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 

The Early Preseason Outlook: Dean Bulldogs

Dean Bulldogs

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

We continue our ‘Early Preseason Outlook’ with a closer look at the Dean College Bulldogs, who begin their season on Friday, September 6 against Nichols College at 7 p.m.

The Bulldogs’ 2018 Season: After concluding its first season as Division III football team with a 4-6 record, the Bulldogs took a step forward last fall, finishing its 2018 campaign with a 5-5 record. Dean was competitive in all 10 games, including a trio of non-conference tilts against Curry CollegeSalve Regina, and Western Connecticut. Despite ending all three games with setbacks, the Bulldogs proved they belong with some of the best teams in New England.

Dean capped its 2018 season with a trio of conference wins, which should provide the unit with some momentum heading into its initial game of the 2019 season.

The 2019 Season Outlook: Dean graduated just two student-athletes from last year’s unit, which means this squad should be ready to contend for an Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) crown. Finding replacements for Bret Williams (defensive line) and Rickey Benson (offensive line) will be one thing coach Steve Tirrell and his staff must do once preseason practices commence, but luckily the team returns a slew of talent on both sides of the ball, which should help with filling both voids.

Quarterback Terrell Watts and wide receiver Errol Breaux will be two players to watch on offense this fall, along with halfback DeAndre Grange, who led the rushing attack with 721 yards on 183 carries for 10 touchdowns.

London Chambers will be a linebacker to watch this fall – the rising junior led the defense last fall in total tackles (67.0) and tackles for a loss (12.5). Additionally, Nicholaus Grimaldi should be in for a successful second season in the secondary, along with Shannon Moxey, who will look to cap his senior season with hopefully some hardware.

Dean’s Schedule: We’ll learn a lot about the Bulldogs in the first four weeks as they face a trio of New England squads that will be in the mix for their respective conference crown. Additionally, the Bulldogs will entertain Kean University on Homecoming Weekend – the final weekend of September – which will be another game to watch, as well.

After sitting idle during the fifth week of the season, Dean will host SUNY Maritime in an important conference clash before traveling to Anna Maria College and Gallaudet University.

The Bulldogs end its 2019 campaign with back-to-back contests against Alfred State and Castleton University.

Players to Watch: Terrell Watts (Quarterback/New Haven, Conn), DeAndre Grange (Running Back/Teaneck, N.J.), Errol Breaux (Wide Receiver/Marietta, Ga.), London Chambers (Linebacker/New Britain, Conn.), Nicholaus Grimaldi (Defensive Back/Valrico, Fla.), Khoury Simmons (Defensive Line/Taunton, Mass.), Shannon Moxey (Defensive Back/Austell, Ga.), Gene Baisden (Linebacker/Tampa, Fla.), Nazere Jones-Clarke (Offensive Line/ Syracuse, N.Y.), Justin Elekwuma (Offensive Line/Atlanta, Ga), and Jordan Reyes (Offensive Line/ West Roxbury, Mass.).


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

D3 Football: Sammy Morris Named Assistant Coach at Dean College

504064

Former New England Patriots running back Sammy Morris was named an assistant coach at Dean College. (PHOTO CREDIT: NBC Sports)

By Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11) 

Former New England Patriots running back Sammy Morris will be returning to the area this fall as an assistant coach for the Dean College football team, per this morning’s release.

Morris joins a Bulldogs squad that competed at the Division III level for the first time in school history last fall.

Dean, which is a member of the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC), concluded its 2017 campaign 4-6 overall.

“We are extremely excited to announce the hiring of Sammy Morris to coach the running backs and special teams at Dean College,” Dean coach Steve Tirrell said in Tuesday’s press release. “His knowledge and experience will make an immediate impact on our coaching staff and student athletes.”

A 2000 draftee (fifth round) by the Buffalo Bills, Morris played four seasons in upstate New York before signing with the Miami Dolphins prior to the start of the 2004 season. Morris tallied 523 yards on 132 carries and six touchdowns in his first year with the Dolphins in 13 games.

Three years after joining the Dolphins, Morris inked his name on a new contract with the Patriots, assisting them to a Super Bowl appearance during the 2007 season before leading the squad in rushing in 2008 with 727 yards on 156 carries. He also led New England’s ground attack with seven rushing touchdowns, too.

Morris would conclude his career with the Dallas Cowboys in 2011, competing in just three games.

Prior to enjoying a successful career in the NFL, Morris played two seasons of college football at Texas Tech before graduating from the Harvard Business School’s NFL Business Management and Entrepreneurial Program in 2009.

Dean kicks-off its 2018 campaign on Saturday, September 1 when they visit Curry College at 1 p.m. One week later, the Bulldogs will host Western Connecticut State for a 12 p.m. kick-off.

Want more Noontime Sports Football coverage? Then make sure to follow @Noontime_FB on Twitter! 

10 Games To Watch In Week Two

10 Games To Watch

By NoontimeSports.com 

Week two of the New England D3 Football season officially begins this evening with some intriguing match-ups, including SUNY Maritime versus Massachusetts Maritime Academy and Curry College at MIT.

Let’s kick-off a brand new week of games with our weekly 10 Games to Watch post, including predictions, too.

Curry College at MIT (Friday, September 8th at 7 p.m.): Both teams came out of week one victorious, but Curry may have the momentum heading into this one after a hard-fought home win over Fitchburg State. MIT’s Chad Martinovich described his team’s 28-0 win over Becker a week ago as a “family win.” The Engineers will need all three units (offense, defense and special teams) to assist them against the Colonels. PREDICTION: Curry 28, MIT 21

SUNY Maritime at Mass. Maritime Academy (Friday, September 8 at 7 p.m.): Richie Phillips had a monstrous game last year against the Privateers, rushing for three touchdowns and 100 yards on 15 carries. Will he do it again this evening? We’ll have to wait and find out! PREDICTION: Mass. Maritime 30, SUNY Maritime 28 

Western New England at Westfield State (Friday, September 8 at 7 p.m.): Quarterback Anthony Service and the Golden Bears’ offense won’t be an easy unit for the Owls’ defense to slow down, so look for WNE to score a bounce-back win against Westfield State this evening. PREDICTION: WNE 28, Westfield State 10 

Endicott College at Bridgewater State (Saturday, September 9 at 12 p.m.): This is an intriguing match-up – both teams haven’t squared-off since 2012 – but it will certainly be a game to follow on Saturday. Bridgewater State won the last meeting, defeating the Gulls at home by a score of 20-14, but can Endicott even the score with a week two win? PREDICTION: Bridgewater State 27, Endicott 17 

Montclair State at Salve Regina (Saturday, September 9 at 12 p.m.): This is a big test for the Seahawks, which won their season-opener by a touchdown against Worcester State. The defense will need to step-up, especially against a talented Red Hawks offense, which will provide challenges on the outside. Keep an eye on Julanee Prince and Joe Schultz in this one. PREDICTION: Montclair State 24, Salve Regina 22

Husson at Dean College   (Saturday, September 9 at 12 p.m.): This will certainly be a game to watch on Saturday as the Bulldogs make their Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) debut against the defending champion Eagles. Dean enters the season with a slew of first-year players, but Coach Steve Tirrell believes they’ll be ready to compete against some challenging foes this fall, including Husson. Dean’s biggest task in its season-opener: find a way to slow down Husson’s John SmithPREDICTION: Husson 28, Dean 21 

Kean at Springfield College (Saturday, September 9 at 12 p.m.): This is Kean’s season-opener – not sure how they will do this season, but they’ll certainly provide a unique challenge for our top team in this week’s Noontime Sports Top 10 poll. Look for Springfield’s ground-and-pound game to highlight this contest. Prediction: Springfield 21, Kean 16 

Cortland State at Framingham State (Saturday, September 9 at 12 p.m.): Following a big win over Endicott last weekend, the Rams will look to continue its momentum against a talented Red Dragons squad, which defeated them last season, 49-21. This is a big-time, early season test for Coach Tom Kelley‘s squad – if they pull this one out, it will be because of its defense. Nathan Fleming could be a player to watch in this game for the Rams. Prediction: Framingham State 34, Cortland State 33 

Coast Guard at Union College (Saturday, September 9 at 1 p.m.): Union’s defense should provide Ethan Goldcamp and the Bears’ offense with some challenges, but perhaps the player to watch in this game will be kicker/punter Cole Austin, who recorded 10 points (two field goals,  last week in his team’s opening day win over Alfred State. PREDICTION: Coast Guard 23, Union 21 

RPI at WPI (Saturday, September 9 at 1 p.m.): Earlier this week, WPI senior Dereck Pacheco told us that this particular match-up is the equivalent to Michigan-Ohio State. This game is always a must-see or must-follow because its a trophy game (Transit Trophy). PREDICTION: WPI 27, RPI 21