PAXTON, Mass. - Anna Maria College senior Matt Cantwell (Worcester, Mass.) has been selected as the AMC football program's first Team Captain, as announced by Head Coach Marc Klaiman on Friday afternoon. The AMCATS will begin their much anticipated inaugural season in the Fall of 2009.
Cantwell will be counted on to anchor the offensive line, as the first-year program looks to build from the inside out. "He's a great kid who's been with us since the inception of the program back in March of 2008", says Coach Klaiman. "We've talked about having guys jump in the boat and start rowing with us, and he's certainly done that."
With 100 players coming to camp this year, Cantwell will be expected to lead by example. He's is one of just two seniors currently on the roster, and will serve as a mentor for the younger players both on and off the field. "I look at it as a great honor to start a program", explains Coach Klaiman," and he realizes how much of an honor it is to be this program's first Captain".
The AMCATS will join the newly formed Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) in September of 2009. The Conference will be comprised of eight teams; along with Anna Maria the ECFC will include Becker College (Leicester, Mass.), Castleton State College (Castleton, Vt.), Gallaudet University (Washington, D.C.), Husson University (Bangor, Maine), Maritime College State University of New York (Throggs Neck, N.Y.), Mount Ida College (Newton, Mass.), and Norwich University (Northfield, Vt.). The NCAA Management Council has approved the formation of the new conference which will be in line for an automatic berth to the NCAA Division III Football Championship after two years of conference competition. "This is a great opportunity for our young program", says Coach Klaiman, "It gives us a goal to shoot for in the future."
The AMC Football Program recently added two knowledgeable assistant coaches in Michael Caira and Bob Frey. Caira has seven years of coaching experience, holding positions with UMass-Lowell, Assumption College, and Merrimack College. While at Merrimack, Coach Caira led his special teams unit to become the Division II National Leader in yards per kickoff three times. Frey comes to AMC with 24 years of coaching experience including stints at Manchester College, MacMurray College, Olivet College, and the well respected Mount Union College. While at MacMurray, Coach Frey led his team to six Conference Championships in nine seasons, compiling four of the best win-loss records in the program's history. He was named the Illini Badger Football Conference Coach of the Year three times, the SLIAC Coach of the Year twice, and the IBFC Co-Coach of the Year once. Frey will be AMC's Offensive Coordinator this season, and assumes the role with a proven track record; his1998 MacMurray team led all of Division III in scoring.
The AMCATS will be playing on a brand new synthetic turf field (pictured above) this season. With a new team, new facilities, and a new field, there are plenty of things to be excited about on the Anna Maria College Campus this year.