PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Three Plymouth State College football players were on the receiving end of weekly honors from the Freedom Football Conference after PSC’s championship-clinching victory over WPI.
Junior Mike Bicchieri (Londonderry, N.H.) and seniors John Walters (Wells, Maine) and Brian Chaplain (Manchester, N.H.) were all recognized after PSC downed WPI 43-14 to earn a share of the FFC championship. Bicchieri was named Special Teams Player of the Week for the second straight week, while Walters and Chaplain were selected to the Weekly Honor Roll.
A 5’7”, 192-pound kick returner/running back, Bicchieri had three kick-off returns for 85 yards (28.3 avg), including a 54-yarder on the opening kick-off of the game to set up PSC’s first touchdown. He also made two tackles on special teams, and rushed five times on offense for 22 yards (4.4 avg.). He earned the honor last week after returning three kicks for 116 yards (38.7 average).
A 6’3”, 215-pound tight end, Walters was placed on the Honor Roll for the second straight week and third time this season. He caught five passes against WPI for 102 yards (20.4 avg.) and two touchdowns, a pair of third-quarter scores that turned a 23-7 game into a 37-7 advantage. In his last two games, Walters made 10 receptions for 249 yards and three TDs. He is third in the league in both receptions (4.4 per game) and receiving yards (72.9 per game).
A 5’11”, 210-pound linebacker, Chaplain spent the afternoon making plays in WPI’s backfield. He recorded five tackles, including three for minus 19 yards, with two sacks, a forced fumble and a safety. He tackled the WPI quarterback in the end zone with the score tied at 7-7 to give PSC the lead for good. Chaplain leads the FFC with 9.5 sacks.
The Panthers, 7-3 overall, finished as co-champions with Western Connecticut, both with 5-1 league records. Despite earning a share of the FFC Championship, PSC’s season ended in disappointment when the team was not awarded an ECAC play-off berth, a controversial decision.
Overall, PSC’s three losses came to schools which are a combined 24-3, including NCAA Division III Tournament-bound teams Rensselaer (8-0) and Western Connecticut (7-1) and Northeast-10 Conference finalist Bentley College (9-2). PSC participated in ECAC post-season games three straight years from 1997-99 after posting 7-3 records in the regular season.