Catching Up with Western New England Coach Jason Lebeau

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Peter Hoff and Western New England have won four-straight contests since falling to Springfield College in their season-opener. (PHOTO COURTESY: Western New England Athletics)

By Brian Willwerth | @BriWillwerth

After dropping their season-opener to Springfield College, the Western New England Golden Bears enter the bye week riding a four-game winning streak.

During their bye week, we caught up with first-year head coach Jason Lebeau to talk about his team’s recent success.

We began our conversation by discussing cornerback Tommy Ganley, who was named to this week’s D3Football.com Team of the Week after recording two interceptions, one pass break-up and three solo stops last week against Salve Regina.

“Tommy’s been fantastic for us (this season),” said Lebeau. “He has really found his role as a corner,” adding that Ganley transitioned nicely from wide receiver to the defensive side of the ball this season.

“He just another guy who’s worked really hard to get where he is,” said Lebeau.

When it comes to players who don’t always light up the stat sheet, Lebeau had high praise for long snapper Jake Salera.

“You watch our return team, and Jake is in the returner’s face every time,” said Lebeau.

On the offensive line, he singled out center Anthony Hale.

“We were struggling at the position, trying to get our five best offensive linemen on the field, (and he’s) moved over from the tackle position and made such a big difference,” said Lebeau. “Now that we’ve moved him there, our communication is so much better.  Our confidence is so much better.”

Coach Lebeau thinks the Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC) is strong from top to bottom.

“There are a lot of hungry teams (in our conference) that are finding their way,” he said.  “It’s not going to be easy (the rest of the way),” adding that he’s happy to have three of the last five games at home.

It may not be surprising to see the Bears rolling up the yards and the points. Lebeau spent six years as offensive coordinator.  Now, in his first year as head coach, his team is averaging over 36 points game, with a pretty balanced attack.

The Golden Bears return to action next Saturday, October 13th when they host Curry College.


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D3 Football: 10 Games To Watch In Week Five (Sept 29th)

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By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

The fifth week of the New England D3 football season is set to kickoff tomorrow – are you ready for some football?

Similar to last week, it is time to dish out our 10 Games to Watch for Week Five, as well as who we think will win their respective matchup.

Last Week (Week Four): We went 5-5 with our picks, so lets see how we do this week!

Season Predictions Records: 25-15 (we went 5-5 last week, so let’s see if we can bounce back!)

Make sure to stay connected with our Noontime Sports Football coverage by following @Noontime_FB on Twitter today


Merchant Marine at MIT (11 a.m.): MIT needed a second half rally to top Catholic in their NEWMAC opener last week, but they will need a complete 60-minute effort to top coach Mike Toop’s Mariners this week. PREDICTION: MIT 28, USMMA 27

Western New England at Salve Regina (12 p.m.): After a disappointing week one setback to Springfield, these Golden Bears have found their groove, winning three-straight, including a hard-fought 31-28 victory against Husson. The team’s early season momentum should continue this week on the road against the Seahawks. PREDICTION: WNE 31, Salve Regina 26

Springfield College at Norwich University (1 p.m.): It was a gritty effort last week against WPI, but this brotherhood seems to be in good spirits after claiming an important conference win. They should find a way once again to get past a Cadets squad. PREDICTION: Springfield 28, Norwich 10

Univ. of New England at Nichols College (1 p.m.): The Bison have won two of three contests at home this season and should improve that mark with an important conference victory on Saturday against UNE. PREDICTION: Nichols 28, UNE 10

Gallaudet University at Anna Maria College (1 p.m.): Look for this game to come down to perhaps the final drive with the AMCATs scoring with no time left on the clock. PREDICTION: Anna Maria 17, Gallaudet 14

Coast Guard Academy at Catholic University (1 p.m.): Ryan Jones and the Bears squeaked out an important win last Saturday against Norwich. Can they keep this momentum going in our nation’s capital? PREDICTION: Coast Guard 31, Catholic 21

Endicott College at Curry College (1 p.m.): The Gulls have some serious momentum on their side following their week four win over Hobart. PREDICTION: Endicott 31, Curry 17

Husson University at SUNY Maritime (1 p.m.): SUNY Maritime appears to be the team to beat in the ECFC, but can they take that next step this week against the league’s defending champion? Prediction: SUNY Maritime 24, Husson 14

Trinity College at Williams College (1:30 p.m.): Which defense will make the big stop? That is the biggest question heading into this important NESCAC clash. PREDICTION: Williams 35, Trinity 28

UMass Dartmouth at Western Conn. (5 p.m.): The Colonials seem like a team on a mission this fall, but the same could be said for the Corsairs, who have won three of four contests thus far, including an important conference clash last week against Plymouth State. The Corsairs must find a way to slow down the Colonials offense, which is averaging five touchdowns per game this season. PREDICTION: Western Conn. 27, UMass Dartmouth 17

Noontime Sports: Football Stars of the Week (Monday, Sept. 24th, 2018)

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By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports & @Noontime_FB 

With another week of New England D3 Football in the books, it is time to unveil our Noontime Sports Football Stars of the Week from week four!

Our ‘Stars of the Week’ post will appear every Monday on our site throughout the remainder of the college football season. The weekly post will highlight some key contributors from the New England region from the past week on offense, defense and special teams.

Congratulations to this week’s recipients and best of luck to all student-athletes, coaches and teams competing this upcoming weekend.


Offensive Stars of the Week

Hunter Belzo (Springfield College): Belzo (113 rushing yards, two touchdowns) accounted for a pair of touchdowns against WPI last Saturday, including the go-ahead touchdown midway through the final quarter to lead the Pride to a hard-fought 17-14 win.

Errol Breaux (Dean College): Breaux concluded his team’s fourth game of the season by hauling in four catches for 135 yards and two touchdowns. He averaged 33.8 yards per reception.

Austin Calamita (Western Conn.): Calamita hauled in three touchdowns, while finishing with a game-high 10 receptions for 150 yards as the Colonials topped Salve Regina on the road.

Stephen Gacioch (UMass Dartmouth): Gacioch (236 passing yards, two touchdowns) tossed two touchdowns Leroy Brown, while rushing for a team-high 62 yards on 13 carries as the Corsairs edged Plymouth State in Dartmouth, Massachusetts.

Ryan Jones (Coast Guard Academy): Jones (257 passing yards, two touchdowns) helped the Bears squeak past Norwich University by capping a 16-play, 76 yard drive with a three yard score on the ground with nine seconds remaining in regulation.

Nate Richam (Bowdoin College): Richam led all rushers in last Saturday’s Middlebury-Bowdoin clash with 288 yards on 30 carries (9.6 yards per carry) for two touchdowns.

Jordan Vazzano (Trinity College): Vazzano (353 passing yards) registered six touchdowns this past weekend, including five through the air as the Bantams topped Bates College for their second win of the season.


Defensive Stars of the Week

George Balian (Endicott College): Balian paced the Gulls with a career-high 10 total tackles, including six solo stops and one pass break-up in his team’s exciting 27-24 win over Hobart. The pass break-up occurred at the end of the contest – it dashed a potential comeback by the Statesmen.

John Bennett (Maine Maritime): Bennett recorded 11 total tackles last Saturday against Merchant Marine, including seven solo stops and one-and-a-half tackles for a five-yard loss. He also registered one fumble recovery.

Tyler D’Errico (Salve Regina): D’Errico paced the Seahawks’ defense with nine total tackles, including seven solo stops and two tackles for a loss of two yards, while recording one pass break-up against Western Connecticut.

Jonathan Hobart (Middlebury): Against Bowdoin College, Hobart turned in an impressive performance, which included nine total tackles (four solo stops), one fumble recover, one interception and one pass break-up.

Brandon Mole (Becker College): Mole concluded his team’s contest against Dean College with seven total tackles (five solo stops), including four tackles for a loss of nine yards, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.


Special Teams Stars of the Week

Nick DiCairano (Endicott College): DiCairano was a perfect five-for-five on kicks against Hobart, including two-for-two on field goals. His longest boot happened to be a 41-yard field goal in the third quarter.

Mark Wright (MIT): Wright accounted for 10 points on all four extra points, as well as a pair of field goals as the Engineers rallied to beat Catholic University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

 

Noontime Sports Top 10 New England D3 Football Poll: Week Four (Sept. 17th, 2018)

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By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports  & @Noontime_FB 

The fourth week of the New England D3 Football season has arrived, which means it is time to unveil our newest Top 10 poll of the season, as well as our ‘teams are on the rise.’

Trinity College slid into the top spot for the first time this season with a convincing 35-0 win over Colby College, while Wesleyan University moved up two spots to the second position with a monstrous win over Middlebury College. Both teams will look to keep their momentum going this week against Bates College and Tufts University.

Salve Regina and Western Connecticut join the poll this week after each squad secured important week three wins. Western Connecticut scored an important win over Plymouth State and will attempt to win their third-straight contest against the Seahawks on Saturday, who defeated Dean College in Newport, Rhode Island.

Finally, MIT moved up to the seventh position with a 31-29 win over Endicott College on the road last weekend. The Engineers have been an exciting story thus far under first-year coach Brian Bubna, who will attempt to earn his first NEWMAC win as a head coach on Saturday when MIT welcomes Catholic University to Cambridge, Massachusetts.

This year’s Noontime Sports Top 10 New England D3 Football poll is assembled by local coaches and media members. 


New England D3 Football: Week Four Poll | Monday, September 17th, 2018 

1. Trinity College 

1-0 | Last Week No. 2Week Four: Bates (9/22)

2. Wesleyan Univ. 

1-0 | Last Week No.  4

Week Four: Tufts (9/22)

3. Springfield College 

2-1 | Last Week No. 1

Week Four: WPI (9/22)

 4. Amherst College 

1-0 | Last Week No. 3

Week Four: Hamilton (9/22)

 5. Framingham State 

2-1 | Last Week No. 5

Week Four: Mass. Maritime (9/22)

 6. WPI 

2-1 | Last Week No. 6

Week Four: Springfield (9/22)

7. MIT 

3-0 | Last Week No. 8

Week Four: Catholic

8. Western Conn. 

2-0 | Last Week NR

Week Four: Salve Regina

 9. Western New Eng. 

2-1 | Last Week No. 9

Week Four: Anna Maria

10. Salve Regina 

2-1 | Last Week NR

Week Four: Western Conn.

ON THE RISE: Coast Guard Academy (2-1), Endicott College (1-2), Middlebury College (0-1) Tufts University (1-0), Williams College (1-0) and Worcester State (2-1)


2018 Noontime Sports Top 10 New England D3 Football Polls 

Preseason Poll | Week One Poll | Week Two Poll | Week Three Poll


Want more New England football coverage? Then make sure to toss @Noontime_FB a follow on Twitter NOW! 

 

D3 Football: 10 Games To Watch In Week Two (Sept. 7th-8th)

10 Games Social WK 2

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

The second week of the New England D3 football season is upon us – let’s go!

Similar to last week, it is time to dish out our 10 Games to Watch for week two, as well as our predicted winners for each contest.

Last week, we went 6-4 with our picks, so lets see how we do this week (fingers crossed for a perfect 10)!

Make sure to stay connected with our Noontime Sports Football coverage by following @Noontime_FB on Twitter today! 


Bridgwater State at Endicott College (Friday, Sept. 7th | 7 p.m.): The Bears fended off a late rally by Buffalo State to secure an opening day win last weekend, as well as some momentum heading into Endicott’s first-ever Friday Night Lights home contest. PREDICTION: Bridgewater State 24, Endicott 14

Mass. Maritime at SUNY Maritime (Friday, Sept. 7th | 7 p.m.): Who wants some chowder? Perhaps the Privateers? SUNY Maritime captured the Chowder Bowl last year and should win it again this evening. PREDICTION: SUNY Maritime 37, Mass. Maritime 35 

MIT at Curry College (Friday, Sept. 7th | 7 p.m.): Coach Brian Bubna earned his first win on the sidelines as a head coach last Friday evening. Can he win his second game against a Curry squad, which produced 44 points in its opener last week? PREDICTION: MIT 28, Curry 21 

Salve Regina University at Montclair State (Saturday, Sept. 8th | 12 p.m.): The Seahawks soared back to beat Worcester State last Saturday, so can they do it again on against a team they topped last year by a touchdown? PREDICTION: Salve Regina 24, Montclair State 20 

Western Conn. at Dean College (Saturday, Sept. 8th | 12 p.m.): The Bulldogs put up 41 points last week – is this a sign of things to come? Maybe, but can they do it against a solid West Conn. team? PREDICTION: Dean 35, West Conn. 31 

WPI at No. 25 RPI (Saturday, Sept. 8th | 12 p.m.): This is almost a ‘must-win’ for the Engineers of Worcester, who have aspirations of winning its first-ever NEWMAC crown this fall. As usual, RPI-WPI is a must-see, must-watch game, so this is a big early season test for coach Chris Robertson‘s squad. PREDICTION: RPI 28, WPI 20 

Framingham State at SUNY Cortland (Saturday, Sept. 8th | 12 p.m.): This is a big test for coach Tom Kelley and the Rams, who will look to slow down a Red Dragons squad, which rolled past Fitchburg State last Saturday. Framingham State has the offense to keep-up with the Red Dragons, but can their defense make the big stop when needed? PREDICTION: SUNY Cortland 38, Framingham State 28 

Springfield College at Kean University (Saturday, Sept. 8th | 1 p.m.): Junior quarterback Chad Shade stole the show last week, rushing for a career-best six scores in his team’s first-ever win at home against Western New England. He’ll probably have another big game this week against a solid Kean squad. PREDICTION: Springfield 28, Kean 21 

Westfield State at Western New England (Saturday, Sept. 8th | 1 p.m.): The Golden Bears will attempt to provide first-year coach Jason Lebeau with his first win on the sideline when they host Westfield State, which captured its first game of the season last Friday over Nichols. PREDICTION: WNE 28, Westfield State 21 

Castleton University at Fitchburg State (Saturday, Sept. 8th | 2 p.m.): Both teams will look to bounce back after week one setbacks. Our thought is Castleton will find a way to beat the Falcons on the road. PREDICTION: Castleton 24, Fitchburg State 17