D3 Football: UNE Football Unveils 2018 Schedule

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(PHOTO COURTESY: UNE Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports) 

Earlier today, the University of New England athletic department unveiled its first-ever varsity football schedule, which will see the Nor’easters compete in five home games next fall, beginning with a September 8th clash against Husson University.

Prior to welcoming the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) champions to Biddeford, Maine, the Nor’easters will make the trek to New London, Connecticut where they’ll compete against Coast Guard Academy in their first-ever varsity contest on Thursday, August 30th.

Two weeks after their first-ever varsity tilt, the Nor’easters will head to Hampden-Sydney for a week three meeting before enjoying a bye week prior to their initial Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC) game against Nichols College, which will take place on Saturday, September 29th in Dudley, Massachusetts. One week later, the Nor’easter will entertain Curry College on Saturday, October 6th, which will be their first home conference game in program history.

Weeks after their final CCC meeting against Becker College on Saturday, November 3rd, UNE will conclude its regular season slate with a home date against Alvernia on Saturday, November 10th.

The first round of the 2018 NCAA Division III Tournament will begin a week later on Saturday, November 17th.

Noontime 2017 Year In Review: Revisiting The New England D3 Football Season

2017 Football Rewind

By NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports) 

Earlier this season, we unveiled our Noontime Sports 2017 Team of the Year, but now it is time to re-visit the New England Division III season once more!

That’s right, it’s time for a Noontime 2017 Rewind as we look back on the past few months of coverage, while slowly looking ahead to what we can expect from the New England Division III Football world in 2018.

It was a great year of coverage and we certainly look forward to doing it again next season, so stay tuned, New England Division III football fans and friends!

Teams of the YearFor starters, we must begin with Husson University, which was led by senior tailback John Smith, who rushed for 31 touchdowns this season and 2,242 yards on 340 carries.

Smith, who was tabbed our Offensive Player of the Year, guided the Eagles to an exciting postseason victory over Springfield College before putting a scare into Delaware Valley in round two – the win over the Pride was the Eagles’ first-ever playoff win.

Despite falling short to the Aggies, the Eagles left a serious impression on us for the upcoming season and will certainly be one of our top teams to watch in 2018.

Springfield College also enjoyed an impressive 2017 campaign, winning 10-straight regular season contests, as well as the first-ever New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) crown. The Pride scored an exciting opening day win against Western New England, which was followed-up with another impressive victory against Kean (28-8) in week two.

The Pride concluded their season with an impressive 435.2 rushing yards per game, while the defense held opponents to roughly 12 points per game. Senior halfback Jordan Wilcox was one of four nominees for this year’s Gagliardi Trophy.

Trinity College and Williams College are two other schools that deserve this particular honor – the Bantams captured another New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) crown this fall, while the Ephs enjoyed a bounce-back season under second-year coach Mark Raymond. The Ephs received a boost from first-year (and NESCAC Rookie of the Year) quarterback Bobby Maimaron, who led the Purple and Gold past Amherst College in the final game of the year – it was an overtime thriller!

Let’s not forget about Curry College or Framingham State – both teams met in the New England Bowl last month and will certainly be teams to watch in 2018. Additionally, we cannot overlook WPI, which won its first-ever postseason game against SUNY Maritime in the New England Bowl, too. The Engineers could certainly be a team that challenges the Pride for the top seed in the NEWMAC last year, so let the countdown to Springfield-WPI begin! Another team to watch in the NEWMAC next season … MIT!

Finally, a tip of the cap is due to Plymouth State, which again enjoyed another winning season – the Panthers captured the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) crown en route to a first-round playoff match-up against Brockport.

The NESCAC Nine Game Schedule was … AWESOMEThe nine-game schedule in the NESCAC this season was awesome … seriously, we really enjoyed it!

Every week was must-see, must-follow and must-watch football – everyone had a chance to contend for the crown and a new storyline always unfolded after the final game concluded.

Trinity College may have been the team to beat again this season, but watching Amherst CollegeMiddlebury College and Williams College compete with them for the top spot was extremely exciting. Additionally, let’s not overlook Tufts University and Wesleyan University, which also provided the Bantams with some challenges along the way to another league crown, too.

Outside the race for the crown, it was awesome to see the Maine triangle (Bates CollegeBowdoin College and Colby College) continue their CBB rivalry.

We are really excited to see what happens next year, but all in all, the nine-game schedule was awesome!

The Football Friday PodcastAs sports media evolves, so does Noontime Sports and it seems like our weekly – and yes, sometimes bi-weekly – podcast on New England Division III football worked, so thank you all for tuning in/listening to our various conversations with coaches, student-athletes and media members.

We’ll continue it again next season, but certainly open to additional ideas or thoughts – maybe we should do a special segment like a ‘lightening round?’ Luckily, we have time to figure out some additional content ideas before a new season kicks-off, so keep your eyes out for season two of Football Friday, which will most likely begin next August.

ESPN D3 Coverage … MORE PLEASE: It was great to see the Coast Guard-Merchant Marine game streamed on ESPN3 last month – we need to see more games like this one on the four-letter network next year and beyond. Perhaps we could see more Division III (and some Division II games, too) on a new streaming service/platform, which ESPN plans to roll out next year? It is possible, so let’s see what happens, but that would be a great place for fans to go to watch and stream games.

Closing ThoughtsIt was a great season – seriously, it was a tremendous year with some great stories and outcomes, which means 2018 should be even more exciting. We’re counting down the days to camp – yep, the clock is ticking in our office – and will look forward to bringing you coverage of New England Division III Football in 2018, so see you all on the gridiron soon!

Noontime Sports 2016 Year In Review

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By Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11)

Ah, the final day of 2016 has arrived.

And just like past years, it’s time to revisit some of our favorite stories from the past 12 months.

Yet, unlike past years, this year’s ‘year in review’ is made-up of a variety of stories from ‘Catching Up’ to features on the Amherst College and Endicott College football programs to Wheaton women’s basketball providing Coach Melissa Hodgdon with her 200th win as a head coach.

I also made sure to highlight a few podcasts from the past few months – yes, Noontime Sports the Podcast returned this summer and I am super excited to host the 16th episode, which will be posted later next week.

So, sit back, relax, and re-read or listen to some of our biggest posts from 2016, and have a wonderful and safe Happy New Year!

See you in 2017!

Noontime Sports The Podcast: Episode 14 (James Baker | In The HuddLLe)

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By NoontimeSports (@NoontimeSports

In honor of the NCAA Division III Football Tournament, which kicks-off this weekend, Noontime Sports the Podcast welcomed back James Baker, who is one of the co-hosts of In The HuddLLe – yes, two ‘L’s’ – to discuss the first round of the playoffs.

Baker and host Matt Noonan discussed the ‘Alfred’ section of the tournament tree, primarily the Saxons’ game against Bridgewater State, Western New England hosting Husson and Hobart drawing perennial powerhouse Mount Union.

In addition to some NCAA Tournament talk, Noonan and Baker also discussed the inaugural New England Football Bowl, which takes place this Saturday (Salve Regina versus Framingham State), and the final week of the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) football season, too.

Make sure to follow Baker and co-host Frank Rossi on Twitter!

Noontime Sports D3 Football Team Of The Year

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By NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports)

It’s hard to believe, but another NCAA Division III Football season is slowly coming to a close, so that means it is time to honor the numerous student-athletes we covered and wrote about over the past three-and-a-half months.

So, for the first-time in Noontime Sports history, we are proud to unveil our New England D3 Football Team of the Year!

Quarterbacks

Cory Brandon (Husson)

Quinn Fleeting (Western Conn. St.)

Jared Lebowitz (Middlebury)

Anthony Service (Western New England)

Derek Victory (Coast Guard Academy)

 

Halfbacks/Fullbacks

Chance Brady (Tufts)

Devon Carrillo (Wesleyan)

Nick Connell (Western New England)

Corey Creeger (Maine Maritime Academy)

Malik Garrett (Bridgewater State)

Sean McAllen (WPI)

Alex McLaughlin (Bridgewater State)

Sam Pascale (Salve Regina)

Eddie Sheridan (UMass Dartmouth)

John Smith (Husson)

 

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

Darius Adams (Coast Guard Academy)

Conrado Banky (Middlebury)

Devin Boehm (Amherst)

Jake Cawlina (Curry)

Mark Dietrich (Western New England)

Brandon Eccher (WPI)

Matt Greenman (Mount Ida)

Shane Haggerty (Mass. Maritime Academy)

Tony Martignoli (Nichols)

Soren Pelz-Walsh (Castleton)

 

Offensive Line (team’s full o-line)

Maine Maritime Academy

Middlebury

Springfield

Salve Regina

UMass Dartmouth

 

Defensive Line

Craig Anderson (Endicott)

Kevin Kusch (MIT)

Cam McGhee (Plymouth State)

Brandon O’Neill (Salve Regina)

Emmanuel Omere (Bridgewater State)

John Salute (Salve Regina)

Luke Washburn (Husson)

 

Linebackers

Darren Callan (Castleton)

Joe Gowetski (Bowdoin)

Greg Holt (Tufts)

John Jackson (Middlebury)

Liam Kenneally (Trinity)

Marshall McCarthy (Mass. Maritime Academy)

Matt McEvilly (Nichols)

Brian Murtagh (WPI)

William Rivera (Endicott)

Mark Upton (Bates)

 

Secondary

Trenton J. Bouchard (Maine Maritime Academy)

Rob Disanto (MIT)

Spencer Donahue (Trinity)

Obi Etuka (Western New England)

Prince Gbaley (Plymouth State)

Tim Preston (Tufts)

Ryan Robertson (Coast Guard Academy)

Jakob Trautwein (Castleton)

Jovon White (Fitchburg State)

Blair Zentek (Plymouth State)

 

Kickers/Punters

John Baron (Colby)

Blaine Bursey (WPI)

Tucker Cheyne (MIT)

Francis Cole (Anna Maria)

Willie Holmquist (Tufts)

Eric Sachse (Trinity)

New England D3 Football: BSU, Husson & WNE Headed To NCAA Tournament

NCAA Logo By NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports

It was announced last night that a trio of New England Division III football teams would be headed to the NCAA Tournament, which begins this Saturday, November 19th.

Bridgewater State, Husson University and Western New England all earned automatic qualifiers by capturing their respective conference title.

The Bears of Bridgewater State will hit the road to take on Alfred University while the Golden Bears will entertain the Eagles in Springfield, Massachusetts. Both kickoffs are scheduled for 12 p.m. eastern.

Western New England – this year’s New England Football Conference (NEFC) regular season champions – advanced to the NCAA Tournament last year, but fell in the opening round to Johns Hopkins.

Husson and Bridgewater State last appeared in the tournament in 2014 and 2012, respectively. Husson hosted MIT, but fell to the Engineers in an epic (and dramatic) first-round clash – the win was MIT’s first-ever NCAA Tournament victory. Bridgewater State fell to Widener in the opening round in 2012.

To view the entire NCAA Division III Football bracket – HOP HERE

New England D3 Football: 11 Games To Watch In Week 11

By Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11

Saturday marks the final day of the NCAA Division III regular season. So, in honor of the 11th week of college football here in New England, I present 11 Games to Watch in Week 11.

Trinity at Wesleyan: The Bantams flexed their muscles a few weeks ago, proving they’re the team to beat in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) with a convincing win over Middlebury. Can they finish their campaign unbeaten? It won’t be easy, but expect a big day from sophomore tailback Max Chipouras, who will lead the Bantams to a conference crown. Prediction: Trinity 27, Wesleyan 20

Williams at Amherst: This is the biggest D3 game in the country tomorrow, hands down. Williams has shown improvement under first-year head coach Mark Raymond, and I think this is the game they finally break through. Prediction: Williams 20, Amherst 14

The Bobcats' defense held the Polar Bears to just one score last weekend, so expect the unit to have another big day against Hamilton. (Photo Credit: Bates College Athletics/Brian Foley)

The Bobcats’ defense held the Polar Bears to just one score last weekend, so expect the unit to have another big day against Hamilton. (Photo Credit: Bates College Athletics/Brian Foley)

Hamilton at Bates: Winners of two-straight, the Bobcats will look to cap their 2016 campaign with a season-finale win over the Continentals of Hamilton. Bates’ defense was impressive last week, holding Bowdoin to just one score, while tallying three interceptions and two sacks. Prediction: Bates 21, Hamilton 7

Tufts at Middlebury: Jay Civetti’s squad has enjoyed another impressive season, winning six of seven contests thus far. The Jumbos have a chance to share the NESCAC crown with a win – they would also need Wesleyan to defeat Trinity. I think Chance Brady caps his impressive career with the Powder Blue and White by scoring the game-winning touchdown to send Tufts past Middlebury for the second-straight season. Prediction: Tufts 31, Middlebury 24

Husson at Mount Ida: The Eagles provided an early season scare to perhaps the best team in the East Region – that would be Alfred. Since then, Coach Gabby Price’s squad has been on a roll, winning eight-straight contests. Can they make it nine in a row? It won’t be easy, especially against an up and coming Mount Ida squad, but look for halfback John Smith and quarterback Cory Brandon to lead the Eagles to their ninth-straight victory. Prediction: Husson 27, Mount Ida 14

Castleton at Norwich: The annual Maple Sap Bucket Trophy is on the line. The Spartans have won the last two meetings, but I think this year the Cadets will find a way to secure the coveted trophy for the first time since 2013. Prediction: Norwich 21, Castleton 17

Endicott at Curry: For the second-straight season, Coach Kevin DeWall’s Gulls have a chance to end their campaign at 5-5. Don’t expect this clash with the Colonels to be easy – last season both teams needed four extra sessions to determine the eventual winner. Let’s go with a late touchdown by the Gulls to send Endicott past Curry on the road. Prediction: Endicott 28, Curry 21

Coast Guard Academy at Western New England: Can the Bears slow down the Golden Bears? It’s possible, but expect Western New England to finish their season with a win, along with some additional momentum heading into the NCAA Tournament. Prediction: WNE 30, CGA 14

Expect another big day from Salve Regina halfback Sam Pascale. (Photo Credit: Salve Regina Athletics)

Expect another big day from Salve Regina halfback Sam Pascale. (Photo Credit: Salve Regina Athletics)

Salve Regina at Maine Maritime Academy: Despite a disappointing outcome last week, the Seahawks can cap their season by finishing undefeated on the road. Halfback Sam Pascale will be guide the ground attack – and his squad – to their eight win of the season. Prediction: Salve Regina 28. MMA 14

Mass. Maritime Academy at Bridgewater State: The Bears clinched the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) crown last weekend with an impressive road win over Framingham State. Expect this squad – now winners of seven-straight – to cap their regular season campaign with not only an eight consecutive win, but also winners of the Annual Cranberry Bowl, too. Prediction: Bridgewater State 28, MMA 14

St. Lawrence at WPI: Last weekend, the Engineers engineered a dramatic comeback to defeat Rochester on the road. Can they cap their respective campaign with a win over St. Lawrence? It won’t be easy, but how about a last minute field goal to send WPI past the Saints? Prediction: WPI 30, St. Lawrence 28