Tag Archives: Mike Kelley

Teams To Watch In 2017: Framingham State Rams

Quron Wright

Framingham State’s football team will once again be a squad to follow (and watch) this season in New England. (PHOTO CREDIT: Frank Poulin Photography)

By Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11) 

Name: Framingham State Rams

Ranking:
The Rams checked-in fourth overall on our ‘Preseason Top 10’ poll, which was posted on Twitter on Monday, July 31st.

2016 Recap: Last season was not your typical campaign for the Rams. Instead of contending for some national hardware in the NCAA Division III Tournament, Coach Tom Kelley‘s squad capped it season by capturing the first-ever New England Bowl championship. Yet, prior to defeating the Salve Regina in the region’s inaugural bowl game, the Rams sustained a few difficult plays, bounces and moments in a trio of games, including a heart-breaking 28-27 overtime loss to Bridgewater State, which provided the Bears with the conference crown and automatic bid to the postseason. Excluding the team’s three setbacks, the Rams did secure some quality wins over Endicott College (32-21), Western Connecticut State (23-17) and Fitchburg State (14-0). Framingham State will face all three teams this fall.

Key Losses: Trevon Offley (Running Back), Jalen Green (Running Back), Chris Dagg (Specialist), Aaron Owens (Linebacker) and Jaleel Wingard (Defensive Back).

Players to Watch: Adam Wojenski (Quarterback), Zak Walker (Quarterback), Quron Wright (Running Back), Napoleon Miller (Wide Receiver), Mike Calicchio (Wide Receiver), Stephen Beahn (Wide Receiver), Joe Wilder (O-Line), Thomas Burns (Defensive Back), Svenn Jacobson (Linebacker), Campbell Marchant (D-Line), Brian Donahue (Linebacker), Jaquan Harris (Defensive Back) and Joshua Onujiogu (D-Line).

2017 Schedule: The road back to the NCAA Division III Tournament will begin with a visit to ‘the nest’ on Labor Day Weekend when Framingham State tangles with Endicott College in Beverly. One week later, the Rams will play its first home game of the season against a talented Cortland State squad from the Empire 8. The Red Dragons defeated the Rams last season in New York, but the Rams’ offense still managed to tally 327 total yards of offense, while the defense recorded a pair of sacks and interceptions. This will be another quality test for the Rams before they hop into Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) play in week three against Bridgewater State. Their 28-27 overtime loss from last year should certainly be motivation for the squad heading into this particular outing. Framingham State will conclude its initial month of play against Massachusetts Maritime Academy – this is always a fun game to attend because of the Kelley connection between both schools (Tom’s son Mike Kelley is a MMA alum and assistant coach for the Buccaneers. He is also the school’s baseball coach, too). Visits to Fitchburg State and Plymouth State highlight the month of October, while November will feature a pair of home dates against Western Connecticut State and Worcester State.

Season Outlook: Checking-in second on the conference’s preseason coaches poll, the Rams, who perhaps could have been picked to capture the league’s crown this fall, will certainly be one of many MASCAC squads to watch this season. Both non-conference games to start the season will be critical for the squad’s success, but the same could be said for its week three match-up at Bridgewater State. On paper, this squad looks ready to challenge the Bears for the conference’s crown, as well as the automatic bid to the ‘big dance.’ Quarterback Adam Wojenski gained a great deal of experience last year under center – the MASCAC Offensive Rookie of the Year appears ready to lead an offense that will feature a great deal of talent on the line and in the back field. Keep an eye on wide-out Stephen Beahn this season – he could be in for an exception senior year. On defense, linebacker Svenn Jacobson highlights a unit that should provide challenges to opposing offenses – this particular unit posses a great deal of experience and depth, which should help them be successful against both the run and pass.

Mass. College Football: The Kelley Brothers Discuss The ‘Kelley Cup’

By Matt Noonan 

CAMBRIDGE, MA – While the “Kelly Cup” has a special meaning to Framingham State’s Tom Kelley, it also means something to his sons, Mike and Patrick Kelley.

Mike is an assistant coach for Massachusetts Maritime Academy’s football team, a program he used to play for as student prior to graduating in 1999, while Patrick is an assistant coach with the Framingham State Rams.

Both teams will meet tomorrow afternoon in an important Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) matchup, and in anticipation of another ‘Kelley Cup,’ Noontime Sports caught up with the assistance coaches to chat about their favorite memories of the series.

Mike (Left) and Patrick (Right), along with their father, Tom Kelley (Center), will contend for the 'Kelly Cup' tomorrow afternoon! (Photo Credit: Matt Noonan for NoontimeSports.com)

Mike (Left) and Patrick (Right), along with their father, Tom Kelley (Center), will contend for the ‘Kelly Cup’ tomorrow afternoon! (Photo Credit: Matt Noonan for NoontimeSports.com)

Noontime Sports: What makes this game so special?

Mike Kelley: “That’s a good question, but just before the game (is one of my favorite moments, especially when we’re) talking with the other coaches and going up to the football office before the game and talking football before the game and things like that. I grew up on the campus, so I know the campus inside and out, so it’s kind of weird and awkward to go back because I have been there before, so just hanging out before the game is one of the biggest memories and it will happen on Saturday (when) I go up to the office before the game.”

Patrick Kelley: “Like (my brother said), we both grew up on the campus, so it’s a little bit weird (coaching) against your brother, but we’ve had some really tough games against them and it doesn’t matter what the records are going into the game because it is just one of those games where all bets are off. It’s a tough battle, no matter who is up and who is down, and we know we’ll always get their best every time we play them. Mike is going to have them prepared, too.”

Noontime Sports: Were you guys competitive with one another growing up?

PK: “Absolutely. Every chance we got – our father was an athletic director, so we had access to every ball or net, so we spent (as much) time as we could (outside) whether it was playing street hockey or basketball or wiffleball.”

MK: “We’d be on the (basketball) court during halftime of a Framingham State game playing basketball in front of the crowd.”

PK: “Yeah, we did that growing up. We were both ball boys for the football team until we got to high school, but our whole lives has been a fierce rivalry.”

Noontime Sports: This is an important contest for both squads, so what would a victory do for your team?

TK: “We’re 2-3 in the conference, so a win would be huge for us. We have three league games left and it would be huge to get it going against the division winner from the last two years.”

PK: “It is a little bit different for us (because) we know we need to win out to have a chance for a possible postseason birth. (Our next two games) are going to be super tough with Massachusetts Maritime and Bridgewater State, but if we’re lucky enough to get a win this week it will put us in very good shape since we don’t have any losses in the conference.”

Noontime Sports: Finally, what’s the best advice your father has taught you from a football perspective? How has his advice helped you both grow as coaches?

TK: “Don’t lose (because) you prepare for the unexpected and you’ve got to have your kids in the right positions no matter what happens. (Also), never underestimate your opponent.”

PK: “He’s just portrayed that you have to build a tough, competitive team (that’s also) a disciplined team, so that’s something you can hang your hat on, which is having a tough, competitive good group of kids.”

Mass. College Football: FSU’s Tom Kelley Discusses The ‘Kelley Cup’

By Matt Noonan 

CAMBRIDGE, MA – Framingham State’s Tom Kelley is certainly excited for tomorrow’s contest, as his Rams will face his son’s Massachusetts Maritime Academy Buccaneers in the “Kelley Cup.”

This particular game certainly has a special meaning for Kelley, along with his sons Mike Kelley (Massachusetts Maritime) and Patrick Kelley (Framingham State).

“(I’m) excited (and) I am nervous because they’re a very good team,” said Tom Kelley, who will be coaching against his son Mike for the seventh time.

“Their offensive (line) is scary, they’re better defensively than people are giving them credit for and we’ve watched them (on film) the last couple weeks and they’re really coming around defensively and everyone’s giving us fits, (especially) our offense, so I am sure they’re going to come up big, so we’ve got to play our A-game for sure.”

After Wednesday’s New England Football Writers’ luncheon at Harvard University concluded, Noontime Sports caught up with the seven-year head coach to chat about the game.

On coaching against his son: “I’m real proud to be part of this (tradition) and have two sons involved in the greatest profession on earth. It’s really an exciting time. There is going to be a lot of family and there are going to be a lot of alums looking at this game, so this it what it’s all about.

“It (isn’t easy), but that’s the way it’s broken down and Mike’s at his alma mater, he’s really proud of what they’re doing down there and his career as an athlete and a coach, but it is what it is.”

On the Kelley Cup tradition: “There’s some tradition, but this will be our seventh one. They won the first one and moments – I don’t know, but it’s a bitter sweet thing (because) when you win the game you’re really happy to do that and then you look on the other side and that’s my son.”

On last year’s overtime thriller: “They had us. It was particularly tough on my son because they were up the whole game and we came roaring back and we had to make huge plays at the end of regulation to tie it up and then we got into overtime and we had some veterans that stepped up at that point, so I am sure they’ll remember that and it’s going to come back to motivate them.”

On containing the Buccaneers offense: “I don’t think you stop them. I think you try and slow them down a little bit and we’ll do that by trying to control the ball, (but it’ll) be a big challenge because our guys are going to be out there a lot. We play a lot of guys on defense, which is a good thing, but can you get them in and out because they’re a fast paced (offense) that’s pressing all the time, so we’ll have to suck it up and come up with big plays.”

Mass. College Football: Must-See Rivalries

By Matt Noonan 

In honor of our so-called, “rivalry week,” we kick off our various posts with some of the best, as well as unique football rivalries, which occur in our own backyard. Some of them are historic, like Harvard-Yale or Amherst-Williams, while others include Bridgewater State-Framingham State or Framingham State-Massachusetts Maritime (Kelley Cup).

Here’s our list of rivalries that we’ve truly enjoyed over the past few years.

Harvard-Yale – No matter their records, this is always considered ‘the game.’ Harvard vs. Yale, The Crimson vs. The Bulldogs, underclassmen vs. alums, fans vs. fans. Harvard has been victorious in their most recent meetings, but don’t worry Yale fans because your Bulldogs have defeated the Crimson in prior seasons, too. This season, the two units will meet in Connecticut prior to Thanksgiving on November 23; so make sure to get your tickets sooner than later.

Amherst-Williams – Similar to Harvard-Yale, this is also ‘the game,’ too, and you can even watch it on television. Both teams have met 127 times, so this season will mark the 128th meeting, which will occur in Williamstown. Aaron Kelton’s crew, Williams, hasn’t defeated their rival since his first season on the sidelines in 2010, but could this be the year they snap their two-game skid?

Boston College-Notre Dame – The Eagles and Fighting Irish is a classic rivalry, but it may not have the same pizzazz as Amherst-Williams or Harvard-Yale. Over the past few years, Notre Dame has defeated Boston College. However, there was a time when the Eagles did soar past the Irish. Unfortunately, this rivalry will be put on hold this season as BC will face-off against a slew of different non-conference foes, which include Villanova, USC, Army, New Mexico State and Syracuse.

Framingham State vs. Bridgewater State has always been a classic local rivalry! (Photo: Matt Noonan for NoontimeSports.com)

Framingham State vs. Bridgewater State has always been a classic local rivalry! (Photo: Matt Noonan for NoontimeSports.com)

Northeast-10 Conference Rivalries – Five squads from the Bay State compete in NE-10, a very competitive Division II conference, but what is the best rivalry? It’s a toss-up, but maybe Bentley-Stonehill, Bentley Merrimack, Merrimack-Stonehill, Stonehill-Assumption, Assumption-AIC? Again, it’s hard to pinpoint a so-called rivalry, so feel free to let us know your favorite game from this conference, but all in all, these are five impressive units that always play their best on Friday or Saturday.

Bridgewater State-Framingham State – Two impressive teams, two great coaches and two passionate fan bases. This past season, the Rams of Framingham State defeated Bridgewater State, as well as stopped quarterback Mike McCarthy, a gunslinger that can beat opposing defenses with his legs. This season, expect a different outcome, but another hard fought match, though. The Bears have won four of their last seven meetings, while the Rams have captured the last three outings.

Framingham State-Massachusetts Maritime – Sure, this may not be the same game as BSU-FSU or others above, but as long as the Kelley family has one member on each sideline, it’s still a rivalry. Tom Kelley, head coach for Framingham State, calls this game the “Kelley Cup” because his son, Mike Kelley, is the Buccaneers assistant coach. Last season, Tom, guided his Rams to a 35-28 victory in overtime.

So, this was our list, but do you agree? Did we miss a rivalry? If so, which one?

Let us know your thoughts on Facebook or Twitter (@NoontimeSports or @NoonSportsBlog). Also, make sure to look out for other rivalry posts later this week.

New England Football News And Notes

By NoontimeSports.com 

CAMBRIDGE, MA – The New England Football Writers’ Gridiron Club of Greater Boston held their fifth luncheon of the season and below are some highlights, as well as news and notes on the local teams.

* Harvard’s Colton Chapple earned this week’s Div. I Golden Helmet Award following a five-touchdown performance against Holy Cross last weekend in the rain. Chapple tossed four touchdowns, while rushing for one, and told reporters that he was very thankful for his teammates assistance in the Crimsons third win of the season.

“This award signifies 11 other guys on the offense. I might get the credit just because I’m the quarterback, but without everybody doing their job at the same time and at the same level that we’ve been coached to do throughout the entire week none of this would be possible,” exclaimed Chapple.

“So, I’d just like to thank my offensive teammates, as well as the coaches for putting together an awesome game plan, and I look forward to playing this Saturday [against Cornell University].”

* The Div. II/III Golden Helmet recipient was Vaughn McGee of Southern Connecticut State University. McGee became the first Owl to earn this award since Jarom Freeman in November of 2007.

McGee, similar to Chapple, thanked his coaches and teammates for their effort in last weekend’s victory against Saint Anselm where he rushed for 297 yards on 30 carries and four touchdowns.

Also, in the fourth quarter, McGee set a NCAA record when he tallied 187 yards on the ground, which snapped the original record set by Stefan Logan (184 yards)on September 3, 2005.

“Even though we started off 0-4, we still kept our heads up and want to continue to finish the season strong. We’re going to be playing a lot tougher teams and I think if everyone stands behind each other we can prevail and finish the season well,” said McGee.

* Salve Regina was recently voted the number one Div. III football team in New England, and head coach Bob Chesney told coaches and reporters the following:

“We’re right now 5-0, [and] we’re ranked as the number one team in New England, which is great, but its midseason, so we all know it doesn’t mean a whole heck of a lot right now if we can’t hold onto that and can’t continue with that,” stated Chesney.

“We also have the longest active winning streak in Div. III right now at 11 games, which is something again we’re really proud of [because it’s] just really a testament to our team that has gone onto be able to accomplish that.”

The Seahawks have been rather impressive this year, and have recorded wins against Endicott College, Montclair State and Union. They’ll look to preserve their perfect record on Saturday when they travel to UMass Dartmouth.

* Tufts University’s head coach Jay Civetti expressed that he was very happy with the Jumbos effort last weekend despite their second loss of the season against Bates College.

During that particular match, running back Marcel Pitre rushed for three scores, which marked the most by a Jumbos halfback since 2001.

* Bentley has yet to record a loss this weekend, as they preserved their perfect record with a 17-7 victory against Stonehill College.

* Tom Kelley was all smiles on Wednesday, as he told coaches and reporters that his Framingham State Rams claimed the “Kelley Cup” against Massachusetts Maritime and son Mike Kelley, who’s the Buccaneers assistant coach.

** Video’s courtesy of New England Football Writer’s YouTube Page