MLL Announces Site For 2018 Championship

Major_League_Lacrosse_logo.svgBy NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports)

It was announced earlier today that the 2018 Major League Lacrosse (MLL) Championship will be held in Charleston, South Carolina on Saturday, August 2018 at MUSC Health Stadium.

According to this morning’s press release, this will be the first-ever game in MLL history held in South Carolina.

“The Championship Game presents a great opportunity to showcase the top talent our sport has to offer, and we are very excited about bringing this unique event to the beautiful city of Charleston,” MLL Commissioner Alexander Brown said in today’s release.

“I would like to thank the Charleston Battery and the Charleston Sports Commission for their support of this event and for hosting us at a tremendous venue in MUSC Health Stadium.”

The MLL championship has been previously held in a neutral location, including last season when the Denver Outlaws and Ohio Machine met at The Star in Frisco, Texas, which is the current home of the Dallas Rattlers.

MUSC Health Stadium is currently the home of the Charleston Battery, a professional soccer team that competes in the United Soccer League. The stadium has the largest jumbotron in the Southeast at 3,000 square feet.

MLL began its 2018 season this past weekend with the Charlotte HoundsFlorida LaunchNew York Lizards and Dallas earning opening week wins.

Boston Cannons Announce High School Rivalry Series

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Boston Cannons Helmet. (PHOTO CREDIT: Reed Smith’s Photography)

By Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11)

The Boston Cannons announced this morning their High School Rivalry Series, which will take place before select home games later this season.

The High School Rivalry series is presented by Plymouth Rock Assurance.

Catholic Memorial and Malden Catholic will be the first two teams to compete in the series – the two squads will face-off at Harvard Stadium on Saturday, May 5th at 3:30 p.m. before Boston entertains the Dallas Rattlers at 6 p.m.

Governor’s Academy will square-off against St. Sebastian’s one week later on Saturday, May 12th at Harvard Stadium with the game scheduled to commence at 3 p.m.

The final two matchups with take place in Hingham on Saturday, May 19th with the girls team hosting Braintree at 12 p.m. followed by the boy’s team entertaining Needham at 2 p.m. Boston and the Chesapeake Bayhawks will also compete in Hingham that same day with face-off scheduled for 6 p.m.

For more information on the upcoming High School Rivalry Series – HOP HERE!

Boston Cannons Select Five Players In 2018 MLL Collegiate Draft

DU-Air Force NCAA D1 Men's Lacrosse

Trevor Baptiste, who is a current senior at the University of Denver, was selected first overall by the Boston Cannons in the 2018 MLL Collegiate Draft. (PHOTO COURTESY: US Lacrosse Magazine/Trevor Brown)

By Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11)

With the number one pick in the 2018 Major League Lacrosse (MLL) Collegiate Draft last night, the Boston Cannons selected Trevor Baptiste from the University of Denver.

Baptiste becomes the first-ever face-off specialist to be taken first overall in the collegiate draft – he is also the first top-three selection for the Pioneers, according to yesterday’s press release from the University of Denver.

“He’s a dominant face-off guy,” Boston Cannons coach Sean Quirk said via Matt McGuirk of BostonCannons.com.

“We’ve certainly been watching him closely,” Quirk added.

Considered one of the best face-off specialist in the collegiate game, Baptiste enters his team’s second-to-last weekend second in NCAA Division I Men’s Lacrosse history in face-off wins (1,076) and ground balls (594). He needs 41 face-off wins to match Kevin Massa (Bryant University), who currently holds the record of 1,117 face-off wins. Massa also holds the record for ground balls in a career with 753.

This season, Baptiste has won 197 of 254 face-offs, while scooping a team-high 113 ground balls.

In addition to Baptiste, Boston also selected Will Sands (Bucknell University), Tom Kennedy (Bryan University), Kevin McGeary (University of Pennsylvania) and Anthony Johnson (Bryant University).

All five selections will certainly be counted on when they join the Cannons later this season – Boston officially begins it 2018 campaign this Saturday, April 21st when they visit the Charlotte Hounds. Face-off between the Cannons and Hounds is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

Stay connected with Noontime_Lax on Twitter for New England professional, college and high school lacrosse news and scores! 

Sports Business: Discussing The Growth Of The MLL With Boston Cannons President Ian Frenette

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Boston Cannons President Ian Frenette speaks to members of the media during last month’s Boston Cannons Media Day. (PHOTO CREDIT: Reed Smith’s Photography

By NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports)

Boston Cannons President Ian Frenette is not only excited about his team’s upcoming season, but also the direction of Major League Lacrosse (MLL), too.

It is an exciting time for the league, which announced its second commissioner (Alexander P. “Sandy” Brown) in February.

Additionally, the league will have a new team this year competing in Dallas – it was announced last November that Rochester would move to Texas and play its games at the Ford Center at The Star in Frisco (the Dallas Cowboys World Headquarters and practice facility). MLL held its championship game last season in Dallas where fans were treated to an exciting 17-12 victory by the Ohio Machine. It was the first-ever MLL crown for the Ohio franchise, which fell short to Denver in the 2016 championship game.

Following his team’s Media Day last month, Frenette spoke with Noontime Sports about the league’s growth, as well as his team playing games in Beverly, Massachusetts (Endicott College) and Hingham, Massachusetts (“Cannons in Your Community“) this spring and summer.

On growth of the Major League Lacrosse (MLL): I think we have some serious momentum right now. We have a new commissioner, who just started a little over two months ago. I think we are seeing the biggest growth in a team that is now in Dallas, which used to be in Rochester. It is too bad (they) had to leave Rochester, but to take a franchise and move it into a place like Dallas, which has a tremendous growth curve in the game of lacrosse right now is a great thing for the league’s brand.

I also think the leadership that is happening inside of all of these organizations – there are more (people) running these businesses that understand how to run professional teams. We have kind of gone into another phase, which is huge. I also believe that the players expect more out of themselves (because) they are improving their game (every day). You also see (the sport lending itself) to social media (with people like Paul) Rabil, who is helping raise that bar. Everyone else wants to follow in his footsteps, so they can (make and create content) of their own.

On seeing more teams in the Major League Lacrosse (MLL) in the future: Right now, we are in a huge expansion mode as far as researching what those markets look like – it is all about finding good owners and people who are willing to grow with the league. It is not an immediate thing. What was (highlighted in a New York Times piece on Major League Soccer last summer) was most of those MLS places (don’t) have their own stadiums, and we are starting to see that a little bit now in our league as well. Ohio has its own stadium and venue, and Dallas is obviously world class with the Jones family. Atlanta has a very good venue with Kennesaw State University – it is the right size, not too big and I think there are other organizations that are looking at their own (venues and stadiums. They are probably asking), “how do we get there?” Once that starts to happen then you will see the businesses start to flourish. You also will start to see more eyes – maybe non-lacrosse or not even sports-centered eyes on what those products are and what does that venue mean to the overall community. All those pieces are important to putting this puzzle together.

On ‘Cannons in Your Community’: This opportunity kind of fell in our lap and we thought (about) taking our brand into communities that we think would want us. We started with Hingham and they have been nothing, but gracious about every element of what our production looks like, but just knowing the significant lacrosse culture in that town (helped).

In Beverly, Endicott College is a great venue and certainly supports a bunch of surrounding towns that are very heavy lacrosse centric towns, as well. Who knows what this means for 2019 and future opportunities, but logistically, things will be a little bit different (than what fans are used to at Harvard Stadium), but we are excited about it. Those venues should be sold out, so we are pretty excited about (these opportunities to play in Beverly and Hingham).

Boston Cannons Unveil 2018 Schedule

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The Boston Cannons unveiled their 2018 schedule this morning. (PHOTO CREDIT: Reid Smith/Boston Cannons)

By Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11) 

The Boston Cannons unveiled their 2018 scheduled this morning, which includes 14 games, including seven home contests at Harvard Stadium.

Boston will begin its campaign on the road with a pair of late April contests against Atlanta and Charlotte before playing their initial game at home on Saturday, May 5 against the Dallas Rattlers.

The Rattlers re-located this offseason to Dallas, but spent the past six years competing in Rochester.

After hosting the Rattlers, Boston will visit Florida five days later on Thursday, May 10 before returning home for their next three contests.

The Cannons will compete twice in the month of June with their lone home contest scheduled against the New York Lizards on Saturday, June 23.

Following a home date with the Lizards, the Cannons will play three of their next five games on the road, including a July 4th tilt at Denver before playing their final two games at home. Their season finale pits the Cannons against the Ohio Machine, which captured the 2017 Major League Lacrosse (MLL) Championship in August.

Boston will be idle twice this season in weeks six and nine, but should have a few members of the team compete in the 2018 MLL All-Star Game on Thursday, June 28. A location for the All-Star Game, as well as the Championship will be announced at a later date. Last year, the All-Star Game was held in San Diego, California.