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Messages - DC 53

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   First and foremost, if you spend five minutes with Dave Murray you realize that he's not a good hire, but an excellent hire for Hamilton. Unless you lived through it as Hamgrand and I did, you have no idea of the depth of the catastrophe that was created by the two years of Cohen's reign of error in Clinton. Murray treated the players with great dignity, as he helped them to love football again. Not having control of one's schedule is one of the biggest roadblocks to turning around a program in NESCAC. From my experience as a coach, I can state with certainty, that football is the toughest sport to turn around quickly. Turning around a program that has been ravaged by an incompetent autocrat is even more arduous. While admissions and fin. aid have been fair to Murray and staff, they have not received the love that has been alleged to have occurred at other league schools. That's not a criticism of the peer schools; I've said before, when you step between the lines in this league you're on your own. Your currency is your effort, your commitment, and your talent. The level playing field is the same size in every venue.
  New York has the 4th largest population in the country. The Hamilton staff has it covered. The coach who recruits the NYC and LI area did the same at Alfred. In fact, he recruited my son when he was at Alfred. When he saw him at Hamilton, he remarked that my boy had truly found the right school for himself.  Nassau and Suffolk Counties alone have 3 million people and more than 100 public and private schools who play football. It's not Texas or Pennsylvania, but it never pretended to be. It's solid, competitive ball, and it sends its share of players to great programs, and some have made it to the NFL. The top TE prospect in the country played for the HS in the next town (where my wife  teaches) and he's seeing field time as a true freshman at The Ohio State University. Hamilton will find its share of "diamonds in the rough" here and in other parts of the Empire State. 28% of Hamilton's students hail from New England states, so they'll continue to do well there as well as in other parts of the lower 48. The real comfort zone according to the Hamilton staff is within the 4-5 driving window of College Hill. That includes much of NE, Pennsylvania, NJ and even parts of Ohio.
   Kenny Gray will indeed be back next year, as will ALL NESCAC LB Tyler Hudson. Both were not recruited by anyone else in NESCAC, and both were found because of close long-standing relationships between Hamilton staffers and HS coaches. Trust and honesty is huge in recruiting. I've spent most of my professional career advising student-athletes about college choices. It's an inexact science at best, and fakers and charlatans eventually get weeded out. Ultimately, it's about getting the best educational experience, and benefiting from playing a sport that most don't get to enjoy beyond HS.
    As NESCAC Football becomes more universally competitive, the crack (pun intended) research teams will also need to "up" their respective games in order to feed the prognosticating juggernauts that we've all come to know and love!

Lumber cat: Your post is what I forgot to write in mine! I didn't see you post until after I posted. That's what I get for being so long-winded! Dave Murray coached at Cortland and at Alfred, and he and all of his staff have deep roots in all parts of NY. Other NESCAC schools do bring in players from all parts of NY. Two LB's from my HS on LI played for Wesleyan in the early 2000's. One was a team captain. They didn't win many games, but both are doing quite well in life after NESCAC  FB. LI remains mostly ignorant about the value of the NESCAC experience, but that will change moving forward.

   Let me be the first on these pages to congratulate Hamilton QB Kenny Gray on being named the NESCAC Offensive Player of the Week. Those of you who feel inclined may read the details on the NESCAC website. I only saw parts of the game on my phone as I was at a HS game here on LI (always looking for future Conts!) It looks as if he had the breakout game that Nescacman has been hoping he'd have.
    So Nescacman, I find your prognostications both interesting and entertaining, though most of your game predictions have a degree of difficulty somewhere between a whack a mole arcade game and shooting squirrels with an AR-15. I also appreciate a certain amount of snark, but much of yours (especially when aimed at my beloved Conts) is unnecessarily cruel and gratuitous. Your constant badgering of Trinity as Hartford State is really obtusely repetitive and stale. As a graduate of a state school's lacrosse program that ranks #8 in overall NCAA victories, I'd suggest that the Trinity football program should wear the "State" moniker as a badge of honor, as it seems to imply grit, tenacity, and toughness, all apt descriptors of that excellent program in Hartford. As an English teacher, I tend to look for irony in everything. Brown University's lacrosse team in recent years has renamed itself "Brown State" as a self tribute to their blue collar work ethic and and approach to their sport. The wonderful thing about athletics is that no matter your background or socio-economic level, your effort and commitment is always your currency. That's what I love about NESCAC football; it's egalitarian; it doesn't matter how you got here, it's what you bring to the battle.Go hard, or go home. So yes, 62 points is earned, even if it's against air. A ton of effort, during the week, in summer workouts, in the weight room in the dead of winter, and in endless film study, all contributed to the result. To discount that is, well, to be kind, uninformed.
   On Bowdoin: Many here disparage the program, the coaching, and the performance. It's easy to do when a team is down. I get it, everything's a zero-sum game. I sat a few rows behind the Bowdoin bench at Steuben in 2016. What I saw surprised me. Coaches and players were laser focused and working with great effort. The coaches were teaching, and the players were attentive. The body language was really positive. It wasn't for lack of effort or incompetence that they lost. I wish them luck, except for one game each year!
   AMH63: I enjoyed my time at the Hamilton/Amherst in Sept. I'm always impressed with the excellence of Amherst. While I give a slight edge (reluctantly) to the new Willytown facility, I love what Amherst has done with the Pratt facility. I got to watch the game from the berm with my old friend, the Asst. AD. We we were joined for most of the game by some former FB players, as well as current members of that women's B-Ball juggernaut. Your old school produces some terrific young people.
Colby Football: It sounds as if you're enjoying the NESCAC world much more this year. We're all better off for that! Your view of Murray and staff is spot-on. They realize that they still have much work to do. I do know that they love working with NESCAC student- athletes. I've said before that I regret that my son only got to play for Coach Murray for one year. I'll repeat what my son said when I asked him for his first impression of his new coach, "He's an excellent football coach, but forget football, he's just a really great guy!" It's moving in the right direction in Clinton, irrespective of wins and losses.
  One last correction: The injured star player for the Conts is not named Jacobs; there is no Jacobs on the Hamilton roster. The stud ALL- NESCAC LB, Tyler Hudson will return in 2019. Enjoy the games, folks, it goes by quickly.

East Region football / Re: FB: New England Small College Athletic Conference
« on: September 14, 2018, 01:27:38 pm »
amh63: I love your history lessons! They provide an important perspective on things. My first live NESCAC viewing this year will be the Hamilton/Amherst tilt on the 22nd. An old friend and coaching colleague is an Asst. AD for your alma mater, and he was our first window into the world of NESCAC, when he coached football and women's hoop for the then Lord Jeffs.
Hamilton has finally posted their 76 man roster. They always wait until the Friday before "showtime".  As of 10 days ago they were 6 or 7 players above the 76. My source felt that some lingering injuries might make cuts easier. They do have some returning players who missed all of 2017 because of injuries. Again, my source indicated that Tyler Hudson will be sorely missed, but that LB is a position of substantial depth and experience. The defense should be solid as several leaders are now 3 or 4 year starters. On offense, both Joe Schmidt and Christian Donohoe have big play ability. To keep from being one-dimensional RB Mitch Bierman will need to continue what he began in his 2017 breakout year. Good luck to everyone, stay safe and healthy, both on and off the field! Enjoy, it goes by way too quickly!

Thanks for the effort, Joe Bag. I've had similar conversations with parents. As can educator, (retired) I can only inform. I had heard that a scholarship opened up. Preferred walk-on status makes sense,especially so late in the process. He's very talented, based on his video and hs stats. You can only wish him well.

There is some good news from the "Western Front" in Clinton. My son played with his former position coach in the football golf outing in June. His coach felt that this year's freshman class might be the best he's seen in more than a dozen years on the Hill. New York is still Murray's recruiting wheelhouse, but they continue to have success with players in nearby states as well as from other parts of the country. Unfortunately, the top QB recruit, Austin Albericci, decided to matriculate at Rutgers, where he's one of 6 QB's on the roster, including 3 freshmen. As per the Rutgers website, he threw for over 2,500 yds. and 31 TD's, and ran for 500 yds. and 11 TD's. Apparently, Rutgers had a scholarship open up over the summer, and he decided that he liked Scarlet better than Blue!
The loss of Tyler Hudson is a tremendous blow, but LB is a position where the Conts have good depth with a lot of playing time experience. LB is always a recruiting priority, and Murray coaches the linebackers, so they'll be solid, if not spectacular there. Word is that Tyler tore his ACL playing basketball last spring, and that he's expected to make a full recovery, with an expected 2019 return. He's an excellent leader with a compelling personal narrative, and we wish him all the best in his recovery.
It's nice to hear positive comments from about Dave Murray from non-Hamilton sources. I've weighed in with my impressions in previous posts, and I regret that my son only got to play for him in his senior year. This is a tough league with some excellent mentors heading its football programs. Some schools have "baked in advantages", but I sense a leveling of playing fields throughout the league. (Sorry for the tired metaphor!) Excellent academics are always a good launching pad for success. I always tell prospective college athletes that it's "not just about the next 4 years, but more about the next 40". That's what the NESCAC delivers for its participants. Here's a link from the Hamilton Career Center that illustrates this point. Enjoy!


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 maņana . Enjoy, everybody!

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