New England D3 Football: Week One Predictions

10 Games To Watch

By Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11) 

Ah, the first official week of the college football season is here, which means it is time to dish out 10 games to watch, as well as 10 predictions, too.

Let me know what you think – did I choose the right team or score? –  by sending me a tweet to @MattNoonan11 or @NoontimeSports.

Happy College Football season, everyone!

Alfred State at Coast Guard (Thursday, August 31st): Quarterback Ethan Goldcamp should have a solid debut under center, which will help the Bears commence its season with a win. Coast Guard 28, Alfred State 10 

Mount Ida at UMass Dartmouth (Friday, September 1st): The Mustangs are one of my teams to watch in the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) this season, and I think they will pull this one out by at least a touchdown (maybe six points?). Keep an eye on quarterback Mike Pina, who will certainly be a player to watch this fall. Mount Ida 24, UMass Dartmouth 17 

Anna Maria at WPI (Friday, September 1st): Welcome back, Coach Dan Mulrooney! Mulrooney and the AMCATs will be a fun program to follow this fall – Coach joined me on the initial Football Friday Podcast and will do great things for the Anna Maria Football program – but I am going to take the Engineers in this one. Expect a big game from tailback Sean McAllen and linebacker Sam MalafronteWPI 30, Anna Maria 14 

Westfield State at Nichols (Friday, September 1st): Coming off an impressive season, the Bison of Nichols will look to continue its momentum from a year ago when they host the Owls on Friday evening. My player to watch in this one is Nichols linebacker Brett McEvoy, who is refereed to as the ‘Tom Brady‘ of the defense. Nichols 21, Westfield State 13  

Fitchburg State at Curry (Friday, September 1st): I picked against the Colonels last season in their opener, so I will take them this time. Curry will need some new wide-outs to step-up this season – the squad graduated some key receivers last spring. Curry 21, Fitchburg State 14 

Framingham State at Endicott (Saturday, September 2nd): This is always a must-see, must-attend game in the opening week. One of the match-ups I am interested in watching is Endicott fullback Lavante Wiggins against the Framingham State front seven. Additionally, keep an eye on both quarterbacks, too. Framingham State 28, Endicott 14 

Springfield at Western New England (Saturday, September 2nd): It’s the Battle of Springfield this weekend as the Pride make a short trek to the Golden Bears’ home field. As I said on today’s season-preview podcast with James Baker, I will take the ‘underdog’ in this game: Springfield. Springfield 28, WNE 27 

Union at Husson (Saturday, September 2nd): John Smith‘s senior season should be a fun one to follow. He’s coming off his best year with the Eagles and will certainly be a student-athlete to watch in this contest. Additionally, keep an eye on Coach Gabby Price‘s defense – seven starters are back from last year’s unit. Husson 28, Union 17 

Castleton at Plymouth State (Saturday, September 2nd): The Panthers enjoyed perhaps their best season in years last fall, but can they continue that momentum this season? PSU welcomes back eight starters on offense, while the defense will be looking for a few new student-athletes to step-up – the unit returns just five starters. Castleton will receive a big boost in this contest from wide-out Ryan BarryCastleton 22, Plymouth State 21 

Bridgewater State at Buffalo State (Saturday, September 2nd): The Bears were picked to capture the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC), but can they make claim their second-straight league crown without some key members of last year’s defense? This will be a difficult test for the Bears, but certainly one that could help them once they hop into conference play in two weeks. Buffalo State 24, Bridgewater State 14 

Dan Mulrooney Tabbed Anna Maria College Football Coach

Former WPI defensive coordinator Dan Mulrooney was recently named the next Anna Maria football coach. (PHOTO CREDIT: WPI Athletics)

Former WPI defensive coordinator Dan Mulrooney was recently named the next Anna Maria football coach. (PHOTO CREDIT: WPI Athletics)

By Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11

A “new culture” is set to begin at Anna Maria College as Athletic Director Serge DeBari announced yesterday that Dan Mulrooney would become the next football coach of the AMCATs football program.

“He is a hardworking football coach with a great attitude looking for an opportunity to develop high character student-athletes on and off the field,” DeBari said in the athletic department’s release.

Mulrooney comes to Paxton, Massachusetts following an impressive three-year stint with the WPI football team as the defensive coordinator. Mulrooney helped the Engineers enjoy a pair of winning seasons (2015 & 2016), while improving the defense every year.

A Division I safety and tailback, Mulrooney competed for both Boston College and Stony Brook – he concluded his career as Seawolves’ leading tackler in 2011, while earning Big South Defensive Newcomer of the Year.

Mulrooney hails from Waterbury, Connecticut and competed for Holy Cross High School where he earned a pair of all-state accolades, while guiding his squad to two state titles.

Said Mulrooney, “I am an enthusiastic, dedicated, hardworking coach, who strives to develop student-athletes to reach their maximum potential.”

New England D3 Football: Nichols, Mount Ida & Tufts Highlight Week 8 (LINKS)

The Nichols College Bison earned their first-ever win over Coast Guard Academy on Saturday. (Photo Credit: Nichols College Athletics)

The Nichols College Bison earned their first-ever win over Coast Guard Academy on Saturday. (Photo Credit: Nichols College Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com 

The eighth week of the New England D3 Football season is in the books.

We saw some exciting outcomes yesterday, including a dramatic come-from-behind win by Mount Ida College, Nichols College claiming their initial win over Coast Guard Academy, Tufts University’s Chance Brady re-writing the record book and much more.

Catching Up With WPI Defensive Back Jason Lamb

WPI's Jason Lamb (No. 24) recorded a career-best 17 total tackles last Saturday. (Photo Credit: Matt Noonan/Noontime Sports)

WPI’s Jason Lamb (No. 24) recorded a career-best 17 total tackles last Saturday. (Photo Credit: Matt Noonan/Noontime Sports)

By NoontimeSports.com 

WPI defensive back Jason Lamb concluded last Saturday’s contest against U.S. Merchant Marine Academy with a career-best 17 tackles, including 13 solo stops. Additionally, Lamb registered a tackle for a loss, an interception and a pass breakup.

Lamb’s impressive performance earned him the Robert Pritchard Award for most outstanding defensive player during WPI’s Homecoming Weekend. In addition to the accolade, Lamb secured a spot on this week’s D3Football.com Team of the Week, too.

Following his team’s Liberty League clash with the Mariners, Noontime Sports caught up with the Plymouth, Massachusetts’s native to talk some football, movies, music, and a unique pregame ritual.

This past week, you were all over the field on defense. You recorded a pair of season-highs of 13 solo stops and 17 total tackles – what was working for you against Merchant Marine?

Our defensive coordinator – Dan Mulrooney – had a really good game plan that allowed me to move freely in the box. Coach Chris Robertson also did an amazing job during the week preparing me to have the best pre-snap reads and eye control possible. The defensive line and linebackers did a great job taking up blocks and allowing me to make plays.

Earlier this season, you had a big performance against Worcester State where you recorded a pair of interceptions, including an interception returned for a touchdown. What do you remember from that particular game and how were you so successful at intercepting the quarterback that evening not once, but twice?

It was due to the great schemes of our defensive coordinator and defensive back coaches. I remember being able to read the quarterbacks’ eyes and that helped me get good jumps on the ball. It also helped that our middle linebacker, Brian Murtagh, was great in coverage and forced tons of air under the ball, too.

You’re currently on pace to match some of your totals from two seasons ago (2014-15), so what did you do prior to this season to prepare yourself for a successful season on defense?

When Coach Robertson told me I was moving to safety, I knew I had to change how I was going to train this past offseason. Instead of focusing on gaining more size and strength like I had previously done as a linebacker, I focused instead on speed and footwork. The offseason work helped me to cover the field faster and be more involved in plays.

Since arriving at WPI you have played both linebacker and defensive back. How has each position helped you progress as a football player?

Each position has offered me a different angle to see the football field. Combining my knowledge from these two positions has helped me to understand the defense better as a whole and ultimately helped me progress as a football player.

What’s the biggest goal facing the Engineers for the remainder of the season?

Winning our next game against our rival RPI. This game next week is (very important) and will set the tone for the remainder of the season.

Who is your favorite professional football player – either current or past? And why?

Lawrence Taylor is my all-time favorite NFL player. His playing style on the field is something I tried to mimic when I played outside linebacker.

Tell me about your major – why did you choose it and what do you hope to do with it after graduation?

My major is Management Engineering with a concentration in Operations. It is a blend of a business and engineering. I chose it because I’ve always loved business, but still wanted to learn some aspects of engineering. What’s great about my major is that I can pursue various professions, but I would like to do something involving system analytics or sales engineering.

Three favorite movies?

Star Wars Episode VI, Interstellar and Fight Club

What was the last book you read for pleasure?

The Singularity is Near by Ray Kurzweil

Three songs you listen to on a game day?

‘Dreams and Nightmares’ by Meek Mill

‘Long Live ASAP’ by ASAP Rocky

‘WDYW’ by Carnage

Do you have any pre-game traditions? If so, what are they (or is it?) and when did this pre-game tradition begin?

One of my pre-game rituals is to drink a jar of pickle juice. It began my sophomore year. It started because my roommate, Brandon Eccher, has been doing it since high school and he said it prevents cramps. Since I’ve started it I haven’t cramped once.

What is your favorite non-football activity?

I’ve always loved to ski in my free time, so I plan to (hit the slopes) after football season concludes.