Tuesday, September 20, 2005


Hartford, Conn., Sept. 20 -- The Trinity College football team, which has posted an 8-0 record the last two seasons and won its third consecutive New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Championship title in 2004, will visit the Bates College Bobcats on Saturday, Sept. 24 at 1 p.m. in the 2005 season opener for both teams.

Trinity, which begins its sixth season under Head Coach Chuck Priore, leads the all-time series with Bates, 29-7. Trinity, which blanked the Bobcats, 49-0, in Hartford last fall, currently owns the longest winning streak in all of Division III football at 22 games, just two wins shy of the University of Southern California’s nation-best streak of 24 games. Trinity also needs just one win to tie the New England Division III record of 23 consecutive wins, held by Williams College. The Bantams have not lost a game since 2002 and have not lost a season opener since 1995.

Senior Bill Schweitzer (Alexandria, Va.) starts at quarterback against Bates, although classmate Josh Pitcher (Ogunquit, Maine) and sophomore Chandler Barnard (Lubbock, Texas) give the Bantams the rare luxury of three signal carriers capable of competing at a very high level. The three combined for 94 completions in 147 attempts for 1,161 yards in 2004 with 13 touchdown passes and just a single interception. Schweitzer, who transferred to Trinity from the University of Virginia, was 21-for-35 a year ago for 290 yards and three scores. Senior Daniel MacKay (Billerica, Mass.) and junior Chris Olenoski (Shelton, Conn.) lead the receiving corps after combining for 29 catches and 287 yards in 2004. Sophomores Justin Holiday (Philadelphia, Pa.) and Art Schweitzer (Alexandria, Va.) are among the other leading returning pass catchers, while Barnard will see time here as well. Sophomore Ben Willig (Barnegat, N.J.) is a quality tight end.

Offensively, junior Gennaro Leo (Everett, Mass.) returns at running back after an all-league season. He gained 727 yards last fall, after transferring to Trinity from Colgate, and scored a team-high 14 touchdowns (one receiving). Leo is ably backed up by classmates Jordan Quinones (Pottstown, Pa.) and Carlos Baz (Tequesta, Fla.), while Barnard is a lethal running threat at quarterback. The Bantam ball carriers will run behind Trinity’s least experienced offensive line in years, although 2004 All-NESCAC center and 2005 tri-captain Brian Dubiel (Avon, Conn.) will anchor the unit from a new position as the left guard. Sophomore John Mihalko (Shelton, Conn.) steps in at center, while senior John Curry (Wilton, Conn.) and sophomore Erik Jefferson (Leominster, Mass.) are the tackles, and sophomore Mike Robinson (Drexel Hill, Pa.) is the other guard.

Senior captain and three-time, All-NESCAC defensive end Michael Blair (Plymouth, N.H.) leads one of the nation’s perennially most stingy defenses, which also includes all-league honorees and senior captains Avon Morgan (Ridgewood, N.J.) and Kevin Quinn (Chicago, Ill.) at inside linebacker and cornerback, respectively.

Blair, an All-American wrestler and Trinity’s most likely All-American football candidate, had 35 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, and 7.5 sacks in 2004. Sophomore nose tackle Jeff Carpenter (Pottstown, Pa.) joins Blair of the defensive line after a promising rookie year, along with classmate Ryan Butler (Bettendorf, Iowa) at the other end.

Morgan led the Bantams in tackles last season with 55 and will be joined on the inside by junior Joe Penny (Friendswood, Texas), who made 36 tackles after transferring to Trinity from the University of Houston. Seniors Justin Gonzalez (Hebron, Conn.) and Ray Panza (Massapequa Park, N.Y.) both have considerable staring experience on the inside, as the Trinity linebacking corps is deep at all four spots. Senior Ryan Albrycht (Glastonbury, Conn.) and junior Christian Allen (Abington, Mass.) step in on the outside with sophomore Mark Rettig (North Branford, Conn.) and UConn transfer Christian Helies (Darien, Conn.) and others providing depth. Albrycht was third on the team in tackles with 38 as a starter last year.

In the secondary, Quinn recorded 24 tackles and two interceptions last year at one corner and junior Paul Mounds (East Hartford, Conn.) moves in at the other cover spot. Hard-hitting junior Michael Soules (Simsbury, Conn.) returns as a solid starter at free safety, and classmate Mark Randall (Wethersfield, Conn.) fills the shoes of All-American strong safety Aaron Goldstein who graduated in May. Sophomores Jared Boyd (Hackettstown, N.J.), at cornerback, and Matt Paradis (Lincoln, R.I.), a safety, will see significant time in the secondary.

Senior Tim Coughlin (Basking Ridge, N.J.) handles the punting duties after an All-NESCAC season in 2004. Olenoski is an excellent return man and the Bantam kick coverage has been second to none in Priore’s tenure. Juniors Kevin Swiniarski (Plymouth, Mass.) and Brett Sheridan (Glastonbury, Conn.) give Trinity two effective kickers.

The Bates football squad, under the direction of Head Coach Mark Harriman (7th season), was 2-6 in 2004 but suffered one and two-point losses to Colby and Tufts, respectively, and return 16 starters in 2005. Sophomore and 2005 NESCAC Rookie of the Year Brandon Colon (Manchester, N.H.) returns at quarterback, while junior Jamie Walker (Needham, Mass.) is a quality running back, and senior tri-captain John Pambianchi (Saugas, Mass.) is one of the league’s best offensive lineman. Junior defensive linemen Terence Ryan (Milton, Mass.) and Eric Obeng (Wellesley, Mass.) lead the Bobcat defense.


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