Harrington collects first team All-Super Region 1 honors for first time
Robitaille selected to first All-Region second team
EASTON, Mass. (January 9, 2014) – Two members of the Northeast-10 Conference regular season champion Stonehill College football team have earned Don Hansen Football Gazette All-Super Region 1 honors for the first time in their careers.
Stonehill junior linebacker Brian Harrington (Rockland, Mass./Rockland), a Cliff Harris Award finalist for the Small College Defensive Player of the Year and winner of the Joseph P. Zabilski Defensive Award from the Gridiron Club of Greater Boston, has been selected to the All-Region first team, while junior wide receiver Nate Robitaille (Attleboro, Mass./Attleboro) earned a spot on the second team.
Harrington, who collected honorable mention All-America honors from Beyond Sports Network and will receive his Zabilski Award at the Gridiron Club's Bob Whelan College Football Awards Night in Waltham, Mass., tonight, earns Don Hansen All-Region honors for the first time after being named to the Daktronics All-Super Region 1 first team last month. He has also earned New England Football Writers College Division All-New England and first team All-Northeast-10 Conference honors this season and was also named D2Football.com's Defensive Player of the Year for the NE-10.
Junior Brian Harrington adds his second first team All-Region award to his list of accolades from his recordbreaking season. (PHOTO BY Bob Blanchard)
Harrington, a four-time NE-10 Defensive Player of the Week this season, led the Conference this fall with a league and program record 151 tackles, which leads the Conference, ranks fourth nationally and is currently the 11th-highest single-season total in Division II history. He posted double-figure tackles in ten of Stonehill's 11 games and had 16 or more stops in six games. Harrington registered a career-high 17 tackles in an overtime win at Assumption College on September 20 and matched in the NE-10 Championship at American International College on November 16. He posted a career-best 11 solo tackles in a win at Southern Connecticut State University on October 12 and matched at AIC in the NE-10 title game.
Harrington leads the NE-10 with his 73 solo tackles (6th nationally) and 78 tackle assists to go with 7.0 tackles for a loss of 30 yards, including 2.5 sacks for a loss of 16, two forced fumbles, a fumble recovery and pass breakup. He was a leading force for a Stonehill defense which finished the season ranked second in the NE-10 for scoring defense (24.3 ppg), third in passing defense (246.8 yds/gm) and forced a league-high 30 turnovers, including a Conference best 14 fumble recoveries, and finished fourth for sacks (21). His 13.7 tackles per game ranks third nationally.
Harrington earned a starting role on the defensive unit after gaining experience as a member of the Stonehill special teams units as a freshman and sophomore, being named the Skyhawks Special Teams Player of the Year by the coaching staff in 2012. He has played 31 games over his career, starting all 11 this season, and has posted 176 career tackles (87 solo). Of his record 151 tackles this season, 105 came against the run, more than double his next teammate. Harrington has earned NE-10 Commissioner's Honor Roll all four semesters completed at the College and Athletic Director's Honor Roll two semesters.
Junior Nate Robitaille earns his second All-Super Region 1 second team award to his recordbreaking season. (PHOTO BY Andrew Katsampes)
Robitaille adds his first Don Hansen All-Super Region 1 selection after also collecting Daktronics All-Region second team honors last month. The first offensive player from Stonehill to ever receive All-Region recognition, Robitaille has also been named to the New England Football Writers Division II/III All-New England team and was an All-NE-10 first team pick this fall as well. He started all 11 games for Stonehill and cemented himself as one of the top receivers in the region after emerging as a sophomore. Robitaille leads the NE-10 with his program record 1,229 receiving yards (15th nationally) and 111.7 yards per game (15th), while his school-record 91 receptions is third in the Conference (10th) and his record matching 13 touchdown catches are good for second (12th). His 8.3 receptions per game have also shattered the previous single-season mark at Stonehill, while his 13.5 yards per catch ranks tenth in the league.
Robitaille set a program record with his 1,608 all-purpose yards this season, ranking fifth in the NE-10 (36th), as he finished the year averaging 26.6 yards on 13 kickoff returns – the fifth-highest return average in program history. Robitaille posted seven 100-plus yard receiving games this season, recording ten-plus receptions on four occasions and collecting a touchdown catch in nine of 11 games, including each of the last six games of the season. His career-high 13 receptions for a career-best 190 yards and two touchdowns in the Skyhawks 41-38 overtime win at Assumption College is the second-highest reception total and fourth-highest receiving yardage total in program history. Robitaille earned NE-10 Offensive Player of the Week honors after his three touchdown performance against LIU Post and he was also named to the NE-10 All-Championship team this season.
Robitaille has played 30 games over his three seasons at Stonehill and will enter his senior season on the cusp of adding several career receiving records to his resume. He has registered 122 career receptions for 1,666 yards and 20 touchdowns, ranking second in program history for career touchdowns, third in career receptions and fifth for career yardage. Robitaille's 78 points scored this season is the second-highest single-season total in program history and ranks sixth in the NE-10 this fall. He was named to the NE-10 Commissioner's Honor Roll the spring semester of his sophomore year.
Stonehill posted its best season in nearly 20 years this fall as it finished with an 8-3 record overall, including an 8-1 mark in the Northeast-10 to earn a share of its first NE-10 regular season championship. The Skyhawks posted their first winning season since an 8-2 campaign in 1996 and fell a win shy of the single-season program record of nine in 1995. Stonehill finished above .500 in NE-10 play for the second-straight year and third time in head coach Robert Talley's seven seasons at the helm.
Stonehill appeared among teams receiving votes in the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Division II poll for the first time in program history six weeks this fall, including five straight leading up to Saturday's NE-10 Championship appearance, and was ranked in each of the NCAA Division II Super Region 1 rankings this fall. Stonehill is also ranked sixth in this week's ECAC Lambert Meadowlands poll, after being ranked as high as fifth this season.