The Gallaudet University football team lost in the first round of the NCAA Division III playoffs on November 18 in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. The Bison ended their season with seven wins and three losses.

Gallaudet was one of 32 teams, out of more than 200, to qualify for the 2022 NCAA Division III playoffs. They earned an automatic berth by winning the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference regular season championship. 

Alas, the Bison had the misfortune of facing the Delaware Valley University Aggies in the first round. “DelVal” was ranked eighth nationally, and its offensive line reportedly averaged 300 pounds. They dominated from start to finish, defeating Gallaudet, 59-0. However, the Bison earned the Aggies’ respect for their work ethic and tenacity. Delaware Valley coach Duke Greco said, “I thought the Gallaudet football team is a very good team. They are well coached and put together. Their guys played very hard.” 

Delaware Valley has advanced to the quarterfinal round, and will face the University of Mount Union this Saturday. Mount Union is a ten-time national champion. Semifinal games will be played on December 10, and the national championship will be held on December 16 at 7 p.m. Eastern Time.

Said twelfth-year head coach Chuck Goldstein, “We have a good team but now we know what it takes to get on the national level like Delaware Valley. They have a great team. We struggled and we knew it was going to be a tough situation but our players didn’t quit and they gave everything they had for every play. I couldn’t be more proud of this team.”

This was the last game for Gallaudet’s 12-member senior class, including Rodney Burford Jr. (Brooklyn, New York), Mitch Dolinar (Las Vegas, Nevada), Nicholas Maccini (San Diego, California), Laron Thomas (Orlando, Florida), Stefan Anderson (Little Falls, Minnesota), Eric Gregory (Metairie, Louisiana), Austin Hicks (Plattsmouth, Nebraska), D’Mitri Lofton (Gaithersburg, Maryland), Joseph Mendis (Brook Park, Ohio), Kobe Schroeder (Farmington, Minnesota), Marc Wallace Jr. (Panama City Beach, Florida) and John Werner Jr. (Frederick, Maryland).

“The senior group is a special one for sure because many of us didn’t start when we arrived. We sat and watched and figured out what it takes to play and win. Unfortunately, we didn’t experience a lot of winning the first couple of seasons, but [we] never lost focus and things fell into place these past two seasons where we had winning records,” said Dolinar. 

Coach Goldstein said, “This group of seniors helped to make the foundation for the future. You need to realize that Gallaudet University football, historically, has not had a lot of success. In fact, the football program is the only Gallaudet men’s team sport to ever make the NCAA tournament in the school’s history and we have done it twice now. This senior group finished their last two seasons with 12 wins and six losses, and that is a winning record and something they should be proud of. I know I am.”

Goldstein also coached the 2013 team, which won its conference championship and played in the first round of the NCAA Division III playoffs.

Several Bison coaches and players have received postseason awards. Please visit the Gallaudet Athletics website for more information. 

Congratulations to the team and its coaches, and thank you to our 12 seniors for their dedication and leadership!

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