A Page -- Sept. 2, 2011

Connor Klekota

University of Notre Dame-bound Connor Klekota turns hat trick as Amherst blanks Berea

Connor Klekota, who will be playing for and studying at South Bend’s Notre Dame next fall, registered a hat trick Wednesday night to lead Amherst boys soccer to a 5-0 Southwestern Conference win over Berea.

Also scoring goals for the Comets were Garrett Klekota and Casey Reed.

Amherst Steele overcame a sluggish first half to oust the Berea Braves.


Connor Klekota’s hat trick accounted for six of the seven points he scored on the evening as he and added an

assist in the second half, leading a late offensive barrage.

The Comets, who are now tied for first place in the SWC. Maximo Meggitt and Niko Malobabic combined

in goal to keep the Braves off the scoreboard and Eric Armstrong led a strong defensive effort for Amherst. Amherst is now 3-1 overall and
2-0 in the conference. The Comets take on Avon Lake next Wednesday.

Amherst Steele 5, Berea 0

Goals: Connor Klekota (3), Garrett Klekota, Casey Reed
Assists: Connor Klekota, Garrett Klekota, Mark Ferber
Saves: Amherst - Maximo Meggitt 1, Niko Malobabic 1
Saves: Berea - Shane Bartek 10
Shots on goal: Amherst 15, Berea 2
Records: Amherst - 3-1 (2-0 in the SWC), Berea 1-3 (0-2 in the SWC)

Blue Streaks B move to 8-1 with win over Chagrin

Magnificat’s varsity B tennis team was a 4-1 winner over Chagrin Wednesday.

The Blue Streaks swept the singles matches with Miranda Manimbo, Abby Lawless, Sophie Wood, winning in straight sets in first, second and third singles, respectively. 

Magnificat Varsity B (4) def. Chagrin Falls (1)

Magnificat Varsity B season record: 8 and 1
Singles: 1. Miranda Manimbo (M) d. Virginia Turner (C) 6-3, 6-42. Abby Lawless (M) d. Casey Lower (C) 7-6, 2-6, 6-3Doubles: Anna Benson/Emily Morgan (C) d. Rachelle Abdelnori/Sarah Oskowski (N) 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 2. Nora Hudec/Deeya Basu (M) d. Jen Andrews/Libby Williams (C) 6-2, 6-1 3. Sophie Wood (M) d. Lauren Mahoney (C) 6-1, 6-0


MAC Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Preseason Polls Announced

CLEVELAND (Public Square) – The Mid-American Conference (MAC) office announced the 2011 Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Preseason Polls on Wednesday afternoon

The Ohio women were slated to finish fifth in the 12-team conference, while men’s squad was selected to finish seventh. Toledo topped the women’s poll and was the predicted team champion. Eastern Michigan is the preseason favorite on the men’s side to win the team title.
Clearview alumna Brianna Shaw, XC S/A at OU

Both Bobcat squads are slated to begin the 2011 season at the Marietta College Carl Broughton Invite on Saturday, Sept. 10. Additionally, Ohio will host its lone home meet of the fall on Sept. 24, when it holds the Ohio Invitational.

 

2011 MAC Women’s Cross Country Preseason Poll

1. Toledo

2. Miami

3. Central Michigan

4. Eastern Michigan

5. Ohio

6. Akron

7. Western Michigan

8. Kent State

9. Buffalo

10. Bowling Green

11. Ball State

12. Northern Illinois

Predicted Team Champion: Toledo

 

2011 MAC Men’s Cross Country Preseason Poll

1. Eastern Michigan

2. Akron

3. Kent State

4. Miami

5. Buffalo

6. Central Michigan

7. Ohio

8. Toledo

9. Bowling Green

Predicted Team Champion: Eastern Michigan

For the latest on Ohio University’s 16 Division I varsity sports, log on to OhioBobcats.com

Ohio's best? Mount Union's Kehres stands among college football's coaching giants


ALLIANCE, Ohio (STATS) - The winningest coach in college football history didn't wear a houndstooth hat, rest a pair of Coke bottle glasses on his nose or turn a former school for white women into the preeminent Division I program of the 1990s.


He is born and bred in Ohio, but never moved on to NormanGainesvilleBaton Rouge or Columbus.

Quite the opposite, in fact. Larry Kehres has spent almost his entire life within a 20-mile radius of eastern Ohio, a marathon's jog from the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton. He hasn't strayed far from the tiny liberal arts school which he helped put on the map by turning into a Division III powerhouse.

And that's just fine with him.


"I'm not one bit flashy," Kehres says. "People who meet me often say, 'I thought you'd be a bit more exciting.' I'm here to prepare for the task at hand. I think the coaches and guys who play for me understand that."

Kehres is the head coach at the University of Mount Union, a Methodist school which, for its first 164 years, was simply known as Mount Union College. In August 2010 it received a status upgrade from its trustees to reflect a growing enrollment, currently at 2,200, which is nearly double where it was in the early '90s.



Back then, few had heard of the Alliance institution. But that was before Kehres turned the program into the most dominant college football has seen since - at any level.


The list of accomplishments is staggering: 303 wins, including 10 national championships; two winning streaks that total 109 games - at 55 and 54, they're the longest unbeaten stretches in NCAA football history - and, perhaps most impressively, a winning percentage of .926 that dwarfs the numbers of legends like Bear Bryant, Joe Paterno and Bobby Bowden - the latter of whom ushered in an era of football dominance just 30 years after his school was known as the Florida State College for Women.


In a quarter of a century as head coach, Kehres has lost eight conference games. And just like every other D-III program, he does it without the benefit of athletic scholarships.


The Purple Raiders have a semifinal streak that even Roger Federer could appreciate. Mount Union has been one of the final four teams alive in Division III every season since 1995, and in 13 of the past 15 seasons it has at least participated in the national championship game.


Kehres grew up in the tiny community of Diamond just up the road from Alliance, but his future profession hardly made him unique in the state he calls home. Ohio has spawned a who's-who list of the biggest names in coaching, from Woody Hayes, Bo Schembechler and Ara Parseghian to Bob Stoops, Les Miles and the currently-on-hiatus Urban Meyer and Jim Tressel.


But Kehres' accomplishments are on par with them all. When the "other" big-name program in Ohio fired Tressel in July, Kehres' name was thrown around as a potential replacement given his similar in-state, small-school pedigree of success. When Notre Dame was looking for a new coach, NCAA all-time wins leader John 


Gagliardi suggested the Fighting Irish hire him.


Kent State tried to take him in 1998, and Kehres declined. Ditto for Princeton. Aside from a three-year period shortly after he graduated from Mount Union in 1970 - he was the quarterback, of course - Kehres hasn't gone anywhere.


"As my career unfolded, I saw the salaries. No doubt the financial rewards are much greater," said Kehres, whose sophomore roommate was Super Bowl-winning Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers. "The risks are much higher too, though, and maybe I wasn't a great risk taker.

"I was never doing what I did so I could put great stats together to get a better job. That wasn't what it was about."


Kehres, who turns 62 on Sept. 7 - three days before his team's opener against Wisconsin-Oshkosh - is 21 wins away from surpassing Bryant for fifth place on the NCAA's all-time victory list, a milestone he should reach late in 2012. At that point, the only names above him will be Bowden, Paterno, Eddie Robinson and Gagliardi.


None of those coaches, though, called it quits before age 78, and Gagliardi and Paterno - 84 apiece - are still going.


But don't expect Kehres to still be roaming the sidelines when he's an octogenarian.


"I certainly won't coach until I'm Joe's age," Kehres said.


As his legacy has built, so has the talent he attracts. Pierre Garcon, now a household name among NFL fans, was the first Mount Union player drafted when Indianapolis took him in the sixth round in 2008. Garcon credits the big-game experience that came with Kehres' consistent success for preparing him for Sundays.


"Those games made it a lot easier to get used to that atmosphere," said Garcon, who has a pair of 100-yard receiving efforts in four career playoff games and caught a touchdown pass in Super Bowl XLIV - a game Kehres attended. "Any time you're playing for something significant, it makes it a lot easier at the next level."

So does having a college coach who you admire and respect.


"He'll be at the next Super Bowl I play in," Garcon added.


That Super Bowl was the most recent of the five that have taken place in what's now Miami's Sun Life Stadium, though it bore the name Joe Robbie when the NFL first played its biggest game there: Super Bowl XXIII, the last of three that Bill Walsh won as head coach of the San Francisco 49ers.

Kehres, who took over at Mount Union in 1986 after spending 11 years as offensive coordinator, was certainly paying attention to Walsh during the architect of the West Coast offense's reign. He was so enamored by 


Walsh's coaching style that he taped 49ers games on his VCR and pored over the details, looking for ways to refine his own offense.


When he could, Kehres also made sure to attend any coaching clinic Walsh was part of.


"He would look for flashes of excellence," Kehres said. "He felt like, as a good coach, if a player could do something well a few times, he could get you to do it more consistently. Anything he said, I listened to or read."


Kehres put those lessons to use with many players, including Cecil Shorts, who came to Mount Union in 2006 after getting shunned by Division I schools despite an illustrious high school career as a quarterback. Kehres promised Shorts he'd keep him under center, but moved him to receiver late in the 2007 season in an effort to get him on the field and away from a backup role behind the talented Greg Micheli.

Shorts wasn't happy with the move at the time, but thought it would be temporary. Instead, the Colts drafted 


Garcon the following spring and Shorts embraced the role. Three years later, his 63 career touchdown receptions are the second-most in D-III history.

In April, Jacksonville made Shorts one of the earliest D-III players ever drafted - two rounds higher than Garcon, in the fourth. He's shined thus far in the preseason, and has a chance to be one of the Jaguars' top two receivers.


"I love the man," Shorts said of Kehres. "(Mount Union) stuck with me, made me want to work hard and become the player I am."

When it's finally time to go, Kehres will have a vested interest in his successor. His defensive coordinator - and potential heir apparent - is son Vince, a defensive end at Mount Union in the mid-1990s.

Vince heads into his seventh season as the leader of the Purple Raiders' defense, but, like his father, he's wanted elsewhere. He interviewed for a few head coaching jobs in the offseason and turned down another high-profile D-III position, preferring to stay - for now - where he's most comfortable.


"I'm in a great situation, I'm at a place that I love and I get the opportunity to coach with my dad," he said. "A lot of guys would love to have that opportunity. ... This is the best place for me."

While the younger Kehres was off being wooed over the summer, Larry took a trip to Austria, where he was the United States' offensive coordinator in the International Federation of America Football's World Championships.

The U.S. averaged 44 points in cruising to the gold medal. Former Purple Raider running back Nate Kmic, fittingly, was the tournament's MVP.


Now, it's back to Alliance, where Mount Union is the consensus favorite to win the Ohio Athletic Conference, just like it's done every year since 1992. There's a great chance the Purple Raiders will end up in the national championship game again playing Wisconsin-Whitewater, the same team they've met in the Stagg Bowl each of the past six seasons - splitting those titles.


Whitewater, however, has won the last two, giving Mount Union the rare chance to have someone to chase.

If it gets there, it won't be hard to see why.


"We might be playing someone who's 0-8, but with the sense of urgency he's created, you'd think we were playing the national championship game," Vince says of his father. "Everyone knows the expectations here. We don't have to talk about them very much."


"If you strive for perfection, it doesn't matter who the opponent is. You're playing against yourself."

With what Kehres has built, no one else measures up.

Story by STATS, Inc.



RedHawks ranked eighth in Great Lakes Region poll

 

 

CLEVELAND  Public Square) – Having placed no worse than third at any of the last four Mid-American Conference Championships, including a pair of titles, the Miami University women’s cross country team is once again expected to be a contender in 2011, as the RedHawks were tabbed second in the MAC Preseason Coaches’ Poll, which was released Wednesday.

 

Toledo, the defending MAC champions, was picked to repeat as MAC champions at the 2011 MAC Championship, which will be held Saturday, Oct. 29 in Muncie, Ind. The Rockets return nearly their entire team from last year’s squad that also qualified for the NCAA Championships and placed 28th, including two-time individual MAC champion Ari Fisher.

 

Coming in third in the poll behind Miami was Central Michigan, who edged the RedHawks for second place at the 2010 MAC Championship when Miami took third. The Chippewas were followed by Eastern Michigan in fourth and Ohio in fifth, as the two finished in reverse order at last year’s MAC meet. Akron was picked sixth in the poll, followed by Western Michigan in seventh, also swapping spots from last year’s finish.

 

Kent State was tabbed eighth in the preseason poll, followed by Buffalo and Bowling Green in ninth and 10th, respectively. Host Ball State was predicted to finish 11th while Northern Illinois rounded out the preseason poll in 12th.

 

The RedHawks are also ranked in the 2011 preseason USTFCCCA Great Lakes Region Poll, which was announced Monday, coming in at No. 8. The Rockets are ranked second in the regional poll behind Michigan while Central Michigan is just in front of Miami at No. 7. Michigan State, Indiana and Ohio State round out the top five in the regional poll, respectively. The only other MAC schools ranked in the Great Lakes Region poll (top 15) are Ohio at No. 12 and Eastern Michigan at No. 13.

Madison's Jillian Dickman

 

Despite the departure of NCAA Championship qualifier Rachel Patterson, Miami returns three of its top five finishers from the 2010 MAC Championship in seniors Maggie Bingham (Carmel, Ind.), Kelley Miller (Dublin, Ohio) and Jillian Dickman (Madison, Ohio) as Bingham and Miller were both Second-Team All-MAC performers. Sophomore Kate Carter (Ann Arbor, Mich.) also returns after finishing as Miami’s sixth runner in her first MAC meet.

Magnificat alumna Erin Riley

 

The RedHawks open the 2011 season Saturday, Sept. 3 at the Dayton Flyer 5K Challenge, although several of Miami’s top runners are expected to sit out the meet and run the following week at home in the Miami Open. 




Westlake wins battle of ’10 district champ versus ’10 SWC champ against Avon Lake

In a showdown between last year's girls soccer Southwestern Conference champion, Avon Lake, and last year's

District champion, Westlake, the Demons came out with a purpose and scored
twice in the first 8 minutes on the way to a 5-0 victory.

With 2 minutesgone in the game, Lauren Wichman won a ball in the midfield and pierced the Shoregal defense for an early tally.  Six minutes later, Sarah Stroh gathered a loose ball in front of the Avon Lake net and struck for the Demons second goal. 

Westlake also added another goal before halftime in the 36th minute from a corner kick by Jenna Tabbaa that was deflected by AL

goalie Dana Strimbu into the back of a teammate and resulted in an owngoal.

The scoring barrage continued in the second half as Melanie Finucan scored on a goal in front of the Avon Lake net assisted by Lauren Wichman and Rachel Evans scored off a nicely hit cross by Lauren Hurst.  The Demons smothering defense held the Shoregals to only 3 shots on goal which were all saved by Alexis Carpenter.

 

Lauren Hurst

Dana Strimbu was in goal for Avon Lake and recorded 3 saves.  With the win, Westlake moves to 2-1-1 while the

Shoregals suffer their first defeat of the season and fall to 1-1-1.

Girls Soccer

Avon Lake vs. Westlake

Game Date:    Wednesday August 31, 2011
Final Score:
Avon Lake (AL) - 0        Westlake (W) - 5
Records:
AL    1-1-1            W    2-1-1
Goals:
AL    Own Goal        W    Lauren Wichman, Sarah Stroh, Melanie Finucan,
Rachel Evans
Assists:
AL    None            W    Lauren Wichman, Lauren Hurst
Shots on Goal:
AL    3            W    7
Saves:
AL    Dana Strimbu - 3
W    Alexis Carpenter  - 3
Shots:
AL    5            W    14
Corner Kicks:
AL    0            W    1
Offsides:
AL    0            W    2
Fouls:
AL    5            W    8
Yelllow Card:    AL:  Lukstein      W
Halftime:
AL    0            W    3

Avon tames Jaguars

Avon girls’ tennis was a 5-0 winner Avon 5, Saint Joseph Academy 0

Singles:  Mostardi d. Wagner 6-0, 6-0; Schwartz d. Powers 6-0, 6-2; Rini d. Drapac 1-6, 7-6 (7-4), 6-0.
Doubles:  Monroe/Mentler d. Violand/Kahl 6-2, 6-4; Cirilo/DeLuca d. Saracina/Paponetti 6-2, 6-2.

Lake Erie College Opens 2011 Football Season Thursday Night at Home Against Gannon
 
Gannon University (6-5 in 2010) at Lake Erie College (3-8 in 2010)
When: Thursday, Sept. 1, 2011
Kickoff: 7:05 p.m.
Venue: Jack Britt Memorial Stadium in Painesville, Ohio (3,000 capacity/ProGrass Mondoturf surface)
Radio: ESPN 970 WFUN (Gary Richards, play-by-play; Mark Richards, analyst)
Series history: Gannon leads 3-0
Coaches: Mark McNellie is in his fifth year (fourth varsity season) at Lake Erie and is 13-20 in his first three varsity seasons. Gannon's Jim Kiernan is 17-27 in his fifth year.
 
QUICK NOTES: The Lake Erie College football team opens its fourth varsity season the same as it has the last three, with a Thursday night nonconference game against regional rival Gannon University... the Storm is 0-3 all-time against the Golden Knights, but the three games have been decided by a total of just nine points (24-22 in 2008, 35-34 in 2009 and 26-20 in 2010)... this is the second meeting in Painesville, first since 2008... Lake Erie dropped its first seven a year ago before rebounding by winning three-of-its last four to finish at 3-8 overall, 3-7 in its first year in the GLIAC... Gannon, from the PSAC, has posted back-to-back 6-5 seasons... the Storm returns 48 veterans, including 11 defensive starters, 14 offensive starters and both kickers.

CSU Soccer to host to MAC FOES in Krenzler

Cleveland State returns to action for two matches this weekend at Krenzler Field, beginning with a 7:00 p.m. contest against Bowling Green on Friday (Sept. 2). The Vikings will then host Ohio on Sunday (Sept. 4) at 1:00 p.m. CSU enters the weekend with a 2-1 record, having won two straight games after dropping the season opener. The Vikings were last in action on Wednesday (Aug. 24) when CSU twice rallied from one goal deficits to earn a 3-2 win. Bowling Green is 0-3 overall, including losses to Horizon League foes Loyola and Detroit, while Ohio is 1-2 with its lone win over Pittsburgh and setbacks to Wright State and Kentucky.

REVIEWING LAST WEEK: The Vikings were in action just one time last week. Here is a brief recap of the match:

Match #3: CSU 3, Robert Morris 2 (Aug. 24, Moon Township, Pa.) 
Cleveland State rallied from two one goal deficits to defeat Robert Morris, 3-2. RMU scored first just 12 minutes in, but Taylor Vidovic scored two minutes later to even the score. It stayed that way for eight minutes before another RMU goal made it 2-1. Valerie Stahl scored just before halftime to tie things at 2-2 and Samantha Salamon netter the game-winner in the 80th minute.

Samantha Salamon

Walsh Jesuit alumna Sam Salamon

2011 SEASON PREVIEW: Coming off the best season in school history, eighth-year head coach Derrek Falor has high expectations for this year's squad. Falor will blend six returning starters and 13 letterwinners with 12 freshmen and three transfers to form this year's team. Headlining the returners is senior Natalie Daniels (2 a, 2 pts) who will once again anchor the midfield. She will be joined in the central midfield by junior Jaime Avona (1 g, 2 pts) with Shea Levi and Jess Bound on the outside. Senior Samantha Salamon (1 g, 2 pts), sophomore Taylor Miller and freshman Kelcey Fischer (1 a, 1 pt) will all fight for time in the midfield. The defense is once again strong with the return of second team all-league junior Valerie Stahl (2 g, 1 a, 5 pts) and sophomore Frederike Dubeau (1 a, 1 pt), who was an all-newcomer team pick last year, manning the middle of the defense. Senior Marina Taylor, junior Carla Ragone and freshman Sarah Zawie add depth to the defense. Up front, Falor will rely on the duo of sophomore Taylor Vidovic (1 g, 2 pts), senior transfer Nancy Newcomer and freshman Lynsay Strahorn (2 g, 4 pts) to provide an offensive burst. SeniorBecky Williams, a transfer from Ohio Dominican, will step in as the starting goalkeeper after the Vikings lost freshman Sarah Wood to a season-ending knee injury.

Sarah Wood, out for the year

GOALS, GOALS, AND MORE GOALS: Through three matches, the Vikings are scoring goals at a record pace with seven tallies. It is the second most goals by a CSU team through three games, topped only by the eight tallies in both 2006 and 2010. The 2006 numbers are a bit skewed as the Vikings blasted Delaware State for six goals in the opener. Last year, CSU scored three goals in wins over Marshall and Gannon and two more in a tie with Kent State to open the season.

WHO'S IN GOAL?: That's the question head coach Derrek Falor and his staff have faced during the early part of the season. Freshman Sarah Wood earned the starting role in the preseason but was lost for the season with a knee injury in the win over Duquesne (Aug. 21). Freshman Abby Crotteau took over for Wood and earned the win at Robert Morris (Aug. 24). When CSU takes the field this weekend, it is possible the Vikings will have their third starting goalkeeper of the year in senior Becky Williams, a transfer from Ohio Dominican.

GOOD START FOR STRAHORN: Freshman Lynsay Strahorn wasted little time in adjusting to the collegiate game. The Dayton, Ohio, native came into CSU's first two matches as a substitute both times, but made her presence felt with a goal in each match. She scored her first career goal in the 35th minute at Kent State to give the Vikings a 2-1 lead. In the Aug. 21 win over Duquesne, Strahorn scored in the 49th minute to tie the match at 1-1. Her two goals are tied for tops on the team.

IT'S STAHL GOOD: Junior Valerie Stahl is quickly making a name for herself this season, but in a different way. Known around the circuits as a top notch defender - she was a second team all-league pick last year - Stahl leads the team in points (5) and is tied for the team lead with two goals.

DANIELS LIKES RECORDS: With her two assists through threegames, senior Natalie Daniels continued to add to her CSU career records. She is the all-time leader in goals (16), assists (15) and points (46).

... AND SETS TWO MORE RECORDS: With her eight shots, including four on goal, last week, Natalie Daniels broke two more CSU career records. She now has 126 career shots, breaking Jennifer Wieand's old mark of 120 shots. In addition, Daniels' 81 shots on goal have tied her with Wieand for the most in progarm history.

VIKINGS TABBED FIFTH IN PRESEASON POLL: Cleveland State was picked to finish fifth of nine teams in the 2011 Horizon League Preseason poll that was announced on Aug. 5. Three-time defending league champion Milwaukee topped the poll with seven first place votes and 63 points. Butler was second with 52 points, while Wright State was third with 49 points and Detroit fourth with 41 points. Both WSU and UDM each received one first place vote. The Vikings were fifth with 38 points and were followed by Loyola (31), Valparaiso (24), Green Bay (18) and Youngstown State (8).

MAKING IT COUNT: Senior Samantha Salamon made her second career goal count, scoring the game-winner in the 3-2 win over Robert Morris on Aug. 24. Salamon, who played just 20 minutes in the win, scored her first career goal in a 3-1 win over Butler on Oct. 16, 2009.

THE DEFENSE DOES NOT REST: The strength of the Vikings this year could be the backline where CSU returns three starters, including two all-league players, who helped the squad set a school record for fewest goals allowed in a season (25). Headlining the list of returnees is junior Valerie Stahl, a second team all-league pick last year, and sophomore Frederike Dubeau, who was named to the all-newcomer team. Senior Marina Taylor is also back, having started 38 of the 43 career matches she has played in, while junior Carla Ragone also returns after playing 14 matches with eight starts last year.

LIVE ONLINE: This weekend's two matches will be the second and third of eight women's soccer matches that are scheduled to be video streamed live online via the Horizon League Network and CSUVikings.com. Due to a conflict, the Sept. 30 match against Loyola is the only home match that will not be streamed.

NEXT UP: CSU heads out west for two matches next weekend, playing at Wyoming on Friday (Sept. 9) and at Air Force on Sunday (Sept. 11).

DAYTON OPENS 2011 SEASON AT NEC DEFENDING CHAMP ROBERT MORRIS: FLYERS FLING INTO 104th SEASON
The 104th season of University of Dayton football begins Saturday when the Flyers travel to Robert Morris to take on the Colonials. Game time at Joe Walton Stadium is 12:00 p.m. ET.

The Flyers return 11 starters (four offense, six defense, and one specialist) from a team that won a share of the 2010 Pioneer Football League title with a record of 10-1 and was ranked 25th nationally.

Head Coach Rick Chamberlin is back for his fourth season at the helm for the Flyers. He has guided UD football to a career record of 28-6. Chamberlin led the Flyers to a 9-3 record in 2008, 9-2 in 2009, and 10-1 last season. That’s the best three year start in program history.

The biggest off-season decision facing the UD coaching staff was who was to replace two-time Pioneer Football League Offensive Player of the Year, Steve Valentino, at quarterback. Redshirt Freshman Will Bardo will take over under center in hopes of guiding the Flyers to their third straight Pioneer Football League title and fourth in the last five seasons.

Among the Flyers’ 11 returning starters is senior defensive end Devon Langhorst. Langhorst was a member of the 2010 Third Team Associated Press Championship Subdivision All-American team and was First Team All-Pioneer Football League. He ranked second nationally in sacks with 14 and was second on the team in tackles with 77. Langhorst has been nationally recognized as a Preseason Third Team All-American by College Sporting News and Preseason Honorable Mention All-American by JB Scouting.

Two other Flyer football players received preseason honors. Kick returner Gary Hunter and punt returner Tyler Hujik were named to the College Football Preseason Awards watch list. Hunter led the conference with 28.2 yards per kick return with one return touchdown. Hujik ranked third in the conference among punt returners with an average of 13.1 yards per return.

GOOD NEWS WORTH REPEATING
The Flyers enter the 2011 season with the second- best winning percentage (.792, 97-24) in FCS football since 2000 AND the most football Academic All-Americans (21) at any level of competition in this century.
SCOUTING THE COLONIALS                        
Robert Morris finished the 2010 campaign with an 8-3 record and returns nine starters including First Team All-NEC Conference quarterback Jeff Sinclair. Sinclair tied a Robert Morris record last season with 22 touchdown passes. Sinclair enters the 2011 season with a career starting record of 13-5.

The Colonials have five players named to the Northeast Conference Preseason team. Sinclair is joined on that team by senior tight end Shadrae King, senior offensive lineman Logan Miles, junior defensive lineman Nolan Nearhoof and senior return specialist Anthony Coleman. King enters the 2011 season needing just 19 receptions and six touchdown receptions from establishing a new school record. King was also named to the 2011 FSC Preseason All-America Second Team by both The Sports Network/Fathead.com and Phil Steele. Last season he finished with 43 catches for 531 yards and seven touchdowns.

The Northeast Conference coached tabbed Robert Morris to finish third in 2011 preseason poll. Robert Morris shared the 2010 Northeast title with Central Connecticut State and represented the NEC in the FCS playoffs.

SERIES STUFF
UD leads the series with RMU 11-2, and has won the last eight meetings. The Flyers won last year’s season opener between both teams 28-14. UD led 21-0 at the half, but Robert Morris closed the gap to 21-14. RMU’s Michael Landers intercepted a Steve Valentino pass attempt near midfield and attempted to run it back to the house to knot up the game at 21. Valentino ran him down, stripped the ball and Flyer receiver Tyler Hujik recovered the fumble at the UD 19. UD then drove 81 yards in 10 plays to score a TD to secure the game. Over the last seven-and-a-half minutes, the UD defense allowed just three first downs, and two of them were by penalty.
THE EYES OF THE NATION                           
After finishing a season nationally ranked (25th in both the Sports Network and AFCA polls) for the first time in school history as a Division I team, UD received 21 votes (48th) in the preseason Sports Network /FCS Poll.
STREAKING                                                                    
UD has not been shut out in a school-record 386 straight games, the best such active string in all of college football. The last team to shut out the Flyers was Marshall, 9-0, on Oct. 16, 1976.  That is also the all-time FCS record.  UD brings a nine-game winning streak into the season that is the second-best active streak in FCS football.  National champion Eastern Washington has won its last 11 games.  Fellow PFL member Jacksonville also has a nine-game winning streak.
THE MAN AT THE TOP                                                                
 Head coach Rick Chamberlin has guided UD to 28 wins in his first three seasons, going 9-3 in 2008, 9-2 in 2009 and 10-1 last year. That’s the best three-year start by any Flyer football coach. Dayton has won a share of PFL championships in two of his three years, and missed the third by just five points at Jacksonville in the final game of 2008 season.
MORE THAN HIS FAIR SHARE
Rick Chamberlin has been a part of 322 of UD’s 622 wins – 26 as a player, 268 as an assistant coach, and 28 as a head coach.
PEER PRESSURE
Rick Chamberlin’s career .824 (28-6) winning percentage is the best among PFL coaches.  Drake’s Chris Creighton is next among the league’s coaches (.763, 116-36).
LEADING FROM THE FRONT                                                                    
You will find the Flyers’ 2011 captains in the trenches.  Defensive end Devon Langhorst and offensive tackle Dan Prindle are UD’s co-captains this season.  Both are redshirt seniors and members of three PFL title teams in their careers. 
Rocky River native Sean Belanger
LONG TIME STARTERS                                                                
Eight Dayton players enter the 2011 with double-digit starts under their belts.  Justin Griffis leads with 22 (although all 22 are at center and he is now a guard).  Right behind is Dan Prindle with 21.  Brian Mack has 17, Zach Weber 12, and Tyler Hujik, Devon Langhorst, Matt Pfleger and Kyle Sebetic each have 11.

Twelve Flyers are projected to be starting for the first time on Saturday.  They are QB Will Bardo, RB Taylor Harris, WR Jordan Boykin, FL Branden Johnson, OT Tom Corcoran, C Bill Petraiuolo, DT Phil DeBoer, DE Anthony Sadler, LB Sean Belanger, and Flyer Andre Crawford.  As redshirt freshmen, Bardo and Johnson will also be seeing their first Flyer action.                                              

Redshirt freshman Will Bardo takes over at quarterback for Dayton, following two-time PFL Offensive Player of the Year Steve Valentino.  This will be the first game that Bardo has played in (that counts, at least) since he led Ft. Thomas Highlands High School to the 2009 Kentucky 5A Championship.
                                                              
RETURNING TO THE SCENE                                                      
Will Bardo steps into the starting QB role at Dayton on the very same field his predecessor made his first collegiate start at quarterback.  Steve Valentino, who was an All-PFL wideout as a redshirt sophomore in 2008, was pressed into service when the Flyers traveled to Robert Morris in 2009 after injuries knocked out the top three quarterbacks on the UD depth chart.  Valentino led Dayton to a 21-14 win and an eventual 19-2 record as a starter.
NOT HIS FIRST RODEO                                                               
 
Having an inexperienced quarterback step into the starting lineup is nothing new for Dayton offensive coordinator Dave Whilding.  Of the 17 new starting quarterbacks in Whilding’s 31 years of coaching the position, 11 took over with less than 20 career passes to their credit (including Steve Valentino and two QB’s now in the UD Athletic Hall of Fame – Kevin Johns and Steve Keller).  Three (Kevin Wilhelm, Kelly Spiker and Brandon Staley) had exactly the same number as new QB Will Bardo -- zero.
FLYER FAMILY                                                                              

Seven current members of the Flyer football team have had relatives who also played for UD, including four players whose fathers played -- Austen Alber (Tim, 1986-88), Alex Johnston (Jim, 1973-75), Matt Dorenkott (Brian, 1976-78) and Kyle Pignatiello (Mike, 1980-82). 
Flyer Chemical Engineering Major Matt Dorenkott from Hudson
 
DEFINTELY DEVON                                                                      

Defensive end Langhorst was a member of the 2010 Third Team Associated Press Championship Subdivision All-American team and was First Team All-Pioneer Football League. He ranked second nationally in sacks with 14 and was second on the team in tackles with 77. Langhorst has been nationally recognized as a Preseason Third Team All-American by College Sporting News and Preseason Honorable Mention All-American by JB Scouting.
 
STABLE SITUATION
UD returns its entire stable of top running backs from 2010 -- seniors Taylor Harris, Dan Jacob and Brian Mack.  They combined for 946 yards and 22 TD’s between them last year with a 4.7 yards per carry average.  Harris is currently listed as the starter but all three have started in the past.
SPECIAL SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER
Sophomore Gary Hunter led the PFL and was ranked eighth in FCS football in kickoff return average as a freshman in 2010.  Hunter averaged 28.2 yards a return.  He had what is believed to be the first kickoff return for a touchdown by a freshman in the history of University of Dayton football. Early records are incomplete, but no Flyer freshman has returned a kickoff for a TD in the modern era of UD football.  After playing corner last year, Hunter has moved to the offensive side of the ball and is a wide receiver.
DOING GOOD WORK      
 
Redshirt senior offensive tackle Dan Prindle was a member of the 2010 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team. Honorees were selected based on their contributions to their community and campus.  Prindle has volunteered at Children’s Medical Center, St. Vincent DePaul and the Bombeck Center on campus. In addition, he was a part of Christmas on Campus, YMCA Summer Camp and has also helped with the Special Olympics. This summer he was a camp counselor at UD’s engineering camp for gifted students.  He is also an executive officer of Dayton’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and has served as a representative at the NCAA’s APPLE Conference which concentrates on improving substance abuse prevention programming and policies in athletics departments.
THE RED WALL (AND OTHER NATIONAL RANKINGS)           
Dayton was second in FCS football in sacks per game (3.6) and rushing defense (78.4) in 2010.  In other national rankings, UD was sixth in scoring (35.5), seventh in team kickoff return average (24.1) and eighth in turnover margin (1.0).  Individually, Devon Langhorst was second in sacks (1.3) and tied for eighth in tackles for loss (1.7).   Gary Hunter was eighth in kickoff return average (28.2).  Tyler Hujik was 11th in punt return average (13.1). Taylor Harris was 12th in scoring (8.7).
PFL MEANS PIONEER FOOTBALL LEADERS                              
Last season 2010, UD led the PFL in rushing defense (78.4), KO returns (24.1), sacks (3.6), sacks allowed (1.5) and 4th down conversions (78.9%, 15-19).  UD was also second in scoring offense (35.5), total offense (380.5), total defense (314.3), first downs (20.6), opponent 3rd down conversions (36.0%, 58-161), red zone offense (85.2%, 46-54) and turnover margin (+1.0).
 
SHUTTING OUT DISTRACTIONS
Two PFL teams’ last shutout was by the Dayton defense.  One is Davidson, who UD beat 17-0 on in 2009 (15 games ago).  The other is San Diego (123 games ago, 41-0 in 1999).
 
600 CLUB
The Flyers became the 11th NCAA FCS team (and the first west of the Alleghenies) to win at least 600 games in its football history when UD beat Davidson on October 18, 2008. Here are the 14 members of the club, heading into the 2011 season.  Yale (864), Penn (813), Harvard (812), Princeton (785), Fordham (748), Dartmouth (651), Lafayette (650), Delaware (649), Lehigh (639), Dayton (622) Cornell (620), North Dakota State (613) Northern Iowa (610), North Dakota (604) and Colgate (603).  Of the 600 Club members, Dayton has played the fewest seasons (103, nine fewer than Northern Iowa’s 112).  UD moved into the Top 10 in 2010.
 

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