HADLEY, MA – Four members of Mark Raymond's Williams College football team that finished 6-3 and won a share of the Little Three title have earned All-NESCAC honors as has head coach Mark Raymond.
Senior captain Chris Hattar (Wappingers Falls, N.Y.) an anchor on the Eph defensive line was named to the First Team, while first years TE Justin Burke (Morristown, N.J.), QB Bobby Maimaron (Duxbury, Mass), and LB TJ Rothmann (Norwell, Mass.) were named to the Second Team.
Hattar a three-year starter and four-year letterman led an Eph defensive line that improved considerably in one year and helped Williams allow but 18.2 points a game over this the initial NESCAC nine-game season.
Hattar started all nine games this season and while his numbers in the statistical categories are not overwhelming, his leadership and ability to tie up opposing offensive linemen was pivotal in the Ephs' plus six in the win column from the previous season.
"Chris was a huge part of our success," said Raymond. "He brought us outstanding leadership and a tireless work ethic. He was always at his best when we needed him most. He is very deserving of First Team honors."
Seventeen of Chris Hattar's 34 tackles were solos and 17 were assists. Four times Hattar recorded tackles for a loss, resulting in 20 yards lost and he also added 3.5 sacks, which accounted for 19 more yards lost. Hattar also forced one fumble and he recovered one fumble that he returned 13 yards for a touchdown at Colby.
Tight end Justin Burke averaged 15 yards per catch with two of his 11 receptions resulting in touchdowns. Burke also added to the Ephs' improved ground game in 2017 with his blocking. Burke recorded one tackle on the season and forced a fumble.
"Justin improved every week," Raymond noted. "He did a great job blocking on the perimeter and has developed into a very good pass catcher."
Quarterback Bobby Maimaron started all nine games for the Ephs and he threw at least one touchdown pass in each of the first seven games. A threat to throw or run, Maimaron tied for the lead in team scoring (42 points) with wide receiver and classmate Frank Stola. Maimaron rushed for seven touchdowns, none more important than his 11-yard run to pay dirt versus Amherst in overtime, giving the Ephs a 31-24 win over 7-1 Amherst on Homecoming and a share of the Little Three title.
Maimaron connected on 57.7% of his passes (162-281) for 1,800 yards and 12 TDs, averaging 200 yards a game. He tied the Eph single game TD rushing record in the win over Amherst by scoring four times versus the Mammoths. In addition to his Second Team honor Maimaron was also named the NESCAC Rookie of the Year.
"Bobby had a great year," stated Raymond "He played with great poise and confidence. He is an exciting player to watch."
On the season Maimaron gained 544 yards on 118 carries for an average of 3.4 yards a carry. Twice during the season Maimaron was named the NESCAC Offensive Player of the Week.
Linebacker TJ Rothmann started all nine games for the Ephs and he made his presence felt in each game. Rothmann accounted for 83 tackles on the year (40 solos, 43 assists), posted 4.5 tackles for a loss (10 yards), broke up six passes, and intercepted two passes returning them for a total of 38 yards.
He was named the NESCAC Defensive Player of the Week for his performance at Colby where he made 19 tackles (9 solos and 2 tackles for a loss), broke up a pass, and blocked a potential game-tying field goal attempt.
"TJ is a very tough, hard nosed defensive player," Raymond stated. "He is a great run defender and equally good against the pass."
Second year coach Mark Raymond was named the NESCAC Coach of the Year. Raymond guided his 2017 Eph eleven to a plus six in wins from 2016 to 2017. The six wins by this year's Eph team was the most at Williams since 2010 when the Ephs went 8-0.
Raymond's team in 2017 had the smallest roster in NESCAC, dressing 48 players in the final game of the season, and there were only 10 seniors on the roster. Six of the 10 seniors were starters and the top running back, a senior, was lost for the season with an injury in game five.
Two of the 2017 Eph wins came over teams that were in first place when they fell to Williams.
Raymond's Ephs stunned previously undefeated Middlebury on the road with a second half comeback that featured a game-winning pass on the final play of the game to give Williams a 27-26 win over the Panthers.
In the final game of the year against archrival Amherst, the Ephs entered "The Biggest Little Game in America" 5-2 and off a shutout loss at Wesleyan the previous Saturday.
However, the Ephs built a 24-3 lead over Amherst, only to see the Mammoths tie the game at 24 and force over time.
The Ephs scored on their first possession in the OT session and when Amherst faced fourth and one on their possession Raymond called time out and switched from man coverage to zone coverage and the Amherst pass into double coverage fell incomplete, giving Williams the win. That Eph win snapped an Amherst 6-game win streak in the series.
The last time Williams had a plus six-win season was in 1919 and that resulted from the Ephs coming off an 0-2 1918 season.
Asked about the NESCAC Coach of the Year honor, Raymond said, "This is a great team award that I will share equally with our coaching staff and our players. It is a reflection of a great team effort and an outstanding job by the assistant coaches."