Catching Up With Mass. Maritime Academy’s Kyle Johnston

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Massachusetts Maritime Academy senior Kyle Johnston was recently named the MASCAC Men’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year. (PHOTO COURTESY: Mass. Maritime Academy Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com 

Last week, Kyle Johnston received some exciting news.

The Massachusetts Maritime Academy senior, who has been spotted on the gridiron for the past four years, was named the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) Scholar-Athlete of the YearFramingham State University senior Mary Kate O’Day was also honored by the conference, being named the female scholar-athlete of the year.

“I feel grateful to be honored,” said Johnston, who was nominated for the award by Mike Kelley, who is the director of athletics at Massachusetts Maritime Academy.

“It is a great honor and I am grateful for it. And I am glad I can represent Massachusetts Maritime Academy.”

Johnston became the first Buccaneer to receive this award since Jonathan White, who played soccer at Massachusetts Maritime Academy, in 2011.

For student-athletes to receive this honor, they must be nominated by their school’s director of athletics, be a senior, and achieve at least a 3.2 cumulative grade point average. Recipients are selected by the MASCAC Athletic Directors.

Johnston enjoyed a successful senior season with the Buccaneers, registering career-bests in total tackles (57.0), solo stops (37), sacks (12.5), and tackles for a loss (19.5). Additionally, he recorded a career-high three forced fumbles along with two break-ups. The 12.5 sacks were the most recorded by a defender in the conference – it was also the fifth-highest total in Division III.

Noontime Sports recently spoke with Johnston about his career with the Buccaneers, as well as where he is headed after graduation next month.


When you look back to your playing days with the Massachusetts Maritime Academy football program, what will you remember most? 

The guys. I made some of my best friends through this program.

The Massachusetts Maritime Academy football program consists of some great all-around guys and they deserve to get awards like this too because they are just as competitive and just as good as I am to receive this (type) of honor, if not, better.

My position coach for my first three seasons with the Buccaneers – Odell Jones, who currently oversees the defensive line at Assumption College – was probably one of the best coaches I ever had in my career. He pushed me to my limits and I give him full credit with how successful I am in football today. But I will definitely remember the people the most (because) those are the memories that will last the most for me.

You and your teammates enjoyed a successful 2019 campaign. Do you feel the team (and program) took a step forward this past season?  

Yeah, absolutely. I think it was a total success. My graduating class may have featured the most seniors this program has had in a while, but we stuck together through the ups and downs, and I give all credit to the players, including the grades below us.

I am hopeful the team can continue to build on what they did last year and continue to get better.

Your team competes in a few rivalry games each season. Which one is your favorite and why? 

The (rivalry) we have with both Maine Maritime Academy and Maritime (N.Y.) are important to us and they go through the same stuff we go through (during game weeks). But our rivalry with Framingham State is important – it is always a big game and so is Bridgewater State. Unfortunately, we did not beat Bridgewater State this past year, but I always feel we put forth a good effort against them, as well as Framingham State.

Where will you be headed after graduation next month? 

I just accepted a full-time position earlier this month with Travelers in Braintree, Massachusetts. I will be working in the ocean marine underwriters department.

Finally, do you plan to return to campus hopefully later this year or in the future to cheer on the Buccaneers? 

Absolutely. I would love to come back and cheer on my teammates.

Noontime’s Senior Salute: Ryan Jones (Coast Guard Academy)

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Coast Guard Academy quarterback Ryan Jones guided the Bears to a 5-5 record this past season, including a pair of overtime wins. (PHOTO COURTESY: Coast Guard Academy)

By NoontimeSports.com

Coast Guard Academy quarterback Ryan Jones enjoyed a successful final season with the Bears, throwing for a career-high 13 touchdowns while recording a career-best 1,930 passing yards.

Jones, who competed in all 10 contests last season, became the fourth signal-caller in program history to throw for more than 4,000 yards when he guided the Bears to a 33-8 victory over Maine Maritime Academy. He also led the Bears to a pair of overtime victories last fall, too, including an early-season one-point win over Nichols College. The win against Nichols was the team’s first extra session victory since Coast Guard Academy edged Worcester State University in 2012.

In 2018, Jones and the Bears celebrated their first win over archrival Merchant Marine since 1996 to cap their campaign with seven wins. The seven wins were the most any Coast Guard Academy team has won in a single-season since winning the New England Football Conference (NEFC) Bogan Division in 2007 with an 8-2 record.

We recently spoke with Ryan Jones about his final season with the Bears, but also his future plans beyond graduation.


What will you remember most about your senior year? 

Our double-overtime win against Catholic University on homecoming. 10,000 people went (in attendance and went) nuts. It was an awesome atmosphere.

Looking back on the 2019 season, what game (or games) will you remember most? Why these particular games? 

Both of our overtime wins were really exciting, but beyond that, our win over Maine Maritime sticks in my mind. That day, I (recorded) 4,000 passing yards (in my career) while Justin Moffatt broke a school’s single-game receiving record with 256 yards. That was a fun day.

What have you enjoyed most about competing for the Coast Guard Academy football team these past four years?

The people here at Coast Guard Academy are just different. They’re the best kind of friends and teammates. I’ll miss the camaraderie more than anything, on and off the field.

Once you officially graduate later this spring, do you plan (or hope) to stay involved with the sport of football in some capacity? Any interest in coaching in the future?

Definitely. Maybe not right away as my career will likely demand quite a bit of my time for the first few years (beyond graduation), but I can definitely see myself coaching middle school or high school ball in the future.

Tell me about your major – how did you choose it? – and what are your future plans beyond graduation?  

I’m a marine and environmental science major. I chose it because I want to get into the medical field someday, most likely the physician’s assistant route. MES was the only major here at the Coast Guard Academy that gave me a solid background in advanced chemistry and other sciences that will be important for allowing me to continue my education in a medical graduate program.

After graduation, I’m headed to Mississippi for my first assignment as an officer, but hope to one day be selected for either a

Down the road, I hope to be selected for one of our Tactical Law Enforcement or Counter-Terrorism team.

Noontime’s All-Decade Maine D3 Football Team

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By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeNation 

Our Noontime Sports (and NoontimeSports.com) All-Decade Week continues with a brand new team: The Maine 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 Pine Tree State.


The All-Decade Noontime Sports Maine D3 Football Team (Offense)

Cory Brandon (QB) Husson University Pembroke, Mass. 
John Smith (RB) Husson University Fayetteville, Ga.
Jim Bower (RB) Maine Maritime Acad. South Paris, Maine
Patrick Noone (WR) Bowdoin College North Attleboro, Mass.
Kyle Gaudet (WR) Husson University Gilford, N.H.
Tyler Halls (WR) Husson University Lisbon, Maine
Alex Young (OL) Husson University Rockland, Maine
Brad Weston (OL) Husson University Pittston, Maine
Nick Steele (OL) Colby College Danvers, Mass. 
Joe Smith (OL) Bowdoin College Wilton, Conn.
Dan Weamer (OL) Maine Maritime Acad. Stamford, Conn. 


The All-Decade Noontime Sports Maine D3 Football Team (Defense)

Ryan Veillette (DE) Colby College Westfield, Mass
Ernest Wiggins (DT) Husson University Bridgeport, Conn.
Wade Mondoux (LB) Maine Maritime Academy North Berwick, Maine
Myles Walker (LB) Bates College Needham, Mass. 
Joey Cleary (LB) Bowdoin College Winchester, Mass.
Mark Upton (LB) Bates College Winthrop, Mass.
Elvin Suazo (LB) Husson University Brooklyn, N.Y.
Kevin Helm (LB) Bates College Norwell, Mass. 
Quan Soyini (CB) Husson University Manchester, Conn. 
Andrew Kukesh (DB) Bates College Exeter, N.H.
Jean Gabriel (DB) Husson University Lake Worth, Fla. 

The All-Decade Noontime Sports Maine D3 Football Team (Special Teams)

Jean Gabriel (ST) Husson University Lake Worth, Fla. 
Michael Burgess (ST) Maine Maritime Acad. Yarmouth, Maine
Gavin Segall-Abrams (P/K) Bates College Greensboro, N.C.
Kevin Heintz (P) Univ. of New England Brewster, N.Y.

 

D3 Football: Zelos Players of The Week

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By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

With the eleventh (and final) week of the New England Division III Football regular season in the books, it is time to unveil our offensive, defensive and special teams players of the week, which is powered by Zelos Athletics.


Our Noontime Sports ‘Players of the Week’ post is powered by Zelos Athletics, which uses FusionSport Technology to track athletes’ performance metrics during speed, agility, and plyometric drills. Zelos Athletics also provides individual and team speed and agility training, combined with strength & conditioning training, too


This season, Noontime Sports will select at least one player for our three weekly honors: offensive, defensive and special teamer of the week.

The ‘Players of the Week’ post will be published every Monday throughout the season and shared on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

As usual, stay connected with our Noontime Sports New England football coverage on Twitter by following @Noontime_FB


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Quarterback Ryan Jones accounted for five touchdowns (three passing and two rushing) in his final game on Saturday with the Coast Guard Academy football team. (PHOTO COURTESY: Matt Noonan/NoontimeSports.com)

Offensive Player of the Week: Ryan Jones (Coast Guard Academy | Quarterback | Punxsutawney, Pa.): In his final game with the Bears, Jones completed 12 of 27 passes for 311 yards and three touchdowns while adding 36 yards on 16 carries and two scores against the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy on Saturday. Despite the season-ending loss to the Mariners in the Secretaries Cup, Jones rushed for a season-best two touchdowns – he had only rushed for one score in two games earlier this season. Additionally, he threw for 300 yards (or more) for just the second time this fall after throwing for a career-high (and season-best) 353 yards last month in his team’s win over Maine Maritime Academy.


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Tony Slaughter led the Corsairs’ defense with 11.0 total tackles in its season-finale against Westfield State. (PHOTO COURTESY: UMass Dartmouth Athletics)

Defensive Player of the Week: Tony Slaughter (UMass Dartmouth |Defensive Back | Springfield, Mass.): In his final game with the Corsairs, Slaughter recorded 11.0 total tackles, including seven solo stops and two-and-a-half tackles for a loss of 11 yards, which helped UMass Dartmouth defeat Westfield State, 19-13. Slaughter also recorded two pass breakups and one quarterback hurry, too. The 11.0 total tackles were two stops shy of his season-high of 13.0, which he registered earlier this month in his team’s 28-12 win over Western Connecticut.


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Mark Wright drilled a 36-yard field goal last Saturday, which helped MIT edge Springfield College in its season finale. (PHOTO COURTESY: Robert Krawitz)

Special Teamer of the Week: Mark Wright (MIT | Kicker | Fort Worth, Texas): Wright booted a 36-yard field goal with 33 seconds remaining to send the Engineers past the Pride of Springfield College, 43-40, in a wild season finale that helped MIT clinch its second-straight New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) crown. Additionally, Saturday’s win over Springfield secured MIT a spot in this weekend’s NCAA Tournament. MIT will be competing in the NCAA Tournament for the second-straight season, as well as the third time since its initial appearance in 2014. Wright ended the game with nine points off five kicks, including two field goals.

D3 Football: 10 Games To Watch (Nov. 9th, 2019)

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By Matt Noonan | @MattyNoonz11

It’s Friday – why do people call it ‘Fri-yay?’

If anyone has an answer, please let me know, but in the meantime let’s get ready for another important week of New England D-III Football with our weekly edition of ’10 Games to Watch.’

Last Week: I went 5-5, which is OK, but not great, so my current record heading into the second to last week of the regular season is 60-30. Let’s see if I can at least pick six, seven or eight games correctly this weekend! 

As usual, make sure to stay connected with our New England football coverage on Twitter by following @Noontime_FB.

Also, subscribe to our podcast on iTunes – you will enjoy our hyperlocal sports chatter!

Have a great weekend, everyone!


New England D-III Football | Games to Watch (Week Ten)

Rankings based off this week’s Noontime Top 20 Poll 

No. 1 Western New England at Becker College (Saturday, Nov. 9th at 12 p.m.): The Golden Bears can clinch the CCC title on Saturday with a win on the road. And after watching last week’s win against Endicott College, I think the Golden Bears will certainly be able to score an important win against the Hawks. PREDICTION: WNE 35, Becker 10 

Castleton University at No. 20 Dean College (Saturday, Nov. 9th at 12 p.m.): The Bulldogs need just one more win to secure the ECFC crown outright. PREDICTION: Dean 28, Castleton 10 

No. 7 Bridgewater State at No. 5 Framingham State (Saturday, Nov. 9th at 12 p.m.): Both teams enter this important clash riding impressive winning streaks, but in the end, the Rams should be able to make a few more plays on both offense and defense to secure a VERY important conference win. PREDICTION: Framingham State 24, Bridgewater State 17 

No. 19 Mass. Maritime Academy at No. 9 UMass Dartmouth (Saturday, Nov. 9th at 12 p.m.): The Corsairs looked impressive last week against Western Connecticut and should be able to throw and run the ball against the Buccaneers defense. PREDICTION: UMass Dartmouth 26, Mass. Maritime Academy 14 

No. 14 Amherst College at No. 10 Williams College (Saturday, Nov. 9th at 12 p.m.): Williams enters Saturday’s must-see rivalry clash with an edge – they should be able to bounce back from last week’s setback to Wesleyan University by scoring an exciting season-ending win against the Mammoths. PREDICTION: Williams 25, Amherst 13 

No. 13 Wesleyan University at No. 12 Trinity College (Saturday, Nov. 9th at 12 p.m.): The Cardinals are still in contention to share the NESCAC crown, so this is a must-win against their rival. PREDICTION: Wesleyan 24, Trinity 20 

No. 16 Coast Guard Academy at No. 2 WPI (Saturday, Nov. 9th at 12 p.m.): The Engineers need to win both this week and next week, but face a stiff test against a solid Bears defense. WPI should be able to squeak out a win, but don’t expect it to be an easy victory. PREDICTION: WPI 23, Coast Guard 16 

No. 15 Norwich University at No. 8 MIT (Saturday, Nov. 9th at 12 p.m.): The Engineers have some serious momentum following an epic double-overtime win against WPI last week. Look for that momentum to help MIT score an exciting ‘Senior Day’ victory. PREDICTION: MIT 27, Norwich 21 

No. 6 Springfield College at Maine Maritime Academy (Saturday, Nov. 9th at 12 p.m.): With just two games remaining, Springfield knows this is a must-win. They have looked pretty impressive in their last few contests and should continue to their recent success on the road Saturday. PREDICTION: Springfield 28, Maine Maritime 7 

No. 4 Middlebury College at Tufts University (Saturday, Nov. 9th at 12:30 p.m.): At 8-0, these Panthers need just one more win to finish their nine-game slate undefeated. Tufts will provide the Panthers with some challenges, but in the end, I expect Middlebury to win. PREDICTION: Middlebury 20, Tufts 14