But despite not being able to compete against additional conference foes this spring, coach Sean McDonnell seems excited — perhaps optimistic? — about his team’s upcoming campaign, which is scheduled to begin on Thursday, September 2 when the Wildcats visit Stony Brook for a 6 p.m. kickoff.
Speaking with members of the media during this morning’s Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) virtual media day, the tenured coach noted that the team has some “very good football players coming back.”
One of those players is Evan Horn, a senior safety from Lebanon, Pennsylvania, who was named to the CAA Football Preseason All-Conference Team. Horn recorded four tackles and a pass break-up in his team’s lone spring contest against the University at Albany in March and was selected to the CAA All-Conference Second Team in 2019 when he led the Silver and Blue in solo tackles (51) and total tackles (70).
Niko Kvietkus, who is a junior defensive tackle, received honorable mention — the Southington, Connecticut native, who played football locally at Xavier High School (Conn.) and Deerfield Academy, played in 11 games in 2019 and recorded career-highs in solo stops (24), total tackles (45), tackles for a loss (eight for 36 yards), and 5.5 sacks for a loss of 34 yards.
Horn and Kvietkus are just two student-athletes to watch this fall, but as McDonnell explained, “I feel very good where we are as a program depth-wise.”
With the 2020 NFL Draft in the rearview mirror, it is time to turn our attention to the various New England college football players that have recently signed with teams as undrafted free agents.
Here is a current list of student-athletes that will be competing for roster spots with various teams for the upcoming season. We will be updating this list as more signings are announced.
Jake Burt (TE): The Lynnfield, Massachusetts native, who was named to the John Mackey Award Watch List as a graduate student with the Eagles this past fall, signed with the New England Patriots on Sunday, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Jackson Dennis (OL): The Odessa, Florida native signed a free-agent contract with the Arizona Cardinals following the conclusion of the NFL Draft. Dennis started 12 games last fall for the Crusaders, who advanced to the NCAA FCS playoffs for the first time since 2009.
Prince Smith Jr. (CB): The Pennsylvania native is headed back home to compete for a spot with the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles announced Smith Jr. was one of 12 players that signed unrestricted free agent contracts last night after the NFL Draft concluded.
University of Rhode Island
Kyle Murphy (OL): The Attleboro, Massachusetts native announced on Twitter that he is “officially a (New York) Giant.”
Can you believe this weather? I may call in sick and head to the beach – it is going to be close to 60 degrees today, which makes me pretty happy!
Before you head out to soak in some Vitamin D, enjoy a brand new ‘Daily Noontime’ – it is the best way to start your day!
Boston heads to Tampa Bay for an important early week match-up
The Boston Bruins return to the ice this evening for an important match-up with the Tampa Bay Lightning. This is the first of two meetings this week – Tampa Bay will visit Boston on Saturday for an important contest.
Boston currently leads Tampa Bay in the standings by seven points so this would be an ideal night to pick up some more points with a win over a team the Black and Gold will most likely see in the postseason.
The Boston Celtics will attempt to erase the memories of last Saturday’s one-point setback to the Houston Rockets when they entertain the Brooklyn Nets, who enter tonight’s contest with a 26-33 overall record.
Tom Brady may not divorce the New England Patriots
We’re anxiously waiting to find out where Tom Brady will play next season. I think he will return to the New England Patriots. And I also think he is not ready to divorce a team that he has enjoyed so much success with over the past 20 seasons.
Boston College wins its 17th Hockey East regular-season crown
Boston College has won seven-straight contests and one of those wins (against rival Boston University) helped the men’s ice hockey team clinch its 17th Hockey East regular-season title. The Eagles will be at home for the quarterfinals, which begin next weekend.
This weekend, BC will play a home-and-home series with the University of New Hampshire.
The 18th Hockey East Women’s semifinals will take place this weekend
The 18th Hockey East Women’s semifinals will take place this Saturday, March 7th at Merrimack College with Maine and Northeastern University skating in the first game at 12 p.m. followed by New Hampshire vs. Connecticut in the second game at 3:30 p.m.
UMass welcomes Albany to Amherst for an afternoon clash
Fresh off an impressive three-goal (13-10) win over Yale University last Saturday, the UMass men’s lacrosse team will look to continue their momentum this afternoon when they host Albany for a 3 p.m. face-off.
UMass has won three of five contests this season, including two of their last three outings.
Let me tell you about being an NCAA D-III student-athlete at Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts.
The D-III life has been the most rewarding experience in my opinion. Sure, there are ups and downs – more good days than bad, of course – but at the end of the day, I firmly believe my experience as a member of the Wheaton women’s basketball program will help me both in and outside the classroom, as well as beyond the Norton campus when I graduate in two years.
I am excited to tell you about my experience this winter as a student-athlete blogger for Noontime Nation. And I hope each post I produce for the site will provide a glimpse (and some insight, too) into what my life (and experience) is like at Wheaton as both a student and an athlete.
Prior to our Thanksgiving break, I begin my day with two classes: economics and social entrepreneurship. Both classes, coincidentally, are with my teammates. I am a business major, so both of these classes are right up my alley. And one of my teammates and I are working on a project together that consists of interviewing a social enterprise. We have spent a lot of time on it and are excited to present it to our class during this particular week.
After class, I head to my favorite spot on campus to eat lunch with my teammates in the student-center at the Diana Davis Spencer ’60 Café. This particular cafe features a variety of food choices and coffee (of course) and is where I spend a lot of time doing work, but also some socializing with friends. And on this particular day, the cafe is offering a flatbread and soup deal – it was delicious!
The cafe is also the spot where I usually work on the graphics that I post on social media – I am both the social media coordinator for our women’s basketball team, but also the athletic department, too. I like to ask my teammates for their opinions on the graphics I produce before they are finalized and ready to be shared.
On this specific day, though, we happen to have a game at the University of New Hampshire, so once I wrap up my work (and food) I head to our team’s pre-game meal where I can also do some work and get ready for our team’s sixth game of the 2019-20 season.
Following our pre-game meal, my teammates and I head to the bus for a long ride to New Hampshire. But for some reason, traffic cooperated – crazy, right? – so we arrive two hours earlier than expected, which provides our team with some extra time for warmups. And before we know it, it’s game time.
New Hampshire wins this particular meeting, but the experience of competing against a D-I squad was awesome – I am sure it will help us moving forward, as well as when we begin conference play next month against Mount Holyoke College.
On our way back, I watched a movie with one of my teammates and before we knew it, we were back on campus ready to go to bed – it has been a long day.
And thus concludes my first installment of the D3 Life for Noontime Nation – I hope you enjoyed learning more about my experience at Wheaton and I certainly cannot wait to tell you more in a future post, so stay tuned for our next installment.
I love being a D-III student-athlete, especially at Wheaton. And while my days can be long and tiring with classes, practices, and extracurricular activities, I know deep down this experience – and the memories I am making with my teammates and classmates, too – are worth it.
Mia Len is a sophomore at Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts, as well as a member of the women’s basketball program. Len, who is a business major, is also our first student-blogger for ‘The D3 Life,’ which provides readers with a glimpse of what it takes to be a student-athlete in NCAA Division III.