By Matt Noonan | @MattyNoonz11
Our ‘Early Preseason Outlook’ continues today with a closer look at the Bridgewater State University football team, which begins its 2019 season on Saturday, September 7 when they host Morrisville State at 12 p.m.
The Bears’ 2018 Season: Bridgewater State enjoyed a successful ending to its 2018 season, winning five of their final six contests, including a New England Bowl contest against Salve Regina. They competed in an epic four-overtime clash with Western Connecticut – crazy to think they almost beat the Colonials! – before capping their regular season with a victory over Massachusetts Maritime Academy in the 40th Annual Ocean Spray Cranberry Bowl. Their 8-3 mark matched the 2016 squad, which captured the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) crown.
The 2019 Season Outlook: One of the biggest questions facing the Bears this season is who will replace wide receiver Jack Lavanchy, who led the unit last season in receptions (97), receiving yards (1,236) and touchdown receptions (13)? Additionally, the squad will miss Lavanchy’s classmate, Travis Bassett, who also enjoyed a successful final season with the Bears by catching six touchdowns. Lavanchy and Bassett were just two of the 17 student-athletes that graduated this spring, so finding replacements for them, along with defensive lineman Chris Gemayel will be something this unit must do before they commence their 2019 season.
Luckily, the Bears return a slew of talent on both sides of the ball, including defensive back Mark Wilson, linebacker Michael Rosa, and quarterback Stefano D’Emilia. Bridgewater State will certainly be a team to watch this fall, especially in the MASCAC.
Bridgewater State’s Schedule: The Bears will be challenged immediately when they face Morrisville State before traveling to St. John Fisher for an intriguing week two matchup. Both games are winnable – if the Bears beat both teams it would certainly provide the unit with some momentum heading into late September league tilts against Western Connecticut (week three) and Fitchburg State (week four). Weeks after their meeting with the Falcons, the Bears will cap their regular season slate with a home game against Plymouth State followed by an important trip to Framingham State.
Players to Watch: Stefano D’Emilia (Quarterback/Bridgwater, Mass.), Brad Thiltgen (Quarterback/Cumming, Ga.), Nick Santavicca (Running Back/Yorktown Heights, N.Y.), T.J. Hairston (Wide Receiver/Watertown, Mass.), Mark Wilson (Defensive Back/Foxborough, Mass.), Michael Rosa (Linebacker/Uxbridge, Mass.), Steven Silvia (Linebacker/Dighton, Mass.), John MacDermott (Linebacker/Bridgewater, Mass.), Jaren Alves (Defensive Back/Providence, R.I.) and Dimitri Dorinvil (Defensive Line/Brockton, Mass.).
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