Hudson Valley Football Opens Camp

CONTACT: Steve Mullen (518) 629-8063
FOR RELEASE: Immediate, Friday, August 13, 2004

Vikings Looking for Third Conference Championship in Four Years

Hudson Valley Community College will begin its 36th season of football at 9 a.m. on Saturday, August 14, when more than 100 players hit the practice field for the first time in 2004.

The Vikings return 25 players from last year's team that finished 8-2, won the Northeast Football Conference, and competed in The Graphic Edge Bowl.

Entering his seventh season, head coach Bob Jojo and the coaching staff must replace 19 starters from a year ago.

Leading the list of returning players are preseason junior college All-Americans Jonal-Saint-Dic (Elizabeth, NJ/Elizabeth High School) and Darnell Stapleton (Union, NJ/Union High School).

Saint-Dic, a defensive end, earned First Team All-Conference honors last season after recording 41 tackles and 9.5 sacks. He also had a team-high 19 tackles for loss, including three against Ellsworth Community College in The Graphic Edge Bowl.

The defense also should be bolstered by the return of linebacker Shonda Faulkner (Poughkeepsie/Poughkeepsie High School), who finished the 2003 season with 48 tackles and one sack; and defensive end Dan Hughes (Manlius/Fayetteville-Manlius High School), who used his redshirt season last year but showed great promise with three sacks in last season's Green-White Game. Defensive end James Brown (Danbury, CT/Danbury High School), a transfer from Dean College, also should strengthen the Vikings' defensive line.

The offensive line has the potential to be the strongest area of this year's club. Stapleton is one of two starters returning on the offensive line. He was a Second Team All-Conference selection last year at the right tackle position. Also returning is starting right guard Mike Izzo (Staten Island/Susan Wagner High School). Tackle Chris Schaefer (Coxsackie/Coxsackie-Athens High School) and guard Terrance Bynum (Brooklyn/Lincoln High School) also saw considerable playing time a year ago.

Hudson Valley opens its 10-game schedule on Saturday, September 4 in Newport, Rhode Island against Navy Prep.

The Vikings will attempt to earn their second consecutive conference title and third championship in the last four years in 2004, but will have to do it against a different conference format.

The Northeast Football Conference members approved the addition of Nassau Community College after SUNY Canton announced it was dropping its football program. Nassau was named the top National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) team of the 1990s.

In addition, the six-team conference will split into an East and West Division with the division winners meeting in a conference championship game on Saturday, November 13. Hudson Valley will be in the East Division with Nassau and Dean. The West Division will consist of Morrisville State College, Erie Community College and Alfred State College. Each team will play its division members twice and will meet the colleges outside its division once.