THROGGS NECK, N.Y. Maritime is looking to build off a strong 2017 season where the Privateers garnered a 9-2 overall record and a 6-1 record in ECFC games. The Privateers' 2017 campaign was good enough to lead them to their third-ever postseason appearance in program history. With a plethora of returning talent, the Privateers turn to a familiar face, Vincent DiGaetano, to serve as the team's new Head Coach.
DiGaetano returns to a place he called home for a decade from 2005 through 2015. With stints as an Assistant Coach, Defensive Coordinator and Linebacker Coach, DiGaetano was part of some of the best squads that Maritime has ever produced. As Defensive Coordinator and Linebackers coach for the Privateers' 2015 squad, the DiGaetano-led defense ranked 21st among all 252 NCAA Division III programs in total defense allowing just 285.1 yards per game.
In 2017, the Privateers had a school-record 19 players receiving All-Conference recognition. In 2018, Maritime returns one All-League first teamer, Senior Wide Receiver Brandonn Drumgole, and two All-League second team selections, Senior Quarterback Tommy Wright and Senior Wide Receiver Curtis Smith. On the defensive end, the Privateers return two All-League selections, Junior Linebacker Liam Bailey who received an All-League second team nod, and Junior Defensive End Payton Campbell who received All-Conference honorable mention.
Leading the way on offense will be three 2017 All-League selections in Wright and Wide Receivers Drumgole and Smith.
In 2017, Wright nearly doubled all previous single-season records at Maritime with his 163 completions for 2,311 yards and 17 touchdowns in 10 games. He also led the league in completions, yards and touchdowns, while finishing third among regular quarterbacks in efficiency at 137.0. Wright is also first all-time in Maritime program history in total offensive yards, completion percentage, passing yards and passing touchdowns as well as second all-time in TDs Responsible For.
A year ago, Drumgole was one of the top receivers in the league finished second in the league in two main categories with seven receiving touchdowns, and a league-leading 59 passes for 789 yards through the air. Last season, Drumgole set the program single-season record for receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns. In 2017, Drumgole totaled five 100-yard receiving performances.
In 2017, Smith was the conference leader in yards per catch, averaging just under 20 yards per grab at 19.87. On the season, he hauled in 31 passes for 616 yards and scored four touchdowns, which was third best on the team. His 31 receptions were tied for fourth-best among conference receivers while his 616 yards was the third highest in the league.
Also returning for the Privateers offense are a haul of contributors from a year ago. This group consists of Senior Wide Receivers Andrew Geni, who totaled 303 receiving yards last season, Christan Castle who had 175 receiving yards in 2017 and Sean O'Connor who caught for 73 yards. Also returning are Sophomore Running Back Christian Schiavone who had an impressive Freshman season a year ago which resulted in 125 rushing yards; Senior Wide Receiver Cormac Quigley who appeared in all 11 contests last season; Senior Running Back William Patsakos who appeared in nine games for the Privateers; and Senior Quarterback Joseph Butterworth who saw action in all games last season.
The Privateers will rely on a mix of newcomers as well as an experienced core to anchor its offense, including Seniors Nicholas Acevedo and Dean Lynch whom both played in all 11 games last season and Senior Kevin Poissant who played 10 games. Returning contributors also include Juniors Michael Korwan and Marc Laurenti who saw action in six and three games, respectively. This group of veterans will be joined by seven newcomers on the offensive line.
Led by All-League selections Bailey and Campbell, The Privateers defense returns several contributors from a year ago. Last Fall, Bailey ended the season second on the team with 60 stops overall including 36 solo tackles. He had 6.5 tackles for a loss of 25 yards including two sacks for a loss of 18 yards. In 2017, Campbell compiled 35 tackles during his junior season. Campbell had 8.5 tackles for a loss in 59 yards to go along with six sacks for a loss in 54 yards which led the team. Campbell also ranks second all-time in Maritime programs history in Quarterback Sacks with 12.0.
Joining Bailey in the Linebacker group will be a trio of Seniors in Calvin Tanguay who saw action in all 11 games, Jabari Corsfield who saw action in six games and won the Privateers 'Coaches Award' as well as John O'Connor who played in all 11 games a season ago. Returning underclassman include, Sophomores Owen Haeseker who saw action in six contests, Mike Maringelli who played in nine games and Robert Brando who saw action in six games.
Joining Campbell on the Defensive Line will be a group of 2017 key contributors. This group includes Senior Jack Johnson who played primarily at Nose Guard, Senior Steven Fehr who played in all 11 games and Sophomore Savlatore Escaldi who saw action in five games.
The defensive backfield will also feature a few key contributors from a year ago, Junior Justin Snuffer who saw action in all 11 games; Senior Matthew Mavrovich, the team's Most Improved Defensive Player; and Senior Karl Riek who ranks fourth in program history in Interception Return Yards with 51. Also returning for the class of Privateers Defensive Backs are Junior Isaiah Shamoun who saw action in five games a year ago and Sophomore Danny Bridegeman who saw action in two games. Also returning will be newly-minted defensive back Junior Robert Wheeler who will make the transition from Quarterback and Wide Receiver, where he played in nine games last fall.
On Special Teams, the Privateers will look to Senior Kicker Ian Ziemski to fill the void left by 2017 ECFC Special Teams Player of the Year, Matt Murphy. Junior Defensive Back Riek will also be returning to a role on Special Teams where he excelled a year ago. Riek was top five in the nation in blocked kicks. Against Castleton he blocked his 3rd and 4th kicks of the season and was named Team Special Teams Player of the Game, ECFC Special Teams Player of the Week and ECAC Division III South Special Teams Player of the Week.
Maritime opens the year on the road on September 1st against Maine Maritime. For its home opener, the Privateers will host Massachusetts Maritime on Friday, September 7th on Reinhart Field at 7 p.m.
Conference play begins at home on September 29 against back-to-back ECFC champions, Husson. The Privateers next return home for Homecoming on October 13th against Dean at 2 p.m.
The team's Senior Day and last home regular-season game will take place Saturday, November 3rd at 1 p.m. versus Hampton.
To finish off the season, Maritime will travel to Gallaudet on Saturday, November 10th.