SPRINGFIELD, Mass., September 26, 2006 – It is not often that the offensive line on any football team receives national recognition. If you watch enough football on television, you know that the only time an offensive lineman receives any kind of recognition is when he is caught for holding. Otherwise, it is anonymity.
But that is not the case today.
Earlier this evening, the Springfield College offensive line was named to the D3football.com National Team of the Week. They did so as a five-man unit. The unit includes left tackle John Mercer (Leonardo, N.J.), left guard Adam Feit (Chicopee, Mass.), center Mike Mestieri (Fairfield, Maine), right guard Dan Connors (Everett, Mass.), and right tackle Nate Germain (Swanzey, N.H.).
This past Saturday, Springfield defeated a then-unbeaten Alfred University team, 41-34, at SC’s Benedum Field. With the victory, the Pride jumped to a 3-0 overall record and 1-0 mark within the Empire 8 Conference. After the win, SC retained its No. 1 status in New England Division III, and moved up several notches in the D3football.com national poll, from 34th to 25th. In addition, SC jumped one spot in the Don Hansen’s Football Gazette national poll, from 21st to 20th.
The offensive line was very solid last Saturday. As a unit, it allowed SC backs to rush for an amazing net total of 486 yards. SC lost only four yards on the day.
Mercer (5-10, 240) is the youngest of the group, a mere freshman. Feit (6-2, 250) is one of four captains on the squad and is considered the line’s anchor. A senior, he is in fact the only returnee to this year’s offensvie line. Mestieri (6-0, 240) and Germain (6-2, 255) are also seniors, while Connors (5-10, 245) is a junior.
“This unit has performed pretty solidly as a group,” said Springfield Head Coach Mike DeLong, the winningest active coach in New England Division III with 139 career victories (127 at Springfield), “especially when you consider that four of the five are new in starting roles. We’re looking for this group to maintain its consistency.”