Tag: James Baker

Noontime’s Teams To Watch In NCAA D-III Region 1

MIT will be one of a few teams to watch in the NEWMAC this fall. (PHOTO COURTESY: Matt Noonan/NoontimeSports.com)

By NoontimeSports.com

A brand new season of NCAA Division III football is quickly approaching. And we’re excited about the upcoming season. Are you?

As a part of our early preseason coverage, we will be producing a list of 10 to 12 teams we will be watching this fall in regions one and two — yes, the NCAA has divided 239 teams into six regions for the upcoming season compared to previous years, which saw programs listed in the North, South, East, and West. These changes were highlighted on D3Football.com earlier this month.

So, without further ado, let’s begin our early preseason watch with our teams to watch in Region 1 this fall!

Delaware Valley: As noted last week on our podcast — well, we need to give some credit to James Baker of In The D3FB Huddle — the Aggies will most likely be the top team this fall in this particular region. DelVal did not play last fall or earlier this spring, but posted an 11-2 record in 2019, which included eight conference wins in Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC). The Aggies will begin their 2021 campaign at Kean University on Friday, September 3 at 6:30 p.m.

Endicott College: The Gulls improved from 2018 to 2019. And despite not appearing on the gridiron last fall, it is expected the trend will continue this season when coach Paul McGonagle leads the Blue and Green onto the field on Saturday, September 4 against St. Lawrence University.

Framingham State University: Aynsley Rosenbaum will make his head coaching debut on Labor Day Weekend — Saturday, September 4 at 12 p.m., to be exact — when the Rams welcome Brockport to Bowditch Field. Rosenbaum spent 12 seasons with the Black and Gold as the offensive coordinator, and has helped the Rams win nine conference championships.

Merchant Marine: The Mariners competed one last fall — they defeated their rival Coast Guard Academy in the Secretaries Cup. Quarterback Ian Blankenship highlighted his team’s lone win of the 2020 season and will certainly be a player to watch this fall.

Middlebury College: In 2019, the Panthers were perfect, winning all nine New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) matchups to become just the fourth team in league history to record an undefeated season.

Misericordia University: First-year coach John Davis and the Cougars will be a team you certainly will want to keep your eyes on this fall — Davis arrives in Dallas, Pennsylvania after three successful seasons with The Apprentice School in Newport News, Virginia. Under Davis, the Builders posted back-to-back winning seasons in 2018 and 2019. In 2018, Davis and the Builders beat Oakland University in the NCFA National Championship.

MIT: The Engineers have averaged 7.66 wins in their last three seasons — they have also represented the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) in back-to-back NCAA Tournaments. MIT’s previous success should continue this fall, but like previous years, they will face some challenges against two local conference foes: Springfield College and WPI.

Stevenson University: Similar to the Aggies, the Mustangs will also be a team to watch in this particular region — they open their season against Johns Hopkins, which finished its 2019 campaign with an 8-3 record, including a 6-3 mark in the Centennial Conference (CC). Their matchup with the Blue Jays will be followed by two VERY iroad trips at RPI and Delaware Valley.

Trinity College: Look for the Bantams to bounce back this fall after posting a 5-4 record in 2019. Prior to their five-win season, the Bantams produced three eight-win seasons, including a perfect 8-0 mark in 2016.

UMass Dartmouth: Quarterback Stephen Gacioch is back to quarterback the Corsairs for one more season — in 2019, he led the Blue and Gold to a 7-3 season. UMass Dartmouth last recorded seven wins in 2004 when they were a member of the New England Football Conference (NEFC).

Western New England: The Golden Bears have won eight games or more since 2014, and will once again be one of a few teams to watch in New England this fall. And like most teams, they did graduate some talent on both sides of the ball, including quarterback Alec Coleman, but expect Jason Lebeau‘s squad to be ready come week one when they host Springfield College on Saturday, September 4 at 1 p.m.

Wilkes University: Coach Jonathan Drach and the Colonels enjoyed a successful 2019 season, which saw the team post eight wins for the first time since finishing 8-3 in 2005. Despite losing to Susquehanna University in the Centennial/MAC Bowl, the Colonels should be able to continue to their momentum this fall when they kickoff their season at Schmidt Stadium against Keystone College on Saturday, September 4 at 1 p.m.

Podcast: James Baker (In The D3FB Huddle)

By NoontimeSports.com

Our old friend (and yes, former co-host for NCAA D-III football coverage in 2018 and 2019) James Baker of In The D3FB Huddle joined our podcast — we recorded the show on Monday, but the show is available now (Tuesday, June 8, 2021).

Baker and host/producer Matt Noonan discussed a variety of topics, including spring football — a handful of Division I teams in the northeast — that is our neck of the woods! — did compete while many Division II and III teams either practiced or scrimmaged a nearby team. Both Baker and Noonan believe the 2021 D-III season should feature some new storylines as most of the student-athletes we covered have graduated or perhaps transferred to another compete at another level.

In addition to some way-too-early D-III football talk — yes, we will have more from Baker and Noonan soon! — the guys also discussed the opening weekend of the Premier Lacrosse League (PLL), an upcoming Pac-12 football game being played mid-morning in early September, and the Boston Red Sox‘s recent sweep of the New York Yankees.

Listen to our show below or on Anchor, Apple Podcasts, and Spotify!

Berry, Hendrix Set To Compete In SAA Championship

By Matt Noonan

The sixth week of the spring football season is set to kickoff later this week and there is one game with a trophy on the line.

Berry College and Hendrix College will compete on Saturday, March 13 for the Southern Athletic Association (SAA) title – both teams enter this highly anticipated matchup riding a three-game winning streak, respectively.

Hendrix captured the Western Division crown last Saturday with a 13-3 win against Trinity University (Texas) while Berry rallied to beat Centre College to claim the East title in overtime.

“It is hard to put into words how proud I am of our team to continue to adapt, adjust, improvise and overcome,” said Hendrix coach Buck Buchanan via the athletic department’s release from last Saturday’s win over Trinity.

Saturday’s match-up will be played at War Memorial Stadium after in Arkansas at 7 p.m. eastern – the game will commence after Trinity and Birmingham-Southern College square-off in the first SAA clash of the weekend, which is scheduled to kickoff at 1 p.m. eastern. On Sunday, two more SAA games will be played on the same field between Centre College and Austin College at 1 p.m. eastern followed by Rhodes College and Millsaps College at 7 p.m.


For those interested in purchasing tickets or learning more about this exciting weekend of SAA football at War Memorial Stadium, HOP HERE!


Sticking with the SAA championship – and yes, the big weekend in Arkansas for all eight squads – make sure to watch (or listen) to this week’s “In The (D3FB) Huddle” show with Frank Rossi and James Baker – our friends were joined by members of both the Berry and Hendrix football team, who provided some insight into Saturday’s title game.

Let’s go inside the Berry-Hendix Matchup:

  • In their last meeting in 2019, Berry beat Hendrix, 27-9, thanks to a pair of touchdown passes from Gavin Gray, who was recently named the league’s offensive player of the week, along with six sacks from the Vikings defense. Hendrix quarterback Miles Thompson concluded the game with 245 passing yards.
  • The Warriors’ last win over the Vikings came in 2013 when the Orange and Black beat the Vikings by a score of 30-17. Hendrix’s Tanner Frye completed 28 of 39 passes for 229 yards and three touchdowns while rushing for 40 yards on eight carries.
  • Berry enters Saturday contest averaging 32.67 points per game – let’s call it 33? – while Hendrix has averaged 33 points per contest in three games.
  • Berry has won its last six matchups against Hendrix.

Three Players to Watch (Berry):

  • Gavin Gray (QB): The second-year signal-caller leads all SAA passers with eight touchdowns while averaging 245.0 yards per game. Gray was instrumental in the Vikings come-from-behind win over Centre last Saturday, which needed overtime to decide a winner.
  • Cameron Kawa (WR): The first-year wide out leads the Vikings in touchdown receptions (three) and is one of two receivers to have caught 10 passes from Gray this year.
  • Connor Cheyunski (LB): Ranked fourth in the conference in total tackles, the third-year linebacker leads the Vikings with 28 total tackles, including 10 solo stops.

Three Players to Watch (Hendrix):

  • Kip VanHoose (RB): The senior tailback from Kansas City, Missouri leads the Warriors in net yards (190) and rushing touchdowns (four). He ranks second in the SAA in rushing touchdowns behind Birmingham-Southern’s Robert Shufford.
  • Blake Hinton (WR): The senior wide-out from Dallas, Texas leads the Orange and Black in receiving yards (223), yards per game (74.33) and touchdown receptions (two).
  • Jacob Bremmon (DB): The third-year defensive back leads all SAA defenders with three interceptions – all three of his picks came against Trinity.

We’ll be back for more football content later this week, but as always, thanks for stopping by to read our Wednesday Football Notebook!

D3 Football Spring Games Will Begin In February

By Matt Noonan

Get ready for some NCAA D-III football games this spring.

Bluffton University’s football team will compete a few times this spring. (PHOTO COURTESY: Bluffton University Athletics)

As confirmed yesterday by our friends James Baker and Frank Rossi of In The (D3FB) Huddle, there will be some teams competing this spring – in fact, two games are currently slated to occur next month on Saturday, February 27, according to D3Football.com‘s scoreboard.

Bluffton University, which competed last October against Adrian College, is scheduled to compete in its first spring contest against Rose-Hulman while Mount Saint Joseph University will visit Manchester University. Both contests are scheduled to kickoff at 1:30 p.m. eastern.

Similar to Bluffton, Manchester also competed last fall – the Spartans dropped both contests to Trine University and Adrian College.

More games are expected to occur once the calendar flips from February to March, including the “Bronze Ball Game” between Manchester and Anderson University, which is currently scheduled for Saturday, March 27 at 1:30 p.m. eastern. The Spartans captured the previous meeting in 2019 by a score of 70-54, thanks to eight rushing touchdowns by Donovan Henderson, Jr.

Noontime Rewind: Our Favorite Stories of 2019

NS Stories of 2019

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeNation 

With 2019 slowly winding down and a new year – and yes, decade, too – upon us, it is time to look back at some of our favorite posts we produced over the past 12 months.

We hope you enjoyed a look back at some of our favorite posts of 2019 – we can’t wait to produce some similar posts in 2020 while trying new ways to share (and highlight) the New England sports scene! 

Happy Holidays, everyone!