Just Take A Minute: Aug. 17-21, 2009Take a look back at the week that was.
Friday, Aug. 21
We have reached the end of another summer week. Sam The Minuteman has had a huge week after his appearance at ESPN for the taping of a new "This Is SportsCenter" commercial. Then he appeared on various websites including Deadspin.com after he crashed a wedding a few weeks ago. Today, he will chat with his typing fingers at 11 a.m. JTAM also has news on UMass' new radio deal, basketball, lacrosse and football.
ESPN.com has its Shootaround featuring the Atlantic 10 with many references to the UMass. Notably, freshman Terrell Vinson is named among 10 Key Players in the league overall and among the 10 "Freshman We Can't Wait To See." Also in that group of freshman is Raphiael Putney.
Also on ESPN.com's Page 2, UniWatch columnist Paul Lukas has a story on the 10-year anniversary of "Turn Ahead The Clock." It was the brainchild of major league baseball teams wearing futuristic uniforms came from UMass professor Steve McKelvey. "It was my idea," says McKelvey, who teaches sports marketing at UMass. Here's Lukas' full interview with McKelvey, fascinating stuff!
The Major League Lacrosse playoffs take place this weekend with No. 1 Denver taking on No. 4 Boston and No. 2 Toronto playing No. 3 Long Island. Former Minutemen are all around the postseason. This extensive playoff preview of the Toronto Nationals in Major League Lacrosse has a lot of mentions of UMass All-Americans Jeff Zywicki and Doc Schneider. Also the Boston Cannons preview focuses heavily on UMass' Sean Morris and Jack Reid.
Former UMass All-American lacrosse star Kevin Leveille was named to the All-MLL Team for 2009. The former UMass Minuteman has had a huge impact for on offense for the Machine this season. Leveille finished second in goals scored this season with 35, and adds 8 assists to his total of 44 points.
UMass' Matt Lawrence continues to gain attention while in camp with the Baltimore Ravens. The team's website has several comments about Lawrence's performance. Here are comments from John Harbaugh: "Matt Lawrence has showed up, not just in that preseason game, but he's showed up, really, in every single practice. He has a chance to make our team. We've got a real battle going on at running back. We've got six guys that can really carry the ball. I don't want to leave somebody out numbers wise, but off the top of my head, I think it's six [running backs] who could all make this team. I don't know if we can carry six, but we may have to. We've got some guys that are playing well. As a runner, Matt's real long. He's real fluid. He's got quick feet. I think he's deceptively fast. He learning... He takes the ball north and south and he covers a lot of ground. All of the sudden you look at him and don't really realize how much ground he's covering, and it's a 15-, 20-yard gain like that. I compare him to a guy that used to play for the 49ers - Roger Craig. Now, obviously he's not Roger Craig right now, but you watch him - he's got a little Roger Craig to him."
From the Providence Journal, Rhode Island will be allowing alcohol for the first time in 15 years, in the parking lots for URI football games. Former UMass football player and Associate A.D. Thorr Bjorn is the Athletic Director at URI and says: "We want everybody to have a good time. but there will be zero tolerance."
In Frederick, Maryland, there is an extensive feature in the News-Post on former UMass head coach Don Brown and his new defense with the Maryland Terrapins. There are many references to his successful time with the Minutemen.
In Florida, the Florida Times-Union has an interesting story on Gators coach Billy Donovan and the team's increased strength of schedule including a possible game against UMass in the Legends Classic.
Check This Out On UMassAthletics.com:Chat live with Sam The Minuteman today at 11 a.m. Ask him about his trip to ESPN this week and his crashing a wedding a few weeks ago and anything else you want.
Don't Miss This: We are getting close to the start of the regular-seasons for the fall teams. The men's soccer team plays an exhibition against Adelphi on Saturday at Rudd Field.
Thursday, Aug. 20
The UMass fall teams are all hard at work in preseason training camps with preseason exhibition games set to get underway. Big news will continue to come from UMass Athletics in the coming days with some announcements related to men's basketball and a new media opportunities. Today's JTAM features goalie Jon Quick in camp with Team USA along with info on UMass football. Also Derek Kellogg is in the news.
Don't Miss This: Information on a new radio deal for UMass teams is expected to be announced in the next day. The deal will be a big one for UMass covering the Boston market and various teams.
Wednesday, Aug. 19
Tuesday was a big day for a lot of reasons. First Football Media Day was a big success with lots of coverage locally and regionally. UMass Mitchell Clegg tossed a scoreless inning in the New York-Penn League All-Star Game. And, later at night, UMass' one and only Sam The Minuteman was the feature subject of a commercial for ESPN's The Is SportsCenter series. We will have extensive coverage of Sam's visit today. Check back soon.
Sam The Minutemen spent last night at the Worldwide Leader in Sports filming a new "This Is SportsCenter" spot. It focuses on the return of a famous player who has had a tough time deciding whether to stay retired or not. ... Any ideas, who that might be? Is he wearing purple now? ... The commercial featuring Sam also showcases ESPN's top anchors including Stuart Scott, Scott VanPelt, Steve Levy and Brian Kenny. Sam will have his own story on the trip to Bristol and all the cool things he did. Of course, Sam, can't talk, but he can write, so look for his story today. Also, JTAM was on hand to take exclusive pictures and video of behind the scenes of the visit and the commercial shooting.
JTAM has extensive coverage of Football Media Day: Ron Chimelis has a story in the Springfield Republican about the possibility of more freshmen playing this season for the team. In the Boston Herald, John Connolly writes about Kevin Morris taking over a football program rich in tradition. In the Daily Hampshire Gazette, Matt Vautour has a look at quarterback situation with an overall look at the team as they prepare for Kansas State. Finally in his blog, Vautour has an interesting notes about Kyle Havens and his connection to UMass A.D. John McCutcheon.
By the way, today is Kyle Havens' 21st birthday. Happy Birthday QB.
In the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, UMass alum Brendan Hall has a
touching story on Minuteman Eric Dickson dedicating his senior season to his later father William, who passed away in July at age 50.
Out at Kansas State, here is the latest story on the Wildcats' quarterback battle, similar to the Minutemen.
UMass' home opening opponent Albany brings one the nation's top tailbacks in Dave McCarty. Here is a story on the Great Dane back from the Daily Gazette.
In the New York-Penn League All-Star Game, UMass' Mitchell Clegg pitched a scoreless third inning allowing a hit and a run as the AL All-Stars beat Clegg and the NL All-Stars, 4-2. On his performance, Clegg told UMass alum Justin Lafleur (who was on hand for the game): "I felt good, but I allowed a walk and a base hit. At the same time, these are the best hitters in the league. You don't want to make a mistake. You have to get comfortable with your teammates, but as a pitcher, you only get one inning to do it. It was a lot of fun to be out there." Look for more coverage on Clegg today.
With the Championships Rounds match-ups set for the Legends, the Press of Atlantic City and Springfield Republican have coverage on UMass taking on Rutgers and Florida and Michigan State battling at Boardwalk Hall in A.C.
In his legendary column "Hitting To All Fields", the Springfield Republican's Garry Brown mentions: Who is Charles Leverone? A UMass Hall of Famer who lettered in five sports.
Check This Out On UMassAthletics.com: Have you seen the new "Minute Matters" tabs at the bottom of the front page of UMassAthletics.com? They have great helpful links for Fans, Recruits and Alums.
Don't Miss This: Look for a personal story from Sam The Minuteman on his trip to ESPN in Bristol, Conn., this afternoon along with a photo gallery and video from behind the scenes.
Tuesday, Aug. 18
Happy Tuesday. Big day on tap at UMass with Football Media Day set to begin at 10:30 a.m., at McGuirk Stadium. The players will take part in photo sessions and interviews followed by a lunch and afternoon practice. Also, tonight, UMass' Mitchell Clegg will be in uniform for the New York Penn League Single-A All-Star Game in State College, Pa. JTAM also has news on UMass' new Hall of Fame class and two alums in action last night in the NFL.
Freshman football player Thad McCummings in mentioned in this feature from the Natick Times about his younger brother Scott.
In the NFL Preseason last night UMass alums squared off as Brandon London's Miami Dolphins downed Jeremy Cain's Jacksonville Jaguars, 12-9 in a defensive battle. London had one catch for six yards while Cain played as a Jags' long snapper in the third quarter.
In New York, Jet James Ihedigbo picked off Mark Sanchez in a drill and made the most of it. Newsday reports: "Digs" picked Sanchez off and bolted down the left sideline untouched for the would-be pick-six. Ihedigbo spiked the ball in the end zone and flexed his muscles. He's not shy about showing off the emotion, is he?
The Baltimore Sun has some nice words about UMass' Matt Lawrence and quote from the former Minuteman: Ravens first-year running back Matt Lawrence had a nice performance against the Redskins, but he certainly won't get bigheaded. The coaches won't let him, even though he averaged 4.0 yards on his nine carries. " They [the coaches] say I have a lot of improvement to do, and I feel the same way," said Lawrence, out of Massachusetts. "I think I played well, but I need to improve on my foot speed, and my technique and fundamentals in both the passing and running game. I have to work on my blocking and making sharp turns when running passing routes. I have a lot to do."
From out in Miami, Ohio, UMass '72 alum, Bill Elias is back in football serving as an assistant coach with the RedHawks. The former Gannon University head coach and athletic director is serving as Miami's assistant head coach, recruiting coordinator and linebackers coach. He did not play football at UMass, but attended the school.
The UMass at Baylor men's basketball game on Jan. 23, 2010 will air on ESPNU at 4 p.m. ET.
UMass' Matt Torra is mentioned in this blog after a dazzling outing last week where he allowed one run in seven innings.
Check This Out On UMassAthletics.com: The calendar of events for UMass teams kicks off this Saturday as the men's soccer team hosts Adelphi in an exhibition game. Follow all the teams with the composite calendar.
Don't Miss This: We will have extensive coverage of UMass Football Media Day which starts this morning at 10:30 a.m., from McGuirk Alumni Stadium. We will have photos, podcasts, videos and more. Also, the New York Penn League All-Star Game takes place tonight at State College, Pa., where UMass' Mitchell Clegg was selected to play in the game.
Monday, Aug. 17
Hope you had a great weekend. Double sessions for the football team take place today with the blazing hot temperatures expected in the Pioneer Valley. Just Take A Minute has a look at several stories related to the gridiron including info on an impressive preseason game from UMass alum Matt Lawrence. JTAM also has a wrap up on the Field Hockey Junior World Championships in Boston and a look to the MLL Playoffs this coming weekend.
The Concord Monitor in New Hampshire has a look at the UNH Wildcats football coach staff changes including UMass alum Matt Dawson joining the enemy. Dawson will coach the Wildcat linebackers and was a defensive graduate assistant at Oregon last year. Dawson was a three-year starter at outside linebacker in Amherst, helping the Minutemen to the national championship in 1998. He has also coached at UMass, Fordham and Central Connecticut.
Here are some stories from over the weekend looking at UMass' first opponent of the football season, Kansas State. The Wichita Eagle has a look at the Cats defensive front. Bring On The Cats has "five issues that could derail" KSU's season.<
In looking at UMass alums in action over the weekend in NFL action James Ihedigbo and the New York Jets 3-20">lost to the Rams, 23-20. Ihedigbo had three solo tackles as he had a good amount of TV time on the NFL Network.
With the Baltimore Ravens, Matt Lawrence saw extensive time in the backfield with nine carries for 36 yards as his team picked up a 23-0 win over the Washington Redskins. Lawrence is pictured in the story linked here in No. 32. From Sunday's practice, Lawrence continues to look strong according to the Baltimore Sun as he was in on several big plays for the Ravens.
On ESPN Soccer Net, Maria Burns Ortiz picks the UMass men's soccer team No. 10 in her preseason college preview. While she admits the Minutemen are the wild card in her preview and that Sam Koch's squad will have to overcome the departure of All-American goalie Zack Simmons, her previous wild card picks include the 2006 national champions and last year's College Cup team St. John's.
At the Cape Cod Lifesaving Championships, one current and two former UMass swimmers stole the show. Barnstable's Ryan Brooks, Justin Brooks, Trevor Ziegler and Tim McGrath pulled out a surprise victory in the Men's Swim Relay as they battled through the surf to capture first place in the signature swimming event of the competition, just ahead of the Seashore team. The story from Wickedlocal.com mentions how they swim for "Division I powerhouse" UMass.
All four teams in the MLL playoffs which take place this coming weekend 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.
Check This Out On UMassAthletics.com: Three UMass auctions end tonight at 7 p.m. Be sure to bid on 100 Seasons Of Basketball Banners for Al Skinner and Sue Peters as well as a Matt Pennie game-worn jersey.
Don't Miss This: Tonight, UMass alums face off in a preseason NFL game as the Miami Dolphins with receiver Brandon London and the Jacksonville Jaguars with long snapper Jeremy Cain play at 7:30 p.m. at Land Shark Stadium in Miami.