Head Coach Clayton Kendrick-Holmes, Connor McDaniel and Nick Conte preview the upcoming season for the Privateers.
THROGGS NECK, N.Y. – The Maritime Privateers football squad is coming off of a six-win season, which saw the team reach postseason play for the second time in program history. Under the direction of head coach Clayton Kendrick-Holmes, the Privateers will look to use last year's postseason experience to propel them to the top of the ECFC standings.
Maritime returns one D3football.com All-East Region selection in senior kicker Matthew Murphy, and also returns five other key returners, who were acknowledged by the ECFC at the end of last season. Senior offensive lineman Thomas Korwan and Murphy were both All-League First Team in 2016, while senior defensive back Joshua Burris, offensive lineman Connor McDaniel, and wide receiver Matt Ward were all Honorable Mention choices by the ECFC coaches.
Korwan and McDaniel will serve as two of the team's six captains. The duo is joined by senior linebackers Craig Hinrichs, and Kendal Parker, tight end Jacob Shinnick, and defensive back Nick Conte as leaders of the team in 2017.
The Privateers will play three non-conference games against familiar foes with Maine Maritime, Mass. Maritime and Merchant Marine. The team will also welcome a pair of new league opponents with Alfred State and Dean replacing the departing Becker Hawks to the Commonwealth Coast Conference, and Norwich to the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference.
With very evenly split numbers between the two at the quarterback position, the Privateers have two viable options at the signalcaller position. Junior Thomas Wright was the starter at the beginning of the season and threw for 968 yard and six touchdowns before an injury sent the Privateers to Joseph Butterworth. In eight games as both a starter and in relief, Butterworth threw for a team-best eight touchdowns to go along with 860 yards.
Junior quarterbacks Sean Varela, and Drew Napoliello, along with sophomores Isaiah Shamoun and Robert Wheeler will serve as the next string of quarterbacks for the Privateers.
In the backfield the Privateers will rely on seniors Chris Olberding and Devin Kenny as the only two with experience heading into 2017. Olberding ran for 58 yards in 10 games, while Kenny added 36 yards in eight contests last season. Junior Karl Riek will be transitioning from defensive back to running back and look to push the incumbents for playing time.
Maritime will utilize a new wrinkle in their offense with the addition of the H-back position, similar to a tight end role both Shinnick and fellow senior Mike Yorkey may get the first looks in the role beginning in 2017. A year ago Shinnick had three grabs for 54 yards.
Ward returns as Maritime's lone senior wideout after a record-breaking 2016 season, which saw him become the first Privateer to haul in over 400 yards in a season at 489 total yards a year ago to go along with four touchdowns.
Junior Christian Castle was third on the team in 2016 with 279 yards, while classmate Cormac Quigley found a niche with Buttterworth and caught two passes for 75 yards. Junior Sean O'Connor had five catches for 47 yards in his second year with the team. Junior Ethan Mora and sophomores Zach Shearer and William Patsakos will look for time on the field heading into year two with the team.
McDaniel and Korwan have been anchoring the line on offense for the better part of two seasons, joined alongside fellow senior Patrick Conlon, who started in five games as a junior.
Juniors William Le Claire, Dean Lynch and Nicholas Acevedo played large roles for the Privateers as sophomores and will use last years' experience to build towards another strong year. Junior Kevin Poissant was also a valuable asset as the primary snapper for both punt and field goal situations.
Sophomores Tom MacCarthy and Michael Korwan round out a stacked offensive line group that will be back with the Privateers heading into the 2017 campaign.
Twenty-seven newcomers join the offense including nine offensive linemen, nine wide receivers, five running backs and three quarterbacks.
Leading the charge on the defensive line will be senior Wesley Joseph, who led the team with seven sacks for a loss in 36 yards. Joseph also had the fourth-highest tackling total on the team with 58 stops on the year.
Fellow senior Billy Silke had 20 tackles in nine of the team's 11 games last season, while junior Payton Campbell was amongst the team leaders with 53 tackles on the year a season ago. Junior Jack Johnson also had 13 stops, while classmate Steven Fehr will also be back for his third season on the defensive line.
Sophomore Alex Cappellino leads the sophomore group with 11 tackles including 1.5 sacks, classmates Dennis Hanley, Bradley Sick, and Marc Laurenti add depth to the defensive line.
Parker will lead the linebacking unit after a 58-tackle junior season, and also added one interception a season ago. Hinrichs chimed in with 37 tackles including 2.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage. Senior Paul LaMarca returns after missing the latter portion of last season due to injury, while Daniel Hink is also back for his fourth season with the team.
Juniors Jabari Corsfield, John O'Connor, and William O'Brien are all back for their third seasons, while sophomore linebacker Liam Bailey looks to build off his career-high 15 tackles in the ECAC Bowl Game heading into his second season. Sophomore John Blake is healthy and looking to make an impact for the Privateers in his first season on the field.
With the dynamic pairing of Conte and classmate Garrett Stryzs locking down opponents' aerial attacks over the last three years, the pair will look to cap off their careers in strong fashion. Conte had 53 stops and two interceptions while Stryzs added 44 tackles with a pair of forced fumbles.
Arguably Maritime's deepest crop of returners will also feature Burris, who had Maritime's seventh all-time interception returned for a touchdown last season to go along with 11 tackles and six pass breakups. The deep group also features seniors Ryan McGrath, Ryan Goggin, Anthony Mainella, Bruce Kopka, Tim Isidore, along with juniors Matthew Mavrovich, and Calvin Tanguay along with sophomore Justin Snuffer.
A total of 21 newcomers join the Privateers as new additions to the squad in 2017 including seven defensive linemen, nine linebackers and five defensive backs.
Murphy will be pulling double duty in 2017 as he will handle both kicking and punting responsibilities. Last season as a junior he handled just kicking duties and converted on 14 of his 23 attempts including a season-long 46 yarder at Anna Maria. Murphy also set the program record with four made field goals at home the following week against Becker.
One additional kicker will join the team for his first year with the squad in 2017.
Maritime opens up the year with Maine Maritime on Saturday, September 2 on Reinhart Field at 12:00 p.m. The team travels to take on Mass. Maritime on the Mass. Maritime Buccaneers on Friday, September 8 before visiting Merchant Marine on September 16.
Conference play begins at home on September 30 with Alfred State, before the team heads on the road to face defending ECFC Champion Husson in Maine for the final time as conference opponents.
Homecoming is October 14 against Anna Maria at 2 p.m., before the team visits Mount Ida. Castleton visits Throggs Neck on October 28, before the final road game of the season takes place at conference-newcomer Dean to open up November. The Privateers will end the season with Gallaudet for the ninth consecutive year with this year's meeting coming on Reinhart Field.