Tag: Colonial Athletic Association

Holy Cross, URI Ranked In AFCA FCS Preseason Poll

Quarterback Matthew Sluka and the Holy Cross football team checked in 18th today in the first AFCA FCS Preseason Poll of the 2022 season. (PHOTO COURTESY: Mark Seliger Photography/Courtesy of Holy Cross Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com

A pair of New England schools earned spots on today’s American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) FCS Coaches’ Top 25 FCS Poll.

Holy Cross, which captured its third-straight Patriot League crown last fall, secured the 18th position while the University of Rhode Island tied with the University of Richmond for the 24th spot.

The Crusaders concluded its 2021 campaign with 10 wins – they also captured the program’s initial postseason victory against Sacred Heart University. Additionally, Holy Cross scored its first football bowl subdivision win in its season-opener last September against the University of Connecticut.  

Holy Cross returns key members from its 10-win team, including linebacker Jacob Dobbs, who was tabbed the Patriot League’s Defensive Player of the Year last season.

URI, which was picked to place third this fall in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA), enjoyed its best season in nearly two decades last fall, winning seven of 11 contests. The Rams return some impressive talent on both sides of the ball, including All-CAA cornerback Jordan Jones.

Caleb Warren (tight end) and Nick Correia (offensive line) joined Jones on the league’s Preseason All-Conference Team.

Harvard University and Dartmouth College each received votes – both squads are expected to contend for the Ivy League crown this season.

URI will begin its season on Thursday, September 1 when they visit Stony Brook while Holy Cross will commence its 2022 campaign with a trip to Merrimack College on Friday, September 2.

Sean McDonnell: We Have Some Very Good Football Players Coming Back

Sean McDonnell believes the University of New Hampshire football team has some “very good” players returning this fall. (PHOTO COURTESY: UNH.edu/UNH Today)

By NoontimeSports.com

The University of New Hampshire football team played just one game this spring — unfortunately, the Wildcats opted out of their spring season due to Covid-19 issues.

But despite not being able to compete against additional conference foes this spring, coach Sean McDonnell seems excited — perhaps optimistic? — about his team’s upcoming campaign, which is scheduled to begin on Thursday, September 2 when the Wildcats visit Stony Brook for a 6 p.m. kickoff.

Speaking with members of the media during this morning’s Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) virtual media day, the tenured coach noted that the team has some “very good football players coming back.”

One of those players is Evan Horn, a senior safety from Lebanon, Pennsylvania, who was named to the CAA Football Preseason All-Conference Team. Horn recorded four tackles and a pass break-up in his team’s lone spring contest against the University at Albany in March and was selected to the CAA All-Conference Second Team in 2019 when he led the Silver and Blue in solo tackles (51) and total tackles (70).

Niko Kvietkus, who is a junior defensive tackle, received honorable mention — the Southington, Connecticut native, who played football locally at Xavier High School (Conn.) and Deerfield Academy, played in 11 games in 2019 and recorded career-highs in solo stops (24), total tackles (45), tackles for a loss (eight for 36 yards), and 5.5 sacks for a loss of 34 yards.

Horn and Kvietkus are just two student-athletes to watch this fall, but as McDonnell explained, “I feel very good where we are as a program depth-wise.”

New Hampshire was picked to place fifth in the CAA preseason poll — James Madison University was picked to capture the league crown after finishing its spring season with a 5-0 record.

Football Friday Notebook (Jan. 29, 2021)

By NoontimeSports.com

Happy Football Friday, everyone!

We’re excited to start a weekly football notebook that will feature a slew of news (and links) from the gridiron.

And don’t forget, you can listen to our weekly Football Friday Podcast with Andrew Pezzelli and Zach Weiss on Anchor, Apple Podcasts, and Spotify.

Alright, let’s share some football stories (and links) – have a great weekend, everyone!


Professional Football


College Football

  • Two days ago, Central Connecticut State University announced that they would not participate in the 2021 Northeastern Conference (NEC) spring football season.

    CCSU interim Director of Athletics Tom Pincine said Wednesday’s decision is in “the best interest of our University and football program,” while Ryan McCarthy, who is the coach of the Blue Devils, echoed the statement but also added that the team can “focus solely on returning to spring practice and preparing for the Fall 2021 season.”

    The Blue Devils have not competed since 2019 when they posted a school-record 11 victories and secured a spot in the opening round of the NCAA FCS postseason.
  • While CCSU won’t play football this spring, a Sacred Heart official told the New Haven Register that the Pioneers are planning to compete, despite no games listed on the team’s current schedule.
  • The Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) unveiled its 2021 fall schedules with plans to “return to its Atlantic and Coastal divisions” later this year.

    While Notre Dame did compete under the ACC umbrella last fall, the Fighting Irish will return to being an independent for the 2021 college football season.
  • The Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) held its ‘digital media day‘ today ahead of the league’s spring football season, which is scheduled to commence – or should we say kickoff? – Saturday, February 20, 2021.
  • The ASUN Conference announced earlier today that football will be the league’s 20th sport.

High School Sports

Get Read For FCS New England Football This Spring

Most FCS New England football teams will compete in a few contests this spring. (PHOTO COURTESY: Visualhunt.com)

By Matt Noonan

The thought of seeing spring football in New England is slowly becoming a reality, especially for a handful of NCAA Division I FCS programs.

Yesterday, the Patriot League announced plans to play a shortened season this spring, which means Holy Cross will have a chance to compete for its second-straight league title after securing the conference crown in 2019.

Maine and New Hampshire will also compete this spring – the two teams will compete against members of the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) North Division. The CAA’s spring season is slated to begin on Saturday, February 20 with Davidson visiting Elon and James Madison hosting Morehead State.

Rhode Island, which is one of seven teams that makes-up the CAA’s North Division, will also be in action this spring – the Rams are currently scheduled to compete against Bryant on Saturday, February 27.

The CAA will not have a championship game like the Patriot League. Instead, the team with “the best overcall conference record” will secure the league’s automatic qualifier to the NCAA Football Championship, which will begin Saturday, April 24.

The Northeastern Conference (NEC) plans to play a four-game conference schedule, which is good news for fans of Bryant, Central Connecticut, Merrimack, and Sacred Heart. Games will be played on Sundays or midweek with a conference championship expected to take place on either Friday, April 16 or Saturday, April 17.

As noted on Twitter, by Brett McMurphy of Stadium, the FCS national title game will be played Sunday, May 16 in Frisco, Texas.

New England Football: Undrafted Free Agent Signings

WEBFOOTBALL
A slew of New England college football players signed unrestricted free agent contracts with various NFL teams. (PHOTO COURTESY: Visualunt.com)

By NoontimeSports.com 

With the 2020 NFL Draft in the rearview mirror, it is time to turn our attention to the various New England college football players that have recently signed with teams as undrafted free agents.

Here is a current list of student-athletes that will be competing for roster spots with various teams for the upcoming season. We will be updating this list as more signings are announced.

Boston College

  • Jake Burt (TE): The Lynnfield, Massachusetts native, who was named to the John Mackey Award Watch List as a graduate student with the Eagles this past fall, signed with the New England Patriots on Sunday, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Brown University

Dartmouth College

Harvard University

Holy Cross 

  • Jackson Dennis (OL): The Odessa, Florida native signed a free-agent contract with the Arizona Cardinals following the conclusion of the NFL Draft. Dennis started 12 games last fall for the Crusaders, who advanced to the NCAA FCS playoffs for the first time since 2009.

University of Maine

University of New Hampshire

  • Prince Smith Jr. (CB): The Pennsylvania native is headed back home to compete for a spot with the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles announced Smith Jr. was one of 12 players that signed unrestricted free agent contracts last night after the NFL Draft concluded.

University of Rhode Island 

  • Kyle Murphy (OL): The Attleboro, Massachusetts native announced on Twitter that he is “officially a (New York) Giant.”
  • Aaron Parker (WR): Parker inked his name on a contract with the Dallas Cowboys after his cousin, Isaiah Coulter, was selected yesterday by the Houston Texans with the 171st pick.

Yale University

  • Dieter Eiselen (OL): The Choate Rosemary Hall (Conn.) alum, who is from Stellenbosch, South Africa, signed with the Chicago Bears shortly after the conclusion of the 2020 NFL Draft.