It’s good to be Riv’s Kolek, and a few other notes
Here’s your weekly serving of tids and bits while yours truly is hoping today’s warmth completes the thawing out process from the chill of softball/baseball openers a few days ago:
—- Isn’t it good to be Craig Kolek right now? The Rivier University coach recently became the fourth head coach in the history of college men’s volleyball to reach 500 wins – a win over Emmanuel on April 4 – and now his team will play at the Muldoon Center tonight at 7 vs. Wentworth for the Great Northeast Athletic Conference title and right to advance to the NCAA Division III tournament.
Kolek joined Ohio State’s Pete Hanson (702), Patrick Dorywalski (Stevens, 589 wins) and Mark Pavlik (Penn St., 558 wins) to hit the 500-plus mark. He’s the second Division III coach to do it, Dorywalksi being the other.
Now, remember, Kolek also has 400-plus wins with the Raider women’s program as well, and thus is likely to eclipse the combined 1,000 win mark fairly soon, which would be incredible.
Like we always say, if he were coaching basketball, he’d have a statue in his likeness outside the Muldoon.
The Raiders will be heavily favored, having beaten Wentworth 3-0 in Nashua two weeks ago. But they only beat them 3-2 in mid-March on the road.
—-The NFL schedule is going to be released likely next Thursday, and everybody has their can’t miss Patriots opponent for the Sunday Night opener on Sept. 8 at Gillette. So here’s ours, and it’s pretty obvious – Kansas City. Really, a rematch of an overtime AFC title game, and one of the best Sunday Night games for NBC a year ago? Isn’t it obvious? NBC must have pushed hard for that matchup after having its arm twisted into using the Thursday opener for that silly Bears-Packers game to celebrate the league’s 100th year. Let’s see if we’re right.
— From collegiate joy to collegiate pain. In case you missed it, Saint Anselm College announced last month it was discontinuing its men’s tennis program, showing that the male tennis world isn’t suffering only at the high school level (after Wilton-Lyndeborough and Milford). But what’s unfortunate about this story is it also impacts a local, former Nashua North standout Sam Kluger, who left North after his sophomore year to go to IMG, the famed sports prep school in Florida.
Kluger ended up going to Roger Williams out of IMG, but eventually didn’t feel comfortable there and transferred to Saint A’s, and this was his first season with the Hawks. And now it’s quite possible he’ll be looking for his third school in three years if he decides to transfer, which one imagines he would.
But besides Kluger being impacted, there are some disturbing aspects to this story if you read the account a couple of weeks ago in the Saint A’s student newspaper, the Saint Anselm Crier. These things are never handled in the best way by college administrators, and that looks to be the case here.
Hopefully, Kluger’s third time will be the charm in finding a suitable school for his academics and tennis hopes.
—- Be advised: The annual New Hampshire high school Division I boys lacrosse Game of The Year is this Tuesday between Pinkerton and Bishop Guertin, but there’s been a venue/time change. Originally supposed to be at Pinkerton at 5 p.m., the game is being moved to Stellos Stadium at about 7:30, just after the two schools play in girls lacrosse at about 5:45 p.m.
Why the switch? The Astros’ Alumni Field is in tough shape with the weather, and Pinkerton AD/coach Brian O’Reilly, according to BG AD Pete Paladino, was willing to give up the home game to get the game played and suggested the switch. It’s really a varsity tripleheader, with the Nashua North-Merrimack girls meeting at 4 p.m.
—- Here’s a Massachusetts story that has to make local high school coaches and administrators cringe: Xaverian Brothers longtime baseball coach Gerry Lambert has been charged with assault and battery and placed on leave by the school after an alleged physical altercation with one of his players during a game against St. John’s Prep. Ouch. How do these things happen?
— The NCAA Frozen Four final is tonight with UMass-Amherst facing Minnesota Duluth – in Buffalo. Caught the UMass-Denver overtime semi Thursday night and saw the empty seats.
College hockey needs a better stage, and a better weekend. It moved to the weekend after the men’s/women’s basketball Final Four but now it runs into the Masters and Stanley Cup/NBA playoffs. When and where (maybe Minnesota? Chicago?) we don’t know, but do something NCAA.
—- We won’t get in depth with the NBA playoff predictions as we did with the Stanley Cup, and we were ready to say the Celtics would stun everyone and mke the Finals. But the injury to Marcus Smart derails that and we’ll go with the Toronto Raptors as being the sacrificial lambs for Golden State in a six game NBA Finals series. Come to think of it,the usual playoff lousy Raptors would be even more of a stunner than the C’s.
Tom King may be reached at 594-1251, or@Telegraph_TomK.firstname.lastname@example.org