Tag Archives: Commonwealth Coast Conference

Catching Up With John Carroll (Nichols College Men’s Lacrosse)

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John Carroll was named the new men’s lacrosse coach at Nichols College earlier this summer. (PHOTO COURTESY: David B. Newman)

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

John Carroll had always wanted to coach lacrosse, even as a student-athlete at the University at Albany. And that was exactly what he did after graduating in 2012. 

Carroll honed his coaching skills as an assistant with three collegiate lacrosse programs, including Trinity College where he helped the Bantams reach the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Tournament this past spring. 

“I always wanted to pursue college coaching even while I was attending school and playing at Albany,” said Carrol, who concluded his time with the Great Danes by recording 378 saves between the pipes. 

“I  remember interviewing coach Bill Ralph, who was one of our assistant coaches for my first-year seminar class to (learn more about) the college coaching profession. I certainly got a lot of crazy looks and confused faces when I said, ‘I wanted to coach full time for a living,’ but I think it’s worked out pretty well.”

Indeed, Carroll has enjoyed a great deal of success on the sidelines and will look to continue applying what he has learned as the new men’s lacrosse coach at Nichols College.

Carroll, who becomes the 14th coach in program history, inherits a unit that has won 10 games or more since 2017 and has also competed twice in the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Tournament, including this past spring. 

Carroll is excited about his first head coaching role and has visions of leading the Bison to their first-ever league title in program history.

“As a first-time head coach, (I am excited to have) the opportunity to take over a program that has had a lot of success recently,” said Carroll when discussing his excitement for coaching the Bison. 

“I believe Nichols men’s lacrosse can be a top team in the CCC and that is my ultimate goal for the long term vision of the program.” 

Noontime Sports recently caught-up with Carroll to discuss his outlook for the upcoming season, but also how his previous roles have shaped him into the coach he has become today.

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John Carroll helped the Trinity College men’s lacrosse team reach the NESCAC Tournament. (PHOTO COURTESY: David B. Newman)

You have gained a great deal of experience as a coach, both in Division I and III. How will that experience help you with the Bison this upcoming school year?

I have always tried to approach things the same way regardless of being in Division I or Division III. Working for so many different people at different institutions have really helped me absorb and learn new concepts and drills that I can use to run our practices at Nichols. I think all of those experiences will also help me to set a new bar for the guys on the team, and it will set a precedent of what we are expecting as Nichols men’s lacrosse players, both this year and moving forward on and off the field. Coach (Eric) Gobiel has done an outstanding job of (laying the foundation for success) with this program, so my job now is to come in and take the program to the next level, (so we can) compete for and ultimately win the Commonwealth Coast Conference championship. 

What excites you about coaching in the Commonwealth Coast Conference?

The league is very competitive with teams like Western New England, and Endicott College at the forefront. I had the chance to coach against Roger Williams and Curry 0- both are very talented teams – and they gave us some trouble while I was at Trinity. I think the CCC can become one of the more competitive leagues in Division III.

The opportunity to play for a conference championship and an automatic qualifier into the NCAA tournament is the ultimate factor, but I see a lot of really good teams in the league and I look forward to learning about all of them, while competing against them, as well. Coach John Klepacki (Western New England) and coach Eric Hagarty (Endicott)  have reached out to me and have been very welcoming. I also know Coach Charlie Burch at the University of New England from working with him in the past at Blue Chip 225 camp.

I think it’s a top-notch league and I’m excited to compete in it.

What are some goals and objectives you hope to accomplish before the team’s initial game next spring?

The number one goal this semester is to (be successful in the classroom). If we can do well in the classroom then that is one less stress for our team when we convene on the practice. 

I also would like to have our base offense, defense, rides, clears, extra-man opportunity, and man-down packages all installed before our first scrimmage in October.

An individual goal for myself is to learn one thing about each player on the team that doesn’t relate to lacrosse. It will be important for me to get to know the guys and build relationships and trust with them (before our first game next spring).

After speaking with most of the team over the phone they have all expressed to me that they are a close-knit group, and I want to gain their trust while getting to know them so we can continue to build upon the culture that has been established (already) by coach Gobeil.

Finally, you were a goalie, both in college and high school. Did you always play goalie growing up? 

I started by playing midfield in second grade and I thought I was pretty good at it. My Dad actually began playing goalie in a local men’s league during that time and bought all of the equipment, including a goalie stick. This led to my older brother (Jimmy) playing goalie first and borrowing my Dad’s gear. After seeing them both playing goalie I said to myself, ‘Hey, I can do that too!’

Once I jumped in net there was no looking back. I would split halves between goalie and midfield for most of my time with Smithtown Youth Lacrosse. I started playing goalie full-time in seventh grade for my middle school team and was told at some point during my high school career to switch to close defense or long-stick middie. I used that as motivation to improve my goalie game, even though a lot of people were trying to compliment me by saying I could play both long pole and goalie.

Playing goalie for a Division I lacrosse program was always my dream and I was lucky enough to live it out at the University of Albany.

Now, coaching is my dream and I couldn’t be happier to get started at Nichols. 


Stay connected with our New England lacrosse coverage by following @NoontimeLax on Twitter! 

The Early Preseason Outlook: Salve Regina Seahawks

Salve Regina Seahawks

By Matt Noonan | @MattyNoonz11

Our ‘Early Preseason Outlook’ coverage continues with the Salve Regina University football team, which begins its 2019 campaign on Saturday, September 7th against Norwich University.

The Seahawks’ 2018 Season: After ending the month of September with a disappointing 41-14 setback to Western New England, the Seahawks rebounded with five-straight wins, including an end of regular-season victory over Endicott College before falling to Bridgewater State in the New England Bowl.

Yet, despite ending the 2018 season with a loss to the Bears, the Seahawks proved they will certainly be a team to watch this fall after ending their previous campaign with a 5-1 record.

Salve Regina did say goodbye to 13 seniors this past spring, including Brandon O’Neill and John Salute, who were spotted on the defensive line, but do return some impressive talent on both sides of the ball, which should help them contend for the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) crown.

The 2019 Outlook: With some key graduation losses to the Seahawks’ defense, look for the squad’s rising seniors and juniors to step-up, including linebacker Matt Messner, who led the unit with 83.0 total tackles last season.

Charlie Connell returns for his final season as the team’s strong safety – he ended the 2018 season with 63.0 total tackles, including 40 solo stops and 4.5 tackles for a loss of 20 yards. Connell also recorded one interception last season, along with a trio of pass breakups, too.

John Goode will also be a player to watch in the secondary, as well, while Drew Balestrieri will be another linebacker to keep your eyes on this fall after tallying a career-high 51.0 total tackles last season.

Halfback Joey Mauriello will look to duplicate his performance from a year ago – he finished his initial season of college football with 1,075 rushing yards on 192 carries and seven touchdowns while catching 29 passes for 278 yards and two scores. Mauriello was named our Noontime Sports Rookie of the Year – he also received the same honor by the CCC.

Quarterback Tyler McGovern returns and will most likely target Brendan Nunes and Danny Hoffman this fall – the duo combined for 93 catches for 1,254 yards and 14 touchdowns.

Tight end Ryan Lawton returns for his final season and should also be a factor for the Seahawks after recording career-bests one year ago in receptions (19), receiving yards (312) and touchdowns (two).

Salve Regina’s offense should continue its success with some key members of the offensive line returning, including Kyle WisniewskiPete Noonan, and Michael Saunders.

Salve Regina’s Schedule: The month of September is a challenging one for the Seahawks, who will compete in back-to-back home games against Norwich and Montclair State before hitting the road for a pair of games against Dean College and Nichols College.

Most likely, the Seahawks will finish the first month with two or three wins – maybe four? – but the schedule gets tougher in October with two important conference games against Endicott and Western New England.

Weeks after their visit to Western New England, the Seahawks will visit Husson University in the second to last week of the 2019 season before hosting Curry College on Saturday, November 16th at 12 p.m.

Players to Watch: Tyler McGovern (Quarterback/Attleboro, Mass.), Joey Mauriello (Halfback/Colts Neck, N.J.), Matt Messner (Linebacker/Midland Park, N.J.), Charlie Connell (Strong Safety/Oradell, N.J.), John Goode (Defensive Back/Rockland, Mass.), Drew Balestrieri (Linebacker/Lynnfield, Mass.), Brendan Nunes (Wide Receiver/Attleboro, Mass.), Danny Hoffman (Trumbull, Conn.), Ryan Lawton (Tight End/Washington Township, N.J.), Kyle Wisniewski (Offensive Line/Harwich, Mass.), Pete Noonan (Offensive Line/Ardmore, Pa.), and Michael Saunders (Offensive Line/Westwood, N.J.).


Stay connected with Noontime Sports’ football coverage on Twitter by following @Noontime_FB.

The Early Preseason Outlook: Nichols College Bison

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By Matt Noonan | @MattyNoonz11

Our ‘Early Preseason Outlook’ college football coverage resumes with a closer look at the Nichols College Bison, who begin their season on Friday, September 6th when they visit Dean College for a 7 p.m. kick-off.

The Bison’s 2018 Season: Nichols enjoyed its best season since 2016 by finishing with a 5-5 mark, including a 4-2 record in Dudley, Massachusetts.

The Bison won three of six Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) games while scoring non-conference wins against Anna Maria College and Alfred State.

Nichols ended its campaign with a 39-29 win over Curry College, which seemed to provide the unit with some momentum and excitement for the upcoming season.

Hunter Ferreira, who was a first-year wide-out last season, ended the season by recording a career-high 109 receiving yards and two touchdowns in his team’s win over Curry. His impressive effort resulted in him being tabbed the conference’s offensive player of the week.

Coach Dale Olmsted was named the Worcester Area Football Association Coach of the Year for the second time in three seasons, while seven Bison were named to the 2018 squad.

The 2019 Outlook: The Bison graduated 11 student-athletes from last year’s squad, including halfback Jacob Duffrene, who led the rushing attack with 794 yards on 103 carries and nine touchdowns.

McCoy Scott also graduated after enjoying an impressive final season with the Bison by tallying 99.0 total tackles, including 14.5 tackles for a loss and four sacks. Scott also forced two fumbles, recovering one, while recording one interception.

But despite some graduation losses, the Bison will return some key pieces of last year’s squad, including quarterback Michael Pina, wide receiver Hunter Ferreira, and linebackers Christopher LawrenceMichael Spraulding, and Sean McGuigan.

Additionally, Jared Abbruzzese returns in the secondary, while Patrick Porter will be spotted up front on the defensive line.

Sam Gallant returns to the offensive line for his final season – he was named to Worcester Area Football Association team last fall, while also being honored by the Commonwealth Coast Conference. Gallant has been a leader for the Bison’s offense the past few seasons and will certainly be counted on this fall with helping the team continue its winning ways.

Nichols’ Schedule: The Bison will be challenged immediately by a trio of non-conference squads, including Dean, a team to keep an eye on in the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC). Games against Coast Guard Academy and Anna Maria won’t be easy, as well.

Nichols hops into conference play during the final weekend of September when they host Salve Regina before traveling to Western New England.

Weeks later, the Bison will close out their schedule with two marquee contests against Husson University (November 2nd) and Endicott College (November 16th).

Players to Watch: Michael Pina (Quarterback/Brockton, Mass.), Hunter Ferreira (Wide Receiver/Mansfield, Mass.), Daniel Espinosa (Kicker/Tamarac, Fla.), Sam Gallant (Offensive Line/Gardner, Mass.), Christopher Lawrence (Linebacker/Newport, N.H.), Michael Spraulding (Linebacker/Lithonia, Ga.), Sean McGuigan (Linebacker/Charlton, Mass.), Jared Abbruzzese (Defensive Back/Natick, Mass.), and Patrick Porter (Defensive Line/Natick, Mass.).


Stay connected with Noontime Sports’ football coverage on Twitter by following @Noontime_FB.

Catching Up With Brandon Linton (Nichols College Men’s Basketball)

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Brandon Linton was recently named the 20th men’s basketball coach in Nichols College program history. (PHOTO COURTESY: Nichols College Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports

Last month, Nichols College announced the hiring of Brandon Linton, who becomes the 20th men’s basketball coach in program history.

Linton arrived at the Dudley, Massachusetts campus after spending the past five seasons as an assistant coach at Army West Point where he helped the Cadets with numerous tasks, including scouting reports to working with the wing players at practice to assisting with in-game strategy.

Before assisting the Army West Point men’s basketball program, Linton spent time as an assistant at both his alma mater, Clarkson University, and Bowdoin College.

Coaching a program like Nichols certainly intrigued Linton, who is excited “to continue building on what has already been established” with the Nichols men’s basketball program.

“The chance to take over a program that represents excellence, both on and off of the basketball court was important to me,” said Linton when asked about becoming the new men’s basketball coach at Nichols. “Also, the growth potential of the program was equally intriguing, (as well).”

Nichols concluded its 2018-19 season with an impressive 28-3 mark. The Bison advanced to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division III Tournament earlier this year, thanks to postseason victories against Amherst CollegeMiddlebury College, and Rowan University.

Additionally, Nichols also captured the 2019 Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) title with a 105-90 victory over Gordon College.

Noontime Sports recently caught-up with Coach Linton to discuss his excitement for the upcoming season.

As a former Division III, men’s basketball player did you always want to coach or become a head coach at this particular level? 

Absolutely.  I had the great fortune to play for Adam Stockwell during my first three years at Clarkson. I remember sitting in his office as a freshman and sophomore, and him telling me that I would be a college basketball coach one day.  Prior to that, I had casually thought about the idea of it, but after (those conversations) I began to own that reality. Everything I’ve done since was aimed at this goal of becoming a Division III head coach.

What do you know about the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC)? Are you excited to coach in a very competitive league? 

I’m extremely excited to coach in this league.  I know that it is made up of high-level coaches that have built some of the best and most competitive programs in New England.  The talent across the board is impressive and something that I notice has improved since my departure from Division III.  This is a conference that I believe should be a multiple bid league to the NCAA tournament (every season). I look forward to the challenge of being in that mix.

How did your experience with Army West Point shape you into the coach you are today? 

I couldn’t be more grateful for my time at Army.  The development that I was able to take part in both on and off of the basketball court was truly remarkable.  It is the preeminent leadership development institution in the world. From the faculty to the cadets and all the variety of guest speakers that came through West Point, it truly was a hub for leadership development.

Basketball-wise, being able to coach at the Division I level just provides an amazing amount of time that you get to spend coaching and teaching the game to your players.  We also fielded a junior varsity team at West Point, which allowed us as (to gain experience) being a head coach as assistants to the varsity. More than anything, being around the people day in and day out was the number one takeaway that I believe will shape me into the coach I am and hope to be.

Great coaches are great leaders. And great leaders are great people first.

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Coach Brandon Linton inherits a Nichols College men’s basketball team that finished the 2018-19 season with an impressive 28-3 record. (PHOTO COURTESY: Nichols College Athletics)

What are some of the biggest goals/objectives you (and the men’s basketball program) hope to accomplish between now and the team’s first practice? 

The biggest thing will be developing the framework for meaningful relationships with each other. That is from new staff to players and vice versa. It will also be amongst the current players as well. Acclimating the newcomers into the fold, while also continuing to develop even stronger bonds with your returning teammates (will be a must, as well). That will be our biggest focus prior to our first practice on October 15th.

A few quick-hitters, beginning with your all-time favorite memory of playing basketball. 

Without a doubt, it has to be back in 2008 when I was a part of Clarkson’s first-ever Liberty League (LL) championship. We advanced to the NCAA Tournament as a fourth-seed in our conference’s tournament, which made it even sweeter.

Legitimately, no one believed we could get it done because there was honestly no prior reason to think so, but only the individuals in our locker room believed (we could win a conference championship) and that’s all that mattered. It’s something that has stuck with me ever since (and proves what) the power of belief can accomplish.

Who was a player you idolized growing up? 

Tracy McGrady. Unfortunately for me, my teammates and coaches, however, I played nothing like McGrady, but when I got to college, I really enjoyed watching Rajon Rondo when he first started playing for the Boston Celtics. I enjoyed watching Rondo as a student-athlete with the Celtics – he was a big part of their resurgence. I played the point for Clarkson and I really respected how he played that position. And that’s probably why my three-point percentage was what it was, too.

Finally, if you could coach any basketball player, both current or past, who would it be and why? 

Growing up in New York City, I was and still am a big fan of the New York Knicks. We’ve fallen on hard times for a good 15-20 years, however, as a kid, there were some awesome teams for me to follow.

I fell in love with basketball by watching John Starks play.  I would always wear his number (three) whenever I could in youth tournaments and recreational leagues.  The passion and swag that he played with was everything to me. He embodied what it meant to be a New Yorker, as well. He was hard-nosed, did whatever it took for the greater good of the team, and took the challenge of guarding the best players on the other team. He also jacked three-pointers, too, which was still a newer thing for the game during the 1990s.

John Starks is definitely someone I would love to coach.


Stay connected with our New England basketball coverage by following @Noontime_Hoops on Twitter! 

The Early Preseason Outlook: Endicott Gulls

Endicott Gulls

By Matt Noonan | @MattyNoonz11

We continue our ‘Early Preseason Outlook’ by highlighting the Endicott College Gulls, who commence their 2019 campaign with a visit from Framingham State on Friday, September 6, 2019, at 7 p.m.

The Gulls’ 2018 Season: Endicott returned to its winning ways last fall, finishing one win shy of the 2013 squad with a 7-4 mark. The Gulls qualified for their first-ever New England Bowl and scored some impressive (and exciting wins) against Bridgewater State, Hobart, and Western New England.

The team’s win over the Golden Bears was highlighted by five touchdown passes from quarterback Joe Kalosky, who also finished the game with 88 yards on eight carries.

Despite ending their season with back-to-back losses to Merchant Marine and Salve Regina, the Gulls entered the offseason with some momentum that should carry into this season when they see familiar foes like Framingham State and Western New England.

The 2019 Outlook: The Gulls graduated 15 student-athletes from last year’s squad, including wide receiver Christian Cole, strong safety Christian Pizzotti and linebacker William Rivera, but do return a slew of talent on both sides of the ball with Kalosky, halfback Hakim Fleming, wide receiver Shea McManaway and linebacker Kevin O’Brien.

Additionally, Endicott welcomes back Nick DiCairano, who was our Noontime Sports Special Teamer of the Year. The Trumbull, Connecticut native enjoyed an impressive first season with the Gulls by connecting on 11 of 12 field-goal attempts, including a 45-yard boot in his team’s 52-22 win over Curry College.

Endicott also returns a slew of offensive linemen, including Kha-Lil GoodmanAndrew Tudino and Isaiah Gibbs, which should help the offense find its groove from last season.

Endicott’s Schedule: Endicott begins the season with four-straight home games, including a trio of non-conference clashes with Framingham State, Rochester and Wesley. Additionally, the Gulls will host Becker College at the end of the month before heading to Salve Regina in early October for an important Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) meeting. Weeks after visiting the Seahawks, the Gulls will travel to Husson University and Western New England – both games are must-wins for the Gulls if they want to capture their initial CCC title.

Endicott will end its season with a home date with the University of New England followed by a trip to Dudley, Massachusetts to face Nichols College.

Players to Watch: Joe Kalosky (Quarterback/Plymouth, Conn.), Hakim Fleming (Running Back/Bridgeport, Conn.), Shea McManaway (Wide Receiver/Lisbon, Conn.), Riley Shanley (Tight End/Simsbury, Conn.), Nick DiCairano (Kicker/Trumbull, Conn.), Kevin O’Brien (Linebacker/Braintree, Mass.), Steven Abbott (Defensive Back/Melrose, Mass.), Kha-Lil Goodman (Offensive Line/Bellmore, N.Y.), Andrew Tudino (Orange, Conn.), and Isaiah Gibbs (Offensive Line/Teaneck, N.J.).


Stay connected with Noontime Sports’ football coverage on Twitter by following @Noontime_FB.

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