Former Eagles have landed
Here’s a few tids and bits to munch on as we head down the home stretch of summer, beginning with, of all things, a solar eclipse. In fact, boys and girls soccer as well as golf start this week. Can you believe it?
First, a couple of former Eagles have landed, and that’s good news. Congrats to former Daniel Webster College assistant athletic director, compliance director and sports information director (so many hats) Ken Belbin. He’s now the athletic director at Presentation of Mary Academy in Hudson.
Both parties were certainly familiar with each other. PMA has a college-level rectangular field for soccer and lacrosse (and a corner is used for softball), and during the awful March weather when Eagle Field would be frozen, DWC often would work out an arrangement to be able to use the facility for men’s and women’s lacrosse games, often at night. And Belbin would be there, chilled from start to finish.
PMA, a private school that goes up to the eighth grade, also has a magnificent new gym built through fundraising, etc. He has stepped into a good situation.
Meanwhile, so has former DWC women’s volleyball coach Karen McNulty. She was a great hire for the Eagles, and now she is the new head coach at Salem State, it was recently announced. McNulty is best known for her long career as UMass-Lowell’s head coach, sporting a 339-290 (.539) record over 21 seasons, with eight 20-win seasons and six NCAA Division II appearances. But in one year at DWC, she guided the Eagles to a 22-8 record, share of the New England Collegiate Conference regular season championship, and a berth in the conference finals. Ironically, the same day the DWC men’s soccer team beat Regis for the NECC title, McNulty’s women’s volleyball team lost to Regis in the conference title tilt.
And who is she joining on the Salem State athletic staff? None other than former DWC men’s soccer coach Matt Correia, named to the same post at Salem State last spring. Good for all three.
The game of football has had rough preseason. While Trinity of Manchester scrapped its varsity season, a school in Vermont, Oxbow High School in Bradford dropped its varsity schedule as well, the Valley News reported. Trinity had 26 players, which is hard enough. But get this: Oxbow only had 14. And the majority were freshmen and sophomores. Yikes. “With such a young squad, we have player safety in mind,” Oxbow athletic director Bri Barnes told the Valley News. “It’s in the program’s best interest to take this step and build the program back up.”
Barnes told the VN that youth levels in Bradford are good so that likely means brighter days are ahead. But wow, 14. Not good.
The Patriots ought to go out and get defensive end Dwight Freeney. He was a force in the Super Bowl, and after the reported season ending injury to top pick rookie defensive end Derek Rivers and retirement of Rob Ninkovich, they are suddenly thin at the position. It’s ironic that the loss of Rivers would be that big of a blow since it just didn’t seem like the Patriots (four picks) and Bill Belichick took this year’s draft very seriously (Belichick supposedly wasn’t even at Gillette on the third and final day).
As for the Week 2 of the preseason, the time the regulars were in certainly showed that Brady’s options are so many, you’re going to see a long list in the receiving category in regular season postgame stats, including running backs. Speaking of which, it looks like Dion Lewis is stronger, healthier, and looking like his old self. One thing’s for sure: Brady, his fiery self even in a preseason game, won’t let anyone take plays off. Depth may still be needed on the offensive line.
The Nashua Silver Knights announced that their team offices would be closed Monday and this Friday, but open Tuesday through Thursday. But Tuesday is a special evening, as the team that always keeps its fans in mind will hold a fan celebration of this season’s FCBL championship from 6 to 8 p.m. in the suites at Holman Stadium. Nice touch by the franchise to acknowledge the local fandom, many of whom came out in full force a week ago Saturday night. If you were there, your ears should still be ringing.
Still on the FCBL, it’s interesting that in announcing the hiring of their new manager, Todd Alford (a Gordon College assistant), the North Shore Navigators in their release said they are “slated to start the home part of the2018 schedule on Saturday, June 2.” Interesting, didn’t know any schedule was released yet (it won’t be until November or December, usually). But one might guess that the Silver Knights, who like to have their home opener on Fridays, could get Friday June 1 as their first Holman night in 2018. Let’s see what they say in November.
If school sports are already starting, that won’t be too far away.
Tom King can be reached at 594-6468, firstname.lastname@example.org., or @Telegraph_TomK.