By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports
We’re another day closer to a brand new season of New England Division III football – can you feel the excitement in the air?
There is excitement swirling around the WPI Engineers, who enter the upcoming season as a team to watch, both in the region and New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC).
Led by a talented senior class, including linebacker Nick Ostrowski, the Engineers are poised to contend with MIT and Springfield College for the top spot in the conference.
Ostrowski enters his final season with the Engineers with a great deal of optimism – he believes both the offense and defense will be much improved from a year ago after WPI concluded its 2018 campaign with a 6-4 record.
The Charlton, Massachusetts native posted career-highs last fall in total tackles (76.0) and tackles per game (8.4). He credits his success on the gridiron to his coaches and teammates, both past and current, who have inspired him to work even harder this summer, so he can enjoy a successful final season with the Engineers.
What did you do this summer to prepare yourself for a successful (and final) season with the Engineers?
This summer was a great off-season for the team. Before we left for summer break we challenged each other to come back in the fall bigger, faster, and stronger by religiously following Coach Dan Ross‘s summer program. A lot of guys were working summer jobs around Worcester, so we were able to get a good group of guys together for the lifts and running.
This summer we definitely did more conditioning in order to have more wind for those late game situations. A big focus this summer was also to stay in contact with the team to ensure everyone was doing well and working hard.
You enjoyed one of your best seasons with WPI last fall. What made last season so successful from your perspective?
It started with some good coaching followed by (a slew of) repetitions in practice last season. I felt like most of the game were slowing down for me, which allowed for better keys and quicker reads.
We have also had a lot of great mentors in (this program) the last couple of years, including Brian Murtagh and Sam Malafronte. Both Brian and Sam were guys we looked up to as younger linebackers, and I hope to replicate their leadership while being a good mentor to the younger guys on our team (this fall).
We have a great foundation to build off of from one year ago with some younger guys gaining (in-game experience) and reps due to some injuries. I am very excited for this season (and to see) what we can do.
How have preseason practices gone from your perspective? Also, how has the defense looked?
Preseason has been going great with a lot of guys working very hard, but there is still a lot of work to do before our first game. Everyone on the team is focusing on getting better at a few things every day.
Since our team is pretty experienced, we focus on the details and the little things within a practice so we can try and perfect our techniques and movements.
The defense is looking very good (thus far) and we are excited to get on the field (and face future opponents). We are trying some new things out defensively and are being tested both mentally and physically, but we are performing very well under these circumstances.
What are some goals and objectives you have for both yourself and team this fall?
A big goal for us this fall is just to constantly get better in each practice and each game. We need to focus on one game at a time and treat each week as if we are 0-0.
We look forward to getting out on the field and hopefully our hard work this summer can translate to (our upcoming) games.
You are one of many seniors on this year’s squad, so how do you and your classmates want to end your time with this program?
Our senior class is extremely talented – we are also a very close group, too.
We were fortunate enough to be part of the WPI football program for three consecutive winning seasons, which is a pretty special thing, especially when looking at our team’s history. A good ending to our time (in Worcester) would be to continue that (recent success) and to win a NEWMAC crown.
We know we have the tools to achieve these goals, so we just need to go out there and execute on the field.
Finally, your team begins its season against Worcester State next Friday. Excited to compete under the lights for the final time?
September 6th cannot come soon enough, we are very excited to take the field next Friday (against Worcester State).
The guys are fired up to get out there and show how we improved as a team.
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