Panther coach, QB get top honors
MIDDLEBURY — Postseason honors have poured in for Middlebury College football head coach Bob Ritter, his quarterback and eight other members of his team.
This week, the Gridiron Club of Greater Boston announced that Ritter was named the 2014 New England Division III Coach of the Year. The 14-year head coach led the Panthers to a 6-2 mark this fall, finishing the season ranked fifth in New England in NCAA Division III with a five-game winning streak.
Of note was that Ritter’s squad ended the season with five consecutive wins, and one of those victories snapped Trinity’s 53-game home winning streak.
Ritter’s teams have a combined record of 20-4 over the past three seasons, with back-to-back 7-1 campaigns in 2012 and 2013. The team won the NESCAC championship in 2007 and 2013, with Ritter named the NESCAC Coach of the Year in both seasons. He owns a career mark of 70-42 at Middlebury.
Despite the graduation of record-setting quarterback, McCallum Foote, Ritter and offensive coordinator Joe Early’s Panther passing game led the NESCAC with 265 yards per game.
Unsurprisingly, Middlebury QB Matt Milano was named the NESCAC Co-Offensive Player of the Year as well as a first-team league all-star. Milano completed 179 or 289 attempts for 2,004 yards and 24 touchdowns, while tossing just three interceptions.
Joining Milano on the first team were senior offensive lineman Dan Finta and junior receiver Matthew Minno, while two more seniors, offensive lineman Blake Shapskinsky and receiver Brendan Rankowitz were named to the offensive second-team.
Defensively, senior safety Matthew Benedict was named to the first-team, while senior cornerback Will Bain and two juniors, tackle Gil Araujo and linebacker Tim Patricia were named to the second-team.
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