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Golden Bears Ranked No. 1 in New England, Closing in on National Rankings

Golden Bears Ranked No. 1 in New England, Closing in on National Rankings

Week 7 Poll/Release
AFCA DIII Coaches' Poll Top 25 

Western New England will look to complete second consecutive undefeated regular season on Saturday

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (November 8, 2016) – For the seventh straight week, Western New England University is the No. 1 ranked team in the Grinold Chapter New England Division III Football Poll, which was released on Monday.

Western New England (9-0, 6-0 NEFC) earned 11 of the 12 first place votes, topping the rankings with 119 points. Trinity received the final first place vote and finished second with 106 points, while Husson (90), Salve Regina (82) and Bridgewater State (74) rounded out the top five. 

The Golden Bears are also closing in on national rankings from and the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA). Western New England is the top vote-getter in the 'Others Receiving Votes' section in both the Top 25 and the AFCA Division III Coaches' Poll. Additionally, the Golden Bears debuted at No. 9 in the first NCAA East Regional Ranking.

Western New England clinched its second consecutive NEFC title last Saturday with a 41-22 victory at Salve Regina, and it will look to complete its second straight undefeated regular season this weekend when Coast Guard visits Springfield for a 1 p.m. contest.

The New England Division III Football Poll is presented by the Jack Grinold Eastern Massachusetts Chapter of the National Football Foundation, which also serves as the title sponsor of the weekly Gold Helmet Awards presented by the New England Football Writers Association throughout the season. 

A 12-member panel representing all four New England Division III playing conferences will serve as voters in this year's poll, and rankings will be released each Monday afternoon through November 14th.  Members of this year's voting panel are E.J. Mills (Amherst), JB Wells (Bowdoin), Jay Civetti (Tufts), Tom Kelley (Framingham State), Paul Castonia (Plymouth State), Pat Haverty (Fitchburg State), Skip Bandini (Curry), Chad Martinovich (MIT), Kevin Gilmartin (Salve Regina), Gabby Price (Husson), Tony Volpone (Castleton) and Mike Landers (Mount Ida).

For more information on the Grinold Chapter of the National Football Foundation, please visit