Kraus Era Gets Started with Stonehill Tip-Off Classic

Junior captain Jack Cole heads the returnees for the Skyhawks this season. (PHOTO BY Bert Lane)

Skyhawks host tournament Saturday and Sunday at Merkert Gym with Saint Michael's, Queens and first year program Georgian Court

EASTON, Mass. (November 8, 2013) – Stonehill College opens its 2013-14 season this weekend as it hosts its own Tip-Off Classic at Merkert Gymnasium on Saturday and Sunday. The Skyhawks host fellow Northeast-10 Conference member Saint Michael's College, Queens (N.Y.) College from the East Coast Conference as well as first year program Georgian Court University from the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference.

Admission for all Stonehill basketball games is $7.00 for adults and $4.00 for students and senior citizens. Live video of all four games at the Tip-Off Classic will be webcast ($6.99) live via with Charlie Bergeron and Brian Buckley calling the action. Live stats are also available via

Former Stonehill standout Chris Kraus, '06, is entering his first season as head coach of his alma mater after three seasons as an assistant coach for David McLaughlin. Kraus, the first alumnus to lead the Skyhawks, will make his head coaching debut on Saturday against Georgian Court, who is making its program debut this weekend, at 7 p.m. Saint Michael's and Queens will get the weekend event underway with a matchup at 5 p.m.

Stonehill, picked seventh in the Northeast Division of the Northeast-10 Conference preseason coaches' poll, is coming off a 2012-13 season in which it posted an 11-15 record overall, including a 7-15 mark in Northeast-10 play. The Skyhawks will be led by junior forward Jack Cole (New Providence, N.J./New Providence), a two-year starter, who averaged 10.6 points on 58.7-percent shooting from the field while converting 71.2% (52-73) of her free-throws with a team-high 8.8 rebounds, 1.4 assists and a team-best 1.4 blocked shots per game last season.

Sophomores Carter Smith (Columbus, Ohio/Upper Arlington), Josh Heyliger (Queens, N.Y./The Hill School) and Pierce Cumpstone (Bainbridge Township, Ohio/Kenston) are expected to have an impact for Stonehill this season after seeing significant time as freshmen. Senior Mitch Amelio (Carlsbad, Calif./La Jolla Country Day) will provide a three-point threat off the bench, while classmate Ryan Hayes (Canton, Mass./Saint Sebastian's) will serve as co-captain with Cole.

The Stonehill Tip-Off Classic concludes with day two action on Sunday as Georgian Court and Saint Michael's square off at 1 p.m., followed by Stonehill and Queens at 3 p.m. The Skyhawks are back in action next weekend when it visits Saint Thomas Aquinas College for a non-conference matchup on Saturday, November 16, at 5 p.m. Stonehill is back at Merkert Gym on Wednesday, November 20, to host Merrimack College for its Northeast-10 opener at 7:30 p.m.

For the latest on Stonehill Athletics, follow the Skyhawks via social media on Twitter and Facebook. Fans can also download the Stonehill Skyhawks mobile app on iTunes and the Android Market.

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