Monday Notebook: NCAA Division II
- Each person has their own criteria for what makes an individual the 'Coach of the Year,' but for me the honor would have to go to Greg Paradine at Lenoir-Rhyne. Most don't look at a 4-8 record and think Coach of the Year, but Paradine has built the template for what future start-up programs should use -- in Division II or otherwise.
Had the Hickory, N.C., based program gone without a win this year, no one would have been surprised. Not only does L-R have four wins to its credit, they are getting better as the season unfolds. The Bears are currently on a two-game winning streak and defeated St. Leo on Sunday, 10-8. Pretty heady stuff considering St. Leo entered the season with a national ranking.
When the official Coach of the Year is handed out this year, it will undoubtedly go to one of the coaches participating in the national championship game. That's just the way things work. For my money, however, Greg Paradine has done the best coaching job this spring even though we're just into April.
- That was a nice answer by C.W. Post. The champs took the body blow last weekend in the overtime loss to Dowling and responded with a convincing win over NYIT, 9-5. That loss could have easily snowballed, but John Jez got his team back on course, and they still have inside position for either the Central bid or the Wild Card.
- Post's next opponent will be Mercyhurst, and the Lakers will be making the trek across the length of Pennsylvania for the conference clash. When I spoke with 'Hurst coach Chris Ryan on Sunday, I jokingly said he must be excited about checking out the scenary on that trip.
"People who say we're running out of room in this country haven't driven though central Pennsylvania," said Ryan. "We've got that trip down to a science. We leave at 7:30 a.m. and get to the George Washington Bridge between 2:30 and 3 p.m. Any later than that and you're in trouble. One year we watched Meet the Fockers at the George Washington Bridge tolls. The whole movie."
- Look for a story on Ryan and Mercyhurst on Tuesday.
- Assumption played three straight close games with Molloy (L, 8-6), Merrimack (L, 8-5) and Bentley (L, 8-4) but then ran into Le Moyne on Sunday. The Dolphins blanked the Greyhounds, 13-0. Le Moyne fell off the grid for a week or two because of the loss to Limestone, but Dan Sheehan's squad again has a stifling defense. Other than the 11 goals the Dolphins gave up to the Saints, Le Moyne has allowed 18 goals in the other six games. That's a testament to both the Dolphins and Limestone.
- Grand Canyon went 1-1 on its East Coast swing. The Antelopes lost to Wheeling Jesuit, 7-5, before beating D-III start-up Bethany, 12-2...it seems kind of odd that Florida Southern only has one regular season game left...the last chance for Adams State to pick up a win in its first season will be next Sunday when it hosts Grand Canyon.