Tag: Jason Lebeau

Five Teams That Could Win The CCC This Fall

Quarterback Mike Ingraffia will be a player to watch on offense this fall at Endicott College. (PHOTO COURTESY: Tammy McManaway)

By Matt Noonan

Last fall, Endicott College captured its first conference crown in eight seasons by winning the Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC) league with an 8-2 record.

The Gulls, which advanced to the opening round of the NCAA Division III Tournament, saw their run toward a national title conclude with a 20-14 setback to RPI.

Despite ending their season with a six-point setback to the Engineers, Endicott should once again be in the mix for the conference crown. But the same could be said for a few other teams in the CCC, which will be ready to challenge the Gulls for some hardware.

Here are five teams that I believe can win the Commonwealth Coast Football league this year.

Endicott: I believe the Gulls can win their second-straight title, but their path to their fourth conference crown in program history won’t be easy.

For the Gulls to enjoy another successful campaign, they will need a similar effort this fall from quarterback Mike Ingraffia, who capped his sophomore season with career-highs in passing yards (1,531) and touchdowns (15).

Ingraffia is just one of many student-athletes to watch on the Gulls this fall, specifically its offense, but the same could be said for classmate and wide Shane Aylward, who ended the 2021 season as the league’s Offensive Rookie of the Year. Aylward ranked fifth in the conference in receiving yards (712) while finishing tied for sixth with five touchdown receptions.

Colin Meropoulos was named the CCC Defensive Rookie of the Year and will be tasked with leading a defense that limited its opponents to 19.5 points per game.

Husson University: One should never count out coach Nat Clark’s Eagles, which concluded its 2021 campaign with a 7-3 record.

For the Eagles to enjoy another successful campaign, they will need some key members of last year’s squad to step up this year, including wide receiver Jon Bell, who concluded the 2021 season with career-bests in receptions (49), receiving yards (753), and touchdowns (four). Bell will most likely be targeted a few more times this fall by quarterback Nic Visser, who led the conference in passing yards (2,598).

Linebacker Tucker Buzzell will be the player to watch on defense after leading Husson with 85 total tackles last fall.  

Salve Regina University: For the first time since 2016, the Seahawks ended its season with eight wins, thanks to an impressive opening month that saw Salve Regina win four straight non-conference contests, including an epic come-from-behind win over Rowan University.

The team’s early-season momentum came to an end in early October with a 41-3 setback to Western New England.

Salve Regina would bounce back by winning four of their final five contests.

The biggest question facing this year’s squad is who will return this fall? Salve Regina’s roster featured eight graduate students last fall, along with 21 seniors, including halfback Joey Mauriello, but one player that will return this year – and is someone to watch – is linebacker Zachary Ludemann. The Howell, New Jersey native placed 11th in the conference in total tackles (69.0).

Western New England: For the second-straight season, the Golden Bears won five of six conference contests. But their lone setback to Endicott resulted in Western New England missing the national postseason for the first time in two years.

Will the loss to the Gulls be this year’s motivation for the Yellow and Blue?

Endicott and Western New England are scheduled to compete at the end of the season, so perhaps the final game could determine the conference’s winner.

The Golden Bears featured three different quarterbacks last fall, including Bryce Karstetter and Conrad Swanson, who will likely compete for the starting job this summer. But in addition to the team’s quarterback battle, keep an eye on the wide receivers and tight ends. Steven Fedorchak and Adam Razza have graduated, which means we could see Greg Perry and Ryan Larson become the squad’s top two receivers.  

No matter the make-up of this year’s Golden Bears, the expectation is coach Jason Lebeau’s squad will be ready to contend for its fourth CCC title.

University of New England: For the second-straight season, the Nor’easters won four games, including a pair of league tilts.

Can they double that win total this fall?

Perhaps they can, but for UNE to do that, they will need to play some of its best football early on.

UNE ended its 2021 season with a wild victory over Curry College, which highlighted a few players to watch this fall.

One of those players to watch in 2022 is quarterback Jarrett Henault, a Goffstown, New Hampshire native that threw for a career and season-high five touchdowns in his team’s win over the Colonels. Henault appeared in eight contests last season and will be tasked with leading an offense that will feature Mikey Brennan, Jakob Rivers, and Shane LaPorte this fall.

While the offense has a chance to improve from one year ago, the same could be said for the Nor’easter defense, which will be led by David Hutchison, a defensive lineman from St Johnsbury, Vermont.

UNE might be a longshot to win the CCC, but they certainly proved last season that they can contend with some of the best teams in the conference.

The Early Outlook: Commonwealth Coast Football

Salve Regina University’s Joey Mauriello will be one of many players to watch on the Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC) league this fall. PHOTO COURTESY: George Corrigan

By Matt Noonan

Our preseason New England college football coverage rolls on with some early-season thoughts on the Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC).

In case you missed it, make sure to check out our recent “early outlook” posts on the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) and New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference(NEWMAC).

CCC Teams

  • Curry College
  • Endicott College
  • Husson University
  • Nichols College
  • Salve Regina University
  • University of New England
  • Western New England

2019 Conference Refresh: The Golden Bears of Western New England capped their 2019 campaign with a 9-2 record — the Blue and Gold won seven conference tilts, including a 42-31 victory over Endicott in early November before finishing the regular season with back-to-back wins over Becker College and Husson.

Western New England advanced to the NCAA Division III postseason, but were edged in the opening round by Brockport by a score of 33-28 in the opening round. The Golden Eagles would conclude its “second season” one week later against Muhlenberg College.

Despite missing the national postseason, the Gulls did play one more game — Endicott competed in its second New England Bowl and defeat Dean College, which captured the ECFC. Quarterback Joe Kalosky highlighted his team’s final win by tossing four touchdowns, including two to Shea McManaway, who led the Gulls receiving core with six receptions for 120 yards.

Nichols and Husson secured a two-way tie for third place — the Bison scored six wins in 2019, matching their win total from 2016 when they competed in the New England Football Conference (NEFC).

Finally, UNE doubled its win total from 2018 with four victories while Curry ended its 2019 campaign winning one of its final three contests.

Early-Season Excitement from Salve Regina, Western New England: Like many New England teams, the Western New England football team is “excited” for its 2021 campaign — the Golden Bears will face some unique challenges in the opening weeks against Salisbury University and Springfield College.

“I could not be more excited for the 2021 season,” WNE coach Jason Lebeau said via the team’s schedule release last month.

That excitement to return to the field was echoed by Salve Regina coach Kevin Gilmartin, who recently joined us for a brand new Noontime Sports Podcast (listen to the show on Apple Podcasts, Anchor, and Spotify).

“This whole season we’ve got ten games of teams that every game where we can go 0-10 or we could go 10-0, which is exciting, scary, and could put a couple of more gray hairs up there,” said Gilmartin.

Indeed, there is a great deal of excitement from both teams, as well as throughout the league as it does seem as if the CCC could be a real interesting conference to watch and follow this fall — maybe we’ll see Nichols, Husson or UNE challenge Endicott and Western New England for the top spot?

Husson announces its 2021 captains: The Golden Eagles recently announced their captains for the upcoming season.

And they are the following: Frank Curran (defensive line), Jake Cameron (offensive line), Tyler Halls (wide receiver), and Kaleb Caron (linebacker).

Halls will be one of many offensive players to watch on the Golden Eagles this fall — the Lisbon, Maine native recorded career-bests in 2019 in receptions (71), receiving yards (1,057), and touchdown receptions (10).

Curran ranked second on the defense behind Zach Connolly when it came to total tackles (60.0) while Caron finished third with 51.0 total stops. Both players tallied a team-high seven tackles for a loss.

Joey Mauriello’s final year with Salve Regina: The 2018 Offensive Rookie of the Year will be one of many players to watch in the CCC — the Colts Neck, New Jersey native enjoyed a very impressive second season with the Seahawks, which saw him tally career-highs in rushing attempts (195), rushing yards (1,334), rushing yards per game (148.2), and rushing touchdowns (20).

I expected the senior tailback to be a focal part of the Seahawks’ offense this fall — fans of the Seahawks will have a chance to watch him and his teammates compete in the opening week on Friday, September 3 against Norwich University.

Early-Season Favorite(s): We’re still a few days and weeks away from the first week of the 2021 season, but my early-season favorite is Western New England based off their previous success.

However, I do think this might be the year that Paul McGonagle‘s Endicott Gulls capture the conference and make their first national postseason appearance since 2013. I have seen the Gulls a few times since McGonagle was named the head coach of the program ahead of the 2018 season and believe they have taken the steps to get closer to winning their first-ever CCC title.

A few others teams I expect to be in the mix: Husson, Nichols, and Salve Regina. I think all three squads will provide challenges for Endicott and Western New England this fall, and the same could be said for UNE.

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.

NCAA D3 Football Tournament: Inside The Brockport-Western New England Matchup

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Alec Coleman and the Western New England football team will host the College of Brockport on Saturday in the opening round of the NCAA D-III Tournament. (PHOTO COURTESY: Chris Marion)

By Matt Noonan | @NoontimeNation 

It’s time to highlight our final New England D-III football team, which will be competing this weekend in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament. And that team is the Western New England Golden Bears, who won their third-straight Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) title this fall with late-season wins against Becker College and Endicott College. WNE also defeated Husson University in its season finale to conclude its conference slate without a single blemish.

The Golden Bears will face The College of Brockport in the opening round – the Golden Eagles captured their third-straight Empire 8 Conference (E8) title a few weeks ago with a 16-7 win over Alfred State.

Below are a few notes about Saturday’s match-up, including some stats (and numbers) on both teams, as well as players to watch.


Brockport (8-2) at Western New England (9-1) 

Gametime/Location: Brockport will travel to Western New England on Saturday, November 23rd with kickoff scheduled for 12 p.m. The game will be played in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Rankings: The Golden Eagles are currently receiving votes in the latest D3Football.com Top 25 Poll. Western New England enters its 11th contest of the season unranked or receiving votes.

Conference Affiliation: Brockport competes in the Empire 8 Conference – they finished 5-1 in league play this season. Western New England is a member of the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC). The Golden Bears won every conference tilt this fall.

Last Appearance in the NCAA Tournament: Brockport advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament last season following an opening-round win against Framingham State. The Golden Eagles’ season concluded against RPI, which defeated Brockport, 21-13. The loss to the Engineers was the team’s first of the 2018 season.

Western New England advanced to the first round last season but saw their run toward a national championship conclude with a 42-24 setback to Frostburg State. The Golden Bears’ meeting with the Bobcats was the first NCAA Tournament appearance under the direction of coach Jason Lebeau.

Inside the Numbers with Brockport: The Golden Eagles are averaging 29.60 points per contest while limiting opponents to 13.20 points per game … Brockport has recorded 112 rushing first downs this season while yielding just 22 to opponents … The Brockport defense has limited opposing rushing attacks to just 695 yards, which is an average of 28.3 yards per game … Brockport has recorded 40 offensive touchdowns this season while opponents have scored just 18 … Brockport has held the ball for close to two-thirds of every contest this season. They usually have the ball for 34:18 per contest, while opponents are on offense for an average of 25:41.

Inside the Numbers with Western New England: The Golden Bears are 5-0 at home this season – they were also 5-0 in Springfield, Massachusetts last season, too. WNE’s last home setback came against Springfield College on September 2, 2017. Since falling to the Pride, the Golden Bears have won 15 games at home … WNE is averaging 488.2 yards of total offense this season … The Golden Bears are averaging 40.6 points per game while limiting opponents to just 27.1 points per contest … WNE is averaging 290.0 passing yards per game while rushing for 198.2 yards per contest … The Golden Bears’ opponents have averaged 384.3 yards per game, including 230.8 passing yards.

Players to Watch on Brockport: 

  • Jason Hellwig (QB): Hellwig will be under center Saturday after starting seven games this season. He enters the game with 735 passing yards and one touchdown pass.
  • Jala Coad (RB): Coad led all rushers with 822 rushing yards on 186 carries and 16 touchdowns. Coad is averaging 82.20 rushing yards per game.
  • Imhotep Cromer (WR): Cromer leads the receiving core with 30 receptions for 543 yards and three touchdowns. He is averaging 60.33 receiving yards per game.
  • DaQuan Hubbard (WR): Hubbard is second on the team in receiving yards (469) and is one of four receivers to catch one touchdown.
  • Alex West (LB): West leads the team with 56 total tackles. He has recorded 33 solo stops, 17.0 tackles for a loss of 71 yards, and six quarterback hurries.
  • Lawrence Jenkins (LB): Jenkins is second on the team in tackles for a loss (10 for 64 yards). He has tallied 42 total tackles, including 23 solo stops, four quarterback hurries, and one interception.

Players to Watch on Western New England: 

  • Alec Coleman (QB): The senior signal-caller has completed 146 of 214 passes for 1,994 yards and 16 touchdowns. He has also rushed for 305 yards and nine touchdowns.
  • Jamyre Soberanis (RB): Soberanis has rushed for a team-high 929 yards on 139 carries and 14 touchdowns. He is averaging 92.9 yards per contest.
  • Steven Fedorchak (WR): The third-year receiver is first on the team in receptions (53), receptions per game (5.9), receiving yards (979) and receiving touchdowns (10).
  • Adam Raza (WR): Razza is second on the team in receptions (39), receiving yards (779) and touchdown receptions (five).
  • Kieran Lombard (K): Lombard has recorded 82 points off 52 extra points and 10 field goals. His longest field goal was a 44-yard kick.
  • Erich Keutmann (LB): Keutmann leads the team with 119.0 total tackles, including 60 solo stops, seven tackles for a loss of 27 yards, and three sacks for a loss of 10 yards. He also recorded three pass break-ups.
  • Joshua Salem (LB): Salem is second on the team in total tackles (85.0). He has produced 54 solo stops and three-and-a-half tackles for a loss of seven yards while registering two interceptions, one pass break-up, and one block.

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.


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