A Father-Son Duo Leads The Way At Bridgewater State University

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Ryan Verria has enjoyed reuniting with his father on the gridiron at Bridgewater State University. (PHOTO COURTESY: Bridgewater State University Athletics)

By Matt Noonan 

Ryan Verria had a few thoughts on his mind during his initial practice with the Bridgewater State University football team in August of 2018. 

His main focus was impressing the coaching staff, as well as a few friends he knew from growing up three miles away from campus. But he was also thinking about how he would tell his teammates that his father, Joe Verria, was the team’s head coach. 

“In the back of my head (while going through our conditioning test) I was thinking about how to bring up the topic that my dad is the coach,” said Verria, who was recently elected one of the team’s captains last month for the upcoming season.  

“You don’t always see (a father-son duo) at the collegiate level,” he added. 

The team would eventually learn both Ryan and Joe were related. In fact, Verria said his teammates embraced the father-son relationship, claiming it was “pretty cool” that Ryan was able to play for his father, who had coached him previously through various youth sports leagues while growing up in Bridgewater, Massachusetts. 

“I (have come) to realize how unique and special this experience is because not many people get to say they played for their dad at the collegiate level,” said Verria, who plays wide receiver for the Bears

Verria didn’t plan to compete for his father initially after graduating from Boston College High School in 2017. Instead, he elected to leave the area to play football at John Carroll University in Ohio where he competed for the Blue Streak’s junior varsity program. Ryan made some impressive plays, according to his father, who recalls watching clips of his son’s games that the JCU coaching staff provided him. 

But watching plays of Ryan on a phone or computer was only temporary as Joe would soon see his son make similar plays in person one year later when he transferred home to compete for the Bridgewater State football team as an incoming sophomore.

“It didn’t dawn on me that he would come back,” said Joe Verria when asked about his son deciding to return home to play football at Bridgewater State. “But when it happened, I thought this is going to be great.”

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Bridgewater State University football coach (and alum) Joe Verria has thoroughly enjoyed coaching his son, Ryan Verria, the past two seasons. (PHOTO COURTESY: Bridgewater State University Athletics)

And so far, it seems the experience for both Joe and Ryan has been great as the father-son duo has celebrated a pair of Cranberry Bowl wins against Massachusetts Maritime Academy, including a dramatic come-from-behind win last season, along with a New England Bowl victory in 2018 against Salve Regina University.

Ryan credits his teammates for helping him grow and improve these past two years, as well as his father, who he is constantly conversing with about strategy both in-person and through text messages. The conversations, both after games and on Sundays also include offensive and defensive breakdowns to new routes the receivers could run during practice to some motivational tactics both Verria’s could use to inspire the team for a successful game day.

But as much as Joe enjoys these dialogues about the x’s and o’s with his son, it is truly the opportunity he has, both currently and in the past, to teach his favorite sport to Ryan while cracking a smile on game days when he makes a play on offense or special teams.

“You know, you’re sitting out there at practice and I am watching the offense execute and (Ryan) is running around and making plays, and you say to yourself, ‘man, I can’t believe he is out there,’ but it is kind of cool,” said Joe Verria.

Joe – just like any parent – is proud of his son’s growth and improvement over the past few years, as well as the leader he has become both on and off the field. He admires Ryan’s leadership – he considers his son someone that leads by his actions, not words, which is certainly one of many reasons why his teammates voted him captain for the upcoming season.

Ryan is honored to be a captain – he knows he is representing a well-respected program that his father competed for from 1976 to 1979. But excluding discussing his current captain duties, which currently pertains to staying in touch with his classmates and teammates this summer, Ryan lights up when chatting about the impact his father – and yes, his mother, too – have made on his life. Both parents have shared some important words of wisdom, along with some important advice that will continue to allow Ryan to thrive both on the playing field and perhaps as a future coach like his father.

“Yeah, coaching is definitely a possibility,” Ryan said with a smile.

But for now, Ryan will focus on being the best receiver he can be while enjoying one final season with his Joe as his head coach.

Noontime’s Way Too Early D-III Football Conference Predictions

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Frank Stola and the Williams College football team will be one of the favorites in the NESCAC this fall. (PHOTO COURTESY: Kris Dufour/Williams College Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com 

Our WAY too early New England D-III football preseason coverage rolls on with some predictions on who we think will win their respective conference this season.

Yes, we know these are VERY early predictions and they will certainly change once we get closer to kick-off, but for now, enjoy some way too early thoughts (from your friends at Noontime Sports) on who we think will celebrate a conference championship in November.



Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC)

  • Predicted Winner(s): Endicott College or Western New England
  • Teams to Watch: Husson UniversityNichols College, and Salve Regina University
  • Quick Synopsis: Yes, we know the Gulls and Golden Bears will be the teams to watch this fall, but don’t overlook Husson, Nichols, and Salve Regina as these three teams that will certainly challenge Endicott and Western New England for the CCC crown. Western New England has won the conference the last three years while Endicott has come close the past two seasons to snatching the title from its rival.

Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC)

  • Predicted Winner: Dean College
  • Teams to Watch: Maritime (N.Y.) 
  • Quick Synopsis: With a 4-1 conference mark, the Bulldogs were able to win their first-ever ECFC title last fall, so expect that momentum to continue one year later. Maritime (N.Y.) will also be a team to watch this season, while the other ECFC teams should provide challenges to both the Bulldogs and Privateers.

Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC)

  • Predicted Winner(s): Framingham State or UMass Dartmouth 
  • Teams to Watch: Bridgewater State and Western Connecticut 
  • Quick Synopsis: The Rams of Framingham State have enjoyed a great deal of success the past few years, but could this be the year of the Corsairs? With quarterback Stephen Gacioch leading the UMass Dartmouth offense this fall, expect the Corsairs to challenge the Rams for the top spot in the MASCAC.

New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC)

  • Predicted Winner(s): Wesleyan University or Williams College
  • Teams to Watch: Middlebury CollegeTrinity College, and Tufts University
  • Quick Synopsis: As of now it seems as if this conference could be a two-team or five-team race for the NESCAC crown. Williams will welcome back an impressive senior class that should help them overcome the challenges to secure their first outright title since 2008. Keep your eyes on Trinity and Tufts – these two teams could play spoiler – and, of course, don’t overlook the Cardinals of Wesleyan, who will return some impressive talent on both sides of the ball.

New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC)

  • Predicted Winner: MIT
  • Teams to Watch: Coast Guard Academy, Merchant Marine Academy, and Springfield College  
  • Quick Synopsis: Coach Brian Bubna and the Engineers have won back-to-back NEWMAC championships so it is hard to pick against MIT, which will once again be one of a few teams to watch in this conference. The Bears of Coast Guard Academy could also be a team that takes that next step, but don’t overlook Merchant Marine and Springfield College. Also, let’s not count out WPI, which did graduate a big senior class, but will carry over some momentum from its 10 win season.

The Way Too Early New England D3 Football Top 20 Poll (June 2, 2020)

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By NoontimeSports.com 

Sure, college football is not happening today or tomorrow, but a new season appears to be on the horizon.

So, like we did last year, it is time to unveil our ‘Way Too Early’ New England D-III Football Top 20 Poll – we will have a preseason poll once we get closer to the 2020 season.

Program Note: Our ‘Way Too Early’ New England D-III Football Top 20 was based on our final poll from the 2019 season, as well as statistics. 


The 2019 Way Too Early New England D-III Football Top 20 Poll

The Final 2019 New England D-III Football Top 20 Poll 


Noontime Sports Way Too Early New England D-III Football Top 20 Poll 

1. Williams College 7-2, 7-2 NESCAC

2019 Final Spot: No. 11

2. Endicott College

9-2, 6-1 CCC

2019 Final Spot: No. 3

3. UMass Dartmouth

7-3, 5-3 MASCAC

2019 Final Spot: No. 9

4. Wesleyan University

8-1, 8-1 NESCAC

2019 Final Spot: No. 8

5. Middlebury College

9-0, 9-0 NESCAC

2019 Final Spot: No. 4

6. Salve Regina University

4-6, 3-4 CCC

2019 Final Spot: No. 20

7. Trinity College 

5-4, 5-4 NESCAC 2019 Final Spot: No. 13
8. Western New England 9-2, 7-0 CCC 2019 Final Spot: No. 1
9. Framingham State  8-3, 8-0 MASCAC 2019 Final Spot: No. 5

10. MIT 

7-3, 6-1 NEWMAC

2019 Final Spot: No. 6

11. Springfield College

6-4, 5-2 NEWMAC

2019 Final Spot: No. 7

12. Western Connecticut

8-3, 6-2 MASCAC

2019 Final Spot: No. 10

13. Tufts University

4-5, 4-5 NESCAC

2019 Final Spot: NR

14. Nichols College 6-4, 4-3 CCC 2019 Final Spot: No. 14
15. WPI 10-1, 6-1 NEWMAC 2019 Final Spot: No. 2
16. Amherst College  4-5, 4-5 NESCAC 2019 Final Spot: No. 15
17. Bridgewater State 6-4, 6-2 MASCAC 2019 Final Spot: No. 12
18. Husson University 4-6, 4-3 CCC

2019 Final Spot: No. 17

19. Coast Guard Academy

5-5, 2-5 NEWMAC

2019 Final Spot: No. 18

20. Univ. of New Eng.

4-6, 2-5 CCC

2019 Final Spot: NR

On The Rise: Anna Maria College and Dean College

Noontime’s All-Decade Connecticut & Rhode Island D3 Football Team

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By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeNation 

Our Noontime Sports (and NoontimeSports.com) All-Decade Week continues with a brand new team: The Connecticut & Rhode Island D3 Football Team from 2010-2019.

This was a fun walk down memory lane, highlighting a slew of student-athletes we covered and interviewed over the past ten years that earned a variety of end of season honors, including D3Football.com All-American honors to first or second-team nods to program record-holders to the final Gold Helmet Recipients from the New England Football Writers (NEFW).  And as usual, we did our very best to highlight as many student-athletes from across both Connecticut and Rhode Island.


The All-Decade Noontime Sports Conn. & R.I. D3 Football Team (Offense)

Will Arndt (QB) Western Connecticut Sandy Hook, Conn.
Octavias McKoy (RB) Western Connecticut Stratford, Conn. 
Max Chipouras (RB) Trinity College Longmeadow, Mass.
Sam Pascale (RB) Salve Regina University Cheshire, Conn. 
Shea Dwyer (RB) Wesleyan University Marlborough, Conn. 
Christopher Hunt (TE) Trinity College Westford, Mass. 
Austin Baiardi (OT) Trinity College Smithtown, N.Y.
Nick Seara (OT) Wesleyan University South Ozone Park, N.Y.
Adam Iskra (OT) Salve Regina University North Haven, Conn.
Floyd Shaffer (OT) Salve Regina University Conshohocken, Pa.
Joe Magardino (OT) Trinity College  Chappaqua, N.Y.


The All-Decade Noontime Sports Conn. & R.I. D3 Football Team (Defense)

Hayden Stanton (DL) Salve Regina University Wallingford, Conn.
Taj Gooden (DL) Wesleyan University Brooklyn, N.Y.
John Salute (DL) Salve Regina University Mahwah, N.J.
Walter Fallas (LB) Trinity College Everett, Mass. 
Joe Rizzardi (DB) Coast Guard Academy Ashburn, Va.
Ben Thaw (CB) Wesleyan University Westport, Conn.
Jake Bussani (CB) Wesleyan University Pleasanton, Calif.
Phil Terio (CB) Salve Regina University Trumbull, Conn.
Harry Melendez (CB) Trinity College Holyoke, Mass.
Spencer Donahue (S) Trinity College Naperville, Ill.
Rae Haynes (S) Trinity College  Hartford, Conn. 

The All-Decade Noontime Sports Conn. & R.I. D3 Football Team (Special Teams)

Eric Sachse (K) Trinity College Jefferson, Mass. 
Michael Killoran (K) Western Connecticut  West Hartford, Conn. 
Chip Crowley (P) Coast Guard Academy San Marino, Calif.
Kyle Pulek (P) Trinity College Cheshire, Conn.

 

D3 Men’s Lacrosse Team of the Year

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By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeNation 

The New England D-III Lacrosse season concluded abruptly last week due to the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), but that won’t stop us from highlighting our region’s student-athletes, who have earned spots on our Zelos Athletics Team of the Year.


All-Noontime Men’s Lacrosse First Team

Jon Coffey Amherst College Summit, N.J. 
Colin Minicus  Amherst College Darien, Conn.
Cian Keohane Nichols College Yorktown Heights, N.Y.
Bryce Adam Tufts University Newton, Mass. 
Mac Bredahl  Tufts University Chatham, N.J.
Nick Shanks  Tufts University Laguna Beach, Calif.
Gavin Admirand UMass Boston Marshfield, Mass. 
Conor Lenfest UMass Boston Waltham, Mass.
Garett Bozek Univ. of New England Nashua, N.H. 
Troy Sliney  Wheaton College Bradford, Mass. 

All-Noontime Men’s Lacrosse Second Team 

Louis Piccolo Dean College Foxborough, Mass.
 Jack Farrell  Eastern Connecticut  Stratford, Conn.
Max Scheidl Hamilton College Mendham, N.J.
Connor Smith New England College Oakland, Maine
Hunter Ferreira Nichols College Mansfield, Mass. 
Pat Leary Salve Regina University Wakefield, Mass.
Jack Dobrzynski UMass Boston West Greenwich, R.I.
Darragh Fahey UMass Boston Walpole, Mass.
Tom Martello  Wesleyan University Rockville Centre, N.Y.
Harry Gahagan Williams College Glen Cove, N.Y. 

All-Noontime Men’s Lacrosse Third Team 

 Caleb Holdridge Coast Guard Academy Waterford, Conn. 
Will Iorio Coast Guard Academy Weaverville, N.C.
Jay Gallipo Gordon College Dover, N.H. 
Matt Gelb Johnson & Wales Univ. Huntington, N.Y.
Lukas Drexler-Bruce MIT Denver, Colo.
Connor Hillemeir Roger Williams Farmington, Conn.
Adam Race Univ. of New England Cazenovia, N.Y.
Alex York  Univ. of New England Gorham, Maine
Ben Coakley Wentworth Inst. of Tech. Flemington, N.J.
Ryan Reuling Western Connecticut Groton, Conn.