Football - Varsity

Overview

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 joined the Evergreen League, which consists of a highly-competitive schedule against some of the top prep schools in New England and New York.

In this league, we will continue to play traditional rivals such as Berkshire School, Canterbury School and Albany Academy.

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.

We run a spread offense with 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, while the secondary plays both man and press man, as well as zone coverages. 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.


Titans' Testimonial


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.

Sincerely,

Harmony Palmer



Titans at the Collegiate Level


Former Titans Anthony Costa '17 (Bates), Caelen Etti '17 (Bowdoin), and Alex Claudio '17 (Bryant) and Jaelon Blandburg '16 (Brown) have renewed old friendships after competing against each other at the collegiate level.

Max Alpert ’15 - Merrimack College
Jaelon Blandburg ’16 - Brown University
Alex Claudio ’17 - Bryant University
Anthony Costa ’17 - Bates College
Joel Diaz ’14 - Bryant University
Dylan Dupont ’16 - Union College
Caelan Etti ’17 - Bowdoin College
Jack Faulstick ’16 - Amherst College

Anthony Garro ‘15 - University of Rhode Island
Sam Hart ’12- Amherst College
Eddie Jewel ’09 - Monmouth University / Bridgewater State University
Xavier Jones ’17 - Stonehill College
Peter LaBracio ’18 - Dickinson College
Rickey Moore ’10 - Sacred Heart University
ShaCor Privott ’14 - Central Connecticut State University
Alan Williams ’08 - University of Massachusetts

Portsmouth Abbey game, Oct. 12

Berkshire game, Sept. 29

Proctor game, Oct. 20


1

Ayinde

Turner

RB,FS

JR.

5-10

165

Brooklyn

NY

2020

2

Matthew

Banbury

QB/FS

SR.

6-2

210

Canonsburg

PA

2019

3

Rashad

Jackson

WR

JR.

5-10

180

Hamden

CT

2020

4

Hudson

Perham

RB, OLB

FR.

5-6

140

Hampden

MA

2022

5

Afsheen

Zarrin

SB, OLB

JR.

5-8

160

Winchester

MA

2020

7

Pietro

Bruni

WR,C

SR.

6-1

150

Milan

Italy

2019

10

Wyatt

Jackson

WR, CB

SR.

5-7

170

New Haven

CT

2019

12

Myles

Everson

WR, CB

SR.

6-2

160

Knoxville

TN

2019

13

Franchot David

Tyler

WR, CB

SO.

5-7

141

Bronx

NY

2021

14

William

Crocker

WR,OLB

JR.

6-0

155

Wrestling

MA

2020

21

Gene

Kang

FS, CB

JR.

5-10

135

Wilbraham

MA

2020

23

Liam

Garrison

WR,CB

JR.

6-0

160

Wilbraham

MA

2020

24

Nicholas

Morin

RB,SB,C

SO.

5-7

152

East Longmeadow

MA

2021

25

Jackson

Healy

RB,MLB

8th

5-5

128

Brimfield

MA

2023

36

Nicholas

Gleason

WR/FS

SO

5'10"

175

Northborough

MA

2021

50

Gunn

Thiennukul

G, OLB

JR.

5-9

156

Bangkok

Thailand

2020

51

Tristan

Lynch

MLB, C

JR.

5-11

180

Hampden

MA

2020

54

Matthew

Clifford

C, MLB

FR.

5-7

170

Wilbraham

MA

2022

56

Atilla

Troy

G, DE

JR.

5-7

200

Longmeadow

MA

2020

57

Hyunyeob

Yun

T, DE

FR.

6-1

183

Seoul

Korea

2022

60

Zihan

Wang

T,DE

SO.

5-8

198

Haikou

China

2021

62

Samuel

Zabolotnij

T, DE

SR.

6-3

195

Mariankske Lazne

Czech Republic

2019

63

Minh Ngoc

Le

WR, CB

SR.

58

192

Ha Noi

Vietnam

2019

70

Kyle

McCaughey

G, DT

JR.

5-10

188

E Longmeadow

MA

2020

74

Rohan

Heron

G, NG

SR.

5-10

307

Springfield

MA

2019

75

Marvin

Morris

T, DT

SO.

5-10

250

Longmeadow

MA

2021

88

Aidan

Held

WR, OLB

SO.

6-2

175

East Longmeadow

MA

2021

No players were found for this team

Head Coach

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.


Assistant Coaches

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



Since 2006, WMA players have advanced to the following colleges and universities to play football:

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


2018
Matt Banbury - All-New England, All-Evergreen League First Team
Wyatt Jackson - All-Evergreen League First Team

2017

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

2016

Super Bowl season

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.

Alex Claudio - All-New England Class B, All-Class B Independent League First Team
Chase Speller - All-New England Class B, All-Class B Independent League First Team
Alexander Strange - All-New England Class B, All-Class B Independent League First Team
Caelan Etti - All-Class B Independent League First Team
Matt Robertson - All-Class B Independent League First Team
Xavier Jones - All-Class B Independent League Second Team
Anthony Costa - All-Class B Independent League Second Team
Tony Barbieri - All-Class B Independent League Second Team
Jimmy Fallon - All-Class B Independent League Second Team
Nate Towle - All-Class B Independent League Second Team

2015
Jaelon Blandburg - All-New England, Western New England First Team
Alex Claudio - All-New England, Western New England First Team
Jack Faulstick - Western New England First Team
Dylan Dupont - Western New England First Team
Steve Puzzo - Western New England Second Team
James Halloran - Western New England Second Team
Amir Zeisler - Western New England Second Team
Caelen Etti - Western New England Second Team

2014
Aaron Louis - All-NE Class B, All-Colonial 1st team
Alexander Strange - All-NE Class B, All-Colonial 1st team
Max Alpert - All-Colonial 1st team
Jack Faulstick - All-Colonial 2nd team
Anthony Garro - All-Colonial 2nd team
Zane Kagan - All-Colonial 2nd team

2013
Shacor Privott - All NE Class B, All-Colonial 1st team
Hobey Bryne - All-NE Class B, All-Colonial 1st team
Randolf Thurman - All-Colonial 1st team
Joel Diaz - All-Colonial 2nd team
Sasha Oliinyk - All-Colonial 2nd team
Shawn Boston - All-Colonial 2nd team

2012
Shacor Pivott - All-New England Class B, All-Colonial 1st team
Korey Kajko - All-Colonial 1st team
Brendan Butcher - All-Colonial 2nd team
Randolf Thurman - All-Colonial 2nd 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

Scoreboard

vs.
Tilton School
Home
Win 22-6

The Titans earned a hard-fought victory, prevailing 22-6 on a cold and rainy Saturday night under the lights at home. Despite the weather, the Titan offense managed to use a balanced attack to move the ball on the ground and in the air, while the defense kept the Tilton offense off the scoreboard for much of the game. The Titans were again led by Matt Banbury '19, who rushed for two touchdowns and a two-point conversion, while connecting with Wyatt Jackson '19 for an 11-yard score, all in the first half. Meanwhile, the defense shut out the visiting team the entire first half, and dominated field position. The second half saw Tilton battle back, but the Titans managed to keep a two-score lead the entire way. Defensively, Jackson had a big day, finishing with five tackles, a sack, an interception, and a pass break up, while Aidan Held '21 also had a strong day at defensive end, tallying five tackles (two for loss) and a sack. Hudson Perham '22 had a very strong day at outside linebacker as well, containing the edge on numerous outside run plays and making a huge stop on fourth down late in the game.

vs.
Albany Academy
Home
Loss 27-24

The Titans played their second home night game in a row as they took on Albany Academy. After being down 17-0 late in the first half, the Titans scored an improbable 16 points in the half's final 18 seconds. After a strong drive by the offense, Matt Banbury '19 capped it off with a six yard touchdown scramble from his QB position. He then proceeded to run in the two-point conversion to make the score 17-8. Ayinde Turner '20 made a great effort to recover the ensuing squib kick, giving the Titans possession at Tilton’s 34-yard line with only 7 seconds left on the clock. On the next play, Banbury connected with Wyatt Jackson '19 for another WMA touchdown. Banbury passed to Nick Gleason ‘20 for the conversion, making the score 17-16, and giving the Titans plenty of momentum going into halftime. The second half started with defensive end Aidan Held ‘21 recovering a fumble to give the Titans possession inside Albany’s 10-yard line. The offense took advantage as Banbury ran it in from three yards out and passed to Myles Everson ‘19 for the conversion, putting the Titans up 24-17. Albany fought back with a field goal in the third quarter and a long run in the fourth quarter to take the lead 27-24. The offense drove the ball inside Albany’s 25 late in the fourth, but was unable to find the end zone. Banbury had an impressive 22 carries for 156 yards, two touchdowns and a two-point conversion, while passing for another touchdown and two conversions. Will Crocker ‘20 had a strong game on defense, finishing with 7 tackles (2 for loss), 1 sack and a QB pressure. Held added 5 tackles, 2 forced fumbles and a fumble recovery, while Gene Kang '20 had 7 tackles, and Rohan Heron '19 was a big boost for the offensive and defensive line in his first game back.

vs.
Canterbury School
Away
Loss 61-30

The Titan football team took to the road for the season finale to take on Canterbury School for another game under the lights. Unfortunately, Canterbury’s run game was too much for the Titan defense to contain, as the host team jumped out to a formidable first half lead. The Titan offense was able to move the ball consistently throughout the game, as the passing game looked very good. The offensive line of Rohan Heron '19, Tristan Lynch '20, Will Crocker '20, Matt Clifford '22, and Sam Zabolotnij '19, as well as running back Nick Morin '21 provided very good pass protection for much of the game, helping QB Matt Banbury '19 and WR Wyatt Jackson '19 finish with season highs in passing and receiving, respectively. Banbury finished 25 for 47 passing, 327 yards, 3 TD’s, and 2 two-point conversions, as well as a rushing TD and two-point conversion. Jackson recorded 16 receptions for 244 yards, 2 TD’s and a conversion, while Aidan Held '21 hauled in 6 passes for 55 yards, 1 TD and a conversion. On the defensive side, Zabolotnij tallied 7 tackles, Banbury had 6 tackles and a forced fumble, Afsheen Zarrin '20 recorded 5 tackles. Matt Clifford ‘22 and Held each recovered a fumble.