Nice feature in the Springfield Republican on new -- and old -- defensive lineman Brandon Flanagan, who has returned to the defense after playing on the O-Line at UMass.
Truth be told, Brandon Flanagan always preferred defense.
"I was a starter at noseguard my sophomore year at Wakefield High,'' the University of Massachusetts senior defensive lineman said. "As the year progressed, I played center, too. But I thoroughly enjoyed defense, having your name called (on the P.A. system) for making a tackle in the backfield.''
As football's line of scrimmage goes, Flanagan knows both sides of the story.
Join us at the Hangar Bar & Grille for the UMass Football Radio Show at 7 p.m., tonight as Voice of the Minutemen welcomes coach Kevin Morris and this week's guests senior tailback John Griffin and sophomore kicker/punter Caleb Violette.
The final game times for the 2010-11 UMass men's basketball schedule have been announced. The Boston Tip-Off Classic game between UMass and Boston College has been tentatively slated to start at 6:30 p.m.
Additionally, the Jan. 9 game vs. Dayton will start at 2 p.m.; the Jan. 12 tilt at Xavier is slated for 7 p.m., the Jan. 22 game vs. Richmond will be Noon tip-off at the Mullins Center; on Feb. 2 at Saint Louis, the game will start at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT; the Feb. 23 game vs. Saint Joseph's will start at 7 p.m. The full schedules are listed below.
Also participating in this weekend's races will be Amherst College and Mount Holyoke College. The Minutewomen will also host the Pumpkin Head Regatta, which is scheduled for October 16 during Homecoming Weekend.
The Daily Collegian has a piece on UMass' running back duo of John Griffin and Jonathan Hernandez.
If there was any doubt before the start of the 2010 season that the No. 8 Massachusetts football team would rely heavily on the run, there is none now.
The formula of being a run-first team with the ability to keep defenses honest with the play-action has fueled the Minutemen offense to an impressive start.
Through four games, UMass (3-1, 1-0 Colonial Athletic Association) has averaged 212.8 rushing yards per contest, ranking third in the CAA behind Delaware and Villanova. The duo of John Griffin and Jonathan Hernandez has bolstered the backfield, allowing the Minutemen to use fresh legs late in games.
The Daily Collegian has this preview of the UMass at Towson football game on Saturday night.
After beginning the season with a win against William & Mary, then playing three out-of-conference games against Holy Cross, Michigan and Stony Brook, UMass coach Kevin Morris is noticing not only a shift in the schedule, but in his team's focus as well.
"This is back into league play and every game is critical," Morris said. "Every game in the league is going to be extremely difficult, especially on the road."
Dick Baker was on-site yesterday at the Hockey East Media Day and has two new entries in his UMass Hockey Blog on MassLive.com. In his first post, he spoke with captain Paul Dainton and assistant captains Danny Hobbs, Michael Marcou, and T.J. Syner about the upcoming season. An interesting fact: they are all roommates and according to Baker live with a "gremlin" in the house. No further explanation was offered except that the Gremlin is the "Captain of the House".
UMass' very own color analyst Brock Hines was named the 2010-11 Hockey East Joe Concannon Media Award Winner yesterday at the Hockey East Media Day in Boston. Hines has been working the UMass hockey broadcasts since the team was brought back in 1993.
Despite some early fireworks with first half goals for each side, the UMass men's soccer team fought Dartmouth to a 1-1 double-overtime draw on Wednesday afternoon. It was the fifth double overtime match of the year for the Minutemen. Keeper Chris Piekos was the Man of the Match with a career-high 12 saves to keep the Big Green at bay as the ripped off 22 shots on the day.
Derek Kellogg will visit four local establishments in October, as the University of Massachusetts men's basketball coach pitches for new season ticket holders.
More meet-and-greet sessions may be scheduled for "MIssion 1,000,'' a drive to add 1,000 new fans to the season ticket rolls.
Kellogg said Tuesday the early response has been encouraging, especially from the corporate sector.
Kellogg will meet the fans at BridgeSide Grille in Sunderland on Tuesday, Oct. 12 from 6:30 - 8 p.m.
He will be at Arizona Pizza Company in Amherst on Wednesday, Oct. 13 from 6:30- 8.
He will be the Rumbleseat in Chicopee on Tuesday, Oct. 19 (6:30-8) and at Theodore's in Springfield on Saturday, Oct. 30 from 6 to 8 p.m.
he University of Massachusetts men's basketball team may get a second semester boost in its backcourt.
Jesse Morgan, who is sitting out for academic reasons, has a chance to become eligible by the second semester. Morgan is a combo guard from Philadelphia who will probably play shooting guard or small forward, though he could also give minutes at the point.
The 6-foot-5 Morgan initially signed with Seton Hall. The Big East does not accept non-qualifiers, so when it appeared Morgan might not make the academic cut, he switched plans and enrolled at UMass.
He's the underdog. The long shot in the eyes of many. Tony Gaffney has faced long odds throughout his journey to reach the NBA, and they are staring him in the face once again as he enters training camp today in Newport RI to battle one of the deepest collections of NBA talent ever assembled in Celtic Green for a spot on the roster.
Celtics Hub had a chance to speak with the 6'8" UMass product, one on one, to gain some perspective on Tony's mindset heading into camp and what he must do to make this team:
We are proud to announce a new feature here on UMassAthletics.com: The Scoreboard. It is composite calendar of all UMass events on one page with scoreboard links to all games on a given day. Visit it now to check out how you can follow all of the action.
The Daily Collegian has a recap of the tennis team's successful season-opening performance at the Eastern Collegiate Invitational at Army. Sophomore Julia Comas won the Flight B singles title and was named UMass Athlete of the Week, while freshman Jessica Podlofsky won the Flight D title.
The Minutewomen open their home season on Thursday against Holy Cross (1:30 p.m.) and then Friday they host Fordham (noon). Both matches are at the Mullins Courts.
Alex Berry is in training camp with the Norfolk Admirals and HockeysFuture.com hasa season preview of the club along with a few nice mentions of what Berry will add to the lineup. The Admirals are the AHL affiliate of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Berry and the Admirals will open the regular season against a few familiar faces as the Worcester Sharks will head down to Virginia. If Berry makes the club, he will likely play against Justin Braun, Matt Irwin, James Marcou and Cory Quirk of the Sharks.
Dick will be at Hockey East Media Day today along with several other members of the local media. Be sure to check back here for all the coverage from his Hockey Blog and all the other news that comes from the official start of the Hockey Season.
The men's soccer team will host Dartmouth this afternoon (3 PM) at Rudd Field in the second-to-last non-conference match of the season. Steve Levine of the Daily Collegian previews the match and the Big Green's top-two scoring threats.
Despite scoring some timely goals and having several multi-goal games, the Minutemen haven't finished a lot of prime scoring chances. Herb Scribner of the Daily Collegian looks at the UMass offensive production and what UMass can do to put a few more goals in the back of the net.
Be sure to support the Minutemen at Rudd Field this afternoon. Admission is free to all!
Adam Miller of the Daily Collegian writes on the UMass field hockey team, who despite being under .500 (4-6), has played one of the toughest schedules in the country and is primed to begin Atlantic 10 play.
As Miller points out, "during the 2007 season, the Minutewomen got off to a 5-6 start, then went 6-1 during the A-10 schedule, won the conference tournament, defeated Princeton during the play-in game and made the NCAA tournament."
Pete Vazquez of the Daily Collegian also takes a look at the field hockey team, analyzing the difficult schedule, the recent scoring woes, and the Minutewomen's second-half prowess.
The Boston Globe has an obituary on the passing of former UMass football player John Enos. A 40-year veteran reporter for the Gloucester Daily Times, Enos scared new reporters with his intensity in the Gloucester High School press box that is named in his honor.
Sports had always played a big role in Mr. Enos's life. Playing football as UMass, he held the record for the longest kickoff return for about 30 years, his son said. He also wrote two books on Gloucester High School football, "100 Years of Fishermen Football'' and "Nate,'' which was about Nate Ross, a longtime Gloucester football coach.
Today's installment of Dick Baker's MassLive.com Hockey Blog takes a look at Chase Langeraap and Rocco Carzo's summer activities as well as an update on Casey Wellman as NHL Preseason Camp continues. Over the summer break, Langeraap worked for the UMass Athletic Facilities & Operations crew. One of the projects he worked on was the rebuilding of the outfield wall at the softball complex. Carzo spent part of his off-season training with the Chicago Blackhawks at their Prospect Camp.
The Daily Hampshire Gazette's Matt Vautour has his weekly CAA Notebook with a look to how the league's altered schedule might benefit UMass. The Minutemen are the only team in the league not playing defending NCAA Champion Villanova.
The newest Sports Network Poll has been released and UMass is ranked No. 8. It is the highest ranking for UMass since Sept. 8, 2008, when the Minutemen were No. 3 heading into a road game at James Madison.
Also ranked from the CAA are No. 1 Villanova, No. 3 James Madison, No. 5 Delaware, No. 7 William & Mary, No. 11 Richmond and No. 14 New Hampshire.
After watching his football team squeeze out a hairy 26-21 victory at Stony Brook Saturday, University of Massachusetts coach Kevin Morris was asked about the luxury of using two top-shelf running backs in his offense.
"With us, it's not a luxury. It's a necessity,'' Morris said.
In a surprisingly difficult victory, No. 11-ranked UMass leaned heavily on Northeastern transfer John Griffin, who rushed 23 times for 132 yards and scored the deciding touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Here are the Daily Collegian's story on the football team's 26-21 win at Stony Brook.
The Massachusetts football team snapped a seven-game losing streak on the road dating back to 2008 with a win over Stony Brook. Tyler Holmes's game-winning interception with just over a minute left made the difference in the win.
There is a mention of UMass' football win at Stony Brook in the Boston Herald as part of a weekend notebook.
No. 11 UMass (3-1, 1-0 CAA) rallied to win at Stony Brook (1-3), 26-21.
John Griffin, a senior transfer from the defunct Northeastern football program, had 132 yards and a touchdown. Junior co-captain Tyler Holmes had an interception to ice matters.
Resiliency has become the UMass calling card.
"It was a battle, a real toe-to-toe fight throughout . . . the guys just stuck with it and made some plays," said coach Kevin Morris. "The kids aren't afraid to keep coming after it to get the win. Now, the negative was we got some penalties (seven for 60 yards) to put oursleves in trouble and Stony Brook is a really strong team and ran the ball well against us with play-action. It was a real physical game and we came out good on that end of it. But, at the end, the team came back to win."
"Melynda brings experience and knowledge of the UConn system, which will be instrumental in advancing the program," Woods said. "She has a passion for the sport that will translate to the players to make them better on and off the field."
Expect Quick to get 50 to 55 games. If all goes according to Lombardi and Murray's intended plan, Bernier will take the majority of the rest. If both goaltenders play to their potential, our Los Angeles Kings will have the best goalie tandem in the league. Tell me that doesn't give you goosebumps...
Dick Baker has several new entries in his UMass Hockey Blog on MassLive.com. One interesting thing to point out is that Justin Braun, James Marcou and Cory Quirk were all assigned to the Worcester Sharks over the weekend. The trio will join Matt Irwin with the AHL affiliate of the San Jose Sharks.
It was a tough loss on Saturday for the UMass men's soccer team as the Minutemen fell to New Hampshire 1-0 in double overtime at Rudd Field. Jon Harris scored the Golden Goal in the 109th minute of play. UMass continues its eight-game home stand this Wednesday against Dartmouth (3 PM) and on Saturday against Siena (1 PM). Both games will be televised live on CBS3 Now (Comcast Digital Channel 293).
The Baltimore Ravens host the Cleveland Browns at 1 p.m. Matt Lawrence continues to be on the PUP list for the Ravens. Alum and Sunday's feature item in the Springfield Republican Clarence Brooks coaches for Baltimore as well.
Clarence Brooks, an all-conference offensive lineman for UMass in the early 1970s, got his start as a coach for the Minutemen in 1976.
He worked on the offensive side of the ball for head coach Dick MacPherson, a native of Maine who was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 2009.
Brooks had not been on the UMass staff very long when a coaching spot opened up with the defensive line.
"Coach MacPherson put me where he needed me," said Brooks, an offensive guard from 1970-72 who graduated from New Bedford High. "He put me on the defensive line and I am still there."
More than 30 years later, Brooks, who graduated from UMass with a degree in sociology, is plying his trade at the highest level. He is in his sixth season as the defensive line coach for the Baltimore Ravens, a franchise known for its hard-knocking defense.
With backup offensive lineman Wayne Hunter out with a badly bruised right shin, New York Jets coach Rex Ryan said rookie Vladimir Ducasse of Stamford will be the team's backup offensive tackle and tight end against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.
Ducasse, the team's second-round pick out of UMass and former Stamford High standout, has not been active after losing the competition for the job at left guard to Matt Slauson.
The UMass women's soccer team suffered a tough loss on
Thursday at Brown in Providence, R.I., 3-2 . Despite
Therese Smith's two-goal performance, UMass was shutout in the second
half and a late goal sealed the deal for Brown. Read Michael Counos' recap from today's Daily Collegian.
David Martin also has this nice sidebar, profiling freshman defender, England native, Annie Ward.
Assuming the Celtics keep the maximum 15 players and depending on how other positions shake out, Gaffney could be in a battle with summer acquisition Von Wafer for one of the final roster spots. Despite that uncertain future, Gaffney has a good feeling about the Celtics this season.
"The environment in the locker room right now is something special," Gaffney said this morning before the C's charity golf tournament at the Granite Links Golf Club in Quincy. "There's obviously a lot of talk about the Miami Heat right now, but we're a team that's determined and looks ready to get this thing going."
Celtics Town has a snipet on Gaffney and his enthusiasm for the season.
Dick Baker of the Springfield Republican added three new entries into his UMass Hockey Blog as the Mass Attack inches closer to its exhibition game with New Brunswick on October 2. The first post discusses the Minutemen's pre-season scrimmage, which was held Thursday afternoon in anticipation of the conditioning sessions slated for early next week.
On ESPNBoston.com read about Tony Gaffney and his thoughts heading into preseason camp.
Gaffney knows he's going to have to fight just to earn a spot on the 15-man roster, but after being a part of Boston's run to the cusp of an NBA title last season, he's aware of what's brewing this season.
"The environment in the locker room right now, it's something special," said Gaffney. "I know there's a lot of talk about the Miami Heat right now, but we're a team that's determined and looks ready to get this thing going."
Gaffney raved about the shape that players are arriving in Boston in, stressing how excited everyone is to get this season started. Rivers said he wanted his players to take it easy this offseason given the extended 2009-10 campaign, but admitted that guys were arriving in better shape that he could have imagined.
Gaffney also noted he's excited about the potential for having fellow UMass product Lasme in camp.
"It's nice to see a familiar face, even if I know all the guys [on the Celtics roster] really well now," said Gaffney. "[Lasme] looks really good, really fit. He'll bring a lot to camp."
In the Abingdon Mariner, check out the story about UMass football alum Jim Kelliher, who is closing in on his 200th career win as a high school coach at Abingdon.
The Abington High School Green Wave football team will be hosting the Bishop Feehan Shamrocks on this Friday at Memorial Field. Although this is a non-league game, the result of this game could be of special significance to Abington head coach Kelliher.
Kelliher, who is now enjoying his 37th year as the Green Wave's head coach, currently has 199 career victories on the gridiron.
A victory on Friday night will elevate Coach Jim Kelliher to the heralded "200 Wins Club," a significant accomplishment which we invite fans and former players to celebrate with "Coach Kell."
After achieving his 200th win, a special presentation to Coach Kelliher will be made at a future home football game to be announced.
Kelliher was a standout football player for Abington High School and at UMass, and later served as an assistant coach for three years at Abington High before being appointed as Abington's head coach in 1974.
Join us at the Hangar Bar & Grille on University Drive for the Bud Light UMass Football Show at 7 p.m., tonight. Head coach Kevin Morris will be joined by senior offensive lineman Greg Niland and senior defensive lineman Bob McLaughlin.
UMass Hockey junior and 2010-11 assistant captain T.J. Syner was mentioned in Inside College Hockey's A-Z Series. The preview mentions how coach Don Cahoon "sees his dynamic forward as a tremendous weapon who can really provide a spark to his team's offensive attack."
Syner and the Mass Attack will kick off their season next Saturday, October 2, with a preseason matchup with New Brunswick at 3 PM at the Mullins Center Practice Rink.
Former UMass Hockey great Greg Mauldin is now with the Colorado Avalanche, who fell to Los Angeles last night in Denver, 4-2. Mauldin assisted on the first goal of the game, his first point of the preseason. Check out Mauldin's career professional stats by clicking here.
In his three years with the Minutemen, Mauldin netted 94 points, which is tied for 12th best in program history while his 48 goals is 6th best in UMass Hockey history.
The Daily Collegian, Dan Gigliotti has a great story on the importance of the UMass football performance at Michigan. He writes about how this game on the national stage.
"It's always good if you get on TV and it's national," Morris said. "The Big Ten Network is all across the country, apparently based on all the messages I got of people watching it. There is a reason why those Bowl games make millions of dollars because people watch TV and pay millions of dollars into advertising. I think TV is the recruiting tool and video now. Certainly us being on that stage and getting that kind of publicity nationwide, that's where it comes into play, absolutely."
UMass might not have the name recognition of other colleges, but it does produce some of the most competitive sports programs in the country at its level.
There are plenty of examples, however, of teams that are flourishing. The men's lacrosse team climbed its way into the national rankings last season and received national televised coverage on ESPN and ESPNU on multiple occasions.
Upset win or not, the No. 11 Massachusetts football team will need to quickly turn its attention to Stony Brook this Saturday as it plays under the lights on the road.
Coming off a near-monumental victory against heavily favored Michigan, the Minutemen (2-1, 1-0 Colonial Athletic Association) will play in front of a more familiar crowd this weekend after facing a packed Big House.
"We'll be pretty settled down now," UMass coach Kevin Morris said of his team's current state. "[Michigan] seems like a year ago already. That's what happens when you play from week-to-week. You play on Saturday, come back on Tuesday."
Playing at the Big House was special for UMass senior fullback Scott Duggan and he made the most of it by blocking a punt. The Hudson Sun has a mention of the native son.
If you happened to watch last Saturday afternoon's thriller between UMass and Michigan you probably saw a Minuteman block a Spartan punt. What you may not have noticed was the player blocking the punt was former Hudson tailback and fullback Scott Duggan.
The punt was the first one blocked by a Minuteman defender against a FBS team since it happened against Kansas State in 2009. Duggan, a UMass senior, not only plays on special teams, but also has earned a spot as the starting fullback when the Minutemen run from an I formation.
Duggan attended Worcester Academy and Southern Connecticut before transferring to UMass. He played in three games on special teams coverage as a redshirt sophomore in 2008 and made a tackle against Bryant in his debut. As a junior, he appeared in eight games and made eight tackles, four solo, on special teams and as a backup linebacker. This year, Duggan earned a spot as the I formation fullback and is starting on special teams. He also returned one kickoff for 5 yards and one punt for 12 yards against the Spartans.
The Bleacher Report mentions UMass Hall of Famer Marcus Camby as the No. 3 Defensive Specialist in the NBA.
Mr. Reliable Marcus Camby continues to hit the boards as well as he has throughout his career. The former Minuteman of UMass has played with the same vigor and energy throughout his 14 year career. The former Defensive Player of the Year (2006-2007), Camby brought his high level D to Portland from L.A. and picked up for a team lacking a center due to injuries.
Camby can use his lanky wingspan and wiry strength to block shots and redirect them. His jump shot isn't the prettiest in the world, but he makes up for it by keeping his body around the rim. As long as he's healthy, Camby can to be an underrated player this year for the value he brings to a squad at the defensive end.
On the day Minuteman Marching Band director George N. Parks was laid to rest, the University of Massachusetts announced a public memorial service has been scheduled in his honor Oct. 16. Details of the memorial, which will be held in the Mullins Center on campus, will be announced as they are known, UMass officials said.
The memorial gathering at the Mullins Center is scheduled during homecoming weekend and on the same day the football team will play Richmond. The band will perform at halftime and after the game.
Steve Levine of the Daily College has recap from yesterday's 2-2 draw against Vermont. While the Minutemen went up 2-1 midway through the first half, they could not hold on for the win after the Catamounts scored the equalizer early in the second half. From that point, neither team could score again.
Herb Scribner of the Daily Collegian wrote a sidebar today following the draw with Vermont about the offensive production the Minutemen have been able to accomplish after starting the season with that goal in mind.
Since day one of the 2010 campaign, Massachusetts soccer coach Sam Koch has stressed the importance of incorporating offense into the Minutemen's game plan. Thursday afternoon's match against Vermont saw the culmination of that idea. Despite drawing, 2-2 against the Catamounts, the Minutemen played aggressively on the offensive side of the pitch throughout the entire match, taking 17 shots, four of which were on target.
The University of Massachusetts men's basketball team has received word that freshman point guard Daryl Traynham has been academically cleared to play in the 2010-11 season.
The 5-foot-9 newcomer's eligibility could help solve a potential depth problem. The UMass roster carries only one other true point guard, senior Gary Correia.
UMass is still awaiting word on the eligibility of Maxie Esho, a 6-8 freshman forward. Traynham and Esho are both from Upper Marlboro, Md.
If Esho is not cleared to play in 2010-11, he might still be ruled a partial qualifier by the NCAA Clearinghouse.That would allow Esho to practice with the team, but not play in games.
He would retain his four years of eligibility, whether he is a partial qualifier or a 2010-11 non-qualifier.
The shoulder injury that Ihne suffered in the second half of Saturday's 42-37 loss to Michigan will keep the senior out of Saturday's 6 p.m. game at Stony Brook.
Ihne, a Wayne, N.J. native, has started all three games this season and has 12 career starts. He was replaced by sophomore Quinton Sales on Saturday.
"Quinton stepped in against Michigan. That's a tough place to start with all of that crowd noise. It wasn't like fourth-quarter mop-up. Those were real snaps," UMass coach Kevin Morris said. "Now he's gotten his feet wet. He's got to prove he can do it on a daily basis on the top of the CAA."
The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced today the complete field for the 2010 Hall of Fame Tip-Off, scheduled to take place Nov. 20-22 at the MassMutual Center. The announcement was paired with the official release of the UMass basketball program's 'Mission 1,000.'
UMass also unveiled its 'Mission 1,000' marketing initiative, aiming at selling 1,000 more season tickets to the many families, fans, business owners and corporations throughout Western Massachusetts and the state.
The excitement level for both announcements is expectedly high.
"Saying I'm excited is an understatement," said UMass head coach Derek Kellogg. "To make Springfield for a week of the year the mecca of college basketball is great. It's fitting for the national tournament to have a local flavor."
When he got on the bus after the University of Massachusetts football team's game at Michigan, Minuteman senior wide receiver Anthony Nelson had a text message waiting for him.
"Hey did you hear that Steve Probst and Rhode Island upset UNH?" read the text from a former teammate.
Last year Nelson was on the receiving end of passes from Probst. The two were teammates at Hofstra, before the Long Island school discontinued its program. The players with eligibility remaining scattered to other schools, including many in the Colonial Athletic Association. Nelson and freshman offensive linemen Anthony Dima transferred to UMass.
Nelson keeps track of how his former teammates are faring online.
Dick Baker has four nice posts in his hockey blog on MassLive.com as the Minutemen's preseason camp continues to progress. Hockey East will host Media Day next Wednesday at the TD Bank Garden to officially kick-off the season. A reminder that next Saturday at 3 PM fans can get a glimpse of the team as the Minutemen host New Brunswick at the practice rink in an exhibition game at 3 PM. Following the game will be the ever-popular Skate With The Minutemen where fans can get to know the team and the coaches.
Join us at this week's UMass Sports Luncheon Wednesday at 12:15 p.m., in the Campus Center Room 1009. Football coach Kevin Morris will be the featured speaker along with field hockey coach Justine Sowry. Athlete of the Week Jonathan Hernandez will be recognized for his big game at Michigan.
Coach Kevin Morris continues to garner media attention as he will be interviewed by Darryl Clark on WMUA 91.1 FM on Wednesday at 7:30 a.m. Be sure to catch Coach Morris talk about the Michigan game last week, the Stony Brook game this coming Saturday and the passing of the great George Parks.
Nationally prominent college band director George N. Parks, who grew up in Delaware and became a music professor, died suddenly late last week of a heart attack en route to a performance.
Parks, 57, died Thursday, according to the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he taught, directed the Minuteman Marching Band and was dubbed its "musical ambassador." The band finished performing at a high school in Ohio and was going to Michigan to play at a football game Saturday when he was stricken. In tribute, the band played on.
A service for family is Wednesday in Massachusetts, with a public memorial to be held later. Instead of flowers, the family suggests donations to the George N. Parks Memorial Fund, with information at www.umass.edu.
The University of Massachusetts football team couldn't quite finish off its upset bid at Michigan, but the Minutemen's performance in the 42-37 loss earned them respect from voters in both Championship Subdivision top 25s.
The Minutemen, who were unranked in both polls to open the season, jumped six spots to No. 9 in the FCS Coaches Poll and five spots to No. 11 in the Sports Network Media Poll.
"Week to week you're either getting better or you're getting worse. I think we're a better football team coming out of that football game than we were going in," UMass coach Kevin Morris said Monday.
On Monday, Michigan receiver Daryl Stonum had some high praise for UMass after the Wolverines escaped with a 42-37 win at Michigan Stadium.
In a Monday session with the media, Stonum said: "We watched film on UMASS and they were a great team. With all the upsets this year with division I teams against AA schools, we had to come out and play as hard as we could and they gave us a run for our money. Props to them, they did a great job. Their coaching staff was preparing for this game. They gave us a run for our money, so they did a great job."
After his team's close defeat at Michigan, University of Massachusetts linebacker Tyler Holmes said there was no such thing as a good loss.
Voters in The Sports Network's Football Championship Division poll think otherwise.
No longer unbeaten, but known and respected by a far larger segment of America's football following, UMass jumped five spots to No. 11 in the weekly FCS poll released Monday. The FCS coaches' poll put UMass at No. 9, a jump of six spots.
There was much to like about New England teams this weekend, including UMass' stalwart effort at Michigan, Harvard's unveiling of quarterback Andrew Hatch, and Rhode Island's 28-25 stunner over New Hampshire.
No coach likes to claim a moral victory after a tough loss, but there is little doubt that UMass coach Kevin Morris feels proud of his club after it proved it could play with the big boys, losing a heartbreaking 42-37 affair at Michigan, ranked No. 20 in the FBS entering the game.
It was a pair of 2-1 games for the UMass men's soccer team this past Friday and Sunday. The good was a 2-1 win for the Minutemen over UCF, while unfortunately Sunday was a 2-1 loss to No. 24 Indiana at Rudd Field. Three different newcomers (freshman Brett Canepa, freshman Tyler Cleverdon, and sophomore Hellah Sidibe) all scored goals.
In the Springfield Republican, Ron Chimelis has a Monday morning follow up on the UMass 42-37 loss at Michigan as he compares the Minutemen's result to that of UConn.
The University of Connecticut plays football at the NCAA's highest level, the Football Bowl Subdivision. Its counterpart at Massachusetts competes in its second tier, a sensitive topic and even a sore point among many Minutemen fans.
But UMass fans now have this rebuttal: their team played a better game at Michigan than UConn did.
They did it with 22 fewer scholarships, too.
In Saturday's 42-37 loss, UMass rang up 439 yards with a variety of weapons.
They took the Wolverines to the wire, unlike UConn, which lost 30-10 at Michigan Stadium - "The Big House'' - on Sept. 4.
Check out this comment from the Daily Progress which covered William & Mary's 21-17 win over Old Dominion on Saturday. In reference to the Tribe's season-opening loss to the Minutemen, David Teel wrote...
"perhaps UMass is New England's best football outfit not named the Patriots. The Minutemen lost at Michigan 42-37 Saturday -- Rich Rodriguez hasn't exhaled yet and continues to fold Denard Robinson's laundry -- gaining 439 yards and converting 8-of-14 third or fourth downs."
In the Chiefs' 16-14 win over the Browns, WR Jeremy Horne made hi on-field NFL debut in No. 11 and made a tackle on special teams in the fourth quarter.
DB James Ihedigbo played great on special teams in the New York Jets' 28-14 win over the Patriots. OL Vladimir Ducasse was inactive for the second week in a row.
LS Jeremy Cain snapped three times all on kicks in the Jaguars' 38-13 loss to the Chargers. Interestingly, the Jaguars never punted in the game as they scored, fumbled, were intercepted or failed on a fourth down conversion.
With the Giants, in their game against the Colts, WR Victor Cruz is active in place of WR Ramses Barden, who wasn't much of a factor in Week 1 and had a ball bounce off his hands for an interception.
In the CFL, the BC Lions beat the Hamilton Tiger-Cats 35-31 as a trio of UMass alums saw action. For BC, LB Anton McKenzie racked up five tackles and DE Keron Williams made three tackles. LB Shannon James didn't have a tackle for Hamilton.
In the UFL, the Sacramento Mountain Lions lost to the Hartford Colonials 27-10. TB Steve Baylark didn't have a carry for the Mountain Lions.
The Las Vegas Locos lost to the Florida Tuskers 27-20. RB Marcel Shipp had 13 carries for 48 yards for the Locos.
When all was said and done, Kyle Havens sat glumly at a podium, looking quite unlike a man who had just played one of the best games of his career.
"It's never good to lose. We worked hard, and you never work hard to lose,'' the University of Massachusetts quarterback said after one of the great "almosts'' in school history, a 42-37 loss to Michigan before 110,187 fans.
Havens' attitude is absolutely the correct one for a good team, and this game erased whatever doubts lingered that UMass is a good team.
Read the full story in the Springfield Republican
As he stood on the sidelines of Michigan Stadium Saturday, associate band director Thomas P. Hannum took a moment to absorb the sights and sounds of a memorable day.
"No doubt, George Parks would have wanted to be here," Hannum said of the University of Massachusetts band director who died Thursday.
Hannum then gazed at the huge crowd, the action and the vibrancy of the moment.
It was everything Parks represented in his 33 years as UMass band director.
When the UMass at Michigan football game is over, tune over to NESN to watch UFL Football action featuring former UMass star tailback Steve Baylark. Baylark plays with the Sacramento Mountain Lions, as they play at the Hartford Colonials. Kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m., at Rentschler Field in Hartford. Former UMass players Sean Smalls and Kyle Harrington did not make the Colonials roster after being in training camp with the team.
George N. Parks, who over 33 years transformed the University of Massachusetts Minuteman Marching Band into "The Power and Class of New England" and inspired generations of music students and "bandos," died suddenly while traveling with the band in Ohio on Thursday.
Those who knew him say the two things that mattered most to him recently were the band's new building on campus and the trip to Ann Arbor, Mich., today where the band is to play at halftime during the UMass-Michigan football game.
We have received word from the University of Michigan that a Moment of Silence will be held at the UMass-Michigan game on Saturday in honor of the late George Parks, who passed away in Ohio as the band was traveling to Ann Arbor. The Moment of Silence will be held prior to the UMass band's performance on the field during pregame before the game. Additionally, the Big Ten Network will mention his passing on national television.
The band will still be performing at Michigan Stadium.
Additionally, we have learned the UMass Band will continue with its performance tonight at Howell High School in Howell, Michigan.
During tomorrow's UMass-Michigan game, Josh Maurer will bring you special tribute messages in honor of Parks throughout the game on the UMass Sports Network (100.9 FM in W. Mass, 830 AM in C. Mass, 1510 AM in E. Mass and 95.9 FM on the South Shore).
Former UMass teammates will be reunited in Boston Celtics camp this fall. Tony Gaffney is pumped that Stephane Lasme has been invited to camp saying, "Steph worked out with today and was great. Gotta love him!"
Check out various stories on former UMass basketball All-American Stephane Lasme and his invitation to Boston Celtics preseason camp.
While Sunday's game against Indiana promises to be a great college soccer game for multiple reasons, for UMass senior midfielder Stuart Amick, the game against Indiana is a bit more personal. A native of West Lafayette, Indiana, Amick grew up just two hours north of Bloomington and played club soccer with several current Hoosiers. Herb Scribner of the Daily Collegian profiles Amick's connections with his home-state team.
After joining the Minnesota Wild last season, Casey Wellman has really started to come on strong as the club prepares for training camp. In last week's Traverse City Prospect Tournament, Wellman led the Wild prospects to an undefeated title. He earned praise from Assistant General Manager Brent Flaher: "We feel very positive about our young group of players," said Flahr. "From the net out, Matt Hackett performed very well... our back end appears to be in good shape going forward as well. Our forwards were led by Casey Wellman and Cody Almond and both players appear close to challenging for a spot on the big team."
No surprise, but Wellman earned Flaher's Best Offensive Player Award:
The center tallied five points (2-3=5) and a +4 rating in Traverse City, using his speed to generate a lot of offense. He was a dangerous player every game.
The Minnesota Wild have a 5-Questions To Focus On piece as the start of training camp looms. The No. 2 Question - Does the James Sheppard injury open the door for Casey Wellman? The answer: Prior to James Sheppard's knee injury, the chances of Casey Wellman cracking the Wild's roster seemed rather bleak, at least to start the year. Even with Sheppard out for an extended period, the Wild still has four centermen in Kyle Brodziak, Matt Cullen, Mikko Koivu and John Madden. Of course, Wellman could always move to the wing, and the Wild staff are likely anxious to see how that works. The speedy Wellman added significant muscle in the offseason, and Brent Flahr said he was the best player on the Wild's undefeated Traverse City team. It appears Wellman has a much better shot at making the team out of camp, but the Wild may be more inclined to start him in Houston where he can get top line minutes, as well as power play and penalty kill time.
While the main focus of this weekend has been the football game at Michigan, Gazette writer Matt Vautour highlights some of the other action going on for the Maroon & White. The women's soccer team will be playing at Michigan as well, while the men's soccer team hosts UCF today at 3:30 and #24 Indiana on Sunday (1 PM). The men's and women's cross country teams will host a home meet on Saturday (11:15 AM). The No. 20 field hockey team will head to American and No. 2 Maryland this weekend as well.
UMass alum Andy Merritt has an interesting read in the New England Hockey Journal on the dilemma of college hockey players to leave college early for the professional ranks. In his story, he mentions UMass' losses following last season of James Marcou, Casey Wellman and Matt Irwin. He has several quotes from UMass coach Don "Toot" Cahoon as well as quotes from Hockey East Commissioner Joe Bertagna.
Check out this preview from the Bleacher Report, which talk about how FCS teams have been giving FBS teams fits.
And we really shouldn't be surprised, FCS schools (such as UMass) are sending players to the NFL at quite a decent rate. The difference between FCS and FBS is that NFL talent in FBS is generally quite concentrated among around 20-30 teams, but spread through all of the FCS teams very nicely.
Only two sets of people don't like quarterbacks who run.
who think they can't take the
pounding in the pros.
College defenses that
can't stop them.
To the rest of us, a running
quarterback can be the most
exciting player in football.
And the University of Massachusetts has never seen any
one quite like Michigan sophomore and Heisman Trophy
front-runner Denard Robinson, who leads the nation in
rushing with 227.5 yards per game.
Check out Masslive.com which has a great feature on "3 Keys To UMass Upsetting College Football Power Michigan."
By now college football fans --- and UMass football fans, in particular --- have pondered the question: Can UMass make it two straight weeks for the CAA against a BCS power?
Just last week, Colonial Athletic Association rival James Madison took down ACC powerhouse Virginia Tech. On Saturday, the Minutemen have a shot to take down an even bigger college football powerhouse in No. 20 Michigan.
Even if expectations for the Minutemen --- ranked No. 15 in the FCS Coaches Poll and No. 16 in the Sports Network Poll --- were low going into the weekend, UMass fans should now be wondering if their team can pull off the next big upset.
Casey Wellman led the Minnesota Wild to the Traverse City Prospects Tournament and earned praise for his efforts over the last several days. General Manager Brett Flaher lauded Wellman who's put on a lot of muscle this offseason and will vie for a roster spot this training camp. "Wellman was a star throughout the tournament," Flahr said. "He was a little tired today, as we all were."
TopDrawerSoccer.com ran the first of its weekly list of the top 100 college soccer players in America. UMass' Ben Arikian was listed as the 50th-best player and the top player from the Atlantic 10 Conference. Arikian was named to the preseason Hermann Trophy Watch List and was named a preseason All-American for the second consecutive season entering 2010. Arikian and the Minutemen will host UCF on Friday and #24 Indiana on Sunday at Rudd Field.
As the seconds ticked down in his hometown of Blacksburg, Va., University of Massachusetts linebacker Tyler Holmes' phone began to blow up.
He and the rest of the Minutemen finished beating Holy Cross, 31-7, last Saturday afternoon when word arrived about a potential upset in Virginia.
James Madison, a Football Championship Subdivision school that, like UMass is a Colonial Athletic Association member, was closing in on becoming the second lower-division school to beat a ranked Football Bowl Subdivision opponent, then-No. 13 Virginia Tech.
Despite the recent success of FCS (formerly Division I-AA) teams against FBS (I-A) opponents -- the lower division had six wins over the upper division in the first two weeks of the season -- seeing the Hokies go down, 21-16, to JMU was stunning.
Notre Dame one week. The University of Massachusetts the next. In the world of college football, that sounds like a recipe for a letdown, but Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez said not to expect it from his team.
"Our guys were really focused at practice. They seem to be into it," said Rodriguez, whose Big Ten team welcomes UMass to Ann Arbor, Mich., on Saturday.
"I have said before, there is a difference between good (Football Championship Subdivision) programs and middle-of-the pack FCS teams. UMass is a really good team. They have our players' attention."
The RV parking lots at Michigan Stadium will open Friday night in advance of Saturday afternoon's game between the Wolverines and the UMass Minutemen. If you think that's too early, consider this: at Penn State's Beaver Stadium and most other Big Ten stadiums, the RV lots open - and fill up - on Thursday night before Saturday games.
And if you're wondering, "What do those camper-living fans do all day Friday?" then you've never really tailgated and you've never really been to a college football game.
See folks, the world of big-time college football is just not New England's world. I come as a Penn State graduate and as an emissary from that world.
For Massachusetts linebacker Tyler Holmes, preseason honors are all well and good, but leading the defense in his first year as team captain is a more exciting notion.
The Blacksburg, Va. native has been garnering a lot of attention in the offseason and for good reason. As a true sophomore last season, Holmes led the Minutemen in tackles with 11 per game, interceptions with four and passes defended with nine. His 110 tackles also ranked second in the Colonial Athletic Association and eighth in NCAA. For his efforts, he was named to the 2009 CAA All-Conference Second Team.
Coming to the University of Massachusetts as a freshman in 2008, Tyler Holmes was a recruited walk-on football player. That soon changed.
Holmes' hard-nosed play soon convinced the coaching staff to offer him a scholarship. As a junior, his role and his status is still growing.
"When you get to know him, Tyler is a very positive kid who works hard every day," UMass defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Keith Dudzinski said as Holmes and UMass prepared to hit the national stage Saturday at Michigan.
From his fun nickname to his amazing performance in the first two weeks of the season, Denard "Shoelace" Robinson has made Michigan a top 25 team and himself one of the most talked about players in college football. His ascent from relative unknown to early Heisman Trophy contention is a fun story this week for everyone outside the University of Massachusetts locker room. The Minutemen have the difficult task of trying to contain him.
The nickname "Shoelace" comes from the fact that he doesn't tie them. He has played with his shoes untied since playing youth football in Florida.
Whether Michigan's Denard "Shoelace" Robinson is someday bound for the NFL remains to be seen. He's just a sophomore, but a promising one. If he does make it, he'll join a host of players the University of Massachusetts football team has faced in its annual game against a Division I-A/Bowl Subdivision opponent who have gone on to NFL success.
He's the most electrifying player in college football, but most people know little about him -- well, besides the fact he doesn't tie his shoelaces.
Michigan sophomore Denard Robinson has set, broken and re-broken records in his first two career starts. He's averaged 227.5 rushing yards through two games, making him the Bowl Subdivision leader -- and yes, he's ahead of the nation's top running back, Oklahoma State's Kendall Hunter who averages 207.0. Since the NCAA began ranking rushing leaders by yards per game in 1970, no quarterback has led the nation in rushing at the end of the season.
The University of Massachusetts football players were following the game before the start of their game Saturday. UMass coach Kevin Morris was glad to see the Dukes deliver the upset, but didn't think it would affect his team's attempt to pull off a similar upset Saturday when the Minutemen travel to Michigan for a noon game at the Big House.
"It doesn't have any bearing on our game. We wish it did, but we have to go out and do our own work," he said. "We're going out and will have a great opportunity to play a fantastic team in Michigan."
Many UMass football alums will have their NFL teams in action tonight as part of Monday Night Football's doubleheader on ESPN.
The opener between the Jets and Ravens will have three players that wore the maroon and white along with several other alums in the front office and on the sidelines. With the Jets: No. 44 James Ihedigbo will play in the secondary and on special teams. No. 62 Vladimir Ducasse was the Jets second-round NFL Draft pick this past April. He will play as a back-up on the offensive line. Along with Ihedigbo and Ducasse, Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum and several members of the Jets front office graduated from UMass.
With the Ravens No. 32 Matt Lawrence will not play as he is sidelined with a knee injury. UMass alum and former Redman football player Clarence Brooks continues as an assistant coach with the Ravens.
Women's soccer picked up two wins over the weekend to move to 3-2-0 on the season with a 2-1 overtime thriller on Friday against New Hampshire and its second four-goal output of the year, shutting out Fairfield on Sunday. The Daily Collegian has a recap of both matches, while Michael Counos has a column on UMass' increased offensive production.
The field hockey team knocked off two previously unbeaten opponents this weekend in No. 4 UConn and Yale. The UConn win is the Minutewomen's first over the Huskies in 10 years. Sunday's win at Yale was a come-from-behind overtime thriller.
The University of Massachusetts is about to play a football game unlike any other in the history of the school. As big games go, they get no bigger than this one. Literally.
"Our players have to keep from getting under-impressed or over-impressed by 110,000 people dancing around,'' UMass coach Kevin Morris said of Saturday's game at Michigan, where the biggest stadium in America awaits.
When full, Michigan Stadium (a.k.a., The Big House) is more populous than all but 230 cities in the United States.
Tyler Holmes, UMass' leading tackler last year, has had a knack for big plays. With Holy Cross rarely running the ball Saturday, there were minimal opportunities for linebackers to rack up tackle numbers.
Will Michigan get caught looking ahead to playing Bowling Green on Sept. 25? Or will UMass be thinking of visiting Stony Brook the same week?
The No. 18 Minutemen (2-0) carry the FCS banner into The Big House in Ann Arbor this weekend (Saturday, noon) to face a potent Wolverines squad (2-0) riding high after victories over UConn and Notre Dame.
Looking to crack into the line-up with the Minnesota Wild as the NHL season is just around the corner, Casey Wellman has had an impressive preseason. Last night he turned in another great effort with a goal and assist against Columbus for a 5-1 win in the Traverse City Prospects Tournament. "With a goal and an assist he was simply the best player on the ice today. He was flying all over, using his speed to put tons of pressure on the Columbus defenseman and generate a lot of scoring chances."
Former UMass defensemen Justin Braun and Matt Irwin are each mentioned in this article from the Mercury News as the San Jose Sharks rookie camp has begun. Both played for the AHL affiliate Worcester Sharks at the conclusion of UMass' season last year.
The Daily Collegian and Springfield Republican each ran recaps of Saturday's draw at Fairfield. UMass is now 0-1-2 to start the season as UCF and No. 18 Indiana visit Rudd Field the Friday and Sunday, respectively.
The 2010 UMass Hall of Fame Class of Marcus Camby, Bill Gillin, Scott Hiller, Sarah Jones and the family of the late Bob Pickett will be on hand at the UMass-Holy Cross football game on Saturday at 6 p.m. The legends will take part in the game's opening coin toss, prior to kickoff.
Come out and show your support for the Hall of Famers.
The UMass tennis team will be taking part today in a community service project in conjunction with the Amherst Survival Center. The event, to be held on the Amherst town common from 9-1:30, is a furniture sale. So be sure to stop by and give your support to the ASC and UMass Tennis!
Since 1976, the Amherst Survival Center has promoted the health and well being of residents of Franklin and Hampshire counties with a wide variety of programs designed to help people meet their basic needs. The Center serves over three thousand people each year. Our services, all of which are free, include a Food Pantry, Soup Kitchen, Drop-In Health Clinic, Free Store, and a variety of other supports.
Among the encouraging things for the University of Massachusetts football team from last week's 27-23 upset of then No. 4 William & Mary, was how efficient the offense looked despite having so many new faces in the lineup.
Particularly sharp was the play of the Minutemen's no-huddle offense. UMass has used the hurry-up approach in other seasons, but not as regularly as it did Saturday. William & Mary seemed caught of guard by it.
The Minutemen will likely utilize it again in Saturday's 6 p.m. game against Holy Cross.
"I have great memories here, and entering the Hall of Fame is a great honor,'' he said. "Now I'm in the Hall of Fame with (former teammate) Lou Roe, John Calipari and my idol, Julius Erving. It's overwhelming.''
Holy Cross coach Tom Gilmore thought John Griffin was a good player last year when the Crusaders saw him at Northeastern. Griffin, the former Oakmont Regional High running back who is now at UMass, will present the Crusaders' defense with a whole new challenge tomorrow night at McGuirk Alumni Stadium in Amherst. Read the whole story in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
Marty Dobrow of the Boston Globe has a tremendous story on Marcus Camby and his induction to the UMass Hall of Fame on Friday night.
From ESPN's First Cup this morning, "Tonight, perhaps, the past will finally be reclaimed. John Calipari will be back in the house for a ceremony inducting Marcus DeWayne Camby into the UMass Athletic Hall of Fame. 'He deserves it,' said Calipari, now the coach at the University of Kentucky. 'We were a top 25 [team] before he got there. He took us to the next level. We became No. 1 in the country.' 'It's a great feeling,' said Camby, who is now playing for the Portland Trail Blazers, his fifth NBA team. 'I'm excited to be recognized for my contributions.'
University of Massachusetts football coach Kevin Morris was curious how his team would react this week preparing for Saturday's 6 p.m. game against Holy Cross at McGuirk Stadium.
Not only was it coming off of Saturday's upset of then No. 4 William & Mary, but the student body returned to campus and classes started. On top of that the much anticipated Michigan game looms on Sept. 18, presenting ample potential for loss of focus.
But the Minuteman coach was pleased with what he saw.
Tune in a 7 p.m. on Thursday night for the Bud Light UMass Radio Show with Kevin Morris. The show will air on WRNX 100.9 FM in Western Mass and 1510 AM in Eastern Mass and be available on UMassAthletics.com. Host Josh Maurer will talk football with the coach as well as stars from the UMass win over William & Mary: junior tailback Jonathan Hernandez and senior defensive lineman Brandon Flanagan. If you have a question or comment for the show, please send it via twitter @UMassAthletics or send it to Ask The Coach.
It was an interesting start to the day as Matt Houde and I took a helicopter ride (thanks to the Marines) around campus. We were able to shoot some photos and videos of our facilities and campus in general. The landscape has certainly changed in the 7 years I've been here! On a side note, if you've never taken advantage of the free helicopter rides that happen each semester, do so. You have a pilot who is a Marine and I always say you are never safer then when you have one of those guys around!
UMass alum Briana Scurry announced yesterday that she will retire from soccer. Longtime U.S. national team
goalkeeper Scurry, 39, spent this season on the roster of the Washington
Freedom of Women's Professional Soccer, but played in only one game
because of lingering effects from a concussion.
Great story by Matt Vautour in the Daily Hampshire Gazette on new UMass Hall of Fame inductee Marcus Camby and his Minuteman coach John Calipari. Among the quote from Camby in the story are:
"I've followed it every year. I wish we could get back to the level we were at when I was there. Playing on these different NBA teams and being around these different players from other schools, I haven't had much to talk about at tournament time," Camby said. "I'm happy that Derek (Kellogg) is the head coach and that we have one of our own there running the program. Him being involved makes me want to be part of the program even more now."
"I feel fortunate to have made the NBA and to have made the amount of money that I have, and have the opportunity to give back. I've always been about kids and giving back," said Camby, who still wants to put his education degree to use. "Hopefully I'll be able to fall back on my education and become an elementary school principal."
The parents of Minnesota Wild forward Casey Wellman happened upon a story about Amanda Nieman online. In it, Amanda named Casey as her favorite hockey player. After his parents told him about it, Wellman asked Wild staffers to arrange a meeting. KSTP-TV was there when he surprised Amanda, by showing up at what she thought was a simple interview at the Xcel Energy Center. (VIDEO EMBEDDED IN STORY)
In its first road game of the season, the Massachusetts women's soccer
team went scoreless as it suffered a 1-0 loss to Albany. UMass,
however, dominated all over the field with 17 shots compared to the
Great Danes' nine. The lack of a goal scorer was what ultimately hurt
the Minutewomen as goalkeeper Emily Cota and the defense played well.
After his surprising training camp while wearing No. 3, Paterson's Victor Cruz will change to No. 80 when the Giants' regular season opens Sunday against Carolina. "That's the way it went down, 80 is my number," he said after Monday's light practice. in the Bergen Record.
Here's a comparison that Cruz can be hopeful of duplicating. Wayne Chrebet was a New Jersey native that played in the Atlantic 10/CAA Football League (at Hofstra), went to training camp with a New York York football team (Jets) wearing No. 3 as a longshot and then switched to No. 80 and had a star-studded career. Can Cruz be like Chrebet? We shall see.
Liam Coen was the Gatorade Player of the Year in high school at La Salle Academy, and he followed that up by leading the UMass Minutemen to a national title game in college, but now Coen has traded his helmet for a headset. As they prepare for the Ivy League season, Brown University has welcomed Coen as their new quarterbacks coach.
"I think we have a special guy in Liam Coen," Brown head coach Phil Estes said. "He's one of the best quarterbacks to ever come out of Rhode Island."
Join us at 12:15 p.m. on Wednesday for the UMass Sports Luncheon at the Campus Center's Massachusetts Room 1009. The guest speakers today are Athletic Director John McCutcheon, football coach Kevin Morris and men's soccer coach Sam Koch.
Also, the Co-Athletes of the Week from the football team, Tyler Holmes and Jonathan Hernandez will be honored for their big games in the 27-23 win over William & Mary on Saturday.
In the NSCAA National Rankings, two of UMass' opponents moved up a few notches. Harvard, who was No. 10 when UMass played them on Monday, is all the way up to No. 6 after starting the season 2-0. Indiana, who UMass will play a week from this Sunday, is up from No. 20 to No. 18 after going 1-1 to start. The poll can be found Here.
Steve Levine has a nice feature in today's Daily Collegian on Bryant Craft and his strong start to the season. Craft has two goals in the first two games of the year after moving from the midfield up to forward for the Minutemen. According to Levine, "He credits his early success to the hard work he did over the summer when he played alongside teammate Ben Arikian and even some former Major League Soccer players on Long Island, N.Y."
The blog Frozen Royalty has an in-depth look at the L.A. Kings' defense and goaltending heading into training camp. The post features several quotes from Kings' Head Coach Terry Murray including his comment on the goalie situation: "Jonathan Quick is our number one goaltender," said Murray. "As a staff, as an organization, we have to decide who that number two goaltender is. We're not going to have three and we've got to make the decision and we're going to have to make the right decision."
Minnesota Wild center James Sheppard broke his kneecap on Saturday night in an ATV accident which could help solidify a roster spot for Casey Wellman. According to the AP story, "The timing couldn't be much worse for Sheppard, a former first-round draft pick who has been slow to develop. The Wild signed veterans Matt Cullen (FSY) and John Madden (FSY) this summer to bolster the center position, and prospects Cody Almond (FSY) and Casey Wellman (FSY) are expected to get a chance to challenge for roster spots in training camp." The story was covered in USA Today, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, and Yahoo Sports.
We have had tremendous feedback about the UMass vs. Holy Cross men's basketball game at the Curry Hicks Cage slated for Nov. 27. We want to hear from UMass fans with their favorite memories of The Cage. Send twitter messages @UMassAthletics or to Feedback at UMassAthletics.com. We will post the best responses on UMassAthletics.com in the coming days.
The UMass field hockey team went 1-1 over the weekend in a pair of road games in Boston. On Friday, the Minutewomen defeated Northeastern, 2-1, and on Sunday they fell to Boston University, 2-1. The Daily Collegian has a recap of the weekend and a preview of the Minutewomen's season. The Daily Hampshire Gazette also has wraps on Friday's win and Sunday's loss. UMass (1-3) returns home to host No. 5 UConn on Saturday at 1 p.m.
From the Albany Times-Union, check out a story on native son Jeremy Horne, the UMass product, who has made the Kansas City Chiefs.
The rookie wide receiver, who graduated from the University of Massachusetts in May, was not drafted, yet earned a spot on the Kansas City Chiefs' 53-man roster for the season opener at 8 p.m. Monday, Sept. 13, against the San Diego Chargers.
Horne, who will turn 24 on Oct. 25, had one catch during the just-concluded exhibition season, a 6-yard touchdown reception against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Aug. 21. He also had two tackles on special teams.
After graduating from Albany High, Horne played a season at Milford Academy in New Berlin, N.Y., then two seasons at Syracuse before transferring to UMass.
Former UMass All-American Stephane Lasme was released by St. Petersburg Spartak on Monday. Read about the move on The Hoop.
Stephane Lasme signed contract with Spartak SP this summer, but it seems he will not play any game for them. Lasme spent last season with the Israeli powerhouse Maccabi Electra Tel-Aviv. He appeared in 20 Euroleague games for them averaging 6.5 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.4 bpg. Maccabi reached the Quarterfinals. In Israeli league, Lasme had 8.8 ppg, 4.5 rpg and 1.7 bpg in 24 games. There, Maccabi failed to defend the title, so they just won the Israeli National Cup last season.
In the Springfield Republican, Ron Chimelis writes that UMass' men's basketball team is likely to play American International College is the Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament. UMass will be joined by Southern California, Bradley and Texas Christian, and will play two of those schools.
Sam The Minuteman and many members of the UMass football team took part in the building of the longest California sushi roll in the world. Read the story in the Springfield Republican.
Volunteers wearing T-shirts that read "UMass, Amherst home of the world's longest California roll" sealed 650 sheets of nori - seaweed - then "glued" it in place with about 200 pounds of sushi rice, then laid on avocado, cucumber and Alaskan crab ... and then rolled all of it into a 422-foot long sushi roll, eclipsing the current record of 340 feet set last November at the University of California, Berkeley.
UMass-Amherst Creates World Record California Roll
On NESN.com there is a story on two players trying to make the Celtics 2010-11 roster after a taste of the postseason last year.
On the evening of Wednesday, April 14, as the Celtics walked into the TD Garden to gear up for their 82nd and final game of the NBA's regular season, they entered the locker room to find two new faces staring back at them. The two new guys were Oliver Lafayette and Tony Gaffney, a pair of relatively unknown youngsters looking to get their big break in the NBA. Lafayette was a D-League castoff; Gaffney was a former UMass Minuteman returning from a brief stint in Israel. Neither had ever played a minute in the NBA.
Another story from New York, comes from the Daily News as Victor Cruz garners tons of attention. The story mentions how Cruz benefitted from his time at UMass and having Vladimir Ducasse getting lots of looks from scouts in 2009.
He grew up just 15 minutes from Giants Stadium in Paterson, N.J., and starred at Paterson Catholic HS, scoring 19 touchdowns in an undefeated senior season in 2003. But hardly anyone noticed, the first slight in a career full of them. Even after a year of prep school, the wideout had few college suitors, and wound up at Division I-AA UMass. He thrived, becoming the sixth receiver in school history to top 1,000 receiving yards (in his junior year), and teaming with offensive lineman Vladimir Ducasse to fuel an offense that averaged 26.8 points per game last year.
Cruz figured that would draw NFL eyes, especially since scouts were flooding UMass games to evaluate Ducasse, who was picked by the Jets in the second round this April. Cruz thought he'd get a few workouts, eventually hear his name called in the draft.
The New York Post has a great story on UMass alum and New York Giants receiver Victor Cruz.
"It's definitely a surreal feeling to come from where I came from and to go through the ups and downs and to come out the other end and have this brilliant opportunity to succeed," Cruz said, "and be on the team, close to home, that has a winning tradition is truly a blessing and I'm just thankful for everyone in the Giants organization who gave me a chance and believed in me."
The Boston Herald has a follow-up story on UMass' win over William & Mary. John Connolly points out how UMass continued to bounce back despite mistakes and errors in the game.
A telltale sign of that grit came during a fourth-and-2 play from the Tribe 7-yard line late in the third quarter of the season opener at McGuirk Stadium. UMass elected to go for it instead of kicking a field goal while trailing 16-14. The Minutemen botched the play on an illegal forward pass. The Tribe responded by driving for a score to go up 23-14 and position UMass coach Kevin Morris for some second-guessing.
The University of Massachusetts football players said they had a good team. They declared they were better than the preseason prognosticators predicted and promised to shock William & Mary.
Of course they said that. What else were they going to say? Every team that's ever been expected to be lousy or mediocre has made similar assertions in the preseason, but not many of them truly do confound expectations.
In the Springfield Republican, there is a follow-up story on UMass football and the second-half adjustments the Minutemen made to pull off the big win over #4 William & Mary.
"We kind of regrouped in the second half," preseason All-American linebacker Tyler Holmes said. "We knew in the first half it was just poor tackling. We just needed to settle down a little bit and not let him get out of the pocket. (UMass coach Kevin) Morris came in and told us, 'settle down, it's still our game to win.'"
A day after being released by the Cincinnati Bengals, Jeromy Miles was re-signed to the team's practice squad. He will have a chance to join UMass' six other players on NFL rosters to start the 2010 season.
Great story from New Jersey's Bergen Record as writer Keith Idec looks at a pair of UMass alums who made the NFL as undrafted free agents: Marcel Shipp and Victor Cruz.
"I take my hat off to him, because when you go in as a free agent, as an underdog, you're really not supposed to make the team," said Shipp, who's finishing up his second training camp with the UFL's Las Vegas Locomotives, led by former Giants coach Jim Fassel. "He had to put the hard work in and I saw that first game where he blew up, and he made them into believers."
"They're not a couple of your average Joes. They're a couple of high-level Johns,'' coach Kevin Morris said after Saturday's 27-23 victory over William & Mary. Or Jons. He was talking about John Griffin and Jonathan Hernandez, who combined for 46 carries, 212 yards and three touchdowns.
Victor Cruz said he would probably cry if he made the Giants' active roster. Like the preseason opener against the Jets, he delivered.
"Yeah, I cried. I definitely cried," the Paterson native and undrafted free agent from UMass said by phone Saturday after learning he was one of the 53 players who made the Giants' final cuts. "I tried to fight it back, but it didn't work."
A youthful UMass team will have to mature in a hurry as it opens its 128th season today at McGuirk Stadium against a William & Mary team ranked fourth nationally. William & Mary is one of six ranked opponents on the UMass schedule, the others being No. 25 Holy Cross, No. 6 Richmond, No. 10 New Hampshire, No. 15 James Madison and No. 16 Delaware.
As he walked toward the practice field Wednesday on another 90 degree day in a preseason that's been filled with hot ones, everything about playing a game, even getting hit, sounded good to University of Massachusetts quarterback Kyle Havens.
"I'm tired of practicing. I'm ready to play a game," said the senior, who was wearing a red practice jersey that reminds defenders not to tackle quarterbacks. "I haven't been hit in a long time. I'm excited to get hit and hit somebody."">
The Springfield Republican has a preview of UMass football and the Minutemen's big game with William & Mary on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. See what coach Kevin Morris had to say heading into the conference opener with the Tribe.
In the CAA, Maine hosts Albany at 7 p.m.; Delaware hosts West Chester at 7 p.m.; Rhode Island plays at Buffalo at 7:30 p.m. and Towson plays at Indiana at 7:30 p.m.
We will have updates here on JTAM throughout the night.
In the Daily Hampshire Gazette, Matt Vautour has Part 2 of his preview of the 2010 Minutemen. On Thursday he focuses on the defense and all of the new players who will need to be playmakers.
The UMass coaches are excited about the young players who'll be asked to shoulder considerable responsibility this season, but those players will need to develop fast if the Minutemen are going to find success in the Colonial Athletic Association.
According to U.S. Presswire, UMass alum and New York Giants receiver Victor Cruz tops the list of Rising Sports Stars to watch in the month of September. The list ranks the top ten U.S. sports professionals from all major sports who experienced the greatest relative growth in popularity during the prior 30 days. Cruz has had a breakout pre-season and currently leads the league with 251 receiving yards and four touchdowns. As an undrafted free-agent wide receiver from UMass, Cruz is competing for a spot on the Giants' roster and has quickly emerged as an athlete-to-watch, with 12 catches in just three exhibition games to date.
"Sports fans love a Cinderella story and found one in Victor Cruz after his amazing one-handed scoring catch against the Jets," said Ryan Steelberg, President & CEO of BAT. "Cruz may be the next Miles Austin - an undrafted, young wide receiver who proves himself invaluable on the field."
How about living in 13 places in 21 years? Meet tailback John Griffin. Check out this great profile feature on Griffin in the Boston Globe. Here's a partial list... Germany. St. Louis. Nevada. New Mexico. Northern and Southern California. Texas. Maryland. Massachusetts.
According to www.HockeysFuture.com, Casey Wellman is the 8th-best prospect for the NHL's Minnesota Wild. Author Peter Prohaska writes "A decent late season tryout with the Wild went about as well as could be expected, seeing Wellman pot one goal and three assists in 12 games. This has produced some understandable excitement among the Wild faithful, but Wellman is unlikely to be the answer for a still unremarkable offensive team. At around 170 pounds, he is undersized and his skating leaves much to be desired. He does however possess a quick, accurate shot. It will be interesting to see how much time he and fellow newly acquired sniper Joel Broda get to spend in St. Paul this season."
The men's soccer team will kick-off the 2010 season tonight at Boston University. The match is slated for a 7 PM start at Nickerson Field. Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a season preview out today. Vautour writes "The University of Massachusetts men's soccer team features an experienced defense, two battle-tested goalies and one of the best players in the country in Ben Arikian. If the Minutemen can find a way to score some goals here and there, they might be pretty good." BU head coach Neil Roberts gives his thoughts of the Terriers and the Minutemen in this video interview.