BUZZARDS BAY, Mass. – Massachusetts Maritime Academy will look to conclude its regular season slate with a victory against Bridgewater State in tomorrow’s 35th Annual Cranberry Bowl presented by Ocean Spray.
Buccaneers head coach Jeremy Cameron would certainly like to send his seniors, who have tallied 20 wins over the past four seasons, out with a win. And after yesterday’s luncheon concluded, we caught up with Cameron to chat about the game, as well as his team’s season.
On tomorrow’s game: “It would be a big step forward (to end our season with a win). 6-4 would be one of the best years we’ve had here in a long time, but then to beat Bridgewater for the second time in four years or the second time in 17 years would be a big step forward for us going into the offseason. It’s one of our goals and it’s what all of our energy is going toward right now.”
On the senior class: “They have and we have 17 of them, and there are some key players like Mike Stanton, Keith Caruso, Stefan Gustafson, Michael Sylvia, John Bochman, Sheldon Roper, John Moriarty (and) Brandon Rodrigues (are just a few), so I’d like to send those guys off and we just appreciate what that senior class has done to our program for the last four years.
“We start practice off every day by ringing a bell, which means it is time to go to work, so this week our seniors have been ringing the bell prior to practice, so we know what it means to them, while the other guys are pulling in the same direction to get that last win for them.”
On the team’s impressive statistical performances: “Offensively, we do try to push the tempo, so you’re obviously going to put up yards and things of that nature. Defensively, we just haven’t played consistent all year for a variety of reason and we make no excuses. We’ve got young players and we’ve had some guys get banged up, but we think we’ve got a solid plan in place, the kids believe in it, we think we’re going to have our best defensive effort this week and we’re confident that our offense will be consistent like they have all year.”
On the team’s growth this season: “We feel like the future is bright. We want to win and it gives us momentum in the offseason, but going into next year we feel pretty good. We feel we have two quarterbacks that are going to be good next year. Most of the receivers are back except for Keith Caruso, who is a valuable piece, but we do feel like we’ve got some young guys and if they step up a little bit more they could (equal) his contributions. We’ll miss Stefan Gustafson, although we’ve got a couple running backs that can be very good college football players and some of them have already proven that like Austin Pierce and David Yerxa. On the offensive line, we will have to replace John Moriarty, who will be a tough replacement because he’s a very, very good offensive lineman, but we’ve got some younger guys that have been in the system, so we feel good about them. (Finally and) realistically, the entire defense is back with the exception of Michael Sylvia, so what you see tomorrow is what you’ll see next year with a ton of game experience under their belt and we feel like we can put together a pretty solid defense next season.”
On defending BSU quarterback Mike McCarthy: “We’ve seen all of their games and I have a tremendous amount of respect for him, but frankly I am just blown away by him. He’s an absolute stud. The way he runs the ball, week after week is amazing. You know you still can’t stop him and then when you allocate too many people to try and stop him he just pulls up and he can make all the throws, so the kid is one of the best football players that I have seen. He’s a competitor, tough and just the total package. We’re looking forward to seeing him play on Saturday, but we just hope to contain him.
“This guy is a legitimate quarterback. This kid can drop back and he can throw a 15-yard dig route, he can throw a 40-yard post (or) the vertical game, but this guy is the real guy.”