CASTLETON, Vt. – Castleton University head football coach Tony Volpone has announced the group of student-athletes who have committed to joining the Spartan football program starting in the fall of 2017. This page will be continually updated as more players make the commitment to attend Castleton University and play on the football team.
A native of Hope, R.I., Dylan Allhusen will be joining the football team as a defensive back. As a team captain, Allhusen led the team with 158 tackles and earned First Team All-Division recognition. Just as impressively, he was a member of the All-Academic Team, earning the honor of being a Silver Scholar Athlete. Dylan is the son of Tracy and Craig Allhusen.
"We are overjoyed to hear Dylan Allhusen has committed to Castleton University's football program. There is no doubt that he will bring his enthusiasm and work ethic to every workout this off-season and practice during preseason," said Mark Reed, head coach at Scituate High School. "The Scituate family could not be more proud and excited to see Dylan get this opportunity to prove himself."
A native of Hudson, N.Y., Jahmir Barnett-Williams will be joining the football team as a running back. His time at Hudson High School was very successful as a two-year captain, leading Hudson to a 9-1 record in his senior season. He had a career total of 82 tackles, three interceptions, three fumble recoveries, and seven touchdowns. He is the son of Misha Forbes and Daine Barnett.
"As a fullback, Jahmir truly was the 'Thunder' in our Thunder and Lightning backfield set," said Jahmir's coach at Hudson, Terry Harcleroad. "He has such natural lower body power and ability I actually confiscated him on a few occasions to fill in at defensive tackle when needed, which he did (and did well) with no reservation. I'm sure Jahmir will be a great asset to the Spartans!"
Ryan Bartenstein will stay close to home to play collegiate football, as the Rutland, Vt., native has committed to attend Castleton University and join the Spartan football team as a defensive lineman. Bartenstein helped Rutland High School win the 2015 Vermont Division I state championship. He is the son of Kathleen and Stephan Bartenstein.
"Ryan is a great kid who will be an asset to the Castleton football program," said Mike Norman, head football coach at Rutland High School.
A native of Kennebunk, Maine, Andrew Bouchard Jr. will be joining the football team as a defensive tackle. As a member of the Kennebunk High School program, Bouchard was a four-year starter, earning two Class B Conference titles and an All-Conference nod at defensive tackle. He was a team captain in his senior year as well. He is the son of Debbie and Andrew Bouchard Sr.
"I am sure Andrew will be a welcome addition to the Spartans as he brings good energy and is a great 'team guy'. He loves the game, prepares well and brings a positive attitude daily," said Andrew's head coach at Kennebunk, Joe Rafferty, "I spend a ton of time with the D-line and was impressed how much Andrew improved this season earning All-Conference status. I anticipate he will continue to work hard and contribute much during his career."
Jared Brockway is a wide receiver from Framingham, Mass., who will join the Spartans after a stellar career at Framingham High School. He led the team in receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns. Selected as a captain of the varsity football team, Jared is the son of Lori and Richard Brockway.
"Jared Brockway is among the finest young men I have coached in the past twenty years," said Gary Doherty, Jared's high school coach. "Jared's character and love of the sport is infectious and he is a leader by example. One of Jared's greatest attributes is his willingness to do the little things. On the football field, Jared has outstanding hands and directional quickness that make it difficult to bring him down in the open field."
A native of Deerfield, Mass., Seth Gewanter will be joining the Spartan football team as a linebacker. A two-year captain at Frontier Regional High School, Gewanter was the 2016 Franklin County Player of the Year as well as a three-time First Team All-Western Massachusetts. His parents are Kristin and Brett Gewanter.
"Seth has been the epitome of sound character and leadership in our school, and certainly on the field. In Seth, you will get a young man who is committed to his team and will bring a lunch pail work ethic to the field. Above all, he will represent himself, and your institution, as a responsible and positive citizen in your community," said Scott Dredge, head football coach at Frontier Regional.
Another Vermont student-athlete commits to Castleton, as Reading, Vt., native Luc Issa will join the football program as a defensive back. Issa was a senior captain at Woodstock Union High School. He is the son of Suzette DeNobriga.
"Luc is a great, hard-working young man, I am very excited for his future at the next level," said Ramsey Worrell, head football coach at Woodstock Union. "He will be a great example to the teammates that he leaves behind about what hard work can do for someone."
Nick Kazandjian has committed to Castleton University and will join the Spartan football program as a linebacker. The native of Warwick, R.I., was a team captain and three-year starter at Toll Gate High School. He is the son of Maria Viti and Kock Kazandjian.
"Nick is absolutely an outstanding kid. He always gives 110 percent both on and off the field," said Jim Stringfellow, head football coach at Toll Gate High School.
Caleb Lisai will stay close to his hometown, as the quarterback hails from Bellows Falls, Vt. Lisai recently led the Bellows Falls Union football team to a Vermont Division II state championship, completing 60 percent of his pass attempts and throwing for 15 touchdowns during the year. He is the son of Kirstie and Shane Lisai, a Castleton alum.
"Caleb did exactly what you want from a senior," said Bob Lockerby, Caleb's high school coach. "He put in the time in the weight room, prepared himself by knowing the playbook, and understood his role. He was always willing to help the team in any way. He will be a good addition to the (Castleton) program with his team-first attitude."
A native of Westminster, Vt., Jake Lober will be joining the football team as a linebacker. Lober had a very successful career at Bellows Falls Union High School. As a four-year starter on both sides of the football, he is a three-time Marble Valley League All-Star, a two-time Burlington Free Press First Team selection and a three-time Eagle Times First Team All-Star. He is the son of Laura and Jim Lober.
"Jake will be greatly missed at BFUHS. He is a hard-nosed defensive linebacker who plays one way and that is to win. We wish him the very best as he takes his game to a higher level," said Bob Lockerby, Lober's coach at Bellows Falls.
A native of Uxbridge, Massachusetts, Alex Martellio will be joining the football team as a defensive lineman. Martellio has contributed to the success of the Uxbridge High program, leading to recognition as a Central Massachusetts All-Star as well as a Division 3A All-Star. Alex is the son of Christine and Bob Martellio.
"Alex is one of the most dedicated and hardworking players we have coached. His commitment to the weight program and continuous improvement made him an essential player on our team. Alex's love of the game and willingness to do whatever it takes to progress made him a better player on and off the field," said Alex's head coach at Uxbridge, Bob Martellio.
A native of Colchester, Vt., Alex O'Connell will be joining the football team as a quarterback. During his time at Colchester High School, O'Connell earned himself All-State Honorable Mention recognition as well as Vermont Athlete of the Week honors. He will be reuniting with former Colchester teammates Grant Cummings and Bobby Hamlin in the Spartan uniform. He is the son of Krisie Farrington and Robert O'Connell.
"Alex is a hard working kid of the highest character. He is willing to do whatever he can to help his team be successful," said Colchester High head coach Tom Perry.
A native of Trumbull, Conn., Jared Platt will be joining the football team as an offensive lineman. Platt had a successful tenure at Trumbull High School, helping the team post a 7-3 record his senior year. He was pivotal in the offense's success with 1,468 team rushing yards and 16 rushing touchdowns, as well as 2,327 passing yards and 29 passing touchdowns. Jared is the son of Sandra and Scott Platt.
"Jared Platt was a contributing member to the Trumbull High School football program. He will be a valuable asset and will excel at the collegiate level of play at Castleton University," said Bob Maffei, Jared's head coach at Trumbull High School.
Zak Pollicino was a top two-way player for Smithtown West High School in Smithtown, N.Y., leading the team in interceptions, pass breakups, receptions, and special teams touchdowns. The player was a captain during his senior season and received All-Division recognition. The Castleton coaching staff plan to use Zak, the son of Lisa and Frank Pollicino, as a defensive back.
"Zak demonstrated tremendous leadership his senior season in spearheading our off-season workouts, getting other teammates to buy in, and holding them and himself accountable in that process," said Steve Fasciani, Zak's head coach at Smithtown West High School. "Additionally, Zak always demonstrated toughness and a willingness to put in the work required to be the best at what he does on and off the football field."
Defensive lineman Chris Rice will join his high school teammate Will Mossop as a member of the Spartan football team. From Bethel, Conn., Rice was a captain at Bethel High School, earning team MVP honors as well as First Team All-State and All-Conference recognition. His parents are Lori and Tim Rice.
"Chris was a hardworking player at Bethel and I am sure he will be the same at Castleton. He pushes himself in every aspect of life. While he was a player at Bethel, he played offense, defense and special teams, so I am sure he will find a way to make it on the field," said Jason Gill, head football coach at Bethel High School
A native of New Hartford, Conn., Jake Roth will be joining the football team as a linebacker. While at Gilbert-Northwestern, Roth was able to lead the team in tackles for three straight years, earn All-Conference recognition twice, and be voted as team Defensive MVP. His efforts both on the field and off helped earn him a captain role in his senior season. He will be joining former Gilbert-Northwestern teammate Tucker Kreh in the Castleton green. Jake is the son of Lori and Steve Roth.
"It makes us proud to see that Jake will be continuing his football career at Castleton University. I am sure he will take what he has done at GN, continue to improve, and have an excellent career for the Spartans," said Gilbert-Northwestern head coach Scott Salius.
A native of Vermontville, N.Y., David Sullivan will be joining the football team as an offensive lineman. As a member of the Saranac Lake High School football program, Sullivan was a three-year starter, earning Second Team All-Conference recognition as well as a selection as team captain. He is the son of Tammie and Wade Sullivan.
"David has an outstanding work ethic and is the consummate teammate and leader," said David's high school coach Eric Bennett. "He was always the first to volunteer for any team needs. He had a rock solid understanding of scheme and technique, and his side of the line was more often than not our 'go to' when we needed that tough yard."
Ryan Szatkowski, a native of Spotswood, N.J., has committed to attend Castleton University and join the Spartan football program as a kicker and punter. In his senior season at Spotswood High School, he was a team captain and earned team MVP honors as well as First Team All-Conference and All-Division and Second Team All-Area. He is the son of Kimberly and Jeff Szatkowski.
"Ryan excelled as a receiver, defensive back, safety, kicker, and punter for the past three years at the varsity level. As a kicker, he was the best in our division for two seasons. Castleton is not only getting a good player, but a terrific young man as well," said Spotswood High School head coach Andrew Cammarano.
Justin Tinker, a native of Center Harbor, N.H., will join the Castleton football program as a defensive lineman. At Inter-Lakes High School, he earned Second Team All-State honors and was a two-time All-Conference performer. He is the son of Heather and Eric Tinker.
"Justin will be a great addition to the team. Justin is a very kind and funny individual who embodies the phrase 'hard work beats talent'. Justin will always put the team first and will do whatever is needed of him to help the team achieve its goals," said Inter-Lakes head football coach Jon Francis.
These players join a Castleton program that has posted a winning record in ECFC play in three straight seasons.