Tag: Bridgewater State

Noontime’s New England D3 Football Conference Predictions

The early expectation is that Trinity College will begin the 2022 season as the de-facto favorite to win the NESCAC. (PHOTO COURTESY: Trinity College Athletics)

By Matt Noonan

We’re less than 30 days from the start of a brand-new New England NCAA Division III Football season.

Are you excited?

I am, which is why I am ready to share my early predictions for which team will win their respective conference this fall.

Like most of our early season content, these picks are educated guesses. It’s possible these picks will be right while some could be wrong.

Anywho, allow me to share my early predictions for all five New England D-III football conferences.

Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC): From top to bottom, this might be the most competitive conference in the region.

As of early August – and yes, a few weeks back – I was pretty sure Endicott College would be the favorite to win its second-straight title this fall. But from doing some additional research, I will change my mind and go with another team: Salve Regina University.

To me, the Seahawks might be the best team on paper in this conference heading into the upcoming season. They will return some key members of last year’s offense that averaged 199.2 rushing yards per game.

But while Salve Regina might be the squad receiving some early-season praise for its key returners, do not overlook Endicott, along with Husson University, Western New England, and the University of New England. All four squads, along with Curry College and Nichols College will provide the Seahawks with plenty of challenges this season.  

Noontime’s CCC Champion Prediction: Salve Regina University

Noontime’s Surprise CCC Team of 2022: University of New England

Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC): A new chapter of Anna Maria College football will begin this fall with first-year coach Steve Croce.

Croce, who was on the staff last year, will be tasked with continuing the squad’s momentum, which saw the AMCATs win their first-ever conference crown, as well as appear in the NCAA Division III Tournament.

Like Salve Regina, Anna Maria will return some key members of last year’s squad on both offense and defense, including quarterback Alex Cohen, who concluded the 2021 season with 23 touchdown passes.

While Anna Maria appears to be the team to beat in the ECFC, don’t overlook Alfred State College, a squad that appeared in its first-ever postseason contest last November. Additionally, the Pioneers set a new program record for wins with six victories. For the Blue and Yellow to continue its success this fall, they will need to do it without quarterback Aaron Jenkins, who will be competing for Adrian College this season.

One team to keep an eye on this fall is Keystone College, a squad that concluded its inaugural season winless but could pose problems for both its non-conference and conference foes.

Noontime’s ECFC Champion Prediction: Anna Maria College

Noontime’s Surprise ECFC Team of 2022: Keystone College

Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC): Framingham State has been the team to beat over the last decade or so and should be the squad with a target on its back heading into training camp this month.

But don’t rule out the Corsairs of UMass Dartmouth, which concluded the 2021 season with a league-best nine wins (that’s nine wins in 11 contests).

UMass Dartmouth earned some much-needed momentum heading into the postseason by capturing its first-ever New England Bowl Game last November – the Corsairs rolled past Alfred State, 42-16, thanks to a six-touchdown effort (four passing and two rushing scores) by Dante Aviles-Santos.

Aviles-Santos returns this fall hoping to lead the Corsairs to their first-ever conference crown. UMass Dartmouth has never won a MASCAC title and appears to be the team to beat on paper.

While UMass Dartmouth might be equipped to challenge the Rams for the top spot in the conference, don’t overlook Bridgewater State, which finished its 2021 campaign with six wins and a Cranberry Bowl victory over Massachusetts Maritime Academy. Plymouth State, which ended its previous season with a 5-5 overall record, will also be in the mix for the conference crown.

Noontime’s MASCAC Champion Prediction: Framingham State  

Noontime’s Surprise MASCAC Team of 2022: Plymouth State  

New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC): The Bantams of Trinity College won eight games last season. They also lost one contest to Williams College, which captured the NESCAC crown with a perfect 9-0 record.

The loss to the Ephs should fuel a conference championship run for the Bantams this fall – Trinity, like other New England squads, will welcome back some key members of its 2021 squad, including quarterback Spencer Fetter, halfback Will Kirby, and wide receiver DeVante Reid. Linebacker Brian Casagrande, who led the Bantams’ defense with 46.0 total tackles, is also expected to return.

While Trinity will be the squad to watch in the NESCAC heading into their initial contest, the same could be said for others such as Amherst College, Colby College, Tufts University, and Wesleyan University.

Williams College could also pose threats to Trinity’s title run with the Ephs representing the region on last month’s D3Football Preseason Poll. Williams is one of many teams receiving votes.

Noontime’s NESCAC Champion Prediction: Trinity College  

Noontime’s Surprise CCC Team of 2022: Tufts University  

New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC): After starting their season with one win and three losses, Springfield College responded with a six-game winning streak that helped the Pride capture its second NEWMAC crown, as well as advance to the opening round of the NCAA D-III Tournament.

The early expectation is that Springfield will be the de-facto favorite to win the NEWMAC this fall, but don’t overlook Merchant Marine, which finished its 2021 season with a 9-1 overall record.

The Mariners won their final two contests against Coast Guard Academy and Western New England – the win over the Golden Bears provided Merchant Marine with its second New England Bowl victory since beating Endicott in 2018. Additionally, the team’s final win was an ideal sendoff for longtime head coach Mike Toop, who guided the Silver and Blue to 70 wins in 17 seasons.

Toop announced he would be retiring last November.

Merchant Marine should be able to compete for the top spot with Springfield – sure, both teams will need to fill some graduation holes, but the same could be said for every team in college football.

A few other teams to watch in the NEWMAC include Catholic University, MIT, and WPI.

Noontime’s NEWMAC Champion Prediction: Springfield College  

Noontime’s Surprise NEWMAC Team of 2022: WPI

Noontime’s Way Too Early New England D-III Football Top 20 Poll

Elijah Nichols and the Framingham State Rams will once again be a team to watch in the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) this fall. (PHOTO COURTESY: Frank Poulin Photography).

By NoontimeSports.com

It’s time to start thinking about football — well, more the upcoming NCAA Division III season, to be exact.

It’s time to share our ‘Way Too Early‘ New England D-III Top 20 Poll, which may look similar to our final Top 20 from last season. But the expectation is the poll will change ahead of the opening week of the season — be on the lookout for some preseason and camp coverage later this summer.

Enjoy our early-season — well, way-too-early-season poll and feel free to let us know your thoughts by sending us a message on Instagram (@NoontimeNation) and or tweet on Twitter (@NoontimeSports).

Noontime’s Way Too Early New England NCAA D-III Football Poll

  1. Endicott College (8-3, 5-1 CCC): The Gulls captured their first conference crown last fall since 2013 and will certainly be ready to defend it this season.

  2. Framingham State (8-3, 8-0 MASCAC): Coach Tom Kelley and the Rams will once again be a team to watch — maybe the team to beat? — in the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) this fall.

  3. UMass Dartmouth (9-2, 6-2 MASCAC): The Corsairs capped their 2021 season with a New England Bowl victory. Expect their win over Alfred State to provide the squad with some additional momentum this season.

  4. Husson University (7-3, 4-2 CCC): Quarterback Nic Visser is just one of many student-athletes to watch this fall on the Eagles.

  5. Trinity College (8-1, 8-1 NESCAC): Look for a big year from halfback Will Kirby.

  6. Wesleyan University (6-3, 6-3 NESCAC): The Cardinals are going to surprise many New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) football fans.

  7. Salve Regina University (8-2, 4-2 CCC): Last season, the Seahawks won eight games for the first time since 2016.

  8. Springfield College (7-4, 6-0 NEWMAC): The Pride should be the favorite to win the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) this fall.

  9. Western New England (7-4, 5-1 CCC): Members of the 2019 and 2021 squad have graduated, which means it’s time for some new Golden Bears to step up.

  10. Bridgewater State (6-4, 6-2 MASCAC): This could be a big year for halfback Adam Couch.

  11. Plymouth State (5-5, 5-3 MASCAC): Like the Cardinals of Wesleyan, the Panthers are going to surprise fans of the MASCAC.

  12. Anna Maria College (7-3, 5-1 ECFC): A new chapter of AMCATs football begins this fall with first-year coach Steve Croce.

  13. University of New England (4-5, 2-4 CCC): This Nor’easters squad proved they’re going to get better every season.

  14. Tufts University (4-5, 4-5 NESCAC): Don’t sleep on the Jumbos this year.

  15. Amherst College (5-4, 5-4 NESCAC): A five-point setback to Williams at the end of last year will be the motivation for the Purple and White this fall.

  16. Williams College (9-0, 9-0 NESCAC): After producing its first-ever nine-win season in program history, these Ephs have some graduation holes to fill.

  17. MIT (5-4, 3-3 NEWMAC): One has to think “Bubna Magic” will return after a 5-4 season last fall.

  18. Western Conn. (5-5, 4-4 MASCAC): After posting just five wins for the first time since 2016, one should expect coach Joe Loth‘s squad to bounce back and be in the mix for a conference crown.

  19. Colby College (4-5, 4-5 NESCAC): Expect the Mules to capture the Colby-Bates-Bowdoin (CBB) crown again this fall.

  20. WPI (3-7, 2-4 NEWMAC): After a down year, expect the Engineers to bounce back with possibly one or two new signal-callers.

On the Rise: Coast Guard Academy, Curry College, Dean College, and Massachusetts Maritime Academy.

Five New England D3 Football Teams to Watch In 2022

Alex Cohen and the Anna Maria College football team will be a squad to watch in 2022. (PHOTO COURTESY: Brian Foley)

By NoontimeSports.com

It’s time to kick off our preseason football coverage – are you ready for some football?

Yes, we know the Boston Celtics are occupying our attention while writing this post, but while we anxiously wait for the fourth game of the NBA Finals to tip off tomorrow evening, let’s highlight five teams New England NCAA Division III football fans should watch this fall.  

Anna Maria College: Quarterback Alex Cohen is back, along with some key members of last year’s squad, which captured its first-ever Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) title.

Cohen will certainly be a player to watch this fall after concluding the 2021 season with career-highs in passing yards (3,087) and touchdown passes (23).

Wide receiver Hayden Braga returns for another season, as well, along with Alvin Martin (linebacker) and Armstrong Antoine (defensive back) – all three student-athletes, along with Cohen, should help the AMCATs contend for their second-straight conference crown.

Anna Maria is scheduled to face some challenging conference foes in September, beginning with their season-opener against UMass Dartmouth.

Colby College: Coach Jack Cosgrove has the Mules heading in the right direction.

Last year, Colby won four games for the first time since finishing 4-4 in 2013. The Mules scored some important early and mid-season wins over Amherst College and Middlebury College while providing some challenges for Hamilton College and Tufts University.

Halfback Keon Smart will be a player to watch on offense – the sophomore tailback finished his initial season with the Mules last fall with 248 rushing yards on 69 carries and three touchdowns.

Colby will commence its 2022 season at home against Williams College.   

Curry College: A new era of Colonels football has begun with the hiring of first-year coach Todd Parsons.

Parsons, who oversaw the Endicott College offense last fall, inherits a squad that finished 3-6 last season, including 1-5 in Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC).

Michael Sims will be a player to watch on the Colonels after concluding his initial season with the Purple and White with 49 total tackles, including 26 solo stops to go with one fumble recovery, one interception, and one pass break-up.

Sims played high school football in Connecticut and was a two-way player for Griswold High School. He played fullback on offense and linebacker on defense. Maybe we could see him play fullback this fall?

Curry will begin its 2022 season at home against MIT.

Dean College: Like Curry, Dean will have a new leader of its football program with Andrae Murphy returning to his alma mater to coach a Bulldogs squad that won just two games last fall.

Errol Breaux, the team’s leading wide receiver, was a player to watch last fall as he led the receiving core in catches (75), receiving yards (1,215), and touchdowns (eight). Quintus Reid was also a player to watch on offense as the New Haven, Connecticut native concluded his junior season with 52 receptions and six touchdowns.

It’s likely Murphy’s signal-caller will be David Curry, who was spotted under center every game last fall. He completed 196 of 351 passes for 2,585 yards and 18 touchdowns. Curry also led the rushing attack with 627 yards and six touchdowns.

Dean will travel to Fitchburg State for its season-opener.

University of New England: For the second time in program history, the Nor’easters concluded its campaign with four wins (they won a program-record four wins in 2019 after capping their inaugural campaign one year earlier with just two victories).

Last fall, UNE gained our attention by scoring an impressive early-season win against Bridgewater State, which saw the Blue and White outscore the hosts, 14-0, in the second half to set up a game-winning field goal by Ruelas Villasen in overtime.

In addition to their come-from-behind win against the Bears of Bridgewater, they also provided some challenges for Endicott and Western New England down the stretch. They capped their 2021 campaign with a wild victory over Curry.

The team’s late-season win over the Colonels, which was highlighted by five passing touchdowns by Jarrett Henault should provide the Nor’easters with some momentum heading into four this season in program history.

UNE will begin its season on the road at Coast Guard Academy.

Noontime’s Final D3 Football Top 20 Poll (Nov. 22, 2021)

By NoontimeSports.com

It’s hard to believe, but another season of New England NCAA Division III football has officially concluded — that was fast, eh?

Luckily, we still have plenty of end-of-season wrap-up content coming your way, so stay tuned for future posts and podcasts. But in the meantime, enjoy our end-of-season poll, which finds Williams College, Endicott College, and Framingham State in the top three spots.

1. Williams College (9-0, 9-0 NESCAC): The only New England team to finish without a setback, the Ephs concluded the 2021 season as the first team in program history to win nine games in a single season.

2. Endicott College (8-3, 5-1 CCC): Despite seeing its season conclude in the opening round of the 2021 NCAA Division III Tournament, the future is very bright for a squad that features a slew of rising seniors and juniors.

3. Framingham State (8-3, 6-0 MASCAC): The Rams were a pleasant surprise this fall, rebounding from an 0-2 start to win their third outright conference crown.

4. Trinity College (8-1, 8-1 NESCAC): The Bantams could be the “team to beat” next fall in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) after ending its season with back-to-back wins over Amherst College and Wesleyan University.

5. Western New England (7-4, 5-1 CCC): The Golden Bears may have ended with a difficult setback to the United States Merchant Marine Academy, but this team was resilient, especially after a midseason loss to Endicott College.

6. UMass Dartmouth (9-2, 6-2 MASCAC): The Corsairs matched their win total from 2003 by winning their final six contests, including their first-ever New England Bowl.

7. Husson University (7-3, 4-2 CCC): These Eagles provided a lot of challenges for non-conference and conference foes this fall.

8. Salve Regina University (8-2, 4-2): The 2021 Seahawks looked somewhat like the 2016 Seahawks that won eight games.

9. Springfield College (7-4, 6-0 NEWMAC): “The Brotherhood” bounced back from a 1-3 start with a six-game winning streak that resulted in a conference crown, along with an impressive showing against SUNY Cortland in the opening round of the postseason.

10. Bridgewater State (6-4, 6-2): The Bears concluded their season with a Cranberry Bowl win over Massachusetts Maritime Academy, which should provide the Red and White with some much-needed momentum heading into the offseason.

11. Anna Maria College (7-3, 5-1 ECFC): The AMCATs were a tremendous story this fall as they not only captured their initial conference crown but also competed in their first national postseason.

12. Wesleyan University (6-3, 6-3 NESCAC): These Cardinals provided a great deal of excitement with some dramatic come-from-behind wins this fall.

13. Castleton University (6-4, 4-2 ECFC): The Spartans were a fun team to watch down the stretch as they finished with six wins for the first time since posting an identical 6-4 record in 2017.

14. Plymouth State (5-5, 5-3 MASCAC): These Panthers were a team to watch during the second half of the season, especially mid-October.

15. MIT (5-4, 3-3 NEWMAC): Coach Brian Bubna’s squad ended its 2021 campaign with a much-needed win over the Engineers of WPI.

16. Amherst College (5-4, 5-4 NESCAC): These Mammoths exceeded our expectations and will certainly be a team to keep an eye on next fall.

17. University of New England (4-5, 2-4 CCC): The future is very bright for the Nor’easters, who concluded their season early this month with a dramatic win over Curry College.

18. Western Connecticut (5-5, 4-4 MASCAC): The Colonials head into the offseason with some momentum after ending its campaign with back-to-back wins over Fitchburg State and Worcester State.

19. Tufts University (4-5, 4-5 NESCAC): The Jumbos ended their season with a four-game winning streak – they were certainly competitive with some of the top teams in the NESCAC this fall.

20. Colby College (4-5, 4-5 NESCAC): The Mules concluded their season with the Colby-Bates-Bowdoin (CBB) crown.

Inside The Matchup: Framingham State @ Muhlenberg College

Devaun Ford and the Framingham State offense will look to continue their recent momentum against Muhlenberg College on Saturday. (PHOTO COURTESY: Frank Poulin)

By NoontimeSports.com

The 2021 NCAA Division III postseason begins Saturday, November 20, 2021 with 32 teams competing 16 first-round matchups.

This week, Noontime Sports is highlighting four matchups that feature squads from New England, including Framingham State visiting Muhlenberg College.

Let’s learn more about this particular matchup that features two teams that competed in the 2019 national playoffs.


Game Time & Location: Muhlenberg will host Framingham State on Saturday, November 12 at Scotty Wood Stadium in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Kickoff is scheduled for 12 p.m. (LIVE STATS | VIDEO)

Team Schedules: Framingham State | Muhlenberg College

Team Stats: Framingham State | Muhlenberg College


Framingham State’s journey to the postseason: The Rams secured an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament by winning the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) — the Black and Gold won eight-straight league meetings this fall, including their last two against Bridgewater State (47-13) and Worcester State (40-21).

Muhlenberg’s journey to the postseason: After starting its season by winning two of three contests, the Mules ripped off seven-straight wins to capture the Centennial Conference (CC) they clinched the tile this past weekend with a 55-0 victory over Moravian University.

Framingham State’s last trip to the NCAA Tournament: After winning their conference in 2019, the Rams advanced to the opening round, but saw their bid toward a national championship conclude against Wesley College.

Muhlenberg’s last trip to the NCAA Tournament: The Mules concluded their 2019 campaign with a 13-1 record — their lone loss came in the national semifinals to North Central, which went onto beat Wisconsin-Whitewater in the national championship. The loss to Cardinals concluded an impressive run for the Muhlenberg seniors, who helped the Red and White win 41 of 49 contests to go with a pair of conference titles and trips to the NCAA quarterfinals.

Framingham State’s NCAA Tournament history: The Rams have competed in the national tournament five times in program history with their first appearance in 2012. Saturday will mark the program’s sixth trip to the postseason.

Muhlenberg’s NCAA Tournament history: This Saturday will mark the 10th appearance for the Mules dating back to their initial trip in 2002.

Players to Watch on Framingham State: Nicolas Goffredo (QB), Devaun Ford (RB/WR | MASCAC Offensive Player of the Year), Marcus McBean Jr. (HB), Elijah Nichols (RB), Joshua Onujiogu (DE | MASCAC Defensive Player of the Year), Cully Curran (DB), Gerell Boyce (DL), and Dylan DeWolfe (LB | MASCAC Defensive Rookie of the Year).

Players to Watch on Muhlenberg: Michael Hnatkowsky (QB | named the conference’s offensive player of the year), Rory DeLuca (HB), Ethan Brader (HB), Michael Feaster (WR), Mitch Daniel (WR), Spencer Kirin (LB), and Joshua Barnett (LB).