By Andrew Scarpaci
The football team wrapped up their first season as a Division I program with a 10-24 loss against Merrimack College on Saturday, Nov. 23.
The Merrimack Warriors, who also played in Division II last year, came into the game looking to avoid their fifth consecutive loss while the Sharks looked to avoid a winless season.
The Warriors scored first. Towards the end of the first quarter, with a 7-yard pass, they took the lead. Their kicker Corey Resnedes converted on a 36-yard field goal to extend the Warriors lead to 0-10. At the end of the second quarter, Merrimack scored another touchdown on a long drive and the Sharks left the field at halftime, down 0-17.
Halfway through the third quarter, Head Coach Bryan Collins subbed out quarterback Jacob Cheshire and brought in freshman Camden Orth. On the first play of the fourth quarter, Orth found Jake Bofshever for a 32-yard touchdown completion. On their next drive, Sharks’ kicker Briant DeFelice knocked through the 38-yard field goal, cutting Merrimack’s lead to seven points.
But the Sharks did not manage to get any closer. Instead, the Warriors extended their lead by scoring a touchdown with just over 5 minutes left on the clock, making the final score 10-24.
Despite finishing their first Division I season with an 0-10 record, Coach Collins sees the positive aspects with his team’s performance. He thinks they played multiple competitive games during the season and that his younger players were impressive. “We had many freshmen that came in and competed against top players in the conference,” he said.
The end of the season also marks the end of some players collegiate careers. Coach Collins said he will miss his talented senior class, a class who contributed to both the Pioneer and Sharks programs. “They had two undefeated seasons, two championships and appeared in the NCAA Playoffs twice [as Pioneers]. They also ushered us into the Division I world,” he said. “I am grateful for having them in our program.”
One player from the senior class, business graduate student Abel Joseph, is thankful for his college experience at Post. Joseph said he made life-long friendships, learned to take responsibility to always put the team before himself. “This has been the best five years of my life,” he said.
Looking forward, Coach Collins is optimistic about the future and plans to continue to build on the positives and eliminate the negatives for next season.
To be able to compete with the other conference teams in following years, Coach Collins said they will keep bringing in quality student-athletes, keep supporting them with strength and conditioning programs and add depth to the roster.
“Entering a new level of football and a new conference is a process,” he said. “But we believe in building this Division I team.”