CLAIRE SOISSON/THE HOYA Senior linebacker Nick Alfieri
CLAIRE SOISSON/THE HOYA
Senior linebacker Nick Alfieri

Entering the 2014 season, the Georgetown football team (0-1) finds itself searching for just its second winning season in 15 years.

The team, which eked out two victories last season, aims to replicate the 2011 campaign — one bright spot in this extended malaise. That year, led by a strong senior class, the Hoyas finished 8-3 overall with a 4-2 record in the Patriot League, good for a second-place finish. Leading the way in 2014 is a solid crop of seniors, who also happen to be the last remaining players on the roster from the magical 2011 season.

“I think that [2011] team had a good core group of seniors who gave really good senior leadership, and those were guys who had gone through some ups and downs. They went through an 0-11 season and a couple more bad seasons,” senior linebacker and team captain Nick Alfieri said. “So that group when we were freshmen was a bunch of seniors who had stuck it out.”

The current senior class is facing a similar situation now, coming off of two hard seasons and attempting to once again pull off a successful one. To do that, the senior class will have to provide strong leadership on and off the field, something in which new Head Coach Rob Sgarlata (COL ’94) is very confident.

“A lot of our seniors, if you look at their history, are very talented and as such, there were either injuries or they were better than the kids we had, so they played a lot as freshmen and sophomores. I think one of the biggest words you have is ‘experience,’ especially on defense,” Sgarlata, last year’s defensive coordinator, said. “And we brought in about 30 freshmen [this year]. I think our seniors did a great job of introducing those kids to campus and to the way we do things and to be honest the transition was a lot smoother than I thought it was going to be.”

The similarities between this year’s team and the one from 2011 have not gone unnoticed, as both years featured a strong senior class.

FILE PHOTO: ALEXANDER BROWN/THE HOYA Head Coach Rob Sgarlata
FILE PHOTO: ALEXANDER BROWN/THE HOYA
Head Coach Rob Sgarlata

“This year we have, I think, 20 seniors and I’m feeling a similarity between that year and this year with a bunch of guys, all of who might not necessarily contribute on the field but will still be positive influences on the team,” Alfieri said.

“And there are a bunch of guys like that. So I think that was a big factor in that season and I hope it can be in this season too.”

Senior defensive lineman Alec May concurred with Alfieri’s assessment of the strong upperclassman presence that will guide the team this year.

“In 2011, we had David Quintero (MSB ’12), who was a senior, come and talk to us before the first game,” May said.

“The one thing he said was that the reason he felt so confident his senior year was that he could look down the bench on defense and know there’s a bunch of guys that he trusts and wouldn’t get flustered and were going to go out there and give their all. When I look down the bench this year I see the same exact thing with a lot of my buddies and the other seniors who I’ve been through a lot with.”

Along with Alfieri, May hopes for a repeat of 2011. Despite last Saturday’s 21-3 loss in the home opener against Wagner, May’s season got off to a great start, totaling three tackles for loss and two sacks in a performance that earned him a Patriot League weekly honorable mention. But May is looking for more than just individual accomplishments this season.

“We’re just focused on the team right now, we want to win a Patriot League championship,” May said. “I mean for me in my football career, both at Georgetown and in high school, I’ve been a part of really good teams but we’ve always been kind of one game away from winning it. So I want to finish it this year. I think we have the talent to win the Patriot League.”

Now Alfieri, May and the rest of their class are looking to finish the task they came so close to achieving in 2011 — winning that title. With the memory of 2011 still fresh in their minds, they are willing to do anything to replicate it.

“That’s the ultimate goal, to win a Patriot League championship,” Alfieri said. “Whatever we can do on the field as contributors, motivators and leaders is what we want to do to reach that ultimate goal.”

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