Tag: Nick Helbig

Noontime’s New England D3 Football Top 10 Poll (Sept. 19, 2022)

Nick Helbig highlighted Wesleyan University’s defensive effort last Saturday against Bates College by recording seven total tackles, including three tackles for a loss of 18 yards and two forced fumbles. (PHOTO COURTESY: Steve McLaughlin)

By NoontimeSports.com

Welcome to the fourth week of New England NCAA Division III football season, which technically began yesterday – yes, we know we’re one day late (our apologies!).

Like last week, it’s time to share our latest Top 10 Poll, which saw some teams move up and down, as well as welcome a new member: Western New England.

Despite a 1-2 start to its current campaign, the Golden Bears have shown improvement since its opening day loss to Springfield College – this past weekend, Western New England dropped its second non-league tilt of the 2022 season to Utica College. But despite the loss, it seems like the Golden Bears are headed in the right direction.

Plymouth State moved up one spot following its initial conference win against Bridgewater State while Endicott College remained in the top spot after clinching its third-straight victory of the season against The College of New Jersey (TCNJ).

Noontime’s Top 10 Poll: Monday, September 19, 2022 (Week Four)

1. Endicott College (3-0, 0-0 CCC) (LW: No. 1): The last time an Endicott squad began its campaign with three-straight wins was in 2011 when the Gulls competed in the New England Football Conference (NEFC). Endicott clinched its third-straight win last Saturday by defeating TCNJ, 28-7. They will attempt to win their fourth-straight contest on Saturday against Norwich University.

2. Wesleyan University (1-0, 1-0 NESCAC) (LW: No. 4): Wesleyan jumped up two spots after scoring a big opening day win against Bates College. Quarterback David Estevez tossed three touchdowns in the win while Nick Helbig stuffed the stat sheet with seven total tackles, including three tackles for a loss of 18 yards and two forced fumbles.   

3. Trinity College (1-0, 1-0, NESCAC) (LW: No. 2): The Bantams scored an opening day win last Saturday but struggled to contain Tufts University in the second half. Tufts outscored the visitors, 20-0, during the final two sessions. This week, Trinity faces a Colby College squad that beat Williams College in its season-opener.

4. UMass Dartmouth (2-1, 1-0 MASCAC) (LW: No. 7): The Corsairs moved up three spots following an important conference win over Framingham State. With the win, UMass Dartmouth returns to the win column for the second time this season – this week, they visit Worcester State, a team they beat last year by a score of 52-7.  

5. Springfield College (1-2, 0-0 NEWMAC) (LW: No. 3): The Pride dropped their second-straight non-league tilt last Saturday to a Union College squad that had produced 40 points or more in its previous two contests. Springfield limited the Dutchmen to just three touchdowns while the Pride produced a pair of field goals. Husson University visits Springfield on Saturday.

6. Anna Maria College (2-0, 0-0 ECFC) (LW: No. 6): Following an exciting opening day victory last Saturday, the AMCATs scored its second-straight win on Saturday by defeating Massachusetts Maritime Academy, 23-14. Anna Maria will conclude its non-conference slate on Saturday when they welcome Coast Guard Academy to Paxton, Massachusetts.

7. Salve Regina University (2-1, 0-0 CCC) (LW: No. 5): The early-season success vanished last Saturday as the Seahawks fell to Montclair State, 31-14. Despite suffering its first loss of the season, Salve Regina finished its non-league tilt with a game-high 313 yards of total offense while its defense registered three sacks.

8. Western New England (1-2, 0-0 CCC) (LW: NR): For the second-straight week, the Golden Bears recorded more than 400 yards of total offense. Against Utica College, the Blue and Gold produced a season-high 425 yards of total offense on 79 plays. Additionally, they converted a game-high 10 of 21 third down conversions. Utica finished 3 of 12 on third down.

9. Plymouth State (3-0, 1-0 MASCAC) (LW: No. 10): The Panthers matched their start from 2019 by winning its third-straight contest of the 2022 season. Plymouth State topped Bridgewater State this past weekend, thanks to a pair of touchdown passes from Braden Lynn.  

10. University of New England (2-1, 0-0 CCC) (LW: No. 8): Coach Mike Lichten’s squad saw its early season momentum disappear last Saturday with a 34-31 setback to Gallaudet University. Despite losing by three points, the Nor’easters defense was able to stop the Bison on 10 of 11 third downs. UNE will be idle this weekend before starting conference play next Saturday, October 1 against Curry College.

On the rise: Colby College (1-0, 1-0 NESCAC), Husson University (1-2, 0-0 CCC), and Nichols College (3-0, 0-0 CCC).

New England D3 Football Roundup: Estevez Leads Wesleyan To An Opening Day Win

Wesleyan University quarterback David Estevez tossed three touchdowns on Saturday against Bates College. (PHOTO COURTESY: Steve McLaughlin)

By NoontimeSports.com

David Estevez completed 15 of 20 passes for 181 yards and three touchdowns while the Wesleyan University defense recorded three sacks, two fumble recoveries, and one interception as the Cardinals soared past Bates College, 41-10, on Saturday afternoon.

The win – the team’s first of the season – was also highlighted by Nick Helbig, who stuffed the stat sheet with seven total tackles, including three tackles for a loss of 18 yards and two forced fumbles.

Wesleyan was one of five New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) squads to conclude the opening week of their nine-week season with a victory, along with Bowdoin College, Colby College, Middlebury College, and Trinity College.

Trinity fended off a late rally by Tufts University, which erased a 23-point setback at the break to fall short of a week three victory.

Michael Berluti tossed two fourth-quarter touchdowns to pull the Jumbos within three points with 1:37 remaining.

On the ensuing possession, Tufts committed back-to-back unsportsmanlike conducts, which moved the Bantams to the Jumbos’ 20-yard line. Quarterback Spencer Fetter took three straight kneel-downs to seal the win.

Fetter concluded the game 19 of 33 for 273 yards and two touchdowns. Sean Clapp led the Bantams’ receiving core with four catches for 105 yards while DeVante Reid caught seven passes for 70 yards and two touchdowns.

Tufts’ Phil Lutz led all receivers with nine grabs for 192 yards and one touchdown.

Colby began its 2022 season by beating Williams College, 24-14.

Quarterback Matt Hersch tossed two touchdowns in the win and added an additional score on the ground while Julian Young paced the Mules’ defense with 14 total tackles, including one tackle for a loss and one pass breakup.  

Kieran Sheridan and John McCool combined for 16 total tackles, one sack, and three tackles for a loss to lead Middlebury past Amherst College, 17-6, while Andrew Boel recorded four touchdowns for Bowdoin College as the Polar Bears rolled past Hamilton College, 41-13.

Endicott College scored its third straight win as the Gulls soared past The College of New Jersey (TCNJ), 28-7.

Clayton Marengi tossed two touchdowns in the win while Jackson DeAngelo stuffed the stat sheet on defense with eight total tackles, including two-and-a-half tackles for a loss of 14 yards to go with a pair of pass breakups and quarterback hurries.

Endicott has won seven of its last eight home contests, dating back to their season-opener one year ago against St. Lawrence University.

Nichols College improved to 3-0, thanks to a three-touchdown (two passing, one rushing) performance by quarterback Xavier Powell. The Bison outlasted Coast Guard Academy, 37-33, and will attempt to conclude the opening month of play with its fourth-straight win when they visit Hartwick College next Saturday.

Braden Lynn tossed two touchdowns and Manny Sanchez rushed for two scores as Plymouth State topped Bridgewater State, 41-34.

Bridgewater State concluded the conference clash with 504 yards of total offense, thanks to quarterback James Cahoon, who completed 28 of 37 passes for 357 yards and four touchdowns. Halfback Adam Couch rushed for a game-high 111 yards on 24 carries and one touchdown.

UMass Dartmouth bounced back from its week two setback to Anna Maria College with a 46-21 victory over Framingham State.

Dante Aviles-Santos completed 18 of 36 passes for 321 yards and four touchdowns.

The Corsairs defense intercepted Framingham State’s Nicolas Goffredo three times while scooping three fumbles.

Finally, Curry College provided coach Todd Parsons with his initial win on the sidelines as the Colonels topped Dean College, 33-25.

New England D-III Football Week Three Scoreboard

  • Husson 23, Alfred State 17
  • Nichols 37, Coast Guard Academy 37
  • Curry 33, Dean 25
  • Gallaudet 34, University of New England 31
  • Endicott 28, TCNJ 7
  • Utica 23, Western New England 21
  • Anna Maria 23, Massachusetts Maritime 14
  • Norwich 26, Castleton 21
  • Plymouth State 41, Bridgewater State 34
  • Worcester State 56, Fitchburg State 10
  • UMass Dartmouth 46, Framingham State 21
  • Bowdoin 41, Hamilton 13
  • Colby 24, Williams 14
  • Wesleyan 41, Bates 10
  • Trinity 26, Tufts 23
  • Middlebury 17, Amherst 6
  • Union 21, Springfield 6
  • RPI 37, WPI 0

Noontime’s NESCAC Football Preview: Can Williams Defend Its 2021 Crown?

Joel Nicholas and the Williams College football team begin their 2022 season on Saturday at Colby College. (PHOTO COURTESY: Kris Dufour)

By Matt Noonan

A brand-new season of New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) football returns this Saturday.

As expected, there are some enticing matchups this weekend, including Trinity College at Tufts University, Amherst College entertaining Middlebury College, and Bates College visiting Wesleyan University.

But perhaps the game most fans will be watching – or perhaps following – is Williams College at Colby College.

The Ephs completed their first-ever 9-0 campaign last fall – Williams defeated Trinity, Wesleyan, and Amherst during the final three weeks to clinch its first outright crown since 2010 (the Ephs concluded its 2010 campaign with an 8-0 record, along with some hardware).

Quarterback Bobby Maimaron and wide receiver Frank Stola have graduated so if Williams is going to defend its crown, the Ephs will need to lean on both its returners and newcomers this fall.

Halfback Joel Nicholas returns after leading the NESCAC in scoring last season – the Buffalo, New York native tallied 17 touchdowns in nine contests. In addition to Nicholas, Williams will lean on John Freeman (offensive line), Ian Devine (defensive line), and Rocco Giandomenico (defensive back).  

The biggest question for the Ephs is who will play quarterback?

That remains an unknown, but don’t be surprised if you see Jack Dickinson or Luke Bobo line up under center on Saturday.

“We’ll make our decision on who will start later this week,” coach Mark Raymond said in the Williams College football preview on Ephsports.com. “Both are smart, talented, athletic, and they are good leaders who have taken control of the offense.”

Looking to challenge Williams for the top spot in the standings are Trinity and Wesleyan, which finished second and third, respectively, last season.

The Bantams return some key pieces from its 8-1 squad, including quarterback Spencer Fetter, halfback Will Kirby, and wide receiver DeVante Reid. Additionally, Noah Glantz (defensive line), Brian Casagrande (linebacker), and Aidan Kennedy (defensive back) return to anchor a defense that yielded 13.77 points per game last season.

Trinity concluded its season with back-to-back wins over Amherst (49-7) and Wesleyan (14-7) but saw its six-game winning streak snapped last October against Williams (42-3).  

Wesleyan began its 2021 campaign with six-straight wins before losing its final three contests to Amherst, Williams, and Trinity.

But despite ending its previous season with three-straight losses, there is a sense of optimism surrounding coach Dan DiCenzo’s squad, which will be led this fall by Nick Helbig, who was named the NESCAC Defensive Player of the Year last November.

Helbig was the Co-Rookie of the Year in 2019 with Middlebury College’s Alex Maldjian and finished his junior season with 50 total tackles. He ranked second in the conference in tackles for a loss (11) and tied with Ian Devine in sacks (5.5).

As a unit, the Cardinals surrendered 168 points while the offense produced 197 points, thanks to David Estevez, a dual-threat quarterback that placed fourth in the conference in rushing yards (746). His longest burst was an 88-yard rush against Tufts last October.

Wesleyan shared the conference crown with Amherst and Middlebury in 2013 while finishing as the runner-up to the Panthers in 2019.

Trinity won three-straight titles from 2016 to 2018 and is seeking its 18th crown in program history.

Noontime’s Team to Watch in 2022: Colby College. Coach Jack Cosgrove’s squad has gradually improved over the last few seasons – last fall, the Mules produced its first four-win season since finishing 4-4 in 2013.

Brett Holmes, who represented the Blue and White on the NESCAC First-Team Defense last November, has graduated, which means Colby will need to lean on a few returners, including defensive back Nick Donatio, who led the unit in total tackles (69.0). Donatio also recorded a team-high 47 solo stops to go with six pass breakups.

Linebacker EJ Brister is back after recording 35 total tackles in nine contests, including seven tackles for a loss of 15 yards.

Quarterback Matt Hersch returns after throwing for 1,742 yards – expect him to target wide receiver Jack Sawyer, who led the Colby receiving core with 462 yards on 28 receptions.

Colby may have dropped three of its first four contests last season, but the Mules did score some impressive wins last fall over Amherst (10-7) and Middlebury (28-14). Additionally, they topped Bates and Bowdoin College to claim their third consecutive CBB crown (Colby-Bates-Bowdoin trophy).

Noontime’s Surprise Team in 2022: Middlebury College. The 2022 season will mark the final time coach Bob Ritter will pace the sidelines, so I expect this current group of Panthers to play some inspired football this fall.

Middlebury’s perfect season from 2019 seemed like a distant memory last fall as the Navy Blue and White won just three of nine contests.

For the Panthers to cap Ritter’s time on the sidelines with some hardware, they will need to score wins over Trinity, Wesleyan, and Williams, along with Amherst, Colby, and Tufts. Additionally, they will want to beat Bates, Bowdoin, and Hamilton College.

Linebacker Jack Pistorius has graduated, which means the Middlebury defense will need to lean on Tomas Kenary (defensive line), who was named Co-Rookie of the Year last fall with Andre Eden of Bowdoin, and wide receiver Donovan Wood, who earned a spot on the All-NESCAC Second Offense.

Cole Crider returns as the team’s punter – he represented Middlebury on the All-NESCAC First team Special Teams.

Noontime’s NESCAC Champion Prediction: Trinity College. As much as I would like to pick Williams to repeat, Trinity seems like the safe pick, as well as the early favorite by many that observe or cover the NESCAC. Sure, you could make the case for Wesleyan, but in the end, coach Jeff Devanney’s squad will score a few late-season wins over Bates, Bowdoin, and Wesleyan to secure the team’s first NESCAC crown in four years.

Noontime’s All-New England D3 Football Preseason Team

Spencer Fetter and the Trinity College football team will be a squad to watch in the NESCAC this fall. (PHOTO COURTESY: Trinity College Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com

A brand new season of New England NCAA Division III football is quickly approaching, which means it is time to unveil our Noontime Sports preseason squad, which features a slew of student-athletes from last year’s end-of-season team.

The 2022 NCAA D-III football season begins Thursday, September 1 with a slew of local teams kicking off their respective season on Friday, September 2.

Noontime’s Preseason Offense

QB: Dante Aviles-Santos (UMass Dartmouth)

QB: Spencer Fetter (Trinity College)

RB: Joey Mauriello (Salve Regina University)

RB: Devaun Ford (Framingham State)

RB: Adam Couch (Bridgewater State)

RB: Andre Eden (Bowdoin College)

WR: Ke’Vaughn Davis (Worcester State)

WR: Phil Lutz (Tufts University)

WR: DeVante Reid (Trinity College)

WR: Logan Tomlinson (Wesleyan University)

OL: Lou Cocozza (Springfield College)

OL: John Freeman (Williams College)

OL: Tucker Gaudette (Castleton University)

OL: Bryan Lawton (Framingham State)

OL: Kyle Woodring (Trinity College)


Noontime’s Preseason Defense

DL: Nick Helbig (Wesleyan University)

DL: Colin Meropoulos (Endicott College)

DL: Gerell Boyce (Framingham State)

DL: Ian Devine (Williams College)

DL: Mack Brown (Mass. Maritime Academy)

LB: Tony Hooks (Bates College)

LB: Brendan Albert (Bridgewater State)

LB: Steven Silvia (Bridgewater State)

LB: Tucker Buzzell (Husson University)

LB: Paul Calvetti (MIT)

DB: Armstrong Antoine (Anna Maria College)

DB: Dre Kidd (Dean College)

DB: Cully Curran (Framingham State)

DB: Tyler Davis (Endicott College)

DB: Danny Banks (Wesleyan University)


Noontime’s Preseason Special Teams

K: Christian Hutra (Springfield College)

K: Ryan Smith (Endicott College)

P: Quinten Fox (Endicott College)

P: Finnegan Hall (Coast Guard Academy)

KR/PR: Jacob Wagner (Coast Guard Academy)

Coyne Named The 22nd Head Coach of Bates College Football

By NoontimeSports.com

Bates College has a new football coach. And his name is Matt Coyne.

Coyne, who has played and coached in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC), becomes the 22nd head coach of the Bobcats — he was introduced as the team’s new leader earlier today by Bates Director of Athletics, Jason Fein.

Matt Coyne was named the next head coach of Bates College on Tuesday, February 8. (PHOTO COURTESY: Bates College Athletics)

“We are delighted to welcome Matt Coyne to the Bobcat family as Bates’ head football coach,” Fein said in a statement. “Matt’s experience as a player and coordinator in the NESCAC, as well as his impressive football acumen, impressed everyone on the hiring committee, from students to coaches to alumni, and his ability to inspire and lead makes him the perfect person to take Bates football into the future.”

A native of Bristol, Connecticut, Coyne played and coached at Wesleyan University while spending two seasons with Oberlin College where he oversaw the team’s quarterbacks, pass game, and offense.

Last season, Coyne oversaw the Cardinals’ defense and special teams while coaching the linebackers. Wesleyan’s defense finished third in the NESCAC in sacks (20) and yards per play (6.0) while leading the 10-team league with 14 interceptions.

Wesleyan’s Nick Helbig was named the NESCAC’s Defensive Player of the Year after the Groton, Massachusetts native produced a team-high 50 tackles while placing second in the league in tackles for a loss (11).

“I am extremely grateful and honored to be selected as the next head football coach at Bates College,” Coyne said in today’s release announcing his hiring. “It’s an incredible opportunity to work with this group of exceptional student-athletes while representing one of the leading institutions in the country.”

Coyne inherits a Bates squad that posted a 3-6 record last fall, which included a pair of end-of-season wins against Bowdoin College and Hamilton College. 54 members of the 2021 team will return this season, including quarterback Colton Bosselait, wide receiver Sean Bryant, and linebacker Tony Hooks.

Added Coyne, “We are going to build a championship culture that our campus, community, and alumni will be proud to support.”