SPRINGFIELD, Mass., October 16, 2006 - The Springfield College football team earned an impressive win at home this past Saturday (Oct. 14), defeating SUNY Brockport 27-3. Junior defensive back Paul Zalenski (Meriden, Conn.) led the stifling Pride defense, contributing with two interceptions and three deflected passes.
For his efforts, Zalenski was named the Empire 8 Co-Defensive Player of the Week, along with St. John Fisher senior inside linebacker Gene Lang. Coming into the contest Brockport was averaging 168 yards of passing per game, but Zalenski and the Pride secondary limited Brockport quarterback Zack Luke to 66 yards and three interceptions on 11-of-18 attempts.
In his junior season, Zalenski has become one of the premier pass defenders in the Empire 8 Conference. Zalenski’s four interceptions on the year rank him second among all Empire 8 Conference players (just behind teammate Joe Harasymiak) in that category. Zalenski is also tied for second in the Empire 8 Conference (behind Harasymiak) with eight pass break-ups. In addition to his shut-down pass defense, Zalenski added two tackles versus Brockport. Currently, Zalenski ranks eighth on SC with 19 tackles, including 12 solo stops.
With the win over Brockport, SC improves to 6-0 (2-0 Empire 8) on the season. SC holds the No.15 spot in this week’s Don Hansen Football Gazette rankings for Division III, while D3football.com has the Pride listed at No.17. This Saturday (Oct. 21), the Pride will travel to face the only other undefeated team in the conference, St. John Fisher (7-0, 3-0).
Paul is the son of Patricia Silvia and Paul Zalenski, Jr. Prior to coming to SC, Paul was a three-sport athlete at Platt High School in Meriden, Conn. Zalenski earned All- Conference honors during his senior year in football, indoor track, and baseball. At Springfield College, Zalenski is an occupational therapy major.