New England Sends Four Teams to NCAA D3 Football Tournament

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Framingham State’s Joshua Smiley and the Rams are headed back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2015. (PHOTO COURTESY: Frank Poulin/Framingham State Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com 

Four New England D3 football teams secured spots in the 2018 NCAA Division III Tournament, which officially begins Saturday, November 17th with 16 opening round contests.

32 teams were selected to compete in this year’s tournament, including a trio of local teams (Framingham StateHusson University and Western New England) which captured their respective conference crown.

MIT, which also earned a spot in this year’s tournament, secured an at-large bid following an exciting 22-7 win yesterday over Springfield College to secure the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) crown (the NEWMAC title was the Engineers’ first in program history).

All four teams will hit the road this week with Framingham State visiting Brockport, Husson traveling to RPI, MIT heading to Johns Hopkins and Frostburg State entertaining Western New England. All four match-ups will commence at 12 p.m. eastern.

Both Husson and WNE advanced to the tournament last year, while Framingham State is making its first appearance in three seasons (the Rams last competed in the national postseason in 2015). MIT is making its second appearance in the NCAA Tournament in program history after making an impressive debut four years ago with an opening round win against Husson.

We’ll have more on all four match-ups later this week, but as always, stay connected with @Noontime_FB on Twitter for news, notes and more from the New England football world! 

D3 Football: Western Conn., WNE Appear On First NCAA D3 Football Reg. Ranking

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports & @Noontime_FB 

A pair of New England D3 Football teams earned spots on the initial NCAA Regional Rankings (East), which were released earlier today.

Western Connecticut checked-in seventh overall on the 10 team list while Western New England secured the 10th position.

Brockport was the top team in the East Region followed by Frostburg State and RPI.

The Colonials enter the 10th week of the season with an impressive 8-0 record and will attempt to earn their ninth win against Framingham State, which enters the important conference tilt with a 6-2 mark.

Western Connecticut fell to Framingham State last year on the road, but enter Saturday’s marquee clash with some serious momentum, thanks to the play of senior halfback Kyle McKinnon, who leads the Blue and Orange with 507 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns. Additionally, senior quarterback David James has helped the offense by tossing 15 touchdowns, while adding an additional two scores on the ground.

Western New England has gained some serious momentum since its opening day, thanks to quarterback Alec Coleman, who has recorded 16 touchdowns in his team’s last three outings, including nine scores on the ground. Coleman’s ability to lead the Golden Bears down the field should continue on Saturday when the Blue and Gold visit Endicott College in a very important conference clash.

A win for the Golden Bears against the Gulls would most likely secure them the conference’s automatic bid to the upcoming NCAA Division III Tournament. However, an Endicott win would make for a very interesting final week of the 2018 season.,


Stay connected with our New England D3 Football coverage by following @Noontime_FB on Twitter! 

Catching Up with Western New England Coach Jason Lebeau

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Peter Hoff and Western New England have won four-straight contests since falling to Springfield College in their season-opener. (PHOTO COURTESY: Western New England Athletics)

By Brian Willwerth | @BriWillwerth

After dropping their season-opener to Springfield College, the Western New England Golden Bears enter the bye week riding a four-game winning streak.

During their bye week, we caught up with first-year head coach Jason Lebeau to talk about his team’s recent success.

We began our conversation by discussing cornerback Tommy Ganley, who was named to this week’s D3Football.com Team of the Week after recording two interceptions, one pass break-up and three solo stops last week against Salve Regina.

“Tommy’s been fantastic for us (this season),” said Lebeau. “He has really found his role as a corner,” adding that Ganley transitioned nicely from wide receiver to the defensive side of the ball this season.

“He just another guy who’s worked really hard to get where he is,” said Lebeau.

When it comes to players who don’t always light up the stat sheet, Lebeau had high praise for long snapper Jake Salera.

“You watch our return team, and Jake is in the returner’s face every time,” said Lebeau.

On the offensive line, he singled out center Anthony Hale.

“We were struggling at the position, trying to get our five best offensive linemen on the field, (and he’s) moved over from the tackle position and made such a big difference,” said Lebeau. “Now that we’ve moved him there, our communication is so much better.  Our confidence is so much better.”

Coach Lebeau thinks the Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC) is strong from top to bottom.

“There are a lot of hungry teams (in our conference) that are finding their way,” he said.  “It’s not going to be easy (the rest of the way),” adding that he’s happy to have three of the last five games at home.

It may not be surprising to see the Bears rolling up the yards and the points. Lebeau spent six years as offensive coordinator.  Now, in his first year as head coach, his team is averaging over 36 points game, with a pretty balanced attack.

The Golden Bears return to action next Saturday, October 13th when they host Curry College.


Stay connected with our New England Football coverage on Twitter by following @Noontime_FB TODAY! 

D3 Football: Early Preseason Noontime Top 10 Poll

Noontime Early Preseason Poll

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

Happy Monday, New England D3 Football fans and friends!

We are a few weeks away from unveiling our first Noontime Sports New England Top 10 Football Poll for the upcoming season, so get excited! Additionally, we are about to kick-off our preseason coverage, too.

So, in honor of a brand new season of coverage, it is time to unveil our first-ever ‘Early Preseason Poll,’ highlighting our early 10 teams to watch heading into camp in a few weeks, along with what teams are ‘on the rise.’


Noontime Sports New England Top 10 Football Poll | Early Preseason Poll
Monday, July 30th, 2018

1. Springfield College 

2017 Record: 10-1 (NEWMAC)

2. Framingham State 

2017 Record: 10-1 (MASCAC)

3. Trinity College 

2017 Record: 8-1 (NESCAC)

4. Western New England 

2017 Record: 8-3 (CCC)

5. Husson University

2017 Record: 10-2 (ECFC)

6.  WPI 

2017 Record: 9-2 (NEWMAC)

7. Plymouth State 

2017 Record: 9-2 (MASCAC)

8. Amherst College 

2017 Record: 7-2 (NESCAC)

9. Curry College 

2017 Record: 8-3 (CCC)

10. MIT   

2017 Record: 7-3 (NEWMAC)

ON THE RISE: Middlebury College (2017 Record: 7-2 NESCAC) & Williams College (2017 Record: 6-3 NESCAC)


For more Noontime Sports Football coverage, make sure to FOLLOW @Noontime_FB on Twitter! 

Football Friday Notebook: 10 Weeks Away From A Brand New D3 Football Season

NS Football Notebook Logo

By NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports) 

Welcome to Football Friday Notebook, fans and friends!

As see on Twitter earlier today, our good friends from In The (D3FB) Huddle tweeted that we are 10 weeks away from some major week one games.

What games are we most excited for? Hmm … well everyone, duh! We actually dished out some games to watch the first week earlier this month. And yes, we included one of our favorite Labor Day Weekend games between Springfield College and Western New England, along with Endicott College and Framingham State.

Yesterday, the National Football Foundation tweeted Maine Maritime Academy‘s Cody O’Brien was the NFF Scholar-Athlete of the Day. As noted in the tweet, O’Brien is a marine engineering technology major. Way to go, Cody!

Good news from Pro Football Talk regarding Hall of Fame Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly. As noted in this morning’s blog post, the former Bills signal-caller is doing well following his latest surgery, per an Instagram post. Jim’s wife Jill Kelly wrote that he is doing well under the circumstances.

Kelly announced five years ago that he had been diagnosed with cancer in his jaw, but has undergone numerous surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. We wish the best for both Jim and Jill, as well as their families – stay strong, Jim!


New England D3 Football Posts from earlier this week: 

Malik Grove to join the Amherst College football coaching staff as their running backs coach. 

Malik Hall tabbed the next coach at Bates College


We’re still a few weeks away from the start of New England Patriots Training Camp, but Patriots Wire has a few blockbuster trades the team could do to shake-up the roster for the upcoming season. One of the potential trades includes sending Rob Gronkowski to another team like the Houston Texans or San Francisco 49ers for two first-round picks.

As noted in the New Canaan AdvertisersZach Allen of Boston College was named to to Athlon’s Preseason All-America teams on Tuesday. Allen, who is from Connecticut, decided to forgo this year’s NFL Draft to stay with the Eagles for his senior season.

In addition to Allen, AJ DillonLukas DenisChris Lindstrom and Michael Walker were also named to the Athlon’s Preseason All-America teams. Dillon was selected to the second team – he will certainly be a running back to watch this fall.

Speaking of the Eagles’ football team, they recently announced their theme days for the 2018 season, which includes Senior Day, Youth & High School Football Day when they host Syracuse University on Saturday, November 24th.

Finally, Sports Illustrated highlighted five true freshmen that could make an impact this fall, including Georgia‘s James Cook.

Stay connected with Noontime Sports’ football coverage by following us at @Noontime_FB