Noontime Rewind: Our Favorite Stories of 2019

NS Stories of 2019

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeNation 

With 2019 slowly winding down and a new year – and yes, decade, too – upon us, it is time to look back at some of our favorite posts we produced over the past 12 months.

We hope you enjoyed a look back at some of our favorite posts of 2019 – we can’t wait to produce some similar posts in 2020 while trying new ways to share (and highlight) the New England sports scene! 

Happy Holidays, everyone!

Player Perspective: Stephen Gacioch (UMass Dartmouth)

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Stephen Gacioch recorded three touchdowns in his team’s 21-14 win over Plymouth State University to bump UMass Dartmouth’s record to 4-0. (PHOTO COURTESY: UMass Dartmouth Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

Stephen Gacioch has enjoyed a successful start to his junior season with the UMass Dartmouth football team.

Through four contests, the Tiverton, Rhode Island native has completed 91 of 143 passes for 1,344 yards and 15 touchdowns, while adding 185 yards on 63 rushing attempts and one score.

Earlier this week, Gacioch was tabbed our Offensive Player of the Week – he was also awarded his second Division II/III Gold Helmet Award of the season from the New England Football Writers Association after leading the Corsairs to a 21-14 win last weekend against Plymouth State.

Gacicoch is currently second in Division III in passing yards and is tied for third in touchdown passes with Blaine Hawkins of Central College.

Noontime Sports recently spoke with Gacioch about his team’s impressive start, as well as what he and the team must do this week when they visit Framingham State on Saturday, October 5th.

Your team is off to a 4-0 start. Did you imagine your team would enjoy this much success when you all convened prior to your first game against Alfred State?

Prior to (facing) Alfred State (in week one), we had a feeling that things were different this year. There was a focus and intensity that was buzzing throughout camp, and every day we were making each other better. We knew if we played each game with high intensity, make no mental mistakes, and stayed disciplined that we had the talent to start the way we have (thus far).

From your perspective, what has made this offense click?

We’re a close-knit group. We have a lot of returners at the receiver position and we have four unselfish running backs that rotate and maintain fresh legs throughout the game.

Our offensive line has done a great job of being versatile and overcoming many different situations we’ve been in this year. We like to spread the ball around and give everyone their opportunities to make a play and we thrive off that as a group.

How has the defense, which has allowed just 18.0 points per game, helped the offense during practice?

Our defense does a great job. Playing against them in camp every day was the hardest challenge we’ve faced – the offense became much better because of (facing this unit every day).

Our scout guys right now are doing an amazing job giving us different looks at practice to prepare us every week for a new opponent.

How has your relationship with DJ Machado and Leroy Brown improved from last season to this season?

This year they both came to camp ready to play. They have instilled so much trust in me that there are times when I know pre-snap who the ball should go to based on matchups or defensive alignments.

DJ and Leroy have done an awesome job at winning their routes and I trust them to make the plays.

This week, your team faces Framingham State in an important conference contest. What must the offense do to be successful against the Rams defense?

As an offense, we must win the 12% rule, which is to now allow sacks, drops,  turnovers or foolish penalties. And if we can execute the game plan then we’ll be successful.

Lastly, what do you enjoy most about playing on the road? Do you get a different adrenaline boost being away from your home stadium?

I personally like the feeling of having something to prove. Whenever we’re on the road there are people who doubt us and it gives a little extra adrenaline every-time we’re on the field.

Football Friday Podcast: Way Too Early New England D3 Football Top 20 Poll

Matt Noonan and James Baker are eager for the 2019 New England Division III Football season, so they decided to record a late June podcast about our site’s New England D3 Football Way Too Early Top 20 Poll.

Tufts Looks To Continue Its Momentum Against Amherst On Saturday

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Ryan McDonald and the Tufts University football team will look to continue their winning ways on Saturday against Amherst College. (PHOTO COURTESY: Tufts University Athletics)

By Brian Willwerth | @BriWillwerth 

With three games left in the season, the Tufts University football team sits at 5-1 in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC), one game behind undefeated Amherst College.

As the Jumbos prepare for Saturday’s big game against the Mammoths, we caught up with Tufts football coach Jay Civetti to discuss the Powder Blue and White’s current success this fall on the gridiron, which recently included a hard-fought 28-21 win over Williams College last Saturday in Somerville.

With their seven-point victory last week over Williams, Tufts has now posted four straight winning seasons for the first time since 1988-1991.

“Anytime you beat Williams, that’s a big deal, and I’m certainly proud of the effort last week,” said Civetti.  “There’s a lot of great accomplishments that came from that win.

“We’ve got a lot of ahead of us, and this weekend we have as good of a challenge as we’ve had all year.”

One of the players who’s stepped up defensively against the Ephs was junior linebacker Greg Holt. The senior linebacker had a game-high 13 tackles in the victory over the Ephs, which earned him the Gold Helmet award and NESCAC defensive player of the week honors.

“Greg’s just a tremendous competitor,” said Civetti. “He’s a very smart player. He’s got a great knack for the ball, and he just plays the game incredibly hard.”

“I think all the hard work he puts in during the week shows on Saturday.”

On offense, quarterback Ryan McDonald is having a solid senior season, throwing ten touchdown passes, while adding an additional six scores on the ground.

“The one thing about Ryan’s game is he’s a runner first before he’s a thrower,” said Civetti. “(He’s) managing the game in different ways, but at the same time, when he has to make moves…he’s doing everything he can to do that.”

McDonald and Holt will certainly be counted on this Saturday when the Jumbos visit the Mammoths of Amherst with kickoff scheduled for 1 p.m.


Stay connected with our New England Football coverage by following @Noontime_FB on Twitter! 

Noontime Sports Top 10 New England D3 Football Poll: Week Nine (Oct. 22nd, 2018)

NS WEEK 9 POLL

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports  & @Noontime_FB 

THE NINTH WEEK OF THE NEW ENGLAND D3 FOOTBALL SEASON HAS ARRIVED, WHICH MEANS IT IS TIME TO UNVEIL OUR NEWEST TOP 10 POLL OF THE SEASON, AS WELL AS OUR ‘TEAMS ARE ON THE RISE.’

Once again, Amherst College remained the top team in our weekly New England Top 10 poll following an impressive 30-point win over Wesleyan University last Saturday.

This week, the Mammoths will certainly be tested when they entertain Tufts University, which scored an important 28-21 win over Williams College, which tumbled out of our Top 10 poll following its second-straight loss of the season.

MIT moved up following a 13-0 shutout against Coast Guard Academy, while Western Connecticut slipped to the third position following a crazy 50-48 (4OT) victory against Bridgewater State.

Additionally, we saw more teams move-up one spot from a week ago, while welcoming Framingham State and Husson University back to the poll. The Rams kept their title hopes alive with an important win over Westfield State, while the Eagles of Husson soared past Anna Maria College.

This year’s Noontime Sports Top 10 New England D3 Football poll is assembled by local coaches and media members. 


New England D3 Football: Week Nine Poll| Monday, October 22nd, 2018 

1. Amherst College 

6-0 (6-0) | Last Week: No. 1 Week Nine: Tufts

2. MIT 

7-0 (4-0) | Last Week: No. 3

Week Nine: WPI

3. Western Conn. 

7-0 (5-0) | Last Week: No. 2

Week Nine: Fitchburg St.

 4. Trinity College 

5-1 (5-1) | Last Week: No. 5

Week Nine: Middlebury

5. Western New Eng.  6-1 (3-0) | Last Week: No. 6

Week Nine: Nichols

6. Endicott College

6-2 (4-0) | Last Week: No. 7

Week Nine: Bye

7. Tufts Univ. 

5-1 (5-1) | Last Week: No. 8

Week Nine: Amherst

8. Springfield College 

6-2 (4-1) | Last Week: No. 9

Week Nine: Bye

9. Framingham State 

5-2 (4-1) | Last Week: NR

Week Nine: UMass Dartmouth

10. Husson University

5-2 (4-0) | Last Week: NR Week Nine: Castleton

ON THE RISE: Bridgewater State (5-3, 4-2),  Middlebury College (4-2, 4-2) and Williams College (4-2, 4-2)


2018 Noontime Sports Top 10 New England D3 Football Polls 

Preseason Poll | Week One Poll | Week Two Poll | Week Three Poll | Week Four Poll | Week Five | Week Six | Week Seven | Week Eight


Want more New England football coverage? Then make sure to toss @Noontime_FB a follow on Twitter NOW!