Bethany College

Honor the Tradition, Forge the Legacy. 2015 Bethany Football Preview

Contributed by admin on Aug 21, 2015 - 04:43 PM

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LINDSBORG, Kan. - The Swedes are entering their first season under Head Coach Paul Hubbard. Hubbard takes over after a two year stint by Manny Matsakis. The Swedes were 2-9 the first season and jumped to 7-4 a year ago. 

With a new staff, Hubard will have a tough task of meshing new talent to replace key losses, while focusing existing players on one goal. Fortunately for the new coaching staff, the Swedes retained some top players from last year's talented roster.

"We have a strong core of players returning. Our returning players' importance is not only on the field with their playing ability, but more importantly through their leadership. We have a specific way of doing things at Bethany and it is very important for the returners to show the newcomers the way," said coach Hubbard.

Jasaan Eley and Nile Daniel are back to lead the Bethany offensive attack. Eley led the Swedes rushing game with 4.6 yards per carry, 760 rushing, and eight touchdowns. Daniel hauled in four touchdowns and nearly 300 yards on just 21 catches. The Swedes will also have experienced signal callers in Bo Savage and Virgil Bridges. The two combined for nearly 700 yards through the air, 150 yards rushing, and four touchdowns.

Bethany also returns important pieces on the defensive side of the ball as well as in their special teams. Tayler Stull was sixth on the team in tackles while playing in just seven games. Chris Washington and Micah Collins will play a big role in stopping the run game after combining for 14 tackles for loss and four sacks.

Bethany will also return both kickers, Brett Crome and Adam Maisch. Crome had 43 punts last season, which tallied 1,627 for an average of 38 yards per kick. He holds the Bethany and KCAC record for longest punt of 84 yards. Maisch was third in scoring last season with 49 points on five field goals and 34 extra points.

The Swedes will lose the leadership of their middle linebacker Steven Williams, who graduated after last season. Bethany will look to sure up their back end after losing Trevor Smith and Jarrot Bell as well. Smith recorded 55 tackles and had two interceptions, while Bell led the team with three interceptions and also recorded 36 tackles.

Bethany will welcome new faces such as freshman linebacker Mickey Farnham and defensive back Keondre Woods. The Swedes will also look for an impact on the offensive side of the ball from junior transfers Rodrick Haynes, offensive line, and Anthony Jackson, wide receiver. 

"Our staff is very optimistic for the upcoming season. We feel that our success will be a direct result of the hard work the coaches and players have put in for preparation for the season. It will be a season of peaks and valleys, but that is no different from any season. The only way to be ultimately successful through the trials and tribulations is through hard work, discipline, the drive to stay the course, and the character of our team," later added Hubbard. "Our playing goals will never change from working to win the next game and the long term goal of competing for championships. Although we will change our game plan for each opponent, our demeanor will never falter from being a team of hardnosed football players, that will out-work and out-tough our opponents."

Bethany was voted to finish seventh in the Media and Coaches' poll at the KCAC Media day held in Wichita last week. The Swedes will open their season on the road at Houston Baptist University on September 5 at 7:00 pm. Bethany will welcome Langston University in their home opener the following weekend on September 12, before they open KCAC play on the road in North Newton at Bethel College. 

2015 KCAC Pre-Season Football Media Poll
T1. Friends: 137 (9 First Place)
T1. Tabor: 137 (6 First Place)
3. Ottawa: 126
4. Sterling: 87
5. Saint Mary: 81
6. Kansas Wesleyan: 76
7. Bethany: 61
8. Bethel: 57
9. Southwestern: 42
10. McPherson: 21

2015 KCAC Pre-Season Football Coaches' Poll
1. Ottawa: 89 (8 First Place)
2. Tabor: 79 (2 First Place)
3. Friends: 76
4. Sterling: 66
5. Kansas Wesleyan: 54
6. Saint Mary: 49
7. Bethany: 47
8. McPherson: 30
T9. Bethel: 25
T9. Southwestern: 25