CASTLETON, Vt. – Tony Volpone, entering his fifth season as head coach of the Castleton University football team, has announced that 11 more student-athletes have made a deposit to commit to the University and join the Spartan program starting in August 2018.
"This is a very exciting group that gives us a strong presence at the line of scrimmage. New York and Vermont recruits have always been good to us, and being able to grab quality players from New Hampshire, Massachusetts and even other countries rounds this group out very well. These players should be noticed during preseason practices and can really have an impact in our program as they develop," said Volpone.
Frank Buchler, a native of Bethpage, N.Y., will join the outside linebacker corps at Castleton after starting for two years at Plainedge High School. He was a team captain and received the team's "Blue Collar" award. His coach Robert Shaver says that Buchler, also a conference champion in wrestling, "is a tough blue collar player who loves physical combat."
Joe Efstratios will give the Spartans added depth on the defensive line after a stellar prep career at Haverhill High School in Haverhill, Mass. A team captain, Efstratios started for three seasons, including earning a starting spot on both sides of the ball for the past two years. He is "a force in the trenches and in the weight room," according to his coach Tim O'Conner.
Zach Licata comes from North Massapequa, N.Y., and will continue to be a teammate of Buchler's after both graduated from Plainedge High School. At tight end, Licata was a two-year starter and received the Plainedge Football Coaches Award. Shaver says that Licata "is a good student and great person who has really helped our youth program by giving back and coaching."
Mike McNichols is another addition at outside linebacker after starting for two seasons at Norton High School in Norton, Mass. He served as a team captain and successfully balanced academics with athletics by earning Scholar-Athlete honors. His coach Tim McCarthy calls McNichols "a physical runner (who) went sideline to sideline from his linebacker position."
Zach Nolan will cross the state line from South Glens Falls, N.Y., to join Castleton as a defensive back. A team captain at South Glens Falls Central High School, he received Second Team Section II Class A and Section II All-Star honors. His coach Michael Hammond calls Nolan "a hard-nosed, team-oriented player who understands the concept of hard work and dedication."
Seth Park will remain in his hometown of Castleton, Vt., after a standout prep career at Fair Haven High School. A two-time All-State selection on the offensive line, he was a participant in the 2017 North-South All-Star Game and will compete for Vermont in the 2018 Shrine Game. Park is "a really high character person who was well respected by all his teammates and coaches," according to his coach Brian Grady.
Tyler Parker Pawloski will travel south to Castleton from his hometown of Shelburne, Vt. He played on the defensive line at the Tilton School. According to his coach Rahn Fleming, Pawloski is "a versatile lineman who'll be able to contribute to the defensive side of the ball. He is trusted by his teammates on the field and respected by them in the weight room."
Trever Rose hails from Johnsonville, N.Y., and attended Hoosic Valley High School. He was a three-year varsity starter on the offensive line, served as a team captain, and received Scholar-Athlete recognition for his work both in the classroom and on the field. His coach Pete Porcelli calls Rose "a big-bodied offensive lineman that takes up space, but is also very smart, durable, and has a good work ethic."
Nick Stone, a native of Claremont, N.H., adds more depth to the Castleton offensive line after concluding his prep career at Stevens High School. A team captain, Stone earned First Team All-State honors, received the Joe Yukica Scholar-Athlete Award, and was selected to play for New Hampshire in the upcoming Shrine Game. His coach Paul Silva says that Stone "has the frame, work ethic, and desire to learn."
Oscar Svedling is from Sparreholm, Sweden, and will become the first student-athlete from Europe on the Castleton football roster, joining the team as a defensive back. At Vansbro Utbildningscenter, he played on both sides of the ball and was both the team MVP and the top physical fitness tester. His coach Rolf Bjorck says that Svedling "takes every advice, hint, and coaching point and immediately starts to process them into improved behavior on the field."
John Urrico, joining the Spartans as an outside linebacker, hails from Medford, N.Y., and was a team captain at Bishop McGann-Mercy High School. He received the team's Defensive MVP award, was a team captain, earned All-Division honors twice, and collected the Boden Memorial Football Award. Urrico "was an elite football player for our program not only on the field, but also by doing the right things in the classroom."
Castleton enters the 10th season of the football program after posting a 6-4 overall record in 2017, including a 5-2 mark within the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC).