POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. – The Marist football team is winding down 2013 preseason camp. The Red Foxes held their final double session on Tuesday, and will hold their second and final scrimmage on Thursday at 9:15 a.m. at Tenney Stadium. Camp will break on Friday.
With just 11 days left until the season opener vs. Sacred Heart, here is a look at the team’s defense, which returns eight starters from last season:
Position Coach: Tunde Agboke
Fifth-year senior defensive end Terrence Fede is Marist’s most explosive athlete. The 6-foot-5, 270-pound Fede has garnered significant attention from NFL scouts, and has led Marist in sacks each of the last two season (17.5 total) playing end in a three-man line. Junior Nicholas Foster, an Honorable Mention All-PFL selection last year, continues to get better as he projects as the starting nose tackle. Junior Demetrius Williams has also made significant strides the last two years, as he attempts to claim the starting position at the defensive end spot opposite Fede. Marist also has a great deal of experience in the defensive line rotation. Fifth-year senior Chris Katerianakis has starting experience at both end and tackle, senior Steven Diomede has been a key member of the defensive line rotation the last two years, and senior Kevin Stark has contributed at both end and tackle.
Marist has to replace a significant amount of production with the loss of starting outside linebackers Mike Hagemann (the team’s leading tackler and a Second Team All-PFL selection last year) and Darius Hill. Senior Paul Sakowski, a captain, returns for his third year as the starter at middle linebacker. Sakowski is a smart player who has a nose for the ball, and has been Honorable Mention All-PFL the last two years. Senior Mike Kagafas transitioned from safety to outside linebacker last year, but had his season end after one game due to injury. Senior Hugh Kirwan has been a reserve linebacker and a key member of Marist’s special teams units the past two seasons. Both Kagafas and Kirwan are in the mix to earn starting positions on the outside.
Position Coach: Larry Riley
Senior Jack Marston and junior Vinny Fuschetto have seen significant action at cornerback each of the last two seasons. Marston tied for the team lead in solo tackles last year, had two interceptions, and broke up five passes. Junior Craig Thompson saw increased action in the second half of last season. Sophomore Zachary Quarles, junior Ryan Roumes, and junior Tareek Turner will vie for increased playing time this year as well.
Position Coach: Clarence Johnson
Despite the loss of Second Team All-PFL selection Nick Mainiero, this figures to be one of the strongest and deepest areas of the team. Fifth-year senior Tyler Ramsey is a captain whose 2012 season was cut short by injury. Ramsey is a former starter at middle linebacker who is entering his third year as a safety in Marist’s 3-3-5 alignment. Junior Zach Adler led the PFL with four interceptions last year. Senior Nick Kaszei is another captain who has tremendous ball skills, and will enter his second season as the team’s starting free safety. Juniors Matthew Semelsberger, Connor Mathias and James Holodnak are all quality contributors who have seen significant game action previously, and figure once again to do so this season.
Marist will open to the 2013 season at home against Sacred Heart on Saturday, Aug. 31 at 6 p.m. A postgame fireworks show will follow the contest. Single-game tickets are available for purchase here.