Noontime’s ‘What If’ D3 Football Conference Champion Predictions

Bobby Maimaron and the Williams College football team would have been one of our teams to watch this fall. (PHOTO COURTESY: Kris Dufour/Williams College)

By Matt Noonan

Like many of our fans and friends, I miss New England D-III football. But as an optimist, I believe we’ll see our favorite teams and student-athletes back on the gridiron at this time next year vying for conference crowns, along with at-large bids to the NCAA Tournament.

And speaking of conference crowns – and yes, the national postseason, too – I thought it would be fun to produce a special Noontime’s ‘What If‘ post on which teams I believe would have won their respective conference this fall.

As expected, these predictions were not easy as there are a slew of teams and programs capable of winning their respective conference, but here are my predictions. And as usual, you can share your thoughts with me on social media, as well as send a note to MattNoonan@noontimesports.com.

Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC): Western New England

For the past few seasons, the Golden Bears have been the team to watch and beat in this conference. And once again, Western New England would be the squad to watch in the CCC this fall. They would most likely enter their final game of the regular season with two important wins against Endicott College and Salve Regina University. And like most teams highlighted in this post, the 2020 Golden Bears would look a bit different than previous years, especially on offense as they would have a new quarterback, but their defense would be be a unit to watch – it would be led by linebacker Erich Keutmann, who was named a D3Football.com Preseason All-America second-teamer in September.

Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC): Dean College

The Bulldogs captured their first-ever conference crown last season, thanks to quarterback Terrell Watts, who was named the league’s Offensive Player of the Year, along with wide receiver Errol Breaux and safety Tyzohn Poole. Of course, there would be other student-athletes to watch as the season progressed, but at this point of the 2020 season, the Bulldogs would have claimed some important wins against Castleton University and SUNY Maritime. They would have also beaten a new D-III football team: Keystone College.

Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC): Framingham State University

Like Western New England, it is hard to pick against the Rams, which would be starting a new chapter in its program history with first-year coach Aynsley Rosenbaum, who spent the past 12 seasons overseeing the Framingham State offense. But like prior years, this would be the team to watch in the MASCAC. Sure, they would look a bit different on offense without quarterback Adam Wojenski, who graduated last spring, but the Rams would welcome back some key pieces from that unit, including halfback Devaun Ford, who was named the 2019 MASCAC Rookie of the Year. Framingham State would be challenged for the top spot by Bridgewater State, UMass Dartmouth, and Western Connecticut.

New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC): Williams College

The Ephs of Williams College suffered just two setbacks last season, including an opening day loss to Middlebury College, which would be a game circled on their calendar this season. Williams would somehow find a way to beat the Panthers at home, along with Wesleyan University, which tripped up the Ephs prior to their season-ending win over Amherst College last November. But for the Ephs to win the NESCAC, they would not only need to beat Amherst, Middlebury, and Wesleyan, but also Trinity College and Tufts University. Additionally, let’s not overlook Colby College and Hamilton College, which would challenge the Purple and Yellow, but in the end, quarterback Bobby Maimaron, along with the rest of the Ephs would make just a few more plays in all nine contests to secure the NESCAC title.

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

Sure, MIT maybe the favorite after winning the NEWMAC crown the past two years, but it would be hard to overlook Springfield College, which would be led by halfback Hunter Belzo and linebacker AJ Smith. The Pride, which finished with six wins last year, would win at least seven, maybe eight games this season, but their most important victory would occur during the final weekend of the regular season against the Engineers in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Revisiting A Historic Day For Dean College Football

Terrell Watts tossed a program-record seven touchdowns against Alfred State, 50-46 on November 2, 2020. (PHOTO COURTESY: Frank Poulin)

By Matt Noonan

It was exactly one year ago when Terrell Watts and the Dean College football team pulled out a historic win against Alfred State College.

The Bulldogs outlasted the Pioneers, 50-46, thanks to Watts, who concluded the contest with a career and season-best seven touchdown passes with five of those scores landing in the hands of Errol Breaux. The seven touchdown passes were not just a career and single-season best for Watts, but also a school-record.

Watts and the Bulldogs ended the contest with 535 yards of total offense, including 307 passing yards. The second-year quarterback from New Haven, Connecticut completed 18 of 29 passes for 260 yards while classmate Michael Bethune Jr. rushed for a season-best 213 yards on 21 carries.

Two days after his team’s fourth consecutive victory, Watts was tabbed the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) Offensive Player of the Week for the second consecutive week. It was the sixth time Watts had received a weekly honor after earning his initial nod from the conference as a first-year quarterback on Monday, September 3, 2018.

One week after the epic and exciting victory against Alfred State, Dean secured its first-ever conference crown before appearing in the New England Bowl against Endicott College on Saturday, November 23, 2019.

Watts concluded his second season with the Bulldogs by earning a slew of postseason honors, including the ECFC Player of the Year award. He secured an all-football selection honoree from the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) while throwing for a career-best 418 yards in his team’s final contest of the regular season against Castleton University.

Noontime’s All-Decade New Hampshire & Vermont D3 Football Team

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By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeNation 

Our Noontime Sports (and NoontimeSports.com) All-Decade Week continues with a brand new team: The New Hampshire & Vermont D3 Football Team from 2010-2019.

This was a fun walk down memory lane, highlighting a slew of student-athletes we covered and interviewed over the past ten years that earned a variety of end of season honors, including D3Football.com All-American honors to first or second-team nods to program record-holders to the final Gold Helmet Recipients from the New England Football Writers (NEFW).  And as usual, we did our very best to highlight as many student-athletes from across both New Hampshire and Vermont.


The All-Decade Noontime Sports N.H. & Vt. D3 Football Team (Offense)

McCallum Foote (QB) Middlebury College Newton, Mass.
Moe Harris (RB) Castleton University Pine Hill, N.J. 
Matthew Minno (WR) Middlebury College Tallahassee, Fla. 
Brandon Boyle (WR) Castleton University Springfield, Vt. 
Zach Driscoll (WR) Middlebury College Concord, Mass.
Billy Champman (TE) Middlebury College Greenwich, Conn. 
Ryan Moores (OL) Middlebury College Manchester, Mass.
Rob Sturgis (OL) Norwich University Holden, Mass.
Jack Allard (OL) Middlebury College Natick, Mass. 
Dan Finta (OL) Middlebury College Miller Place, N.Y.
Kevin Woodring (OL) Middlebury College Norwalk, Conn.


The All-Decade Noontime Sports N.H. & Vt. D3 Football Team (Defense)

Gil Araujo (DE) Middlebury College Norwalk, Conn.
Joe Esposito (DL) Plymouth State Hackettstown, N.J. 
Matt Simonelli (DL) Norwich University Scituate, R.I.
Chris Rice (DL) Castleton University Bethel, Conn.
Josh Morgan (LB) Plymouth State Foster, R.I. 
Tim Patricia (LB) Middlebury College  Los Angeles, Calif.
Jack Pistorius (LB)  Middlebury College Park Ridge, Ill. 
Zach Ziemba (CB) Plymouth State Manchester, N.H.
Brasean Stewart (CB) Norwich University Bronx, N.Y.
Matthew Benedict (DB) Middlebury College Eden, N.Y.
Dan Pierce (DB) Middlebury College Needham, Mass.

The All-Decade Noontime Sports N.H. & Vt. D3 Football Team (Special Teams)

Long Ding (K) Norwich University Qing Dao, China
Wesley Medeiros (K) Norwich University Gilford, N.H. 
Christian Mulcahy (KR) Plymouth State Norwich, Conn. 
Maxwell Rye (P) Middlebury College Longmeadow, Mass.

 

D3 Women’s Lacrosse Team of the Year

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By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeNation 

The New England D-III Lacrosse season concluded abruptly last week due to the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), but that won’t stop us from highlighting our region’s student-athletes, who have earned spots on our Zelos Athletics Team of the Year.


All-Noontime Women’s Lacrosse First Team

Talia Land 

Amherst College

Larchmont, N.Y.

Gianna Bruno

Colby College New Canaan, Conn.

Annie Eddy 

Colby College

 Cheshire, Conn. 

Taylor Moore

Colby College 

Weston, Conn. 

Clara Bisson

Connecticut College

Sudbury, Mass.

Emily Barnard 

Middlebury College

Wayland, Mass. 

Abby Manning

Wesleyan University

Wilmington, Del.

Sam Donohoe

Westfield State 

Pepperell, Mass.

Molly Covarrubias 

Wheaton College

Framingham, Mass. 

Kyra Schwartzman

Wheaton College 

Kennebunk, Maine


All-Noontime Women’s Lacrosse Second Team 

Erin Jayne

Babson College  

Merrimac, Mass. 

Fiona Bundy 

Bowdoin College

Easthampton, Mass. 

Morgan Derosia 

Castleton University

Vernon, Vt. 

Erin Shuttle

Castleton University

Georgia, Vt.

Morgan Pike

Endicott College

Shapleigh, Maine

Grace Gamache

 Framingham State

Dartmouth, Mass.

Dani Lydecker

Johnson & Wales

Valley Cottage, N.Y.

Jane Earley

Middlebury College

North Falmouth, Mass.

Allegra Grant

Wesleyan University

Winnetka, Ill.

Claire Fitzpatrick

Williams College 

Longmeadow, Mass.


All-Noontime Women’s Lacrosse Third Team 

Margaret Smith

Bates College

Wilton, Conn. 

Victoria McDonough

Bridgewater State 

Marshfield, Mass. 

Elysia Hall

Clark University

Manhattan Beach, Calif.

Tristan Kijak

Eastern Connecticut 

Windsor, Conn. 

Alyssa Blumenthal

Mass. Maritime Academy

Braintree, Mass.

Abigail Kolyer

MIT

Manhasset, N.Y. 

Logan Champlin

Saint Joseph’s (Maine)

Alfred, Maine

Catherine Lawliss

Tufts University

Portland, Ore.

Bella Mancini

UMass Dartmouth

Bellingham, Mass.

Molly Camelo

Univ. of New England

Melrose, Mass. 

 

D3 Basketball: Women’s Top 10 Poll (Monday, Dec. 2nd, 2019)

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By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeNation

Amherst College remains our top team – they are followed by conference foes Bowdoin College and Tufts University – but this week, we welcomed Brandeis University to our weekly Noontime Sports Top 10 New England D-III Women’s Basketball Poll.

Brandeis has enjoyed a successful start to its 2019-20 season, winning four of five contests while their lone loss came against Tufts last month. The Judges rebounded from their four-point setback three days later with an 89-49 win over Salem State University.

This week, the Judges host Babson College on Tuesday, December 3rd before visiting Clark University on Thursday, December 5th. They will conclude the week with a visit to Johnson & Wales University on Saturday, December 7th.

UMass Dartmouth moved-up one spot – the Corsairs have won six of seven contests thus far and will face some challenges this week against Rhode Island College on Wednesday, December 4th followed by Castleton University on Saturday, December 7th.


New England D-III Basketball Women’s Top 10 Week Four Poll| Monday, December 2nd, 2019

1. Amherst College

3-0, 0-0 NESCAC

Last Week: No. 1

2. Tufts University

5-0, 0-0 NESCAC

Last Week: No. 2

3. Bowdoin College

6-0, 0-0 NESCAC

Last Week: No. 3

4. Western New England 6-1, 0-0 CCC Last Week: No. 4 
5. Middlebury College  5-0, 0-0 NESCAC Last Week: No. 5
6. Williams College  5-0, 0-0 NESCAC Last Week: No. 9 
7. Brandeis University 4-1, 0-0 UAA Last Week: Not Ranked
8. Eastern Connecticut  3-1, 0-0 LEC Last Week: No. 6
9. UMass Dartmouth 6-1, 1-0 LEC Last Week: No. 10
10. Smith College  6-0, 0-0 NEWMAC Last Week: No. 8

ON THE RISE: Babson College, Castleton University, Rhode Island College, Trinity College, UMass Boston, and Wesleyan University


Previous Polls: Preseason Poll |Week OneWeek TwoWeek Three