Noontime Rewind: Our Favorite Stories of 2019

NS Stories of 2019

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeNation 

With 2019 slowly winding down and a new year – and yes, decade, too – upon us, it is time to look back at some of our favorite posts we produced over the past 12 months.

We hope you enjoyed a look back at some of our favorite posts of 2019 – we can’t wait to produce some similar posts in 2020 while trying new ways to share (and highlight) the New England sports scene! 

Happy Holidays, everyone!

Player Perspective: Kevin O’Brien (Endicott College)

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Endicott College’s Kevin O’Brien has helped the Gulls defense limit opponents to just 17.2 points per game this season. (PHOTO COURTESY: Tammy McManaway)

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

Kevin O’Brien and the Endicott College defense have been a unit to watch this fall.

Through five contests, the Endicott defense has limited opponents to just 17.2 points per game, which is roughly five points less than what this unit yielded to opposing teams through five weeks last season.

O’Brien, who is in his third season with the Gulls, credits defensive coordinator Sean Golden for helping both he and his teammates be well-prepared for the opposing offenses they have and will face this season. Additionally, he credited his classmate Tim Russell – the two linebackers have complemented each other quite well this fall when it comes to rushing the passer to dropping back in coverage to defend the pass.

Noontime Sports caught up with the third-year linebacker to discuss the Gulls’ 2019 season thus far, but also what he did to prepare himself for a successful junior season with the Endicott defense.

Your team heads into the bye week with a 4-1 record. I know we chatted prior to the Framingham State game a few weeks ago, but did you (and your teammates) think you would be 4-1 heading into the sixth week of the season? 

We knew we could be a very good team as we returned almost everyone (from last year’s squad). We were a few plays away from upsetting a very good Wesley College team (last month) but I think we have yet to play our best football which is exciting.

Through five weeks, the defense has yielded just 17.2 points per game. What has been the difference this season for the defense compared to last season (or your first season with the Gulls in 2017)? 

One big difference is we have so many defensive linemen that can play good football for us. We have been regularly rotating the defensive linemen throughout the game and I think we probably have the best depth (at that position) in our conference.

Rotating and having fresh linemen is obviously good for a number of reasons and helps everyone else out.

Both last season and this season, your defense has defended the run pretty well. How have you (and the defense) been able to slow down opposing rushing attacks? 

Anytime you prepare to slow down the run game or key in on a (certain) player (becomes) a group effort.

Coach Golden, who is our defensive coordinator, has been putting myself and the rest of the defense in good positions to stop the run and force teams to get into a third and medium or long situation. We then can dial something up (a play) that can get our unit off the field (and let the offense go back to work).

We face a ton of good running backs in the Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC) conference, including halfbacks from Curry CollegeSalve Regina University, and Western New England, so each week is a new and difficult challenge (for our unit).

With the bye week coming at the halfway mark of the season, what do you feel the defense must work on, both this week and next week heading into an important stretch, beginning with Curry College next Saturday, October 19th. 

The defense has played well so far but we still have a lot to work to do.

In some games, we have let teams get into the red zone before we tighten up to get a stop. We have often lived by the motto “bend, but don’t break” when we are in the red zone.

I think we need to work on getting stops earlier and forcing teams to punt while tightening up our tackling to disguising our coverages to force turnovers.

Our offense is so explosive and has tons of options so we know the quicker we can get a stop on defense the quicker our offense can go get points (for us).

From a personal perspective, how do you feel your game has improved from last season to this season? Have you prepared differently for games this year than last year? 

With another year of playing under my belt, I feel as if I’m stronger and more experienced than most players.

I’ve prepared myself a little bit differently this year (than my previous two seasons with the program). I play the “Mike” linebacker whereas last year I played “Buck,” which focuses on outside containment. Will Rivera was the “Mike” for our defense last season.

Playing “Mike” linebacker is a new challenge as I am usually always on the front side of coverage and the strongside of the run. And depending on a run or pass, I rely on calls and checks on the fly.

It is definitely a challenge but Tim Russell, who is our “Buck” linebacker has helped me out tremendously and has been playing excellent next to me.

Under The Helmet With Endicott College Quarterback Joe Kalosky

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A last second touchdown pass by Endicott College quarterback Joe Kalosky helped the Gulls score an exciting week two win over Bridgewater State. (PHOTO CREDIT: Matt Noonan/Noontime Sports)

By NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports) 

It’s been an exciting week for the Endicott College sophomore signal-caller Joe Kalosky, who guided his team to an improbable comeback last Saturday against Bridgewater State.

Kalosky’s last second heave – a 31-yard touchdown pass to Sheilan Velazquez – helped the Gulls pick-up their initial win of the season, as well as gain some exciting traction, both on television and social media. Kalosky, along with coach Kevin DeWall, appeared on SportsCenter AM five days ago to discuss the exciting win, which had New England D3 football fans eager for more football this week.

This week, Kalsoky and the Gulls will visit MIT on Saturday, September 16th at 1 p.m. in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The two teams met last season with Endicott claiming a 21-9 win, thanks to the now sophomore quarterback, who completed the game with 145 passing yards, along with a rushing touchdown in the opening session.

Noontime Sports recently caught-up with Kalosky to discuss his team’s exciting week two victory over the Bears of Bridgewater State.

It’s been a few days since your team’s exciting win over Bridgewater State, so tell me what the past few days have been like? 

The weekend was an exciting time for both our school and football program. However, after our Sunday meetings, our team completely shifted our focus to MIT. We’re not dwelling on the past. We are focused on MIT.

Have you ever led a game-winning drive like you did last Saturday in high school or perhaps in the backyard with friends? 

When I played for Holy Cross High School in Waterbury, Connecticut, I had a similar win on Thanksgiving Day during my junior year against Wolcott High School. We received a kickoff after their go-ahead touchdown with about 40 seconds remaining – we were down by five points. We ran a few plays to get in arms distance of the end zone. We snapped the ball with less than 10 seconds left from the 41-yard line. We had a “Big Ben” play designed and ran it perfectly – technically, how it was drawn up. I threw it high and into the end zone and my receiver tapped it backwards to a trailing receiver which one-handed-it and walked into the end zone. We won 39-38.

Here is Kalosky’s game-winning touchdown pass from Thanksgiving Day 2013. 

How does a win like last week help the squad going into not just this week, but the next few weeks? 

I believe last week’s win helped us establish the mentality of never giving up. We played hard from the first to last snap. And its a win that will give us momentum (going forward) – is also a step forward for us in becoming the team we want to be, too.

Heading into this week’s clash with MIT, what are a few things you and the offense must do to be successful? 

Heading into the MIT game (this Saturday, September 16th), we need to clean-up the aspects that we can control (on both sides of the ball). We hurt ourselves offensively too much during the first two weeks, but we have talent and just need to put it all together, so all eleven guys are on the same page.

Who is your all-time favorite quarterback? 

Brett Favre. Growing up, I loved to watch his competitiveness and will to win. He had a strong arm and believed he could make any throw in the game (at any time). I admired his uncharacteristic and spontaneous plays, too. He made something out of nothing and the play was never dead in his mind.

Have you always played quarterback? If not, what other positions did you play growing up? 

Mostly, I have always played quarterback since I was younger, but I did play linebacker on defense.

It is a cliché question, but what do you enjoy most about the sport of football? How has it helped you be successful off the gridiron? 

I enjoy the competitiveness and camaraderie of the sport. Football has helped me be successful off the field by working well and communicating with others along with always having the competitive instinct.

You are majoring in Educational Studies. Tell me why you chose this major and what you hope to do with it after graduation in 2020? 

I chose this major because I want to make a difference in kids’ lives. After graduation, I would like to get a job as a teacher in either a fourth or fifth grade urban area classroom. I would like to help kids that may not have much outside of the classroom and build them up to become a successful person.

Finally, what is your all-time favorite football movie? 

My all-time favorite football movie is Friday Night Lights. This movie came out when I was playing youth football and it painted a picture of what football in my life would be like. This movie prompted me to play football in high school and eventually I made the decision to continue playing football at the collegiate level.

Endicott’s DeWall, Kalosky Appear On SportsCenter AM

By Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11) 

In case you missed it, Endicott College football made an appearance on ESPN‘s SportsCenter AM today – Sunday, September 10th – to discuss their dramatic and exciting 29-28 win over Bridgewater State.

Following a quick recap of the game-winning drive, Endicott coach Kevin DeWall and quarterback Joe Kalsoky joined the SportsCenter AM crew to discuss how the Gulls engineered an improbable comeback with less than a minute remaining.

After appearing on SportsCenter AM, Kalosky was named this week’s Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC) Offensive Player of the Week for tossing a career-best four touchdowns, including the game-winning score.

Endicott’s game-winning score also gained attention from other media outlets, including NESN, the Salem News and Saturday Down South.

The Gulls return to action next Saturday, September 16 when they visit MIT for a 1:00 p.m. kick-off.

Teams To Watch In 2017: Endicott College Gulls

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Endicott College’s football team will certainly be one of many New England squads to watch this season. (PHOTO CREDIT: Kiana DelViscovo)

By NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports) 

Our New England D3 Football preseason team previews continue with a look at the 2017 Endicott College Gulls, who certainly will be an interesting team to watch this fall. 

Team Name: Endicott College Gulls

Noontime Sports Preseason Ranking: The Gulls were one of eight teams selected (and featured) our ‘Teams on the Rise‘ tweet, which was posted on Monday, July 31st.

2016 Season Recap: The second year was a solid step forward for both Coach Kevin DeWall and the Gulls’ football program that has high hopes heading into a brand new season. The 2016 season was a good step forward for a team that should be one to keep an eye on this fall. Last season, we saw some solid play from various student-athletes on both sides of the ball, including quarterback Joe Kalosky, wide receiver Zach DeNike, fullback Lavante Wiggins and linebacker William Rivera. Endicott gained some solid experience against Hobart, St. Lawrence and Framingham State last September, which helped them conclude the 2016 campaign with back-to-back wins over Coast Guard Academy and Curry College.

Key Losses: Chris Lipscomb (Wide Receiver), Connor Crotty (Wide Receiver), Christian Martinez (Inside Linebacker), Connor McLaughlin (Outside Linebacker) and Craig Anderson (D-Line).

Players to Watch: Joe Kalosky (Quarterback), Lavante Wiggins (Fullback), Hakim Fleming (Fullback), Zach DeNike (Wide Receiver), Christian Filonow (Free Safety), Shane Toland (O-Line), Williams Rivera (Inside Linebacker) and Zachary Poirier (Free Safety).

2017 ScheduleEndicott’s season-opener against Framingham State is always a must-see – this season, the contest will take place in Beverly. Following a visit from the Rams, the Gulls will embark on an important three-week trip, starting with a visit to Bridgewater State followed by games at MIT and Hobart. All four games will certainly provide the squad with some solid experience heading into their final September contest against Husson – the Eagles will join the Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC) conference in 2019. Following a bye week – one week after a visit from the Eagles, to be exact – the Gulls will hop into league play by visiting Western New England and Salve Regina before returning home to face Curry College on Saturday, October 28th. Their final two contests will be against Becker College and Nichols College.

Season Outlook: There is a great deal of optimism surrounding these Gulls, who have high hopes heading into the 2017 season. Returning a majority of its roster from one year ago, these student-athletes – or technically, Gulls – should be in for a fun season after gaining some important experience last fall. And that experience should help players like quarterback  Joe Kalosky and wide receiver Zach DeNike. The duo should connect for a few scores this season – it will be fun to see them both progress in year number two. In addition to Kalosky and DeNike, look for a solid season from fullback Lavante Wiggins, who led the rushing attack with 400 yards on 90 carries. Wiggins rushed for five touchdowns last fall – perhaps he doubles that total this season? On defense, look for William Rivera to quarterback a unit that returns some key members from last year’s unit, including key members of its secondary – Christian Filonow and Zachary Poirier. Both student-athletes finished in the top-five in total tackles last season. They will both be asked to step-up this season. With some experience from a year ago on both sides of the ball, along with some talented recruits, this Endicott squad will certainly be a team to watch this fall.