Austin Baiardi, Daniel Negron and Koby Schofer were each selected to captain the Bantams this fall – all three student-athletes were members of this year’s squad, which finished 8-1 overall, including 4-0 at home.
Here is some information on the three captains, who will attempt to guide the Bantams this fall to a fourth-straight NESCAC title:
Austin Baiardi (Smithtown, N.Y.): All-NESCAC first team in 2017 … All-NESCAC second team in 2016 … majoring in economics with a minor International Studies.
Daniel Negron (Hartsdale, N.Y.): Had a breakout junior season, which earned him his first-ever All-NESCAC second team honor last November … Negron led the Bantams this past season with 53 total tackles (31 solo stops), while adding 2.5 sacks, 4.5 tackles for a loss of 41 yards … also recorded two forced fumbles (first time in his career) … majoring in psychology.
Koby Schofer (Northbridge, Mass.): 2018 All-NESCAC first team … 2017 All-NESCAC second team … finished third in the NESCAC in 2018 in receptions per game (5.50) while catching a team-high 11 touchdowns … Recorded 44 grabs for 763 last season … majoring in economics.
In honor of the NCAA Division III Football Tournament, which kicks-off this weekend, Noontime Sports the Podcast welcomed back James Baker, who is one of the co-hosts of In The HuddLLe – yes, two ‘L’s’ – to discuss the first round of the playoffs.
Baker and host Matt Noonan discussed the ‘Alfred’ section of the tournament tree, primarily the Saxons’ game against Bridgewater State, Western New England hosting Husson and Hobart drawing perennial powerhouse Mount Union.
In addition to some NCAA Tournament talk, Noonan and Baker also discussed the inaugural New England Football Bowl, which takes place this Saturday (Salve Regina versus Framingham State), and the final week of the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) football season, too.
Make sure to follow Baker and co-host Frank Rossi on Twitter!
It’s hard to believe, but another NCAA Division III Football season is slowly coming to a close, so that means it is time to honor the numerous student-athletes we covered and wrote about over the past three-and-a-half months.
So, for the first-time in Noontime Sports history, we are proud to unveil our New England D3 Football Team of the Year!
Trinity College senior Spencer Donahue was tabbed this week’s NESCAC Defensive Player of the Week following an impressive performance against Middlebury College last Saturday. (Photo Credit: Trinity College Athletics | David B. Newman)
Last weekend, Trinity College senior Spencer Donahue turned in an impressive defensive performance, tallying six solo stops, including a pair of sacks, three tackles for a loss, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and two pass break-ups to help the Bantams secure an important New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) win over Middlebury College.
Donahue’s effort last Saturday earned him this week’s NESCAC Defensive Player of the Week honor.
“Our defense prepared extremely well for (last weekend’s game) against Middlebury,” said Donahue. “Middlebury had been having success (through the air), so that was definitely a point of emphasis for us during the week, but we couldn’t overlook their running game, too.”
Trinity’s defense limited Middlebury’s air attack to a season-low 126 passing yards, while finishing the game with five interceptions and five sacks.
Earlier this week, we caught up with Donahue to talk about his team’s impressive win against the Panthers, Trinity’s final home game of the season against Amherst College on Saturday, and if he watched the Chicago Cubs break a 108-yard-old curse.
Did you imagine your defense would record five interceptions and five sacks against a talented offense?
Our coaches prepared a great game plan, so we knew as long as we executed good things would (happen).
You had a big game individually – earned this week’s NESCAC Defensive Player of the Week honors – what worked for you this past week?
My teammates did an incredible job at executing and making plays when the opportunities arose, so I just tried to follow their lead.
This Saturday marks your final home game as a member of the Bantams’ football program. Care to share a favorite memory/moment of playing in front of the hometown fans?
Unfortunately, I cannot think of a specific moment (or memory), but the atmosphere here at Trinity on a Saturday is electric. It is something I will really miss once my career is over.
What does your team need to do to be successful this weekend against Amherst?
We really just need to stay focused. We need to continue to approach each day with the same intensity and energy that we have done throughout season.
A few non-football questions, starting with your major: economics. How did you choose your major and what do you hope to do with it?
I took an (econ class) my sophomore year and really enjoyed it. Although it was one of the more difficult classes I took here at Trinity, I felt that it taught me more about how the world functioned, as well as how finance and economics impact our society. After graduation, I am hoping to go into commercial real estate.
Being from Illinois, I would presume you’re a Chicago sports fan, so have you been following the Chicago Cubs in the World Series?
I am actually not a true Chicago sports fan. The Minnesota Vikings are my favorite NFL team, but I do root for the Chicago Cubs. I enjoy going to their games in the summer, but it’s been great for Chicago to have the Cubs back in the World Series and win their first World Series since 1908.
What has been the greatest advice you have received from a football Coach – either past or current?
I would say that the greatest advice any coach has given me is to just have fun and enjoy the game. Football is a tough sport and I have had a lot of ups and downs while playing it, but any time that I get to put my pads on and compete alongside my teammates is truly a blessing. I just try to cherish every moment of it.
Have you always played safety? If not, what other positions have you played?
I started playing football in third grade – I played running back before transitioning into a receiver and cornerback my freshman year of high school. One year later, I transitioned into a safety and have played the position ever since.
Do you idol your game after a current or past professional football player?
Yes, I would have to say that my favorite player is Tyrann Mathieu, who is a safety for the Arizona Cardinals. I love the way he plays – I try to do my best to play with the same intensity and fearlessness that he does.
Three favorite movies of all-time?
Forrest Gump, The Dark Night, and Saving Private Ryan
John Smith rushed for three touchdowns on Saturday as Husson defeated Becker College in an important ECFC clash. (Photo Credit: Husson University Athletics)
By Matt Noonan
Both Husson University and Trinity College flexed their muscles on Saturday, proving they will continue to be the team to beat in their respective conference.
The Eagles soared past Becker College (45-14), thanks to halfback John Smith, who rushed for a trio of touchdowns and 183 yards on 29 carries. Quarterback Cory Brandon connected on 16 of 26 passes for 236 yards and a pair of touchdowns – both scores were hauled in by Kadeem Edge, who concluded the contest with six receptions for 158 yards. The 158 yards were a season-best for Edge, who matched his two touchdowns from a week ago against Anna Maria.
In addition to the Eagles’ offensive output, Husson’s defense was led by Logan Steward, who tallied five total tackles (four solo stops), and two interceptions. Ellis Throckmorton – a member of this week’s D3Football.com Team of the Week – registered six total tackles (three solo stops) and a pair of tackles for a loss.
Husson remains the top team in the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) with an overall record of 7-1. The Eagles have won five-straight conference tilts this season and return to the gridiron next Saturday, November 5th when they host Norwich University for a 12 p.m. kickoff.
In New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) action, Trinity scored an impressive win, defeating Middlebury College, 49-13. Quarterback Sonny Puzzo tossed two touchdowns and connected on 7-of-14 passes for 111 yards – he also rushed for one score, too. Halfback Max Chipouras rushed for a season-high three scores, while finishing the contests with 23 carries for a season-best 186 yards on the ground.
The Bantams’ defense concluded the afternoon with five interceptions and five sacks – the unit also collaborated for nine pass break-ups, too.
With the win, the Bantams occupy the top spot in the NESCAC – Trinity is currently 6-0 overall and return to action next Saturday, Nov. 5th when they host Amherst College with kickoff slated for 12:30 p.m.