PHILADELPHIA - The Penn sprint football team kicks off their 2006 season with the annual Alumni game Saturday, Sept. 9, at 3 p.m. Alumni, along with current team members and their families will gather at Franklin Field for the game, followed by a cookout for all participants. The game is the traditional start of the season for the Quakers.
Head Coach Bill Wagner begins his 37th season at the helm of the Penn sprint football program, and is optimistic about the group that he has returning.
Senior quarterback Mike Loguidice will be the signal-caller once again this season. Loguidice is the program’s fourth all-time leading passer, with 1,813 career yards in just three seasons. After a run-dominated 2005 season, he will look to approach his single-season record, 1,286-yard performance of 2004. Sophomore Mike D’Angelo is a talented two-way player who will be an able back-up, with Will Johnson also adding depth.
“Mike Loguidice is a key guy for us if he can stay healthy,” said Wagner. “And Mike D’Angelo is such a versatile player for us - he can play quarterback, linebacker and wide receiver. I need to have a good quarterback who can back-up Loguidice.”
Another senior captain, J.T. Hutchinson will lead the Quaker ground attack. He posted 381 yards, which was second on the team and fourth in the CSFL, and three touchdowns as a junior. Max Greenky and Albert Tsai both saw significant touches last season, with Greenky averaging 39.2 yards per game and Tsai rushing for 37 yards and a touchdown for the season. Stephen Delgado and Matt McConville will also compete for time at running back as two-way players.
“J.T. Hutchinson is our guy, but there are other backs in the picture,” said Wagner. “Max Greenky is coming back, and Albert Tsai is coming back. Both are solid for us. Tsai is not only a running back in this offense, but he’s [also] a pretty good receiver.”
Wide receiver will be thin in experience for 2006, but several talented newcomers will push for starting roles. Junior Tomas Altamirano is the only returner at the position, averaging 9.6 yards per game in 2005. Junior Mike Kaplan, sophomore Michael Stack and freshman Jordan Marin are expected to compete for starting roles.
Tight end will be without a returning starter, but sophomore Marten Basta, who had experience at both tight end and as a kick returner last season, will fill the role along with senior Jon Rosenberg.
“Tomas Altamirano is going to be one of our go-to receivers, and then obviously Mike D’Angelo is going to be our guy,” said Wagner. “At tight end, we’re looking to two people - one is Marten Basta, the other is Jon Rosenberg. Michael Stack didn’t play a lot last year, but he’s really improved. Jordan Marin, a freshman, could be very good as well.”
The offensive line will sport several new faces this season as well, with the graduation of two four-time all-league linemen. Mike Sanders, Brian O’Connell and Andrew McGregor will all fight for starting spots, with Andy Juang, Stephen Peck and transfer John Lucier also in the mix. Freshmen John Vergari and Ben Eisenstat are also promising additions to the line and could see time early.
“Sanders, O’Connell and McGregor have to be the foundation of our offensive line,” said Wagner.
Special teams will have plenty of experience returning, with first-team All-CSFL kicker Peter Stine returning for his senior season. Stine has shown the capability for long-range kicks, booting a 46-yarder against Cornell last year. Mike Loguidice will reprise his role as punter, in addition to his play-calling duties. Although the team lost its top return man, Scott Pickett, to graduation, several players with kick return experience are back, led by Albert Tsai (7 returns, 42 yards) and Tomas Altamirano (4 returns, 63 yards). Wagner knows that Stine’s skills at kicker will be crucial for the team’s success.
“Peter Stine will be a major plus with his kicking game,” said Wagner. “It’s important for us to have him coming back.”
The defensive side of the ball includes four all-league selections from 2005. On the line, honorable mention All-CSFL Christian Corrigan will look to match his debut season that saw him tally 16 tackles. Senior Adam Wolfson will provide plenty of experience, and Andrew Migdail should see time as well. On the ends, Kyle Kekeisen (12 tackles in 2005) and Will Johnson will be the top choices.
Plenty of experience also returns at linebacker, with senior captain Nick Dinges coming back off an injury-shortened year, and junior Stephen Delgado and sophomore Mike D’Angelo returning. Last year, D’Angelo was the team’s fourth-leading tackler with 28.5, while playing on both sides of the ball. Several solid options exist behind them in John Marsh, Matt McConville, Masamba Sinclair and Michael McMullen.
The secondary will again look to be among the best in the CSFL. First-team All-CSFL selection David Lopez, who led the league with five interceptions last year, will anchor one corner, while Kale Roth, who had three picks and 21 tackles, will be on the other side. Sophomore safety Andy Feigenbaum, an honorable mention all-league pick last year, is the team’s top returning tackler with 31.5, including a whopping 9.5 for a loss, in 2005. In addition, Bryun Williams, Michael Brous, Alex Russo and Peter Stevens will bolster the corners, while Andrew Mangano and Drew Dampier will compete for a starting role at safety.
“We have a lot of guys back on defense,” said Wagner. “We also have some talented new guys who should be a big help for us this year. We have a lot of experience coming back on the secondary as well. Our corners and safeties will really help us out.”
Penn will need all the help they can get, as the schedule will once again be a challenging one. The Quakers will tune up for the season with their annual Alumni Game Sept. 9 at Franklin Field, and then kick off the regular season Sept. 16 against Ivy foe Cornell in the Allegiance Bowl in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. It will mark the first time Penn has competed in that bowl. A trip to Princeton will follow on Sept. 29. A pair of rare Saturday games will take place in October at Franklin Field, with the Quakers taking on VMI in a day game on Oct. 7 and hosting Army Oct. 14. Penn travels to Ithaca to play Cornell Oct. 20, and then goes to defending CSFL champion Navy, Oct. 27. The season finale will see the Quakers host rival Princeton Nov. 3.