Catching Up With Mass. Maritime Academy’s Kyle Johnston

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Massachusetts Maritime Academy senior Kyle Johnston was recently named the MASCAC Men’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year. (PHOTO COURTESY: Mass. Maritime Academy Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com 

Last week, Kyle Johnston received some exciting news.

The Massachusetts Maritime Academy senior, who has been spotted on the gridiron for the past four years, was named the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) Scholar-Athlete of the YearFramingham State University senior Mary Kate O’Day was also honored by the conference, being named the female scholar-athlete of the year.

“I feel grateful to be honored,” said Johnston, who was nominated for the award by Mike Kelley, who is the director of athletics at Massachusetts Maritime Academy.

“It is a great honor and I am grateful for it. And I am glad I can represent Massachusetts Maritime Academy.”

Johnston became the first Buccaneer to receive this award since Jonathan White, who played soccer at Massachusetts Maritime Academy, in 2011.

For student-athletes to receive this honor, they must be nominated by their school’s director of athletics, be a senior, and achieve at least a 3.2 cumulative grade point average. Recipients are selected by the MASCAC Athletic Directors.

Johnston enjoyed a successful senior season with the Buccaneers, registering career-bests in total tackles (57.0), solo stops (37), sacks (12.5), and tackles for a loss (19.5). Additionally, he recorded a career-high three forced fumbles along with two break-ups. The 12.5 sacks were the most recorded by a defender in the conference – it was also the fifth-highest total in Division III.

Noontime Sports recently spoke with Johnston about his career with the Buccaneers, as well as where he is headed after graduation next month.


When you look back to your playing days with the Massachusetts Maritime Academy football program, what will you remember most? 

The guys. I made some of my best friends through this program.

The Massachusetts Maritime Academy football program consists of some great all-around guys and they deserve to get awards like this too because they are just as competitive and just as good as I am to receive this (type) of honor, if not, better.

My position coach for my first three seasons with the Buccaneers – Odell Jones, who currently oversees the defensive line at Assumption College – was probably one of the best coaches I ever had in my career. He pushed me to my limits and I give him full credit with how successful I am in football today. But I will definitely remember the people the most (because) those are the memories that will last the most for me.

You and your teammates enjoyed a successful 2019 campaign. Do you feel the team (and program) took a step forward this past season?  

Yeah, absolutely. I think it was a total success. My graduating class may have featured the most seniors this program has had in a while, but we stuck together through the ups and downs, and I give all credit to the players, including the grades below us.

I am hopeful the team can continue to build on what they did last year and continue to get better.

Your team competes in a few rivalry games each season. Which one is your favorite and why? 

The (rivalry) we have with both Maine Maritime Academy and Maritime (N.Y.) are important to us and they go through the same stuff we go through (during game weeks). But our rivalry with Framingham State is important – it is always a big game and so is Bridgewater State. Unfortunately, we did not beat Bridgewater State this past year, but I always feel we put forth a good effort against them, as well as Framingham State.

Where will you be headed after graduation next month? 

I just accepted a full-time position earlier this month with Travelers in Braintree, Massachusetts. I will be working in the ocean marine underwriters department.

Finally, do you plan to return to campus hopefully later this year or in the future to cheer on the Buccaneers? 

Absolutely. I would love to come back and cheer on my teammates.

Noontime’s Senior Salute: Nicole Pacheco (Framingham State)

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Nichole Pacheco recorded 144 points with the Framingham State women’s lacrosse program in 60 contests. (PHOTO COURTESY: Framingham State University Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com

Before her final season with the Framingham State University women’s lacrosse program concluded earlier this year, Nicole Pacheco celebrated a special milestone by netting her 100th goal during her team’s 23-13 victory against Johnson & Wales University.

The goal itself was a fitting ending for Pacheco, who has helped the Rams enjoy a great deal of success these past few years while vying for the team’s initial conference tournament championship.

With Pacheco at midfield, the Rams became a team to watch in the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) – Framingham State won last season’s regular-season crown while making back-to-back appearances in the league’s tournament title game in 2018 and 2019.

Pacheco played 60 games for the Rams, recording 144 points on 101 goals and 43 assists while winning 121 draw controls. After registering 44 points in her first season, Pacheco enjoyed an impressive sophomore year, tallying career-highs in goals (38), assists (19), points (57), and draws (51). She also finished her career with 102 caused turnovers and 207 shots, including 156 shots on net.

We recently caught up with Nicole Pacheco to discuss her time with the Rams, as well as her future plans beyond graduation this spring.


Was there a game (or two) that you will remember most from either your senior season or the past three years? If so, which game(s) are they?

I would say there were two games I’ll always remember. The first is when we beat Bridgewater State for the first time in program history in 2018. The game itself was intense.

The second game I’ll remember is when we beat Westfield State last spring in overtime. The game felt like a scene out of a movie. We fought so hard and it was our first win against the Owls in program history.

Both wins showed how far this program has come and what it is capable of doing in the future.

What have you enjoyed most about competing for the Framingham State women’s lacrosse program these past four years? What will you miss most after graduation? 

Friendships. It’s more than just lacrosse games and practices.

This team has always challenged one another to be better and get better, and I loved that our team fought and never gave up, especially when the odds were against us. I will miss walking down to the field together while stepping onto the turf for practices. 

I will also miss our team’s goal celebrations. Nothing was more electric than running, jumping, hitting sticks, and handshakes after my teammates or I scored a goal. The whole team would go nuts.

Do you hope to stay involved with your sport in the future? Any interest in being a coach? 

Yes, I would like to think that lacrosse will always be a part of my life, and I could potentially see myself in a coaching role in the future.

Tell me about your major. How did you choose it and what do you plan to do with it after graduation? 

I am a criminology major and plan to further my education by pursuing a master’s degree in one of the following subject matters: advanced counterterrorism or cybersecurity. After I conclude my time in the classroom, I plan to pursue a career in the criminal justice field.

Noontime’s Senior Salute: Grace Gamache (Framingham State)

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Framingham State senior Grace Gamache recorded 283 points in four seasons for the Rams. (PHOTO COURTESY: Framingham State Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com

Since her initial season with the Framingham State University women’s lacrosse program, Grace Gamache has been a player to watch on offense.

The Dartmouth, Massachusetts native tallied 283 points in four seasons, including 22 points on 15 goals and seven assists in just four games this spring.

After registering 54 points in 13 games as a first-year in 2017, Gamache enjoyed a very successful sophomore season, recording career-highs in goals (55), assists (56), and points (111). Additionally, she snatched a career-best 114 draws while firing 114 shots, including 86 on net.

Gamache earned a trio of first-team honors with the Rams from the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) while leading her team to its first-ever regular-season title last April with a 17-5 win over Worcester State University.

We recently spoke with Grace Gamache about her four years with the Rams, as well as her future plans beyond graduation later this spring.


What will you remember most about your final season with the Rams? 

The friendships my teammates and I made these past few years. Getting to do what you love with your best friends every day has been an amazing experience. I have made lifelong friends here at Framingham State, and although we didn’t get to end our four-year career the way we wanted to, I couldn’t have asked for a better experience.

Was there a game (or two) that you will remember most from either your senior season or the past three years? If so, which game(s) are they? 

I would say there were two games specifically that I’ll never forget. The first was my sophomore year against Bridgewater State. The Bears have always been tough competition and one of the top teams in our conference. We won by one goal and it was the program’s first win against Bridgewater State in ten meetings. Our hard work and preparation paid off and it was such a good feeling.

The second game was our overtime win against Westfield State my junior year. We had lost to them the prior year in our conference tournament championship so to be able to beat them, especially in overtime, was amazing.

What have you enjoyed most about competing for your team (and program) these past four years? What will you miss most after graduation? 

I think what I have enjoyed most about playing and competing for Framingham was being able to see the growth we made as a program. This program has come so far and to make an impact on the future of the team is something I feel is really exciting. I am definitely going to miss putting on that uniform every week and getting to play alongside such an amazing group of young women while playing for a great coaching staff. We have become family over these last four years and that is something I’ll cherish forever.

Do you hope to stay involved with your sport in the future? Any interest in being a coach? 

I definitely plan on staying involved with lacrosse after I graduate. I started a summer camp two years ago for local middle school and high school players and it has been a huge success. I have also had the opportunity to coach for a club team during the summer, as well, so I hope to continue doing that with the hope of eventually coaching a high school program.

Tell me about your major. How did you choose it and what do you plan to do with it after graduation? 

I am majoring in sociology with a minor in psychology. I have always enjoyed working with people and learning about different parts of society and how they all interact and work together. After graduation, I hope to get my master’s in special education.

Daily Noontime: Tuesday, March 10th, 2020

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By Matt Noonan | @NoontimeNation

Welcome to Tuesday, everyone. I hope you are ALL doing well and ready for another great day – I know I am!

It may not totally feel like spring (or summer) like it did yesterday, but I am confident the weather this morning and early afternoon will put a smile on your face. And you know what will also make you smile (and feel happy) is a brand new Daily Noontime, so let’s get started.

The TD Garden will be the go-to site for some great local high school basketball this afternoon and evening – here is today’s Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) schedule:

  • MIAA D4 State Semifinals: Matignon vs. Cathedral, 2 p.m. 
  • MIAA D4 State Semifinals: Snowden vs. Abington, 3:45 p.m. 
  • MIAA D1 State Semifinals: Andover vs. Bridgewater-Raynham, 5:30 p.m. 
  • MIAA D1 State Semifinals: Lynn English vs. Mansfield, 7:15 p.m. 

As of this morning, it appears as if fans will be allowed to attend these four games, but if anything changes due to COVID-19, we will let you know! Fans can also stream all four contests through NFHSNetwork.com.

The Boston Bruins will return to the ice this evening when they visit the Philadelphia Flyers for a 7 p.m. face-off. Boston is looking to return to the win column after losing to the Tampa Bay Lightning this past weekend.

Following their trip to Philadelphia, Boston will head to upstate New York for a Friday evening affair with the Buffalo Sabres before returning home on Saturday, March 14th for a 7 p.m. face-off against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Let’s keep our fingers crossed for three wins this week!

The Boston Celtics return to the hardwood this evening, kicking off a three-game set in four days with a visit to the Indiana Pacers with tipoff scheduled for 7 p.m.

Boston is looking to return to the win column after being edged by the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday.

Following their visit to Indiana, the Celtics will take on the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday followed by a home date Friday, March 13th against the Washington Wizards.

With COVID-19 continuing to spread throughout the New England region, as well as the country, the NBANHL, and MLB are preparing for the possibility of playing games without fans.

Speaking of games without fans, according to D3Hoops.com, Amherst College, which will be the host site of this week’s NCAA D-III Women’s Basketball Sectional semifinals and finals, will not allow supporters of the four teams in their gym after denying access last weekend for three games, including the Mammoths’ initial postseason contest against Framingham State University.

According to the Burlington Free Press, the Norwich University women’s ice hockey team will play its first NCAA Tournament game against Amherst on Wednesday, March 11th without any fans due to concerns of the coronavirus. And this may not be the first postseason college hockey game to not include fans.

Finally, we’re inching closer to learning where Tom Brady will play this season – will it be with the New England Patriots or somewhere else? Amy Trask of The Athletic thinks there are plenty of teams that would love to sign the six-time Super Bowl champion.

D3 Lacrosse: New England Women’s Lacrosse Top 10 Poll (Monday, March 2nd, 2020)

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By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeNation

A brand new D-III lacrosse season has officially arrived – it actually started for some New England teams last month, but as of this past weekend, most teams have now played at least once, twice or three times.

And with a brand new season comes a new Noontime Sports & Zelos Athletics New England D-III Lacrosse Men’s Poll, which finds Middlebury College in the top spot followed by Tufts University (second) and Amherst College (third).


New England D-III Women’s Lax Top 10 Poll | Monday, March 2nd, 2020 

1. Middlebury College

1-0, 1-0 NESCAC

2. Tufts University 

1-0, 1-0 NESCAC

3. Amherst College  1-0, 1-0 NESCAC
4. Wesleyan University 1-0, 1-0 NESCAC
5. Trinity College 1-0, 1-0 NESCAC
6. Bowdoin College 0-1, 0-1 NESCAC
7. Colby College 0-1, 0-1 NESCAC
8. Springfield College 2-1, 0-0 NEWMAC
9. Endicott College  1-0, 0-0 CCC
10. Babson College 2-1, 0-0 NEWMAC

On The Rise: Bridgewater State, Coast Guard Academy, Framingham State, Roger Williams, Wheaton College, and Williams College