By Brian Willwerth | @BriWillwerth
After dropping their season-opener to Springfield College, the Western New England Golden Bears enter the bye week riding a four-game winning streak.
During their bye week, we caught up with first-year head coach Jason Lebeau to talk about his team’s recent success.
We began our conversation by discussing cornerback Tommy Ganley, who was named to this week’s D3Football.com Team of the Week after recording two interceptions, one pass break-up and three solo stops last week against Salve Regina.
“Tommy’s been fantastic for us (this season),” said Lebeau. “He has really found his role as a corner,” adding that Ganley transitioned nicely from wide receiver to the defensive side of the ball this season.
“He just another guy who’s worked really hard to get where he is,” said Lebeau.
When it comes to players who don’t always light up the stat sheet, Lebeau had high praise for long snapper Jake Salera.
“You watch our return team, and Jake is in the returner’s face every time,” said Lebeau.
On the offensive line, he singled out center Anthony Hale.
“We were struggling at the position, trying to get our five best offensive linemen on the field, (and he’s) moved over from the tackle position and made such a big difference,” said Lebeau. “Now that we’ve moved him there, our communication is so much better. Our confidence is so much better.”
Coach Lebeau thinks the Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC) is strong from top to bottom.
“There are a lot of hungry teams (in our conference) that are finding their way,” he said. “It’s not going to be easy (the rest of the way),” adding that he’s happy to have three of the last five games at home.
It may not be surprising to see the Bears rolling up the yards and the points. Lebeau spent six years as offensive coordinator. Now, in his first year as head coach, his team is averaging over 36 points game, with a pretty balanced attack.
The Golden Bears return to action next Saturday, October 13th when they host Curry College.
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