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FOOTBALL KICKS IT UP
Photo by Gary Gold
The Rensselaer football team, coming off the best season in its 114-year history, has reached its highest ranking ever. In August, the team was listed seventh in the nation, according to Lindy's National College Football magazine preseason poll. The Engineers, who according to the publication should have an ''offensive line to pave the way for a strong run,'' are the top team from the Northeast.

In addition to the poll, Lindy's announced its preseason All-Division III teams and Rensselaer senior defensive back Chris Swartz has been selected to the second team.

Led by head coach Joe King, the Engineers have six offensive starters and seven defensive starters as well as senior kicker Eric Byrne, returning from a team that posted a perfect 9-0 regular season record and qualified for the NCAA playoffs for the first time ever. That team ranked among the leaders in the nation in several statistical categories, including first in Division III in turnover margin.

Swartz, a multiple national All-American who finished third in the country in interceptions per game last season, is one of six captains this year. Joining him as the team's leaders will be seniors Richard Mokay (split end), tight end Brian Moran, defensive back Jimel Williams, and Adam Woollacott (linebacker), as well as junior Marc Tanner (defensive line).

King's staff has some new faces including Marc Bourque, who will coach quarterbacks and receivers, defensive line coaches Carl Hatfield '00 and Kevin Toye '99 as well as Rob Taylor '96, who will coach the outside linebackers. Bourque, who comes to Troy from coaching at Columbia University, replaces Paul LaPolice, who resigned to take a position with the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League. Hatfield, Toye, and Taylor were all standout players for King during the 1990s.

The Engineers' schedule will again include three trophy games: The Shotglass Trophy game at Coast Guard, the Transit Trophy game against WPI, and the Dutchman's Shoes game at Union. The contest against Union College, which is one of the longest-running rivalries in the entire nation, at any level, was highlighted as one of the top games in the country this season in Lindy's, which wrote ''Playing for the Dutchman's Shoes is always big.''

For more on the football team's schedule, as well as the schedules for Rensselaer's 22 other varsity sports, visit the Athletics Web site at www.rpi.edu/dept/athletics or call (518) 276-6685.


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