Mass. College Football: The View From Bentley University

By NoontimeSports.com 

The 2013 season is just days away, and Bentley University is hoping it will end with a Northeast-10 Championship.

On Tuesday morning, Noontime Sports’ Brian Willwerth caught up with Head Coach Thom Boerman to get his thoughts on the upcoming season.

Boerman says most of his offensive skill players return from last year’s 8-2 team, whose only two losses came by a combined eight points. Once again this year, quarterback Danny Guadagnoli will be under center. Boerman says he’s looked very strong in practice. The senior captain from Framingham is coming off an outstanding year in which he completed almost 62 percent of his passes, 16 of them for touchdowns. His pass efficiency rating of 150.26 was second in the conference and 25th nationally. The Falcons’ offense averaged over 26 points per game.

Defensively, Boerman will be looking for guys to step up, now that Steve and Don Hopkins have graduated. The coach says two players to keep an eye on this season are both captains: linebacker Blaine Hopwood, who led the team in tackles in each of the last two seasons, and defensive end Matt Campo, who was named the team’s Co-Defensive Most Improved Player in 2012.

Boerman expects the NE-10 to be extremely competitive again this year, saying there’s a lot of parity in the league. The Falcons are picked to finish third in the preseason coaches’ poll, behind New Haven and American International, the two teams Bentley lost to in 2012.

The Falcons will kick off the regular season on Saturday against Mercyhurst, a team that went 9-2 in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) last year.

Mass. College Football: NEFW Div. II/III All-New England Team

By NoontimeSports.com 

Courtesy of our friend Steve Miller Jr., who is the sports information director at Worcester State University, here is today’s release pertaining toward the 2012 New England Football Writers Div. II/III All-New England Team.

The squad, which features 28 players from 18 different institutions, will be honored on Thursday, Dec. 6 at the New England Football Writers Captains and Awards Banquet.

CENTERVILLE, Mass. – Twenty-eight players representing 18 different teams have been named to the 2012 New England Football Writers Division II/III All-New England team.

New England Small College Athletic Conference champions Trinity College, Northeast-10 Conference champion University of New Haven, and NESCAC runner-up Middlebury College lead the team with three selections each. New England Football Conference members Framingham State University and Salve Regina University have two picks, as do Merrimack College and Springfield College. Also named to the squad were players from American International College, Amherst College, Bentley University, Castleton State College, Endicott College, Husson College, MIT, Mount Ida College, Stonehill College, and Worcester State University

The Division II Northeast-10 Conference had eight players selected, while from Division III the New England Football Conference and the New England Small College Athletic Conference had seven picks. The Eastern Collegiate Football Conference had three selections. Three players came from teams not affiliated with New England Conferences.

The team will be honored at the New England Football Writers Captains and Awards Banquet on Thursday, December 6, at the Montvale Plaza, in Stoneham, Mass. People interested in attending should contact Dick Lipe at Bentley University at 781-891-2334.

And here is a list of the players that were named to this team:

Tom Herd (University of New Haven)

James Muirhead (Framingham State University)

Max Nacewicz (Springfield College)

Ernest Wiggins (Husson College)

Brett Cde Baca (Trinity College)

Jake Laux (MIT)

Blaine Hopwood (Bentley University) 

Jaquawane Simpkins (American International College)

Jareed Gaines (Stonehill College)

Rae Haynes (Trinity College)  

Artis Holt (Merrimack College)

Phil Terio (Salve Regina University)   

McCallum Foote (Middlebury College)

 Evan Bunker (Trinity College)

Melikke Van Alstyne  (Framingham State University)

Brandon Boyle (Castleton State University)

 Zach Driscoll (Middlebury College)

Isaiah Voegeli (Merrimack College)

Billy Chapman (Middlebury College)  

Matt Bonomolo (Mount Ida College)

John Ceccio (Amherst College)

Mike D’Attillo (Bridgewater State University)

Duke Ekblom (Springfield College)

Adam Iskra (Salve Regina University)

Dave Stedman (University of New Haven)

Chris Scifo (University of New Haven)

Dylan Rushe (Endicott College)

Graham Asum (Worcester State University

Mass. College Football: Week 7 Honor Roll

By NoontimeSports.com 

The seventh week of the college football season is in the books. And with that being the case, here is this week’s Noontime Sports Weekly Honor Roll.

Colton Chapple (Harvard): Once again, the Harvard senior quarterback earned a spot on this particular list, as he amassed 309 yards of total offense and recorded four touchdowns in the Crimson’s fifth win of the season against Bucknell University. Chapple completed 11-of-18 passes for 189 yards and two touchdowns, as well as rushed for 120 yards on eight carries for two scores.

Steven Elder (Holy Cross): The sophomore quarterback completed 24-of-39 passes for a career-high 313 yards and two touchdowns in the Crusaders 51-35 loss to Colgate. Elder also totaled 42 yards on 15 carries for two scores, too.

Gerald Mistretta (Holy Cross): Against Colgate, the senior wide receiver hauled in eight passes for a career-high 166 yards and two touchdowns.

Kevin Arduino (American International College): The sophomore quarterback completed his Saturday contest against Southern Connecticuit State University 12-of-22 for 227 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed for 71 yards and one score in his team’s 34-7 victory. Arduino was named this week’s Northeast-10 Conference Offensive Player of the Week.

Jareed Gaines (Stonehill College): Against Merrimack College, the senior defensive back helped his defense hold the Warriors offense to roughly 200 yards of total offense in Stonehill’s 22-20 victory. Gaines concluded the contest with 11 tackles (nine solo); three pass breakups and a forced fumble that secured the win for the Skyhawks.

Blaine Hopwood (Bentley University): The junior linebacker recorded 13 tackles and 1.5 tackles for a loss in Bentley’s 17-13 loss to New Haven. The Falcons defense held the Chargers offense to just 288 yards. Hopwood also punted eight times for a 36.9 average and placed four punts inside the 20.

Jonathan Marrero (Springfield College): The freshman quarterback exploded for seven touchdowns – four through the air, three on the ground – in his team’s 66-13 route against Merchant Maritime. Marrero’s four touchdowns matched a school record set by quarterback Kevin Cahill in 2000 against UMass Dartmouth. Finally, Marrero was named this week’s Liberty League Offensive Player of the Week.

Robbie Heflin (Amherst College): The senior defensive back recorded three interceptions (one for a touchdown) in the Lord Jeff’s 23-3 victory on Saturday against Colby College. He was named this week’s New England Small College Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Week.

Joe Mallock (Williams College): The junior kicker hasn’t missed a beat this season, as he recorded two field goals – 24 and 21 yards – in his team’s third loss of the season to Middlebury. According to the NESCAC weekly release, he has made 11 straight field goals dating back to the 2011 season.

Wesley Williams (Nichols College): The sophomore defensive back completed Saturday’s contest against UMass Dartmouth with three interceptions – two in the fourth quarter, which sealed the Bison’s first victory of the season. The win snapped the Bison’s 17-game losing streak, too. Williams’ three picks and 59 return yards are the second-highest single game total in program history.

Michael Altavesta (Framingham State): The Tewksbury native and junior linebacker finished the game with 13 tackles (10 solo), 3.5 for a loss and a pair of forced and recovered fumbles in the Rams sixth victory of the season.

Mike Stanton (Mass. Maritime): The junior quarterback from Quincy amassed 359 yards of total offense and recorded four touchdowns in his team’s 56-32 victory against Fitchburg State. Stanton also broke the school’s single-season passing yardage record on his first completion of the contest. He has now 1,823 yards through six games.

Rob Bambini (Curry College): The Westwood native and senior wide receiver was a threat against Salve Regina on Saturday, as he hauled in 13 catches for 192 yards and tallied two scores in Curry’s fourth loss of the season.

Brad Goldsberry (MIT): The sophomore running back tallied 238 all-purpose yards with a career-high 51 rushing, 88 receiving and 99 in kick returns.

Bentley’s Hopkins Named NE-10 Defensive Player Of The Week

By NoontimeSports.com 

Courtesy of our friends from Bentley University’s athletic department — here is today’s press release about Steve Hopkins being named this week’s Northeast-10 Conference Defensive Player of the Week:

WALTHAM, Mass. – Bentley University senior safety Steve Hopkins (Waltham/Waltham HS) has been named the Defensive Player of the Year in the Northeast-10 Conference after his outstanding performance in Saturday night’s 38-28 win over Saint Anselm College.

Seventeen of the undefeated Falcons’ points against the Hawks followed takeaways by Hopkins, who finished with two interceptions, a fumble recovery, seven tackles, a pass break-up and his first career touchdown.

His first interception, early in the second quarter, led to the Falcons’ first score of the evening, a seven-play, 46-yard drive. Later in the quarter, he recovered a fumble in the red zone with the ensuing possession capped by a short field goal on the final play before intermission.

Five minutes into the second half, Hopkins grabbed his second INT of the night at the Saint Anselm 40 and took it the distance for his first career pick 6 and a 24-0 Bentley lead.

Hopkins, who plays alongside his twin brother Don, is second on the team with 29 tackles and he has a total of four takeaways on the season. For his career, he’s made eight interceptions and come up with four fumbles.

Bentley, just on the outside of the American Football Coaches Association Division II top 25, improved to 5-0 with the victory and stretched its winning streak to seven games, tied for the fourth longest current streak in Division II.

Three other Bentley Falcons were also recognized by the Northeast-10 with selection to the Weekly Honor Roll: senior wide receiver Sean Cross (Duxbury/Duxbury HS), junior quarterback Danny Guadagnoli (Framingham/Framingham HS) and junior linebacker Blaine Hopwood (New Bedford/New Bedford HS).

Cross had seven receptions and 129 yards, both career-bests, and a touchdown. Guadagnoli amassed 247 of his 266 yards of total offense in the first half Saturday. He ran for a career-best 75 yards on ten carries and completed half of his 24 passes for 180 yards and the TD pass to Cross while playing less than three full quarters.

Hopwood tied his career-high with 13 tackles, including seven solos, and also had a pass break-up against the Hawks.

This Saturday, Bentley will host another unbeaten, fifth-ranked New Haven, in a key Northeast-10 showdown.

Bentley’s Coach Boerman: ‘It’s Time To Strap It Up And Get Busy’

By Matt Noonan 

The dog days of summer are officially over for Bentley University’s football team, as the Falcons will kick-off their 2012 campaign tomorrow evening under the lights against Pace University.

“It’s time to strap it up and get busy,” exclaimed head coach Thom Boerman.

The Falcons exploded out of the gates last season, winning three of their first four contests before the injury bug stung Steve Hopkins, Blaine Hopwood and Anthony “AC” Carter. The three various players, according to Boerman, battled through their individual injuries, while the team cruised to a 6-4 finish.

“Toward the tail end of the season, we had some injuries that caught up with us a little bit,” explained Boerman.

Yet, with 2011 in their rearview mirror, Boerman and his crew have officially turned the page to this season, and seem very excited, as well as optimistic about the upcoming year.

The Falcons will feature five fifth year seniors, which include running back Bobby Tarr, who led all rushers with 860 yard on 136 carries last season.

All-Northeast-10 Conference tackle Nick Halloran, who is also a fifth year senior, returns to the offensive line and will be responsible for protecting the team’s new signal caller, Danny Guadagnoli.

“[Danny’s] been here for a couple years and played behind Bryant Johnson,” said Boerman.

“He had a lot of pedigree as a high school player and a prep school player, but he sat, learned, watched and we changed the offense when I took over as the head coach to go to more with the spread [offense] and Danny is really suited for the spread offense because he runs really well,” added Boerman. “He’s got a good short, accurate arm, and understands the offense.”

Guadagnoli will certainly be asked to target various receivers through the air, but as Boerman noted earlier this week, he expects his offense to also lean on running backs Tarr, Lorenzo Warren, Emmitt Smith and Tyler Coppola.

On the other side of the ball, the Falcons will counter with senior John Aminti, who according to his head coach is one of the best linemen in the NE-10.

“He’s very consistent, strong, quick, and he’s improved every year,” stated Boerman.

Aminti will most likely line up next to Matt Campo and Andrew Sklar on Friday, as well as throughout the course of the season.

At linebacker, Bentley will rely on Blaine Hopwood, who according to Boerman, has had a tremendous camp and is eager to record his first tackle of the season.

Finally, the Falcons secondary should be solid once again, especially with fifth year safeties Don and Steve Hopkins leading the unit.

“I think defensively we’re pretty good,” said Boerman. “I think Scott Boyle, the defensive coordinator and Rusty McKinney,the linebackers coach, have spent a lot of time developing this unit. The thing with a complicated defense is the amount of mistakes that can occur, but I think this camp, I have been pleased that they really minimized those mistakes, so it’s not about effort because they give me a huge effort, and they’re a talented group of kids. They’re a tough bunch of kids and they’ve minimized their mistakes, so I have a lot of high expectations for our defensive unit this year.”

As for their first contest against Pace, Boerman believes his squad should not rely on their experience last year, which featured a battle against the Setters in a foot of snow or the game two years ago that was highlight by a last minute comeback.

“Everyone seems to think that Pace, [a squad] that’s had their struggles over the last few years is going to continue, I don’t buy it. I think we’re going to have our hands full,” said Boerman.

“We’re going to have to play hard, they’re going to be here to play hard and they worry me because they’re a team that could come in here and really give us trouble,” added Boerman. “We’re going to have to coach our rear ends off so that we can give them every bit of a contest that we can.”