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Four Football Players Named All-ECAC; Marrero Earns ECAC North Offensive Rookie of the Year Honors

Four Members of the Pride Named All-ECAC; Marrero Earns ECAC North Offensive Rookie of the Year Honors  Centerville, Mass. -- December 12, 2012 -- Four members of the Springfield College football team have been named to the ECAC Division III North All-Star Team, including Offensive Rookie of the Year Jonathan Marrero, a freshman quarterback.

The others named to the ECAC Division III North squad include senior fullback Joel Altavesta (Tewksbury, Mass.), senior offensive lineman Duke Ekblom (Ganesvoort, N.Y.), and sophomore defensive end Max Nacewicz (Newtown, Conn.).

This foursome had primary responsibility in leading the Pride to an 8-3 overall record this past season, including a 5-2 mark in SC's initial campaign in the Liberty League. The Pride won its last five games, including a 31-8 win over Alfred in the season finale, the ECAC Northeast Bowl Championship game at SC's Amos Alonzo Stagg Field.

Marrero, who hails from Boston, Mass., took over the starting role in the third quarter of game #4 after SC's first two starting QB's suffered season-ending injuries. Marrero ran for 794 yards and 10 TDs in 141 carries, averaging a team-best 88.2 yards per game. He was named the Liberty League Rookie of the Year, the Most Outstanding Player of the ECAC Northeast Championship Bowl game, and a Gold Helmet weekly award winner for his seven-TD effort in a 66-13 victory versus the Merchant Marine Academy on Oct. 13. He is also a primary reason SC is currently ranked No. 2 nationally in passing efficiency (186.55 rating). He passed for 533 yards and 10 more TDs, completing 24 passes in 48 attempts, while throwing just two interceptions on the season.

Altavesta led SC in rushing yards with 949 in 171 attempts. He also led the squad in rushing TDs with 12 and averaged 86.3 yards per game. Remarkably he lost just 14 yards total in those 171 carries. Altavesta was named a First Team Beyond Sports Network All-American from his fullback position, First Team All-Liberty League, in addition to All-ECAC North.

A third member of the SC offense was also named All-ECAC North -- lineman Duke Ekblom. The offensive tackle has also this season been named First Team All-Liberty League, First Team All-New England (Division II-III), and First Team d3football.com All-East Region. Earlier this year in a 62-23 win at WPI, Ekblom and the remaining members of the offensive line were named to the d3football.com National Team of the Week for producing 503 yards of rushing offense. Ekblom is part of an offensive line that is currently responsible for SC's No. 2 national ranking in rushing offense (340.91 yards per game).

The final member of this foursome is the only one representing the defense and the only underclassman of the group. A sophomore who started all 11 games, Nacewicz played defensive end. He was also named First Team All-Liberty League, First Team All-New England (Division II-III), and First Team d3football.com All-East Region. He finished as SC's 6th-leading tackler with 49 stops, 33 of which were solos. He was credited with 20.5 tackles-for-loss (for 133 yards) and 14.5 sacks (for 114 yards). With only the D3 national championship game remaining to be played, he is currently ranked 14th nationally with 1.86 tackles-for-loss per game, and tied for 6th nationally with 1.32 sacks per game. He also had one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, one pass break-up, and one pass deflection on the year.

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Head Coach Mike DeLong

Head Coach Mike DeLong Mike DeLong enters his 32nd season as a head football coach in the fall of 2013, including his 30th year as the head coach at his alma mater, Springfield College. To date, DeLong currently has the second-most career wins of any active Division III football coach. Read more.

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