Pace Football 2019 Preview: Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, New Recruits


Pace Athletics

The 2019 season begins at home on Thursday, Sept. 5th at 7 p.m. against Millersville.

Sequoia Cumming, Editor In Chief

Head Coach Andy Rondeau has high hopes for the Pace football team this year. After all, the Setters had a record-breaking Fall in 2018 by picking up the most wins (7-3) since moving to NCAA Division II in 1979.

“The goals always remain the same from year to year,” said Rondeau. “We want to find a way to get it done through competitive preparation by doing each person’s part better than they have ever done it before.”

According to the 2019 Northeast-10 Preseason Coaches’ Poll, Pace football has been voted third in the conference. The Setters received 49 points, finishing behind New Haven (63) and Assumption (54). In the 2018 season, Pace lost to New Haven (10-36) and Assumption (21-49), with the remaining loss being from LIU Post (6-41).

Last Fall, Pace also crowned a new all-time rushing leader. In the 2018 Bentley game, the Setters achieved a 20-point comeback in the second half, thanks to Jhalen Bien-Aime’s incredible offensive performance. To accompany his career-high 210 rushing yards, the senior running back became Pace’s all-time leading rusher on his second carry of the game. Bien-Aime would end his fifth year with 2,242 yards rushing for his career.

After the historic 2018 season concluded, defensive linemen Jah’Sheem Martin and Prince Unaegbu were invited to attend NFL mini-camps. This honor set the bar high for the current Setters who are looking to achieve greatness.

“The biggest challenge will be replacing a lot of good players and getting our new edition of Pace football in a position to compete every day,” said Rondeau. “I am most excited about seeing our availability, dependability, and accountability grow and emerge as our best abilities throughout the year.”

With a new season comes new talent for the Setters. The latest recruiting class is composed of 10 offensive players, 12 defensive players and one on special teams—all hailing from New York and New Jersey.

Rondeau is confident in his newest recruits.

“There are a lot of fresh faces at wide receiver, linebacker, defensive line and defensive back’s,” said Rondeau. “They are eight practices into training camp, and they are learning a new system, a new way of practicing, new place, new culture.”

The season begins at home on Thursday, Sept. 5th at 7 p.m. against Millersville. The Setters defeated the non-conference opponent last season 23-10.

The full 2019 Pace football schedule can be found here.