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Schenectady Star Desbiens Chooses UAlbany
Another Daily Gazette All-Area football star is heading to the University at Albany.
Linebacker Dan Desbiens, who excelled during Schenectady’s finest season last fall, has committed to play for the Northeast Conference champion Great Danes and head coach Bob Ford.
Desbiens and fellow linebacker Connor Hadcock of Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake shared the Gazette’s Defensive Player of the Year award last fall. Desbiens will be joining Gazette Offensive Player of the Year Paul Layton, a quarterback-kicker from Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake, at Albany.
“It’s just great for a kid from Schenectady to get this kind of opportunity,” said Patriots football coach Carm DePoalo, noting that Desbiens will redshirt his first year of Division I-A football. “It’s great news. We’re all excited about it.”
“I had been contacted by some other schools, but when I went to visit Albany, that’s when I decided that’s the place for me,” said the 17-year-old Desbiens. “I met with coach Ford and some of the other coaches and checked out the facilities, and liked everything about it.
“I’m real excited. I’m looking forward to it.”
Desbiens was named a fourth-team all-state Class AA linebacker and the Liberty Division Defensive Player of the Year after recording 111 tackles with four fumble recoveries and two interceptions his senior year. The team captain helped the Patriots win their first division championship and reach their first Section II title game while compiling an 8-2 record.
“When the game was over, Desi was spent. He always had the dirtiest uniform,” said DePoalo, who switched Desbiens from defensive tackle for his senior campaign. “He left it all on the field every game.”
Desbiens also started two years as an offensive guard for Schenectady, often paving the way for two-time Gazette first-team running back Marc Thompson.
“When we needed yards, we ran behind Desi,” DePoalo said. “He opend up holes.”
As a junior, Desbiens helped Schenectady put together a 5-4 record and reach the Section II playoffs. At that time, the five wins represented the most any Schenectady team had compiled.
“One of the biggest things is his leadership quality. It’s going to be hard to fill,” DePoalo said. “The other kids looked up to him and respected him.”
The 5-foot-10, 215-pound Desbiens is in his third year as the starting goalkeeper for Schenectady’s Section II tournament-bound lacrosse team. As a junior, he was named a Big 10 first-team all-star, and over the summer, and was an Empire State Games alternate.
Patriots star Desbiens chooses UAlbany
By Jim Schiltz, The Schenectady Daily Gazette (NY)