MILTON, Mass. - In a preseason poll of head coaches in the New England Football Conference (NEFC), Curry College is predicted to finish fourth in the eight-team league. A year ago, the Colonels finished with a 3-4 conference record (4-6 overall).
Defending New England Football Conference champion Western New England University has been picked by the coaches in the Conference to repeat its NEFC title in 2016. The Golden Bears, who won their second Conference championship in program history in 2015, received first place votes from five of the eight Conference coaches, a second place nod and a fifth place pick. WNE won its first 10 games in 2015 before losing in the NCAA Division III Championship Tournament First Round.
Salve Regina University, which finished tied with Endicott for second place in 2015 when each had a 5-2 NEFC record, was slotted for that same position in the poll. Salve Regina got two first place votes, five second place nods, and a selection for fourth. The Seahawks' rallied from a 21 point halftime deficit in the NEFC championship game, only to see WNE score with four seconds remaining to take the title.
Endicott College finished in third place. Every coach in the Conference had Endicott ranked in his top four selections, including one first place vote.
Curry College (3-4 NEFC record in 2015) and MIT (2-5 in 2015 NEFC play) finished tied for fourth.
Rounding out the poll were the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in sixth place, Maine Maritime Academy placing seventh, and Nichols College in the eighth position.
The NEFC will begin 2016 play the Thursday prior to Labor Day weekend as the Coast Guard Academy travels to Anna Maria College that evening with all seven other Conference teams in action that weekend against non-conference foes. League games begin the weekend of September 24. The NEFC will "go dark" Columbus Day weekend with all eight teams having a bye.
Rank College Points*
1. Western New England 59 (5 first place votes)
2. Salve Regina 56 (2 first place votes)
3 Endicott College 50 (1 first place vote)
4. Curry College 31
6. U.S. Coast Guard Academy 30
7. Maine Maritime Academy 20
8. Nichols College 12
*Points are awarded based on position selected in the poll. A first place vote is awarded eight points, a second place vote is seven points, etc…