As we slowly close the book on the 2017-18 school year – well, the past nine to 10 months of coverage, to be exact – I thought this would be a good time to dish out some exciting new content news for Noontime Sports!
As seen in our Twitter poll below, it appears you, the fans and friends of our blog, would like to see some additional D3 coverage that includes some non-New England schools. And yes, I oblige!
So, starting in late-June/early-July, we will begin our preseason football coverage with getting to know some non-New England squads, while still continuing to produce blogs and podcasts on teams from our New England/Northeast region.
We may also sprinkle in some soccer coverage, too, so make sure to stay connected with us on social media as we begin the next phase of our content creation journey!
Finally, be on the lookout for some high school coverage going forward, too. We will aim to have some postseason tournament coverage on the site over the next few weeks in Massachusetts as local teams begin their quest for winning the ultimate prize: a state championship.
As always, make sure to stay connected with Noontime Sports on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and SnapChat!
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 Year: For 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 … AWESOME: The 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 College, Middlebury 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 College, Bowdoin 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 Podcast: As 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 Thoughts: It 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!
Joe Germinerio tossed three touchdowns, while completing 30 of 38 passes for 292 yards, while Tyree Brown hauled in a game-high 118 yards on 11 catches – he also caught a touchdown, too.
Nathaniel Keith III led the Golden Eagles’ defense with 10 total stops, including seven solo tackles, while scooping a fumble. Julius Mizro concluded the contest with one sack for a loss of 21 yards, one forced fumble, one pass break-up, one interception (four yards) and six total tackles (one solo stop).
Brockport’s defense limited Wesley tailback E.J. Lee to just 82 yards on 23 carries – he did rush for a touchdown, though. Alex Kemp recorded three grabs for 94 yards and one touchdown reception, while quarterback Khaaliq Burroughs concluded the afternoon 16 of 35 for 233 yards and one touchdown.
Both teams entered the break tied at 21-21, but a three-score third quarter, jumpstarted by a Joseph Ortiz touchdown reception helped the Golden Eagles push ahead for good.
Brockport led 42-28 after three quarters before scoring their final touchdown midway through the final session with 9:01 remaining.
Wesley concludes its season 10-2 overall, while the Golden Eagles picked-up their 12th consecutive victory of the season.
Delaware Valley 37, Husson 15: One week after stunning the NCAA Division III Football world with their first-ever postseason victory, the Husson Eagles saw their run toward the ultimate prize conclude in Pennsylvania as the Aggies rolled to their 12th straight win, thanks to four touchdowns from Dashawn Darden (three through the air, one on the ground).
Darden accounted for three first half touchdowns, which helped the hosts secure a 19-0 advantage at the break, but Husson responded early in the third quarter with a nine-yard touchdown run by John Smith. Smith’s score capped an eight play, 71 yard drive, which brought the visitors with 12 points of the Aggies with 10:50 remaining in the third.
DelVal would counter on the ensuing possession with a two-yard plunge by LaQuille Nesbitt, which helped the Aggies push ahead for good.
Smith concluded the contest with a game-high 161 yards on 32 carries, while Devauntay Ellis led the Aggies’ rushing attack with 100 yards on 18 carries.
Husson concludes its season at 10-2 after claiming its second-straight Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) crown earlier this month when they defeated Alfred State in Maine.
With another New England Division III football season slowly winding down, it is time to dish out our Noontime Sports Team of the Year, including our Offensive, Defensive and Special Teams student-athletes of the year, as well as our Coach and Rookie of the Year, too.
Offensive Player of the Year: John Smith (Husson University): Smith collected his third consecutive Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) Offensive Player of the Year award earlier this month before leading the Eagles of Husson to their first-ever postseason victory against Springfield College in the opening round of the NCAA Division III Tournament last weekend. Smith helped the Eagles conclude the regular season with nine wins, including seven conference victories. Smith currently leads all Division III rushers with 2,081 yards. Through 11 games this season, including his team’s recent postseason victory over the Pride, Smith has rushed for 30 touchdowns, while averaging close to 200 yards per game (189.2 yards per contest).
Special Teams Player of the Year: Spencer Herrington (WPI): Herrington helped the Engineers clinch their first postseason victory last Saturday in the New England Bowl against SUNY Maritime by connecting on all three kicks, including a 22-yard field goal in the second quarter, which provided the host Engineers with the lead for good. Named New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Special Teams Athlete of the Year, Herrington concluded the 2017 season with 74 points on 44 extra points and 10 field goals. His longest field goal of the season – a 41-yard boot – came in his team’s 45-0 win in September against Maine Maritime.
Rookie of the Year: Bobby Maimaron (Williams College): The former Duxbury Dragon enjoyed an impressive first season with the Ephs, finishing his team’s nine game schedule with 12 touchdown passes and seven rushing scores. He tossed a season-high three touchdowns in a 47-14 win over Bates, while rushing for a season-best four scores in his team’s overtime win against Amherst, including the game-winning touchdown in overtime. Maimaron was also honored by the NESCAC as this year’s Rookie of the Year.
Offense of the Year
DJ Allen | Husson University | Tight End
Sean Amaru | Curry College | Running Back
Abbi Bamgbose | UMass Dartmouth | Wide Receiver
Conrado Banky | Middlebury College | Wide Receiver
Hunter Belzo | Springfield College | Running Back
Cory Brandon | Husson University | Quarterback
Mike Breuler | Wesleyan University | Wide Receiver
Noah Brum | Worcester State | Quarterback
Max Chipouras | Trinity College | Running Back
Alex Corvese | Curry College | Quarterback
Frank Cosolito | Middlebury College | Tight End
Jake Eglintine | Springfield College | Quarterback
Quinn Fleeting | Western Connecticut | Quarterback
Moe Harris | Castleton University | Running Back
Nick Hewitt | Mount Ida College | Wide Receiver
Jack Hickey | Amherst College | Running Back
Travon Holder | Westfield State | Running Back
Jack Lavanchy | Bridgewater State | Wide Receiver
Jared Lebowitz | Middlebury College | Quarterback
Jacob Maher | Worcester State | Tight End
Bobby Maimaron | Williams College | Quarterback
Sean McAllen | WPI | Running Back
Mark Piccirillo | Wesleyan University | Quarterback
Sonny Puzzo | Trinity College | Quarterback
John Robertson | MIT | Running Back
Robenson Saintard | Husson University | Wide Receiver
Anthony Service | Western New England | Quarterback
John Smith | Husson University | Running Back
Jacob Szulc | Plymouth State | Wide Receiver
Trai Weaver | Anna Maria College | Wide Receiver
Jordan Wilcox | Springfield College| Running Back
Adam Wojenski | Framingham State | Quarterback
Quron Wright | Framingham State | Running Back
Offensive Lines of the Year
Framingham State Rams
Husson University Eagles
Springfield College Pride
Western New England
Defense of the Year
Micah Adickes | Tufts University | D-Line
Rico Aaron | Dean College | Linebacker
Wesley Becton | Middlebury College | Linebacker
Michael Bianco | Becker College | Linebacker
Luca Cerasani | WPI | D-Line
Sam Edouard | Western New England | D-Line
Joe Esposito | Plymouth State | D-Line
Nathan Fleming | Framingham State | Linebacker
Jean Gabriel | Husson University | Defensive Back
Nick Giorgio | Springfield | D-Line
Steven Grogan | Curry College | Linebacker
Chris Hattar | Williams College | D-Line
Greg Holt | Tufts University | Linebacker
Kevin Hopsicker | Middlebury College | Defensive Back
Zhaire House | Western New England | Defensive Back
Corey Jean-Jacques | Trinity College | D-Line
Kurtis Jolicoeur | Western New England | Linebacker
Sam Malafronte | WPI | Linebacker
Marvey Mathurin | UMass Dartmouth | Linebacker
Brett McEvoy | Nichols College | Linebacker
Brandon Morris | Wesleyan University | Linebacker
Brandon O’Neill | Salve Regina University | D-Line
Joshua Onujiogu | Framingham State | D-Line
Dereck Pacheco | WPI | D-Line
Marlowe Scott | Springfield College | Defensive Back
Dominique Seagears | Trinity College | Défensive Back
Quan Soyini | Husson University | Defensive Back
Joe Surace | Curry College | D-Line
Elvin Suazo, Jr. | Husson University | Linebacker
Dominic Traversa | Springfield | Linebacker
Luke Washburn | Husson University | D-Line
Andrew Yamin | Amherst College | D-Line
Zach Ziemba | Plymouth State | Defensive Back
Christian Zotti | Springfield College | Linebacker
Special Teams of the Year
Brett Fox | Endicott College | Punter
Spencer Herrington | WPI | Kicker & Punter
Christian Humulock | Springfield College | Kicker
Marc Mrozek | Curry College | Kicker
Eric Sachse | Trinity College | Kicker
Coaches of the Year
Skip Bandini | Curry College | Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC)
Mike Cerasuolo | Springfield College | New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC)
Tom Kelley | Framingham State | Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC)
Gabby Price | Husson University | Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC)
Mark Raymond | Williams College | New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC)
Following a busy weekend of NCAA Division III Tournament games, along with a pair of New England Bowls, too, it is time to unveil this week’s Noontime Sports Team of the Week.
Offensive Player of the Week: Adam Wojenski (Framingham State): Wojenski was tabbed the New England Bowl Most Valuable Player (MVP) after tossing five touchdowns – all in the first half – which helped the Rams of Framingham State capture their second-straight bowl crown. Wojenski concluded the game 19 of 28 for 246 yards.
Defensive Player of the Week: Nathan Fleming (Framingham State): Against Curry, Fleming registered nine total tackles, including four solo stops, two tackles for a loss of 15 yards, one sack for a loss of 14 yards and one forced fumble.
Special Teams Player of the Week: Devin Pickett (Husson): Pickett connected on all three boots, including a 22-yard field goal mid-way through the fourth quarter, which helped the Eagles score their first-ever NCAA Tournament win over Springfield. Pickett concluded the contest with five points.
Offense of the Week
Dante Aiken (WNE): Aiken led all rushers with a game-high 98 yards on 21 carries (4.7 yards per carry) in his team’s NCAA Division III Tournament setback to Delaware Valley.
Hunter Belzo (Springfield): Belzo led the Pride with 113 yards rushing on nine carries (12.6 yards per carry), while registering one touchdown.
Shaquille Joseph (Framingham State): Joseph led all Framingham State receivers with seven grabs for 72 yards, while catching the game’s initial touchdown pass.
John Smith (Husson): Against Springfield, Smith rushed for a game-high 164 yards on 43 carries and two scores as the Eagles stunned the Pride in the opening round of the NCAA Division III Tournament.
Spencer Tyler (Curry): Tyler concluded his team’s New England Bowl contest against Framingham State with a game-high nine receptions for 75 yards and one touchdown. He also threw a touchdown to quarterback Alex Corvese in the second half.
Jordan Wilcox (Springfield): Wilcox concluded his team’s game against Husson by tallying 111 yards on 22 carries (5.0 yards per carry), while rushing for a pair of touchdowns.
Quron Wright (Framingham State): Wright concluded last Saturday’s New England Bowl with 109 yards of total offense, including 60 yards on 16 carries and four receptions for 49 yards and two touchdowns.
Defense of the Week
Luca Cerasani (WPI): Cerasani concluded his team’s New England Bowl against SUNY Maritime with seven total tackles, including six solo stops, four tackles for a loss of 18 yards and two sacks for a loss of 14 yards. He also recorded one pass break-up, too.
Nick Giorgio (Springfield): Giorgio concluded his team’s contest with Husson by tallying seven total tackles, including five solo stops, two tackles for a loss of 10 yards, one sack for a loss of nine yards and one forced fumble.
Tim Huffam (WNE): Against Delaware Valley in the opening round of the NCAA Division III Tournament, Huffam paced the Golden Bears’ defense with 10 total tackles, including five solo stops, one-and-a-half tackles for a loss of eight yards and a sack for a loss of seven yards.
Sam Malafronte (WPI): Malafronte concluded his team’s New England Bowl with a team-high nine total tackles, including seven solo stops and one tackle for a loss of two yards.
Joshua Onujiogu (Framingham State): Onujiogu recorded four total tackles, including a trio of solo stops, a pair of tackles for a loss of 13 yards and one pass break-up in his team’s New England Bowl victory.
Matt Shea (Plymouth State): Against Brockport in the opening round of the NCAA Division III Tournament, Shea recorded a game-high 12 total tackles, including eight solo stops.
Elvin Suazo, Jr. (Husson): Suazo Jr. recorded a team-high 11 total tackles, including four solo stops, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery in his team’s first-ever NCAA Tournament win against Springfield.
Dominic Traversa (Springfield): Against Husson, Traversa paced the Pride’s defense with a game-high 13 total stops, including five solo tackles, one fumble recovery and one tackles for a loss of two yards.
Cody Wlasuk (Framingham State): Wlasuk concluded his team’s 11th game of the season by recording seven total tackles, including five solo stops, two tackles for a loss of 14 yards, one sack for a loss of 10 yards, one pass break-up and one interception returned for nine yards.
Christian Zotti (Springfield): Zotti concluded his team’s contest against Husson with 11 total tackles, including five solo stops, one tackle for a loss, one forced fumble, one interception returned for 24 yards and one pass break-up.
Special Teams of the Week
Ryan Clifford (Framingham State): Clifford connected on six of seven extra point attempts in his team’s 48-14 New England Bowl victory last Saturday.
Spencer Herrington (WPI): Herrington concluded his team’s New England Bowl by connecting on all three kicks, including a 22-yard field goal in the second quarter, which provided the host Engineers with the lead for good.