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

Players to Watch Noontime

By NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports) 

It’s Wednesday, Noontime Sports fans, which means it’s time to highlight another New England Division III football conference to watch this season.

This week, we’re highlighting the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC), an eight-team league that features squads from New England, as well as outside the region, too. All eight teams were represented on our ‘Players to Watch’ list below.

Prior to this week’s ECFC Players to Watch post, we highlighted the following conferences:

Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC)

Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) 

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

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OFFENSE 

Cory Brandon

Husson

Quarterback 

John Smith

Husson

Runningback 

DJ Allen

Husson

Tight End 

Timel Benton

Gallaudet

Quarterback 

Dylan Mento

Gallaudet

Wide Receiver 

Lawrence Watson

Gallaudet

Wide Receiver 

Thomas Wright

Maritime (N.Y.)

Quarterback 

Matt Ward

Maritime (N.Y.)

Runningback 

Vincent Iaquinta

Anna Maria 

Tight End 

Mar-Keise Jones

Alfred State 

Runningback 

Moe Harris

Castleton 

Runningback 

Ryan Barry 

Castleton

Wide Receiver 

Travis O’Brien

Mount Ida 

Runningback 

Mike Elsey

Mount Ida 

Wide Receiver 

Nick Hewitt

Mount Ida 

Wide Receiver 

David Curry

Dean 

Wide Receiver 

DEFENSE 

Luke Washburn

Husson

Defensive Line 

Jean Gabriel

Husson

Defensive Back

Elvin Suazo, Jr. 

Husson

Defensive End 

Louie Akuffo

Gallaudet 

Defensive Back 

Mason Gooch

Gallaudet

Linebacker 

Jamie Cumberbatch

Gallaudet

Defensive Back

Solomon Worthey

Gallaudet

Defensive End 

Wesley Joseph

Maritime (N.Y.)

Defensive Line

Kendal Parker 

Maritime (N.Y.)

Linebacker 

Nick Conte

Maritime (N.Y.) 

Defensive Back

Jarius Ransom

Anna Maria

Linebacker 

Brandon Davis 

Alfred State 

Linebacker 

Jakob Trautwein

Castleton 

Linebacker 

Bubba Collins

Castleton

Defensive End 

Mike Obianigwe

Mount Ida 

Defensive Line 

Malik Webb

Dean 

Defensive Back

 

WACBA Honor Roll (Men’s Basketball) Week Nine

By WACBA Hoops (@WACBAHoops

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An impressive week by John Pisacreta earned him WACBA Men’s Player of the Week honors. (PHOTO CREDIT: Clark University Athletics)

WORCESTER, Mass.  Another week of college basketball is in the books, which means it is time to dish out our Worcester Area College Basketball Association (WABCA) Men’s Honor Roll, including our Player and Rookie of the Week.

Men’s Player of the Week: John Pisacreta (Clark | Jr. | Andover, Mass.): The New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Offensive Player of the Week averaged 25 points per game in the two contests last week as the Cougars went up against the conference’s top two teams. In a closer-than-you-think, 90-81 defeat at the hands of the nation’s No. 1 team, Babson College, Pisacreta finished with a team-best 21 points on 7-for-11 shooting, including a 5-for-6 performance from behind the arc. Along with his scoring, he added four rebounds, three assists and three steals in his 31 minutes of action. Then, in a huge 74-69 road win at MIT, he pumped in 20 of his career-high 29 points in the second half as the Cougars held on for a crucial league victory. In addition to his point total, Pisacreta provided four rebounds and three steals. For the week, he shot 14-for-24 from the field (58 percent), including 11-for-16 (68 percent) from three-point land and was a perfect 11-for-11 from the free throw line.

Men’s Rookie of the Week: Mike Rapoza (Anna Maria | Fr. | Charlton, Mass.): Rapoza averaged 18.5 points and 15.0 rebounds in an 0-2 week for the AMCATS. The big man had 21 points and 12 boards in 39 minutes against Emmanuel before producing 16 points and 18 rebounds at Suffolk en route to his third consecutive GNAC Rookie of the Week honor.

Men’s Milestone of the Week: Marcos Echevarria (Nichols | Soph. | Lynn, Mass.): Echevarria became the 28th student-athlete in program history to reach the 1,000-point mark for his career last week, averaging 26 points per game in back-to-back wins. He knocked down eight trifectas en route route to scoring 30 in a road win at Roger Williams last Wednesday and then scored 22 points in a win over Gordon on Saturday. Echevarria , who is only a sophomore, also averaged six assists and 3.5 steals last week.

Men’s Honor Roll: 

Samuel Durodola (Becker | Jr. | Rosedale, N.Y.): Durodola’s dominant play continued this past week, as he averaged 28.5 points, 14.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game in two Becker victories. The junior forward also shot 74 percent from the floor. In the Hawks’ 89-69 win over Wheelock, Durodola had a monster performance with 27 points, 18 rebounds and six assists. Durodola reached a double-double just 15:08 into the game. Then, in Becker’s 89-80 win against Newbury, Durodola had a career-high 30 points with ten rebounds, shooting 13 of 15 from the floor. For his performances, Durodola was named New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) Player of the Week.

Antonio White Jr. (Becker | Fr. | Middletown, Conn.): White has been a major force in his first season with the Hawks. He is averaged 19.5 points and 9.5 rebounds this past week in a pair of Becker wins. In the 89-69 victory over Wheelock, White scored 20 of his career-high 30 points in the second half to go along with six rebounds. Then, in the 89-80 win against Newbury, White scored nine points while pulling down a game high 13 boards. For his performances, White was named the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) Rookie of the Week.

Jaleel Bell (Fitchburg State | Sr. |Dorchester, Mass.): Bell averaged 19.5 points, nine rebounds, three assists and three steals in two games for the Falcons last week. He registered a double-double of 21 points and ten rebounds, along with two assists and two steals in a 78-69 overtime win against Framingham State before adding a game-best 18 points, eight boards, four assists and four steals in a 75-59 triumph against Westfield State on Saturday.

Malachi Alexander (Holy Cross | Sr. | Bowie, Md.): Alexander led the Crusaders with 15 points, seven rebounds, a career-high five steals and three assists in his team’s victory over American. He scored a team-high 20 points on eight of 13 shooting at Loyola. He finished the week with 11 points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals at Navy.

DeAnte Bruton (Nichols | Fr. | New London, Conn.): Bruton scored a game-high 30 points in a home win over Gordon on Saturday. He made 57 percent of his field goals and also recorded four assists. For the week, Bruton averaged 19 points, 5.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists while shooting 42 percent.

Corey Gatta (Worcester State | Jr. | Sturbridge, Mass.): Gatta averaged 13 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists in a 1-1 week for the Lancers. In his team’s 69-60 win over Westfield State, Gatta went 5-for-10 (50%) from the field and two-for-five (40%) from beyond the arc. On Saturday, Gatta went 5-for-11 from the field (45.5%) and drained four-of-seven triples (57.1%) to tally 14 points in the win over MCLA.

Cal Howes (Worcester State | Fr. | Maynard, Mass.): The first-year guard averaged eight points and three rebounds in a 2-0 week for the Lancers. Howes scored five points in the win over Westfield State, and then went four-for-eight (50%) from the field and three-for-five (60%) from three-point range to total 11 points in his team’s 80-54 win over MCLA.

Chris Rodgers (WPI | Jr. | Franklin, Mass.): Rodgers had another outstanding week for the Engineers, averaging 20.5 points and 8.5 rebounds to go with seven assists, four steals and one block. He scored 18 against Coast Guard before erupting for a career-high 23, while narrowly missing a double double with nine boards, at Springfield. He had the final say for the Crimson and Gray in both contests as he canned a pair of freebies and punctuated Wednesday’s win with a dunk. He then went on to register the final seven points on Saturday.

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.”

New England D3 Football: Week 10 Social Media Roundup

By NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports)

Before we officially turn the page to the 11th week of the NCAA Division III Football season – really, the 11th week of the season? Crazy! – let’s take a look back on this past weekend’s action with some of the best in-game and post-game tweets.

Let’s start with Bates-Bowdoin, always a must-see or must-watch game.

 

 

Let’s switch gears to Tufts-Colby …. the Jumbos scored an enormous win over the Mules and after the game tweeted this post-game video. Anyone know what the team is doing in this video?

 

Staying in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC), we now take a look at this quality tweet from Wesleyan President Michael S. Roth, who congratulated the Cardinals for winning the Little Three Crown.

 

Following an exciting win over Norwich, Husson celebrated its second Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) crown in three seasons. The Eagles clinched the conference title with a win over the Cadets, along with a Mount Ida setback.

 

Another champion was crowned on Saturday as Golden Bears of Western New England – our number one team in New England – defeated Salve Regina to claim the New England Football Conference (NEFC) crown.

 

In addition to WNE and Husson, another championship was earned yesterday as Bridgewater State defeated Framingham State on a dramatic overtime PAT. The 28-27 (OT) win provided the Bears with their first Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) regular season crown since 2008.

 

Let’s not sleep on the Bison of Nichols College anymore! The Green and Black scored another exciting win, defeating Maine Maritime. The win secured Nichols its first .500-or-better season since 2007.

 

 

 

 

And finally … drum roll please … Anna Maria celebrated its first win of the season yesterday, defeating Gallaudet! Congrats to AMCAT Nation on an exciting win!

 

 

 

 

FOOTBALL SNAPSHOTS from Coast Guard Academy vs. Anna Maria

By NoontimeSports.com 

Coast Guard Academy’s football team commenced its 2016 campaign with a convincing 34-0 victory on Thursday evening against Anna Maria. Senior quarterback Derek Victory tossed three touchdowns, while rushing for an additional two more scores.

Below are a few ‘snapshots’ from the game – all photos were taken by Matt Noonan.

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Five Games To Watch: Week One #RoadToNEBowl

Framingham State kicks-off its MASCAC title defense on Saturday against Endicott. (Photo Credit: Matt Noonan/Noontime Sports)

Framingham State kicks-off its MASCAC title defense on Saturday against Endicott. (Photo Credit: Matt Noonan/Noontime Sports)

By Matt Noonan 

Ah, the New England Division III college football season has returned – welcome back!

In honor of a new season, which begins this evening in Paxton, Massachusetts (Anna Maria vs. Coast Guard Academy), here is our first serving of ‘Five Games to Watch.’

‘Five Games to Watch’ has been a frequent blog post over the past few seasons, but this year, I will be keeping track of my picks – yes, I will be picking the winner of each game I preview. And if you have a thought about my predictions – or have ‘two-cents’ on the particular matchup- then send me a tweet @MattNoonan11.

So, without further ado, here are this week’s predictions:

Coast Guard Academy at Anna Maria (Thursday, Sept. 1 @ 7 p.m.): This is the initial New England kickoff, so expect a few pre-game jitters at the start. Coast Guard quarterback Derek Victory will look to build on last year’s success – he went 4-2 under center and will have senior wide-out Kyle Jackson to connect with down the sideline and over the middle. As for the AMCATs – junior wide-out Trai Weaver should be the spark for their offense after leading Anna Maria’s receiving core last season in receptions, yards and touchdowns. PREDICTION: Coast Guard 28, Anna Maria 14

WPI at MIT (Friday, Sept. 2 @ 7 p.m.): As we mentioned on this week’s Noontime Sports the Podcast, this is going to be a big-year for WPI. I am expecting Chris Robertson’s squad to take another step forward – last year the Engineers finished 7-4 overall. MIT is eager to rebound after last season – and returns a majority of its defense, including linebackers Anthony Emberley and Mitch Turley. PREDICTION: WPI 31, MIT 27

Bridgewater State at Curry (Friday, Sept. 2 @ 7 p.m.): While some think the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) will be won again by Framingham State, there is some rumblings out there about Bridgewater State being a dark-horse or challenger to the Rams. This Bears squad is loaded with talent on both sides of the ball and should not be overlooked. Curry – on the other hand – will look to build on last season’s momentum down the stretch where they won three of five games. This Colonels squad was a young squad last season, so expect Curry to be a squad that will be in the New England Football Conference (NEFC) mix. PREDICTION: Bridgewater State 24, Curry 14

Endicott at Framingham State (Saturday, Sept. 3 @ 12 p.m.): It is year number two of Kevin DeWall at Endicott – this is also his first recruiting class too, so it should be exciting to see how his first-years develop throughout the season. Framingham State has entered a ‘new era,’ according to head coach Tom Kelley, which is exciting, but nerve-racking at the same time. Will the Rams begin their MASCAC defense with a win or will the Gulls shock the New England landscape, and perhaps appear on next week’s Noontime Sports Top 10 Poll? PREDICTION: Framingham State 20, Endicott 17

Plymouth State at Castleton (Saturday, Sept. 3 @ 1 p.m.): Castleton checked-in as the final team on this week’s Noontime Sports Top 10 Poll, and should be one of the teams to keep an eye on in Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) play this fall. Plymouth State – similar to Curry – was a very young squad last year, but did have some key upperclassmen to assist with their growth. I am expecting a big season from senior defensive back RJ Ramsden, who will be the quarterback of the Panthers’ defense. PREDICTION: Plymouth State 28, Castleton 27

New England D3 Football: 10 Games To Watch In Week One

Another season of New England D3 Football is right around the corner. (Photo Credit: Matt Noonan/NoontimeSports.com)

By NoontimeSports.com 

It’s never too early to start marking the calendar with Division III football games, especially with the opening kickoff just two weeks away.

In anticipation of the first kickoff of the 2016 season, which happens to be two weeks from today – Anna Maria vs. Coast Guard Academy – we have provided a list (and some quick thoughts) on what games you should keep an eye on (or attend) in week one.

Thursday, Sept. 1 – Coast Guard Academy at Anna Maria, 7 p.m. – We have been counting the days and weeks for this game, so when the Bears and AMCATs take the field, it will mean a new season of college football has begun. Keep an eye on Coast Guard Academy senior co-captain and quarterback Derek Victory, who enjoyed an impressive junior season under center.

Friday, Sept. 2 – UMass Dartmouth at Mount Ida, 6 p.m. – This is always a must-see game, according to Mount Ida head coach Michael Landers. Keep an eye on Mount Ida sophomore quarterback Jack Sheehan, who enjoyed an impressive first season, while also watching UMass Dartmouth junior linebacker Brandon Miller. Miller should be a focal point of the Corsairs’ defense this season.

Friday, Sept. 2 – Western New England at Springfield College, 7 p.m. – This has become a true rivalry game – basically, the winner becomes the so-called king of Springfield. The Golden Bears were picked to capture the New England Football Conference (NEFC) crown, but will be tested by a new-look Pride squad, which will be led by first-year head coach Mike Cerasuolo.

Friday, Sept. 2 – WPI at MIT, 7 p.m. – Both schools are rivals in the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC), so this game will certainly live up to its hype. WPI escaped last year’s meeting thanks to a fourth quarter field goal by senior Blaine Bursey.

Friday, Sept. 2 – Bridgewater State at Curry, 7 p.m. – A new era has begun in Bridgewater as long-time assistant and defensive coordinator Joe Verria will lead the Bears as the program’s interim head coach. The Bears beat Curry last year in their season opener, but the Colonels rebounded, capping their 2015 campaign by winning three of five contests.

Friday, Sept. 2 – Fitchburg State at Becker, 7 p.m. – After an impressive 7-3 campaign, the Hawks of Becker will look to prove 2015 wasn’t a fluke. First-year head coach Frank Forcucci, who spent the previous three seasons as the program’s Associate Head Coach and defensive coordinator, will lead Becker this fall. Fitchburg State – on the other hand – has high aspirations for this season and will be led by senior quarterback Garrett Dellechiaie, who tossed 26 touchdowns for the second-straight season.

 Friday, Sept. 2 – Salve Regina at Worcester St., 7 p.m. – The Seahawks of Salve Regina were picked to finish second the New England Football Conference (NEFC). They also appeared in our Noontime Sports Top 10 Preseason poll, too. Worcester State is one of our ‘Teams on the Rise,’ and this has always been an intriguing matchup, especially when each offense gets into a groove.

 Saturday, Sept. 3 – Endicott at Framingham State, 12 p.m. – Under second year head coach Kevin DeWall, the Gulls of Endicott will look to commence their season with an opening day road win against a Framingham State squad that will feature some new names on both sides of the ball. The Rams won last season’s opener in Beverly, defeating Endicott, 42-6. Endicott’s last win in Framingham came in 2012 with the Gulls claiming a 34-7 victory.

 Saturday, Sept. 3 – Plymouth State at Castleton, 1 p.m. – Castleton sophomore Mitchell Caron is expected to be spotted under center in the Spartans’ season opener. Quarterback George Busharis graduated this past spring, so it will be fun to watch Caron lead the Spartans. As for Plymouth State, they enter 2016 a year older and with more experience.

Saturday, Sept. 3 – Hartwick at West Conn., 5 p.m. – Senior halfback Michael Nicol will be expected to carry the load this year, and help Western Connecticut State kick-off its season with a win against a talented Hartwick squad. Nicol will be one of many players to watch on Joe Loth’s squad, especially if they want to make a run toward winning the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) crown.