A fast paced, run and gun style offense and a strong, hard hitting defense are the staples of head coach Jeremy Cameron's football team at Massachusetts Maritime Academy. Coach Cameron, who is in his 15th season at the helm in Buzzards Bay has seen success in his tenure with his coaching style and the brand of players he brings to the Academy. For 2019, the Buccaneers return nearly 60 players, 18 of which started on either side of the ball for the Bucs in 2018. With a multitude of veteran experience and a highly touted incoming freshman class, Cameron and his staff are looking forward to a successful campaign this fall. "Overall, we have a strong nucleus of returning players and we will be looking for some of the younger guys to get in to the mix quickly." Said Coach Cameron. The Academy is known around the world for producing outstanding leaders, and the Buccaneer football program is no exception to that tradition. The Buccaneers will look to senior captains, James Cooke (Wrentham, Mass), Erik Marchant (East Bridgewater, Mass), Victor Ramirez (New Britain, Conn), and second year captain, Cameron Stewart (Uxbridge, Mass) for leadership on and off the field. Of the four captains Coach Cameron said, "All four of our captains for 2019 have been with the program for four years. They know what it means to be Buccaneers and our tradition means. Cam Stewart being a two-year captain will bring even more leadership, especially to the defensive side of the ball. Their teammates picked them to be captains for a reason and we all know that they will lead with confidence. These four guys is what we want our future Buccaneers to model themselves after."
On the offensive side of the ball the Buccaneers lost two started from 2018, wide receiver Paul Sances (Middleboro, Mass) and running back Andrew Decarteret (Nashua, N.H.). Which means that there are a host of playmakers returning, including 2018 starting quarterback Ty Ebdon (Gales Ferry, Conn) and running back turned quarterback, Matt Long (Weymouth, Mass). The two will see considerable time in the Buc backfield in 2019. Last season, Ebdon played in nine games under center, completing 74 passes for 1,030 yards and seven touchdowns with just one interception. Long, who will see time at quarterback since he was in high school in Weymouth, Mass, fits the style of offense the Buccaneers want to run. With three other quarterbacks returning and a number coming in as freshman in 2019, the Maritime signal callers will be strong and Coach Cameron will have his pick of who fits the system best. In the backfield, sophomore running back Connor Reynolds (Norton, Mass) returns for his second season. In 2018, in limited time behind Long, Decarteret and Ben Sheehan (Wilbraham, Mass), Reynolds saw time in nine games, carrying the ball 38 times for 74 yards and a touchdown. There is also excitement over the incoming running back class which will surely cause some headaches for opposing defenses. In the passing game, wide receivers Will Bennett (Sandwich, Mass) and Brady Bailey (Norwell, Mass) return to the Buccaneers for 2019 with hopes that they will see a lot of action. Last season, Bennett was a great compliment to Sances who would often be double teamed, leaving Bennett in open space. In 2018, Bennett caught 20 passes for 317 yards and four scores. Bailey only caught one pass last season but the speedy wide out is expected to be a big factor down field. With positional changes among returners and incoming wide receivers and tight ends, the Buccaneers will have plenty of options in the passing game when needed. Arguably the most cohesive unit on the offensive side of the ball for the Buccaneers is the offensive line. With two of the captains, Cooke and Ramirez returning, along with Zachary Weidenhof (Manahawkin, N.J.) and Matt Wyzykowski (Old Saybrook, Conn) coming back with a number of veteran offensive lineman on the roster, the Buccaneer pocket protectors bring experience and grit that is integral for the success of the offense. Returning on special teams for his junior season is kicker/punter 2018 MASCAC 2nd Team All-Conference Selection George Lampros (Bridgewater, Mass). Lampros will handle the kicking duties on kick offs, in the kicking game and on the punt team. The third-year kicker is accurate from 40-yards and has made nearly 90% of the extra points he has attempted in a Buccaneer uniform.
The defense is a staple for Coach Cameron's squad and with newly promoted defensive coordinator, Rob Ferrazzani in his third season with the team, calling the shots, the hardnosed unit looks to continue their success from 2018. Arguably one of the best units in the MASCAC, the Buccaneer defensive line returns three of four starters from last season; 2018 MASCAC 1st Team All-Conference selections Colin McCabe (Dartmouth, Mass) and Kyle Johnston (Raynham, Mass) along with senior captain Erik Marchant (East Bridgewater, Mass) are back to lead the defense in the trenches. Last season, McCabe led the Buccaneers with six sacks, 33 total tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. Johnston was third on the team in tackles with 47, racked up 4.5 sacks and 12.5 tackles for loss with two forced fumbles. Marchant had 27 tackles of his own with a sack and four tackles for loss. Those three will be joined on the four man defensive line by a combination of Peter Banks (Webster, Mass), Gerard Mackin (Weymouth, Mass), Nick Khoury (East Bridgewater, Mass), Adam Bush (Adams, Mass) who all played considerable snaps in 2018. Banks will take on a hybrid, defensive line/outside linebacker role in 2019. Last season, Banks racked up 15 tackles in 10 games with 2.5 sacks, four tackles for loss and three forces fumbles. In the second level, linebackers Sean Smialek (Dartmouth, Mass), who led the Buccaneers with 67 tackles last fall, and Jack Fontana (Grafton, Mass) return and will hold down the middle of the field. Fontana had a breakout year in 2018 with 55 total tackles, second behind Smialek. Jack was also second on the team in sacks with 5.5. There are a number of veterans and newcomers who will compete for the outside linebacker positions and spots on the depth chart through camp and the season. In the secondary, Captain Cameron Stewart (Uxbridge, Mass) and fellow senior Austin Stahmer (Wareham, Mass) will patrol the flats and contain the passing game. Sophomore Stevenson Theosmy (Lawrence, Mass) and senior Hunter Leveille (Easthampton, Mass) will also make an impact in the secondary for the Buccaneer defense. Though the defense will see almost all of the starters from 2018 return, there is expected to be a lot of competition for playing time with a strong group of freshman and transfers joining the squad this year.
The Massachusetts Collegiate Athletic Conference continues to produce some of the top gridiron talent in the region and plenty of that is expected to be on display this fall. In the program's 47th season, the Buccaneers will play a tough 10-game slate in 2019.
The Buccaneers opens the season on Friday, September 13th at home against SUNY Maritime under the lights in the 12th Annual Chowder Bowl. Last season, the Bucs fell to the Privateers in New York, 51-21.
In week two, the team will travel to Castine, Maine to take on Maine Maritime in the 47th Annual Admiral's Cup in the final non-conference matchup of the season. In 2018, the Buccaneers claimed the Admiral's Cup with a 22-7 victory over the Mariners.
Maritime takes to the road again in week three with a trip to Westfield State to open up conference play. In 2018, the Owls won the game, 38-24, over the Buccaneers.
On October 5th, week four of the season, Coach Cameron's Crew will play host to Worcester State on Homecoming weekend for Mass Maritime. Last season, the Buccaneers trounced the Lancers 26-0 on a soggy afternoon at Clean Harbors Stadium.
The Buccaneers will travel to Western Connecticut in week five for an unusual 5pm start time. At home in 2018, Maritime fell to the Colonials 23-13 in a hard fought game.
Week six is a clash with Fitchburg State in Buzzards Bay. Last season in Fitchburg, the Falcons beat the Bucs 36-20.
Week 7 for the Bucs is a second consecutive trip to Plymouth State in New Hampshire where the Buccaneers fell in 2018 by a slim three-point margin, 17-14.
In Week 8, the Bucs host perennial powerhouse, Framingham State, who won the MASCAC last fall with a 7-1 conference record. It is the second meeting on Taylor's Point in as many years between the teams. In 2018, the Rams took the game, 28-13.
Week 9 will be the team's final away game of the season as they travel to Dartmouth to take on the Corsairs. Last year in Dartmouth, Maritime was shutout by the Corsair Crew, 20-0.
Finally, In week 10, the Buccaneers will host Bridgewater State in the 41st Annual Cranberry Bowl at Clean Harbors Stadium. The game is one of the most anticipated games on the schedule for both teams. Last season, the Bucs lost a close, heavily defense dominated, 21-7 game to the Bears in Bridgewater, Mass. Maritime's most recent win in the Cranberry Bowl came in 2017 with a 21-18 victory. Prior to the game against Bridgewater, Maritime's graduating seniors will be honored.