth of great memories, having played the sport they love at a highly competitive collegiate level.”

Wheaton advanced to the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Tournament championship game for the 14th time in the 16-year history of the league after claiming its 15th NEWMAC regular season title in 2014. The Lyons also produced a 27-16-1 record which marks their 15th season in program history with 25 or more wins.

Mass. College Football: Rohde Joins Harvard’s Football Staff

By NoontimeSports.com 

As announced yesterday in a release, Harvard University’s football staff has added Steven Rohde as an assistant football operations coordinator. We’ve provided the release below, courtesy of the Harvard University Athletic Communications Office:

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Steven Rohde has joined the Harvard football staff as its assistant football operations coordinator. Lukas comes to Harvard after spending a year as a football operations intern at New Hampshire.

At UNH, Rohde was responsible for assisting with videotaping practice, setting up the practice field, helping with travel schedule for road trips and giving recruiting tours of football facilities before home games. Rohde also helped host postgame functions following home games.

A 2014 graduate of UNH with a degree in business management, Rohde previously served as a sports associate intern for the Connecticut Whale of the American Hockey League (AHL). With the Whale, he assisted with daily operations in sales and marketing for the franchise.

Mass. College Football: Bentley’s Baron Named To Fred Mitchell Award List

By NoontimeSports.com 

Bentley University’s Michael Baron was recently named to the Fred Mitchell Award Watch List, as announced in a release yesterday, which we’ve provided below courtesy of the Bentley Sports Information Office:

    WALTHAM, Mass. – Bentley University junior Michael Baron (Medfield/ Roxbury Latin School) is one of 12 Division II placekickers named to the Fred Mitchell Award Watch List for excellence on the football field and in the community.

A total of 36 kickers from Football Championship Subdivision, Division II, Division III, NAIA and NJCAA institutions were included on the list.

Chris Kearney, the award’s Selection Committee Chairman said, “These placekickers are impressive on the football field and off the field representing their schools, their football teams, their conferences, their communities, their families and themselves.  We look forward to following their accomplishments during the next few months.  Of the 36 kickers, 21 led their team in scoring last season and 12 finished second on their team in scoring so there is a lot of scoring power returning this season.”

Baron is one of those who were second on their team in scoring in 2013. He finished with 64 points as he put nine of 13 field goals through the uprights and converted 37 of 38 extra point attempts.  He finished second in the Northeast-10 in field goal percentage, PAT percentage and field goals made, and was named the NE-10 co-Special Teams Player of the Week Oct. 7.

Baron scored 14 points in that game against the Hawks, with his four field goals tying the school and conference record.

Off the field, Baron visits the Deutsches Altenheim nursing home in West Roxbury where he spends time visiting with the residents.

Mitchell said, “It is a pleasure to include these fine young men on the Watch List for this Award, which is celebrating its sixth year in 2014.  We are delighted to recognize them based on outstanding performance in the community and expectations going into the 2014 college football season.” Mitchell is a Wittenberg University Athletic Hall of Famer who set an NCAA college division record for career scoring, an author, a philanthropist and a Chicago Tribune sports columnist.

Bentley opens its season at home on Sept. 6 against Mercyhurst University.