SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (August 27, 2019) – The Western New England University football team will enter the 2019 season as the Commonwealth Coast Football favorite following a vote of the league's eight head coaches.
The Golden Bears collected five of a possible eight first-place votes, topping the poll with 59 points. Endicott College received the final three first-place tallies and finished second with 54 points, while new league member Husson was tabbed No. 3 in the preseason rankings with 49 points. Following Salve Regina (44 points) and Curry (26) in fourth and fifth place, respectively, Nichols (24), the University of New England (20) and Becker (12) rounded out the final three spots in the poll.
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 (Dracut, Mass.) is the team's top returning tackler after making 69 stops (30 solo) as a freshman.
The 2019 campaign gets underway on Saturday, September 7th as the Golden Bears host crosstown rival Springfield College in the seventh edition of the Pynchon SAW Game. Three consecutive road contests follow, beginning with another rivalry matchup on Friday, September 13th at Westfield State. On September 21st, Western New England travels to DeLand, Fla. to face NCAA Division I FCS member Stetson University. CCC Football play begins on September 28th at the University of New England, before the Golden Bears return home on October 5th to host Nichols on Homecoming Weekend. The second half of the regular season features matchups with Salve Regina (10/19), Curry (10/26), Endicott (11/2), Becker (11/9) and Husson (11/16).