SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC Football) announced the 2018 All-Conference Teams ad major award winners on Tuesday (Nov. 13) morning. All seven CCC Football teams had student-athletes honored on this year's list.
Salve Regina's John Salute (Mahwah, N.J.) was named both the Defensive Player and Defensive Lineman of the Year, while the Seahawks' Joey Mauriello(Colts Neck, N.J.) was the Offensive Rookie of the Year. Nine other Seahawks were named to the All-Conference squad. Joining Salute on the first-team are Brendan Nunes (Attleoro, Mass.), Matt Sylvia (East Greenwich, R.I.), and Brandon O'Neil (Madison, Conn.). Along with his Rookie of the Year honors Mauriello was named to the second-team alongside Charlie Connell (Oradell, N.J.), Tyler D'Errico (Chesire, Conn.), Ryan Lawton (Washington Township, N.J.), Matt Messner (Midland Park, N.J.), Michael Saunders (Westwood, N.J.), and Andrew Verre (Wethersfield, Conn.).
Salute was a hallmark of the Salve Regina defense that held opponents to a league-low 110.5 rushing yards per game. The Seahawks also allowed the second fewest points in the conference at 24.4 points per game. The senior defensive lineman led the league in sacks (7.5) and sack yards (55) as he had no trouble getting into the backfield to shut down plays. In total, he had 14 tackles for a loss, ranking him third in the conference, while the 70 yards he cost opposing offenses ranked second. His top performance this year came against Curry when he had four tackles of loss, including three sacks.
"John Salute has been phenomenal all year long," said head coach Kevin Gilmartin. "Relentless effort could sum up how he plays, it's pure heart and determination. That's what our team and the defense was all about this year, and he really signifies that."
Mauriello was one of the league's top rushers serving as the Seahawks' primary option on the ground. He rushed for nearly 1000 yards to lead the league. His 992 total rush yards rank him in the Division III top-50 at No. 48, while his 99.2 yards per game led the conference. He scored seven touchdowns this year, including multi-score games against Dean, Becker, and the University of New England. He was named Offensive Player of the Week once this year (Week ending Sept. 16) and earned two Offensive Rookie of the Week honors (Weeks ending Sept. 16, Oct. 28).
"Joey is an explosive football player and he is only going to continue to get better," said Gilmartin. "It's going to be exciting to watch him play for the next four years. He will definitley have people jumping out of their seats, that's for sure."
Salve Regina (7-3 overall, 5-1 CCC) will be making the program's second appearance in the New England Bowl Series after finishing in a three-way tie with Western New England and Endicott atop the CCC standings. The Seahawks will travel to face Bridgewater State on Saturday, November 17, to face the Bears at 12 p.m.
Voting was conducted by the seven CCC Football head coaches via conference call on Sunday (Nov. 11) afternoon following the conclusion of the regular season.
CLICK HERE for the full release from the CCC.