Yesterday, we kicked off our Noontime Sports (and NoontimeSports.com) All-Decade Week, and it continues today with our Massachusetts D3 Football Team from 2010-2019.
This was a fun walk down memory lane, highlighting a slew of student-athletes we covered and interviewed over the past ten years that earned a variety of end of season honors, including D3Football.com All-American honors to first or second-team nods to program record-holders to the final Gold Helmet Recipients from the New England Football Writers (NEFW). And as usual, we did our very best to highlight as many student-athletes from across the Bay State.
The All-Decade Noontime Sports Massachusetts D3 Football Team (Offense)
Pat Moffitt (QB)
Melikke Van Alstyne (RB)
Chance Brady (RB)
Jordan Wilcox (FB)
Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
Jack Lavanchy (WR)
Jacob Maher (TE)
Framingham State/Worcester State
Elliot Tobin (OL)
Pat Sullivan (OL)
Nick Bainter (OL)
East Bridgewater, Mass.
Nick Stanfield (OL)
Ken Vollaro (OL)
Western New England
The All-Decade Noontime Sports Massachusetts D3 Football Team (Defense)
James Muirhead (DL)
Nick Giorgio (DE)
West Hartford, Conn.
Bryan Narcisse (DE)
Max Nacewicz (LB)
Sandy Hook, Conn.
Brian Murtagh (LB)
Erich Keutmann (LB)
Western New England
Obi Etuka (DB)
Western New England
Clifford Oratokhai (DB)
Jimmy Fairfield-Sonn (S)
Old Lyme, Conn.
Sam Casey (S)
The All-Decade Noontime Sports Massachusetts D3 Football Team (Special Teams)
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 Frenette, Spencer 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 England, Endicott 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 College, Union 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 NESCACchampionship. 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.
Coach Tom Kelley will begin his seventh season with the Rams on Saturday! (Photo Credit: Matt Noonan for NoontimeSports.com)
By Matt Noonan
After concluding last season with a New England Football Conference (NEFC) crown, along with their first trip to the NCAA Division III tournament, Framingham State will attempt to continue their success this season.
The Rams, who were picked to finish first in the MASCAC, (Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference) will begin their campaign on the road tomorrow against Endicott College, a team that was picked to win the NEFC.
“It’s going to be a big challenge for us, but we’re looking forward to it,” said Head Coach Tom Kelley.
Last season, the Gulls defeated the Rams in the opener, 35-7, but Framingham State rebounded with 10 straight victories before Cortland State ended their run in the first round the tournament.
“Depth was what brought us to where we were (last season),” Kelley explained.
Kelley enters his seventh season without wide receivers Alex Avery and Tyrone Figueroa, cornerback Tyrone Notice and defensive lineman James Muirhead, who was the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC) Division III Defensive Player of the Year and New England Football Writers Gold Helmet Award winner, but he does return a senior class with experience and optimism.
“We’ve got a lot of leadership on this team and we want to get it done,” said senior linebacker and co-captain Sam Hill. “I am really excited to see what we can do.”
“I’m very excited (about the upcoming season),” said senior running back and co-captain Melikke Van Alstyne, who rushed for a school record and conference leading 1,790 yards on 311 carries with 18 touchdowns last season. “We’re definitely building off this year and this squad we have now.”
Van Alstyne will definitely get his number called, but Kelley explained, “I’d like to have the best of both worlds. Any offense that we run we need to throw the ball to be successful.”
Sophomore quarterback Matt Silva returns for his second season under center and will be in charge of aerial attack. Expect the Dracut native to target not only Van Alstyne, but also junior receiver Phil Clain and sophomore receiver Tevin Jones.
On defense, the Rams will rely on Hill, along with seniors Pat McGrath, and Michael Altavesta (ranked second on the team in solo tackles (51) and total tackles (75)). In the secondary, look for senior defensive back Brian Castellanos, who recorded team-best six interceptions last season.
After their trip to Beverley, the Rams will travel Rowan to fac a squad that’s coming off a 7-3 campaign and a trip to the tournament. The Rams will then return home for their first conference clash against Fitchburg State before concluding September on the road at Western New England.
With preseason in the books, Hill and his teammates seem ready for the season to commence.
“We’re just really excited to get (the season started),” he said. “I’m really excited to watch us play and see how it pans out.”
Halloran isn’t the only local college football player to earn an invite to a rookie mini camp this weekend as Framingham State’s James Muirhead will attempt to earn a spot with the St. Louis Rams, while Middlebury College’s Ryan Moores, who prepped at Governor’s Academy, will tryout with the Atlanta Falcons.
Merrimack College’s Isaiah Voegeli became the fourth player in program history to sign with a professional team as the Hyannis native inked his name on an undrafted free agent contract Monday with the Philadelphia Eagles.
“I am so grateful for this opportunity,” Voegeli said in the college’s release. “I can’t thank head coach Dan Curran enough for his help and guidance and preparation to get me to this point. This is a dream come true that I’ve dreamt about since I was 7, to just have a shot and I’ve been blessed this opportunity.”
Voegeli will leave the North Andover campus as the all-time receiver in multiple receiving categories, which includes catches (211) and yards (3,554). He also ranks second in program history with 34 touchdown receptions, too.
Prior to this year’s NFL Draft, the Boston Herald reported that Muirhead, Voegeli and Moores, along with Assumption College’s Nick Haag and Boston College’s Jim Noel worked out with the Falcons, Patriots and New Orleans Saints.
The squad, which features 28 players from 18 different institutions, will be honored on Thursday, Dec. 6 at the New England Football Writers Captains and Awards Banquet.
CENTERVILLE, Mass. – Twenty-eight players representing 18 different teams have been named to the 2012 New England Football Writers Division II/III All-New England team.
New England Small College Athletic Conference champions Trinity College, Northeast-10 Conference champion University of New Haven, and NESCAC runner-up Middlebury College lead the team with three selections each. New England Football Conference members Framingham State University and Salve Regina University have two picks, as do Merrimack College and Springfield College. Also named to the squad were players from American International College, Amherst College, Bentley University, Castleton State College, Endicott College, Husson College, MIT, Mount Ida College, Stonehill College, and Worcester State University
The Division II Northeast-10 Conference had eight players selected, while from Division III the New England Football Conference and the New England Small College Athletic Conference had seven picks. The Eastern Collegiate Football Conference had three selections. Three players came from teams not affiliated with New England Conferences.
The team will be honored at the New England Football Writers Captains and Awards Banquet on Thursday, December 6, at the Montvale Plaza, in Stoneham, Mass. People interested in attending should contact Dick Lipe at Bentley University at 781-891-2334.
And here is a list of the players that were named to this team:
Tom Herd (University of New Haven)
James Muirhead (Framingham State University)
Max Nacewicz (Springfield College)
Ernest Wiggins (Husson College)
Brett Cde Baca (Trinity College)
Jake Laux (MIT)
Blaine Hopwood (Bentley University)
Jaquawane Simpkins(American International College)