By Matt Leon
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – They are ready to play some football down in Glassboro, New Jersey, as the Division III Rowan Profs look to build off an impressive 2012 campaign.
Last season, Rowan went 7-3 and made the NCAA playoff field for the first time since 2006.
“It had been a couple years since we were in the playoffs,” Rowan head coach Jay Accorsi tells KYW Newsradio. “It was nice, we had a really good senior group that got us back, had some really good wins and got a chance to get in the playoffs and contend for the conference title. Hopefully, we’ve built a foundation for the next few years.”
This year’s foundation is obviously thought of quite highly as the Profs, who call Glassboro, New Jersey, home, were the preseason pick of the conference coaches to win the New Jersey Athletic Conference.
“It’s always nice when your peers recognize you, your coaches in your conference recognize you and give you some votes for that,” Accorsi says. “But like I told the players and the coaches, you still have to do it on the field. But obviously, that’s nice.”
The Profs have a hole to fill at quarterback as Louie Bianchini has moved on. Accorsi says they have several players battling to take over under center, but it looks like sophomore Paul Hamersma is taking control of the position.
“It was an open competition, still somewhat open,” Accorsi says. “But the last two days, Paul’s kind of really taken hold and done some really great things offensively. So he’s leading right now and progressing really well.”
The rest of the offense looks to be in fine shape, with a lot of returning talent.
“We return (running backs) Matt Dortch and Withler Marcelin and Mike Weber, who carried the ball a lot for us last year,” Accorsi says. “We lost Keith Corcoran, but we’ve got three experienced backs back. We’ve got a good amount of offensive lineman back. Then on the outside, with (receivers) Warren Oliver and Eddie Eisenhart, two bigger, longer, leaner athletic wide receivers.”
On the other side of the football, the Profs are coming off a very stingy season, as they allowed under 12 points a game in 2012.
“Defensively, we’ve always been very talented,” Accorsi says. “It’s just the matter of the right spots and the right schemes and what we’re going to do.”
One of the most talented players is sophomore linebacker Darren Dungee, the 2012 NJAC Defensive Rookie of the Year.
“We’re strong everywhere on the defensive side of the ball,” Dungee says. “Lineman, defensive backs, linebackers, we’re good everywhere. It should be a good year.”
The Profs will get a feel for just how good they are week one, as they travel to Doylestown to take on another top local Division III squad in Delaware Valley College. This is a rematch of last year’s season opener that Rowan won at home, 27-13.
“To start off with a quality team like Delaware Valley, at Delaware Valley, that’s going to be an early test for us,” Accorsi says. “I know they’ll probably have a lot to prove from last year because they had high rankings going into the game and we came out on top. It was a close hard fought battle between two really, really good quality teams and I expect it to be the same thing again.”
That season opener with Delaware Valley College is set for Saturday, September 7th.
You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattleonkyw.