Noontime Sports Team of the Week (Monday, Oct. 9th)

Noontime Team Week

By NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports) 

Happy Monday! With another weekend of college football in the books, it is time to unveil this week’s Noontime Sports Offensive, Defensive and Special Team units of the week, as well as our offensive, defensive and special teams players of the week, too.


Offensive Player of the Week: Alex Corvese (Curry): Corvese concluded last Saturday’s  contest against UMass Dartmouth with four touchdowns, including the game-winning score on a one-yard scamper that helped the Colonels erase a three-point (27-24) deficit. Corvese completed 29 of 44 for 377 yards and two scores, while rushing for 18 yards on 13 carries and two scores.

Defensive Player of the Week: Jaquan Harris (Framingham State): Harris recorded five interceptions last Friday in his team’s 32-16 win over Fitchburg State. The five picks tied a NCAA Division III record. Additionally, Harris established a new single-game program record with five interceptions, while tying the single-season mark for picks in a season with eight (currently).

Special Teams Player of the Week: Mark Wright (MIT): Wright connected on all nine kicks, including a trio of field goals with his longest boot coming from 35-yards out. He concluded last Saturday’s contest against Maine Maritime with 15 points. 


Offensive Team of the Week:

Darius Adams (Coast Guard Academy): Facing a talented Springfield defense, Adams recorded a game-high four receptions for 74 yards and one score. 

Abbi Bamgbose (UMass Dartmouth): Bamgbose concluded last Saturday’s contest against Curry College with 158 receiving yards and two touchdowns. 

Mitch Banuskevich (Plymouth State): Banuskevich tallied 162 yards on 31 carries, while recording six receptions for 40 yards and one score as the Panthers defeated Bridgewater State, 17-7. 

Timel Benton (Gallaudet): Sophomore quarterback Timel Benton ran for 128 yards on four carries and scored two touchdowns in the opening half for Gallaudet in its 73-23 rout of Anna Maria for its first win of the season. Benton completed 3 of 6 passes for 140 yards before he was lifted in the second half. He completed a 94-yard pass to Joell Dixon, which would of been a touchdown if not for an unsportsmanlike penalty on Dixon for showboating at the end of the play before he got into the end zone.

Jake Bonheyo (Gallaudet): Bonheyo, Gallaudet’s back-up quarterback came in for one quarter and ran the ball four times for a team best 131 yards and three touchdowns. On his first play under center, Bonheyo ran 45 yards for a touchdown. On the next two Gallaudet possessions, Bonheyo scored from 36 and 47 yards out as the Bison led 67-17 midway through the third quarter.

Noah Brum (Worcester State): Brum completed 22 of 36 passes for 217 yards and three touchdown, while rushing for 12 yards on three carries.

Cory Brandon (Husson): Brandon completed 15 of 24 passes for 234 yards, while tossing three touchdowns as the Eagles defeated the Privateers in a marquee Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) clash. 

Mitchell Caron (Castleton): Caron completed 12 of 16 passes for 227 yards and two touchdowns, while rushing for 15 yards on eight carries and one score against Mount Ida. 

Brandonn Drumgole (SUNY Maritime): Drumgole led all receivers last Saturday with six receptions for 101 yards and one touchdown in his team’s setback to Husson. 

Jake Eglintine (Springfield): Against Coast Guard Academy, Eglintine rushed for 106 yards on 18 carries and one score, while completing two of five passes for 30 yards. 

Quinn Fleeting (Western Conn.): Fleeting accounted for three touchdowns, including two through the air in his team’s bounce-back win over Worcester State. Fleeting completed 13 of 17 passes for 218 yards and two scores, while rushing for 15 yards on four carries and one touchdown.

De’Andre Goldson-Fisher (Mount Ida): Against Castleton, Goldson-Fisher rushed for 163 yards on 23 carries and two scores, while hauling in one reception for 15 yards. 

Udgam Goyal (MIT): Against Maine Maritime Academy, Goyal completed 17 of 20 passes for 135 yards, while tossing two touchdowns. He also rushed for 76 yards on nine carries and two scores. 

Moe Harris (Castleton): Against Mount Ida, Harrs recorded 126 yards on 25 carries and two touchdowns, while hauling in one catch for 10 yards.

Stephen Johnson (Buffalo State): Against SUNY Cortland, Johnson led all receivers with five receptions for 138 yards and one touchdown. 

Jared Lebowitz (Middlebury): Lebowitz completed 22 of 39 passes for 205 yards and three touchdowns as the Panthers captured its fourth consecutive contest of the season.

Brice Moore (Merchant Marine): Moore turned in an impressive performance against Norwich, rushing for 229 yards on 32 carries and one score, while completing three of seven passes for 80 yards and one touchdown.

Jacob Maher (Worcester State): Maher led all receivers with 93 yards on six catches, while hauling in a trio of touchdown passes.   

Bobby Maimaron (Williams): The first-year signal-caller completed 17 of 24 passes for 282 yards and three touchdowns, while rushing for 52 yards on 10 carries and one score as the Ephs defeated Bowdoin in Williamstown. 

Ryan McDonald (Tufts): Against Bowdoin, McDonald completed 18 of 25 passes for 215 yards, while tossing one touchdown. He also rushed for 72 yards on 13 carries and one score.

Canton Meadows (Gallaudet): 
Sophomore super back Canton Meadows had a strong first half as he ran nine times for 84 yards and three touchdowns. Meadows scored the game’s first, second and seventh touchdown in the first 22 minutes of play. Meadows third and final score came on a 25-yard run up the middle as the Bison lead grew to 31, 41-10.

James O’Regan (Amherst): O’Regan led all receivers last Saturday with 151 yards on seven receptions and one touchdown. His longest reception was an 81-yard touchdown, which occurred midway through the fourth quarter.  

Jace Pena (UMass Dartmouth): Pena completed 12 of 27 passes for 214 yards and three touchdowns, including a 61-yard touchdown strike to Abbi Bamgbose.

Michael Pina (Mount Ida): Pina completed 18 of 32 passes for 210 yards and three touchdowns in his team’s setback to Castleton.

Blake Rice (WPI): Against Catholic, Rice completed 18 of 28 passes for 210 yards and three touchdowns. He also rushed for 40 yards on 12 carries.

Koby Schofer (Trinity): Schofer concluded his team’s contest with a game-high 10 receptions and 202 receiving yards, while registering a pair of touchdown receptions.

John Smith (Husson):
Smith rushed for 217 yards on 30 carries and one score, while recording a pair of receptions for 41 yards in his team’s big win over SUNY Maritime. 

Frank Stola (Williams): Stola led all receivers with seven receptions for 172 yards and two scores. His longest reception was a 77-yard touchdown, which occurred early in the fourth quarter.

Nick Villanueva (Curry): Villanueva led all receivers last Saturday with 152 yards on 11 receptions – he averaged 13.8 yards per reception.

Jordan Wilcox (Springfield): Wilcox rushed for 187 yards on 21 carries and one score in his team’s sixth-straight win of the season. 

Quron Wright (Framingham State):Against Fitchburg State, Wright rushed for 145 yards on 24 carries and two scores, while hauling in 34 yards on reception.


Defensive Team of the Week:

Louie Akuffo (Gallaudet): Akuffo was all over the field for the Bison on defense last Saturday as he made play after play against Anna Maria College. The junior linebacker led the team with nine tackles, made one interception and returned it 14 yards, forced one fumble and had one pass break-up. Akuffo’s interception took place at the start of the second half and set up GU’s first touchdown in the third quarter. He was also part of a huge defensive stand for the Bison in the first half. The highlight for the Bison defense was denying the AMCATS the end zone after they got 1st and goal from the Gallaudet 1 late in the first quarter. Four straight rushes, up the middle, were stuffed by the Bison defense led by a trio of linebackers Tristan Boren, Louie Akuffo and Tony Libit. The Bison scored four plays later to completely sway the momentum in GU’s favor up 27-10.

David Bednarz (Fitchburg State): Facing a talented Framingham State offense, Bednarz came-up with 10 total stops, including four solo tackles and one-and-a-half tackles for a loss of two yards.

Luca Cerasani (WPI): Cerasani was a big part of the Engineers’ win over the Cardinals by tallying seven total tackles, including three sacks for a loss of 20 yards, two forced fumbles and five solo stops.  

Almamy Conde (Hobart): Conde stuffed the stat sheet with four total stops, three solo tackles, including a sack for an eight yard loss, along with a fumble recovery (two yards) and interception (six yards).

Prince Gbaley (Plymouth State): Against Bridgewater State, Gbaley turned in a solid outing with seven solo tackles (and total tackles). He also recorded a quartet of pass  break-ups and a pair of interceptions (18 yards).

Jack Gray (Gallaudet): 
Freshman strong safety Jack Gray (Atherton, Calif.) picked off Jayson Wallace’s throw at the Gallaudet 5 and returned it 95 yards for the touchdown as Gallaudet led 73-17 at the 3:53 mark in the third quarter. Gray’s 95-yard interception return for a touchdown is tied for the second longest in program history with Neal DiMarco (9/9/2011 vs. Catholic). GU went on to set numerous records in the 73-23 victory over Anna Maria College. Gray now has three interceptions and two forced fumbles for five turnovers this season for the buff and blue.

Joseph Grogan (Curry): Grogan turned in an impressive performance against the Corsairs, recording six solo stops – all six tackles added up for a loss of 26 yards. Two of his six tackles were a pair of sacks for an eight yard loss. He also registered one forced fumble in a 30-27 win over UMass Dartmouth.

Eric Nunez (Worcester State): Nunez concluded last Saturday’s game against Western Connecticut with seven solo stops, including a pair of tackles for a loss of six yards. Additionally, one of his seven stops was a sack for a loss of two yards.

Matt O’Donnell (Coast Guard Academy): Against Springfield, O’Donnell led the Bears defense with 12 total stops, including 10 solo tackles.

Jake O’Donoghue (Catholic): Against WPI, O’Donoghue tallied seven total stops, including three solo tackles, two sacks for a loss of 20 yards, two-and-a-half tackles for a loss of 21 yards and two forced fumbles. 

Kendal Parker (SUNY Maritime): Against Husson, Parker turned in a monstrous performance on defense, tallying 18 total tackles, including 14 solo stops and a pair of tackles for a loss of eight yards.  

Austin Roberts (Norwich): Against Merchant Marine, Roberts accounted for 22 total stops, including nine solo tackles and 13 assists. 

Jake Tavares (UMass Dartmouth): Against Curry, Tavares tallied 10 total stops, including eight solo tackles, three-and-a-half tackles for a loss of eight yards, one sack and one pass break-up.

Zach Thomas (Tufts): Thomas highlighted Homecoming Weekend at Tufts with four total stops, including one tackle for a loss of nine yards, one fumble recover, one quarterback hurry and three solo tackles.

Jakob Trautwein (Castleton): Trautwein tallied a game-high 16 total tackles, including 10 solo stops, one pass break-up, one forced fumble and one-and-a-half tackles for a loss.

Luke Washburn (Husson):
Washburn registred 11 total stops against SUNY Maritime, including 10 solo tackles, two tackles for a loss of 19 yards, one sack (13 yards) and a quartet of quarterback hurries. He also recorded one pass break-up, too.

Trent Waters (Dean):
Against Alfred State, Waters recorded a game-high 13 total tackles, including a team-high nine solo stops, along with two sacks for a loss of 21 yards and one forced fumble.

Rich Williams (Springfield): Williams tallied nine total stops against Coast Guard Academy last Saturday, including seven solo tackles, along with a tackle-and-a-half for a loss of 12 yards, one sack for a loss of 10 yards and an interception (53 yards).


Special Teams of the Week:

Chip Crowley (Coast Guard Academy): Against Springfield College, Chip Crowley recorded eight punts for 304 yards. Three of his boots landed inside the Pride’s 20. 

Christian Humulock (Springfield): Against Coast Guard Academy, Humulock was a perfect five for five on extra points, as well as one for one on field goals. 

Jake McDonough (Merchant Marine): McDonough was a perfect seven for seven on extra points in his team’s big win over Norwich. 

James Tooker (UMass Dartmouth): Tooker connected on all five of his kicks, including a pair of field goals for a total of nine points. His longest boot was a 39-yard field goal, which came midway through the third quarter.

New England & Northeast D3 Football Honor Roll (Tuesday, Sept. 19th)

HONOR ROLL NOONTIME

By NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports) 

With another week of New England (and Northeast) D3 Football in the books, it is time to dish out our weekly honor roll.

PROGRAM NOTE: We will return to posting our weekly honor roll every Monday, beginning next week, but this week we’re posting it on a Tuesday, so enjoy! 

As always, feel free to submit student-athletes for our weekly honor roll by sending us a tweet (@NoontimeSports) or email (NoontimeSports@gmail.com). 

OFFENSE 

Dexter Andrews (Worcester State): Andrews rushed for 134 yards on 21 carries, while hauling in one catch for 21 yards in his team’s 42-26 win over Fitchburg State.

Abbi Bamgbose (UMass Dartmouth): Against Westfield State, Bamgbose led all receivers with eight catches for 198 yards and two scores.

Hunter Belzo (Springfield): Belzo rushed for 106 yards on 10 carries and two scores as the Pride defeated Mount Ida last Saturday.

Timel Benton (Gallaudet): Benton completed 12 of 23 passes for 224 yards and two touchdowns, while rushing for 28 yards on eight carries. His longest pass of the day was a 72-yard touchdown pass to Joell Dixon.

Jevon Brown-Simpson (Fitchburg State): In his team’s initial MASCAC clash of the season, Brown-Simpson tallied 105 yards on 19 carries and one score, while recording one catch for 36 yards against Worcester State.

Mike Breuler (Wesleyan): Breuler was quite impressive in his team’s season-opener, hauling in a game-high 15 receptions for 178 yards and three scores. His longest reception was a 52-yard touchdown.

Austin Calamita (Western Conn. State): Against Plymouth State, Calamita hauled in a game-high six receptions for 132 yards and one score.

Max Chipouras (Trinity): In his team’s season-opener against Colby, Chipouras rushed for 131 yards on 15 carries for two scores. His longest run of the day was an 82 yard burst.

Alex Corvese (Curry): Corvese amassed 274 yards through the air and on the ground, while recording a pair of scores with his feet and arm, which helped Curry defeat Anna Maria to improve to 3-0. Corvese completed nine of 14 passes for 183 yards, while rushing for 91 yards on six carries.

Corey Creeger (Maine Maritime Academy): Creeger amassed 369 yards through the air and on the ground in his team’s setback to Massachusetts Maritime Academy last Saturday. Creeger rushed for 209 yards on 41 carries for three scores, while completing six of 12 passes for 160 yards.

James Dawson (Salve Regina): Dawson enjoyed another solid day on the ground, rushing for 117 yards on 26 carries and two scores as the Seahawks soared past Dean College for its third-straight win.

Joel Dixon (Gallaudet): Dixon led all receiver last Saturday in his team’s setback to Union College with 132 yards on three receptions and one score. His longest reception of the day was a 72 yard touchdown pass late in the second quarter.

Brandon Drumgole (SUNY Maritime): Drumgole led all receivers last Saturday in his team’s game against USMMA by hauling in 13 receptions for 164 yards and two touchdowns.

Ollie Eberth (Amherst): Against Bates, Eberth completed nine of 16 passes for 210 yards and four touchdowns. His longest pass was a 75 yard touchdown strike to Craig Carmilani in the opening minutes of the third quarter.

Zack Edwards (Plymouth State): Edwards accounted for four scores, including three through the air as the Panthers suffered their initial setback of the season against Western Connecticut State. Edwards completed 18 of 43 passes for 205 yards, while rushing for 28 yards on two carries.

Quinn Fleeting (Western Conn. State): Fleeting completed 30 of 39 passes for 411 yards and three touchdowns as the Colonials moved to 2-0 on the season.

Stephen Gacioch (UMass Dartmouth): Gacioch was quite impressive last Saturday against Westfield State as he tossed four touchdown passes, while competing 14 of 21 passes for 264 yards.

Kenny Gray (Hamilton): Against Tufts, Gray completed 22 of 44 passes for 365 yards and four scores in last weekend’s season-opening setback. Gray’s final touchdown with 4:20 remaining in the fourth helped the Continentals extend the contest to overtime.

Udgam Goyal (MIT): Against Endicott, Goyal racked-up 327 yards of total offense, including 248 yards through the air. Goyal completed 16 of 27 passes and tossed two touchdowns, while rushing for 79 yards on six carries and one score.

Moe Harris (Castleton): Harris helped the Spartans capture the Maple Sap Bucket last Saturday by rushing for 149 yards on 35 carries and two scores, while hauling in one catch for 16 yards. Harris also completed one pass for 11 yards, too.

Chris Haggerty (Mass. Maritime Academy): Haggerty completed 20 of 39 passes for 226 yards and three scores, while rushing for 16 yards on two carries, which helped the Buccaneers claim their initial win of the season over Maine Maritime Academy.

Connor Harris (Williams): Harris was quite impressive against Bowdoin, rushing for 103 yards on 12 carries and one score as the Ephs won its season-opener against the Polar Bears.

Travon Holder (Westfield State): Holder highlighted the Owls’ outing against UMass Dartmouth by rushing for 156 yards on 27 carries and three scores.

Jared Lebowitz (Middlebury): Lebowitz and the Panthers scored an impressive opening day win over the Cardinals, thanks to his three touchdowns and 352 passing yards (22 of 44).

Bobby Maimaron (Williams): Maimaron enjoyed an impressive collegiate debut by completing 17 of 30 passes for 283 yards and two scores as Williams defeated Bowdoin, 28-14.

Sean McAllen (WPI): McAllen was impressive against Becker, rushing for 119 yards on 25 carries for a pair of scores, while leading the receiving core with three catches for 85 yards and one touchdown in a 38-0 win over the Hawks.

Marcus Mcbean (Mount Ida): Mcbean led the Mustangs’ rushing attack against Springfield by tallying 76 yards on 22 carries and two scores.

Ryan McDonald (Tufts): McDonald enjoyed a solid start to the season, completing 26 of 35 passes for 267 yards and two touchdowns, while rushing for 92 yards on 20 carries and one score.

Brice Moore (USMMA): Moore recorded 315 yards of total offense, including 173 yards through the air in his team’s setback to SUNY Maritime. Moore completed 13 of 29 passes, while rushing for a game-high 142 yards on 24 carries and one score.

Richie Phillips (Mass. Maritime Academy): Phillips was explosive on the ground against Maine Maritime Academy, rushing for 146 yards on 25 carries for one score. He also recorded one reception for 31 yards and one touchdown in the Buccaneers’ initial win of the season.

Mark Piccirillo (Wesleyan): Piccirillo completed a 39 of 53 passes for 432 yards and four touchdowns in his team’s season-opener against Middlebury.

Alejandro Ros (Catholic): In his team’s second win of the season, Ros completed 14 of 31 passes for 265 yards and three touchdowns, while rushing for 52 yards on six carries.

Joe Schmidt (Hamilton): Schmitd was quite impressive against Tufts’ defense, tallying 214 yards on eight catches, while catching all four touchdown passes from Kenny Gray.

Frank Stola (Williams): Stola was one of two receivers in Saturday’s game to recorded seven receptions – he also registered 168 receiving yards and two scores. His first touchdown was a 93 yard score in the opening minutes of the second quarter.

Tristan Weathers (Norwich): Weathers lead all receivers last Saturday in the battle for the Maple Sap Bucket by recording four catches for 137 yards and one touchdown.

Lavante Wiggins (Endicott): Against MIT, Wiggins rushed for 116 yards on 27 carries and one score.

Jordan Wilcox (Springfield): Wilcox led all rushers last week at Mount Ida by tallying 107 yards on 21 carries and three scores.

Thomas Wright (SUNY Maritime): Wright was quite impressive last Saturday against USMMA, completing 22 of 45 passes for 323 yards and three touchdowns. His longest pass of the day was a 43-yard pass to Andrew Geni.


DEFENSE 

Latif Armiyaw (Bowdoin): Armiyaw paced the Polar Bears’ defense with 10 total tackles, including eight solo stops, along with a pair of tackles for a loss for 15 yards against Williams last Saturday.

Wesley Becton (Middlebury): Becton led the Panthers’ defense with 11 total tackles, including six solo stops, two tackles for a loss of 24 yards and a pair of forced fumbles.

Brooks Cannell (USMMA): Against SUNY Maritime last Saturday, Cannell recorded 12 total stops, including six solo tackles, one interception (44 yard return) and two pass break-ups.

Luca Cerasani (WPI): Cerasani was quite impressive last Saturday against Becker as he tallied five solo stops, including two sacks, one forced fumble and quarterback hurry. All five of Cerasani’s tackles were tackles for a loss.

Andrew DeNucci (MIT): DeNucci turned in another impressive effort in his team’s second win of the season against Endicott. DeNucci recorded 13 total stops, including 10 assists and one quarterback hurry.

Chris Gemayel (Bridgewater State): Gemayel led all defenders with 12 total stops, including nine solo tackles in his team’s 19-13 setback to Framingham State. Three of his stops were tackles for a loss.

Tyler Hudson (Hamilton): Hudson paced all defenders with 19 total stops, including 14 solo tackles. One-and-a-half of those tackles were a loss of two yards. He also had one fumble recovery in his team’s overtime setback to Tufts.

Kurtis Jolicoeur (Western New England): Jolicoeur turned in an impressive performance against RPI by tallying eight total tackles, including four solo stops, one sack and one forced fumble.

John Lauretti (Alfred State): Against Rochester, Lauretti recorded a team-high 13 total stops, including 11 solo tackles, along with two tackles for a loss for 20 yards and one forced fumble.

Mike Quinn (Worcester State); Quinn turned in an impressive performance against Fitchburg State last Saturday, recording 10 total stops, including eight solo tackles, three tackles for a loss and two pass break-ups and quarterback hurries.

William Rivera (Endicott): Against MIT, Rivera paced the Gulls’ defense with nine total stops, including seven assists and three tackles for a loss of eight yards.

Jakob Trautwein (Castleton): Trautwein was quite impressive last Saturday against Norwich, tallying 14 total stops, including three tackles for a loss and one sack.

Mitch Turley (MIT): Turley was quite impressive last Saturday against Endicott, tallying 13 total stops, including six solo tackles and one pass break-up.

Patrick Vidal (Catholic): Vidal turned in an impressive performance last week against Randolph-Macon, tallying 11 total tackles, including seven solo stops and three sacks (14 yards), one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, and one pass break-up.


SPECIAL TEAMS 

Christian Humulock (Springfield): Humulock was a perfect 10-for-10 last Saturday against Mount Ida, connecting on nine extra points, while booting a 33-yard field goal.

George Lampros (Mass. Maritime Academy): Lampros connected on six kicks, including four field goals for 10 points, while recording 136 yards on four punts. He tallied 329 yards on six kickoffs for an average of 54.8 yards per kick in his team’s exciting win over Maine Maritime Academy.

Hunter Lechthaler (Dean): Against Salve Regina, Lechthaler recorded nine punts for 312 yards, including a trio of boots that landed inside the Seahawks’ 20. His longest punt was 51-yards and he also recorded one kick-off for 60 yards.

Mike Morgan (Castleton): Morgan recorded nine boots for 320 yards last Saturday in the battle for the Maple Sap Bucket, including a trio of boots that landed inside the Norwich 20.

Matthew Murphy (SUNY Maritime): Murphy concluded last Saturday’s clash against USMMA with eight points – five extra points and one field goal (48 yards). Murphy also recorded 186 yards on four punts, including one boot that landed inside the USMMA 20, while tallying 414 yards on seven kickoffs with four of those kicks resulting in touchbacks.

Teams To Watch In 2017: Springfield College Pride

Jordan Wilcox
Springfield College fullback Jordan Wilcox rushed for 174 yards and four touchdowns against Rochester last fall, and will be one of many student-athletes to watch on the Pride this season. (Photo Credit: Springfield College Athletics)

By James Baker (@ITHuddLLe)

Our New England D3 Football preseason team previews continue with a look at the 2017 Springfield College Pride, a team that will look to snatch the inaugural New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) crown. 

Name: Springfield College Pride

Ranking: The Pride checked-in seventh on our ‘Preseason Top 10’ poll, which was posted on Twitter on Monday, July 31st. 

2016 Recap: The first year of head coach Mike Cerasuolo regime was mixed as the Pride struggled with injuries in a couple of key positions and a tough out-of-conference schedule. While Springfield did end the year at 5-5, they would have broken the .500 mark if they didn’t fall in a couple of close contests, including 12-7 and 15-12 losses to Hobart and Merchant Marine in Weeks 9 and 11, respectively. The Pride had their moments, hanging 70 points on Rochester and besting now fellow-NEWMAC members WPI, 28-23, after trailing 17-0 at the half. Springfield saw some new players step-up on both sides of the ball, so they have a lot to be optimistic about heading into the 2017 season.

Key Losses: Bobby Bozym (O-Line), Kenny Calaj (Linebacker), Joe Festo (Specialist / Receiver), Nick Welsh (Free Safety) and Taumeras Howard (Defensive Back)

Players to Watch: Jake Eglintine (Quarterback), Chad Shade (Quarterback), Jordan Wilcox (Fullback), Chris Hayden (O-Line), Josh Thomas (Fullback), Hunter Belzo (Running Back), Dom Traversa (Linebacker), Christian Zotti (Linebacker), Nick Giorgio (Defensive end), Rich Williams (Linebacker), Marlowe Scott (Free Safety), Jonny Bianchi (Cornerback) and Whit DeVaux (Specialist)

2017 Schedule: A new conference means a return of sorts to Springfield’s days in the Freedom Football Conference (FFC), which closed up shop in 2003. The battle for the Pynchon Saw against Western New England opens the slate, and the Pride haven’t defeated their cross-town rivals since 2013. Week Two has Kean (pronounced like “Cane”) University coming up from the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) for another tough out-of-conference game. The Cougars finished last season with a 7-4 mark, including a four-game winning streak and 30-27 ECAC Bowl game victory over Cortland State. Kane senior quarterback Charles App is a mobile and dangerous offensive weapon that will test the Springfield defense. The long-standing non-conference game against Mount Ida will be the final tune up before the Pride open up NEWMAC play against WPI and then Norwich at Stagg Field. Springfield will hit the road to take on Coast Guard and Merchant Marine (which many believe could be a de-facto title game), before coming home to entertain Catholic. After a bye week, the Pride will wrap the regular season on the road against Maine Maritime before hosting MIT in its season finale. 

Season Outlook:  The Pride may have the most to gain from the NEWMAC starting-up football, as they are returning several key players, including a total of 17 starters that should help them contend for the inaugural league crown. The Pride’s defense returns eight student-athletes that helped the unit finish as one of the premiere units in the Northeast. Traversa and Zotti are both three-year starters, while Giorgio had a big sophomore season – he is expected to continue improve this season on the defensive line. While players like Nick Welsh will certainly be missed in the secondary, keep an eye on Scott, who should be able to continue his production from a year ago. Jonny Bianchi is also back in the mix, but not as a halfback, which he played in 2015. Bianchi will be spotted in the Pride’s secondary as a defensive back – he will also be a player to watch this season. The strength of the Pride’s offense will once again be their halfbacks and fullbacks. Wilcox and Thomas made a potent one-two punch for Springfield last fall and will look to lead the ground attack again. All three halfbacks that return should provide the unit with depth and explosive play-making ability. Belzo led the Pride with an impressive 9.8 yards per carry last season – he also broke off touchdown runs of 91, 80 and 44 yards as a first-year. Helping clear the way again for Belzo and the running back corps is David Mikos at tight end. Christian Humulock should handle a majority of the kicking duties – he secured the starting placekicker job during spring practices. The team’s punter Whit DeVaux is also back this fall after averaging  37.4 yards per punt last fall, including 14 drops inside the opposition’s 20-yard line. The Pride will certainly be a squad to watch this season – they kick-off their 2017 campaign against a very talented Western New England squad. That will certainly be a game to follow next weekend.