Tag Archives: RPI Football

Under The Helmet with WPI Place Kicker & Punter Spencer Herrington

Spencer Herrington

Spencer Herrington lines-up to attempt a kick last season against Anna Maria College. (PHOTO CREDIT: WPI Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

Spencer Herrington has just one goal heading into a brand-new college football season: “just be perfect.”

The WPI senior kicker was pretty close to perfect last fall, connecting on 10 of 12 field goals and 44 of 44 extra points for a career-best 74 points, which resulted in numerous postseason accolades, including NEWMAC Special Teams Athlete of the Year and D3Football.com’s All-East First Team Kicker.

But heading into the Engineers’ upcoming campaign, Herrington, who hails from Clearfield, Pennsylvania, seems confident that last season’s success could translate into even more this year – he certainly would like to cap his four-years with the WPI football program by being perfect in both extra points and field goals.

“I would like to see my stats (at the end of the season read) 15 for 15 or 16 for 16 on field goals and 40 for 40 on extra points,” said Herrington.

Herrington has the right attitude to accomplish his preseason goal, but plans to take it “game-by-game” this fall – he doesn’t seem interested in thinking about his kicks in October or November.

Prior to his team’s preseason practice on Monday, Noontime Sports caught-up with the senior place kicker and punter to chat about his personal goals heading into the upcoming season, as well as some important advice he received as a camper years ago from Robbie Gould, who is currently kicking field goals for the San Francisco 49ers.

What’s the biggest goal for you heading into a brand-new season?

“I think there is a lot of expectations (for me). Obviously last year, I didn’t have a lot of expectations because I had never started before, but I think my biggest goal is to put (any preseason expectations) aside and take it game-by-game.”

What helped you enjoy a successful season last year?

“I think it was confidence. I know for me, as long as I go out there with the mentality that I am going to make the field goal or extra point or I am going to punt well – it usually happens, but like for me it is all about keeping my form. I do watch some of my film to make sure some of my mechanics are the same every time, but honestly it is just like confidence. This summer I worked on (improving) my power by lifting.”

You connected on 10 of 12 field goals last fall. Do you ever think about those two kicks that missed?

“Yeah, both (attempts that missed) hit off the upright, so it’s kind of frustrating that I missed them by inches, but I still need to make those. Obviously, you want to get every kick back, but you can’t think about them too long (because) you have to move onto the next (kick) and make it.”

What was the biggest kick you made last year?

“I would say the field goal I made against MIT last year, which helped us win by three points.”


The MIT-WPI football games seem to come down to field goals or have been decided by three points. And one of those games happened to be the 2016 overtime win over MIT. 

“Yeah, when Blaine Bursey made that (19-yard-field goal in overtime) to beat MIT, I was there for it. I thought it was cool, but it is kind of funny (how the games have been decided by three points the past few years). Last year it didn’t come down to me. There wasn’t that much pressure (on me) because I kicked a field goal (before they came back). I don’t think I really had too many pressure kicks (last fall).”

Do you enjoy being a part the MIT-WPI rivalry?

“I think MIT and RPI – well, I guess there is something a little bit more with RPI because of the (transit trophy), but all three schools’ mascots are the Engineers, so there is a little bit of a rivalry there (with MIT, as well). But I think everybody goes into every game with the same mentality, but maybe just a little bit more juice with those games.”

Do you think special teams gets overlooked when offenses or defenses makes big plays?

“(Special teams) is a part of the game that needs to be there because games are won through special teams. Whether it is a mistake on special teams or whether it is winning a game with special teams, games can be won or lost through special teams, but I think (the kicking game) can be overlooked by fans. It is certainly not overlooked by coaches or players because they understand how much special teams means to winning games and being competitive in games.”

Do you have an all-time favorite kicker? If so, who?

“Robbie Gould, who is currently with the San Francisco 49ers. He’s been in the league a longtime and he is so consistent. When he played for the Chicago Bears, I went to his camp and met him, and he is just so consistent and may not have the biggest leg – I don’t have the biggest leg either. He is someone that I try to base my game off of and that is what the coaches are looking for, which is me making field goals.”

When you went to Robbie Gould’s camp, what advice did he give you as a young kicker?

“I asked him how he has stayed in the league so long and he said the biggest thing for him is that he doesn’t kick that often during practices. He said that he kicks roughly 10 to 20 balls each day and then does an ice bath followed by lots of resting and recovery. He (also) said that as long as he is doing (this routine) then he will be fine.”

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WPI, Coach Robertson Focused On Saturday’s Transit Trophy Game Against RPI

WPI head coach Chris Robertson and the Engineers face RPI on Saturday with the Transit Trophy on the line.  Photo Credit: Matt Noonan for NoontimeSports.com)

WPI head coach Chris Robertson and the Engineers face RPI on Saturday with the Transit Trophy on the line.
Photo Credit: Matt Noonan for NoontimeSports.com)

By Matt Noonan 

Before Chris Robertson was named the head coach of WPI’s football team, he assisted long-time head coach Ed Zaloom as the squad’s defensive coordinator.

Under Zaloom, Robertson and WPI were competitive, but struggled mightily against RPI during the annual Transit Trophy game.

The Engineers of Troy, New York defeated the Engineers of Worcester 15 consecutive times, however, the streak came to a halt during the 2010 season – Robertson’s initial year as the program’s head coach.

“As an assistant, I would watch Ed lose 11 times to RPI and those were close games, fourth quarter games and heartbreaking (setbacks),” said Robertson. “This game – I do it for him because I know how hard he worked at it.

“That first year – 2010 – was just amazing. Ed and I are still very close and that was something important for me to do to payback the hard work he put in (to the WPI football program).”

Under Robertson, WPI has defeated RPI three times in the past five years, but lost to the Engineers last season by a score of 27-6. RPI leads the all-time series since the coveted Transit Trophy was introduced in October 1979, winning 23 of 35 meetings.

“(This game) means a lot and any time you go out recruiting (prospective players) ask ‘who won the game last year?’ We want to be dominating in (the WPI-RPI) series,” said Robertson, “so that when everybody talks about studying engineering they can think say, ‘do I look at RPI or WPI?’ ”

Saturday’s contest marks the start of Liberty League play for WPI, which matched a program record with three straight wins to start its season – the last time the Engineers began their campaign with three consecutive victories was in 2009.

“We talked about 3-0 to the team once,” said Robertson. “Once we watched the film, (the team realized) there was room for improvement. They’re bright kids and they want to get better and they have seen good times and they have seen bad times, but we’re just focused on getting off to a good start in the Liberty League.”

A win for WPI would conclude the month with four consecutive victories, along with momentum going into a pair of road contests against Hobart (receiving votes) and St. Lawrence.

Said Robertson, “I don’t think we have played our best football yet, but it is nice when you can win some football games despite not great football. I am very proud of the guys so far.”

Mass. College Football: RPI-WPI Battle For Transit Trophy Tomorrow

By Matt Noonan 

As mentioned on D3Football.com, RPI and WPI will meet in Worcester tomorrow afternoon for the Transit Trophy, a tradition that was decided by the athletic directors of both schools after the 1979 contest.

RPI has won a majority of these meetings, while WPI’s most recent victories came in 2010 and 2011.

Once the “rivalry game” began, both teams alternated wins before the Engineers of RPI captured a majority of the contests in the 1980’s and 1990’s.

RPI won last season’s meeting, 39-17, thanks two touchdown passes from Mike Hermann, one of them going to Steven Burpoe, who finished the contest with nine catches for 100 yards. Both players have graduated, so WPI’s defense will be faced with a new challenge of defending quarterbacks Jeff Avery and Jessie Maynard, two signal callers that have combined for four touchdowns (three passing, one rushing).

The Engineers of RPI enter the contest on a three-game winning streak, while WPI will attempt to snap their two-game skid. WPI commenced their season with a win against Curry College under the lights before suffering a heartbreaking defeat a week later to Worcester State. Last weekend, the Engineers fell to Norwich University, a team RPI defeated in their season opener.

WPI’s Zach Grasis will be one of many players to watch tomorrow. The junior halfback leads the team with 378 yards on 74 carries and five touchdowns, while quarterbacks John Antonopoulos and Jacob Grills have combined for five touchdown passes, all of them to Ehab Hamdan.

Defensively, keep an eye on WPI’s Eric Lacroix, who has recorded 25 total tackles (23 solo), one interception and a forced fumble. Also, make sure to pay attention to RPI’s defense, which recorded six sacks last weekend against Castleton State.

All in all, it should be an exciting contest. Tomorrow is also WPI’s Homecoming, so expect a great crowd, too.

Quick Note: We will have a blog post on this game tomorrow afternoon, but for updates make sure to follow @NoontimeSports and @NoonSportsBlog, as well as @WPIAthletics and @WPIFootball.