Chesney’s extension was announced this morning by Holy Cross Director of Athletics, Kit Hughes.
“I could not be happier with this process and the opportunity to reaffirm the College’s commitment excellence for Holy Cross Athletics,” Hughes said in a statement. “Under Coach Chesney’s leadership, our Crusader student-athletes have achieved new heights in the classroom, community, and field of competition.”
In four seasons with the Crusaders, Chesney has guided the Purple and White to 25 wins, along with three Patriot League titles and three appearances in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) postseason. Additionally, he led the Purple and White to its first-ever postseason win last November with a come-from-behind win against Sacred Heart University.
Holy Cross has improved every season under Chesney since his initial campaign in 2018 when the Crusaders placed second in the Patriot League with a 4-2 record while registering single-season records with seven blocked kicks, six blocked punts, and four blocked punts returned for touchdowns.
A few NCAA Division III teams were in action, as well with Birmingham Southern, Cornell College, and Oglethorpe University both scoring respective opening day wins.
Here are a few thoughts (and takeaways) for the first busy Saturday of the college lacrosse season — like we have previously, we will be keeping our eyes on the small college lacrosse (think NCAA Division II & III, along with some NAIA) over the next few weeks and months.
Jazz Washington jumpstarted Oglethorpe’s offense by locating the back of the Warren Wilson cage just 30 seconds into the non-conference clash to provide the hosts with enough momentum to carry them to a 10-0 lead after 15 minutes.
Washington, who produced 22 points on 12 goals and 10 assists last season, concluded his team’s initial contest with six goals and six assists. He, along with Max Brand (four goals and two assists) will be two players to watch this spring.
Richard Bedgood IV stuffed the stat sheet with a game-high 21 shots, including 13 shots on net, which resulted in nine goals and two helpers while Addison Irwin concluded the game with six saves on seven shots and Carsen Van Note won 21 of 22 face-offs.
The Black and Yellow (the team’s colors) may have a small roster, but their interim coach Scott Dangel believes for his team to be successful, they will need to exhibit both “heart and hustle.”
A good first effort for Warren Wilson College: Despite losing their first-ever varsity contest on Saturday to Oglethorpe, coach Jeffrey Woodside was proud of his team’s effort — he tweeted the following after his team’s non-conference clash with Oglethorpe concluded:
Saiquan Bell, who is also a member of the Warren Wilson men’s basketball team, scored the team’s initial varsity tally with 4:51 remaining in the final session.
Bell will certainly be a player lacrosse fans should watch this spring, but the same could be said for the entire roster, which is made up of three juniors, four sophomores, and six first-years.
Kyle Jussila and Warren Wiberg combined for 10 goals in the non-conference meeting while Evan Begner registered 16 saves.
Cornell outshot Centenary, 43-37, while scooping 29 ground balls.
Centenary, which trailed by one goal after the opening session, did provide the Rams with challenges as they concluded the game with 14 caused turnovers.
The Rams will return to the field on Saturday when they compete against William Penn University (NAIA) in an exhibition contest. Cornell’s home opener is scheduled for February 26 against Quincy University (NCAA Division II).
With 2022 quickly approaching, I thought we could do one more look back — maybe a reflection? — of some of our most read and viewed stories from 2021.
The biggest story in my opinion was the return to the field for so many colleges and high schools in the New England region — yes, I know some teams or programs competed during the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic — but there was a euphoric sense from so many seeing their local teams back on the field or in the gymnasium.
Let’s share some other stories we enjoyed producing over the last 12 months.
At the conclusion of the 2021 small college football season — New England NCAA Division III, to be exact — we created (and shared) our first-ever All-Noontime Sports Team. Our fans enjoyed it — well, we enjoyed producing it! — and look forward to doing more of these in the future. (We also created a preseason team, too!)
In late June, I, along with many in this region, was eager for the college football season to begin. So, I decided to produce our Way Too Early Top 20 D3 Poll, which had Williams College in the top spot.
Perhaps I knew this year’s squad would finish 9-0?
Speaking of Williams — yes, I know the Ephs were mentioned above! — but they finished their 2021 campaign by completing a perfect season with an end-of-season win over Amherst College. Their 24-19 victory clinched their first-ever 9-0 record in program history.
A new piece of content we created was ‘Inside the Matchup,’ which highlighted a few NCAA Division III playoff games. And one of our most-read playoff previews, according to our stats, was Endicott College hosting RPI in the opening round of the national tournament.
Sometimes, a sound bite — yes, a quote or a few words — can be used to create a post.
We know football has been a major theme of this post, so why not share our first high school football story from early September, which saw Malden Catholic roll past Weymouth in its season-opener. And you can watch our interviews and highlights from our initial high school football coverage below:
Another great story from 2021: Anna Maria College captured its first-ever Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) crown.
The three-point win over the Pioneers was certainly an exciting one — sadly, it did not translate into additional postseason wins, but it certainly provided the team with some momentum heading into the offseason. And like Anna Maria, Holy Cross will also be a team to watch in 2022.
Thanks for a great year, everyone — we wish all our fans, friends, and readers a very Happy New Year!
Another season of New England college football — and yes, preps and high schools, too — are slowly ending. But the 2021 season is still on my mind.
After not seeing so many local teams compete last fall due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it was an amazing feeling to pace the sidelines these last few months and watch numerous student-athletes compete on the gridiron.
There were some of the “usual suspects” that either won or were in the mix for their respective conference title to some new teams, especially in NCAA Division III that deserve our attention going forward.
Before we officially say so long and farewell to a fun season of coverage, allow me to revisit a few stories that I certainly will remember from this season.
Holy Cross not only won its third-straight Patriot League title, including two in the same year, thanks to a shortened spring season to go with their first postseason victory in program history. And despite losing on Friday in the second round of the NCAA FCS playoffs to the University of Villanova, the future is very bright for coach Bob Chesney’s squad.
Harvard University captured their 137th meeting with Yale University last month, thanks to a game-winning touchdown pass from Luke Emge to Kym Wimberly. The 34-31 victory by the Crimson clinched their first eight-win season since 2015.
Sacred Heart University made its second-straight appearance in the NCAA FCS Tournament, but came up short to Holy Cross, which edged the Pioneers in the opening round by a score of 13-10. The Red and White will graduate some key pieces from this year’s squad, but will attempt to win their third-straight Northeast Conference crown next fall.
Bentley University and the University of New Haven were two teams to watch in New England NCAA Division II.
Both teams met twice last month, including in the opening round of the NCAA Division II Tournament. Two weeks earlier, the Falcons and Chargers squared-off in an early November contest with New Haven not only winning the game, but also securing their first Northeast-10 Conference (NE10) crown since 2012.
The Chargers lost to Kutztown University last weekend in the second round of the playoffs, but they will certainly be a team to watch next season — the same could be said for the Falcons.
Bentley’s Stephen Sturm was one of a few NE10 signal-callers to watch this fall as he concluded the season with a league-high 23 touchdown passes.
Saint Anselm’s Drew Willoughby, who was named the league’s Rookie of the Year, threw for a league-high 2,803 passing yards to go with 22 touchdowns. He averaged 311.4 passing yards per game.
Anna Maria College won its first-ever Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) title with seven wins, which is the most victories any AMCATs squad has recorded in a single season. And despite losing to Delaware Valley in the opening round of the NCAA Division III Tournament, coach Dan Mulrooney’s squad will certainly be a team to watch next fall, both in and outside of the ECFC.
The 2021 Williams College football team made history by becoming the first squad to win nine games in a single season.
The Ephs capped their campaign with three impressive wins over Amherst College (24-19), Trinity College (42-3), and Wesleyan University (25-0) to clinch a 9-0 record, their first perfect season since 2010.
Colby College could be a team to watch next fall as they matched their 2013 squad with four wins.
The Mules captured their second-straight Colby-Bates-Bowdoin (CBB) crown with a pair of victories over Bates College (10-2) and Bowdoin College (21-10).
Tom Kelley and the Framingham State University football team won their third-straight Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) crown outright. The Rams concluded their season with an 8-3 overall record for the third consecutive season, as well as posted a perfect 8-0 league mark for the second-straight year.
The Rams will continue to be the team to watch (and yes, follow) in 2022, but will certainly be challenged by a slew of teams in the MASCAC.
Endicott College captured its first conference crown since 2013, as well as hosted its first-ever NCAA playoff game.
Coach Paul McGonagle’s Gulls will certainly be a team to watch next fall — the Green and White are young and will return a slew of talent from this year’s squad on both sides of the ball, including quarterback Mike Ingraffia and wide receiver Shane Aylward.
After starting its season with a 1-3 record, Springfield College bounced back with six-straight wins to capture its second New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) crown. The Pride ended their season with three important wins against Catholic University (28-14), MIT (17-7), and the United States Merchant Marine Academy (28-23).
NCAA D-III Football Teams to Watch in 2022: Bridgewater State, Husson University, Salve Regina University, Plymouth State, Trinity College, Tufts University, UMass Dartmouth, University of New England, and WesternConnecticut.
For the University of New Haven, Saturday’s NCAA Division II second-round setback to Kutztown University was not an ideal way to conclude an impressive season.
New Haven entered their second postseason contest with a great deal of momentum. But their offense, which has been a unit to watch this fall, struggled against a Golden Bears defense that has limited opponents to roughly two touchdowns per game.
The Chargers produced one touchdown on 48 plays and were held to a season-low 59 rushing yards. Quarterback Connor Degenhardt completed 13 of 22 passes for 97 yards and was sacked twice while Jake Conlan registered 24 yards on six carries, including an eight-yard score late in the final session that brought the visitors within three points (10-7) with 3:10 remaining.
Conlan’s lone touchdown did not spark a comeback as Kutztown’s offense picked up two first downs on its final series to clinch their first-ever win against New Haven to secure a date with Shepherd University this Saturday, December 4 in the quarterfinals.
While New Haven’s offense struggled, its defense played well. The unit sacked Kuztown quarterback Eric Nickel five times and limited Jerome Kapp to a season-low 21 receiving yards.
Kutztown concluded the game with 230 yards of total offense.