Returning to the field after a tough 2-6 season last fall, football is hopeful that a mix of strong leadership from its upperclassmen and fresh talent from a squad of new Ephs will give the team the necessary strength to take on its schedule of conference rivals this season.
Leading the men this year under Head Coach Aaron Kelton will be the team’s co-captains: Austin Lommen ’16 and James Howe ’16. Lommen, who transferred to the College last year from Boston College, serves as one of the team’s quarterbacks. Originally from Minneapolis, Minn., Lommen went 157-256 for 1495 yards in his first year wearing the purple and gold, throwing for seven touchdowns along the way. Howe, a defensive lineman from Charlotte, N.C., tied for seventh in total tackles for the Ephs last season, securing 19 solo tackles and 38 total. In his sophomore season with the team, Howe led the men in tackles with 55 total while also securing 10 sacks, a forced fumble and two fumble recoveries. His efforts that year earned him recognition as First Team All-NESCAC Defense.
Other seniors, including quarterback Mark Pomella ’16, will look to make a mark on the team as well. In his appearances as quarterback last season, Pomella passed for 78 yards and was responsible for 93 yards rushed. Strong performances in the realm of defense are expected from the likes of linebackers James O’Grady ’16 and Johnny Bond ’16 and defensive back Jack Ryan ’16 who, combined, shared 131 tackles over the course of last season. O’Grady was the only Eph who secured an average of eight tackles per game in the fall of 2014.
Hope is also high for strong results from some of the team’s younger members. On offense, the team can expect much from running back Connor Harris ’18, who last season earned the Charles Dewoody Salmon Award for outstanding contribution to the varsity football team in his first or second year of eligibility. Running back Greg Plumb ’18, who averaged 17 yards returned per kick last season, will also be a potential impact player to watch.
“We are really excited to get the 2015 version of Williams Ephs Football started,” Head Coach Aaron Kelton said. “We have been working long and hard as an entire program since the end of last season preparing for this year. We believe we have a talented, hard working group of players who have something to prove. On offense we have Matt Jewett ’16, Charlie Grossnickle ’16, Lommen, Alex Way ’16, Darrias Sime ’16, and Colin Brown ’16 to lead the way. On defense we will look to Howe, Ryan, O’Grady, Bond and Dylan Barbour ’16 to guide our youg guys. We have had a very good pre-season and believe it is going to lead to a really good regular season. We have high expectations this season and look foward to getting great support from the Williams College Community.”
The men will compete for the first time this season on Saturday at Bowdoin. They will have their home opener on Oct. 10 against Bates.