Football back to work after historic season

DSC_0151Bobby Colla

Sports Editor

“After having such a successful season, more people have shown interest in our program than ever before,” said Hudson Valley’s Head Football Coach Mike Muehling.

The football team went 8-1 in the regular season, earning them the #19 spot in the country, and reached the Salt City Bowl, where they were defeated by #4 ranked Hutchinson.

After having their best season in more than a decade, the team wants to keep the edge they had this season, according to Muehling.

One thing, that happens every offseason for the team is the sophomores leave and new freshmen come into the program.

The Vikings will lose three of their six running backs this season. This includes Tyler Gagnon, who was among the leaders in rushing in the NJCAA this past year.

The team also loses a couple linebackers, including starting middle linebacker Kevin Melder, as well as several defensive backs and 2 defensive linemen. Ashton McKenzie who broke the Hudson Valley record for sacks in a single game, is leaving this season.

The team does have their starting quarterback, Rafael Hidalgo, returning for the 2015 season but they will need help from recruiting, according to Muehling.

“I think we need to address some of these issues with recruiting,” said Muehling. He also said that he doesn’t anticipate losing any freshmen, unless it is due to grades. “We have a plan for the spring in terms of attacking the academics, and continuing study table, to hopefully give the players some help,” he said.

The recruiting numbers are way up, according to Muehling. “We get contacted daily,” he said. “I get anywhere between 80 and 100 emails a day, either from recruiting services, individual players, or high school coaches.” Muehling said.

Muehling is very confident about the 2015 team. “We feel like we have a good core to our defense,” he said.

He also said that he wants players from around the area in New York State high schools. He mentioned sections two, three, and five specifically. “We are trying to get the best players in New York to stay in this area. If we can get those players to come here and contribute, then we can go out and get some really talented players out of state,” he said.

Muehling also said he has only a small idea of the new players coming in. “We are definitely seeing an influx in talent, but we’ll have a better idea after signing day,” he said.

According to Muehling, more players will be committed to the team when they start getting them to sign commitment letters and National Letters of Intent.

The team continues to train for the fall. Muehling said, “We are very excited for this season, and we’ll just have to see.”


Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: