The Merrimack College football team recently celebrated a successful 2017-18 academic and athletic year and also unveiled the leaders of next year’s squad, as the Warriors held their annual Team Banquet and Awards on the last week of April leading up to the Spring Game.
Head coach Dan Curran and the coaching staff officially put a bow on the year with the celebration of the season, the team’s seniors and the handing out of the program’s annual awards. Merrimack finished the 2017 season off with a 4-5 record in Northeast-10 Conference play and nearly upset Division I Bryant (49-41) early in the season. The Warriors won three of their last five games in convincing fashion and could be primed for a breakout season in 2018. Merrimack returns 15 total starters from a team that boasted an offense that ranked No. 2 in the NE10 in both total offense and first downs per game, as well as the top-ranked rushing defense in the league.
In addition to handing out hardware to its award winners, the coaching staff also recognized the graduating seniors from the Class of 2018; each student-athlete received a commemorative Senior Gift with a framed game-day jersey that they wore over the course of their career.
The coaching staff announced that rising redshirt junior Erick Browne, as well as rising seniors Cody Demers, Jesse Jones and Hunter Sallila will all serve as team captains for the first time in their careers.
The coaching staff also announced the winners of the team’s annual awards. Among the honorees were graduating senior Derrick Villard being named Most Valuable Player (MVP), two-time captain Devin O’Reilly earning the Tom Caito Coach’s Award, graduating senior and one-time captain Joseph Peduto claiming Offensive MVP honors, while Jones hauled in the Defensive MVP accolade. Sallila was the Lineman of the Year, graduate student CJ Scarpa was the Isaiah Robbins Spirit Award winner and graduating senior and two-time captain Brian Carroll was the recipient of the Father James Wenzel Teammate Award. The full list of awards is listed below.
2017-18 Merrimack College Football Award Winners
Offensive Scout Team Player – Jake Doherty
Defensive Scout Team Player – PJ Iannuzzi
Lineman of the Year – Hunter Sallila
Unsung Hero Award – Justin Mount
Special Teams Award – Steve Camarro
Offensive MVP – Joseph Peduto
Defensive MVP – Jesse Jones
Father James Wenzel Teammate Award – Brian Carroll
Isaiah Robbins Spirit Award – CJ Scarpa
Team MVP – Derrick Villard
Tom Caito Coach’s Award – Devin O’Reilly