BETHLEHEM, Pa. --- With the final semester of their college experience moved remotely by COVID-19, the Moravian College Department of Athletics & Recreation today honors the 15 senior members of the Greyhounds' football team that missed out on their traditional career-ending senior experiences.
Offensive lineman Jason Barish was a four-year starter for the Greyhounds. He earned a spot on the Moravian's Dean's List once. Jason is the son of Marc Barish, and he is majoring in sociology with a minor in business management at Moravian.
"Jason started all forty games during his career which is absolutely remarkable," noted Head Coach Jeff Pukszyn. "He was a show up early and stay late guy for all four years in the program. He was always physically prepared which enabled him to stay healthy and be a high-level performer on the field."
Defensive lineman Christian Coia appeared in 20 career games with 27 tackles including five tackles for loss and one and a half quarterback sacks. Christian is the son of Karen and Robert Lyon, and he is majoring in sociology with a minor in law and society at Moravian.
"Christian's work ethic and perseverance enable him to be a solid contributor on the defensive line," Pukszyn explained. "Christian had a great motor and was a guy who practiced as hard as he played on Saturday's."
Tight end Nick Cregar played in 24 games, and he had five receptions for 30 yards and a touchdown in his career. Nick also competed for Moravian's track & field team for two years throwing the javelin. Nick is the son of Karen and Jack Cregar, and he is majoring in health sciences at Moravian.
"Nick kept improving year in and year out during his career," Pukszyn said. "Nick was the type of player that wore his emotion and love for the game on his sleeve as they say. He worked himself into a complete player at the tight end position, being not only a good blocker but also reliable when it came to catching too."
Offensive lineman Zack Cregar was a two-year starter for the Greyhounds. Zack is the son of Karen and Jack Cregar, and he is majoring in sociology at Moravian.
"Zack was sidelined his freshmen year with an incoming injury but battled his way back to be a consistent starter on the offensive line for two years," stated Pukszyn. "Zack, like his brother, was an emotional player and a team first guy."
Running back Roberto Diez rushed for 1,549 yards, which is 14th in program history, in 30 games during his career with the Hounds. Roberto had 376 rushing attempts, which is 14th all-time, and 14 career rushing touchdowns, which ranked 13th, to go with 27 receptions for 208 yards, and he was selected to the 2019 Centennial All-Conference Honorable Mention squad. Roberto is the son of Fior Guillen, and he is majoring in health sciences with a minor in business at Moravian.
"There is nothing better to watch than a player playing his absolute best during his senior year, and that was what Roberto did," commented Pukszyn. "Roberto battled through and played with injuries during his first three season only to come out stronger during his final year. His positive attitude and off-season work ethic helped him be workhorse at running back this year and it showed in his statistics."
Wide receiver Andrew Lelie caught 20 passes for 204 yards and a touchdown in 22 career contests, and he also had three tackles on special teams. Andrew was named to the 2020 National Football Foundation Hampshire Honor Society, the Centennial Conference Fall Academic Honor Roll twice, the 2020 Centennial Conference Fall All-Sportsmanship Team and made Moravian's Dean's List five times. Andrew is the son of Julie Troutman and Ralph Lelie, and he is majoring in health sciences with a focus on pre-physical therapy at Moravian.
"Andrew worked extremely hard in the off-season each year and it certainly paid dividends on the field," Pukszyn noted. "He was not only reliable in the pass game, but he was a physical blocker too. He was able to be used in a number of roles on offense and was a consistent performer on special teams as well."
Offensive lineman Tyler Maxsim was a four-year starter on the offensive line. Tyler earned a spot on the Centennial All-Conference Honorable Mention squad in both 2018 and 2019, and he made Moravian's Dean's List once. Tyler is the son of Tanya and Dan Maxsim, and he is majoring in biology with a minor in history at Moravian.
"Tyler was the unsung hero of this group," explained Pukszyn. "He was a four-year starter on the offensive line for us. Tyler wasn't very vocal but when you watched his play, it spoke volumes. He was as solid as they come. His performance got better each year."
Defensive lineman Mike O'Hagan recorded 34 tackles with two and a half tackles for loss in 25 career games. He made Moravian's Dean's List once. Mike is the son of Robyn and Michael O'Hagan, and he is majoring in business with a marketing track at Moravian.
"Michael was another selfless player who spent time on the offensive line early in his career and then transitioned back to the defensive line where he was originally recruited," said Pukszyn. "Mike was a solid performer and understood the game very well. He played his best ball as a senior which was great to see."
Fullback/tight end Sal Pagano had five career receptions for 36 yards despite missing parts of three seasons with injuries. Sal served as a team captain for the Greyhounds in 2019 for a second consecutive fall. Sal was honored on the 2019 CoSIDA Academic All-America Second Team for NCAA Division III football and was a three-time member of the Centennial Conference Fall Academic Honor Roll. Pagano was selected one of 185 semifinalists across college football for the 2019 William V. Campbell Trophy Presented by Mazada, and he was also honored on the 2020 National Football Foundation Hampshire Honor Society and has made Moravian's Dean's List seven tomes. Sal is the son of Josephine and Anthony Pagano, and he is majoring in health sciences at Moravian.
"Very few people would have battled back from the injuries Sal dealt with in his career," noted Pukszyn. "Sal is one of the most mentally tough and optimistic people I know. Like Brett, he was a two-year captain who led on and off the field. He also did a great job of helping our younger players prepare when he was sidelined with his injuries."
Wide receiver Alex Pierce caught 81 passes for 1,091 yards, which is 20th in school history, with nine touchdowns. Alex made Moravian's Dean's List once. Alex is the son of James Pierce and is majoring in sociology at Moravian.
"Alex was another one who had a team first attitude and did whatever we asked him to do," exclaimed Pukszyn. "Alex was a sold contributor on special teams and did a great job at wide receiver for us for all four years. Down the stretch this past season he was playing his best football. I couldn't have been prouder of how he played as a senior."
Offensive lineman Brett Poling was a four-year starter on the offensive line including his freshman season at right tackle. Brett was named to the Centennial All-Conference Second Team in 2019 after being on the Honorable Mention Squad in 2017 and 2018. He was also selected to the 2019 D3football.com All-South Region Third Team. Brett has been one of the team's captains the last two seasons and in 2019 he helped Moravian's offense average 286.1 yards per game including 101.1 rushing yards per contest. Brett was named to the 2020 National Football Foundation Hampshire Honor Society and made Moravian's Dean's List three times. Brett is the son of Barbara and Kurt Poling, and he is majoring in business management at Moravian.
"A two-year captain and a four-year starter for us during his career, Brett was an outstanding leader on and off the field for us," Pukszyn commented. "He did a great job creating a strong culture in the weight room which showed on the field."
Running back Nick Princiotta saw action in 26 games on special teams for the Greyhounds, recording four tackles. Nick made Moravian's Dean's List twice. Nick is the son of Ada Princiotta, and he is majoring in accounting with a minor in criminal justice at Moravian.
"Every aspect of the program was important to Nick," stated Pukszyn. "Whether it was coming in to watch special teams film or meeting extra with a coach, Nick wanted to be the guy everyone could count on. Nick also was a guy who created a great culture in our off-season program."
Offensive lineman Nico Rizzo was part of Moravian's offensive line. Nico made Moravian's Dean's List once. Nico is the son of Sherrie and Wayne Rizzo, and he is majoring in sports management with a minor in media communications at Moravian.
"Nico was one of the most selfless players I have ever been around," Pukszyn said. "It was never about him. He was always willing to do whatever was asked of him to help the team. Nico was a great teammate on and off the field."
Offensive lineman Matt Shields was part of the Greyhounds' offensive line. Matt made Moravian's Dean's List twice. Matt is the son of Colleen Shields and Matt Shields, and he is majoring in business at Moravian.
"Matt was arguably the MVP on the offensive line due to the fact that he knew every position and nearly had to play every position in his four years with us," noted Pukszyn. "Matt was ready to do whatever was asked of him and was always prepared for any and all scenarios when it came to playing on the offensive line."
Defensive back/linebacker Tim Valentine recorded 100 career tackles in 36 games to with one tackle for loss, one forced fumble, three interceptions and 12 passes defended. Tim returned one of his interceptions for a touchdown in his career. Tim is the son of Tanya Glass, and he is majoring in economics with a minor in management at Moravian.
"Tim was one of the most versatile players on defense during the past four years," Pukszyn explained. "He played corner, safety and our nickel positions since his freshmen year. He had a high football IQ which enabled him to learn things quickly. Not only did he play many roles, he was productive at each position as well and did a very good job on special teams too."
Graphics on all 15 seniors will be posted throughout the next three days on Moravian's social media accounts.