Trinity Football's Melendez Caps Off Senior Year As Trinity's Top Senior Male Athlete
Hartford, Conn., May 11, 2011 –Trinity College senior CB Harry Melendez (Holyoke, Mass.) was named to the Associated Press Little All American Football Team and the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Division III All-American Football Team, while Bantam senior TE Chris Hunt (Westford, Mass.) was selected to the D3Football.com All American Third Team. Hunt and Melendez were each also selected to the D3Football.com All-East Region Team, while junior ILB Walter Fallas (Everett, Mass.) was selected as the 2010 New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Football Defensive Player of the Year, and first-year RB Evan Bunker (Topsfield, Mass.) was the NESCAC Football Rookie of the Year. Fallas, Melendez, and Hunt were each also selected to both the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Division III North All-Star Team, and the New England Football Writers Division II/III All-Star Team, while the trio joined senior tri-captain C Matt Santora (New Canaan, Conn.), senior tri-captain S Ben Sherry (Wayland, Mass.), senior FB Michael Paladino (Arlington, Mass.), and junior DE Herman Brito (Wayland, Mass.) on the All-NESCAC First Team. Trinity senior tri-captain WR Michael Galligan (Shoreham, N.Y.), junior DE Gary Williams (Plymouth Meeting, Pa.), and sophomore OT Michael Valenti (Bethel, Conn.) were each named to the 2010 All-NESCAC Second Team. In addition, Melendez played in the 2010 D3Senior Classic All-Star Game on December 3 in Salem, Va. The New England All-Stars were honored at the organization's banquet on December 9 at Montvale Plaza in Stoneham, Mass. Melendez capped off his senior year when the College honored him with the George Sheldon McCook Trophy recipient as Trinity's top senior male athlete of the year in its annual awards ceremony. The Bantams, coached by Jeff Devanney (5th Season), posted a 7-1 record this fall, earned second place in the NESCAC, and finished ranked No. 3 in New England Division III Final Poll.
Melendez started every game at cornerback, tying the College record for interceptions with an NESCAC-best nine (1.12 per game led all of NCAA Division III) to go with 22 tackles (17 solo) and a team-high eight pass breakups, and returning 10 punts for 94 yards. A starter for two years, Melendez had two picks in three different games this fall, and was selected as the NESCAC Defensive Player of the Week once in each of the last two season. In his career, Melendez made 71 tackles (47 solo), four tackles for loss, and one sack, and intercepted 15 passes for 208 yards and one touchdown. He also returned 31 kickoffs for 129 yards and 70 punts for 601 yards in four seasons. A graduate of Suffield Academy, he is the son of Angelica Peltier.
Hunt started all eight games at tight end, catching a team-high 29 balls for a team-high 537 yards (7th in NESCAC) and nine touchdowns. Hunt also helped Trinity finish first in the NESCAC in rushing with 225.5 yards per game and 4.3 yards per carry as a blocker. In his career, Hunt caught 52 passes for 823 yards and 11 touchdowns. A graduate of Westford High School, Hunt is majoring in economics at Trinity. He is the son of Mary Hunt.
Fallas, a two-time, All-NESCAC First Teamer, led Trinity for the second year in a row and was tied for ninth in NESCAC in tackles with 69 tackles (team-high 45 solo), and added 11.0 tackles for loss, two sacks, five pass breakups, and a forced fumble. Fallas is a graduate of Everett High School and also attended Worcester Academy. He is the son of Debra and Walter Fallas.
Bunker stepped in as the starting running back for the Bantams in the fourth game and finished with 938 yards (2nd in NESCAC, 19th in nation) on 193 carries (4.9 yds per carry) with four touchdowns and added seven pass receptions 55 yards. He finished sixth in the NESCAC with 124.1 all-purpose yards per game. A graduate of the Masconomet High School, he is the son of Lauren and David Bunker and the younger brother of Amherst's All-NESCAC running back Eric Bunker.
Santora, a three-time, All-NESCAC First Team selection, anchored Trinity's offensive line for a third straight season, and helped the Bantams produce 1,804 yards on the ground with a 4.3 yards-per-carry average, 15 rushing touchdowns while allowing just nine sacks. In his three seasons as a starter, Trinity rushed 1,011 times for 4,001 yards with 40 rushing touchdowns and the line allowed just 36 sacks over those 24 games. A graduate of Staples High School, Santora is majoring in economics at Trinity. He is the son of Denise Lamoureaux and Steve Santora.
Sherry, a two-year captain and a 2008 All-NESCAC honoree as an outside linebacker, was tied for third on the team with 27 tackles (18 solo), two interceptions, and four pass breakups defensively from his safety position, and scored three touchdowns and completed a 25-yard pass as both a short-yardage specialist on offense and the up back on fake punts. In his career, Sherry made 150 tackles (94 solo), 10 tackles for loss, and two sacks, and intercepted five passes for 52 yards. He also rushed 21 times, mostly on fake punts and in short-yardage situations, for 178 yards and three scores and threw a 25-yard pass completion. A graduate of Wayland High School, Sherry is majoring in American Studies at Trinity. He is the son of Kathy and Jay Sherry.
Paladino, who switched to fullback from linebacker in 2009, helped six different players rush for 100 yards or more this fall for a total of 1,804 rushing yards with a 4.3 yards-per-carry average this season. He did not carry the ball once, but caught five passes for 50 yards as both the team's fullback and H-back. In his career, Paladino had seven receptions for 64 yards and a touchdown and made five tackles. A graduate of the Buckingham, Browne & Nichols School, Paladino is majoring in American Studies at Trinity. He is the son of Donna and Mike Paladino.
Brito, a 2009 All-NESCAC Second Team selection, was tied for third on the team with 27 tackles (18 solo), 10.5 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks (6th in NESCAC), and one pass breakup this fall. Brito, who earned a Lambert Scholarship as the top intern in the Massachusetts State legislature during the summer, was named to the 2009 NESCAC All-Academic Team and the ESPN Academic All-District First Team for his work in the classroom. A graduate of Wayland High School, Brito is majoring in public policy & law at Trinity. He is the son of Maria and Herman Brito.
Galligan started all eight games and had 25 receptions (2nd on team) for 244 yards (2nd on team) and three touchdowns. He is a three-time, All-NESCAC honoree and a two-time, NESCAC All-Academic selection. In his career, Galligan totaled 127 receptions for 1,668 yards and 17 touchdowns and was named the NESCAC Player of the Week twice in 2008. A graduate of the Williston-Northampton School in Massachusetts, Galligan is majoring in public policy & law at Trinity. He is the son of Mary and Paul Galligan.
Williams totaled 13 tackles (eight solo) with 5.5 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks in eight games this fall. A graduate of St. Joseph's Prep High School, Williams is majoring in engineering at Trinity. He is the son of Therese and Gary Williams.
Valenti started every game at tackle on a Bantam offensive line that helped produce 1,804 yards on the ground with a 4.3 yards-per-carry average, 15 rushing touchdowns and allowed just nine sacks. A graduate of Bethel High School, he is the son of Louis and Dina Valenti.