Player Perspective: Ricky Goodson (Amherst College)

Colby College at Amherst College

Ricky Goodson was a player to watch last week when Amherst College topped Bowdoin College for its fourth win of the season. (PHOTO COURTESY: Geoff Botle, Clarus Studios Inc.)

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

Ricky Goodson has been a player to watch this fall on the Amherst College football team.

Last week, Goodson turned in his best outing of the 2019 season against Bowdoin College when the third-year defensive back posted five total tackles, including four solo stops and one tackle for a loss of 12 yards. Additionally, he forced one fumble, which resulted in a touchdown and registered his first interception of the season.

His effort against the Polar Bears certainly helped the Mammoths bounce back after a heartbreaking defeating to Middlebury College in double-overtime but also earn him the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Defensive Player of the Week honor.

Goodson has tallied a career-high 25.0 total tackles in five games this season, including a career-high 20 solo stops. Two of his tackles have been for a loss of 14 yards.

Noontime Sports caught-up with Goodson to discuss his outing against the Polar Bears, but also what he and the defense must do this week against Hamilton College.

How important was it for your team to return to the win column last week against Bowdoin College after falling to Middlebury College in double-overtime? 

Another mark in the win column is always important for our team, especially with things being so competitive in the NESCAC. Our coaches and teammates were focused on having a strong week of practice and we were able to do just that, which is what led to our victory last Saturday.

You enjoyed one of your best games of the season thus far last Saturday against Bowdoin. How did you prepare yourself to have a successful day on the gridiron? 

Our coach often stresses that preparation starts on Monday during our first walk through and develops during the week through practice and film. I value this approach and continue it through our team’s weekly process.

Many players on the team including myself had multiple midterm assignments last week which interfered with my weekly flow of preparation for the game. I managed to complete my school work and was able to regain focus (last Saturday).

You have a talented defense that has limited opponents to 16 points or less in four games this season. How do the players around you make you a better player? 

The players on our defense give me all the juice I need on game day. I see how they prepare during the week and pregame, and trust that they will fulfill their responsibilities. There is nothing more comforting to a secondary than knowing that your front seven are going to get their jobs done.

Colby College at Amherst College

Through five games this season, Ricky Goodson has posted a career-best 25.0 total tackles. (PHOTO COURTESY: Geoff Botle, Clarus Studios Inc.)

What is something most fans don’t know about the Amherst College defense? 

We are close to one another, both on and off the field. Our defense will often spend free time together which I believe builds a stronger bond that correlates to gameday.

Your team travels to Hamilton College this upcoming weekend. What must you and the defense do to help the squad win a second-straight contest?  

Our defense just needs to play freely. I believe that this defense knows their responsibilities and if we can let go and play fast, we will do what is needed to put our offense in the best position to win the game.

Lastly, with this week’s game being a road contest, what do you enjoy most about playing away from campus? Do you get an additional adrenaline boost running onto an opponent’s field? 

Away games are always a different atmosphere between traveling, staying in hotels and adjusting to a new pregame. But honestly, I love the process of it all.

Game days on the road are always run on a tight schedule which helps me mentally and physically prepare for the game.

New England D3 Football: Players To Watch In The NESCAC In 2017

Players to Watch Noontime

By NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports) 

It’s Wednesday, New England D3 Football fans, which means it’s time to unveil a brand new team to watch this season.

This week – in case you haven’t seen our tweets – we’re highlight the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC). Below are the various student-athletes we will be watching this season, both on offense and defense.

Prior to this week’s NESCAC ‘Players to Watch’ list, we highlighted four other conferences:

Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC Football)

Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) 

Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC)

New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC)

Make sure to stay connected with Noontime Sports on Facebook and Twitter, while subscribing to our YouTube channel, too!

OFFENSE 

Sonny Puzzo

Trinity

Quarterback 

Max Chipouras

Trinity

Runningback 

Bryan Vieira

Trinity

Wide Receiver 

Ryan McDonald 

Tufts 

Quarterback

Jared Lebowitz

Middlebury

Quarterback 

Conrado Banky

Middlebury

Wide Receiver 

Diego Meritus

Middlebury 

Runningback 

Mike Breuler

Wesleyan 

Wide Receiver 

Mark Piccirillo

Wesleyan 

Quarterback 

Frank Williams

Bates 

Wide Receiver 

Nick Morales

Amherst 

Quarterback

Jack Hickey

Amherst 

Runningback 

Sebastian Ferrell

Colby 

Wide Receiver 

Marcus Gutierrez

Hamilton

Runningback

Joe Schmidt

Hamilton

Wide Receiver 

Bryan Porter 

Bowdoin

Tight End 

DEFENSE 

Liam Kenneally

Trinity

Linebacker 

Shane Libby

Trinity

Linebacker

Doug Harrison

Tufts 

Defensive Line 

Greg Holt

Tufts 

Linebacker 

Tim Preston

Tufts 

Defensive Back

John Jackson

Middlebury 

Linebacker

Shayne Kaminski

Wesleyan 

Linebacker 

Brandon Morris 

Wesleyan 

Linebacker

Nate Taylor 

Wesleyan

Defensive Back

Grant Williams

Wesleyan

Defensive Line

Andrew Yamin

Amherst 

Linebacker

Ben Anthony

Williams

Cornerback 

Max Breschi 

Bates 

Linebacker

Joe Gowetski

Bowdoin

Linebacker

Don Vivian

Colby 

Defensive Back

Mickey Keating

Hamilton 

Linebacker

 

Noontime Sports 2016 Year In Review

ns-year-in-review

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!

New England D3 Football: It’s All About Having A Great Day At Amherst College

Amherst College's football team is focused on having a great day every day. (Photo Credit: Amherst College)

Amherst College’s football team is focused on having a great day every day. (Photo Credit: Amherst College)

By Matt Noonan 

E.J. Mills has one goal for his Amherst College football team: have a great day.

Having a ‘great day’ maybe the rallying cry behind the Purple and White’s recent success as Amherst has won a quartet of New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) crowns since 2009.

In 2013, the Purple and White shared the crown with Middlebury College and Wesleyan University.

Two years later – last season to be exact – Amherst clinched its seventh perfect season in program history, finishing its slate 8-0 for the second consecutive season. Their win against rival Williams College – a 17-7 victory – extended the Purple and White’s winning streak to 19 games, which dates back to October 26, 2013.

“The biggest goal (for us) is to win the day and if we spend time worrying about Hamilton or Trinity (College) … that won’t help us, so we just have to stay focused and have a great day,” said Mills, who is a three-time NESCAC Coach of the Year honoree.

Mills and his staff have been hard at work since their final contest of 2015 and eager to lead the Purple and White onto the field this Saturday when they host Hamilton College for a 1:00 p.m. kick-off.

Amherst and Hamilton last met in 2013 with the Purple and White claiming a 23-7 win in Clinton, New York. Amherst defeated Hamilton one year earlier at home behind a pair of touchdown passes by Max Lippe.

If the Purple and White are going to be successful this season, they’ll need to lean on their defense, which limited opponents to roughly 10 points per game last fall.

Additionally, Amherst will need its rushing attack to be at its best too.

Last season, the Purple and White led the conference in rushing yards (1,612), thanks to Kenny Adinkra, who caped his four-year career with a career-best 504 yards on the ground.

Sophomore Jack Hickey enjoyed an impressive first-season at tailback, rushing for 319 yards on 47 carries and two touchdowns.

In front of Hickey and the halfbacks will be senior quarterback Alex Berluti, who will be tasked with leading an offense that converted 27 of 31 red zone opportunities last fall. Berluti appeared in one game last season, but has tossed four touchdowns in his career, while rushing for one score during his initial season in 2013.

“Alex has worked hard,” said Mills. “I have seen tremendous growth (since he arrived on campus) and I think he’s going to take advantage of this opportunity.

“The ball has been thrown in his court and I am confident that he will be able to do to lead this football team.”

One of Berluti’s top targets this season could be his brother Bo Berluti, who appeared in four games last season.

In addition to Bo, keep an eye on senior wide-out Devin Boehm, who led the Purple and White last season in receptions (41) and yards (555).

On defense, Amherst returns five of their front seven from a year ago, including seniors Evan Boynton (56 total tackles, 33 solo stops, 4.5 sacks and eight tackles for a loss) and Parker Chapman (44 total tackles, 24 solo stops, one sack and one tackle for a loss.).

Behind the front seven will be a young secondary, however, Mills anticipates his linemen and linebackers should assist them, especially with getting to the quarterback, stopping the run or dropping back in coverage.

“I think we have a chance to be pretty good back there,” Mills said of his secondary. “They’re just going to be young, so hopefully those guys up front can take some of the pressure off the guys on the back end … Our philosophy is don’t bend, don’t break and don’t give up big plays.”

While Mills knows every player on both sides of the ball will need to execute properly to help Amherst contend for a NESCAC title, he also believes everyone must have a great day too.

“That is really the consistent message,” Mills said of his team’s so-called rallying cry. “We have preached it around here (for a while) and the kids have bought into it.”

So, what exactly is Mills’ outlook for today?

“Today is all about Thursday,” said Mills, “so let’s have a great Thursday.”

Mass. College Football: Amherst, Trinity Remain Unbeaten In NESCAC Play

Amherst Logo

By Matt Noonan 

The Amherst College Lord Jeffs and Trinity College (Conn.) Bantams remains unbeaten at the halfway point of the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) season.

Amherst (4-0) captured its fourth straight contest on Saturday, defeating Colby College, 31-13.

The win marked the Jeffs’ 15th consecutive victory dating back to their 2013 campaign (the victory marked the longest winning streak in program history).

Amherst overcame a scoreless opening frame by posting 17 second quarter points. Amherst, which led by three-scores (17-0) at the break, would tack on additional 14 points in the second half – one touchdown in each quarter – to secure the win.

Senior Jackson McGonagle broke a 73-year-old program recorded with a 78-yard punt return in the third quarter. The initial record – established by Roland Smith in 1942 – was a 74-yard punt return in a contest against rival Williams College.

Trinity (4-0) picked up its fourth win by edging Tufts University (3-1) in overtime on a 25-yard touchdown reception from sophomore Sonny Puzzo to classmate Bryan Vieira.

The Bantams extended the contest into overtime by capping a 13-play, 71 yard drive with a 27-yard field goal by senior Kyle Pulek with six seconds remaining.

Both teams are scheduled to compete in three weeks on Saturday, November 7 when Amherst hosts Trinity in what could be the de-facto NESCAC championship contest at 1:00 p.m. Amherst captured the NESCAC crown last year, finishing their eight-game slate undefeated.