D3 Football: Sammy Morris Named Assistant Coach at Dean College

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Former New England Patriots running back Sammy Morris was named an assistant coach at Dean College. (PHOTO CREDIT: NBC Sports)

By Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11) 

Former New England Patriots running back Sammy Morris will be returning to the area this fall as an assistant coach for the Dean College football team, per this morning’s release.

Morris joins a Bulldogs squad that competed at the Division III level for the first time in school history last fall.

Dean, which is a member of the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC), concluded its 2017 campaign 4-6 overall.

“We are extremely excited to announce the hiring of Sammy Morris to coach the running backs and special teams at Dean College,” Dean coach Steve Tirrell said in Tuesday’s press release. “His knowledge and experience will make an immediate impact on our coaching staff and student athletes.”

A 2000 draftee (fifth round) by the Buffalo Bills, Morris played four seasons in upstate New York before signing with the Miami Dolphins prior to the start of the 2004 season. Morris tallied 523 yards on 132 carries and six touchdowns in his first year with the Dolphins in 13 games.

Three years after joining the Dolphins, Morris inked his name on a new contract with the Patriots, assisting them to a Super Bowl appearance during the 2007 season before leading the squad in rushing in 2008 with 727 yards on 156 carries. He also led New England’s ground attack with seven rushing touchdowns, too.

Morris would conclude his career with the Dallas Cowboys in 2011, competing in just three games.

Prior to enjoying a successful career in the NFL, Morris played two seasons of college football at Texas Tech before graduating from the Harvard Business School’s NFL Business Management and Entrepreneurial Program in 2009.

Dean kicks-off its 2018 campaign on Saturday, September 1 when they visit Curry College at 1 p.m. One week later, the Bulldogs will host Western Connecticut State for a 12 p.m. kick-off.

Want more Noontime Sports Football coverage? Then make sure to follow @Noontime_FB on Twitter! 

Football Friday Notebook: NCAA Tweaks Redshirt Rule For D1 Football, Plus D3 Football Captains & More

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By NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports) 

Happy Friday, everyone!

Let’s kick-start your weekend with some football news and notes from the D3 world to the pros and high schools.

The NCAA recently made some tweaks to its redshirt rules, which should make college football fun to follow this season, as well as a little unpredictable, too.

More on the NCAA redshirt rule change from Sports Illustrated – this will certainly help coaches get first-year players even more ready for future success, both at the college and pro level.

On Thursday, the Maritime (N.Y.) Privateers announced on their Instagram account their captains for the upcoming season. Congrats to Payton Campbell, Liam Bailey and Dean Lynch – best of luck this season, gents!

The St. John Fisher College football unveiled on Twitter its uniform combos for the upcoming season. Thoughts?

Also announcing captains for this upcoming season was Gettysburg College earlier this week – congrats to Chase FeeMiles McKnight and Nick Rella!

A feel-good feature from the USA Today on how a school, fatherhood and football connect former Temple University teammates. It may get a little dusty in your room after reading it!

What should Dallas Cowboys fans expect from their offense this season? A massive amount of rushes from Ezekiel Elliott … duh!

Speaking of the Cowboys, make sure to check-out Charles Robinson‘s piece from Yahoo! SportsDallas needs to have a bounce back season, per his report. Otherwise, things could get pretty interesting in Big-D!

Finally, Mike Pereira told PFT Live the following: “If at the end of this year there are more concussions on kickoffs, forget it. It’s gone.” Clock is ticking, NFL rules committee!

Have a great weekend, everyone and make sure to stay connected with our Football handle on Twitter: @Noontime_FB 

Sports Business: Discussing The Growth Of The MLL With Boston Cannons President Ian Frenette

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Boston Cannons President Ian Frenette speaks to members of the media during last month’s Boston Cannons Media Day. (PHOTO CREDIT: Reed Smith’s Photography

By NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports)

Boston Cannons President Ian Frenette is not only excited about his team’s upcoming season, but also the direction of Major League Lacrosse (MLL), too.

It is an exciting time for the league, which announced its second commissioner (Alexander P. “Sandy” Brown) in February.

Additionally, the league will have a new team this year competing in Dallas – it was announced last November that Rochester would move to Texas and play its games at the Ford Center at The Star in Frisco (the Dallas Cowboys World Headquarters and practice facility). MLL held its championship game last season in Dallas where fans were treated to an exciting 17-12 victory by the Ohio Machine. It was the first-ever MLL crown for the Ohio franchise, which fell short to Denver in the 2016 championship game.

Following his team’s Media Day last month, Frenette spoke with Noontime Sports about the league’s growth, as well as his team playing games in Beverly, Massachusetts (Endicott College) and Hingham, Massachusetts (“Cannons in Your Community“) this spring and summer.

On growth of the Major League Lacrosse (MLL): I think we have some serious momentum right now. We have a new commissioner, who just started a little over two months ago. I think we are seeing the biggest growth in a team that is now in Dallas, which used to be in Rochester. It is too bad (they) had to leave Rochester, but to take a franchise and move it into a place like Dallas, which has a tremendous growth curve in the game of lacrosse right now is a great thing for the league’s brand.

I also think the leadership that is happening inside of all of these organizations – there are more (people) running these businesses that understand how to run professional teams. We have kind of gone into another phase, which is huge. I also believe that the players expect more out of themselves (because) they are improving their game (every day). You also see (the sport lending itself) to social media (with people like Paul) Rabil, who is helping raise that bar. Everyone else wants to follow in his footsteps, so they can (make and create content) of their own.

On seeing more teams in the Major League Lacrosse (MLL) in the future: Right now, we are in a huge expansion mode as far as researching what those markets look like – it is all about finding good owners and people who are willing to grow with the league. It is not an immediate thing. What was (highlighted in a New York Times piece on Major League Soccer last summer) was most of those MLS places (don’t) have their own stadiums, and we are starting to see that a little bit now in our league as well. Ohio has its own stadium and venue, and Dallas is obviously world class with the Jones family. Atlanta has a very good venue with Kennesaw State University – it is the right size, not too big and I think there are other organizations that are looking at their own (venues and stadiums. They are probably asking), “how do we get there?” Once that starts to happen then you will see the businesses start to flourish. You also will start to see more eyes – maybe non-lacrosse or not even sports-centered eyes on what those products are and what does that venue mean to the overall community. All those pieces are important to putting this puzzle together.

On ‘Cannons in Your Community’: This opportunity kind of fell in our lap and we thought (about) taking our brand into communities that we think would want us. We started with Hingham and they have been nothing, but gracious about every element of what our production looks like, but just knowing the significant lacrosse culture in that town (helped).

In Beverly, Endicott College is a great venue and certainly supports a bunch of surrounding towns that are very heavy lacrosse centric towns, as well. Who knows what this means for 2019 and future opportunities, but logistically, things will be a little bit different (than what fans are used to at Harvard Stadium), but we are excited about it. Those venues should be sold out, so we are pretty excited about (these opportunities to play in Beverly and Hingham).

Mass. College Football: Bentley’s Halloran Invited To Patriots’ Rookie Mini Camp

By NoontimeSports.com 

Courtesy of the Bentley University sports information department, here’s this afternoon’s release about Nick Halloran, who was invited to the New England Patriots’ Rookie Mini Camp this weekend:

WALTHAM, Mass. – Former Bentley University offensive lineman Nick Halloran (Somerville/ Buckingham, Browne & Nichols) has been invited to participate in the New England Patriots’ Rookie Mini Camp this weekend.

Halloran, a six-foot-four, 302-pounder, started at tackle for Bentley the last three years after beginning his career at Boston College. He moved to the left side this past season after playing right tackle his first two years at Bentley.

Halloran earned first-team All-Northeast-10 honors in both 2011 and 2012, and was named to the 2012 Don Hansen Football Gazette Division II All-Super Region 1 team.  He was also a Football GazetteDivision II honorable mention All-America.

In 2012, Halloran helped the Bentley offense produce 388 yards and 26.3 points a game while controlling the ball for an average of 33 minutes.

“I was obviously very happy when Nick transferred from Boston College to play tackle for us,” said Bentley football coach Thom Boerman. “He has been a dominate lineman in the NE-10 since the day he arrived and he has played both right and left tackle to protect our QB’s blind side.  He has pro size, is very smart and is strong. Nick had quite a bit of interest from a number of NFL teams and I am glad that the Patriots invited a local player to their mini-camp. He has been working hard to prepare for this opportunity.”

Bentley has one player currently in the NFL, Dallas Cowboys’ offensive lineman Mackenzy Bernadeau. He started every game for the Cowboys during the 2012 season, his fifth year in the league. 

Daily Noontime – February 2, 2012

Paul Pierce tallied 17 points on Wednesday, which sparked the Celtics to defeat the Raptors, 100-64! (Photo Credit: Zimbio.com)

By NoontimeSports.com 

Happy Thursday to everyone, and welcome into yet another grand edition of the Daily Noontime! Let’s get started.

* The Boston Celtics earned their second consecutive win on Wednesday, and their 11th of the season, as they walloped the Toronto Raptors, 100-64. Paul Pierce finished the contest with 17 points, eight assists and six rebounds. Boston will return to the court on Friday when they host the New York Knicks.

* Boston Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine told reporters that he’s excited for spring training to begin, and plans to arrive in Florida a few days before pitchers and catchers are expected. However, Valentine is planning on having a “volunteer” workout on Feb. 16, but will anyone attend? We’ll find out!

* Chris Canty told reporters on Wednesday that he’s expecting to have a great game on Sunday and then a parade on Tuesday in New York. The former Dallas Cowboy defensive lineman has certainly enjoyed his time with the Giants, but also seems confident that Big Blue will defeat the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI.

* The Boston Bruins will return to the ice on Thursday evening when they welcome the Carolina Hurricanes to the TD Garden, and according to head coach Claude Julien, he’ll have some news/updates on Nathan Horton‘s (mild concussion) condition.