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Mix of young and old is the recipe for special teams


The Brown football team looks forward to their first game against Stony Brook on Saturday, though the team fell short to the Seawolves last year. In last year's game, a missed kick would have made the difference between a gutting loss and a hard-earned win.

"We're going in with high expectations," wide receiver Nathan Lovett '12 said. "We feel good, and we're really excited to get out there and start playing again." 

Last season's record reveals several losses that could have been wins had the Bears' kicking been more effective. Last year, Brown lost to Penn, even though the Bears had the chance to win in regulation. A missed field goal pushed the game into overtime, where Penn secured the victory.  

This year, however, high expectations have fallen upon the shoulders of kicker Alex Norocea '14, who says he is "looking forward to being a four-year starter." Norocea said the Bears are optimistic and "hoping for a different turnout" this year.  

Norocea said he feels the pressure, but is "ready to deliver for the team and bring an Ivy League championship here." 

Norocea also has support from Lovett, who earned Ivy League Special Teams Player of the Week last season for his exceptional punting against Penn. "We lost a lot of good talent last year ... but there's also a lot of young talent who has the opportunity to step into big shoes and show everybody what they have," Lovett said.  

Included in that group of young talent, Norocea feels he has "adapted well so far" with regard to college footballs and thinner posts, and additionally with the team. Veteran players have been supportive, and "the team is working really cohesively together, hoping to bring success," Norocea said. "There's no big star this year. (We're) more like a unit." 

With a renewed sense of optimism in the team's kicking situation, the Bears are poised to better last year's third place finish in the Ivy League. Said Lovett, "We want to go undefeated on the season, but we're looking to be successful and contend for an Ivy League championship."


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