9/21/2001 - Sprint Football
Navy Sprint Football Sets High Goals for 2001 Season; Open 2001 Season on Sunday
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The Navy sprint football team enters the 2001 season with high expectations following a 3-3 season under first-year head coach Maj. Austin Renforth, USMC, last fall. The Mids will open their season on Sunday evening at 5 p.m., playing host to Delaware Valley College (Pa.) at Rip Miller Field.
The Midshipmen return 30 letterwinners, including 13 starters, from a team that finished 2-2 in Collegiate Sprint Football League (CSFL) play.
Navy lost to eventual CSFL champion Pennsylvania by one point in overtime, while falling to Army by a touchdown in the annual N-Star game.
With the competitive results the Mids exhibited in 2000 and the wealth of experience returning this fall, Renforth has his sights set on the ultimate prize in 2001.
“We have no excuses this year not to win the CSFL championship,” said Renforth. “Anything less will be unacceptable.”
With four All-CSFL offensive linemen gone due to graduation, four-year starter Michael Valenti (Sr./West Deal, N.J.) will be heavily counted on to anchor Navy’s front five. Juniors Keith Battle (Mobile, Ala.) and Kip Rainey (Portsmouth, R.I.), a 2000 Honorable Mention All-CSFL selection, and senior Bobby Frantz (Falls Church, Va.) have game experience and will also be mainstays in the trenches.
Senior Steve Troy (Barrington, R.I.) will handle the signal-calling duties in 2000. Troy completed 12-of 30 passes for 226 yards and three touchdowns last season, with a team-best pass efficiency rating of 136.28.
Navy looks to produce sustained drives with a sound running attack, and senior co-captain Doug Neves (Klamath Falls, Ore.) will be both a physical and emotional leader in the backfield for the Mids. He averaged 4.7 yards per carry in limited time last fall.
Navy will have to replace First-Team All-CSFL wide out Ben Wilson, who graduated in May. Junior receiver Ed Donahoo (Haleyville, Ala.) was a starter last fall, and will look to fill the hole in the receiving corps left by Wilson’s departure. He caught 11 passes for 187 yards in 2000, while also serving as Navy’s return specialist.
The defense forced eight fumbles, recorded 17 sacks and had 51 tackles for a loss in 2000. Senior co-captain Dan D’Orazio (Manilus, N.Y.), who had 42 tackles last year, will be the leader of the defense from his linebacker position.
Joining D’Orazio in the linebacking corps will be Greg Chapman (Jr./Mesquite, Texas) and John Collins (So./Toledo, Ohio). The duo of Chapman and Collins brings youthful talent to the field.
In the secondary, Craig Salveson (Sr./Williston, N.D.), the lone returning First-Team All-CSFL selection from 2000, will be the cornerstone of a solid defensive backfield. Salveson compiled 33 tackles last fall, while also breaking up eight passes.
Two-year starting cornerback Tim Gallagher (Jr./Bowie, Md.) and Chris Zachary (So./Frisco, Texas) both garnered Honorable Mention All-CSFL accolades last season. Gallagher and Zachary had an interception each in the secondary last year.
On the defensive line, a pair of Second-Team All-CSFL performers return in Ike Turner (Sr./Shreveport, La.) and Stephen Healy (Jr./Washington, Pa.). Turner and Healy combined for eight sacks and 51 tackles last fall.
Joining Turner and Healy on the offensive line will be senior Matt Olson (Wheaton, Ill.). A converted linebacker, Olson had 32 tackles last fall.