New England Football Offseason Notebook: FSU’s Kelley Announces Retirement

10 GAMES WEEK FIVE

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeNation 

Weeks after guiding his team to a ninth Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) title, along with an appearance in the NCAA D-III Football Tournament, Framingham State University football coach Tom Kelley announced his retirement on Wednesday, January 15th, 2020.

Kelley, who is an alum of the program, coached the Rams for 13 seasons. He guided Framingham State to five NCAA Tournaments and four bowl victories, including a 3016 New England Bowl championship.

“I cannot express how grateful I am to have been the head coach of the football program at Framingham State for the past 13 seasons,” Kelley said via Wednesday’s announcement on the Framingham State athletics website.

“As a former player, I could not be more proud of our teams and all the fine student-athletes who have come through the program. I was lucky to be surrounded by great coaches on our staff throughout the years that helped lead our teams to so much success.

“At this point, it is time for me to step away from coaching with the program sitting in a great spot coming off back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances.  It’s time to put the horse in the barn.”

Framingham State won 107 games under the direction of Kelley, including 100 games in the last 13 seasons. Kelley has coached two AFCA All-Americans while being named the coach of the year eight times by five different organizations, including the New England Football Writers in 2012 when he led the Rams to a New England Football Conference (NEFC) championship, NEFC Bogan Division title, a MASCAC crown, and an NCAA Tournament appearance.

Kelley will remain in his current role as the school’s Director of Athletics while an announcement of a new coach should be coming within the next few weeks.

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Endicott College’s Nick DiCairano will represent the Gulls in The Dream Bowl on Monday, January 21dt, 2020. (PHOTO COURTESY: Nick Grace)

Endicott College senior kicker Nick DiCairano will be representing the Gulls’ football program next Monday, January 21st, 2020 at The Dream Bowl in Salem, Virginia at the Salem Football Stadium, as announced earlier this week on the athletic department’s website.

The Dream Bowl, which started seven years ago, “is a College Football All-Star Showcase of the best FCS, D-II, and D-III players from across the country.”

DiCairano will compete on the 2020 Crusaders team – he will be joined by a few other New England college football players, including Framingham State’s Dwayne Hunter-Parker.

Last month, DiCairano represented Endicott in the National Bowl College All-Star Game after producing an impressive senior season with the Gulls, which included career-bests in field goals (13), extra points made (57) and points (96). His longest field goal of the 2019 season was a 47-yard kick, which he recorded three times against Framingham State, Curry College, and Salve Regina University.

In addition to DiCairano, a few other New England college football players will be competing next Monday at The Dream Bowl, including Sacred Heart wide receiver Kezio Snelling, who was named to the Northeastern Conference (NEC) second team last November.

Also on the Crusaders is Derek Mountain and Corey Stefanik of Holy Cross and Momodou Mbye and Kevin Lawrence of Rhode Island College.

Noontime Rewind: The Best New England D-III Football Teams of the 2010s

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By Matt Noonan | @NoontimeNation 

Happy Sunday, everyone! And welcome back for yet another Noontime Sports rewind post where we reflect on coverage from both the current year and decade (the twenty-tens!).

This particular post will highlight some of the best teams we covered in New England D-III football – let the debate and conversations begin.

As usual, if you have any thoughts (or inputs) please comment below, but again, thanks for stopping by and reading a brand new rewind – let’s go!


The 2010 Williams College Ephs: Williams secured its third outright title with a perfect 8-0 mark which was capped by an end of season win over Amherst College. Additionally, the Purple and Gold captured the Little Three crown while producing their seventh perfect season in program history.

The 2011 Endicott College Gulls: In 2011, the Gulls captured 10 of 11 contests while averaging 40.5 points per game. The offense, led by quarterback Phil Konopka, was impressive, but the same could be said for the Endicott defense, which limited opponents to 16.5 points per contest. Kevin Eagan, who played just one season for the Gulls at defensive line, tallied 104.0 total tackles in 11 contests, including 55 solo stops and 23 tackles for a loss of 87 yards. Endicott finished the season with back-to-back wins, including an ECAC North Atlantic Bowl victory over Mount Ida College.

The 2012 Framingham State Rams: After finishing their 2011 campaign with a 7-4 mark, these Rams flipped the switch following an opening day loss to Endicott College by winning ten-straight contests, including a New England Football Conference (NEFC) Championship against Salve Regina University. Salve Regina was projected to win this particular meeting, but the Seahawks struggled to contain FSU halfback Melikke Van Alstyne, who rushed for 96 yards and two scores. James Muirhead concluded the contest with eight total tackles, including six solo stops, three tackles for a loss of 17 yards and one forced fumble. FSU would advance to the NCAA D-III Tournament but see their bid toward a national title conclude at Cortland State.

The 2013 Endicott College Gulls: Drew FrenetteSpencer Walsh, and Nate Lewis, along with the Endicott defense highlighted an exciting end of season win over Salve Regina to secure the program’s second NEFC crown in four seasons, along with a spot in the NCAA D-III Tournament. Endicott recorded its first shutout of the season and finished 2013 with an 8-3 record. The Gulls entered the postseason with a seven-game winning streak after starting its 2013 campaign with a 2-2 record.

The 2014 MIT Engineers: MIT advanced to the postseason for the first time in school history and won an exciting opening round contest against Husson University before falling to Wesley College in the second round of the NCAA D-III Tournament. The Engineers finished 10-1 in 2014 – they scored some exciting wins over Western New EnglandEndicott College, and Coast Guard Academy to secure their initial New England Football Conference (NEFC) championship in program history. MIT averaged 446.8 yards of total offense and 35.5 points per contest.

The 2015 Western New England Golden Bears: Western New England captured 10 of 11 contests in 2015, including a pair of conference victories against Endicott and Salve Regina. The Golden Bears produced 40 points or more in five contests and secured a spot in the NCAA D-III Tournament in late November.

The 2016 Western New England Golden Bears: Despite ending their season with a six-point setback to Alfred in the second round of the NCAA D-III Tournament, the 2016 Golden Bears were very impressive, winning 11 of 12 contests by an average score of 39.8 to 19.0. WNE averaged 460.1 yards of total offense in 12 contests and limited opposing offenses to just 110.1 yards on the ground per game. They scored impressive wins over Springfield CollegeUnion College, and Endicott College before beating Husson University in the opening round of the NCAA D-III Tournament.

The 2017 Husson University Eagles: Coach Gabby Price led the Eagles to not just an Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) crown in 2017, but also an upset win over Springfield College in the opening round of the NCAA D-III Tournament. Husson beat a very impressive Springfield team, which entered the postseason on a ten-game winning streak. Halfback John Smith rushed for a game-high 164 yards on 43 carries and two touchdowns while Elvin Suazo and the defense limited the Pride to a season-low 264 yards of total offense.

The 2018 Trinity College Bantams: The Bantams concluded their 2018 campaign not just with a 9-0 win over rival Wesleyan University, but also with their third consecutive New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) championship. Trinity won eight of nine contests and was able to win their ninth conference crown due to a 27-16 win earlier in the season against Amherst College. Trinity averaged 464.3 yards of total offense and 36.0 points per game while limiting opposing defenses to 67.7 rushing yards and 10.0 points.

The 2019 Middlebury College Panthers: Coach Bob Ritter led the Panthers to their first-ever 9-0 season in program history, along with a 2019 NESCAC championship. The team averaged 410.6 yards of total offense, including 227.4 passing yards while limiting opponents to 108.0 rushing yards per game. Middlebury scored some exciting wins this fall, along with some nail-bitters against Amherst College and Colby College. They scored 45 points against Wesleyan University in late October before producing 47 points one week later against Bowdoin College.

New England D3 Football: WNE Moves Up In Regional Rankings

94693_fullBy Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11

After scoring an impressive win last weekend over Salve Regina, the Western New England Golden Bears moved up two spots in this week’s NCAA Division III Regional Rankings.

WNE, which was eighth last week in the East Region, moved up  to the sixth position. The Golden Bears are one of two teams in the region (East) with a perfect 9-0 record.

Alfred – also 9-0 overall – is number one in the East, while St. John Fisher is second and Hobart is third. Wesley and Stevenson round out the top five, checking in fourth and fifth, respectively.

The Golden Bears – this year’s New England Football Conference (NEFC) champions – wrap up their regular season on Saturday, November 12th when they host Coast Guard Academy with kickoff slated for 1:00 p.m.

New England D3 Football: Week 10 Social Media Roundup

By NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports)

Before we officially turn the page to the 11th week of the NCAA Division III Football season – really, the 11th week of the season? Crazy! – let’s take a look back on this past weekend’s action with some of the best in-game and post-game tweets.

Let’s start with Bates-Bowdoin, always a must-see or must-watch game.

 

 

Let’s switch gears to Tufts-Colby …. the Jumbos scored an enormous win over the Mules and after the game tweeted this post-game video. Anyone know what the team is doing in this video?

 

Staying in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC), we now take a look at this quality tweet from Wesleyan President Michael S. Roth, who congratulated the Cardinals for winning the Little Three Crown.

 

Following an exciting win over Norwich, Husson celebrated its second Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) crown in three seasons. The Eagles clinched the conference title with a win over the Cadets, along with a Mount Ida setback.

 

Another champion was crowned on Saturday as Golden Bears of Western New England – our number one team in New England – defeated Salve Regina to claim the New England Football Conference (NEFC) crown.

 

In addition to WNE and Husson, another championship was earned yesterday as Bridgewater State defeated Framingham State on a dramatic overtime PAT. The 28-27 (OT) win provided the Bears with their first Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) regular season crown since 2008.

 

Let’s not sleep on the Bison of Nichols College anymore! The Green and Black scored another exciting win, defeating Maine Maritime. The win secured Nichols its first .500-or-better season since 2007.

 

 

 

 

And finally … drum roll please … Anna Maria celebrated its first win of the season yesterday, defeating Gallaudet! Congrats to AMCAT Nation on an exciting win!

 

 

 

 

Noontime Sports Team Of The Month: Salve Regina University

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By NoontimeSports.com 

For the second time this football season, Noontime Sports is pleased to announce our Team of the Month (October): Salve Regina University.

Currently 7-0 overall and 5-0 in New England Football Conference (NEFC) play, the Seahawks capped the month of October with a convincing road win over Endicott College this past weekend, winning by a score of 41-20. Quarterback Brandon Basil tossed two touchdowns in the win, halfback Sam Pascale rushed for three scores on 29 carries for 178 yards, while the defense registered one sack, one interception and four tackles for a loss.

Prior to their victory against the Gulls, Salve Regina earned wins over Curry College, Nichols College and MIT.

The Seahawks currently lead the NEFC in rushing yards (2,050) and yards per game (510.6) – they are second in total offense (3,574). Pascale and tailback James Dawson rank first (158.7) and second (97.4), respectively, in yards per game, while Basil is fourth in yards per game (216.0) and tied for fourth with 14 touchdowns (through the air).

Brandon O’Neill and John Salute are currently tied for first in the conference with three sacks – Endicott’s Craig Anderson has also registered a trio of sacks this season too.

The Seahawks return to the gridiron this weekend for an extremely important conference game as they host Western New England for a 12 p.m. kickoff. Similar to Salve Regina, the Golden Bears are undefeated.

Last season, the Golden Bears defeated the Seahawks, 28-21, to secure the NEFC crown. The Seahawks’ last victory over the Golden Bears came in 2013, thanks to a trio of touchdown passes from quarterback Steve Wilken and a pair of rushing scores by halfback Richie Edwards.