Just 2 days until kickoff, and I can hardly wait for the 2005 Hillsdale College Football season to kick off. The last 3 seasons of 4-7 Hillsdale football have been tough to endure, not so much in the fact that the Chargers haven't been winning, but from the brutal luck these guys have experienced would'ves, could'ves, should'ves. and injuries.
This is head coach Keith Otterbein's 4th season after returning to the 'Dale from a highly successful stint at Ferris St. and then some time in the MAC as an assistant. No one has taken the losses harder or more personally than Otter and his players know it. That is evident in the fact that number one theme you hear is that there won't be another 4-7 season. And there shouldn't.
The Chargers have lots of experience, led by 22 seniors including captains TE Keith Recker and corner Chad Gurica, both who have been recognized as a couple of top seniors not only in the GLIAC but the region as well. Two other key returnees are juniors QB Aaron Scholl and TB Phil Martin. If both stay healthy, Hillsdale's offense should be able to put substantial numbers up this season.
A strong start to the season will be key in turning the corner, getting over the hump, or any other cliche you'd like to insert here. Weeks 1 and 2 are both on the road, with the first home game Saturday September 10th against Ferris St. serving as homecoming. Wins early will not only instill the necessary confidence in the program, but in a student body that usually shows well early but then gets easily distracted as the season progresses.
The Chargers travel to Indianapolis this Saturday to face the Greyhounds coached by HC alum Joe Polizzi in a rematch of last season's 4 OT opener. Hillsdale came away with the win and ended a 7 year drought to UI. Kickoff is set for 7:00 PM Michigan time/ 6:00 PM local and will be the first ever night game on the Indy campus. Gone is Indy's all-everything QB Mark Kohn. That can't be too heart-breaking to new Charger defensive coordinator Craig Blanchard who must replace All-GLIAC LB Josh Mott and revamp a defense that was near the bottom of the league statistically all last season. Senior LB Matt Britton played extremely well last season and should fill the void left by the fellow Sarasota, FL area Mott. A couple of true freshman, Marcellus Wade and Tom Korte could play a major role in the linebacking corps as well. Korte was a D1 prospect who ultimately chose Hillsdale. Sam Balone has to be hungry though, missing a hunk of last year due to injury. Look for him to get his nose in the mix as well.
One of Blanchard's goals has been creating more of a pass rush. Saturday night would be a great time to do it. Indy returns the core of its line but will have inexperience replacing Kohn and the core of its running game in also departed leading rusher Donnie McCoy.
Defensively, Indy features one of the league's best in linebacker Bruce Renner.
The game will be available over the Internet through HC's feed of WCSR. Usually the link is posted just prior to gametime at Hillsdale.edu/chargers The UI broadcast can be heard at wicr.uindy.edu.
Fans in the Indianapolis area can watch the game live on the SkyTrack Network.
Indianapolis Game Notes
Hillsdale Game Notes
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- Keith Recker named All-Amercian
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