By Gage Nutter
Senior starting quarterback Jake Eglintine (hamstring) and backup quarterback Chad Shade (undisclosed) did not participate in practice on Wednesday. Eglintine has been the Pride’s starting quarterback the last two seasons and has dazzled fans with this quickness and snap decision-making under center. Shade jumped onto the scene last season on Sept. 24 when he led a 28 point comeback win against the visiting WPI Engineers. A game in which he totaled 164 yards and two touchdowns on the ground while completing two passes for 76 yards and another score.
“We are very fortunate that we have a lot of guys that can play the position and play it well,” said Pride head coach Mike Cerasuolo on the quarterback situation. “We feel comfortable with whoever we put back there.”
Freshmen Ryan McCarthy and David Wells took snaps with the first team offense at quarterback due to Eglintine and Shade’s absence.
UNDERCLASSMEN TO WATCH FOR:
Jeff Stern: Stern was eye catching once positional drills started. In a one-on-one drill, Stern was able to leave defenders looking silly a few times with his quick lateral movement. Moving into the kick return drills, Stern continued to impress with tremendous field vision and quick legs down the sidelines. Although the backfield is crowded with the likes of Hunter Belzo, Tyler Hyde, Corey DeSimone, Jesus Sanchez and more. Keep an eye out for Stern if he finds a way to earn snaps on gameday this season.
Ryan McCarthy: As previously stated, Ryan McCarthy took snaps at quarterback with the first team offense due to the absence of Eglintine and Shade. Although listed as a runningback, McCarthy showed poise when pushed into the difficult position of playing quarterback throughout the day. He also rotated in at returning kicks with the kick return team. McCarthy starred as the quarterback and starting point guard at Palmer high school in Palmer, Mass. this last season. His performances on the hardwood for Palmer were so impressive that he considered playing basketball for the Pride instead of football. With a track and field background under his belt as well, McCarthy might have too much athleticism to keep off the field this season. He’s another player to keep an eye out for as the season wears on.