Tag: Centennial Conference

Noontime’s Teams To Watch in NCAA D-III Region 2

Michael Hnatkowsky and the Muhlenberg College football team will be a team to watch this fall in NCAA Division III Region 2. (PHOTO COURTESY: Muhlenberg College Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com

Our early preseason college football coverage continues by highlighting 10 teams we will be watching this fall in the NCAA Division III’s second region.

Yesterday — Tuesday, July 20, to be exact — we highlighted the first region, which included teams in our backyard here in New England, along with a few squads in Maryland, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Washington, DC.

Alright, without further ado, let’s share our list (below) with teams from Maryland, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.

Brockport: Since 2016, Jason Mangone and the Golden Eagles have tallied seven wins or more — they posted a 13-1 record in 2017 and advanced to the second round of the 2019 NCAA Division III postseason after edging Western New England, 33-28. Brockport did graduate some key pieces from its 2019 squad, including linebacker Alex West, but should certainly be a team to watch in the Empire 8 Athletic Conference.

Cortland: It’s hard to rule out the Red Dragons on a yearly basis, which have averaged 7.2 wins since 2015. They produced an eight-win season in 2019 but ended with a setback in the New York Bowl to Hobart. The two teams are not scheduled to compete in the regular season, but could perhaps see each other later this year in the postseason.

Franklin & Marshall: The Diplomats have produced seven wins or more since 2016, as well as finished atop the Centennial Conference (CC) in 2017 with a 10-1 overall record. They will look to continue their momentum two years after posting a 7-4 mark in 2019, which was capped by a bowl victory against Misericordia University.

Hobart: After posting a 5-4 record in 2018, the Statesmen bounced back with a nine-win season in 2019, which was capped with a New York Bowl victory. One should expect the Purple and Orange to continue their momentum from two years ago when they commence their 2021 campaign at Alfred University on Friday, September 3 at 7 p.m.

Ithaca College: The Bombers have produced a trio of eight-win seasons in 2017, 2018, and 2019, and will look to continue that momentum this fall when they commence their 2021 campaign against Bridgewater State on Saturday, September 4 at 1 p.m. 2019 was a special season for the Blue and White as they not only won the 60th Cortaca Jug Game against Cortland at MetLife Stadium, but saw Will Gladney become the program’s all-time leading receiver in receptions, yards, and touchdowns.

Johns Hopkins: The Blue Jays capped their 2019 campaign with a 51-28 Centennial-MAC Bowl game victory over Stevenson University — quarterback David Tammaro highlighted the win by completing 22 of 33 passes for 282 yards and three touchdowns. He also rushed for a career-high 101 yards on 11 carries and concluded his career as the program’s record holder in total offense (11,369 yards), touchdown passes (85), 200-yard passing games (34), and 300-yard passing games (13). He also recorded three 400-yard passing games, too — crazy, right? — but this season, fans of the Blue Jays will see someone different under center, but expect the program’s recent success to continue.

Muhlenberg College: Quarterback Michael Hnatkowsky will be spotted under center this fall — the Philadelphia Pennsylvania native, who was named the Centennial Conference (CC) offensive player in the year in 2019, will look to continue his previous success after an impressive third season with the Mules that saw him record career-bests in completions (270), touchdown passes (46), passing yards (3,640), and efficiency (175.81).

Salisbury University: The Sea Gulls competed twice this year, beating Christopher Newport and Wesley College in back-to-back contests in March to gain some momentum heading into their 2021 season-opener at Albright College on Friday, September 3 at 6 p.m. Quarterback Jack Lanham accounted for three touchdowns in both spring games, including a pair of rushing scores, and will once again be a player to watch this fall after being named the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) co-offensive player of the year with Ruhann Peele of Wesley.

Susquehanna University: The River Hawks concluded their 2019 campaign by capturing their third consecutive Centennial-MAC Bowl with a 88-24 win over Wilkes University. Susquehanna was one of two teams in the Centennial Conference to post 10 wins or more in 2019, and will once again be in the hunt for a league title as quarterback Michael Ruisch returns after finishing third in the conference in passing yards per game (215.9). Halfback Da’Avian Ellington is also back this season — the New Jersey native led all CC rushers with 112.3 yards per game in 2019.

Union College: 2019 was a very successful season for Jeff Behrman‘s Dutchmen — the sixth-year head coach guided the Maroon and White to an 11-1 season, which included a 33-0 shutout against RPI in their regular-season finale. Despite not playing last season, Union will once again be a team to watch this fall in the Liberty League (LL) as quarterback William Bellamy returns for his final season — he will be joined by a slew of other key pieces from the 2019 squad, including halfbacks Ike Irabor, who played locally at Xaverian Brothers High School, and Joseph Ferreira, a Rocky Hill, Connecticut native that rushed for a career-high nine touchdowns in 2019.

Noontime’s Teams To Watch In NCAA D-III Region 1

MIT will be one of a few teams to watch in the NEWMAC this fall. (PHOTO COURTESY: Matt Noonan/NoontimeSports.com)

By NoontimeSports.com

A brand new season of NCAA Division III football is quickly approaching. And we’re excited about the upcoming season. Are you?

As a part of our early preseason coverage, we will be producing a list of 10 to 12 teams we will be watching this fall in regions one and two — yes, the NCAA has divided 239 teams into six regions for the upcoming season compared to previous years, which saw programs listed in the North, South, East, and West. These changes were highlighted on D3Football.com earlier this month.

So, without further ado, let’s begin our early preseason watch with our teams to watch in Region 1 this fall!

Delaware Valley: As noted last week on our podcast — well, we need to give some credit to James Baker of In The D3FB Huddle — the Aggies will most likely be the top team this fall in this particular region. DelVal did not play last fall or earlier this spring, but posted an 11-2 record in 2019, which included eight conference wins in Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC). The Aggies will begin their 2021 campaign at Kean University on Friday, September 3 at 6:30 p.m.

Endicott College: The Gulls improved from 2018 to 2019. And despite not appearing on the gridiron last fall, it is expected the trend will continue this season when coach Paul McGonagle leads the Blue and Green onto the field on Saturday, September 4 against St. Lawrence University.

Framingham State University: Aynsley Rosenbaum will make his head coaching debut on Labor Day Weekend — Saturday, September 4 at 12 p.m., to be exact — when the Rams welcome Brockport to Bowditch Field. Rosenbaum spent 12 seasons with the Black and Gold as the offensive coordinator, and has helped the Rams win nine conference championships.

Merchant Marine: The Mariners competed one last fall — they defeated their rival Coast Guard Academy in the Secretaries Cup. Quarterback Ian Blankenship highlighted his team’s lone win of the 2020 season and will certainly be a player to watch this fall.

Middlebury College: In 2019, the Panthers were perfect, winning all nine New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) matchups to become just the fourth team in league history to record an undefeated season.

Misericordia University: First-year coach John Davis and the Cougars will be a team you certainly will want to keep your eyes on this fall — Davis arrives in Dallas, Pennsylvania after three successful seasons with The Apprentice School in Newport News, Virginia. Under Davis, the Builders posted back-to-back winning seasons in 2018 and 2019. In 2018, Davis and the Builders beat Oakland University in the NCFA National Championship.

MIT: The Engineers have averaged 7.66 wins in their last three seasons — they have also represented the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) in back-to-back NCAA Tournaments. MIT’s previous success should continue this fall, but like previous years, they will face some challenges against two local conference foes: Springfield College and WPI.

Stevenson University: Similar to the Aggies, the Mustangs will also be a team to watch in this particular region — they open their season against Johns Hopkins, which finished its 2019 campaign with an 8-3 record, including a 6-3 mark in the Centennial Conference (CC). Their matchup with the Blue Jays will be followed by two VERY iroad trips at RPI and Delaware Valley.

Trinity College: Look for the Bantams to bounce back this fall after posting a 5-4 record in 2019. Prior to their five-win season, the Bantams produced three eight-win seasons, including a perfect 8-0 mark in 2016.

UMass Dartmouth: Quarterback Stephen Gacioch is back to quarterback the Corsairs for one more season — in 2019, he led the Blue and Gold to a 7-3 season. UMass Dartmouth last recorded seven wins in 2004 when they were a member of the New England Football Conference (NEFC).

Western New England: The Golden Bears have won eight games or more since 2014, and will once again be one of a few teams to watch in New England this fall. And like most teams, they did graduate some talent on both sides of the ball, including quarterback Alec Coleman, but expect Jason Lebeau‘s squad to be ready come week one when they host Springfield College on Saturday, September 4 at 1 p.m.

Wilkes University: Coach Jonathan Drach and the Colonels enjoyed a successful 2019 season, which saw the team post eight wins for the first time since finishing 8-3 in 2005. Despite losing to Susquehanna University in the Centennial/MAC Bowl, the Colonels should be able to continue to their momentum this fall when they kickoff their season at Schmidt Stadium against Keystone College on Saturday, September 4 at 1 p.m.

D3 Lacrosse Notebook: Centenary Looks To Build Off Its First Varsity Win

The Centenary College of Louisiana men’s lacrosse team celebrated their first varsity win on Sunday against the University of Dallas. (PHOTO COURTESY: Centenary Athletics)

By Matt Noonan

CJ Seling was beaming just two days after the Centenary College of Louisiana men’s lacrosse team scored its first varsity win over the University of Dallas. And he had a good reason to smile.

The Gents’ three-goal (7-4) victory over the Crusaders was the culmination of both commitment and hard work by a group of student-athletes that Seling welcomed to a school, which recently relaunched the men’s lacrosse program as a club team in 2019 before competing at the varsity level one year later. And despite playing just six contests last spring before the current Covid-19 pandemic sidelined the squad, Seling began to notice his unit improve from week-to-week – he considered this some serious growth for a young squad that is currently made up of two seniors, eight sophomores, and eight freshmen.

That growth, which Seling highlighted in a phone interview on Tuesday, was on display Sunday against a Dallas squad that was limited to four goals on 13 shots. The Centenary offense produced a season-best 56 shots while Mark Temple and Jacob Miller combined for four goals and three assists.

Said Seling, “To keep a team to four goals was huge for us … (it shows) the growth (from the past two seasons), but also the potential we have for moving this program forward.”

Indeed, Seling’s squad has potential for more success – perhaps Sunday’s win could be viewed as a turning point for the state’s only NCAA Division III program that recently returned to the practice field with smiles from ear to ear. Seling and his team know there is still a lot of work to be done, but winning that first game in program history is exciting.

“No win is ever easy as you still have to go out and execute,” Seling explained, “but our guys did that and we’re proud of them.”

The Gents will attempt to continue their recent momentum tomorrow, March 12 when they visit Huntingdon College with face-off scheduled for 8 p.m. eastern, 7 p.m. central time.


News and Notes from the NCAA D-III Lacrosse World

  • The New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) announced plans to return to the field this spring, which means it is possible that we could see some lacrosse games played, beginning next month. However, for lacrosse games to occur, at least six schools must commit to a shortened season that would run from mid-April to mid-May.

  • It’s been roughly a year since the Alfred University men’s and women’s lacrosse teams competed, but the plan as of this afternoon is for both teams to return to the field this week.

    Both teams are scheduled to entertain Elmira College over the next two days – the men’s team will face-off against the Soaring Eagles at 4 p.m. this afternoon while the women’s team will play on Saturday, March 13 at 3 p.m.

    Following the conclusion of the 2021 season, both Elmira teams will be transition from varsity to club status for the 2021-22 school year.

  • The USA South men’s lacrosse preseason coaches polls were announced earlier today – Pfeiffer University is expected to win the East Division while Piedmont College is the favorite in the West Division. Greensboro College and LaGrange College each secured one first-place vote.

    Staying in the USA South, Meredith College, which won the conference tournament crown in 2019, was picked to win the women’s East Division while Averett University, which placed second in the preseason coaches poll, secured one first-place vote. Both Pfeiffer and Piedmont secured a two-way tie with two-first-place votes in the West Division.

  • The Capital University women’s lacrosse team recently scored their fourth-straight win on Wednesday with a 21-2 victory against Heidelberg University. Brianna Rampi highlighted the win with six goals while Brooke Delara recorded a season-best eight points on seven assist and one goal.

    Capital will attempt to capture its fifth-straight contest on Saturday when they visit John Carroll University for their fourth Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) meeting of the season.

  • The Centennial Conference (CC) announced its spring schedule today with men’s and women’s lacrosse games set to begin next Saturday, March 20.

  • Finally, a quartet of Eastern Connecticut University men’s lacrosse players earned weekly honors from the Little East Conference (LEC) on Monday, March 8, including Shane Haggerty, who was tabbed the Rookie of the Week after tallying nine points on six goals and three assists in a pair of early-season contests.

The NESCAC Cancels Fall Sports

NESCAC_secondary_RGB
PHOTO COURTESY: NESCAC.com

By NoontimeSports.com

The New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) will not be playing fall sports this year, according to this afternoon’s announcement.

Today’s announcement follows previous decisions made by other conferences and schools, including Bowdoin College which was the first member of the NESCAC to cancel its fall sports season, while also delaying the start of its winter sports season until next January.

Amherst College and Williams College also announced recently that none of their respective fall sports programs would be competing this year, including the both football teams that have been competing in the ‘Biggest Little Game’ since 1884.

Bates College will also not be playing fall sports either as the athletic department made the decision just a short time ago.

The NESCAC cited “the health and well-being of students, faculty, staff, and the broader community the foremost concern” with making the decision to cancel the fall sports season for its 11 members, along with its seven championships they sponsor.

Middlebury College, which captured last year’s NESCAC Field Hockey championship, defeated Franklin & Marshall in the national title game while Tufts University captured the NCAA D-III men’s championship with a 2-0 win over Amherst College.

Middlebury and Tufts have yet to cancel or suspend their respective fall sports programs as of this afternoon.

According to D3Playbook.com, the NESCAC is not the first D-III conference to either cancel or suspend fall sports. The Centennial Conference (CC) announced earlir this week that none of their schools would play fall sports, including football, while a few conferences hope to play only league games this fall.

The Ivy League Cancels Fall Sports

HarvardStadiumWEB
There will be no football games this fall at Harvard Stadium. (PHOTO COURTESY: Matt Noonan/NoontimeSports.com)

By Matt Noonan 

The Ivy League has made it official: there will be no fall sports this year due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The Ancient Eight made a formal announcement late this afternoon following a slew of reports from multiple reporters and outlets about the league’s plans for the upcoming fall sports season.

A decision about winter and spring sports will be made at a later date, according to today’s press release.

While no games will be played this fall, the Ivy League will permit “practice and other athletic training opportunities” for those student-athletes who are on campus. The league will also provide its members with guidelines to help its coaches and student-athletes with conditioning and practice plans.

According to Heather Dinich of ESPN.com, the Ivy League’s decision to cancel its fall sports season was due to the various “COVID-19 policies” each school had put in place two weeks earlier for their upcoming school year.

How will today’s announcement impact the rest of the college sports landscape? The answer: we should know more in the coming days and weeks.

As of now, it appears some college football, as well as fall sports, will occur later this year, but it’s likely we will see more schools and conferences follow the Ivy League like they did earlier this year after the conference canceled its basketball tournaments at Harvard University in March. The Ivy League also canceled its spring sports season.

In addition to the Ivy League, the Centennial Conference (CC) announced yesterday they would “suspend any intercollegiate competition for sports scheduled for the fall semester,” which included football. However, the conference could provide its football teams with some games in the spring.