Just Take A Minute - Week of June 29-July 3
Just Take A Minute - Week of June 29-July 3

July 6, 2009

AMHERST, Mass. - &listingTy & &sport Just Take A Minute - Week of June 29-July 3 - University of Massachusetts Official Athletic Site

Just Take A Minute - Week of June 29-July 3

Boomer bytes

   Friday, July 3

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    Happy Fourth of July weekend everybody! While you are all preparing for parties and barbeques, check out this Friday edition of JTAM. Today we have coverage of former men's basketball players Gary Forbes and Tony Gaffney as they prepare for the NBA Summer League. Pitcher Mitchell Clegg continues to impress in the early stages of his professional career and some UMass softball players will be in action with the Stratford Brakettes this weekend. Don't forget to head down to McGuirk Stadium on Saturday night for the fireworks display that will beginn shortly after dusk.

  • Andy Katz' blog on ESPN.com talks about all the preseason men's basketball tournaments this upcoming season. He mentions that UMass, Michigan State, Florida, and Rutgers are all Legends Classic "hosts that are slated to go to New Jersey on Thanksgiving weekend."

  • Mitchell Clegg turned in another great pitching performance in the NY-Penn League. The Burlington Press recounts his four shutout inning performance for the Vermont Lake Monsters against Hudson Valley.

  • Rising senior shortstop Whitney Williams on the softball team is mentioned in a story about a high school shortstop in the Oneonta (NY) Daily Star.

  • The Fall River Herald News has a story on former UMass hoopster Tony Gaffney going back to his high school alma mater to work out before joining the Los Angeles Lakers summer league team.

  • Basketball blogRidiculousUpside.com has a NBA Summer League breakdown of the Philadelphia 76ers. Former UMass player Gary Forbes is included, stating that he "does several things fairly well, but more than anything else he's a really efficient scorer." Former Temple rival Dionte Christmas, who will be Forbes' summer league teammate, is also talked about in the story.

  • OurSportsCentral.com has a softball story about the Philadelphia Force's 2-0 victory over the Stratford Brakettes. Current Minutewomen Bailey Sanders (4 IP) and Jessica Serio (RBI), as well as alum Denise Denis (RBI) are all mentioned. Sanders, Serio, Carly Normandin and the Brakettes take on the Force again on Friday and go to the Topton 4th of July Tournament on Saturday and Sunday. You can follow them at The Brakettes website.

  • UMassAthletics.com Feature To Check Out: The Hockey Team's Schedule has been released for the 2009-10 season. Check out who the Mass Attack will be taking on this season.

  • Don't miss this: There will be fireworks on Saturday, July 4, behind McGuirk Stadium as Hadley and Amherst host their 41st annual Independance Day Festivities. Events begin at 5 PM after a downtown parade at 3 PM. Amherst is celebrating its 250th Anniversary, while Hadley is celebrating No. 350.

       Thursday, July 2

    Things are definitely starting to pick up around the UMass Athletic Department as July gets underway. Things are ramping up as coaches and administrators gear up for the start of a new year. If you stop by Boyden Gym, make sure to roam the second floor hall ways where nearly 5-foot wide and 4-foot tall photos of all eight of this past year's conference champion teams have been installed. In JTAM today, we have updates on hockey, basketball, field hockey, track, softball, and football.

  • ESPN.com's Scott Burnside wrote a feature on the 2010 U.S. Olympic Hockey Training Camp which announced its 34-man roster yesterday including former UMass All-American Jon Quick. Burnside speaks of the youth of the team and that he thinks fans will love the make up and character of the squad. "Gritty, young, talented -- these are the qualities the Americans will wear on their sleeves in 2010 and beyond. As the car ad says, this will not be your father's U.S. hockey team."

  • Joining Tony Gaffney on the L.A. Lakers Summer League Team will be Gonzaga's Adam Morrison. Morrison was with the Lakers last season, but did not play during the postseason.

  • The Ithaca Journal has a nice piece about field hockey's Alesha Widdall being named to the U.S. Women's National Development Team.

  • The Salem News has a feature on former softball pitcher Sheri Russell who is now the manager of the Beverly Panthers Fastpitch Softball Travelling Team. Russell says she became involved because she wanted to be a role model for young girls. ""There aren't many women involved in coaching. We went to a tournament last weekend, and of the 24 teams only three had women coaches," she said. "There are a lot of dads involved, but not a lot of female role models -- who I think are very important, especially since I didn't have a lot of them growing up."

  • Track & Cross Country brothers Dave and Kevin Johnson won the Summerfest 3.5 Mile Cross Country Race. The race drew over 225 runners and the Johnson's crossed the finish line in 18 minutes, 4 seconds.

  • Football season is not just around the corner; it's here already. At least in Canada! Wednesday night was not only a rematch of the Grey Cup (Canadian Football's Super Bowl), but it was a reunion of Minutemen as Shannon James of the Calgary Stampeders hosted Keron Williams' Montreal Alouettes.

  • In other football-related news, if you missed last night's episode of Real World: Cancun, you can watch it online to see former UMass All-American punter C.J. Koegel. Apparently those two-a-day practices and off-season workouts paid off as he won a hot body contest in the episode. According to the MTV web site, "...Naturally he wins."

  • UMassAthletics.com Feature To Check Out: The Super Scoreboard. The name just says it all. This feature will show every sport that is in season with the latest news, scores, upcoming games and other vital information for every UMass fan.

  • Don't miss this: There will be fireworks on Saturday, July 4, behind McGuirk Stadium as Hadley and Amherst host their 41st annual Independance Day Festivities. Events begin at 5 PM after a downtown parade at 3 PM. Amherst is celebrating its 250th Anniversary, while Hadley is celebrating No. 350.

       Wednesday, July 1

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    The last day of June brought big news in the world of UMass Hockey as it was announced that former All-American goalie Jon Quick has been named to the 34-man U.S. Olympic Men's Hockey Orientation Camp. Quick is one of three goalies brought into the camp which is designed to prepare the 2010 U.S. Hockey Team for the XXI Winter Games in Vancouver. In other news to start off July, UMass fans can vote for all-time football great Greg Landry and coach Mark Whipple in ESPN's College Football Live 50 States Tour which is currently focused on Massachusetts. In other JTAM news, we catch up with the summer baseball and softball leagues, a former UMass crew assistant coach becomes a head coach, a former athletic director steps down, and we look at the results of the Springfield Hoophall Classic and some of its alums.

  • By far, the biggest announcement yesterday was the 2010 U.S. Hockey Orientation Camp Roster with former All-American goalie Jon Quick making the cut. Earlier this year, he had been mentioned in several news outlets as being one of the top-5 goalies in contention for a spot, but yesterday it became official as U.S.A. Hockey put out this release. The story was also run in the Stamford Advocate and Connecticut Post as Quick is a Connecticut native and the L.A. Kings Web Site. Quick could become the first UMass player since Thomas Pock (Austria) to play in the Olympics.

  • Be sure to log onto ESPN.com To Vote for UMass all-time great Greg Landry and former coach Mark Whipple as the best player and the best coach in state history. ESPN is running its College Football Live 50 States Tour and is focusing on the Bay State currently. The show on Massachusetts will air on July 14.

  • In the Republican today, Bill Well's looks at the impact of the Springfield Hoophall Classic, specifically the talent drawn to the tournament over the last few years. Seven alumni of the tournament have been drafted in the NBA's first round over the last two seasons including three in last Thursday's draft: No. 8 Jordan Hill (New York), No. 10 Brandon Jennings (Milwaukee) and Ty Lawson (Minnesota). UMass freshman Terrell Vinson is mentioned in the article because his alma mater, St. Frances Academy of Baltimore, will make its first appearance at the Classic as part of 44 teams in 2010.

  • On Monday, UMass' Mike Gedman threw eight innings, struck out seven and allowed just one run but it was not enough as his Brainerd Lunkers gave up two runs in the ninth to fall 3-1 to the Rochester Honkers. To date, Gedman has a 2-1 record with a 2.43 ERA and 25 strikeouts in 33.1 innings of work.

  • Nick Serino and Charlie Benson also took the mound last night in NECBL summer ball action. Serino threw 6.2 innings for the Lowell Americans striking out six, but allowing four runs in a loss. Benson had a rough night in 2.2 innings of relief striking out two, but allowing three runs as his Danbury team fell to Keane 7-5.

  • UMass softball outfielder Carly Normandin is the featured player today on the Stratford Brakettes Web Site. The Brakettes were in action last weekend taking a pair of games from the Topton VIP's. Normandin had three multi-base hits on the day, while pitcher Bailey Sanders improved to 8-0 picking up the win in game two with five strikeouts, just two hits and one walk. Denis Denise hit her team-leading seventh home run in that game as part of a six-run fourth inning.

  • Former UMass women's rowing assistant coach Patrick Tynan has been named the new head coach at Wesleyan University. Tynan is also a 1998 graduate of UMass. Wesleyan Athletics Director John Biddiscombe said of Tynan: "Patrick's successful coaching experience at two NESCAC colleges, his outstanding reputation in the New England crew coaching fraternity and his keen desire to work with the Wesleyan oarswomen made him an outstanding candidate for our position. I know the future of Wesleyan women's crew is in good hands with Patrick as head coach.".

  • Former UMass Athletic Director Bob Marcum stepped down from his post at Marshall University yesterday. Marcum headed up the Thundering Herd program for the past seven years. Marcum is a native of Huntington, West Virginia. He was the athletic director at UMass for nine years prior.

  • UMassAthletics.com Feature To Check Out: Check out some of UMass' award-winning media guides on the Publications Page. Most guides are archived back to 2005 and many sport posters are available to download as well.

  • Don't miss this: The Atlantic 10 Men's Soccer Preseason All-Conference Team will be announced this afternoon. Be sure to check out which Minutemen are predicted to make an impact on the league as UMass looks for its third-straight NCAA Tournament Appearance.

       Tuesday, June 30

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    It's the last day of June which means there are just 53 more days until the first events of the 2009-10 seasons! Today in JTAM, we take a look at several of the opponents for Sam Koch's men's soccer team, find out about rising junior pitcher Charlie Benson, and get updates on Tony Gaffney and Gary Forbes. Also, be sure to check back later this week for the release of the 2009-10 men's hockey schedule.


  • Rising junior pitcher Charlie Benson has been working on his mechanics this summer with the Danbury Westerners of the NECBL. He is featured in the Danbury New-Times after an outstanding career at Pomperaug High and his first two seasons for the Minutemen. Benson is quoted in the story on the change in pitching mechanics going from high school to college baseball: "Going from high school to college, you change your mechanics dramatically," said Benson. "In high school you're not looking at mechanics, just trying to get people out. In college you want velocity, you want to challenge hitters. You're trying to make all the pitches look the same."

  • Coming off back-to-back NCAA Tournament seasons, Sam Koch's Minutemen take the pitch on Aug. 22 for their first exhibition match of the season at Rudd Field. CollegeSoccerNews.com just released its Pre-Season Top 30 Poll and several 2009 opponents of the Maroon & White have made the cut - though no love for UMass. Atlantic 10 Tournament Champion Dayton is the highest ranked of UMass' opponents at 18th. Boston University and Saint Louis come in at No. 23 and 24, respectively. Connecticut, UMass' second exhibition match of the season, is ranked 20th. Defending national champion Maryland, which UMass tied 0-0 this spring, is ranked 5th, while St. John's is ranked No. 1 nationally. UMass also fought St. John's to a 0-0 tie during the spring season.
  • After signing with the L.A. Lakers for the NBA Summer League, Tony Gaffney was mentioned by College Basketball Analyst Steve Lavin as part of his 2009 All-Undrafted Team. Lavin gives credit to 15 senior hoopsters who had excellent credentials for the NBA, but were overlooked in the Draft. Lavin writes of Gaffney, "It would be hard to find a player with more heart and tenacity than Tony Gaffney. He is particularly proficient at setting ball screens for teammates and freeing himself up for easy baskets. But defense is where Gaffney truly shines, with an unusual ability to impose his disruptive presence on opponents. Tony is capable of blocking opponents' shots from any angle, and he's an exceptional rebounder to boot."
  • Gary Forbes is mentioned in the Philly Daily News in a round up of team additions for the NBA Summer League.

  • Several UMass media guides earned national and regional distinction this past year. The football guide won Best Cover, while the men's soccer and the softball media guides ranked second and fifth overall nationally. The men's basketball media guide finished third in the region. Here is a complete list of all the rankings listed alphabetically by school name.
  • The Arizona Cardinals add another UMass alum to their organization. It was announced on Monday that Chris Culmer has been added to the scouting staff. Culmer received his Master's degree in Sports Management from UMass. Former UMass great Marcel Shipp was a tailback for the Cardinals from 2001-07.
  • UMassAthletics.com Feature To Check Out: Want to get headlines and scores sent straight to your cell phone? Sign up for the UMass Mobile Alert Service today! You can sign up for free and even download UMass wallpapers and ringtones for your mobile device.
  • Don't miss this: It might be summer time, but its never too early for UMass hockey! Check back this week for the 2009-10 schedule.

  •    Monday, June 29

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    Welcome back to another week of UMass Athletics after a big weekend for several current and former Minutemen and Minutewomen. Former hoopsters Tony Gaffney and Gary Forbes will have a chance to make their NBA dreams come true as they both earned spots on summer league rosters for Los Angeles and Philadelphia, respectively. Also over the weekend, the UMass women's lacrosse team was well represented as assistant coach Acacia Walker helped Team USA to the FIL Women's Lacrosse World Cup Championship title. Team Ireland, in its first year of World Cup competition, finished fifth with former defensive standout Jackie Rosenzweig and rising senior Merritt Cosgrove playing major roles. Also today we have a story with connections to the football team's game at Michigan AND former voice Bob Behler, updates from Major League Lacrosse, and a very nice feature on athletic trainer Jenn Brodeur.


  • A day after the NBA draft, Tony Gaffney has joined the World Champion L.A. Lakers for the NBA Summer League. Also getting back to the pro ranks is Gary Forbes who signed on with the Philadelphia 76ers. Steven Sanchez has a nice story on Gaffney which ran in the Enterprise News and the Taunton Daily Gazette. Ron Chimelis of the Sprinfield Republican also wrote a story on the underdog overachiever.

  • Congrats to women's lacrosse associate head coach Acacia Walker who helped Team USA to the 2009 FIL Women's Lacrosse World Cup Gold Medal with a win over Australia on Saturday. Walker was joined on the team by former assistant coach Sarah Albrecht. The pair are part of five UMass alums who have played for Team USA. It is the first time since 1989 that a member of the UMass lacrosse program has been a part of the gold medal USA team. Team Ireland finished fifth overall in the tournament with former defensive standout Jackie Rosenzweig and rising senior Merritt Cosgrove playing key roles. Complete coverage including archived video of the games can be found at Jack Reid is profiled at the Examiner.com. His huge defensive presence in the MLL has helped the Boston Cannons to a three-game win streak.
  • Kudos to UMass assistant athletic trainer Jenn Brodeur who was honored at the National Athletic Trainer's Association conference. Brodeur was cited as one of 16 athletic trainers nationally for her contributions to athletic training and the association. Ron Coderre of the Norwich Bulletin has a nice piece on Brodeur.
  • The Boston Globe has a good feature story on new St. Louis Rams head coach Steve Spagnuolo who was a graduate assistant coach at UMass. While in Amherst, Spagnuolo earned his master's degree in Sports Management.

  • This piece is a little dated, but it looks like former voice Bob Behler's Boise State Broncos are angling for a spot in the Big House in 2010. Michigan is looking for a home-opening opponent and it could be the Broncos. UMass will play in front of the largest crowd ever in program history in Ann Arbor on Sept. 18, 2010.
  • If you are looking for some summer soccer action, be sure to check out the Western Mass Pioneers which feature UMass alums Jeff Deren and Chris Brown. On the women's side of the pitch, rising senior keeper Lauren Luckey is also playing this summer for the New England Mutiny of the Women's Premier Soccer League.
  • UMassAthletics.com Feature To Check Out: It's summer time and that means summer camp. Be sure to sign the kids or grandkids up for one of UMass' many summer camps. The camps are great fun and are staffed by some of the best coaches and players in the country!
  • Don't miss this: Ron Villone and the Washington Nationals begin a three-game road trip to the Florida Marlins tonight. You can check out Villone's Bio which includes a video of the former UMass great making a bare-handed play against Pittsburgh for an out at first base.

  • Look Back To The Week Of: June 22-26 | June 15-19 | June 8-12 | June 1-5 | May 25-29 | May 18-22 | May 11-15 | May 4-8 | April 27-May 1 | April 20-24 | April 13-17 | April 6-10 | March 30-Apr. 3 | March 23-27 | March 16-20 | March 9-13 | Mar. 2-6 | Feb. 23-27 | Feb. 16-20 | Feb. 9-13 | Feb. 2-6 | Jan. 26-30 | Jan. 19-23 | Jan. 12-16 | Jan. 5-9 | Dec. 29, 2008-Jan. 2, 2009 | Dec. 22-26 | Dec. 15-19 | Dec. 8-12 | Dec. 1-5 | Nov. 24-28 | Nov. 17-21 | Nov. 10-14 | Nov. 3-7 | Oct. 27-31 | Oct. 20-24, 2008 | Oct. 13-17, 2008 | Oct. 6-10, 2008 | Sept. 29-Oct. 3, 2008 | Sept. 22-26, 2008 | Sept. 15-19, 2008 | Sept. 8-12, 2008 | Sept. 1-5, 2008 | Aug. 25-29, 2008 | Aug. 18-22, 2008