Juniata football names captains for 2012 season
HUNTINGDON, Pa. – Juniata College football juniors Brandon Felus (Columbia, Pa./Columbia) and Kevin Gorman (Waverly, N.Y./Waverly Central), and seniors Noah Walstrom (Altoona, Pa./Altoona Area) and Julian Valdiserri (Pittsburgh, Pa./Mt. Lebanon), have been named team captains for the 2012 season as voted upon by their teammates, according to Eagles head football coach Tim Launtz.
The men of the Juniata football program, in selecting next season's captains, showed they understood the importance of principles and valves, for Julian, Brandon, Kevin and Noah know what is important within the Juniata Football experience," said Launtz. "Our captains are Juniata Men of great character and attitude, who affect others on the team by the way they play and the way they live their lives. The 2012 captains convey respect to their teammates that leads to trust, and results in all members of the team believing in each other."
Felus played in all 10 games last season as a reserve on Juniata's defensive line, and finished 11th on the team in total tackles with 26 including 16 solo stops. He recorded 6.5 tackles-for-loss of 27 yards, third-most on the squad, with 4.0 sacks for 24 yards. Felus also charted one pass breakup and one blocked kick.
For his career, Felus has 45 total tackles with 26 of those unassisted, with 9.5 TFL and 6.0 sacks.
A Second Team All-Centennial Conference honoree, Gorman has been Juniata's leader in tackles in each of the past two seasons. The mainstay of Juniata's linebacker corps, he logged 76 total tackles with 45 unassisted stops last season, with a team high 11.5 tackles-for-loss of 31 yards that was ranked 10th in the Centennial Conference. Gorman's 7.8 tackles per game ranked ninth in the Centennial. He recorded 4.0 sacks in 2011 was credited with three pass breakups.
Over his first two seasons in blue and gold, Gorman has tallied 156 total tackles with 93 solo stops.
Walstrom, an eight-game starter for the Eagles at middle linebacker last season, finished sixth on the team with 41 total tackles with 23 unassisted stops. He finished with 2.0 tackles-for-loss of three yards, and recorded one fumble recovery.
Over his first three seasons, Walstrom has put together a ledger of 88 total tackles with 52 unassisted tackles, along with 6.0 TFL.
Valdiserri was Juniata's top receiving threat in 2011 in both receptions and yardage, hauling in 35 catches for 312 yards during his junior campaign – an average of 8.9 yards per reception and 31.2 yards per game. He matched a career high with eight receptions against Gettysburg in 2011, finishing the game with 69 yards. Valdiserri logged a single game high of 92 yards receiving versus Dickinson on five catches.
Valdiserri enters his senior season with 77 receptions for 687 yards and six touchdowns, an average of 8.9 yards per catch.
"The 2012 captains will be instrumental in demonstrating that the Juniata experience teaches lessons of hard work and dedication in the classroom and on the field, proving to be at least part of the foundation Juniata men will use to build their futures," said Launtz. "The Juniata Men of the 2012 football team have created a vision – it is what Juniata football will look like, it will be who we are, and it will be accomplished."
Juniata opens its 2012 slate on Saturday, Sept. 1, when the Eagles travel to Greenville, Pa., to face Thiel College in a 1:30 p.m. kickoff. The Eagles make their home debut on the following week, Saturday, Sept. 8, when they host Dickinson College in a 1:00 p.m. start.