Three Hudson Valley Players Sign National Letters of Intent

CONTACT: Steve Mullen (518) 629-8063
FOR RELEASE: Immediate, Wednesday, February 5, 2003

Anthony Martinez and Buchie Ibeh Choose Temple while Francis Brown is off to Western Carolina

Three Hudson Valley Community College student-athletes made their future intentions known today when they signed National Letters of Intent to play football and continue their educations for the next two years. Tight end Anthony Martinez (Albany/Colonie High School) and wide receiver Buchie Ibeh (East Orange, NJ/Clifford J. Scott High School) have chosen to attend Temple University. Defensive back Francis Brown (Camden, NJ/Woodrow Wilson High School) will attend Western Carolina University.

Martinez, who spent four years in the United States Army before attending Hudson Valley, earned Second Team All-Northeast Football Conference honors in 2002 after leading the Vikings with 26 pass receptions for 358 yards and three touchdowns.

Ibeh, who runs a 4.4-second 40-yard dash, made the transition to wide receiver in 2002 after playing defensive back for Hudson Valley in 2001. He caught six passes for 113 yards and one touchdown in 2002.

A Second Team All-Northeast Football Conference performer in 2002, Brown led the league with five interceptions. He finished fourth on the team with 40 tackles and he was first on the club with nine pass breakups.

Under head coach Bobby Wallace, Temple finished the year with a 4-8 record, including a 2-5 mark in the Big East Conference. The Owls' biggest win may have been a 17-16 victory over Syracuse University on October 12. Temple runs a balanced offense, gaining 2,166 yards through the air and 1,647 yards on the ground last year.

Located in Cullowhee, North Carolina, Western Carolina is a member of the very competitive Southern Conference, which includes six-time NCAA Division I-AA national champion Georgia Southern University. Former Hudson Valley defensive back Derrick Black was a First-Team All-Southern Conference performer in 2002 with Appalachian State University. Western Carolina finished the 2002 season with a 5-6 mark. Kent Briggs is the head coach of the Catamounts.

Over the past three years, Hudson Valley football players have went on to play at the University of Illinois, University of Pittsburgh, Louisiana Tech University, University of Buffalo, Appalachian State University, Florida A&M University and the University at Albany.

Hudson Valley's football program was established in 1969. At the time, Hudson Valley was one of only two junior colleges in New York to field a varsity football team. Since then, nearly 300 Hudson Valley football players have earned scholarships to four-year schools and 15 have gone on to play professionally. The Vikings competed in the Coca-Cola Bowl in Iowa in 1980. In 1996, Hudson Valley posted an 8-0 record, part of a dominant stretch that included 15 straight victories.

John Reagan, Temple's offensive line coach, can be reached for quotes at (215) 605-2371 and Matt Rhule, Western Carolina's special team's coordinator and linebackers coach, can be reached at (828) 227-2038.