Tag: Paul Rabil

Revisiting Our Top Stories from 2021

The Williams College football team’s 2021 season was one of many stories we highlighted and covered this year. (PHOTO COURTESY: Kris Dufour/Williams College Athletics)

By Matt Noonan

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.

    In early June, I produced a short piece about Chris Hogan telling NBC‘s Paul Burmeister that he thought Paul Rabil could compete in the National Football League (NFL).

    Rabil, a long-time and well-respected lacrosse player, retired at the conclusion of the 2021 Premier Lacrosse League (PLL), but apparently did ponder the idea of playing football when he was 23.
  • Speaking of Chris Hogan, did you know the former New England Patriots wide receiver competed for the Cannons Lacrosse Club earlier this year?

    Indeed, he did — the Cannons, who used to play outside of Boston, were one of the newest members of the PLL.

  • Let’s go back to football where not one, but two Northeast football teams — the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) and UMass Dartmouthcaptured their respective New England Bowls.

  • 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 AMCATs crusied to an impressive 31-7 victory over SUNY Maritime to secure a spot in the NCAA Tournament.

    Anna Maria will certainly be a team to watch in 2022 — can they win their conference again? We’ll have to wait and see!

  • We conclude this post with one more historical memory from New England: the Holy Cross football team won its first-ever postseason game by rallying to beat Sacred Heart University, 13-10.

    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!

Chris Hogan Thinks Paul Rabil Could Go From PLL To NFL

Chris Hogan, who played ten seasons in the NFL, recently secure a spot on the Cannons Lacrosse Club of the Premier Lacrosse League (PLL). (PHOTO COURTESY: NFL.com)

By Matt Noonan

Chris Hogan made headlines earlier this year when he elected to swap his football pads for a lacrosse stick.

Hogan, who won two Super Bowls with the New England Patriots, secured a spot earlier this month on the Cannons Lacrosse Club of the Premier Lacrosse League (PLL) but did not suit up this weekend. However, he was on the sidelines supporting his teammates this afternoon en route to their first-ever PLL win against the Waterdogs Lacrosse Club while discussing his experience thus far with NBC‘s Paul Burmeister.

One question Burmeister asked was a fun, what-if/hypothetical questions — he wanted to know which of his Cannons teammates was “best suited” to go from the PLL to the National Football League (NFL).

Of course, there are a few that come to mind, but Hogan named Paul Rabil, who is a co-founder of the PLL with his brother Mike Rabil. He described the veteran midfielder as “big, physical, runs hard, (and) probably could play offense or defense.”

“All these guys are good athletes, and I know a lot of them played two sports,” Hogan said to Burmeister. “I mean, I think Paul gave it a second thought there for a little while.”

While it’s unknown if Rabil wanted to play in the NFL, especially earlier this year, he did tell Rich Eisen that Patriots coach Bill Belichick did try to convince him to try out for the team when he was younger.

“We went back and forth — this was when I was 23 and I was the captain of Team USA at the time and we kind of came to an agreement that it was the best decision to stay in lacrosse,” Rabil said during a recent interview on The Rich Eisen Show.

It would have been fun to see Rabil and Hogan compete for the Patriots, especially with Tom Brady, but for now, they can focus on winning a championship later this summer/early fall.

Cannons LC Score First PLL Win, Top Waterdogs, 13-7

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

By NoontimeSports.com

Congrats are due to both coach Sean Quirk and the Cannons Lacrosse Club of the Premier Lacrosse League (PLL) as they scored their first-ever win on Sunday against the Waterdogs Lacrosse Club.

Sunday’s victory — a 13-7 win, which was highlighted by Lyle Thompson (four goals) and Andrew Kew (four goals) — took place at Gillette Stadium and was a part of the PLL’s opening weekend for its third season.

In addition to Thompson and Kew, the Cannons received two goals from Paul Rabil while Nick Marrocco earned his first win between the pipes with 11 saves.

The Cannons LC led the Waterdogs by four goals (5-1) after one quarter before securing a 9-2 advantage at halftime. The Waterdogs would outscore the Cannons, 5-4, during the final two sessions, but it was not enough to erase a seven-goal deficit at the break.

An original member of Major League Lacrosse, the Cannons rebranded from the Boston Cannons last December when the MLL merged with the PLL. Boston capped the final season of MLL with a championship win over the Denver Outlaws last July for its second title in franchise history.

For more on the Premier Lacrosse League, HOP HERE!

Lax Notebook: Weekend Takeaways From PLL & WPLL

NS Lacrosse Notebook

By Matt Noonan | @MattyNoonz11

This past weekend, I made the trek to Gillette Stadium to witness the start of the Premier Lacrosse League (PLL), as well as the second season of the Women’s Professional Lacrosse League (WPLL).

Both leagues enjoyed successful starts to their respective seasons, especially the PLL, which needed overtime to decide two of their three contests.

The PLL is a new men’s professional league that was founded by Paul Rabil and his brother Mike Rabil and is touring the country this summer with games being played in major cities, including Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, and Los Angeles. The league consists of six teams and can be seen on NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) or NBC Sports Gold.

The WPLL, which competed for the first time last summer, is also touring the country, but playing a shorter schedule than the PLL. They will, however, share the same field later this month when the two leagues collide at Homewood Field in Baltimore, Maryland.

WPLL consists of five teams and features some of the best women’s lacrosse players in the country, including Kaya TreanorTaylor Cummings, and Kylie Ohlmiller.

Here are some thoughts from what I witnessed this past weekend from both leagues, specifically their social media presence, broadcasts and fan engagement.

The PLL’s Social Media Experience: For starters, I really enjoyed scrolling through the PLL’s social media channels this past weekend. I thought the content they produced was awesome. Even though I wasn’t there for every second of the first or second day, I felt their social media presence made me feel as if I was on the field competing with the players or cheering them on from the sidelines or stands. 

The PLL’s Vlog, which is run by RJ Kaminski, is something I also really liked. Kaminksi’s videos were extremely innovative but also engaging, as well. I loved his interactions with fans in the parking lot to his chats with the players and former New England Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi.

NBC Sports’ Innovative Broadcasts: Watching Sunday’s game between the Atlas and Redwoods brought back memories of what the network did when they produced the XFL. From micing-up players to watching Paul Burmeister interviewing those that were whistled for a penalty was extremely innovative for a television broadcast, but also more captivating than just showing goals, assists and replays over and over.

The NBC graphics were awesome, too – showing the line-ups, which look very similar to what fans of the National Football League (NFL) and National Hockey League (NHL) are used to seeing made it feel like a big-time production. And the Skycam, which provided another angle on the clears and goal-scoring opportunities was also a nice change from the typical side-to-side view.

Finally, I loved the interviews during the games, as well as the insight from players, too. Hearing what Myles Jones thinks about his upcoming opponent is a great way for NBC to bring its viewers even closer to the action, but also their favorite lacrosse players, too. And of course hearing Bill Belichick discuss his love for the sport and what position Tom Brady would play – goalie, for those that didn’t watch the interview – was something else I really enjoyed from Sunday’s broadcast.

WPLL on ESPN3: Having the WPLL’s games on an ESPN platform is an enormous victory for the league.

The WPLL deserves the same attention as any other professional league because it really does feature the best women’s lacrosse players in the country, and perhaps the world, too.

Fans of the game or perhaps general sports fans will certainly enjoy what they witness when they stream games over the next few weeks. Additionally, fans can watch games on their tablets or phones through the ESPN app.

The WPLL fan engagement: One thing the WPLL really wants to do this summer is to bring its game to its fans, as well as aspiring women’s lacrosse players, which they’re doing through clinics, including one this past Sunday, which was held at Gillette Stadium prior to the Fight edging the Pride, 6-4.

Engaging with new fans of the sport, as well as those that are playing, will certainly help grow the league’s recognition.

These are just a few thoughts from this past weekend, but I am certainly excited to produce more content on the PLL and WPLL over the next few weeks and months.

Lax Notebook: MLL Collegiate Draft Is TONIGHT!

NS Lax Notebook2018

By NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports) 

The 2018 Major League Lacrosse (MLL) Collegiate Draft is scheduled for this evening (Wednesday, April 18th).

Fans of the MLL can watch live coverage of the draft on Lax Sports Network (LSN), beginning at 5:30 p.m. The actual draft itself will begin at 6:30 p.m.

According to the MLL website, 63 players will be selected from the college lacrosse world this evening, including five current student-athletes by the Boston Cannons. Boston has the top pick in this year’s draft and will most likely select someone to join either their offense (attack) or defense with the selection.

The last time Cannons entered the draft with the top pick was in 2008 when they selected Paul Rabil from Johns Hopkins. Rabil would help the Cannons with their initial MLL crown three years later when Boston outlasted the Hamilton Nationals at Harvard Stadium.

Rabil no longer plays for the Cannons as he is currently a member of the New York Lizards. New York finished fifth overall last season with a 7-7 ledger.

In addition to the top pick, Boston also owns a quartet of picks, including a pair of selections in the third round (19th and 26th picks). The Cannons will also pick in the sixth (46) and seventh (55) rounds, too.

Expect the Cannons to use their initial pick on either an attack or defensive player, according to US Lacrosse Magazine. A possible first-round pick for the Cannons could be University of Albany’s Connor Fields, who currently leads the Great Danes this season in assists (32) and points (58). He is second on the team in goals (26).

A few other possible targets for the top pick include Trevor Baptiste (University of Denver), Connor Kelly (University of Maryland) and Justin Guterding (Duke University).


Pre-Draft Reading: Get ready for the 2018 MLL Collegiate Draft with some great stories from around the web!