CASTLETON, Vt. – Tony Volpone, head coach of the Castleton University football team, has announced that 10 more student-athletes have made a commitment to attend the school and join the Spartan football program starting in the 2018-19 academic year.
"We are very excited about this group. They bring a solid amount of dynamic play and athleticism to our team and make us better in a number of different positions from offensive line to outside linebacker," Volpone said. "There is also some solid home state and local talent which is always good for our program. We welcome this group onto our team and look forward to working with them and seeing them grow as members of our team and our community."
Austin Ellis is a resident of Castleton who will remain in his hometown to play outside linebacker after a stellar career at Fair Haven High School. A team captain, Ellis was a two-time First Team All-State selection, participated in the North/South Game, and has been selected to play in the Vermont/New Hampshire Maple Shrine Game, to be held at Spartan Stadium August 4. His coach Brian Grady calls Ellis "a great mentor for our younger players every day."
Stephen Harlow will remain in Vermont to continue his football career, as the resident of Hinesburg, Vt., is about to graduate from CVU. Coming to Castleton as a running back, Harlow served as a team captain, is a two-time Second Team All-State selection, and received the CVU Football Perseverance Award as "a smart, coachable player who will do whatever he can to help the team," according to his coach Mike Williams.
Ivan Jerome hails from Rensselaer, N.Y., and played at Rensselaer High School, where he started on the offensive line for three years. Jerome was a team captain, and he received scholar-athlete honors for balancing academics and athletics. According to his coach Joel Preston, "he's dependable and a hard worker with super-high character."
Ben Kimball comes to Castleton after a successful prep career as a linebacker at Bow High School in Bow, N.H. A team captain, he led the team in tackles, earning the team defensive MVP award as well as First Team All-State recognition. Kimball "is willing to do whatever it takes in whatever role is asked of him for the team to be successful," according to his coach Bob Polish.
Casey Kimball hails from New Haven, Vt., and will be a defensive lineman at Castleton after playing running back at Vergennes High School. He was a two-time Second Team All-Division honoree and a two-time team offensive player of the year, plus he participated in the North/South Game. His coach Lee Hodson says that Kimball "is a great student-athlete who with hard work can shine at the next level."
Brody Snow will make the short trip south to Castleton after an exemplary prep career as a defensive tackle at Burlington High School in Burlington, Vt. Snow compiled 70 tackles, including 16 tackles for a loss, seven sacks, seven pass breakups, and two blocked punts. His coach Brennan Carney said that Snow's defensive record "is a direct correlation to his hard work in the weight room and the effort he put into practice every day."
Andreas Stefanakos is slotted to play in the defensive backfield for the Spartans after completing his prep career at Fitchburg High School in Fitchburg, Mass. He played on both sides of the ball, earning a spot in the starting lineup on both offense and defense for the past three seasons. His coach Tom Digeranamo believes that Stefanakos "will bring a lot of energy and toughness to Castleton's football program."
Jack Strohmeier will move to the tight end position at Castleton after playing both offensive line and defensive line at Cornwall Central High School in Cornwall, N.Y. He helped his team to three Section 9 championships, earning All-State, All-Section, and All-League honors along the way. Also a scholar-athlete honoree, Strohmeier is "one of the most athletic 'Big Men' I've ever coached," according to his coach Michael Connolly.
Hunter (Tardy) Nunes-Wales is another in-state product for the Spartans, hailing from Isle La Motte, Vt., and attending Missisquoi Valley Union. Selected to the North/South All-Star Game, he set a school record with 1,285 rushing yards, plus he made approximately 100 tackles. Nunes-Wales was a First Team All-Division selection as a running back, a linebacker, and a kick/punt returner. His coach Eric Bushey calls Nunes-Wales "an incredible athlete with a tremendous drive."
Victor Vazquez is a resident of Cliffside Park, N.J., and is about to graduate from Cliffside Park High School. He was a team captain, a three-year starter, and a two-time Third Team All-League selection. Slated to join the Spartan linebacker corps, Vazquez is "a consummate team player, very coachable, and the embodiment of everything you want from a student-athlete," according to his coach Tom Mandile.
Coming off its fifth winning season in the nine-year history of the football program, Castleton University opens the 2018 campaign at home against Plymouth State Saturday, Sept. 1, with the rest of the schedule to be announced after all start times have been finalized.