UMass Athletics:

August 2014 Archives

UMass Vs. Boston College Game Day Headlines

Sunday's home opener for UMass women's soccer will mark the debut of retired jersey banners for alumnae April Kater '91 and Briana Scurry '95 at Rudd Field. The Minutewomen put together this special message for Kater, who attended the team's banquet last spring, to unveil her banner.

UMass Alum Kevin Leveille Announces Retirement From MLL

Longtime Major League Lacrosse attackman and former UMass men's lacrosse all-American Kevin Leveille (2000-03) announced his retirement from competition after 10 seasons playing in MLL.

Leveille has served as the team captain for the Rochester Rattlers over the previous couple seasons while he has accumulated 357 points over 114 regular season games played with Boston (2004-05), Chicago (2006-10) and Rochester (2012-14). He also had 14 postseason goals in only five games and captained Team USA during the 2014 FIL World Championship.

Captain Leveille calls it a career...Thank You #19 | Rochester Rattlers

Brampton Guardian: Tamara Tatham Leads Canada

UMass women's basketball alum Tamara Tatham is currently competing for the Canadian Women's National Team as the squad prepares for the upcoming world championship. Read about how Tatham has been performing via the Brampton Guardian below:

Tatham Leads Canada | Brampton Guardian

Boston Herald: Win over BC thrills '78 @UMassFootball Minutemen

Bob McGovern of the Boston Herald takes a look back at the last UMass team to beat Boston College on the gridiron - the 1978 squad that advanced to the NCAA I-AA National Championship game. McGovern spoke with several former players from that team including NFLer Bruce Kimball.

Boston Herald: Trey Dudley-Giles does it all for @UMassFootball

John Connolly of the Boston Herald has a story focusing on Trey Dudley-Giles and this weekend's season-opener against Boston College. Connolly highlights TDG's ability to return punts, but also recognizes him as one of the top defensive players for the Minutemen.
Michael Vega of the Boston Globe has a feature story on the relationship between Mark Whipple and Don Brown. The pair worked together previously at UMass before Whipple left for the NFL and Brown left for Maryland.

Boston Globe: Blake Frohnapfel feeling his way for @UMassFootball

Julian Benbow of the Boston Globe has an extensive profile of UMass quarterback Blake Frohnapfel who will start this Saturday's season-opener against Boston College. The piece also references his twin brother Eric who is currently at Marshall.

Howard Herman of the Berkshire Eagle has a profile piece on freshman Jordan Fiske who has moved from tight end to fullback since joining the Minutemen. Coach Whipple's offense is known for using fullbacks and tight ends throughout his schemes.

Mark Chiarelli of the Daily Collegian has a look at Jamal Wilson and the overall depth at the running back position. Wilson has been named the starter for Saturday's game and talks about how the run game hopes to have success against the Eagles' defense.

Mark Chiarelli of the Daily Collegian has a story on junior safety Joe Colton and how playing against Boston College on Saturday will be more than just a game for him. The native of Norwood grew up watching Boston College games and had hoped to one day play there. After being overlooked, Colton was able to earn a spot at UMass in 2012 and made an instant impact.

Mark Chiarelli of the Daily Collegian has a look at why Trey Dudley-Giles is such a prolific punt returner who can change the dynamic of a game in a single play. TDG was one of the top return men in the MAC last season and is expected to be one again this season.

Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has a preview of the UMass offense heading into Saturday's game against Boston College at Gillette Stadium.

Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has a story on Brandon Howard earning his first career start at tight end for the UMass football team heading into the season-opener against Boston College.

Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has a story on Jamal Wilson being named the starting running back earlier this week. Head coach Mark Whipple says that Wilson will start, however, several running backs including Lorenzo Woodley will be inserted into the run game this weekend.

Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has a story from earlier this week on how very few true freshmen are planned to be played early this year by Mark Whipple. On this weekend's two-deep, only freshman running back J.T. Blyden and linebacker Da'Sean Downey are listed.

Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a preview of the UMass offense heading into Saturday's season-opener against Boston College at Gillette Stadium. The story features quotes from Rodney Mills who will start at full back against the Eagles - he states that Whipple's offense is impressive and fits the strengths of the players.

Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a story on what the UMass defense, in particular the defensive line, will have to do on Saturday to keep the Boston College offense at bay.

Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a story focusing on the relationship between UMass head coach Mark Whipple and Boston College defensive coordinator Don Brown. The pair worked together at UMass before Brown later returned as head coach after Whipple left for the NFL.

Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has the improbably story of Brian McDonald's college football journey which has taken the Bay State native around the country until his return home this year as a graduate student for the Minutemen.
The Bud Light UMass Football Show kicked off 2014 Thursday night at The Hangar in Amherst. Head coach Mark Whipple and player guests Blake Frohnapfel and Randall Jette talked preseason camp and previewed the season opener against Boston College.

.@UMassHockey At New Hampshire To Air On NBCSN

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Hockey East and NBC Sports announced the 2014-15 telecast schedule this afternoon, which includes UMass' January 17 game at New Hampshire.

The contest, set for a 6:30 p.m. start, will be televised nationally on NBCSN.

View the full Hockey East release here.

NSCAA TV Previews UMass Men's Soccer Opener At Utah Valley

Robert Kehoe of has a preview of the story lines surrounding Saturday's men's soccer season opener between UMass and Utah Valley. UMass Athletics will have a video preview with interim head coach Devin O'Neill Thursday evening.

Season openers can be especially passionate occasions, but it will be hard to match the emotions in play when NSCAATV kicks off its College Soccer Special series when Utah Valley plays UMass on August 30. Whereas the Wolverines of UVU celebrate their inaugural season, becoming the first Division I men's soccer program in Utah, the Minutemen of Massachusetts take the field in their first official match since suffering the loss of head coach Sam Koch.

Read the entire story here... 083014: Utah Valley vs. UMass

Reaction To UMass Basketball Schedule Announcement

The Atlantic 10 and UMass announced the 2014-15 men's basketball schedule and league TV agreements on Wednesday. The schedule by the numbers includes:
* 31 games - 13 non-conference and 18 A-10 games
* 17 games against teams that participated in the postseason last year
* 17 games with teams that won at least 20 games a year ago
* 13 contests slated for national TV and web stream
* 6 games against New England schools
* 3 games against Boston-area schools

The first of nine episodes of the Bud Light UMass Football Show for 2014 airs tonight from 7-8 p.m. on the UMass Sports Network live from The Hangar Pub & Grill on University Drive in Amherst. Head coach Mark Whipple will be joined by transfer quarterback Blake Frohnapfel and redshirt junior defensive back Randall Jette for the hour-long program, which will preview Saturday's season opener against Boston College.

Fans can listen on WEEI 105.5 FM Springfield and 1440 AM in Worcester, online, or by downloading the TuneIn Radio app on their mobile devices. A podcast of the show will be available on Friday morning.

Submit a question for Coach Whipple by tweeting @UMassSportsNet or clicking here. Selected questions will be used during tonight's show.

Listen Live | TuneIn Radio App | Show Schedule and Information

Two members of the University of Massachusetts field hockey program in Sarah Hawkshaw and Cliodhna Loughlin received name recognition in a recent story by Hook Hockey covering Irish natives competing in NCAA Division I field hockey. Read about Hawkshaw & Loughlin along with their fellow Irish competitors:

Nineteen Irish players signed up for 2014 US college season | Hook Hockey

Collegian: Minutewomen kick off 2014 with modest start

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Arthur Hayden from the Daily Collegian recapped the opening weekend of the 2014 for UMass women's soccer. The Minutewomen went 0-1-1 at the JMU invitational down in Harrisonburg, Va., with a 1-1 tie against Towson and a 2-1 loss to the host Dukes.

Read: Minutewomen kick off 2014 with modest start

Rob Harms of the Boston Globe has a feature story on UMass football head coach Mark Whipple and his return to the Minutemen. The story looks at Whipple's past tenure with the Minutemen and how is experiences then and following his stint at UMass have prepared him to come back home.

John Connolly of the Boston Herald had a feature story on UMass football nose tackle Daniel Maynes on Sunday that discussed his battle against Crohn's disease. Maynes was forced to miss the 2011 season due to the condition, but has worked to keep the disease at bay while competing for the Minutemen.

Steve Buckley has a feature in Sunday's Boston Herald where he praises the return of head coach Mark Whipple and what it means to the program as it embarks on its third year at the Football Bowl Subdivision era.

Mark Chiarelli of the Daily Collegian has a story focusing on Tom Masella and his approach as the UMass football defensive coordinator. While Masella has several key veterans, he is also tasked with working in many new comers and first-year starters into the defensive schemes.

Matt Vautour had a special edition story in the Worcester Telegram on Saturday focusing on UMass football and the impact Coach Mark Whipple and his staff will have on the program. Vautour also breaks down the roster focusing on several key players from Central Massachusetts.

Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has a story on the UMass football running back position which features several players who can play prominent roles for the Minutemen this season. Running backs coach Marcel Shipp says he like the groups depth and overall make-up.
Howard Herman of the Berkshire Eagle has a feature story on the return of all-time greats Liam Coen and Marcel Shipp to the UMass football sidelines as assistant coaches under Mark Whipple.

"It's really amazing" to be back, UMass running backs coach Marcel Shipp told me. "This is where my career started. I have a lot of love for UMass. To have this opportunity to come back and be a part of it, it was all hands on deck."

Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican speaks with defensive end Peter Angeh as part of his "Five Questions With..." series. Angeh played in all 12 games as a freshman last year and is in the mix to be a starter in 2014.

University of Massachusetts women's basketball alum Tamara Tatham provided a scoring presence for the Canadian Senior Women's National Basketball Team throughout the three-game Zafer Cup, but Canada was unable to secure victories in either of its final two contests, falling to Turkey, 51-33 on Saturday ahead of a 65-56 loss to Brazil on Sunday.

Tatham notched 10 points and five rebounds against Turkey before she scored a dozen more points versus Brazil. Read recaps of both contests below:

Canada Falls To Host Turkey At Zafer Cup | Canada Basketball
SWNT Fall To Bazil In Zafer Cup | Canada Basketball

Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has an edition of his "Five Questions With..." series featuring freshman quarterback Ross Comis. The rookie signal caller is one the coaching staff was very excited about bringing into the program after he set nearly every West Virginia quarterback record during his prep career.

The Canadian Senior Women's National Basketball Team defeated Australia in the Zafer Cup exhibition tournament opener, 62-55 on Friday afternoon behind the strength of 14 points and seven rebounds from UMass women's basketball alumna Tamara Tatham.

The tournament is being hosted in Istanbul, Turkey, where Canada faces Turkey on Saturday before concluding tournament play on Sunday against Brazil.

Senior Women Best Australia 62-55 To Begin Zafer Cup | Canada Basketball

Mark Chiarelli of the Daily Collegian has a feature on the UMass defense and how Kassan Messiah and Trey Seals are looking to play major roles as pass rushers in the new 3-4 scheme.

Kyle Devitte (@TheKyleDevitte) previewed the upcoming Major League Lacrosse Championship Game for Inside Lacrosse on Wednesday, Aug. 20, and featured UMass alumnus Kevin Leveille (2000-03) in his post. Leveille is not the only former Minuteman vying for a title, as the Rattlers are coached by 2012 UMass Athletics Hall of Fame inductee Tim Soudan (1987-90). Read all of Devitte's thoughts on the game and Leveille below after you check out an excerpt from the story about the former Minuteman:

"...You don't need to get him to a spot and set up an offense around him; he IS the offense around him. It was he that led the Rattlers' amazing comeback in the semi-finals, scoring two of his game-leading six goals in the fourth quarter. It's not easy to finish the ball in MLL, in fact it's far easier to get your helmet knocked off (which incidentally Leveille has had happen to him multiple times in his career) and dirt in your teeth..."

MLL Championship Preview | Kyle Devitte, Major League Lacrosse

Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has a recap of yesterday's practice at Gillette Stadium for the UMass football team. Wide receiver Alex Kenney said it was a good feeling to be in the stadium, while quarterback Blake Frohnapfel stated that seeing the sightlines and where things were like the play clocks was advantageous.
Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has a new installment of his "Five Questions With..." series that features freshman running back J.T. Blyden.


Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has a story on offensive lineman Fabian Hoeller and Josh Bruns who are both expected to play prominent roles this year for the Minutemen. The two will be key contributors on an offensive line that is replacing three starters from the 2013 campaign.

Doug Smock of the Charleston Gazette in West Virginia has a story on the separation of the Frohnapfel twins, Blake and Eric, for the first time in their football playing careers. Eric is considered the starting tight end for Marshall and comments on what it will be like to cheer for his brother Blake who was recently named the starting quarterback after serving as a back-up for the last three seasons for the Herd.

Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican continues his countdown of the top 25 players to watch during the 2014 season with wide receiver Tajae Sharpe coming in at No. 2 on the list. Sharpe is the Minutemen's top returning wideout and considered one of the top players in the Mid-American Conference.

Daily Hampshire Gazette beat writer Matt Vautour has a story on the personal battle with ALS former basketball star Mike Babul has been facing for just over a year.

Tom Layman of the Boston Herald has a story on center Matt Sparks and quarterback Blake Frohnapfel focusing on the team's return to a pro style offense and what that means for the exchange between the two. Both have been in offenses which are primarily shotgun formations, so the return to having the quarterback under center is a new wrinkle for the duo who are roommates. Frohnapfel says the two have even practiced snapping while hanging out in the living room after moving the couches around to make way.

Boston Globe: Jamal Wilson looking to become @UMassFootball starter

Andrew MacDougall of the Boston Globe has a feature story on UMass running back Jamal Wilson who is in the mix to be the Minutemen's starter for next weekend's season-opener against Boston College at Gillette Stadium. Wilson earned his way as the starting tailback last year before suffering injuries down the stretch which limited his play. The Minutemen figure to have a deep and experienced backfield this year with four different players having started games during their careers.
Jack McCluskey of was on hand Wednesday morning as the UMass football team held a light practice at Gillette Stadium in preparation for the season-opener against Boston College next Saturday. Coach Mark Whipple said the trip was more about getting the players used to being in the environment again while giving the new players a chance to see the facility for the first time before game day.

Tri-Town Transcript & Wicked Local Boxford reporter Dom Nicastro talked to incoming freshman Charlotte Bleiler recently for a story on her decision to row for the University of Massachusetts Minutewomen. Bleiler won't be traveling far from home - she graduated Masconomet Regional High School - to compete at UMass.

Boxford's Bleiler excited to join UMass rowing for first collegiate season | Tri-Town Transcript

Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a story on UMass football's situation at tight end as several players have either suffered injuries or are still awaiting clearance to be eligible. Brandon Howard is one who has battled injury, but is expected to start the season. Junior college Jon Denton has had a strong preseason camp and is expected to excel as a blocking tight end. Both players express praise for Mark Whipple's offense which makes use of the tight end position in its scheme.

Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a story on newly named starting quarterback Blake Frohnapfel who transferred to UMass this summer from Marshall. Frohnapfel's former coach and teammates have all expressed support for him with his new team and say they will be cheering for him from afar.

UMass quarterback Blake Frohnapfel, left, passes during a scrimmage Monday at McGuirk Stadium.

.@UMassHockey's Hanley Signs With Portland For 2014-15

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Congratulations to former UMass hockey defenseman Joel Hanley, who has signed one year, a two-way AHL deal with the Portland Pirates, the AHL affiliate of the Arizona Coyotes. Upon completing his collegiate career with the Minutemen in 2013-14, Hanley made his professional debut with the Pirates while on an Amateur Tryout Contract and totaled five assists over 15 games with Portland.

Read the Portland Pirates' full release here.

.@UMassHockey Alum Marvin Degon To Play In Slovenia

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Former UMass defenseman Marvin Degon has signed with the Slovenian team HDD Olimpija Ljubljana of the Erste Bank Eishockey Liga.

Degon appeared in 146 games over his four seasons with the Minutemen, spanning 2002-06, and totaled 83 career points on 27 goals and 56 assists.In 2013-14, he spent time with both the Elmira Jackals and the Reading Royals in the ECHL.

UMass men's lacrosse alumnus Kevin Leveille (2000-03) provided six goals to spearhead the Rochester's 15-11 comeback victory over the Ohio Machine in the Major League Lacrosse Championship Semifinals to push the Rattlers into the league's finale. Leveille scored five of his tallies after halftime as Rochester erased Ohio's early four-goal lead to advance the squad along with Rattlers head coach and former Minuteman Tim Soudan (1987-90) to the championship contest. Below is coverage of the game:

RECAP: Rochester 15, Ohio 11 | Major League Lacrosse
Rochester-Ohio Box Score | Major League Lacrosse
Rochester Advances To MLL Title Game with 15-11 Win Over Ohio (with photos) | Inside Lacrosse
Rochester Uses a 5-0 Fourth Quarter to Defeat Ohio in MLL Semifinals | Lax Power
Rochester Rallies to Top Ohio, Advance to MLL Finals | Lacrosse Magazine

Gazette: Coach Mark Whipple has brought fun back for UMass football

Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a story focusing on Mark Whipple and the change in culture around the UMass football program with his return. Several players are quoted in the story saying they have a renewed love of the game and feel more confident going into the season because of Coach Whipple and his staff.

Kai Stevens of ABC40 in Springfield has a special Behind The Scenes tour of the New UMass Football Performance Center as given by linebacker Jovan Santos-Knox.

The UMass Sports Network has a short video highlights some of the work the outside linebackers have been doing in drills under new position coach and former UMass standout Charles Walker.
Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has a new edition of his Five Questions With... series - this time featuring freshman defensive lineman Jake Largay.

Daily Collegian: Catching up with @UMassFootball WR Marken Michel

Mark Chiarelli of the Daily Collegian has a story on UMass wide receiver Marken Michel and his return to the program after spending the 2013 season away from the team. Michel says the time away gave him a new love for the game and his teammates.

Michael Rothstein of has a feature story on UMass football alum James Ihedigbo and the Detroit Lions. Rothstein says early off-season workouts between Ihedigbo and fellow safety Glover Quin give the two new teammates a chemistry which will help the Lions defense this season.

Mike Camunas of the Tampa Tribune has a feature story on Trey Dudley-Giles who was a local player in the area for Pasco High School. Dudley-Giles talk about his development on and off the field and where he thinks the program is heading in 2014. Special teams coordinator Ted Daisher is also quoted about the example TDG sets for his teammates and his importance to the team.

Mark Chiarelli of the Daily Collegian has a story which focuses on the UMass football secondary including the move of Trey Dudley-Giles from cornerback to safety during the preseason. The move has opened up an opportunity for Jackson Porter to move back to his natural safety position as well.

Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has a story on quarterbacks A.J. Doyle and Blake Frohnapfel focusing on their ability to be mobile during plays. According to Malone, the UMass coaching staff has given both the green light to run the ball if a passing situation begins to break down during the season.


The Rochester Rattlers of Major League Lacrosse and former Minuteman Kevin Leveille (2000-03) begin their playoff hunt against Ohio with a 3 p.m. game at Wegman's Stadium in Rochester, New York, on Saturday, Aug. 16. Leveille and the Rattlers finished first in MLL with a 10-4 record to take the No. 1 playoff seed while Ohio earned the No. 4 spot with an 8-6 finish. Check out a preview of the game through Major League Lacrosse's website.

PREVIEW: Ohio at Rochester | Major League Lacrosse

Casey Vock of Inside Lacrosse took a closer look at UMass alumnus and current Rochester Rattler Kevin Leveille's custom gloves from Brine on Wednesday, Aug. 13. The mits, colored in the style of Rochester's uniforms, feature Leveille's last name scrawled across the wrist and are part of a recently released product line called the Brine King V. Here is one picture of the custom gloves - check out more through the link below.

Custom Rochester Rattlers Brine King V Gloves for Kevin Leveille | Inside Lacrosse

Hat tip to Vock and for frequently featuring UMass men's lacrosse kits and what our alumni wear in the professional ranks. More on the Minutemen is available through

.@UMassHockey Alum Mike Marcou Signs With Reading

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Congratulations to former UMass defenseman Mike Marcou who has signed with the Reading Royals of the ECHL, affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers.

The Royals made the announcement via a release this morning

Also, check out the team's video on Marcou's signing.

Today we have tons of coverage of UMass Football's annual Media Day which gave reporters from around the state an opportunity to spend time with Coach Whipple and the Minutemen. It was also a first look for many at the new UMass Football Performance Center which was officially opened this summer for the team to use.

Daniel Malone writes about the progression of UMass football training camp from generalized practice to specific position-related work with his latest post for the Springfield Republican.

After using the first week of practice to, in-part, assess the development of each individual student-athlete, the UMass staff is advancing its teaching to include repetitions specific to certain on-field situations, such as goal-line plays and the two-minute drill.

Minutemen moving towards more situational work as season nears | Springfield Republican

John Connolly put together a story for the Boston Herald covering UMass football redshirt-freshman Todd Stafford's switch from quarterback to tight end. Stafford took snaps under center while redshirting the 2013 season before the 6-foot-7, 250-pound native of Riverside, Connecticut, switched roles ahead of fall camp.

Read more below:

Todd Stafford trades QB role for TE | Boston Herald

The Daily Hampshire Gazette's Matt Vautour has coverage of UMass football junior cornerback Randall Jette, a veteran in the secondary, and his approach to serving as a teacher and student of the game. Here is one particularly telling quote from Jette contained in the story:

"I've learned something from every coaching staff," said Jette, who is on his way to becoming one of the best players ever from Martha's Vineyard. "I've gotten better, but I've got a long way to go. You're never good enough. I'm lucky. I had older guys teaching me like Darren Thellen. I'm trying to be a good leader and pass it on like it was passed to me. I try to my best play in play out to set an example."

Read the story in its entirety through the link below.

UMass junior cornerback Randall Jette is both the teacher and an eager student | Daily Hampshire Gazette

Collegian: Catching Up With Sha-Ki Holines

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Mark Chiarelli of the Daily Collegian staff took five minutes at the end of UMass football practice this week to catch up with redshirt-freshman defensive lineman Sha-Ki Holines (pronounced: SHAH-key holy-ness). Check out Holines' thoughts on camp, the new defensive scheme and working with a young group of lineman among other topics as fall practice rolls toward the season-opener against Boston College at Gillette Stadium on Aug. 30.

Catching up with Sha-Ki Holines | Daily Collegian

Sam Laskaris wrote a piece for Windspeaker on Oshweken resident, incoming UMass hockey freshman Brandon Montour and his junior hockey success, the 2014 NHL draft and his experience at Anaheim Ducks' Prospect Camp.

Read: Year in Waterloo was key to success in NHL draft

The UMass Sports Network has a feature spotlight on the UMass football wide receivers and position coach Mike Cassano. The USN mic'd up Cassano recently during practice to give fans insight into how the group works at practice. Returning wideout Marken Michel and Penn State transfer Alex Kenney talk about how training camp has been after the first week and what the strengths are of the group.

Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a story on returning veteran center Matt Sparks who is a key figure in the Minutemen's transition to Mark Whipple's pro-style offense.

Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has a story focusing on head coach Mark Whipple and his thoughts on the first team scrimmage which was last Saturday night.


Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has a story focusing on Blake Frohnapfel who says he is adjusting quickly to UMass and his new teammates after transferring from Marshall. Frohnapfel says working alongside Liam Coen has helped expedite the learning process.

Mark Chiarelli of the Daily Collegian has a brief spotlight of freshman Zeke Edmonds who has moved to playing safety after being recruited as a linebacker out of high school. Edmonds drew praise from defensive coordinator Tom Masella who likened him to a pair of UMass' best known defensive players - Anton McKenzie and James Ihedigbo.

Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican spoke with offensive lineman Tyrell Smith following a recent practice for a five-question Q&A series. Smith is one of UMass' top returning linemen who is projected to be capable of putting together an all-conference level performance this season.

Mark Chiarelli of the Daily Collegian has a story focused on all-time great Marcel Shipp who is now coaching the running backs which is a group that could potentially be one of the deepest in terms of talent this year. Shipp gives his thoughts on Coach Whipple's offense, while Jamal Wilson and Lorenzo Woodley speak to being coached by one of the greatest players in UMass history.

Dan Malone continues his Top 25 countdown of players to watch during the 2014 season with running back Drew Harris ranking No. 3 overall. Harris was a late addition to the squad, but with a pedigree as a top-rated recruit prior to joining the Minutemen, he could be an impact player this year and in year's to come.
Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has a story focusing on UMass quarterback legend turned coach Liam Coen. Coen gives insight into the depth at quarterback between A.J. Doyle and Blake Frohnapfel fighting for the starting spot during preseason camp.

The Frederick News-Post: Improbable pro Dennis Torres

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This morning Greg Swatek of the The Frederick News-Post out of Frederick, Maryland, has a fantastic profile of former UMass baseball right-hander Dennis Torres who is now pitching for the Frederick Keys, the Class A Advanced affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles. Torres is currently 2-0 with four saves and a 3.33 earned-run average over 12 appearances.

Read: Improbable pro

Scot Cooper, who writes for the Tri-Town Transcript and Wicked Local Middletown, spoke with James Fahey about his UMass men's lacrosse senior season in 2013, during which Fahey caused a team-best 20 turnovers and led the defense with 31 groundballs.

Read the story through the Wicked Local Middletown website here. More on the Minutemen can be found through

.@UMassWSoccer Takes The #ALSIceBucketChallenge

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With a little help from his team, UMass women's soccer head coach Ed Matz took the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge today. The Minutewomen took part in it too, while also making a donation to fight ALS, and nominated the the UMass hockey team. Check out the video: has a feature story on the path UMass football alum Michael Cox took in making it to the NFL as part of the New York Giants. Cox was originally a hockey player in his hometown of Dorchester before focusing on football where he played at Michigan before transferring to UMass in 2012.

Dave Bryan of has a story on how UMass football alum Rob Blanchflower is hoping to have bounced back enough from an early ankle injury to still see action on Saturday night in Pittsburgh's preseason game against New York.

The New York Giants website has a feature on UMass football alum Victor Cruz who has become a mentor to several undrafted players on the team.  

"Victor Cruz is like a big brother to me," Corey Washington said. "He said, 'This is your chance, you go out there and show these boys what you've got and give them a hard time making a decision once cut time comes.'"  

Marcus Harris is also grateful for the support he has received from Cruz.  

"It's a great thing to have a guy like that because he knows exactly where we're coming from because he was us before. It's just like a big ego boost because - he's a great friend, don't get me wrong - but he's also a great person to look up to. I respect him a lot for it."

The University of Vermont has announced the addition of former UMass women's lacrosse All-American as its newest assistant coach as released yesterday. Ferris finished her UMass career as the all-time leading point scorer, goal scorer and assist leader after guiding the Minutewomen to four straight A-10 Championship titles and four straight berths to the NCAA Tournament.

Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette spoke with UMass Director of Athletics late this week on the NCAA's ruling on Big 5 autonomy and what that will mean for UMass as part of the Atlantic 10/Mid-American Conference/Hockey East with a specific focus on full-cost of attendance scholarships.

"It's not an overwhelming addition to our overall scholarship budget. We feel we can deal with it if that situation may arise," said McCutcheon, who said there would be several options of how to pay for the increased costs, but said it was premature to discuss them.

Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a story on kicker Blake Lucas who is looking to bounce back this year after a tough 2013 season. Lucas and special teams coordinator say a few tweaks during the offseason have helped rebuild mechanics and confidence.

Courtesy Thom Kendall for UMass Athletics 
UMass junior kicker Blake Lucas is competing with freshmen Matthew Wylie for the starting job. Last season, Lucas missed seven of 10 attempts before being benched, but after a strong spring that has carried over to preseason, he is expected to handle extra points and field goals for the Minutemen.

Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire has a feature on the return of UMass wide receiver Marken Michel who is back with the team after spending the 2013 campaign away from the program.

"All slates are clean. I have to prove to them that I can play," Michel said. "But most importantly I want to prove to myself and the UMass nation that I can play. If I do that, everything else will take care of itself."  The year off gave him a new appreciation for playing football.  "I missed it," he said. "You're always going to miss something you love. Being back is amazing."

Mark Chiarelli of the Daily Collegian spoke with UMass quarterback A.J. Doyle on the change in culture surrounding the football program under head coach Mark Whipple.

"There is a lot more energy, it's a lot better energy too," Doyle said. "It's just a lot more fun to be right here. Obviously with the coaches, new systems, everyone is just excited to play football."

Maria Uminski/Daily Collegian

Mark Chiarelli of the Daily Collegian looks at how fifth-year senior linebacker Stanley Andre's leadership will be key in helping the Minutemen transition into new defensive coordinator Tom Masella's 3-4 scheme.

Photo by Robert Rigo/Daily Collegian

"He's great, he's been absolutely terrific," Masella said of his 6-foot-2, 240 pound linebacker. "He's a calming influence and a voice of reason with our kids on the team that puts them in a comfortable position. And at the same time, he's a very good football player, he's a smart football player who really works at it."

Mark Chiarelli of the Daily Collegian has a feature on transfer quarterback Blake Frohnapfel and his transition into Mark Whipple's offensive scheme.

"To have a chance to come here and have a chance to play under him and just listen to some of the things he says about certain plays and footwork and stuff like that is where you can really tell he knows a lot about the quarterback position," Frohnapfel said.

Mark Chiarelli of the Daily Collegian has a short Q&A with UMass cornerback and return man Trey Dudley-Giles from earlier this week as preseason camp officially began for the Minutemen.

Courtesy of Daniel Malone/Masslive

Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has an in-depth look at the UMass defense under new coordinator Tom Masella.

"I think at the end of day, my philosophy has been to give multiple looks and blitz from different angles with different people," said Masella, who previously coached the defense at UMass under Whipple from 2002-03. "We're not only playing 3-4. We'll play other things. For me, that allows us to be multiple.  "That's the biggest difference from a year ago."


Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has a story on running back Jordan Broadnax and his return to the field this week after missing the 2013 season with a knee injury suffered in last season's preseason camp.

 "It's a pleasure to be out here. I'm just happy to be playing again," Broadnax said after practice Thursday. "It's been a long, uphill climb and I'm still climbing today. Just to get back on the field, that's an enjoyment in itself."


Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican spoke with new wide receiver Alex Kenney this week after practice and has short five-question Q&A posted from his interview.


Zach Babo of Inside Lacrosse was on-site at Homewood Field in Baltimore for UMass men's lacrosse alumnus Will Manny's STX photo shoot. Manny recently signed with STX as a sponsor and will represent the brand with its "Surgeon" line of lacrosse gear.

Babo took a couple minutes to talk to Manny about a variety of things, including the Boston Cannon's playoff run, signing with STX and his continued presence in the New England lacrosse community.

Will Manny's STX Shoot | Zach Babo, Inside Lacrosse

University of Massachusetts women's basketball alumna Tamara Tatham returned to Edmonton, Ontario, to report to training camp for the Canadian Senior Women's Basketball National Team. Brian Swane of the Edmonton Sun reports on the start of practices ahead of the FIBA World Championship in Turkey beginning in September.

Canadian women's basketball team returns to Edmonton for training camp | Edmonton Sun

The women's soccer website All White Kit released its rankings of the top 100 recruiting classes in Division 1 women's soccer with UMass at No. 60 on the list. The Minutewomen trail just two Atlantic 10 teams in the rankings, La Salle (36) and VCU (51).

Click here to view the full Top 100 on

University of Massachusetts men's lacrosse alumnus Will Manny (2010-13) is among five current Major League Lacrosse competitors named to the MLL's 2014 Most Improved Player Watch List. Manny, in his second professional season, ranks among the most successful attackman in MLL this year. Read more on Manny's successes courtesy of Major League Lacrosse's release below:

The sophomore attackman is a powerhouse on offense and a consistent goal scorer for the Boston Cannons. He falls right behind teammate Paul Rabil in team points (51) and ranks among the top five in the MLL for points, goals and assists (51pts, 32g, 19a). During his rookie season with the Cannons, he proved his ability to be a threat on offense, scoring 18 goals and tallying 12 assists in just 10 games. With one season under his belt, he's built upon his rookie success and continues to exceed expectations. He will have to step up to the plate this weekend against the Rattlers to give Boston a chance to nail a spot in the playoffs.

A complete watch list and more on MLL is available through Keep up-to-date with the Minutemen through

Daniel Malone of the Springfield Republican caught up with UMass football head coach Mark Whipple and junior wide receiver Tajae Sharpe recently to discuss the potential for a successful downfield passing game in 2014, something Malone sees as an aspect of the game the offense missed in 2013. Malone believes a corp of speedy wide receivers, such as current Minutemen Marken Michel, Alex Kenney and Sharpe, could make the difference for UMass football in 2014.

Minutemen expecting more opportunities to throw deep |

Daniel Malone of the Springfield Republican spoke with UMass football head coach Mark Whipple following a Tuesday, Aug. 5 team practice and wrote that the Minutemen will not wear the black uniforms used during some games over the previous two seasons in 2014. Instead, according to Whipple, Massachusetts will mix and match its maroon and white gear each week.

UMass football training camp 2014: Back in black (uniforms)? Not this year, says coach Mark Whipple |

Daniel Malone of the Springfield Republican is nearing the completion of his UMass football top-25 players to watch in 2014 countdown. Junior cornerbacks Randall Jette and Trey Dudley-Giles hold down the No. 4 spot on the list. Malone sees the duo as the likely starting cornerbacks in 2014 and expects Jette and Dudley-Giles to cause havoc for opposing offenses in the secondary.

UMass football top 25 players to watch in 2014: Randall Jette & Trey Dudley-Giles |

Former University of Massachusetts men's lacrosse all-American Jack Reid (@GorillaMagilla) is nearing completion of an extended fundraising effort for the St. Baldrick's Foundation (@StBaldricks). The seven-week endeavor culminates in a St. Baldrick's signature head-shaving event follow the Boston Cannon's game against the Rochester Rattlers on Saturday, Aug. 9, when Reid and five additional members of the Cannons will get bald to stand in solidarity with kids with cancer.

As of Thursday, Aug. 7, Reid, along with teammates Matt Smalley, Jordan Burke, Brodie Merrill, Eric Hagarty and Boston head coach John Tucker, have combined to raise nearly $15,000 for St. Baldrick's and the battle against children's cancer.

Donations can be made online via the event's page available on the St. Baldrick's website.

Sarah Toland of Sports Illustrated has a feature on Detroit Lions safety and UMass alum James Ihedigbo as part of the Behind The Body series. Ihedigbo talks about what it takes to build a body which can withstand an NFL season while operating at peak performance. Along with his workout schedule, Ihedigbo also talks about the nutritional aspect of preparing for the season.

Tim Twentyman of has a story on defensive coordinator Teryl Austin and his praise of the Lions' starting safeties which includes UMass alum James Ihedigbo.

Austin pushed hard for the team to sign Ihedigbo as a free agent this year for that very reason and he's seeing the benefits early in camp.  

"I know what Dig (Ihedigbo) brings to the table," Austin said. "Not just because I know him, but I think it benefits us and that's why we brought him here."

The Brantford Expositor out of Brantford, Ontario, took a look at incoming UMass hockey freshman Brandon Montour's progression through his hockey career and what the future holds for the Anaheim Ducks' second round draft pick:

Read: Brandon Montour looks to next step post-NHL draft Hall of Fame Tip Off Classic Bracket Analysis

ESPN revealed it's analysis of the Hall of Fame Tip-Off Classic Wednesday. While it's not much of a bracket for the teams in the Naismith side of the event, since a number of the teams are scheduled to play other regular-season games against each other, it is always fun to see what the folks at ESPN think of the Minutemen and their chances against other marquee programs.

While the Noon tip off times were already announced earlier this summer, we have now learned that the Notre Dame game on Saturday, Nov. 22 will be on ESPN 3 and the Florida State game a day later will be on ESPN U.

TICKET UPDATE: Tickets for the neutral site rounds of the 2014 Hall of Fame Tip Off at Mohegan Sun will go on-sale this coming Friday (8/8) at 10:00 a.m. Visit for more info. 
Naismith Bracket games
Courtside - $125
Lower Level Sideline - $60
Lower Level Corner - $35
Upper Level Center - $35
Lower Level End Zone - $15
Upper Level Corner/End Zone - $15

So, here's a link to the Hall of Fame Tip-Off analysis from ESPN

The UMass Sports Network put together this recap of Monday's preseason camp opener for the UMass football team. Bernard Davis, Kassan Messiah and Coach Whipple each talk about how it felt to get back on the field to prep for the season.

Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette looks at the defensive line which is one of the youngest units on the defensive side of the ball. The group is anchored by senior nose tackle Daniel Maynes and received a boost when Sha-ki Holines transferred to UMass last fall after initially enrolling at UConn.

Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican ranks offensive tackle Tyrell Smith as his No. 5 player to watch for 2014. While Smith is still a young player as a redshirt sophomore, his move to tackle will be key for UMass' success this year after losing veterans Anthony Dima and David Osei.

Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican takes a look at the UMass football team wide receivers and the impact the addition of Jalen Williams and Alex Kenney will make to the group. Williams impressed during the spring, while Kenney adds raw speed and experience after playing four years at Penn State.


Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican continues his countdown of the top 25 UMass football players to watch for the 2014 season. At No. 6 on the list is inside linebacker Stanley Andre who is one of the key veteran leaders of the team. Malone says Andre must keep that consistency in 2014 while the defense will need to make more plays in general around the line of scrimmage.

Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a story on wide receiver Jalen Williams, who joined the program this spring after transferring from Dean College, is looking to continue his impressive play. Williams adds to a mix of what looks to be a highly talented receiving corps.

Collegian: Minutemen anxious to display aggressive defense

Mark Chiarelli of the Daily Collegian has a story focusing on UMass' change to a 3-4 defense under new defensive coordinator Tom Masella. Jovan Santos-Knox and Stanley Andre agree with Masella that this year's group will be aggressive and will utilize multiple formations within the 3-4.

A Look At The 2014-15 @UMassWBB A-10 Opponent Pairings

The Atlantic 10 announced its women's basketball opponent pairings for the 2014-15 conference season on Monday afternoon. Massachusetts will host eight contests in the Mullins Center during A-10 play while the league will feature a 16-game schedule for each institution. Take a look at who UMass hosts and to which Atlantic 10 schools the Minutewomen travel during 2014-15 below:

UMass Opponents (Home)
George Mason
George Washington
La Salle
Rhode Island
Saint Louis
St. Bonaventure

UMass Opponents (Away)
La Salle
Rhode Island
Saint Joseph's
St. Bonaventure

Check out the complete release, as well as the most up-to-date information on the Minutewomen, through More on the Atlantic 10 can be found on

Reaction To Tip Off Marathon Announcement

ESPN officially announced the schedule for the 2014 College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon on Monday. The Minutemen will be appearing in the event for the third-consecutive season and fourth overall. UMass and Manhattan will meet at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 18 at 11 a.m. in the Mullins Center. Here are some stories that spotlight various games in the event, which actually runs approximately 29 hours if you went from start to finish for all 19 men's and women's games on the schedule.

The Minutemen took to Gladchuck Field on Monday afternoon for a highly spirited 2 hour, 30 minute opening practice as preseason camp officially got underway. Check out the gallery below to see the sights of Mark Whipple's first official fall practice.

@UMassMLacrosse Alumni In @MLL_Lacrosse Update (8.4)

A duo of UMass men's lacrosse alumni provided impactful weekend performances for their respective teams as Kevin Leveille (2000-03) and Will Manny (2010-13) combined to total eight points through five goals and three assists.

Manny, who plays for Boston, secured five points as the Cannons narrowly defeated Florida, 16-15 on Saturday evening. Playing attack, Manny totaled both his assists during the first quarter as the Cannons raced out to a 7-2 lead. After the Launch fought back to close the gap, Manny spearheaded the Boston offense throughout the third quarter as he scored each of his goals during the frame.

With at least four points in each of the previous six contests, Manny has vaulted himself up the leaderboard for scoring in MLL during the 2014 season. He currently sits tied for third with 51 points on 32 goals and 19 assists.

Leveille notched three points through two goals and an assist during Rochester's 17-15 loss to Ohio on Saturday. Leveille's first goal of the evening tied the contest at 3-3 during the first quarter while his second brought the Rattlers within 10-8 of the Machine at the start of the third. His only assist closed the Rochester gap to 11-10 later in the third, however, a late four-goal run by Ohio sealed the outcome.

With 25 points on the season, Leveille current ranks in the top 25 for MLL attackman in the category. He has accumulated his 25 points on 17 goals and eight assists spread over 11 games played.

More on Major League Lacrosse is available on the organization's official website. Keep up-to-date with the Minutemen through

Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette looks at the start of this season's preseason football camp and how the change to NCAA rules has benefited returning head coach Mark Whipple and his staff. The change allowed coaches time to meet with players and to study film allowing both groups a chance to get to know each other along with preparing for the season.

Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican caught up with head coach Mark Whipple during the weekend to get his thoughts on starting his first preseason camp as a head coach since his last stint at UMass in 2003. Whipple says many of his experiences in the NFL and at Miami will craft his approach to the days leading up to the Boston College game.

Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican takes a look at UMass football's special teams units heading into the start of preseason training camp on Monday. The group will largely have new faces in most positions with the exception of All-MAC returner Trey Dudley-Giles and kicker Blake Lucas.

Bill Wagner of the Baltimore Sun has a feature on Jeromy Miles who will return to Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium on Monday for a training camp practice with the Baltimore Ravens. Miles started his collegiate career at Navy before transferring to UMass. He is the only active NFL player who attended the Naval Academy.

Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a look at some of the top story lines surrounding the UMass football team as preseason camp is set to start on Monday. A combination of new players, new schemes and new coaches will finally answer some of those questions in the upcoming weeks.

Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican breaks down the UMass offense prior to the start of preseason camp on Monday. The offense will see the most new faces in several key positions, but depth at wide receiver and running back should be key in 2014.

Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican takes a look at the UMass football team's defensive groups with his projected two deep heading into Monday's start of preseason camp. The linebackers and defensive backs feature the most veteran faces, while the defensive line will see a lot of new players trying to make an impact.

Martin Rickman of sat down with UMass football head coach Mark Whipple to discuss why he came back to coach the Minutemen, what he is bringing with him from the NFL, and who he thinks will be impact players for the upcoming season.

Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican ranks running back Lorenzo Woodley as the No. 7 player to watch this season as part of his Top 25 countdown during the offseason. Woodley fought injury for much of 2013, but showed a flash of his ability with a monster game against Northern Illinois where he ran for 163 yards and a touchdown. 

Zach Braziller of the New York Post speaks with Victor Cruz of the New York Giants about the G-Men's new offensive scheme which will be on display this Sunday against Buffalo in the Hall of Fame Game.

Dan Malone ranks junior outside linebacker Kassan Messiah as the No. 8 player to watch during his preseason countdown leading up to the UMass football season.

Messiah had a breakout campaign in 2012 as a freshman, but saw limited playing time in 2013. With a new coaching staff and new defensive scheme, Messiah is hoping to find his role as the year draws near.

UMass football alum James Ihedigbo is featured in an Associated Press story on how he and fellow Detroit Lion safety Glover Quin form one of the most experienced tandems in the NFL despite being first-year teammates.
Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has Blake Lucas as his No. 10 player to watch during the UMass football season. Lucas has struggled at times on field goal conversions despite showing tremendous accuracy and range in practice. The third-year kicker will enter 2014 with a clean slate, but increased competition as well.

Madison Hartman of the New York Daily News has a story on how David Wilson's injury will give UMass football alum Michael Cox the chance to make a name for himself during training camp. 

"Last year it was kind of just learning everything," Cox said. "Now I just feel like I have a lot more experience and just know what's expected and what I have to do."

Mark Cannizzaro of the New York Post has a story on Victor Cruz that focuses on the 27 year old being one of the top veteran players for the New York Giants this year and how his role is now as one of mentor to the young receiver corps. The story also looks at Cruz's interest in the fashion industry after his recent trip to Milan and Paris as a possible career after football.

Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has Shane Huber and Steve Casali as his No. 11 players to watch during the 2014 UMass football season. Last year, injuries cut short both their promising freshman seasons. Casali was hurt after just two games, while Huber played in eight with five starts at linebacker.