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Stonehill College opens its 2018 schedule with a new foe as it hosts Fairmont State University, receiving votes in the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Division II preseason poll, for a non-conference matchup as part of Kickoff Weekend at Timothy J. Coughlin (COG-lin), '80 Memorial Field at W.B. Mason Stadium tonight. The Skyhawks closed out 2017 with five wins over its last seven games, including back-to-back wins to wrap up the year, while the Fighting Falcons narrowly missed a spot in the NCAA Division II Playoffs with an 8-3 record overall, including 8-2 in the Mountain East Conference.
SkyhawksVision coverage of tonight's game is available via portal.stretchinternet.com/stonehill. Charlie Bergeron, the voice of the Skyhawks, returns for his 21st season of broadcasting the Skyhawks. Links to the webcast, as well as live stats will also be available via stonehillskyhawks.com. The game is also being broadcast back to the Fairmont area via WSKY 106.5 FM in Clarksburg, W.V. Calling the action are Travis Jones (play-by-play) and Duane Cochran (analyst).
New Look W.B.
W.B. Mason Stadium got a makeover during the summer months, with the orginal 2004 turf taken out and replaced by a new FieldTurf surface. The new turf design features a two-toned look to appear more like a natural cut grass surface, the Skyhawks S logo in the center, purple end zones, and new striping for the field hockey and women's lacrosse program as well as men's and women's soccer. The 8-lane track surrounding Coughlin field was also given a fresh layer of rubber, paint and new striping.
Fred C. Petti Award
At halftime of tonight's game, junior defensive lineman Michael Curtin (Sterling, Mass.) will be presented with the Fred C. Petti Male Scholar-Athlete Award for having the highest grade point average among all male student-athletes at Stonehill for the 2017-18 academic year. Curtin, a health science major, achieved a perfect 4.0 GPA for the year, has also earned NE10 Commissioner's Honor Roll and Athletic Director's Honor Roll status all four semesters to date and is a Division II ADA Academic Achievement Award recipient. It marks the second-straight year and third time over the last four years a football student-athlete has earned the Petti Male Academic Award.
Tonight marks the first meeting all-time between Stonehill and Fairmont State University. It also marks the first ever matchup between NE10 and Mountain East conference teams.
For the first time in six years, Stonehill will open its season against an opponent other than Bloomsburg with tonight's matchup with Fairmont State. The Skyhawks went 2-4 against the Huskies out of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) to kick off the last six seasons.
Stonehill fhas been picked to finish seventh in the Northeast-10 Conference preseason poll by the league's ten head coaches. The Skyhawks received 36 points to sit seventh in the poll, with defending NE10 Champions Assumption picked to capture its third title in four seasons with 77 points and six of ten first place votes. The Greyhounds edged out LIU Post for the top spot in the preseason poll, with the Pioneers receiving the remaining four first place votes and 76 points overall. Bentley is picked third with 63 points, with the New Haven fourth (57 points) and Southern Connecticut State (44) rounding out the top five. Merrimack (40) holds the sixth position in the poll, one spot ahead of Stonehill, followed by Pace (24) in eighth, American International (20) in ninth and Saint Anselm (13) in tenth to round out the poll..
Mitchell Award Watch List
Junior placekicker Matt Haite (Kingston, Mass.) has been named to The Fred Mitchell Award's Season Opening "Watch List" for the second-straight year for his excellence on the football field and for his continued community service efforts over his career. Haite, named to the Northeast-10 Conference All-Rookie Team as a freshman, earns a spot on the preseason watch list for the second-straight year as he continues to work his way up Stonehill's all-time record books. He is the second Skyhawks placekicker named to the Fred Mitchell Award preseason "watch list" after Steve Grzywacz '16 earned the honor prior to the 2014 season. Haite, who was also named to the Mitchell Award September "Watch List" as a freshman, is one of 34 placekickers from NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), NCAA Division II, NCAA Division III, NAIA and NJCAA named to the preseason list. He is one of 11 from NCAA Division II, including two from the NE10 and three from Super Region 1, named to the "Watch List." The Fred Mitchell Award is presented annually in December to a College Division kicker for excellence on the football field and in the community. Haite has an impressive list of community service under his belt, including volunteering for the Kingston Police Department's "Night Out" program, coaching and officiating in the NFL's Flag Football League in his hometown, while also coaching youth basketball with the Silver Lake Youth Basketball Association. He has cooked and served food at the Major John Bradford Homestead for the Jones River Historical Society in Kingston and volunteered his time at Angelo Elementary School in Brockton, Boston Higashi School for Autism and the Stonehill Farm.
Aye, Aye Captains
Seniors Mike Cordova (Oceanport, N.J.), John Ejiofor (Burlington Township, N.J.), Vandy Hall (Ewing, N.J.) and James Lam (Quincy, Mass.) have been elected captains by their teammates and the coaching staff for the 2018 season. It marks the first time Stonehill has had four captains since 2016 and the second-straight year it has had a two-year captain with Ejiofor returning as a captain for the second-straight season.