Tag Archives: Tom Kelley

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 

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 

Sunday Morning Notebook: Week One Takeaways & Thoughts

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For the first time since 2013, Springfield College defeated Western New England to claim the Pynchon Saw Game. (PHOTO CREDIT: Springfield College Athletics)

By Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11) 

The first official week of the New England D3 Football season is in the books. And it was certainly an exciting first week.

Springfield College’s second half surge, including a 28-point effort in the third quarter, highlighted the opening week as the Pride defeated Western New England for the first time since 2013.

Jordan Wilcox highlighted the Pride’s comeback effort, rushing for a game-high 148 yards on 30 carries, while Jake Eglintine recorded a trio of scores on the ground, including the go-ahead touchdown late in the third.

In addition to the Springfield rushing attack, the team’s defense did its job by recording three sacks and one interception. Christian Zotti also forced and recovered fumble late in the fourth quarter – the recovery resulted in the game’s final touchdown.

This was a game that I picked Springfield to win – a victory over the Golden Bears could result in a new position for the Pride on Monday’s Noontime Top 10 Week Two poll. The Pride entered the week as one of the top five teams in the New England region, according to our week one poll.

Finally, one other statistic to note from this particular contest: Springfield won the time of possession by holding the ball for 40:31. Western New England occupied the ball for 19:29.

Springfield will face Kean next week – the Cougars were idle this weekend, so next week marks their initial contest of the 2017 season. Western New England will visit Westfield State on Friday, September 8. The Owls fell to Nichols College on Friday by a score of 19-13.

John Smith and the Husson University Eagles captured their first season-opener in 10 seasons as they defeated Union College by a score of 20-7. Smith accounted for two of his team’s three touchdowns – both scores occurred during the final frame – while Elvis Suazo Jr. recorded nine total stops, including one tackle for a loss of three yards.

Coach Gabby Price told the Bangor Daily News that Saturday’s win “is a good win.” As noted in the BDN recap, the 13-point victory over the Dutchmen was the program’s first season-opening victory since beating Pace University, 25-13, on August, 31, 2007. Pace is a Division 2 squad that competes in a very competitive Northeast-10 Conference.

Husson will visit Dean College next week for an Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) clash – the two teams met last season with the Eagles claiming a 43-23 win over the Bulldogs. John Smith rushed for a season-high four scores in his team’s 20-point victory.

Framingham State picked-up its initial win of the season by defeating Endicott College, 41-10, in Beverly, Massachusetts. Saturday’s win over the Gulls marked the Rams’ fifth-straight season-opening win over Endicott – the Gulls’ last win against Framingham State came in 2012.

Quarterbacks Adam Wojenski and Zakery Walker combined for three touchdown passes and 233 passing yards. Two of those touchdown strikes were received by Michael Calicchio, who concluded the contest with five receptions for 101 yards.

As noted in the Rams’ release from yesterday, Framingham State racked up 502 yards of total offense, while the defense limited the Gulls’ offense to just 262 yards of offense, including 42 net yards rushing. Endicott’s Lavante Wiggins accounted for 22 of those 42 net yards on the ground – he scored his team’s lone touchdown in the fourth quarter.

Said Coach Tom Kelley following his team’s opening day win, “We have a lot to clean up and we certainly have a long way to go, and we’re going to really be tested next week once Cortland (State) comes to (Framingham).

“Defensively I think we got better and offensively we saw that we have some weapons, but we’re certainly going to answer some questions next week.”

One of the big takeaways from yesterday’s win was Framingham State’s defense coming-up with key third and fourth down stops. And one of those big stops occurred early in the contest when the Rams stopped Endicott on its second drive by limiting Wiggins to one yard, not two on a pivotal 4th and 2 from the Framingham State 14.

“I think we were aggressive defensively and I think we went after them, and I think that was the difference in the game,” said Kelley when asked about his team’s third and fourth down stops.

Defense will be the key for the Rams in week two against a talented Cortland squad, which defeated Framingham State last season by a score of 49-21. Endicott will visit Bridgewater State next Saturday. Both games are scheduled to commence at 12 p.m.

QUICK HITS: 

PRORGAM NOTE: 

  • We will be posting our second Noontime Top 10 poll on Monday for week two, so make sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter, which is where it will be posted.
  • Starting this week, Noontime Sports will unveil our first Honor Roll of the season, so make sure to submit student-athletes for the list by emailing us at NoontimeSports@gmail.com.

 

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