The Salem News
---- — Trinity College had an unbelievable 8-0 football season to cop the NESCAC championship. Earlier this month at the team’s annual banquet two local players received honors. Junior running back Evan Bunker, former Masco star, took home the John Kelly Offensive MVP for the second straight year while sophomore defensive end Nate Cyr of St. John’s Prep was named Defensive Rookie of the Year.
The Bantams put up a lot of points this past season, winning most games by wide margins, but they struggled in the final against Wesleyan before pulling out a 30-24 overtime win to keep the record perfect. It marked the 13th consecutive winning season which includes five unbeaten years. In the last 11 seasons the record has been 6-2 or better every time. Trinity also has an amazing 47 game home winning streak.
Another local player, sophomore Brendan Oliver of Danvers (Pingree), played a key role at tight end. The Bantams outscored opponents 281-101 and had only allowed 57 points until the last two games. Bunker led the team in rushing with 1,275 yards and 11 touchdowns. He also caught 11 passes for 97 yards. He received All American honorable mention by Beyond Sports Network and was an ECAC All-Star.
Cyr, who lives in Kingston, New Hampshire, played in all eight games and had 19 unassisted tackles and eight assisted for a total of 27 with two sacks and eight tackles for losses.
Bantams coach Jeffrey Devanney was named New England Division II/III Coach of the Year by the Gridiron Club. The former Trinity graduate, who has been at the helm for the past seven years, said Bunker, Cyr, and Oliver are all great kids. The 6-foot-1, 250 pound Cyr, who was a captain and Catholic Conference All-Star at St. John’s, made the adjustment from the offensive to defensive side of the ball with ease.
“This was Nate’s first year on the field for us,” said Devanney. “As a freshman we had him playing offensive center, and while he worked very hard at it and could have been a good center we decided he could help the team more as a defensive end.
“Turns out it was a good move for him and for us. He had a very good sophomore season, ended up starting and was our most consistent defensive lineman. Nate is a “football player”. What I mean by that is that he is a tough, hard-nosed kid that loves to compete. He takes coaching very well, and you could see him improving his technique each week as a player.
“His best days are ahead of him as his natural physical ability combined with his work ethic will make him a very good defensive end in our league for the next two years.”
Abbey D’Agostino owns the fastest mile time in the world. The Dartmouth College junior from Topsfield didn’t waste any time setting a new record in her first indoor meet for Dartmouth. The Big Green men and women won the 44th annual Dartmouth Relays last weekend. The women cruised with 185 points to second place Northeastern’s 91 while the men’s was much closer. Dartmouth pulled off the victory over Northeastern in the 3,000 meter race which was the last event before the relays.
This was the first meet for the Dartmouth distance runners, but D’Agostino was the mid season form, breaking the course record by four seconds and finishing 18 seconds ahead of the second place finisher in a blistering time of 4:34.15 on the 200 meter flat track at the Leverone Fieldhouse. That time converted to a 4:31.46 mile. This marked the third straight year the Big Green women have won this event.
D’Agostino’s time was the best ever by a Dartmouth woman athlete and nearly 11 seconds better than Kentucky’s Cally Macumber (4:42.34) which was also set this month. Last year D’Agostino ran a 4:38.44 to set the school record, and did it at the Dartmouth Relays. The multi-time All American is taking it to another level this winter.
Assistant coach Mark Coogan, who works closely with D’Agostino, said her time was the fastest by any NCAA athlete on a flat 200 meter track in the past few years.
Senior Jacob Evanter of Marblehead had a big second place finish in the 60 meter hurdles (8.39) to pick up eight big points which helped Dartmouth win the meet.
The accolades keep coming for Peabody senior Catarina Rocha, who will run at Providence next year. For the second straight year Rocha has been named Massachusetts Gatorade Cross Country Runner of the Year. Rocha capped off her sensational high school career by taking second at the Cross Country National Championships in San Diego last month.
The award is not only for achievements on the course but also in the classroom and community. Rocha excels in all three areas.