BANGOR, Maine — The Husson University football team has been selected to finish third in the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference in the league’s preseason coaches poll.
Norwich was selected as the preseason favorite with five first-place votes and 61 points overall. Gallaudet, last season’s conference champion, was selected second with the other three first-place votes and 55 points.
Husson received 45 points to take third and was followed by Mount Ida (39), SUNY Maritime (35), Becker (26), Castleton (15) and Anna Maria (12).
Head coach Gabby Price’s Eagles return 75 lettermen, including eight starters on offense and seven starters on defense from a team that went 5-5 overall and 4-3 in the ECFC a year ago.
“We’re excited with our preseason,” Price said in a news release. “The players came back in great shape, exhibited great leadership and played very well. We’re excited to see them play.”
Husson was selected to finish seventh in the preseason coaches poll but finished the season tied for fourth.
The Eagle defense was among the nation’s best last season in Division III, ranking 11th in total defense (270 yards per game) and seventh in passing yards allowed (133.9 per contest).
Leading the defense this season will be 2013 All-ECFC selection senior linebacker Stephan Dance, who notched a team-high 103 tackles, placing in the top-50 nationally in that category.
On the offensive side, the Eagles return top receiving threat Josiah Hartley (17 catches) as well as starting quarterback Joe Seccareccia.
Husson ranked in the top third nationally in rush yards per game (192.4) and in the top half in time of possession (30:36). Leading the rushing attack will be senior Ryan Dorso, who averaged 4.7 yards per carry last season along with four touchdowns.
Senior Alex Young, a first team All-ECFC selection a year ago, will lead the offensive line while Shabashe McIntosh, an honorable mention all-conference selection, also will look to contribute more this season.
The Eagles kick off the season Saturday, Sept. 6 at Alfred University, New York, before playing their home opener Saturday, Sept. 20 against Alfred State College, New York.
Former Mount Ararat of Topsham tennis standout Michael Hill has been appointed head coach for women’s and men’s tennis teams at the University of Southern Maine.
Hill replaces Aaron Bergeron, who accepted the head coaching position at Merrimack College earlier this week.
It is Hill’s first collegiate coaching position.
Since graduating from Brown in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, Hill served as a tennis professional at the Woodlands Country Club before moving on to Foreside Fitness and Tennis. He has taught lessons and clinics to clients of all ages and skill levels, specializing in high-level juniors.
Hill was a three-time state champ at Mount Ararat.
Chris Hall, an assistant men’s hockey coach at Colby College, has been named the head coach of the school’s golf team.
Hall, the recruiting coordinator for the men’s hockey team, helped the Mules make the New England Small College Athletic Conference playoffs in his first two years.
Women’s hockey assistant Steph Moberg was named head coach of the golf team July 31, but she recently accepted a job offer.
A 2009 University of Notre Dame graduate, Hall worked with the University of Massachusetts and Amherst College men’s hockey teams for two years before his arrival at Colby. He was an undergraduate student assistant coach at Notre Dame from 2005-10.
The Husson University field hockey team has been picked to finish second in the North Atlantic Conference preseason coaches poll.
Husson received two first-place votes and totaled 28 points in the poll, trailing first-place Castleton State which gained three-first place votes and totaled 32 points. Rounding out the poll were the University of Maine-Farmington (22), Thomas College of Waterville (19), New England College (14) and Colby-Sawyer (9).
The NAC also released its preseason coaches polls for women’s and men’s cross country and volleyball.
Women’s cross country: 1. Colby-Sawyer (92), 2. Husson (85), 3. NEC (81), 4. Castleton (69), 5. UMF (63), 6. Green Mountain College (41), 7. Maine Maritime Academy of Castine (36), 8. Thomas (31), 9. Johnson State (29), 10. Lyndon State (23).
Men’s cross country: 1. Lyndon State (96), 2. Colby-Sawyer (88), 3. NEC (75), 4. MMA (66), 6. Castleton (53), 6. (tie) UMF (44), Thomas (44), 8. Johnson State (43), 9. Husson (27), 10. GMC (14).
Volleyball: 1. Colby-Sawyer (49), 2. MMA (38), 3. Husson (36), 4. Castleton (31), 5. Lyndon (18), 6. GMC (17), 7. Johnson State (7).