Francoeur Named New England Rookie of the Year, Jones an All-New England Pick

Photo Credit: Julie Fletcher
Photo Credit: Julie Fletcher

KINGSTON, R.I. - Rhode Island's Chris Francoeur has been named the New England Division I Rookie of the Year in voting conducted among the region's head coaches. Additionally, teammate Dawson Jones has earned All-New England team honors for the second year in a row.

Francoeur made the starting five for each of Rhody's nine tournaments this past year, and finished his rookie campaign with the team's second-best stroke average (74.3). He ended the season on a tear, turning in three straight top-15 performances, including a season-best 4th-place finish at the Rhode Island Invitational.

"I am incredibly proud of Chris for being named New England Rookie the Year," head coach Gregg Burke said. "What he did on the course for us this year is even more impressive when you consider that he also managed to achieve a perfect 4.0 GPA this spring."

Jones, who also was named to the PING All-Northeast Region Team as well as the Atlantic 10 All-Conference team, led Rhode Island in scoring this season with a 72.8 stroke average. He placed 15th or better in seven of URI's nine tournaments this year, including all four spring events.

Overall, the rising senior finished below par in three tournaments and carded three sub-70 rounds. His low round of the year (68) came in the final round of the Villanova Wildcat Invitational, where he helped lead Rhode Island to a second-place finish among the field of 19.

"Dawson being named to the All-Conference, All-New England and All-Northeast teams, after a year where he never really got it going, shows just what an incredible talent he really is," Burke added.

Francoeur and Jones were Rhode Island's top-2 finishers four times this past year - twice in the fall (Queechee Club Collegiate Challenge, The Connecticut Cup) and twice in the spring (Villanova Wildcat Invitational, Rhode Island Invitational).