Happy Friday everyone! The fall sports season is almost upon us as the first event is just two weeks away with women's soccer opening its season on Aug. 28 at Holy Cross. Today's JTAM is packed full of football and baseball news. Also, be sure to submit your questions for today's 10:45 a.m. chat with Casey Wellman.
Don't Miss This: Chat with Casey Wellman of the hockey team today at 10:45 a.m. Submit your questions here.
Thursday, Aug. 13
Nothing like a little rain to cool things down in the valley, but the action at UMass continues to heat up as teams continue to report back to campus for preseason camps. By tomorrow, both women's soccer and men's soccer will be gearing up for the 2009 campaigns alongside football and field hockey. If you have been around the Mullins Practice Rink, you will have noticed hockey youth camp is going with several Minutemen back on campus to help out including Brett Watson, Justin Braun and Friday's chat guest Casey Wellman. Today in JTAM, we have more summer baseball updates, some Canadian Football updates, news on the U.S. Olympic Hockey Camp and more.
In other summer league baseball news, Mike Gedman's season with the Brainerd Lakes Lunkers concluded last weekend. In his final game, he worked a no-hitter through seven innings before taking the loss in a tough ninth inning. He was also 1-for-3 at the plate. The Echo Press has a recap from the game. You can check out Gedman's bio here which includes updated stats.
Orientation Camp for the U.S. Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Team gets underway in just four days in Woodridge, Ill. Former All-American Jon Quick is one of three goalies entering the camp hoping to earn a spot on the 2010 roster. He is currently listed on the Group 1 Roster as the practice schedule has been released. If you are a MinuteFan in the area, you can check out the Team USA practices for free with the details on practice times here.
Alex Schwerin, general manager of the NBDL Springfield Armor, was profiled in the Republican. Schwerin is a UMass alum and was a sport management major.
While football season is just getting underway here in the States, our neighbours to the North have been hitting the gridiron for several weeks now. Anton McKenzie leads the BC Lions with 33 tackles which ranks fourth overall in the CFL. Over in Calgary, Shannon James ranks second for the Stampeders with 20 tackles, while Keron Williams has 12 tackles (four sacks) for the Montreal Alouettes. Williams' four sacks is tied for fifth overall in the CFL. James will be in action tonight against Edmonton, while McKenzie and Williams will play on Friday and Saturday, respectively. Fans can follow the games with live video and stats on www.cfl.ca.
Field Hockey fans can check out this YouTube video of UMass' newest additionAnniek Scholten from The Hague, Neterlands. Scholten is No. 13 in the black-and-white striped uniforms and looks to be a playmaker with some nifty passing. The Minutewomen are picked to repeat as A-10 Champions which would be their third straight title.
Check This Out On UMassAthletics.com: Don't forget that tomorrow we will have Casey Wellman from the hockey team as our chat guest at 10:45 AM. You can submit your questions now and Casey will answer them tomorrow if you can't be at your computer for the chat.
The temperatures outside aren't the only thing that are hot as fall sports are already heating up at UMass. Football practices are now in full swing and today the field hockey team reports back to Amherst to begin practice. This Wednesday edition of JTAM has news on both squads, as well as coverage of men's soccer, hockey, and men's basketball.
At the Field Hockey Junior World Cup, Team USA, with UMass' Alesha Widdall in goal, defeated Chile, 4-0, in the final game of crossover pool play on Tuesday night. The 2008 All-American recorded the shutout in her first start of the tournament. The Americans, with Justine Sowry as an assistant coach, now advance to the 7/8 classification match on Saturday, August 15 at 4:30pm. Their opponent will be determined by competition Wednesday in Pool F play.
The Springfield Republican has a story on men's soccer player Ben Arikian being named to the Hermann Trophy Watch List. The 2008 Atlantic 10 Midfielder of the Year and a 2009 preseason All-American, Arikian joins 37 other players on the initial watch list for college soccer's most prestigious award.
K-StateSports.com has story advertising the Kansas State football season preview and also touting the season-opener against UMass as "K-State Family Reunion". Depending on what kind of television package you get, check your Fox Sports Network channels for re-airings of the K-State Season Preview.
Hockey East rival Vermont released its 2009-10 hockey schedule on Tuesday. The Catamounts and Minutemen play at Gutterson Fieldhouse in Burlington on November 24 and then at the Mullins Center for two games on the weekend of January 23 and 24.
The Bleacher Report has a preview of the 2009 Maryland football team. The story says the top two changes for the Terps in '09 are head coach Ralph Friedgan shedding 100 lbs. in the off-season and former UMass head coach Don Brown replacing Chris Cosh as defensive coordinator.
Check This Out On UMassAthletics.com: It may be hot outside, but it's never too early to start thinking about hockey season. Casey Wellman, the Mass Attack's rookie sensation from last season, will be online for a live chat on Friday at 10:45 a.m. right here at UMassAthletics.com.
Don't Miss This: Be sure to check back with UMassAthletics.com throughout the day for an update as the two-time defending A-10 champion field hockey team becomes the second UMass team, after football, to report to campus and begin practice.
Tuesday, Aug. 11
One thing we know heading into the football season is that UMass will have its strongest team ever as a school-record 10 players bench pressed 400-plus pounds in Monday's testing. Just Take A Minute has plenty of news on the opening of football camp. Also be sure to check back Tuesday for a major announcement about a men's soccer player and news on men's basketball scheduling.
The Springfield Republican's Jeff Thomas has a story on Kevin Morris's first day of practice. He touches on the quarterback battle and some recent grad who were at the first day of practice. Look for an update from Matt Vautour in the Daily Hampshire Gazette today as well.
The Sports Network has a story on UMass' first football opponent Kansas State and a look at if former/new coach Bill Snyder can rekindle the Wildcats magic.
In the Washington Times, Patrick Stevens has a column on former UMass coach Don Brown with many references to his days in the Atlantic 10/CAA with quotes from coaches in the FCS League.
UMass' Tony Gaffney has signed a contract with an Israeli team for the 2009-10 season. The NCAA's third-leading shot blocker has agreed to terms with Hapoel Galil/Gilboa. Tony will still be going to LA Lakers training camp this fall and is confident in his chances there, but signed the deal in Israel as a backup plan.
According to the Hartford Courant, Doug Wiggins, who left the UMass basketball program after the 2008-09 season will attend Robert Morris University, an NAIA school in Chicago (not the NCAA school in Pittsburgh). Wiggins hasn't played since the 2007-08 season as a sophomore for UConn.
In his blog, the Daily Hampshire Gazette's Matt Vautour has his opinions on a possible move of the A-10 offices from Philadelphia to Newport News, Va. The original story came from the Daily Press in Virginia, citing sources.
UMass alum Rebecca Donaghue leads a notebook in the Boston Globe after she finished second in the 37th annual Falmouth Road Race. The Cape Cod News also has a story. It was the best placement by an American woman since Kate O'Neill was runner-up to Alevtina Ivanova in 2004. Donaghue, who finished fifth in the 5,000 meters at the US championships, spent much of the summer on the track in Europe, setting personal bests in both the 5,000 (15 minutes 34 seconds) and 1,500 (4:12.07) before returning to place fifth in the Beach to Beacon 10K in Cape Elizabeth, Maine.
Check This Out On UMassAthletics.com: Start planning your calendar, by checking the UMass Athletic Calendar with ever event for the fall season.
Don't Miss This: One of the biggest honors ever bestowed on a UMass men's soccer player will be announced on Tuesday. Watch for it.
Monday, Aug. 10
Football season is here in more ways than one. Here at UMass, the team reported for camp on Sunday and will have its first practice on Monday. The NFL had its first preseason game last night at Canton in the Hall of Fame Game. UMass' alums continue to push for playing time in the NFL including New York Jet James Ihedigbo, shown being interviewed by fellow UMass alum Dan Leberfeld of Jets Confidential. JTAM also has news on baseball, field hockey, lacrosse and softball.
The UMass football team will take part in an afternoon practice today at McGuirk Stadium. That follows a morning of equipment distribution and more meetings. Monday night brings the annual bench press testing at the UMass Weightroom in Boyden Gym. Be sure to check JTAM for complete coverage of the first full day of football practice.
On Sunday, Ron Chimelis of the Springfield Republican had an outstanding column on the start of football camp for new football coach Kevin Morris and the high standard that has been set in Amherst. Its a must-read.
WWLP NBC 22 has a video feature on Saturday's appearance by the football team at the Big Y to promote Juvenile Diabetes Research.
The quarterback dual at UMass' first opponent is heating up as Kansas State coach Bill Snyder said he wants to name his starting QB "at least seven days" before the opener on Sept. 5. According to the Wichita Eagle, Snyder's choices are junior Carson Coffman or senior transfer Grant Gregory (from South Florida). Coffman came out of spring practices as the No. 1 quarterback.
Former UMass All-American James Ihedigbo is gaining attention during camp with the New York Jets. He is a subject of a several video interviews with JockSkillz.com. Check out what James had for dinner at Applebees as one of several videos focused on the UMass product.
Down in Florida, the Miami Herald has a feature profile of new Hurricanes offensive coordinator and former UMass head coach Mark Whipple. The story touches on Whipple's offensive style which he showed at UMass. from 1998-2003.
In Maryland, the Baltimore Sun has a story on the new-look defense of the Terrapins headed up by former UMass coach Don Brown.
The Pan-An Softball Qualifier in Venezuela wrapped up this weekend with Team USA claiming the gold medal with a 3-1 win over Canada on Sunday. UMass' Brandice Balschmiter was on the gold medal winners, but didn't pitch in the clincher as Monica Abbott beat Danieille Lawrie (YES that Danielle Lawrie from Washington).
The Salem News has a short feature on UMass redshirt softball player Tawny Palmieri. UMass has an opening at third base and as soon as Palmieri returns to campus fall practices will begin. She is hoping to be impressive in fall ball and ready to jump in once the season starts.
In the Field Hockey Junior World Championships, Team USA lost to England, 3-2 on Sunday. That came a day after falling to Korea, 2-1 on Saturday. UMass goalie Alesha Widdall has been serving as the back-up in nets while Minutewomen head coach Justine Sowry is an assistant coach for Team USA.
Former first-round MLB draft pick Matt Torra got back on the winning track with a 4-3 victory for the Double-A Mobile Bay Bears on Saturday. Torra tossed seven innings, striking out four and walking none. It was his first win since July 2, followed by five losses in a row. For the year, he is 7-11 with 4.06 ERA.
In Major League Lacrosse's final weekend of the regular-season, UMass alums were part of winning teams and losing teams. Chris Fiore and the Long Island Lizards made the playoffs with a 13-11 win over UMass alum Kevin Leveille.
The Toronto National picked up a 16-10 win over the league's No 1 team, the Denver Outlaws. UMass' Jeff Zywicki had a goal and four assists. In the nets, recent grad Doc Schneider made 10 saves in 32:42 of action, allowing just six goals.
All four teams in the MLL playoffs which take place in two weeks at Navy in Annapolis have UMass connections. No. 1 seed Denver has Bill Edell on its staff as an assistant coach. No. 2 seed Toronto features attacker Jeff Zwyicki and goalie Doc Schneider. No. 3 seed Long Island showcases middie Chris Fiore. No. 4 seed Boston has attacker Sean Morris and defenseman Jack Reid. Denver faces Boston in the first game of the semifinals of the playoffs. at 12:00 p.m. EST on Saturday, August 22nd. The game will be televised live on ESPN2. The other half of the semifinals will be played at 3:00 pm that Saturday with the Lizards facing the Toronto Nationals. The Lizards and Nationals also split their season series with each team winning the road game. The MLL Championship will be played on Sunday, August 23rd at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium between the two Saturday winners. Game time will be at 1:00 pm EST, the game will be televised live on ESPN2.
The Masslive Collegian Blog has a brief on the UMass men's soccer team being picked third in the A-10 for 2009.
Check This Out On UMassAthletics.com: With the start of football camp, all alums, boosters and friends of the program need to follow the rules of the NCAA as far a contact with the student-athletes. Be sure the read the guidelines.
Don't Miss This: Monday brings the first football practice at McGuirk Stadium and the annual bench press test at 8 p.m. in the Boyden Weightroom.