GAMEDAY CENTRAL: Stonehill Kicks Off 2014 Season With #24/25 Bloomsburg

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Full Stonehill Game Notes

Tickets (Available game day at ticket booth):
$8.00 Adults
$5.00 (students & senior citizens)
12 and under are free
Stonehill students are admitted free with their HillCard

 Student-Athlete Spotlight with Brian Harrington

Coaches' Corner with Robert Talley

The Game: Stonehill College opens its 2014 season with a big non-conference battle with Bloomsburg (Pa.) University, ranked 24th in the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Division II preseason poll and 25th in the preseason poll, at Timothy J. Coughlin, '80 Memorial Field at W.B. Mason Stadium this afternoon. The Skyhawks are coming off their finest season in nearly 20 years after posting an 8-3 record overall, including 8-1 in the Northeast-10 Conference to claim a share of their first regular season title in program history, while the Huskies won the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Championship and earned an NCAA Tournament bid before finishing with a

Media Info: Live video of this afternoon's game is available on a pay-per-view basis ($6.99) via Charlie Bergeron, the voice of the Skyhawks, begins his 17th season of broadcasting the action powered by Pack Network. WHLM News Radio 930, 94.7, 104.3 is bringing the action back to Pennsylvania with Jim Doyle and Andy Ulicny calling the action.

Skyhawks Kickoff Weekend: This weekend marks the official start of the athletic calendar at Stonehill and across NCAA Division II. Stonehill's nationally-ranked field hockey program opened Kickoff Weekend with a 2-0 triumph over No. 5 Merrimack here last night. Field hockey, ranked No. 7 nationally, will host 8th-ranked East Stroudsburg (Pa.) here at W.B. Mason Stadium tomorrow at 1 p.m. Today's game also marks the football team's Purple & White Game for the season.

Against the Huskies: This afternoon marks the third meeting all-time between these two programs. Bloomsburg has won each of the previous two meetings which have kicked off the last two seasons for both programs, including a 41-13 triumph in Pennsylvania last year. The Huskies won their first visit to W.B. Mason with a 44-28 victory to open the 2012 campaign. Stonehill and Bloomsburg are in the first year of a second two year agreement between the two schools and the Skyhawks will return to Pennsylvania next fall to open the 2015 season. Stonehill head coach Robert Talley is 0-2 in his career against Bloomsburg.

Aye, Aye, Captains: Head Coach Robert Talley named seniors Lucas Brum (OL), Sterry Codrington (DB) and Brian Harrington (LB) as team captains for the 2014 season after a vote of the returning players last spring. The team will also typically have one game day captain chosen for his hard work during the week.

Preseason Predictions: Stonehill has been picked to finish third in the Northeast-10 Conference football preseason poll, as selected by the league's ten head coaches. Stonehill collected 67 points, including a first place vote, to earn its No. 3 preseason ranking by the league coaches – its highest NE-10 preseason ranking in program history. The Skyhawks received one less point than the New Haven (68 points) who is picked second, while defending Conference champions American International picked up 81 points and the remaining nine first place votes. Assumption and Merrimack (47 points each) were both picked fourth, while LIU Post (44 points) is sixth, Southern Connecticut State (37 points) seventh, Bentley (31 points) eighth, Saint Anselm (19 points) ninth and Pace (nine points) rounds out the poll in tenth.

Robert Talley

Record Talley: Stonehill head coach Robert Talley enters today's game with 36 career wins, tied for the most in the Skyhawks varsity era with Connie Driscoll, who posted a 36-24 record in his six seasons from 1993-98. Talley, who was a finalist for the 2013 Liberty Mutual Division II Coach of the Year Award and named the New England Football Writers Division II/III Coach of the Year last fall, is an even 36-36 over his eight year career at Stonehill.

Top Target: Senior wide receiver Nate Robitaille (Attleboro, Mass.) enters this afternoon's game just one touchdown reception shy of Stonehill's career record of 22 set by Dan Cahill, '96. Robitaille matched the program record with 13 touchdown catches in 2013, setting program single-season marks for receiving yards (1,229), receptions (91) and receptions per game (8.27). He also enters the season ranked fifth all-time with 1,709 career receiving yards - 733 yards shy of former teammate John Gomes, '13 record total of 2,442. Robitaille ranks third for career receptions with 124 - 49 behind Gomes record of 173.

Nobody Beats the Gryz: Junior kicker Steve Grzywacz (Manchester, N.H.) enters today's game with 19 career field goals made, just one shy of Stonehill's career record of 20 set by Joe Crowley, '04. Grzywacz's 29 career field goal attempts ranks second all-time behind Crowley's record 39 field goal attempts.

Lindy's Preseason All-American: Senior linebacker Brian Harrington (Rockland, Mass.) has been named a preseason All-American by Lindy's Sports after his recordbreaking season in 2013. Harrington was a finalist for the Inaugural Cliff Harris Award for the top small college defensive player in the country last season, earned the Gridiron Club of Greater Boston Joseph P. Zabilski Defensive Player of the Year Award, was named a Don Hansen Second Team All-American and Beyond Sports Network Honorable Mention All-American. Harrington collected Daktronics and Don Hansen All-Super Region 1 honors, was a New England Football Writers Division II/III All-New England pick and was selected as the NE-10 Defensive Player of the Year to go with All-Northeast-10 Conference First Team accolades last year.

Preseason All-Americans: Senior linebacker Brian Harrington (Rockland, Mass.) and senior wide receiver Nate Robitaille (Attleboro, Mass.) have also both picked up preseason All-America honors from Beyond Sports Network. Harrington was named to the preseason second team, while Robitaille collected preseason third team honors.

Brian Harrington

Beyond Sports Network Preseason All-Northeast-10: Senior All-American linebacker Brian Harrington (Rockland, Mass.) highlights nine players selected as preseason All-Northeast-10 selections by Beyond Sports Network. Joining Harrington in the accolades are junior running back Colin Markus (Monroe, Conn.), senior wide receiver Nate Robitaille (Attleboro, Mass.), senior offensive lineman Tom Linden (Durham, Conn.), senior defensive lineman Eric Schneider (Ventura, Calif.), who will miss the season to injury, senior defensive backs Sterry Codrington (Freehold, N.J.) and Nate Morris (Bristol, R.I.), junior kicker Steve Grzywacz (Manchester, N.H.) and senior punter Ryan Handy (Howell, N.J.).

Making an IMPACT: The Stonehill College football team is proud to have Nick Claudio (Mattapoisett, Mass.) as a part of its program through Team IMPACT (Inspire, Motivate, Play Against Challenges, Together) for his second season. Team IMPACT is a New England based non-profit that aims at improving the quality of life for kids facing life-threatening illnesses by creating unparalleled team based support systems with area college athletic teams. Nick is the latest from Team IMPACT to join the Skyhawk family as the football team joins the men's and women's basketball, field hockey and ice hockey teams to be involved with the program. Nick, 13-years old, was diagnosed with a brain tumor on his optic nerve in July, 2010, that put so much pressure on his optic nerve that it led to losing his vision. He has remained upbeat, being quoted as saying in a recent news article, "A loss of sight is never a loss of vision, you need to be able to look forward and keep moving." After losing his vision, he has adapted to life being blind by teaching himself braille, learning to ski and graduating from his elementary school at the top of his class. In July 2012, doctors found two additional tumors, one on his auditory nerve. In an effort to save his hearing, doctors opted to treat it with chemo and radiation rather than doing surgery which carries the threat of him going deaf.  

Academic Success: Stonehill College has been recognized for its academic performance with regard to graduation rate by earning a 97-percent Academic Success Rating (ASR) as released by the NCAA last December. The ASR considers the academic success rate of the institution based on the graduation rate of student-athletes while also giving credit for any student-athletes that transferred from the institution while in good academic standing. In addition to Stonehill's overall ASR of 97%, ten of Stonehill's 16 athletic programs (cross country and indoor and outdoor track & field are combined by the NCAA) received perfect scores of 100%. Stonehill's 97% ASR ranks second among NE-10 institutions behind just Saint Michael's College (98%) and ranks fifth overall in NCAA Division II. The football team maintained an ASR of 92% - signifigantly higher than the federal rate of 79%. For its performance, Stonehill earned the NCAA Division II Presidents' Award for the third straight year.

For Henry: The Stonehill football team continues to maintain locker in a place of prominence in the team lockerroom for Henry Thevenin, '14, who passed away due to complications from leukemia in June 2011 after his freshman season. In week one of the 2011 season against Curry, the team honored Thevenin by playing its first defensive play with ten players. Thevenin appeared in seven games for the football team, starting the last six, as a freshman in 2010. He totaled 18 tackles, eight solo, with a pass breakup for the Skyhawks. Thevenin was a 2009 graduate of nearby Brockton High School and prepped one year at Suffield Academy in Connecticut.

Leaders of the Pack: For the sixth-straight year, Stonehill College is partnering with Pack Network to provide live "Packcasts" of all home football and men's and women's basketball games along with other select athletic events. Fans can access the webcasts via Viewers can opt to purchase single-game passes for $6.99 or purchase an "All-Access" pass for $59.99. All-Access pass members can view all Stonehill webcasts for the entire year, while also gaining access to the archives and be able to watch the webcasts at any time. Games can also be viewed on your iPad or iPhone.

Getting Social: Fans and media members of Stonehill athletics now have two social media outlets to get updates on all 20 varsity programs. The department's Facebook page is, and you can also follow @SkyhawkTalk on Twitter!

On Deck: Stonehill has a short week ahead of it as the Skyhawks will head to Waltham, Mass., to battle rival Bentley University next Friday, September 12, at 7 p.m. The Skyhawks are on the road again in week three for a rematch of the 2013 NE-10 Championship at American International College on Saturday, September 20, at 1 p.m., before returning home the following Saturday, September 27, to host Merrimack College on Family Weekend at 6 p.m.

Stonehill Stops Bentley, 24-17
September 12, 2014 Stonehill Stops Bentley, 24-17