MLL Announces Site For 2018 Championship

Major_League_Lacrosse_logo.svgBy NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports)

It was announced earlier today that the 2018 Major League Lacrosse (MLL) Championship will be held in Charleston, South Carolina on Saturday, August 2018 at MUSC Health Stadium.

According to this morning’s press release, this will be the first-ever game in MLL history held in South Carolina.

“The Championship Game presents a great opportunity to showcase the top talent our sport has to offer, and we are very excited about bringing this unique event to the beautiful city of Charleston,” MLL Commissioner Alexander Brown said in today’s release.

“I would like to thank the Charleston Battery and the Charleston Sports Commission for their support of this event and for hosting us at a tremendous venue in MUSC Health Stadium.”

The MLL championship has been previously held in a neutral location, including last season when the Denver Outlaws and Ohio Machine met at The Star in Frisco, Texas, which is the current home of the Dallas Rattlers.

MUSC Health Stadium is currently the home of the Charleston Battery, a professional soccer team that competes in the United Soccer League. The stadium has the largest jumbotron in the Southeast at 3,000 square feet.

MLL began its 2018 season this past weekend with the Charlotte HoundsFlorida LaunchNew York Lizards and Dallas earning opening week wins.

Boston Cannons Announce High School Rivalry Series

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Boston Cannons Helmet. (PHOTO CREDIT: Reed Smith’s Photography)

By Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11)

The Boston Cannons announced this morning their High School Rivalry Series, which will take place before select home games later this season.

The High School Rivalry series is presented by Plymouth Rock Assurance.

Catholic Memorial and Malden Catholic will be the first two teams to compete in the series – the two squads will face-off at Harvard Stadium on Saturday, May 5th at 3:30 p.m. before Boston entertains the Dallas Rattlers at 6 p.m.

Governor’s Academy will square-off against St. Sebastian’s one week later on Saturday, May 12th at Harvard Stadium with the game scheduled to commence at 3 p.m.

The final two matchups with take place in Hingham on Saturday, May 19th with the girls team hosting Braintree at 12 p.m. followed by the boy’s team entertaining Needham at 2 p.m. Boston and the Chesapeake Bayhawks will also compete in Hingham that same day with face-off scheduled for 6 p.m.

For more information on the upcoming High School Rivalry Series – HOP HERE!

New England Lacrosse Players Selected In 2018 MLL Collegiate Draft

us-map-of-new-england-states-939d0dda725f136a277c491cec7cccf0-east-coast-road-trip-england-mapBy Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11) 

Last night was a special evening for numerous New England lacrosse natives that were selected in the 2018 Major League Lacrosse (MLL) Collegiate Draft.

Here is a list of local student-athletes from the six New England states that will continue their careers at the professional level later this spring and summer:

  • Connor Kelly (Easton, Conn. | Univ. of Maryland) | Atlanta Blaze
  • John Sexton (Sudbury, Mass. | Notre Dame) | Dallas Rattlers
  • Austin Sims (Fairfield, Conn. | Princeton Univ.) | Atlanta Blaze
  • Morgan Cheek (Wellesley, Mass. | Harvard Univ.) | Charlotte Hounds
  • Christopher Keating (Windham, N.H. | Yale Univ.) | Dallas Rattlers
  • Scott Hooper (Wakefield, R.I. | Univ. of Virginia) | Charlotte Hounds
  • Noah Rak (Norwich, Conn. | Univ. of Massachusetts) | Charlotte Hounds
  • Anthony Johnson (Fairfield, Conn. | Bryant Univ.) | Boston Cannons

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).

Boston Cannons Remain Focused On Winning A MLL Championship

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Members of the Boston Cannons pose for a picture during the team’s Media Day, which was held on Monday, March 26th at the Warrior Ice Arena in Boston, Massachusetts. (PHOTO CREDT: Reed Smith’s Photography)

By Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11)

Coach Sean Quirk said on Monday that the Boston Cannons’ focus for the 2018 season is to compete for a Major League Lacrosse (MLL) championship.

Boston hasn’t won a MLL crown since defeating the Hamilton Nationals in 2011 (the Cannons scored a 10-9 win in Annapolis, Maryland), but Quirk and his team seem optimistic about accomplishing their goal this upcoming season.

“Our number one focus, challenge and goal going into (a new) season is to compete for a MLL championship, “said Quirk during Monday’s Boston Cannons Media Day.

“It is certainly a realistic goal (and) one that we know our staff and players believe they can achieve.”

For Boston to achieve its preseason goal of winning its first MLL crown since 2011, they will need to get off to a strong start. Boston is one of nine teams that competes in the MLL, so early season wins are critical for any squad in the league that hopes to compete for a title in late August.

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Boston Cannons coach Sean Quirk speaks to members of the media during the squad’s Media Day, which was held on Monday, March 26th at the Warrior Ice Arena in Boston, Massachusetts. (PHOTO CREDIT: Reed Smith’s Photography)

“It’s critical,” Quirk said of getting off to a good start.

“In any sport (or) any league, but particularly in the MLL because there are nine teams (in the league and) four make the playoffs, so those early games before teams start to get their NLL (National Lacrosse League) guys and their draft pick guys are critical, so those early season wins are important just like any game throughout the season.”

Last season, Boston secured an opening day win over the Florida Launch, but struggled over the next few weeks, dropping close games to the Atlanta Blaze, Chesapeake Bayhawks and Rochester Rattlers (now the Dallas Rattlers) before returning to the win column in its fifth game against the New York Lizards.

Boston did defeat the Denver Outlaws a few weeks after its second win over New York, but never returned to the win column afterward – the squad would drop its final five contests, including a 21-9 setback to Rochester in mid-July.

An opening day win next month against the Charlotte Hounds would certainly be a great way for the Cannons to start a new campaign.

Boston recently began preparations for its upcoming season last weekend at Endicott College, but will reconvene in a few weeks for two more practices before heading to Charlotte on Saturday, April 21st.

“We certainly feel really good going into any new season, but I think that training camp from this past weekend showed that we have a lot of pieces there to certainly compete for a championship and keep getting better,” said Quirk.

Following the team’s opener against the Hounds, the Cannons will visit Atlanta on Saturday, April 28th before welcoming Dallas to Harvard Stadium on Saturday, May 5th.