Football Friday Notebook: UMass Dartmouth, WPI Unveil 2018 Schedules

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By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

Happy Friday, everyone! We hope you had a great Fourth of July and ready for the first Friday in July.

We’re a few weeks out from the start of another NFL season, which is exciting. Additionally, we are also closing in on the start of college and high school football, too – crazy, right?

Let’s kick-off the first weekend in July with some news from the gridiron world – have an awesome weekend, everyone and enjoy the cooler weather in New England!


Boston College and Syracuse University will square-off late this upcoming college football season. So, while we anxiously await that particular kick-off, check out an early outlook/preview of what Orange fans can expect when they face-off against the Eagles.

If you’re a New England Patriots fan, you probably know by now that wide receiver Julian Edelman saw his four game suspension upheld and will miss the first four games of the 2018 season against the Detroit LionsHouston TexansJacksonville Jaguars and Miami Dolphins.

Yes, it is disappointing that Edelman won’t be on the first for the team’s first four games, but as Pats Pulpits‘ Matthew Rewinski writes, “Time to take the L and move on.”

The UMass Dartmouth football team recently unveiled its 2018 schedule, which features non-conference clashes against Alfred State and Delaware Valley. One week after hosting DelVal, the Corsairs will travel to Westfield State for its first MASCAC tilt of the season on Friday, September 14th.

Also announcing its 2018 slate was the WPI football team – Coach Chris Robertson shared the team’s upcoming schedule in a tweet on Tuesday. The Engineers begin its season with three-straight road contests, including a week two meeting with the RPI Engineers. RPI-WPI is always a game to watch or circle on the calendar.

Finally – just for fun! – Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz was spotted recently tossing a 66-yard touchdown pass to a Minnesota high school football player. The video of the long heave was seen on the Moorhead Spud Football Twitter handle.


Make sure to stay connected with our Noontime Sports’ Football Twitter handle by clicking FOLLO to @Noontime_FB

Flaherty: BC Eagles Have Pieces In Place For A Successful 2018 Campaign

Steve Addazio
Steve Addazio has some key pieces in place to make an exciting run this fall. (PHOTO CREDIT: AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

By Dan Flaherty (@TheSportsNotebo)

Boston College has been as predictable a college football program as any in the country, at least since Steve Addazio became head coach back in 2013.

In Addazio’s five seasons, he’s finished 7-6 four different times, including the last two years. That’s what made the Over/Under win totals released in Las Vegas earlier this month so interesting—BC was listed at 5.5.

Furthermore, this doubt comes in a year when Addazio returns 14 starters. He brings back his entire offensive line. He brings back A.J. Dillon, a sophomore running back who rushed for nearly 1,600 yards last year. He brings a quarterback in Anthony Brown who got valuable experience last year as a freshman.

Defensively, the Eagles can build around defensive end Zach Allen, a disruptor that has the NFL in his future.

The doubt on Boston College also comes at a time when the opportunity to move up the ladder in the ACC’s Atlantic Division is there for the taking. While Clemson is firmly entrenched at the top, the Florida State program is in flux after the departure of coach Jimbo Fisher and Louisville’s rise under Bobby Petrino seems to have crested. Boston College beat both FSU and Louisville last season.

But the Eagles lost decisively to Wake Forest and N.C. State – both teams are divisional rivals. They are each more highly regarded on the Vegas Strip at the moment.

Addazio’s program is a throwback, built on physical football and tough defense that works to overcome mediocre play (at best) from the quarterback position. Brown’s numbers last year—52% completion percentage, 5.3 yards-per-attempt and 11 touchdowns versus nine interceptions—look straight out of the 1970s.

In an era where everything is seen to be about the quarterback, BC is not going to have believers as long as this current trend continues. Nor is there any reason to expect a change of course this season.

While it’s reasonable to expect improvement from Brown, I don’t think there will be too many comparisons to Matt Ryan floating around the Heights. And on the positive side, there is every reason to think Boston College can take what it usually does well under Addazio and simply do it better.

Dillon is one of the best halfbacks in college football. His most impressive number isn’t the yardage totals—you can attribute at least some of that to the workload he gets in this offense. The most impressive number is his 5.3 yards-per-rush. That’s good under any circumstances, and especially when opposing defenses know you’re getting the ball.

Dillon, with that veteran offensive line in front of him, molded by the hard-nosed Addazio, can make a run at ACC Player of the Year. If he breaks 2,000 yards, an invite to the Heisman banquet in early December could be in the offing.

How far Dillon can carry the Eagles will be apparent by mid-October. After tuneup games with Massachusetts and Holy Cross, Boston College faces two road games that will provide a good early gauge on where they’re at. They go to Wake Forest on a Thursday night and then visit Purdue, a Big Ten Conference team on the rise, the following Saturday.

After a game with Temple to close September, BC has a road game at N.C. State and a home date with Louisville. By this point in the schedule, the Eagles need to be 5-2. They’ll go into a bye week and on the far side of that bye are four games in four weeks—against Miami, Virginia Tech, Clemson and Florida State. The Eagles have to hope they can steal one win during this stretch and then close the season at home by beating Syracuse. That gets them to seven wins again.

I’m one who likes old-fashioned football and I really hope Addazio can do it. The schedule is difficult and in a different environment, the head coach might be in real trouble. But in a market where media hype and fan intensity hones in on pro sports, the BC boss can keep people happy if he just keeps winning seven games each season, while  providing a little Saturday afternoon diversion.

As long as the benchmark stays that reasonable, I think he’ll continue to do it in 2018.

Dan Flaherty is the owner of TheSportsNotebook.com and the author of Great 1980s Sports MomentsStay connected with Dan on Twitter at @TheSportsNotebo 

Football Friday Notebook: 10 Weeks Away From A Brand New D3 Football Season

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By NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports) 

Welcome to Football Friday Notebook, fans and friends!

As see on Twitter earlier today, our good friends from In The (D3FB) Huddle tweeted that we are 10 weeks away from some major week one games.

What games are we most excited for? Hmm … well everyone, duh! We actually dished out some games to watch the first week earlier this month. And yes, we included one of our favorite Labor Day Weekend games between Springfield College and Western New England, along with Endicott College and Framingham State.

Yesterday, the National Football Foundation tweeted Maine Maritime Academy‘s Cody O’Brien was the NFF Scholar-Athlete of the Day. As noted in the tweet, O’Brien is a marine engineering technology major. Way to go, Cody!

Good news from Pro Football Talk regarding Hall of Fame Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly. As noted in this morning’s blog post, the former Bills signal-caller is doing well following his latest surgery, per an Instagram post. Jim’s wife Jill Kelly wrote that he is doing well under the circumstances.

Kelly announced five years ago that he had been diagnosed with cancer in his jaw, but has undergone numerous surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. We wish the best for both Jim and Jill, as well as their families – stay strong, Jim!


New England D3 Football Posts from earlier this week: 

Malik Grove to join the Amherst College football coaching staff as their running backs coach. 

Malik Hall tabbed the next coach at Bates College


We’re still a few weeks away from the start of New England Patriots Training Camp, but Patriots Wire has a few blockbuster trades the team could do to shake-up the roster for the upcoming season. One of the potential trades includes sending Rob Gronkowski to another team like the Houston Texans or San Francisco 49ers for two first-round picks.

As noted in the New Canaan AdvertisersZach Allen of Boston College was named to to Athlon’s Preseason All-America teams on Tuesday. Allen, who is from Connecticut, decided to forgo this year’s NFL Draft to stay with the Eagles for his senior season.

In addition to Allen, AJ DillonLukas DenisChris Lindstrom and Michael Walker were also named to the Athlon’s Preseason All-America teams. Dillon was selected to the second team – he will certainly be a running back to watch this fall.

Speaking of the Eagles’ football team, they recently announced their theme days for the 2018 season, which includes Senior Day, Youth & High School Football Day when they host Syracuse University on Saturday, November 24th.

Finally, Sports Illustrated highlighted five true freshmen that could make an impact this fall, including Georgia‘s James Cook.

Stay connected with Noontime Sports’ football coverage by following us at @Noontime_FB

Lax Notebook: MLL Announces New Commissioner, College News & Notes

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By Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11) 

Lacrosse season has officially begun – well, technically it started in December with the National Lacrosse League (NLL) – but below are some news and notes from the Lax World, which you should know about or may want to know now that one of my favorite sports is back in action!

Let’s begin with some exciting news from Major League Lacrosse (MLL), which announced earlier this week that Alexander P. “Sandy” Brown has been named the second commissioner. Brown replaces Dave Gross, who was the league’s initial commissioner.

Marissa Ingemi has a great piece about the new MLL commissioner from US Lacrosse Magazine about his plans to increase the league’s brand through Digital Media, while collaborating with other leagues.

Keep an eye on Massachusetts’ Jake Horwath this season, who will look to guide the Bobcats of Frostburg State to a Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) crown. The Bobcats will certainly be a team to watch in Division III this season – great read from Ed Lee of the Baltimore Sun. Lee also had a great preview on the St. Mary’s (Md.) Seahawks, who will also look to contend for a CAC title, too.

The Boston College women’s lacrosse team was picked to finish third in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Preseason Coaches Poll – North Carolina was picked to place first followed by Syracuse University. A pair of New England student-athletes – Dempsey Arsenault (New Hampton, N.H.) and Elizabeth Miller (New Canaan, Conn.) – were named to the Preseason All-ACC Team.

The Holy Cross men’s lacrosse team will look to continue its success from a year ago – the Crusaders won its first-ever Patriot League tournament game last spring – when they begin its 2018 campaign on Saturday, February 10 against Providence College.

Yale University was tabbed the favorite in the Ivy League, while Princeton University and the University of Pennsylvania rounded out the top three spots.

Per US Lacrosse Magazine, the Division III women’s lacrosse game will be sped-up this season, thanks to some new rules, which will make the game faster.

Syracuse women’s lacrosse will open its season against the University of Connecticut – get excited, Big East fans!


In Case You Missed It (ICYMI)! 

Earlier this month, Hendrix University captured its season-opener against Southwestern (Texas), thanks to a pair of goals and one ground ball from Lexington, Massachusetts native Garrett Brown.

The Northeast-10 Conference (NE-10) unveiled its preseason coaches poll, which found Merrimack College atop the men’s poll and Adelphi atop the women’s poll.

Taylor Bastien was tabbed the new head coach of the Bentley University women’s lacrosse team last Friday. Bastien was recently the coach of the Simmons College women’s lacrosse team, but competed for the Falcons as a student-athlete at Bentley.

Dan Mulrooney Tabbed Anna Maria College Football Coach

Former WPI defensive coordinator Dan Mulrooney was recently named the next Anna Maria football coach. (PHOTO CREDIT: WPI Athletics)
Former WPI defensive coordinator Dan Mulrooney was recently named the next Anna Maria football coach. (PHOTO CREDIT: WPI Athletics)

By Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11

A “new culture” is set to begin at Anna Maria College as Athletic Director Serge DeBari announced yesterday that Dan Mulrooney would become the next football coach of the AMCATs football program.

“He is a hardworking football coach with a great attitude looking for an opportunity to develop high character student-athletes on and off the field,” DeBari said in the athletic department’s release.

Mulrooney comes to Paxton, Massachusetts following an impressive three-year stint with the WPI football team as the defensive coordinator. Mulrooney helped the Engineers enjoy a pair of winning seasons (2015 & 2016), while improving the defense every year.

A Division I safety and tailback, Mulrooney competed for both Boston College and Stony Brook – he concluded his career as Seawolves’ leading tackler in 2011, while earning Big South Defensive Newcomer of the Year.

Mulrooney hails from Waterbury, Connecticut and competed for Holy Cross High School where he earned a pair of all-state accolades, while guiding his squad to two state titles.

Said Mulrooney, “I am an enthusiastic, dedicated, hardworking coach, who strives to develop student-athletes to reach their maximum potential.”