Milford’s Asam earns top rookie defensive honors in NEFC’s Bogan Division
After graduating from Milford High last spring, Tyler Asam arrived at Worcester State University’s preseason football camp hoping to crack the lineup as a special-teams player.
“I was just looking for a chance to show the coaches what I could do,’’ he said. “I figured that if I’m hitting someone, I must be doing something right.’’
Asam exceeded his own expectations. Making a successful transition from high school linebacker and fullback to defensive end, he was named the Defensive Rookie of the Year in the New England Football Conference’s Bogan Division.
The 6-foot, 215-pound Asam registered 43 tackles, including 12 for losses and three quarterback sacks, and forced a pair of fumbles to help propel the Lancers (8-3) to their first winning season since 2004.
“Getting the award was a shocker,’’ said Asam, whose only previous experience at defensive end was during his freshman year of high school. “I didn’t see it coming.’’
In the third game of the season against Nichols, Asam had a breakthrough performance: seven tackles (four for losses) and 1.5 sacks in a 49-3 victory.
“Tyler has what you call a good motor: He just keeps going,’’ said Worcester State coach Brien Cullen, whose squad advanced to the ECAC Division 3 Northeast Bowl last weekend, where it lost to Salve Regina, 26-6. Cullen’s brother, Tom, coached Asam at Milford High.
“With injuries to our defensive line, he made the most of his opportunities, and we have been really pleased with the attitude he has brought to our defense.’’
Other area players were recognized by the conference after the Lancers’ turnaround season.
Senior defensive end Ray St. Laurent of Shrewsbury was a first-team selection after leading the conference with 10.5 sacks. He was second on the team with 65 tackles and was named to the D3football.com Team of the Week after a 10-tackle, two-sack performance in a 27-13 win over division champ Framingham State.
“Ray was our big run-stopper up front,’’ added Cullen, whose wide-receiver tandem of senior A.J. Scerra of Marlborough and sophomore Kenny Russell of Bedford were second-team picks.
A transfer from Fitchburg State last season, Russell totaled 87 catches, 1,249 yards, and 17 touchdowns in two seasons. Scerra, with 12 career touchdown receptions, is halfway to tying the school record.
Also named to the second team were senior center D.J. Martin, a Nipmuc Regional High grad from Mendon, and sophomore return specialist Rich Dube of Shrewsbury.
Tennis veterans earn world titles
Sheila Weinstock of Framingham and Belmont’s Molly Hahn returned triumphant from the recent ITF Super-Seniors World Team Tennis Championships in Antalya, Turkey.
Weinstock, who manages the Natick Racquet Club, was captain of the women’s 70s age-group team that won the Althea Gibson Cup.
Hahn, a math professor at Tufts University and a 2007 inductee to the US Tennis Association New England Hall of Fame, played for the similarly undefeated 60s team, which won the Alice Marble Cup at the event.
Weinstock won her first national title (and first Gold Ball) earlier this year when she and doubles partner Jane Pang captured first place in their age group on the grass courts at the West Side Tennis Club in Forest Hills, N.Y. She was also runner-up in the singles competition.
“It’s the best year I’ve ever had, very gratifying,’’ said Weinstock, a finalist in several USTA events this year.
“It was an absolutely amazing feeling, winning in Turkey and representing our country,’’ added Hahn, who is ranked first nationally in her age group in doubles, and who played tennis at Stanford University. Her career highlights include national doubles titles on grass, hard court, clay court, and indoors.
Jackson helps Dean earn berth in bowl
The Dean College football team (7-1), ranked 11th in the National Junior College Athletic Association after winning the Northeast Football Conference championship, will play 18th-ranked Glendale (Ariz.) Community College on Saturday in the Valley of the Sun Bowl in Phoenix.
The Bulldogs, who have reeled off seven consecutive winning seasons under head coach Todd Vasey, were edged, 10-9, by Glendale at the same venue two years ago.
Key players this fall for the two-year school in Franklin include Robbie Jackson, a 6-foot-2, 190-pound receiver out of Natick High who had 21 receptions and six touchdowns, good for a conference-leading 531 yards.
The sophomore has caught the eye of a number of Football Championship Subdivision programs.
Here and there
Stonehill College senior forward Kathryn Nelson of Shrewsbury was named to the National Field Hockey Coaches’ Association All-America first team and the womensfieldhockey.com All-America second team. She led Stonehill with 12 goals, including two game-winners, and seven assists. With 103 career points, she was the third player in program history to reach the century mark . . . Milford’s Nick DiAntonio, a senior linebacker at Assumption College, had a career-best 106 tackles this season. He was selected to play in the Division 2-NAIA Senior All-Star Game Dec. 3 in Middletown, N.Y. . . . Waltham High grad Ricky Caruso, a Bridgewater State University sophomore heavyweight wrestler, started the season at 8-1 with one pin. He won his weight class title at the Roger Williams Invitational and was named Pilgrim League Wrestler of the Week. Caruso, a two-time team MVP and a team captain at Waltham, was second at the 2009 New England high school championships in the 215-pound weight class. “Ricky has so much potential,’’ said Bridgewater coach Jason York. “This is just the first step in getting him ready to compete at the national level. He worked hard all summer and now it’s paying off.’’. . . Salem State University junior forward Nick Lampson of Groton was named the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference Player of the Week in men’s ice hockey after a four-point outing in a 6-4 win over Fitchburg State, and two goals in a 3-3 tie with University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.
Marvin Pave can be reached at email@example.com.