Vikings Football: Ranked 25th And On The Upswing
CONTACT: Jeff Foley (518) 629-8085 or (518) 373-1262
FOR RELEASE: Immediate, Friday, July 27, 2001
Team's Media Day Scheduled For August 24
Hudson Valley Community College's football team,
which will open the upcoming campaign on the road against Northeast Football
Conference rival Lackawanna College of Pennsylvania, at 1 p.m. on September
1, is ranked 25th in the recently released 2001 NJCAA preseason poll.
"It's always a good game when we play them,"
said Bob Jojo, Hudson Valley's head coach. "We match up very well, and
it'll be an exciting way to kick off the season."
Playing in Troy last year, Lackawanna overcame wide
receiver Shawn Miller's explosive collegiate debut to escape with a 28-21
win. Miller, a Troy High graduate who garnered Honorable Mention All-American
status at the end of the 2000 season, finished the game with 177 receiving
yards, just three shy of Hudson Valley's single-game record (Jay Kearney
picked up 180 yards against Ithaca's JV in 1990).
The Vikings, who posted a 6-3 record and won the
NJCAA Region III title, have not been ranked in the top 25 in recent memory.
"That ranking is a sure sign that the program is
on the upswing," Hudson Valley athletics director Drew Marrochello said.
"People are taking note of Hudson Valley the way they did when guys like
Ralph Barone, Cecil Doggette and Ted Fornicola wore green and white. And
I'd say the attention is due in large part to guys like Derrick Black,
Greg Barthelemy, Spencer Young, Jim Canfield, and all our local student-athletes."
All four of the above-mentioned players graduated
after the 2000 campaign and earned full football scholarships to DI colleges.
Black transferred to Appalachian State; Barthelemy went to Southwest Missouri
State; Young will play next at Louisiana Tech; and Canfield took his many
attributes to Fordham University.
Canfield's accomplishments are particularly interesting,
since he fit in well with one of Jojo's philosophy: Win with as many intelligent
players as possible.
Canfield, a defensive back/scholar who was a key
member of a Hudson Valley secondary that allowed just 73 yards passing
per game in 2000, also played for Troy High's 1996 state championship team.
In addition to being a Section II athlete who proved to be a solid collegiate
football player – he recorded five interceptions and 60 tackles in 2000
– Canfield carried a 3.54 grade point average and earned Hudson Valley's
Otto Guenther Memorial Award, presented each year to the individual who
demonstrates the best combination of academic and athletic success.
"Jim came up big for us on and off the field last
year," Jojo said. "He was a leader, and he'll do well at Fordham. They
got a good player and a good person. And thanks to players like Jim, not
only did we win games last year, we had the highest cumulative GPA of any
football team in Hudson Valley's history. We were near a ‘B' overall."
Things also look good for the Vikings this year.
Offensively, Hudson Valley returns a pair of experienced
quarterbacks (Justin Kastner of Hudson, the starter in 2000, and Saratoga's
Dylan Cooper, the 1999 starter) and a pair of talented receivers (Miller,
who had a school-record 11 catches against Navy Prep in 2000, and Derrick
Dyer of Rochester, who stands 6-foot-4 and runs a 4.5-second 40-yard dash).
On defense, sophomores Severino Sangro and Keith
Hill, both solid DI prospects, will lead the way. Sangro, of Montrose,
is a 6-foot-6, 310-pound left tackle. Hill, who hails from Pittsburgh,
Pennsylvania, stands 6-foot-2 and weighs 255 pounds. The linebacker had
52 tackles last year.
"If we can have a solid training camp and avoid injuries,
we should be in good shape," Jojo said. "We've got some great returnees,
some incoming players who have a chance to make an impact, and we've just
got to get ourselves ready for Lackawanna. It's nice to be ranked in the
top 25, but that's just a preseason poll. Now we've got to get ready to
earn the ranking."
Training camp begins on August 9. The football team's
media day is scheduled for Friday, August 24, from 2 to 3 p.m. in the McDonough
In the 2000-01 academic year, Hudson Valley's ice
hockey team won the NJCAA championship, the baseball team earned a berth
in the NJCAA World Series and the football team won the Region III title.
The women's basketball team earned a No. 1 national ranking and turned
in a 24-3 record while the men's hoop squad competed in the Region III
championship game. Hudson Valley's athletic teams combined to win 72 percent
of their contests in 2000-01. Additionally, two Vikings earned Region III
Player-of-the-Year status, 20 were named All-Region III performers, and
10 were honored with All-American status.