Hudson Valley Football Tradition Continues

CONTACT: Jeff Foley (518) 629-8085 or (518) 373-1262
FOR RELEASE: Immediate, Wednesday, July 12, 2000

Former Viking Gridiron Stars Name Next Stop

Eight Hudson Valley Community College football players recently announced their intentions to continue their athletic and academic careers at four-year colleges this upcoming school year. The transferring student-athletes are: Chris Breen (Troy), Jason Grabowski (Minisink Valley), Heith Insonia (Gloversville), Linwood Jones (Phoebus, Va.), Josh Miller (Taconic Hills), Mike Montejano (Albany), Seth Thomas (New Rochelle) and Dan Vergine (Ballston Spa). Four of these former Vikings will play at NCAA Division IAA colleges; the other four will attend Division II or III schools.

Vergine will be the most sorely missed of the bunch. A game-breaking running back who will play for IAA Western Carolina University in 2000, Vergine made the most of his sole season with the Vikings. After transferring to Hudson Valley from Alfred State, Vergine proceeded to smash Hudson Valley's single-season rushing record in 1999. He finished third in the nation among NJCAA Division III running backs with 1,250 yards, breaking Dennis Greene's 25-year-old school record.

Greene, a former All-American for the Vikings who is now the head football coach at Erie Community College, ran for 1,030 yards in 1972 and went on to play in both the World Football League and the Canadian Football League.

"A kid like Danny is going to be impossible to replace," said Bob Jojo, head coach of the Vikings. In two seasons at Hudson Valley, Jojo has steered the team to a 9-7 record. "With Danny, every time you give him the ball, there's an opportunity for to score from a distance. That's why he's a great player."

Vergine may be small in stature – 5-foot-8 and 186 pounds – but he's no stranger to big numbers. During his senior campaign at Ballston Spa High School, he rushed for 2,045 yards, averaging 12.5 yards per carry, and scored 26 touchdowns. In 1999 he averaged a whopping 9.0 yards per carry, breaking Richard Brady's 1969 Hudson Valley record (7.6), and scored 12 rushing touchdowns, just two shy of Greene's 1971 record.

"The numbers don't lie," Jojo said. "Players like Danny don't come around very often."

Chris Breen, a 6-foot, 225-pound linebacker who recorded a team-high 64 tackles in 1999, is transferring to Fordham University. Mike Montejano, who had 25 receptions in two seasons at Hudson Valley, will take his 6-foot-2, 214-pound frame to American International College. Jason Grabowski and Josh Miller, both offensive linemen who started 16 consecutive games for the Vikings, will attend Marist University. Defensive end Heith Insonia, who recorded 37 tackles and three sacks in 1999, is going to Southern Connecticut University. Linwood Jones, a defensive tackle who recorded five sacks and 57 tackles this past season, will play at Virginia State University. Running back Seth Thomas will attend SUNY Brockport.

"I'm glad our kids are moving on," Jojo said. "We've got a strong football history at Hudson Valley, with guys like Tim Brown and Cecil Doggette who have gone on and made a name for themselves. And I'm sure that tradition will continue. All the kids who graduated this year have the ability to make things happen on the field."

Hudson Valley Community College, located in Troy, offers more than 50 degree and certificate programs in four academic divisions; Business; Engineering and Industrial Technologies; Health Sciences; and Liberal Arts and Sciences. One of 30 community colleges in the State University of New York system, Hudson Valley has an enrollment of more than 9,000 students each year, and is known as a leader in distance learning initiatives and worker retraining.