D3 Football: Maher, Johnston Secure Spots On AFCA Division III Coaches’ All-America Teams

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Framingham State’s Jacob Maher concluded his initial season with the Rams as an AFCA Division III Coaches’ All-America First Teamer. (PHOTO COURTESY: Frank Poulin/Framingham State Athletics)

By Matt Noonan | @NoontimeNation

A pair of New England D-III Football student-athletes were recently named to the 2019 American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) All-America Teams.

Jacob Maher of Framingham State secured a spot on the first team, while Kyle Johnston of Massachusetts Maritime Academy earned a spot on the second team.

Maher wrapped up his first and final season of college football with the Rams this fall by catching a team-high 56 receptions for 819 yards and eight touchdowns. The senior tight end from Marshfield, Massachusetts averaged 5.1 receptions and 74.5 yards per contest. He caught a season-high three touchdowns in his team’s 39-33 win over UMass Dartmouth in October before hauling in two touchdowns in his team’s regular-season finale against Worcester State.

Prior to earning an end of season honor from the AFCA, Maher earned and All-Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) first-team honor and a spot on the New England Football Writers (NEFW) Division II/III team.

Johnston, who also appeared on the NEFW D-II/III team, enjoyed his best season with the Buccaneers by recording a career-best 57.0 total tackles, including 37 solo stops and 20 assists in 10 contests. The defensive lineman from Raynham, Massachusetts tallied career-highs in sacks (12.5), tackles for a loss (19.5), and forced fumbles (three) in 10 games this fall and was also named to the All-MASCAC first team. 

In four seasons with the Buccaneers, Johnston tallied 164.0 total tackles, including 121 solo stops to go along with 49.5 tackles for a loss and 25.5 sacks. He also recorded eight forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries, and seven pass breakups, including three last season.

Chad Shade Named Jerry Nason Award Winner

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Springfield College’s Chad Shade was recently named the Jerry Nason Award winner. (PHOTO COURTESY: Springfield College Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeNation

Following an impressive senior season with the Springfield College football team, quarterback Chad Shade was named the Jerry Nason Award winner by the New England Football Writers.

The award, as noted on the NEFW website, “is presented to a graduating senior football player from a college in the New England region who succeeds in football against all odds.”

Shade, who became the second Springfield football player to receive the award, received a media redshirt last fall after sustaining a season-ending injury after his team’s fourth contest.

“I think he’s such a competitive kid, and his nature is that whatever the obstacle, and he’s such a positive influence — not only within the team, but in his own mindset — I don’t think he ever doubted his ability to come back and perform the way he did,” Springfield College coach Mike Cerasuolo said, via The Berkshire Eagle.

The Pittsfield, Massachusetts native concluded his final season with the Pride by recording career-highs in touchdown passes (seven), passing yards (456), rushing yards (771) and rushing touchdowns (eight).

Shade, who competed in all 10 contests this season, helped Springfield have the best rushing offense in Division III college football. Springfield averaged 405.0 yards per game, including 357.4 rushing yards, which was the most since the 2017 squad averaged 435.2 rushing yards per contest.

Player Perspective: Alec Coleman (Western New England)

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Alec Coleman is ready to lead the Western New England Golden Bears this fall. (PHOTO COURTESY:

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports

We’re another day closer to a brand new season of New England Division III football, which means it’s time for our second preseason ‘Player Perspective’ post featuring Alec Coleman of Western New England.

The Arlington, Massachusetts native enjoyed a very successful junior season last fall, tallying 40 touchdowns in 11 games, including 21 on the ground.

Coleman rushed for 867 yards on 113 carries for an average of 78.8 yards per contest while completing 167 of 286 passes for 1,964 yards and 21 touchdowns.

The veteran signal-caller is optimistic about his final season with the Golden Bears, who commence their 2019 campaign with a visit from Springfield College on Saturday, September 7th at 1 p.m. Coleman loves the local rivalry between both schools and considers each meeting a “battle for every inch on the field.”

What did you do this summer to prepare yourself for a successful final season with the Golden Bears? 

I trained seven days a week – I followed our summer workout program, which focused on two things: weight-lifting and conditioning. Additionally, I trained multiple times a week with my quarterback coach, too, while watching game film and studying the playbook.

Lastly, I tried to do my best to stay in contact with my coaches and teammates to make sure we kept a bond that will continue into the (upcoming) season.

You enjoyed your best season with WNE last fall, so how did your first two seasons prepare you for a successful junior year?  

Our head coach, Jason Lebeau, was our team’s offensive coordinator my first two seasons – he focused not just on our offense, but quarterbacks, too, so this allowed me to (build a relationship) with him.

Additionally, I was lucky enough to sit behind (and learn from) Anthony Service, who was our team’s quarterback my first two seasons. Anthony was an unbelievable resource for me. I learned a lot from simply watching him play, but also asking him questions about plays or reads, too.

I also want to credit the other two quarterbacks in my class (Brendan Smith and Jack Priester), who have competed with me every day. The competition between the three of us has made us better. We all have a love for each other and want the best for one another. 

What do you feel was your most productive (and successful) game last season? 

The Nichols College game (last October). I received the New England Football Writers (NEFW) Golden Helmet Award for Division II/III (following our team’s 49-14 win). I finished the game with five touchdowns (four rushing scores) and 306 total yards of offense.

How will the Frostburg State contest from last November in the NCAA Division III Tournament help both you and the team this upcoming season? 

Frostburg State is an unbelievable football program. Playing against a team of that caliber certainly made us better. We gave them a good game that provided us with the confidence that we can play against any team.

However, (the loss) left a sour taste in our mouths, which will (certainly) motivate this team to be bigger and better than one year ago.

Finally, being a senior, how do you want to end your time with the Golden Bears? I presume winning a championship, right? 

Of course, I would like to end my time (in Springfield) with a championship, but I have learned over time it is better to leave a place in a better situation than when you found it (or arrived at it. So, my biggest goal) is to make sure I help my teammates, who will be the future of this program, by coaching them and making sure they are ready to continue the tradition of this program, both next season and beyond.

The Western New England football program has given more to me than I could have asked for, so I want to make sure I do everything I can to give back to this program.


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

Springfield’s Shade Honored By New England Football Writers (NEFW) as D2/D3 Gold Helmet Recipient

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Springfield College junior quarterback Chad Shade was honored by the New England Football Writers (NEFW) on Wednesday as this week’s D2/D3 Golden Helmet Recipient. (PHOTO CREDIT: Springfield College Athletics)

By Matt Noonan | @MattNoonan11 

It has been an exciting few days for Springfield College‘s Chad Shade, who has earned multiple awards for his six-touchdown performance last Friday evening in his team’s season-opening 42-21 win over Western New England.

The Pittsfield, Massachusetts native was tabbed this week’s New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Offensive of Player of the Week, while being selected to the D3Football.com National Team.

Additionally, he earned our initial Noontime Sports Offensive Player of the Week honor before collecting the first New England Football Writers (NEFW) D2/D3 Gold Helmet award of the season this afternoon at Harvard University.

Shade shattered multiple career-bests last Friday, including a career-high six rushing touchdowns and 247 yards on the ground. He accounted for 32 of his team’s 42 points – also a career-high, too – while ripping off a career-best 75 yard burst in the third quarter, which helped the Pride push ahead for good.

Springfield (1-0) will look to continue its week one momentum this Saturday, September 8th when they visit Kean for a 1 p.m. kick-off. The Cougars were idle this past weekend, but lost to the Pride last season, 28-8, in Springfield.


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

Mass. College Football: Worcester State’s Bumpus Earns D2/D3 Golden Helmet Award

Worcester State's Kevin Bumpus earned the D2/D3 Golden Helmet Award yesterday at the New England Writers' Gridiron Club of Greater Boston luncheon! (Photo Credit: Harvard Athletics)

Worcester State’s Kevin Bumpus earned the D2/D3 Golden Helmet Award yesterday at the New England Writers’ Gridiron Club of Greater Boston luncheon! (Photo Credit: Harvard Athletics)

By Matt Noonan 

CAMBRIDGE, MA – Worcester State junior quarterback Kevin Bumpus earned this week’s Division II/III Golden Helmet award for his impressive performance last weekend in the Lancers season-opening victory over Anna Maria.

Bumpus completed 20-of-35 passes for a school-record 427 yards with four touchdowns.

After his team’s first game concluded, Bumpus was recognized as the MASCAC (Massachusetts Collegiate Athletic Conference) Offensive Player of the Week.

As noted in the school’s release, Bumpus becomes the first player to earn this award since Izzy Ayala in 2004.

After the New England Football Writers’ Gridiron Club of Greater Boston luncheon concluded, Noontime Sports caught up with the Bridgewater native.

On being named this week’s recipient: “I have known about the award and for Coach to put me in the position to win an award like this is a great honor and for (the New England Football Writers’) to elect me for an award like this is just very humbling and leaves me speechless. I’ve got great teammates and good wide receivers, which makes my job a lot easier, though. They take a lot of pressure off me, which is awesome.”

On what worked against Anna Maria: “We saw some things we could take advantage of and we absolutely did from an offensive standpoint and our defense put us in good positions. I feel like we won the field position battle in the game, so we had a couple short drives here and there, which made my job a lot easier. We saw some stuff on film that we thought we could take advantage of and we absolutely did.”

On facing WPI on Friday: “It’s definitely a unique rivalry. They’re right down the street and it’s like a battle for Worcester almost. I actually got to see them play against Curry the other night and they’re a great football team. The atmosphere around the game is very exciting and I hope it’s the same type (for this week’s game), especially being on a Friday night.”

On scouting WPI’s defense: “They’re very fast and they’re a very disciplined football team. They rarely make mistakes, so we’ve been working in practice all week on things we can try to take advantage of and hopefully they workout in our favor.”

On working with former QB Corey Spencer: “I’ve been able to bounce ideas off Corey from stuff he saw last year, so he’s great to bounce ideas off of him and ask questions like what did you do when they went this coverage or what did you do when the defense rolled to Cover 3? He really is just a great guy to bounce idea off and give me advice and how’s my footwork and what should I be doing on this play. He’s really great to have around.

“I met him my first year at Worcester State and he’s just a great kid, very personable kid and I have a great relationship with Corey, and (it will help) me week-to-week.”