Just Take A Minute: Aug. 3-7, 2009Look back at the week that was.
Friday, Aug. 7
We have reached the end of another week and the end of the football off-season. The UMass football team reports for training camp on Sunday. This Saturday, members of the team and head coach Kevin Morris will be at the Big Y in Hadley to promote the season and to do some community service for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Just Take A Minute also has news on a UMass alum setting a softball record.
In the Daily Hampshire Gazette, Matt Vautour has a story on the start of UMass football camp this weekend. He touches on some other topics in his team notebook including Saturday's event at the Big Y. On Sunday, Ron Chimelis will have a column about coach Kevin Morris in the Springfield Republican. Check it out.
The Boston Cannons' Major League Lacrosse regular-season finished up last night as they dropped a 14-13 decision to the Washington Bayhawks. UMass All-American Sean Morris had an assist in the defeat. He now has 21 goals and 21 assists for 42 points heading into the playoffs which begin next weekend.
UMass' recent baseball draft pick Mitchell Clegg was back on the mound for the Vermont Lake Monsters of the Washington Nationals farm system. Clegg was strong again, throwing five innings and allowing just one run while striking out five and walking none. But his Lake Monsters lost 3-2 to the Auburn Doubledays. Clegg has a 1.89 ERA in nine games and 38 innings.
UMass alum Denise Denis tied the Stratford Brakettes single-season home run record with her 15th of the season last night in a doubleheader win in Women's Major Softball National Championship. She tied a team record, set in 1990 by Hall of Famer Pat Dufficy and tied in 2005 by Germaine Fairchild.
In the Pan Am Qualifier Games in Venezuela, Team USA defeated Cuba, 7-0. UMass Brandice Balschmiter didn't pitch as Monica Abbott struck out 11 for the stars and stripes. USA will face Canada in the first game of the medal round on Friday at 3 p.m. Follow the live stats.
In the World Junior Field Hockey Championships, Team USA defeated India 4-2 on Thursday night in Boston. UMass goalie Alesha Widdall didn't play in the game serving as a back-up. Team USA will face Korea on Saturday at 7:00pm in their first game of crossover play.
Don't Miss This: On Saturday at 12 Noon, join us at the Big Y in Hadley as football head coach Kevin Morris and many members of the football team will be on hand to support Juvenile Diabetes Research.
Thursday, Aug. 6
A few items on tap for today in JTAM. No. 1: Check out Derek Kellogg's chat this morning at 11 a.m. No. 2: In the Softball Pan An Qualifier in Venezuela, Team USA and Brandice Balschmiter face Cuba at 4:30 p.m. No. 3: In the Junior World Field Hockey Championships, Team USA and Alesha Widdall face India at 9 p.m., in Boston.
In Miami, The Phinsider reports that Brandon London continues to look good in his push for a receiver job. Also, WPLG TV reports that the Dolphins have put an end to its players, including London, using Twitter from camp.
The Florida Times Union reports there is a "good battle" going on for the Jacksonville Jaguars long-snapper position with UMass' Jeremy Cain in the middle of the competition.
In New Hampshire, the Concord Monitor has a story on the UNH Wildcats and their preseason expectations on the gridiron.
The Florida Sun-Sentinel has a piece on former UMass head football coach Mark Whipple and his style which he has taken to the University of Miami, as offensive coordinator.
In the Boston Herald, UMass alum Steve Buckley has an interesting column about Yankee fans and how they react to David Ortiz as the Red Sox and Bronx Bombers begin a series today. Buckley mentions his days at UMass in the 1970s in the piece.
The Examiner has a story on six New England women's lacrosse players making the U.S. Developmental Team including UMass' Jackie Lyons.
The USA Pan American Qualifier Team trounced Belize, 15-0, on Wednesday. UMass' Brandice Balschmiter didn't play in the game. Team USA is back in action on Thursday facing Cuba at 4:30 p.m.
Check This Out On UMassAthletics.com: The Auctions page continues to grow. Some hockey and football items will be added during the day today. Check back in the afternoon.
Don't Miss This: A few items on tap for today, No. 1: Check out Derek Kellogg's chat this morning at 11 a.m. No. 2: In the Softball Pan An Qualifier in Venezuela, Team USA and Brandice Balschmiter face Cuba at 4:30 p.m. No. 3: In the Junior World Field Hockey Championships, Team USA and Alesha Widdall face India at 9 p.m., in Boston.
Wednesday, Aug. 5
Happy Wednesday from UMass. Have you purchased your new limited edition Sam The Minuteman bobblehead? Get it today! UMass' Courtney Robinson was released by the Philadelphia Eagles on Tuesday. He hopes to hook on elsewhere. JTAM has a look at Kansas State's starting QB for the UMass opener on Sept. 5. Also, we have an update on UMass' current baseball. players in action in wooden-bat leagues.
In the Junior World Field Hockey Championships, Team USA lost to Australia, 2-1 at Harvard's Jordan Field. Minutewoman goalie Alesha Widdall didn't play in the game.
In a follow-up on James Ihedigbo's scuffle at NY Jets training camp at SUNY Cortland, The Jets Blog has video of the altercation with video interviews with Ihedigbo and head coach Rex Ryan.
The Philadelphia Eagles, who have been hit by some injuries in training camp, have released Courtney Robinson after signing some veterans to plug holes on defense.
Brandon London is in the middle of an "open competition" at Dolphins camp according to coach Tony Sparano. The Miami Herald has a long piece about the Phins receiving corps.
Looking ahead to the football team's opener at Kansas State, its appears that Carson Coffman will be the Wildcats starter at quarterback. He will get the nod after Josh Freeman left for the NFL and was drafted by the Tampa Bay Bucs. Coffman's dad also played at K-State and was an 11-year NFL pro mostly with the Green Bay Packers.
The NECBL playoffs continue to roll on but participation from UMass players has come to end with the elimination of the North Shore Navigators last night, as the fell 5-3 to Sanford. Current Minutemen Kyle Multner and Jared Freni played in last night's game which wrapped up their summer wooden-bat seasons. Freni tossed a scoreless inning in relief while Multner was 0-for-3.
Out in Michigan, UMass' Mike Gedman is winding down his season with the Brainerd Area Lunkers of the Northwoods League with a hot bat. In last night's 9-5 loss to Duluth, he blasted a two-run homer, his first blast of the summer. Gedman is hitting .268 with a home runs and 16 RBIs. He has also pitched in 10 games with a 3-4 record and a 2.83 ERA.
On the Today Show on Tuesday, the Long Island Lizards of Major League Lacrosse were featured with an intro to lacrosse. UMass alum Chris Fiore plays for the Lizards. Check out the video featuring The Today Show's Matt Lauer, Meredith Vieira, Ann Curry, and Al Roker were great sports Lizards as Nicky Polanco and his Long Island teammates gave them an intro to lacrosse.
Check This Out On UMassAthletics.com: Looking for a video from football? New video library pages have been set up, starting with the football library from 2008.
Plenty of news in Tuesday's Just Take A Minute. Springfield Republican writer Ron Chimelis has a piece on UMass basketball's big men including newcomers Big City Bailey and Sean Carter. UMass alum James Ihedigbo continues to draw attention with the New York Jets for his intensity. Watch ESPN2 this afternoon at 1 p.m. to see UMass' Kevin Leveille put up a huge performance in the MLL Game of the Week. Also, check in on current UMass baseball players becoming "Old-Timers."
James Ihedigbo is gaining momentum to make the Jets and his altercation with Thomas Jones was viewed as showing his intensity. "That's the kind of mentality we want to have against the other team," said Ihedigbo, a big hitter. "You're going to see that aggression on Sundays. That's what we are as New York Jets. We're definitely going to be physical." Coverage from Jets camp can be found: New York Times, New York Post, Newark Star-Ledger, Springfield Republican. Photos can be viewed in photo gallery of the Newark Star-Ledger.
You can watch UMass All-American Kevin Leveille score five goals for the Chicago Machine on Tuesday afternoon at 1 p.m. on ESPN2 as the network shows Saturday's game against the Washington Bayhawks. For a quick preview, check out the video player on MajorLeagueLacrosse.com.
Former UMass soccer goalkeeper Briana Scurry received a special honor . The Washington Freedom keeper and former U.S. National Team backstop who became the hero of the 1999 Women's World Cup, was one of the guests of honor as D.C. opened the 2009 Street Soccer USA Cup Tournament at Kastles Stadium.
Pitcher Matt Torra had a strong outing for the Double-A Mobile Bay Bears, but lost on Tuesday night, 3-2 in game one of a doubleader, working six innings with seven strikeouts and no walks allowed. He's now 6-11 with 4.07 ERA.
In a NESN.com Bruins Notebook, there is a mention of UMass All-American goalie Jon Quick as the B's Tim Thomas is competing with Quick and Ryan Miller for time in nets for Team USA in the 2010 Olympics. Team USA is holding its Olympic hockey training camp from Aug. 17-19 in Woodridge, Ill.
Check This Out On UMassAthletics.com: The single-game ticket page has been updated to include buying ticket links to all 11 football games for 2009.
Don't Miss This: Look for extensive coverage of the Junior World Field Hockey Championships on Wednesday as UMass goalie Alesha Widdall plays for Team USA. Minutewomen head coach Justine Sowry is serving as an assistant coach for the squad. ... Also, if you are around a TV on Tuesday, check out ESPN2 at 1 p.m. to watch a replay of the Chicago Machine's overtime game with the Washington Bayhawks as UMass' Kevin Leveille scored five goals for Chicago.
Monday, Aug. 3
Welcome to the Monday edition of JTAM. We are less than a week from the start of football camp. Don't forget to order single-game tickets starting at 10 a.m. The weekend round-up brings updates on UMass' alums in NFL camps (James Ihedigbo is impressing), Arena Football, the CFL as well as Major League Lacrosse and on the diamond. JTAM also has an interesting article focused on hoop assistant coach Vance Walberg. Finally, a UMass alum prevented MLB history, find out how.
In the Signal Newspaper in California has a feature story focusing on UMass assistant basketball coach Vance Walberg and his AASAA or Dribble Drive Motion system. In 1997, Walberg formulated arguably the biggest strategic development in amateur basketball over the last two decades. He called it the "Attack-attack-skip-attack-attack" (or AASAA) offense, which utilized four wing players and a single post man in a system that was less about rigid sets and more about the improvisation of the athletes.
Over the weekend, Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette had two pieces on the men's basketball team. First, he wrote about Sean Carter and the expectations that will be on his shoulders. Also, there was his blog with comments on pickup basketball at the Cage. He pointed out how impressive Freddie Riley was.
In New Hampshire, Seacoast Online has a story on the powerful CAA and how the teams have great respect for each other.
James Ihedigbo looks like a lock to make the New York Jets and is impressing new head coach Rex Ryan. Here are mentions in the New York Post, Jets Confidential and the national AP story on the Jets QB battle, where Ihedigbo sacked No. 1 pick Mark Sanchez. Here's what Ihedigbo had to say about his early camp start on Sunday: I'm happy. I'm a firm believer that opportunity is the key to life. With that being said, I'm getting an opportunity to get out there and play ball, do what I do best, so I'm happy about that. (I want to) continue to help my team and my defense making plays wherever I can."
In Miami, Brandon London is getting attention according to the Miami Herald: "Watch carefully as Brandon London and Anthony Armstrong -- two undrafted veterans -- attempt to take advantage of the coaching staff's open-mindedness. Both players have surprised, showing some serious swagger in the past six months."
Liam Coen's Arena Football 2 season just as it started as he didn't play in the Manchester Wolves' 70-53 loss at the Iowa Barnstormers playoff game on Friday night. The Wolves were eliminated and season ended.
Wolves kicker Chris Koepplin, who was a two-time all-conference kicker at UMass in 2006 and 2007 made three PATs in the loss. In his second season with Manchester Koepplin was 8-of-19 on field goals and 80-of-101 on PATs. Keep in mind the goal posts in Arena Football are just nine feet wide, half the distance of the college 18-feet, 6-inches.
In the CFL, UMass' alums were involved in several games. In the Calgary Stampeders' 24-23 loss to the Saskatchewan Roughriders, Shannon James had four tackles. Anton McKenzie had a team-high eight tackles for the B.C. Lions in a 30-18 loss to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. McKenzie is fifth in the CFL in tackles with 29.
At the Softball Pan American Games Qualifying Tournament in Maracay, Venezuela, Brandice Balschmiter got the win in the circle for Team USA, 21-0, over Ecuador. The 2009 All-American pitched two innings, striking out six of the seven batters she faced. Balschmiter and Team USA play two games on Monday, at 9 a.m. vs. Panama and at 11:30 a.m. vs. Antilles.
Mitchell Clegg returned to form with the Vermont Lake Monsters last Friday. He threw five innings of scoreless ball in Vermont's 3-2 loss to Lowell (managed by UMass alum Gary DiSarcina). Clegg has a 1-2 record with 1.91 ERA. He has given up runs in just two of his eight games in his first pro season.
In the NECBL playoffs, UMass' Tom Conley is a key player for the New Bedford Bay Sox, who are starting a series against the Newport Gulls. Check out some of Conley's comments in the South Coast Today.
A UMass alum prevented history in the major leagues as Ron Villone, of the Washington Nationals, forced Pittsburgh Pirate Andrew McCutchen to ground into a doubleplay after the rosskie had his three homers for the Bucs in an 11-6 Pittsburgh win. Just 15 players have hit four home runs in one game.
In Major League Lacrosse action, former UMass All-American lacrosse player Kevin Leveille had five goals and an assist as his Chicago Machine lost a heartbreaking 17-16 overtime loss to the Washington Bayhawks. The loss eliminated Chicago from the playoff push. He now has 35 goals and 44 points to ranks second in goals and third in points.
UMass alum Chris Fiore had a goal for the Long Island Lizards, who lost to the Denver Outlaws, 13-9 on Saturday.
Check This Out On UMassAthletics.com: Several auctions end on Monday including two 100 Seasons Of Basketball street banners (Will Herndon and Jen Butler). Check the Auctions page.