The UR football team will have quite a few key spots to fill this year. Perhaps most notably is the running back position, where UR lost Matt Bielecki ’08. Bielecki finished his career last fall as UR’s leader in rushing yards, rushing attempts, total touchdowns and total points. He averaged almost 130 yards per game and was elected to the All-East Regional Team for the second year in a row.
Sophomore running back Clarence Onyiriuka will hope to fill the void in the backfield this season. As a freshman, Onyiriuka recorded 10 touchdowns and was named Liberty League Rookie of the Year.
UR will also get leadership and experience from junior quarterback Adam Barrett. Last fall as a sophomore, Barrett played in all 11 games and threw for just over 1,500 yards. Joining Barrett this year on the offense are two juniors, tight end Pedro Sosa and wide receiver Zach Ingoldsby, both of whom put up solid numbers last year.
The ‘Jackets will also say goodbye to the All-Liberty League First Team selection, offensive lineman Dan Kyle ’08. Kyle anchored a solid offensive line and will undoubtedly be missed on the gridiron this fall. Sophomore offensive lineman Zach Feldman, who received All-Liberty League Honorable Mention honors last year, will help UR to fill the void.
On the defensive side, the ‘Jackets will need to cope with the departure of defensive backs Andy Rape ’08 and Jim Milks ’08 and defensive lineman Brandon Reyes ’08. UR does have a number of returners on defense, however. Senior defensive back Sean Simpson and sophomore linebacker Ed Dauphin are both returning with All-Liberty League honors, while senior defensive back Matt Stack should help to provide leadership on the defensive side of the ball. Stack was second on the team in tackles last year, notching a total of 70.
UR’s schedule, like always, is no cupcake, either. A couple key dates will be on Oct. 4, when the ‘Jackets take on last year’s LL co-champion Rensselear Polytechnic Institute. UR finishes the season on Nov. 16, with an important match-up against the LL’s other champion, Hobart College. Last year, UR beat RPI, 25-21, as a part of their six-game win streak and lost to Hobart, 14-30.
The ‘Jackets kick off their season on Sept. 13 at Case Western Reserve University. UR returns home the following weekend for their annual Courage Bowl against St. John Fisher University. The ‘Jackets will have five home games this season.
Last year, UR finished 6-5 and went 5-2 in LL play. In the postseason, the ‘Jackets lost in the first round of the Eastern College Athletic Conference to Alfred University.
Hilfinger is a member of the class of 2010.