Reigning Champion WNE Picked As CCC Football Preseason Favorite

Reigning Champion WNE Picked As CCC Football Preseason Favorite

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Western New England won its fourth straight conference title and second consecutive Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC Football) Championship last season and will try to continue the streak this year as the preseason favorite as determined by the head coaches in the 2019 CCC Football Preseason Poll.

The Golden Bears earned 59 points and five of the eight first place votes cast last week.

The CCC Football Champions earned the league title last year emerging out of a three-way tie for the top spot with Salve Regina and Endicott. WNE went 5-1 in conference play (8-3 overall) and was a beneficiary of the league’s tiebreaking procedure. It fell to Frostburg State in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament.

Endicott takes the second spot in this year’s poll with 54 points and the three remaining first place votes. Endicott also went 5-1 in league play (7-4 overall) and despite missing out on the CCC Football Championship, still earned a chance to extend its season as it was selected as a New England Bowl participant.

The third spot in the poll is occupied by newcomer to the league, Husson, with 49 points. The new addition to the league brings with it three consecutive conference titles in the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC), including the 2018 championship. Last season the Eagles went a perfect 6-0 in ECFC play (8-3 overall) and went 1-1 against CCC Football opponents, including a narrow three-point loss to CCC Football Champion WNE. In the NCAA Tournament, Husson fell to RPI in the First Round.

Salve Regina claims the fourth spot in this year’s voting with 44 points. The Seahawks were the third team to finished tied for the conference’s top spot at 5-1 (7-4 overall). Though they lost the tiebreaker, Salve was also given the opportunity to extend its season as it played a New England Bowl matchup against Bridgewater State.

Curry (26 points), Nichols (24), the University of New England (20), and Becker (12) round out the bottom half of the 2019 poll in that order.

The 2019 CCC Football season kicks off on Friday, Sept. 6 as teams play their week one non-conference matchups. The conference slate gets underway on Saturday, Sept. 28 as teams begin their march toward the 2019 CCC Football title. The team with the best conference record at the end of the regular season will be named the CCC Football Champion and will earn the league’s automatic qualifier into the 2019 NCAA Division III Football Championship.

Click HERE to view the whole 2019 CCC Football schedule.

 

2019 CCC Football Preseason Coaches' Poll

  Team Points (First Place Votes)
1. Western New England 59 (5)
2. Endicott 54 (3)
3. Husson 49
4. Salve Regina 44
5. Curry 26
6. Nichols 24
7. University of New England 20
8. Becker 12


2019 CCC Football Previews

Contributed by each school's sports information department.

  

1. Western New England

Western New England captured its second straight CCC Football title last fall and fourth consecutive conference crown overall. The Golden Bears went 8-3 in 2018, including 5-1 in league action, under first-year head coach Jason Lebeau ’10.

Western New England brings back five All-Conference performers from last year’s squad, led by senior quarterback Alec Coleman (Arlington, Mass.), the reigning CCC Football Offensive Player of the Year. Coleman threw for 1,964 yards and 21 touchdowns while also rushing for 867 yards and 19 scores during his breakout junior campaign. Senior running back Peter Hoff (Shelton, Conn.) will also play a key role offensively after compiling 729 yards and eight touchdowns on the ground last season. Defensively, sophomore linebacker Joshua Salem (Methuen, Mass.) is the team’s top returning tackler after making 69 stops (30 solo) as a freshman.

The 2019 campaign gets underway on Saturday, Sept. 7 as the Golden Bears host crosstown rival Springfield in the seventh edition of the Pynchon SAW Game. Three consecutive road contests follow, beginning with another rivalry matchup on Friday, Sept. 13 at Westfield State. On Sept. 21, Western New England travels to DeLand, Fla. to face NCAA Division I FCS member Stetson University. CCC Football play begins on Sept. 28 at the University of New England, before the Golden Bears return home on Oct. 5 to host Nichols on Homecoming Weekend. The second half of the regular season features matchups with Salve Regina (Oct. 19), Curry (Oct. 26), Endicott (Nov. 2), Becker (Nov. 9) and Husson (Nov. 16).

  Alec Coleman, WNE

2. Endicott

Under second-year head coach Paul McGonagle, the Endicott football program will look to build off of its impressive 2018 campaign which featured the Gulls being one win away from capturing the CCC Football title.

Overall last season, Endicott went 7-4 and 5-1 in conference play. The Gulls, who posted their first winning season since 2013, also made their first postseason appearance after earning a bid to the New England Bowl against Merchant Marine.

Endicott's championship aspirations will be guided by six captains including Isaiah Gibbs (Teaneck, N.J.), Kha-lil Goodman (Bellmore, N.Y.), Joe Kalosky (Plymouth, Conn.), Tom Lorusso (Stony Brook, N.Y.), Grayson Maddux (Park City, Utah), and Shane Toland (Canton, Conn.).

The Gulls non-conference schedule will also play a major role for the Gulls in returning to championship glory as the Blue and Green will take on Framingham State (Sept. 6), Rochester (Sept. 14), Wesley (Sept. 21), before opening up conference play against Becker on Homecoming Weekend at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 28.

  Kha-lil Goodman, EC

3. Husson

The five-time ECFC Champions (2014, Co-2015, 2016, 2017, 2018) will begin a new era in program history this fall as a member of CCC Football. The Husson football team is looking to make its sixth-straight postseason appearance in 2019.

Nat Clark takes over the helm of the program following the stepping down of Gabby Price after serving as his assistant head coach for 12 seasons (‘03-‘08, ‘13-‘18). The Eagles return five All-ECFC honorees from last season’s squad, including 2019 captains and First Team selections; senior wide receiver Keyshaun Robinson (Brooklyn, N.Y.), junior left tackle Jacob Cameron (Conway, N.H.), junior defensive end Frank Curran (Portland, Maine) and a pair of Second Team choices in junior defensive end Derek Barden (Winter Park, Fla.) and junior linebacker Kaleb Caron (West Gardiner, Maine).

Other Eagles who will be looking to make an impact in 2019 are senior quarterback David Morrison (Ashland, Mass.), junior wide receiver Tyler Halls (Lisbon, Maine), junior tight end Aidan Hogan (Morgan, Vt.), senior offensive lineman Collin Spence (Windsor, Conn.), junior defensive lineman David Redmond (Westbrook, Maine) and senior defensive back Nick Alvarez (Miami, Fla.).

Husson will open up the Clark era on Saturday, Sept. 14 at UMass Dartmouth, before returning home to host WPI on Saturday, Sept. 21. The Eagles will then travel to SUNY Morrisville (Sept. 28) prior to renewing their rivalry with Becker in Leicester, Mass. in the program’s first-ever CCC Football opener.

   Keyshaun Robinson, HUS

4. Salve Regina

Head coach Kevin Gilmartin enters his seventh season at Salve Regina and will return 16 starters from a year ago to a young and hungry team. 

The team returns seven All-Conference players from last year's squad including Offensive Rookie of the Year Joey Mauriello (Colts Neck, N.J.). 

“On the first day, as the players were showing up to campus and you saw the camaraderie, we knew the culture and chemistry of this team was something special,” says Gilmartin. “Hopefully, that brotherhood will carry forward into the season.  The Salve Football Family is being led by 25 seniors this year and they have been doing an outstanding job moving the team in the right direction.”

  Joey Mauriello, SRU

5. Curry

Skip Bandini returns for his 14th year as head coach of the Curry football program.

This year, the Colonels return junior running back Zach Levy (Bellingham, Mass.), who was tabbed as All-CCC Football First Team Offensive selection. Also on offense, Curry returns senior wide receiver Nick Villanueva (Hanson, Mass.) (captain), another All-CCC Football Offensive selection. The Colonels also welcome back senior quarterback Nick Juvelier (Centereach, N.Y.) and five offensive starters, in addition to Levy, Juvelier, and Villanueva. 

On defense, Curry brings back senior captains Hunter Atwood (Reading, Mass.) and Ted Flaherty (Hanover, Mass.). Atwood was an All-CCC Football First Team defensive selection and was a one-time CCC Football Defensive Player of the Week selection. In addition to Atwood, the Colonels return four defensive starters.

  Zach Levy, CC

6. Nichols

The Bison are looking to improve on their 5-5 (3-3 CCC Football) mark from the 2018 campaign, that also included a 4-2 record at Vendetti Field. The Bison are returning five of their seven All-CCC Football selections from 2018, led by First Team All-CCC Football picks seniors Jake Wood (Whitinsville, Mass.), Jared Abbruzzese (Natick, Mass.) and junior Joshua Pierre-Charles (Millis, Mass.). Abbruzzese is looking to help pace the Bison defense after totaling 46 tackles and three interceptions a year ago. Sophomore and All-CCC Second Team selection Hunter Ferreira (Mansfield, Mass.) will try to expand on his terrific freshman campaign while playing a key role in the team’s offense.

 
Jake Wood, NC

7. University of New England

The University of New England and second-year head coach Mike Lichten logged an overall mark of 2-7 during the program's first varsity season of competition in 2018, which was highlighted a game-winning 38-yard field goal to lift the Nor'easters over Curry by a 44-42 margin in CCC Football action. Practically every starter on both sides of the ball is back, including the three All-Conference selections in juniors Ryan Gaboury (Cumberland, R.I.) (First Team) and Haelin Roberts (Edmonds, Wash.) (First Team), sophomore Keegan Stanton-Meas (Portland, Maine) (CCC Defensive Rookie of the Year / Second Team).

 
Keegan Stanton-Meas, UNE

8. Becker

Senior captains Austin Ryan (Apopka, Fla.) (OL) and Christian Perkins (Melrose, Mass.) (DL) will be the team-leaders this season on offense and defense, respectively, for the Becker Hawks football program. Alongside 2018 First Team All-Conference recipient, Ryan, on the offensive line, the Hawks welcome back Anthony Davis (Stratford, Conn.) and Gregory Tsisar (Dedham, Mass.).  Three-year starter David Collins (Staten Island, N.Y.) returns at the running back position after leading the team in rushing yards last season. 

In addition to Perkins, key players on the defense this season are returners Jared Zieman (Bethel, Conn.) (LB) and Ryan Gries (North Branford, Conn.) (DL). Notable newcomers include Randy Morgan (Spring Hill, Fla.) (RB), Sebastien Celestin (Orlando, Fla.) (DB) and Carlos Roche (Boston, Mass.) (DL).

 
Austin Ryan, BC

 

 

 

ABOUT COMMONWEALTH COAST FOOTBALL

Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC Football) is a single-sport football conference operating under the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) umbrella. The league has been in operation since 1965 (formerly as the New England Football Conference (NEFC)). The league consists of eight members – Becker, Curry, Endicott, Husson, Nichols, Salve Regina, the University of New England, and Western New England.

 

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