With the 2021 NCAA New England Division III season slowly winding down, it is time to unveil our end-of-season team that features a slew of student-athletes from all five conferences. Some of these student-athletes appeared on our preseason team — in case you missed it, feel free to jump back in time to see who made our D3 preseason squad! — but in the meantime, congratulations to everyone on another exciting season, and best of luck to the seniors and graduate students that competed for the final time this fall!
Last Saturday was a special day for the Williams College football team.
The Ephs capped their 2021 campaign with a hard-fought 24-19 victory over Amherst College to clinch a perfect season and become the first squad in program history to win nine contests in a single season.
Williams has finished previous campaigns with 8-0 records — seven, to be exact — but to win nine New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) games is no easy feat.
“Being the first Williams team to finish 9-0 is a testament to not only how hard our team has worked these last two years, but also to the leadership and growth of our program under coach Mark Raymond,” explained senior quarterback Bobby Maimaron, who completed 11 of 16 passes for 257 yards and two touchdowns last Saturday.
“Coach Raymond is truly one of the greatest coaches I have played for, and I am so happy that my teammates and I were able to clinch a perfect season for both him and the assistant coaches.”
Maimaron, who has played for Raymond since his first season in 2017, has guided the Ephs to at least five wins or more in all four seasons under center. Williams won six games during his initial season in 2017 after concluding their 2016 campaign with an 0-8 record, including their final contest against Amherst in overtime.
We recently caught-up with Maimaron to discuss his final season with the Ephs, as well as what he will remember from his time in Williamstown.
How exciting was it to take a knee and celebrate a hard-fought win against one of your rivals last week?
I still don’t think it has sunk in yet, but I just couldn’t be prouder of everyone involved. Every single player and coach have worked so hard so I’m just happy we were able to finish it off the right way last weekend.
We know you (and your teammates) will have time to reflect on this particular season over the next few days, weeks, and months, but what will you remember most from the 2021 season? And we presume it was worth it to come back for one more season to compete with your friends and classmates, right?
More than anything, I’ll remember all the hard work that went into our championship season. So many people sacrificed a lot for us to win the league and I’ll forever be grateful for that. To work so hard on a goal that’s been in our minds for five years and to finally achieve it is something special.
From a personal perspective, tell us how you improved from game one against Middlebury College to your team’s final contest against Amherst.
Coach Raymond asked every member of this team to give six seconds of relentless focus and effort at a time. Our focus was on one play — not the next, but the one we were executing — and we never looked past our opponents each week. To go 9-0, you must be at your best every week, and even though our team endured some injuries during the final few weeks, we received some tremendous effort from different players on both sides of the ball that filled those voids by making some important plays when needed.
With this being your final season with the Ephs, tell us one – maybe two? – memories you will always have from competing for Williams since your first season in 2017?
Talking “The Walk” at the conclusion of my freshman season in 2017 after our team beat Amherst in overtime – the win allowed us to cap the season with a 6-3 record. And my second memory is from last week when I took a knee at the end of the game – again, against Amherst – to complete the 9-0 season. Once the game with Amherst was final, I sprinted to the sidelines, hugged my coach, and thanked him for everything.
Finally, do you plan to return to campus next fall to support the team as an alum?
Yes. I can’t wait to come back and see some of my best friends play and coach next season.
A pair of touchdowns in the opening frame provided Williams College with all the momentum they would need to beat Trinity College and secure the top spot in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) on Saturday afternoon Farley-Lamb Field.
The Ephs topped the Bantams, 42-3, to secure their third consecutive win against Trinity while limiting the Blue and Gold to a season-low in points and offensive yards (183).
Trinity has not been held to just three points in a game since falling to Middlebury College, 20-3, on October 28, 2000.
Joel Nicholas, Bobby Maimaron, and Dan Vaughn combined for five rushing touchdowns while the Williams defense concluded its seventh contest of the 2021 season with six tackles for a loss of 40 yards, one forced fumble, one interception, and eight pass breakups. Nicholas led all rushers with 172 yards on 17 carries and three scores.
Maimaron helped Williams secure the lead for good by capping his team’s initial drive with a three-yard rushing touchdown up the middle before locating Vaughn on the ensuing possession for a 33-yard strike. Vaughn would cap the Ephs offensive output with 6:08 remaining in the fourth quarter with a 12-yard burst up the middle.
Trinity capitalized on just one of five offensive series in the first half and struggled to contain the Ephs rushing attack, especially Joel Nicholas, who recorded his first touchdown with 4:36 remaining in the second quarter that provided Williams with a 21-3 lead at the break.
Saturday’s contest marked the first time Trinity quarterback Spencer Fetter did not throw a touchdown this fall – the junior signal-caller leads the NESCAC with 20 touchdown passes.
Williams will attempt to win its eighth consecutive contest next Saturday, November 6 when the Ephs host Wesleyan University, which saw its six-game winning streak snapped this afternoon in overtime against Amherst College. The Mammoths of Amherst will visit Trinity with both games scheduled to commence at 1 p.m.
For the second straight week, we’re unveiling our 10 Games to Watch in New England NCAA Division III on Thursday — did you know there is a game tomorrow evening in Bridgewater, Massachusetts?
Last week, we picked four of our ten games correctly to bump our overall record for picks to 22-8, which is not bad, but let’s see if we can bounce back, both tomorrow and Saturday.
As usual, enjoy the games this weekend, everyone, and make sure to stop by over the next few days for roundups and highlights from both the college and high school football world!
FEATURED GAME: Williams College (1-0, 1-0 NESCAC) at Tufts University (0-1, 0-1 NESCAC) (Saturday, September 25 at 1:30 p.m.): Bobby Maimaron and the Ephs looked impressive last week against Middlebury College, but can they continue this early season success against a Tufts squad that has not lost to Williams on their home turf since 2012? This has the makings of an exciting finish – whoever has the ball last will win this matchup (or at least we think that is how it will go). PREDICTION: Williams 28, Tufts 23
Western Connecticut (2-1, 1-0 MASCAC) at Bridgewater State (1-2, 1-0 MASCAC) (Friday, September 24 at 6 p.m.): Friday Night Lights returns to Bridgewater for the first time since 2019 – the Bears are coming off their first win of the season and will need a total team effort to slow down a Colonials squad that has scored 24 points or more in three contests this season. PREDICTION: Bridgewater State 29, Western Conn. 27
Westfield State (0-3, 0-1 MASCAC) at Framingham State (1-2, 1-0 MASCAC) (Saturday, September 25 at 12 p.m.): The Rams scored their first win last Saturday by defeating UMass Dartmouth, which entered the game as our third-best team in New England. Last week’s win should certainly provide the Black and Gold with the momentum they need to beat the Owls on their home turf. PREDICTION: Framingham State 30, Westfield State 14
Rowan University (0-2, 0-0 NJAC) at Salve Regina University (3-0, 0-0 CCC) (Saturday, September 25 at 12 p.m.): The Seahawks picked up a hard-fought win last Saturday, defeating Montclair State in New Jersey. A win on Saturday against the Profs would certainly provide them with some additional momentum heading into their first conference clash with Western New England. PREDICTION: Salve Regina 28, Rowan 14
MIT (1-1, 0-0 NEWMAC) at Dean College (1-2, 0-0 ECFC) (Saturday, September 25 at 12 p.m.): Both the Bulldogs and Engineers are seeking their second win of the 2021 season – the Engineers were idle last weekend while the Bulldogs suffered a disappointing setback to Husson University. Something tells us that these Engineers will be well-rested and ready to roll come kick-off. PREDICTION: MIT 22, Dean 17
Bates College (0-1, 0-1 NESCAC) at Middlebury College (0-1, 0-1 NESCAC) (Saturday, September 25 at 1 p.m.): After a disappointing start to its title defense, the Panthers return home eager to score their first win of the 2021 season. But don’t expect these Bobcats to lay down to Middlebury as they certainly provided challenges last week against Amherst College. PREDICTION: Middlebury 24, Bates 21
Hamilton College (1-0, 1-0 NESCAC) at Wesleyan University (1-0, 1-0 NESCAC) (Saturday, September 25 at 1 p.m.): It was a total team effort last week for the Cardinals, which defeated Colby College in its season-opener, and you can bet they will need to duplicate that performance this week against a Hamilton defense that finished their initial contest with 70 total tackles, including six tackles for a loss of 16 yards, three pass breakups, and two fumble recoveries. PREDICTION: Wesleyan 29, Hamilton 10
Colby College (0-1, 0-1 NESCAC) at Amherst College (1-0, 1-0 NESCAC) (Saturday, September 25 at 1 p.m.): “The Chad Peterson Show” returns home to Amherst for the first time this season – the Mammoths tallied 432 yards of total offense against Bates College last week and will certainly put up some yards and points in this one. PREDICTION: Amherst 29, Colby 10
Anna Maria College (1-1, 0-0 ECFC) at Coast Guard Academy (2-1, 0-0 NEWMAC) (Saturday, September 25 at 1:30 p.m.): Alex Cohen and the AMCATs enter their final non-conference clash with some momentum against a Bears squad that has certainly surprised us thus far. An Anna Maria win is possible, but we also think a Coast Guard victory seems likely. PREDICTION: Coast Guard 20, Anna Maria 16
Endicott College (2-1, 0-0 CCC) at Norwich University (1-2, 0-0 NEWMAC) (Saturday, September 25 at 2 p.m.): The Gulls saw their comeback fall short last week at Catholic University so let’s see if they can bounce back against a Norwich squad, which scored its initial win of the 2021 season last Saturday against Castleton University. PREDICTION: Endicott 24, Norwich 17
The fourth week of the New England NCAA Division III football season is set to begin tomorrow with Bridgewater State hosting Western Connecticut in a very important Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) meeting.
Both teams enter the contest with identical 1-0 marks in conference play, but a win will certainly provide either the Bears or Colonials with a leg-up heading into the second month of conference play.
But before the Bears and Colonials kick off the fourth week of the 2021 New England D-III football season, allow us to share our five teams to watch this weekend.
In case you missed it, make sure to check out this week’s Noontime Sports New England D-III Top 20 Poll, which featured both Bridgewater State and Western Connecticut.
Bridgewater State (1-2, 1-0 MASCAC): The Bears have been competitive this fall, despite losing two of three contests, but Friday’s tilt with the Colonials of Western Connecticut is somewhat of a “must-win.”
Bridgewater scored its first victory of the 2021 season last Saturday by defeating Plymouth State by a score of 27-24.
Halfback Adam Couch was a big part of his team’s win by rushing for a game-high 150 yards on 26 carries and one touchdown — he also caught two passes for five yards.
Brendan Albert led the Bridgewater State defense with 11 total tackles, including two tackles for a loss of 10 yards, two forced fumbles, and one fumble recovery returned for 12 yards.
Plymouth State won the time of possession — they also outscored the hosts 14-0 in the final session.
Bridgewater will need to play one of its best games of the season on Friday — one of the biggest tasks for the Red and White’s defense is slowing down a Western Connecticut offense that is second in the MASCAC in yards per game (388.7).
If you like offense, then you will be in for a treat as both squads rank in the top three in yards per game behind UMass Dartmouth (409.0) while Western Connecticut leads all MASCAC teams with 94 points through three games. Bridgewater has tallied 67 points through three contests.
Framingham State (1-2, 1-0 MASCAC): Tom Kelley celebrated his birthday last Saturday with a Homecoming Day victory over UMass Dartmouth, which has provided the Rams with some much-needed momentum after dropping back-to-back non-conference games to Brockport and St. John Fisher.
Quarterback Nicolas Goffredo was tabbed the MASCAC Offensive Player of the Week on Sunday after tallying 248 yards of total offense, including 166 through the air to go with two touchdown passes.
Matthew Farley was named the conference’s Special Teams Player of the Week — the first-year kicker converted all six extra points to go with a 23-yard field goal.
This week, the Rams welcome Westfield State to Framingham — it is a game we believe they will win to even their record at 2-2 heading into an important October stretch.
MIT (1-1, 0-0 NEWMAC): The Engineers were idle last week after seeing their comeback against Salve Regina fall short in week two.
This week, coach Brian Bubna’s squad heads to Dean College in what should be an interesting matchup for both the Engineers and Bulldogs.
Both MIT and Dean are seeking their second win of the 2021 season after scoring opening day victories earlier this month
Through two contests, MIT has limited its opponents to just two touchdowns, but can this Engineers defense slow down a Dean offense that is averaging 28.3 points per game? Additionally, Dean’s passing attack could provide challenges for the MIT secondary — that is one matchup to watch — but keep an eye on the Engineers’ rushing attack, which is led by Jay Theriault (115 yards and one touchdown) and Brady Klein (82 yards and two touchdowns).
Springfield College (1-2, 0-0 NEWMAC): Similar to Bridgewater State, the Pride of Springfield has also been quite competitive this fall, despite dropping two of three games to Union College and Western New England.
Against Union, the Pride tallied 435 yards of offense after registering a season-best 495 one week earlier against Rowan University while limiting the Dutchmen to a season-low in total points (30).
Springfield College quarterback David Wells registered season-highs in completions (four), passing yards (145), and one passing touchdown to go with 56 rushing yards and two scores on the ground. Kicker Christian Hutra tallied five points on two extra points and a 30-yard field goal, which brought the visitors within a touchdown with 2:54 remaining.
The Pride head to Husson University this Saturday for a chance to even their record before their initial New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) clash next month against Coast Guard Academy.
Springfield last competed against Husson in 2017 when the two squads met in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament.
Williams College (1-0, 1-0 NESCAC): The Ephs were impressive in their initial game of the 2021 New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) season by scoring a big win over the league’s 2019 champions Middlebury College last Saturday.
Quarterback Bobby Maimaron accounted for three touchdowns, including two on the ground while Joel Nicholas added 41 yards on 13 carries and three scores.
On defense, Jarrett Wesner, Edward Manzella, and TJ Rothman combined for 22 total tackles to go with two interceptions. The defense did not make things easy on Middlebury quarterback Will Jernigan, who threw for a game-high 215 passing yards and two touchdowns, along with three interceptions.
The opening day win momentum should continue this week as Williams travels to Tufts University for an enticing matchup between two teams that are expected to contend for the conference crown.
Tufts dropped its season-opener to Trinity College, but a few Jumbos, including quarterback Matt Crowley, wide receiver Jackson Butler, and linebacker Spencer Alligood played well — all three, along with others will be players to watch on Saturday against Williams.
The last time the Ephs topped the Jumbos in Somerville was October 20, 2012.