Noontime Rewind: The Best New England D-III Football Teams of the 2010s

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By Matt Noonan | @NoontimeNation 

Happy Sunday, everyone! And welcome back for yet another Noontime Sports rewind post where we reflect on coverage from both the current year and decade (the twenty-tens!).

This particular post will highlight some of the best teams we covered in New England D-III football – let the debate and conversations begin.

As usual, if you have any thoughts (or inputs) please comment below, but again, thanks for stopping by and reading a brand new rewind – let’s go!


The 2010 Williams College Ephs: Williams secured its third outright title with a perfect 8-0 mark which was capped by an end of season win over Amherst College. Additionally, the Purple and Gold captured the Little Three crown while producing their seventh perfect season in program history.

The 2011 Endicott College Gulls: In 2011, the Gulls captured 10 of 11 contests while averaging 40.5 points per game. The offense, led by quarterback Phil Konopka, was impressive, but the same could be said for the Endicott defense, which limited opponents to 16.5 points per contest. Kevin Eagan, who played just one season for the Gulls at defensive line, tallied 104.0 total tackles in 11 contests, including 55 solo stops and 23 tackles for a loss of 87 yards. Endicott finished the season with back-to-back wins, including an ECAC North Atlantic Bowl victory over Mount Ida College.

The 2012 Framingham State Rams: After finishing their 2011 campaign with a 7-4 mark, these Rams flipped the switch following an opening day loss to Endicott College by winning ten-straight contests, including a New England Football Conference (NEFC) Championship against Salve Regina University. Salve Regina was projected to win this particular meeting, but the Seahawks struggled to contain FSU halfback Melikke Van Alstyne, who rushed for 96 yards and two scores. James Muirhead concluded the contest with eight total tackles, including six solo stops, three tackles for a loss of 17 yards and one forced fumble. FSU would advance to the NCAA D-III Tournament but see their bid toward a national title conclude at Cortland State.

The 2013 Endicott College Gulls: Drew FrenetteSpencer Walsh, and Nate Lewis, along with the Endicott defense highlighted an exciting end of season win over Salve Regina to secure the program’s second NEFC crown in four seasons, along with a spot in the NCAA D-III Tournament. Endicott recorded its first shutout of the season and finished 2013 with an 8-3 record. The Gulls entered the postseason with a seven-game winning streak after starting its 2013 campaign with a 2-2 record.

The 2014 MIT Engineers: MIT advanced to the postseason for the first time in school history and won an exciting opening round contest against Husson University before falling to Wesley College in the second round of the NCAA D-III Tournament. The Engineers finished 10-1 in 2014 – they scored some exciting wins over Western New EnglandEndicott College, and Coast Guard Academy to secure their initial New England Football Conference (NEFC) championship in program history. MIT averaged 446.8 yards of total offense and 35.5 points per contest.

The 2015 Western New England Golden Bears: Western New England captured 10 of 11 contests in 2015, including a pair of conference victories against Endicott and Salve Regina. The Golden Bears produced 40 points or more in five contests and secured a spot in the NCAA D-III Tournament in late November.

The 2016 Western New England Golden Bears: Despite ending their season with a six-point setback to Alfred in the second round of the NCAA D-III Tournament, the 2016 Golden Bears were very impressive, winning 11 of 12 contests by an average score of 39.8 to 19.0. WNE averaged 460.1 yards of total offense in 12 contests and limited opposing offenses to just 110.1 yards on the ground per game. They scored impressive wins over Springfield CollegeUnion College, and Endicott College before beating Husson University in the opening round of the NCAA D-III Tournament.

The 2017 Husson University Eagles: Coach Gabby Price led the Eagles to not just an Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) crown in 2017, but also an upset win over Springfield College in the opening round of the NCAA D-III Tournament. Husson beat a very impressive Springfield team, which entered the postseason on a ten-game winning streak. Halfback John Smith rushed for a game-high 164 yards on 43 carries and two touchdowns while Elvin Suazo and the defense limited the Pride to a season-low 264 yards of total offense.

The 2018 Trinity College Bantams: The Bantams concluded their 2018 campaign not just with a 9-0 win over rival Wesleyan University, but also with their third consecutive New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) championship. Trinity won eight of nine contests and was able to win their ninth conference crown due to a 27-16 win earlier in the season against Amherst College. Trinity averaged 464.3 yards of total offense and 36.0 points per game while limiting opposing defenses to 67.7 rushing yards and 10.0 points.

The 2019 Middlebury College Panthers: Coach Bob Ritter led the Panthers to their first-ever 9-0 season in program history, along with a 2019 NESCAC championship. The team averaged 410.6 yards of total offense, including 227.4 passing yards while limiting opponents to 108.0 rushing yards per game. Middlebury scored some exciting wins this fall, along with some nail-bitters against Amherst College and Colby College. They scored 45 points against Wesleyan University in late October before producing 47 points one week later against Bowdoin College.

D3 Football: New England Conference Predictions

CONFERENCE PREDICTIONS

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

A brand new season of New England Division III football is set to commence in two days – there are some very intriguing matchups to follow this week, beginning with some must-see games on Friday, September 6th.

Yet, before any of these games officially begin, allow us – Noontime Sports – to dish out our conference predictions for the 2019 season, including our projected winner, runner-up, and dark-horse.


Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC)

Projected Winner: Western New England 

After a successful first season as head coach, Jason LeBeau will once again guide the Golden Bears to a conference title and first-round appearance in the NCAA Division III Tournament.

Runner-Up: Endicott College 

The Gulls return a slew of talent on both sides of the ball but face some serious challenges in the first three weeks against Framingham State and Wesley College.

Dark Horse: Husson University.

The Eagles begin a new era under first-year coach Nat Clark, who has prior experience with the program under former head coach Gabby Price. Husson graduated some key pieces of last year’s squad, but do return some talented upperclassmen that will challenge Endicott, Salve Regina, and Western New England for the top spot.


Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC)

Projected Winner: Maritime (N.Y.) 

It is hard to pick against the Privateers, who were picked to capture the ECFC crown, per the league’s preseason coaches poll. Maritime will be led by first-year coach Mickey Rehring, who has some work to do with finding replacements from last year’s squad, including the offense.

Runner-Up: Dean College

The Bulldogs enter the upcoming season with expectations of taking the so-called ‘next-step.’ Dean has the potential to challenge the Privateers for the top spot in the ECFC with a slew of returners from both last season and 2017.

Dark Horse: Castleton University 

Coach Tony Volpone seems focused on watching his team improve and get better this fall – he, along with the coaching staff return a young roster that will certainly be an interesting team to watch as the season progresses.


Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC)

Projected Winner: Framingham State 

The Rams seem to embrace the so-called ‘target’ on their back – they know they will face challenges from both conference and non-conference foes this fall, but that shouldn’t stop them from winning eight or nine games.

Runner-Up: Bridgewater State 

The Bears graduated some key pieces from last year’s 8-3 squad, including wide receiver Jack Lavanchy. Bridgewater State does return 40 student-athletes from last season, which should help the Bears compete with the Rams for the top spot in the conference.

Dark Horse: Western Connecticut 

Western Connecticut graduated some key pieces from last year’s squad this past spring, including half-back Kyle McKinnon, but do return wide receiver Will Daniels, quarterback David James, and defensive end Jordan Fletcher, which will help the Colonials challenge both the Bears and Rams for a MASCAC title.


New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC)

Projected Winner: Trinity College 

The Bantams have won the last three conference crowns and should find a way to capture their fourth consecutive title this fall, thanks to some key returners on both sides of the ball, including its defensive line. Trinity will also rely on running back Spencer Lockwood, who was named the Gatorade Player of the Year for Connecticut in 2017.

Runner-Up: Amherst College 

The Mammoths return some impressive talent on offense – they will once again be led by quarterback Ollie Eberth, who accounted for 19 touchdowns last fall, including nine on the ground. Amherst does have some graduation holes to fill on defense, but should once again be in the mix for the conference crown.

Dark Horse: Williams College 

The Ephs faced some adversity last fall but still managed to win five of nine contests. This season, Williams should lean heavily on its junior class to keep pace with Amherst and Trinity, as well as Middlebury College, which beat the Ephs last fall in Williamstown.


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

Projected Winner: Springfield College 

Despite losing some key pieces last September, the Pride still managed to post an eight-win season, which concluded with a New England Bowl victory over Maritime (N.Y.). Springfield returns most of last year’s squad, especially on offense, but will need players like AJ Smith and Jack Pavelchak to step-up on defense.

Runner Up: WPI

For WPI to enjoy another successful season, they will need to rely on their senior class, especially halfbacks Connor Field and Sean McAllen on offense and linebacker Nick Ostrowski on defense. This senior class seems committed to doing whatever is needed to help the Engineers challenge Springfield (and others) for the top spot in the NEWMAC.

Dark Horse: MIT 

After capturing its first-ever NEWMAC crown last fall, coach Brian Bubna and his staff will look to duplicate their 2018 performance this season, despite some key graduation losses on both sides of the ball, including quarterback Udgam Goyal. MIT does return some talent (and leadership), which should help the Engineers be in the hunt for a second-straight conference title.


Stay connected with our New England Football coverage on Twitter by following @Noontime_FB

The Early Preseason Outlook: Husson Eagles

Jacob HUSSON EAGLES

By Matt Noonan | @MattyNoonz11

Our ‘Early Preseason Outlook’ coverage rolls on with a closer look at the Husson University Eagles, who begin a new era in program history this fall as a member of Commonwealth Coast Football.

The Eagles, who previously competed in the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC), will begin their 2019 season on the second Saturday of September – that would be September 14th, to be exact – when they visit UMass Dartmouth for a 12 p.m. kick-off.

The Eagles’ 2018 Season: Husson commenced its season by winning two of four contests before stringing together six consecutive wins to secure the ECFC title, as well as a spot in the NCAA Division III Tournament.

The Eagles’ national championship hopes were dashed one week after beating Plymouth State in their season finale with a 38-14 setback to RPI in the opening round of the NCAA Division III Tournament.

Yet, despite the loss, the Eagles again proved they can compete with the best, both in New England and outside the region.

2018 was the final season for coach Gabby Price, who announced months after his team’s final contest that he would be stepping down. Nat Clark was named the program’s new coach roughly two weeks after Price’s announcement.

The 2019 Outlook: As noted above, the Eagles will begin a new chapter in program history this fall as a member of the Commonwealth Coast Football league – Husson will compete against some talented New England squads, including Endicott CollegeSalve Regina University and Western New England.

Husson will certainly be a team to watch again this year, however, they do have some holes to fill, beginning at quarterback.

Cory Brandon, who was the team’s signal-caller the past few years, has graduated – he was one of 14 student-athletes to graduate this past spring – so perhaps we could see David Morrison under center or Frank Veino. Both student-athletes appeared in games last year, however, Morrison competed in all 10 contests, so it’s likely we will see him against the Corsairs in week two.

In addition to identifying a new starting quarterback, the Eagles will need to find replacements for wide receivers Kyle Gaudet and Ty Bassett, as well as linebacker Elvin Suazo.

Keyshaun Robinson could become the go-to target for Morrison or Veino – the senior tight end finished second on the team with 38 receptions for 526 yards and seven touchdowns. Additionally, Tyler Halls, who transferred from Western New England, could be a wide receiver to watch this fall, as well. Halls enjoyed a successful first season with the Eagles last year, catching 28 passes for 318 yards and three touchdowns.

In addition to some new wide-outs and tight ends stepping up, look for the Eagles to rely on its ground game. Husson returns Miece Loureiro and Solomon Hassen, who combined for 1,783 yards and four touchdowns.

Husson returns a slew of offensive linemen, including Collin SpenceAidan Asher, and Jacob Cameron, which should help the Eagles continue its success from last year, both on the ground and through the air.

Ace Curry should be the player to watch on defense – the Lewiston, Maine native finished second on the team last season in total tackles. Kaleb Caron, who stuffed the stat sheet with 51.0 total tackles, including seven tackles for a loss for 36 yards and 2.5 sacks, will also be a player to watch, too.

Husson’s Schedule: After traveling to UMass Dartmouth in week two, the Eagles will host WPI in their season-opener on September 21st before finishing the month of September with a trip to Morrisville State.

Husson will dive into conference play in the first week of October with a trip to Becker College followed by three consecutive home games, including an important matchup with Endicott on October 26.

Husson will end the regular season with a trio of marquee matchups, beginning with a visit to Nichols College followed by a home date with Salve Regina. The Eagles will visit Western New England on Saturday, November 16th with hopes of competing one week later in either the NCAA Tournament or New England Bowl.

Players to Watch: David Morrison (Quarterback/Ashland, Mass.), Frank Veino (Sanford, Maine), Keyshaun Robinson (Tight End/Brooklyn, N.Y.), Tyler Halls (Wide Receiver/Lisbon, Maine), Miece Loureiro (Halfback/Westbrook, Maine), Solomon Hassen (Halfback/Los Angeles, Calif.), Collin Spence (Offensive Line/Windsor, Conn.), Aidan Asher (Offensive Line/Portsmouth, R.I.), Jacob Cameron (Offensive Line/Conway, N.H.), Ace Curry (Defensive Back/Lewiston, Maine), Kaleb Caron (Linebacker/West Gardiner, Maine), and Devin Pickett (Kicker/Sidney, Maine).


Stay connected with Noontime Sports’ football coverage on Twitter by following @Noontime_FB.

Daily Noontime: January 23rd, 2019

The Daily Noontime

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

Welcome back, Daily Noontime – we have missed you!

In case you don’t know, the Daily Noontime was one of our first real pieces of content that was posted every week, Monday through Friday. And we have decided to restart it this week, beginning TODAY with some news and notes from the sports, tech and pop culture world.

As always, stay connected with Noontime Sports on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram


News, Links & More from the World Wide Web


In Case You Missed It (ICYMI):


Video of the Day: In case you missed it, make sure to rock out with James Corden and Adam Lambert, who sang an amazing duet about the New England Patriots.

D3 Football: Price Steps Down At Husson

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Husson University football coach Gabby Price announced he will be stepping down this morning. (PHOTO COURTESY: Michael C. York/Bangor Daily News)

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

Gabby Price will not be coaching the Husson University football team this fall.

The tenured coach, who has guided the Eagles for 12 seasons, including the past six campaigns, announced his retirement this morning after guiding the Green and Gold to an 8-3 record this past season, as well as the program’s fifth Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) conference title.

“I am honored to have had the job and have appreciated every minute that I have had working with so many outstanding people,” Price said in this morning’s release, which was seen on the Husson athletics website.

“I love coaching because of the players playing and those who have played. I am and have been proud of our players in so many ways. They have won some games and also been great to each other.  Everyone has a story and many of our players have had an incredible journey in so many different directions. The greatest teachers in my life have been our players and for that I love them and will always be indebted to them.”

Price departs the Bangor, Maine campus as the winningest coach in program history. He has compiled a 72-45 mark in 12 seasons (2002-08 and 2013-18), while leading the Eagles to four NCAA Tournaments (2014, 2016, 2017, and 2018) and two ECAC Bowl Games in 2008 and 2015.

In 2017, Price guided the Eagles to a school record 10 wins, along with its first-ever NCAA Tournament win over heavily-favored Springfield College. The win extended the Eagles’ season to end of November 2017 where they faced No. 5/7 Delaware Valley.

2017 was also the final year Price coached halfback John Smith, who ended his time in Maine with 7,205 rushing yards (fourth most rushing yards by a Division III tailback), 81 rushing touchdowns (31 scores in 2017) and 370 receiving yards on 34 receptions.

As noted in today’s release, Price has coached 78 student-athletes that have earned all-conference honors, along with 11 players that collected major end of the year awards.

Price was tabbed the ECFC Coach of the Year three times at Husson, including this past season, while being named New England DII/DIII Coach of the Year in 2017. He has coached 15 All-Americans and 61 student-athletes that earned ECFC All-Academic awards.

Said Director of Athletics Frank Pergolizzi, “It has been an honor and our privilege to work with Coach Price during these past six football seasons. His commitment to Husson University and to the students in our football program has been outstanding. His priority has consistently been the health and welfare of each of our student-athletes. They are fortunate to have had the opportunity to have been coached by him.”