Former Falmouth High School all-star Nick Crocker is doing what he always believed he could.
Crocker transferred from Division III Bridgewater State University to join the Division 1 team at Bryant University this year. Crocker has not gotten into a game this season as he acclimates to the new team. He could wind up serving a redshirt season if the coaching staff determines that is the best course of action. In the meantime he is allowed to participating in all organized team activities, practice and travel with the Bulldogs, who are off to the best start in program history since making the jump to the DI level. Bryant is currently 4-2 on the season. The team lost back-to-back two-point games to open the season, but won the next four in a row.
Crocker said that he was not completely satisfied with his experience at BSU and that his school of choice coming out of high school had always been Bryant. He had hoped to play a year of post-graduate ball at a private school, but when that did not come together he opted to play D3 at BSU. He did well with the Bears, averaging 10.2 point and 6.5 rebounds per game as a sophomore last year, but knew that he wasn’t where he ultimately wanted to be.
After some thought, he decided to get cleared to entertain a transfer, with Bryant and the University of New Hampshire as his top two desired landing spots. After a workout in Smithfield, Rhode Island, for the Bryant staff, his decision was made.
“I’d always wanted to go here right out of the gate,” he said. “I was able to work it out, and I’m really happy about it.”
Crocker is not receiving an athletic scholarship to attend Bryant. He is considered a walk-on for the Bulldogs.
No guarantees have been made in regards to playing time in the future, but he believes that next year he will be able to contribute to the team. His goal is to “get quality minutes” and help the team to win. “Everybody watches March Madness, and to be a part of that, to go to the tournament, that would be awesome.”
While he is not playing right now, Crocker is on the bench for all of the team’s games and practices. He said that making the most of this season, on and off the court, is important. Learning to compete at the highest college level, and to get the work done off the court, in the classroom, is a top priority.
“The pace is definitely different, and the athleticism of your opponents and teammates is higher. They’re all bigger, stronger and faster and everyone can shoot,” he said.
The 6-foot, 10-inch big man said he will play both center and power forward next year. He has learned all of the plays for both spots and enjoys the way his team plays the game.
To prepare for the move to the next level, Crocker put in a lot of time working both on his game and his body over the summer. His former college teammate Rocky DeAndrade pushed him to improve over the summer, and former Clippers’ teammate Gates Kelliher “came out of retirement” to help him get ready as well. He also shot around with former FHS teammate Eli Harris, who is currently playing at Roger Williams University in Rhode Island, a D2 program.
As a student, his plan is to major in marketing with a minor in legal studies. After school he would like to work in professional sports, either with a franchise or as an agent. “I really want to get into professional sports, basketball or baseball,” he said. Crocker was also a standout baseball player at FHS as both a pitcher and a first baseman.
Crocker is the first Falmouth resident to play at the Division 1 men’s level since Matt Abbott was at UNH in 2006. Abbott, Crocker said, also was a part of his support team in readying for the Division 1 level. The two played together on a men’s team over the summer, and Abbott offered advice and tips on what was to come.
BSU associate head coach, and Falmouth resident, Mike Donovan was a positive influence for Crocker, and believed that he was making the right move.
“He was telling me to keep grinding last year, and that I’d have a shot if I kept working. He definitely believed in me more than anyone besides my parents, brother and girlfriend.”
The big man said that he’s proud to be the first FHS alum to get to D1 in years, but offered that he has nothing to brag about.
“I haven’t done anything yet,” he said. “I have to keep getting better in order to play at this level. I’ve got a lot of work to do.”
Meissner Final Four
Former Falmouth High two-sport standout Ericka Meissner, who starred in both field hockey and ice hockey at FHS, has helped lead St. Anselm’s field hockey team to the NCAA Division II final four. Meissner, who has nine goals and four assists for the Hawks this year, had one of the team’s two goals in a 2-0 victory against Southern New Hampshire on November 10. That win earned the team its first-ever NE-10 postseason title and punched the team’s ticket to the Final Four.
Meissner is a junior this year at St. A’s and a nursing major. She was the team’s fourth-leading scorer this year and a starter at forward. She had two game-winning goals this year and now has 13 goals and seven assists for her career at St. Anselm’s.
The Lions will face off against East Stroudsberg (Pennsylvania) in the national semifinals on Friday, November 22, at 5 PM. The championship game will be held on Sunday, November 24, at 1 PM.
Matty Ice Hockey
On the ice at St. Michael’s, former Clipper Matt Schreiner scored the first goal of his college career on November 16 in a 4-3 overtime win against Assumption. Schreiner, who now has one goal and one assist over his first five games, netted an unassisted goal in the second period of his team’s victory.
Schreiner, a 2017 graduate of FHS, is a freshman at St. Mike’s. After an all-star career at Falmouth he did a post-graduate year at Worcester Academy, where he scored 24 goals and had 24 assists in 28 games. Last year he played in the Eastern Hockey League for Walpole where he had 30 points in 40 games there.
Also in Vermont, at St. Michael’s, former FHS standout Taylor Miller is having a big final season on the hardwood. Miller, who was a 1,000-point scorer for Falmouth High, is averaging a double-double for the Knights through their first five games of the season.
The 6-foot, 1-inch, post player is averaging 11.2 points and 12.1 rebounds per game for the Knights. She had a monster outing in her most recent game, against Dominican (New York), scoring 19 points with 17 rebounds in a 71-69 victory that increased her team’s record to 4-1 to start the season. The 19 points were the most she’s scored in a college game, and the 17 boards tied her career-high.
Taylor graduated Falmouth High in 2016 and served as a captain that year. She is also a captain on this year’s women’s team at St. Michael’s. She is double-majoring in economics and business administration with a minor in studio art.
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