Tag: Castleton

The Early Outlook: Eastern Collegiate Football Conference

Anna Maria Football
Dan Mulrooney and the Anna Maria College football team will be one of a few teams to watch this fall. (PHOTO COURTESY: Brian Foley/Anna Maria College Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com

A brand new season of college football is quickly approaching — are you ready for some football?

As we inch closer to the upcoming season, we’ll be producing some early-season outlooks for a slew of Northeast conferences. And today, we’ll begin our early-season outlook with some thoughts (and ideas) on what fans of the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) should expect this fall.

ECFC Teams:

  • Alfred State
  • Anna Maria
  • Castleton
  • Dean
  • Gallaudet
  • Keystone
  • SUNY-Maritime

2019 Conference Refresh: With a 4-1 conference mark, the Dean Bulldogs secured their initial league crown, despite ending the regular season with a 38-20 setback to Castleton on Saturday, November 9, 2019. Weeks later, the Bulldogs competed in their final contest of season — they were one of four New England teams selected to compete in the New England Bowl against Endicott College.

SUNY-Maritime represented the conference in the NCAA Division III Tournament but saw their championship hopes dashed in the opening round of the national postseason to Salisbury University.

Anna Maria enjoyed one of its best seasons under coach Dan Mulrooney by posting two wins after averaging one win during the 2017 and 2018 seasons, while Alfred State produced a three-win season, which is the most recorded by any team in the Pioneers’ program history.

Despite producing just two wins, Gallaudet recorded back-to-back wins in mid-October against Castleton and Alfred State — they scored a season-high 62 points against Alfred State.

Finally, Castleton ended its 2019 campaign on a high note by scoring back-to-back wins against Anna Maria and Dean. The Spartans recorded just two wins during the 2019 season but certainly made things difficult for both conference and non-conference foes.

ECFC Soundbite (Dan Mulrooney of Anna Maria College on the Noontime Sports Podcast):

A 2021 Storyline to Follow: Keystone College reintroduced its football program in January 2018 — the Giants played a limited schedule during the 2019-20 school year but will play their first game as a member of the ECFC on Saturday, September 4 when they visit Wilkes University for a 1 p.m. kickoff.

The Giants produced three wins during their first season in 2019 — they scored their initial win on September 23, 2019, against Morrisville State College, which was the program’s first victory since last competing in 1948.

Keystone will enter the upcoming season with 52 first-year players on their roster — sure, there are some unknowns about the Blue and Orange, but they will certainly be a team we’ll be watching this fall, especially when they begin conference play at home on Saturday, October 2 against Anna Maria.

Our Early-Season Favorite(s): It’s a toss-up — we could see Anna Maria or Castleton secure the conference crown, but also believe Dean and SUNY-Maritime will be able to contend for the league title. As Mulrooney told us during a recent podcast sit down, the AMCATs return some impressive talent on both sides of the ball that should help them return to the title game for the first time since November 9, 2013.

LEC Set To Tip-Off Its 2020-21 Basketball Season This Weekend

The LEC is set to tip-off its 2020-21 college basketball season this week. (PHOTO COURTESY: bobert1980 on Visual Hunt / CC BY-NC)

By NoontimeSports.com

The Little East Conference (LEC) basketball season is set to begin this weekend. And this is certainly good news for New England small college basketball fans.

As of this evening, three men’s basketball games are scheduled to tip-off this Saturday, January 23, along with one women’s contests between Keene State and Rhode Island College. More games will occur both later this month and next month, along with a four-team playoff in early March. And pending a national postseason does occur, the winner of their respective conference tournament would represent the league in the NCAA D-III playoffs.

Both Keene State squads have competed previously this school year in their Red vs. White contest while the men’s team squared-off last November against New Hampshire. The Rhode Island men’s basketball team competed last December against Bryant.

While the opening weekend will feature just six of the league’s nine members, Southern Maine is expected to play some games next month, according to a recent post from Al Bean, who is the school’s athletic director.

UMass Boston and Western Connecticut are the only two LEC members that won’t be competing this winter.

The Western Connecticut men’s basketball team captured the LEC crown last winter to secure a date with Tufts University in the opening round of the 2020 NCAA D-III Tournament.

The Eastern Connecticut women’s basketball team, which won its second-straight LEC title last February, announced earlier this month that they would not play an abbreviated season due to “health risks surrounding COVID-19.”

Here is this weekend’s LEC men’s and women’s basketball schedule:

  • Keene State at Rhode Island College (WBB) | 12 p.m.
  • Eastern Connecticut at Plymouth State (MBB) | 1 p.m.
  • Castleton at UMass Dartmouth (MBB) | 2 p.m.
  • Keene State at Rhode Island College (MBB) | 3 p.m.

D3 Football: 10 Games To Watch In Week One (Aug. 30-Sept. 1st)

10 Games To Watch Week One 2018

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

Football has finally returned to New England – welcome back, we missed you!

And with the return of a brand new football season, it can only mean one thing: 10 Games to Watch has officially returned to Noontime Sports (get excited!).

So – similar to last year – we will highlight 10 New England D3 contests to watch (and follow/attend) this weekend, as well as our predictions for each contest, too. And as always, you can let us know what you think of our predictions by sending us a tweet to @NoontimeSports or @Noontime_FB (our brand new football Twitter handle!).

Let’s kick-off a BRAND new season with our first installment of 10 Games to Watch in week one!


Univ. of New England at Coast Guard Academy (Thursday, Aug. 30th | 7 p.m.):¬†The Bears open its 2018 campaign against a new opponent (UNE), which will certainly be a team to watch this fall as a first-year varsity program. But tonight, we’ll take the Bears over the Nor’Easters, which will be led by junior quarterback¬†Ryan Jones.¬†PREDICTION: Coast Guard 28, UNE 10¬†

WPI at Anna Maria (Friday, Aug. 31st | 7 p.m.): WPI is one of our teams to watch this fall Рas we mentioned earlier this week, they are very determined to challenge Springfield College for the top spot in the NEWMAC Рso look for the Engineers to begin their season with a week one win against a non-conference/Worcester area foe. PREDICTION: WPI 35, Anna Maria 14 

Western New England at Springfield College (Friday, Aug. 31st | 7 p.m.):¬†Junior¬†Hunter Belzo¬†and the Pride’s offense will look to continue its momentum from last season, which began with an opening day win over their neighbors in the¬†Battle for the Pynchon Saw.¬†PREDICTION: Springfield 28, WNE 21¬†

Dean College at Curry College (Friday, Aug. 31st | 7 p.m.):¬†This will be a good test for the Colonels, who were picked to finish third in the CCC (tied with¬†Endicott College). Sure, they graduated some key pieces from last year’s squad, which advanced to the New England Bowl, but an opening day win against the Bulldogs could provide the Purple and White with some much-needed early season momentum.¬†PREDICTION: Curry 27, Dean 14¬†

Becker College at MIT (Friday, Aug. 31st | 7 p.m.): Coach Brian Bubna and the Engineers will look to begin a new chapter Рand yes, a new season, as well! Рwith a win against a Becker squad they topped last season on the road. PREDICTION: MIT 21, Becker 7 

Endicott College at Framingham State (Saturday, Sept. 1st | 12 p.m.):¬†For the past few seasons, the Rams of Framingham State have had their way with the Gulls of Endicott. However, this game has the making for a potential upset, so don’t be surprised if the Blue and Green fly home to Beverly with an opening day win.¬†PREDICTION: Endicott 24, Framingham State 20¬†

Buffalo State at Bridgewater State (Saturday, Sept. 1st | 12 p.m.): Buffalo State should certainly provide some challenges for the Bears of Bridgewater State, which almost defeated the Bengals last season in New York. This game has the makings for an exciting first week contest, which could come down to the final drive. PREDICTION: Buffalo State 26, Bridgewater State 17 

Salve Regina at Worcester State (Saturday, Sept. 1st | 12 p.m.): If the¬†Lancers hope to contend for the MASCAC crown this fall they¬†must find a way to get past some of the region’s top teams, including Salve Regina. The Seahawks were picked to finish second the CCC Preseason Coaches’ Poll on Wednesday, and will certainly provide Worcester State with some challenges on both sides of the ball.¬†PREDICTION: Salve Regina 29, Worcester State 24¬†

Husson Univ. at Union College (Saturday, Sept. 1st | 1 p.m.):¬†An opening day win against a talented Union squad would be a tremendous ways to start the post-John Smith¬†era at Husson. The Eagles return some key pieces from last year’s squad, which should certainly help them contend against some of the best teams in both New England and New York this fall.¬†PREDICTION: Husson 17, Union 13¬†

Plymouth State at Castleton Univ. (Saturday, Sept. 1st | 1 p.m.):¬†The Panthers maybe the favorite in this contest, but don’t overlook the Spartans’ offense, which will be led by¬†senior wide-out¬†Ryan Barry¬†and classmate/halfback¬†Moe Harris.¬†PREDICTION: Castleton 21, Plymouth State 20¬†

Football Friday Notebook: Pats Trump The Eagles, News From D3 Football

NS Football Notebook Logo

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

It’s Friday … Let’s Go!

We kickstart a brand new weekend with another edition of the Football Friday Notebook with loads of links from around the web about the New England Patriots to local high school football starting today/this weekend.

Have a great weekend, everyone, and make sure to circle back for more local football content over the next few days because football is officially back!


Noontime Rewind: What we posted this week! 

*¬†¬†We caught-up earlier this week with¬†WPI¬†place kicker and punter¬†Spencer Herrington¬†to chat about kicking, last season’s success and his all-time favorite kicker, who happens to be¬†Robbie Gould.¬†

* We recently posted a brand new Football Friday Podcast with¬†Dan Mulrooney¬†of¬†Anna Maria College. Coach Mulrooney is eager to ‘Ring the Bell’ with a young group that is excited to get after it this season!¬†


New England Patriots & Pro Football Links 

* From the New York Post: Tom Brady looks ready to go for the upcoming season. And we think so, too! 

* It took only six months, but Tom Brady and Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles finally shook hands. 

* From Pro Football Talk: Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers seemed content with his lone preseason series drive.  

* Interesting story, but it seems like Madonna will open a a football academy in Malawi. 


New England College and High School Links

* From the Lynn Item: Paul McGonagle is ready to lead Endicott College football this fall. 

* From the Salem News: Erik Bell becomes the newest members of the Endicott football program as the team forms a partnership with Team IMPACT. 

* From¬†the¬†Worcester T&G:¬†Nick Ostrowski has translated his hard work to the gridiron with the WPI Engineers’ football team.¬†

* Earlier this week, veteran sports reporter Tom Haley shared some notes on the Castleton University football program. 

*¬†Husson University¬†will have some coaches on its staff this fall that have some familiarity with the Eagles’ football program.¬†

* Finally, in honor of the start of high school football here in Massachusetts, check out the¬†Boston Heralds‘ 13th Annual Preseason All-Star Team!¬†


Want more Noontime Sports football coverage? If so, then toss us a follow on Twitter at @Noontime_FB! 

D3 Football: Castleton Unveils 2018 Schedule

NS Schedule Breakdown

By NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports) 

As we inch closer to a brand new D3 Football season, more teams are beginning to unveil their 2018 schedules, including the Castleton Spartans, which kick-off its season on Saturday, September 1st when they host Plymouth State at 1 p.m.

Plymouth State has won the past two meetings against the Spartans, but a win over the Panthers in three months would be Castleton’s first since 2015.

One week after their annual meeting with the Panthers, Castleton will hit the road for a trio of games, including a visit to Norwich on Saturday, September 15th at 2 p.m. Castleton-Norwich is always a game to watch as both teams compete for the Maple Sap Bucket Trophy. Castleton beat Norwich, 28-14, last season, thanks to a pair of rushing scores by Moe Harris.

Castleton will cap its first month of play with a visit to Misericordia before jumping into Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) play on Saturday, October 6th when they host Anna Maria at 6 p.m. The Spartans will travel just once in October to Gallaudet, but host Maritime (N.Y.) and Husson on October 20th and 27th, respectively. 

The Spartans will cap their regular season with a pair of November games against Alfred State and Dean with hopes of competing in either the New England Bowl or NCAA Tournament on Saturday, November 17th.

Castleton finished 6-4 overall last season, including 5-2 in league play. Coach Tony Volpone returns some key pieces from last year this fall, including Harris, quarterback Mitchell Caron, wide receiver Adnane Adossama, linebacker Grant Cummings and defensive back Owen Tretter.  

Become a fan of Noontime Sports Football TODAY by following us on Twitter: @Noontime_FB