American International Ranked Atop Northeast-10 Football Coaches’ Preseason Poll

American International Ranked Atop Northeast-10 Football Coaches’ Preseason Poll


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August 29, 2013

Yellow Jackets come in just ahead of
defending conference champion New Haven

SOUTH EASTON, Mass. – American International College received five first-place votes and 75 points overall to take the top spot in the 2013 Northeast-10 Conference Football Coaches' Preseason Poll, the conference office announced on Thursday morning.

The University of New Haven (10-1, 8-0 NE-10), the defending Northeast-10 Champions, finished just two points back of American Int'l (7-3, 7-1 NE-10) in the voting, as the Chargers received 73 points and three first-place votes.

Bentley University (8-2, 6-2 NE-10) finished third in the poll with 61 points, while Long Island University Post finished fourth with 60 points and a pair of first-place votes. Merrimack College (6-4, 4-4 NE-10) rounded out the top-five with 44 points.

Making up the remainder of the poll was Southern Connecticut State University (3-8, 2-6 NE-10) with 42 points, Stonehill College (5-5, 5-3 NE-10) with 41 points, Assumption College (3-7, 3-5 NE-10) with 24 points, Saint Anselm College (2-9, 1-7 NE-10) with 21 points and Pace University (0-9, 0-8 NE-10) with nine points.

For the complete poll results, please see below.

Poll-topper American Int'l earned its spot in the inaugural Northeast-10 Football Championship game a year ago by virtue of finishing second in the regular-season standings. The team's three losses in 2012 all came to NCAA-bound programs, twice to conference rival New Haven and once to Shepherd.

The Yellow Jackets, who won three conference games by four points or less last season, are led by quarterback Kevin Arduino (pictured). Last fall, the junior threw for 1,690 yards, ran for 573 yards and totaled 20 touchdowns. Senior running back Terrell Williams is also back after a 2012 season in which he ran for 931 yards and reached paydirt seven times.

New Haven, coming off back-to-back NCAA appearances, has gone an impressive 22-2 in Northeast-10 play since the 2010 season, including a perfect 16-0 league mark the last two years combined. The Chargers had 14 players receive All-Conference honors last fall, although 13 were seniors.

Returning for New Haven, ranked No. 12 in the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Preseason Poll, will be senior running back Mike DeCaro, who ran for 616 yards and totaled 11 touchdowns last season. The Chargers also took a major step forward defensively in 2012, allowing a conference-low 154 points in 11 games.

American Int'l and New Haven will match up on Saturday, November 2 at DellaCamera Stadium in West Haven, Conn.

Bentley lost only to the aforementioned Yellow Jackets and Chargers during the 2012 campaign. Both quarterback Danny Guadagnoli, a senior, and wide receiver Jeff Hill, a junior, will return to the Falcons this fall. A year ago, Guadagnoli totaled 19 touchdowns while Hill had 55 catches, including 10 touchdowns, for 995 yards, good for a 19.5 yard per-catch average.

LIU Post, which spent the past five seasons playing in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC), is returning to the Northeast-10 as an associate member after leaving the conference following the 2007 season.

Pioneers head coach Bryan Collins, entering his 16th season at the helm of the program, will turn to quarterback Steve Laurino this fall. In nine games last season, the redshirt junior threw for 1,502 yards, rushed for 255 on the ground and had 21 total touchdowns.

Merrimack quarterback Joe Clancy is back for his senior year after the Newburyport, Mass. native was named the 2012 Northeast-10 Offensive Player of the Year for the Warriors, who will be led by first-year coach Dan Curran. Clancy led the conference in virtually every major passing category a year ago, including completions (323), completion percentage (63.3), yards (3,945), yards per game (394.5) and touchdowns (31).

Picked sixth in the poll, So. Connecticut returns the conference's leading rusher in senior Vaughn Magee. Magee topped 1,100 yards last season, averaging 126.8 rush yards per contest with eight touchdowns. He ran for 297 yards and four scores late last September in a matchup against Saint Anselm.

Stonehill, selected seventh, finished fourth in the conference standings a year ago, and battled New Haven late into the fourth quarter in a nationally televised game on CBS Sports Network on October 18. Skyhawks quarterback Logan Meyer returns for his senior year after throwing for more than 2,220 yards to go along with 20 touchdowns last fall.

Assumption experienced some tough luck last season, losing six games by seven points or less, including four by four points or less. The Greyhounds, under first-year head coach Bob Chesney, will be led by senior tight end and College Football America (CFA) Preseason All-American Scott Simonson. The 6-6, 255 lb. product had 36 catches for 558 yards and six touchdowns last season.

Saint Anselm boasts the reigning Northeast-10 Rookie of the Year in sophomore quarterback Andrew Murphy, who threw for over 300 yards five times in a seven-game span after taking over the Hawks' starting role last season. He also topped the 400-yard mark three times, including a 612-yard, seven-touchdown performance through the air in a win at Seton Hill on November 3. Junior wideout Justin Bernard is also back after topping the 1,500-yard mark to go along with 15 touchdowns.

For Pace, quarterback Jordan Raynor is back for his senior year after throwing for 1,505 yards and eight touchdowns last season for the Setters. He enters the 2013 campaign ranked in the top-10 all-time in program history in completions, passing yards and passing touchdowns.

The Northeast-10 Conference is an association of 15 NCAA Division II colleges and universities located in New England and New York that is committed to supporting balanced academic and athletic opportunities for more than 6,000 student-athletes. Each year, 4,000 of those student-athletes compete in conference championships in 23 sports, making the NE-10 the largest DII conference in the country in terms of sport sponsorship. Leading the way in the classroom, on the field and within the community, the Northeast-10 is proud of its comprehensive program and the experience it provides student-athletes.

2013 Northeast-10 Football Coaches' Preseason Poll
1. American International – 75 (5)
2. New Haven – 73 (3)
3. Bentley – 61
4. LIU Post – 60 (2)
5. Merrimack – 44
6. Southern Connecticut – 42
7. Stonehill – 41
8. Assumption – 24
9. Saint Anselm – 21
10. Pace – 9

( ) – indicates first-place votes