/seasons/2012/contrib/20120816pyfr5s

Freshmen Sean Coverdill and Ken Vollaro follow family tradition at Western New England

More news about: Western New England

 

 

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Western New England's football team started pre-season drills on Sunday, August 12, with approximately 150 players reporting to campus, including a pair of local freshmen who have strong family ties to the Golden Bears program.

Sean Coverdill (left) and Ken Vollaro, both from Somers, Connecticut, certainly know the history of the program better than most, if not all, of their classmates since both of their fathers proudly wore the Blue and Gold during their undergraduate days.

Sean's father Rich Coverdill and Ken's dad Rich Vollaro were teammates for three years and were members of the final club season in 1980 and first NCAA Division III team in 1981. Rich Coverdill also served as a team captain in both 1982 and 1983.

Hank Bazan picture
Hank Bazan - The Father of WNE Football
The family connection gets even better since Ken's late grandfather Hank Bazan started the football program at Western New England in 1970. A popular Professor of Business at the school and former UConn standout, Bazan coached the club team for nine seasons compiling a 37-35-3 record. He also was the National Club Sports Association (NCSA) Coach-of-the-Year in 1974.


In addition, Ken's mother Mary Vollaro was a swimming standout for the Golden Bears after her father (Hank Bazan) started the program. She used to keep the stats for her father at the games. Mary is now in her 16th year as a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Western New England. Ken's uncle Stan Bazan played football for four years (1983-86) for the Golden Bears.

The biggest supporter, though, is Ken's grandmother Josephine Bazan who continues to attend games each fall and who is by general consensus the family's most avid spectator.

"I have shared articles with Ken so he can appreciate the history of the program," said Mrs. Bazan. "I also gave him a jacket that was worn by Hank and his players that had the original logo on it. When I think about that, it brings a tear to my eye because I know how proud Hank would be to watch his grandson play at Western New England."

Rich Vollaro and Rich Coverdill know the feeling just as well.

The two former standouts played on the same side of the offensive line for three years (Vollaro at tackle and Coverdill at guard). Now, they are anxiously looking forward to sitting in the stands and watching their sons in action.

"It's exciting knowing that Ken will be carrying on his family tradition playing football on the team his grandfather helped start as well as coach in the beginning," said Vollaro. "I'm glad that Ken will have the opportunity to develop lifelong friendships and learn some intangible life lessons only taught on the football field."

Rich Coverill echoed his former teammate's thoughts.

"Our family and Sean are very excited as he starts his journey as a Golden Bear. Initially, Sean considered other schools and received acceptance, but after learning more about Western New England's excellent curriculum, support system, reputation, and seeing the great program Coach Keith Emery and his staff have developed, his choice to attend WNE was very clear," stated Coverdill.

Ken and Sean are among 95 Western New England freshmen getting their first taste of college football.  It's the largest first-year group ever to report to pre-season drills in school history.

Both enjoyed tremendous high school careers at Ellington/Somers who went undefeated at 10-0 during the regular season (and winning the Pequot-Uncas Division title) before dropping a 32-26 overtime decision against Wolcott in the Connecticut State playoffs.

Vollaro, who played on the offensive and defensive lines, received an honorable mention on both the Hartford Courant and New Haven Register All-State Teams. The 6'3", 240-lb. performer also was a two-time wrestling champion and lacrosse performer who finished with nine varsity letters. His twin brother Doug will attend Lehigh this fall on a wrestling scholarship.

"This is a win-win situation for me because not only will I be able to play football, but also get a great education as well," said Vollaro who is considering Accounting or Marketing as a possible major. "Overall, I'm extremely happy to play college football and follow in the steps of my father and grandfather. I'm looking forward to the season and all the new experiences that college has to offer."

Coverdill, who is 6-2 and weighs 225 pounds, was a defensive lineman who gained First-Team All-Conference honors. He also qualified for the State Track & Field meet in the shot put and served as a team captain in both football and track/field. Coverdill's brothers Brendan and Alex also play high school football for the Knights.

"I'm excited by the opportunities that Western New England offers, both in the classroom as well as on the football field. I look forward to the challenges that await and am ready to put forth my best effort in achieving success," said Coverdill who plans to major in Accounting.

Both players know they will have to continue to improve in order to see playing time for the Golden Bears who are coming off a school-record 10-2 showing and the program's first-ever New England Football Conference (NEFC) title and NCAA Division III Championship appearance in 2011.

Western New England coach Keith Emery likes what he sees so far with his two recruits. "It's nice having both Ken and Sean at Western New England. They are talented players who could contribute early to our program," said Emery.

Western New England has an ambitious schedule this fall, which includes a 10-game varsity slate along with six junior varsity contests. The Golden Bears open their season at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, September 1, at Norwich in Northfield, Vermont.

Aug. 31: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Moravian at King's
Live stats Tickets
7:00 PM
Methodist at Campbell
7:00 PM
Alfred State at Coast Guard
Live stats
7:00 PM
Allegheny at Thiel
Live stats
7:00 PM
Stevenson at Frostburg State
Video Live stats
7:00 PM
Wesley at Delaware Valley
7:00 PM
Mayville St. at Buena Vista
7:30 PM
Manchester at Trine
Video Live stats
8:00 PM
McMurry at Okla. Panhandle
8:00 PM
Millsaps at Belhaven
8:00 PM
Greenville at Millikin
Sep. 1: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Salisbury at Albright
7:00 PM
Mount Ida at Mass-Dartmouth
Video Live stats
7:00 PM
Fitchburg State at Curry
Video Live stats
7:00 PM
Johns Hopkins at Washington and Lee
Video Live stats
7:00 PM
FDU-Florham at TCNJ
7:00 PM
MIT at Becker
Video Live stats
7:00 PM
Westfield State at Nichols
Video Live stats
7:30 PM
Anna Maria at WPI
Video Live stats
7:30 PM
Gettysburg at Bridgewater
Video Live stats
Sep. 2: All times Eastern
12:00 PM
Grove City at Juniata
Live stats Audio
12:00 PM
Framingham State at Endicott
Video Live stats
12:00 PM
Worcester State at Salve Regina
Live stats
12:00 PM
Maine Maritime at SUNY-Maritime
Live stats
12:00 PM
Norwich at Morrisville State
Live stats
12:00 PM
Bethany at Ursinus
Video Live stats
12:00 PM
Brockport at Hobart
12:00 PM
Augustana at Cortland
12:00 PM
Bridgewater State at Buffalo State
Video Live stats
12:00 PM
Carnegie Mellon at Washington U.
Video Live stats Live stats
12:30 PM
N.C. Wesleyan at Mount Union
Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Wilkes at Muhlenberg
1:00 PM
Kalamazoo at Oberlin
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Catholic at McDaniel
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Heidelberg at Olivet
Live stats
1:00 PM
Franklin and Marshall at Lebanon Valley
1:00 PM
Alma at St. Vincent
1:00 PM
Castleton at Plymouth State
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Lycoming at Susquehanna
1:00 PM
UW-Oshkosh at John Carroll
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Alfred at Ithaca
1:00 PM
Misericordia at Merchant Marine
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Albion at Wabash
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Dickinson at Randolph-Macon
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Bluffton at Wooster
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Union at Husson
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Springfield at Western New England
1:00 PM
Wittenberg at Westminster (Pa.)
Video
1:00 PM
St. John Fisher at Washington and Jefferson
1:00 PM
Ferrum at Emory and Henry
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Averett at Hampden-Sydney
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Berry at Maryville (Tenn.)
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Waynesburg at Muskingum
Live stats
1:00 PM
William Paterson at RPI
1:00 PM
Franklin at Thomas More
Live stats
1:00 PM
Greensboro at Apprentice
1:00 PM
Case Western Reserve at Chicago
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Kenyon at Sewanee
1:30 PM
Centre at Hanover
1:30 PM
Mount St. Joseph at Capital
Video Live stats
1:30 PM
Baldwin Wallace at Defiance
Live stats
1:30 PM
Earlham at Wilmington
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Birmingham-Southern at LaGrange
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
St. Norbert at UW-Stevens Point
2:00 PM
Carthage at Aurora
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Hope at Monmouth
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
Guilford at Huntingdon
2:00 PM
UW-Stout at Simpson
2:00 PM
Concordia-Moorhead at Nebraska Wesleyan
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
Finlandia at Concordia (Wis.)
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
St. Scholastica at St. John's
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
Dubuque at Bethel
2:00 PM
Westminster (Mo.) at Gustavus Adolphus
2:00 PM
Macalester at Carleton
2:00 PM
Grinnell at St. Olaf
2:00 PM
Hamline at Crown
2:00 PM
UW-Whitewater at Illinois Wesleyan
2:00 PM
Whitworth at Central
2:00 PM
Coe at UW-River Falls
2:00 PM
Loras at Elmhurst
2:00 PM
Concordia-Chicago at Ripon
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Presentation at Lawrence
Video
2:00 PM
George Fox at UW-Platteville
Live stats
2:00 PM
Lake Forest at Beloit
Video
2:10 PM
UW-Eau Claire at St. Thomas
Live stats Audio
3:00 PM
Rockford at MacMurray
3:00 PM
Austin at Bacone
4:00 PM
Puget Sound at La Verne
5:00 PM
Western Connecticut at Hartwick
6:00 PM
Ohio Northern at Adrian
Live stats Audio
6:00 PM
North Park at Anderson
7:00 PM
Christopher Newport at Southern Virginia
Live stats
7:00 PM
Brevard at Davidson
7:00 PM
Gallaudet at Shenandoah
Live stats
7:00 PM
Otterbein at Ohio Wesleyan
7:00 PM
Marietta at Geneva
7:00 PM
Widener at Rowan
7:00 PM
St. Lawrence at Utica
7:00 PM
Southwestern at Denison
7:00 PM
Martin Luther at Minnesota-Morris
7:00 PM
Carroll at Lakeland
7:00 PM
Rose-Hulman at Illinois College
Video Live stats
7:00 PM
Trinity Int'l at Wisconsin Lutheran
Video Live stats
7:00 PM
Sul Ross State at Texas-Permian Basin
7:00 PM
Luther at UW-La Crosse
7:00 PM
Wayland Baptist at Louisiana College
7:00 PM
Knox at Eureka
Video Live stats
8:00 PM
Northwestern (Minn.) at Augsburg
8:00 PM
Iowa Wesleyan at Cornell
8:00 PM
Robert Morris-Chicago at North Central (Ill.)
Video Live stats Audio
8:00 PM
Wheaton (Ill.) at Benedictine
8:00 PM
Lyon at Hendrix
8:00 PM
Howard Payne at Southwestern Assemblies
10:00 PM
Trinity (Texas) at Redlands
10:00 PM
Rhodes at Willamette
Live stats
Maintenance in progress.