Stonehill Places Four on All-Northeast-10 Teams

Senior All-American Stephan Neville picked up his fourth All-Conference honor as a kick returner and his sixth overall, including a pair of nods at cornerback over the course of his career. (PHOTO BY Richard Orr)

Neville headlines group with first team honors
Bolte, Gaines and Rooney selected to second team
Four Skyhawks earn All-Rookie Team status

EASTON, Mass. (November 18, 2011) – Four members of the Stonehill College football team have earned All-Northeast-10 Conference honors as selected by the league's nine head coaches. In addition, four Skyhawks were selected to the NE-10's All-Rookie squad by the coaches.

Senior All-American Stephan Neville (Foxborough, Mass./Foxborough) headlines the four All-Northeast-10 selections for Stonehill with a spot on the first team as a return specialist for the third straight year, marking his fourth All-NE-10 honor at that position over his career. Earning second team All-Conference honors for Stonehill are senior punter Chris Rooney (Quincy, Mass./Catholic Memorial), junior offensive lineman Christopher Bolte (Tilton, N.H./Tilton School) and junior defensive back Jareed Gaines (Lumberton, N.J./Rancocas Valley).

Stonehill also placed four freshmen, including three on the defensive side of the ball, on the NE-10's All-Rookie team. Linebacker Michael Hogan (Westborough, Mass./Westborough), wide receiver Zaire Reiph (Norwalk, Conn./Saint Luke's School) and defensive linemen Eric Schneider (Camarillo, Calif./Saint Bonaventure) and Brandon Weiss (Freehold, N.J./Freehold) mark the most Skyhawks on the All-Rookie squad since the NE-10 started the honors in 2008.

Neville, the most decorated student-athlete in program history, adds two All-Northeast-10 selections at cornerback to his now four selections as a kick returner. The first All-American in program history is also the first football player from Stonehill to earn All-NE-10 honors at two positions and first team honors twice in the same season when he collected both as a sophomore in 2009. Neville was named to the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Coaches' All-America squad following his junior year to become the first All-American in program history and also earned All-New England honors from the New England Football Writers for the first time.

Neville, who has set an NCAA Division II record with ten career kickoff returns for touchdowns, led the Northeast-10 for the third-straight year by averaging 29.8 yards per kickoff return (7th nationally in Division II), totaling 686 yards on 23 returns with two touchdowns. He ranks third in the NE-10 (19th nationally) by averaging 12.1 yards on punt returns, totaling 194 yards on 16 returns with one touchdown. Neville finished the year third on the team with 918 all-purpose yards, adding 38 yards on an interception return to his totals above, and also contributed 30 tackles (23 solo), including 3.0 for a loss of 12 yards, an interception, five pass breakups and a fumble recovery on the defensive side of the ball.

Neville, who tied the NCAA All-Divisions record with his 11 career kick return touchdowns (10 KO/ 1 PR) and matched the Division II mark for total scoring runbacks with 12, has played 40 of a possible 41 games over his career. He has returned 88 kickoffs for 2,785 yards (31.65/return), with the ten returns for touchdowns. He ranks second in program history with 3,175 career all-purpose yards and has two career 94-yard touchdown returns, the first coming on the opening kickoff of a 23-21 win over then No. 24-ranked Bentley University in the final game of the 2009 season, with the latter coming against the University of New Haven in 2010. Neville led all of Division II when he averaged 36.7 yards per return his sophomore season and matched a Division II record with four kickoff returns for touchdowns in 2010.


Neville, a two time All-NE-10 selection at cornerback, has totaled 164 tackles (114 solo) over his career on defense for Stonehill, posting 5.5 career tackles for a loss, 12 interceptions with another 25 pass breakups, three forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries.

Rooney earns All-Northeast-10 honors for the third straight year with his second team selection after collecting first team honors as a sophomore and junior. He averaged 34.9 yards on 62 punts (2,166 total yards) during his senior season, with four punts 50 yards or better, including a long of 56 yards twice, placing 17 kicks inside the opponent's 20 yard line (3rd NE-10), with two touchbacks, three fair catches.

Rooney, who led the NE-10 in punting average as a sophomore and junior, has averaged 35.5 yards (3,971 total yards) on 112 punts over his four year career. He booted 13 punts 50-yards or better in his career, including a career-best 58 yarder at Glenville State University in 2009. He has placed 27 career punts inside the 20, including 11 pinned inside the five over his career.

Rooney has also been dangerous with his legs on fourth down over his career. He has five career first down runs on fake punt plays for his career, including three carries for 53 yards (17.7/rush) in 2010.

Bolte earns All-Northeast-10 honors for the first time after spearheading the Stonehill offensive line. The Skyhawks offense averaged 355.2 yards of total offense per game, including 219.9 yards per game passing and 135.3 rushing. Stonehill averaged 25.4 points and 17.5 first downs per game and the offensive line allowed just 19 sacks – third fewest per game in the NE-10.

Bolte has started 22 of the 23 games he has played over his career. The Skyhawks have averaged 349.2 yards of total offense per game over his two years as a starter, rushing for 144.6 and passing for another 204.6. The offensive line has allowed just 33 sacks in 21 games over the last two years.

Gaines also earns All-Northeast-10 honors for the first time after being named the NE-10's Co-Freshman of the Year and an All-Rookie team in 2009. He finished the season with a team-best 97 tackles (46 solo) – the eighth highest single season total in program history. Gaines also led Stonehill with 10.0 tackles for a loss of 38 yards, including 3.0 sacks for a loss of 20, two interceptions, three pass breakups, three quarterback hurries, three fumble recoveries, two forced fumbles and two blocked kicks. He led the NE-10 in fumble recoveries for the second-straight year (18th nationally) and also ranks second in blocked kicks, fourth for tackles (32nd), sixth in forced fumbles and seventh in solo tackles.

Gaines has played 29 of a possible 31 games over his career at Stonehill and has totaled 209 tackles (104 solo), including 27.0 for a loss of 96 yards, eight sacks, seven QB hurries, three interceptions, eight fumble recoveries, three forced fumbles, nine pass breakups and six blocked kicks. He has scored three defensive touchdowns over his career, adding two on fumble returns to his first interception return in the Skyhawks season-ending win at Assumption College on Saturday. Gaines led all of Division II with five fumble recoveries in 2010.

Hogan played nine games in his first collegiate season, earning NE-10 Rookie of the Week honors once, to earn a spot on the NE-10 All-Rookie team. He finished third on the team with 61 tackles (19 solo), including 3.0 for a loss of seven yards, a sack for a loss of five, a pass breakup, two quarterback hurries, two fumble recoveries and a forced fumble. Hogan notched a season-high 15 tackles  and a fumble recovery at Merrimack College on October 22.

Reiph started all 11 games in his first collegiate season to collect All-Rookie team status. He caught 24 passes for 341 yards (14.2 yds/reception) and two touchdowns, adding four rushes for 27 yards. Reiph had four receptions for a season-high 107 yards at Pace University in week two, adding four receptions for 80 yards and a touchdown in a win over Saint Anselm College.

Schneider played ten games in his freshman campaign to earn All-Rookie honors. He totaled 25 tackles (ten solo), including 6.0 for a loss of 28 yards, 3.0 sacks for a loss of 12, a pass breakup, three quarterback hurries and team-high three forced fumbles (2nd NE-10). Schneider capped the season with a season-best six tackles, including 1.0 for a loss of two yards, in Saturday's win at Assumption.

Weiss appeared in nine games in his first collegiate season, earning NE-10 Rookie of the Week honors once, to cap the All-Rookie team selections for Stonehill. He led the Skyhawks defensive linemen with 31 tackles (14 solo), including 5.5 for a loss of 17 yards, a team-high 4.0 sacks (7th NE-10) for a loss of ten and a fumble recovery. Weiss opened with a season-best six stops (three solo), including two for a loss of two yards, at Pace in week two.

Stonehill posted back-to-back wins to close out the 2011 season, finishing with a 4-7 record overall, including a 3-5 clip in Northeast-10 play to place sixth in the Conference standings.