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William Paterson University's Official Student-Run Newspaper

The Beacon

William Paterson University's Official Student-Run Newspaper

The Beacon

William Paterson University's Official Student-Run Newspaper

The Beacon

The young Pioneers head into spring ball looking to establish new leadership


After losing 17 seniors the Pioneers are looking to establish new leadership in spring ball preparing for the 2024 season. 


“When you lose 17 Seniors, it’s obviously going to have an effect on your program. The void of leadership and the void and talent are obviously apparent,” head coach Shaun Williams said. “Those guys you know, it’s also a sentimental value there because a lot of those guys have been with for four or five years, and to see those guys leave the program you know, it’s always it’s always it always affects you emotionally.” 


Williams calls on rising junior and former NJAC Rookie of the Week James Nevles, a defensive back and Delaware native. Throughout his college career he has four interceptions, having one returned for a touchdown. 


“It is definitely an experience that I enjoy. So it’s definitely my first time being a leader and one of the guys that everybody looks up to,” Nevles said. “So it’s definitely a good feeling just getting to be that at that level, especially in college.”


With this being his first crack at a leadership role at the college level looks to take a role in the forum of leading by example. “Lead the guys in the right way. And just practice what I preach” Nevles said. 


Williams and his staff have also been focusing on freshman recruiting by bringing in guys to take control of the line of scrimmage. 


“I think the most important thing on any football team in any football program is the line of scrimmage. You want to make sure that you have the ability to control that,” Williams said. He specifically mentioned Spencer Rybicki and Julian Bryan as players who have stood out thus far.


The team looks forward to getting out on the field again during spring ball with their lifting program coming to a close. The big objective of spring ball is always to focus on the fundamentals and lay the foundation. The Pioneers look to do the same.


“The guys that showed up really showed dedication, perseverance, and really kind of laid the foundation for what this program needs to be. And we need to just continue that, and I think we’re going to continue to look to bring in more talent in, you know, recruiting better staff for us this year around and we’re gonna continue to do that. Like I said, not only trying to bring the freshmen but bringing some transfers as well to help a roster immediately next year,” Williams said.


Tommy Sherwood is the Editor and Chief for the Beacon. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or DM @TommySherwood03 on X.

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