Football - Varsity
The Wilbraham & Monson Academy football program has a long and proud tradition. There is a place for both beginning and experienced players in our program as we offer football at both the varsity and junior varsity level.
The varsity program has just joined the Evergreen League, which consists of a highly-competitive schedule against some of the top prep schools in New England and New York.
Our division is comprised of Kingswood Oxford, Woodstock Academy, and traditional rivals Berkshire School, Canterbury School and Albany Academy. The Titans will also play three crossover games against other Evergreen League teams in the league's other two divisions.
At WMA, we strive to teach unity, work ethic, character, sportsmanship and most importantly to have fun playing a truly great TEAM game. Each individual is challenged to make himself and the team better everyday, while learning teamwork, discipline, sacrifice and personal growth. In practice, we focus on building excellent fundamentals, playing fast and aggressive, and creating a team-first mentality and atmosphere.
On offense, we run a balanced running and passing attack. We utilize multiple one and two back sets (with 3-4 wide receivers) with the QB primarily in the shotgun. The goals of the offense are to score points, protect the ball and change field position. Defensively, we play an aggressive eight-man front with multiple blitz packages, and the secondary plays both zone and man coverage. The goals of our defense are to stop the run, pressure the quarterback and create turnovers. Every player learns an offensive and defensive position along with multiple roles on special teams.
Letter from WMA football parent Harmony Palmer to Coach Vartabedian
Dear Coach Vartabedian,
I wanted to express to you my wholehearted gratitude and appreciation for everything this year. The opportunity, education, coaching, guidance and experience that WMA has given my son this year will forever be in our hearts and full of great warm memories.
Last year, Joel was very hesitant on college: choosing one, his interest in college visits and researching them, his future's direction on which college, would he choose the right one, would he be able to play college athletics, etc … This year has solidified that going to WMA was the correct path. Joel has grown so much into a "man," and he took the initiative with the whole college process that I couldn't be any more proud than I am. His growth into a fine young man has awed me because I thought he was distinguished before attending WMA and now he has become even greater due to being a WMA graduate.
I also wanted to thank you for taking a chance on Joel - recruiting him and wanting him to be part of your team. He has learned a lot from you and the rest of the coaching staff that his football ability and understanding of the game has enhanced, broaden and grown so much this year. You have given my son many opportunities and you prepared him so well to play at the next level and nothing I can do can ever repay you for that. But I'm sure Joel can, though, by playing well at the next level and all the while getting his education with high honors, also. Thank you!
He is very eager to start the next journey of his life in college and hitting the field, and I am very confident in his choice of college and the path he is on his way to. He has not taken a moment off from training, working out and eating healthy since returning home.
So, in conclusion, I just want to thank you for giving him the opportunity to attend WMA and fulfilling his high school ambitions and being a part of all of your lives at WMA.
SUPER BOWL SEASON 2016
The Titans' Varsity Football team finished the season with a 7-2 record, qualifying for its first Super Bowl game since 2007. Check out the game story here from the exciting title game against Belmont Hill School.
Jeff Vartabedian has been Head Coach of the Titans football program for the last 12 years. He serves as the Titans' Offensive Coordinator in a spread offense.
Jeff led the team to a 7-2 record and trip to a Super Bowl in 2016, its first title game appearance since 2007.
He came to WMA with 14 years of college coaching experience at Division IAA, II, and III schools including the Ivy League and New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC).
Jeff began his career as a graduate assistant coach with NCAA Division II Springfield College, while earning a master’s degree in athletic administration. From Springfield, he went to Princeton University, where he was tight ends coach for the 1994 and 1995 teams with a record of 15-4-1 and the 1995 Ivy League Championship to their credit.
The teams at Trinity College and SUNY Cortland, both Division III schools where he was offensive line coach in 1996 and 1997, had winning records and postseason appearances, with Trinity crowned NESCAC co-champions in 1996.
In 1998, Jeff moved to Division III Bates College, where he was offensive coordinator for eight years before joining the Wilbraham & Monson faculty. During his tenure, Bates took the Colby-Bates-Bowdoin Championships twice, in 1999 and 2002.
Jeff is an athlete in his own right. He played football, basketball and outdoor track at Arlington High School from 1984 to 1988, and football at Springfield College, where he was the Keith Scholar-Athlete Award winner and the recipient of the Coaches’ Award. Jeff lives on campus with his wife, Danielle, and children Savannah, Laurel and A.J.
Jim Irzyk, the Titans' Defensive Coordinator and on staff for the last five years, played football at Westfield High School and Deerfield Academy. He was selected to All-Western Mass. football team as a senior at WHS. Coach Irzyk began his coaching career at Cushing Academy, where he was an assistant before being hired as the head coach. He left Cushing for a coaching job in Brussels, where his teams won two international school football titles. He was hired as the head coach at Choate in 1998. During his 15 seasons, Choate won the Class A title in 1990, 1991 and 1994. Two of Coach Irzyk's players from Choate (Jim Pyne and Tim Fleisher) played professional football.
Michael Harrison has been on staff for more than 10 years, serves as the head junior varsity coach and varsity WR/DB coach. He played football at Greenfield High School during the 1990s. After graduating from the University of Massachusetts, he was instrumental is starting the youth football program in Greenfield. Upon moving to Wilbraham, he was hired to run the Academy's food service program, and also served as an assistant coach for Boys' Basketball. Michael joined the Football staff when Coach Vartabedian was hired in 2007. Michael lives in Wilbraham with his wife, Jane, and three daughters, Sydney, Shea and Peyton.Jim Clifford
ShaCor Privott '14
Amherst College, American International College, Assumption College, Bates College, Bowdoin College, Bentley University, Brown University, Bryant University, Central Connecticut State, Hobart and Smith Colleges, Merrimack College, Monmouth University, Occidental College, Ohio Wesleyan, Sacred Heart, Saint Anselm College, St. Lawrence University, Southern Connecticut State University, Springfield College, Stonehill College, Temple University, Union College, University of La Verne, University of New Haven, University of Maine, University of Massachusetts, University of Rhode Island
Zion Setal - All-New England, NEPSAC Class B Independent First Team
John Wright - All-New England (Honorable Mention), NEPSAC Class B Independent First Team
Anthony Tivnan - NEPSAC Class B Independent Second Team
Dante Leo - NEPSAC Class B Independent Second Team
2011 Craig Martin - All-New England Class B and All-Colonial 1st team Sam Hart - All-Colonial 1st team Jared Osumah - All-Colonial 2nd team Shacor Privott - All-Colonial 2nd team 2010 Kyle Sweeting - All-New England Class B, All-Colonial 1st team Jared Osumah - All-Colonial 1st team Keoni Colson - All-Colonial 2nd team Davian Madho - All-Colonial 2nd team 2009 Trevor Treibt - All-New England Class B, All-Colonial 1st team Rickey Moore Jr. - All-Colonial 1st team Travis Treibt - All-Colonial 2nd team Peter Pascarelli - All-Colonial 2nd team 2008 Eddie Jewel - All-New England, All-Colonial 1st team Nick Dalton - All-Colonial 1st team Aaron Haas - All-Colonial 2nd team Will Edwards - All-Colonial 2nd team 2007 Lorden Samson Bowl, Class M finalist Ezra Bynam - All-New England, All-Colonial 1st team Joel Penney - All-New England, All-Colonial 1st team Alan Williams - All-New England, All-Colonial 1st team Nickolas Dalton - All-Colonial 1st team Mike Simons - All-Colonial 1st team Devin Gordon, Andrew Harvey, Eddie Jewel - All-Colonial 2nd team Ian Carlin - Frank L. Boyden Award
The Titans traveled to New Hampshire to take on a strong New Hampton team to open the season. The Titans' offense moved the ball very well in the first half, but couldn't seem to find a way to stop the potent running attack of New Hampton. The Titans got on the board with a 2-yard TD pass from Matt Banbury '19 to Myles Everson '19. Banbury ran in the two-point convertion to make the score 14-8 in favor of New Hampton. Although the Titans continued to move the ball, they weren't able to cash in while in the red zone, as New Hampton took a commanding lead by the end of the first half.
Banbury had a very strong day, finishing 12-of-19 for 213 yards, with one TD and a two-point convertion. He also led the defense with nine tackles on the day. Everson also had a strong day, catching a TD pass and also throwing one to David Tyler '21. Receiver who had solid games were Wyatt Jackson '19 (six for 88 yards), Rashad Jackson '20 (four for 41 yards), and Aidan Held '21 (three for 76 yards).
The defense had a hard time containing a potent Berkshire rushing attack, while the offense threatened but had a hard time keeping drives alive in the first half. The Titans were able to get on the scoreboard late in the game as running back Hudson Perham '22 had a number of nice runs to move the team down the field. Matt Banbury '19 capped the drive with a 2-yard rushing TD, as well as a two-point conversion.
The Titans traveled to Rhode Island for a Friday game to take on a 3-1 Portsmouth Abbey squad. The offense moved the ball through the air at times during the game, but was unable to cash in while in the red zone. The defense had a hard time containing the strong running attack of Portsmouth Abbey, as they dominated the time of possession and field position. Wyatt Jackson '19 had his best day at wide receiver, catching 10 passes for 166 yards, while QB Matt Banbury '19 threw for 249 yards. Banbury also forced a fumble on defense, while Rashad Jackson '20 came away with an interception at midfield.
The Titans football team took on a formidable Proctor squad on a beautiful Family Weekend & Homecoming at WMA. Despite showing strong signs of improvement in many areas, the Titans fell short by a score of 44-20. The offense moved the ball fairly consistently throughout the game and finished well in the red zone this week.
Leading the way again for the Titans was Matt Banbury '19, who finished with 110 yards rushing and two touchdowns along with 140 yards passing, one TD and a two-point conversion. Wyatt Jackson '19 went over 100 yards receiving for the second game in a row, finishing with eight receptions for 111 yards and a touchdown.
Defensively, Matt Clifford '22 led the team with 13 tackles, while Banbury was second with 12 tackles. Rashad Jackson '20 (nine tackles and one interception), Gene Kang '20 (eight tackles, forced fumble, blocked extra point), Hudson Perham '22 (nine tackles and a QB pressure), Wyatt Jackson (seven tackles), Aidan Held '21 (seven tackles), Will Crocker '20 (six tackles), and Nick Morin '21 (six tackles) all had great defensive efforts as well. The Titans play the next two games under the lights at WMA, starting with Tilton at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27.