April 14, 2014
WASHINGTON - The Georgetown University football team selected rising senior linebacker Nick Alfieri (Portland, Ore./Jesuit/The Hotchkiss School) as the 11th Joe Eacobacci Memorial No. 35 Jersey recipient, while naming Alfieri, Alec May (Wrenthem, Mass./King Phillip), Nick Quintans (Media, Pa./Penncrest) and Mike Roland(Miami, Fla./Coral Gables) as team captains during its annual post-season banquet on Saturday.
With former No. 35 recipients, Matthew Fronzcke, Michael Ononibaku, Kevin Sullivanalong with Joe Eacobacci's sister, Michelle, in attendance, Alfieri was awarded one of the program's most prestigious honors.
"Hearing my name called at the banquet for the award was so surreal," Alfieri said. "It's still hard to believe that I was chosen. I obviously never knew Joe Eacobacci, but the characters of my former teammates that have previously worn the jersey like, Wayne Heimuli, Kevin Sullivan and Sean Campbell, help give me an idea about the type of person that he was. It is such an honor to be associated with him. I can only hope to adequately represent the number and help keep Joe's spirit alive, both on and off the field."
"Nick is an excellent choice to represent the #35 jersey," Head Coach Rob Sgarlatasaid. "Over his first three years on the Hilltop he has exemplified what it is to be a great teammate. He practices at 100 percent all of the time and that translates to his performance on game day."
Alfieri will join May, Quintans and Roland as captains for the 2014 season as voted by members of the team.
"It is such a great honor to have been selected as a captain for the 2014 Georgetown Football Season," Quintans said. "I am honored to be picked by my teammates to be a leader of the team, and I look forward to working towards a league championship with my co-captains and the rest of the team. Becoming a captain at has always been a personal goal of mine, and I look forward to living up to the potential that my teammates see in me."
"Being voted a team captain was a tremendous honor," May said. "It means a lot to be selected by my teammates, and I appreciate the opportunity to lead this program."
"I felt extremely blessed being named team captain," Roland said. "It felt great knowing that the team believed in me to lead them to a successful season. I have the same optimism that the rest of the team has in having a great year."
Saturday's banquet was about much more than looking forward to the 2014 football season. Head Coach Rob Sgarlatainvited alumni from several different eras to celebrate with the Georgetown football family.
Chairmen of the Georgetown University Board of Directors and former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue spoke to the group about the importance of education and how his time on the Hilltop helped prepare him for his successful career. Tagliabue's speech related back to the football program's Four-for-40 mantra, describing how a student-athletes' four years at Georgetown should set them up for the next 40 years of life.
The Hoyas also welcomed Elijah, who was adopted through the Friends of Jaclyn earlier in April. Elijah and his mother were on hand to help congratulate all of the award-winners and to watch the Blue & Gray Spring Game. Elijah's spirit and bravery in his battle with pediatric brain cancer is the embodiment of SISU, a Finnish phrase that loosely translates into determination and bravery in the face of adversity, another mantra for the program under Sgarlata.
Dr. Bob Barone attended the banquet to tell the team about former captain Kevin Reynolds (C'84), who played for the Hoyas and died of cancer September 9, 2006. Reynolds' classmates have sponsored a scholarship in his name that was awarded to graduating quarterback Isaiah Kempf(Glendale, Calif./Bridgton Academy).
"It was great to have Dr. Barone tell the team about Kevin and his life as a student-athlete and pilot for the Navy," Sgarlata said.
The Hoyas welcomed Dr. Bill Dahut, the Clinical Director and Deputy Scientific Director at the National Cancer Institute, to present the Robert Paul Dahut Memorial Award for Most Improved Players. The award, named for Dr. Dahut's uncle was presented to offensive lineman Gerverus Flagg (Charleston, S.C./Mercersburg Academy (Pa.)) and defensive back Chad Coleman(Flint, Mich./Carman Ainsworth).
Senior linebacker Dustin Wharton(LaVale, Md./Allegany) earned the team's Strength & Conditioning Award after four years of record-setting performances in the weight room. Wharton, a two-time First Team All-Patriot League selection won the Al Blozis Award for the team's most valuable player.
The Hoyas' Special Teams Player of the Year was Brandon Durham (Mesquite, Texas/Dallas Christian), who had 737 kick-off return yards. The John L. Hagerty Award for team's top back went to running back Nick Campanella (Roselle, Ill./Montini Catholic), who is among the Hoyas all-time touchdown leaders and slot Zack Wilke(Boca Raton, Fla./St. Andrew's), who led the team in receptions and receiving yards.
Offensive lineman Michael Francis (Glenn Heights, Texas/DeSoto) earned the George A. Murtagh Award for best lineman and tight end Daniel Sprotte(Garden City, N.Y./Chaminade earned the Mush Dubofsky Award for the team's top student-athlete.
Kempf and running back Dalen Claytor(Dunwoody, Ga./Dunwoody) both fought through significant injuries to contribute on and off the field for the Hoyas, earning the John D. Burke Award for courage and spirit.
Offensive lineman Ray DeLorenzo earned the Belt Award for his sustained hard work on the practice field and in the weight room and offensive lineman John Alexander (Furlong, Pa./The Hill School) and defensive lineman John Alexander(Marathon, Fla./Marathon) earned the Jeremiah Minihan Coaches' Award.
BLUE & GRAY GAME...
Following the banquet the team changed into their pads and uniforms for the final time during the 2013-14 academic year for the Annual Blue & Gray Spring Game.
The Hoyas' graduating seniors, several generation of alums, along with parents and families of the current student-athletes packed the stands on Saturday afternoon for a preview of the 2014 season.
"The spring game went well," Sgarlata said. "We treated it like practice No.15 in our preparation for the opener vs. Wagner at home on August 30. Alec May and Ettian Scott played well for the defense. Both Kyle Nolan and Tim Barnesplayed well for the offense with Barnes throwing a touchdown in the red zone scrimmage to end the game."
"The spring game was a great finish to the weekend with the stands packed with family, friends, and alumni," Quintans said. "I am extremely excited for the upcoming football season. With the new additions to the coaching staff and a solid spring training under our belts, I look forward to see how we can compete against our Patriot League and non-league competitors."
"I'm really excited about where this team after spring practice," May said. "We have a great group of guys across all positions that competed every practice and worked extremely hard in the weight room. I think that the expectations are high, and we expect to compete for the Patriot League championship."
"The Offense improved so much through out spring ball, but we still have a long way to go," Roland said. "I extremely excited next year because I know that we are going to do well."