ROCHESTER, N.Y., November 18, 2005- Springfield College senior offensive lineman Jason Benguche (Housatonic, Mass.) and junior linebacker Andrew Madigan (New Britain, Conn.) have both been named to the 2005 Empire 8 Football All-Conference First Team, with Benguche a first team offensive selection, and Madigan tabbed as a first team defensive honoree.
Other SC student-athletes to be honored this season in the Empire 8 included junior defensive back Lucas Maciarello (Stillwater, N.Y.) as a second team defensive selection, sophomore quarterback Chris Sharpe (Derry, N.H.) as a Sportsman of the Year selection, offensive linemen Adam Feit (Chicopee, Mass.) and Marcello Mancini (Malden, Mass.) as honorable mention offensive selections, senior linebacker R.J. Perkins (Bridgeport, Conn.) as an honorable mention defensive honoree, and freshman Nick Ford (Laconia, N.H.) as a an honorable mention special teams selection.
Benguche, a graduate of Monument Mountain, had an extremely solid senior season on the offensive line for the Pride, as SC finished its season ranked third in all of Division III in rushing offense, averaging 339.6 yards per game. Madigan, a native of New Britain, Conn., was the anchor of the Pride defense in 2005, recording a team-best 105 tackles on the season. The junior compiled 53 solo tackles and 52 assisted stops on the year, to go along with six tackles for a loss (24 yards), one sack (10 yards), one interception, one fumble recovery, and a blocked kick.
Maciarello, a graduate of Schuylerville, led the team in interceptions this season, picking off five passes for a total of 94 yards in ’05. In the November 5th game against Hartwick in which SC won, 59-35, Maciarello tied a school record with three interceptions against the Hawks. On the season, Maciarello was third on the Pride in tackles, with a total of 52.
In the Empire 8 Conference this season, one member of each team was named that institution’s representative on the 2005 Football Sportsman of the Year Team. The Empire 8 emphasizes that “Competing with Honor and Integrity” is an essential component of a student-athlete’s experience in conjunction with an institution’s educational mission. These honorees have distinguished themselves and consistently exhibit the critical traits as outstanding sportsmen. For SC this season, the student-athlete that clearly fit all of these criteria was the Pride’s sophomore quarterback, Chris Sharpe.
Sharpe, a graduate of Pinkerton Academy, started the season in the halfback slot for SC. Sharpe was moved into the quarterback position midway through the season where he excelled, averaging 120.2 yards of total offense per game. Sharpe scored a team-high 14 touchdowns on the season and rushed for an average of 82.3 yards per game.
Feit, who resides in Chicopee, Mass., and Mancini, a native of Malden, Mass., were both named to the Empire 8’s honorable mention offensive team, as each contributed in a big way to the SC rushing game. Perkins, a graduate of Notre Dame, finished his senior season with 48 tackles (22 solo), good for fourth on the team. Perkins also added two tackles for a loss (four yards), one fumble recovery (nine yards) and one forced fumble. Ford, a member of the Laconia High School football team, returned 25 kicks for a total of 519 yards in his freshman campaign, averaging 20.8 yards per return with a long-return of 56. The 5-8, 150-pound first-year also returned 13 punts for a total of 94 yards, with a season-high punt return of 49 yards.
After dropping its first four games of the season, SC responded nicely, running off four of its final six contests to finish its 2005 campaign with a 4-6 overall mark. In its last two games, the Pride scored 59 points in each of them, beating its opponents by a combined 70 points (118-48).