PORTLAND — If Colby College head football coach Jonathan Michaeles has his way, the Mules will rely much less on two-way players in 2013 than they did in 2012.

“Half our touchdown catches were caught by defensive players (last season),” Michaeles said.

Michaeles spoke, along with the head coaches of Maine’s five other college football teams, at the Maine Chapter of the National Football Foundation’s seventh annual Kickoff Luncheon on Thursday afternoon.

Much of Colby’s dependence on two-way players was the result on injuries, which ate into the Mules’ already thin depth. Michaeles pointed to one trick play that scored a touchdown, in which defensive lineman Ryan Veillette threw a touchdown pass to defensive back Derrick Beasley.

Colby’s offense should get a boost with the return of Cony graduate Luke Duncklee, who was expected to play many roles in the Mules offense last season, but broke his ankle in the season opener and missed the rest of the season.

Colby will be young again, with just five seniors on the roster.

“The development of leadership on our team is going to be critical,” Michaeles said.

* * *

Over the last decade, Maine has played one game each season against a Football Bowl Division opponent. This season, the Black Bears take on two FBS teams.

On Sept. 7, Maine plays former Colonial Athletic Association rival Massachusetts at Gillette Stadium, the home of the New England Patriots. Maine coach Jack Cosgrove said it will be good to play the Minutemen again. In the history of Maine football, the Black Bears have played just one opponent, the University of New Hampshire, more often than Umass.

The Black Bears travel to Chicago on Sept. 21 to play Big 10 power Northwestern.

“Northwestern will be a top 15 team in the country,” Cosgrove said. “We’ve never played a team ranked that high.”

Maine begins practice next week. The Black Bears open the season on Aug. 31 at Norfolk State.

* * *

Maine Maritime Academy will play in a reshaped New England Football Conference this season. Once a 16-team league, the NEFC will feature eight schools: MMA, Coast Guard, Curry, Endicott, MIT, Nichols, Salve Regina, and Western New England.

“As always, it will be a tough and competitive schedule,” MMA head coach Chris McKenney said.

The Massachusetts state schools and Plymouth State of New Hampshire broke from the NEFC to form the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference. The new league will include Bridgewater State, Fitchburg State, Framingham State, Umass-Dartmouth, Massachusetts Maritime, Plymouth State, Western Connecticut, Westfield State and Worcester State.

Maine Maritime’s rivalry with Massachusetts Maritime will continue. The teams will meet for the Admiral’s Cup in Castine on Sept. 21.

* * *

Gabby Price is back as head coach at Husson after a four-year absence, and he’s excited to have the rebuilding process well underway.

“What we’ve found from these guys is just tremendous,” Price said.

The Eagles had 62 players participate in spring football workouts, and Price expects 110 players in camp when Husson begins camp in a couple weeks.

A number of positions are up for grabs, Price said.

“We’re not afraid to play freshmen,” he said.

* * *

Bates went 5-3 last season, winning the Colby-Bates-Bowdoin title. Head coach Mark Harriman said he’s excited to have a number of players returning from last season’s team, including South Portland’s Ryan Curit who played well despite playing the last two seasons with Lyme Disease.

Harriman called the Bobcats’ returning offensive line “the best group we’ve had,” and also noted the return of receiver Kevin Davis, who had 30 catches for 366 yards and three touchdowns last season to lead the team.

“There’s an enthusiasm on campus for football,” Harriman said, “but obviously, that will only get you so far.”

* * *

Bowdoin coach Dave Caputi said the Polar Bears strength entering the season is on defense, particularly at linebacker, where a trio of undersized players continue to impress..

“They don’t have a commanding presence, but they’re athletic, they can run, and they make plays,” Caputi said.

Griffin Cardew led the New England Small College Athletic Conference with 97 tackles last season. He’s joined at linebacker by Joey Cleary and Brian Glazewski, who each made 49 tackles last season.

The Polar Bears went 1-7 least season, but Caputi said the team was in many close games.

“Four games, we were within a score in the fourth quarter,” Caputi said. “We did not make the necessary plays to win football games.”

Travis Lazarczyk – 861-9242

[email protected]

 

Augusta and Waterville news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.


  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.