Football Friday Podcast: Breaking Down The Way Too Early Top 20 D3 Football Poll

NS FF PODCAST 2019 LOGO

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

Days after the release of our Way Too Early New England D3 Football Top 20 PollMatt Noonan and James Baker (In The (D3FB) Huddlecaught-up to discuss the rankings, as well as what teams should move-up or down.

Topics for today’s Football Friday Podcast include the following:

  • Could Dean College be a team to watch (or beat) in the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC)? (4:00)
  • Can WPI contend for a New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) crown? (10:35)
  • Why we include the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) in our weekly polls (12:58)
  • Keep an eye on Bridgewater State in the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC). (21:00)
  • Will Framingham State continue its previous success? (29:00)
  • Breaking down the top five teams, including Trinity CollegeWestern New England, and Springfield College.

Make sure to stay connected with our New England Football coverage on Twitter by following @Noontime_FB

The Way Too Early New England D3 Football Top 20 Poll

NS FB Top 20 Poll

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

Sure, it may not be September or October, but football is on our minds – yes, football, especially in late June when we should be watching baseball or enjoying some downtime at the beach.

But with football on our minds, we thought why not unveil a WAY TOO EARLY New England D3 Football Top 20 Poll to get you excited for the upcoming season.

This fall, we will be expanding our weekly poll to 20 teams instead of the usual 10, which will allow us to provide more coverage (and publicity) to teams in all six New England states. And we are excited to add 10 more teams to our weekly poll – hopefully, this excites you, too.

So, enjoy the unofficial start to our New England football coverage – we will have more blogs and tweets to come between now and the first weekend of the 2019 season, so get excited, everyone!


The Way Too Early New England D3 Football Top 20 Poll 

1. Trinity College 

8-1, 8-1 NESCAC

2. Western New England 

8-3, 5-1 CCC

3. MIT 

9-2, 6-1 NEWMAC

4. Husson University 

8-3, 6-0 ECFC 

5. Springfield College 

8-3, 5-2 NEWMAC

6. Salve Regina University 

7-4, 5-1 CCC

7. Framingham State 

8-3, 7-1 MASCAC

8. Amherst College 

8-1, 8-1 NESCAC

9. Coast Guard Academy  

7-3, 5-2 NEWMAC

10. Endicott College 

7-4, 5-1 CCC

11. Bridgewater State 

8-3, 6-2 MASCAC

12. Williams College 

5-4, 5-4 NESCAC

13. Tufts University

7-2, 7-2 NESCAC

14.  WPI 

6-4, 4-3 NEWMAC

15. Western Connecticut 

8-2, 6-2 MASCAC

16. Plymouth State 

6-4, 5-3 MASCAC

17. Nichols College 

5-5, 3-3 CCC

18. UMass Dartmouth 5-5, 4-4 MASCAC

 19. Westfield State  

5-5, 4-4 MASCAC

20. Dean College

5-5, 4-2 ECFC

On The Rise: Anna Maria College, Colby College, Curry College, UMass Dartmouth, and Westfield State.  

Catching Up With Katie Zimmerman (Western New England Women’s Ice Hockey)

Zimmerman 1

Katie Zimmerman was named earlier this month the first coach of the Western New England women’s ice hockey program, which is scheduled to begin competition in 2020. (PHOTO COURTESY: Diana McNamara)

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

Katie Zimmerman seems very excited to coach the first Western New England women’s ice hockey team, which is scheduled to play its first contest during the 2020-21 school year.

“Being able to start my own program at the college level is very, very special,” said Zimmerman, who arrives in Springfield after assisting the Amherst College women’s ice hockey team since the 2014-15 season.

“I have categorized it as a life experience (because) it is going to be both exciting and challenging, but also a full-circle feeling to build a program and help grow the game at the next level.”

Zimmerman was named the program’s initial coach earlier this month when the institution announced they would be adding a women’s ice hockey program.

A forward for the Hamilton College women’s ice hockey team, Zimmerman led the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) in goals scored during her junior and senior seasons, while also earning a pair of all-league selections.

In addition to assisting coach Jeff Matthews at Amherst, Zimmerman has prior coaching experience with USA Hockey and SUNY Cortland.

Noontime Sports recently caught-up with Zimmerman to discuss her excitement for starting the women’s ice hockey program at Western New England.

On getting a startup program started: The very first thing to do is to make sure people know about the program. So, what I have done is introduce or reintroduce myself to former colleagues and coaches at both the youth and high-school level, as well as camp directors and advisors to educate them about this new program. I have let people know that this is an exciting opportunity, not just for myself, but for so many people that are going to be able to support it, including the first-ever student-athletes that will have a chance to write the first chapter of the program’s history. Besides spreading the news, it is also time to begin building relationships with prospective student-athletes, too.

I am really excited about this opportunity. I believe in this program, and I am looking for recruits who are just as excited as I am. 

On learning from prior startup women’s ice hockey programs: I do have contact with coaches that have started their own NCAA Division I and III programs, so it is very interesting to speak with them and learn how they got their programs started. There are so many interesting aspects of building an inaugural team.

On spreading the word of the new program to the entire country: The midwest and northeast are hockey hotbeds. Minnesota, Massachusetts, and Michigan are the three top states for girl’s hockey, so those are target areas, but I am casting a wide net for potential student-athletes that want to join our program. I have seen some impressive players come out of California, Colorado, and even Texas and Florida, so I am definitely spreading the news outside the northeast and making sure to focus on bringing in individuals that will set the tone for the program’s culture. I have been really lucky to chat with so many people that have provided me with ideas as to what I should do with recruiting, to the hockey x’s and o’s stuff as well, but it has been very helpful learning more about how my colleagues and coaching friends have started their respective programs.

On publicizing the news through social media: I recently launched a WNE women’s ice hockey Instagram account and plan to follow up with Twitter and Facebook soon. Social media is a primary mode of communication for so many people these days and I am excited to get some good content out there. 

Zimmerman 2

Katie Zimmerman competed for Hamilton College in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC). (PHOTO COURTESY:


On falling in love with the sport of hockey: My love for hockey began in the driveway. I grew up on a street with many other young kids, and I would jump into street hockey games whenever I could. I loved ripping around the neighborhood on my roller blades that I had my seventh birthday party at an inline skating arena. I vividly remember going to the arena with my mom and seeing a roller hockey game being played, and I asked my mom if I could play. She signed me up on the spot. I was one of only two girls in the roller hockey league for three years before I transitioned to ice hockey at 10-years-old. I grew more and more serious about ice hockey as time went on, and my love for the sport only grew.

Some of my all-time best friends have been former teammates and many of my favorite moments revolve around hockey. And when I’m not coaching the sport, I’m a passionate follower of the National Hockey League (NHL) and a loyal Detroit Red Wings fan!

Some favorite memories of the game: I could write a book about my favorite memories. When I was a senior in high school I played for a team in Michigan called Victory Honda, and that year alone holds so many of my all-time favorite hockey memories. The best part of that year was that it felt like we were all best friends, both on and off the ice – I still keep in touch to this day) – which made every moment at the rink so much fun. I also had a blast playing in college, where every game-day felt like a holiday. 

Zimmerman’s all-time favorite hockey player: Pavel Datsyuk, who used to play for the Detroit Red Wings. His nickname was “The Magician” because he could do unimaginably creative things with the puck. I thought he was the most entertaining player to watch and a really strong two-way player, too. To this day, I’ve never seen another player that plays the game like he did. 


Stay connected with Noontime Sports’ hockey coverage on Twitter by following @NoontimeHockey!

MIAA Lacrosse State Championship Schedule and Predictions

NS MIAA LAX CHAMP

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports & @NoontimeLax

Due to Mother Nature, all five Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) state lacrosse championship games will occur tomorrow, Friday, June 21st.

Babson College will be the site for three games, including the MIAA D3 boy’s lacrosse state final between Dover-Sherborn and Grafton at 3 p.m.

Following D-S and Grafton, Longmeadow and Notre Dame Academy (Hingham) will square-off in the D1 girl’s lacrosse state finals at 5 p.m. followed by the D2 state championship between Cohasset and Manchester-Essex at 7 p.m.

Veterans Memorial Stadium, the new home of the Boston Cannons, will host a pair of boy’s state championship games, beginning with the D2 state finals between Medfield and Winchester at 1 p.m. The D1 final between Lincoln-Sudbury and Hingham will take place at 4 p.m.

Here are our predictions for all five contests – remember to stay connected tomorrow for updates from all five games on Twitter by following @NoontimeLax.

MIAA D1 Boy’s Lacrosse: Lincoln-Sudbury over Hingham. The Warrior scored some impressive wins over the past few weeks, including a 10-6 victory in the MIAA D1 North finals against St. John’s Prep. Earlier this season, the Warriors beat the Harbormen in the Coaches Cup Finals and should once again find a way past Hingham in the state championship.

MIAA D2 Boy’s Lacrosse: Winchester over Medfield. The Sachems averaged 15.33 goals per game in a trio of MIAA D2 North postseason contests – they netted 17 in their quarterfinal win over Wakefield – and recently scored a very impressive 10-3 win over St. John’s (Shrewsbury) in the D2 state semifinals. Medfield was also a team to watch in the D2 East/Central bracket, scoring wins over Concord-Carlisle, Walpole, and Westwood before flexing their muscles against Sandwich with a 21-5 win in the state semifinals. This has the making of an exciting contest that could come down to the final possession.

MIAA D3 Boy’s Lacrosse: Dover-Sherborn over Grafton. The Raiders and Indians will square-off in the title game for the second time since 2016 and third since 2015. D-S has won both match-ups against the Indians and will certainly rely on Pierce Gregory to lead the Raiders to hopefully their final victory of the 2019 season. Henry Kenney will also be a player to watch on D-S, as well, but the Raiders must find a way to slow down Grafton’s Matt Gilliatt, who located the back of the net six times in his team’s state semifinal victory against Dracut.

MIAA D1 Girl’s Lacrosse: Notre Dame Academy over Longmeadow. Postseason wins over Needham and Westwoodalong with a recent state semifinal victory against Walpole has provided the Cougars with the momentum they will need to slow down the Lancers, who are seeking their first state title since 2015 (beat Westwood, 10-9, in double-overtime). NDA last captured the D1 state championship in 2013 when they beat Longmeadow, 13-10, and will need a solid effort from their senior class, including Madison Ahern and Kelsey Kenney.

MIAA D2 Girl’s Lacrosse: Cohasset over Manchester-Essex. Cohasset’s Jane Hansen will attempt to cap her high school career with a state championship before she attempts to lead Northwestern University to a national championship next spring. Hansen and the Skippers have gained some valuable experience this spring by competing against some of the state’s top teams, including Longmeadow, Notre Dame Academy, and Wellesley. That experience should help the Skippers against a talented Hornets squad, which has scored some exciting postseason wins, including a 7-6 win over Newburyport in the D2 North finals and an 11-10 win earlier this week over Bromfield in the state semifinals.

New England College Notebook: WNE Starts Women’s Ice Hockey, Nichols Names Linton Men’s Basketball Coach

NS NEW ENG COLL NOTEBOOK

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports

Just hours before the Boston Bruins and St. Louis Blues squared-off in the seventh game of the 2019 Stanley Cup FinalsWestern New England announced some exciting news that they would be adding women’s ice hockey, the school’s 20th varsity sport, during the 2020-21 school year.

The exciting news of the school adding women’s ice hockey was shared by Matt LaBranche, Western New England’s Director of Athletics, Recreational Sport & Physical Education, who looking forward to seeing the team compete in 2020.

“Interest at the high school and youth levels has never been higher, and we are proud to be providing a new opportunity for those young women to pursue their passion in a highly competitive collegiate program,” said LaBranche in Wednesday’s press release about the women’s ice hockey team.

LaBranche also announced the hiring of Katie Zimmerman, who becomes the first head coach in the program’s history. Zimmerman previously served as an assistant at nearby Amherst College and has prior coaching experience with USA Hockey and SUNY Cortland.

Zimmerman also played Division III hockey for Hamilton College in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC)

According to Wednesday’s release, Western New England will join 66 other colleges that sponsor women’s ice hockey at the Division III level.

Nichols College announced on Thursday that Brandon Linton has been named the 20th men’s basketball coach in program history.

Linton replaces Scott Faucher, who guided the Bison to 28-3 record this past winter, including an appearance in the NCAA Division III sectional finals (elite eight).

Faucher was recently named the new men’s basketball coach at Assumption College.

Linton arrives in Dudley after spending the past five seasons as an assistant coach at Army West Point where he “was responsible for the development of scouting reports on opponents and managing the scout team,” along with additional duties, as well.

“Nichols College is a special institution that offers a world-class experience for our student-athletes both on and off of the court,” said Linton in Thursday’s release. “I cannot wait to begin the process of getting to know our current players and continuing to build on the foundation they have created.”

Linton is no stranger to Division III basketball as he played for Clarkson University in the Liberty League (LL) and spent time as an assistant under coach Tim Gilbride at Bowdoin College.

Finally, congratulations to former Babson College men’s ice hockey assistant coach Chris Zimmerman, who recently celebrated a Stanley Cup championship on Wednesday evening with the St. Louis Blues.

Zimmerman, who President and CEO of Business Operations for the Blues, played hockey at the University of Vermont in the Hockey East before pursuing his MBA at Babson.


Stay connected with our Noontime Sports coverage on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter