Atlantic Hockey Announces Return To Play

By Matt Noonan

The Atlantic Hockey league is ready to drop the puck for the 2020-21 season.

As announced earlier today, the 11-team conference which includes four teams from New England will return to the ice for its initial weekend of the 2020-21 season on Friday, November 13, and Saturday, November 14. Each team will compete in 24 contests – it is possible some member could skate 28 times this winter – while all 11 squads will be admitted into the Atlantic Hockey Tournament.

The 2021 Atlantic Hockey championship will return to Buffalo’s LECOM HarborCenter, which is the home rink for Canisius College.

“First off, I’m extremely excited to be announcing we have an approved league schedule for the 2020-21 season,” Atlantic Hockey Commissioner Robert DeGregorio said in a statement regarding the league’s return-to-play announcement. “It’s been a long process, and involved quite a bit of discussion, but it’s a testament to all those involved that we have managed to get Atlantic Hockey on the ice in 2020-21.”

To alleviate the spread of the ongoing coronavirus, the league will seperate its teams into an eastern and western pod. Three Massachusetts teams – Bentley UniversityHoly Cross, and American International College (AIC) – will compete in the eastern pod, along with Army and Sacred Heart University. Every team in each pod will play five games against each other, along with a pair of games against Air Force and Long Island University (LIU).

While today’s announcement certainly excited many within the college hockey world, Atlantic Hockey did state in today’s release that they are “still working to finalize return-to-play protocols for the season” and a schedule, including non-conference games, will be announced at a later date.

“We put this schedule together to maximize the student-athlete experience during such uncertain times” said DeGregorio. “We found a way to schedule up to 28 games while maintaining a focus on the health and safety of all parties by reducing travel times and overnight trips as much as we could.”

Prior to the 2019-20 season being cut short due to the ongoing pandemic, the Yellow Jackets of AIC were in first place with a 21-12-1 overall record, including a 21-6-1 conference mark.

What Would Be The Best New England FCS, D-II & D-III Football Matchups?

Football Line Web

What if WPI (left) and Springfield College (right) played against some local FCS and D-II football teams?

By Matt Noonan 

Trying to decipher if and when a college football season will occur this fall remains a mystery to many these days, including yours truly. But what if the upcoming season featured more regional games, specifically contests that saw the various New England FCS teams competing against D-II and D-III squads?

How about D-II and D-III teams squaring-off either under the lights or during a gorgeous October afternoon?

Could it happen? Maybe – I am not entirely sure, but it is an interesting thought, right?

While we may not know if and when a college football season will occur (or officially begin), here are a few ideas for some potential matchups that would be worth watching (or following).

American International College, Springfield College, and Western New England: How about AIC, Springfield, and WNE competing against each other to determine the best football team in Springfield, Massachusetts? Springfield and WNE have met in week one these past few years with the Pynchon SAW trophy on the line – the hardware is named after the city’s founder William Pynchon – so why not add AIC to the mix?

Holy Cross vs. New Haven: The Chargers (New Haven) are currently slated to compete against Dartmouth College in September, so why not play against the Crusaders, who advanced to their first postseason since 2009 last fall? This could be a really interesting game against two teams that finished in the top half of their respective conference last season.

Assumption College vs. WPI: I floated this potential matchup earlier this week in my ‘Noontime Commentary‘ piece about the upcoming fall sports season. I think this could be an interesting game, but I am not sure who would win. These two teams are literally down the road from each other, so we could call this game the ‘Battle of Salisbury Street.’ Thoughts?

Bentley University vs. New Hampshire: After finishing its 2019 campaign with a 6-4 record, I think these Falcons (Bentley) are ready to take on the Wildcats of New Hampshire. Whether this game is played in Waltham, Massachusetts, or Durham, New Hampshire, there would be an interest in this contest with both programs attracting a slew of student-athletes from the six New England states to their respective campus every year.

Harvard University, MIT, and Tufts University: Welcome to the ‘Battle of Cambridge and Somerville!’ Yes, I know there is already the ‘Battle for the Picket Fence’ between Cambridge Rindge & Latin and Somerville High School, so why not have Harvard, MIT, and Tufts compete for bragging rights for both cities? It could be some interesting games for sure, but in the end, Harvard would prevail. Go Crimson!

New England Small Colleges In The NFL & AFL Draft

Tom Carr WEB

Bates College fullback Tom Carr, who is one of two Bobcats to rush for 30 touchdowns in a career, was drafted by the Boston Patriots in 1966. (PHOTO COURTESY: Bates College.)

By NoontimeSports.com 

The 2020 NFL Draft is just a few hours away – are you excited?

While we anxiously await to hear who will be this year’s first-round pick – most likely Joe Burrow, right? – we wanted to highlight some former New England small college players that heard their names announced during past NFL and American Football League (AFL) Drafts.

Our list was created with the help of ProFootballReference.com’s NFL and AFL Draft History.


American International College (AIC)

  • 1944: Myron Majewski (Tackle): Majewski was selected by the Philadelphia Eagles with the 328th pick in the 32nd round.
  • 1953: Bill Murray (End): Murray was selected by the Green Bay Packers with the 272nd pick in the 23rd round.
  • 1957: Tom Rychlec (End): Rychlec was selected by the Detroit Lions with the 119th pick in the 10th round. The Meriden, Connecticut native played one season with the Lions before competing for the Buffalo Bills of the American Football League (AFL)from 1960 to 1963.
  • 1961: Joe Scibelli (G): Scibelli was drafted by two teams – the New York Titans of the AFL and Los Angeles Rams of the NFL. He elected to play for the Rams and played for Los Angeles from 1961 to 1975. He started 195 of 202 games on defense. The Springfield, Massachusetts native competed in six postseason contests.
  • 1961: Andy Griffith (RB): Griffith was drafted by the New York Titans of the American Football League with the 198th pick in the 25th round.
  • 1967: Bill Delaney (TE): Delaney was selected by the Atlanta Falcons with the 112th pick in the fifth round.
  • 1970: Glen Dumont (RB): Dumont was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs with the 364th pick in the 14th round.
  • 1972: Bruce Laird (DB): Laird was drafted by the Baltimore Colts with the 152nd pick in the sixth round. The Lowell, Massachusetts native played ten seasons in the NFL – eight with the Colts and two with the San Diego Chargers. He started in 127 of 164 contests while competing in five postseason games.
  • 1977: Terry Randolph (DB): Randolph was drafted by the Green Bay Packers with the 290th pick in the 11th round.
  • 1992: Gabe Mokwuah (LB): Mokwuah was drafted by the Green Pack Packers with the 287th pick in the 11th round.

Amherst College 

  • 1972: Jean Fugett (TE): Figett was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys with the 338th pick in the 13th round. The Baltimore, Maryland native played eight seasons in the NFL – he played four seasons with the Cowboys (1972-1975) before finishing his career with the Washington Redskins.
  • 1974: Freddie Scott (WR): Scott was selected by the Baltimore Colts with the 174th pick in the seventh round. The Grandy, Arkansas native played 10 seasons in the NFL – he spent the majority of his career with the Detroit Lions (1978-1983) while competing in four postseason contests. He never won a playoff game.
  • 1978: Bill Swiacki (TE): Swiacki was drafted by the New York Giants with the 232nd pick in the ninth round.
  • 1978: Sean Clancy (LB): Clancy was drafted by the Miami Dolphins with the 217th pick in the eighth round. The Manhasset, New York native played two seasons in the NFL – he spent one year with the Dolphins and his final season with the St. Louis Cardinals. He also competed in just one postseason contest.

Bates College

Bentley University

  • 2008: Mackenzy Bernadeau (G): Bernadeua was selected by the Carolina Panthers with the 250th pick in the seventh round. The Waltham, Massachusetts native played seven seasons, including four with the Dallas Cowboys from 2012 to 2015. He started 49 of 111 games, including all 16 for the Cowboys in 2012. He also played in two postseason games with the Cowboys in 2015 against the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers.

Bowdoin College

  • 1966: Paul Soule (HB): Soule, who was from Portland, Maine, was drafted by the Boston Patriots in the 1966 AFL Draft with 174th pick in the 20th round.
  • 1978: Steve McCabe (G): McCabe, who grew up in Westborough, Massachusetts, was drafted the Washington Redskins with the 324th pick in the 12th round. McCabe is the only member of the Polar Bears football program to be drafted by an NFL team after becoming the school’s first and only student-athlete to earn Kodak Division III All-American honors.

Brandeis University  

Colby College 

  • 1955: John Jacobs (E): Jacobs was selected by the New York Giants with the 224th pick in the 19th round.
  • 1959: Bob Sargent (T): Sargent was drafted by the Washington Redskins with the 292nd pick in the 25th round.

Middlebury College

  • 1949: John Corbisiero (B): Corbisiero was selected by the Chicago Bears with the 169th pick in the 17th round.
  • 1955: Al Dennis (E): Dennis was drafted by the Chicago Cardinals with the 191st pick in the 16th round.
  • 1958: Dick Fusco (T): Fusco was drafted by the New York Giants with the 214th pick in the 18th round.

Norwich University

  • 1943: Walt Domina (HB): Domina was selected by the New York Giants with the 106th pick in the 12th round. A two-spot athlete with the Cadets, Domina was remembered for his impressive play on the gridiron – he still holds individual records for points (31) and most touchdowns scored (five) in a single-game. Both records were recorded against Middlebury in 1940.

Southern Connecticut State University

  • 1963: Ralph Ferrisi (RB): Ferrisi was drafted by two teams – Boston Patriots and Minnesota Vikings. Ferrisi, who was born in Bronx, New York, but graduated from Weymouth High School, played professionally for the Vikings.
  • 1967: Tom Reale (OT): Reale was selected by the New York Giants with the 369th pick in the 15th round.
  • 1967: Dick Nocera (RB): Nocera was selected by the Boston Patriots with the 414th pick in the 16th round of the AFL Draft.
  • 1985: Travis Tucker (TE): Tucker was picked 287th overall in the 11th round by the Cleveland Browns. The Brooklyn, New York native played three seasons for the Browns while competing in a trio of postseason contests.
  • 1987: Scott Mersereau (DT): Mersereau was selected 136th overall in the fifth round by the Los Angeles Rams. The Riverhead, New York native never played for the Rams, however, but competed for the New York Jets from 1987 to 1993. He started in 91 of 102 contests and finished his career with three interceptions and three forced fumbles. He only played in one postseason contest in 1991 against the Houston Oilers.

St. Anselm College

  • 1940: Ray McLean (HB): McLean was drafted by the Chicago Bears with the 192nd pick in the 21st round. The Lowell, Massachusetts native played eight seasons with the Bears, making seven starts in 76 contests. He rushed for five scores while catching 21 touchdowns.

Trinity College

  • 1937: Mickey Kobrosky (QB): Kobrosky was drafted by the New York Giants with the 44th pick in the fifth round. The Springfield, Massachusetts native played seven games for the Giants in 1937, completing 2 of 13 passes for 18 yards while rushing for 41 yards on 13 carries.
  • 1959: Roger LeClerc (LB): LeClerc was drafted by the Chicago Bears with the 177th pick in the 15th round. The Springfield, Massachusetts native was transformed into a kicker with the Bears where he connected on 76 of 152 attempts while drilling 154 of 160 extra points. He did play one season for the Denver Broncos in 1967 before retiring.
  • 1985: Joe Shield (QB): Shielf was selected by the New York Giants with the 44th pick in the fifth round. The Brattleboro, Vermont native played just three games with the Packers during the 1986 season.

Tufts University 

  • 1946: George Feldman (HB): Feldman was selected by the Philadelphia Eagles with the 208th pick in the 22nd round.
  • 1958: George Kurker (T): Kurker was selected by the New York Giants with the 149th pick in the 13th round.
  • 1977: Daryl Brown (DB): Brown was picked 240th in the ninth round by the Cleveland Browns.

UMass Boston

  • 1974: Erle Garrett (DB): The only student-athlete to be drafted in UMass Boston’s history, Garrett was selected by the Minnesota Vikings with the 441st pick in the 17th round.

University of New Haven

  • 1958: Lou Pitney (C): Pitney was drafted by the New York Giants with the 345th pick in the 29th round.
  • 1959: Dick Splain (T): Splain was selected by the Washington Redskins with the 185th pick in the 16th round.
  • 1982: Mile McPherson (DB): McPherson was selected by the Los Angeles Rams with the 256th pick in the 10th round. The Queens, New York native never played a down for the Rams but did play four seasons for the San Diego Chargers while playing in two postseason games against the Miami Dolphins and Pittsburgh Steelers.
  • 1991: Harry Boatswain (G): Boatswain was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers with the 137th pick in the fifth round. The Brooklyn, New York native played began his five-year career with the 49ers before competing for the Philadelphia Eagles in 1995 and the New York Jets in 1996. He also competed in seven postseason games, including four contests against the Dallas Cowboys.

Wesleyan University 

  • 1947: Burt VanderClute (G): Vander Clute was picked 69th overall in the ninth round by the Pittsburgh Steelers.
  • 1947: Jack Medd (C): Medd was selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers with the 89th pick in the 11th round.
  • 1948: Jim Burton (E): Burton was drafted by the Boston Yanks with the 69th pick in the ninth round.
  • 1949: John Geary (T): Geary was selected by the New York Bulldogs with the 93rd pick in the 10th round.

Williams College

  • 1970: Jack Maitland (RB): Maitland was selected by the Baltimore Colts with the 408th pick in the 16th round. The Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania native played just one season for the Colts, starting two of the 14 games. He rushed for 209 yards on 74 carries for one score while catching nine passes for 67 yards and one touchdown. One year later, Maitland suited up for the New England Patriots where he played for the hometown team in 1971 and 1972.
  • 1976: Scott Perry (DB): Perry was picked 147th overall in the fifth round by the Cincinnati Bengals. The Pleasanton, California native played four seasons with the Bengals before ending his career with both the San Diego Chargers and San Francisco 49ers. Perry played in two postseason games in 1981 with the Chargers.
  • 1996: Ethan Brooks (T): Brooks was selected 229th overall in the seventh round by the Atlanta Falcons. Brooks played seven seasons of professional football, including three with the Baltimore Ravens from 2002-04.

 

Massachusetts National Signing Day 2020

MASSFOOTBALLNLI

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeNation 

Wednesday was an exciting day for many local student-athletes who signed their national letter of intent to play college football next fall.

Below is a list of the local student-athletes who will be joining the various Massachusetts college football programs in a few months.

American International College (AIC) 

  • Tommy Caracciolo (Agawam, Mass. | Agawam High School | Running Back)

Assumption College 

  • Thomas Chenette (Cohasset, Mass. | Cohasset High School | Offensive Line)
  • Eric Dosenberg (New Bedford, Mass. | New Bedford High School | Offensive Line)
  • James Kernen (Plymouth, Mass. | Plymouth South High School | Offensive Line)
  • Hunter Murphy (Norton, Mass. | Norton High School | Tight End)
  • Tyler Reid (Needham, Mass. | Needham High School | Running Back)
  • Raekwon Washington (Newton, Mass. | Newton South High School | Running Back)

Bentley University 

  • Zach Goodwin (Easton, Mass. | Catholic Memorial | Defensive Line)
  • Vinnie Holmes (Mansfield, Mass. | Mansfield High School | Running Back)
  • Phil Koechling (Wayland, Mass. | Wayland High School | Offensive Line)
  • Nick Marciano (Mansfield, Mass. | Mansfield High School | Wide Receiver)
  • Liam Peck (Dover, Mass. | Xaverian Brothers | Offensive Line)
  • Nick Pucillo (Acton, Mass. | Acton-Boxborough | Linebacker)
  • Brett Pullman (Worcester, Mass. | Holy Name | Quarterback)
  • Joe Rivers (Lunenburg, Mass. | Lunenburg High School | Defensive Line)

Boston College

  • Kevin Pyne (Milford, Mass. | Milford High School | Offensive Line)
  • Ozzy Trapilo (Norwell, Mass. | Boston College High School | Offensive Line)

Holy Cross 

  • Dante Bolden (Springfield, Mass. | Springfield Central | Linebacker)
  • Matthew Duchemin (Haverhill, Mass. | St. John’s Prep | Defensive Back)
  • Martin Laham (Westwood, Mass. | Williston Northampton | Defensive Back)
  • Hunter Lane (Georgetown, Mass. | Georgetown | Tight End)
  • Bryan Pacific (Winchester, Mass. | Dexter South | Offensive Line)
  • Joe Rivers (Wakefield, Mass. | Bishop Fenwick | Defensive Back)

Merrimack College 

  • Nolan Gunning (King Phillip | Offensive Line)
  • Matt Sokol (Catholic Memorial | Kicker)

Stonehill Football

  • Gardner Cousins (Governor’s Academy | Linebacker)
  • Devin Fortes (Brockton High School | Defensive Back)


UMass 

  • Josh Atwood (Natick, Mass. | Natick High School | Defensive Line)
  • Ethan Mottinger (North Attleboro, Mass. | North Attleboro | Offensive Line)

 

Noontime Top 5 D2 Poll: Assumption Secures Top Spot (WK 3)

Assumption College secured the top spot in our Noontime D2 Top 5 after an impressive first two contests. (Photo Credit: Assumption College Athletics)

Assumption College secured the top spot in our Noontime D2 Top 5 after an impressive first two contests. (Photo Credit: Assumption College Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com 

Noontime Sports is happy to unveil our first regular season (Week Three) D2 Top 5 Poll.

Our D2 Poll is a part of our blog’s new coverage plan, which we are slowly unveiling over the next few days and weeks.

So, without further ado, here is this week’s (Week 3) Noontime D2 Top 5 Poll.

  1. Assumption (2-0) – Bob Chesney’s squad is off to an impressive start. Through two games this season, the Greyhounds are averaging 52 points per game. Can they keep this momentum going against Southern Connecticut State on Friday evening? We’ll find out.
  1. Bentley (1-1) – The Falcons enjoyed a bounce-back game against Saint A’s, thanks to a pair of touchdown strikes by quarterback CJ Scarpa, who concluded the contest 14 of 20 for 185 yards. Joey Piatnik did his job on defense, tallying five total tackles, including four solo stops and one sack. Bentley will look to keep things going at home Friday against Merrimack.
  1. Merrimack (1-1) – Following a tough opening day loss to Bryant, the Warriors rebounded with a come-from-behind win over American International. Give the game ball to quarterback Nick Davis, who helped the Warriors erase a 13-0 deficit en route to claiming a 16-13 victory.
  1. So. Connecticut (1-1) –Quarterback Robert Nittolo enjoyed his best game under center, tossing a trio of touchdowns, while completing 17 of 25 passes for 287 yards. Additionally, he rushed for a season-high 41 yards, along with one score.
  1. American International College (0-2) – Give credit to the Yellow Jackets’ defense, which was led by Azeem Cooper, who finished this past week’s contest against Merrimack with 11 total tackles, two sacks and one quarterback hurry. The Yellow Jackets are showing signs that they’ll crack the win column sooner than later.