Tag: Commonwealth Coast Football

Five Teams That Could Win The CCC This Fall

Quarterback Mike Ingraffia will be a player to watch on offense this fall at Endicott College. (PHOTO COURTESY: Tammy McManaway)

By Matt Noonan

Last fall, Endicott College captured its first conference crown in eight seasons by winning the Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC) league with an 8-2 record.

The Gulls, which advanced to the opening round of the NCAA Division III Tournament, saw their run toward a national title conclude with a 20-14 setback to RPI.

Despite ending their season with a six-point setback to the Engineers, Endicott should once again be in the mix for the conference crown. But the same could be said for a few other teams in the CCC, which will be ready to challenge the Gulls for some hardware.

Here are five teams that I believe can win the Commonwealth Coast Football league this year.

Endicott: I believe the Gulls can win their second-straight title, but their path to their fourth conference crown in program history won’t be easy.

For the Gulls to enjoy another successful campaign, they will need a similar effort this fall from quarterback Mike Ingraffia, who capped his sophomore season with career-highs in passing yards (1,531) and touchdowns (15).

Ingraffia is just one of many student-athletes to watch on the Gulls this fall, specifically its offense, but the same could be said for classmate and wide Shane Aylward, who ended the 2021 season as the league’s Offensive Rookie of the Year. Aylward ranked fifth in the conference in receiving yards (712) while finishing tied for sixth with five touchdown receptions.

Colin Meropoulos was named the CCC Defensive Rookie of the Year and will be tasked with leading a defense that limited its opponents to 19.5 points per game.

Husson University: One should never count out coach Nat Clark’s Eagles, which concluded its 2021 campaign with a 7-3 record.

For the Eagles to enjoy another successful campaign, they will need some key members of last year’s squad to step up this year, including wide receiver Jon Bell, who concluded the 2021 season with career-bests in receptions (49), receiving yards (753), and touchdowns (four). Bell will most likely be targeted a few more times this fall by quarterback Nic Visser, who led the conference in passing yards (2,598).

Linebacker Tucker Buzzell will be the player to watch on defense after leading Husson with 85 total tackles last fall.  

Salve Regina University: For the first time since 2016, the Seahawks ended its season with eight wins, thanks to an impressive opening month that saw Salve Regina win four straight non-conference contests, including an epic come-from-behind win over Rowan University.

The team’s early-season momentum came to an end in early October with a 41-3 setback to Western New England.

Salve Regina would bounce back by winning four of their final five contests.

The biggest question facing this year’s squad is who will return this fall? Salve Regina’s roster featured eight graduate students last fall, along with 21 seniors, including halfback Joey Mauriello, but one player that will return this year – and is someone to watch – is linebacker Zachary Ludemann. The Howell, New Jersey native placed 11th in the conference in total tackles (69.0).

Western New England: For the second-straight season, the Golden Bears won five of six conference contests. But their lone setback to Endicott resulted in Western New England missing the national postseason for the first time in two years.

Will the loss to the Gulls be this year’s motivation for the Yellow and Blue?

Endicott and Western New England are scheduled to compete at the end of the season, so perhaps the final game could determine the conference’s winner.

The Golden Bears featured three different quarterbacks last fall, including Bryce Karstetter and Conrad Swanson, who will likely compete for the starting job this summer. But in addition to the team’s quarterback battle, keep an eye on the wide receivers and tight ends. Steven Fedorchak and Adam Razza have graduated, which means we could see Greg Perry and Ryan Larson become the squad’s top two receivers.  

No matter the make-up of this year’s Golden Bears, the expectation is coach Jason Lebeau’s squad will be ready to contend for its fourth CCC title.

University of New England: For the second-straight season, the Nor’easters won four games, including a pair of league tilts.

Can they double that win total this fall?

Perhaps they can, but for UNE to do that, they will need to play some of its best football early on.

UNE ended its 2021 season with a wild victory over Curry College, which highlighted a few players to watch this fall.

One of those players to watch in 2022 is quarterback Jarrett Henault, a Goffstown, New Hampshire native that threw for a career and season-high five touchdowns in his team’s win over the Colonels. Henault appeared in eight contests last season and will be tasked with leading an offense that will feature Mikey Brennan, Jakob Rivers, and Shane LaPorte this fall.

While the offense has a chance to improve from one year ago, the same could be said for the Nor’easter defense, which will be led by David Hutchison, a defensive lineman from St Johnsbury, Vermont.

UNE might be a longshot to win the CCC, but they certainly proved last season that they can contend with some of the best teams in the conference.

Five New England D3 Football Teams to Watch In 2022

Alex Cohen and the Anna Maria College football team will be a squad to watch in 2022. (PHOTO COURTESY: Brian Foley)

By NoontimeSports.com

It’s time to kick off our preseason football coverage – are you ready for some football?

Yes, we know the Boston Celtics are occupying our attention while writing this post, but while we anxiously wait for the fourth game of the NBA Finals to tip off tomorrow evening, let’s highlight five teams New England NCAA Division III football fans should watch this fall.  

Anna Maria College: Quarterback Alex Cohen is back, along with some key members of last year’s squad, which captured its first-ever Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) title.

Cohen will certainly be a player to watch this fall after concluding the 2021 season with career-highs in passing yards (3,087) and touchdown passes (23).

Wide receiver Hayden Braga returns for another season, as well, along with Alvin Martin (linebacker) and Armstrong Antoine (defensive back) – all three student-athletes, along with Cohen, should help the AMCATs contend for their second-straight conference crown.

Anna Maria is scheduled to face some challenging conference foes in September, beginning with their season-opener against UMass Dartmouth.

Colby College: Coach Jack Cosgrove has the Mules heading in the right direction.

Last year, Colby won four games for the first time since finishing 4-4 in 2013. The Mules scored some important early and mid-season wins over Amherst College and Middlebury College while providing some challenges for Hamilton College and Tufts University.

Halfback Keon Smart will be a player to watch on offense – the sophomore tailback finished his initial season with the Mules last fall with 248 rushing yards on 69 carries and three touchdowns.

Colby will commence its 2022 season at home against Williams College.   

Curry College: A new era of Colonels football has begun with the hiring of first-year coach Todd Parsons.

Parsons, who oversaw the Endicott College offense last fall, inherits a squad that finished 3-6 last season, including 1-5 in Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC).

Michael Sims will be a player to watch on the Colonels after concluding his initial season with the Purple and White with 49 total tackles, including 26 solo stops to go with one fumble recovery, one interception, and one pass break-up.

Sims played high school football in Connecticut and was a two-way player for Griswold High School. He played fullback on offense and linebacker on defense. Maybe we could see him play fullback this fall?

Curry will begin its 2022 season at home against MIT.

Dean College: Like Curry, Dean will have a new leader of its football program with Andrae Murphy returning to his alma mater to coach a Bulldogs squad that won just two games last fall.

Errol Breaux, the team’s leading wide receiver, was a player to watch last fall as he led the receiving core in catches (75), receiving yards (1,215), and touchdowns (eight). Quintus Reid was also a player to watch on offense as the New Haven, Connecticut native concluded his junior season with 52 receptions and six touchdowns.

It’s likely Murphy’s signal-caller will be David Curry, who was spotted under center every game last fall. He completed 196 of 351 passes for 2,585 yards and 18 touchdowns. Curry also led the rushing attack with 627 yards and six touchdowns.

Dean will travel to Fitchburg State for its season-opener.

University of New England: For the second time in program history, the Nor’easters concluded its campaign with four wins (they won a program-record four wins in 2019 after capping their inaugural campaign one year earlier with just two victories).

Last fall, UNE gained our attention by scoring an impressive early-season win against Bridgewater State, which saw the Blue and White outscore the hosts, 14-0, in the second half to set up a game-winning field goal by Ruelas Villasen in overtime.

In addition to their come-from-behind win against the Bears of Bridgewater, they also provided some challenges for Endicott and Western New England down the stretch. They capped their 2021 campaign with a wild victory over Curry.

The team’s late-season win over the Colonels, which was highlighted by five passing touchdowns by Jarrett Henault should provide the Nor’easters with some momentum heading into four this season in program history.

UNE will begin its season on the road at Coast Guard Academy.

Todd Parsons Named Head Coach of Curry College Football

Todd Parsons, who oversaw the Endicott College offense last fall, was named the head coach of Curry College on Thursday. (PHOTO COURTESY: Tammy McManaway/Tammy McManaway Sports Photography)

By NoontimeSports.com

A new chapter of Curry College football began today with the hiring of Todd Parsons.

Parsons previously oversaw the Endicott College offense in 2019 and 2021 – he was also an assistant coach with the Gulls last season when they captured the Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC) crown.

“I am extremely excited to begin this new chapter,” Parsons said in a statement, via CurryAthletics.com. “I would like to thank President (Kenneth K.) Quigley, Athletic Director Vinnie Eruzione, and the search committee at Curry College for entrusting me with their football program.”

Parsons inherits a Colonels squad that concluded the 2021 season with a 3-6 overall record. Four years earlier, Curry concluded its 2017 campaign by winning eight of 11 contests while representing Commonwealth Coast Football in the New England Bowl.

“With the support of the administration, our student body, and our passionate alumni, we look forward to bringing Curry football back to a position of prominence,” said Parsons.   

In his first season with the Gulls, Parsons, who served as the team’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, helped Endicott conclude its 2019 campaign with nine wins, including a New England Bowl victory over Dean College. Quarterback Joe Kalosky enjoyed his best season under center, posting career-bests in multiple categories, including touchdown passes (29), passing yards (2,433), and completion percentage (71.2%).

Last fall, Endicott’s offense finished second in the conference in points (301) and third in points per game (27.4). They averaged 28.8 points against conference foes.

“I want to thank everyone in the Endicott community for a memorable three years,” Parsons said, via ECGulls.com. “I especially want to thank Dr (Brian A.) Wylie and head coach Paul McGonagle for giving me the opportunity to join the Endicott Athletics department and football program. My time here with them, the other coaches, and the student-athletes helped prepare me, more than anything, to be able to take this step in my career.”

The new opportunity with Curry is Parsons’ first head coaching role after serving as a coordinator for multiple New England teams, including Brown University (Pass Game Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach, 2014-17) and Assumption College (Special Teams Coordinator/Wide Receivers Coach, 2013-14).

Parsons began his coaching career as a graduate assistant with McDaniel College after graduating in 2007 from Averett University.

Curry’s 2022 season will kick off on Saturday, September 3 when they welcome MIT to Milton, Massachusetts.

Noonan: An Exciting Finish Awaits Numerous Small College Football Teams

Jack Maguire and the Salve Regina University football team scored an important win last weekend against Endicott College. (PHOTO COURTESY: Tammy McManaway/TAMMY MCMANAWAY SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY)

By Matt Noonan

To say the next three weeks of the small college New England football season will be fun – and yes, exciting, too – would be an understatement.

For starters, we have quite a few conference races to watch these next few weeks, including one that currently features four teams in the Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC) league.  

Endicott College appeared to be a lock to win their first-ever conference crown since 2013 when they, along with other members of the CCC, competed in the New England Football Conference (NEFC). But unfortunately, things changed this past weekend as their three-game conference winning streak was snapped with a 21-14 setback to Salve Regina University.

Luckily, it is just one loss – Endicott currently holds the head-to-head tiebreakers over Husson University and Western New England, who are also in the mix for the league crown. But to win the conference, the Gulls will need to beat their two remaining foes – Nichols College and the University of New England – as well as get some help from their rivals: Salve Regina and Western New England.

Salve Regina has beaten Nichols and UNE but needs to win their final two contests against Curry College and Husson.

Western New England beat Salve Regina in their first conference meeting of the 2021 season earlier this month before falling to Endicott one week later. The Golden Bears will be idle this weekend but conclude their regular-season slate with back-to-back contests in November against Husson and UNE.

And while all the attention is currently on Salve Regina following an exciting win this past weekend against Endicott, one should certainly not overlook Husson, which has won two of three league matchups, as well as scored some impressive non-league wins against Plymouth State and Springfield College.

As of now, it is hard to project a winner of the Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC) league, but we should have a better gauge this Saturday.

Speaking of Springfield College, they are also in the mix for their conference crown in the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) but need to win their remaining three contests, including their matchup this weekend with the University of Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA).

The Mariners have been a great story this fall, winning seven consecutive contests to match their best start in program history. They scored an exciting 44-34 win this past weekend against Catholic University, thanks to both Ian Blankenship and Brian McGovern, who combined for five touchdowns, including three on the ground.

Springfield has beaten USMMA in two of their last three outings, including twice at home in 2017 and 2019.

Like the Mariners, the Pride has also become a team to watch over the last few weeks after rebounding from a 1-3 start by winning their last three contests to bump their overall record to 4-3.

David Wells and Isaiah Cashwell-Doe headlined Springfield’s most recent win against WPI.

Saturday’s matchup between the Pride and Mariners is scheduled for 1 p.m. – the contest will be held in Springfield, Massachusetts.

South of Springfield – West Haven, Connecticut, to be exact – will feature another important matchup to follow as Assumption College visits the University of New Haven on Saturday, October 30 for a 1 p.m. kickoff.

Both teams enter the ninth week of the Division II season in contention for the Northeast-10 Conference (NE10) crown – UNH has not lost a single conference game this fall while Assumption has won four of five league meetings. Assumption could win the conference, but they need to win their final three outings, including two against the top two squads in the league.

Bentley University was idle this past weekend but has been a great story as they have not lost a game since October 12, 2019, and head into the final three weeks with a great deal of momentum.

The Falcons will be at home this weekend against Franklin Pierce before visiting New Haven next Saturday, November 6. It is possible the Falcons and Chargers could enter the week ten matchup without a single conference loss.  

Noontime’s D3 Football Teams to Watch in Week Eight

Andrew Boel and the Bowdoin College football team scored their first win against Amherst College last weekend since 2005. (PHOTO COURTESY: Brian Beard)

By NoontimeSports.com

The eighth week of the 2021 New England NCAA Division III college football season is quickly approaching, which means it is time to highlight five teams to watch this weekend.

Anna Maria College (4-1, 2-0 ECFC): The AMCATs have been quite a story this fall, winning four straight contests, including a pair of Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) victories to keep them in the hunt with Gallaudet University for the league title.  

This week, the AMCATs return home after three straight road games to host Dean College, which captured the ECFC crown in 2019.

Dean returned to the win column last week with a 39-36 victory over Keystone College – the Bulldogs defense held off a late rally by the Giants, who finished the final frame with three touchdowns.

At 1-2, Dean is not entirely out of the conference mix but would need to win this game to keep their postseason hopes alive.

Quarterback Alex Cohen was instrumental in his team’s last win over Alfred State – expect the veteran signal-caller to continue his success this week against the Bulldogs.

Bowdoin College (1-4, 1-4 NESCAC): Last Saturday was a special day for the Polar Bears as Bowdoin snapped a 14-game losing streak to Amherst College with a 21-14 victory.

The seven-point win over the Mammoths should provide the Polar Bears with some momentum heading into this week’s clash with Tufts University.

Quarterback Andrew Boel has been a player to watch these last two weeks – against Amherst, he completed 22 of 28 passes for 307 yards and three touchdowns.

Boel connected with eight different receivers, including Colton Fahey who caught a pair of touchdowns while finishing with a game-high 112 yards on five grabs.

As a team, Bowdoin registered 421 yards of total offense compared to Amherst, which finished with 340. Additionally, they converted seven of 12 third-down attempts.

Bridgewater State (4-2, 4-0 MASCAC): The Bears return from their bye with hopes of extending their current winning streak to five games.

Like Framingham State, Bridgewater State rebounded from an 0-2 start with four straight wins, including a pair against two squads that earned spots on this week’s Top 20 Poll: Plymouth State and Western Connecticut.

In their last outing against Worcester State, the Bears leaned on halfback Adam Couch, who rushed for a game-high 190 yards on 19 carries and three touchdowns. Brendan Albert led the defensive with a game-high 13 total tackles, including five solo stops, one pass break-up, and one fumble recovery.

Look for their momentum prior to their bye week to continue Saturday against Westfield State.

MIT (2-3, 0-2 NEWMAC): After starting their season by winning two of three contests, the Engineers have dropped their last two outings, including a 56-34 setback last Saturday against the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USSMA), which saw wide receiver Ben Dwyer record a career-best 224 receiving yards on nine grabs to go with one touchdown.

Dwyer was named to this week’s D3Football.com Team of the Week and was one yard shy of matching the MIT single-game record for receiving yards, which was set 33 years ago.

Dwyer, along with the Engineers will look to avenge their last two conference losses when they host Norwich University on Saturday, October 23 at 1 p.m.

The Cadets will arrive in Cambridge with one conference win, but a victory against Norwich means MIT could gain some much-needed momentum heading into their final three contests against Coast Guard Academy, Springfield College, and WPI.

Salve Regina University (6-1, 2-1 CCC): The Seahawks have rebounded quite well since dropping their initial conference clash with Western New England by scoring back-to-back wins against Nichols College (35-20) and the University of New England (48-6).

This week, their season is somewhat on the line as they must beat Endicott College to remain in the mix for the Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC) crown.

Endicott beat Salve Regina in their last meeting in 2019 – the game was held in Newport, Rhode Island – while the Seahawks beat the Gulls on their home turf one year later.

Look for Salve Regina to lean on its ground game like they did last week against Nichols, which saw halfback Joey Mauriello rush for a game-high 203 yards on 30 carries and three touchdowns (all three scores occurred in the third quarter last week against the Bison).