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Messages - DC 53

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Nescacman: I love the Animal House/National Lampoon reference! Fawn would have been about 70 or so by now, just saying.

East Region football / Re: FB: New England Small College Athletic Conference
« on: September 23, 2017, 09:27:05 am »
 I hope you enjoy your time on the Hill at Hamilton. I would echo Hamgrand's culinary recommendations, and I'd add a couple. The Pub on campus is a lot of fun, Altieri's in downtown Clinton has good basic, non fancy fare, and for a sports bar atmosphere you can't beat Zeb's on Rt. 5 in New Hartford.
If you're in need of a cultural fix the Wellin Museum and the Kennedy Center for the Arts are a short stroll from Steuben Field. Also you might wish to take a picture with Mr. Hamilton in front of the Chapel. It should be a beautiful day in Clinton. Have fun!

Lumber cat: Thanks for your respect for Continental Nation. On a board that's too full of faux tough guys and poseurs, your posts are a welcome respite from the anger and hubris.

Remember: The older I get, the better I was!

Enjoy the games , everyone!

East Region football / Re: FB: New England Small College Athletic Conference
« on: September 17, 2017, 10:21:50 pm »
 So I drove the pike up to Somerville to watch the "Non-Program" from Clinton in their "Mismatch" with the Jumbos. The "Mismatch"was one of the most exciting and entertaining college football games I've witnessed. The faithful of the "Non-Program" filled the visitors stands, and they included many Boston area Continental alums. A huge tailgate feast was presided over by the "First Couple" of Hamilton Football, Jerry and Marie Pitaressi. Parents of players in the "Non-Program" contributed to the huge repast.Remaining food is donated to food missions.
  Today we found out that Joe Schmidt ,"20 was named NESCAC Offensive Player of the Week, and Tyler Hudson, "19, was named Co-Defensive Player of the Week. Tufts is formidable and really has an excellent program. As I've said before this is a league where coaching really matters. The only drop-off I saw from Tufts was in the running game, but they ran the ball better as the game wore on. McDonald stepped out of trouble time after time when he was harassed by the Conts' pass rush. The "Non-Program" D actually had multiple opportunities to win the game in the 4th Q when errant passes by the Tufts backup QB weren't controlled by Ham defenders.
  Turning a program around in NESCAC is not an easy task, to say the least. Control of one's schedule is a way that teams in other leagues can move the process in the right direction . That luxury doesn't exist in NESCAC, so player development and roster control (mostly recruitment) are of paramount importance. From what I've seen, Dave  Murray and his staff have done an excellent job of developing their talent, while bringing in players from some good places. Murray coaches the linebackers, and that position has been a strength ever since he took over. Moving Tyler Hudson to MLB looks like a brilliant move. He runs sideline to sideline, he can blitz off the edge or inside, and he can cover in space. In the past when he played DE, teams could run away from him. They can't do that when he's at MLB.Fellow juniors, Cole Burchill and Sean Tolton both played well against the Jumbos. Murray also brought in a good number of LB's in this year's class, so the Conts should be in good shape there for awhile. The Ham D-line had to replace the entire front four, including Hudson. The four new starters, Alex Ganter, Jeff Martinez, Will Rothschild, and Michael Friedman did a great job of controlling the line of scrimmage. The back end played well. as at least 8 DB's saw playing time. The punter, Billy Wagner had a good day, coming up with a 50 yd. punt when it was really needed.
  Successful player development was even more evident on offense. Kenny Gray '20 showed nice arm strength and a sufficient amount  of poise and cool when pressured. The receiving corps had a huge day. In addition to Schmidt's stellar performance, Christian Donohue emerged as a big time threat from anywhere on the field. Frosh Will Budington and the diminutive Sam Robinson made key plays. Robinson who also runs back kicks, and he showed versatility in both the passing game and in the running game.
  Murray's first two recruiting classes were very NY centric. That makes sense as it's pretty obvious that he and his assistants established excellent relationships with NY high school coaches in previous stints at Alfred and Cortland. NY high school football has been disparaged by some on this board, but NY has a large population, and it's likely that some football talent exists in every area of the Empire State. If you check the Hamilton website, you'll see that each coach has responsibility for recruiting a section of the state. It's no accident that the emerging stars on this team including Hudson , Schmidt, Donohoe, Burchill, Gray, Gutierrez, Leigh, and Palomaki all hail from NY. Like other NESCAC schools , Hamilton will always recruit nationally. Interesting, the class of 2021 includes more players from Massachusetts than NY.
  Rebuilding in this league is really difficult. Hamilton receives a lot of shade on theses pages, much of it without much basis in fact. The early signs for the Conts are good, but they are 0-1, with Amherst, Wesleyan, and Trinity on the (uncontrollable) schedule in the next three weeks.

East Region football / Re: FB: New England Small College Athletic Conference
« on: September 15, 2017, 11:38:46 pm »
For the inquiring (alleged) minds who wanted to know:
Apparently Hamilton does have a football team.
That's good since I'll be traveling up the road to Somerville/Medford for Conts/Jumbos mañana . Enjoy, everybody!

Here's living proof that the NESCAC experience is about much more than the wins and losses. He faces an uphill battle, but he's been there, done that!

East Region football / Re: FB: New England Small College Athletic Conference
« on: September 24, 2016, 06:45:54 am »
Hey, Hamgrand, I love your picks! Thanks for the kind thoughts. Heading to Amherst for the game in a few minutes. Best of luck to the Panthers today!

East Region football / Re: FB: New England Small College Athletic Conference
« on: September 22, 2016, 05:37:04 pm »
  My son is a 2015 graduate of  Hamilton College. In the fall of 2011 he joined 28 other football recruits, which  comprised one of the largest and deepest classes that Hamilton had seen in a long time. (The 2010 group numbered 11). Expectations were high as the Continentals won their first two games.  Unfortunately, my son and his teammates would win only two more games over the rest of their football careers.  This is a cautionary tale; the NESCAC is a tough, unforgiving league. It is also a league where coaching really matters.
  After a 3-5  2011 season, (which was a couple of plays away from being a 5-3 season) most associated with the program felt a positive “buzz” about the direction of Hamilton Football.  Off-season workouts were excellent, and another large class of recruits headed to Clinton. Then a bomb dropped. Just before the end of the spring semester, players were informed that the HFC was being “re-assigned” in the athletic department, and that a nationwide search would be undertaken to choose a successor. We now know that Dave Murray was the interview committee’s first choice. Unfortunately, (that adverb would be used all too often in conversations in the ensuing years) he demurred, as his children balked at a move in the middle  of their high school years. A completely understandable situation. Unfortunately, (that word again) Hamilton was forced to settle for a 3rd or 4th choice coach when an announcement was made in late July. It proved to be a disastrous (not merely unfortunate) choice.
  The new coach was completely clueless about the academic demands facing NESCAC student-athletes. Meetings and lifts were scheduled on HIS time, often conflicting with classes and/or labs. My son, a Type 1 diabetic had to lift 3 days a week at 5:45 a.m., before dining halls opened. The HFC told him to “deal with it”. To his credit, my son did deal with it, but it wasn’t easy. The HFC also “ran off” both players and assistant coaches. Some attrition is usual with coaching changes, but NESCAC schools don’t usually get rid of  players in the the manner of big time football factories. After a 1-7  2012 season was followed by  an 0-8  2013, (which featured an embarrassing sideline meltdown by the HFC at the Middlebury game) the “reign of  error” ended with the hiring of  Dave Murray in the spring of 2014.
  Despite an 0-8 record in 2014,  my son and his dozen, remaining senior teammates thoroughly enjoyed their final season of football.  When I asked my son about his first impressions of his new coach he said, “Forget about football, Coach Murray is a really great guy!  And he also happens to be a terrific football coach!” Though the record didn’t show it, (remember, it’s a very unforgiving league) it was evident during the 2014 season that Hamilton football was in a much better place. I regretted that my son would only play one season for Dave Murray and his staff.
  Despite the record of the football team in his 4 years on the Hill, my son had an excellent experience. I recently retired from a 40 career as an educator. In addition to my classroom duties, I spent the better part of 30 years as a lacrosse coach in the maelstrom of Long Island h.s. lacrosse. I also coached some football and basketball. I’m now a h.s. lacrosse official, so I’ve enjoyed an interesting perspective on coaching, recruiting, and parental behavior relative to athletics. I truly believe that the NESCAC experience, in all aspects of college life, is second to none. Our introduction to NESCAC football began when my son was 4or5 years old, when we watched the annual NESN broadcast of the Amherst-Williams game. A former coaching /teaching colleague was an assistant coach at Amherst for 18 years before moving into his current position as Assistant  A.D. at the school. My son was actively recruited by Centennial and Liberty League schools, in addition to 5 of the football playing NESCAC schools.  (Out of loyalty to my friend at Amherst, he refused to even consider an informal look at Williams) I attended all 32 games of his football career, so I have a reasonably informed view of all of the schools in the NESCAC. All of them are wonderful, though Williams should be embarrassed by the gestapo-like tactics of  their security people regarding alcohol policy. It’s WAY, WAY over the top, and really a bad reflection of a great institution. On the occasion of my son’s first college start I was examined by an alcohol detecting device which was aimed at my body and my locally purchased coffee. Two years later, we smuggled in everything that we wanted/needed. Touche’
  My advice to FY parents is simple: ENJOY the experience, regardless of relative success/failure or amounts of playing time. The bottom line is that your son will get a great education, no matter what happens on the football field. Also, in your travels there are many good cultural opportunities, if you do a little homework.  Bowdoin’s art museum was a favorite. Instead of banging my head against the nearest tree, I sometimes found postgame solace at Hamilton’s Wellin Museum. ( Though I don’t recall missing a postgame tailgate either!)
  My spies in Clinton tell me that a spirited 3 way battle is ongoing for the QB spot. Word is that the defense has been ahead of the offense in camp.  We’ll know a lot more after Saturday. Dave Murray is a great guy with a self-effacing sense of humor. Fortunately,  (love that word!) he’s nobody’s fool, and his football team does not intend to be anyone’s punching bag.

East Region football / Re: FB: New England Small College Athletic Conference
« on: September 22, 2016, 08:36:51 am »
There was request for some info about Hamilton. This is from a local newspaper. I'll have a post later with a historical perspective on the Hamilton program. Looking forward to the journey to the Pioneer Valley on Saturday!

I heard from a very reliable source, who has been involved with NESCAC football for decades, that the conference will go to a 9 game schedule, possibly as early as the 2017 season.  End of season rivalries and their approximate time frames will be preserved. Supposedly, there is near universal support among head coaches, and more importantly, college presidents are onboard!

FYI: Hamilton is posting its 2016 recruits on Hamilton Football Twitter and Facebook pages. It looks as if they intend to announce 5 or 6 per day. A word of caution: don't sleep on the Conts in 2016. The coaching staff and players don't expect to be anyone's punching bags moving forward.

East Region football / Re: New England Small College Athletic Conference
« on: November 01, 2014, 08:48:17 am »
A NESCAC battle between two brothers, Jeff Hopsicker, Hamilton '15 and Kevin Hopsicker Middlebury '18 was to be a subtext of today's game in Clinton. Unfortunately, Jeff suffered a devastating break to his collarbone during the opening drive of the Williams game. He has been used to good effect as a QB in a "Wildcat" package all year. A drive ending fumble killed the Hamilton scoring chance two plays after Jeff's untimely exit. 3 red zone turnovers doomed the Conts again as they let another win over a lesser team slip away. Hamilton(a bad hs team according to NESCACman) ran 20 more plays than the Willies, and held their rushing "attack" to 45 yards. The Ephs also benefitted from a bogus roughing the passer call on their final TD drive.

But today we honor the seniors (survivors) at Steuben Field. We thank Brendan Cunningham, Rook De Marais, Mike De Percin,Vince DiCindio, Pat Donodio, John Fisher,Nick Gavin,Jeff Hopsicker,Zack Klein Ian Milne, Nick Noonan,and Nick Ufkes. You've endured and you've earned the respect of the entire league, despite the pompous naysayers on this board. Better days are ahead for Hamilton, and you guys, despite the horror of the 2012 & 2013 seasons,  moved it all forward!

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