GETTYSBURG, Pa. – An experienced Gettysburg College
football team will aim for its third consecutive winning season
while competing for a Centennial Conference title during the 120th
season of Gettysburg College football this year.
Coming off a 6-4 campaign in which it tied for third in the
conference at 6-3, the Bullets return a strong core of talented
players on both sides of the ball.
Gettysburg, which lost a pair of games by a single point a year
ago, brings back 11 returning starters, including six from its
high-powered Spread Wing offense that finished 11th in Division III
in total offense (460.9 ypg) a year ago. Four All-Centennial
Conference performers also return for the Bullets.
Buoyed by a successful off-season, Head Coach Barry
enters the 2012 campaign with high hopes.
"We're excited for this season for a number of reasons," said
Streeter, who enters his 34th year at the helm and is tied for 10th
among current Division III football coaches in career victories
(167). "Our off-season went really well. Our spring was probably
the most productive one we've ever had, in a lot of areas. We
addressed issues in the offseason, from an X's and O's standpoint.
Our staff worked diligently to correct situations in all three
phases, and we felt like we dealt with them well."
Offensively, the Bullets return nearly all of their starters at
the skill positions, including all-conference performers at
quarterback, tailback, and wide receiver. However, the team must
replace four of its five offensive linemen.
Gettysburg also returns five starters from a defensive unit that
held three of its last five opponents to 14 points or less in 2011.
Senior Larry DelViscio
all-conference linebacker, leads the way after posting 100 tackles
a year ago.
The special teams unit faces the challenge of replacing its only
kicker to attempt a field goal or extra point last season. However,
Gettysburg brings back its punter as well as an all-region return
Last season, the Bullets returned only two starters at the skill
positions but brought back three offensive linemen. The scenario
has reversed for 2012, with all but one starter returning at the
skill positions while just one returning starter comes back on the
Gettysburg features the rare distinction of returning both a
1,000-yard rusher and a 1,000-yard receiver in senior tailback
and junior wideout
. Along with senior
quarterback Kody Smith
, sophomore wing back
senior tight end
, and senior tackle
"Skill-position wise, we have players who have performed well for
us," said Streeter. "So we're confident that we are going to be
productive. The key will be building the offensive line and seeing
how quickly they can mesh together."
Smith is coming off an impressive season in which he passed for 17
touchdowns and just four interceptions while sharing time at the
position with Kyle Whitmoyer '12. He finished with 1,637 yards
passing and rushed for an additional 293 yards and three TDs en
route to earning second team All-Centennial Conference honors
– the highest all-conference honor for a Bullet QB in 17
According to Streeter, returning a highly-established play caller
is critical to the offense.
"You don't have to alternate quarterbacks on the first group,"
said Streeter. "You know who your guy is. Kody has done well when
he has played, so we're confident in him. He has the potential to
have a really strong year."
In his top performance of the season, Smith threw for 291 yards
and four touchdowns, including a game-winning, 32-yard Hail Mary on
the game's final play versus Ursinus.
The backup spot will be decided in the preseason, with four
sophomores and two freshmen vying for the position. Sophomore
is the only one of
the six who has seen varsity action after playing in two games and
completing his only pass attempt last year.
The Bullets led the Centennial Conference in rushing by nearly 45
yards per game last season, averaging 225.4 per outing. Returning
to lead the ground game is Delia, who registered an outstanding
season in his first year as a starter. Delia ran for 1,071 yards
and nine touchdowns while earning All-Centennial Conference
Second-Team honors. A big-play threat in the backfield or as a punt
returner, he posted the fifth-highest rushing total in school
history when he rumbled for 244 yards against Susquehanna.
A number of talented players will compete for the backup position,
including sophomore Nick Ulassin
, who served in
that role last year and rushed for 212 yards and a pair of
touchdowns on 42 carries. In addition, sophomore Eddie
is coming off a strong spring season and could
threaten for playing time.
Gettysburg lost its only skill position starter at wing back,
where John Pesce '12 graduated. However, Caruso is coming off an
outstanding freshman campaign, starting all 10 games and finishing
as the team's second-leading receiver (37 receptions, 544 yards,
two touchdowns) and fifth-leading rusher (39 carries, 184 yards,
The second wing spot is up for grabs, but heading into the
preseason the frontrunner appears to be junior Peter
, who impressed the coaching staff in the
spring. Classmate Tommy LeNoir
is also in the mix
after earning a spot on the depth chart last year before suffering
a season-ending injury. In addition, a number of freshmen will push
for playing time.
WIDE RECEIVER/TIGHT END
The receiving corps, led by two players who have started at some
point in their career, is among the Bullets' deepest positions.
Twer is back after an electric sophomore season in which he broke
a 47-year-old school record for touchdown receptions, making 12 TD
grabs. He also logged just the second 1,000-yard season by a
receiver in Gettysburg history, piling up 1,079 yards. An
All-Centennial Conference Second-Team pick, he recorded the second-
and third-highest single-game receiving yard totals in school
history and was on the receiving end of Smith's game-winning heave
Joining Twer to give the Bullets a strong 1-2 punch at receiver is
senior Kyle Davis
, who will look to
bounce back after an injury-shortened year. He played just two
games late in the season but enjoyed a strong sophomore campaign,
catching 12 passes for 248 yards and three touchdowns in 2010.
Other talented receivers who could pose a threat include junior
, who caught six
passes for 38 yards and a touchdown last season.
At tight end, Brophy has seen regular action in each of the past
two years as part of a three-man rotation. However, he could
receive even more playing time this season due to the graduation of
Dennis Bazow '12 and Mack Krush '12. Brophy caught three passes for
43 yards last year and hauled in 13 catches for 207 yards and a
touchdown in 2010. Junior Patrick McMichael
, a converted
quarterback, provide additional options.
The team's biggest question mark on offense is the line, which
graduated four starters, including three-time All-Centennial
Conference left tackle James Monreale '12. The lone returning
starter is Treinish, who started all 10 games at right tackle and
should likely return to the lineup again this season.
The remainder of the line is largely to be decided, though senior
adds a veteran
presence. Bennett appeared in eight games last season and started
twice at right guard, helping the Bullets to victories over
McDaniel and Moravian.
Coming out of the spring, the favorite to start at center in place
of All-Centennial Conference selection Tom Piccirillo '12 was
sophomore Dan Breen
. A number of
additional returnees stood out in the spring and will challenge for
playing time. Junior Connor Bagnasco
, Matt Gentile
, and Michael
are among the players who could fill in at any spot
on the line.
Though the Bullets lost several key performers on defense and
struggled at times last season, the returning cast brings reason
Gettysburg brings back two of its top-three tacklers from 2011
along with three additional starters who helped hold their
opponents to 12.7 points per game over their final three victories.
The Bullets limited Muhlenberg to 10 points and 220 yards, held
Moravian to 14 points and 154 yards in a game played through a
blizzard, and allowed F&M just 14 points and 93 rushing
"In the offseason I felt like our coaches did a very good job in
evaluating exactly what we needed to do to make improvement," said
Streeter, on the defense. "And then we implemented that from a
personnel standpoint in the spring."
Gettysburg returns two starters on the defensive line, led by
senior defensive end Joe Ventresca
. He led the team
in sacks (8.5) and tackles for loss (14.0) while tying for fourth
in the Centennial Conference in both categories and finishing 23rd
in Division III in sacks. He will be joined by senior tackle
, who notched
32 tackles, including 4.0 for loss.
Streeter also expects senior defensive end Chris Nolan
play a more prominent role after showing strong signs last year,
when he made nine tackles and a pair of sacks.
Other experienced linemen who should figure into the action at
either tackle or end include seniors Ben Zepnick
played in seven games and made 11 tackles a year ago, and Mark
, who is back after missing all of the 2011 season
due to injury. Wojcik played in six games and started twice in
2010, finishing with 19 tackles and 2.5 sacks.
Junior Anthony De Rosa
also returns to
give the Bullets an additional option on the inside after playing
in seven games as a top backup last season.
The linebacking corps returns two starters from a year ago in
DelViscio and senior Mark Covington
A two-year starter at middle linebacker and an All-Centennial
Conference Honorable Mention last season, DelViscio is coming off
an impressive year in which he finished second among the conference
leaders in tackles per game (10.0). The first Bullet to reach 100
tackles since 2006, he was also second on the team in tackles for
loss (13.0) and sacks (3.5). A leader off the field as well,
DelViscio became the first Bullet football player to earn Academic
All-America honors since 2002. Senior Dave Wald
back after serving as the backup middle linebacker in 2011, when he
made 28 tackles.
Covington also returns as a two-year starter and has made his mark
as outstanding playmaker. Last season, he led the team in forced
fumbles (three), was second in tackles (64), and third in tackles
for loss (10.5).
The final two linebacking spots will likely be filled by a
combination of junior Cody DiAmore
, junior Fred
, and sophomore Mike Maguire
makes the move from cornerback, where he started once a year ago
and finished the season with 17 tackles. A top backup at linebacker
in each of the past two seasons, Dietz posted six stops a year ago
while Maguire gained plenty of experience on special teams.
In the secondary, Gettysburg returns a pair of cornerbacks who
have started at some point during their career, but lost both
Senior DJ Thompson is back after starting eight games at corner in
2011, finishing with 24 tackles. Junior Hugo Nolasco
returns after playing in all 10 games and making one interception.
He started six games as a freshman in 2010.
At safety, the Bullets must replace the sixth-leading tackler in
school history in Joe Delaney '12 and All-Centennial Conference
Honorable Mention Peter Hak '12.
After playing all 10 games as the backup free safety last season,
sophomore Gordon Prince
will likely start
at strong safety this year after posting nine tackles, two pass
breakups, and an interception in 2011. Senior Drew
, who served as the team's long snapper in the
second half of last season, is the frontrunner at free safety
following a strong spring. A number of freshmen will also contend
for playing time at the safety positions.
Though the Bullets must replace their kicker, nearly the rest of
the special teams unit remains intact.
The lone returning kicker is sophomore Matt Perkins
handled kickoff duties in five games last season. He could likely
take over extra point and field goal kicking as well, but a pair of
freshmen will also compete for the job.
Caruso returns after taking over at punter for the second half of
last season. He averaged 31.5 yards per attempt and of his 24
punts, only eight were returned for a total of 11 yards.
Delia should continue as the team's punt returner after a
breakthrough season last year, when he tied a school and Centennial
Conference record by returning three punts for a touchdown. At kick
returner, Ulassin is back after racking up 840 yards - second in
school history - on a school-record 41 attempts, good for a
20.5-yard average. Other Bullets who could see action as a kick
returner are Twer, who made 10 returns for 214 yards a year ago,
and Fessenden, who made just one return in 2011 but enjoyed a
Gettysburg's schedule strongly resembles the 2011 version, with
only the venue changing for nine of their 10 weekly matchups.
For the first time in 12 years, the Bullets' season opener will
not feature Lebanon Valley. This season, Gettysburg will welcome
Misericordia University on Sept. 1 in the Cougars first-ever
The team's final nine games will feature Centennial Conference
opponents, starting with their league opener at Ursinus on Sept. 8.
After hosting Juniata and traveling to Susquehanna, the Bullets
will play their Homecoming game on Sept. 29 versus McDaniel.
After a bye week, Gettysburg visits Muhlenberg on Oct. 13 before
playing two Friday night games over three weeks, visiting Johns
Hopkins on Oct. 19 and Dickinson on Nov. 2 with a home date versus
Moravian in between. The Bullets wrap up their season with a home
game against Franklin & Marshall on Nov. 10.