Junior standouts give Skyhawks two All-Super Region 1 selections for first time in program history
EASTON, Mass. (December 5, 2013) – Stonehill College juniors Brian Harrington (Rockland, Mass./Rockland) and Nate Robitaille (Attleboro, Mass./Attleboro) have both earned Daktronics, Inc., Division II All-Super Region 1 honors as selected by the region's sports information directors.
Harrington and Robitaille collect All-Region honors for the first time in their career, while the two selections are the most in the history of the Stonehill football program. The two selections give the Skyhawks four Daktronics All-Region selections all-time after Jareed Gaines, '13, earned the honors in 2011 and 2012. This year's Stonehill All-Region duo are among eight Northeast-10 Conference representatives on the Daktronics All-Super Region first and second teams, while Harrington is one of three on the All-Region first team – the first Skyhawk ever selected to the Daktronics first team. Harrington is now eligible for selection to the Daktronics All-America team.
Harrington is a first time All-Super Region 1 selection with his first team honors after having been named to the New England Football Writers Division II/III All-New England team and a first team All-Northeast-10 Conference honoree. He is a Cliff Harris Award nominee for the Small College Defensive Player of the Year and has been named the D2Football.com Defensive Player of the Year for the Northeast-10. The four-time NE-10 Defensive Player of the Week posted a Conference and program record 151 tackles this fall, which leads the Conference, ranks third nationally and is currently the tenth-highest single-season total in Division II history. Harrington posted double-figure tackles in ten of Stonehill's 11 games and had 16 or more stops in six games. He registered a career-high 17 tackles in an overtime win at Assumption College on September 20 and matched in the NE-10 Championship at American International College on November 16.
Harrington leads the NE-10 with his 73 solo tackles (8th nationally) and 78 tackle assists to go with 7.0 tackles for a loss of 30 yards, including 2.5 sacks for a loss of 16, two forced fumbles, a fumble recovery and pass breakup. He was a leading force for a Stonehill defense which finished the season ranked second in the NE-10 for scoring defense (24.3 ppg), second in passing defense (246.8 yds/gm) and forced a league-high 30 turnovers, including a Conference best 14 fumble recoveries, and finished fourth for sacks (21).
Harrington earned a starting role on the defensive unit after gaining experience as a member of the Stonehill special teams units as a freshman and sophomore, being named the Skyhawks Special Teams Player of the Year by the coaching staff in 2012. He has played 31 games over his career, starting all 11 this season, and has posted 176 career tackles (87 solo). Of his record 151 tackles this season, 105 came against the run, more than double his next teammate. Harrington has earned NE-10 Commissioner's Honor Roll all four semesters completed at the College and Athletic Director's Honor Roll two semesters.
Junior Brian Harrington is Stonehill's first football student-athlete to earn Daktronics All-Super Region 1 first team honors. (PHOTO BY Jan Volk/SportsPix)
Robitaille also earns Daktronics All-Super Region 1 honors for the first time with his second team selection and the wide receiver is the first offensive player from Stonehill to ever receive All-Region honors. Robitaille has also been named to the New England Football Writers Division II/III All-New England team and was an All-NE-10 first team pick this fall as well. He started all 11 games for Stonehill and cemented himself as one of the top receivers in the region after emerging as a sophomore. Robitaille leads the NE-10 with his program record 1,229 receiving yards (13th nationally) and 111.7 yards per game (14th), while his school-record 91 receptions is third in the Conference (10th) and his record matching 13 touchdown catches are good for second (10th). His 8.3 receptions per game have also shattered the previous single-season mark at Stonehill, while his 13.5 yards per catch ranks tenth in the league.
Robitaille set a program record with his 1,608 all-purpose yards this season, ranking fifth in the NE-10 (35th), as he finished the year averaging 26.6 yards on 13 kickoff returns – the fifth-highest return average in program history. Robitaille posted seven 100-plus yard receiving games this season, recording ten-plus receptions on four occasions and collecting a touchdown catch in nine of 11 games, including each of the last six games of the season. His career-high 13 receptions for a career-best 190 yards and two touchdowns in the Skyhawks 41-38 overtime win at Assumption College is the second-highest reception total and fourth-highest receiving yardage total in program history. Robitaille earned NE-10 Offensive Player of the Week honors after his three touchdown performance against LIU Post and he was also named to the NE-10 All-Championship team this season.
Robitaille has played 30 games over his three seasons at Stonehill and will enter his senior season on the cusp of adding several career receiving records to his resume. He has registered 122 career receptions for 1,666 yards and 20 touchdowns, ranking second in program history for career touchdowns, third in career receptions and fifth for career yardage. Robitaille's 78 points scored this season is the second-highest single-season total in program history and ranks sixth in the NE-10 this fall. He was named to the NE-10 Commissioner's Honor Roll the spring semester of his sophomore year.
Stonehill posted its first winning season since 1996 with its 8-3 overall record this fall, claiming a share of its first NE-10 regular season championship with a program-best 8-1 mark in Conference play. The Skyhawks competed in their first NE-10 Championship game, were among teams receiving votes in the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Division II poll six weeks during the year and was ranked as high as seventh in the NCAA Division II Super Region 1 rankings for NCAA Championship consideration over the course of the season. Stonehill is ranked sixth in this week's ECAC Lambert Meadowlands poll after being ranked as high as fifth in its first appearance in that poll in program history.