Tag: Commonwealth Coast Conference

Player Perspective: Hunter Ferreira (Nichols College)

Nichols College senior wide receiver Hunter Ferreira is currently the program’s all-time leading receiver with 145 receptions. (PHOTO COURTESY: Brian Foley)

By NoontimeSports.com

Hunter Ferreira didn’t arrive at Nichols College planning to become the program’s all-time leader in receptions. Instead, he just wanted to do whatever he could to help his team win football games.

“Football is a team sport with wins coming first, but having personal goals is important, too,” said Ferreira, a senior wide receiver from Mansfield, Massachusetts.

Ferreira’s work ethic – and yes, mindset, too – has helped the Bison improve every year since his initial season in 2018, as well as provide challenges for various Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) foes.

In his three seasons with the Green and White, Nichols has produced 15 wins, including seven league victories with four of them coming during his sophomore year when the Bison captured six games for the first time since 2016. Additionally, Ferreira has led the Bison receiving core in all three seasons, including this fall with 48 grabs for 515 yards and one touchdown (he is one of seven student-athletes to catch a touchdown this fall).   

Last month, Ferreira concluded his team’s 14-12 setback to Husson University by becoming the program’s all-time leader in receptions with 144 grabs by recording 64 receiving yards on two catches. Tony Martignoli, a former teammate of Ferreira during the 2018 and 2019 seasons, held the previous record for receptions (143) at the conclusion of his senior season in 2019 – he also ended his career by ranking third in receiving yards (1,922) and fourth in touchdown catches (12).

Ferreira, who has recorded 145 receptions for 1,943 yards and 13 touchdowns in 29 contests with the Bison, is proud of his recent achievement, but keeping the focus on his team’s final opponent of the 2021 season: Endicott College.

“A win this Saturday against Endicott College would be ideal, as well as a good way to close out this season,” said Ferreira, who will be one of 16 seniors honored prior to kickoff.

Noontime Sports recently caught up with Hunter Ferreira to discuss becoming the program’s all-time leader in receptions, along with hopes of staying involved with football after he graduates next spring.

What does it mean to you to become the program’s all-time leader in receptions? 

It means a lot to me. Showing up in early August and playing into the middle of November is not easy but breaking a program record was a little extra motivation for me (as a senior). a great feeling knowing your hard work paid off.

It sounds cliché but was it a goal of yours to have your name etched in the top spot in the Nichols College football record book?

Thinking back to my first season with the Bison, you’re not really thinking about (breaking or establishing a new record). Instead, you’re just trying to secure a spot in the starting lineup or at least, be able to join your teammates on the field. But I think after a strong sophomore season was when I noticed my name moving up the all-time receptions list, so it did become a goal of mine to be in the top spot following my final game with this program. 

You previously competed with Tony Martignoli, who held the record of 143 receptions heading into this season. How did he help you become an even better receiver? Additionally, do you and Tony stay in touch/continue to talk football? 

Tony helped me out tremendously when I was a freshman. He gave me a lot of advice from his experience playing in the conference, and yes, Tony and I still talk every day. I usually give him a call after every game.  

Like my question above, how have you motivated yourself since your first season to become the receiver you are today? 

Part of the reason I continued to play football after high school was to learn more about the game. Trying to improve as a player every day (is the goal, of course), but to be the best, you need to perform at your best, both during practices and film sessions. And having the mindset of never being satisfied and always trying to improve is a great way to stay motivated.  

Finally, tell me about your major – why did you choose it, and do you hope to stay involved with football after graduation?  

I am a sports management major. I chose it because I want to be involved with sports after graduation. And yes, I have thought about getting into coaching, but am not exactly sure what I want to do, however, I do hope to stay involved with football (after my final contest with the Bison).

Noontime’s D3 Football Teams to Watch In Week 10

Ricky Goodson and the Amherst College football team will look to continue their recent momentum on Saturday against Trinity College. (PHOTO COURTESY: Geoff Botle, Clarus Studios Inc.)

By NoontimeSports.com

It’s that time of the week when we highlight five teams to watch this weekend in New England Division III. And with the tenth week quickly approaching, that means we better press the publish button … NOW!

Amherst College (5-2, 5-2 NESCAC): The Mammoths head into their final road game of the 2021 season with a great deal of momentum.

Last weekend, Amherst overcame a two-score deficit to edge Wesleyan University in four overtimes.

Can they continue that momentum this week against Trinity College? We think so.

Amherst has won two of their last five meetings with the Bantams, who have captured back-to-back contests in 2018 (27-16) and 2019 (21-7). When Amherst has beaten Trinity, it has been by at least a touchdown — in some games, it has been eight or nine points.

Like Wesleyan, Amherst is a resilient bunch — they bounced back from a 21-14 setback last month to Bowdoin College by scoring a pair of wins over Hamilton College and Wesleyan to put themselves in a position to conclude their 2021 campaign with possibly six or seven wins.

Trinity will enter Saturday’s contest looking to bounce back from a 42-3 setback to Williams College.

Anna Maria College (5-2, 3-1 ECFC): For the past few weeks, the AMCATs of Anna Maria appeared destined to win their first-ever conference crown. But after seeing their five-game winning streak was snapped last weekend to Castleton University, their hopes of winning an Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) title were somewhat derailed — well, at least for one day.

The AMCATs head into the final two weeks of the regular season in a four-way tie for first place in the conference. And this week’s contest with Gallaudet University is an important one as the Bison are also in the position to win the ECFC crown.

Under the direction of coach Dan Mulrooney, the AMCATs have beaten the Bison once when they ended their 2019 campaign with a 53-14 victory.

A win against the Bison would keep the team’s conference title hopes alive while a loss would result in some scoreboard watching next weekend.

Bridgewater State (5-3, 5-1 MASCAC): Despite losing to UMass Dartmouth last weekend, the Bears of Bridgewater State are still in the mix for the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) crown. However, for the Red and White to win their first title since 2016, they will need to score two more wins against Framingham State and Massachusetts Maritime Academy.

Wins against the Rams and Buccaneers are possible, but coach Joe Verria’s squad needs to play their best football, both this week and next week. Additionally, the Bears will need to lean on halfback Adam Couch, who leads the conference with 125.4 rushing yards per game.

Couch recently became the ninth running back in Bridgewater State’s program history to eclipse 1,000 yards last weekend — he has currently rushed for 1,003 yards and 13 touchdowns in eight contests.

Bridgewater State has won four of six contests this fall when Couch rushes for 100 yards or more.

Castleton University (5-3, 3-1 ECFC): The Spartans head into their final two contests with a great deal of momentum, thanks to three-straight wins, including an impressive 38-31 victory last Saturday against Anna Maria.

Like the AMCATs, the Spartans are one of four teams in first place with hopes of winning the conference crown.

This week, the Green and White will head to New York to compete against an Alfred State squad that has also won three of four conference matchups this season. For Castleton to be successful, they will need to find a way to slow down quarterback Aaron Jenkins, who rushed for three touchdowns last weekend against Keystone College while completing 8 of 12 passes for 126 yards.  

Castleton should be able to come away with a hard-fought win to keep momentum on their side for next week’s home date with Gallaudet.

Salve Regina University (8-1, 4-1 CCC): The Seahawks are one win away from matching their 9-2 record from 2012 when they captured the New England Football Conference (NEFC) Boyd Division crown and competed in the league’s final championship game against Framingham State.  

If the Seahawks are going to enter their upcoming bye week with nine wins, then they must play perhaps their best football of the season against a Husson University squad that outlasted them in their previous meeting in 2019.

Like Salve Regina, Husson is in the mix for the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) title but needs to win their last two contests against the Seahawks and Western New England. Neither matchup is going to be easy, but these Eagles must find a way to contain an impressive Salve Regina passing attack that produced five touchdowns last weekend against Curry College. In addition to an impressive showing by quarterback Jack Maguire, Nicholas Lane rushed for a season-high 102 yards on 10 carries and one touchdown.

Endicott, Salve Regina Keep Their CCC Title Hopes Alive

Jack Maguire tossed five touchdowns on Saturday in Salve Regina’s big win against Curry College. (PHOTO COURTESY: Tammy McManaway Sports Photography)

By NoontimeSports.com

One week after rallying to beat Endicott College, the Salve Regina University football team scored a big win over Curry College this afternoon to keep its conference championship hopes alive.

The Seahawks cruised past the Colonels, 47-14, thanks to five touchdown passes from Jack Maguire, who completed 18 of 32 passes for 244 yards. Nicholas Lane rushed for a game-high 102 yards on 10 carries and one touchdown, while Max DeVito led all receivers with seven grabs for 103 yards and three scores.

Salve Regina will play its final regular-season contest next Saturday, November 6 against Husson University, which edged Nichols College this afternoon by a score of 14-12. The game will be played in Bangor, Maine with kick-off scheduled for 12 p.m.

Like the Seahawks, the Eagles have lost just once when competing against Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) foes – both teams need to win their remaining contests and get some help to secure the conference’s automatic bid to the upcoming NCAA Division III postseason.

Nic Viser recorded two touchdowns against the Bison – his three-yard rushing score with 4:36 remaining in the second quarter provided the Eagles with the lead for good, but their advantage would be reduced late in the fourth quarter when Alpha Barry connected with Archie Killian for a six-yard touchdown pass.  

Despite the loss, Hunter Ferreira became the all-time receptions leader at Nichols College by concluding the contest with two catches for 64 yards. Ferreira, a senior wide receiver from Mansfield, Massachusetts, has now caught 144 passes in a Bison uniform.   

Endicott College bounced back from last week’s setback to Salve Regina with a come-from-behind win against the University of New England, thanks to a last-minute field goal by Ryan Smith.

The Gulls, who edged the Nor’easters, 19-17, received five points (one field goal, two extra points) from Smith while Mike Ingraffia completed 20 of 35 passes for 249 yards and one touchdown.

Jarrett Henault led the UNE rushing attack with a game-high 76 yards on 20 carries and two scores.

As of this evening, Endicott and Salve Regina remain locked in a two-way tie atop the CCC with identical 4-1 conference marks followed by Husson and Western New England, who have both won three of four league tilts.

Noontime’s New England D3 Top 20 Poll (Oct. 4, 2021)

By NoontimeSports.com

Five weeks of New England NCAA Division III football are officially in the books.

But before we truly turn the page to the sixth week of the 2021 season, which technically began yesterday — that would be Sunday, October 3, 2021, to be exact — we need to share our Week Six Poll, which featured a lot of movement, along with some new teams.

As usual, make sure to circle back both later today and throughout the week for more New England football coverage, but in the meantime … let’s share this week’s poll!

Noontime’s New England D-III Top 20 Poll | Week Six (Monday, October 4, 2021)

1. Western New England (3-2, 1-0 CCC | LW: No. 3): The Golden Bears proved they’re once again the team to beat in the Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC) league.

2. Trinity College (3-0, 3-0 NESCAC | LW: No. 4): We watched ALL of Saturday’s game against Middlebury College and came away very impressed by the Bantams.

3. Williams College (3-0, 3-0 NESCAC | LW: No. 2): Sure, the Ephs dropped one spot, despite winning their third straight on Saturday, but they remain one of the top teams in both their conference and region.

4. Wesleyan University (3-0, 3-0 NESCAC | LW: No. 6): The Cardinals move up after picking up their third-straight win – look for the early-season momentum to continue over the next few weeks.

5. Endicott College (4-1, 1-0 CCC | LW No. 7): The Gulls defended the nest this past weekend by picking up their fourth win against Curry College. This week, Endicott faces the top team in the region.

6. Salve Regina University (4-1, 0-1 CCC | LW: No. 1): The Seahawks dropped five spots after falling to Western New England, which rolled up 397 yards of total offense, including 232 passing yards. This week, Salve Regina will look to bounce back against the University of New England.

7. Framingham State (3-2, 3-0 MASCAC | LW: No. 10): The Rams have turned things around quite well thus far after dropping a pair of non-league contests.

8. Bridgewater State (3-2, 3-0 MASCAC | LW: No. 11): Like the Rams, conference play has gone quite well for these Bears, who topped Fitchburg State this past weekend by a score of 42-0.   

9. Western Connecticut (3-2, 2-1 MASCAC | LW: No. 13): One week after dropping their second conference clash to Bridgewater State, the Colonials bounced back with an important win against UMass Dartmouth.

10. Husson University (3-1, 0-0 CCC | LW: No. 10): The Eagles were idle this past weekend but jump into conference play this week against Curry College.  

11. MIT (2-2, 0-1 NEWMAC | LW: No. 8): The Engineers concluded their initial conference game with 319 total yards compared to Catholic University, which produced 23 points off 270 yards. MIT is idle this upcoming weekend but faces a real tough test next week against the United States Merchant Marine Academy.

12. University of New England (3-1, 1-0 CCC | LW: No. 15): The Nor’easters moved up three spots after scoring their program’s first-ever win against Nichols College last weekend. UNE has not dropped a game since week one and could provide some challenges for Salve Regina this week.

13. Curry College (2-2, 0-1 CCC | LW: No. 17): Despite losing their conference opener to Endicott, the Colonels recorded a season-high 464 yards of total offense, including 189 yards rushing, which was also a season-best. The Purple and White will be a team to watch this week at Husson.

14. UMass Dartmouth (3-2, 1-2 MASCAC | LW: No. 12): The Corsairs have dropped two of their last three contests and will need some help to remain in the mix for the conference crown. This week, they face a Massachusetts Maritime Academy squad that has won three of their last four contests.

15. Norwich University (2-3, 1-0 NEWMAC | LW: Not Ranked): This might seem high for a squad that was not ranked one week ago, but the Cadets proved they deserve some attention after registering 492 yards of total offense in their first New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) clash on Saturday against Coast Guard Academy.  

16. Anna Maria College (3-1, 1-0 ECFC | LW: No. 20): The AMCATs made history this past weekend by establishing a new single-season mark for wins (currently three), which should increase over the next few weeks.

17. Coast Guard Academy (2-3, 0-1 NEWMAC | LW: 14): The Bears dropped their initial conference clash to Norwich, which rallied to beat them in the “Little Army-Navy Game.” Norwich’s defense did not make it easy on the Coast Guard offense as the unit finished the game with three tackles for a loss of 10 yards, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, and five pass break-ups.

18. Springfield College (1-3, 0-0 NEWMAC | LW: No. 18): The Pride remains in the same spot they were one week ago. This week, Springfield will play its first conference game at home against Coast Guard.

19. Amherst College (2-1, 2-1 NESCAC | LW: Not Ranked): The Mammoths bounced back from a three-point setback to Colby College with a 24-14 win over Tufts University.

20. Middlebury College (1-2, 1-2 NESCAC | LW: No. 5): The Panthers’ offense struggled mightily against a Trinity College defense that pitched a shutout in Hartford. This week’s game against Amherst is a must-win for the Navy Blue and White.

On the rise: Colby College and Massachusetts Maritime Academy

Noontime’s D-III Football Region One Conference Predictions

Western New England’s Steven Fedorchak and the Golden Bears will once again be a team to watch this fall. (PHOTO COURTESY: Chris Marion)

By NoontimeSports.com

A brand new season of NCAA Division III football is set to kick off tomorrow before a few New England squads compete for the first time since 2019 on Friday and Saturday.

Before we officially begin a brand new season of college football — yes, we know some FBS and FCS teams began their respective campaigns last weekend during Week 0 — let’s dish our conference predictions and teams to watch for Region One.

Best of luck to all teams competing, both this weekend and over the next few days/weeks, and if you’re craving more New England (and NCAA D-III) football coverage, then make sure to check out our first Top 20 poll of the season and our preseason team.

Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC)

Predicted conference winner: Western New England: Quarterback Alec Coleman has graduated, but these Golden Bears return a great deal of talent on both sides of the ball that should position the Blue and Gold to win their fourth-straight CCC title.

Teams in the mix: Endicott College, Husson University, Nichols College, and Salve Regina: All four squads will certainly provide challenges for the Golden Bears as the season progresses, but one should not overlook the Eagles of Husson, who return some key pieces from their 2019 squad that will keep the Green and Gold in the mix for the top spot. 

Keep your eyes on the University of New England: The Nor’easters are trending in the right direction — the Blue and White could enter their initial week of conference play with two or three non-conference victories.

Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC)

Predicted conference winner: Dean College: The Bulldogs enter 2021 with a target on their back after winning their first conference crown in 2019.  

Teams in the mix: Anna Maria College, Alfred State, and SUNY-Maritime: The Privateers have posted five wins or more since 2015, so don’t be surprised to see them challenge the Bulldogs for the top spot this fall. Also, keep your eyes on the AMCATs of Anna Maria, which enter the 2021 season with high hopes. 

Keep your eyes on: Keystone College: The Giants enter the 2021 season as an unknown, but will certainly be a program to watch throughout the fall. 

Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) 

Predicted conference winner: UMass Dartmouth: Quarterback Stephen Gacioch is back for his final season with the Corsairs, along with some key pieces of the 2019 defense, which will help UMass Dartmouth contend for the conference crown.

Teams in the mix: Bridgewater State, Framingham State, and Western Connecticut: There are some questions about who will be under center for all three of these teams, both this weekend and throughout the season, but despite some key graduation losses from 2019 (and yes, 2020), all three units will be in the mix for the conference crown this fall.

Keep your eyes on: Fitchburg State: The Falcons begin a new chapter in their program history with Scott Sperone, who will coach his first game on Saturday against Dean. Also, don’t overlook Plymouth State, which was picked to finish fifth in the preseason conference poll.

Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC)

Predicted conference winner: Delaware Valley: The Aggies are our favorites heading into the 2021 season — yes, they will be challenged by Stevenson and Wilkes — maybe Lycoming College? — but at the end of the day, Duke Greco‘s squad will win the conference and advance to the postseason.

Teams in the Mix: Stevenson University and Wilkes University: Both teams were in the mix in 2019 and will once again challenge the Aggies for the top spot in the MAC.

Keep your eyes on Misericordia University: John Davis begins his first season with the Cougars on Saturday — expect the first-year coach to duplicate his success with the Blue and Gold from his previous stop with The Apprentice School.

New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC):  

Predicted conference winner: Williams College: The Ephs finished with seven wins in 2019 — Williams ended its season with a victory over rival Amherst College and should return a slew of talent on both sides of the ball that should make them one of the top teams in the conference.

Teams in the mix: Middlebury College, Trinity College, Tufts University, and Wesleyan University: While the Cardinals. and Panthers are certainly expected to contend for the top spot in the conference, the same could be said for the Bantams and Jumbos, who look to bounce back from a five and four win season, respectively.

Keep your eyes on: Colby College: These Mules will certainly surprise a few NESCAC fans this fall — fans of the Mules and NESCAC football will be able to see them compete in 17 days against Wesleyan.

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

Predicted conference winner: Merchant Marine: We saw the Mariners compete last fall — they beat Coast Guard Academy, thanks to an impressive outing by quarterback Ian Blankenship, who is back for his final season. Joshua King and Matt Strong were recently elected captains, and will lead a squad that garnered three first-place votes in the preseason poll.

Teams in the mix: MIT, Springfield College, and WPI: All three Massachusetts squads will look a bit different than they appeared two years ago, but are certainly equipped to challenge the Mariners for the top spot in the conference.

Keep your eyes on: Norwich University: Mark Murnyack‘s squad may have been picked to finish sixth in the conference, but don’t be surprised if these Cadets score a few exciting and dramatic wins this fall.