WNE football receives votes in final national poll

SPRINGFIELD — Western New England University received 15 votes in the final America Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Division III Poll, which was released on Dec. 19.

The Golden Bears, who had received two votes back on Nov. 16 for the first time in program history, end the season ranked 32nd nationally.

Coach Keith Emery’s team was the highest ranked New England squad in the nation, finishing ahead of Amherst of the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) and New England Football Conference (NEFC) opponent Endicott, both of whom each received five votes.

Western New England enjoyed its best season ever this fall with a 10-2 record and placed first in the NEFC Boyd Division with a perfect 7-0 mark.

The Golden Bears captured their first ever NEFC title with a thrilling 20-13 overtime victory against Framingham State and made their inaugural appearance in the NCAA Division III Championship, dropping an opening round contest to Salisbury (Maryland) who was ranked ninth in the final AFCA Poll.

Undefeated Wisconsin-Whitewater (15-0) was ranked first after beating second-ranked Mount Union (Ohio) 13-10 in the NCAA Division III Championship Stagg Bowl game on Dec. 16 in Salem, Va.

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