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Lynch hitting stride at Southern Conn.

Kevin Lynch in action for Southern Connecticut State. Kevin Lynch in action for Southern Connecticut State.
By Marvin Pave
Globe Correspondent / October 6, 2011

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Kevin Lynch set program single-game passing records for yardage, touchdowns, attempts, and completions as a first-time starter last year at Southern Connecticut State University. And the Medfield High graduate has continued his stellar play this fall through the first five games of his senior season.

“Kevin’s a great leader for our program,’’ said the team’s head coach, Rich Cavanaugh, whose Owls are 4-1 overall (3-0 Northeast-10 Conference) entering tomorrow’s showdown against unbeaten New Haven. “He’s been a consistent performer for us during his career, but especially over the last two years.’’

It’s been a long road back for Lynch, who was redshirted as a freshman in 2007 and again in 2008, when he played in the first three games but suffered a season-ending injury (broken fibula) against American International.

“I was never injured in high school or prep school,’’ said Lynch, who spent a postgraduate year at New Hampton in New Hampshire. “To get injured like that in my first career start made me think about how you can’t take anything for granted.’’

The 6-foot-3, 215-pound Lynch played sparingly as a sophomore, but made the most of his opportunity last fall, helping the Owls finish 6-4 (6-2, NE-10) while throwing for 2,458 yards and 24 touchdowns.

“Mentally, I was going into my fourth year at that point. I knew the offense, we had good game plans, and so it was my job to go out and execute,’’ said Lynch. “When I got hurt, I still had a good attitude. I knew that I was going to get healthy eventually and that my time would come.’’

After last weekend’s 38-24 conference win over Assumption, Lynch had completed 93 of 158 passes (58.9 percent) for 1,140 yards and nine touchdowns.

“I still haven’t played up to my expectations, but we’re 4-0’’ against Division 2 rivals, he said, “and that’s great. There’s no doubt in my mind I can play better. New Haven is a big game and I’m looking forward to it. I try not to look ahead, but we have five games left and hopefully we can keep our winning streak going.’’

A captain on the football, basketball, and baseball teams at Medfield High, Lynch was a Tri-Valley League all-star in each sport, and an EMass. all-star and league MVP for football.

Lynch has been a quarterback since he was a seventh-grader in Pop Warner football, and was raised in an athletic family; all four of his siblings - Rob, Tim, Jen, and Kristen - played varsity sports at Medfield High.

He said he’ll always remember his first varsity start, as a sophomore against Hopkinton.

“It was the second-to-last game of the year and they were traditionally strong in our league,’’ said Lynch. “We ended up beating them, and I scored with just under a minute to go.’’

Halpern a captain on Brown squad

Brown University junior Tucker Halpern of Brookline has been named a cocaptain of the men’s basketball team at the Providence school.

“Tucker will provide us with fantastic leadership both on and off the court for a team that lacks any returning seniors,’’ said coach Jesse Agel. “With his infectious enthusiasm and passion for the game and his team, our group could not be in finer hands.’’

The 6-foot-8 forward averaged 12.6 points and 4.5 rebounds per game last season, scoring in double figures on 19 occasions, earning All-Ivy honors. He had a career high 29 points against Harvard, hitting six of his nine 3-point attempts, the 10th-best performance from beyond the arc in program history.

A fine passer, Halpern also contributed 66 assists. He grabbed a career-best 12 rebounds against Quinnipiac and completed his double-double with 26 points. Halpern ranked sixth in scoring (averaging 14.3 points) in Ivy League games.

Conference honors for Walker, Gruet

Babson College senior captain Max Walker of Newton and Wellesley College freshman Nathalie Gruet of Acton were honored as Offensive Players of the Week recently by the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference.

Walker, a midfielder on the Babson men’s soccer team, earned his recognition by assisting on the lone goal in the 51st minute in a victory at Keene State, and scoring the game-winning goal in the 65th minute of a 3-1 victory over Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

Gruet was cited after scoring five points for Wellesley’s field hockey team, helping the Blue go 2-1 for the week.

Here and there

Brian Bain, head professional at the Robert T. Lynch Municipal Golf Course in Brookline, has been awarded the PGA of America’s President’s Plaque, in recognition for creating incentives for individuals playing the sport. A Medway resident, Bain is the first member of the New England PGA to earn the citation, and will be recognized Jan. 26 at a gathering in Orlando, Fla. . . . Westborough native Rob Lord, a graduate of Union College, where he played football and lacrosse, has received a scholarship from Durham University in the United Kingdom, where he will play for the school’s lacrosse team. Last year, Lord played for Wilmslow in the British Premier Lacrosse League, and for an American squad that defeated the British national team. He is working toward a graduate degree in defense, development, and diplomacy . . . Brookline’s Michael Burnstein, a senior cross-country captain at Washington University in St. Louis, was named the University Athletic Association’s Runner of the Week after finishing 24th among a field of 240 at last weekend’s Greater Louisville Classic . . . Bentley University sophomore Harry Kirkpatrick, a graduate of Nashoba Regional High, shot 76-74 to help the Falcons win the Northeast-10 Conference’s golf championship, held at Cyprian Keyes Golf Club in Boylston. Bentley, with a two-day total of 609, captured its first conference title since 2007 and earned the conference’s automatic berth to the NCAA Division 2 East/Atlantic Super Regional in May.

Marvin Pave can be reached at marvin.pave@rcn.com.