WACBA Honor Roll: Men’s Basketball Week Three (Tuesday, Dec. 5th)

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By NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports) & WACBA Hoops (@WACBAHoops)

WORCESTER  With the third week of college basketball in the books, it is time to unveil the initial Worcester Area College Basketball Association (WACBA) Men’s Basketball Honor Roll for the 2017-18 season, including our Player and Rookie of the Week honors.


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Men’s Player of the Week: Will Watkins Jr. (Worcester State | Soph. | Southbridge, Mass.): Will Watkins Jr. poured in 37 points, seemingly unable to miss from 3-point land where he finished 10-of-14 from behind the arc and 13-of-18 from the field in the Lancers’ first win of the season over Norwich on Sunday. Watkins Jr. broke a Worcester State single-game record with the 10 three-pointers in contest. For the week, Watkins averaged 21 points, 4.3 rebounds, 1.5 assists and one steal per game. He posted 11 points with three rebounds, two assists, and two steals in the setback to No. 20 Skidmore. Watkins then put up 13 points and 16 rebounds in the fallback to Lasell. He was named to the Ed Hockenbury Classic All-Tournament team this weekend where he put up 23 points against Wheaton in the opening round of the tournament before netting 37 points against Norwich.


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Men’s Rookie of the Week: Chris Cardoso (Worcester State | Fr. |Jamaica Plain, Mass.): The freshman guard averaged 12.5 points, 5.5 assists, 2.3 rebounds, and one steal in a 1-3 week for the Blue and Gold. Cardoso scored double-digits in 3-of-4 games played this week, putting up 16 points in the setback to No. 20 Skidmore, 14 points in the loss to Wheaton, and 15 points in the Lancers’ first win of the season against Norwich. Overall this week, he shot 44.2% (19-43) from the field and 41.7% (5-12) from 3-point range. At the Ed Hockenbury Tournament alone, he averaged 14.5 points and eight assists per game.


Honorable Mentions

Mike Rapoza (Anna Maria | Soph. | Charlton, Mass): Rapoza recorded his fourth double-double of the season against Regis with 16 points and 10 rebounds. He connected on five-of-nine attempts from the floor and was six-of-10 from the free throw line. Against Bowdoin, Rapoza scored 13 and grabbed eight rebounds.

Branislav Vujadinovic (Assumption College | Soph. | Belgrade, Serbia): Vujadinovic continued his strong solid season, averaging 19.0 points on 50 percent shooting with 7.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game in an 0-2 week. The sophomore posted 14 points, seven rebounds and three assists in a two-point loss to St. Michael’s but rebound with a career-high 24 points, seven rebounds and one steal against undefeated Southern N.H.

Kareem Davis (Becker College | Jr. Lowell, Mass.): Davis continued to demonstrate why he’s one of the best players in the region, averaging 27 points, five rebounds three assists and 2.5 steals per game. The junior shot 47 percent from the floor, 47 percent from behind the arc and 92 percent from the free throw line. This included a 28 point, five rebound performance in the Hawks’ 92-73 win over Clark. As of press time, Davis was ranked second in the NECC with 21.8 points per game.

Jonathan Perez (Fitchburg State | Junior | Lowell, Mass.): Averaged 17.3 points, 6.7 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.3 steals per game in a 2-1 week for the Falcons. Netted a game-best 28 points, eight rebounds, two assists and two steals in an 86-68 win over Elms on Tuesday before adding 17 points, seven boards and seven assists in a 73-71 triumph against Rhode Island College on Thursday. Concluded the week with seven points, five rebounds and two steals in a 77-45 setback to WPI on Saturday.

Jehyve Floyd (Holy Cross | Jr. | Sayreville, N.J.): Posted eight points and three rebounds against Manhattan, while leading the team with a career-high 15 points and six rebounds against La Salle. He averaged 11.5 points and 4.5 rebounds on the week, while hitting 66.7 percent of his field goal attempts. Floyd was named to the All-Tournament Team at the Basketball Hall of Fame Belfast Classic.

Daequon Antoine (Nichols | Sr. | Fort Mill, S.C.): Daequon Antoine helped the Bison post a 2-0 mark this week, averaging 21.5 points on 59.3% shooting and 60% shooting from beyond the arc to go with 6.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and 3.0 steals per game. In a 105-82 win over Endicott, Antoine knocked down 8-of-14 shots, including 5-of-8 three-pointers, to go with seven rebounds, two assists and three steals. He followed that up with 21 points on 8-of-13 shooting with 4-of-7 triples, five rebounds, two assists and three steals in a 100-86 win over Gordon.

D3 Football Notebook: Husson-SUNY Maritime, A Game To Watch On Saturday

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Husson’s John Smith recorded a career and season-best 301 yards on Saturday against Endicott College. (PHOTO CREDIT: Monty Rand Photography/Husson University Athletics)

By Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan) 

Following an impressive performance from a week ago against Endicott College, Husson Univeristy senior John Smith and the Eagles will look to continue that momentum this Saturday, October 7th when they host SUNY Maritime in an important Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) clash.

Kickoff is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. – fans can follow the game with live stats, as well as through the webcast, too.

Smith, who tallied a career and season-best 301 yards against the Gulls, joined our friends at In The (D3FB) Huddle earlier this week to discuss his performance against the Gulls, but also this Saturday’s conference clash (as seen below!).

Make sure to follow In the (D3FB) Huddle on Twitter at @D3FBHuddle for updates, news and scores on both New England and Northeast D3 Football. 

Last season, Smith recorded his 11th-straight 100 yard game as the Eagles soared passed the Privateers, 33-12. Smith registered a pair of touchdowns, while the defense limited SUNY Maritime to 230 yards of total offense, including 29 net yards rushing.

Both teams enter the contest 1-0 in league play – Husson defeated Dean College earlier this season, while SUNY Maritime topped Alfred State last weekend.

Inside the Numbers (SUNY Maritime vs. Husson): Saturday’s conference clash between the Eagles and Privateers will feature two of the top ECFC quarterbacks. SUNY Maritime’s junior quarterback Thomas Wright ranks first in the conference in passing yards per game (282.8), while Husson’s junior signal-caller Cory Brandon is fourth (129.5). Wright leads all ECFC quarterbacks with eight touchdowns, while Brandon is tied for third (four TD’s) with Anna Maria College first-year Jayson Wallace.

Smith is currently the conference’s leading rusher when it comes to yards per game (183.0) – he has currently tallied 732 yards on 129 carries, while rushing for eight scores.

SUNY Maritime junior Brandonn Drumgole leads the ECFC in touchdown receptions (five) and yards per game (114.5), while classmate Curtis Smith is second in receiving yards per game (63.8).

Brandon has targeted three different receivers this season for touchdowns, including senior tight end DJ Allen, who leads the Eagles with two touchdown receptions. Allen is second on the team in receptions (10) – he has accumulated 60 yards through four games – while first-year Kyree Calli leads the unit with 14 receptions for 218 yards.

One of the players to watch in this game will be SUNY Maritime senior kicker Matthew Murphy, who has converted six of seven field goals this season, including a 48-yard boot. Murphy has also been clutch on extra points, connecting on all 22 attempts.

Finally, Husson’s defense has yielded the fewest points to opponents this season (11.8), while SUNY Maritime has surrendered 20.5 points per game.

Framingham State-Fitchburg State to meet on Friday: If you’re looking for some ‘Friday Night Lights’ tomorrow – and are nearby Fitchburg, Massachusetts – then consider stopping by for this one as the Falcons host Framingham State in an important Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) tilt.

Framingham State, which was idle last weekend, has won four-straight games this season, including a 19-13 win over Bridgewater State two weeks ago. The win over the Bears has provided the Rams with an inside track to the conference crown.

Fitchburg State enters tomorrow’s contest winners of two-straight – they recently beat Massachusetts Maritime Academy, 24-17, but also Bridgewater State, 31-29. Sophomore Nelson Valerio highlighted his team’s win over the Buccaneers with a touchdown pass, as well as 193 passing yards. Valerio will certainly be a player to watch in this contest.

Last season, the Rams scored a 14-0 victory, thanks to its defense, which recorded seven sacks and eight tackles for a loss. Framingham State also pounced on a pair of fumbles, while recording two interceptions.

Amherst-Middlebury, the Game to Watch this week in the NESCAC: Both Amherst and Middlebury have been rather impressive this season, combining for six wins.

However, come Saturday, one team will improve to 4-0, while the other will fall to 3-1.

Amherst concluded last week’s tilt against Bowdoin College with 464 yards of total offense, including 210 yards on the ground. Junior tailback Jack Hickey led the Mammoth’s rushing attack by recording 118 yards on 13 carries, while rushing for one score. Sophomore Biafra Okoronkwo recorded a season-best 41 yards on five carries, including a burst of 16-yards.

Sophomore James O’Regan recorded a career-best 136 receiving yards on six catches – he also scored a touchdown. Classmate Justin Berry hauled in his initial collegiate catch for 20 yards, which was followed by a 23-yard touchdown run by sophomore Ollie Eberth.

In addition to the Mammoth’s offense, the defense was impressive, tallying eight tackles for a loss of 59 yards, while also accounting for five sacks.

As for Middlebury, the player to watch will be senior quarterback Jared Lebowitz, who completed 28 of 52 yards for 389 yards and three touchdowns. Lebowitz and the Panthers’ offense is currently fifth in NCAA Division III 368.7 yards of offense per game.

Stay connected with Noontime Sports on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, while subscribing to our email list, so you won’t miss a single post or update from the New England and New York D3 Football world! 

 

Under The Helmet With WPI’s Dereck Pacheco

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WPI’s Dereck Pacheco (94) recorded six solo stops last week in the Engineers’ season-opening win over Anna Maria College. (PHOTO CREDIT: WPI Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports) 

Earlier today, WPI senior defensive lineman Dereck Pacheco was tabbed this week’s New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Defensive Player of the Week for his effort in the Engineers’ week one victory over Anna Maria.

Pacheco paced the Engineers’ defense with six solo stops, including four tackles for a loss for 29 yard, while recording a pair of sacks. He also recorded two of quarterback hurries, too.

This week, Pacheco and the Engineers host RPI during WPI’s Homecoming with kickoff scheduled for 1:00 p.m on Saturday, September 9. Last season, Pachecho helped WPI defeat RPI, 19-7, thanks to 10 total stops, including two-and-a-half tackles for a loss and a safety. The win provided the Engineers of Worcester with the Transit Trophy for the first time in two seasons.

Noontime Sports caught-up with Pachecho earlier today to discuss his team’s week two contest against RPI, as well as his goals for the team this season.

What are your goals for a successful senior season with WPI? 

Obviously, the big the goal for the season is to get that championship ring, but as long as we keep plugging away game-by-game, week-by-week (then we will be successful). My goal by the end of the year is to have this team’s chemistry get stronger and stronger, so we have a legacy to leave behind (as seniors). We did lose a lot of big-time seniors (from) last year’s team, but I feel this new group of guys we have can really give these (young) guys a chance to develop and get better as a team.

One of the players who graduated this past spring was linebacker Brian Murtagh, who you had a chance to play with the past three seasons. How did he help you improve your game over the past few seasons? 

He was always very vocal, while getting the guys excited for practice. Brian did a good job getting the guys geared up to be on the field and that’s what he passed down to the rest of the captains. He wanted to make sure that the energy was always there and when you step on the football field that you’re only thinking about football.

This week, your team faces RPI in the Transit Trophy game. Tell me more about being a part of this rivalry.  

When I think of RPI-WPI, I think of Ohio State-Michigan because of that rivalry there. We’re both competitive engineering schools, guys are similar (on both sides of the ball),   so it is nice to have a team with equal caliber (student-athletes) on the other side.

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Dereck Pacheco was tabbed the NEWMAC Defensive Player of the Week on Tuesday, September 5. (PHOTO COURTESY: WPI Athletics)

This game is also a Homecoming Game, so what’s that atmosphere like as a student-athlete? 

It is very humbling because you’re looking at guys in the stands that have been in your shoes – all of my friends and family come to the game each week, but when you have the alumni there you’re trying to play for them and get that win for them because they were in your shoes (years ago). Playing for the alumni, families, coaches and friends is really (what this game) is about at the end of the day.

What’s it like to compete in a new conference this season? 

I was playing (against) some friends in the Liberty League, but in this conference – the NEWMAC – I am playing against some new friends. It is nice to get a new group of guys out there to battle against, but at the same time I am going to miss the Liberty League.

Have you always played defensive line? Did you happen to play another position growing up? 

Growing up and playing Pop Warner, while being the biggest guy out there, they had me play running back, quarterback and other positions, but as I (got older) I was still the biggest guy out there, so they put me on the line in high school. At first, it was offensive line and I didn’t really like it, so the next day (my coach) put me on the defensive line and I have been there ever since.

Are you still following your former high school’s football team? 

Oh yeah. Barnstable has been doing alright after (I) graduated, but I think eventually they’re going to be (a team) that’s back up there (with the top teams in the state).

What is your major? 

I am majoring in civil engineer. I grew up helping my dad – he owns a small and local construction company, so at a young age I would be out there helping him pick up nails and lumber, and then basically that feeling of building (something) from bottom to top stuck with me and I grew a passion for it. I feel like civil engineering is kind of the same deal, but my focus is project management.

Being from Barnstable, what’s your favorite type of sea food? 

Definitely the cod fish.

What are three songs do you listen to on a game day? 

Believe it or not, I am not a big song guy because I have the self-motivation drilled into me from my father, but if I were to choose what I am listening to in the weight room, I am usually listening to Metallica and classic rock because when I was in high school and that was all we would be allowed to listen to (while working out in the gym).

Finally, what is your all-time favorite movie? 

It’s kind of cliche, but Friday Night Lights. I like that movie a lot because my high school team somewhat resembled that whole movie. My junior year, we made it to the Division 1A Super Bowl (against Everett) and we played at Gillette Stadium, but lost by one point.

New England D3 Football Honor Roll (Monday, September 4th)

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Western Connecticut’s Quinn Fleeting tossed five touchdowns in a come-from-behind win for the Colonials last Saturday over Hartwick. (PHOTO CREDIT: Western Connecticut State University Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports) 

With the first week of New England D3 Football season in the books, it is time to unveil our first Noontime Sports Honor Roll of the season.

PROGRAM NOTE: Coaches, SID’s and fans are encouraged to submit student-athletes for our weekly honor roll throughout by emailing us at NoontimeSports@gmail.com or sending us a tweet to @NoontimeSports.

Offense

Jevon Brown-Simpson (Fitchburg State): Brown-Simpson concluded his team’s opening contest against Curry College with 75 yards on 21 carries and two scores.

Jesse Brown (Fitchburg State): Brown led all receivers with 145 yards and nine catches, while recording one touchdown in a three-point setback to Curry College.

Adam Wojenski (Framingham State): Wojenski completed 8 of 15 passes for 177 yards and two scores as the Rams commenced its season with an opening day win over Endicott College.

Quron Wright (Framingham State): Wright paced the Rams’ rushing attack against Endicott College with 169 yards on 22 carries and one touchdown. Wright’s longest run of the day was a 55-yard touchdown in the second quarter.

John Smith (Husson): Smith recorded two of his team’s three touchdowns as Husson opened its season with a 20-7 win over Union College. Smith rushed for two scores on 30 carries for 142 yards.

Zack Edwards (Plymouth State): Edward completed 15 of 23 passes for 226 yards and three touchdowns as the Panthers commenced its season with a 31-7 victory over Castleton University.

James Dawson (Salve Regina): Dawson ripped off 116 yards and one score on 32 touches in his team’s season-opening win over Worcester State.

Jordan Wilcox (Springfield): Against Western New England, Wilcox rumbled for a game and team-high 148 yards on 30 carries.

Jake Eglintine (Springfield): Eglintine rushed for 121 yards on 19 carries and three scores. His final touchdown in the third quarter helped the Pride secure the lead for good against Western New England.

Austin Calamita (Western Connecticut): Calamita hauled in 10 catches for 110 yards and two touchdowns to help the Colonials rally past Hartwick for a dramatic 48-47 win.

Kyle McKinnon (Western Connecticut): McKinnon rushed for a pair of scores, including the game-winning touchdown with 1:46 remaining in the fourth quarter, which helped the Colonials complete their comeback against Hartwick. McKinnon concluded the game with 116 yards on 23 carries.

Quinn Fleeting (Western Connecticut): 
Fleeting completed 32 of 49 passes for 375 yards and five touchdowns as the Colonials rallied to beat Hartwick, 48-47.

Anthony Service (Western New England): Against Springfield College, Service tossed a trio of touchdowns, while concluding the contest with 235 passing yards. Service also rushed for 49 yards on 10 carries.

Noah Brum (Worcester State): Against Salve Regina, Brum completed 30 of 47 passes for 373 yards and four touchdowns. He also accounted for four interceptions in his team’s 35-28 setback.

Jacob Maher (Worcester State): Maher paced all receivers with 136 receiving yards and two touchdowns in a 35-28 setback to Salve Regina.

Dan Orlando (Worcester State): Orlando hauled in a game-high 10 catches for 118 yards and one score in a 35-28 setback to Salve Regina.

Sean McAllen (WPI): McAllen enjoyed an impressive debut, rushing for 246 yards on 15 carries and four scores.

Defense

Michael Hall (Anna Maria): Hall paced the AMCATs defense in their season-opener against WPI by leading the unit with 10 solo stops, including a trio of tackles for a loss.

Michael Bianco (Becker): Against MIT, Bianco recorded 22 total tackles, including 11 solo stops, along with a trio of tackles for a loss. Bianco also registered one sack for a three-yard loss.

Charles McCarthy (Bridgewater State): McCarthy paced the Bears’ defense with 13 total tackles, including five solo stops against Buffalo State.

Bubba Collins (Castleton): Collins concluded his team’s initial game of the season with eight total tackles, including four stops. Two of those eight total tackles were tackles for a loss.

Ryan Robertson (Coast Guard Academy): Robertson paced the Bears’ defense in a season-opening win over Alfred State by tallying 11 total tackles. He also recorded six solo stops, one pass break-up, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.

Joe Surace (Curry College): Against Fitchburg State, Surace recorded eight total tackles, including six solo stops, along with a pair of sacks.  

William Rivera (Endicott College): Rivera paced the Gulls’ defense in solo stops (five) and total tackles (15) against Framingham State.

Nathan Fleming (Framingham State): Fleming paced the Rams’ defense with seven solo stops and 10 total tackles. Two of those tops were tackles for a loss. Fleming also forced a fumble in his team’s first win of the season against Endicott College.

Jean Gabriel (Husson): Gabriel paced the Eagles’ defense with six solo stops, while assisting on three tackles. Two of his nine total tackles were for a loss for five yards – he also forced a fumble and recorded one pass break-up in a 20-7 win over Union.

Andrew DeNucci (MIT): Against Becker last Friday, DeNucci recorded nine solo stops, including a trio of tackles for a loss and one sack.

Dwayne Hunter-Parker (Mount Ida): In his team’s hard-fought 12-10 win over UMass Dartmouth, Hunter-Parker registered a team-high seven solo stops, including one tackle for a loss and one pass break-up.

Brett McEvoy (Nichols): In his team’s initial game of the season, McEvoy turned in an impressive performance, accounting for 15 total tackles, including 10 assists, while recording one sack, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.

Brandon O’Neill (Salve Regina): Against Worcester State, O’Neill registered six total tackles, including a quartet of four solo stops as the Seahawks commenced its season with a 35-28 victory over Worcester State. In addition to recording one-and-a-half tackles for a loss, O’Neill also registered one interception, too.

Nick Giorgio (Springfield): Against a potent Western New England offense, Giorgio recorded six total tackles, including four solo stops and sack and a half. He also recorded one tackle for a loss of three yards.

Mike Chirco (Western New England): Chirco was one of two Golden Bears to finish Saturday’s tilt against the Pride with seven solo stops. Chirco recorded a team-high 14 total tackles.

Zach Howard (Westfield State): Howard concluded last Friday’s contest against Nichols College with four solo stops and eight total tackles. He also registered two-and-a-half tackles for a loss of eight yards and one sack.

Theo Bryant (Worcester State): Bryant recorded nine total tackles, including six solo stops, along with one tackle for a loss and one interception in a 35-28 setback to Salve Regina.

Dereck Pacheco (WPI): Against Anna Maria, Pacheco recorded six solo stops, including a quartet of tackles for a loss. He also registered a pair of sacks, too.

Connor Russ (UMass Dartmouth): Against Mount Ida, Russ paced the Corsairs’ defense with nine solo stops and 13 total tackles. Three of his  tackles were for a loss – he also registered one sack, too.

Special Teams

Cole Austin (Coast Guard Academy): Austin recorded 10 points in the Bears’ season-opening win over Alfred State. He booted a pair of field goals, while connecting on four extra-points.

Jeff Madden (Plymouth State): Madded connected on all five of his kicks, including a 21-yard field goal to conclude his team’s initial game with seven points.

Danny McDermott (Salve Regina): McDermott booted the ball three times for a total of 84 yards. All three punts landed inside the Worcester State 20.

Pat Tuohy (Worcester State): Tuohy punted the ball five times for a total of 172 yards in his team’s 35-28 setback to Salve Regina. His longest boot was a 56 yard punt. He also recorded one punt that landed inside the Salve Regina 20.

New England D3 Football: Week One Predictions

10 Games To Watch

By Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11) 

Ah, the first official week of the college football season is here, which means it is time to dish out 10 games to watch, as well as 10 predictions, too.

Let me know what you think – did I choose the right team or score? –  by sending me a tweet to @MattNoonan11 or @NoontimeSports.

Happy College Football season, everyone!

Alfred State at Coast Guard (Thursday, August 31st): Quarterback Ethan Goldcamp should have a solid debut under center, which will help the Bears commence its season with a win. Coast Guard 28, Alfred State 10 

Mount Ida at UMass Dartmouth (Friday, September 1st): The Mustangs are one of my teams to watch in the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) this season, and I think they will pull this one out by at least a touchdown (maybe six points?). Keep an eye on quarterback Mike Pina, who will certainly be a player to watch this fall. Mount Ida 24, UMass Dartmouth 17 

Anna Maria at WPI (Friday, September 1st): Welcome back, Coach Dan Mulrooney! Mulrooney and the AMCATs will be a fun program to follow this fall – Coach joined me on the initial Football Friday Podcast and will do great things for the Anna Maria Football program – but I am going to take the Engineers in this one. Expect a big game from tailback Sean McAllen and linebacker Sam MalafronteWPI 30, Anna Maria 14 

Westfield State at Nichols (Friday, September 1st): Coming off an impressive season, the Bison of Nichols will look to continue its momentum from a year ago when they host the Owls on Friday evening. My player to watch in this one is Nichols linebacker Brett McEvoy, who is refereed to as the ‘Tom Brady‘ of the defense. Nichols 21, Westfield State 13  

Fitchburg State at Curry (Friday, September 1st): I picked against the Colonels last season in their opener, so I will take them this time. Curry will need some new wide-outs to step-up this season – the squad graduated some key receivers last spring. Curry 21, Fitchburg State 14 

Framingham State at Endicott (Saturday, September 2nd): This is always a must-see, must-attend game in the opening week. One of the match-ups I am interested in watching is Endicott fullback Lavante Wiggins against the Framingham State front seven. Additionally, keep an eye on both quarterbacks, too. Framingham State 28, Endicott 14 

Springfield at Western New England (Saturday, September 2nd): It’s the Battle of Springfield this weekend as the Pride make a short trek to the Golden Bears’ home field. As I said on today’s season-preview podcast with James Baker, I will take the ‘underdog’ in this game: Springfield. Springfield 28, WNE 27 

Union at Husson (Saturday, September 2nd): John Smith‘s senior season should be a fun one to follow. He’s coming off his best year with the Eagles and will certainly be a student-athlete to watch in this contest. Additionally, keep an eye on Coach Gabby Price‘s defense – seven starters are back from last year’s unit. Husson 28, Union 17 

Castleton at Plymouth State (Saturday, September 2nd): The Panthers enjoyed perhaps their best season in years last fall, but can they continue that momentum this season? PSU welcomes back eight starters on offense, while the defense will be looking for a few new student-athletes to step-up – the unit returns just five starters. Castleton will receive a big boost in this contest from wide-out Ryan BarryCastleton 22, Plymouth State 21 

Bridgewater State at Buffalo State (Saturday, September 2nd): The Bears were picked to capture the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC), but can they make claim their second-straight league crown without some key members of last year’s defense? This will be a difficult test for the Bears, but certainly one that could help them once they hop into conference play in two weeks. Buffalo State 24, Bridgewater State 14 

Husson Eagles Picked To Capture ECFC

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The Husson Eagles were picked to finish first in the 2017 Preseason Coaches Poll, which the ECFC announced earlier this week. (PHOTO CREDIT: Husson University Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports) 

Earlier this week – Tuesday, to be exact – the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) unveiled its preseason coaches poll with Husson University claiming the top spot.

The Eagles, who won the league last season, earned six first-place votes, while securing 62 total points. SUNY Maritime and Mount Ida College checked-in second and third, respectively, while Castleton University (fourth) and Dean College (fifth) rounded out the top five. The Privateers of SUNY Maritime earned one first-place vote, as well as the Bulldogs of Dean.

Gallaudet University, which welcomes back 16 starters, was picked to finish sixth, while Alfred State and Anna Maria College checked-in seventh and eighth, respectively.

Husson, which advanced to last season’s NCAA Division III Tournament, welcomes back 13 starters from last season, including halfback John Smith, who led the conference in multiple categories, including rushing touchdowns (17). Smith will certainly be tasked with carrying the Eagles this season due to gradation losses to Deon Wiggins and Kadeem Edge. Quarterback Cory Brandon returns this fall, along with key members of the defense, including defensive lineman Luke Washburn.

The Eagles will begin its title defense on Saturday, September 2 when they entertain Union College before visiting Dean College on Saturday, September 9. Last season, the Eagles defeated the Bulldogs, 43-23, thanks to four rushing touchdowns by Smith. Smith would conclude the contest with 280 yards on 39 carries. He also hauled in two catches for 25 yards.

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.