MARSHFIELD, Mass. – The Castleton University football team has been selected third in the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference Preseason Coaches poll, as announced Tuesday morning by the league office.
The Spartans received 18 points to land third on the poll, while SUNY Maritime was tabbed as the preseason favorite by earning 35 points and five first-place votes. Dean College was selected second with 31 points and one first-place vote. Anna Maria and Gallaudet finished in a tie for fourth at 15 points apiece, while Alfred State rounded out the poll with 12 points.
Castleton finished the 2018 season with a 2-8 record overall and a 1-5 mark against conference schools, but return seven offensive starters and six defensive starters as well as a large chunk of the special teams unit.
Jacob McCarthy appeared in eight games at quarterback last season as a freshman and put up 803 passing yards and three touchdowns. Chris Rice, a first-team All-ECFC selection in 2018, is back to anchor the defensive line after leading the team with 88 tackles last season. His six sacks ranked sixth in the ECFC while his 54 sack yards ranked first. He shattered program records with 22.5 tackles for a loss and tied the single-season record with his six sacks.
Castleton also added new coordinators on each side of the ball, welcoming Brian Grady as the offensive coordinator and Anthony Marsella as defensive coordinator. Grady is making his return to Castleton following a two-year stint in the same role during the 2009 and 2010 seasons where he coached Shane Brozowski to multiple program records. Marsella joins the staff after spending three years at Salve Regina as the Seahawks' special teams coordinator and recruiting coordinator. He was tasked with coaching the defensive backs and linebackers during his time at Salve Regina, helping guide the squad to the 2018 Commonwealth Coast Conference Championship.
Castleton opens its 2019 slate on Saturday, September 7 at home against Plymouth State University at 1 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at the gate on gameday. For more ticketing information, click here.