Football Picked Third in NJAC Preseason Poll

Montclair, NJ (8/10/09) – The Montclair State football team was picked number three as the New Jersey Athletic Conference unveiled its 2009 Preseason Coaches Poll last week. The poll was announced along with a coaches’ conference call.


MSU, which finished 8-3 last season and 7-2 in the league, received one first-place vote. Rowan was selected to finish first on 5-of-the-10 ballots cast by the league head coaches followed by 2008 champion and NCAA quarterfinalist Cortland.


Under the direction of 27th-year head coach Rick Giancola, MSU returns seven all-league performers from its 2008 squad including senior running back Jeff Bliss (New Milford, NJ / New Milford) , junior defensive back Mario McLean (Montville, NJ / Montville) , senior defensive lineman Chris Merkle (Nutley, NJ / Nutley), senior punter Troy Cyburt (Hillsborough, NJ / Hillsborough), senior kicker Marco Capozzoli (Bloomfield, NJ / St. Joseph’s (Montvale)), sophomore punt returner Byron Lewin (Carteret, NJ / Carteret), and senior offensive lineman Joe Gelpi (Clifton, NJ / St. Mary’s (Rutherford)).


Last season, Montclair earned its second straight ECAC bowl appearance falling to Albright in the South Central Bowl. Montclair State’s trip marked the sixth time in the last eight years that the Red Hawks played in a postseason contest. It was also the 19th time in program history that Montclair won eight or more games in a single year.


MSU opens its 10-game schedule on Saturday, September 12 as the Red Hawks travel to Edwardsville, PA to take on Wilkes University. Montclair’s home opener at Sprague Field is set for the following week (September 19) against NJAC rival Morrisville State.


2009 NJAC Coaches Poll | Coaches Quotes