CONWAY — Seven gridiron stars from their days as Kennett High Eagles and Fryeburg Academy Raiders continued their football careers at area colleges this fall: Tucker Buzzell, FA '19, Patrick Cullen, KHS '17, Jacob Cameron, KHS '16 all started for Husson University, Aaron Lamar, KHS '17 leads the defensive backfield of Western New England College from his safety position, and Eagles Brett Miller '18, Raider Cobey Johnson '18 played wide receiver and Trey Snowden KHS '19 played cornerback for University of New England.
In the final Commonwealth Coast Conference football game for Husson at Western New England in Springfield, Mass. last Saturday, the leading
tacklers for both teams were local gridiron stars: Buzzell with 12 tackles for Husson and Lamar, with nine tackles for WNEC.
Junior wide receiver for the Husson Eagles, ex-KHS Eagle Patrick Cullen caught one pass for 46 yards and senior tri-captain Jacob Cameron was his usual force in the Husson offensive line.
For Husson (4-6-0, 4-3-0 in CCC), the move from the Eastern Football Conference, which they won outright in the prior two years, to the Commonwealth Coast Conference this season, proved to be a step up in competition level. The Eagles were unable to continue their streak of NCAA tournament appearances, but will be poised for the 2020 season with freshman Buzzell and juniors Cullen and Cameron all returning.
First-year Buzzell did not record his first tackle until the third game this fall, but through October and November he recorded at least four tackles in each game, totaling 42 on the season, and a 5.3 tackle/game mark that led the Eagle linebackers.
Cullen lifted his game this season, hauling in 23 pass receptions for 302 yards and one touchdown, having worked up the receiver depth chart from his first two years, when he recorded one reception.
Western New England (9-1-0, 7-0-0 CCC) claimed the automatic NCAA Division III tournament bid as undefeated conference champion, and Lamar was an integral part of the Golden Bears' success. After two seasons deep in the defensive backfield depth chart, Lamar came into his own during this, his junior, season.
According to Head Coach Jason Lebeau, "Aaron is probably the most improved player on our team from last season. He worked extremely hard to earn the starting Will safety position and has played at a high level this year. Aaron is a smart football player and has become a more physical force as his confidence grows. He gets better every week and has been a significant contributor on a conference championship-winning team."
The 6', 200-pound engineering major was named CCC Defensive Player of the Week for his efforts in the Golden Bears 49-27 road win over Curry on Oct. 26, which included nine tackles and an interception. With a 3.43 GPA, Lamar was also named to the College Sports Information Directors of America All-District Academic first team.
The Golden Bears will continue their season hosting The College at Brockport in the first round of the NCAA Division III Tournament this Saturday with opening kickoff set for 12 p.m. at Golden Bear Stadium. The Golden Bears will be making their fifth consecutive and sixth overall appearance in the national playoffs.
Brockport (8-2, 5-1 Empire 8), which was ranked No. 25 in the latest American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Poll, captured its third consecutive Empire 8 title this season. The winner of next Saturday's contest between Western New England and Brockport will face the winner of the Muhlenberg (10-0) v. MIT (7-2) matchup in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday, Nov. 30.
According to Head Coach Jason Lebeau, "Aaron is probably the most improved player on our team from last season. He worked extremely hard to earn the starting Will safety position and has played at a high level this year. Aaron is a smart football player and has become a more physical force as his confidence grows. He gets better every week and has been a significant contributor to a conference championship-winning team."
Miller, a sports and recreation management major, caught thirteen passes for 127 yards during his sophomore campaign, while Johnson had a breakout season as a wideout, making 57 catches for a team-leading 807 yards and six touchdowns.