E.O. Smith Panthers short on seniors, long on commitment
By Melanie Savage - Staff Writer
Storrs - posted Mon., Sep. 30, 2013
After finishing last year’s season with a 3-7 record, the E.O. Smith varsity football team graduated a total of 12 experienced players. This year’s roster includes just three seniors, a detail which head coach Jody Minotti identifies as the team’s key potential weakness for the 2013-14 season. But returning for the season are a number of younger players, whom Minotti describes as “committed, excited and confident.” Minotti feels that these young players will prove to be the major strength of the team as the season progresses.
Among the returning players are junior Syie Prince, alternating between the roles of tight end, defensive lineback, punter and kicker last year. Prince started in all 10 games during the 2012-13 season, racking up 84 tackles and a 37.31 punt average.
Junior Darien Rexach returns this year after logging 74 tackles as a running back/ linebacker last year.
Junior Andre Wade logged 23 tackles and three touchdowns last year as a defensive back/slot player, and is expected to make a significant contribution to this year’s team.
Junior Dan Lopez Saucier contributed 30 tackles to last year’s season as a tight end/linebacker. Returning sophomore Anthony Stigler contributed to the 2012-13 season as a freshman in defensive back/slot positions, and is expected to be an offensive weapon for 2013-14, in addition to returning punts and kicks.
Other returning players expected to start for most of the 2013-14 season are senior Nicholas Kyparidis (RB/DE), senior Brad Marston (QB/DE), junior Jesse Governale (OL/DL), junior Greg Pociask (OL/DL) and senior Tony Bell (WR/DB).
Captains on this year’s E.O. Smith varsity football team are Wade, Rexach, Marston and Lopez Saucier. The assistant coach is Scott Sylvestre.