A Page -- Aug. 5, 2011


By Bret Billhardt 

WESTLAKE -- Wittenberg University emerged as the preseason favorite in balloting by North Coast Athletic Conference football coaches for the 28th Annual Preseason Football Poll.

The Tigers, who collected their second-straight NCAC crown in 2010, collected four of nine first-place votes from the coaches to total 74 points. Last season's runner-up, Wabash, also earned four first-place votes, but finished just below Wittenberg in the poll with 73 total points.

Wooster, which last won the conference title in 2004, accumulated the final first-place vote and finished third in the balloting with 66 points, while Allegheny (56) and Denison (37) earned the fourth and fifth spots, respectively. Ohio Wesleyan (34), Oberlin (32), Hiram (19) and Kenyon (14) rounded out the bottom four slots in the poll.

DePauw University, which posted a 9-2 record in 2010, will not officially join the NCAC as a football playing member until the 2012 season; however, the Tigers will get their first taste of NCAC competition this season as they will take on Allegheny, Ohio Wesleyan and Wabash (Monon Bell Game) in non-conference contests.

Coach Fincham

Wittenberg is entering its 16th season under the leadership of head coach Joe Fincham. Fincham holds an overall record of 136-31 at Wittenberg, including a mark of 91-14 in North Coast Athletic Conference games. 

The Tigers, who were eliminated from the 2010 NCAA Playoffs by Ohio Athletic Conference member Ohio Northern, 37-14, are led by the reigning NCAC Offensive Player of the Year Ben Zoeller (Louisville, KY/St. Xavier). Zoeller, a quarterback, led the conference in passing yardage (272.5 per game), passing touchdowns (25), pass efficiency (161.6) and total offense (272.9).

The 2011 season opens on Thursday, September 1 with Wooster hosting Baldwin-Wallace at 7:00 PM. NCAC play begins Saturday, Sept. 10.

1. Wittenberg (4) 74

2. Wabash (4) 73

3. Wooster (1)  66

4. Allegheny         56

5. Denison         37

6. Ohio Wesleyan 34

7. Oberlin         32

8. Hiram         19

9. Kenyon         14


Spartan Women’s Hoops Set for Tour of Italy and Belgium

CLEVELAND (U DISTRICT) – The Case Western Reserve University women's basketball program will embark on a 12-day trip through Italy and Belgium from August 12-23 and will enjoy some of the world's most historic sites while having the opportunity to train and compete in several international friendly games.

"We will have the awesome opportunity to play against top club teams, practice in a new environment and bask in different cultures," said fifth-year head coach Jennifer Reimer. "We have seen tremendous growth with our women's basketball program during the past four years. This experience will not only help us prepare for the season ahead, but it will bring us closer together as a team."

The Spartans arrive in Milan on Aug. 13 and will make stops in Lake Como, Bellagio and Venice. Amongst the many highlights of the team's four days in Italy will be a viewing of The Last Supper at the Church of the Santa Maria della Grazie, a tour of the Duomo – the world's third largest Gothic structure – and a visit to Venice's San Marco Island and the Canals with Gondola.

The team heads for Brussels on Aug. 17 and will play the first of its seven exhibition games versus Saarlouis Royals -- a German Bundesliga team. The Spartans also play BBC Jeugd Gentsen on Aug. 18 before entering the Gent Tournament on Aug. 20-21 for games three through seven. Each of those contests will be played at eight minutes per quarter.

While in the Belgium, the team will also have the opportunity to experience the city of Bruges on the North Sea and visit Atomium, Nato and Mannequin Pis and Don Quixote Statues.

"I believe this trip will be one of the biggest highlights of our players' careers," noted Reimer. "My hope is the experience will be one our players never forget; not just playing the games, but the people we'll meet, places we'll go and experiences that we'll all have together. This a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for many members of our program, and to get to experience it with teammates and best friends makes it that much more special."

Follow the Spartans in Italy and Belgium on the TEAM BLOG<http://casewbb.blogspot.com/> and FACEBOOK PAGE<https://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/pages/Case-Western-Reserve-University-Womens-Basketball/125566755987>.

Gilmour Academy has several coaching openings 

Gilmour Academy has the following head coaching positions available:
Middle School volleyball
Middle School coed soccer
Middle School boys basketball
Middle School girls basketball
Freshmen boys basketball
Varsity boys lacrosse
Varsity girls lacrosse
Interested applicants should send a resume to athletic director Kristy Booher at booherk@gilmour.org