Tag Archives: Tom Kelley

D3 Football Preseason: The Favorites

D3 PRESEASON FAVORITES

By Matt Noonan | @MattyNoonz11

Happy Monday!

We’re another day closer to a brand new season of New England Division III football, which means its time to highlight our preseason favorites.

As usual, let us know if you agree (or disagree) with our preseason predictions by posting a comment below!


Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC): Western New England: The Golden Bears are poised to capture yet another conference crown this fall, but they certainly will be challenged by Endicott CollegeHusson University, and Salve Regina. Expect a big season from quarterback Alec Coleman, who was tabbed our Noontime Sports Offensive Player of the Year last November.

Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC): Maritime (N.Y.): While I certainly think Dean College will be in the mix for the top spot, in the end, the Privateers will prevail. Both teams will meet in mid-October in what could be a de-facto regular-season championship clash.

Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC): Framingham State: The Rams enter the upcoming season with some holes to fill, especially at wide receiver and in the secondary, but expect coach Tom Kelley to find the right pieces to fill those voids before Framingham makes the trek to Endicott for a must-see week one clash.

New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC): Trinity College: The Bantams enter the 2019 season with hopes of capturing their fourth-straight conference crown. Trinity can certainly accomplish this task but will need to do it without halfback Max Chipouras, who graduated this past spring. The Bantams should return a slew of talent on both sides of the ball, which will help them contend for a conference crown.

New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC): Springfield College: The Pride should capture their second NEWMAC title in three seasons, but they certainly will be challenged by Coast Guard AcademyMIT, and WPI. I also think Norwich University could provide some match-up issues, too, but again, I am expecting Springfield to finish atop the NEWMAC standings in late November.


Stay connected with our New England football coverage on Twitter by following @Noontime_FB

The Early Preseason Outlook: Framingham State Rams

FSU RAMS

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports

We continue with our ‘Early Preseason Outlook’ by highlighting the Framingham State University Rams, who will begin their conference title defense on Friday, September 6th when they visit Endicott College.

The Rams’ 2018 Season: It was another successful season for coach Tom Kelley‘s crew, which captured the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) crown with an 8-3 mark. Framingham State returned to the NCAA Division III Tournament for the first time since 2015 but saw their national championship hopes dashed in the opening round against Brockport State.

Yet, despite falling to the Golden Eagles, the Rams remained one of New England’s top programs last fall, as well as the team to beat in the MASCAC. The Rams played their best football late in the season when they scored wins against UMass DartmouthWestern Connecticut, and Worcester State.

The 2019 Outlook: Framingham State graduated 19 student-athletes from last year’s unit, including halfbacks Quron Wright and Sebastein Robert, and wide receivers Mike Calicchio and Napoleon Miller. Additionally, the Rams bid farewell to some key members of their defense, too, so this season is all about the squad’s rising seniors, juniors and sophomores, who will be tasked with attempting to guide the Rams back to the national postseason for the second-straight season.

Quarterback Adam Wojenski returns for his final season and will most likely target Shaquille Joseph, who enjoyed a very successful second season with the Rams. Joseph ranked third on the team in receptions (27) while finishing second in touchdown receptions (6).

Fullback Rufus Rushins could be tasked with being more than just a third-down back for the Rams after finishing third on the team in rushing yards (235 yards). The Rams may also rely on Chris Jenkins or Nick Caliri, too.

Anthony Behonick and Joshua Smiley will be tasked with leading the Rams’ defense this fall – the duo combined for 115 total tackles last season, including five stops for a loss of 17 yards. Additionally, keep an eye on Joshua Onujiogu, who will join Smiley on the defensive line.

The Rams will need some help in the secondary as defensive back Rashaun Rivers graduated this past spring, along with DeSean Hart and Kenny SullivanCully Curran will be the defensive back to watch heading into camp in a few weeks.

Framingham State’s Schedule: The Rams will be tested immediately with trips to Brockport and Endicott before welcoming Westfield State to Framingham on Saturday, September 21st for a 12 p.m. kick-off in week three.

Framingham will enjoy an early bye week during the final weekend of September before entertaining UMass Dartmouth on Friday, October 4th.

Framingham State closes the month of October with two key contests against Plymouth State and Western Connecticut before heading to Massachusetts Maritime Academy to compete in the annual Kelley Cup game.

After the Kelley Cup, the Rams will play their final home game against Bridgewater State. The game could decide this year’s MASCAC champion, so make sure to circle Saturday, November 9th on your calendar.

Players to Watch: Joshua Onujiogu (Defensive End/Wareham, MA), Adam Wojenski (Quarterback/Stratford, Conn.), Shaquille Joseph (Wide Receiver/Somerville, Mass.), Rufus Rushins (Fullback/Defensive Line/Lynn, Mass.), Henrique DeBoni (Kicker/Rio Claro, Brazil), Jared Archer (Offensive Line/Mansfield, Mass.), Andrew Fennelly (Offensive Tackle/Wayland, Mass.), Anthony Behonick (Linebacker/Rutland, Mass.), Joshua Smiley (Defensive Line/Springfield, Mass.), Jack Sullivan (Linebacker/Dartmouth, Mass.), and Cully Curran (Defensive Back/Arlington, Mass.).


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

Introducing ‘This Is Noontime’

THIS IS NS MATT

By Matt Noonan | @MattyNoonz11

In just a few weeks, Noontime Sports will be celebrating its ten-year anniversary, which is hard for me to fathom.

When I started my site as a junior in college, my intentions were simple: get a job in sports media and shut down your little entity that was predominantly focused on analyzing Boston sports – well, more attempting to opine on various hot stove issues surrounding the Boston BruinsCeltics, and Red Sox, as well as the New England Patriots, too.

But over time, the site became more than just a hobby that produced daily or weekly podcasts on independent baseball or whatever I was watching on ESPN.  Instead, it became a labor of love. And that labor of love blossomed into an outlet that covered games at Harvard StadiumTD Garden, and WPI. And the list goes on and on.

The journey seemed unimaginable for a soon-to-be 21-year-old who was ready to imagine life after Wheaton College (Mass.). But looking back on the past ten years, I am so proud of what I built (and established) within the small college space, along with the occasional major and minor league sports coverage, and yes, some high schools, too.

My site has connected me with some amazing people, including current and past editors, writers, and stringers throughout the New England region, to new friends like Anthony Karpouzis of Zelos AthleticsBrett Sillari of Sillari Properties, and Mike Loveday of LaxRecords.com. 

Additionally, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention my two favorite D3 football guys – that would be James Baker and Frank Rossi – as well as Rusty Eggen and Mark Therien, who helped establish a partnership with the Worcester Area College Basketball Association (WACBA). All four have inspired me to produce content that highlights the true meaning of the student-athlete – I owe a lot to all four of these guys and am forever thankful for their help and support of coverage.

Of course, there are others that have made this journey so special like Tom Kelley, who became the first Division III football coach I ever spoke with when I elected to begin covering the small college sports beat in 2012 to Larry Anderson and Sonia Raman at MIT. And how could I forget Melissa Hodgdon, who has always believed me in since I was a student at Wheaton when I broadcasted her various basketball games, including an epic New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Championship win over Springfield College in 2008.

‘This is Noontime’ is a testament to the amazing people I have met throughout this journey – it is a tribute to their buy-in and appreciation for what I set out to do, which again provided hyperlocal sports coverage to the Division III world (and yes, even Division I and II in New England) years ago. (Did you know I tried to get UMass football on my radar?) 

My hope is this series, which you will see both here on NoontimeSports.com, as well as across social media, will inspire you to chase your dreams and follow what you love. I can’t say this has been an easy journey – nope, there have been a slew of challenges I have faced and overcome – but again, I am proud of what I attempted to do and thankful to so many people for allowing me to step into their office, swap texts or emails, or speak with me for a 20 minute call, so I could tell their story through various mediums like features and podcasts.

I am excited to begin this new series and hope you will enjoy as much as I do, so stay tuned for the first video episode, as well as some written insight, as well.

Under The Helmet with Framingham State’s Quron Wright & Joshua Onujiogu

FSU Social Noontime Helmet

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

A new season of Framingham State football is set to begin tomorrow, (Saturday, September 1st) when the Rams host Endicott College in a non-conference clash at 12 p.m.

Last season, the Rams went 10-1, earning a share of the Massachusetts State College Athletic Conference (MASCAC) crown with Plymouth State before capturing its second-straight New England Bowl championship.

This season, the Rams hope to continue its  momentum from last year by leaning on its upperclassmen, including senior halfback Quron Wright and junior defensive end Joshua Onujiogu. Both players will be counted on to lead the offense and defensive, respectively.

Noontime Sports recently caught-up with both student-athletes to share their outlook for the upcoming season, but also what they must do to help their respective unit, too.


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Quron Wright (2) will once again be asked to lead the Framingham State ground game this fall. (PHOTO CREDIT: Frank Poulin)

Quron Wright | Senior Halfback | Worcester, Mass. 

On the upperclassmen leading this year’s team: We have a bunch of new guys on this year’s team, so coach (Tom Kelley) is really putting an emphasis on the upperclassmen with helping the young guys learn their roles, while also learning where they need to be on the field (during different situations).

On this year’s offense: We’re keeping the focus on the same things we did last year, which is just trying to be a little bit faster, while keeping opposing defenses on their heels. Our biggest goal is making sure the upperclassmen make plays when needed.

On preparing for his final season: I worked out a lot this summer. I was coming off a good season from last year, so I just want to keep improving. I watched a lot of film and found things I needed to improve on this season. But for me, my goal is to be more involved in the blocking game on offense, so that has been something I have been working on this offseason.

On what motivates you to be successful: I keep the focus on myself (and improving every day). I personally think I am one of the best (running) backs in the area, so I am extremely motivated and want to end (my final season with the Rams) on a high note.

On facing Endicott College: We don’t have much film on them, so we don’t (always) know what to expect. We just try to go in there and get a feel for them, and then go from there. But it is always fun playing against them. It should be even more fun this year since we will be at home.

On qualifying for the NCAA Tournament this fall: We finished 10-1 last year, but it wasn’t what we expected, so this year we have emphasized trying to take that next step (to contend for a national title).


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Joshua Onujiogu (91) will be counted on to lead the Framingham State Rams defense this fall. (PHOTO CREDIT: Frank Poulin)

Joshua Onujiogu | Junior Defensive End | Wareham, Mass.

On the team’s defense: I think we’re getting better, but there is a lot more work we need to do (due to some key graduation losses from last year’s squad), but we just need to keep working hard. We will be fine.

On what the defense must improve on: We need to improve our communication.

On facing your team’s offense in practice every day: I think we’re facing one of the best offenses that we are going to see this year, so it definitely helps us get better.

On qualifying for the NCAA Tournament this season: Yeah, that is the top goal and we really want (to compete for a national championship this season).


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

10 Games To Watch In Week 4 (New England & Northeast)

10 Games To Watch

By NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports)

It’s Friday, which means it is time to dish out 10 games to watch this week in New England and Northeast Division III football.

As always, make sure to stay connected with us on Twitter throughout the weekend, as well as our friends at In The D3FB Huddle, too.

Utica at Brockport: Who is going to slow down these Golden Eagles? Seriously, who? The Golden Eagles soared to an impressive third-straight win last week over St. John Fisher and should bump their record to 4-0 after their late afternoon tilt with Utica concludes. PICK: Brockport 30, Utica 10

Massachusetts Maritime Academy at Framingham State: Ah, the Kelley Cup, this is always a fun one. Who will prevail? Father (Tom Kelley of the Framingham State Rams) or son (Mike Kelley of the Mass. Maritime Academy Buccaneers)? We’ll find out tomorrow, but this game pits two of the MASCAC’s best tailbacks in Quron Wright (FSU) and Richie Phillips (MMA). PREDICTION: Framingham State 28, Mass. Maritime Academy 17 

MIT at Catholic: MIT has found ways to win games this season in all phases (offense, defense and special teams), while the Cardinals have relied on some young talent, including second-year quarterback Alejandro Ros to secure a pair of wins thus far. Don’t expect a high-scoring contest, but perhaps a late touchdown or field to decide this one’s outcome. PREDICTION: Catholic 22, MIT 17 

Amherst at Hamilton: This will be an offensive showcase as both offenses looked pretty impressive last week against Bates (Amherst) and Tufts (Hamilton). However, Amherst is the team to watch this season in the NESCAC, so look for perhaps another solid outing from quarterback Ollie Eberth, who tossed four touchdowns a week ago. PICK: Amherst 35, Hamilton 30 

Tufts at Wesleyan: For the second-straight year, these two teams will square-off under the lights. It should be a fantastic game, however, this is almost a must-win for both squads that look to remain in the mix for this year’s NESCAC title. Keep an eye on Tufts’ Ryan McDonald, who was able to convert points a week ago with his arm and legs. PREDICTION: Tufts 31, Wesleyan 24 

Salve Regina at Western Conn. State: The Seahawks have won some hard-fought contests this season, including a 26-20 win over Montclair State. They secured a third-straight win over Dean a week ago, but must find a way to slow down Western Connecticut quarterback Quinn Fleeting, along with wide receivers Austin Calamita and Duane Gary. Salve Regina’s defense is tied for third in the country in scoring touchdowns (two). PREDICTION: Salve Regina 35, Western Conn. 28 

WPI at Springfield: This is an intriguing match-up that pits the nation’s best rushing attack (411.7 yards per game) against a defensive unit that is tied for third in scoring touchdowns (two). This has the making for a sensational NEWMAC clash and should come down to the final drive. PREDICTION: Springfield 20, WPI 17 

RPI at Buffalo State: The Engineers are proving they won’t be an easy team to take down this fall in the Liberty League. And after picking-up a third-straight win last week over Western New England, RPI has appeared to have gained some serious momentum heading into this weekend’s clash with the Bengals. PREDICTION: RPI 28, Buffalo State 20 

Husson at Western New England: Coming off the bye week, Gabby Price and the Husson Eagles will be ready for this NCAA Division III Tournament re-match. Look for a big game from the Eagles’ defense – they must contain WNE quarterback Anthony Service – and John Smith, who will leads the Husson rushing attack. PREDICTION: Husson 27, WNE 24 

Union at Curry: The Colonels enter this non-conference clash riding an impressive three-game winning streak. Skip Bandini told us before the season that everyone needs to step-up this fall, and so far, they have, so look for that trend to continue for another week. PREDICTION: Curry 23, Union 16 

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