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By Alicia Nemiccolo MacLeay '97
The Revere Bell in the Roberts Building may need some polishing after all the times it was rung for Colby football victories this fall. On November 11 after a 34-7 win over Bowdoin, the Mules rang it for the final time of the 7-1 season.
The bell tolled for Colby's 10th outright Colby-Bates-Bowdoin championship title,the Mules toppled Bates 14-0 earlier in the season. Colby's record, matched 7-1 marks in 1972 abd 1994 and also earned the Mules a share of the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) title with Amherst and Middlebury (both 7-1). Colby's only loss was to Amherst, Amherst's was to Middlebury, and Middlebury's was to Colby.
Head coach Tom Austin praised his entire team. "Ever since April the guys have said that they were going to go 8-0 this season," he said. "That confidence and the belief in themselves really proved how outstanding these young men truly are."
Co-captain Drew Johnson '01 said, "The victory over Bowdoin was great because . . . the seniors completed a turnaround from 0-8 our freshman year."
Co-captain Mark D'Ambrosio '01 echoed Johnson and Coach Austin. "We all wanted it so bad. It was a great group of guys coming through on a team effort," he said.
Some of Colby's success came from the duo of quarterback Patrick Conley '03 and wide receiver Daniel Noyes '02, who both set Colby and NESCAC single-season records. In 2000 alone, Conley passed for 1,996 yards, setting a new NESCAC record and breaking the Colby record of 1,846 yards set in 1994 by Matthew Mannering '95. In addition, Conley became the fifth all-time quarterback in the NESCAC rankings in passing completions in a season with 139.
With 872 receiving yards this fall, Noyes set a new NESCAC record and broke the Colby mark of 707 yards set by Joseph Vecchi '90 in 1988. Lest one think Colby's success can be credited to the offense alone, the team's defense finished 19th in the country in points allowed for Division III teams, with an average of 13 per game.
Conley, Noyes, offensive tackle Bodo Heiliger '02 and D'Ambrosio were named to the All-NESCAC first team. Johnson and Kevin Smalley '03 both were named to the All-NESCAC second team on defense. Conley, Noyes, defensive back Patrick Fahey '02 and linebacker Michael Moran '03 also received NESCAC Player of the Week honors over the season.
With some of Colby's best players returning next year, the Mules will be working towards a first-ever undefeated season in 2001 and eight more chances to ring the Revere Bell. But this year's team will be remembered as something special, Austin said. "Each team has its own personality," he told the Waterville Morning Sentinel. "This team was special because this group of seniors provided such direction. The legacy of the Class of '01 will be to demonstrate what can happen when everyone buys in."
The Colby Difference: The Inauguration of William D. Adams
Nuclear Fiction: Daniel Traister '63 Delves Into the Fiction of World War II
The Hot Zone and the Cold War: Frank Malinoski '76 Investigates Biological Warfare
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College Colby Magazine 4181
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