Tag: Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference

USAC Will Kick Off Its Spring Season This Saturday

By NoontimeSports.com

The USA South Athletic Conference (USAC) is set to kickoff its spring season this weekend, joining a slew of other NCAA D-III, NAIA, and FCS squads that will be in action tomorrow, Saturday, and Sunday.

Brevard College will look to continue its success from 2019 on Saturday when they begin their spring season. (PHOTO COURTESY: Tommy Moss/Brevard College Athletics)

Brevard College and Huntingdon College will kickoff the truncated season on Saturday, February 20 before other teams return to the gridiron, both next week and the week after – Saturday, March 6, to be exact.

The USAC spring season will conclude with a championship game on Saturday, April 3 between the winner of the East and West Divisions.

Five teams, including Huntingdon, secured first-place nods in last week’s preseason coaches poll while Averett University and North Carolina Wesleyan College garnered a pair of first-place nods as two members of the East Division.

Let’s get you set for the opening weekend of USAC football with a quick preview of Saturday’s match-up between Huntingdon and Brevard:

Huntingdon has not played a football game since November 30, 2019 when they lost to Mary Hardin-Baylor in the second round of the NCAA D-III Tournament. The game marked the end of an exciting run for the Hawks, who captured the USAC crown with an 8-4 record, including a 6-1 mark in league play.

Four Hawks earned postseason honors from D3Football.com, securing spots on the 2019 All-South Region Team, including Otis Porter, who departed the Huntingdon program as the all-time leader in receptions (160), receiving yards (3,045), and touchdown receptions (35). Darrell Hixon, who also joined Porter on the same team, returns this spring to anchor an offensive line that helped the Hawks offense average 404.2 yards per game.

Brevard enjoyed one of its best seasons in program history in 2019, posting an 8-2 overall record, which included an Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC) Scotty Whitelaw Bowl win over Carnegie Mellon.

The eight wins were the most recorded by a Tornadoes squad since the 2009 squad won seven contests.

Dante Anderson will be one of many student-athletes to watch on this Tornadoes squad, both on Saturday and this season – the Hartwell, Georgia native, who was named a first-team all-conference defensive back in 2019, guided a Brevard defense that recorded a league-high 21 interceptions and five touchdowns. The Tornadoes defense will certainly be a unit to watch on Saturday as they will square-off against a Hawks offense that will feature nine new starters.

Huntingdon coach Mike Turk, who has won 110 contests with the Hawks, knows Saturday’s contest is an important one for his team, which he says is “playing for a trophy” this spring.

“As long as there’s a trophy on the line, we’re gonna approach it like we always have and try to do everything we can to reach that goal,” said Turk, via Solomon Crenshaw Jr. of the Alabama Newscenter.

Brevard and Huntingon will square-off at 2 p.m. – the game will be played in Montgomery, Alabama and can be seen on the Hawks’ YouTube channel.

Noontime’s Senior Salute: Nick Bainter (Springfield College)

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Springfield College center Nick Bainter enjoyed competing for a program that celebrates tradition, commitment, and brotherhood. (PHOTO COURTESY: Springfield College Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com

For Nick Bainter, being able to compete for a team that “celebrated tradition, commitment, and brotherhood” is what he will miss the most when he graduates from Springfield College later this spring.

The East Bridgewater, Massachusetts native, who was spotted at the center position, played 39 games for the Pride and helped the team conclude its most recent campaign atop the NCAA National Rankings for Division III in rushing offense. Springfield’s rushing attack averaged 357.4 rushing yards in ten contests last fall, which was the third-highest average among all college football programs (FBS, FCS, D-II, and D-III) behind Harding University (373.0) and Navy (360.5). 

Named a 2019 D3football.com Preseason All-America First Team honoree, Bainter was honored months later by the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC) for the third time in his career, while being recognized by the National Football Foundation Hampshire Honor Society earlier this month. 

We recently spoke with Bainter, who is studying criminal justice, to discuss his final season with the Pride’s football program.


What will you remember most about your final season with the Pride? 

All the laughs. There are so many different personalities on my team from coaches to players, who made me and my teammates laugh. But in addition to the laughter, there were so many great moments, too, and I consider myself lucky that I was able to surround myself with the best group of men this world has to offer.

As for what I will remember most from this past season is how our team grew from defeat. This team battled every week and we learned that when adversity hits you can either melt or come out like steel.

Was there a game (or two) that you will remember most from either your senior season or the past three years? If so, which game(s) are they? 

The first one would be my first season with the program when we played WPI. Both I and quarterback Chad Shade started that particular game. We ended up winning the game and had a lot of fun.

The second game would be beating our local rival Western New England two years ago. We came out of the gates playing fast, physical football, and had a lot of fun. I remember watching the film of the game the next day and being amazed by the physicality we displayed.

What have you enjoyed most about competing for your team/program these past four years? What will you miss most after graduation? 

Competing for a program that celebrates tradition, commitment, and brotherhood. Springfield College is an incredibly special place. We have a character-driven culture at our school and on our football team.

I will miss being around the guys and the coaches. I will forever miss hearing “Take Me Home Tonight” by Eddie Money after victories. I will also miss hearing my teammates chant, “Roll Groups, roll.” And of course, I will miss spending time together with this brotherhood.

Do you hope to stay involved with your sport in the future?

I absolutely plan to stay involved in football. This is a special game that has had a massive impact on my life as well as an impact on many other lives.

D3 Hoops: Brandeis Men’s Basketball Returns To Postseason

I4CwSboa_400x400By Matt Noonan | @MattyNoonz11

For the first time since 2011, the Brandies University men’s basketball team will be competing in the postseason.

The Judges, who concluded their 2018-19 campaign with a 14-11 record, secured a spot in the 2019 Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC). Brandeis was tabbed one of the four top teams in this year’s tournament, along with Hood CollegeDrew University, and Wilkes University.

As noted in today’s release, Hood secured the top spot in this year’s tournament and will host one of four quarterfinals this Friday, March 1st at 11 a.m.

Brandeis, which last captured an ECAC crown during the 2010-11 season, will host John Jay College on Wednesday, February 27th at 7 p.m. with the winner advancing to Friday’s quarterfinal against either Marywood University or Medaille College.

Following Friday’s quarterfinals, Hood will host the semifinals (3 p.m. & 6 p.m.) on Saturday, March 2nd and championship (1 p.m.) on March 3rd.

For more on this year’s ECAC Tournament — HOP HERE

For more on the Judges’ first postseason appearance since the 2010-11 season — HOP HERE 


Stay connected with Noontime Sports’ basketball coverage on Twitter by following @Noontime_Hoops

Noontime Sports The Podcast: Episode Six (John Rollins | Interim Commissioner / CFO ECAC)

Noontime Sports Podcast

By NoontimeSports.com 

For the sixth episode of Noontime Sports the PodcastMatt Noonan chats with John Rollins, who is the Interim Commissioner/CFO of the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC).

Rollins shared his goals and objectives for the ECAC moving forward, while also discussing past work in the National Football League (N.F.L.). With the NFL, Rollins held the title of Business Manager for both the League Office and League Management Council, as noted in his bio on the conference’s website.

In addition to a little professional football talk, Rollins also shred his excitement for the conference’s upcoming #ECACD3FBFest, which will take place this November 18-20 at Franklin Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.