KINGS POINT, N.Y. (Aug. 2, 2016) – Last week, the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy football team selected its captains for the upcoming 2016 season and a trio of seniors will serve as the leaders for the squad both on and off the field this year – tight end Robert Baker (Whitinsville, Mass.), defensive back Patrick Keyes (Parsippany, N.J.) and linebacker Josh Woodburn (Huntingtown, Md.).
Baker was an honorable mention All-Liberty League selection after the 2015 season and was the recipient of the Andrew E. Gibson Award as the Mariners' outstanding offensive player. He hauled in arguably the most memorable play of the year when he caught the go-ahead two-point conversion late in the fourth quarter that led to USMMA's first win over Springfield in 18 games. Baker has played in 25 games for Merchant Marine over the last three season.
Keyes received Second Team All-Liberty League honors last year for the second-consecutive season. The 2014 Hanley-Naegele Award winner as the Mariners' outstanding defensive player after his sophomore campaign two seasons ago, Keyes followed that up by ranking second on the team with 60 total tackles in 2015. His six tackles for combined losses of 27 yards was third-best on the squad and he also forced one fumble, recovered another and had one interception. In 27 games played over the past three seasons, Keyes has 186 tackles, four interceptions and nine pass break-ups.
Woodburn was also selected to the All-Liberty League Second Team last year and was the team-leader for tackles in his first season playing defense after switching over from offense. He made 65 stops last year, including 3.5 for combined losses of eight yards with a half-sack. He also recorded one forced fumble and broke up one pass. In three seasons, Woodburn has played in 22 games and has amassed 276 rushing yards on 50 carries (5.5 yards per carry) with one touchdown, 64 receiving yards on four catches, including a TD reception, and 68 tackles.
The Mariners will open the 2016 season on Saturday, Sept. 10, when they travel up to New London, Conn., to face arch-rival Coast Guard in the Secretaries' Cup game. Opening kickoff is slated for 2:30 p.m. at the Bears' Cadet Memorial Field.
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