By Matt Noonan | @MattyNoonz11
Our ‘Early Preseason Outlook’ coverage rolls on with a closer look at the Maine Maritime Academy Mariners, who begin their season on Saturday, September 7th when they visit Maritime (N.Y.) for a 12 p.m. kick-off.
The Mariners’ 2018 Season: Despite finishing 0-9 last fall, the Mariners seemed to play their best football late in the season, especially against Coast Guard Academy, Norwich University and Catholic University. Those three games can be used as valuable teaching tools, but also motivation for the Blue and Gold heading into the upcoming season.
Terrell Thomas enjoyed a very successful first season with the Mariners, leading the defense in total tackles (83.0), solo stops (47), and tackles per game (11.9). The Auburn, Maine native also recorded 2.5 tackles for a loss and three pass break-ups en route to being named the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Co-Rookie of the Year.
On offense, Dominic Casale enjoyed a successful second season by leading the receiving core with 550 receiving yards on 41 grabs and seven touchdowns. Casale’s 550 receiving yards were the most recorded by any Mariner wide receiver in a single-season since Chris Pelletier registered 567 yards on 22 grabs in 1997.
Additionally, Casale’s seven touchdowns were the most recorded by a wide-out since John Guss in 1989.
The 2019 Outlook: The Mariners graduated five seniors from their 2018 squad, including outside linebacker Derek Breunig, and offensive linemen Kyle Miller and Jacob Doyon, but do return Casale and Thomas, who will certainly be the focal point of the team’s offense and defense, respectively.
Additionally, Maine Maritime returns a slew of offensive linemen, including Mahlon Glidden and Josh Reed, along with quarterbacks Bailey Sawyer and Zackery Brannon.
Halfback Cooper Chiasson returns for his second season after leading the unit in rushing last fall, while Mason Kaserman should be a go-to target for both Sawyer and Brannon.
While Thomas will be a linebacker to watch on defense, the same could be said for defensive back Maxwell Horton, who finished the season with 67.0 total tackles, including 5.5 solo stops for a loss of 15. Additionally, Horton was one of four defenders to record two interceptions.
Fans of the Mariners should also keep their eyes on inside linebacker Justin Pinard, who finished fourth on the team in total tackles with 61.0. He also recorded 2.5 tackles for a loss of three yards, while registering one pass break-up.
Maine Maritime’s Schedule: The first month of the season won’t be an easy one for the Mariners, who will travel to Plymouth State after visiting Maritime (N.Y.) before hosting Massachusetts Maritime Academy for the 47th Annual Admiral’s Cup. One week after entertaining the Buccaneers, the Mariners will welcome Merchant Marine for an important week four match-up.
Trips to MIT and WPI highlight the month of October, along with a home date with Coast Guard Academy.
The Mariners will end their season with back-to-back home games against Catholic and Springfield College.
Players to Watch: Dominic Casale (Wide Receiver/Freeport, Maine), Terrell Thomas (Outside Linebacker/Auburn, Maine), Mahlon Glidden (Offensive Lineman/Scarborough, Maine), Maxwell Horton (Defensive Back/Kicker/Eliot, Maine), and Justin Pinard (Inside Linebacker/New Boston, N.H.).
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