Pioneers Announce 2011 Recruiting Class

Head Coach Paul Gorham
Head Coach Paul Gorham

Sacred Heart University head football coach Paul Gorham announced the signing of 13 student-athletes to National Letters of Intent as well as the addition of five other student-athletes committed to the Pioneers to make up the 2011 recruiting class.  This year's class includes two players from the state of Connecticut along with players from the states of California, Florida, Maine, Massachusetts, New York and New Jersey.

2011 Sacred Heart Football Recruiting Class

NLI Signees

Sean Bell, Running Back, 5-11/185, Medford Lakes, NJ / Bishop Eustace Prep | Bell was named the Maxwell Club Mini-Maxwell Award winner in 2010 after racking up 1,611 yards on 252 carries his senior season.  Playing for head coach Rob Cormier, Bell averaged 6.4 yards per carry with 17 touchdowns to earn first team all-conference honors as well as being named to the Philadelphia Inquirer All-South Jersey first team and the Courier Post first team running back.  The TD Club of Southern New Jersey named Bell the Running Back of the Year.  He helped lead his team to the 2009 Conference Championship.  Off the field, Bell was named a 2010 Brooks-Irvine Scholar-Athlete.  He is also a member of his school's track & field team.



Connor Caveney, Defensive Line, 6-4/250, Fitchburg, MA / Cushing Academy | Caveney record 10 sacks and an interception his senior season at Cushing Academy, playing for head coach Wayne Clarke.  Caveney was named to the Class A All-New England Football team last season.  He is also a member of his school's ice hockey, lacrosse and track & field teams.  He was named the team's Top-Defender in ice hockey.





Kyle Church, Defensive Back, 6-0/178, San Francisco, CA / Sacred Heart Cathedral Prep | Church had a standout senior season collecting 70 total tackles with 10 pass break-ups and an interception in 2010.  Playing for head coach John Lee, Church was named to the All-WCAL first team on defense.  He also earned an All-City of San Francisco and All-Metro first selection.  He was also named to the Bay Area All-NIKE Combine team.  In the classroom, Church is an Honor Roll Student-Athlete.  In addition to football, Church is a member of the track & field.





Matt D'Attile, Fullback/Defensive Line, 5-10/225, Pompano Beach, FL / St. Thomas Aquinas H.S. | D'Attile was a team captain in 2010 under head coach George Smith.  D'Attile recorded 20 tackles, 10 for a loss, with five sacks and a fumble recovery his senior season.  He helped lead his team to the 2010 ESPN High School National Championship.  His team also won the 2010 State 5A Championship and the 2008, 2009 and 2010 District Championships.  During his sophomore season, his team won the 2008 State and National titles. 





Tim Goodwin, Tight End, 6-2/255, Ventnor, NJ / Holy Spirit H.S. | Goodwin helped lead his team to the 2010 Group 3 Non Public State Championship in New Jersey.  Goodwin, playing for head coach Charles Roman, turned in 15 catches for 110 yards for four touchdowns, including a rushing score from his tight end position this past fall.  Goodwin was named to the All-South Jersey and All-Conference first teams.  He also earned a spot on both the Courier Post and Atlantic City Press first teams as well.





Gordon Hill, Running Back/Defensive Back, 6-1/217, Sicklerville, NJ / St. Joseph's H.S. | Playing for head coach Paul Sacco, Hill helped lead his team to back-to-back State Championships in 2009 and 2010.  Hill carried the ball 155 times his senior season, piling up 1,187 yard with 20 touchdowns.  He averaged 7.7 yards per carry and 107.9 yards per game.  Hill was named to the All-Conference first team as well as the Courier Post and Atlantic City Press first teams as well.  He is also a member of his school's track & field team where he runs the 100-meters, posting a personal best time of 11.1 seconds.




Ray Hodgson, Linebacker, 6-1/240, Coral Springs, FL / Taravella H.S. (Dean College) | Hodges played at Dean College last fall serving as a team captain for head coach Todd Vagey.  He was named All-County in Broward County and was a two-time Player of the Week award winner.  In high school, Hodgson was named All-Conference and played in the Broward vs. Dade Counties All-Star Game.





Thomas Joyce, Linebacker/Fullback, 5-10/205, Wantagh, NY / General Douglas MacArthur H.S. | Joyce finished his career at MacArthur High School second all-time in career tackles with 237 stops.  Playing for head coach Bob Fehrenbach, Joyce helped lead his team to the Nassau County Conference I Playoffs his sophomore through senior seasons.  As a senior, Joyce turned in 104 total tackles with six sacks and two forced fumbles on defense and carried the ball 54 times for 501 yards and eight touchdowns on offense.  He also hauled in eight catches for 126 yards out of the backfield.  He earned a spot in the Exceptional Senior Bowl and was named the game's Defensive MVP.  Joyce was the recipient of the Tom Thorp Award as a senior, given to Nassau County's Most Outstanding Player.  He was named All-County and All-Long Island and third team All-State.  As a junior, he garnered All-County honors.  Off the field, Joyce is a Senior Peer Leader and was named the Academic All-Conference team.  He is an Honor Roll Student-Athlete and member of the Key Club, Athletes for a Better Community, Senior Year Video Production Team and Read and Lead.  He is also a member of his school's lacrosse team. 


Frank McConnell, Offensive Line, 6-1/285, Riverton, NJ / Bishop Eustace Prep | McConnell was a Team Captain his senior season for head coach Rob Cormier.  A teammate of fellow recruit Sean Bell, McConnell was named to the New Jersey Top-100 by the McCarthy Report.  He was named to the Courier Post All-Non Public first team his senior year.  He helped lead his team to the 2009 Conference Championship.  He is also a member of his school's track & field team, participating in the shot put and discus events. 





Dennis Regan, Defensive Back/Wide Receiver, 5-11/190, Philadelphia, PA / Roman Catholic H.S. | Regan was named a Team Captain at Roman Catholic High School for head coach Joe McCourt.  Regan led the league in interceptions with eight as a senior, returning a pair for touchdowns.  He earned All-State honors and was a first team All-Catholic defensive back and wide receiver.  He was also named first team All-City on the defensive side of the ball and second team All-City Multi-Purpose.  He finished his career with 24 touchdowns and over 1,000 yards rushing and receiving.   Regan was selected to play in the Philadelphia All-City Game.  He is also a member of his school's basketball team.





James Ross, QB/PK, 6-3/218, Cape Elizabeth, ME / Deering H.S. | Ross was a Team Captain for head coach Greg Stilphen and helped lead his team to the SMAA 2010 Class A Championship Game.  He finished his senior season throwing for 1,874 yards and 20 touchdowns and rushing for 988 yards and 21 scores on the ground.  Over his career, Ross had 5,831 total yards, 3,695 coming through the air and 2,136 coming on the ground.  He threw for 45 touchdowns and ran for 34 scores.  In the kicking game, Ross finished his career 89-of-105 on extra points and two-of-three on field goals and averaged 41.0 yards on punts.  He was a two-time team MVP and named the Portland Forecaster Deering H.S. Fall Male Athlete of the Year.  He was named the Southern Maine Activities Association (SMAA) Class A All-Conference quarterback and punter.  He earned Maine All-State honors and was a James J. Fitzpatrick Finalist (Top 3) for Most Outstanding Maine High School Football Player.  Ross was the recipient of the Merve Kilgore Outstanding Deering High School Player Award and the Dick Doyle Award for Deering High School Outstanding Scholar-Athlete.  On the baseball field, Ross is a two-time Under-class All-Star and led his team to two Class A State Championships and two Legion State Championships.  His team was a runner-up in the New England Regional's.  In the classroom, Ross is an Honor Roll Student-Athlete.



Keshaudas Spence, Running Back, 5-10/230, Roxbury, MA / Catholic Memorial H.S. (The Taft School) | Spence earned All-Conference honors in 2008 and 2009 at Catholic Memorial High School under head coach Alex Campea.  He was named the 2009 Defensive Player of the Year and the Best Defensive Lineman award winner.  He was chosen to play in the 2009 Shriners All-Star Game at Gillette Stadium after his senior season.  He ran for 500 yards and six touchdowns and record 115 tackles with 12 sacks from his defensive end position as a senior.  In 2008, he posted 100 total tackles with 10 sacks from defensive tackle.  At Taft School, Spence posted 850 yards rushing and 11 touchdowns in eight games for head coach Panos Voulgaris.  Defensively, he posted 80 tackles with five sacks.  He was named the 2010 Shriners Offensive MVP and an Erickson League All-Star.  He was also a member of the track & field team.



Stephan Thomas, Wide Receiver/Defensive Back, 5-11/180, Egg Harbor Twp., NJ / Egg Harbor Twp. H.S. | Thomas played for head coach Tony DeRosa at Egg Harbor Township High School.  Thomas was named to the first All-Conference his senior season as a defensive back.  He averaged six tackles per game on defense.  Offensively, Thomas ran the ball 167 times and caught 18 passes for 808 total yards and 12 touchdowns.  As a junior, he scored 12 times, twice coming on kick-off returns.  In the classroom, Thomas was named a Brooks-Irvine Scholar Athlete. 





Committed to Sacred Heart

Connor Candito, Linebacker, 6-2/220, Shrewsbury, MA / Saint John's H.S. (Bridgton Academy) | Candito recorded 106 tackles in 2010 from his linebacker position at Bridgton Academy.  He also posted four sacks last season at Bridgton for head coach Rich Marcella.  In high school, he led his team to the 2009 Massachusetts Super Bowl Championship and was named a Central Massachusetts All-Star.  He was also a member of his school's track & field team running the 100-meters and throwing the shot put.





Brian McDonald, Quarterback, 6-3/215, Westwood, MA / Hebron Academy | McDonald was named Team Captain in his junior and senior years for head coach John Curtis.  He was a 2009 Maine Prep School All-Academic Award winner.  He was nationally ranked as a punter by  McDonald was inducted into the Cum Laude Society at Hebron Academy and of the Highest Honors Dean's List.  He was also a member of the school's baseball team.





Mason Powers, Linebacker/Fullback, 6-2/210, Kensington, CT / Berlin H.S. | Powers was named a team captain his senior year at Berlin High under head coach John Capodice.  Powers was named a 2010 Connecticut All-State player after collecting a team-best 88 tackles and also earned his team's Co-MVP honors.  He helped guide his school to the 2009 CT Class M State Championship and garnered All-Conference honors in 2009 and 2010.  He was named the 2009 Team Defensive MVP.  In the classroom, Powers was named 2010 Academic All-Conference.  He is also a member of his schools wrestling team.




Jason Richard, Offensive Line, 6-1/270, Weston, CT / Weston H.S. (Milford Academy) | Richard was a Team Captain at both Weston High School and Milford Academy for head coaches Joe Lato and Bill Chaplick.  Richard was named the Offensive Lineman of the Year at Weston in 2009.  He earned All-State and All-Conference honors after his senior season.  At Milford, he helped lead his team to an 11-1 record in 2010.  He was selected to play in the Governor's Cup Connecticut vs. Rhode Island and Hall of Fame Fairfield vs. New Haven County All-Star Games.  He started 43 consecutive games at the center position at both Weston and Milford combined.  In the classroom, Richard was a four-time Scholar-Athlete.  He was also a member of the track & field team where he threw the shot put and discus.




Thomas Sweeney, Offensive Line, 6-3/275, Saddle River, NJ / Don Bosco Prep | Sweeney helped lead Don Bosco Prep to the 2009 National Championship under head coach Greg Toal.  He is an Honor-Roll Student-Athlete.