By Matt Noonan
CAMBRIDGE, MA – Anna Maria senior running back Robert Small was awarded this week’s Division 2/3 Golden Helmet Award for his effort this past weekend in the AMCATs’ first win of the season.
Small concluded the non-conference contest with five touchdowns, four on the ground and was named this week’s Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Division III North East Offensive Player of the Week. He was also named the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) Offensive Player of the Week, too.
As noted on the college athletic department’s website, Small set three school records in the win. He recorded 30 points against Maine Maritime Academy, which was 12 points more than the original record of 18 points. His four rushing touchdowns and five touchdowns were also new markers in Anna Maria program history, too.
After this week’s New England Football Writers’ luncheon concluded, we caught up with the New York native to discuss the award, as well as the season thus far.
On earning this week’s award: “Coming from Sleepy Hollow, I didn’t think I’d receive this award, so it is definitely a big honor. I personally just want to thank Anna Maria’s staff and everybody that supported through my ups and downs and getting me here and stood by me.”
On his conversation with Coach last spring: “Basically I wanted to lead this team (this season) and put this team on my back. I know had a big responsibility, so I knew what it was and I stayed here over the summer and worked out a lot, but basically I knew what time it was. I knew it was time to gear up, put the team on my back and lead us to hopefully a conference (crown) and above .500 (record this season).”
On summer workouts: “I prepared myself to get my body ready by lifting and running, I probably never ran as much as I did this summer, so it definitely helped me out.”
On what worked against Maine Maritime: “Game number one, we had trouble running the ball against Worcester State. They’re a phenomenal football team, so our offensive line had a task (this past weekend) and if they (translate their success from our last game) we could do this every week. The offensive line stepped up and our coaches stepped up, but I think everybody had a great game. (This past weekend’s game) is definitely going down in my memory book.”
On scoring five touchdowns: “I wasn’t thinking about myself, I was thinking about the team and how we came this far and (earned) this win. It still is hitting me now as I am receiving all these awards, but I am not the type of guy to latch onto (that stuff), but it is definitely an honor to be at Harvard.”
On Anna Maria’s young program: “I want to tell my kids that it is a good program. Four years ago I never thought I would (be in this position), so it was really a blessing in disguise and I am just happy to be here.”
On being the second player to earn this award from the Worcester area: “I don’t even know what to say, I’m speechless, but it’s a good thing for Worcester (area) football and Anna Maria football and Anna Maria College. Hopefully people can see this school and (realize) it is a great program, the people there are nice and everybody is so supportive.”
On staying focused during a bye week: “We’re still preparing for (our next game), but just because we have a bye week doesn’t mean we get to relax, so every day we have to keep getting better, which is what Coach (Vincent Sinagra) preaches to us. Saturday we’re probably going to practice and get after it, so we’ll all follow him and it is definitely something to do on Saturday.”