Tag Archives: Nichols College

New England D3 Football Preseason Top 20 Poll

D3 FOOTBALL PRESEAON TOP 20

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

A brand new season of New England Division III football is set to begin in a few days with teams returning to their respective campuses later this week (and month) to prepare for their upcoming campaigns. And with the return of New England D-III football it can only mean one thing: a preseason poll, which features our Top 20 teams from the region.

Similar to last season (and the year before), Noontime Sports will produce a weekly poll, which will appear on Mondays throughout the 2019 season. Fans can expect our next poll to be posted Monday, September 2nd as games will begin later that week on Friday, September 6th and Saturday, September 7th, and will feature 20 teams, not 10 like we did previously.

As usual, make sure to stay connected with our New England football coverage on Twitter by following @Noontime_FB


New England D-III Football Preseason Top 20 Poll | Monday, August 12th, 2019

1. Trinity College

2018 Record: 8-1, 8-1 NESCAC

2. Western New England 

2018 Record: 8-3, 5-1 CCC

3. Springfield College 

2018 Record: 8-3, 5-2 NEWMAC 

4. Framingham State 

2018 Record: 8-3, 7-1 MASCAC

5. Amherst College 

2018 Record: 8-1, 8-1 NESCAC

6. Bridgewater State 

2018 Record: 8-3, 6-2 MASCAC

7.  Salve Regina University 

2018 Record: 7-4, 5-1 CCC

8. Coast Guard Academy 

2018 Record: 7-3, 5-2 NEWMAC 

9. WPI 

2018 Record: 6-4, 4-3 NEWMAC

10. Endicott College 

2018 Record: 7-4, 5-1 CCC

11. MIT 

2018 Record: 9-2, 6-1 NEWMAC

12. Husson University 

2018 Record: 8-3, 6-0 ECFC

13. Williams College 

2018 Record: 5-4, 5-4 NESCAC 

14. Western Connecticut 

2018 Record: 8-2, 6-2 MASCAC

15. Tufts University

2018 Record: 7-2, 7-2 NESCAC

16. Middlebury College

2018 Record: 5-4, 5-4 NESCAC
17. Nichols College  2018 Record: 5-5, 3-3 CCC
18. Plymouth State  2018 Record: 6-4, 5-3 MASCASC
19. Dean College 2018 Record: 5-5, 4-2 ECFC
20. Colby College  2018 Record: 3-6, 3-6 NESCAC

On The Rise: Anna Maria College, Bates College, Bowdoin College, Curry College, and Westfield State. 

D3 Football Preseason: Teams On The Rise

D3 Teams On The Rise

By Matt Noonan | @MattyNoonz11

The first day of August usually means one thing: football has officially returned.

We’re a few weeks away from starting up a brand new college football season – are you excited? I am, which is why I am very excited to begin our preseason football coverage with ‘Teams on the Rise’ in New England Division III.

Let me (and Noontime Sports) know if you agree, disagree or think we left a squad out by posting a comment below!


Anna Maria College: Year number three could be a turning point for coach Dan Mulrooney and his AMCATs, who have high aspirations heading into the 2019 season. With a slew of talent back from last year, as well as a wide-open conference race, one should certainly keep an eye on this squad, which faces some serious challenges next month with games against RPI and Union College. Additionally, a home date with Nichols College will be one to keep an eye on, as well.

Colby College: The Mules are my team to watch in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) this fall. Second-year coach Jack Cosgrove should be able to lead his squad to at least four, possibly five wins this season. Colby finished 3-6 last season – it was the most wins they have recorded since finishing 3-5 in 2016 and 4-4 in 2013.

Dean College: With just two players gone to graduation, these Bulldogs should be equipped (and prepared) to challenge Maritime (N.Y.) for the top spot in the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC). Coach Steve Tirrell‘s squad has improved each season since becoming a full-time Division III member in 2017.

Middlebury College: The Panthers will once again be in the middle of the NESCAC pack this fall – the Blue and White graduated 17 student-athletes from their 2018 squad, but should return some key pieces from last season. Middlebury finished 5-4 last season after posting six or seven wins in 2016 and 2017, respectively, and could certainly provide some challenges to a few conference early season favorites, including Amherst CollegeTrinity College, and Williams College.

Nichols College: Perhaps this is the year the Bison take that ‘next step’ and challenge Endicott College, Husson University, Salve Regina and Western New England for the top spot in the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC). The Bison finished 5-5 last season and seem to have generated some serious momentum this offseason, which should bode well for coach Dale Olmsted‘s squad.

Norwich University: Could the Cadets challenge Springfield College and others for the top spot in the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC)? I think so. Norwich returns some impressive talent on both sides of the ball, which will make this team hard to beat. I have high hopes for the Cadets, who will attempt to match their 2014 squad, which finished with seven wins.

University of New England: The Nor’easters appeared to get stronger as the 2018 season progressed. Similar to Nichols, they face the daunting task of taking down four solid teams to secure the top spot, but I think UNE should certainly improve on their initial season as a varsity program and finish 2019 with at least three or four wins.


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

Catching Up With John Carroll (Nichols College Men’s Lacrosse)

41455289162_d91bc0b86b_o

John Carroll was named the new men’s lacrosse coach at Nichols College earlier this summer. (PHOTO COURTESY: David B. Newman)

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

John Carroll had always wanted to coach lacrosse, even as a student-athlete at the University at Albany. And that was exactly what he did after graduating in 2012. 

Carroll honed his coaching skills as an assistant with three collegiate lacrosse programs, including Trinity College where he helped the Bantams reach the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Tournament this past spring. 

“I always wanted to pursue college coaching even while I was attending school and playing at Albany,” said Carrol, who concluded his time with the Great Danes by recording 378 saves between the pipes. 

“I  remember interviewing coach Bill Ralph, who was one of our assistant coaches for my first-year seminar class to (learn more about) the college coaching profession. I certainly got a lot of crazy looks and confused faces when I said, ‘I wanted to coach full time for a living,’ but I think it’s worked out pretty well.”

Indeed, Carroll has enjoyed a great deal of success on the sidelines and will look to continue applying what he has learned as the new men’s lacrosse coach at Nichols College.

Carroll, who becomes the 14th coach in program history, inherits a unit that has won 10 games or more since 2017 and has also competed twice in the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Tournament, including this past spring. 

Carroll is excited about his first head coaching role and has visions of leading the Bison to their first-ever league title in program history.

“As a first-time head coach, (I am excited to have) the opportunity to take over a program that has had a lot of success recently,” said Carroll when discussing his excitement for coaching the Bison. 

“I believe Nichols men’s lacrosse can be a top team in the CCC and that is my ultimate goal for the long term vision of the program.” 

Noontime Sports recently caught-up with Carroll to discuss his outlook for the upcoming season, but also how his previous roles have shaped him into the coach he has become today.

40603973895_9283994afa_o

John Carroll helped the Trinity College men’s lacrosse team reach the NESCAC Tournament. (PHOTO COURTESY: David B. Newman)

You have gained a great deal of experience as a coach, both in Division I and III. How will that experience help you with the Bison this upcoming school year?

I have always tried to approach things the same way regardless of being in Division I or Division III. Working for so many different people at different institutions have really helped me absorb and learn new concepts and drills that I can use to run our practices at Nichols. I think all of those experiences will also help me to set a new bar for the guys on the team, and it will set a precedent of what we are expecting as Nichols men’s lacrosse players, both this year and moving forward on and off the field. Coach (Eric) Gobiel has done an outstanding job of (laying the foundation for success) with this program, so my job now is to come in and take the program to the next level, (so we can) compete for and ultimately win the Commonwealth Coast Conference championship. 

What excites you about coaching in the Commonwealth Coast Conference?

The league is very competitive with teams like Western New England, and Endicott College at the forefront. I had the chance to coach against Roger Williams and Curry 0- both are very talented teams – and they gave us some trouble while I was at Trinity. I think the CCC can become one of the more competitive leagues in Division III.

The opportunity to play for a conference championship and an automatic qualifier into the NCAA tournament is the ultimate factor, but I see a lot of really good teams in the league and I look forward to learning about all of them, while competing against them, as well. Coach John Klepacki (Western New England) and coach Eric Hagarty (Endicott)  have reached out to me and have been very welcoming. I also know Coach Charlie Burch at the University of New England from working with him in the past at Blue Chip 225 camp.

I think it’s a top-notch league and I’m excited to compete in it.

What are some goals and objectives you hope to accomplish before the team’s initial game next spring?

The number one goal this semester is to (be successful in the classroom). If we can do well in the classroom then that is one less stress for our team when we convene on the practice. 

I also would like to have our base offense, defense, rides, clears, extra-man opportunity, and man-down packages all installed before our first scrimmage in October.

An individual goal for myself is to learn one thing about each player on the team that doesn’t relate to lacrosse. It will be important for me to get to know the guys and build relationships and trust with them (before our first game next spring).

After speaking with most of the team over the phone they have all expressed to me that they are a close-knit group, and I want to gain their trust while getting to know them so we can continue to build upon the culture that has been established (already) by coach Gobeil.

Finally, you were a goalie, both in college and high school. Did you always play goalie growing up? 

I started by playing midfield in second grade and I thought I was pretty good at it. My Dad actually began playing goalie in a local men’s league during that time and bought all of the equipment, including a goalie stick. This led to my older brother (Jimmy) playing goalie first and borrowing my Dad’s gear. After seeing them both playing goalie I said to myself, ‘Hey, I can do that too!’

Once I jumped in net there was no looking back. I would split halves between goalie and midfield for most of my time with Smithtown Youth Lacrosse. I started playing goalie full-time in seventh grade for my middle school team and was told at some point during my high school career to switch to close defense or long-stick middie. I used that as motivation to improve my goalie game, even though a lot of people were trying to compliment me by saying I could play both long pole and goalie.

Playing goalie for a Division I lacrosse program was always my dream and I was lucky enough to live it out at the University of Albany.

Now, coaching is my dream and I couldn’t be happier to get started at Nichols. 


Stay connected with our New England lacrosse coverage by following @NoontimeLax on Twitter! 

The Early Preseason Outlook: Nichols College Bison

Nichols Bison

By Matt Noonan | @MattyNoonz11

Our ‘Early Preseason Outlook’ college football coverage resumes with a closer look at the Nichols College Bison, who begin their season on Friday, September 6th when they visit Dean College for a 7 p.m. kick-off.

The Bison’s 2018 Season: Nichols enjoyed its best season since 2016 by finishing with a 5-5 mark, including a 4-2 record in Dudley, Massachusetts.

The Bison won three of six Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) games while scoring non-conference wins against Anna Maria College and Alfred State.

Nichols ended its campaign with a 39-29 win over Curry College, which seemed to provide the unit with some momentum and excitement for the upcoming season.

Hunter Ferreira, who was a first-year wide-out last season, ended the season by recording a career-high 109 receiving yards and two touchdowns in his team’s win over Curry. His impressive effort resulted in him being tabbed the conference’s offensive player of the week.

Coach Dale Olmsted was named the Worcester Area Football Association Coach of the Year for the second time in three seasons, while seven Bison were named to the 2018 squad.

The 2019 Outlook: The Bison graduated 11 student-athletes from last year’s squad, including halfback Jacob Duffrene, who led the rushing attack with 794 yards on 103 carries and nine touchdowns.

McCoy Scott also graduated after enjoying an impressive final season with the Bison by tallying 99.0 total tackles, including 14.5 tackles for a loss and four sacks. Scott also forced two fumbles, recovering one, while recording one interception.

But despite some graduation losses, the Bison will return some key pieces of last year’s squad, including quarterback Michael Pina, wide receiver Hunter Ferreira, and linebackers Christopher LawrenceMichael Spraulding, and Sean McGuigan.

Additionally, Jared Abbruzzese returns in the secondary, while Patrick Porter will be spotted up front on the defensive line.

Sam Gallant returns to the offensive line for his final season – he was named to Worcester Area Football Association team last fall, while also being honored by the Commonwealth Coast Conference. Gallant has been a leader for the Bison’s offense the past few seasons and will certainly be counted on this fall with helping the team continue its winning ways.

Nichols’ Schedule: The Bison will be challenged immediately by a trio of non-conference squads, including Dean, a team to keep an eye on in the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC). Games against Coast Guard Academy and Anna Maria won’t be easy, as well.

Nichols hops into conference play during the final weekend of September when they host Salve Regina before traveling to Western New England.

Weeks later, the Bison will close out their schedule with two marquee contests against Husson University (November 2nd) and Endicott College (November 16th).

Players to Watch: Michael Pina (Quarterback/Brockton, Mass.), Hunter Ferreira (Wide Receiver/Mansfield, Mass.), Daniel Espinosa (Kicker/Tamarac, Fla.), Sam Gallant (Offensive Line/Gardner, Mass.), Christopher Lawrence (Linebacker/Newport, N.H.), Michael Spraulding (Linebacker/Lithonia, Ga.), Sean McGuigan (Linebacker/Charlton, Mass.), Jared Abbruzzese (Defensive Back/Natick, Mass.), and Patrick Porter (Defensive Line/Natick, Mass.).


Stay connected with Noontime Sports’ football coverage on Twitter by following @Noontime_FB.

Catching Up With Brandon Linton (Nichols College Men’s Basketball)

Linton_A13C2113

Brandon Linton was recently named the 20th men’s basketball coach in Nichols College program history. (PHOTO COURTESY: Nichols College Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports

Last month, Nichols College announced the hiring of Brandon Linton, who becomes the 20th men’s basketball coach in program history.

Linton arrived at the Dudley, Massachusetts campus after spending the past five seasons as an assistant coach at Army West Point where he helped the Cadets with numerous tasks, including scouting reports to working with the wing players at practice to assisting with in-game strategy.

Before assisting the Army West Point men’s basketball program, Linton spent time as an assistant at both his alma mater, Clarkson University, and Bowdoin College.

Coaching a program like Nichols certainly intrigued Linton, who is excited “to continue building on what has already been established” with the Nichols men’s basketball program.

“The chance to take over a program that represents excellence, both on and off of the basketball court was important to me,” said Linton when asked about becoming the new men’s basketball coach at Nichols. “Also, the growth potential of the program was equally intriguing, (as well).”

Nichols concluded its 2018-19 season with an impressive 28-3 mark. The Bison advanced to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division III Tournament earlier this year, thanks to postseason victories against Amherst CollegeMiddlebury College, and Rowan University.

Additionally, Nichols also captured the 2019 Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) title with a 105-90 victory over Gordon College.

Noontime Sports recently caught-up with Coach Linton to discuss his excitement for the upcoming season.

As a former Division III, men’s basketball player did you always want to coach or become a head coach at this particular level? 

Absolutely.  I had the great fortune to play for Adam Stockwell during my first three years at Clarkson. I remember sitting in his office as a freshman and sophomore, and him telling me that I would be a college basketball coach one day.  Prior to that, I had casually thought about the idea of it, but after (those conversations) I began to own that reality. Everything I’ve done since was aimed at this goal of becoming a Division III head coach.

What do you know about the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC)? Are you excited to coach in a very competitive league? 

I’m extremely excited to coach in this league.  I know that it is made up of high-level coaches that have built some of the best and most competitive programs in New England.  The talent across the board is impressive and something that I notice has improved since my departure from Division III.  This is a conference that I believe should be a multiple bid league to the NCAA tournament (every season). I look forward to the challenge of being in that mix.

How did your experience with Army West Point shape you into the coach you are today? 

I couldn’t be more grateful for my time at Army.  The development that I was able to take part in both on and off of the basketball court was truly remarkable.  It is the preeminent leadership development institution in the world. From the faculty to the cadets and all the variety of guest speakers that came through West Point, it truly was a hub for leadership development.

Basketball-wise, being able to coach at the Division I level just provides an amazing amount of time that you get to spend coaching and teaching the game to your players.  We also fielded a junior varsity team at West Point, which allowed us as (to gain experience) being a head coach as assistants to the varsity. More than anything, being around the people day in and day out was the number one takeaway that I believe will shape me into the coach I am and hope to be.

Great coaches are great leaders. And great leaders are great people first.

Litnon_3DC81C

Coach Brandon Linton inherits a Nichols College men’s basketball team that finished the 2018-19 season with an impressive 28-3 record. (PHOTO COURTESY: Nichols College Athletics)

What are some of the biggest goals/objectives you (and the men’s basketball program) hope to accomplish between now and the team’s first practice? 

The biggest thing will be developing the framework for meaningful relationships with each other. That is from new staff to players and vice versa. It will also be amongst the current players as well. Acclimating the newcomers into the fold, while also continuing to develop even stronger bonds with your returning teammates (will be a must, as well). That will be our biggest focus prior to our first practice on October 15th.

A few quick-hitters, beginning with your all-time favorite memory of playing basketball. 

Without a doubt, it has to be back in 2008 when I was a part of Clarkson’s first-ever Liberty League (LL) championship. We advanced to the NCAA Tournament as a fourth-seed in our conference’s tournament, which made it even sweeter.

Legitimately, no one believed we could get it done because there was honestly no prior reason to think so, but only the individuals in our locker room believed (we could win a conference championship) and that’s all that mattered. It’s something that has stuck with me ever since (and proves what) the power of belief can accomplish.

Who was a player you idolized growing up? 

Tracy McGrady. Unfortunately for me, my teammates and coaches, however, I played nothing like McGrady, but when I got to college, I really enjoyed watching Rajon Rondo when he first started playing for the Boston Celtics. I enjoyed watching Rondo as a student-athlete with the Celtics – he was a big part of their resurgence. I played the point for Clarkson and I really respected how he played that position. And that’s probably why my three-point percentage was what it was, too.

Finally, if you could coach any basketball player, both current or past, who would it be and why? 

Growing up in New York City, I was and still am a big fan of the New York Knicks. We’ve fallen on hard times for a good 15-20 years, however, as a kid, there were some awesome teams for me to follow.

I fell in love with basketball by watching John Starks play.  I would always wear his number (three) whenever I could in youth tournaments and recreational leagues.  The passion and swag that he played with was everything to me. He embodied what it meant to be a New Yorker, as well. He was hard-nosed, did whatever it took for the greater good of the team, and took the challenge of guarding the best players on the other team. He also jacked three-pointers, too, which was still a newer thing for the game during the 1990s.

John Starks is definitely someone I would love to coach.


Stay connected with our New England basketball coverage by following @Noontime_Hoops on Twitter! 

« Older Entries