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!

Dan Mulrooney Tabbed Anna Maria College Football Coach

Former WPI defensive coordinator Dan Mulrooney was recently named the next Anna Maria football coach. (PHOTO CREDIT: WPI Athletics)

Former WPI defensive coordinator Dan Mulrooney was recently named the next Anna Maria football coach. (PHOTO CREDIT: WPI Athletics)

By Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11

A “new culture” is set to begin at Anna Maria College as Athletic Director Serge DeBari announced yesterday that Dan Mulrooney would become the next football coach of the AMCATs football program.

“He is a hardworking football coach with a great attitude looking for an opportunity to develop high character student-athletes on and off the field,” DeBari said in the athletic department’s release.

Mulrooney comes to Paxton, Massachusetts following an impressive three-year stint with the WPI football team as the defensive coordinator. Mulrooney helped the Engineers enjoy a pair of winning seasons (2015 & 2016), while improving the defense every year.

A Division I safety and tailback, Mulrooney competed for both Boston College and Stony Brook – he concluded his career as Seawolves’ leading tackler in 2011, while earning Big South Defensive Newcomer of the Year.

Mulrooney hails from Waterbury, Connecticut and competed for Holy Cross High School where he earned a pair of all-state accolades, while guiding his squad to two state titles.

Said Mulrooney, “I am an enthusiastic, dedicated, hardworking coach, who strives to develop student-athletes to reach their maximum potential.”

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)

Noontime Top 10 Poll: WNE Captures Top Spot In Final Poll

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By NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports

For the final time this season, Noontime Sports has released its New England Division III Football ‘Noontime Top 10’ Poll with Western New England, Trinity College and Salve Regina University earning the top three spots.

The Golden Bears – this year’s New England Football Conference (NEFC) regular season champions – finished their 10-game slate undefeated. WNE is headed to the NCAA Tournament for the second-straight season and will host fourth-ranked Husson University on Saturday, November 19th in the first round.

Husson captured the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) crown for the second time in three seasons after ending their campaign with a convincing win over Mount Ida College. The Eagles head into the NCAA Tournament riding a nine-game winning streak.

Trinity – the second-best team in the region – captured the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) crown with an impressive 45-21 victory over Wesleyan University. The win provided the Bantams with their seventh conference crown since the league began recognizing champions in 2000.

Salve Regina checked-in third overall – the Seahawks’ season will conclude this weekend when they host the inaugural New England Bowl against seventh-ranked Framingham State.

Bridgewater State rounded out the top five and will be in action this weekend when they visit Alfred University in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament. The Bears captured the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) title by defeating the Rams of Framingham State two weeks ago on the road in overtime.

Tufts University secured the sixth position after capping their season with an impressive win over ninth-ranked Middlebury College. The Jumbos, who were led by senior tailback Chance Brady, capped their season with seven wins. The seven wins are the most a Tufts team has accumulated since winning six of eight contests in 1998.

Wesleyan, Middlebury and WPI secured the final three positions, checking in eighth, ninth and tenth, respectively. The Engineers, who commenced the season ranked eighth in our poll, provided challenges to every Liberty League squad, including Hobart and St. Lawrence University.

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