News

William Penn 19th in NAIA’s Preseason Poll

Contributed by admin on Aug 20, 2015 - 10:33 PM
Picture 0 for William Penn 19th in NAIA’s Preseason Poll

Oskaloosa--The Statesmen football squad is only third in its own division, but the Heart of America Athletic Conference is really good, therefore the navy and gold still find themselves on the national radar as the NAIA's preseason top-25 poll was released Monday.

William Penn, which was 7-4 last fall (3-2 MSFA MWL), fell one spot from the spring's national rating to #19 with 95 points.  The Statesmen are one of six programs from within the Heart to be in the top 25, highlighted by Grand View at #6, MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) at #8, and Missouri Valley at #9.

Defending national champion Southern Oregon is sharing the top spot with national runner-up Marian (Ind.).  SOU has eight first place votes, while Marian has five; the teams both have 304 points.  The rest of the top five includes Morningside, Saint Xavier, and Carroll (Mont.), which has the last first-place vote.  Saint Xavier and Carroll are tied for fourth.

The 2015 campaign has a harsh start with WPU traveling to #9 Missouri Valley on August 29.  The following week, the Statesmen come home to face #8 MidAmerica Nazarene.  #15 Baker (Kan.) concludes the school's welcome to the Heart with a road matchup on September 12.

NAIA Football Preseason Rating - August 10, 2015
(Number in parentheses is first-place votes)
1. Southern Oregon (8)
1. Marian (Ind.) (5)
2. Morningside
4. Saint Xavier (Ill.)
4. Carroll (Mont.) (1)
6. Grand View
7. Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)
8. MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.)
9. Missouri Valley
10. Faulkner (Ala.)
11. Georgetown (Ky.)
12. Northwestern
13. Eastern Oregon
14. Ottawa (Kan.)
15. Baker (Kan.)
16. Campbellsville (Ky.)
17. Valley City State (N.D.)
18. Langston (Okla.)
19.William Penn
20. Robert Morris (Ill.)
21. Friends (Kan.)
22. Doane (Neb.)
22. Tabor (Kan.)
24. Webber International (Fla.)
25. Benedictine (Kan.)

Others receiving votes: Sterling (Kan.) 9; Saint Francis (Ind.) 9; Montana Western 9; Reinhardt (Ga.) 3.


Baker Football to Begin 2015 Ranked No. 15

Contributed by admin on Aug 20, 2015 - 10:29 PM
Picture 0 for Baker Football to Begin 2015 Ranked No. 15

The Wildcats received 138 total points in the poll and is joined by five other members of the Heart in the Top 25 poll including, No. 6 ranked Grand View, No. 8 MNU, No. 9 Missouri Valley, No. 19 William Penn and No. 25 Benedictine.

Baker opens up the 2015 season at No. 6 Grand View on Saturday, Aug. 29 at 11 a.m. in Des Moines, Iowa.

This marks the first game in program history, the Vikings will play in a Heart of America Athletic Conference game. The game will be broadcast worldwide on ESPN 3 and KSMO-TV in Kansas City. To view on ESPN 3, please click here.

Grand View went 10-2 a year ago with both losses coming to Marian (Ind.), the final in the NAIA FCS Playoffs, 34-6.

While Baker went 8-3 a year ago, but captured its first Heart Championship in 2013 since the 1993 season.

Notes (all information dates back to 1999): Southern Oregon is making its third all-time No. 1 appearance, while Marian (Ind.) its 10 … The Raiders were also ranked No. 1 in the 2015 Spring Poll and the 2014 Postseason Poll … Marian’s last No. 1 ranking came on April 18, 2013 – the 2013 Spring Poll … There were 38 different programs ranked in 2014 … Carroll (Mont.), Grand View (Iowa), Morningside (Iowa) and Southern Oregon all ranked No. 1 at least one time last season … Carroll owns the most top-billings with 58, followed by former member Sioux Falls (S.D.) (55), Georgetown (Ky.) (25), Morningside (17) and Saint Xavier (Ill.) (14) … With the 186-straight Top 25 streak of Saint Francis (Ind.) snapped in mid-October last year, Carroll owns the active lead with 182 … Missouri Valley is next with 117-straight mentions, followed by Morningside (100) and Saint Xavier (90) … Morningside holds the longest active streak of top 10 rankings, having been listed among the top 10 teams for 49-straight polls dating back to Sept. 19, 2011.

For a look at the entire Top 25 poll, please click here.


Comet football season preview

Contributed by admin on Aug 20, 2015 - 09:59 PM
Picture 0 for Comet football season preview

Comets Football returns in the fall looking to build off last year's experiences and become a force in the North Star Athletic Association (NSAA). The Comets return 13 starters from last year's squad. Here's Coach John Haines with an in-depth look at his team:

Defensively we have improved our team speed. Weston McGill (Defensive Coordinator) and Nate Gill (DB coach) will have a sophomore and junior filled group to work with. We will have upgraded in the back end of our defense and will very good at linebacker with new additions competing for playing time. Marcus Cheatom will be the cornerstone of the young group up front. With a solid group returning in the secondary and new additions it will improve our pass defense from one year ago.

Offensively we have also upgraded in the speed department as well. The running back group could be the deepest position on offense with some new addition of Martin Stafford and Superior Ried (both Rivals 2 star recruits as high school players). In addition, Jerril Jenkins is back from knee injury last season and spring stand out red-shirt freshman Desmond Earls brings a physical running style to the offense. QB will be very competitive as well as we have Jordan Ares, who won the starting job in spring football, as well as a very athletic Chris Pope and Chris Mayes competing in camp. Upfront Jordan Melendo will be back directing traffic with a solid group of returners.  Israel Evens, Donnel LefotuWilliam Shackelford will be a year older and better in the competition at OL.  The addition of Aaron Johnson (1st team all-conference on defense last season) to the offense will bring an athletic presence to the OT position. Our wide receivers will be a solid group and be asked to pick up the production with Lance Jackson no longer around. Dantrel Horne, Will Simpson, Jacob Lawrence, and Ricky Smith will be an athletic group that worked very well this spring.  With the addition of LJ McMorris to add more speed (track star in high school with sub 10.8 speed in 100m, 4.4 forty in combines through his career).

Overall, we will be improved and feel the product on this field this year with an improved ability to make the big play. With a good group of young talent holding over from last year and some key additions on both sides we should come together. The coaching staff feels that we have a great base group with talent. The first two weeks will test the group with St. Mary and Valley City State to open the year.


Scots face tough challenge in CSFL race

Contributed by admin on Aug 18, 2015 - 11:42 PM
Picture 0 for Scots face tough challenge in CSFL race

FRISCO, Texas – No. 19-ranked Langston University was voted as the top team in the 2015 Central States Football League (CSFL) preseason poll, which marks the third consecutive season the Lions have been favored as the No. 1 team in the league's preseason poll. Langston received a total of 60 votes, including 12 first place votes. The poll is comprised of the league's coaches and sports information directors.

Lyon College, which is playing its first intercollegiate games since 1951, and Arizona Christian University will be both full members of the CSFL for the first time. ACU started its football program a year ago, but joins Lyon as a newcomer this season.

Langston was eight points ahead of second-ranked Southwestern Assemblies of God University (Tex.), who received 52 total points and a pair of first place votes. Bacone College sewed up third place with 37 points, as only one point separated Arizona Christian University and Wayland Baptist University (Tex.), who finished in fourth and fifth place, respectively. Lyon College (Ark.) received 19 points to rank them in the sixth spot and Texas College rounded out the poll as the number seven team with 17 points. 

During the 2015 season, seven teams will compete for the CSFL title, including three teams from Texas, two schools from Oklahoma and one university out of Arizona. The CSFL is comprised of Arizona Christian University, Bacone College, Langston University, Lyon College (Ark.), Southwestern Assemblies of God University (Tex.), Wayland Baptist University (Tex.), and Texas College.

Lyon will play three nationally-ranked teams this season, starting the year with a pair of home games against No. 24 Tabor College (Aug. 29, 1 p.m.) and No. 7 Lindsey Wilson College (Sept. 5, 1 p.m.). The Scots open CSFL play on October 3 at home against Bacone College at 2 p.m.

2015 CSFL Preseason Poll



Rank. School Points (1st pl. votes)
1. Langston University (Okla.)

60 (12)

2. Southwest Assemblies of God (Texas) 52 (2)
3. Bacone College (Okla.) 37
4. Arizona Christian University (Ariz.) 34
5. Wayland Baptist University (Texas) 33
6. Lyon College (Ark.) 19
7. Texas College (Texas) 17


Dickinson State University Football Picked 2nd in NSAA Pre-Season Coaches Poll

Contributed by admin on Aug 18, 2015 - 11:30 PM
Picture 0 for Dickinson State University Football Picked 2nd in NSAA Pre-Season Coaches Poll

MADISON, S.D. – For the third straight year, Valley City State (N.D.) was picked as the preseason favorite to win the North Star Athletic Association Football conference title, the preseason coaches' poll was announced Monday.  The preseason poll was voted by the league coaches.  Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own team.

The Vikings tallied five first-place votes and earned 33 points in the NSAA Football Coaches' Preseason Poll.  VCSU won the league title for two consecutive years and qualified for the 2015 NAIA Football National Playoffs.  Valley City State lost to Carroll (Mont.) in the opening round of the national playoffs last season.

Dickinson State (N.D.) picked the final two first-place votes, collecting 30 points to finish second in the poll.  Jamestown (N.D.) finished third with 26 points. 

Presentation (S.D.) holds a slim margin for fourth place over Dakota State (S.D.).  The Saints garnered 21 points while the Trojans recorded 20 points in the coaches' poll.

Waldorf (Iowa) placed sixth in the preseason poll with 10 points, followed by Mayville State (N.D.) seventh with 7 points.

To earn an automatic bid to the NAIA Football Playoffs, a team need to be in the 'Top 20' in the national poll and win the conference title.

Dickinson State starts their season on Aug. 22 as they host Montana State-Northern.

Six other NSAA conference members will kick off their 2015 season on Aug. 29 with Presentation visiting Briar Cliff (Iowa), Mayville State hosting St. Mary (Kan.), VCSU traveling to UJ in a non-conference game, Dakota State hosting Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.) and Waldorf welcoming Kansas Wesleyan.

The NSAA conference season begins on Sept. 12 as Dakota State host Waldorf in a night game at 6 p.m.  The football conference season ends on Nov. 8 with the NSAA Bowl game at the Fargodome in Fargo, N.D.

Below is the complete results of 2015 NSAA Football Coaches' Preseason Poll:

<tbody style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;">

Rank School (1st Place Votes in Parenthesis) Points
1 Valley City State (N.D.) (5) 33
2 Dickinson State (N.D.) (2) 30
3 Jamestown (N.D.) 26
4 Presentation (S.D.) 21
5 Dakota State (S.D.) 20
6 Waldorf (Iowa) 10
7 Mayville State (N.D.) 7

Nick Huntimer, North Star Athletic Association Sports Information Director


Positional Preview - Defensive Backs

Contributed by admin on Aug 18, 2015 - 10:10 PM
Picture 0 for Positional Preview - Defensive Backs

The third of a nine-part preview of the 2015 College of Idaho football team, focusing today on the Coyote defensive backs.
 
Depth was the biggest concern for the Coyote secondary last season, as injuries depleted the roster as the season rolled on.  That is not the case this season, as the C of I staff focused much of their recruiting efforts to bolster both the safety and the corner positions.

One of those recruits, safety Tanner Oshiro, has had a great camp since joining the team when Menlo College shuttered their program in February.  The sophomore recorded 17 tackles during his rookie season for the Oaks.
 
Going head-to-head with the transfer is sophomore John Hohnhorst, who had 14 tackles as a freshman despite missing time due to injury. Also in the immediate mix is redshirt freshman David Juarez and true freshman Jaquan Mayberry.
 
"Oshiro has had a great camp so far and would be penciled in as the starter if we began today," defensive coordinator Chris Jewell said.  "I've been pleased with the way Hohnhorst has played so far and the same with Juarez, who redshirted for us last season and had a huge spring.  All of these guys have been competing, as has young Jaquan Mayberry, who has been competing for that spot as well."
 
At nickel safety, returner Hunter Temple had a quality freshman season, recording 40 tackles and a crucial blocked extra point in the season-opening win at Pacific.  He is being pushed by transfer Julian Patton, who had two solid seasons at Santa Barbara City College.
 
"Hunter Temple continues to get better and better and doing a heckuva job," Jewell said. "But, he is really being pushed by Julian Patton out of Santa Barbara who had to miss last year due to injury."
 
Cory Brady returns at free safety after leading the team with 64 tackles and six interceptions, including three picks in a home win over Montana Western.  The sophomore, who earned NAIA Defensive Player of the Week honors for his efforts, has depth behind him in Menlo transfer Michael Daw III, Fort Lewis transfer B.J. Newman, and returner Hank Boeger.
 
"Brady is playing well, but three guys are right with him," Jewell said. "Boeger had a great spring, and the transfers Daw and Newman have pushed him (Brady) to where he doesn't feel comfortable in that spot and has made him a better player.  He has really risen to the occasion – this spring he had a great spring and he has just continued to blossom."
 
Depth is key at all three positions, as returners Bryan DilworthJacques CarterDrake Rigby-Willingham, and T.J. Clarke are pushing to climb the depth chart, along with newcomers Levi Keltner and Kade Eiguren.
 
The Yotes return experience at the corner position, as returning starters Nate Moore and Grant Darrington look for breakout seasons.  Moore was C of I's top cover corner, matching up with the opponents' top receiver, and was among the Frontier Conference leaders in pass break-ups.  Darrington recorded 32 tackles on the season.
 
"Grant and Nate look to be our starters heading into the season," Jewell said. "Both had a great spring and have looked outstanding in camp."
 
Right behind the duo are three players, sophomore Malik Whitfield and true freshmen – Morris Kroma and Chris Waters.  Whitfield, a two-sport athlete, made 30 tackles in 2014 as part of the regular rotation, while both Kroma and Waters have impressive prep resumes.
 
"Morris Kroma was a huge get for us and has done really well, as has Chris Waters," Jewell said. "Malik Whitfield continues to get better and better.  We are a good five deep at corner, guys who we feel really good about putting in a game."
 
Also in the mix is returner Trae Bishop, who was a regular on the Yotes special teams, along with freshmen Payton WilnerDevin Gaskins, and Regan Sonderman.
 
"The guys that are behind them, they are not that far behind," Jewell said. "Just about all of our guys we feel we can put in a game and feel good about them.  Waiting in the wings are Payton Wilner, Devin Gaskins and Regan Sondermann, local kids that are going to be great and will be future really good Yotes – it's just that there are returners and others ahead of them right now.
 
The Coyotes will host an intrasquad game on Thursday afternoon at 2 p.m. in preparation for the season opener, Aug. 29, vs. Eastern Oregon.


Presentation College football set to kick off 2015 campaign in the Dakota Dome.

Contributed by admin on Aug 26, 2015 - 11:42 PM
Picture 0 for Presentation College football set to kick off 2015 campaign in the Dakota Dome.

Fresh off their program best-ever 6 win season, including a conference best 3-3 record, Presentation College head football coach Andy Carr, his staff, and his team set their sights on even higher marks as they begin their 2015 campaign against Briar Cliff University.  This first ever meeting between the Saints and the Chargers, who are members of the Great Plains Athletic Conference, will kick off in the Dakota Dome in Vermillion, SD Saturday August 29th at 1:00pm.

In addition to the highest win totals for both overall season and the North Star Athletic Association conference season, the Saints also landed in the NAIA top 20 rankings of several categories:

5th in Division I in First Downs per Game (24.800)
7th in Division I in Total Offense Yards per Game (454.400) 
7th in Division I in Opponent 4th Down Conversion (31.000)
10th in Division I in Rushing Offense per Game (229.100)
10th in Division I in Scoring Offense per Game (36.600)
17th in Division I in Total Rushing Offense (2291)
17th in Division I in Total Scoring Offense (366)
20th in Division I in Pass Defense per Game (173.100).

There were also standout individual performances throughout last year, including RB Hayden Zenner, who made his presence felt in his very first season by twice setting the team's single game rushing yards mark, racking up 248 yards against Mayville State on October 4th, then two weeks later, shattered that with a 289 yard performance against Waldorf.  His 289 yards rushing was the 3rd highest mark all season in the entire NAIA.

Saturday's contest against Briar Cliff can be seen LIVE  via the internet, by clicking Saints vs. BCU.
You can also listen to the play by play LIVE via the "Voice of the Saints" Logan Anderson on 107.7 KABD FM.

Go Saints!


Eagle Football Preview: Defense

Contributed by admin on Aug 26, 2015 - 12:18 AM
Picture 0 for Eagle Football Preview: Defense

Fayette, Mo. – The Central Methodist University Eagles defense will have a new look to it this year, after the hiring of former Texas A&M - Kingsville head coach/defensive coordinator David Calloway this past offseason.
 
"David brings experience," said CMU head football coach Jody Ford. "He's been a head coach, a defensive coordinator for three conference champions and he brings a wealth of experience. He and I working together will be a great thing for me so I can bounce some ideas off of him. We are very lucky to have him here"
 
This will be a big transition for the Eagles, as Ford himself has been the defensive coordinator for the past six years, while serving as head coach for the last three. 
 
Calloway spent two seasons as the head coach and eight more as defensive coordinator at Texas A&M University-Kingsville, an NCAA Division II program in southern Texas.
 
"My philosophy is simple, and it's based on three things," Calloway said. "Those are energy, effort, and passion. You can measure in the weight room and in your 40-yard-dash time, but I'm looking for character and a willingness to sacrifice for the good of the team."

"Our approach will be to defend the middle, stop the run, and force the offense to make plays on our terms," he added.
 
Defensively the Eagles have a solid core coming back. The question will be how quickly will they be able to adjust to Coach Calloway's system. If the annual Green against Black scrimmage is an indication of anything, the defensive side of the ball will be a solid one this season.
 
"Starting with the linebacking corps, getting Matt Harmon (Kansas City, Mo.) back who led us in tackles is huge for us," said Ford. "Chris Collins (Bakersfield, Calif.) returns this season and will be a tough force to deal with. Ethan Epperson (Goodman, Mo.) is one of our special team specialists and Wes Davis (Boonville, Mo.) is coming off of a knee injury and he will be excellent for us. Kyle Livingston (Harrisonville, Mo.) has also shown us some things as well this preseason."
 
The big name that returns for the Eagles on the defensive line this season is senior Damien Stevens (Piscataway, N.J.), who finished third in tackles last season with 64. He will be accompanied by Jalen Troy (Moberly, Mo.) and Malik Burnley (Jefferson City, Mo.) on the front line.
 
Secondary wise, the Eagles return senior Brandon Justin (Fairfield, Calif.), who led the team last season in interceptions with three. Defensive back Jeremiah Clemon (University City, Mo.) transferred to CMU in time for this season from Lindenwood University – Belleville and will look to make an immediate impact for the Eagles as well.
 
CMU kicks-off the season this Saturday night, when they travel north to Peru, Nebraska to face Peru State. Kickoff is scheduled for 6pm and the game can be heard on 99.9 FM KIRK and on-line at www.centralmoinfo.com, starting with the pregame show at 5:30pm. The Eagles will return home to Fayette the following week, when they entertain Grand View University for the 2015 regular season home opener at Davis Field. Kickoff is scheduled for 2:30pm, with the game being televised on ESPN3.
 
For more information about Central Methodist University athletics, visit http://www.cmueagles.com. Follow CMU athletics on Facebook at www.facebook.com/cmathletics and on Twitter twitter.com/cmueagles.


No. 13 EOU Football Announces Team Captains

Contributed by admin on Aug 24, 2015 - 11:38 PM
Picture 0 for No. 13 EOU Football Announces Team Captains

LA GRANDE, Ore. – As the No. 13 Eastern Oregon University football team continues to prepare for its season opener against College of Idaho on Saturday, head football coach Tim Camp announced the team captains for the 2015 campaign.

Junior quarterback Zach Bartlow, senior running back Jace Billingsley, senior defensive back Adam Bese, and senior linebacker Gary Posten were the quartet of captains announced by Camp on Sunday afternoon.

"This is a group of guys that have been selected by their teammates and coaches because they are outstanding ambassadors for our program," said Camp. "They are leaders in the classroom, in the community, in the locker room, and are fine representatives of Eastern Oregon University and this program."

Zach Bartlow – JR – QB – 6'0" – 195 lbs. – Waitsburg, Wash. (Waitsburg HS)

Bartlow finished the 2014 season with 2,844 total yards and 19 touchdowns. He was 11th in the NAIA in passing efficiency (141.2), and he ranked fourth in the Frontier Conference with 258.5 yards per game. In addition to his hard work on the field, Bartlow earned 2014 Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athlete plaudits.

Jace Billingsley – SR – RB – 5'9" – 185 lbs. – Winnemucca, Nev. (Lowry HS)

Billingsley's junior campaign helped aid the Mountaineers to their highest win total since 2011. In addition to 16 touchdowns, he led the Frontier Conference and was No. 4 in the NAIA with 2,065 all-purpose yards. Billingsley earned first-team all-conference recognition, as well as 2014 Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athlete honors.

Adam Bese – SR – DB – 6'0" – 195 lbs. – Kent, Wash. (Kentwood HS)

With 57 tackles and one interception, Bese appeared in all 11 games in 2014 and played a pivotal role in helping EOU become the second-best defensive team in the Frontier Conference. One of the top defensive backs in the league, Bese will anchor the EOU secondary in 2015.

 

Gary Posten – SR – LB – 6'1" – 210 lbs. – Emmett, Idaho (Emmett HS)

Despite having his junior year cut short on Oct. 18 against Montana Western, Posten finished second on the team with 67 tackles in just seven games last season. A standout in the classroom, Posten was named to the Academic All-Conference team in 2014. 


Football Tigers picked preseason No. 11 in NAIA Coaches' Poll

Contributed by admin on Aug 20, 2015 - 11:36 PM
Picture 0 for Football Tigers picked preseason No. 11 in NAIA Coaches' Poll

Georgetown College has been in the postseason mix for the past five seasons straight – which basically equates to being ranked in the Top 20 of the final NAIA Coaches' Poll. The Tigers, which finished 8-3 a season ago, have been tabbed to be right back in the playoffs when middle of November rolls around.

The national office recently released the preseason 2015 poll, putting Georgetown at No. 11.

"We have some big shoes to fill with graduation," said GC coach Bill Cronin. "I like what we have coming in, it is just a matter of seeing how it comes together. Our mantra this season is 'Excellence in Everything'. This starts with how we approach classes, film study, preparing for practice, working in practice and so on. We have high expectations for ourselves and see no reason why we can't achieve those goals."

The Tigers will need to be road warriors most of the season with six games outside of Toyota Stadium. The last time that happened was in 2010. Georgetown went 8-3 that season with a return to postseason play for the first time in several years.

Cronin, entering his 19th season at the helm of the Tigers, returns a solid group of players mixed with some exciting transfers and freshmen that could once again take this team to a national title. Georgetown has won three championships since 1991, including back-to-back crowns in 2000 and 2001.  Michael Caba, a player during those championship years, returns to the sidelines this season as offensive coordinator after Eddie Eviston left this spring to coach Covington Catholic.

Shan Housekeeper will start his eighth season as defensive coordinator. Opposing teams are managing just 20.8 points per game against the Tiger defense in the past seven seasons. During the impressive 2011 season run to the national semifinals, teams averaged 14.2 ppg – the lowest a Housekeeper unit has held opponents.

Four seasons teams have scored less than 20 points a game, and the most ever allowed in the past seven years was 27.9 ppg in 2008.

"Practice has begun," Cronin said. "We are excited about what is ahead of us and ready to put in the work it takes to achieve that."

Georgetown kicks off the season Sept. 5 against Cumberland University in Lebanon, Tenn.


Raiders No. 1 In NAIA Top 25 Preseason Poll

Contributed by admin on Aug 20, 2015 - 11:05 PM
Picture 0 for Raiders No. 1 In NAIA Top 25 Preseason Poll

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Southern Oregon University football team was appointed preseason No. 1 for the first time Monday when the NAIA Top 25 preseason poll was released by the national office.
 

SOU Preseason Rankings (Since 1997)



      Year      Rank       Finish
2000 12th 5-4
2001 t-14th 9-2
2002 4th 8-3
2003 5th 5-4
2013 14th 7-4
2014 22nd 13-2
2015 t-1st ??

The Raiders and Marian (Ind.), their opponent in the 2014 title game, both amassed 304 points in the poll, forcing the first preseason tie for the top spot since the NAIA merged its two football divisions in 1997.

Lurking close behind the Raiders are their first two opponents: No. 4 Carroll and No. 13 Eastern Oregon. Another Frontier Conference squad, Montana Western, received votes. And despite all that, the Frontier might still be wondering what it has to do to get some respect.

That's because the NAIA rankings directly contradict the Frontier preseason poll, which had Carroll as the favorite to win its 15th conference title in 16 years when it was released two weeks ago. SOU, which garnered three of eight first-place votes in the Frontier poll, took eight of 14 first-place votes in the NAIA poll. Marian received five and Carroll got the other.

Not that SOU's Sept. 5 season-opener at Carroll was previously lacking storylines. Last year's three meetings were decided by a total of eight points, and Carroll won the conference title, but SOU erased a 17-point deficit entering the fourth quarter to knock off the top-ranked Saints in a blizzard and move on to the national semifinals.

Eastern Oregon will be at Raider Stadium on Sept. 12 for SOU's first home game.

Morningside (Iowa) is No. 3 and Saint Xavier (Ill.) – which SOU defeated in last year's semifinals – is tied at No. 4.

The Raiders had previously never been ranked higher than No. 4 in the preseason. They entered 2002 in that spot and went into 2003 ranked No. 5, but didn't appear in the preseason poll again for 10 years, finally getting back to 13thgoing into 2013 after a quarterfinal appearance in 2012.

Last year's SOU team started 22nd and hopped to No. 9 when the next poll came out three games into the season.

The Raiders earned their first-ever No. 1 ranking in the final poll of 2014, following their march through the NAIA playoffs, and kept the top spot in the 2015 spring poll.
 



RANK LAST  SCHOOL (1st place votes) 2014  POINTS
T1 1 Southern Oregon (8) 13-2 304
T1 2 Marian (Ind.) (5) 11-3 304
3 3 Morningside (Iowa) 12-2 289
T4 4 Saint Xavier (Ill.) 10-3 277
T4 5 Carroll (Mont.) (1) 10-2 277
6 6 Grand View (Iowa) 11-2 254
7 7 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) 10-3 240
8 9 MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) 9-2 227
9 8 Missouri Valley 9-4 222
10 10 Faulkner (Ala.) 9-3 200
11 11 Georgetown (Ky.) 8-3 198
12 12 Northwestern (Iowa) 9-2 181
13 13 Eastern Oregon 8-3 172
14 14 Ottawa (Kan.) 9-3 148
15 16 Baker (Kan.) 8-3 138
16 15 Campbellsville (Ky.) 7-4 136
17 17 Valley City State (N.D.) 9-2 105
18 19 Langston (Okla.) 7-5 98
19 18 William Penn (Iowa) 7-4 95
20 20 Robert Morris (Ill.) 8-3 90
21 21 Friends (Kan.) 8-3 64
T22 22 Doane (Neb.) 7-3 51
T22 24 Tabor (Kan.) 7-4 51
24 23 Webber International (Fla.) 8-3 42
25 25 Benedictine (Kan.) 7-4 36

Others Receiving Votes: Sterling (Kan.) 9; Saint Francis (Ind.) 9; Montana Western 9; Reinhardt (Ga.) 3.


Saints Football Begins Fall Practice

Contributed by admin on Aug 20, 2015 - 10:57 PM
Picture 0 for Saints Football Begins Fall Practice

Prospectus l Roster l Schedule

HELENA, Mont. – 
The wait is finally over. After months of offseason workouts, weightlifting, conditioning and watching film, the Carroll College football team finally took the practice field Thursday in preparation for the Sept. 5 season opening matchup with defending national champion Southern Oregon.
 
The Saints edged out Southern Oregon in the Frontier Coaches' Poll but SOU held on to the top spot in the NAIA Top 25 Rankings. The Saints came in at No. 4.
 
Joining the veteran squad with 12 returning starters (six on offense, six on defense) is the largest recruiting class in school history, 47 freshmen. Veteran head coach Mike Van Diest is confident that the veterans on the team will put the young players in a position to succeed.
 
"Our juniors and seniors do a great job of leading by example and showing the younger guys what we expect here," Van Diest said. "They need to sprint to the football and run from one drill to the next. When they come off the field and go to the meeting room they need to stay alert and when they are off the field, in the dining hall and dorms they need to act in a respectful manner. If guys like James DowginGreg TuckerMac Roche or Ryan Armstrong need to step and say something they will but I don't anticipate that have to get on their teammates too much."
 
The Saints also have four new coaches on staff, two were athletes on last year's squad. Former Center Alex Kastens will work with the offensive line and tight ends and former wide receiver Anthony Clarke will work with the offense.
 
Also joining the staff are Marcus Mayo, a University of Montana graduate and Travis Andrus, a former Griz receiver who has worked in the Canadian Football League and the defunct United Football League.
 
"The core of coaches on both sides, offense and defense, are coming back," Van Diest said. "Nick Howlett and Jim Hogan Tyler Emmert on offense; myself, Joe Dunning Mason Siddick on defense.  The addition of these four guys makes a big difference in terms just another set of eyes at each position."
 
Preparation for the start of the season began just weeks after the NAIA Quarterfinal loss to SOU. Early morning winter condition, spring practice and summer workouts and film sessions all play a part in the work leading up Thursday's first practice. Players are expected to come into practice with a high level of conditioning, the real effort is getting players up to game speed.
 
"Our coaches worked 10 or 12 hours a day in the summer because there are 65 to 70 players here at one time," Van DIest said. "They come in at pretty good shape now they need to get into game shape, the speed of the game the tempo of the game, at practice we have to be able to simulate some of that."
 
The Carroll offense has a strong core of returning players led by Roche at the quarterback position. The senior signal caller was second-team all Frontier Conference in 2014. He returns two solid targets in senior receiver Dylan Simac and junior Kyle Griffith.
 
Three starting offensive linemen return to anchor the o-line, seniorsRyan Armstrong and Josh James as well as sophomore Chris Emter.
 
The Saints need to fill the rather large shoes of Carroll all-time leading rusher Dustin Rinker who finished his career in the NAIA top ten all-time rushers. Dylan Green and Ryan Walsh received the bulk of the work during spring drills but incoming freshmen Connor Poulson and Major Ali could battle for carries.
 
At the receiver position, redshirt freshman Troy Arnston had an impressive spring and should challenge for reps. Incoming freshman Connor Fohn brings in a lot of athleticism and will look to contribute right away.
 
On the offensive line, the Saints need to replace Kastens, a team captain and all-conference center. Starting right tackle Dominic Sallealso graduated. Several upperclassmen will compete for the open spots, including seniors Andrew and Michael Blum and juniors Tyson Budler and Grady Holt-Seavy.
 
Eric Dawson moved to the tight end position from linebacker and will look to contribute right away. Van Diest said repeatedly that Dawson has some of the best hands on the team.
 
Defensively, the Saints return four starters in the secondary including Second-Team All-American James Dowgin at Safety. Adam Debruycker makes the move to outside linebacker but senior Greg Tucker will move into his open starting spot. Second-Team All-Conference cornerbacks Matt Wymore and Ryan Gregory both return with the top three back-ups, senior Robbie Sharps and juniors Vince DiGiallonardo and Taylor South.
 
First-Team All-Conference Linebacker Shayne Durbin anchors the linebacker corps that needs to replace the production of 2013 NAIA Player of the Year Sean Blomquist. DeBruycker and Dawson Osbornwill look to start in the outside linebacker position, which should be a strength of the defense.
 
A lone question mark comes in the defensive line where the Saints need to replace the entire front. Seniors Kyle Smith and Gus Somerfield juniors Zeke Koslosky, Alec Basterrchea and Elliot McGill will battle for playing time. Sophomore Beaugh Meyer is back after sitting out last season with an injury, he played significant minutes as a freshman.  
 
Freshman T.J. Togiai brings a lot of athletic ability at the defensive tackle position and should compete for time right away.
 
Second-team All-American punter Rhys Felton graduated but sophomore Dylan Torgerson had an outstanding spring is on track to take over.
 
"Every year we sit here and worry about who's going to take the place of a Tyler Emmert or Gary Cooper or Jeff Shirley and now Sean BlomquistDakota Amy and Anthony Clarke but somebody always steps up," Van DIest said. "There is always somebody waiting in the wings because the coaches have done a great job recruiting the key for us."
 
The Saints have a little over three weeks to prepare for Southern Oregon. Season Tickets and individual game tickets are available by visiting the PE Center or by calling 447-4480.


2015 Football Preview

Contributed by admin on Aug 20, 2015 - 10:36 PM
Picture 0 for 2015 Football Preview

2014 record: 7-4 (3-2 MWL, 3rd)
Starters returning/lost: 17/9 (including special teams)
Letterwinners returning/lost: 34/31

Notable returners:
Hea Tuifua, Sr., Salt Lake City, Utah
(Second-Team All-America)
Tyler Hafner, Sr., Oskaloosa, Iowa
(Letterwinner, 150 rushing yards, 451 passing yards, 8 TDs)
Isaac Samek, Sr., Bolivar, Mo.
(Second-team all-MWL, 94 tackles, 3 interceptions)
Hunter Barry, Jr., Morris, Ill.
(First-team all-MWL, 49 tackles, 2 sacks)

Notable losses:
Taylor Parsons
(Three-time all-MWL)
Sam Tvedt
(First-team all-MWL)
Michael Thomas
(First-team all-MWL)
Jake Adams
(First-team all-MWL)

Notable newcomers:
Kody Jarvis, Fr., Riverton, Utah
Beau Picard, Fr., Ozark, Mo.
Nick Locher, Fr., Owensboro, Ky.

The William Penn football team will look to a veteran crew to keep it a major national player as it enters the Heart of America Athletic Conference this fall.
 
The Statesmen, headed by Todd Hafner, were perennially strong in the MSFA's Midwest League over the past decade.  WPU was 7-4 in 2014 (3-2 MWL), but as newbies in the Heart, it will have to prove itself all over again in a conference that features six ranked teams in the preseason poll.

Tyler Hafner (Sr., Oskaloosa, Iowa, Communications) will guide the offense behind a tremendous line, while Hunter Barry (Jr., Morris, Ill., Physical Education) and Isaac Samek (Sr., Bolivar, Mo., Industrial Technology) top a defensive unit that might be the best ever assembled in Hafner's reign.

Quarterback

After serving as a backup the past two campaigns, Hafner finally starts 2015 as the front-running incumbent.  In 2014, Hafner grounded it out for 150 yards (one touchdown) and aired it out for another 451 yards (7 TDs).

Returner Eric Cooper (So., Aguanga, Calif., Human Services) and incoming freshman Nick Locher (Fr., Owensboro, Ky., Physical Education) present tremendous options behind Hafner.

Slot Back

Nate Tvedt (Sr., Oskaloosa, Iowa, Business Management) and Jonathan Ward (So., Terry, Miss., Undecided) have risen to the top with the experience factor, but fellow returners Kyle Nitz (Sr., Broken Arrow, Okla., Biology), Carl Sivels (Fr., Washington, Iowa, Physical Education), and Marquise Thomas (Fr., Ann Arbor, Mich., Industrial Technology) should also earn some carries.

Among returning slot backs, Tvedt is the leader in rushing yards with 219 (two touchdowns) last fall, while Ward collected 74 yards last year.

Alex Schliesmann (Jr., Fairmont, Minn., Exercise Science) could also step into playing time right away as a junior college transfer.

Fullback

Tyler Goble (Jr., Des Moines, Iowa, Secondary Education) looks to add to the tradition of hard-nosed fullbacks after earning 409 rushing yards in 2014 (one score).

Amos Johnson (So., Rock Island, Ill., Mechanical Engineering), Brandon Polito (Jr., St. Louis, Mo., Undecided), and Hunter Condit (Fr., Perry, Okla., Communications) also return to take and deliver blows with runs up the middle.

Lyle Jennings (Jr., Toronto, Ohio, Exercise Science) has picked up the system quickly as a new back.

Wide Receiver

The run-crazy Statesmen may decide to adjust their scheme a bit after seeing the talent available on the outsides as senior starters Jatavius Stewart (Rock Hill, S.C., Biology) and Kramer Patterson(Ozark, Mo., Secondary Education) return to headline the receivers.  To call Stewart a big-play receiver is to say the Grand Canyon is a pothole--he caught only 13 balls but picked up 337 yards (25.9 avg.) and six touchdowns last year.

Patterson hauled in seven receptions for 133 yards and three scores, while fellow returner Desmond Douglas (Jr., Decatur, Ala., Physical Education) had six catches for 68 yards.  Austin Cosgrove(Sr., Moravia, Iowa, Undecided) and Barry Williams (So., Lawton, Okla., Undecided) have also gained knowledge in the past and will be assets.

Tight End

Devin Verwers (Sr., Norwalk, Iowa, Industrial Technology) returns to start at tight end and will be backed up by Cory Fitzjarrell (So., Anderson, Calif., Industrial Technology); the pair will both be on the line in two-tight end formations.

Offensive Line

The engine's horsepower will be provided by five seniors who have been mainstays in the trenches.  Center Hea Tuifua (Sr., Salt Lake City, Utah, Industrial Technology) is back after being a Second-Team All-American, while J.T. Dotson (Sr., Jenks, Okla., Business Management) was a second-team all-league performer at right tackle.

Right guard Jarrett Rogers (Sr., Ozark, Mo., Business Management), left guard Ryan Westmoreland (Sr., Bolivar, Mo., Secondary Education), and left tackle Kalob Gist (Sr., Oskaloosa, Iowa, Business Management) wrap up the remainder of crew that, if healthy, should help WPU gobble up yardage at will.

Returners Connor Menown (Sr., Springfield, Mo., Physical Education) and Wes Leffelman (So., DeKalb, Ill., Exercise Science) will join up with newcomers Jake Wills (Exercise Science, Oskaloosa, Iowa, Undecided), Nick Jackson (Fr., Broken Arrow, Okla., Biology), and Beau Picard (Fr., Ozark, Mo., Biology) for impressive but untested depth.

Defensive Line

The other side of the trenches is a bit younger, but experience is certainly not wanting.  Hunter Barry (Jr., Morris, Ill., Physical Education) was a first-team all-MWL pick last year and will be a run-stopper extraordinaire at the nose position.  He will receive considerable competition, though, from Malik Young (Jr., Peoria, Ill., Physical Education) and Terrance Grimsley (Fr., Lawton, Okla., Exercise Science).

Barry had 49 tackles (eight for loss) with two sacks in 2014.

William Penn's best defensive ends are also returners with Clayton Temaat (Sr., Alba, Mo., Industrial Technology), Cameron Colbert (Sr., Jenks, Okla., Business Management), Taylan Ybarra (Sr., Wellington, Kan., Education), and Cooper Gosch (Fr., Reeds Springs, Okla., Education) looking to stop both opposing ball carriers as well as sack their quarterbacks.

Temaat tallied a 2014-high three sacks last year.

Linebacker

If WPU's opponents can get through that formidable front, it does not get any easier for them with Isaac Samek (Sr., Bolivar, Mo., Industrial Technology) and his squad of linebackers impatiently waiting.  Samek led WPU with 94 tackles last year and tops all returners with three interceptions.

Jake Baptiste (So., Salt Lake City, Utah, Psychology) is projected to lead the middle LB position with Desmond Wills (So., Birmingham, Ala., Undecided) behind him.

Kevin Shrauger (Sr., Nixa, Mo., Physical Education) and Mason Wisse (So., Oskaloosa, Iowa, Physical Education) will battle for another opening, while Mason Rohr (So., Nixa, Mo., Biology) has the edge for the final spot.  Kane Vigier (Fr., Baytown, Texas, Exercise Science) is next on the depth chart behind Rohr.

Shrauger was second in tackles last autumn with 59, while Baptiste corralled 25 ball carriers.

Defensive Back

Previous starts may be few among the cornerback applicants, but Hafner believes athleticism will quickly trump experience.

Antonio Brown (Jr., Midwest City, Okla., Undecided) appears to be a shoo-in for one side, while Dajon Shaw (Fr., Highland Park, Mich.,  Undecided) and Jaylen Malbrough (Fr., Fort Worth, Texas, Communications) are facing off with Shawn Charles (So., Rochester, N.Y., Undecided) for the nod on the opposite end of the turf.

The safety positions, as the word says, feel much safer with key 2014 players Keegan Murphy (Sr., Ark City, Kan., Physical Education) and Walter Eastwood (Jr., Garden City, Mo., Computer Science) back.  Kyle Baldassarre (So., Webb City, Mo., Industrial Technology) and incoming freshman Kody Jarvis (Riverton, Utah, Exercise Science) are likely to receive plenty of snaps as well.  Murphy recorded 48 tackles last year.

Special Teams

Cody Brigham (Jr., Spencer, Iowa, Elementary Education) was brought in for the sole purpose of longsnapping and the coaching staff is thrilled with what they have seen so far.

On the receiving side of the snap should again by Hafner, but there will be a new person trying to send the ball through the uprights.  Left-footed freshman kicker Samson Tamijani (Houston, Texas, Communications) will not only look to score points in the kicking game, but also returns the Statesmen to their preferred two-punter formation.

Stewart and Nitz have returned to again return punts and kickoffs for William Penn.  Stewart had 15 attempts for a 19.5 average, while Nitz averaged 18.6 yards over nine tries.

Conference

With a full 11 games on their Heart schedule, the Statesmen venture right into meaningful contests as they travel to #9 Missouri Valley for the home opener on August 29.  The following two weekends, including its home opener on September 5 versus #8 MidAmerica Nazarene, are also against ranked foes.

WPU will welcome Avila to Oskaloosa on October 3 for Homecoming, while its Niles Media Group nationally-televised game against Benedictine (Kan.) is on October 31.  The navy and gold, who are #19 in the NAIA and picked third in the North Division, have five home games this year.


Lyon defense shoring up for challenges of '15

Contributed by admin on Aug 18, 2015 - 11:43 PM
Picture 0 for Lyon defense shoring up for challenges of '15

BATESVILLE, Ark. – To say the 2015 season is one of unknowns for the Lyon College football team is a direct and true statement. With half of its 90-player roster returning from last season's non-intercollegiate competition season and a schedule that includes three nationally-ranked squads, the Scots will find out a lot about themselves this fall.

Defensively, Lyon head coach Kirk Kelley knew what kind of goals he wanted his team to achieve, so he brought in someone who had experienced the best when he hired Defensive Coordinator and outside linebackers coachMike DuFrane (pictured at right).

DuFrane's credentials are about as good as they come in the NAIA. He is a former member of a NCAA Division III National Championship team at University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, playing at nose tackle for the title team in 2007. He also helped the Warhawks to a runner-up finish in 2008.

The Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) Defensive Newcomer of the Year in '07 graduated from UW-W in 2009 and then earned his Master's degree from Carthage College. He has coaching stints at NCAA Division III institutions University of Minnesota-Morris, Loras and Carthage before coming to Lyon last season.

DuFrane said he and his defensive staff used last year to built incoming freshmen to a bigger, better and stronger class in preparation for the 2015 season.

"Last year I saw a lot of guys who were willing to learn and willing to adapt," DuFrane stated. "We spent last year building and teaching them and we want them to continue to grow. I want to see guys to get better in the weight room and on the field. If they get better physically and they continue to want to grow it will help us move forward."

The coach said he wants to continue to teach his red-shirt freshmen and true freshmen some of the things he learned while playing on the championship-caliber team at UW-W.

"What we're trying to do right now is to instill in our defense the ability to compete," he explained. "Every single day when I was (at UW-W) we competed. We did it on every snap of the football. Everything we did there had some element of that.

"Here at Lyon, our depth chart is fluid. It has the opportunity to change every single day. No one's job is safe. I think that's pushing our guys to improve and work harder every day."

He added that the tough academic acceptance requirements at Lyon is a positive thing because it enables the Lyon staff to recruit players who do a great job at learning the system and understanding what the coaches are trying to teach them.

"The kids that come here are very smart, so the ability to each them the advanced defense that we play is easier because they have the ability to learn it," he said. "They want to learn and they want to be here and it's made our job easier in that respect."

In the fall of 2014 the Scots when through a simulated season as far as practice, but played only two intra-squad scrimmages. DuFrane said he wants his returning players to learn from that experience and teach the incoming players what to expect and to help them get 'up to speed' on what the returners learned a year ago.

"I definitely expect the returners to lead this team. Guys like Carr Hill (6-0, 200-lb. LB from (Cherokee Village, Ark.) and Xavier Story (5-9, 170-lb. DB from Bushnell, Fla.) and others who are coming back are the ones I'm looking to by the leaders of this program. Everybody that was out there last year has come in and is showing the new guys their roles and doing things to help them understand me and the program and what I want to get accomplished.

DuFrane said at this point the Scot cornerbacks are the players of his defense that are taking the leading role as the team works in training camp and prepares for the August 29 inaugural game against 22nd-ranked Tabor College at Pioneer Stadium (1 p.m.).

"I think we're very good at the cornerback position. We bring some very solid athletes into the season at those positions. So I think they'll be the guys that we'll want to turn to and will help lead us to go in the direction we want to go. And when your corners are good, that makes it a lot easier when you start looking for other areas to move forward."

The Scots will follow their tough season opener with their highest-ranked opponent on September 5 when the Scots battle 7th-ranked Lindsey Wilson College at 1 p.m. This home game will be another early gauge of how the team is improving.

"We built our schedule as an opportunity to see what we want to become," DuFrane said. "It gives us the chance to go out and compete against some of the best competition in the country. Our whole program is about getting better and moving forward and I think when you go against programs like Tabor and Lindsey Wilson it will give us the opportunity to see and play against the best and only get better."

With every season come unknowns. This year the Scots will have more of them than most squads as they bring players together from all across the country to build the program.

"I think our biggest unknown will be our ability to adjust and the ability to grow," the coach said. ""Having such a young team scares you, as a coach, at times. But it's exciting because you've got a bunch of guys who haven't done it before (on the collegiate level). So when we get out there our guys need to embrace it and run with it. That's the thing that going to help us get better and better as we go."

Lyon, which will host an intra-squad scrimmage on Friday (August 14) at 5 p.m. at Pioneer Stadium, will compete in the Central States Football League this fall, opening up league play on October 3 at home against Bacone College (2 p.m.). The Scots will play six home games this season. General admission season tickets are available for only $25 by calling (870) 307-7525.


Top-ranked Raiders Slide Helmets Back On For First Day Of Practice

Contributed by admin on Aug 20, 2015 - 11:08 PM
Picture 0 for Top-ranked Raiders Slide Helmets Back On For First Day Of Practice

ASHLAND – With three weeks separating Saturday's season-opening practice and top-ranked Southern Oregon University's first game at fourth-ranked Carroll, the Raiders won't have to wait long for some excitement.

They will, however, have a lot of sorting out to do before then. SOU opened fall camp with 140 players, adding on to the 96 who were enrolled for spring camp and the 60-70 who participated in summer workouts. The Raiders started last season with 125, which was at that time the biggest number in the Craig Howard era.

Howard, now in his fifth season as head coach, anticipated a bigger spotlight regardless of the numbers. Following up the program's first NAIA title, the Raiders are in for a pressure-packed opening with their first games at Carroll – the favorite to win the Frontier Conference – on Sept. 5, and at Raider Stadium against 13th-ranked Eastern Oregon on Sept. 12.

"When we look at our guys, how we've gone to work this offseason and the focus they have, you know they want to get back to the spot they were in," Howard said. "They want to get back to playing for a championship and we're excited for the challenge. The Frontier Conference will be as competitive as ever, but as a competitor, that's the league you want to be in."

Competition within the team will begin in earnest on Monday, when SOU will be in full pads for the first time.

Third-year defensive coordinator Berk Brown, whose unit will be replacing four all-conference graduates, was pleased with first-day returns even without the pads.

"I think we came into camp, as a group, in the best shape we've been since coach Howard got here and it showed," Brown said. "When guys aren't gassed out they can think and they can react to how our defense needs to be played, and that goes a long way this time of year."

There is more work to be done offensively, too, than there was at this time a year ago, when the Raiders returned 10 of 11 starters and just minimal shuffling at stake on the depth chart. Co-offensive coordinator Ken Fasnacht knows that most of the attention will be on the quarterback battle between returning players Jack Singler (Medford, Ore./South Medford) and Kamerun Smith (Eugene, Ore./Marist) and junior transfer Tanner Trosin. He said the coaching staff hopes to settle that matter within the next seven to nine days.

"The sooner we can make that decision, the better," Fasnacht said.

"The thing that probably we're most happy about as an offensive staff is we had really good tempo today," he added. "We got out and we were moving, knew where we were supposed to go, and we look like an offense early. I would say from an offensive, and probably a defensive perspective, that might be our best first day in five years."


Transfer QB Nicholas shines in Faulkner's first scrimmage

Contributed by admin on Aug 24, 2015 - 11:35 PM
Picture 0 for Transfer QB Nicholas shines in Faulkner's first scrimmage

MONTGOMERY, Ala. - Just two weeks away from its season opener, the Faulkner football team showed improvement in its first scrimmage of the fall here Saturday morning at Billy D. Hilyer Stadium, according to Eagles head coach Charlie Boren.

Boren and his staff continue to work on fine-tuning both sides of the ball as Faulkner readies itself for another run at a Mid-South Conference West Division title.

"I was pleased with how things went today," said Boren, whose Eagles have won back-to-back division championships and have earned a berth in the past two 16-team NAIA Football Championship Series. "It gave us a good opportunity to do a double check on some things, and I like where we are right now."

One player that stood out to Boren in Saturday's scrimmage was freshman transfer quarterback Clayton Nicholas, who came to Faulkner from Bowling Green. The 6-3, 220-pounder from Abilene, Texas, was 12-of-17 on the day with two touchdown passes. Also battling for the job is Lane Moss, a 6-4, 220-pound sophomore from Gordo. He was 7 for 11 passing with no touchdowns Saturday.

"I thought both quarterbacks threw it well, but Clayton threw it extremely well," Boren said. "I think both guys have the ability to succeed and give us a chance to win a lot of games."

Nicholas says he has been adjusting well to the new system.

"I've got great coaches behind me helping me get into the offense in a short period of time," he sad. "Coming from this style of offense in high school and in college has allowed me to make a good transition."

Nicholas arrived on campus Aug. 1, and he and Moss have been putting in extra time to get ready.

 "We stay after practice sometimes and throw extra routes," he said. "We've got a lot of guys that give 100 percent effort every play so we can get our timing down during practice."

The chemistry the offense has built was evident in the scrimmage. In addition to the quarterbacks, running back Joe Jones had six carries for 75 yards, while wideouts Rob Lockhart and A.J. Stevenson each had touchdown catches.

"For the most part, we had a patchwork offensive line today, and I thought they did a pretty good job up front," Boren said. "Joe ran it well, and Trent Miles did as well."

The explosive offense coupled with what could potentially be one of the best defenses ever at Faulkner has expectations high

"Everyone's goal as a team is to get to the national championship, but we have to play it game-by-game and week-by-week," Nicholas said. "And when our first game finally gets here we'll all be amped up for it and ready to go."

Faulkner opens its season in Lakeland, Fla., on Sept. 5 against Southeastern University. The game is scheduled to kickoff at 6 p.m. central time.


Saints Football Scrimmage Set for Saturday

Contributed by admin on Aug 24, 2015 - 11:25 PM
Picture 0 for Saints Football Scrimmage Set for Saturday

HELENA, Mont. - The Fighting Saints take the field on Saturday for their second scrimmage of this year's fall camp and head coach Mike Van Diest is looking to create more competition on both sides of the ball.
The defensive line lacks a returning starter but senior Kyle Smith and sophomore Beaugh Meyer have the most experience.

"I am pleased how the guys on the defensive line have progressed," Van Diest said. "Kyle and Beaugh both are playing physically and put on some weight in the offseason. Beaugh is using his hands a lot better than two years ago before he got hurt. Gus Somerfield is another guy who is impressive, he hasn't played in a game but he's been on this team for four years and he has come a long way."

The Carroll offense is progressing nicely under the helm of senior quarterback Mac Roche and Eric Dawson's move from the defense to tight end looks to be paying off. He has impressed Van Diest so far with his pass catching ability and is improving run blocking.

"Eric is just doing a great job," Van Diest said. "We've talked about in the paper and the media but he gives us something we haven't had since 2010 and that is a big weapon in the tight end position. That's a big plus for the offense. Now we have to put him in better position to run block and I think he is getting more physical in that aspect."

The battle for the starting running back position continues to be a tight contest between Dylan Green and Ryan Walsh. Walsh has made big strides since spring.

"Ryan has always had speed but he added a little bit of weight and I like how physical he has been," Van Diest said. "Ryan and Dylan Green are still battling but whoever doesn't start is going to get pretty equal time and that is a real plus for us."

Depth is a strength at a few positions, including quarterback, and the Carroll coaching staff doesn't want to see athleticism sit on the bench. Tanner Gustavsen currently sits third on the depth chart but he has found reps at receiver as well as with the quarterbacks.

 "Gustavsen is very much like Dakota Stonehouse, he is playing behind a great quarterback in Mac Roche and an experienced backup in JT Linder," Van Diest said. "It is hard to get a QB on the field but he is talented and athletic and it is a great opportunity to build some depth at the receiver position."

The defensive secondary is the most experienced group on the field with returning starters at every position and led by Second-Team All-American James Dowgin at Safety.

"Every time I see number four line up out there I get excited," Van Diest said. "We have had some great players here and this isn't to undermine anyone else who has ever played here but Dowgin is the best safety I have ever been around. His instincts are tremendous and the plays he makes are just awesome.  If I was at the University of Wyoming he would be playing for me there. James and Greg Tucker make a great duo."

The veterans aren't the only players turning head over the first nine days of practice, freshmen Connor FohnConner Poulson and Isazah King have all seen significant time with the first and second-team offense. Van Diest is excited continue to evaluate during Saturday's scrimmage.

"There are a lot of guys that people don't know much about like Green and Walsh at running back and a few young freshmen out there," Van Diest said. "This scrimmage is a great opportunity for us to get some great film and continue to evaluate and continue to build depth."

The scrimmage is scheduled for 3:45 p.m. Saturday at Nelson Stadium and is open to the public.


A Look Inside the Dickinson State University Blue Hawk Football Camp

Contributed by admin on Aug 18, 2015 - 11:32 PM
Picture 0 for A Look Inside the Dickinson State University Blue Hawk Football Camp

DICKINSON, ND- Dickinson State University Head Football Coach, Pete Stanton, talked Thursday about how the Blue Hawk football team’s pre-season camp was going.

“Camp has started off really well for us this year,” stated Stanton. “The guys came into camp in pretty good shape and we had about 40 guys stay this summer and really worked hard on their strength and fundamentals.”

The Blue Hawks had 98 players report to camp this year, 35 newcomers and 63 returners, which is an increase from the past few years.

“Our job as coaches is to teach our schemes and make sure that all of the players are getting on the same page,” said Stanton. “We need to refresh our returners and introduce our new guys to the way we do things in our program from fundamental basics to formations and plays.”

Over the first few days, the Blue Hawk football coaches have held numerous individual position meetings to ensure the mental development of the players so they can learn the playbook.

“The new guys are learning the playbook pretty well so far,” stated Stanton. “We watch all of our practices which allows us to critique each player and the offense and defense as a whole.”

The Blue Hawks open up their 2015 season on Saturday, August 22nd at 6:00 PM (MDT) at the Henry Biesiot Activities Center when they take on the Northern Lights of Montana State University- Northern.

“Our goals in camp are to most importantly prepare for our first game but also to build the team chemistry which will make us more of a complete team,” said Stanton. “The quicker we can build the team chemistry, the quicker we can really prepare for MSU-N.”

The Blue and Gray scrimmage is set for Saturday, August 15th at the Henry Biesiot Activities Center and will begin at 10:00 AM (MDT).

“During the scrimmage, we want to be sharp with our execution on both sides of the ball,” stated Stanton. “Most of our established players will see a limited amount of reps while our younger and new guys will see a lot of reps so we as coaches can evaluate them in a competitive atmosphere.”


Positional Preview - Running Backs

Contributed by admin on Aug 18, 2015 - 10:13 PM
Picture 0 for Positional Preview - Running Backs

The fourth of a nine-part College of Idaho 2015 football team preview, focusing today on the Coyote running backs.
 
The running game was the key to the success of the Yotes during the 2014 season, averaging over 200-yards per game.  However, as the season progressed, injuries depleted the stable of backs, giving multiple players opportunities to shine.

This season, depth will not be a problem for the C of I offense, as 12 backs are vying for playing time, including four seniors.
 
"The experience we have in the back field is priceless," offensive coordinator Tim Keane said. "Every year we are getting a little more experience.  It's great to have an older group."
 
Though quarterback Teejay Gordon led the Yotes in rushing, Zach Garzoli was the top ground gainer among the running backs.  The sophomore had two 100-yard games and rushed for 559 yards and seven touchdowns, but missed much of the second half of the season due to injury.
 
Two seniors each had 50 or more carries last year, as the hard-nosed duo of Ryan Texeira and Kyle Merritt look to give C of I a change of pace.  Texeira made his debut in Week 5 and averaged over five yards per carry, rushing for 332 yards, while Merritt had 209 yards in an injury-plagued season.
 
Fellow seniors Mike Johnson and Marzett Davis provide speed in the back field and will be looked upon for an expanded role in 2015.
 
"If you look at our tailbacks, they come in all multiple shapes and sizes," Keane said. "We have little quick guys, and some bigger, stronger guys.  It has been fun to come up with some specific formations and packages for certain guys based on their strengths and let them do what they are suited to do."
 
Three other returners are in the mix – as sophomore Dakota Stallions rushed for 80 yards last season, Joe Murphyused the year as a redshirt season, while Chase Fiddler makes the conversion from the defensive side of the ball.
 
Looking to make a splash will be four freshmen, all who rushed for over 1,000 yards during their senior year of high school.  Josh Finley a 3A All-State pick and Magic Valley Player of the Year; Jason Leach rushed for over 3,300 yards over the past two seasons; Colby Brown rushed for 16 touchdowns as a senior; while Jake Thornberry split time between running back and quarterback.
 
"We have a lot of tailbacks and that is what is going to be fun this fall, is to figure out how to utilize all of these guys," Keane said.
 
The Coyotes will host an intrasquad game on Thursday afternoon at 2 p.m. in preparation for the season opener, Aug. 29, vs. Eastern Oregon.


Positional Preview - Offensive Line

Contributed by admin on Aug 18, 2015 - 10:11 PM
Picture 0 for Positional Preview - Offensive Line

The fifth of a nine-part College of Idaho 2015 football team preview, focusing tonight on the Coyote offensive line.
 
For offensive coordinator, Tim Keane, the new season brings a year of experience for his offensive line and renewed excitement for the potential of the offensive line.
 

Keane, a former lineman at UC Davis himself, returns all five starters that helped the offense average over 200 yards rushing per game.  Offseason workouts have increased the size of the returners by over 10 pounds per player, helping the crew match up even better with the quality defensive fronts in the Frontier Conference.
 
"I am really excited as those guys worked so hard during the summer," Keane said.  "We have NFL kind of line – in the sense we have just 10 guys. It's small like an NFL roster, as they carry eight guys plus some on a practice squad."
 
Center Greg Dohmen is the anchor of the line and is healthy after injuries plagued him during the 2014 season.  The former Bose State lineman is the lone senior among his peers.
 
"Greg is ready to go," Keane said.  "He spent the last two months digging ditches and using jackhammers on concrete, so double-days are easy compared to his summer work."
 
Guards Andrew Galloway and Dylan Garcia started all 11 games last season as true freshmen and earned loads of experience.  Galloway was busy during the spring as a thrower on the Yotes track and field team, placing fourth in the conference championships in the shot put.
 
"Galloway worked extremely hard during the summer, working in a lumber mill from 6-to-4," Keane said. "And then he made the trip to Caldwell and came over here to work out with us."
 
Tackles Sam Zvirdys and Sam Ball served as the primary bookends of the line as freshmen and both players are bigger, faster and stronger heading into 2015 – with their key role keeping the quarterback upright.
 
"With the work we have done, hopefully we are a little bit better up front in protecting our quarterback," Keane said.  "Their job is to keep him clean when he is throwing the ball."
 
Heading into camp, Keane has a full second unit of quailty offensive linemen – a luxury the Yotes did not have during the 2014 season.
 
Center Hayden Paul filled in admirably during his freshman season, earning loads of on-the-job experience.  At the guards, sophomore Jarrett Williams and junior Alec Montelongo provide size and speed and continue to press the starters, while at tackle, sophomore James Royspan style="font-family: arial; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;"> and freshman Tyler Vorce look to be impact players by the time their C of I careers are over.
 
"Our guys have a really good work ethic and are down to earth," Keane said. "Camp to them is easy; these guys are loving double-days in comparison to the work they put in during the summer.  It is fun to see their development."
 
The Coyotes will host an intrasquad game on Thursday afternoon at 2 p.m. in preparation for the season opener, Aug. 29, vs. Eastern Oregon.


Offense Strikes First in Football Scrimmage

Contributed by admin on Aug 24, 2015 - 11:27 PM
Picture 0 for Offense Strikes First in Football Scrimmage

HELENA, Mont. – The offense struck first but the defense closed strong at Carroll College scrimmage Saturday afternoon at Nelson Stadium.
 
Ryan Walsh took the fifth play of the scrimmage and bounced it outside for 54 yards and a touchdown to open up the scoring. It was the bulk of his 69 yards.
 
Dylan Green, the other running back vying for the starting job had a respectable 23 yards on five carries.
 
The starting running back position is still the hottest contested position and it showed as the first team offense only ran four pass plays.
 
On Mac Roche's four attempts on the day two were completed, both going to converted tight end Eric Dawson.
 
Dawson compiled ten yards and a touchdown on a four-yard reception to cap the second first-team drive of the game.
 
Freshman running back Conner Poulson had three carries for 22 yards and a reception for 20 yards. He also had one long carry called back on a holding call.
 
Linder aired the ball out more than Roche. He was 7-for-8 for 82 yards.
 
 Head coach Mike Van Diest was pleased with his team's performance although there is still work to be done before the season opener on Sept. 5.
 
"There were some good things on both sides of the ball but I am really happy with the three running backs," Van Diest said. "You saw what Ryan Walsh can do with a little open space, I thought Dillon Green ran very hard between the tackles and Conner Poulson did some really good things today, not only running the ball but out there on a screen play too."
 
The Carroll defense didn't try to do too much, Van Diest wanted them to focus on the basics and it paid off with seven tackles for loss including a sack against Linder.
 
"We played pretty vanilla on defense today," Van Diest said. "We didn't blitz at all today and we didn't put them in too many bad situations. We just wanted to see them execute the fundamentals. Those are defenses that we run a lot and we need to execute on assignment, alignment football."
 
School starts Monday and the team will move to one-a-day practices for two weeks leading up to the home opener against Southern Oregon.


Lyon offense to benefit from former Pioneers, local talent

Contributed by admin on Aug 20, 2015 - 09:55 PM
Picture 0 for Lyon offense to benefit from former Pioneers, local talent

BATESVILLE, Ark. – The Lyon College offensive unit might be wearing navy or white jerseys this season, but there will be some deep-rooted orange and black as well. Seven former Batesville Pioneers are on the Scots football team this season, with six of them playing on the offensive side of the ball.

There will also be two Southside offensive players and another from nearby Midland High School and a defensive back from Cave City, rounding out the local talent.

The Scots will be looking to those area players to ignite the squad when Lyon plays its first football game since 1951 on August 29 against 22nd-ranked Tabor College at 1 p.m. Coincidentally, the Scot home games will all be played at Batesville High School's Pioneer Stadium.

General admission tickets will be available at the gate and can be purchased for $5 by calling (870) 307-7525. All Lyon home games will be streamed live on the internet ($7.95) on LyonScots.com and aired free on local radio station KZLE-FM (93.1).

Garett Denton (FR/Batesville, Ark.), a former Pioneer, was the first Lyon player signed to the current 88-player roster prior to last season. He and 72 others began work under the tutelage of Kirk Kelley as he and his staff began building the squad. The Scots went through a year of preparation to get ready for this year's initial season of intercollegiate competition.

"I think last year helped us a lot," said Denton, a tight end on the Lyon squad. "The college game is definitely a bigger, faster game and we're going to find out that on August 29 when we take the field against Tabor. Then we'll have another challenge (on September 5) against (7th-ranked) Lindsey Wilson.

"This is a big step for all of us, but I think all the guys that are here from last year's team and the new guys coming in this fall are going to meet the challenge. It's going to be great to see this team to come out after 50-plus years (without football at the college) and have the community behind us and see what we can do at home against two ranked teams to start the season."

Other Batesville players that will be battling for spots on the Lyon offense include tight end Jonathan Hendrix(FR/Batesville, Ark.), wide receiver Joel Caraway (FR/Batesville, Ark.), offensive linemen Khang Nguyen (FR/Batesville, Ark.), Jeff Fox, and Johnathan Howard (FR/Batesville, Ark.). Another former Pioneer, Osvaldo Espericueta(FR/Batesville, Ark.) (pictured at left), will be the Lyon place kicker, and has a powerful leg.

Other local talent battling for starting spots includes Southside fullback Raymond Gill (FR/Batesville, Ark.) and wide receiver Lucas Branscum (FR/Batesville, Ark.), along with Midland running back Timothy Altom (FR/Midland, Ark.), and Cave City defensive back Cobie Robinson (FR/Cave City, Ark.).

Denton said having last year's redshirt season helped him and the other freshmen get used to college life, not to mention the opportunity to get better prepared for this coming season against seasoned squads.

"I think the academics were the hardest thing to get used to last year," Denton explained. "I came in and knew it was going to be hard, but you really don't know how hard it's going to be, compared to high school, until you endure that first year. I had teammates to look up to and friends that I made the first semester that showed me how to study and where to go to get help when I needed it.

"On the field, it really helped to have that year. A lot of people would like to just go to (college) and play games, but when you're a true freshman playing against juniors and seniors, you have to prepare yourself. I know we all want to win, but you need to prepare yourself for those upper classmen we'll be going up against.

"I've really enjoyed how we've gotten bigger, faster and stronger over the last year and it has helped us get ready for August 29."

Looking at this year's team, Denton said the Scots are going to have some talented players behind them in skill positions. "We've got a lot of talented players here. Mike Bowles (transfer from Arkansas Baptist College) is back from last year. He came here and is really a great runner. James (Davis, from Baton, Rouge, La.) was on the wrestling team last year and is now playing football. He knows what to do in the backfield after playing high school ball, and will help us a lot. And there are seven other guys back there that have done a great job so far."

Denton said his familiarity with Lyon offensive line coach Ryan Morrow will be a big plus. Morrow is also from Batesville.

"Coach Morrow is born and raised in Batesville just like I am and he played tight end just like I do," Denton stated. "He's really bonded with all the offensive linemen. We always know he's got our backs, and whether it's class, something personal, or football, all we have to do is talk to him and he'll help us out."

Hendrix, another redshirt freshman athletically from last year, and a junior academically, said last year's training and college at Lyon was a huge benefit.

"I was a sophomore last year, but it helped to have that year of work last season," Hendrix stated. "It was tough not being able to play a game, but it will help us this season and I'm excited to see where it goes. We've just got to all get on the same page and see what happens.

"I've never really been a part of something that has started from the ground up. We're looking forward to it."

Kelley said he can see a difference in his team from a year ago, even before his players step on the field for their first game.

"You can already feel the difference," Kelley said. "When you do something like we did last year [practice, with no games] it's hard to stay motivated. The players did a good job, but it's a whole different mindset this year, preparing for actual games."

Kelley is looking for the familiarity and bond of the former Batesville players, along with other local talent and players recruited over the past two seasons, to combine to give him some much-needed spark when the inaugural season gets underway next week. That is when the Scots will be tested.


2015 Football Captains Announced

Contributed by admin on Aug 24, 2015 - 11:28 PM
Picture 0 for 2015 Football Captains Announced

HELENA, Mont. – Head Coach Mike Van Diest announced the captains for the 2015 season as voted on by the members of the team after fall camp.

Mac RocheJames DowginRyan ArmstrongGreg Tucker and Shayne Durbin were all named captains.

"I don't think it is a surprise to anyone when you look at the guys who were voted captains," Van Diest said. "I think there are some other guys that would make great captains but there is no doubt in the leadership that these five bring."

In addition Van Diest appoint three senior non-captains to the senior leadership team who, along with the captains, will be involved in matters concerning the players.

Josh JamesKyle Smith and Dylan Simac were named to the group and Van Diest believes they bring a lot to the table.

"All eight of these seniors have grown so much in their time here and I want them to be leaders at their positions," Van Diest said. "With eight guys we have all of the positions covered and these guys can be a voice of their teammates."

The Saints open the Season on Sept. 5, when they host defending national champion Southern Oregon at Nelson Stadium at 1 p.m.


2015 Lyon Football Season Preview

Contributed by admin on Aug 24, 2015 - 11:21 PM
Picture 0 for 2015 Lyon Football Season Preview

2015 SCHEDULE | 2015 ROSTER | 2015 PROSPECTUS
2015 CSFL PRESEASON POLL | 2015 OPPONENTS QUICK FACTS
BATESVILLE, Ark. –
 It's been 64 years since intercollegiate football has been played at Lyon College. The name of the institution was Arkansas College at that time. All the current students and most of the faculty and staff weren't even alive at that time. But it's a new generation, with new anticipation and excitement as the 2015 Scots take to the gridiron this fall.

All Lyon games live audio broadcast on 93.1-FM KZLE Radio, with Mark Lamberth and "Big Daddy" Randy Alan providing the play-by-play and color commentary. Home games will be simulcast by the Scots Digital Network with pay-per-view ($9.95 per game or six games for $49.95) on the LyonScots.com website.

All six home games will be played at Batesville High School's state-of-the-art Pioneer Stadium (capacity 4,000).

Kirk Kelley (pictured at left) welcomed 94 players to training camp this fall, the program's second year of recruiting since the Board of Trustees reinstated the sport in June of 2013. Last year 73 Scots reported and went through a simulated fall season of practices, playing a pair of intra-squad scrimmages. This year will be for real.

"Last year we purposely tried to simulate a season, as far as workouts, because we wanted the players to feel the grind," Kelley stated. "We took a break or two during the fall to keep the players fresh, but we wanted them to get a feel for what a college season would be like – playing week after week for 12 weeks. It's tough."

Kelley said his players are excited about being a part of history at Lyon, as they moved into the college's brand new 22,000 square foot indoor football training center and prepare for the task ahead.

"They know what this means to this school and this community, and they're excited to be a part of history," the coach continued. "They have taken a lot of pride in what they're doing.

"And it's more than just the players, as far as how we got here. Last year we had a make-shift locker room while our training facility was being built. We didn't even have lockers, just a hook on the wall.

"So one of the first things we showed them in our first meeting was that hook, to show them what kind of support they have from this college and the community. Now we have a beautiful football facility, and we're going to start building with that and the hard work these men put in last year to prepare for 2015."

The Scots, fielding 54 true freshmen, 35 red-shirt freshmen, four juniors, and a senior, have a tough road ahead, starting the season at home on August 29 against Tabor College. The Blue Jays have won 17 games over the past two seasons and enter the season ranked 22nd nationally. They will follow that game with a home matchup on September 5 against 7th-ranked Lindsey Wilson. The Blue Raiders have won 18 games in their past two seasons, winning the Eastern Division of the Mid-South Conference last year with a spotless 6-0 mark.

"There's no doubt that our schedule goes against what a lot of start-up programs would do," Kelley explained. "But I don't think you can ever get your program where you want it to be if you don't show them what that example is.

"Is it a tough stretch? Sure it is. I saw Tabor play last year and they put 'men' out there on the field. And Lindsey Wilson put up 91 points against (Belhaven University), so these are two great, great teams. We'll definitely be challenged, but I think our men will respond."

Lyon will be a part of the Central States Football League this fall. The Scots will join Arizona Christian University as first-year full members. The Firestorm started their program a year ago, posting a 2-7 mark as an associate member of the league. Other CSFL teams include 18th-ranked Langston University (Okla.), Bacone College (Okla.), Southwest Assemblies of God University (Texas), Wayland Baptist University (Texas) and Texas College.

Langston won or tied for the league title the past two seasons and is the coaches and sports information directors' choice to claim the title again. The Scots will play the Lions at home on Oct. 31 (2 p.m.).

"We're fortunate to be able to play in a conference our first season," Kelley said. "By being in a conference, it allows our players to have the opportunity to win weekly accolades and also postseason honors. We're excited about the conference and what's ahead."

When Kelley and his staff built the team, they did it at 'home' first, with seven members of the squad (Joel Caraway, Johnathan Howard (FR/Batesville, Ark.),Khang Nguyen (FR/Batesville, Ark.), Jeffrey Fox (FR/Batesville, Ark.),Jonathan Hendrix (FR/Batesville, Ark.), Osvaldo Espericueta (FR/Batesville, Ark.), Garett Denton (FR/Batesville, Ark.) (pictured at right)) graduating from Batesville High School. Two more players (Raymond Gill (FR/Batesville, Ark.),Lucas Branscum (FR/Batesville, Ark.)) came from nearby Southside High School, and one each from Cave City (Cobie Robinson (FR/Cave City, Ark.)) Midland High School (Timothy Altom (FR/Midland, Ark.)).

Forty-three players on this year's team are Arkansas graduates, with 19 coming from Texas, 11 from Florida and 10 from Missouri.

Lyon brought back nearly half of this year's squad from a year ago. Kelley said although it will be a difference scenario this year, the players understand what the challenges are and have a different mindset.

"You can already feel the difference (from last year to this year)," Kelley said during the first week of practice. "When you go through a 'season' like we did last year it's hard to stay motivated. The players did a good job, but it's a whole different mindset this year and they'll get rewarded for their hard work each week with that game on Saturdays."

Kelley said, like last year, that starting spots are wide open on the squad. But he feels his team has the numbers to get a true gauge this season, as players battle for starting spots, not only in training camp, but during the season, as well.

"Number-wise, we're almost identical to last year," the coach noted. "We're a bit heavier (in numbers) defensively than we were last year, but we also have several transfers that will also help the freshmen and the other players coming back.

"I think the players that hung tough through our first fall in 2014 are reaping the rewards of becoming stronger, bigger and having a tighter bond between them. They can see the benefits and they're the nucleus of our team right now. They're leading the freshmen coming in to help make us a better team."

Kelley said he drew up a plan when he was hired as head coach in July 2013 and so far he likes the progress the program has made.

"When I first got here I drew up a plan. I have a diary and I like to map things out," Kelley explained. "A lot of things I thought we'd have in place and where we'd be at this point have gone pretty much as planned, so I feel good about that.

"But we still haven't been tested, and we still haven't played against juniors and seniors from another college, so that test is yet to come."

Regardless, the Scots are making history in 2015, with this year's squad setting the pace for Lyon squads in the future.


Positional Preview - Quarterbacks

Contributed by admin on Aug 18, 2015 - 10:14 PM
Picture 0 for Positional Preview - Quarterbacks

The sixth of a nine-part College of Idaho 2015 football team preview, focusing today on the Coyote quarterbacks.
 
Heading into last season, the Yotes were excited about having a junior college quarterback directing the offense.  What they didn't know was that Teejay Gordon would break school records for rushing yards by a quarterback and set marks for completions, attempts and passing yards for a season.
 

Gordon recorded four 100-yard rushing games in C of I's first five contests and finished the year with a team-best 857 yards – tying a 1948 school record with 15 rushing touchdowns.  He added 1,728 yards through the air, completing 57-percent of his throws.
 
"We've tried to tweak things and add new wrinkles and expand things here and there," offensive coordinator Tim Keane said. "Teejay has done an outstanding job and was here all summer working and throwing.  He is poised to have a big senior year."
 
With last season's top back-up quarterback Jake Hennessey moving to the defensive side of the ball, it has opened things up for newcomer J.J. Hyde and redshirt freshman A.J. Martin.
 
Hyde spent his freshman season at the University of Utah before stepping away from the game for his LDS mission.  His 6-2, 230 pound frame provides a change of pace to the athleticism of Gordon, with Hyde a two-time 5A All-Southern Idaho Conference pick.
 
Martin got a year of tutelage in the system and had an outstanding spring.  As a senior at Idaho Falls High, he passed for over 3,200 yards and 32 touchdowns.
 
"The fun thing about all of our quarterbacks is that they are competitors," Keane said. "They love to compete.  It's really fun to watch these guys work hard and make each other better."
 
Redshirt freshman Tyler Cox also has a year in the system and a feel for the offense, while true freshman Drake Kuykendall of Orofino is coming off an outstanding final prep season.
 
The Coyotes will host an intrasquad game on Thursday afternoon at 2 p.m. in preparation for the season opener, Aug. 29, vs. Eastern Oregon.

« 1 2 3 4 5 6 »