Harrison Greenslade burst on to the high school football scene as a starting sophomore for the Pingree School last fall. The talented skill player led the Highlanders with 265 receiving yards and four touchdowns for a run-heavy squad.
With the 2019 campaign just around the corner, the now veteran receiver and tri-captain is slated for an even more productive campaign.
"He was our team MVP last year, our top receiver. He's just as good on both sides of the ball," Pingree head coach Mike Flynn said of Greenslade, who also plays linebacker.
While Greenslade is in line for a stellar fall, he's not the only offensive weapon Flynn has the luxury of deploying.
Also returning to the fold is fellow receiver and captain Tim Dowd, as well as senior captain and signal caller Colton Fahey. The latter combined for over 1,000 yards of offense and 11 touchdowns, while Dowd paced the Highlanders in receptions with 12 for 252 yards to go with a pair of scores.
Having three quality returning pieces from last year's 7-1-1 team to help move the chains will be paramount to the Highlanders' further success — especially with the loss of every down guys like Eric Adinkra and Vito Visconti.
"We lost three D-lineman and two starting linebackers, so that's where the bigger concern is. But we're really good in the skilled positions," said Flynn. "If we can spread it out a bit more and speed up the tempo, we should be OK.
"Colton will be throwing a lot; he's pretty dynamic and probably our best runner."
Junior Steven Massillon, who served as team manager last year, is also in store for some carries, while classmate Billy Stevens could prove to be a valuable piece in the receiving corps. His versatility should gain him some time out of the backfield as well.
"He's a slot receiver but will also have the opportunity to play back. He's a guy that may catch X amount of balls and run for 4-or-500 yards," Flynn said of Stevens.
The trenches and defensive side of the ball certainly leaves more question marks. Junior lineman Paul Larrabee and Nico Mangano are pretty much set in stone at those positions, while defensive end Jay Candelino returns to the turf after a year off and could very well be a key contributor. But outside of that, the Highlanders will rely on a slew of underclassmen to bring players to the ground.
"I think we're definitely reinforced by our skill positions, but we have a couple of good transfers and a good freshmen class. The future of the program looks good," said Flynn. "But losing three guys up front from last year at a school like Pingree, it's like losing six guys because they play both ways. So we're a little worried about holding up up front and on defense."
Last year’s record: 7-1-1
Head coach: Mike Flynn (2nd season, 7-1-1)
Team captains: Tim Dowd, Sr. WR/RB/DB; Harrison Greenslade, Jr. WR/LB; Colton Fahey, Sr. QB.
Leading returning rusher: Colton Fahey (61 carries, 291 yards, 4 TDs)
Leading returning passer: Colton Fahey (39-for-64, 720 yards, 7 TDs, 3 INTs)
Leading returning receiver: Harrison Greenslade (9 catches, 264 yards, 4 TDs)
Did you know?: The Pingree football program has produced at least one collegiate athlete from each of its last 11 graduating classes. Most recently, 2019 grad Eric Adinkra joined the gridiron squad at Denison College.