The Pittsfield, Massachusetts native concluded his final season with the Pride by recording career-highs in touchdown passes (seven), passing yards (456), rushing yards (771) and rushing touchdowns (eight).
Our ‘Early Preseason Outlook’ coverage continues with a closer look at the Springfield College Pride, who begin their season on Saturday, September 7th when they visit Western New England at 1 p.m. The winner of this week one clash will claim Pynchon SAW trophy.
The Pride’s 2018 Season: Springfield concluded ist 2018 campaign with an 8-3 record, along with its first-ever New England Bowl victory, too.
The Pride’s win over Maritime (N.Y.) in the New England Bowl was highlighted by a pair of rushing touchdowns by Hunter Belzo, three interceptions by Jonny Bianchi and a team-hight 12 total tackles from Nick Giorgio.
Prior to scoring an exciting end of season win, Springfield scored early-season victories against Western New England and Kean University, as well as a gritty conference victory at WPI.
Springfield bid farewell to 24 student-athletes from last year’s squad this spring, including Bianchi, Giorgio, and linebacker Tom Casey, but do return a slew of talent that will keep them in the mix for their second New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) championship this season.
The 2019 Outlook: While the Pride’s defense will look a bit different this season with some key graduation losses, the unit does return linebacker AJ Smith, who posted career-highs last fall in total tackles (68.0), tackles per game (6.2), sacks (four), and tackles for a loss (nine).
Smith, along Jack Pavelchak (linebacker) and Grayson Heyward (defensive line), will be the leaders of the defense, which yielded 16.3 points per game one year ago.
Quarterback Chad Shade and halfback Hunter Belzo will be the focal points of the Pride’s offense – the duo combined for 23 touchdowns last season and should receive some help fullback Tim Callahan, who finished 2018 with 642 rushing yards on 146 carries and three scores.
Nick Bainter returns to anchor an offensive line that helped the offense rush for 295.2 yards per game last fall. Bainter will receive some help upfront from Jeremy Lipsky, who appeared in 10 games last season, along with John Cox.
Springfield is certainly a team to watch this season – they will definitely contend for the NEWMAC crown – but one of the biggest questions facing this unit is their defense. The offense should have no problem continuing its success on the ground from one year ago.
Springfield’s Schedule: As usual, the Pride will challenge themselves immediately with a trio of non-conference games in the first three weeks before hosting WPI on Saturday, September 28th for a 3 p.m. kick-off. All four September contests are winnable, but they certainly aren’t easy.
A week three match-up with Union College is one to circle – the Pride lost to the Dutchmen last season before rebounding one week later with a hard-fought conference win over WPI.
Springfield will entertain Norwich University in the first week of October before hitting the road for two more important conference meetings with Coast Guard Academy and Merchant Marine.
Weeks after their visit to Merchant Marine, the Pride will cap their 2019 campaign with a visit from MIT, which defeated Springfield last fall to secure their initial NEWMAC crown.
Players to Watch: Chad Shade (Quarterback/Pittsfield, Mass.), Hunter Belzo (Halfback/Middletown, Conn.), Tim Callahan (Fullback/Enfield, Conn.), Ryan Deguire (Halfback/Schenectady, N.Y.), Nick Bainter (Offensive Line/East Bridgewater, Mass.), Jeremy Lipsky (Offensive Line/Glen Rock, N.J), John Cox (Offensive Line/Stratford, Conn.), AJ Smith (Linebacker/Rahway, N.J.), Jack Pavelchak (Linebacker/Patchogue, N.Y.), and Grayson Heyward (Defensive End/Albany, N.Y.).
Stay connected with Noontime Sports’ football coverage on Twitter by following @Noontime_FB.
It was an important non-conference win on Tuesday for the Springfield College men’s lacrosse team, which gained some important momentum heading into it’s New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) clash this Saturday against Babson College.
Cameron Glover netted a season-high five goals in the win, while Zachary Schuette registered a hat trick and two helpers. Additionally, the Pride received a trio of goals from Jack Vail while Patrick Watson added five points on four assists and one goal.
For Springfield, the next few weeks are critical especially after enduring a difficult start to its current season. The Pride struggled in a trio of early March contests but did score an important non-conference win against Endicott College. They concluded the month with a 21-5 win over Emerson College before earning its first win of the new month yesterday against the Golden Bears.
With just seven contests remaining, including one non-conference contest with Middlebury College, every game is important for a unit that has made 11 consecutive trips to the NCAA Tournament.
As of early today, the Pride is one of four teams with 1-0 marks in NEWMAC play, but their game against Babson certainly won’t be easy as the Beavers will also enter the Saturday meeting with hopes of improving to 2-0 in league play.
Sticking with the NEWMAC, Coast Guard Academy remains the top team with a 7-2 overall record (and 1-0 league mark). The Bears scored a hard-fought 14-13 win last Saturday evening against Clark University.
Coast Guard hosts UMass Dartmouth this evening at 7 p.m. before they visit Wheaton College on Saturday for a 1 p.m. face-off in Norton, Massachusetts.
Switching gears to the women’s game, fans of D3 lacrosse should keep an eye on a tight race in the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) with Endicott College, Roger Williams, and University of New England locked in a three-way tie for first place.
The Gulls were my pick to win the conference this spring – I won’t change it, I promise! – but Endicott will certainly be challenged over the next few weeks when they take on their remaining conference foes, including Roger Williams and UNE. Both meetings will occur later this month. Wins over the Hawks and Nor’easters would help the Gulls secure the top seed for the conference tournament.
Becker College appears to be in the diver seat in the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) with a 5-1 mark. They have rebounded from their lone setback of the season last month with back-to-back wins against Anna Maria College and MCLA. They will face Mitchell College this afternoon with hopes of earning their sixth win, but also their initial conference victory.
Dean College appears to be the front-runner in the NECC, thanks to five wins, including a 19-5 league victory last month against Becker. The Bulldogs are led by Anthony Trasacco, who has recorded 45 points on 30 goals and 15 assists. The Cheshire, Connecticut native has a chance to match his point total from last spring when he recorded 64 points on 45 goals and 19 assists.
Dean has just four games remaining before the NECC Tournament commences – they should be the favorite in their league’s postseason.
Paradis and the Leopards have won seven of 10 contests this season. They will host Endicott this Saturday – it will be the teams’ ‘Senior Day’ with opening draw set for 2 p.m. A win over the Gulls would be a huge momentum boost for the Leopards heading into the final few weeks of the regular season.
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. 2
Week 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)
2-1 | Last Week No. 6
Week Four: Springfield (9/22)
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
With the first week of the New England D3 football season in the books, it is time to unveil our Noontime Sports Players of the Week for offense, defense and special teams.
Each week, we will be choosing one player for each category – fans, coaches, players and athletic communication offices are welcome to nominate student-athletes for our weekly honor by sending an email to NoontimeSports@gmail.com following the conclusion of their team’s contest.
Congratulations to this week’s players of the week and make sure to stay connected with our football coverage on Twitter by following @Noontime_FB today!
Offensive Player of the Week: Chad Shade (Springfield College | Pittsfield, Mass.) The junior signal-caller enjoyed a successful debut last Friday, rushing for a career-best six touchdowns in a 42-14 win over Western New England, which helped Springfield defeat the Golden Bears at home for the first time in school history. Shade led all rushers with 247 yards on 22 carries, which was an average of 11.2 yards per carry. Both the 22 carries and 247 yards were career-best for the Pittsfield native. (Photo Credit: Springfield College Athletics)
Defensive Player of the Week: William Rivera (Endicott College | Orangeburg, N.Y.) The senior linebacker led the Gulls defense last Saturday in their season-opener against Framingham State with eight total tackles, including a team-best seven solo stops. Rivera also recorded three tackles for a loss of 13 yards, including one sack for a loss of six yards. (Photo Credit: David Le ’10, Endicott College Athletics)
Special Teamer of the Week: Jake Wood (Nichols College |Whitinsville, Mass.) Wood set a program-record with a pair of kickoff returns last Friday evening against Westfield State, beginning with an 84-yard return in the second quarter followed by a 90-yard sprint in the final session. Wood’s 90-yard return is the fourth-longest scamper in program history. The junior concluded his team’s contest with 174 total return yards. (Photo Credit: Nichols College Athletics)