WACBA Women’s Basketball Postseason Awards (Tuesday, March 24th, 2020)

WACBABy NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeNation & @WACBAHoops 

Another season of college basketball in the Worcester area is in the books, which means it is time to unveil our end of season Worcester Area College Basketball Association (WACBA) Women’s Basketball awards for our coach, player, and rookie of the year.

Noontime Sports is excited to share our end of season WACBA honors for the seventh consecutive season after being the host site for the organization’s weekly honor rolls, which have appeared every Tuesday throughout the college basketball season. 

Fans of Worcester college basketball are encouraged to follow @WACBAHoops on Twitter for scores, news and more.


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Lauren Manis is one of just three active Division I players to record 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds. (PHOTO COURTESY: Mark Seliger)

Women’s Player of the Year: Lauren Manis (Holy Cross | Sr. | Franklin, Mass.): Manis averaged 18.6 points and 11.5 rebounds per game while shooting 46.3 percent from three-point range to posting 69 assists and 27 blocks. She led the Patriot League in scoring and three-point percentage, while also ranking fourth in Division I with 20 double-doubles and fifth in Division I with 344 total rebounds. Manis finished her impressive career with 2,020 career points and 1,188 career rebounds while becoming Holy Cross’ only player in history – men’s or women’s basketball – and one of just three active Division I players to record 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds. Additionally, she broke program and league records in career rebounding; her rebound total tied for second in single-season school history. She was named to the All-Patriot League first team, becoming one of just eight players in league history to be named to the first or second-team four times.  


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Becker College first-year Natasha Pacheco concluded her first season with the Hawks by averaging 11.7 rebounds per game with 8.3 points, 3.3 assists and 1.9 steals. (PHOTO COURTESY: Brian Foley)

Women’s Rookie of the Year: Natasha Pacheco (Becker | Fr.| Fairfax, Va.): Pacheco’s rookie season with the Hawks was extraordinary, as she was voted New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) Rookie of the Year. Pacheco averaged 11.7 rebounds per game with 8.3 points, 3.3 assists and 1.9 steals for the Hawks and was named WACBA Rookie of the Week three times as well as NECC Rookie of the Week on three occasions. The first-year player was further voted All-NECC, and her rebounding numbers were the most by a rookie player in Becker history. Overall, Pacheco led the Hawks in rebounding, assists, field goal percentage and assist-to-turnover ratio. Pacheco is the third Hawk ever to be recognized as NECC Rookie of the Year, joining teammate Cassidy Harrison (after the 2016-2017 season) and former Becker great Tatiana Mojica (after the 2010-2011 season).


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Coach Karen Tessmer guided the Worcester State women’s basketball team to its second-straight MASCAC Tournament Championship this winter. (PHOTO COURTESY: Worcester State Athletics)

Women’s Basketball Coach of the Year: Karen Tessmer (Worcester State): Despite graduating four elite-level seniors from one year ago, coach Karen Tessmer still managed to lead the Worcester State women’s basketball team to the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) tournament finals for the second straight season. The Lancers finished one win shy of matching three former teams that won 20 contests but did score two impressive postseason wins over Fitchburg State University and Westfield State.


Fans of Worcester college basketball are encouraged to follow @WACBAHoops on Twitter for scores, news and more. 

D3 Football: Maher, Johnston Secure Spots On AFCA Division III Coaches’ All-America Teams

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Framingham State’s Jacob Maher concluded his initial season with the Rams as an AFCA Division III Coaches’ All-America First Teamer. (PHOTO COURTESY: Frank Poulin/Framingham State Athletics)

By Matt Noonan | @NoontimeNation

A pair of New England D-III Football student-athletes were recently named to the 2019 American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) All-America Teams.

Jacob Maher of Framingham State secured a spot on the first team, while Kyle Johnston of Massachusetts Maritime Academy earned a spot on the second team.

Maher wrapped up his first and final season of college football with the Rams this fall by catching a team-high 56 receptions for 819 yards and eight touchdowns. The senior tight end from Marshfield, Massachusetts averaged 5.1 receptions and 74.5 yards per contest. He caught a season-high three touchdowns in his team’s 39-33 win over UMass Dartmouth in October before hauling in two touchdowns in his team’s regular-season finale against Worcester State.

Prior to earning an end of season honor from the AFCA, Maher earned and All-Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) first-team honor and a spot on the New England Football Writers (NEFW) Division II/III team.

Johnston, who also appeared on the NEFW D-II/III team, enjoyed his best season with the Buccaneers by recording a career-best 57.0 total tackles, including 37 solo stops and 20 assists in 10 contests. The defensive lineman from Raynham, Massachusetts tallied career-highs in sacks (12.5), tackles for a loss (19.5), and forced fumbles (three) in 10 games this fall and was also named to the All-MASCAC first team. 

In four seasons with the Buccaneers, Johnston tallied 164.0 total tackles, including 121 solo stops to go along with 49.5 tackles for a loss and 25.5 sacks. He also recorded eight forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries, and seven pass breakups, including three last season.

Under The Helmet with Framingham State’s Quron Wright & Joshua Onujiogu

FSU Social Noontime Helmet

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

A new season of Framingham State football is set to begin tomorrow, (Saturday, September 1st) when the Rams host Endicott College in a non-conference clash at 12 p.m.

Last season, the Rams went 10-1, earning a share of the Massachusetts State College Athletic Conference (MASCAC) crown with Plymouth State before capturing its second-straight New England Bowl championship.

This season, the Rams hope to continue its  momentum from last year by leaning on its upperclassmen, including senior halfback Quron Wright and junior defensive end Joshua Onujiogu. Both players will be counted on to lead the offense and defensive, respectively.

Noontime Sports recently caught-up with both student-athletes to share their outlook for the upcoming season, but also what they must do to help their respective unit, too.


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Quron Wright (2) will once again be asked to lead the Framingham State ground game this fall. (PHOTO CREDIT: Frank Poulin)

Quron Wright | Senior Halfback | Worcester, Mass. 

On the upperclassmen leading this year’s team: We have a bunch of new guys on this year’s team, so coach (Tom Kelley) is really putting an emphasis on the upperclassmen with helping the young guys learn their roles, while also learning where they need to be on the field (during different situations).

On this year’s offense: We’re keeping the focus on the same things we did last year, which is just trying to be a little bit faster, while keeping opposing defenses on their heels. Our biggest goal is making sure the upperclassmen make plays when needed.

On preparing for his final season: I worked out a lot this summer. I was coming off a good season from last year, so I just want to keep improving. I watched a lot of film and found things I needed to improve on this season. But for me, my goal is to be more involved in the blocking game on offense, so that has been something I have been working on this offseason.

On what motivates you to be successful: I keep the focus on myself (and improving every day). I personally think I am one of the best (running) backs in the area, so I am extremely motivated and want to end (my final season with the Rams) on a high note.

On facing Endicott College: We don’t have much film on them, so we don’t (always) know what to expect. We just try to go in there and get a feel for them, and then go from there. But it is always fun playing against them. It should be even more fun this year since we will be at home.

On qualifying for the NCAA Tournament this fall: We finished 10-1 last year, but it wasn’t what we expected, so this year we have emphasized trying to take that next step (to contend for a national title).


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Joshua Onujiogu (91) will be counted on to lead the Framingham State Rams defense this fall. (PHOTO CREDIT: Frank Poulin)

Joshua Onujiogu | Junior Defensive End | Wareham, Mass.

On the team’s defense: I think we’re getting better, but there is a lot more work we need to do (due to some key graduation losses from last year’s squad), but we just need to keep working hard. We will be fine.

On what the defense must improve on: We need to improve our communication.

On facing your team’s offense in practice every day: I think we’re facing one of the best offenses that we are going to see this year, so it definitely helps us get better.

On qualifying for the NCAA Tournament this season: Yeah, that is the top goal and we really want (to compete for a national championship this season).


Stay connected with our Noontime Sports football coverage on Twitter by following @Noontime_FB

D3 Football: Wojenski Leads Framingham State To Second-Straight New England Bowl Win

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Framingham State quarterback Adam Wojenski tossed five touchdowns in his team’s New England Football Bowl victory against Curry College. (PHOTO CREDIT: Matt Noonan/NoontimeSports.com)

By Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11) 

Framingham State quarterback Adam Wojenski tossed five touchdowns, while completing 19 of 28 passes for 246 yards as the Rams topped Curry College, 48-14, in the 2017 New England Football Bowl this afternoon at Bowditch Field.

With the win, Framingham State has now won a pair of New England Football Bowls, including the inaugural game last year when they defeated Salve Regina in Newport, Rhode Island.

All five of Wojenski’s touchdowns were recorded in the first half as he connected with Khaneil Bruce and Quron Wright for a pair of strikes, respectively, while locating Shaquille Joseph on his team’s initial drive for a 24-yard score.

Wojenski would toss his next four touchdowns in the second quarter, which provided the hosts with a 34-7 advantage at the break.

Napoleon Miller and Sebastein Robert extended Framingham State’s advantage with rushing touchdowns in the fourth quarter, while Curry mustered just one score in the third quarter when quarterback Alex Corvese hauled in a two-yard score on the far side from wide receiver Spencer Tyler.

The Rams conclude their 2017 season at 10-1 overall, while Wojenski ended his second season with the Black and Gold by tossing 19 touchdowns in eight contests.

Fram. State’s Harris Earns NEFW/Grinold Chapter DII/DIII Gold Helmet Award

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Framingham State senior Jaquan Harris (right) earned this week’s NEFW/Grinold Chapter Gold Helmet Award. (PHOTO CREDIT: Framingham State Univ. Athletics)

By Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11) 

After recording a NCAA Division III record five interceptions last Friday evening in his team’s 32-16 win over Fitchburg State, Framingham State senior Jaquan Harris earned this week’s New England Football Writers’ Grinold Chapter DII/DIII Gold Helmet Award.

The Gold Helmet is an additional award this week for Harris, who earned a trio of honors already, including a spot on the D3Football.com Team of the Week. Additionally, he was named the Defensive Player of the Week by both the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) and Noontime Sports.

Harris’ five interceptions established a new single-game record at Framingham State – he now has recorded eight interceptions this fall, which ties the program mark for picks in a season.

Harris and the Rams head to Plymouth State this weekend for a marquee MASCAC clash. Kick-off is scheduled for 1 p.m.

Dartmouth College’s Jack Heneghan earned this week’s Division I (FBS/FCS) Gold Helmet following his team’s exciting 28-27 win over Yale University.