FAIRFIELD, CT(August 14, 2013) - The Sacred Heart football preseason is underway and its time to preview the 2013 Pioneers. We spent a few minutes with head coach Mark Nofri, long time linebacker coach, and r-senior Matt Colucci (Hopewell Junction, NY) to preview the Pioneer linebacking corps.
Part II - Linebackers
Ask any head coach or defensive coordinator who the leader of their defense is and chances are they will name a linebacker. The Pioneers are no different and that task will fall to r-senior Matt Colucci (Hopewell Junction, NY) in 2013. Colucci returns to his starting inside linebacker spot but will need to take on more of a leadership role with the loss of fellow inside backer Justin Sexton (Murrieta, CA). Sexton, an All-Northeast Conference linebacker last fall who collected 118 total tackles, is going to miss this season for personal reasons.
Colucci, who returns as the Pioneers' top-tackler, posted 71 total tackles in 2012. He had 3.5 tackles for a loss and a sack last season. He posted a career-high nine tackles in the home loss to Wagner. Moving alongside Colucci inside is sophomore Kellen Sperduto (Oldwick, NJ) who saw plenty of action at outside linebacker last fall. Sperduto has plenty of speed and showed some play making ability last season. Finishing with 42 tackles, he had 5.5 tackles for a loss, 2.5 sacks and forced a pair of fumbles. Sophomore John Snee (Marshfield, MA) will see a expanded roll in 2013. Snee saw limited action and played special teams last fall.
Coach Nofri will welcome back junior outside linebacker Connor Candito (Shrewsbury, MA) who missed almost all of last season with injury. Candito registered four tackles as a starter in last season's opener at Morgan State but suffered a season-ending knee injury late in that contest. Candito had 16 total tackles back in 2011 before earning a starting role last season.
On Thursday we will talk with SHU offensive coordinator Kevin Bolis to preview the Pioneer offensive line.