Noontime’s Senior Salute: Jake Wisniewski (WPI)

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Jake Wisniewski averaged 9.0 points and 6.4 rebounds this past season with the Engineers. (PHOTO COURTESY: Frank Poulin/WPI Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com 

It was just last month when WPI senior Jake Wisniewski was named the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Defensive Player of the Year after leading the Engineers to a 20-win season, along with an appearance in the 2020 NCAA D-III Tournament.

For the second-straight year, the West Brookfield, Massachusetts native averaged 9.0 points per game to go with 6.4 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 28 contests. Wisniewski netted 10 points or more 11 times this past winter while scoring a season-best 23 points on 10 of 16 shooting against Wheaton College in February.

Named a second-teamer by both the NEWMAC and Worcester Area College Basketball Association (WACBA), Wisniewski concluded his career with 958 points in 107 contests along with 552 rebounds, 161 assists, and 35 blocks.

We recently caught up with Jake Wisniewski to discuss his four-year career with the Engineers, as well as his future plans after graduation later this spring.


What will you remember most about your final season with the Engineers? 

Conference play, but also getting to play with my classmate Lou Doherty.

Was there a game (or two) that you will remember most from either your senior season or the past three years? If so, which game(s) are they? 

Before our senior season tipped-off last November, I would say our NEWAC semifinal contest against MIT last winter when Colin McNamara sank the game-winning basket at the buzzer.

As for this past season, I would say our home games against Emerson College and Wheaton College. Against Wheaton, I got into a rhythm (and scored 23 points), but the best part of both games (as well as other home contests) was getting to spend time with our families and friends after the final buzzer sounded.

What have you enjoyed most about competing for your team/program these past four years? What will you miss most after graduation? 

I will miss battling and competing with these guys on a daily basis. I will miss the games because there probably will never be another contest I play that I can get as competitive as I did with the Engineers these past four years. But most of all, I will miss my teammates and hanging out with them off the court.

Do you hope to stay involved with your sport in the future? Any interest in being a coach? 

Definitely. I want to stay involved with basketball in some way, and I am certainly interested in being a coach in the future.

Tell me about your major/concentration. How did you choose it and what do you plan to do with it after graduation? 

I chose to concentrate on project management because I like to work with people to solve problems.

Catching Up with Gavin Viano (Wheaton College Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com 

Nearly two months after being named the Wheaton College Director of Athletics and Recreation, Gavin Viano found himself, along with his staff, working remotely due to the coronavirus (COVID-19).  

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Gavin Viano was named the Wheaton College Director of Athletics and Recreation on January 6, 2020. (PHOTO COURTESY: Keith Nordstrom/Wheaton College Athletics)

But despite the distance, Viano and his staff have remained upbeat and positive. They have also found ways to stay connected through video conferencing, which is something the new Lyons’ boss is “grateful for” these days. 

“The ability to see each other (through Zoom or other video conferencing platforms), it really helps to feel connected and stay productive,” said Viano, who competed for the Clark University men’s swimming and diving program. 

“COVID-19 has disrupted the natural rhythm of campus life and everyday life … but the goal is to stay connected, stay motivated, and to simply be there for each other.” 

And being there, both for his coaches and student-athletes, as well as other members of the Wheaton community remains Viano’s main priority while assisting various members of his department with a slew of projects, including last week’s NCAA D-III Week coverage to generating new content for the Lyons’ website and social media channels. 


Wheaton College NCAA D-III Week Stories


We recently caught-up with Viano to learn more about how he and his staff are staying connected with the student-athletes and Wheaton community during this time to what he envisions sporting events looking like in the post-coronavirus world.


During such a confusing and uncertain time, how do you keep your staff and student-athletes engaged and still active within the campus, even if they cannot be physically present?

We meet more frequently (virtually) as a department than we did prior to COVID-19. We schedule individual meetings more frequently to compensate for the inability to pop-in and see each other on a daily basis. 

We’ve taken to social media as a place to not only interact as a community but to offer programming relative to health, strength and conditioning ideas. We have offered intramural video game tournaments, promoted virtual career services programming and even social media account takeovers. 

We have been highlighting alumni, staff, and students on our athletics’ homepage three days a week while our Wheaton Athletic Mentors (WAMs) have been producing “virtual coffee” meetings with our faculty and staff that we have shared to our fans and followers. 

Both our coaches and recreation staff are doing many things virtually with their teams and students while we are also trying to take advantage of the programming that is being offered by other departments on campus, including the Filene Center for Academic Advising and Career Services

A prevalent topic floating on social media these days has been the absence of sports. This scary time has shown us that sports aren’t just sports. They bring us together and offer a sense of joy and excitement. How do you feel the sports world will change in the post-pandemic world?

If I had to guess what will be different, I think smaller crowds at live events, especially at the professional level and the NCAA’s Power Five level will be the norm for a while. I would imagine that live sports will come back first as “made for TV” events – I am thinking no fans or maybe a handful from the get-go. Then we’ll see a gradual increase in attendance over the next two to three years. 

At the small college level, I think you’ll see fans a lot more spread out around the venue, than in the past. People will come together, but they won’t crowd together, at least not right away.

Will there be an even greater appreciation for sports than before?

I think there is going to be a greater appreciation for lots of things that we all took for granted. I think the experience of watching live sports will certainly be one of those things.

Finally, what advice or words of encouragement would you like to give those seniors who lost their winter and spring seasons? 

First, I would say that it is normal and necessary to take a few days or even a month or two, to go through the mental process of having a final season ended so abruptly. There will be moments of sadness, anger, confusion, and regret, along with other emotions, as well. Those emotions need to be acknowledged, because that loss of a season is real, and I empathize with these student-athletes.

My advice to anybody, including myself, at this unprecedented time, is to be thankful for what you do have and try not to focus on what you don’t have or what you can’t control. If you are healthy and if your loved ones are healthy, that’s a pretty good place to start each day.


‘Catching Up’ with Wheaton College Director of Athletics and Recreation Gavin Viano was produced by both Matt Noonan and Mia Len.

D3 Men’s Lacrosse Team of the Year

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By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeNation 

The New England D-III Lacrosse season concluded abruptly last week due to the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), but that won’t stop us from highlighting our region’s student-athletes, who have earned spots on our Zelos Athletics Team of the Year.


All-Noontime Men’s Lacrosse First Team

Jon Coffey Amherst College Summit, N.J. 
Colin Minicus  Amherst College Darien, Conn.
Cian Keohane Nichols College Yorktown Heights, N.Y.
Bryce Adam Tufts University Newton, Mass. 
Mac Bredahl  Tufts University Chatham, N.J.
Nick Shanks  Tufts University Laguna Beach, Calif.
Gavin Admirand UMass Boston Marshfield, Mass. 
Conor Lenfest UMass Boston Waltham, Mass.
Garett Bozek Univ. of New England Nashua, N.H. 
Troy Sliney  Wheaton College Bradford, Mass. 

All-Noontime Men’s Lacrosse Second Team 

Louis Piccolo Dean College Foxborough, Mass.
 Jack Farrell  Eastern Connecticut  Stratford, Conn.
Max Scheidl Hamilton College Mendham, N.J.
Connor Smith New England College Oakland, Maine
Hunter Ferreira Nichols College Mansfield, Mass. 
Pat Leary Salve Regina University Wakefield, Mass.
Jack Dobrzynski UMass Boston West Greenwich, R.I.
Darragh Fahey UMass Boston Walpole, Mass.
Tom Martello  Wesleyan University Rockville Centre, N.Y.
Harry Gahagan Williams College Glen Cove, N.Y. 

All-Noontime Men’s Lacrosse Third Team 

 Caleb Holdridge Coast Guard Academy Waterford, Conn. 
Will Iorio Coast Guard Academy Weaverville, N.C.
Jay Gallipo Gordon College Dover, N.H. 
Matt Gelb Johnson & Wales Univ. Huntington, N.Y.
Lukas Drexler-Bruce MIT Denver, Colo.
Connor Hillemeir Roger Williams Farmington, Conn.
Adam Race Univ. of New England Cazenovia, N.Y.
Alex York  Univ. of New England Gorham, Maine
Ben Coakley Wentworth Inst. of Tech. Flemington, N.J.
Ryan Reuling Western Connecticut Groton, Conn.

 

D3 Lacrosse: New England Women’s Lacrosse Top 10 Poll (Monday, March 16th, 2020)

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By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeNation

The 2020 New England D-III Women’s Lacrosse season concluded last week due to the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), but that won’t stop us from producing one final poll, which is powered by Zelos Athletics, which turns athletes into champions.

Middlebury College, which won the 2019 NCAA Championship last spring, concludes the 2020 season as our top team followed by Tufts University (second) and Wesleyan University (third). Both Tufts and Wesleyan advanced to last spring’s national semifinals.

Amherst College and Bowdoin College rounded out the top five, while Colby College and Trinity College secured the sixth and seventh positions, respectively, for the second-straight week.

Endicott College, which commenced its campaign with four-straight wins, including an impressive one-goal win over the Bantams, secured the eighth position while Springfield College and Babson College checked in ninth and tenth, respectively.


New England D-III Men’s Lax Top 10 Poll | Monday, March 16th, 2020 

1. Middlebury College 3-0, 2-0 NESCAC Last Week: No. 1
2. Tufts University 3-0, 2-0 NESCAC Last Week: No. 2
3. Wesleyan University 4-0, 1-0 NESCAC Last Week: No. 3
4. Amherst College 4-1, 1-1 NESCAC Last Week: No. 4
5. Bowdoin College 3-1, 1-1 NESCAC Last Week: No. 5
6. Colby College 4-2, 1-1 NESCAC Last Week: No. 6
7. Trinity College 2-1, 2-0 NESCAC Last Week: No. 7
8. Endicott College 4-0, 0-0 CCC Last Week: No. 8
9. Springfield College 2-3, 0-0 NEWMAC Last Week: No. 9
10. Babson College 2-3, 0-0 NEWMAC Last Week: No. 10

On The Rise: Coast Guard Academy, Framingham State, MIT, Roger Williams, and Wheaton College


Previous Polls: Week One Poll | Week Two Poll 

 

D3 Lacrosse: New England Women’s Lacrosse Top 10 Poll (Monday, March 2nd, 2020)

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By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeNation

A brand new D-III lacrosse season has officially arrived – it actually started for some New England teams last month, but as of this past weekend, most teams have now played at least once, twice or three times.

And with a brand new season comes a new Noontime Sports & Zelos Athletics New England D-III Lacrosse Men’s Poll, which finds Middlebury College in the top spot followed by Tufts University (second) and Amherst College (third).


New England D-III Women’s Lax Top 10 Poll | Monday, March 2nd, 2020 

1. Middlebury College

1-0, 1-0 NESCAC

2. Tufts University 

1-0, 1-0 NESCAC

3. Amherst College  1-0, 1-0 NESCAC
4. Wesleyan University 1-0, 1-0 NESCAC
5. Trinity College 1-0, 1-0 NESCAC
6. Bowdoin College 0-1, 0-1 NESCAC
7. Colby College 0-1, 0-1 NESCAC
8. Springfield College 2-1, 0-0 NEWMAC
9. Endicott College  1-0, 0-0 CCC
10. Babson College 2-1, 0-0 NEWMAC

On The Rise: Bridgewater State, Coast Guard Academy, Framingham State, Roger Williams, Wheaton College, and Williams College