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HIGH EXPECTATIONS MEET MUSTANG FOOTBALL IN 2013

th_football8MORRISVILLE, N.Y. – Morrisville State College football began preparation for the 2013 season over a week ago, under direction of new head coach Curt Fitzpatrick, and since last Tuesday, the team has taken on a new attitude and generated a buzz of excitement that has quickly spread across the campus community.

What’s in store for the Mustangs this fall? According to Fitzpatrick, high expectations have been placed on the team, not in terms of wins and losses, but in putting in a great effort to get better each and every week. “If we keep that as our main goal,” he said, “we will reach our potential, and be the best team that we can be.”

“I expect our senior class to provide great leadership based upon their experience,” Fitzpatrick continued. He pointed out that seniors Jeremy Stewart (Moravia, N.Y.), along with preseason All-American selections Nate Ryan (Staten Island, N.Y.) and David Williams (Central Islip, N.Y.) are not only great players, but also have been at the forefront of “leading by example” behind the effort and energy that has been displayed throughout training camp.

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He noted that the biggest difference between this season and last: new attitude, more confidence, and a belief in each other. This Fitzpatrick said, will help to “stay focused on the present.”

While there have been many changes for the Mustangs this season, one thing has remained the same throughout camp – consistency.

Fitzpatrick is confident that the Mustangs can reach their full potential, but it will take some hard work behind the scenes on both the coaching staff and players to make that happen.

th_football8Twelve starters return from last season to the roster in 2013, including the trio of all-conference performers, Stewart, Ryan and Williams. So far, there have been a few surprises at camp, including Cristian Pena (Ridgewood, N.Y.) who has been moved from the cornerback position last season to the offensive side of the ball this fall, at running back.

Fitzpatrick is looking for offensive production and consistency, and noted that the veteran line and notable key returners will help to anchor the offensive attack this season.

Veterans Ryan, Ryan Mogensen (Westernville, N.Y.), Jedd Burdick (Maine, N.Y.), and Adrian Cabrera (New York, N.Y.) boast an average 6-foot 3-inch, 257 pound front on the offensive line that will be holding protection for a current four-way battle for the command position under center.

th_football8Fitzpatrick expects newcomers Greg Puzo (Brooklyn, N.Y.), Sanley Pierre-Louis (Gaithersburg, Md.), and David Thomas (Spring Valley, N.Y.) to be key contributors on the offensive side of the ball this season.

Puzo, an offensive lineman, has a great motor and technique for a freshman, and may see significant time on the line this season.

Pierre-Louis brings great speed and size to the wide receivers unit for the Mustangs. The senior joined the program after a stellar four-year career as a soccer student-athlete at Morrisville State, where he earned North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) Player of the Year accolades in 2012.

Thomas, Fitzpatrick noted, has lightning quick speed and great instincts with the ball.

th_football8Defensively, Williams will help to provide leadership on the defensive line, while Stewart and senior Travis French (Newark Valley, N.Y.) anchor the secondary unit with junior Freddie Gaetan (Bronx, N.Y.).

Newcomer Caleb Wright (Cortland, N.Y.) is expected to make an impact this season as well. The back is a very long and rangy safety that can play the ball well and tackle even better.

Picked to finish eighth in the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) coaches poll, the Mustangs aren’t letting that hinder what they want to accomplish for the season. “The NJAC is always tough, one of the toughest leagues in the Northeast in Division III,” Fitzpatrick said. “I suspect Cortland and Rowan to be our toughest two opponents, along with Brockport.”

“Our non-conference schedule pits us against three well established programs in the North,” he said. “Wilkes is always a tough, physical team and will be a tough opener for us.”

When asked what game Coach is most looking forward to this season, he smiled and replied “the first one.”

Morrisville State opens the 2013 campaign on the road at Wilkes on Saturday, Sept. 7. Kick-off is scheduled for noon.

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MORRISVILLE STATE COLLEGE FOOTBALL TO OPEN CAMP AUGUST 13TH

MORRISVILLE, N.Y.­ – New season, new expectations. Morrisville State College football, under direction of first year head coach Curt Fitzpatrick, will open the 2013 preseason Tuesday, August 13th.

headshot_2_fitzpatrick“The start of training camp is always an exciting time.  It’s a fresh start for us and a chance for the team to come together as a program and achieve great things,” said Fitzpatrick of Tuesday’s awaited start.

The Mustangs will have ample time to make adjustments under Fitzpatrick’s direction before heading into the regular season schedule, which kicks-off on Sept. 7 at Wilkes University as part of the NJAC-MAC Challenge.

I’m excited to be the head coach here at Morrisville, and my staff and I are very much looking forward to helping our players get better each and every day,” Fitzpatrick said.

Morrisville State opens the home stint on Saturday, Sept. 14 against Hartwick College, also Take A Kid to the Game day, and returns the following week to Drake to host St. Lawrence University for the college’s Mustang Weekend (homecoming) event.

th_football8New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) action begins Oct. 5 on the road at William Paterson, with the Mustangs returning to Drake on the 12th to host Rowan. They are away the next week at The College of New Jersey.

Morrisville State wraps up October action on the 26th against Montclair State, hitting the road in November with back-to-back contests against Kean and SUNY Cortland. They end the regular season schedule Nov. 16 against rival Brockport, honoring the graduating class in the 2013 home finale on Drake Field.

A complete game schedule can also be found on the athletic web site at http://athletics.morrisville.edu.

Preseason practices are open to the public. Those interested in attending training practices should contact the office of sports information at athletics@morrisville.edu or 315-684-6250 for a schedule.

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UC’S CURT FITZPATRICK TO BE NAMED NEXT HEAD FOOTBALL COACH AT MORRISVILLE STATE

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MHTS has learned that Utica College Offensive Coordinator Curt Fitzpatrick will soon be named the next head football coach at Morrisville State College replacing longtime head man Terry Dow. A deal is apparently being finalized. More to follow. 

Curt Fitzpatrick was hired by Utica College in the winter of 2007 and serves as the Offensive Coordinator and Quarterbacks Coach for the Utica College football program.

Over the past five seasons Fitzpatrick’s balanced, no-huddle offense has elevated the Pioneers to become one of the top offenses in the Empire 8 conference and propelled the Pioneers to shatter school records in various offensive categories year after year. 

The 2012 season proved to be the Pioneer offense’s most prolific to date as they led the Empire 8 conference in several offensive categories, including: Points per Game (34.2), Yards per Game (465.0), Passing Yards per Game (340.2), Completion Percentage (66.2%), First Downs per Game (24.3), and 3rd Down Conversion Percentage (50%).  All of those categories broke school records as well, in addition to breaking school records for Pass Completions (274), Passing TDs (33), Pass Efficiency Rating (156.2), and Total Offense per Play (6.3 yds/play).

th_football8Fitzpatrick helped to guide the 2012 Empire 8 Conference Offensive Player of the Year, QB Andrew Benkwitt.  Over his four year career as the Pioneer starting quarterback Benkwitt, a 2-time team captain and 3-time All-Empire 8 selection, has compiled an impressive resume, breaking nearly every single-season and career passing record in UC history.  In his 40 games as the Pioneer signal-caller, Benkwitt amassed 94 total touchdowns, 1,400 pass attempts, 901 pass completions, a career completion percentage of 64.4%, 10,590 passing yards (264.8 yards/game), and 88 passing touchdowns.  As a freshman in 2009, Benkwitt was also named the ECAC Division III Rookie of the Year.

In addition, the 2012 season saw Fitzpatrick lead three players to D3football.com All-East Region offensive honors in WR Jeremy Meier (1st Team), QB Andrew Benkwitt (2nd Team), and TE Matt Dunn (2nd Team).  In his five years coordinating the UC offense, Curt has coached a total of sixteen Pioneers to all-conference honors on the offensive side of the ball.

th_football8Fitzpatrick came to Utica College after spending the 2006 and 2007 seasons as the Quarterbacks coach at his alma mater, St. John Fisher College.  In two seasons as Fisher’s QB coach he led a passing attack that compiled 5,304 yards passing, 55 touchdowns and just 12 interceptions.

As a player, Curt played for five seasons and emerged as Fisher’s starting quarterback in 2004. As a fifth-year senior, the Empire 8 All-Conference selection set Fisher records for passing touchdowns (30) and passing yards (2,366) while leading the Cardinals to a 10-2 overall record and a victory in the NCAA Division III Championship.

Fitzpatrick graduated from St. John Fisher with a Bachelor’s degree in Management in 2004, and completed his Master’s degree in Athletic Administration from Ohio University in 2012.  Following a successful playing career at Fisher, Curt returned to his hometown to coach the quarterbacks at Fulton High School in the fall of 2005 before returning to coach at Fisher in 2006. 

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