Massachusetts National Signing Day 2020

MASSFOOTBALLNLI

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeNation 

Wednesday was an exciting day for many local student-athletes who signed their national letter of intent to play college football next fall.

Below is a list of the local student-athletes who will be joining the various Massachusetts college football programs in a few months.

American International College (AIC) 

  • Tommy Caracciolo (Agawam, Mass. | Agawam High School | Running Back)

Assumption College 

  • Thomas Chenette (Cohasset, Mass. | Cohasset High School | Offensive Line)
  • Eric Dosenberg (New Bedford, Mass. | New Bedford High School | Offensive Line)
  • James Kernen (Plymouth, Mass. | Plymouth South High School | Offensive Line)
  • Hunter Murphy (Norton, Mass. | Norton High School | Tight End)
  • Tyler Reid (Needham, Mass. | Needham High School | Running Back)
  • Raekwon Washington (Newton, Mass. | Newton South High School | Running Back)

Bentley University 

  • Zach Goodwin (Easton, Mass. | Catholic Memorial | Defensive Line)
  • Vinnie Holmes (Mansfield, Mass. | Mansfield High School | Running Back)
  • Phil Koechling (Wayland, Mass. | Wayland High School | Offensive Line)
  • Nick Marciano (Mansfield, Mass. | Mansfield High School | Wide Receiver)
  • Liam Peck (Dover, Mass. | Xaverian Brothers | Offensive Line)
  • Nick Pucillo (Acton, Mass. | Acton-Boxborough | Linebacker)
  • Brett Pullman (Worcester, Mass. | Holy Name | Quarterback)
  • Joe Rivers (Lunenburg, Mass. | Lunenburg High School | Defensive Line)

Boston College

  • Kevin Pyne (Milford, Mass. | Milford High School | Offensive Line)
  • Ozzy Trapilo (Norwell, Mass. | Boston College High School | Offensive Line)

Holy Cross 

  • Dante Bolden (Springfield, Mass. | Springfield Central | Linebacker)
  • Matthew Duchemin (Haverhill, Mass. | St. John’s Prep | Defensive Back)
  • Martin Laham (Westwood, Mass. | Williston Northampton | Defensive Back)
  • Hunter Lane (Georgetown, Mass. | Georgetown | Tight End)
  • Bryan Pacific (Winchester, Mass. | Dexter South | Offensive Line)
  • Joe Rivers (Wakefield, Mass. | Bishop Fenwick | Defensive Back)

Merrimack College 

  • Nolan Gunning (King Phillip | Offensive Line)
  • Matt Sokol (Catholic Memorial | Kicker)

Stonehill Football

  • Gardner Cousins (Governor’s Academy | Linebacker)
  • Devin Fortes (Brockton High School | Defensive Back)


UMass 

  • Josh Atwood (Natick, Mass. | Natick High School | Defensive Line)
  • Ethan Mottinger (North Attleboro, Mass. | North Attleboro | Offensive Line)

 

Around The Rim with Bob Whitney

Around The Rim Whitney Social

By Bob Whitney 

Some random thoughts after looking around at the local and national basketball landscape.

The Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC)/Big Ten Conference (B1G) Basketball Challenge is always at the top of my viewing list each year – I love channel surfing.

This year, the Big 10 Conference reigned supreme with some impressive showings by Maryland, Purdue, Ohio State, and Penn State.

Purdue absolutely dismantled Virginia and exposed the ‘Hoos offensive shortcomings while Ohio State throttled North Carolina. It’s early but Ohio State is looking like they have the horsepower to make a run to the Final Four next April.

Speaking of the ACC, Boston College is on a four-game losing spin and facing a rigorous conference road trip this Saturday at Norte Dame. A highly-touted freshman class must grow up in a hurry or the Eagles will once again reside in the ACC’s bottom quartile.

Save the date: current No. 1 Louisville will visit Conte Forum on Jan. 29. Tip-off is scheduled for 9 p.m.

Carl Pierre, who played high school basketball at Boston College High School, is having an excellent season at UMass. The 2017 Catholic Conference MVP and two-time conference all-star selection is currently averaging 12 points per game.

Pierre and the Minutemen will visit Harvard on Saturday, December 7th with tip-off scheduled for 1 p.m. UMass will attempt to snap a four-game skid, which began prior to Thanksgiving with a 58-46 setback to Virginia. Harvard enters the non-conference clash at 4-4 – the Crimson have lost two-straight since beating Texas A&M last Thursday. 

Newton North’s Ethan Wright has seen an uptick in playing time this season with the Princeton Tigers. The second-year guard has logged 93 minutes in six contests this season – he even started a game last month against Indiana. Wright has scored 13 points on 5 of 21 shooting, including 3 of 14 from beyond the arc. He has pulled down 13 rebounds, including two offensive caroms to go along with five assists and two blocks.

Wright and the Tigers sit at 1-6 and are scheduled to compete next Tuesday, December 10th against Monmouth. Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m.

Coach Trish Brown and the Stonehill College women’s basketball team are off to an impressive 6-2 start. Sure, their lone setbacks have come against Bentley and Molloy, but they have been fun to watch, especially in their last two contests against Assumption College and Franklin Pierce.

Emily Bramanti, who played locally for Westford Academy, credited all of her teammates in their most recent win against the Ravens for stepping-up and making plays when needed.

“That is just the greatness of our team is that any night anybody can step-up and play, so it’s really exciting to see how far we can get going,” she said following the Skyhawks’ 68-59 win over the Ravens.

Bramanti concluded her team’s eighth contest with a team-high 16 points.

Stonehill hosts Saint Anselm College on Saturday before heading to Daytona Beach Florida two weeks later to compete in the Daytona Beach Shootout.

Finally, the Babson College men’s basketball team scored an exciting and impressive win last night over Amherst CollegeFrank Oftring, who grew up in North Attleboro, Massachusetts netted a career-high 30 points in the win to go along with 10 rebounds.

Babson’s Andrew Jaworski finished with 23 points with four of those points being recorded during the final 30 seconds of the second half.

Babson, which is 12-3 against the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) dating back to the 2016-17 season, will look to continue its early-season momentum this weekend when they compete in the New England Big 4 Challenge at Salem State University.

I’m getting ready to head back to warm and sunny Florida so I’ll be writing from the Sunshine State next week.

KEEP SHOOTING, Everyone!

Around The Rim With Bob Whitney: Welcome Back College Hoops

20181106_223717

Former Braintree High and Kimball Union star Nic Timberlake in action last year for Towson University. Timberlake is now a redshirt freshman for Towson this winter after last season’s injury-riddled campaign. (PHOTO COURTESY: Bob Whitney)

By Bob Whitney | @WhitneyBob

In case you haven’t noticed the 2019-20 college basketball season is off and running, highlighted by a nationally-televised doubleheader last evening featuring the top four teams in the men’s basketball preseason rankings: Michigan State, Kentucky, Duke, and Kansas.

For all of us veteran purists, it was hoop heaven, the talent was amazing but the quality of play was spotty at best given such a huge stage on opening night.

That aside, it is my pleasure to pen a weekly hoop column for the hard-working Matt Noonan and his many followers here at Noontime Sports.

I have covered one of the Power Five conferences – the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), to be exact – for the last eight seasons, but this year I will focus on a little bit of everything but the primary focus will remain on all that is happening in New England – and that is a lot!

First of all, check out the Noontime Sports Men and Women’s New England D-III Basketball Preseason Top 10 Polls: (Men’s Basketball | Women’s Basketball)

A few thoughts from the basketball polls.

  • No surprise that Amherst College is perched at the top of both rankings. They have been the gold-standard regionally and a regular participant in the NCAA D-III Tournaments for years.
  • Speaking of Amherst, the men’s program suffered a sudden jolt in September when legendary coach David Hixon (after 42 seasons at the helm) opted to take a non-health sabbatical to deal with some family issues. The big question is can the program move on without Hixon’s leadership?

    Those close to the program feel that with the elevation of trusted assistant Aaron Toomey, who played under Hixon and helped win NCAA titles in 2012 and 2013, the transition should be seamless.

  • A game to watch (and to gauge how Toomey and his squad are managing the transition) is on January 10 when New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) rival Middlebury College travels to Amherst.

ODDS AND ENDS

  • There have been a number of rule changes introduced with the most important one being the extension of the 3-point arc from 17 inches to the international standard of 22 feet, 1 3/4 inches. Although testing of this change in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) last year found little change in shooting percentage, it was felt by the officiating honchos that it would alleviate congestion in the paint by forcing defenders to guard shooters further away from the basket. Stay tuned on this change.
  • All eyes will be pointing to Cambridge, Mass this season to see if the Harvard University celebrated senior class, led by awesome point guard Bryce Aiken, can finally win an Ivy League title, as well as earn an automatic tournament bid to the NCAA Tournament.

    Better yet, the Crimson will have some home-cooking help in March as this year’s conference tournament moves from the storied The Palestra to Lavietes Pavilion, March 14-15.

    The Ivy poo-bahs move to a conference tournament for men and women was a no-brainer – the atmosphere is pulsating and the quality of play is as good as it gets.

  • A shoutout to former Marquette University assistant Brett Nelson who assumes the reins at Holy Cross after Bill Carmody‘s decision to retire from the coaching ranks.
  • Did you know that we have a number of the top coaches in the women’s college game led by the legendary Barbara Stevens, who ranks fourth in wins among college coaches at Bentley University, Harvard’s Kathy Delaney-Smith, Stonehill College‘s Trisha Brown, Springfield College‘s Naomi Graves, and Babson College‘s Judy Blinstrub. If any of you have a daughter that may be destined to play at the college level the price of admission to catch one of these coaches in action will help with a final decision.
  • In my eight years following ACC men’s basketball, I had the privilege to hear firsthand from some of the great coaches in the game, including Coach Mike KrzyseskiRoy Williams, Jim Boeheim, Rick Pitino, and Mike Brey. Buzz Williams was a real stitch in the press room. But most impressive among this elite group of coaches was the University of Virginia‘s, Tony Bennett.

    Obviously, Bennett’s run to the national title was the big news last year but most noteworthy was his recent decision to forego a well-deserved a big raise. Bennett felt that his family was blessed and thankful for what they have and felt that the money would be better spent in funding a program to help athletes transition to careers after basketball. Bennett is destined to be the voice of the ACC once Coach K and Roy retire.

A FINAL THOUGHT

Best wishes to Kristen McDonnell who left the Braintree high school girls basketball program after a ten-year run which included four D-1 state titles and a bunch of sectional crowns. McDonnell is seeking a new challenge as the Norwood high school boys head coach.

Keep shooting. See you next week!

D2 Lacrosse: New England Top 5 Men’s & Women’s Polls (March 11th, 2019)

NS D2 LAX TOP 5

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports & @NoontimeLax

With a new season of New England Division II lacrosse underway, it is time to unveil our first men and women’s top five polls of the season, as well as our teams on the rise, too.

Our weekly lacrosse polls are powered by our friends from Zelos Athletics, who are ready to get you set for a brand new lacrosse season with their FusionSport technology.

Stay connected with our New England lacrosse coverage on Twitter by following @NoontimeLax today! 


New England Men’s D2 Top Five Poll | Monday, March 11th, 2019 

1. Merrimack College

2-1, 0-0 NE10

2. Saint Anselm 

0-1, 0-0 NE10

3. Bentley University

2-0, 0-0 NE10

4. Assumption College

2-2, 0-1 NE10 

5. Southern New Hampshire 

2-2, 1-0 NE10

On the Rise: Franklin Pierce and Saint Michael’s 


New England Women’s D2 Top Five Poll | Monday, March 11th, 2019 

1. Assumption College

4-0, 1-0 NE10 

2. Bentley University

2-0, 1-0 NE10

3. New Haven 

2-1, 1-0 NE10

4. Merrimack College

1-3, 1-0 NE10

5. Stonehill College 

3-1, 0-1 NE10

On the Rise: Franklin Pierce and Saint Anselm 

New England College Basketball Notebook: Hauser Named Associate Head Coach at Assumption College

NEW ENGLAND HOOPS NOTEBOOK

By Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11) 

In a time where the news-cycle tends to be slow – hello, summertime! – we do have some news to share from the New England College basketball world below:

Stay connected with Noontime Sports on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube! Also, have a story (or idea for a future blog post)? Let us know by sending us an email to NoontimeSports@gmail.com