Mass. College Football: Nine Harvard Scholar-Athletes Tabbed To NFF Hampshire Honor Society

By NoontimeSports.com 

Courtesy of the Harvard University Athletic Communication office, here’s yesterday’s release about nine Scholar-Athletes that were selected to the NFF Hampshire Honor Society:

DALLAS, Texas – The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame (NFF) announced the members of the 2014  NFF Hampshire Honor Society, which is comprised of college football players from all divisions of play who each maintained a 3.2 GPA or better. Harvard y was well-represented as nine Crimson players earned recognition.

Harvard seniors Andrew Berg, Joshua Boyd, Cameron Brate, Danny Frate, Reynaldo Kirton, David Mothander, Nnamdi Obukwelu, Michael Pruneau and Austin Taylor garnered nods.

“We continue to raise the bar each year for the number of student-athletes who qualify for membership in the Hampshire Honor Society,” said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. “The Hampshire Honor Society plays an important role in highlighting that college football players clearly play a leadership role in the classroom as well as on the playing field. We congratulate each of these young men for their commitment to excellence.”

The NFF Hampshire Honor Society capitalizes on the NFF’s current National Scholar-Athlete program greatly expanding the number of scholar-athletes the NFF can recognize each year. The program further strengthens the organization’s leadership role in encouraging academic performance by the student-athletes who play football at the more than 700 college and universities with football programs nationwide. The initiative has honored 4,927 student-athletes since its inception, and the program has experienced growth every year in either members or school participation since its launch in 2007. The 2014 class of 838 players represents a new high water mark for members, eclipsing the old record mark by 117 student-athletes.

“We have honored more than 4,900 student-athletes in the last eight years thanks to Jon Hanson’s generosity,” said NFF Chairman Archie Manning, “We are grateful for his passionate belief in the scholar-athlete ideal, and the Hampshire Honor Society allows us to showcase the names of tomorrow’s leaders while inspiring future generations to follow in their footsteps.”

Qualifications for membership in the NFF Hampshire Honor Society include:

Being a starter or a significant contributor in one’s last year of eligibility (or a senior who has declared for the NFL Draft)  at an NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision, Football Championship Subdivision, Division II, Division III or an NAIA college or university;

  • Achieving a 3.2 cumulative grade point average throughout entire course of undergraduate study; and
  • Meeting all NCAA-mandated progress towards degree requirements.

The Hampshire Honor Society represents a powerful component in the organization’s rich history as an innovator in promoting the scholar-athlete ideal. Launched in 1959 with a donation from Hall of Fame coach Earl “Red” Blaik, the NFF’s National Scholar-Athlete Awards, presented by Fidelity Investments, became the first initiative in history to grant postgraduate scholarships based on a player’s combined academic success, football performance and community leadership. And, since its inception, the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards program has awarded $10.4 million to 787 top scholars and community leaders.

Currently, the NFF distributes more than $300,000 a year at the national level through the program to 16 individuals. Each winner of a National Scholar-Athlete Award receives an $18,000 post-graduate scholarship. Additionally, the William V. Campbell Trophy, endowed by HealthSouth and hosted at the New York Athletic Club, is given to one member of each year’s class as the absolute best. The winner of the Campbell Trophy, claimed by All-American guard John Urschel (Penn State) in 2013, receives a total scholarship of $25,000 and a 24-inch, 25-pound bronze trophy. Through, its chapter network, the NFF also awards an additional $1.3 million to local high school student-athletes, bringing the NFF’s annual scholarship distribution total to more than $1.6 million.

Mass. College Football: Week Eight Teams Of The Week

By NoontimeSports.com 

With the eighth week of the college football season in the books, it is now time to unveil this week’s Noontime Sports Teams of the Week.

Division 1 – Harvard University: The Crimson’s current winning streak extended to five games on Saturday as Harvard defeated Lafayette to improve to 5-0 for the second straight season.

Cameron Brate and Paul Stanton Jr. each scored touchdowns to start the game, which provided the hosts with the lead for good.

Quarterback Michael Pruneau, who started for the second straight week, finished the contest with three touchdowns and 263 yards through the air.

Defensively, Joshua Boyd finished with seven total stops, two solo tackles and one sack, while D.J. Monroe matched his teammate with seven total stops, along with one interception and one pass break-up.

Harvard returns to Ancient Eight play this weekend when they host the Tigers of Princeton for a 1 p.m. kickoff.

Division 2 – Stonehill College: For the second week in a row, the Skyhawks earned this particular honor following another dramatic comeback, this time against New Haven.

Stonehill overcame a 12-point deficit entering the fourth quarter with two touchdown passes from Logan Meyer, who finished the game with three touchdowns and 288 passing yards. Meyer’s second touchdown, which was hauled in by Gordon McLeod, brought the visitors within five, while his third and final strike to the end zone, a seven-yard toss to Corey White, sealed the victory.

Brian Harrington led the Skyhawks defense with 17 total tackles, eight solo stops and a forced fumble, while Sterry Codrington finished with 10 total stops, seven solo tackles, one sack for a loss of 12 yards and a pass break-up.

Stonehill is now 5-2 overall and 5-1 in the Northeast-10 Conference (NE-10). They’re currently in a three-way tie for first place with American International College and New Haven.

The Skyhawks will be at home this weekend against LIU Post. 

Division 3 – Mount Ida College: After a 1-3 start, the Mustangs have turned the corner with back-to-back wins.

This past weekend, they improved to 2-1 in the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) with a 56-34 victory against Anna Maria. Mount Ida is now tied for second in the conference with Norwich, a team they’ll face in Newton in two weeks.

Against the AMCATs, EJ Isom rushed for two scores on nine carries for 108 yards, while Jordan Hyman hauled in both touchdown passes from Jawad Yatim. Hyman finished the contest with eight catches for 154 yards.

Defensively, Jovan Wilkins led the Green and White with 10 total stops, along with one interceptions, while Kalyn Smithson registered eight total stops, five solo tackles, three tackles for a loss of 11 yards, one sack for a loss of five yards and one pass break-up.

Mount Ida will attempt to pickup their third conference win of the season on Saturday when they travel to Becker College to face the Hawks at 1 p.m.  

Mass. College Football: Week 9 Honor Roll

Mr. 4,000! On Saturday, Framingham State’s Melikke Van Alstyne eclipsed the 4,000 rushing yard mark! (Photo Credit: Matt Nooann for NoontimeSports.com)

By NoontimeSports.com 

The ninth week of the college football season is in the books. And now it’s time to unveil this week’s Noontime Sports Weekly Honor Roll.

Treavor Scales (Harvard) – The senior tailback returns to the list following an impressive outing against Dartmouth where he rushed for 89 yards on 21 carries and three touchdowns.

Joshua Boyd (Harvard) – Against the Big Green, the senior from Hyde Park recorded seven tackles (five solo), one sack and a tackle for a loss.

Nick Clancy (Boston College) – In one of the more exhilarating contests of the season, the senior linebacker finished his team’s contest against Maryland with nine tackles (four solo), a tackle for a loss and three pass breakups.

Mike Fess (Holy Cross) – Despite his team’s heartbreaking defeat to Fordham, the junior wide receiver hauled in eight catches for 139 yards and two touchdowns.

Jeff Hill (Bentley University) – Against Merrimack College, the Mansfield native caught eight passes for 196 yards and two touchdowns in his team’s sixth victory of the season. All eight of the receptions resulted in a touchdown or first down, and five of the receptions came on third-down plays. Hill was named this week’s Northeast-10 Conference Offensive Player of the Week.

Markell Rice (American International College) – This week’s NE-10 Defensive Player/Special Teams Player of the Week recorded a game-high 12 tackles (six solo), along with two interceptions and a pass breakup in his team’s 37-34 win against Saint Anselm.

Sonny Dillinger (Assumption College) – On Senior Day, the senior safety recorded 10 tackles (six solo), a half tackle for a loss, one pass breakup, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery in his team’s win against Pace University.

Danny Guadagnoli (Bentley University) – The junior quarterback from Framingham tallied four touchdowns and accumulated 417 yards of total offense. Guadagnoli completed 19-of-34 passes for 314 yards and two touchdowns, while rushing for a team-high 76 yards on 10 carries and two scores.

Mitch McClune (WPI) – Against St. Lawrence, the Pembroke native set a school record with four interceptions in his team’s first Liberty League win of the season. McClune was named this week’s Liberty League Defensive Performer of the Week.

John Antonopoulos (WPI) – The junior from Cambridge, who was mentioned on this week’s Liberty League Honor Roll, accounted for four touchdowns (three through the air, one on the ground) and recorded a career-best 347 yards in WPI’s 36-17 victory against St. Lawrence.

Kayln Smithson (Mount Ida College) – In his team’s epic win against Becker College, the sophomore linebacker accounted for five tackles (four solo), one sack, one tackle for a loss, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, one interception and one pass breakup.

Darren Hartwell (Williams College) – Against Hamilton College, the senior wide receiver from North Reading registered 297 all-purpose yards (138 yards on three kick returns, 73 yards on four punt returns). He electrified the crowd from the start with a 90-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, which provided the Ephs with all the momentum. He also caught six passes for 86 yards and one touchdown (38-yard score). Hartwell’s touchdown reception marked his 19th of his career, a new school record.

Mike Murphy (Endicott College) – In his team’s 50-45 win against Western New England College, the senior receiver from Chelmsford hauled in 11 catches for 139 yards and a single game school record five touchdowns. Murphy was named this week’s New England Football Conference Offensive Player of the Week.

Corey Spencer (Worcester State) – The former Arlington Catholic gunslinger completed 38-of-47 passes for a school record 421 yards and three touchdowns.

Melikke Van Alstyne (Framingham State) – The junior tailback from Salem eclipsed the 4,000 rushing yard mark with 126 yards and one score in his team’s victory against Coast Guard.

Dan Dowling (Westfield State) – The senior linebacker/punter, who was this week’s NEFC Defensive Player of the Week, tallied a game-high 15 tackles (14 solo) and forced fumble in his team’s loss to Massachusetts Maritime.

Harvard Expected To Defend Ivy League Crown In 2012

By Matt Noonan 

On Tuesday, the Ivy League unveiled its “preseason prognostications” for the upcoming football season. And for the fourth time in five seasons, Harvard was chosen as the favorite to win the Ancient Eight.

Last season, the Crimson finished their season 9-1 overall, and 7-0 in league play, which helped them earn their 14th Ivy League title.

When asked to describe his team for the upcoming season, which will begin its defense against San Diego on Saturday, September 15, head coach Tim Murphy described Harvard as a “solid” unit that is eager to begin their season.

“I think I speak for all of our coaches and all of our players that we are excited to get going,” said Murphy via the league’s teleconference call on Tuesday. “As far as our team is concerned, we expect to have a very solid team. How much better than that? I’m not sure because we certainly do have some question marks, but as a starting point, we always start with our defense and we expect it to be a very solid defense.”

Murphy’s defense was one of many factors last season, which helped the Crimson cruise to a perfect record in league play. Yet, despite the various 11 men on the opposite side of the ball, rising senior Colton Chapple, who was a backup to Collier Winters last year,displayed flashes of brilliance, especially when he tossed five touchdowns against Bucknell. Those five strikes marked the first time since 1953 that a Harvard quarterback had thrown that many touchdowns in a span of 544 games.

“Colton [Chapple] is one of those guys who has just gotten better and better and if he continues on his trajectory, we expect that he can be one of the best [quarterbacks] in the league,” exclaimed Murphy. “He was only a solid thrower when he got here – we took him as a tough guy with potential. Clearly it’s Colton’s team.”

Another player to watch this season, according to the Ivy League, is rising senior Kyle Juszczyk, who is a preseason All-America selection by various media outlets. Juszczyk, who is listed as a tight end, will also be spotted at halfback and wide receiver this season, which should pose problems for opposing coaches and defensive coordinators, especially when crafting a game plan. The senior tight end led the receiving core last season with 37 receptions for 512 yards and seven touchdowns.

“In Kyle, we thought he was terrific in high school and he has turned out even better in college. There are very few guys, who can line up at multiple positions. It is so rare and when we have one of those guys, we’d better use him [the right way],” said Murphy.

Of course, Chapple and Juszczyk are just a few names to note, but don’t forget seniors Joshua Boyd, Brian Owusu, Nnamdi Obukwelu and Treavor Scales, as well as junior Cameron Brate.

“All in all, we have the nucleus and the foundation of being a very solid football team,” stated Murphy.

Collier Winters Named Ivy League Player of the Week

Winters tossed five touchdowns on Saturday, and ran for one score against Princeton!

By NoontimeSports.com 

On Monday, Harvard Athletics announced that fifth-year quarterback Collier Winters was named the Ivy League Player of the Week. Also, freshman Seitu Smith III was named the Special Team’s player of the Week and co-Rookie of the Week too. Finally, junior linebacker Joshua Boyd was named to the Honor Roll.

Here’s the press release, courtesy of Harvard Athletics:

PRINCETON, N.J. Harvard senior quarterback Collier Winters (Claremore, Okla.) has been named the Ivy League Offensive Player of the Week while Seitu Smith III (Deerfield Beach, Fla.) has been named the league’s Special Teams Player of the Week and co-Rookie of the Week.

Junior linebacker Joshua Boyd (Hyde Park, Mass.) was named to the Honor Roll. 

Harvard has had a lock on the league’s offensive player of the week award for the past three weeks as junior QB Colton Chapple (Alpharetta, Ga.) earned to honors Oct. 10 and 17.

Making his first start since Week One, Winters passed for 403 yards, five touchdowns and rushed for a score to lead Harvard to a 56-39 win against rival Princeton. He had passing scores of 29, 53, 16 and two 17-yard touchdowns for the Crimson, which has had two different quarterbacks throw for five touchdowns in consecutive games. Winters also scored on a 1-yard run to give Harvard a 7-6 lead in the first quarter.

Winters’ 403 passing yards against Princeton marked just the fourth 400-yard game at Harvard but second this season (Colton Chapple – 414 at Cornell). His 34 completions (42 att) ranks second on the single-game list (Neil Rose’03 – 36).

Harvard QBs have thrown 20 TD passes entering Saturday. The single-season record is 21, set in 2003. Harvard ranks second nationally in TDs per game (Lehigh).

Harvard has scored at least 40 points in three straight games, marking the first such occurrence since 1932.

With 220 against Princeton, Seitu Smith III became the first Harvard freshman to surpass 200 all-purpose yards since Clifton Dawson ’07 did so in 2003 with 257 against Dartmouth.

Smith is currently ranked fourth nationally in kickoff return average at better than 31 yards per touch. 

Boyd has stepped into the linebacking rotation full-time following a season-ending injury to Blaise Deal. Boyd, who saw regular time before Deal’s injury, had a career-high 17 tackles and a fumble recovery against Princeton and is the team’s second-leading tackler (49).