PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Eight members of the Plymouth State University football team were honored Thursday with their selection to the New England Football Conference Boyd Division All-Star Team, as voted by the league’s head coaches, and Panther head coach Paul Castonia (right) was voted NEFC Boyd Division Coach of the Year.
Five Panther seniors were voted to the All-NEFC First Team – running back Jeff Mack (Milford, N.H./Milford), tight end Adam Long (Plymouth, Mass./South), center Craig Baird (Worcester, Mass./Holy Name), defensive lineman Justin Smith (Merrimack, N.H.), and punter Brad Largy (Litchfield, N.H./Campbell). The other three Panthers were named to the All-NEFC Second Team – junior quarterback John DeMarco (Milford, N.H.), junior defensive lineman Justin Jarvis (Surry, N.H./Monadnock), and freshman defensive back Kevin Whalen (Wallingford, Conn./Sheehan).
In addition, junior defensive back Mike Lannon (Sharon, Mass.) was named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District Second Team, as voted by the College Sports Information Directors of America.
A 5’11”, 208-pound running back, Mack (far left) finished second in the NEFC in rushing with 1,171 yards on 213 carries (5.5 avg.), and fourth in the league in scoring with 12 touchdowns. He was named to the NEFC weekly honor roll four times this season, and became just the ninth back in school history to rush for over 1,000 yards in a season.
A 6’3”, 231-pound tight end, (left, middle) Long finished second on the team in receptions with 11 catches for 156 yards and one touchdown. Long and Baird, a 5’11”, 239-pound center (above right) , were two key blockers along the offensive line for the Panthers, who gained 2,601 of their 3,608 total yards on the ground.
A 5’10”, 208-pound defensive lineman, Smith (near right) led a Panther unit that finished second in the NEFC in passing, scoring and total defense. He made 23 tackles overall, including 12 solo stops and a team-high two-and-a-half sacks. He also finished second on the team in tackles for lost yardage (6.5), while collecting a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and two pass break-ups.
A 6’1”, 194-pound punter, Largy (right, middle) finished second in the NEFC in punting average (38.8 yards per kick), helping PSU finish second in net punting average (35.4). His longest punt was a 58-yarder, and 11 of his 30 boots were downed inside the opponents 20 yard line. Largy also started at wide receiver, making six catches for 183 yards (30.5 avg.) and three touchdowns.
A 6’1”, 220-pound quarterback, DeMarco (above, right) had a successful season both running and throwing the football. He rushed for 501 yards (4.1 avg.) and 10 touchdowns, and he led the NEFC in passing efficiency after completing 51-of-91 for 1,007 yards and nine TD strikes, with just five interceptions.
A 5’8”, 230-pound defensive tackle, Jarvis (far left) is a repeat selection on the All-NEFC Second Team. He finished with 21 tackles, including five stops in the opponents backfield, third best on the team. He also recorded a half a sack and a pass break-up.
A 5’11”, 164-pound defensive back, Whalen (left, middle) had a solid rookie campaign, making 25 tackles, including 15 solo stops. He also had four pass break-ups from his cornerback position.
A 5’10”, 190-pound defensive back, Lannon (right, closest) led the team and tied for fourth in the conference with four interceptions, and finished second on the team in tackles with 45. He earned ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District honors as a Dean’s List and President’s List student, majoring in Management.
The Panthers finished the regular season with an 8-1 overall record under Castonia, who’s completing his fifth year at PSU. The team finished second in the Boyd Division with a 6-1 mark, and is awaiting word on a possible ECAC Tournament berth, which will be announced next Monday, Nov. 12.
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