Sharon’s Cosgrove Named Coach of the Year at RIC

Jenna Cosgrove
Sharon alum Jenna Cosgrove instructs her Rhode Island College team in a game earlier this season against Roger Williams. (Courtesy Photo)

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When Jenna Cosgrove took over the Rhode Island College program, the Anchorwomen had won only 19 games in the three previous seasons combined and had finished bottom of the Little East Conference with five wins in 2016-17. Three years later, RIC won 22 games (second-most in program history) and reached the conference championship game.

Cosgrove, who played basketball for four years at Sharon and then at Endicott College, was named the Little East Coach of the Year for bringing the RIC program back to the top of the league standings.

“It’s bittersweet right now because we just lost in the championship,” Cosgrove said in a phone conversation a few days after RIC’s 49-44 loss to Eastern Connecticut State in the conference title game. “In year three to take the team to the championship and receive an honor like this speaks volumes of the growing respect for the program.”

Despite 22 wins this winter, RIC just missed out on an at-large berth in the NCAA Tournament. Cosgrove still saw a lot of growth for the program this season. She said, “I tell the kids we now should be a top 25 team. It raises the standards really high and it’s exciting for the program. I think our girls will be fired up next year to try and come back and win a championship.”

Coaching is a family trait. Cosgrove’s grandfather Jack helped found the Pop Warner football program in Sharon, coached several sports, and the middle school field was recently named in his honor. Her uncle Jack is the winningest football coach in University of Maine history and is still active as the head coach at Colby College.

Her interest in the profession led to a sports management degree at Endicott and shortly after graduating from college led to her taking jobs coaching AAU basketball at Mass Premier and as an assistant for Sharon coach Kate Horsmann.

At the age of just 23, Cosgrove got the opportunity to be an administrative assistant and support staff for the women’s basketball program at Fordham. “I jumped at it,” she explained. “It was a big leap of faith for me because obviously I was transitioning from Sharon to the Bronx at 23 and I didn’t know anybody.”

 

She traveled with the team, helped out at games and at practices, and, after the head coach left at the end of the season, was part of the interview process for new coach Stephanie Gaitley. The Rams had gone nearly two decades without a winning record but Gaitley turned the Rams into perennial league title contenders and had 20-plus wins in six of her first eight seasons in charge.

Cosgrove became an assistant coach after three years and eventually was named recruiting coordinator. After seven years in the Bronx, she took another leap and became the head coach at RIC. She took her experience and a lot of what she learned from Gaitley to help turn things around for the Anchorwomen.

“That journey being in New York, that really defined me as a coach and I learned from one of the best in the business at that level, but I spent a lot of time there and it got me to this job because I wanted to be back home, I wanted to be closer to family,” said Cosgrove. “It got me back to my roots and to be a head coach.”

She added, “I learned how to change culture from [Stephanie]. When she took over that program, we were at the bottom of the Atlantic 10 and within three years we won an A-10 championship. When I got here, we were at the bottom and I knew we would need to bring in good players, which we’ve done, but a big part of it is building culture and building confidence.”

The first season in charge was tough, but RIC doubled its win total in year two, finishing 18-9 and making it to the LEC semifinal. This year was even better, RIC finished at 22-5. Cosgrove admitted that there was a lot to learn in her first head coaching position.

“Jumping from being an assistant to head coach taught me more in that first year about myself, but it’s the most rewarding experience and I love being a head coach and I wouldn’t change anything,” she said.

Her time as a member of the support staff at Fordham and especially her time in recruiting prepared her for the challenges that coaches at the DIII level face. With much smaller staffs, DIII coaches have their hands in have aspect of the program and Cosgrove said it was a “competitive edge,” although in the end coaching is still about being able to work with and get the most out of a group of student-athletes.

“It’s about being able to really relate to the kids and to motivate the kids and really have that close relationship off the court,” Cosgrove said. “I was a good athlete but I don’t know if I ever really reached my potential. Part of my desire to coach is to instill that in other kids and get them to reach their potential and maximize their opportunity.”

“t’s the player connection. It’s being able to impact a player’s life. I look at my season ending and my two seniors and those kids are going to be in my life forever, in terms of being able to help impact and change their life.”

Being in charge of a DI program is a typical ambition for anyone in the coaching profession, but Cosgrove isn’t looking ahead.

“Right now, I just live in the moment,” she said. “I’m not done here. I want to win a championship. I think going from DI to DIII gives a lot of perspective, you hit a stage where you do really value balance and I think I’m in a really good spot right now.”

RIC will be happy to have her coming back, hungrier than ever after getting to the program’s first LEC final since 2014.

Attleboro’s Tellier Making His Pitch as National Prospect

Nate Tellier
Former Attleboro standout Nate Tellier heads into his senior season at UMass Dartmouth as one of the top DIII baseball prospects in the country. (UMass Dartmouth Athletic Communications)

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It is only three games into the new baseball season and already former Attleboro High standout Nate Tellier is racking up the recognition at UMass Dartmouth. Prior to the start of the season, the senior center fielder and relief pitcher was named one of the top Div. III recruits in the country and this week was named the Little East Conference Player of the Week after sweeping a weekend doubleheader against Becker College.

Tellier has started on fire at the plate, going 6-for-10 with three doubles, a home run, a team-high seven RBI, a stolen base, and five runs scored. He went 4-for-6 with a three-run homer and drove in five RBI in an 11-1 win against Becker that opened the weekend series.

He has only made one appearance on the mound for the 3-0 Hawks, working around a pair of walks to throw a scoreless inning.

On the mound is where the 5-foot-11, 195-pound Tellier is making his biggest impression on scouts. Perfectgame.org named him the No. 4 prospect nationally in Div. III. He was the top-ranked prospect in New England and just one of two from the region to be named.

“It means the world to me that my hard is being recognized but it doesn’t mean that’s all there is,” said Tellier a couple days after the season-opening win against Emerson College. “It’s cool to be recognized but it doesn’t mean anything for the future or that I can stop working.

“It kind of just drives me a little bit more because it means that I’m that little bit closer. It gives me more reason to work towards that goal at the end of being drafted.”

A two-time all-conference selection, Tellier has impressed in his three seasons in Dartmouth. He is a career .338 hitter with nine career homers and 84 career RBI, with at least 50 hits in all three seasons. He moved from the bullpen to the starting rotation his sophomore season, but moved back last spring. He has a career record of 3-4 with 10 saves, an ERA of 2.72, and 63 strikeouts in 53 innings pitched (which works out to 10.7 strikeouts per nine innings).

 

When asked what he likes best about being the closer, Tellier said, “Just the compete level coming into a game either tied or up or down by one or two and knowing you have to compete at your best to be able to come out on top.”

He added, “You’re not throwing that long so you go out there and you don’t have to pace yourself, you just throw as hard as you can for about 15 pitches and you’re good.”

Tellier, who has also played the past three years with the Martha’s Vineyard Sharks in the NECBL, continues to improve each year. He allowed just 14 hits in 29 innings last season and struck out 41, an average of 12.72 per nine innings. He admits that he had a lot to learn about pitching when he got to college, despite a dominant senior season at Attleboro, and that he is much more comfortable on the mound than earlier in his career.

“In high school, I could just throw hard and that would work,” he explained. “I could get by with that only. I had to develop a couple of pitches because in college you’re not going to get by for long just throwing hard without location or off-speed stuff.”

He is working on his breaking ball, a change-up, and a two-seamer, developing a repertoire of pitches to fool college hitters. It has been a process, but Tellier feels like he has found a groove on the mound.

“When I got to college I had no idea what I was doing out there,” he said. “I just hoped the ball was going where I wanted it to, now I know the ball is going where I want. I’m a lot more comfortable.”

It was also a process in the field, as he moved from shortstop to the outfield and Tellier sees improvement in how he tracks balls off the bat and the angles that he takes to get to balls in center. His growth at the plate has been obvious and also been a benefit to his pitching.

“You get to see the ball from both sides and sometimes on the mound you think, if I was a hitter what would I be thinking in this situation?” Tellier remarked.

At Attleboro, Tellier was 3-0 his senior season, blowing teams away with his fastball. He struck out a league-high 65 batters that season, including 16 over eight innings in a no-hitter against North Attleboro, and had a league-low ERA of 0.60. He only allowed three earned runs all season and pushed the Bombardiers to the Div. 1 South semifinal.

Still, there is so much that Tellier wishes he had known about pitching then. He said, “I just wish I had been a better locator. I wish I knew how to take care of my arm. In high school I didn’t do any bands, I barely used any ice, I just went out and threw and that was it.”

After helping UMass Dartmouth reach the Little East title game last spring, Tellier is looking to bring home a title this season and believes that this is a team filled with the talent to accomplish that goal. In the process, he will also be working towards the dream of being selected in the MLB draft or possibly find a spot with an independent league team.

“Most of college, I’ve been working hard but haven’t been noticed,” he said. “Sometimes you think that it’s not going towards anything or not really paying off that well and so it weighs on you sometimes, but knowing that it’s paying off and that people are noticing keeps me driving.”

With one last collegiate season ahead, Tellier knows to not take anything for granted.

“I’m excited. I’m just taking all the experience that I’ve had the past three years and putting it all into this one season and leaving it all on the field. Hopefully, afterwards I’ll move on to bigger and better things.”

KP’s Allan Breaking Records for Brandeis Track

Jack Allan
KP grad Jack Allan broke another Brandeis track record last week, setting a new mark in the 60-meter hurdles. He is hoping to reach nationals in the heptathlon. (Sportspix.com/Brandeis Athletics)

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When he initially signed up for track in the spring of his freshman year at King Philip, Jack Allan was looking for something to fill time and to keep him in shape for the fall soccer season and swim in the winter. By his own admission, he wasn’t particularly great that first season on the track.

Eight years later and Allan is now a standout for Brandeis University, captain of the track team, and setting new program records in the heptathlon, decathlon, and most recently in the 60-meter hurdles. His heptathlon score is currently 10th best in the nation in Div. III and he is on pace to qualify for nationals.

“I was really bad at baseball so I naturally started doing track to keep me busy,” he joked. “My freshman year I was no good, but my sophomore year I started to find some success. I grew into my body and I really started to love it and the personal achievement you can find.

“There is a competitive aspect to it but when you can really work hard at something and compete against yourself and get that personal achievement it really drove me.”

His senior year at KP, Allan took third in both the 110-meter hurdles and the triple jump and fifth in the long jump at the Hockomock Outdoor Track Championships. He was drawn to those events because, as he put it, “running is pretty boring on a base level.” He added, “Throw some hurdles on a track and run over those is a lot more exciting than just running in circles for however long you do it.”

When he got to Brandeis, he expected those would be the events that he would be competing in. As it turned out, new assistant coach Jason Sliwoski saw the potential for more. He noticed Allan’s height and his athleticism and had Allan start training for the heptathlon and the decathlon. It turned out to be a record-breaking fit.

“I didn’t know it at the moment but he was so right,” Allan explained, “and I’m so glad that he knew right away that this was something that would work out for me and something that I’d find success in.”

 

Success in those events was nearly taken away from Allan during the indoor track season as a sophomore. He suffered a significant injury to his labrum while pole vaulting at the New England meet. While he finished that heptathlon in a top five place, he was limited to hurdles and jumps during the outdoor season.

He had surgery to fix his shoulder over that summer, but there was concern that he wouldn’t be able to take part in those events any more because of the strain that something like pole vaulting would cause. Allan took advantage of his recuperation period to study abroad in Amsterdam, clear his head, and regain his focus to come back even stronger for his junior season.

“It kind of allowed me to get away from track because it’s so much in college. It’s practice everyday, multiple hours, and lifts in the morning,” he said. “It made me really want to compete, to really get back into it, I hated being away from it, I hated being injured, and it drove me so much to get back at it.”

When asked about the new perspective that he gained while out injured and how that has impacted his performance, Allan replied, “It kind of felt like it could be taken away from so easily. This will be the end of my track career after college, so it made me focus everything I have on it and give everything I got.”

That attitude has certainly paid dividends for the Judges on the track.

Last spring, Allan set a new Brandeis mark with a 5,998 in the decathlon at the DIII New England Championship meet, eclipsing a record that had stood since 1980. A week later, he became the first athlete in program history to eclipse the 6,000-point mark, finishing with a 6,121 at the All-New England Championships. He set new PRs in the 1,500-meter run (the event that pushed him past 6,000), the javelin, and the pole vault.

“It was like a weight lifted off my shoulder that I finally got over 6,000 points and I felt like I could look beyond it now and set my goals higher,” he said.

At the Branwen Smith-King Invitational at Tufts University in early February, Allan broke his own school record in the heptathlon (for the second time this season). He finished with 4,782 points and demonstrated his range of talents by finishing first or second in five of the seven events, including PRs in long jump and hurdles.

With a few meets remaining, including the conference meet in New York City at the end of the month, Allan is in position to fulfill his goal of reaching nationals for the first time in his career. He was only 300 points shy of qualifying in the decathlon last spring.

“That’s the biggest goal that I’ve been thinking about for the past three years at Brandeis,” he said. “Seeing my older teammates go, it’s always been a goal of mine and I really hope that the score I have would make it.” He noted that for the past five seasons, his current score would have been good enough to make the trip.

Just last week, Allan added to his impressive resume by finishing the 60-meter hurdles in a time of 8.46 seconds, breaking a decade-old record by a tenth of a second.

“I think it really validates that what I’ve been working on and putting in these hours with my coach down on the track that it’s all paying off,” he said. “Once you break something, you get that confidence that things are possible and it’s not just an unachievable number in a record book somewhere, but something I can break and something I think I can keep getting better at.

“It’s really crazy. I didn’t expect to be in this position. It really just puts into perspective that I’m doing something Brandeis hasn’t seen before.”

Allan still has unfinished business with goals like reaching nationals and then finishing in the top eight to achieve All-American status, but he also recognizes that his track career is rapidly coming to a close and he is trying to enjoy the time that he gets to spend competing with his teammates.

“Just competing and practicing with my team everyday makes me so happy,” Allan reflected, “and I’m just living in the moment and appreciating it all before it comes to an end. I know it’s going to fly by so I’m just appreciating the little moments with my team.”

The UAA Championships will start on February 29 at NYU and the NCAA Championships start on March 13 at JDL Fast Track in North Carolina.

Sharon’s Roelke Walks On to Play DI Hoops at Lehigh

David Roelke
Sharon grad David Roelke walked on at Lehigh University and is looking forward to a strong finish to his senior season. (Hannahally Photography/Lehigh Athletics)

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There is a scene in the movie Rudy where Sean Astin’s title character is trying out for a walk-on spot on the Notre Dame football team. There are maybe two dozen players trying to fill just a couple of spots and they are being bruised, battered, and bloodied to get a chance to be on the practice squad. Luckily for Sharon grad David Roelke, it wasn’t quite the same experience for him to join the Lehigh University team and play Div. I college basketball.

“It wasn’t anything too crazy,” he explained, laughing when the scene from Rudy is referenced. “We just kind of had a little workout together and then I kind of got thrown right into the team to be honest. It wasn’t too bad.”

Roelke had continued to play basketball and work out when he got to Lehigh, playing in rec leagues and getting to know some of the players from his time in the gym. During one of his workouts at the end of his freshman year, one of the coaches from the women’s basketball team asked him to help out with their practice team.

“Once that hit it off, I kind of realized I still wanted to be involved in basketball and I was confident enough that I knew I was good enough to do it,” Roelke said. “I got great feedback from the program and the guys on the team would always invite me to their pickup and just got it rolling.”

Lehigh was admittedly not Roelke’s first choice coming out of Sharon. He had some opportunities to play basketball with local Div. II and Div. III programs, but he wasn’t sure if the schools were the right fit. He was accepted to Lehigh off the waitlist around the time of graduation. He had been planning on attending Fordham but took a visit to the Bethlehem, Pa. campus and decided to go to Lehigh a semester into his freshman year.

It didn’t take long for Roelke to realize that, as much as he like the school and college life, something was missing.

“I just missed basketball,” he said. “It’s like having a family and I missed that a lot over the first three semesters of college that I wasn’t playing.”

 

Roelke added, “I’ve always been part of a team, whether it’s AAU or Sharon or whatever, so it was kind of jarring to go to college and not have that in any capacity. Freshman year I’d go to a game and think, wow this is my school’s team and I’m not on it, which was really weird for me because I’ve done it my whole life.”

He said that he was instantly embraced as a member of the team, scholarship or no, and he has embraced living the DI athlete lifestyle, especially the structure that it gives to his day. As an example, Roelke recited his schedule for the following day, which included class, then treatment from the training staff, then a few hours of practice, then an hour of lifting, then 30 minutes of film.
“I think one of the big adjustments for kids when they get to college is the amount of free time that you have and that’s just gone,” he explained. “Learning to manage that has taught me a lot about commitment, priorities, and what I need to get done when.”

Obviously it is easier to commit to the level of work, time, travel, and structure of being an athlete when you are also getting frequent playing time. It is a different experience as a walk-on who only gets on the court every once in a while.

“I’m getting full reps in practice and everything, and I’ll have a week in practice where I feel like I’m one of the best players on the court, I’m killing it, and that doesn’t translate to playing time, which can be frustrating,” Roelke admitted.

He continued, “As long as I’m doing my job then it’s going to translate into the team doing better and, at the end of the day, I want a ring and I want to go to the NCAA Tournament. Whether that means playing in a game or not playing, at the end of the day I want a ring so whatever works for that.”

It didn’t take Roelke long to get his chance to experience DI basketball, as he played in the season opener against Monmouth and scored in his first appearance, prompting a flood of text messages from friends and family marveling at how he was playing at the top level. This season, the Mountain Hawks have made trips to the likes of nationally-ranked Auburn and to St. Mary’s. In the end, Roelke said, “It’s nothing too crazy, it’s just basketball.”

He added, “I came back to all these texts from people, ‘Hey, you scored in a DI basketball game, that’s crazy,’ and on the bus I was like, I guess. I was on the bus and just thinking, I’ve got practice in the morning…It was just basketball. Once you get on the court, it’s not all that different from a Sharon/Foxboro game.”

Over the summer, Roelke started working for a sports recruiting service and he has shared his unique perspective with families looking to find the right fit for their student-athletes. He knows that walking on isn’t always the right fit, as it has been for him at Lehigh, but he emphasizes that the right college experience, whether it is at the DI, DII, or DIII level, is different for everyone.

“I think that there’s kids out there who are thinking, okay I don’t have a scholarship opportunity right now and are thinking about what kind of college experience they want,” he said. “If you don’t want to spend that much time doing it and it’s not something that you love, then go do something else, but if it’s something that you’re going to think I wish I was playing basketball five hours a day then go do it. It’s definitely worth it.”

Lehigh is currently 6-18 on the season, following a win over Lafayette on Saturday, and 3-9 in the conference. While it hasn’t been the best of winters to this point, the Mountain Hawks still have the chance of making a Cinderella run to the tournament and Roelke is hoping to cap his senior season with a chance to play on the biggest stage.

“That’s the best thing about college basketball,” he said. “We have the talent to do it. It’s just a matter of getting hot at the right time. If anyone’s going to make a run, it’s going to be us. We’ve got the pieces to do it, it’s just a matter of putting it together at the right time.”

Franklin’s DiGiacomo Reps JWU at NCAA Convention

Olivia DiGiacomo
Franklin alum Olivia DiGiacomo represented Johnson & Wales University at the NCAA Convention as one of 40 student-athletes selected from a national pool to take part in the DIII Immersion Program. (JWU Athletics)

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Competing in collegiate athletics opens a number of unique opportunities, not all of them on the field. Franklin grad Olivia DiGiacomo got to experience one of those opportunities last week, when she attended the annual NCAA convention in Anaheim, Calif. as part of the Div. III Immersion Program.

DiGiacomo, a junior outfielder on the Johnson & Wales University softball team, was nominated for the program by her softball coach Kim Camara-Harvey and director of athletics Dana Garfield. She was one of 40 Div. III student-athletes selected from thousands of nominees nationwide to join the program and attend the convention.

“My coach and my athletic director looked at me as a leader and someone who can bring back a lot of information and knowledge back to campus,” said DiGiacomo after she got back from the convention. “It was absolutely a gratifying experience to be recognized.”

The DIII Immersion Program was created in 2015 to give ethnic minority student-athletes who have an interest in coaching or administration an inside look into how the convention works and to build their personal networks. Each year, 40 student-athletes are given a fully-paid trip to the convention, attend workshops, and interact with professionals in the field.

DiGiacomo, who is Hispanic/Latino, and the other student-athletes spent a week in meetings, networking sessions, and listening to influential speakers from around the world of college athletics, including the likes of ESPN college basketball commentator Dick Vitale.

It was also a chance to meet with other athletes from around the country who have similar interests. In addition to this year’s crop of attendees, DiGiacomo said that they were also introduced to the student-athletes from the last several years, giving them access to nearly 200 connections.

“It was really cool,” she explained. “All of us came from very different backgrounds and from all around the country. It was really cool to interact with all those different people and those are definitely long friends and connections that I will have the rest of my life.”

 

As one of the leaders of the JWU softball team, and someone who is already showing an interest in coaching, DiGiacomo was an obvious choice for Camara-Harvey.

“I knew this experience would give her the opportunity to learn more about what it takes to be successful,” she said. “I also knew that she would represent our University and softball program at an elite level in all of her interactions with other professionals and students at the conference.”

Camara-Harvey added, “I hope she takes away a passion for athletics and understands what an impact it can have on students, coaches and administrators.”

DiGiacomo coaches softball during the summer, working with youth players who are looking to get recruited by college programs. At the convention, she learned ways to turn that experience into a career. She said, “Definitely being confident in what you believe and having your own core values – being kind, don’t judge, and then be loyal to everyone.”

One of the core values that DiGiacomo and the program share is promoting diversity and inclusion in DIII athletics.

“At the Div. III level there are so many walks of life and different people that you run into and can encounter in your life,” she said. “We need to be able to accommodate that and be empathetic to that and understand people in their many walks of life and be considerate of that.

“Coming to Johnson & Wales, in a city that’s very diverse, freshman year was like, ‘Woah look at all these different people coming from all these different walks of life.’ My parents raised me to be kind and not judge and to value every person for who they are and coming here I was able to make friends with all kinds of different people.”

The program promotes leaders off the field, but DiGiacomo has also demonstrated leadership on the diamond as well. A second-team all-conference selection last spring, she is one of only a few upperclassmen for JWU this season and, once she returns from injury, is hoping to guide a young team back to the top of the conference standings.

“Definitely at Franklin I tried to be that leader that people could go to and talk to and be open with everybody,” DiGiacomo said. “In college, I was definitely recognized as a leader and chosen obviously to come to this convention but also to step up on and off the field and help underclassmen. Coach has definitely seen me as a leader and it’s something that I fully embraced and accepted.”

Not only has leadership been part of her playing career, but DiGiacomo and the other student-athletes that attended the NCAA convention in the DIII Immersion Program will hope that leadership also becomes a part of their professional careers as well.

Foxboro’s Harrison Shooting Her Way to Becker Record

Cassidy Harrison
Foxboro alum Cassidy Harrison has shot her way up the Becker College all-time scoring charts and recently became the second player in program history to reach 1,500 career points. (Brian Foley/Becker Athletics)

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On Thursday night against New England College, in a rematch of last year’s NECC Tournament final, Cassidy Harrison matched her career-high with 32 points. She knocked 10-of-17 shots from the field and with a second quarter jumper she became only the second player in the history of the Becker College program to reach 1,500 career points.

Harrison is already the program’s all-time leader in career three-pointers (194) and steals (271) and, if she continues at her current scoring pace of 16.5 points per game, could pass 2009 grad Beth Pion to become the top scorer to ever play for the Hawks.

“It’s really special to me,” Harrison said about being among the program’s top scorers. “All of these players were really amazing in college and I looked up to them and I’ve watched film of them play and it’s humbling to know that I could be up there with them.”

When asked if she thought that this was going to be how her college career would go, Harrison quickly replied, “Oh gosh no. I never expected anything like that. I just kind of came in to play and have fun and I never expected to be where I am now.”

While she was at Foxboro High, Harrison demonstrated the potential to be a consistent three-point threat. She scored nearly 13 points per game as a senior at Foxboro and buried 40 threes while earning HockomockSports.com Second Team honors.

In her final game as a Warrior, she drilled a three in the closing seconds of regulation to force overtime at Falmouth in the Div. 2 South quarterfinal and just missed a last second effort that would have sent Foxboro to a third straight semifinal.

Harrison has more than lived up to the potential that she flashed at Foxboro. She stepped right into the lineup at Becker, averaging more than 14 points per game as a freshman, and was a major contributor in the team’s first NECC title and its NCAA trip in 2017-18. Harrison scored 16.2 points per game that season.

 

For her career, she is making more than 31 percent of her threes and is making nearly 80 percent of her shots at the line. She is a three-time all-conference selection, was named the conference’s Rookie of the Year in 2016-17, and was the NECC Tournament MVP as a sophomore.

“Definitely at the collegiate level you have the opportunity to improve your game tremendously,” said. “Especially if you have the right coach and the right teammates, all that stuff, then it’s definitely possible to keep improving.”

She credits head coach David Bostick for a lot of the progress she has made as a shooter and in her all-around game. “He worked with me every day on my shot and ball-handling and footwork and quickness,” Harrison said. “I really owe a lot to him. He put the extra time to get me to where I am.”

The Hawks got off to a tough start to the season. After graduating several core players from last year’s squad and adding several new faces, the team needed to build its chemistry on and off the court, but they got off to a decent start to conference play. After losing to defending champ NEC, Becker sits at 4-3 in the league.

“I got off to a little bit of a slow start but playing in conference has helped,” Harrison said. “It’s a different kind of feel. You know who you’re playing against and how other teams play and we know how we can play against some of these teams because we’ve played them before.”

Having experienced a league title and a trip to the NCAA tournament, Harrison knows what it takes to be a success. Now, as a senior captain, she is trying to pass that on to the younger players.

“The upperclassmen really helped me out a lot and now being a senior captain the underclassmen really look to me,” she explained. “I feel like I have to be a role model for them, so that’s helped me improve my game a lot.

“The senior class we have now, we know how hard we have to work in the season to get to where we were and win a conference title. It won’t be easy but I think that our team has the ability.”

Last time the Hawks went to the NCAA Tournament, they ran into Amherst College, which at the time was one of the top-ranked teams in the country. Although Becker didn’t win the game, Harrison remembers the experience fondly and she wants another chance at that before her career comes to a close.

“I would love to keep going, win another championship, and keep going in the NCAAs and maybe try to get one game further than last time,” she said.

Between her nursing classes, practices, and games, there isn’t a lot of free time in the winter, but Harrison is also trying to make time to reflect on how far she has come and to take full advantage of the last few weeks of the season.

“It’s definitely crazy,” she said. “It feels like it went by in the blink of an eye. I only have 10-11 games left in my basketball career, so it’s bittersweet. I feel like I’ve been playing my whole life. I like to reflect and look back and just enjoy every minute that I have left.”

Franklin’s Spillane Skates Into Final Shift at St. A’s

Ryan Spillane
Former Franklin standout Ryan Spillane has battled back from an injury to have a strong senior season at St. Anselm. (St. Anselm Athletics)

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Looking forward to his junior season at St. Anselm, Ryan Spillane was expecting to see a larger role for the Hawks. The former Franklin High standout had played in 23 games as a sophomore, scoring a pair of goals and recording three assists, and he had high hopes of even more ice time and even more production as a junior.

Unfortunately, a hamstring injury in September would cost Spillane the entire year. He has worked hard to not only get back on the ice but to become a regular contributor for a team with its sights set on bringing home the NE-10 title.

“By the beginning of the summer I was ready to get back on the ice and get in shape,” Spillane explained. “By the time the season came, I felt like I was ready to go, back in game shape like I was two years ago. It’s nice to be back on the ice.”

It is always hard for an athlete to sit and watch his team play, but Spillane praised his coaches, teammates, and the training staff at St. Anselm for keeping him involved and for getting him back on the ice for this season.

“It was definitely really frustrating,” he admitted. “At first, I was rehabbing the injury with hopes of coming back and then I saw a couple more doctors and it ended up that I had to have surgery. It’s tough to show up every day and watch knowing that you’re not going to be on the ice at any point in the season.”

The injury has also been a motivating factor for his senior season and a reminder to not take any moment on the ice for granted.

“It kind of was a little bit of a shock,” Spillane said. “It kind of told me that I have to focus in and really give it all I’ve got for this last year because you never know if something could happen. You could go down in any game, so you’ve just to give it everything you’ve got every game.”

 

Hard work has been a trademark of his game since his time at Franklin when Spillane led the Panthers to their first Super 8 berth, winning Hockomock League MVP and HockomockSports.com Player of the Year honors in the process. He capped that season with one of the top moments in program history, when he scored the game-winning goal against Xaverian in the Super 8 play-in game.

“I’m still best friends with all those kids I played with on that team,” Spillane said. “Obviously we’re older now, but it’s something that’s still reminisced upon on occasion.”

Although playing college hockey was something that he had long considered, Spillane chose to stay at Franklin for the full four years before taking a postgraduate season at Kent Hill School in Maine. He said that staying at Franklin was an easy decision, in no small part because he was able to play for his father Chris.

He said, “There was no chance I was going to leave Franklin. Obviously playing for my father, and playing with all the kids I grew up with, it was too special for me and something I wasn’t willing to give up.”

His season in Maine was critical to his development and, he said, one of the reasons that he was prepared for playing at the collegiate level. While his post-grad experience helped, Spillane said that there was still a lot of growth when he got to the Manchester, N.H. campus, both physically and mentally.

“I came in pretty light and was getting thrown around a little bit, so just getting stronger as a player is really important,” he said. “Coming into senior year, trying to pick up a bigger role, it’s definitely been quite a ride here.”

The comfort level he feels on the ice is obvious, as he has already scored a career-high six goals and tied his career-high with three assists through the first 18 games of the season. That included the eventual game-winning goal in the first period on Friday night against Post. It was the third straight win for the Hawks (10-7-1, 5-2-1), who are in the middle of conference play and currently lead the league by a point over St. Michael’s.

The Spillane family legacy at Franklin is well-documented. Chris Spillane was a star player for the Panthers before becoming the head coach and leading the program for 20 successful season. Ryan and CJ Spillane both played for the Panthers and their sister Kaitlyn was a standout at Franklin before heading to prep school and to an impressive career at St. Anselm.

Kaitlyn’s success at St. Anselm was one of the reasons that Ryan had the school as his top option.

“It’s where I wanted to play hockey, where I wanted to go to school, and I was fortunate enough to make that happen,” he said.




“Playing hockey at the same school as my sister definitely brought us closer together. We could talk hockey, we could talk school, we could talk whatever and it was really special to be able to watch her last couple years playing hockey. She’s a great hockey player, so it was really fun to watch her.”

One of the reasons that Chris Spillane cited for his decision to step down after two decades in charge of the Panthers was the chance to watch Ryan play his senior season. Ryan said he was grateful to look up in the stands and see both his parents there watching, even if the coaching hasn’t really stopped.

“You definitely get the pointers after every game, but it’s great that I’m able to have that relationship with him,” he said. “He’s been coaching [at Franklin] for so long, it’s been such a big part of his life our whole lives but it reaches a point in everything where you’ve got to call it quits and I think he was just at that point where he was ready to hang them up.”

Spillane is closing in on the time when he will have to hang up the skates as well. His senior season is winding down and he is confident that the team can send him out with a NE-10 championship. “I’ve only got about 13 games left in my career,” he said, “and I’d just like to go out on top, end on a high note, and just give it everything I’ve got.”

He took a moment to reflect on what the end of his career will mean, after so many years spent on the ice. “It’s just crazy to think how quick it’s winding down,” he said.

“It feels like just yesterday that I was playing my first college game, even playing high school games. It’s been a long career, hockey’s been my life since I was five years old, and it’s crazy to think it’s coming to an end. I wouldn’t change it for the world. I’ve had a great run.”

Milford’s Soares Spreads Language of Hoops in Haiti

Mike Soares
Former Milford standout Mike Soares (black shirt) joined with former Mansfield star (and former Bridgewater State teammate) Rocky DeAndrade to run basketball and fitness clinics for hundreds of kids in Haiti. (Photos courtesy of Michael Soares)

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Several months ago, Michael Soares was playing basketball with Pierre Valmera and they started discussing fitness training. Soares was a standout at Milford and played college basketball at Bridgewater State University, where he studied kinesiology. After graduating from BSU, he opened an online training company, New Human Project.

Valmera is the president and founder of Power Forward International, a non-profit organization that runs basketball camps in his native Haiti with the goal of creating sport and educational opportunities for Haitian youth.

When Valmera found out that Soares was interested in training and had a background in collegiate basketball, he asked him to join the cause and help out with the next clinic. It didn’t take much convincing to get Soares involved and he then asked his former Bridgewater State teammate (and former Mansfield standout) Rocky DeAndrade to take part as well.

“Right on the spot, I was like, hell yeah, why not?” Soares explained. “I reached out to Rocky because he and I have been doing a lot of stuff together and had been reaching out to a lot of YMCAs and middle schools and stuff about the importance of fitness and basketball.”

In December, Soares and DeAndrade traveled to Port-au-Prince. For both, it was their first visit to Haiti and it put into perspective the importance of giving back.

“We didn’t know what to expect,” Soares said. “The local people were super nice, but it was crazy to see the state where people were living their day-to-day lives.”

The clinic featured nearly 400 kids between the ages of 8-18. While Soares and DeAndrade had run clinics before, including one of the clinics sponsored by Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter this past summer, this was a significantly larger audience than usual. Soares said, “The kids were so nice. They were the most attentive kids I’ve ever been around.”

 

Language was a major concern at the start of the clinic, as only a handful of the kids spoke any English, but as it turned out that became a non-issue once the training began. Soares put them through a series of workouts, including stretches, squats, lunges, and more.

“It was so exhilarating,” Soares reflected. “It was really cool seeing all the kids and every time we finished something all the kids cheered and clapped. Honestly, it was one of the highest feelings I’ve ever gotten.”

Around 400 kids attended the clinic in Haiti.

Basketball became a universal language at the clinic, transcending any cultural differences. It was also clear from the start that the kids would have no problem picking up a game that many of them had never played before.

Soares marveled, “It was crazy how quick these kids picked up the drills. A lot of the kids hadn’t played basketball before and they were learning how to dunk on the spot. I was like, this is absurd. There’s so much talent and raw athleticism out there.”

He added, “We couldn’t communicate with hundreds of the kids at the camp but we can communicate through basketball and seeing their reactions when we taught them something new and they were able to do it. Seeing the reaction on their faces was interesting because I never thought I’d be able to communicate with someone who didn’t speak the same language as me.”

The clinic was more than just an opportunity to spread the sport to a new audience. As Soares noted, many of the kids that attended were there for a meal. Power Forward International, with help from Soares and DeAndrade, raised enough money for 400 meals, 200 backpacks, and new clothes for the attendees. “Some of the kids bused in from five hours away,” Soares said. “It was just simple rice and chicken but some of the kids said it was the most filling meal of the year.”

Soares has made a point of donating his time and a percentage of the money he has raised from his New Human Project to children’s health organizations. Being able to assist so many Haitian kids through fitness and basketball has inspired him to expand his efforts to help kids locally. He and DeAndrade have talked about running 100 camps to give back.

“Rocky and I are very like-minded,” he said. “When we were in Haiti, we were going over our business goals and professional goals and none of them ever had to do with benefitting ourselves but they were about helping others. We mesh really well, so we’ll be doing more of what we did in Haiti.”

A number of the kids from the clinic have reached out to Soares through social media to say thank you and to share videos of workouts in Haiti. As someone who has played sports at a high level for years and whose career is based on fitness, it is gratifying to see the impact that the clinic has had for so many kids.

“Even though they don’t have anything, they’re still working on their game,” Soares said, while describing videos of kids using creative methods to keep working out, such as using cinder blocks in the middle of the street.

“Basketball is a way of giving these kids life skills. It’s a way of giving them something to focus on instead of not working on anything or having no goals. Basketball, or sports in general, gives them life lessons and life goals to accomplish.

For more information about Power Forward International, visit https://pfii.org/.

DuBrow Back on Point After Return From Injury

Alex DuBrow
Former Foxboro standout Alex DuBrow has returned to the court after a knee injury cost him all but four games of his junior season at Wheaton. (Wheaton Athletics/Keith Nordstrom)

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Wheaton College men’s basketball has a new look squad this season. The Lyons graduated a strong group of seniors and are incorporating nine freshmen into the lineup. One of the “new” faces for Wheaton this winter is a familiar one, as senior point guard Alex DuBrow has made a full recovery from a knee injury that kept him out of all but four games as a junior.

DuBrow has fit seamlessly back into the rotation, leading the Lyons in minutes per game (35.0), points per game (14.3), and assists per game (7.7) through the opening three contests. Wheaton, which was picked last in the NEWMAC preseason coaches poll, has started 2-1.

“It feels amazing,” said DuBrow about getting back on the court. It was one year to the day from his injury and he reflected on his long year and his long recovery to be ready for his senior season. “It was hard…mentally, physically, just sitting every day doing rehab versus playing with my brothers.”

After winning three of the first four games last year, Wheaton looked poised for big things and the former Foxboro High standout was right at the heart of it. But in the fifth game, on an otherwise innocuous drive to the basket, DuBrow felt something pop. He tried to fool the trainers and get back on the court (“Probably the stupidest thing I’ve ever done,” he joked), but that was the end of a season in which he felt ready to make his mark.

“The hardest part for me, mentally, was that I was never going to play with those seniors again,” said DuBrow, who noted that he worked the whole summer on his game in preparation. “As a freshman I played a bit and as a sophomore I played a bit, but last year was really the year where those guys I had played with the last few years, it was our time and we really thought we had something going. We were all feeling good and I went down and it kind of sucked.”

For the first time in his playing career, DuBrow was out for a sustained period of time and it gave him a new perspective that, as a team captain, he is trying to share with the many underclassmen on this year’s squad.

“I definitely learned patience. Not everything goes your way,” he explained. “I’ve told them not to take any day for granted because even if you don’t get hurt the four years flies by. These guys, most of them have 80-90 games left, and each one is unique. Keep playing for each other, be a brotherhood, be a family, so that everything on the court is easier.”

 

DuBrow’s recovery was helped by having his former Foxboro teammate Robby Lowey by his side. The point guard and center combo has played together since middle school and DuBrow said that the chemistry between them on and off the court remains as strong as ever.

“I’ve been throwing him the ball for eight years now and he had to kind of adjust to that, but we’re right back at it,” DuBrow said. “I think seeing him out on the floor with me is always a good thing. We both start together with three freshmen and leading with him, coming back from injury, I think it just made everything more comfortable.”

He was cleared for basketball activities in August and has to wear a brace on his left knee for at least the remainder of this season. DuBrow admitted there has been an adjustment period, trying to get accustomed to wearing a brace, trying to overcome any hesitation about cutting or going to the basket, and trying to find different ways to contribute while building his speed back up.

All of that was in play in the season opener against Wentworth, as well as some early game jitters. The Lyons fell behind by more than 20 points, but were able to chip away at the lead, eventually forcing overtime.

“I told the guys at halftime, it’s just basketball,” DuBrow said. “There’s a reason you’re playing at this level and I knew that for myself that there was a reason I got cleared and fought so hard to be back and then we made our comeback.”

Although Mansfield’s Tommy Dooling ruined Wheaton’s and DuBrow’s comeback with a last second three that handed Wentworth a double overtime victory, it was a game that DuBrow (who scored 19 in the loss) thinks will be a springboard to a big season.

“It was a tough loss but we’re young and I think we learned a lot that game,” he said.

“We were picked last in the NEWMAC but I don’t think teams really know what we‘ve got. I’m healthy, we’ve got Rob as a senior, a couple other upperclassmen, and then nine guys who are competing every day in practice. I think we’re going to be pretty good and I hope this is just the groundwork for years to come for these young guys because they have a lot of promise.”

The freshmen have given DuBrow a boost of energy this season and he is ready to get back to being the pesky point guard that other teams hate to play against. He dished out 10 assists in a home-opening win against Framingham State (Lowey led the way with 19 points), and then led the team with 18 points and five assists to beat Dean College.

“My teammates and coaches, the trust they have in me to run the show really has helped me get back to my normal self and hopefully stronger this year than I ever have been,” said DuBrow. “When the shot clock winds down, they throw me the ball and I go make a play and I’m confident that every time I can do so. The confidence in myself and the confidence that my coaches and my teammates have in me is what pushes me to succeed.”

There is also an appreciation that there is one last chance to impress at Wheaton (DuBrow has a year of eligibility remaining, but Wheaton do not have a graduate program so he would have to go to another school). He is excited to be back on the court and he and the rest of the seniors are not taking anything for granted this season.

“Basketball, that’s my life,” he said. “It’s what I look forward to every single day, practice, games, and just one wrong step, non-contact, took that all away from me last year.

“We know it’s our last year. We looked at each other like what the heck is this team going to look like next year because we didn’t know who was coming in. Once we played pickup with these guys, we thought this could be special and we just have to lead them.”

The Campus Report: Fall 2019 In Review

Campus Report

The HockomockSports.com Campus Report is an update on former Hockomock League athletes currently competing in collegiate sports. If you would like to submit an update, please e-mail info@HockomockSports.com.

Former Mansfield star Hunter Ferreira, who holds the Hornets’ all-time receptions and receiving yards records, is well on his way to the top of the charts at Nichols College. In his sophomore season, he grabbed 69 passes for 912 yards and four touchdowns. His best game of the year came at the University of New England when he hauled in 12 catches (fourth-most in program history in a single game) for 148 yards. In just two years, he has 97 receptions (sixth all-time), 1,428 yards (sixth all-time), and 12 touchdowns (tied fourth all-time). Another former Hornet Joe Cox is the leader on the defensive side of the ball for the Bison. Cox led the team in tackles with 99, including a team-high and conference-best 68 solo tackles. He forced a fumble against Anna Maria and had an interception at Western New England. His 17 tackles for loss led the entire Commonwealth Conference. His 99 tackles this season is tied for sixth-best in program history. King Philip’s Brett McEvoy (Nichols ’18) is the program’s all-time tackle leader with 385. OA’s Darnele Ryan appeared in six games and has nine total tackles and Mansfield’s Phil Dinov made three tackles in four appearances.

Former HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year Joe Kellett had to watch Boston College’s first-round overtime loss of the ACC Tournament against Notre Dame after being issued a red card in the regular season finale. It marked the first game Kellett missed in his four years in college between BC and UMass Lowell. During his senior year, his first career goal for the Eagles proved to be the game-winner against UMass. He also scored the game-tying goal in a 2-2 overtime game against Virginia Tech. He played all 1,520 minutes of the season for BC during his junior year while starting all 34 games he played for UMass Lowell during his freshman and sophomore campaigns. In the first round of the NCAA tournament, Kellett played the opening 50 minutes in a win over Yale.

For the second straight season, King Philip’s Rachael Veilleux led the Nichols College volleyball team in assists. A sophomore setter, Veilleux has been dishing out sets for the past two seasons, helping the Bison win 12 matches this season. She had a team-high 360 assists (eighth-most in the conference) to go along with 16 aces this season. In her career so far, she has 592 assists.

Franklin Pierce’s Jason Reed earned All-East Region honors from the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association for his strong showing at the NCAA East Regional. Reed placed 20th overall at 32:28 and became the first Raven in program history to earn three straight All-Region accolades. Reed finished 14th overall at the NE10 Championship, clocking in at 27:47.6 for the 8k race.

Two former league rivals started every game this season for the Union field hockey squad. Senior Sarah Wilkinson, from Canton, and sophomore Cristina Boudreau, of Oliver Ames, both started in all 16 games this season for the Dutchmen. Wilkinson scored a pair of goals in her final season, once against Morrisville and then the game-winning strike in a win over William Smith. Boudreau scored her lone goal of the game against Rensselaer while recording three assists — all coming in a four-game span.

The Western Connecticut State University will be losing one of its most reliable players to graduation as Oliver Ames alum Melissa Krim wraps up her career with the Colonials. Krim did it all for WCSU, listed as a utility player on the roster because of her versatility. She scored 10 career goals, with eight coming in the past two seasons, and four assists. She scored her first game-winning goal this season in a win over Salem State. In her four years, Krim played in 76 games with 74 of them starts.

Milford graduate Katie Brown closed her career at Salem State with a strong senior season, earning MASCAC All-Conference Second Team honors. Brown, who was featured on HockomockSports.com earlier this season, was the leading goal scorer for the Vikings once again this season. For the second straight year, Brown found the back of the net eight times and added three assists this year for 19 total points. She scored the game-winning goal against Rivier early in the season and then added another winner in a 2-1 win on the road at Endicott. She finishes her career with the second-most points in program history (48) and second-most goals scored (22), just three shy of the record.

Success and Lily Sykes continue to go hand-and-hand as the former Foxboro Warrior is now helping the Tufts women’s soccer program go where it hasn’t gone in over a decade. A regular presence in the midfield, Sykes helped the Jumbos knock off Cortland in the opening round and TCNJ in the second round, sending Tufts to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2005. Sykes blasted a shot that was saved in the 8th minute of the game against Cortland, setting up Sophie Lloyd for the opening-goal. Sykes, a four-time EMass All-Star, has started in all 19 contests for the Jumbos this year, scoring three goals with one assist. She scored the game-winning goal on the road at Hamilton. Tufts takes on conference foe Williams in the Sweet 16 on Saturday.

Taunton’s Trevor Wysong continues to lead the pack for the Bridgewater State men’s cross country team. Wysong, who has been named MASCAC Runner of the Week six times this season alone, clocked in (25:56) nearly two minutes ahead of the next runner at the MASCAC Championship Race at Moore State Park to earn MASCAC Runner of the Year honors for the second straight season. After the MASCAC race, Wysong competed in the DIII New England Championships and finished 12th overall in the 8k course, clocking in at 25:11.3 to qualify for the NCAA DIII Championship race (this Saturday) for the second straight year.

Also competing at the MASCAC Championship race, Taunton’s Zac Bentley (Westfield State) finished 10th overall at 28:16, Stoughton’s Cameron Bean (Westfield State) was 12th overall at 28:25, Franklin’s Robert Moreau (Bridgewater State) crossed 15th overall ad 28:35, and Milford’s Anthony DiStauro (Westfield State) took 19th at 28:41. Milford’s Miguel Torres, a freshman for Framingham State, took 22nd overall at 29:02. Mansfield graduate Collin Rice, a sophomore at Westfield State, clocked in at 29:32 for 27th overall and fellow former Hornet Cullen Lancaster (Framingham State) was 33rd overall at 30:32.

On the girls’ side of MASCAC cross country, Milford grad and Bridgewater State senior Jenise Madden was the top former Hockomock runner this season. Madden was second at the MASCAC Championships and went on to place 34th out of a field of 380 runners to lead the BSU women’s cross country team and earn All-New England honors at the 2019 NCAA DIII New England Regional Cross Country Championships held at Bowdoin College. Other top finishes at the MASCAC race included North Attleboro’s Megan Leary (Bridgewater State, 21:14, 12th place) and North Attleboro’s Kyra Siano (Worcester State, 21:29, 15th Place).

Former Franklin standouts Alexis and Victoria Stowell wrapped up their collegiate careers with Assumption, helping the Greyhounds to a 7-4-5 overall record in 2019. Both played the same amount of games in their four-year careers (69) with Alexis (NE10 All-Conference Second Team selection) recording eight goals and six assists in 60 starts. Victoria played a vital role in the midfield with one goal and five assists in 53 starts. In their four years, Assumption won over 35 games.

The Bridgewater State women’s soccer team had its season come to a dramatic end in a double-overtime loss to Worcester State in the MASCAC Final. But a pair of former Hockomock standouts both had strong final seasons for the Bears. Taunton’s Alana Vincent was once again the leading scorer for the club, leading the conference in goals scored with 17. Her seven assists were also a team-high and were third in the MASCAC. Seven of her goals proved to be game-winners. Mansfield’s Katie Bongarzone also started all 19 games for BSU this fall as a key piece of the defense. She added a goal and three assists. Both Vincent and Bongarzone were selected to the MASCAC All-Conference First Team.

Two members of the HockomockSports.com 2015 Best XI were apart of the Northeast-10 All-Conference awards that were announced on Veteran’s Day. Former Oliver Ames captain and member of the 2015 D2 State Championship team Keegan Nutt finished his career with the Skyhawks this fall by being named to the NE10 All-Conference Second Team. Nutt tied for the team lead in scoring despite being a starting defender, scoring five goals and registering two assists for 12 points. He scored twice, including the game-winner off a free kick, against Saint Rose in late October. Another All-NE10 collection and former Best XI selection was Foxboro’s Devante Teixeira, who was named All-Conference Third Team. Teixeira, a senior at Southern Connecticut, led the Owls with 10 points (two goals, six assists) while starting in 14 games.

It’s been a good season for the UMass Dartmouth football team and the hexad of former Hockomock players there. All six have played for the Corsairs, who finished the year at 7-3. Taunton’s Chris Gomes had the biggest year of the half dozen alums, earning MASCAC Defensive Player of the Week honors back in September for his big game against Plymouth State in which he made a key stop on the 1-yard line to help secure a 21-14 win. For the season, the junior defensive back was fourth on the team with 47 tackles, including six for a loss and one sack, grabbed two interceptions, and tied for the team lead with six pass breakups. Attleboro’s Justin Cote was a regular on special teams, returning 12 kicks for a total of 219 yards. North Attleboro’s David Engler appeared in eight games, making a catch against Alred State. On the defense side, Foxboro’s Allston George had 14 tackles and played in all 10 games, North Attleboro’s Luke LaBonte made 11 tackles, including a half a sack, and Taunton’s Sam Krajewski had 10 tackles, an interception, and four pass breakups.

Former four-time Hockomock League All-Star and league MVP Ryan Tomaso is leading the way for the Hartford golf squad during his junior season. Tomaso played in five tournaments this fall with an average round of 73.64 in 14 rounds played. He shot par or better in four rounds and finished tied for second overall at the UConn Collegiate Invitational. He led the team in average for the fall season.

Former Taunton coach and current mentor for the Bridgewater State women’s tennis team Dave Purpura earned seven wins this fall and reached the Little East Semifinals before bowing out to RIC. Three former Hockomock players were in the lineup for Purpura, manning second, fourth, and fifth/sixth singles for the Bears. Taunton’s Olivia Sweeney was the second singles player and picked up six wins in singles action, and teamed up with fellow former Tiger Vanessa Rosa at second and third doubles. The pairing of Sweeney and Rosa won seven matches together, and Rosa had seven singles wins at mostly at fourth singles. Mansfield’s Rachel Tarantino played mostly fifth or sixth singles during the reason, earning 11 single wins and nine wins in doubles action at either second or third doubles.

Former HockomockSports.com Player of the Year and Mansfield Hornet Hannah Reiter has been a stalwart for Dave Clarke and his Quinnipiac women’s soccer team ever set she stepped foot on campus in Hamden. She played in all 19 games this season (all starts), and has played in every single game (56 games) since joining the program in the fall of 2017. This season, she was third on the team with 1,646minutes played, playing an important role defensively for the Bobcats. For her career so far, Reiter has three goals and five assists.

Meghan Dieterle finished her career as a Purple Knight this fall, finishing with 45 appearances for St. Michaels, including 11 starts this season. Dieterle has been a regular in the lineup for SMC for the past three years, scoring a pair of goals as a sophomore and recording four assists during her junior campaign. She tallied her final collegiate point, an assist, in a win over Lincoln this fall. Also patrolling the pitch up in Colchester is Sharon alum Victoria Zambello. A junior forward, Zambello has appeared in 33 games in three seasons, scoring in the win over Lincoln. Franklin’s Grace Gallo is also a member of the Purple Knights.

Down in Pennsylvania, Canton’s Mac Brown scored his first collegiate touchdown for Dickinson in a win over Juniata. Brown, a senior running back, hauled in his first career pass for a three-yard score. A week later, Brown had another catch for 14 yards on the road at Moravian.

Taunton graduate Connor Briggs started at center in all 10 games for Fitchburg State this season. A senior lineman, Briggs helped pave the way for an offense that averaged over 100 yards per game on the ground and had 61 rushing first downs. Attleboro’s William Healy appeared in three games, including on defense where he recorded three total tackles, including two against Plymouth State.

Former King Philip standout Larsen Keys was the only player to start in all 19 games for Western New England this season. A leader for the Golden Bears’ defense, Keys found his way into the attack as well with two goals and two assists this season. Both of the sophomore’s goals proved to be game-winners, the first coming in a 1-0 win over Wentworth and the other on the road at Elms.

Over at Worcester State, former Franklin Panther Henri Guilmette started and played every minute in goal for the Lancers. In 20 starts, Guilmette allowed 27 goals (1.32 GAA) with a .803 save percentage, making 110 total saves in over 1,800 minutes of action. He posted four shutouts and helped the Lancers reach the MASCAC Semifinal.

Bianca Coghi-DeSousa had a solid showing in her one year playing for the UMass Boston volleyball squad. Coghi-DeSousa, who previously played two seasons at Framingham State and once held the program record for aces at Stoughton High, played in 15 matches for the Beacons this fall. In 45 sets, she landed 46 kills and added eight total blocks. The Beacons made the NCAA tournament but fell to Babson, coached by Easton native Eric Neely, brother to Franklin basketball coach CJ Neely.

Defense was a huge reason that the Westfield State volleyball squad went a perfect 7-0 in conference matches and went on to claim the MASCAC championship. Mansfield grad Jess Haradon is a key piece of the defense, ranking third on the team with 281 digs. Only one player has featured in more sets for the Owls this season than Haradon, who has played in 30 matches and 106 sets. She had a season-high 30 digs in a five-set thriller with Clark earlier this season and had a six-match stretch with double-digit kills. With one year to go, Haradon has 848 career digs.




Prinos sisters Diana and Sophia have been key pieces for the Fairfield University tennis. Diana finished the fall season on a three-match win streak, playing once at second singles (winning 6-2, 7-5) and twice at third singles, winning twice in three sets. Diana also picked up three wins this fall in doubles action, teaming up with Paulina Bakaite for first doubles and getting a win in their fall finale over Sacred Heart. Sophia Prinos had a lot of success, taking first place in one bracket at the West Point Invite. She won in straight sets over St. Bonaventure, Lehigh, Colgate, and Marist to get to the final where she defeated Amy Stanley (St. Bonaventure) 6-1, 6-4. She went 2-1 in head-to-head competition, finishing with a 6-2, 4-6, 7-5 win against Sacred Heart at fifth singles.

Up at the University of New Hampshire, Franklin’s Ryan Spelman participated in six races for the men’s cross country team during his senior year. He finished ninth overall in a dual meet between the Wildcats and Maine, clocking in at 26:32.0 for the 8k course. His best 8k time came against Lehigh when he clocked in at 25:55.6, good for 119th overall. On the women’s side, Foxboro’s Nicole Yeomans had a solid showing at the D1 Northeast Region meet, clocking in at 22:19.5 for 165th overall.

North Attleboro’s Vanessa Frost was named to the Commonwealth Coast Conference Second Team following a strong season in the midfield for Salve Regina. Frost was just one of two midfielders that started all 19 games for the Seahawks during the 2019 campaign. Frost scored once (in the CCC Final) and added three assists while Foxboro grad Kayla Ames made five appearances this season, scoring in a win over Dean.

Liz Morehouse was among the top goalies in the New England Women’s & Men’s Athletic Conference in her first year in the cage for the Springfield Field Hockey squad. Morehouse, a former Big Red Rocketeer, started in all 19 games this season, making 87 saves (sixth in the conference) with a 2.06 goals against average (fourth in the conference). She set a career-high with 11 saves against Babson, and then repeated that feat twice more in against Trinity and MIT.

Former Mansfield standout Sarah Mullahy had a successful senior campaign with the Suffolk volleyball squad. A middle blocker, Mullahy ranked third for the Rams with 182 kills (1.77 per set) with an impressive .265 hitting percentage. She was second on the team with 44 blocks, landed 29 aces and even chipped in with 46 digs for the 20-win Rams. A captain this season, she was named to the GNAC All-Sportsmanship squad and had 326 kills in three seasons.

It shouldn’t come as a big surprise that sisters Ashlyn and Emma Gaulin made an immediate impact on the pitch in their rookie seasons with Hamilton College, who had a 10-5-1 overall record this season. Both appeared in all 16 games for the Continentals, with Emma starting all of the games and Ashlyn serving as a reliable super-sub off the bench. Patrolling the midfield, Emma recorded a pair of assists during the season with a helper against Bates and one against Hartwick, both games at home. Ashlyn also had an assist in the win over Bates while scoring off the bench against SUNY Oswego, Colby, Morrisville State (also an assist), and Sage Colleges. The Continentals were undefeated when either Gaulin recorded a point this season.

Franklin’s Madison Kuzio had a busy season as a defensive specialist for the Worcester State volleyball team. She was third on the team with 169 digs, playing in 70 sets this year. A junior, Kuzio has appeared in 66 matches thus far in her career and has 301 career digs to go along with 20 aces.

The workload continued to increase for Franklin grad Megan Adams during the 2019 season. After a redshirt first-year, Adams appeared in five games last season including her collegiate debut for Northeastern against Long Beach State. This year, Adams was the starting keeper for the Huskies, making 15 starts and playing over 1,200 minutes. Adams allowed just 16 goals (1.13 goals against average) while making 48 saves, posting a 7-7 record for the season with four shutouts. She had shutout wins over Towson, COFC, Drexel, and Elon.

Another former Panther and collegiate keeper Cat Robbins, a sophomore, continued to be a regular in net for the Plymouth State women’s soccer team. After nine starts last season, Robbins was once again the go-to option for the Panthers. She started 12 games this season, winning six games, with 41 saves and just a.184 goals against per game. She played over 1,000 minutes and has four shutouts in her career so far.

Two former Hockomock rivals are now team captains for Saint Anselm football. Junior Franklin Holgate, who played at Oliver Ames, and junior Ryan Sullivan, a former Black Knight, are two of the four captains for the Hawks. Holgate finished third on the team in receptions (40), fourth in receiving yards (484), and second with three touchdowns. Sullivan is a leader on the other side of the ball, second on the team with 54 solo tackles and 95 total tackles. He also had four sacks, 7.5 tackles for a loss, a forced fumble, and four pass breakups. He earned NE10 Conference Defensive Player of the Week honors in Week 6 for his performance against New Haven. In that game, he had 17 tackles, two sacks, and the forced fumble. Also at St. A’s, King Philip’s Michael Riggs appeared in nine games and made 25 tackles, including two for a loss, while Franklin’s Brian Kosicki has started every game at left tackle.

In the same week that Sullivan earned NE10 defensive honors, another former Black Knight was awarded the conference’s Offensive Player of the Week. Brandon Swain-Price, a graduate student with Southern Connecticut, recorded 10 receptions for 201 yards and two touchdowns. He is just the sixth receiver in program history to hit the 200-yard mark in a game, and the first SCSU receiver to reach the mark since 2010. For the season, Swain-Price had a team-high 49 catches for 792 yards and 10 touchdowns, which was second-most in the NE10.

Former Oliver Ames Tiger Jared Mallers wrapped up his collegiate career with Curry College, making 16 appearances for the Colonels with 11 starts. Mallers recorded an assist in a game on the road at the University of New England. North Attleboro grad Joe Hilf made three appearances in his rookie season while Jonathan Sandoval, who donned the Bombardier blue and white early in his high school career, played in three games.

Milford’s Andre Oliveira has fit in nicely with the Framingham State men’s soccer team. A sophomore defender, Oliveira is just one of four midfielders to start in 19 or more games this season, and the only one at his position to do so. Oliveira was in the lineup on Sunday when the Rams knocked off Salem State in the MASCAC Championship, giving FSU its first conference championship since 2011. Taunton’s Austin Botelho has nine appearances this year with a goal against Fitchburg while Attleboro’s Tyler Treichler had made eight appearances off the bench.

Former two-time HockomockSports.com Player of the Year Sydney Phillips continues to find success at the collegiate level. An outside hitter for Bates, Phillips led the team in kills for the season. After featuring in just 10 matches during his freshman campaign, Phillips emerged as the go-to option for the Bobcats during her sophomore year. She slammed down 196 kills in 82 sets played (2.39 per set) and had 29 total blocks and 42 digs for the 16-win Bobcats.

Franklin’s Dayna McCue played in her 173rd and final set for the Connecticut College volleyball team this fall. Appearing in 68 matches in her four-year career, McCue was one of the Camels’ top defensive players. She had 110 digs in her final season, finishing her career with 372 digs. She posted a season-high 17 digs in a 3-1 win over Mitchell at the end of October.

The WPI field hockey team had its best season in over a quarter century, posting a 17-3 record and being ranked as high as fifth in the D3 New England East Rankings, and senior forward and team captain Carly Cidado was a big factor why. A former standout for Oliver Ames, Cidado was second on the team in goals (12) and points (26), helping the Engineers reach the NEWMAC Semifinals. WPI improved every year with Cidado in the lineup, going from six wins her freshman year to 17 in 2019. For her career, Cidado had 20goals and 10 assists, scoring four game-winning goals while starting in 67 of the 70 games she played in.

Former King Philip standout Nina Sitarski is one of the top runners for the Babson Women’s Cross Country team. Her top 5k time was 21:36 at the Keene State Invitational, crossing the finish line 112th overall. At the NEWMAC Championship race, Sitarski clocked in at 27:12 in the 6k race, finishing 111th overall. On the men’s side, Oliver Ames grad Matt Campbell was 65th overall at 29:29 in the 8k race at the NEWMAC championship. He just ran his personal-best in the 8k, clocking in at 28:53 at the NCAA Regionals at Bowdoin.

A senior golfer for the Wentworth Leopards, Franklin graduate Matt Pleshaw played in five tournaments this fall. He had a pair of top 10 finishes, finishing 10th in both the Mitchell Invitational and a tri-match with Eastern Nazarene and Mitchell. His best round of the fall was on the first day of the FSC Fall Invitational when he shot an 80; he finished 50th overall in the tournament.

Taunton’s all-time wins leader Jillian Pagliuca jumped right into the lineup in her first year with Franklin Pierce University. Pagliuca played mostly at fifth singles but also made appearances at fourth and sixth singles. Overall, she picked up six wins in singles action and earned her first doubles win (at third singles, 6-0) against American International in September.

Hannah Friend (Oliver Ames) has etched her name into the Saint Anselm record book, and multiple times too. A senior forward for the Hawks’ field hockey team, Friend is the program’s all-time career leader in points per game (1.19), goals (37), assists (27) and assists per game (0.32). She also set the program record for games played when she started against Assumption on November 8th. She currently has 85 appearances and begins the NCAA tournament on Friday afternoon against East Stroudsburg. Five other Hockomock alums are on the roster at St. A’s and all see regular time on the field. Canton’s Mary Nee, a senior midfielder has started 20 of the 21 games and has six goals and five assists, Oliver Ames’ Kendall Clifford has two goals and three assists in 21 starts, and sophomore midfielder Andrea McNeil of Canton has come off the bench in every game, scoring twice with two assists. Freshmen Maggie Malloy (Canton) and Emma Izydorczak (King Philip) have both played in 10 games this year.

Stoughton grad Molly Turner has played in 17 total matches so far this year for the Stonehill volleyball squad, featuring in 53 total sets. A freshman setter, Turner is third on the team with 236 assists to go with 10 aces and 86 digs. After seeing minimal time for the first month of her collegiate career, Turner has featured regularly since the October 5th match against Malloy, even picking up five starts (including the last two matches). The Skyhawks are set to take on AIC in the NE10 Semifinals on Friday night in Waltham.

Only Hockomock alumni patrolled the net for the Framingham State women’s soccer team this year. Attleboro grad Madison Brown started in all but one game for the Rams this season, playing over 1,500 minutes with 186 saves made, which was tied for the most in the MASCAC this season. She recorded a season-high 18 saves to help the Rams pick up a 3-2 win over Fitchburg State, finishing with double-digit stops in 11 games this season. Franklin’s Calen Frongillo made one appearance in goal during her rookie season, making one save with no goals allowed.

Two former HockomockSports.com Player of the Year selections spent the fall season on the same team at UMass Amherst. King Philip’s Tyler Mann, who transferred in from UMass Lowell, and Oliver Ames’ Nathaniel Cardoza, who earned the honor in consecutive years in 2016 and 2017, patrolled the same side of the field at times for the Minutemen. Mann played outside mid while Cardoza was an outside back. Both scored this season with Mann scoring at Central Connecticut and Cardoza netting the game-winner a week prior at Boston University.

Former Attleboro Bombardiers Tyler McGovern and Brendan Nunes were limited to just three games together at Salve Regina this season. McGovern, the starting quarterback, appeared in all but one game this year for the Seahawks, throwing for 1,464 yards on 117 completions with 49.2% accuracy. He had eight touchdown passes with 10 interceptions. Nunes was limited to just the first four games this year but was one of the top targets for Salve in that time, hauling in 12 passes for 140 yards. Foxboro’s Ronnie Martin played in three games, taking 22 carries for 95 yards (4.3 yards per carry) for the Seahawks.

Former North Attleboro Rocketeer Nick Rajotte has seen his workload increase as the season has gone on for Springfield. After not playing in the first three games, Rajotte played in seven straight games with the team winning five of those games. Has had 12 carries in a three-game span for a total of 158 yards, scoring in all three games. He scored a pair of touchdowns in a big win over Maine Maritime. But in the final game, Rajotte was the feature back with 10 carries for 92 yards. Another former Rocketeer, Nick Raneri, has two appearances at fullback and had three carries against Maine Maritime. On the defensive side of the ball, King Philip grad Terrell Jacobs-Baston is playing defensive tackle and had 12 tackles. He recorded his first sack in the win over Maine Maritime.

Joe Morrison and the University of Vermont men’s soccer team had the season end in heartbreaking fashion for the second straight season. After losing to UMBC in penalties during his freshman campaign in the America East tournament, the Catamounts fell in overtime on the road to Hartford this season. Morrison (a former HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year and two-time Best XI selection from Foxboro) was a regular on the pitch for UVM again this season, appearing in 14 total matches with 13 of them as a starter. He scored a pair of goals, both which turned out to be game-winners. He scored the opening goal against Binghamton and another against Hartford in the regular season meeting. He recorded assists against Harvard, Merrimack, and Binghamton.

The Endicott volleyball team earned the CCC championship this year with a sweep over Roger Williams, and two former Franklin Panthers were apart of the winning squad. Last year’s HockomockSports.com Player of the Year Lauren McGrath dished out 88 assists and landed 27 aces in her first year with the Gulls while also chipping in as a reliable defensive option with 241 digs. She made her collegiate debut in the season-opener against Worcester State. She played in all five sets in a 3-2 win over Amherst with 15 assists and 10 digs. Erin Skidmore, a junior outside hitter, has 25 career kills along with 60 digs.

After guiding Franklin to its first sectional championship last year, middle hitter Hailey Sanders continued her success at the collegiate level with Framingham State. Sanders led the MASCAC in attack percentage (.277), racking up 196 kills on 447 attempts with just 72 errors, and earned All-Conference Second Team honors. Sanders led the Rams and ranked second in the MASCAC in total blocks (68) with 20 solo blocks and 48 block assists. Mansfield’s Lexi Gardner appeared in 10 matches for the second straight season for Framingham, which reached the MASCAC Championship game.

At Bridgewater State, senior goalie Jillian Delaney recorded 172 saves in goal for the Bears’ field hockey squad. A former Foxboro Warriors, Delaney ranked second in the MASCAC in saves, logging over 960 minutes in 16 starts this season. She made 11 saves to help the Bears earn a 2-1 win over Fitchburg on the road, and then turned away 11 shots as BSU edged Framingham a week later. She had a season-high 20 saves on the road at Castleton. Emma Daly, another former Warrior, had two starts and three total appearances at the beginning of the season.

Franklin alum Dylan Kehoe has emerged as one of the top runners for the Merrimack men’s cross country squad, making a favorable impression in his rookie year. The Warriors took first place and repeated as Codfish Bowl champions back in September, which took place at Franklin Park. Kehoe was fifth overall in the race at 27:59 and was the third Warrior to cross the finish line. At the NEC Championship race, Kehoe took 37th overall by clocking in at 27:28.6, the sixth Warrior overall. North Attleboro’s Liam Monahan is also on the squad and ran 28:43.2 back in September at the Shawn M. Nassaney Memorial Road Race at Bryant University.

A pair of Hockomock grads played a vital role in the Regis field hockey team winning four straight games to finish the regular season and an upset in the first round of the GNAC tournament. Stoughton’s Ashley Chipman, a senior forward, started in all 19 contests this season, scoring four goals and adding three assists to finish third on the team with 11 points. She scored a pair of game-winning goals, both coming in that late-season stretch (over Albertus Magnus and Johnson & Wales). Oliver Ames’ Sarah Tetrault, a sophomore defender, joined the starting lineup midway through September and started 14 straight matches, helping the Pride allow just two goals in a five-game stretch at the end of the season.

Down at UMass Dartmouth, a pair of former Hockomock graduates helped the Corsairs earn seven wins this fall. Junior Jordan Martin (Taunton) posted a 3-2 record overall, winning a pair of matches at sixth singles. Martin played with three different doubles partners, going 7-3 overall at second doubles with Michelle Aftandilian, including three wins in Little East Conference action. North Attleboro’s Hana Hershey, also a junior, also played with three doubles partners and earned four wins total, all coming at third doubles.

After missing out on his sophomore season due to injury, Austin Ryan is back on the field for the Bentley football team. The Foxboro grad is second on the team with 36 receptions for 423 yards and three touchdowns in 10 games played, helping the Falcons win the NE-10 Championship. He had three catches for 118 yards and a score in a win over Saint Anselm on November 2nd. King Philip’s Evan Rice appeared in the final three games for the Falcons, recording a pair of tackles plus a tackle for a loss against Franklin Pierce.

The Bridgewater State football team features a handful of former Hockomock League players, including Foxboro defensive back Mark Wilson. Wilson is second on the team in individual tackles (31) and tied for third overall in total tackles (50), averaging 5.6 per game. He has one sack, five pass breakups, and returned an interception for a 46-yard touchdown in a MASCAC win over Worcester State. North Attleboro’s Maxwell Kroll has been in the backfield a bunch for the Bears with five tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery, and a blocked kick in nine games played. Freshman Dean Pacini, formerly of Oliver Ames, had 15 tackles in seven games played. Milford alum Michael Casey has been the starting center with North Attleboro’s Austin White to his left as the left guard. North Attleboro’s Thomas Duell, Taunton’s Paul Corrao, Stoughton’s Brendan Walsh, and Canton’s Brian Campagna have all seen time on the offensive line for the Bears, who won the 41st Annual Cranberry Bowl against Mass Maritime to finish the season. Wilson was named to the MASCAC First Defense while Casey and White were selected to the MASCAC Second Team Offense.

Only two players started all 18 games for the Mass. Maritime men’s soccer team this season and Foxboro graduate AJ Bubencik was one of them. A converted forward for the Buccaneers, Bubencik bagged his lone goal of the season in a 3-2 win at home over Becker, which featured King Philip grad Colby Koch and Oliver Ames’ Haendal Louhis, who had an assist.

AIC women’s soccer earned a first-round win in the Northeast-10 Conference tournament over Adelphi in penalty kicks, and Attleboro’s Paige Medeiros was the one who sent the Yellow Jackets into celebration. The teams were tied 0-0 after regulation, and neither side could find the back of the net in two overtime periods to send the first-round game to PKs. The first four Yellow Jackets converted their chances but Adelphi missed its second chance. Medeiros converted the fifth and final shot to give AIC the win. Medeiros logged 1,200 minutes this season, starting in 15 games and appearing in 18 total matches. She scored the game-winning goal in a win over Florida National University.

Former Canton standout and HockomockSports.com Player of the Year Elizabeth Hamilton wrapped up her collegiate career this fall, helping the Johnson & Wales volleyball team earn its fifth straight GNAC Title and an NCAA berth. In her four years with the Wildcats, Hamilton had 332 kills with a .215 hitting percentage. She had 537 digs, 74 aces, and 45 total blocks. She was named to the GNAC Third Team during his freshman year and ranked in the top 20 in kills, hitting percentage, blocks, and points that season.

Shannon Cormier continued to be a steady presence for the AIC field hockey team. After starting in all 18 games as a rookie last year, Cormier was in the starting lineup 17 times this year while making one substitute appearance. She ranked third on the team in points, scoring four goals and adding two assists with over 1,000 minutes played…Foxboro’s Lily Daly made 11 appearances in her first year with Assumption, scoring her first collegiate goal in a win on the road at Mercy College…Oliver Ames’ Dimitra Efremidis was a reliable option off the bench for Bentley, recording an assist against Molloy while making 16 appearances this year.




Former Franklin standout Megan Georges wrapped up her career with the New Haven women’s soccer team, capping her four-year stint with the Chargers with 17 appearances (10 starts) this season. After just seven starts through three years, Georges was a regular on the pitch this fall, playing 912 minutes in the midfield. She found the back of the net against league foe St. Anselm and picked up an assist in a big win over Le Moyne. She played over 2,000 minutes in her career, finishing with three goals and four assists.

Taunton’s Amanda Baptiste factored into the scoring for the UMass Lowell women’s cross country team last week at the NCAA Northeast Regional. Baptiste clocked in at 23:03.5, the sixth River Hawk to cross the finish line, taking 215th overall. At the New England Championships in October, Baptiste crossed the finish line at 19:31 in the 5k course, taking third on the team. On the boys’ side, sophomore Jack Kalil (Milford) finished 24th overall at the UMass Dartmouth Invitational, finishing the race in 26:02.3.

Danny McLoughlin, a sophomore on the Saint Anselm golf team, played in one tournament this fall. A former Warrior at King Philip, McLoughlin played in the Penmen Fall Invitational in Canterbury, New Hampshire. He shot an 85 on the first and third days while posting a low round of 82 in the middle day. He finished tied for 69th overall with a 241.

Canton graduate Griffin Roach has made an immediate impact for the Boston University Terriers. After playing 60 minutes off the bench in the season-opener, Roach went on to start the remainder of games at outside back. While he didn’t register a point, he became a vital piece of the defense this year for BU, logging a team-high 1,494 minutes. BU head coach Neil Roberts just announced his retirement after a 40-year career with the Terriers.

Bridgewater State coach Brendan Adams had a plethora of former Hockomock soccer players to work with this season. Eight former Hock players representing three schools (Attleboro, Milford, and Franklin ) all saw time on the pitch for the Bears. Milford’s Justin Borges was the top producer, starting in all 19 games and leading the team with seven goals and three assists for a team-high 17 points. Freshman Joey Madden, another former Scarlet Hawk, also started in all 19 games and added five assists. Attleboro’s Will Halben appeared in all 19 contests in his first year, with 18 starts, and had one goal (against RIC) and four assists. Milford’s Michael Da Silva made two appearances in net with one start and made five saves. Franklin’s Hatim Bahimi made 16 appearances in the midfield with three starts, recording an assist against Westfield State. Milford’s Tiago Filadelfo, Attleboro’s Nick Hasenfus, and Franklin’s Nasir Brahimi all made five appearances.

James Cooke has been a steady presence for the Buccaneers of Mass. Maritime. Cooke started at left guard in all 10 games for the 6-4 Bucs, who finished their season with a loss in the Cranberry Bowl to BSU. Cooke has helped the offense rush for 162.4 yards per game and had to make a tackle in a win over Maine Maritime in the second game of the season, and for his strong season, he was selected to the MASCAC First Team Offense. Sophomore Jay Fruci (Oliver Ames) appeared in six games this year, taking a handoff against Fitchburg and making a tackle against Worcester State.

Attleboro grad Lexi Pereira continues to do it all at the collegiate level, now a top player on the Curry volleyball squad. A former all-around standout for the Bombardiers, Pereira is now the go-to option on offense for the Colonels. She’s the team leader in kills, putting down 256 for the season (8th in the conference) with 2.98 per set, which ranked second in the Commonwealth Coast Conference. She had a team-high 762 total attacks and was a valuable member of the defense with 204 digs. Elsewhere in the CCC, North Attleboro grad Tori Melanson is among the best net defenders in the league. She is second in the CCC with 79 total blocks, which leads the way for Roger Williams. Her 0.99 blocks per set is a conference-best. She also had 106 kills this season.

Attleboro’s Marissa Dias, a junior defender for the Framingham State field hockey team, was just one of five Rams to start in all 18 games this season. She was also a key piece in the offense, scoring a pair of goals while adding two assists this season. Her goal against Westfield State proved to be the game-winner. Another former Bombardier, Meghan Croteau, started four games and made a total of 16 appearances in the midfield for FSU. At Westfield State, OA grad Katie Vamosi started in six games in net, making 10 appearances total, and made 43 saves, earning a shutout win over BSU. North Attleboro’s Shaylee Maxcy made 15 appearances, earning her first collegiate start back in September.

Canton’s Lindsey Nolte and Milford’s Jessica Palmer finished their four years with the Merrimack field hockey team, helping the Warriors transition to Division I. Nolte started in all 17 games this season, scoring once and adding one assist. She scored her final collegiate goal on the road at Dartmouth; she finished her career with 12 goals and seven assists, starting in 55 of the 57 games she played. Palmer also had a goal and an assist in 17 starts this season, her final goal being the game-winner in a 2-1 win over Bryant. Palmer had 11 goals and three assists in 61 starts and 66 total appearances.

Former Oliver Ames standout Ryan McGarry had a solid sophomore campaign with the McDaniel College golf team. He finished in the top 10 in three of the five tournaments he participated in. His best finish was at the Don Scalf Memorial when he shot a 71 on both days, finishing two-under-par for fourth overall. He finished one-under and fifth overall at the Tom Kinder Memorial and tied for ninth at three-under in the Royal Lakes Fall Invitational. He was named the Centennial Conference Men’s Golfer of the Week in early October for his strong showing at the Royal Lakes tournament.

Last year’s HockomockSports.com Player of the Year Alli Meehan has had little trouble transitioning to D1 college field hockey, having a terrific year for Northeastern. Meehan scored 11 goals, tying for third-most in the Colonial Athletic Association and second-most on the Huskies. She was tied for second in the conference with four game-winning goals and ranked fourth in the league with 28 points (11 goals, six assists). For her stellar play, Meehan was named to the CAA Field Hockey Second Team and the All-Rookie Team. The Huskies fell in the CAA Championship game with Meehan recording an assist.

Former Taunton netminder Kayla Wentworth helped the Endicott women’s soccer team make it all the way to the Commonwealth Coast Conference title game but the Gulls fell 1-0 to the University of New England. In her two years with Endicott, Wentworth started in 33 games with 37 total appearances, making 152 saves with a 0.87 goals against average. She posted a total of 12 shutouts with a record of 19-11-7.

Attleboro’s Nick Lawrence was one of the few bright spots for the Anna Maria men’s soccer team this fall. A junior midfielder, Lawrence appeared in all but one game while starting in 15 of them. He scored four goals, including two game-winners, with one assist for nine points, which was second on the team. He scored the game-winner in the season-opener against Curry and had another winner in a win on the road at Northern Vermont-Johnson.

Canton’s Paolo Ruggeri saw plenty of the pitch in his first season with the Wentworth men’s soccer team. A defender, Ruggeri made seven substitute appearances along with 10 starts for the Leopards, who had a 10-8-2 record and reached the Commonwealth Coast Conference semifinals. North Attleboro’s Ryan Pasquel made three appearances off the bench during the 2019 season.

North Attleboro’s Amelia Murphy led the charge offensively for the Rhode Island College volleyball team this fall. After landing 280 kills during her freshman year, which was second on the team, the sophomore outside hitter had a team-high 263 kills (2.83 per set) during the 2019 campaign. She added 50 total blocks and 11 aces. She ranked eighth in the Little East Conference for kills, seventh for kills per set, and tied for 11th in blocks.

A key player in the development of the Stoughton High volleyball program, Bridgette Whalen wrapped up her collegiate career with Roanoke College this fell. The Maroons earned 57 wins in the four years that Whalen was on the team. She saw the most action during her senior season, featuring in 29 matches with 78 sets played. She had 20 kills and 33 digs while also being a big part of the net defense for Roanoke, recording 24 total blocks this season.

Former Foxboro two-sport standout Abby Tepper is an assistant coach with the top-ranked and top-seeded West Chester University field hockey team. In her first year with the Golden Rams program posted an 18-1 record, falling in the PSAC Semifinals to Kutztown University. Tepper, who got her coaching start with Oliver Ames, is a full-time assistant that helps in every aspect of the day-to-day operations. West Chester, the top seed in the NCAA D2 tournament, opens with a chance at revenge by taking on Kutztown in the first game.

Taunton’s Mario Wilson and Oliver Ames’ Steven Tasho both played for the Bryant University golf team this fall. Tasho played just three rounds, his low score a 77, and finished tied for 56th at the UConn Collegiate Invitational. Wilson participated in three tournaments for the Bulldogs, with a low round of 73. His best finish was 50th at the Ryan T. Lee Memorial Collegiate Invitational.

Former HockomockSports.com Player of the Year Jake Ragusa continues to shine at the collegiate level for Merrimack. Now playing in Division I, Ragusa was named a Northeast Conference Prime Performance for six tackle game at Lehigh. Ragusa had 3.5 tackles for a loss to help the Warriors get the win. The redshirt junior has 28 total tackles this year, including a sack and eight for a loss. Another Canton grad, Alec Ragusa, is a redshirt freshman. Sharon’s Bryce Smith has broken up three passes for the Warriors this year, including two and an interception at home against Mayville State. He recorded his first career sack against Presbyterian.

The Merrimack men’s soccer team is fairing just fine in its first season at the Division I level, posting an 11-3-2 regular season mark. Brothers Cam and Connor Mullins have both played a role in helping the Warriors have a successful season, which included going undefeated in Northeast Conference play. Cam, a junior defender, has made five appearances this season, all wins, including a season-high 19 minutes against Robert Morris. Connor, a redshirt sophomore midfielder, has one start in 11 games played and recorded an assist in the win over Robert Morris.

Franklin’s Brian Czuba has been a reliable option off the bench for Nichols College during his senior year, making 17 appearances with two starts. He scored the tying goal in the 87th minute against Gordon, a game that the Bison would go on to win in overtime. He concludes his career at Nichols with over 40 appearances and two goals.

Mansfield alum Steph Kemp had a strong first year with the UMass Lowell women’s soccer squad. For her impressive play, Kemp was named to the America East All-Rookie Team, just one of two River Hawks to make the team. Kemp scored her first career goal in October against UMBC and went on to score two more in the match to finish with a hat trick. That game helped earn her America East Rookie of the Week honors. She finished with 14 appearances, including one start, and 417 minutes played.

Attleboro alums Hannah Tarbox and Michelle Sheehan ranked second and third, respectively, in kills for the Mass Maritime volleyball squad this season. Tarbox, a freshman middle, had 62 kills to go along with seven blocks in her first collegiate season. Sheehan, a senior outside hitter, 61 kills, 127 assists, 29 aces, 57 digs, and 11 total blocks for the Buccaneers. Sheehan finished with 184 kills in her four years along 899 assists and 465 digs.

Former Mansfield Hornet Julia Todesco appeared in 18 games for the Tufts field hockey team this fall. All appearances came as a substitute, giving the Jumbos a reliable option off the bench. Todesco scored a pair of goals in a win over Connecticut College and also had an assist in a close win over Hamilton. Tufts had its season come to a close in the third round of the NCAA tournament, falling to Johns Hopkins in overtime.

Gabe Pinhancos, a former midfielder for North Attleboro, had a strong sophomore season for Southern New Hampshire University. The Penmen, who tallied a 9-4-4 record, had its season come to a close in penalty kicks in the NE10 conference quarterfinals against Saint Rose. Pinhancos made 15 total appearances with 10 of them as a starter. He scored his first career collegiate goal in Hockomock territory in Easton in a win on the road at Stonehill.

Former Sharon star Ally Filipkowski became a go-to option for Fairfield University women’s soccer coach David Barrett. After transferring to Fairfield from George Washington following her freshman year, Filipkowski became a reliable reserve for the Stags. She appeared in all but one match this season, helping Fairfield post an 11-6-3 record, and earning three starts. She scored her first goal for the red and white in October in a 2-0 win over Manhattan, finishing off a cross int he 62nd minute to give the hosts an insurance tally.

Derek Pereira, a former Taunton Tiger, made four starts and nine total appearances for AIC in his senior season. He started the first three games of the season and then again against Franklin Pierce, helping the Yellow Jackets make a late push for the NE10 title. AIC knocked off nationally-ranked Adelphi in the opening round but fell to Assumption in the semifinal. Pereira featured in both games, logging 39 minutes in the upset over Adelphi. He had two goals and one assist this season, all coming in a regular-season win over the Greyhounds. He netted the game-winning goal in a 4-1 win.

Framingham State football concluded its regular season with a 47-6 trashing of Worcester State, and all three former Hockomock players now representing the Rams factored in. King Philip alum Brian Donahue had a team-high 12 tackles, including four solo. He was also a regular in the backfield, recording one sack (for a 12-yard loss) and a total of 3.5 tackles for loss. Earlier this season, Donahue forced a fumble against Westfield and Fitchburg. Franklin’s Nick Gordon completed a pair of passes for 25 yards while Taunton’s Noah Leonard also completed two passes from under center. The Rams travel to Wesley for the first round of the NCAA tournament this weekend.