A Look At The #NECelite from the 2017 Softball Season

A perfect 16-0 regular season conference record resulted in a heavy Red Flash presence on the All-NEC Softball honors list.

Saint Francis U, which is in search of its first NEC Tournament title, secured four of the six major NEC awards and placed a league-high nine players on the all-conference squads.

Check out the big winners in the Northeast Conference’s postseason softball awards programs…

 

Complete #NECelite List

Three Undrafted NEC Footballers Who Played Multiple NFL Seasons and Some

They are responsible for some of the longest-tenured NFL careers in Northeast Conference history and none of the three men were drafted.

Robert Morris offensive lineman Hank Fraley was the first, going undrafted in 2000 after garnering three consecutive all-NEC first team selections. When his playing career was finally over, he had made 142 appearances (123 starts) during NFL regular season games and was the Eagles’ starting center in Super Bowl XXXIX. Fraley is currently pursuing a career in coaching. After serving as an offensive line assistant with the Minnesota Vikings, he signed on with Pac-12 member UCLA this past winter.

Monmouth’s Miles Austin was also a three-time all-NEC first teamer, but he, too, did not hear his name called on Draft Day in 2006.  The explosive wideout, who averaged more than 20.0 yards per catch during the 2005 season, signed on with the Dallas Cowboys and made his initial impression by returning kicks. By 2010, Austin was a two-time Pro Bowler. He posted back-to-back 1,000-yard receiving seasons in 2009 and 2010. He played 129 career games, second all-time for a NEC alumnus behind Fraley.

Then, there’s Wagner alumnus Julian Stanford, who has been an active member of the 53-man roster for three different NFL teams. The Nutmeg State product was an all-NEC first teamer in 2011, but had to settle for an undrafted free agent contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars during the Spring of 2012. Stanford made the Jags’ 53-man roster out of training camp and proceeded to start six games as a rookie. After eventually moving on to stints with the Detroit Lions and Tampa Bay Bucs, Stanford is back in the New York Metropolitan area. He played in nine games for the New York Jets during the 2016 campaign, including three starts in place of the injured Darron Lee. He made 28 tackles before his season ended with a trip to the injured reserve list (ankle).

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Razor-Thin Margin Separates First and Second in Race for Brenda Weare Commissioner’s Cup

The Cup made its way back to Fairfield, CT last year.

The fall and winter sports seasons are in the books, the NEC Commissioner’s Cup points are tallied and there is still A LOT to be determined.

With all spring sports yet to be factored into the equation, Sacred Heart (126.95) leads Saint Francis U (126.43) by only a fraction of one point in the race for the Overall Commissioner’s Cup.

Both the Pioneers and Red Flash are poised to significantly bump their point totals this spring. Sacred Heart already secured the women’s golf team championship while Saint Francis U is in the midst of an historic campaign on the softball diamond and can lock up first place with one more victory this weekend.

Sacred Heart and Saint Francis U are also the top-two names in the standings for both the women’s and men’s individual cups. SHU leads SFU in the women’s race while SFU has a similar advantage over SHU in the battle for the men’s title.

Sacred Heart and Fairleigh Dickinson are tied for the most Commissioner’s Cups all-time with six. SHU captured the Cup for the sixth time last spring, ending Bryant’s two-year run as overall champion.

Bobby Valentine’s Pioneers also won the Joan Martin Women’s Cup last year, but finished second to Bryant in the men’s race.

Cup points are awarded in each NEC sponsored sport. For men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s soccer, women’s volleyball, football, women’s bowling, softball, men’s and women’s lacrosse, and baseball, the final regular season standings are used to determine Cup points. Starting with the 2012-13 season, the Conference began awarding three bonus points to the NEC Tournament champion in those sports. In all other sports, points are awarded based on the finish at NEC Championship events.

 

THE CURRENT STANDINGS

 

TOP-3 FINISHERS IN 2015-16 RACES

Brenda Weare Commissioner’s Cup (Overall)

  1. Sacred Heart        210.68
  2. Bryant                   196.48
  3. Saint Francis U   190.21

Joan Martin Women’s Commissioner’s Cup

  1. Sacred Heart         123.99
  2. Saint Francis U     108.62
  3. Bryant                     101.28

NEC Men’s Commissioner’s Cup

  1. Bryant                   95.20
  2. Sacred Heart        86.69
  3. Saint Francis U    81.59

 

VIDEO VAULT

#Throwback: Saint Francis U SWA Erika Renwick speaks after the Red Flash captured the 2014 Joan Martin Women’s Cup