Tag Archives: New England Football

Player Perspective: Jacob Burke (Norwich University) On Saturday’s Game Against Coast Guard Academy

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Jacob Burke (45) and the Norwich University football team look to continue their winning ways on Saturday against Coast Guard Academy. (PHOTO COURTESY: Norwich University Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

Saturday will be an exciting day at Norwich University.

The campus will be celebrating the institution’s 200th anniversary and will host Coast Guard Academy in a must-see, must-watch New England Division III football game, which is scheduled to commence at 2:00 p.m. (eastern time).

Both Coast Guard Academy and Norwich enter Saturday’s clash with identical 2-0 records and know a win would keep them atop the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) standings, as well as possibly tied with WPI, which also enters the third week with the same record.

One of the players that certainly hopes to continue the Cadets’ recent momentum is Jacob Burke. The senior linebacker, who has tallied 14 total tackles this fall, is hoping to help the Cadets snap a two-game losing streak to the Bears since the rivalry resumed in 2017.

Noontime Sports caught-up with Burke to discuss Saturday’s game against the Bears, as well as what he enjoys most about being a part of this rivalry.

What makes this game (and rivalry) so special and unique from your perspective?  

This game (and) rivalry are extremely special and unique because it is steeped in tradition. This year is especially important for a number of reasons.

This year, both teams are 2-0 and have a chance to start the season 3-0 and move into first place in the conference.

2019 marks Norwich’s Bicentennial and it is a privilege to be able to be a part of this game during homecoming (and) alumni weekend.

The winner of Norwich-Coast Guard also is awarded ‘The Mug,’ too, which is arguably the most important trophy to win throughout the season.

Finally, this is not just any college football game. This rivalry is known as the ‘Little Army-Navy Game’ and the name speaks for itself.  The singing of each team’s alma mater after the game concludes is the culmination of a very special college football Saturday.

This game is second to none and it is an honor to be involved with such a storied tradition.

What are a few memories you have from playing in this contest? 

My two most influential memories about this game include the excitement and anticipation during the week of this game last year. The week was more intense, and the entire program was more focused. The same can be said for this year, too.

My second memory of this game was losing on the final play to the Bears last year. That is a feeling you never want to repeat and that is exactly what our program promised each other.

What is the build-up to this game like on campus? Do people talk about this game outside the practice field?  

The build-up to this game is always exciting. Considering it is (our) alumni/homecoming weekend, the campus is quickly filling up and the buzz around the school is extremely high. Professors and peers are (also) there to support the team, too.

When preparing for this contest, does it have a different feel than other weeks of the season? 

We prepare for this week just like any other week. However, everyone in the program understands just how important this game is and how much this rivalry means so this week is more intense.

The team remains really focused despite all the distractions which allow us to prepare well.

What must your team do to be successful/score a win on Saturday? 

We must play together and stick together throughout the game. We must limit mistakes and be ready to adjust on the fly while still being able to play fast and tough. We can’t beat ourselves.

What do you imagine this year’s game day atmosphere to be like? Do you anticipate a big crowd? 

The game-day atmosphere is going to be awesome. The school expects a huge crowd so extra seating has been placed around Sabine Field. The entire team is looking forward to a crazy and loud atmosphere on Saturday.

D3 Football: Zelos Athletics’ Players of the Week (Monday, Sept. 16th, 2019)

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By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

With the second week of the New England Division III Football season in the books, it is time to unveil our initial 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 an 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 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.


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Western New England’s Steven Fedorchak hauled in five touchdowns last Friday evening to help the Golden Bears beat Westfield State. (PHOTO COURTESY: Chris Marion)

Offensive Player of the Week: Steven Fedorchak (Western New England | Wide Receiver | Guilderland, N.Y.): The third-year receiver for the Golden Bears turned in a record-breaking performance last Friday evening to help Western New England defeat Westfield State in the annual Presidents’ Cup Game.

Fedorchak established two new single-game program records with five touchdown receptions and 319 receiving yards.

Through two contests, Fedorchak has recorded 16 catches for 437 yards and six touchdowns. He is currently tied for first in NCAA Division III with Jacolby Maxwell (Aurora University) for touchdown receptions.


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Javien Delgado led the UMass Dartmouth defense last Saturday in a thrilling overtime win over Husson University. (PHOTO COURTESY: UMass Dartmouth Athletics)

Defensive Player of the Week: Javien Delgado (UMass Dartmouth | Linebacker | Lynn, Mass.): Against Husson University, Delgado recorded a career and season-high 14 total tackles, including nine solo stops and three-and-a-half tackles for a loss of 10 yards.

The nine solo stops and three-and-a-half tackles for a loss were both season-highs, too.

Through two contests, Delgado has tallied 19 total tackles, including 14 solo stops and five assists. He also has one sack for a loss of 11 yards, which occurred in week one against Alfred State.


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Wesleyan University’s Mason Von Jess enjoyed a successful collegiate debut with the Cardinals last Saturday. (PHOTO COURTESY: Steve McLaughlin)

Special Teamer of the Week: Mason Von Jess (Wesleyan University |Kicker | Lakeville, Conn.): The first-year kicker enjoyed a successful collegiate debut with 12 points off three extra points and three field goals.

Von Jess recorded two first-half field goals of 38 and 39 yards before booting a 40-yarder early in the fourth quarter to provide the hosts with a 23-10 lead over Colby College. He would record his final point of the contest minutes later when Wesleyan recorded its final touchdown with 10:14 remaining in the fourth quarter.

D3 Football: Getting To Know The 2019 Framingham State Rams

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Joshua Onujiogu (91) will be counted on to lead the Framingham State Rams defense this fall. (PHOTO CREDIT: Frank Poulin)

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

In just two days, the Framingham State University football team will take the field for the first time this season when they visit Endicott College for an important week one contest.

Framingham State and Endicott have met 14 times – the series is tied at 7-7 – but the Rams have won the last six meetings, dating back to a 35-23 win in week one of the 2013 season.

Before the Rams and Gulls tangle under the lights in Beverly, Massachusetts, here are some things you need to know about this year’s Framingham State football team, which will once again be led by coach Tom Kelley.


Framingham State Rams | 2019 Team Capsule

The Rams’ 2018 Season: Framingham State won eight of 11 contests last fall en route to claiming a Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) title and spot in the NCAA Division III Tournament.

Coach Tom Kelley was tabbed the MASCAC Champion’s Choice Coach of the Year, while 13 student-athletes landed on the first and second all-conference teams, including defensive lineman Joshua Smiley and quarterback Adam Wojenski.

Framingham State captured one of two non-conference games while ending the regular season on a four-game winning streak.

The Rams drew The College at Brockport in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament but saw their bid toward a national championship dashed with a 40-27 setback. Wojenski concluded the game with 450 passing yards and two touchdowns.

Wojenski’s New Targets: Heading into his final season with the Rams, quarterback Adam Wojenski is adjusting to some new wide receivers and tight ends he will be throwing the ball to this fall, including Jacob Maher, who transferred from Worcester State.

Maher, who played high school football for Marshfield High School, was recently named to the D3Football.com Preseason All-American team after earning a pair of New England Football Writers Division II/III All-New England honors as a member of the Lancers.

“He’s a beast,” said Wojenski when asked about building a rapport with his new tight end.  “(Once) we get our timing down then we’ll be good to go.”

Maher won’t be the only wide receiver or tight end Wojenski will be targeting this fall as the Stratford, Connecticut native is expected to target Austin NunnElijah Nichols, and Manny Exilhomme, too.

Wojenski is confident in his new receivers, who he claims have “stepped up” in preseason practices. “They will be ready,” he said.

New Leadership on DefenseSimilar to the Rams’ offense, the defense will also look a bit different than last year due to some key graduation losses, but that doesn’t seem to faze Josh Smiley, who claims “(the) defense (has) bought into our system and we’re all ready to go.” 

Smiley is just one of a few returners on defense this fall – he will be joined up front by Rufus RushinsFacundo Isas, and Joshua Onujiogu.

The unit also returns linebackers Brian Donahue and Cully Curran, and strong safety Carls Alphonse

Framingham State’s defense will be guided by Mike Landers, who coached the wide receivers last fall.

Onujiogu has enjoyed working with Landers, who he claims has helped both him and his teammates understand more than just the typical x’s and o’s.

“(We’re) learning more things (that) we may have not thought of before,” said Onujiogu of Landers’ defensive formations and schemes.

Added Smiley, “We do (get) more freedom, but this is going to be a fast-moving defense.”

Youth Movement: For the Rams to enjoy a successful campaign this fall, they will need some first-year players to step-up on both offense and defense.

The Rams’ 2019 roster features a slew of first-year players, including halfback Devaun Ford, who is expected to start on Friday against Endicott.

Ford played locally for Mashpee High School and competed for a trio of Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) Super Bowl teams, including the 2017 Division 7 squad that beat Blackstone Valley, 22-16.

Danny Marinaccio is also a first-year back that is expected to step up and help the offense this fall.

On defense, Issac Nascimento is a student-athlete that can help the secondary – he will certainly learn a great deal from the upperclassmen and coach Shawn Theriault

“We’re going to be young and we’re going to have to count on some of the young guys to step up,” said Kelley.

In the past, both first and second-year players have done quite well in Kelley’s system, and have helped the squad by making some key plays when needed.

Conference Favorites: The Rams were picked to win the MASCAC this fall, according to the 2019 preseason coaches poll.

Framingham State secured seven first-place votes, while Western Connecticut, which secured the second position, earned a pair of first-place nods.

Bridgewater StatePlymouth State, and UMass Dartmouth rounded out the top five, checking-in third, fourth, and fifth, respectively, while Westfield State secured the sixth position.

Fitchburg State checked-in seventh, Massachusetts Maritime Academy secured the eighth position, while Worcester State placed ninth.

Conference play for most teams will begin in week three with the Rams hosting Westfield State at 12 p.m.


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

D3 Football: Endicott Enters The 2019 Season With Some Additional Motivation

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Endicott College senior Andrew Tudino prepares to snap the ball in practice. (PHOTO COURTESY: Nicholas Grace/Endicott College Athletics)

By Matt Noonan | @MattyNoonz11

In the words of coach Paul McGonagle, last season was “good, but not great” for the Endicott College football team.

The Gulls posted their first winning season since 2013 but struggled to maintain their mid-to-late season momentum down the stretch when they lost back-to-back contests to Merchant Marine and Salve Regina.

Both setbacks, according to McGonagle, provided the unit with some additional motivation heading into the offseason.

“It’s given us some good drive in the offseason, spring ball, winter, and for the guys in the summertime,” said McGonagle, who is entering his second season with the Endicott football program.

That extra motivation will be put to the test this Friday, September 6th when the Gulls entertain Framingham State in their season-opener at 7 p.m.

Endicott has high hopes for this season and hopes last year’s ending will provide the squad with the motivation it needs to capture its first conference crown en route to a national postseason appearance.


What you should know about the 2019 Endicott Gulls 

The Gulls’ schedule2019 will present some unique challenges for the Gulls, who are scheduled to compete against a trio of NCAA Tournament teams from last season, including Husson University and Western New England, two teams that compete against Endicott in the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC).

McGonagle considers the 2019 schedule “a challenge,” but also a “very competitive schedule” that will certainly test his returners and newcomers.

“We play three NCAA playoff teams (from a year ago),” said McGonagle when discussing the team’s schedule.

“We have Husson joining our conference this year, which will make it more competitive, and then we have Framingham and Wesley (College) coming up from Delaware, so it is a great challenge for our guys and hopefully they will be ready for it.”

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Senior quarterback Joe Kalosky will once again be a focal point of the Endicott College offense. (PHOTO COURTESY: Nichols Grace/Endicott College Athletics)

The second year of Endicott’s new offenseLast season, the Gulls implemented a new offense that seemed identical to what the Philadelphia Eagles ran during their 2017 march toward their first-ever Super Bowl championship in franchise history. And that was a run-pass option (RPO) offense, a scheme the Gulls used frequently with moving the ball up and down the field.

Operating an RPO offense was something quarterback Joe Kalosky seemed to like – he is excited to apply what he learned in the offseason from studying his team’s game film – but as McGonagle said, “we are a whatever it takes” offense.

“Football is a copycat (game), so we do RPO’s, but we also do other stuff, too,” said McGonagle.

“(Last season), there were three games where we rushed for over 300 yards and there were games where we threw for over 300 yards, so we are not one dimensional. There are RPO’s, there are regular old school dropbacks, play action, three-step drops (and much more), so I think it helps us out when it is a sunny game or a rainy game.”

McGonagle praised Kalosky’s effort to improve his game this past spring and summer and believes “the sky is the limit” for the Plymouth, Connecticut native, who did run some RPO plays in high school.

Kalosky enjoyed his best season with the Gulls last fall, recording career-bests in competition percentage (56.5%) and touchdown passes (24). He also rushed for a career-high 365 yards on 40 carries for two touchdowns.

Last season’s ending has motivated Endicott’s defenseFor junior linebacker Kevin O’Brien, last year’s final two contests against Merchant Marine and Salve Regina has become the motivation for this year’s defense.

“The defense would like to have those last two games back,” said O’Brien, who played high school football at Braintree High School.

“The two games were high-scoring and we were one or two stops away from a different outcome, so we’re going to focus on putting all four quarters together, putting the whole season together and having to not rely on Joe and this offense to put up big numbers for us to win.”

O’Brien will be one of many returners to lead a unit that limited opposing offenses to 27.5 points per game last season. Endicott graduated some key pieces from last year’s defense, including linebacker William Rivera, who recorded 114.0 total tackles in 11 contests.

Replicating Rivera’s production won’t be easy, but as O’Brien said of this year’s linebacking core, “it will be more of a group effort.”

In addition to O’Brien, Endicott will certainly rely on defensive back Steven Abbott, who recorded a career-high 61.0 total tackles last fall, as well as Tim Russell, who transferred from Hamilton College after posting 74.0 tackles in two seasons with the Continentals.

Sam Opont will also be a player to watch on defense, too – the Bridgeport, Connecticut native tallied a career-high 53.0 total tackles last fall as a defensive lineman, including 6.5 tackles for a loss.

Nick DiCairano is focused on “consistency” this fall: Heading into his second and final season with the Gulls, Nick DiCairano, who began his collegiate career kicking for Pace University in the Northeast-10 Conference, seems focused on being more consistent this fall after tallying 80 points on 44 extra points and 12 field goals.

“I think this year (I am) mostly focusing on cosistency, ” said DiCairano, who was tabbed our Noontime Sports Special Teamer of 2018.

“Whatever happened last year, happened last year. I am not even thinking about it. The coaches and even everyone on the team have really helped me get into the mindset of one kick at a time (and) focus on what I can control.

“I am fortunate enough to have an amazing snapper and holder, which takes the weight off my shoulders, and helps me be more consistent, too. But I think just going into the year I have been really focusing on being consistent and taking every kick one at a time.”

While DiCairano has certainly been a player to watch on extra points and field goals, he is also someone McGonagle can rely on for opening kickoffs, too.

“Nick is a very valuable player to this program,” said McGonagle.


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

Player Perspective: Nick Ostrowski (WPI)

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Nick Ostrowski will be tasked with leading a talented WPI defense this fall, beginning next Friday, September 6th when the Engineers host Worcester State. (PHOTO COURTESY: Frank Poulin/WPI Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

We’re another day closer to a brand new season of New England Division III football – can you feel the excitement in the air?

There is excitement swirling around the WPI Engineers, who enter the upcoming season as a team to watch, both in the region and New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC).

Led by a talented senior class, including linebacker Nick Ostrowski, the Engineers are poised to contend with MIT and Springfield College for the top spot in the conference.

Ostrowski enters his final season with the Engineers with a great deal of optimism – he believes both the offense and defense will be much improved from a year ago after WPI concluded its 2018 campaign with a 6-4 record.

The Charlton, Massachusetts native posted career-highs last fall in total tackles (76.0) and tackles per game (8.4). He credits his success on the gridiron to his coaches and teammates, both past and current, who have inspired him to work even harder this summer, so he can enjoy a successful final season with the Engineers.

What did you do this summer to prepare yourself for a successful (and final) season with the Engineers? 

This summer was a great off-season for the team. Before we left for summer break we challenged each other to come back in the fall bigger, faster, and stronger by religiously following Coach Dan Ross‘s summer program. A lot of guys were working summer jobs around Worcester, so we were able to get a good group of guys together for the lifts and running.

This summer we definitely did more conditioning in order to have more wind for those late game situations. A big focus this summer was also to stay in contact with the team to ensure everyone was doing well and working hard.

You enjoyed one of your best seasons with WPI last fall. What made last season so successful from your perspective? 

It started with some good coaching followed by (a slew of) repetitions in practice last season. I felt like most of the game were slowing down for me, which allowed for better keys and quicker reads.

We have also had a lot of great mentors in (this program) the last couple of years, including Brian Murtagh and Sam Malafronte. Both Brian and Sam were guys we looked up to as younger linebackers, and I hope to replicate their leadership while being a good mentor to the younger guys on our team (this fall). 

We have a great foundation to build off of from one year ago with some younger guys gaining (in-game experience) and reps due to some injuries. I am very excited for this season (and to see) what we can do.

How have preseason practices gone from your perspective? Also, how has the defense looked?

Preseason has been going great with a lot of guys working very hard, but there is still a lot of work to do before our first game. Everyone on the team is focusing on getting better at a few things every day.

Since our team is pretty experienced, we focus on the details and the little things within a practice so we can try and perfect our techniques and movements.

The defense is looking very good (thus far) and we are excited to get on the field (and face future opponents). We are trying some new things out defensively and are being tested both mentally and physically, but we are performing very well under these circumstances.

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Nick Ostrowski (51) is one of many seniors to watch on WPI this fall. (PHOTO COURTESY: Matt Noonan/NoontimeSports.com)

What are some goals and objectives you have for both yourself and team this fall? 

A big goal for us this fall is just to constantly get better in each practice and each game. We need to focus on one game at a time and treat each week as if we are 0-0.

We look forward to getting out on the field and hopefully our hard work this summer can translate to (our upcoming) games.

You are one of many seniors on this year’s squad, so how do you and your classmates want to end your time with this program? 

Our senior class is extremely talented – we are also a very close group, too.

We were fortunate enough to be part of the WPI football program for three consecutive winning seasons, which is a pretty special thing, especially when looking at our team’s history. A good ending to our time (in Worcester) would be to continue that (recent success) and to win a NEWMAC crown.

We know we have the tools to achieve these goals, so we just need to go out there and execute on the field.

Finally, your team begins its season against Worcester State next Friday. Excited to compete under the lights for the final time? 

September 6th cannot come soon enough, we are very excited to take the field next Friday (against Worcester State).

The guys are fired up to get out there and show how we improved as a team.


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

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