Time to launch our pre-season football coverage – are you ready for some football?
Yes, we know the Boston Celtics occupy our attention while writing this post, but as we eagerly await the fourth game of the NBA Finals wrap up tomorrow night, highlight five New England teams NCAA Division III football fans should watch this fall.
Anna Maria College: Strategist Alex Cohen is back, along with some key members of last year’s squad, which won its first-ever Eastern College Football Conference (ECFC) Title.
Cohen will definitely be a player to watch this fall after finishing the 2021 season with career highs in passing yards (3,087) and touchdown passes (23).
wide receiver Hayden Braga returns for another season as well, with Alvin Martin (linebacker) and Amstrong Antoine (defensive back) – All three student-athletes, along with Cohen, should help AMCAT fight for their second consecutive conference crown.
Anna Maria is set to face tough conference opponents in September, starting with their season opener against UMass Dartmouth.
Colby College: Coach Jack Cosgrove has the Mules heading in the right direction.
Last year, Colby won four games for the first time since going 4-4 in 2013. The Mules picked up important early and mid-season wins against Amherst College and Middlebury College while providing challenges for Hamilton College and Tufts University.
Half Smart Keon will be a player to watch on offense — the second back finished his first season with the Mules last fall with 248 rushing yards on 69 carries and three touchdowns.
Colby will start his 2022 season at home against Williams College.
Curry College: A new era of Colonels football has begun with the hiring of a freshman coach Todd Parson.
Parsons, who oversaw Endicott College last fall, inherits a team that finished 3-6 last season, including 1-5 in Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC).
Michael Sims will be a player to watch for the Colonels after finishing his first season with the Violet and Whites with 49 total tackles, including 26 solo saves to go with a fumble recovery, an interception and a pass breakup.
Sims played high school football in Connecticut and was a two-way player during Griswold High School. He played fullback on offense and linebacker on defense. Maybe we could see him play at the back this fall?
Curry will start his 2022 season at home against MIT.
College Dean: Like Curry, Dean will have a new leader in his football program with Andra Murphy return to his alma mater to coach a Bulldogs team that won just two games last fall.
Errol Breauxthe team’s top wide receiver, was a player to watch last fall as he led the receiving core in catches (75), receiving yards (1,215) and touchdowns (eight). Quintus Reid was also a player to watch on offense as the New Haven, Connecticut native concluded his junior season with 52 receptions and six touchdowns.
It is likely that Murphy’s signalman will be David Curry, who was spotted under center in every game last fall. He completed 196 of 351 passes for 2,585 yards and 18 touchdowns. Curry also led the rushing offense with 627 yards and six touchdowns.
Dean will go to Fitchburg State for its season opener.
University of New England: For the second time in program history, the Nor’easters concluded their campaign with four wins (they earned a program-record four wins in 2019 after capping their inaugural campaign a year earlier with just two wins).
Last fall, UNE caught our eye with an impressive early season win over Bridgewater Statewhich saw the Blue and Whites outclass the hosts, 14-0, in the second half to prepare a winning placement by Ruelas Villasen in extension.
In addition to their win from behind against the Bridgewater Bears, they also provided challenges for Endicott and West New England on the section. They capped off their 2021 campaign with a wild victory over Curry.
The team’s season-ending victory over the Colonels, which was highlighted by five touchdown passes per Jarrett Henault should give the Nor’easters some momentum ahead of reaching four this season in program history.
UNE will start its road season at Coast Guard Academy.