With football season here, game previews are plentiful. Jeff Thomas of the Republican takes an in-depth look at the new lights at McGuirk Stadium, pointing out the large crowds which have come out for the four previous night contests. Thomas mentions more than 13,000 fans have come out on average for the night games since the first one in 2000.
An article about "OnePlaybook" cites UMass and offensive coordinator Kevin Morris as one of the success stories using an online sports software package that allows sports coaches to manage team communications and materials in a secure forum from anywhere.
In his blog on the gazettenet.com, Vautour begins a series where he looks back to the 1998 NCAA Championship season in the gridiron. He is re-running weekly game stories from the '98 campaign. UMass lost its 1998 opener at Delaware, 33-30.
The men's soccer team which opens Friday at Holy Cross are picked as the preseason No. 16 team by ESPN.com. Doug McIntyre also unveils his Preseason All-American Starting XI which features goalkeeper Zack Simmons. McIntyre writes: "Anyone who saw this guy almost single-handedly take unfancied UMass to the NCAA title game with an unreal display against Ohio State in the College Cup semis -- after his string of lights-out performances had gotten them there to begin with -- knows he's the best keeper in college by a country mile."
In preparation of the UMass men's soccer game at Boston University, the Terriers are planning a big tailgate for the Sunday night game at Nickerson Field. Several thousands of fans are expected for the 6 p.m. start on Sunday night. We hope to see many UMass fans out in Beantown to support the Minutemen. Of course, the last time in Boston, UMass men's soccer knocked off No. 1 Boston College on the way to the NCAA College Cup.
Don't miss this: What else could it be other than the UMass football opener against Albany on Saturday. A big crowd is expected for the first game under the new permanent lights at McGuirk Stadium. If you have not already bought your tickets, you can get them online or by calling 1-866-UMASS-TIX.
Thursday, Aug. 28
The days continue to be eventful here at UMass as the football season opener is just two days away. Join us at the Hangar Pub & Grill in Amherst tonight at 7 p.m. for the first UMass Football Radio Show of 2008. Head coach Don Brown will be joined by senior captains Liam Coen and Sean Smalls as host Josh Maurer announces his first UMass Sports Network event. If you can't make in person, listen on 100.9 FM or online. The show is the first after a new three-year extension has been reached between UMass and Clear Channel, which runs WRNX.
In Memphis, former UMass coach John Calipari has filled out his basketball staff after several members left to come to UMass as part of Derek Kellogg's staff. Former NBA star Rod Strickland has been named the Director of Basketball Operations. Also of note, the son of new UMass assistant coach Vance Walberg, Jason Walberg has been named the Assistant to the Recruiting Coordinator/Manager.
On ESPN.com, soccer writer Maria Burns Ortiz looks at story lines to follow in the 2008 men's soccer season. UMass' Zack Simmons, who was picked as a preseason First-Team All-American by Soccer America on Wednesday, is pictured in the article. Ortiz' No. 3 point of the feature takes a look at te Minutemen with: Can UMass Keep Rolling?.
Don't miss this: Join us Thursday night at the Hangar Bar & Grill on University Drive in Amherst for the first UMass Football Radio Show of the season, at 7 p.m. The show will mark the UMass debut of the new "Voice of the Minutemen" Josh Maurer on the air as he hosts head coach Down Brown. Senior captains Liam Coen and Sean Smalls will be the player guests on the show. If you can't make the show, please listen on 100.9 FM WRNX or online through their website.
Wednesday, Aug. 27
Wednesday's Just Take A Minute features various stories on the UMass men's basketball schedule being released. Fans who want to hear more about the schedule can come to Wednesday 2008-09 Sports Luncheon debut at the Campus Center at 12 Noon. Derek Kellogg will be a speaker along with football coach Don Brown, so join us. Also, if you missed it on Tuesday night, NESN had a segment on the UMass football team which opens the season Saturday under the new lights at McGuirk Stadium. NESN SportsDesk re-airs Wednesday at 12 Noon and 12:30, so if you can't make the luncheon, watch NESN.
Tuesday means its only four days from the football season opener on Saturday at 6 p.m. under the new lights at McGuirk Alumni Stadium. Be sure to purchase your tickets to the game. The lights were turned on for the first time on Monday. Check out the football front page preview of the game against Albany to see the lights.
In a late item from the Olympics, UMass sophomore swimmer Dan Backler wrote for the Newburyport Daily News local newspaper during Michael Phelps run to his record eight medals. Check out his various stories here on this google link.
UMassAthletics.com Feature To Check Out: Be sure to ask your questions of UMass football coach Don Brown. He will answer them on Thursday night as part of the first radio show of the season. The show airs on WRNX 100.9 FM from the Hangar Pub & Grill with new Voice of the Minutemen Josh Maurer.
Don't miss this: The UMass football team will have their first night practice under the new lights at McGuirk Alumni Stadium on Tuesday night.
Monday, Aug. 25
Welcome back to Just Take A Minute ... It was an eventful weekend for UMass' teams as the official fall season got underway with the women's soccer team falling at Binghamton in overtime, 2-1. The field hockey team and men's soccer team play their final exhibitions games as the Minutewomen beat Boston University, 2-1 while the No. 13 Minutemen tied No. 11 Brown, 1-1, in a New England clash. It was also a huge weekend for several UMass alums. In lacrosse, Jack Reid ('06) and Jeff Zywicki ('05) keyed the Rochester Rattlers run to the Major League Lacrosse championship on Sunday as Big Z scored six goals in the 16-6 title win. Here's a look at several articles and tidbits from over the weekend.
Over the weekend, Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette had a feature on Victor Cruz and his long and winding journey to finally being a key factor for the Minutemen this season.
Up in Canada, former UMass football All-American Shannon James and his Calgary Stampeders defeated the BC Lions, 36-29 as he made four tackles. James is third on the Stamps with 24 tackles as Calgary is 5-3 overall.
Former UMass 3-point shooter James Life has signed to play professional basketball in Argentina. According to the Sarasota Herald Tribune Life, Life signed with Ben Hur of the top Argentine League. Life played in England last season, his first as a pro after graduating from UMass in 2007.
UMassAthletics.com Feature To Check Out: The 2008 UMass Football Gameday Central has been launched. For all the information such as rosters, statistics, and up-to-date news visit the page throughout the 2008 season..
Don't miss this: The Atlantic 10 is expected to release the league's 2008-09 men's basketball schedule this week. Stay tuned to UMassAthletics.com for the latest news on the men's basketball team.