Jackson was named the overall Team MVP. A native of Pennsville, N.J., Jackson, after playing three years at fullback, made the highly-unusual switch to offensive center in pre-season training camp at the request of the coaching staff. Jackson willingly gave up the glamour spot in order to fill a need, and went on to become First Team All-Empire 8 and All-ECAC Northwest, despite the lack of experience. Jackson was certainly rewarded for his efforts last night.
Both Jackson and Caporale, each a captain, played through a number of nagging injuries throughout the season, limiting full effectiveness.
Caporale, a senior from Closter, N.J., led the Pride defense in tackles for the third straight year with 84 stops, including 39 solos. He had three tackles-for-loss, two pass break-ups, and one fumble recovery. Besides All-ECAC, Caporale was named First Team All-Empire 8.
Other major award winners included junior defensive end Cody Flanigan (Auburn, N.Y.) as Most Improved Player; senior tight end J.P. Gagnon (North Syracuse, N.Y.) as Most Courageous Player; junior defensive back Jarred Burrell (Warwick, R.I.) as MVP Special Teams; and senior Greg Webster (Melrose, Mass.) as winner of the Keith Scholar Award (highest GPA). A captain, Webster has announced that he will be using a fifth-year of eligibility next season.
Both Webster and Flanigan were announced as captains for the 2009 season (a third captain will be announced in the fall.) Flanigan and Burrell were both named All-Empire 8 honorable mention last season.
Springfield will be looking to improve upon its 4-6 overall record in 2009.