Tag: Mark Raymond

New England D3 Football: 10 Games to Watch in Week Three

Will Kirby and the Trinity College football team will begin their 2022 campaign at Tufts University on Saturday. (PHOTO COURTESY: Trinity College Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com

A brand-new week of New England NCAA Division III football begins this evening with Western Connecticut visiting Westfield State.

Tomorrow, we have a slew of games to watch – and yes, follow, too! – which means it’s time to share our weekly picks, along with our predictions.

Last week, we picked five of ten contests correctly to bump our season record to 12-8. Hopefully, we can pick a few more games correctly this week – fingers crossed!

Enjoy the games, everyone, and make sure to circle back for our week three roundup on Saturday, as well as any leftover thoughts on the Noontime Sports Podcast.

Noontime’s D3 Football Games to Watch: Week Three

Bridgewater State at Plymouth State (Saturday, Sept. 17 at 12 p.m.): This is a must-win for the Bears, which have struggled in its first two contests. Plymouth State has been a pleasant surprise, winning back-to-back games to secure the top spot in the MASCAC standings. Look for the Panthers to lean on its ground game to score an important conference win. PREDICTION: Plymouth State over Bridgewater State

Montclair State at Salve Regina University (Saturday, Sept. 17 at 12 p.m.): Somehow, some way, the Seahawks have found ways to win games this fall. But on Saturday, the early-season momentum will end against a Red Hawks squad that is eager to bounce back from a week two setback to Delaware Valley. PREDICTION: Montclair State over Salve Regina

TCNJ at Endicott College (Saturday, Sept. 17 at 12 p.m.): Can the Gulls pitch its third-straight shutout? It’s certainly possible. Endicott’s defense has been a unit to watch through two contests, thanks to some big plays made by Hector Johnson, Tyler Davis, and Jackson DeAngelo. PREDICTION: Endicott over TCNJ   

Curry College at Dean College (Saturday, Sept. 17 at 12 p.m.): Both teams are winless, so someone is going to provide their first-year head coach with a victory. PREDICTION: Dean over Curry

Union College at Springfield College (Saturday, Sept. 17 at 12 p.m.): Springfield faces a challenging week three test against a Union squad that is averaging 59 points through two contests. If Springfield is going to be successful, they must find a way to slow down a high-powered Dutchmen offense that is led by quarterback Donovan Pacatte. PREDICTION: Union over Springfield   

Williams College at Colby College (Saturday, Sept. 17 at 1 p.m.): The Ephs’ title defense begins in Maine on Saturday, but the biggest question surrounding coach Mark Raymond’s squad is who will be playing quarterback against the Mules. We’re not sure (as of Friday morning), but it is likely you’ll see Jack Dickinson or Luke Bobo under center. PREDICTION: Williams over Colby

Bates College at Wesleyan University (Saturday, Sept. 17 at 1 p.m.): Coach Matt Coyne returns to Middletown, Connecticut leading a Bobcats squad that produced three wins last season. The Cardinals return some key members from its six-win season – we expect Wesleyan to be in the mix for the NESCAC crown this fall. PREDICTION: Wesleyan over Bates

Trinity College at Tufts University (Saturday, Sept. 17 at 1:30 p.m.): The Bantams finished second in the NESCAC last season, but the hope for this season is for Trinity to win its first conference crown since 2018. And they certainly have the players to accomplish this goal. Expect a high-scoring affair on Saturday with the Jumbos. PREDICTION: Trinity over Tufts

Framingham State at UMass Dartmouth (Saturday, Sept. 17 at 1:30 p.m.): Seeing UMass Dartmouth drop its final non-league matchup to Anna Maria College last Saturday was shocking – can we say a head-scratcher? If the Corsairs are going to bounce back, they will need to beat a Rams squad that has scored four-straight wins over the Blue and Gold since 2017. PREDICTION: UMass Dartmouth over Framingham State

Middlebury College at Amherst College (Saturday, Sept. 17 @ 2 p.m.): Coach Bob Ritter begins his final season with Middlebury with a week three visit to Amherst, a squad that we believe might surprise some NESCAC fans this fall. Nick DiPrinzio says “accountability” will be the word he and his Amherst teammates will use this fall to hopefully produce a winning season. PREDICTION: Amherst over Middlebury

Noontime’s NESCAC Football Preview: Can Williams Defend Its 2021 Crown?

Joel Nicholas and the Williams College football team begin their 2022 season on Saturday at Colby College. (PHOTO COURTESY: Kris Dufour)

By Matt Noonan

A brand-new season of New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) football returns this Saturday.

As expected, there are some enticing matchups this weekend, including Trinity College at Tufts University, Amherst College entertaining Middlebury College, and Bates College visiting Wesleyan University.

But perhaps the game most fans will be watching – or perhaps following – is Williams College at Colby College.

The Ephs completed their first-ever 9-0 campaign last fall – Williams defeated Trinity, Wesleyan, and Amherst during the final three weeks to clinch its first outright crown since 2010 (the Ephs concluded its 2010 campaign with an 8-0 record, along with some hardware).

Quarterback Bobby Maimaron and wide receiver Frank Stola have graduated so if Williams is going to defend its crown, the Ephs will need to lean on both its returners and newcomers this fall.

Halfback Joel Nicholas returns after leading the NESCAC in scoring last season – the Buffalo, New York native tallied 17 touchdowns in nine contests. In addition to Nicholas, Williams will lean on John Freeman (offensive line), Ian Devine (defensive line), and Rocco Giandomenico (defensive back).  

The biggest question for the Ephs is who will play quarterback?

That remains an unknown, but don’t be surprised if you see Jack Dickinson or Luke Bobo line up under center on Saturday.

“We’ll make our decision on who will start later this week,” coach Mark Raymond said in the Williams College football preview on Ephsports.com. “Both are smart, talented, athletic, and they are good leaders who have taken control of the offense.”

Looking to challenge Williams for the top spot in the standings are Trinity and Wesleyan, which finished second and third, respectively, last season.

The Bantams return some key pieces from its 8-1 squad, including quarterback Spencer Fetter, halfback Will Kirby, and wide receiver DeVante Reid. Additionally, Noah Glantz (defensive line), Brian Casagrande (linebacker), and Aidan Kennedy (defensive back) return to anchor a defense that yielded 13.77 points per game last season.

Trinity concluded its season with back-to-back wins over Amherst (49-7) and Wesleyan (14-7) but saw its six-game winning streak snapped last October against Williams (42-3).  

Wesleyan began its 2021 campaign with six-straight wins before losing its final three contests to Amherst, Williams, and Trinity.

But despite ending its previous season with three-straight losses, there is a sense of optimism surrounding coach Dan DiCenzo’s squad, which will be led this fall by Nick Helbig, who was named the NESCAC Defensive Player of the Year last November.

Helbig was the Co-Rookie of the Year in 2019 with Middlebury College’s Alex Maldjian and finished his junior season with 50 total tackles. He ranked second in the conference in tackles for a loss (11) and tied with Ian Devine in sacks (5.5).

As a unit, the Cardinals surrendered 168 points while the offense produced 197 points, thanks to David Estevez, a dual-threat quarterback that placed fourth in the conference in rushing yards (746). His longest burst was an 88-yard rush against Tufts last October.

Wesleyan shared the conference crown with Amherst and Middlebury in 2013 while finishing as the runner-up to the Panthers in 2019.

Trinity won three-straight titles from 2016 to 2018 and is seeking its 18th crown in program history.

Noontime’s Team to Watch in 2022: Colby College. Coach Jack Cosgrove’s squad has gradually improved over the last few seasons – last fall, the Mules produced its first four-win season since finishing 4-4 in 2013.

Brett Holmes, who represented the Blue and White on the NESCAC First-Team Defense last November, has graduated, which means Colby will need to lean on a few returners, including defensive back Nick Donatio, who led the unit in total tackles (69.0). Donatio also recorded a team-high 47 solo stops to go with six pass breakups.

Linebacker EJ Brister is back after recording 35 total tackles in nine contests, including seven tackles for a loss of 15 yards.

Quarterback Matt Hersch returns after throwing for 1,742 yards – expect him to target wide receiver Jack Sawyer, who led the Colby receiving core with 462 yards on 28 receptions.

Colby may have dropped three of its first four contests last season, but the Mules did score some impressive wins last fall over Amherst (10-7) and Middlebury (28-14). Additionally, they topped Bates and Bowdoin College to claim their third consecutive CBB crown (Colby-Bates-Bowdoin trophy).

Noontime’s Surprise Team in 2022: Middlebury College. The 2022 season will mark the final time coach Bob Ritter will pace the sidelines, so I expect this current group of Panthers to play some inspired football this fall.

Middlebury’s perfect season from 2019 seemed like a distant memory last fall as the Navy Blue and White won just three of nine contests.

For the Panthers to cap Ritter’s time on the sidelines with some hardware, they will need to score wins over Trinity, Wesleyan, and Williams, along with Amherst, Colby, and Tufts. Additionally, they will want to beat Bates, Bowdoin, and Hamilton College.

Linebacker Jack Pistorius has graduated, which means the Middlebury defense will need to lean on Tomas Kenary (defensive line), who was named Co-Rookie of the Year last fall with Andre Eden of Bowdoin, and wide receiver Donovan Wood, who earned a spot on the All-NESCAC Second Offense.

Cole Crider returns as the team’s punter – he represented Middlebury on the All-NESCAC First team Special Teams.

Noontime’s NESCAC Champion Prediction: Trinity College. As much as I would like to pick Williams to repeat, Trinity seems like the safe pick, as well as the early favorite by many that observe or cover the NESCAC. Sure, you could make the case for Wesleyan, but in the end, coach Jeff Devanney’s squad will score a few late-season wins over Bates, Bowdoin, and Wesleyan to secure the team’s first NESCAC crown in four years.

Player Perspective: Bobby Maimaron (Williams College)

Bobby Maimaron and the Williams College Ephs capped a perfect season last Saturday, November 13 with a 24-19 win over Amherst College. (PHOTO COURTESY: Kris Dufour/Williams College Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com

Last Saturday was a special day for the Williams College football team.

The Ephs capped their 2021 campaign with a hard-fought 24-19 victory over Amherst College to clinch a perfect season and become the first squad in program history to win nine contests in a single season.  

Williams has finished previous campaigns with 8-0 records — seven, to be exact — but to win nine New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) games is no easy feat.

“Being the first Williams team to finish 9-0 is a testament to not only how hard our team has worked these last two years, but also to the leadership and growth of our program under coach Mark Raymond,” explained senior quarterback Bobby Maimaron, who completed 11 of 16 passes for 257 yards and two touchdowns last Saturday.

“Coach Raymond is truly one of the greatest coaches I have played for, and I am so happy that my teammates and I were able to clinch a perfect season for both him and the assistant coaches.”

Maimaron, who has played for Raymond since his first season in 2017, has guided the Ephs to at least five wins or more in all four seasons under center. Williams won six games during his initial season in 2017 after concluding their 2016 campaign with an 0-8 record, including their final contest against Amherst in overtime.

We recently caught-up with Maimaron to discuss his final season with the Ephs, as well as what he will remember from his time in Williamstown.

How exciting was it to take a knee and celebrate a hard-fought win against one of your rivals last week?  

I still don’t think it has sunk in yet, but I just couldn’t be prouder of everyone involved. Every single player and coach have worked so hard so I’m just happy we were able to finish it off the right way last weekend. 

We know you (and your teammates) will have time to reflect on this particular season over the next few days, weeks, and months, but what will you remember most from the 2021 season? And we presume it was worth it to come back for one more season to compete with your friends and classmates, right? 

More than anything, I’ll remember all the hard work that went into our championship season. So many people sacrificed a lot for us to win the league and I’ll forever be grateful for that. To work so hard on a goal that’s been in our minds for five years and to finally achieve it is something special. 

From a personal perspective, tell us how you improved from game one against Middlebury College to your team’s final contest against Amherst.

Coach Raymond asked every member of this team to give six seconds of relentless focus and effort at a time. Our focus was on one play — not the next, but the one we were executing — and we never looked past our opponents each week. To go 9-0, you must be at your best every week, and even though our team endured some injuries during the final few weeks, we received some tremendous effort from different players on both sides of the ball that filled those voids by making some important plays when needed.

With this being your final season with the Ephs, tell us one – maybe two? – memories you will always have from competing for Williams since your first season in 2017?  

Talking “The Walk” at the conclusion of my freshman season in 2017 after our team beat Amherst in overtime – the win allowed us to cap the season with a 6-3 record. And my second memory is from last week when I took a knee at the end of the game – again, against Amherst – to complete the 9-0 season. Once the game with Amherst was final, I sprinted to the sidelines, hugged my coach, and thanked him for everything.  

Finally, do you plan to return to campus next fall to support the team as an alum? 

Yes. I can’t wait to come back and see some of my best friends play and coach next season. 

New England Small College Football Conference Race Watch (Week Eight)

Isaiah Cashwell-Doe and the Springfield College football team head into the eighth week of the 2021 season with a great deal of momentum. (PHOTO COURTESY: Springfield College Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com

Seven weeks of New England small college football are in the books.

And with four weeks remaining in the regular season, it is time to highlight – and yes, share some thoughts, too – on the various conference races to watch in both Division II and Division III.

Let’s begin with the Northeast-10 Conference (NE-10).


Northeast-10 Conference (NE-10)

The Leader: Bentley University (7-0, 5-0)

In the Hunt: Assumption College (3-3, 3-1), University of New Haven (5-1, 4-0), and Stonehill College (5-1, 3-1)

Matchup(s) to watch this week:

  • New Haven at Stonehill (Oct. 23 at 1 p.m.)
  • American International College at Assumption College (Oct. 23 at 1 p.m.)

Synopsis: The Falcons will be idle this upcoming weekend but have stretched their winning streak from 2019 to 12 games, thanks to a 34-20-win last Saturday against Southern Connecticut. Bentley has been impressive thus far — they appear destined to repeat as conference champions, but they will face some challenges over the final few weeks, especially in November when they compete against Assumption (again) and New Haven (the Falcons’ win earlier this season against the Greyhounds was a non-league victory).

New Haven is also a team to watch — like Bentley, they have yet to drop a conference game this fall, but will be challenged over the next few weeks, including this Saturday when they visit Stonehill.


Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC)

The Leader: Endicott College (6-1, 3-0)

In the Hunt: Husson University (4-2, 1-1), Salve Regina University (6-1, 2-1), University of New England (3-2, 1-1), and Western New England (4-3, 2-1)

Matchup(s) to watch this week:

  • Endicott at Salve Regina (Oct. 23 at 12 p.m.)
  • Husson at UNE (Oct. 23 at 1 p.m.)
  • Nichols College at Western New England (Oct. 23 at 1 p.m.)

Synopsis: Endicott enters the fourth week of conference play with a great deal of momentum heading into an important matchup with Salve Regina. A win against the Seahawks would provide the Green and White with the inside track to the conference crown.

Endicott beat Salve Regina in 2019 by six points (30-24) but lost to the Seahawks one year earlier after beating Western New England.

A win for the Seahawks would make the next few weeks rather interesting, despite suffering a 41-3 setback to Western New England earlier this month.

Western New England rebounded from its 45-21 setback to Endicott with a 23-10 win over Curry College — they will be the favorite heading into this week’s matchup with the Bison.

The winner of Husson-UNE will remain in the mix with one conference setback.


Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC)

The Leaders: Anna Maria College (4-1, 2-0) and Gallaudet University (5-0, 3-0)

In the Hunt: Alfred State (2-4, 1-1) and Castleton University (3-3, 1-1)

Matchup(s) to watch this week:

  • Alfred State at Gallaudet (Oct. 23 at 1 p.m.)
  • Dean College at Anna Maria (Oct. 23 at 1:30 p.m.)

Synopsis: If things remain the way they are currently in two weeks, then Anna Maria-Gallaudet in Paxton, Massachusetts will be the game that most likely decides the conference champion.

Both Anna Maria and Gallaudet appear to be the “teams to beat” heading into the eighth week of the season, but the Pioneers of Alfred State can change that with a win on Saturday in Washington, D.C.

Like Alfred State, Castleton is still in the mix, too, but they must win their remaining contests so they can keep pace with Anna Maria and Gallaudet.


Elijah Nichols and the Framingham State Rams have won their last five contests. (PHOTO COURTESY: Frank Poulin Photograph)

Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC)

The Leaders: Framingham State (5-2, 5-0) and Bridgewater State (4-2, 4-0)

Matchup to watch this week:

  • Westfield State at Bridgewater State (Oct. 23 at 4 p.m.)

Synopsis: The Bears and Rams have yet to drop a single conference contest while a few teams have suffered two or three setbacks.

So, these are the two teams to watch over the next few weeks – the Rams are idle this weekend but will conclude the month by visiting Massachusetts Maritime Academy while Bridgewater State will play back-to-back games at home against Westfield State and UMass Dartmouth.  

After hosting the Corsairs, the Bears will visit Framingham State with the outcome most likely deciding who will represent the conference in the NCAA Division III Tournament.

Framingham State has scored two important wins against UMass Dartmouth and Western Connecticut while Bridgewater State has only beaten one of those teams.

While Bridgewater State and Framingham State will certainly be the two teams to watch over the next few weeks, keep your eyes on UMass Dartmouth down the stretch as they could possibly conclude the season in second place, as well as secure a bid to the New England Bowl.


New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC)

The Leaders: Trinity College (5-0, 5-0), Wesleyan University (5-0, 5-0), and Williams College (5-0, 5-0)

In the Hunt: Amherst College (3-2, 3-2)

Matchup(s) to watch this week:

  • Williams College at Bates College (Oct. 23 at 1 p.m.)
  • Trinity College at Colby College (Oct. 23 at 1 p.m.)
  • Middlebury College at Wesleyan University (Oct. 23 at 1 p.m.)

Synopsis: The final four weeks of the NESCAC are going to be interesting – maybe we should not overlook Amherst College, which has won three of five matchups this fall?

The Mammoths, along with the Bantams, Cardinals, and Ephs will all compete against each other during the final three weeks, which makes us think that maybe the Purple and White could play spoiler to these three undefeated teams. Perhaps they finish second or third?

Trinity has been fun to watch (and follow), but rather impressive from what we have watched on film. The same could be said for coach Mark Raymond’s Ephs.

As for Wesleyan – sorry, the “Cardiac Cardinals” – they have found ways to win games, especially these last three weeks against Bates, Bowdoin College, and Tufts University.

The Bantams are “the team” we believe will finish with either eight or nine wins, along with the conference crown, but anything is possible – get ready for an exciting ending to the 2021 NESCAC football season!  


New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC)

The Leaders: Catholic University (5-2, 3-0), Springfield College (3-3, 2-0), and United States Merchant Marine Academy (6-0, 3-0)  

Matchup(s) to watch this week:

  • Springfield at WPI (Oct. 23 at 12 p.m.)
  • Catholic at Merchant Marine (Oct. 23 at 12 p.m.)

Synopsis: Before every NEWMAC team began competing against each other, the Mariners of Merchant Marine appeared to be well on their way to securing the league title. But things have changed.

Heading into this weekend, the Mariners are one of three teams that have yet to lose a conference matchup – this week, Merchant Marine hosts Catholic in a very important contest that we’ll be watching from afar.

Catholic has been a great story this season – the Cardinals have won five of seven matchups thus far, including a non-league tilt with Endicott College last month. Their two setbacks came against Randolph-Macon College and Christopher Newport University, but it seems as if both losses provide the Cardinals with a better understanding of what they must do to be successful once conference play commenced.

After starting its season with a 1-3 record, the Pride of Springfield have rebounded by winning back-to-back games against Coast Guard Academy (60-0) and Norwich University (56-7), thanks to an impressive ground attack that is led by Isaiah Cashwell-Doe, Patrick Ladas, and Tim Callahan.

Look for the ground game to carry Springfield to their fourth win on Saturday when the Pride heads to Worcester to compete against WPI.   

Noontime’s Top 10 New England College Football Rivalries

NSFBRivalries2020

By NoontimeSports.com 

There is nothing better than a rivalry, especially on the gridiron. And we have quite a few here in New England, but which one is the best?

Well, we think this list features the best rivalries – 10 to be exact – but if you feel we missed a game (or two), let us know by leaving a comment below. All ideas are welcome!

1. Harvard University vs. Yale University: Hands down, this is the best New England college football rivalry. And while some may think Amherst-Williams belongs in this spot, Harvard-Yale is just as important as The Biggest Little Game in America. The Bulldogs needed two extra sessions this past year to edge the Crimson, 50-43, to claim the 136th edition of The Game. Harvard captured the 2018 meeting, which was played at Fenway Park.

2. Amherst College vs. Williams College: As mentioned above, Harvard-Yale, Amherst-Williams are the two of the best rivalries in New England, but there is nothing better than being in the stands in Amherst or Williamstown in early November to watch this game. The Ephs won their last meeting against the Mammoths by a score of 31-9 and finished their 2019 campaign with their best record under head coach Mark Raymond.

3. Bentley University vs. Stonehill College: The 35th meeting between these two programs was an instant classic. Taking place last October, Falcons won the game on a last-second 32-yard field goal by Grant Buchanan. The win was the Falcons’ second-straight against the Skyhawks, as well as their first against their rival in Easton, Massachusetts since 2011.

4. Maine vs. New Hampshire: The Black Bears may have won the first-ever meeting between these two programs, but the Wildcats have been rather successful since that initial games, especially these past few years. New Hampshire beat Maine twice in the last three seasons, including last fall in their season finale. The winner of each matchup claims the Brice-Cowell Musket, which is named after the former head coaches of the two programs.

5. The Colby-Bates-Bowdoin Trophy (CBB): Since 1892, Bates CollegeBowdoin College, and Colby College have been playing football against each other. And believe it or not, but Bowdoin and Colby have competed against each other 131 times with the Mules winning their most recent meeting with the Polar Bears last November. The win provided Colby with its second-straight CBB title after Bates claimed the crown from 2014-2017. Bowdoin last won the trophy in 2010 when they beat Colby in the final game of the season by a score of 26-21.

6. Coast Guard Academy vs. Norwich University: “The Little Army-Navy Game” is always a must-see, must-watch affair in September, October, or November. The two teams, who entered their previous meeting with identical 2-0 records, first met in 1929. The winner claims “The Mug,” which was donated by The Day with the first award being presented at the conclusion of the third meeting in 1931. Coast Guard currently leads the all-time series, but the Cadets won the most recent contest last September, thanks to an impressive second-half comeback.

7. Dartmouth College vs. New Hampshire: This may not be the most well-known rivalry to current football fans (and players), but the Big Green and Wildcats have met quite a few times over the past few decades. In fact, the first-ever meeting between Dartmouth and New Hampshire occurred in 1901 with the Green and White claiming a 51-0 victory. The two teams last met in 2016 but will meet again in 2021.

8. MIT-WPI: Sure, WPI’s longstanding rivalry may be RPI, but from an in-state (or in-region) opponent, it has to be MIT, right? The Engineers of Cambridge won the first six meetings – both MIT and WPI initially met in 1888 – but since 2001, the Engineers of Worcester have won six of seven contests. The two teams began playing against each other every year since 2015. Last fall, MIT snapped WPI’s six-game winning streak by securing a hard-fought win in double-overtime. The victory was MIT’s first against WPI since 1900.

9. Endicott College vs. Western New England: This always seems to be a must-see, must-follow contest, no matter the records. But for the past few years, this has been the de-facto conference championship game. The Golden Bears have won two of the last three meetings while Endicott captured the 2018 meeting. The win over WNE in 2018 provided Endicott with its sixth victory at home against its rival while snapping the Golden Bears’ 25-game conference winning streak.

10. Southern Connecticut vs. University of New Haven: The Elm City Trophy has resided in New Haven these past few seasons, but the Owls did make things interesting last October. The Chargers have won 24 of the 31 meetings in this series and will attempt to continue its recent momentum against the Owls when they visit West Haven, Connecticut later this year.