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Amherst College > Athletics > Football > Jeffs Place Six on All-NESCAC Team
L.J. Spinnato '06
Spinnato was Amherst's only non-senior on the 2004 All-NESCAC Team after pacing the Jeffs with 3.5 sacks.

Ladd Named NESCAC Offensive Player of the Year; Jeffs Place Six on All-NESCAC Team

November 18, 2004

AMHERST, MA - Amherst College placed six players on the 2004 All-New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Football Team, including senior tailback Fletcher Ladd (Amherst, NH/Souhegan), who was tabbed the conferenceís Offensive Player of the Year. Ladd, senior wideout/return specialist Jay Wagstaff (Tewksbury, MA/Tewksbury), senior defensive back Rob Walsh (Fair Lawn, NJ/Fair Lawn) and junior defensive lineman L.J. Spinnato (Madison, CT/Daniel Hand) were each named first-team selections, while senior tight end Ryan Sykes (Charleston, SC/Bishop England) and senior linebacker Mike Salvatore (Greenwich, CT/Greenwich) earned second-team honors.

Ladd topped the NESCAC in rushing with 1,137 yards on 184 carries, upping his career total to a school-record 3,817 rushing yards. He also finished second in the conference in rushing in both 2003 (111.8 ypg) and 2002 (143.5 ypg) and second in the NESCAC in rushing touchdowns (seven) as a rookie in 2001. A Second-Team CoSIDA Academic All-America pick in 2003 and a finalist for Academic All-America this season, Ladd is a four-time All-NESCAC and two-time First-Team CoSIDA Academic All-District selection, among countless other honors.

Wagstaff was a first-team pick at both wide receiver and return specialist, marking his third straight season as a First-Team All-NESCAC selection. He led the NESCAC and finished 16th in the nation in punt return average (13.7 yds.) and finished seventh in the conference in all-purpose yards (757), highlighted by a 65-yard punt return for a touchdown in a 19-10 win over visiting Colby. Wagstaff topped the Jeffs in receptions (25), receiving yards (359) and receiving touchdowns (three) as well.

Walsh led the NESCAC and finished seventh in the nation with six interceptions, falling just one pick shy of an Amherst single-season record, and led the conference and placed 11th nationally with 14 pass defenses. He earned NESCAC Defensive Player of the Week, Don Hansenís National Weekly Football Gazette NCAA Division III Defensive Player of the Week and ECAC Division III New England Defensive Player of the Week honors after tying a 27-year-old single-game school record with four interceptions in a 34-28 double-overtime win at Bowdoin.

Spinnato paced the Jeffs with 3.5 sacks, placed third on the team with 4.5 tackles for loss and was a force on defense all season long, tallying 31 stops overall, including 16 unassisted. He had one of his best games in a convincing 38-3 win at Little Three rival Wesleyan, torching the Cardinals for six tackles, a sack, a forced fumble and a pass breakup.

Sykes caught 12 passes on the year, highlighted by a 15-yard touchdown grab in a 34-26 win at Middlebury. He was a devastating blocker as well, helping key an offensive unit that finished second in the NESCAC in rushing with a whopping 241.2 yards per game and finished third in the NESCAC in fewest sacks allowed (12).

Salvatore led the Jeffs and finished third in the conference with 82 tackles, which was the most by an Amherst player since the college began archiving defensive statistics in 1997. He topped the team and tied for seventh in the NESCAC with 9.0 tackles for loss as well and tallied a game-high 16 tackles in his final collegiate game, a season-ending 13-10 win over visiting Little Three rival Williams. As a sophomore, Salvatore earned NESCAC Defensive Player of the Week, ECAC Player of the Week and Don Hansen's Weekly Football Gazette National Quad-Defensive Player of the Week honors after torching Bowdoin for a career- and game-high 17 tackles, a sack and an interception in his first career start.