Category Archives: New England Football

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

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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.


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Report: New England Patriots Restructure Julian Edelman’s Contract

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The Super Bowl MVP, Julian Edelman, had his contract restructured on Tuesday to possibly keep him in New England for the remainder of his career. (PHOTO COURTESY: Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

By Matt Noonan | @MattyNoonz11

Weeks after being named the most valuable player in last season’s Super Bowl, New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman had his contract restructured earlier today, which should keep him in New England for the remainder of his career.

According to multiple reports, Edelman’s new contract will keep him with the Patriots through the 2021 season.

As noted through ProFootballTalk.com, Edelman’s contract was set to expire after the upcoming season.

According to Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com, Edelman’s new contract “includes an $8 million signing bonus and $12 million in guaranteed money.”

Prior to being named the Super Bowl most valuable player, Edelman hauled in 74 receptions on 108 targets for 850 yards and six touchdowns in 12 regular season contests. Edelman was suspended for the first four games of the 2018 season for testing positive for PED (performance-enhancing drug) use.

In three playoff games, Edelman recorded 26 receptions on 35 targets for a career-best 388 receiving yards, while also tallying two carries for 15 yards.

Since being drafted in 2009, Edelman has become quarterback Tom Brady‘s go-to receiver in both the regular season and postseason.

According to ProFootballReference.com, Edelman has recorded 499 receptions in 115 games, including 30 grabs in the end zone. He has tallied 5,390 receiving yards, which is an average of 10.8 yards per reception.

Edelman and the Patriots will begin their recent title defense on Sunday, September 8 when they host the Pittsburg Steelers for an 8:20 p.m. kickoff.


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Springfield’s Giorgio Earns Invite To New Orleans Saints’ Rookie Minicamp

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Springfield College’s Nick Giorgio (94) has been invited to the New Orleans Saints’ minicamp. (PHOTO CREDIT: Matt Noonan/NoontimeSports.com)

By Matt Noonan | @MattyNoonz11

Tuesday was an exciting day for the soon-to-be Springfield College alum as Nick Giorgio received an invitation to the New Orleans Saints’ Rookie Minicamp, which will be held this weekend (May 10th-12th).

Giorgio is the most recent member of the Springfield football program to earn a tryout with a National Football League (NFL) team since Fran Papasedero competed for a spot with the New York Jets in 1994.

The Cumberland, Rhode Island native gained attention from 12 NFL franchises back in March during his workout at the Harvard University Pro Day, as well as through his agent Paul Sheehy of ProStar Sports Agency.

Giorgio, who was tabbed our Noontime Sports New England Division III Player of the Year, enjoyed his best season with the Pride, recording season-bests in tackles (50), total tackles (82.0), tackles per game (7.5), sacks (14), and tackles for a loss (29). In his team’s final game – a New England Bowl victory over Maritime (N.Y.) – he tallied a season-best 12.0 total tackles, along with one-and-a-half sacks for a loss of 10 yards and four-and-a-half tackles for a loss of 19 yards, while also recording one pass break-up.

In addition to being recognized through our site, Giorgio earned additional postseason accolades, including the Gridiron Club of Greater Boston‘s Division II/III New England Defensive Player of the Year and the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Defensive Athlete of the Year. Giorgio was also a semifinalist for the Gagliardi National Player of the Year Trophy, too.

Giorgio becomes the second Massachusetts college football player to gain attention from the Saints as Assumption College‘s Deonte Harris recently inked a three-year deal with the team as an undrafted rookie.

Noonan: Wicked Early Thoughts On The 2019 Patriots Schedule

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Tom Brady will attempt to guide the New England Patriots to its seventh Super Bowl this upcoming season. (PHOTO COURTESY: USA TODAY Sports Images)

By Matt Noonan | @MattyNoonz11

The National Football League (NFL) unveiled its 2019 schedule last night – there are some intriguing match-ups to watch this fall, so get excited.

But like many of us, we were more interested in seeing who the New England Patriots would play in 2019, especially in week one when they celebrate their sixth Super Bowl championship.

And the answer for who the Patriots would play in week one was a familiar foe, the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Yep, the Steel Curtain will invade Gillette Stadium on the first Sunday evening of the 2019 season, and you know it will be a great game with hopefully the Patriots prevailing.

With a new season just months away, but a schedule now available to analyze (and think about), why not share some thoughts on how the hometown team will do in each contest, beginning with its week one match-up with the Steelers.


Noonan’s 2019 Game-By-Game Predictions 

Week One: Pittsburg Steelers at Patriots (Sept. 8th, 2019 | 8:30 p.m.): There will be a lot of storylines heading into this one, but the most important one will be how will the Patriots do with Rob Gronkowski? I think they will do just fine. There will be some growing pains, of course, but in the end, the Patriots should find a way to sneak past the Steelers without two of their key pieces from the past few seasons. PREDICTION: Patriots 27, Steelers 21 

Week Two: Patriots at Miami Dolphins (Sept. 15th, 2019 | 1 p.m.): Coach Bill Belichick takes on former defensive coordinator Brian Flores. This will be yet another one of those master versus apprentice battles, but in the end, I think the Dolphins win this one, but the Pats will even the score later in the season. PREDICTION: Dolphins 24, Patriots 17 

Week Three: New York Jets at Patriots (Sept. 22, 2019 | 1 p.m.): Adam Gase seems to think the Jets are better suited than his former team to beat the Patriots. He even inspired them to bring back a bad (and remixed) version of their Neil O’Donnell uniforms, too. The Patriots will be eager to bounce back from their week two loss to the Dolphins and earn their first divisional win. PREDICTION: Patriots 37, Jets 15

Week Four: Patriots at Buffalo Bills (Sept. 29th, 2019 | 1 p.m.): After cruising past the Jets, the Patriots should have no problem ending the month of September with a second-straight AFC East victory. PREDICTION: Patriots 24, Bills 10 

Week Five: Patriots at Washington Redskins (Oct. 6th, 2019 |1p.m.): The last time the Patriots and Redskins squared-off in our nation’s capital, I believe there was some sort of shouting match between Tom Brady and Bill O’Brien. I don’t see Brady yelling at O’Brien this year – he coaches the Houston Texans, by the way – but I do see our hometown hero yelling at his teammates during the pregame to fire them up for another win. PREDICTION: Patriots 31, Redskins 21

Week Six: New York Giants at Patriots (Oct. 10th, 2019 | 8:20 p.m.): It seems like ages ago when these two teams met in the Super Bowl, but this game won’t be like the ‘big game.’ Nope, the Giants are rebuilding – should be competitive, though – but in the end, this has the makings for Sony Michel two or three-touchdown game. PREDICTION: Patriots 35, Giants 17 

Week Seven: Patriots at New York Jets (Oct. 21, 2019 | 8:15 p.m.): As usual, the Jets usually play well at home, but can they rebound from a week three setback to the Patriots? Probably not, right? PREDICTION: Patriots 27, Jets 17 

Week Eight: Cleveland Browns at Patriots (Oct. 27th, 2019 | 4:25 p.m.): Welcome to Foxboro, Baker Mayfield. The Browns should be in the mix for an AFC Championship this season – yes, I know what I just wrote (and said in my head!) – but somehow I see the Patriots pulling this out with a late touchdown. PREDICTION: Patriots 27, Browns 24

Week Nine: Patriots at Baltimore Ravens (Nov. 3rd, 2019 | 8:20 p.m.): Coach Belichick versus quarterback Lamar Jackson should be an enticing game of chess. The Ravens always play the Patriots tough, and I think this is a tough spot for New England to secure a win before the bye week. PREDICTION: Ravens 21, Patriots 17 

Week Ten: Bye Week (Nov. 10th, 2019) 

Week 11: Patriots at Philadelphia Eagles (Nov. 17th, 2019 | 4:25 p.m.): Coming off their bye week (and a disappointing setback to the Ravens), the Patriots will return to their early season form and cause havoc to quarterback Carson WentzPREDICTION: Patriots 27, Eagles 20

Week 12: Dallas Cowboys at Patriots (Nov. 24th, 2019 | 4:24 p.m.): Quarterback Dak Prescott does quite well in chilly temperatures – cold weather doesn’t seem to bother the young signal-caller. This should be a competitive game like the 2011 meeting, but in the end, I somehow see Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott winning the game on a one-yard score. PREDICTION: Cowboys 21, Patriots 18 

Week 13: Patriots at Houston Texans (Dec. 1st, 2019 | 8:20 p.m.): After a tough loss to the Cowboys – I know, I showed some bias to my second favorite football team – the Patriots will find a way back into the win column, but it won’t be an easy win. PREDICTION: Patriots 29, Texans 23 

Week 14: Kansas City Chiefs at Patriots (Dec. 8th, 2019 | 4:25 p.m.): This has the making for a very exciting contest – perhaps the winner could take over the top spot in the AFC for the upcoming playoffs. The Chiefs almost beat the Patriots last season but should be a tougher opponent this year, thanks to new defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo. PREDICTION: Chiefs 31, Patriots 27 

Week 15: Patriots at Cincinnati Bengals (Dec. 15th, 2019 | 1 p.m.): Welcome to the beginning of a three-game winning streak. Sure, the Bengals will have a new coach this year, but they won’t be able to stop the Patriots at this point of the season. PREDICTION: Patriots 31, Bengals 20 

Week 16: Buffalo Bills at Patriots (Dec. 21st or 22nd | TBD): The pre-Christmas game at Foxboro usually results in a win for the hometown team. Who knows what shape the Bills will be in at this point of the season, but the Patriots will once again dominate their divisional foe. PREDICTION: Patriots 28, Bills 14

Week 17: Miami Dolphins at Patriots (Dec. 29th, 2019 | 1 p.m.): One week after handing Buffalo an early holiday present, the Patriots will once again dish out an early Happy New Year gift by beating the Dolphins before the postseason. PREDICTION: Patriots 27, Dolphins 10


Stay connected with our New England football coverage by following @Noontime_FB on Twitter! 

D3 Football: WPI Announces Captains For 2019 Season

WPI_Engineers_Logo_By Matt Noonan | @MattyNoonz11

We may be a few months away from a brand new season of New England D3 football, but more news of captains announcements was made earlier this week when WPI unveiled its three student-athletes that will be leading the Engineers in 2019.

As seen on the team’s Instagram account, halfback Sean McAllen, defensive back Sam Casey, and linebacker Nick Ostrowski were each named captain for the 2019 season.

All three were members of the 2018 squad, which finished 6-4 overall, including 4-3 in New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) play.

Similar to our recent posts about teams’ football captains for the 2019 season, here is some information on all three student-athletes that will be tasked with leading the Engineers next fall.

  • Sean McAllen (Halfback | Prospect, Conn.): McAllen concluded the 2018 season with 576 rushing yards on 144 carries (64.0 yards per contest) and nine rushing touchdowns while hauling in a pair of scores on 17 receptions for 223 receiving yards. McAllen ended the season as on the Worcester Area Football Association’s second team, while also earning first-team all-conference from the NEWMAC.
  • Sam Casey (Defensive Back | Winchester, Mass.): The Winchester native posted a career-high 65.0 total tackles last fall, including a career-best 23 assists. He concluded the 10 game schedule with 42 solo stops, seven tackles shy of matching his career-high of 49, which he recorded during the 2017 season. Additionally, Casey recorded three tackles for a loss and a trio of interceptions, along with a pair of pass break-ups. For his effort, Casey was tabbed first-team all-conference by the NEWMAC, while also earning a spot on the Worcester Area Football Association’s first-team defense.
  • Nick Ostrowski (Linebacker | Charlton, Mass.): Ostrowski concluded his team’s 2018 campaign with a career-best 76.0 total tackles, along with a career-high 36 assists. The Charlton native tallied 40 solo stops, while also recording four tackles for a loss for 29 yards and two forced fumbles. Ostrowski was named first-team all-conference by the NEWMAC and earned a first-team nod on defense from the Worcester Area Football Association.

Stay connected with our Noontime Sports football coverage on Twitter by following @Noontime_FB. 

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