MARSHFIELD, Mass. – The Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) announced its 2018 preseason poll on Tuesday as voted by the league's seven head coaches.
Two-time defending ECFC Champions, Husson University, earned the top spot on the poll, receiving six, first-place votes and 48 total points. The Privateers of SUNY Maritime came in at a projected second-place finish with one first-place vote and 41 points. Castleton University rounded out the top three vote-getters as their 35 total points paced them for a projected third place finish.
Complete 2018 ECFC Coaches Preseason Poll
|1. Husson University (6)||48|
|2. SUNY Maritime (1)||42|
|3. Castleton University||35|
|4. Dean College||26|
|5. Gallaudet University||24|
|6. Alfred State College||12|
|7. Anna Maria College||10|
(First-Place votes in parentheses)
Defending champion Husson brings a core of key returners to the fold for the 2018 campaign. First team All-ECFC quarterback, Cory Brandon, is back under center after tossing 16 touchdowns on 1,924 passing yards last season. The team also returns two-way player Quan Soyi, a first team ECFC selection last year on both offense and defense as a return specialist and defensive back. They also return first team linebacker Elvin Suazo Jr. who racked up 87 tackles and 5.5 sacks in 2017.
Maritime College is coming off their second consecutive postseason bid as they participated in the New England Bowl last season. The Privateers will look to first team wide receiver Brian Drumgole on offense after he posted 805 receiving yards and seven touchdowns for the team last season. Karl Riek wore many hats in 2017 as he recorded two interceptions, five blocked kicks and two punt returns for touchdowns. The versatility will serve the team well as they aim to make their third consecutive postseason appearance.
Castleton returns explosive running back Moe Harris who set a number of single season records for the Spartans last year; including his 16 rushing touchdowns. The first team all-conference back will have veteran quarterback Mitchell Caron under center once again this season. Caron posted 1,470 passing yards and also added seven touchdowns for the Spartans in 2017.
The Bulldogs of Dean College return a core of their stout defense from last season. Gene Baisden notched 42 tackles and four sacks for the team, while all-conference honorable mention selection Kaleel Harley posted five interceptions. Decory Billups will help anchor the Bulldogs offensive line after garnering second team all-conference honors last season as a sophomore.
Gallaudet returns their leading receiver in Dylan Mento along with starting quarterback Timel Benton for the 2018 season. The Bison will also look to veteran lineman Cameron Ethington who played all 10 games last year in his junior campaign. First team defensive back Louie Akuffo is also back after posting 72 tackles and an interception last fall.
Alfred State returns first team all-conference selection John Lauretti on defense after he posted 87 tackles and eight sacks for the Pioneers in their first season of ECFC play. Jalen Long is back as a key offensive returner after his five TD's and 344 receiving yards earned him all-conference honorable mention accolades in 2017.
Second year Head Coach Dan Mulrooney is back at the helm for Anna Maria in 2018. The AMCATS return Emmanuel Leake at quarterback after he averaged 145 yards per game and tossed nine TD's as a junior. The team will also look to captains Emmanuel Hans and Dan Stout who are set to anchor the defensive and offensive lines respectively this year.
The season kicks off on Friday, August 31 as Dean travels to Curry College and Anna Maria hosts Worcester Polytechnic Institute in nonconference play. The other five ECFC institutions are slated to kick off their 2018 seasons on Saturday afternoon.