BRIDGEWATER, Mass. – Perennial New England Football Conference power Endicott College is the NEFC coaches' pick to finish first in the revamped conference for the 2013 season.
The Gulls were picked first on the ballot of five of the eight Conference coaches, earning 59 of a possible 64 points. Endicott, the Eastern College Athletic Conference North Atlantic Bowl champion in 2012, finished the year with a 9-2 record and placed second to Boyd Division Champion Salve Regina University during the regular season. The Gulls are riding a seven game win streak.
Salve Regina, also 9-2 last season, received three first place votes and tallied 53 points. The Seahawks played for the NEFC Championship in 2012, losing the title game to Framingham State University. Salve Regina will have a new head coach in 2013 in Kevin Gilmartin, as former coach Bob Chesney departed the Newport campus to assume the head coaching responsibilities at Assumption College.
Curry College and Western New England University tied for the third spot with 43 points. MIT placed fifth with 34 points, with the Engineers receiving one first place vote. The Coast Guard Academy was sixth, and Maine Maritime Academy and Nichols College tied for the final spot in the poll.
The NEFC will have a new look in 2013. Gone is the two division set-up that has been in place since 1997. The Massachusetts State Athletic Conference institutions that made up the bulk of the Bogan Division departed the Conference following the 2012 season. Affiliate members Plymouth State University and UMass Dartmouth left with the MASCAC schools, while former Bogan Division members Maine Maritime Academy and the Coast Guard Academy remained in the NEFC.
Each team with the exception of Maine Maritime will begin the season the weekend of September 6. Conference play begins for all teams the weekend of on September 26.
Click HERE to view the poll results