KINGS POINT, N.Y. (Nov. 21, 2019) – Senior Joe Vitelli (Warrington, Pa.) was named the NEWMAC Football Special Teams Athlete of the Year and also earned two spots on the All-NEWMAC First Team as a wide receiver and as a return specialist, the league announced on Thursday morning. Vitelli is one of six Mariners that earned postseason accolades from the Conference.
Joining Vitelli on the All-NEWMAC First Team were senior quarterback Krystian Abbott (Lansing, Kan.) and senior offensive lineman John Coughlan (Massapequa Park, N.Y.). Selected to the All-NEWMAC Second Team were senior fullback James Early (Middletown, Md.), junior running back Matt Restifo (Hudson, Ohio) and senior linebacker Reno Dubreuil (Moorpark, Calif.).
Vitelli is the NEWMAC's top returner and ranks second in NCAA Division III with 883 combined kick return yards and 191.11 all-purpose yards. This season, he totaled 21 kickoff returns, averaging 23.7 yards per game, and recorded one kickoff return of 91-yards for a touchdown in conference. As a receiver, he caught a team-best 41 passes for a career-high 838 yards with six touchdowns. This is the second-straight year he earned All-NEWMAC First Team honors as a returner and the second time in his career he is an All-NEWMAC First Team wide receiver (2017).
Abbott – in his second season behind center for the Mariners, which, for a triple-option team threw the ball much more than years past – completed 71 passes for 1,395 yards and nine touchdowns. He also accounted for 345 rushing yards and found the end zone six times on the ground. This is Abbott's first career postseason honor.
Coughlan was the right tackle on the Mariner offensive line that helped lead the USMMA to 482.2 yards of total offense per game. The Mariners produced 316.9 rushing yards per contest, which currently ranks fourth in the nation among all Division III teams. This is Coughlan's second-straight year earning All-NEWMAC, as he was a Second Team selection after the 2018 season.
Early was the Mariners' leading rusher with 470 yards on 110 carries this season, averaging 4.3 yards per carry and 52.2 yards per game. He found the end zone six times throughout the year. This is the first postseason accolade of Early's career.
Restifo was always a threat at slot back for the Mariners and ranked third on the squad with 389 rushing yards on just 48 carries for an average of 8.1 yards per carry. The junior found the end zone four times on the ground, while also hauling in two touchdown receptions, finishing the year with 11 catches for 162 yards. This is Restifo's first career postseason honor.
Dubreuil finished the 2019 season with 45 total tackles (18 solo and 27 assisted), which ranked second on the team. He had a total of four tackles for losses of a combined 17 yards, including two half-sacks that dropped opposing quarterbacks back six yards. Dubreuil finds himself on the All-NEWMAC Second Team for the second-straight season.
For the complete release from the NEWMAC, click here.
The Mariners wrapped up a 6-4 season this past weekend with a big win over arch-rival Coast Guard in the annual Secretaries' Cup on ESPN3. This was the program's fourth-straight winning campaign, which is the first time that's happened at Kings Point since 1995-98.
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