Football Spring Practice in Full Swing

Football Spring Practice in Full Swing

April 7, 2010

2010 Spring Football Photo Gallery

The Sacred Heart football team is in the midst of Spring Practice as they get prepare for training camp this summer and the 2010 season. SHU is gearing up for their 20th season on the gridiron as the season kicks-off on September 3rd at Marist.

The Pioneers will once again be led on offense by quarterback Dale Fink (Swansea, IL) who opens his fourth season under center. The four-year starter has re-written the Sacred Heart record book over his career, holding 11 Pioneer passing records. Fink threw for 2,064 yards last season, completing over 60% of his passes for the third-straight season (.611). Fink completed 212-of-347 passes throwing 17 touchdowns on the year. He led the Northeast Conference in passing yards per game (206.4), total offense (206.4), completions (212), completion percentage (61.1) and touchdown passes (17).

Fink holds the school records for career passing yards (5,896), career completions (587), career touchdown passes (64), career passing attempts (921), career completion percentage (63.7), completions in a season (215 - 2008), completion percentage in a season (67.8 - 2008), passing yards in a game (373 vs. Monmouth 10/17/09), completions in a game (36 vs. Monmouth 10/17/09), passing attempts in a game (54 vs. Monmouth 10/17/09) and touchdown passes in a game (6 vs. Duquesne 11/14/09).

The passing game will need to replace the loss of all-time leading receiver Steve Tedesco but Fink will have a host of familiar targets at his disposal this fall. R-Senior Tony Patterson (Groton, CT) and junior Rich Rossi (Moosic, PA) return to lead the receiving corps. Rossi was second on the team last fall hauling in 35 passes for 313 yards and a touchdown. Patterson had 25 catches for 264 yards and enters his final season ranked eighth on the SHU all-time list for career yards per catch (11.1).

Sophomore Jo Jo Jamiel (West Yarmouth, MA) caught 26 balls last fall for 192 yards while senior Mark Uyeno (Setauket, NY) adds depth after catching five passes for 56 yards. Out of the backfield, junior Garry Coles (Southington, CT) caught 26 passes for 189 yards and a pair of scores. Tight end Tom Stripe (Mahwah, NJ) will also provide a big target over the middle.

Coles and senior Marcel Archer (Miami, FL) return to the SHU backfield as the Pioneers look to improve on their league-low 113.9 yards rushing per game. Coles finished the year with 352 yards on 73 carries, a 4.7 yards per rush average. He finished the year with three scores. Archer battled injury for much of last season but finished the year with 292 yards on 58 carries (5.0 ypc). He finished the year strong, running for a season-best 109 yards and a score on 17 carries in 24-14 win over Bryant and 79 yards on just eight carries in the season finale vs. Duquesne.

Up front, r-senior Justin Smith (Binghamton, NY) anchors an experienced offensive line. Smith is a three-year returning starter at the center position for the Pioneers. He was named All-NEC in 2008. Junior Dylan Larson (Barnegat Light, NJ) returns to his starting guard spot along with fellow junior Justin Martel (Manchester, NH) at right tackle. R-Sophomore Bill Romaniello (Monroe, CT) and r-senior Robert Russell (Utica, NY) saw action as starters at different points last season and r-sophomore Rakendrick Varnado (Ft. Worth, TX) will add depth along the line.

The Sacred Heart defensive unit returns nine starters and a wealth of experience to this year's team. Leading tackler junior linebacker Chris Mandas (Mission Viejo, CA) leads a deep linebacker unit after recording 88 tackles, 48 solo, last season. Senior outside linebacker Brian Flumere (Milford, MA) had 61 stops last fall with a pair of sacks, two fumble recoveries and an interception. Juniors Matt Dorosh (Beacon Falls, CT) and Mike Zambarano (Natick, MA) along with sophomore Niko Sierra (Longmeadow, MA) also return to the linebacking corps.

Along the defensive line, three-year starter senior Andrew Costantino (Abiagton, MA) is back along with the return of r-senior Bill O'Brien (Lafayette, NY). Costantino will once again help plug up the middle holding down the nose guard position in the Pioneer's 3-4 defensive scheme. O'Brien missed all of the 2009 season with an injury but hopes to return to his 2008 All-NEC form. The r-senior defensive end recorded 61 tackles in 2008, eight for losses and three sacks.

Junior Justin Embler (Cinnaminson, NJ) stepped into O'Brien's spot last fall and turned in a breakout season, starting all 10 games while leading the team in sacks and tackles for a loss. Embler finished the season with 53 tackles, third on the team, four sacks and 7.5 tackles for loss.

In the defensive backfield, both starting corners return in juniors Titus McIntosh (Pompano Beach, FL) and Ahmad Covington (Clementon, NJ). McIntosh recorded 46 tackles with two picks and eight pass break-ups while Covington posted 44 tackles with two interceptions on the year.

Seniors Rashod Underwood (Baltimore, MD) and Mike Mortali (Branford, CT) and sophomore Zak Turner (Hillsdale, NJ) return at the safety positions. Underwood and Mortali saw their season's cut short by injury last season while Turner stepped in and drew six starting assignments. Underwood had 20 tackles and a sack in five games before injury cost him the last five games. Mortali was forced out of last season's opener against Marist. Turner turned in 20 tackles on the year.

On special teams, sophomore place kicker Jason Plescow (Miami, FL) took hold of the kicking duties last season and finished the year a perfect six-of-six, hitting on a long of 37 yards. He was 13-of-16 on point after attempts.