Five players from the New England Football Conference have been named to the 2016 New England Football Writers Division II/III All-New England team. The team is chosen by a panel of selectors representing all five Division II or III football playing leagues in New England.
NEFC Champion Western New England University had two players selected to the team as did Conference runner-up Salve Regina. WNE defensive back Obi Etuka was a selection for the second consecutive year. Etuka is a shut-down cornerback who tallied six interceptions and 12 passes broken up to lead the NEFC in both categories. He also had 42 tackles in the Golden Bears’ 12 games.
Golden Bear quarterback Anthony Serivce led his team to the second round of the NCAA Division III Championship Tournament with a remarkable touchdown to interception ration of 25:3. Service threw for nearly 205 yards per game while completing nearly 63% of his passes. He also rushed for 434 yards and eight additional touchdowns.
Two offensive players form Salve Regina University made the squad. Offensive lineman Nico Aronson and running back Sam Pascale were each first-time selections. Aronson anchored the Seahawk offensive line from his center position. Salve Regina allowed only two quarterback sacks the entire regular season, and the Seahawks had the top ranked NEFC offense in both total yards (463.3/game) and scoring (41.5/game). Pascale was a major reason for the offensive output rushing for 146.4 yards per game and 18 touchdowns. Pascale also had 13 receptions on the season with an additional touchdown.
Darius Adams of the Coast Guard Academy had not played football before 2016, his junior year at the Academy. Adams is a native of Nassau, Bahamas, and decided over the summer that he’d like to give football a try. Adams went on to become the leading receiver in the NEFC and was named the Conference’s Offensive Rookie of the Year. He averaged over 105 yards per game on just 47 receptions. He averaged over 22 yards per reception and tied for the NEFC touchdown receptions lead with 13.
The conferences represented are the Division II Northeast-10 Conference, and in Division III the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC), the Massachusetts State College Athletic Conference (MASCAC), the New England Football Conference (NEFC) and the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC).
The team will be recognized and honored at the 2016 NEFW Captains and Awards Banquet on Thursday, December 8 at the Montvale Plaza in Stoneham, Mass. People interested in attending should contact Dick Lipe at Bentley University at 781-891-2334.