Tradition • Character • Service

Tradition • Character • Service

Friday, September 30, 2005

Hillsdale Takes on Northwood, Noon, Sat. Oct. 1

NU takes aim at Hillsdale for fifth straight win
Fred Kelly,
Midland Daily News 09/30/2005

After an 0-2 start, Hillsdale College's football team exploded for a combined total of 77 points in back-to-back wins over Ferris State and Gannon recently. Sixth-ranked Saginaw Valley State cooled the Chargers down in a 24-3 victory last Saturday, and Northwood coach Pat Riepma hopes his Timberwolves can do the same this Saturday.

No. 19 Northwood (4-1 overall, 3-1 GLIAC) hosts Hillsdale (2-3 overall and in the conference) at noon at Hantz Stadium during Homecoming/Auto Show weekend.

"They've always been able to score points, and our games have always been competitive," Riepma said of the Chargers. "They had Findlay down 14-0 before a losing a tough one, 17-14 (in week two). They're a very good football team that is a couple of points from being 4-1."

After opening the season with losses of 29-21 to Indianapolis and 17-14 to Findlay, the Chargers beat Ferris 34-14 and Gannon 43-9 before falling to SVSU last week.

HC's focus is running the football, and junior tailback Phil Martin is the Chargers' primary offensive weapon. Hillsdale ranks fifth in the GLIAC in rushing offense at 161.4 yards per game, and Martin is third in rushing (90.4 ypg), third in scoring (8.4 ppg), and third in all-purpose yards (128.8 ypg).

"He's a very legitimate running back," Riepma said of Martin, who has gained 452 yards and scored seven touchdowns on the ground. "He's in the top echelon of our league, and he's a strong runner. He's someone to definitely prepare for and someone you try to contain to the best of your ability."

Junior quarterback Aaron Scholl (Ed. note: see Scholl post below) is the Chargers' second-leading rusher with 199 yards and a TD. Through the air, Scholl has completed 51 percent of his passes for 468 yards and four TDs with six interceptions.

Senior tight end Keith Recker (nine catches, 119 yards, TD) and senior wide receiver Ryan Hermosillo (8-86) are Scholl's main targets.

According to Riepma, HC's offense relies heavily on deception to confuse defenses.

Full Story

Scholl Breaks Fibula, Chargers Seek New QB

They more things change, the more they stay the same! Last season Hillsdale got off to a 2-2 start only to lose quarterback Aaron Scholl for the season with a broken collar bone during the Saginaw Valley game.

This year, Hillsdale got off to a 2-2 start only to lose quarterback Aaron Scholl for the season. It is a broken fibula this time, but the impact on the team and program remain the same. The Chargers have to hand the ball to a new quarterback during the toughest string of games of the season.

At least the back-ups this season went through the same experience last year. Jesse Hoskins took over against Saginaw once again, throwing for 99 yards last week. Last year, Hoskins got the nod to continue as the starter for the Northwood game only to have then true freshman Mark Nicolet took the reigns half through the Grand Valley game, leading the Chargers to a pair of wins to finish the season against Mercyhurst and Wayne State.

With the return of Scholl this season, all plans were for Nicolet to spend this season as a red-shirt, giving him an extra year of elgibility after Scholl leaves next season. That is likely to change now.

Last season, Hoskins completed 40 of 72 passes for 397 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions. Nicolet was 59 of 109 for 508 yards, 1 touchdown, and 5 interceptions. :: Week 6 Northwest Region Notebook Northwest Region Correspondent
September 27, 2005

I can now be counted among the believers.
Like many others around the region and across the country, I had been skeptical of the South Dakota Coyotes in the early going this season. And why not? USD had won 13 of 15 games dating back to the beginning of last year, but the bulk of those wins came against a schedule that was as soft as a baby's bottom. Not to mention that the Coyotes' 44-41 overtime win over Colorado Mines two weeks ago wasn't exactly the type that inspires confidence.

But after Saturday's 59-14 annihilation of previously unbeaten Nebraska-Omaha, only a fool would still consider South Dakota to be a pretender. The performance of the Coyotes' offense is beginning to remind me a bit of Pittsburg State's last season and that's not a good omen for the rest of the region.

Before the Coyotes can lay claim to anything, however, the NCC schedule still contains some bumps in the road… or in the case of future opponents St. Cloud State and North Dakota, the word mountains might be more appropriate. SCSU is now 5-0 after knocking off rival Minnesota State on Saturday. UND (also 5-0 and the top-ranked team in the national poll) has yet to face a serious challenge from any opponent this season. The Huskies and Fighting Sioux will tangle this Saturday in Grand Forks in what is undoubtedly the Game of the Week in the region.

Full Column

Charger Parents :: Northwood Tailgating Info

Sandy Balone
Hillsdale Parents Booster Club

Hillsdale at Northwood
Hantz Stadium
Saturday, October 1, 2005
Game time: 12:00 Noon

Hi Charger Fans,
Tailgating will begin at 10:00 AM in the parking lot off Naegle Rd. behind the DeVos Building on Northwood's campus. Go to: Look for building #13, it is the parking lot directly behind that. You can get directions to Northwood's campus by using The address is 4000 Whiting Dr., Midland, MI 48640. It is too early for the 3 B's, burgers, brats and beer so let's do a breakfast tailgate! We did this last year at Northwood and it was a big success. Some suggestions are muffins, bagels, donuts, fresh fruit, cheese & crackers, juice, get the drift. Be creative, it will be fun. I won't be attending this week's game because of a family wedding (who gets married during football season, anyways???) but Larry will be there. No grilling this week, continental breakfast only! Ticket prices are $5.00/Adult, $3.00 Children, no charge for parking.

Apparel orders: I will have the rest of the clothing with me at Oct. 8th game. Watch your email next week for further details. It is not too late to order additional clothing. Email me and I'll send you an order form as a download attachment.

Don't forget to call for your reservations for the Mercyhurst game. These rooms will only be held until Tues., Oct. 4, 2005. The following is a repeat from a previous email:

New hotel information for the Mercyhurst (Oct. 29, 1:30 PM) game:
OK, sorry that I blew it with our accommodations at the Ramada Inn. I'd like to thank all the parents that were so gracious about it. I'll have to admit, the rooms were pretty bad. Please call the Ramada Inn @ 1-800-832-9101 to cancel your reservations ASAP. I've already
contacted the Ramada Inn with our complaints, so they are expecting our cancellations.

I have blocked 20 rooms for Friday, October 28 (night before the game) and 10 rooms for Saturday, October 29 (night of the game). Most parents told me they were staying the night before and leaving after the game, but others wanted to stay after.
Available Fri., Oct 28: 15 rooms with 2 double beds, 5 King Whirlpool rooms with 1 King, 1 double bed and whirlpool.
Available Sat., Oct 29: 7 rooms with 2 double beds, 3 King Whirlpool rooms with 1 King, 1 double bed and whirlpool.
Rates are $89.00 + 11% tax for 2 double beds, $109.00 + 11% tax for King/Dble/Whirlpool. This includes a free continental breakfast. You must reserve by October 4, 2005 to receive this rate. I urge you to call ASAP for your room. Cancellation policy is 72 hours prior. Check in 3:00 PM, check out 11:00 AM. When you call for reservations, you are with the "Hillsdale Parent Tailgate Group". Should you have any trouble booking, ask for Erin Van Guilder, sales mgr. Her direct line is 1-877-866-3445.
For reservations contact:
Comfort Inn
8051 Peach St.
Erie, PA 16509
1-814-866-6666 (reservations)

One more thing, I received a call from Hillsdale today, it seems that someone received an eye injury from a tootsie roll that was thrown at last Saturday's game. I feel terrible that this happened so we won't be throwing tootsie rolls anymore. But I'll tell you what, I'll still bring them and all the little ones (and the big Dads, too) that look forward to tootsie rolls can come and get a handful whenever they want. I like to sit by the 50 yard line so come over and grab a handful. Have a safe trip.

Let's Go Chargers!!!
Sandy Balone

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Saginaw Soars past Hillsdale 24-3

Andy Brown
Hillsdale Chargers Play-By-Play
Special to

Saginaw Valley defeated Hillsdale 24-3 in Hillsdale Saturday night.

This actually was a competitive game---as long as Saginaw had the ball. The Hillsdale defense surrendered only 16 points to one of the most prolific offenses in the country. In fact, Saginaw managed only a field goal in the entire second half. The Hillsdale defense sacked Saginaw quarterback Chris Dougherty 8 times in the game, and did a respectable job of staying with Saginaw's talented receivers. At the end of the day, if your defense can hold Saginaw to 16 points, you have to think you've given your team a chance to win at home, right?

Well...not so much.

Hillsdale got nothing out of their offense in the first half, and were never able to establish the ground game. Hillsdale had 26 carries for 18 yards--adjusted, of course for the many loses taken by Hillsdale quarterbacks. Phil Martin finished with 48 yards on 10 carries. Hillsdale quarterbacks Aaron Scholl and Jesse Hoskins performed equally, each passing for 99 yards and each running for their life against Saginaw's athletic front seven.

Make no mistake--Saginaw's defense is awesome. They are big and fast and strong and well coached. However, after speaking with Coach Otterbein and Offensive Coordinator Barry Fagan before the game, I was hopeful. Coach Fagan told me he honestly thought they needed 28 points to win the game, and he was sure they could do it. Coach Otterbein told me that he liked their scheme, but it came down to whether or not Hillsdale could get everybody blocked. Unfortunately, the answer was no. Hillsdale did find a spot between the linebackers and safeties where their receivers could get open. The Chargers went there frequently and with good success. Aaron Scholl's accuracy was actually pretty good in the first half, but his receivers dropped some easy passes that would have been first downs. I guess the bottom line was that Hillsdale did not make any big plays, could not run the ball, and simply didn't, as coach Otterbein feared, get everybody blocked.

I spoke with Hillsdale College Admissions Director Jeff Lantis Sunday morning, and he told me that Aaron Scholl is finished for the season with a broken fibula. Unbelievably, Scholl's season ends for the second straight year during a game against Saginaw. It will be interesting to see who takes over for Scholl. Will the Chargers stick with Hoskins, or go with Mark Nicolet. Nicolet had some success in the second half of last season, and felt he had a chance to win the starting position before this season began. Hillsdale wants to red shirt him this year, but who knows if Scholl's injury will change the situation.

Bright Side: Eric Weber--Three Sacks!, Andrew Daugherty--The Hudson grad looks great!

Needs Some Work: Getting the other team's guys blocked, Taking advantage of a solid defensive effort.

Bob and I will be in Midland next Saturday for the Northwood game. We should be on the air by 11:45. Last week management decided to save a few hundred dollars of gas money and not send us to Erie.

Charger Defensive Effort Overshadow

What can you say about Saginaw Valley's defense other than "Wow"? They came into the game billed as on of the top units in division II football and lived up to all of the hype.

But, the Chargers' defense played awfully well in the shadow of the Cardinals. Hillsdale had 8 sacks in the game. 8! They had 11 all last season. Eric Webber had 3 himself. Mark Wade, Josh Dye, Matt Britton, and Aaron Hoekje each had one while Andy Dion and Steve Balone teamed up for the 8th one.

Saginaw's rushing game had its way last week against Findlay, but Hillsdale limited Josh Barnhardt and the rest of Saginaw to just 33 yards on 35 carries. Four Cardinal rushers ended with negative rushing amounts.

Hillsdale held Saginaw on 3rd down 8 times.

Chad Gurica had 10 tackles, all solos. Balone also added 10. Daugherty and Britton had 9 stops apiece. 4 of Daugherty were for loss.

SVSU's defense dominates Hillsdale

SVSU's defense dominates Hillsdale

Sunday, September 25, 2005

HILLSDALE -- Saginaw Valley State University's No.1-ranked defense allowed Hillsdale one trip inside the 20-yard line, allowing a 35-yard field goal as the only score during a 24-3 victory Saturday that keeps it atop the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference standings at 4-0.

SVSU now has given up 16 points in four games, including field goals in each of the last three. The only touchdown of the season came in the opener when Northwood scored a third-quarter TD on a 21-yard pass.

SVSU senior linebacker John DiGiorgio set a new career school record with 369 tackles, registering 12 stops, including two sacks, as the Cardinals limited the Chargers to 220 yards of offense.

Full Story:

Saturday, September 24, 2005

More Charger Pictures Online

Thanks to Luann Crowley for sharing a link to a new photo gallery of the Chargers on Webshots. Pictures will be updated throughout the season.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Confident Cardinals Bring #9 Ranking to The Dale

Hillsdale (2-2) vs. #9 Saginaw Valley State (3-0)

Saturday, September 24, 7:00 PM, Muddy Waters Stadium

The Hillsdale College football program has to be feeling much better about itself after two wins against Ferris State and Gannon. The Chargers sit at .500 but now face the toughest part of their schedule. First on tap will be the undefeated Saginaw Valley State Cardinals who are feeling pretty good about their 3-0 start as well as the performances of their run game and NCAA leading defense.

Saginaw opened the year by shutting down a much heralded Northwood offense and has allowed only 13 points in 3 games. Led by All-American candidate linebacker John DiGiorgio and sophomore tackle Josh Miller who had 3 of the Cardinals' 7 sacks last week against Findlay. The unit is playing with tremendous confidence.

"We go in with the attitude that we have the best defense in the league, and that’s what we just come out every week to prove," Miller told the Midland Daily News after last week's game. "We go out there knowing that we’re not going to let anybody get anywhere on us."

The Cardinal running game put up 255 yards rushing against Findlay and Logan Barnhart was responsible for 134 of those on 13 carries. Barnhart likes the direction that piece of the offense is going.

"It’s just going to keep getting better," Barnhart was quoted by Midland Daily News last Saturday. "We’ve got Hilsdale, Indianapolis, Mercyhurst, then we’ve got the big game (against No. 2 Grand Valley on Oct. 15). I think by then we’ll be running on all cylinders."

The Chargers would like to disrupt that progress and will gladly welcome any "looking ahead" the Cardinals may be doing at this point in the season.

The Cardinals also return the services of very productive wide-receiver Mark (Sorry about calling him Matt earlier) LaFreniere who is in his sixth, yes sixth season with the team. After being red-shirted as a freshman and then medically red-shirted last year, the Cardinal administration has had to do all kinds of talking with the NCAA to secure LaFreniere's eligibility. Division II allows 4 years or competition within 10 semester. This is the Cardinal's 11th semester. Apparently all waivers have been filed and cleared. At one point, it was in doubt whether SVSU's opening win against Northwood would stand since Saginaw was late filing the paperwork. LaFreniere was injured early in the opener and hasn't played since. No one is sure whether that was in case he was ruled ineligible or if he is still injured.

Quarterback Chris Dougherty is in his first year as a starter has thrown for an average of 311.7 yards per game, good enough for the #4 ranking in D2.

Hillsdale has plenty of reason to believe it can give Saginaw a ballgame. Last year, Hillsdale's Phil Martin tied a GLIAC record with a 97 yard touchdown run. Martin had 155 yards on 8 carries. Two years ago, the Chargers nearly pulled the upset when Saginaw brought the nation's #1 ranking into Muddy Waters Stadium and escaped with a 31-22 win.

The team continues to improve each week and is a far cry from what took the field against Indianapolis. The group that has probably come the furthest is the offensive line. As the line has improved, so has the explosiveness of the Charger offense.

The defense has been solid all year but has been exceptional recently against the run. Over the past two weeks, the Chargers have allowed only an average of 78 rushing yards per game. Opponents have only scored 2 touchdowns on the ground this year.

Getting to Dougherty will be key and Hillsdale appears to be more equipped to do so than it has since the 90's. The Chargers have recorded 13 sacks in four games. That is 2 more than they had all last year. The defensive line is doing a great job, but the secondary isn't getting nearly the run it deserves for helping the pass rush. Chad Gurica continues to be one of the GLIAC's top corners and when he can lock down receivers, it gives the guys up front more time to make big plays.

Game time is 7:00 PM and tailgating will begin about 4:30. Once again the Gridiron Club and Parents Booster Group will be celebrating another great Saturday. Feel free to join both groups for some pre-game fun.

Charger Parents::Saginaw Valley Tailgating Info

Sandy Balone
Hillsdale Football Parents Booster Club

BIG GAME = BIG TAILGATE!!! Tailgating will begin at 4:30 PM in the grass field west of the athletic complex. For all you new parents this is the same lot that the big tent was set up on for homecoming. Bring your main dish, beverages, eating utensils and a small dish to pass. It is also a good idea to bring chairs and a small table if you have room. There will be two grills there this weekend so come by and BBQ with us! All are welcome, you just have to be a Charger fan and bleed blue & white! Don't forget your flags to fly in the stadium.

Apparel & Button orders: The clothing will be delivered to me tomorrow AM so I will have it with me at the tailgate. There was a small problem with the Champion V-neck pullover. This item was not available and we were offered a product of comparable or better quality. I made an executive decision and authorized this. However, if you are not happy with this replacement, I will put you in touch with our clothing rep., Tony Scott at Team Sports. Please pick up your order at the tailgate between 4:30 & 6:30 PM. I do not bring clothing orders into the stadium. I will have all orders at the tailgate except what has been ordered in the last week. Those are not ready yet. If you have ordered sports buttons, please see Luann Crowley, she has completed orders. See Nancy Rumsey to purchase a rear window "Charger Football" decal for $5.00. This item is cash & carry, all proceeds to the football team.

Parent Booster Club: There will be a table set up on stadium walk on the right hand side just before the ticket booth at 6:00 PM. If you didn't do so at homecoming, stop by to pick up your game pass (admits 4 to home games), flags, hat, or picture. Team pictures may be in by game time, all parents are encouraged to check at the table to see if they are in.
Post game reception: There will be a post game party at the Roxy Theatre, 110 N. Broad in Hillsdale. Pizza & soft drinks are free. You may also purchase beverages from a full bar. Stop by after the game and check it out.

New hotel information for the Mercyhurst (Oct. 29, 1:30 PM) game:
OK, sorry that I blew it with our accommodations at the Ramada Inn. I'd like to thank all the parents that were so gracious about it. I'll have to admit, the rooms were pretty bad. Please call the Ramada Inn @ 1-800-832-9101 to cancel your reservations ASAP. I've already contacted the Ramada Inn with our complaints, so they are expecting our cancellations.

I have blocked 20 rooms for Friday, October 28 (night before the game) and 10 rooms for Saturday, October 29 (night of the game). Most parents told me they were staying the night before and leaving after the game, but others wanted to stay after.
Available Fri., Oct 28: 15 rooms with 2 double beds, 5 King Whirlpool rooms with 1 King, 1 double bed and whirlpool.
Available Sat., Oct 29: 7 rooms with 2 double beds, 3 King Whirlpool rooms with 1 King, 1 double bed and whirlpool.
Rates are $89.00 + 11% tax for 2 double beds, $109.00 + 11% tax for King/Dble/Whirlpool. This includes a free continental breakfast. You must reserve by October 4, 2005 to receive this rate. I urge you to call ASAP for your room. Cancellation policy is 72 hours prior. Check in 3:00 PM, check out 11:00 AM. When you call for reservations, you are with the "Hillsdale Parent Tailgate Group". Should you have any trouble booking, ask for Erin Van Guilder, sales mgr. Her direct line is 1-877-866-3445.

For reservations contact:
Comfort Inn
8051 Peach St.
Erie, PA 16509
1-814-866-6666 (reservations)

This week's game promises to be a battle. Wear your blues, raise your voices, no one is unbeatable!!! Besides, I checked, we are Chargers, mighty and brave and they are cardinals, a little red bird! Hmmmm?? See you all Saturday, have a safe trip.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005 Region Notebook Northwest Region Correspondent
September 21, 2005

Saginaw Valley (3-0) @ Hillsdale (2-2)

The Chargers have bounced back from a disappointing 0-2 start with a pair of convincing wins. But Hillsdale now enters the brutal part of its schedule with the next four opponents combining for a 13-2 record so far this season. The Chargers have rebounded on the strength of a solid defense, a great return game, and a rushing attack that moves the chains.

The problem for Hillsdale entering this game is that the Chargers have a miserable passing attack (just 42% completions and 97 yards per game). The Cardinal defense is so good that I don't think any team with an offense as one dimensional as Hillsdale's has a chance to move the ball. Findlay came into last week's game against SVSU with similar offensive statistics to Hillsdale and managed a grand total of three points. I expect the Charger defense to do enough to make it a game, but Saginaw Valley will get the win, 28-13.

Read Bob's full column

Great Job Otter's Army and Charger Fans!

What a difference a couple of weeks make! After an aenemic start at Indianapolis and a blown lead at Findlay, the fortunes have swung the Chargers' way over the past two weeks. After writing about lost games and questioning administrative moves it sure is a lot more fun to write about positive things happening with a bunch of guys I know have worked tremendously hard for this season!

It is also fun to read and hear about the way Hillsdale fans have supported the team, despite the slow start. Although I wasn't able to attend the festivities, everything I have heard about the homecoming bonfire and game support has been great. The student section was packed against Ferris and really gave the team the emotional lift it needed to completely dominate the Bulldogs. I have to think some of that had to have carried over last week as Hillsdale pasted Gannon for its first road in 2 years. Great job!

But, I seem to recall saluting the fans early last season after a great showing in the opener against Indianapolis only to see numbers in the endzone dwindle as the season progressed. As excitement on the field waned last year, so did the excitement from the student section. Your Chargers need you more this week than you can imagine. One of the top teams in the country come to town and the emotional lift that helped pound Ferris, could be the difference maker. Sure, Saginaw Valley is a great team but they aren't invincible. Show the Chargers you believe in them and propel them to one of the great victories in recent Hillsdale memory.

Shreffler Family Update

Many of you have been asking about the progress Jill Shreffler, the wife of Charger line coach Nate Shreffler is making in her fight against cancer. Here is a great article from last Thursday's Hillsdale Collegian. Jill is cancer-free and returning to her duties as a kindergarten teacher. Thanks to everyone who helped in our efforts to support the Shrefflers last year.

Charger football puts family first
The Shreffler family found strength in their battle with cancer

By David Lowe
Collegian Reporter

Offensive line coach Nate Shreffler knows the value of teamwork. From on-field practices to film sessions, Shreffler seeks to mold his linemen into a unit capable of protecting the Charger quarterbacks. Helping his wife beat cancer required the same kind of team effort.

The day before the football team reported for training camp last season, Shreffler’s wife, Jill, was diagnosed with neuroblastoma—one of the most common infant cancers, but one rarely seen in patients beyond the age of two. Although a swollen lymph node prompted Jill Shreffler to seek medical attention, she had not suffered any previous symptoms.

“Needless to say it was kind of a shock to our system,” Nate Shreffler said.

Head coach Keith Otterbein and his staff acted quickly to assist the Shrefflers. “One of the first things Coach Otterbein said was ‘Let us know what we can do,’” Nate Shreffler said. “Coach Otterbein made it clear family always comes first.”

During Jill Shreffler’s 18 weeks of chemotherapy in Ann Arbor, the couple relied on extended family to care for their three children. Both sets of the Celina, Ohio natives’ parents traveled to Hillsdale when treatments kept the Shrefflers away from daughters Emma, 5; Sarah, 4; and Grace, 2.

Although he continued coaching, Nate Shreffler did not have to miss any of his wife’s treatments until she began daily radiation.

Otterbein said that Shreffler balanced his coaching and family responsibilities well, and the Chargers staff remained flexible when he needed to spend time with his wife and daughters.

“The only thing we really can do in the office as coaches is to understand there are times he had to be away with his family,” Otterbein said. “He handled it very well in terms of putting on his football hat when he was here.”

“[Others’ assistance] made juggling the two things easier,” Nate Shreffler said of coaching and helping his wife. “With her parents and my parents coming up it really alleviated things.”

The Hillsdale College community also provided for the family’s needs, as Kathy Peterson – wife of the Dean of Men, Aaron Peterson – arranged for people to provide meals for the family and to clean the couple’s house while Jill completed treatments.

Kathy Peterson also helped organize a benefit dinner at Savarino’s Italian Restaurant last January.

In addition, the football team’s Parent Club collected money for the Shrefflers and donated gifts such as Charger sweatshirts for the children.

A kindergarten teacher at Mauck Elementary, Jill Shreffler had planned to take a leave of absence from her half-day instructional duties. Once she began radiation, however, the educator had to leave the classroom indefinitely.

Other contributions eased the family’s day-to-day concerns.

Al and Sue Pitts, owners of Hoop Lawn & Snow lawn maintenance service, would stop by the Shrefflers’ house to mow their grass. A supply of gasoline cards helped defray the cost of two-and-a-half-hour round-trips to Ann Arbor.

“Everything we had to deal with was just involved with getting her better,” the line coach said of his wife. “All the support we had allowed her to take care of herself. She knew the kids were taken care of when she wasn’t feeling well.”

Now, little more than a year after her diagnosis, Jill Shreffler has received two MRI’s indicating that she is cancer-free. She will continue to receive quarterly MRI checkups for the next five to six years. With regained energy, she has resumed teaching her kindergarten classes.

“You don’t take anything for granted,” she said. “I definitely feel very lucky: number one that I’m here and number two all the people that helped.”

Her husband admits he sometimes struggled to concentrate on football as he helped Jill recover over the past year.

“One of the things Coach Otterbein always tells us is life is a series of ups and downs,” Nate Shreffler said. “Football teaches you how to get back up when you get knocked down.”

The Chargers have faced a difficult year, Otterbein noted, as the team had to respond both to the Shrefflers’ challenges and to the death of freshman player Adam Emery.

“We’ve been through some tough times,” Otterbein said. “Hopefully all our staff feels like they can take the time to spend with their families. We’re here for each other.”

Nate Shreffler said their experience left him with an even stronger sense of the teamwork that he tries to instill in athletes.
“It’s a good lesson not just for our family, but for our team to see what [helping others] is all about. It definitely strengthened our faith in God—and in people.”

Monday, September 19, 2005

Oops:Hillsdale's Chad Gurica 3rd in NCAA

Sorry I falsely reported that Chad Gurica was now leading the nation in kick returns. When I did my research, it appears not all stats had been figured into the NCAA's list. Now that everyone has reported, gurica sits 3rd with a 41.9 yard average. A guy from Merrimack is the leader and came out of the blue. His 51.3 yard average is currently the nation's best.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Hillsdale routs Gannon on the road, 43-9

Hillsdale College Release
September 17, 2005

Erie, Pa . If scoring plays were a state, then Hillsdale College's football scores were truly Texas-sized Saturday night.

Averaging 36.8 yards per touchdown play, the Chargers picked up their first road win in two years with a 43-9 rout of the Gannon University Golden Knights at GU Field Saturday.

The win improves the Chargers to 2-2 overall and in the GLIAC on the season. Gannon falls to 1-3. Hillsdale returns home next week for a 7 p.m. game against undefeated Saginaw Valley State University.

Big plays were the theme of the night for the Chargers, who got touchdown runs of 34, 2 and 60 yards from junior tailback Phil Martin. But once again, it was the special teams that stole the show.

Senior co-captain Chad Gurica returned a kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown - his second such play this season - while his little brother Nick returned a punt 41 yards that set up a second-quarter touchdown. The Chargers had the best special teams unit in the GLIAC before the game, but after this one, Hillsdale should count itself among the Division II national leaders in overall kick returns. Hillsdale accumulated 188 return yards on just five combined kick and punt returns.

Full Story:

Thursday, September 15, 2005 Region Notebook Northwest Region Correspondent
September 12, 2005

It should come as no surprise to anyone that follows the region that Grand Valley State and Saginaw Valley State play in a lot of big games each year. The two "Valleys" have been the cream of the GLIAC crop for quite some time now.
What might surprise some readers though are the opponents the two league powers will be facing in a pair of huge conference games this week. The Cardinals will be hosting Findlay, while the Lakers must go on the road to take on Ashland.

Although I warned you in the preseason column that Ashland could be a factor in the GLIAC this year, no one would accuse the Eagles or the Oilers of Findlay of being household names in Division II football. But Ashland and Findlay are a combined 6-0 so far this season and both teams will have their opportunity to make a major impact on the region and conference on Saturday.

Do I think either team has a chance of pulling off the upset?

< href="®ionID=4">Read on to find out…

Luck be a Lady This Week::Chargers Head to Gannon

Okay folks, I am headed to Vegas, or as I like to call it ,The Evil Empire for the weekend. So, I have blatantly ripped off all of the hard work Brad Monastiere does in the the Sports Information Office and utilized the handy cut and paste features of my iBook. Below are Brad's game notes for this week.

Hillsdale is coming off a tremendous win over Ferris State and there is no reason that momentum shouldn't roll with them down the Turnpike to Gannon University in Erie, PA. Gannon like the Chargers are 1-2 but have experienced their share of foes trying to replace last year's star QB Darnell Whitfield.

Hopefully the breaks will go Hillsdale's and MY way this week. Who knows, I may be one lucky quarter away from being able to build the Chargers a new indoor practice facility...oh yeah, and fund some cheerleaders.

Check Hillsdale Athletics Webpage or for postgame coverage. I can't wait to toast a Charger victory with 99 cent shrimp cocktail at the Golden Gate down on Fremont Street.

Hillsdale College Game Notes

Week 4 - Chargers look to make it two in a row at Gannon The Hillsdale College football team hits the road for the third time in four weeks this weekend, as the Chargers head to Erie, Pa. for a matchup with the Gannon University Golden Knights. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. It’s the first of two trips to Erie the Chargers will make this season. The Series This is one of the youngets rivalries the Chargers have. With Gannon being a newcomer to the GLIAC, the schools have met just three times in their respective histories, with Hillsdale holding a 2-1 edge. Last year, Hillsdale won a memorable Homecoming game, 38-31 in overtime in a wild offensive shootout with the Knights.

Media Coverage Saturday’s game will be broadcasted by WCSR Radio (Hillsdale), 92.1-FM/1340AM, with Andy Brown and Dan Bisher providing coverage. The game will be available for free on Hillsdale’s athletic website, A tape-delayed broadcast of the game will be available on Hillsdale’s local cable access channel 19. TV times are yet to be determined.

Last week The two teams come into this game from two very different places. After a pair of tough losses to open the season, Hillsdale broke out in a big way with a 34-14 Homecoming win over Ferris State University in its home opener. On the other hand, Gannon is coming off two straight one-sided losses, which have seen the Knights get outscored 88-10. Last week, Ashland pitched a 27-0 shutout of Gannon.

Very Special Teams Through three games, Hillsdale’s special teams unit is ranked at the top of the GLIAC rankings in several categories. The team leads the conference in kick returns with an average of 30.1 yards per kick return. The Chargers also rank first in team punt returns, averaging 21.1 yards per punt return, nearly double the yardage of SVSU, who ranks second in the conference. Hillsdale also ranks fourth in the conference in rushing yards per game, at 191.7. Hillsdale

Players of the Week for Week 3 vs. Ferris State The Hillsdale College coaching staff picked its players of the week for the Sept. 3 contest against the University of Findlay. Junior tailback Phil Martin earned the Offensive Player of the Week award, while lineman Andrewe Daugherty was the Defensive Player of the Week recipient. Junior Josh Dye was named the Special Teams Player of the Week. Steve Balone, who had three tackles fo loss, was picked for the “Every Player Every Play” award, while Marcellus Wade won the Big Stick Honor. Scout Team Players of the week were Jake White (offense) and Bill Riegner (defense).

The Century Club The Hillsdale running game has taken off the past two weeks, with quarterback Aaron Scholl and tailback Phil Martin each rushing for more than 100 yards in each of the past two games. The Chargers rushed for 295 yards as a team in the 34-14 win over Ferris. Even more impressive was the team’s 5.5 yards-per-rush average for the game against the Bulldogs.

So Close...So Far Away Both Gannon and Hillsdale have endured their share of tough losses over the past two seasons. In 2004, the Golden Knights were the “Cardiac Kids” of the GLIAC, with three games going into overtime (1-2) and six games being decided by a touchdown or less. Hillsdale also had four games decided by one score, with the team going 3-1 in those games.

Charger Parents:Gannon Tailgating Info

Hillsdale at Gannon University
Saturday, September 17, 2005
Game time: 7:00 PM

Hello Charger Fans,

Tailgating will begin around 4:30-5:00 PM at the Erie Courthouse parking lot. From the Ramada Inn at West 18th St./State St. Take State St. north to 6th St., turn left on 6th St., the courthouse is the third building on 6th St. west of State St. Gannon Athletic Field is less than a block away in an urban area surrounded by homes on all four sides. There is no parking lot for the football field. The athletic director was kind enough to direct us to the courthouse parking lot which can be used for tailgates. We'll have our grill with us, please feel free to come over and BBQ with us. Bring your main dish, beverages, eating utensils and a small dish to pass. Wear your blues and don't forget your flags so we can put them up in the stands!

Apparel & sports button orders: There is a slight chance that the clothing may be delivered to me this week. However, Friday we have a family wedding and I will be tied up all day so I will be delivering apparel at next week's home game. Watch next week's email for details. It is not too late to order apparel. I have attached an order form to this email. Download and print it if you need it. See Luann Crowley to pick up your sports buttons. See Nancy Rumsey to purchase rear window "Charger Football" decals. Decals are $5.00 cash & carry, she has them with her.

The Charger football parents would like to extend a warm welcome to all the new families that we met at homecoming this past weekend. Doesn't Hillsdale throw a great party! Please don't be shy, come over and introduce yourselves and join us at all the tailgates!

The following information is being repeated from a previous email. I picked up a lot of freshman email addresses at the Homecoming game last week so I want to keep them informed.

Hotel Information for Gannon & Mercyhurst games:
I have blocked 20 rooms for both Saturday, Sept. 17 (night of Gannon game) and Friday, October 28 (night before Mercyhurst game) . Please call ASAP to make your reservations.

Ramada Inn - Downtown Erie
18 West 18th St.
Erie, PA 16501

The hotel is located in downtown Erie about halfway between Gannon & Mercyhurst. By blocking 20 rooms I have secured a rate of $65.00 + 11% tax for rooms with 2 double beds. This includes a free continental breakfast. If a guest room exceeds 2 adults the rate is increased $10.00 per person. Rollaway beds are available for $10.00 and are to be reserved at the time of reservation. Outdoor pool may be open depending on the weather. The hotel has a bar which is open from 5 PM - 1 AM. They serve 'bar type' food from 5 PM - 10 PM. Check in is at 3 PM, check out at 11 AM. Cancellation policy is 24 hours.
You must book by Thursday, Sept. 15, 6:00 PM to get this rate for Saturday, Sept. 17.
You must book by Friday, Oct. 14 to get this rate for Friday, Oct. 28. When you call reservations tell them that you are with the "Hillsdale College Tailgate Group". Make sure that you confirm your rate. Should you have any trouble ask for the sales manager, Sara Inman at ext. 153.

Vonnie & Mike Sandner will not be able to attend this week's game so Vonnie has put me in charge of throwing tootsie rolls. This is so important, but I think I have Vonnie's throwing technique down to a science. Wind up and throw like a girl, she says!

OK, see you all in Pennsylvania, let's meet up for a "beverage" after the victory at Ramada Inn's bar! Have a safe trip.

Let's Go Chargers!!!!!!
Sandy Balone

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Special Thanks from Gridiron Club

Lenny Stover, head of the Hillsdale Gridiron Club asked me to pass this along. Huge thanks go out to all who have supported the club and Charger football. Don't forget to renew your membership in the Hillsdale Gridiron Club!

nder bright sunny skies the Hillsdale College Chargers beat the Ferris State Bulldogs 34 to 14 Saturday. The team looked very good and continues to improve every week. Our special teams are very exciting and have to be some of the best in the conference. Many young players are contributing to the core group of upper classman on the team and should ensure the storied history of Charger football continues well into the future.

Thanks to our great Corporate sponsors, our alumni and local volunteers and to the players parents, the Gridiron Club raised over $3,000 for the football program on Saturday. Our Corporate Sponsors were:

Platinum Sponsor:
The Paradise Group - George Kidman, 1979

Gold Sponsors:
County National Bank - Craig Conner, 1977
Coldwell Banker Realty - Scott Phillips, 1977
Double A Landscaping - Aaron Freese
Harvard Clothing - Rick Barker, 1979
Market House - Brent Boyd
Southern Michigan Bank & Trust - Patty Parker & Jay Williams
Smith Barney - Lennie Stover, 1979

A special thanks to Rick Barker and his son Adam ( a future Charger?) for all the Charger gear they made available for sale at our tent and for setting everything up. Tom Lorkowski, 1979 and Rick Vear, 1983 did a great job with game squares, our raffle and gear. Jeff "Spud" Emery was invaluable in keeping the whole show together. Last, but not least, my girlfriend, Tamara Russo, made sure the guys did not forget the little things that make all the difference in an events success. Thanks to all of you who helped in one way or another when you came by to enjoy some food, beverages and memories before and after the game.

Carol Drenth, mother of Todd Drenth, was the proud winner of a football helmet autographed by all the legendary Hillsdale coaches.

If you have not done so, please remember to renew your Gridiron Club membership.

See you at Gannon University in Erie, PA. For a 7 PM game this Saturday. Go Chargers!

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Chargers beat Bulldogs in 2005 Homecoming game

Hillsdale College Release

Sept. 10, 2005 - In front of a big, enthusiastic crowd, the Hillsdale College football team gave the home folks plenty to cheer about in a much-needed 34-14 Homecoming victory over the Ferris State University Bulldogs Saturday afternoon.

The win improves Hillsdale to 1-2 on the season, while the Bulldogs fall to 0-3. Hillsdale hits the road next week for a game in Eria, Pa. against the Gannon Golden Knights.

After a pair of aggrivating losses on the road, Hillsdale performed very well in its home opener in all three phases of the game.
Full Story:

Homecoming Victory!

Andy Brown
Hillsdale Football Play-by-Play
WCSR Radio and Special to

The Chargers defeated Ferris State 34-14 at homecoming on the hill Saturday afternoon.

Ferris State is a mere shadow of the team that had defeated the Chargers four straight times coming in to the game. Their starting quarterback played only one series. Then their first backup played one series. They ended up sticking with a young man who in the program is listed as QB/K---translated---the bottom of the depth chart. In the end, quarterback C.J. Van Wieren was the least of Ferris' problems. Their total inability to stop the Chargers' running game was the real problem for Ferris, and the reason why Hillsdale has something to build on after this game.

Phil Martin and Aaron Scholl both ran for over 100 yards, and Chargers runners averaged over 5 yards per carry in the game. Phil Martin made big plays in the first half to put the Chargers on top, and Brett Neller did a nice job of spelling him in the second half. I think Martin's ankle is still hurting him, but he will never admit it.

As for Aaron Scholl, he made plays to help Hillsdale win, and he didn't turn the ball over. He finished with 116 yards rushing. Passing he was 10 of 23 for 100 yards and 1 touchdown. He did take some shots downplayed this week, especially on the very first play of the game on a nifty fake reverse pass. Unfortunately, Scholl missed on that pass, and frankly, several others. However, he won the game and deserves credit for turning bad situations into big gains with his running ability.

How about those Gurica brothers? In addition to shutting down Carleton Brewster for most of the game, Chad Gurica had a 39-yard kickoff return. His little brother Nick Gurica had a 60-yard punt return that set up a Chargers touchdown. The Guricas are playmakers and I love to watch them play.

I am glad that the Chargers showed up to play Saturday. We had an excellent crowd, it was a beautiful day on a beautiful new football field, and for one day, it was great to be a Chargers football fan. Of course, after the halftime festivities, which were partly broken up by a faulty wireless microphone, about half of the students left the game. You know when the girls are showing up in evening gowns, sorority regalia, and summer dresses that there is more than football on the afternoon agenda. Alas, it has been this way ever since I can remember. Once the Chargers put a consistent winner on the field, I'll bet at least some of the Kappas will stick around for the second half.

Bright Spots: The Guricas!, The New Field, Getting a Win

Needs Some Work: The wireless microphone, the body paint on some of the Independent "fraternity" guys.

Next week go to Erie, PA to battle the Golden Knights of Gannon. We should get our first road win of the season and square our record at 2-2. Dan Bisher and I will be on the air at 6:45. You can listen live on WCSR 92.1 or at

Friday, September 09, 2005

Commentary: AD Kovalchik Takes Spirit out of the Game

Andy Losik
Hillsdale College Class of 1994

As the Chargers take to the new turf of Muddy Waters Stadium for the first time this season and we celebrate reunions for two of the greatest seasons of Hillsdale football, something will be missing--cheerleaders.

Cheerleaders? Yep, a fixture of college football around the country is no more at Hillsdale College, victim of the price chopping axe of athletic director Mike Kovalchik.

According to Julie Ryan's article in Thursday's Collegian, after Hillsdale's cheerleading coaches resigned in the spring Kovalchik decided not to seek replacements and to dismantle the program.

Ryan states in the article' "When deciding if the school should hire new coaches for the cheerleading program, Dr. Kovalchik said that the cheerleading scenario has experienced five different part time head coaches in the last seven years and because of the other programs being cut, he could not justify keeping cheerleading."

Couldn't justify it? What's it take to sponsor a cheerleading squad? Every high school from Podunkville to the great big ones seems to be able to handle that monumental task. In my eyes, the question is "How can you justify NOT having cheerleaders?".

Every time something gets cut, it's a restructuring that is supposed help other programs. Hillsdale has lost several varsity sports since 2003. We sure have seen big improvements in other sports. Haven't we? This move might save a handful of bucks but it directly takes away from the school's two most visible programs, football and basketball.

Anything that diminishes a program's advantage is detrimental. It's a slap in the face to the women who have worked hard to keep the cheerleading programs growing and improving over the past years and its a slap in the face of the football and basketball athletes because it tells them that what they do isn't even worthy of fielding cheerleaders to support them!

A school with an enrollment as small as Hillsdale's in a league as big as the GLIAC needs every advantage it can get, especially in its home stadium. I could list a great number of classics that have been fought and won in that stadium and without a doubt the intangible energy coming from the fans in blue and white made a difference. The students who fill the endzone like the Pit Posse need to be encouraged to make as much noise as possible. Taking away the cheerleaders doesn't encourage anything but apathy.

"Big deal, get over it," you might say it.

I guess in the grand scheme of things it might be a little thing. But the little things are often ones that make the biggest difference, and they often add up with few noticing. I know that the coaching staffs are doing all they can to not only make Hillsdale competitive but the champions that supporters expect while little pieces of the athletic program keep going away. Since 2003, five varsity sports have been eliminated and in the last round of cuts this spring even an administrative position that directly benefited athletes' lives off the field was nixed. Sure, all little things, but what saddens me is that fewer and fewer and kids are getting to wear Charger blue and have their lives molded by great, great people like I did.

I guess the thing that has me so upset is that this is a direct blow to what I like to call the great Hillsdale spirit. That spirit runs through this tiny college and bonds so many of us together. It more than anything has allowed Hillsdale to excel against great odds on and off the athletic field. It is what the many Hillsdale men took into battle with them while defending the Union and human dignity. It is what brings old teammates out of the woodwork in support of a Charger brother whose wife is battling cancer. It is what has allowed Hillsdale to stand in the face of adversity so many times and emerge triumphant.

Maybe there IS just no money to promote that spirit anymore. My big question has always been: Instead of cutting, why aren't the powers that be working to find a way to make it happen? But, I see Hillsdale has its resources headed for other projects right now like a graduate school of statemanship and a retirement community. Pardon me though if I am late to jump on the latest bandwagon Central Hall is pulling through town. I'll just keep doing my part to support the guys who represent all of us every Saturday in the fall.

Feel free to email me your take on this situation. I'd love to hear what others think.

Chargers set to Battle Bulldogs

Saturday September 10, 2:30 Pm
Muddy Waters Stadium

The Bulldogs of Ferris State come to Hillsdale this Saturday for what should be a very festive day of GLIAC football. Not only is it homecoming, but the undefeated 1955 Dales will celebrate the 50th anniversary of one of the greatest seasons in Hillsdale football history. The 1985 National Champion Chargers will celebrate the 20th anniversary of their feat and College Football Hall of Famer Frank "Muddy" Waters will be on hand as well.

Both clubs enter the game at 0-2 overall and in the GLIAC. Stat wise things look pretty tight and any apparent Hillsdale advantage though has to be taken with a grain of salt considering that Ferris' stats include the always joyful task of opening the season in Lubbers Stadium against Grand Valley. The other Bulldog loss came to Ashland last Saturday in their home opener.

The Matchup:

Scoring: Hillsdale-17.5 points per game, GLIAC rank:8, Ferris St-15.5 points per game, GLIAC rank:11
Scoring Defense: Hillsdale-23 points per game, GLIAC rank:8, Ferris St-27 points per game, GLIAC rank:9
Total Offense: Hillsdale-249 yards per game, GLIAC rank:13, Ferris St-255 yards per game, GLIAC rank:12
Total Defense: Hillsdale-322.5 yards per game, GLIAC rank:6, Ferris St-354.5 yards per game, GLIAC rank:9
Rushing: Hillsdale-140 yards per game, GLIAC rank:8, Ferris St-89.5 yards per game, GLIAC rank:13
Passing: Hillsdale-109.5 yards per game, GLIAC rank:11, Ferris St-165.5 yards per game, GLIAC rank:7
Rushing Defense: Hillsdale-157 yards per game, GLIAC rank:5, Ferris St-195 yards per game, GLIAC rank:9
Pass Defense: Hillsdale-165 yards per game, GLIAC rank:6, Ferris St-159 yards per game, GLIAC rank:5

Quarterbacks: Both signal callers will be looking to get back to form and bring several similarities into the game. Hillsdale's Aaron Scholl had a rough start to the season with 5 picks in 2 games, but hopefully some home cooking will help him get his bearings and return to old form. His threat as a rusher should keep the Dawgs honest, but Scholl and the Chargers will be looking to get TE Keith Recker and deeper receivers more into the mix. Scholl's numbers: 19/37 for 219 yards, 2 TD, 89 rushing yards. Ferris' Ryan Kaul has thrown nearly as many interceptions as Scholl, surrendering 4 so far this year. He has also has 2 TD and has rushed for 93 yards. Kaul's numbers: 31/68 331 yards.

Receivers: Both schools feature pre-season All Americans in Recker and the Bulldog's Carlton Brewster. Both Charger and Bulldog fans have been vocal about wanting to see both of these guys more involved in their respective gameplans. Recker only has 3 catches for 29 yards so far and Brewster is catching 5 1/2 balls per game. Last week against Ashland, the Bulldogs found themselves down 22-0 before Brewster led a 21-2 comeback attempt with 2 touchdown receptions. The Chargers' Bill Brown leads Hillsdale receivers with 3 catches for 54 yards and a touchdown.

Running Game: Hillsdale appears to have the advantage here, IF Phil Martin can bounce back from an injury that held him out of most of the second half against Findlay. On the season, Martin has rushed for 153 yards on 29 carries and has 2 touchdowns. He was completely stifled in the opener at Indianapolis but exploded in the first half against Findlay. The Charger run game hit skid row when Martin and offensive lineman Ike Dougherty went down. A healthy Dougherty will add a lot to the Charger run game. Ferris features Shawn Grigg who has carried 25 times for 97 yards and a touchdown.

Defense: Both Hillsdale and Ferris' defenses have seen the field more than either would like this year.

Both have been beaten in the time of possession battle by an average of 10 minutes per game. The Charger defense did a much better job last week getting off the field, compared to the opener at Indy when the Greyhounds controlled the ball for 41 minutes. Last week Hillsdale improved greatly, out-possessing Findlay 32 minutes to 28. Limiting Brewster's touches and playing strongly on 3rd down will be key.

Last week Eric Weber, Andy Dion and the rest of the defensive line came up huge time after time, getting off the field and getting the offense the ball. The Chargers' 7 sacks rank 3rd in the GLIAC and Weber's 3 individual sacks tie him for the league lead with 2 other players. The improvement up-front has been tremendous and should help to pressure Kaul into bad decisions while stifling an offense averaging less than 90 yards per game of production.

Linebacker Mark Scott currently ranks 3rd in the GLIAC with 24 stops. The linebacking corps as a whole has used young and veteran players to solidify the defense. Chad Gurica on Brewster should be a fun matchup to watch in the secondary.

Ferris' Mike Klobucher and Jake Visser lead the Bulldog defense with 23 and 22 stops respectively.

Special Teams: Like the defensive line, the Chargers have excelled on special teams. Nick Gurica is leading the GLIAC in punt returns with a 14 yard average. Nick's brother Chad has done a lot to put the Chargers 2nd in kickoff returns with a 30.6 yard average. Gurica's 95 yard touchdown against Indianapolis sparked a huge turn-around that brought Hillsdale back from a sluggish first half. Phil Martin has 104 return yards and his health will be a factor here as well. Matt Van Over continues to be one of the GLIAC's top punters, currently ranked 2nd statistically with a 37.5 yard average. Let's just hope he gets fewer and fewer chances to see the field.

The Skinny: This should be an interesting game to watch. both teams know that resurrecting their seasons require huge efforts on Saturday. Despite being 0-2, the Chargers should have a hop in their steps as they christen the new turf while being surrounded by legends who helped make Hillsdale one of the great programs in small college history. Injuries could play a role, but in all it should be a great day for football, a bit warm maybe, but I guarantee there will be plenty of refreshment in the parking lot.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Homecoming Festivities Load Saturday

Alright folks, homecoming weekend has rolled around once again and with it come the near endless opportunities to partake in free festivities. Put on a nice smile and make the rounds through campus as the following events will be toasting the Chargers.

A bunch of tents will be set up near Oak and College Streets near the main Sports Complex entry.

Hillsdale Gridiron Club Tailgate Party- 12:20-postgame, Enjoy tailgate fare and a few cold ones while supporting the football program's alumni/fan booster club. Game worn jerseys for sale $10, member sponsorship opportunities available.

Hillsdale Football Parents Booster Club, 12:30-postgame, Look for the flags in the grass lot near the sports complex. Gather with other Charger parents before and after the game.

Charger Tailgate, 12:30-2:15 PM, All alumni and fans invited, live music by The Jello Shots, free food and non-alcoholic beverages provided by HC alumni association

Post-game Party, 5-7:00 PM, All alumni and fans invited, live music by The Jello Shots, free food and non-alcoholic beverages provided by HC alumni association

Charger Party, 8-11:30 PM, Free admission and music by Root Doctor, cash beer and wine, pizza and grinders, provided by HC alumni association. 3 NW Region Notebook Northwest Region Correspondent
September 7, 2005

When the North Central Conference lost perennial powers Northern Colorado and North Dakota State to Division I a couple of years ago, the nay Sayers were complaining that the league would never be the same.

They were right-- the NCC might be even stronger now.

With the stunningly quick turnarounds of Minnesota State and South Dakota from conference doormats to teams on the cusp of becoming regional and national powers, the NCC can this year boast of having five of its seven teams capable of playing with anyone in the country. When you also consider that the team picked to finish sixth in the league (Minnesota-Duluth) has a pair of wins over teams expected to finish near the top of their respective conferences, it becomes apparent why the league race this season could be one of the best in history.

Last week NCC teams went 7-0 in non-conference play with a pair of very impressive wins by Nebraska-Omaha (28-23 over a Top 5 Northwest Missouri State team) and North Dakota (41-7 over national semifinalist West Chester). The conference will have to prove its mettle again this week as four of the seven teams face stiff competition on the road.

Full Column

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Week 2 Players of the Week

The following Chargers were named palyers of the week by the Hillsdale coaching staff after the week 2 Findlay game.

Offense: Ike Dougherty
Defense: Mark Scott
Special Teams: Matt Van Over
Every Player Every Play: Eric Weber
Big Stick Award: Chad Gurica
Offensive Scout: Nick Lewis
Defensive Scout: Andrew Yarbrough

David Harman Memorial Scholarship Ceremony set for Saturday

Dave Harman never played football at Hillsdale College, but was a great supporter of the College and its athletic program. An accomplished golf course designer, Harmon lost his fight with cancer last winter. Dave was shining example to all students and alumni. He is greatly missed.

In recognition of all Dave gave to Hillsdale as both a student and an alum, a memorial scholarship has been established in his honor. A special ceremony will take place this Saturday, September 10 at the Hillsdale College Alpha Tau Omega house at 11:00 AM

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Searching for an Identity

Andy Brown
Hillsdale Football Play-by-Play
WCSR Radio and Special to

The Chargers dropped their second game of the season, 17 to 14, at Findlay Saturday night.

I can't imagine what the short bus ride back to Hillsdale was like. Hillsdale had every opportunity you could possibly ask for to win this game. The defense did a great job against the Findlay running game, Hillsdale got its own running game going, Hillsdale led by 14 on the road, but none of that matters now. The Chargers did not get it done when it mattered most, and now must face the prospect of returning to Muddy Waters Stadium to play Ferris with an 0-2 record against beatable teams.

In my opinion there were three major factors in the loss:

1. The Chargers did not respond well when two of their offensive starters, running back Phil Martin, and tackle Ike Daugherty, went down with injuries. Martin in particular had been a key factor in the Chargers' successful first half, scoring both of Hillsdale's touchdowns, and breaking a 55-yard run to give them a chance to score again at the end of the first half. Brett Neller ran the ball very hard, and didn't do a bad job, but the loss of Martin seemed to tame Hillsdale's offensive attitude. They are simply nowhere near as effective without Martin available. Martin attempted to play again on a heavily taped ankle, but couldn't make the difference Hillsdale needed.

2. Aaron Scholl does not appear to be comfortable in this offense. Yes, Scholl ran for over 100 yards, but passing he was only 11 of 23 with three devastating interceptions. Scholl often seems to be caught between trying to find an open receiver and looking for a place to run. When a quarterback tries to do both of those things at the same time, his production will suffer. Don't forget, Scholl was injured early last season, and missed the entire second half of the year. He does not have a great deal of experience. He also does not seem to be a particularly accurate passer. Scholl missed open receivers throughout the game, and even when the passes were completed, the receivers were not catching the ball in stride. The Chargers offense presents almost no vertical passing threat whatsoever. This allows defenses to pack everything inside and guard against the shorter passes. Of course, I don't know if the coaches are calling for longer passes and Scholl is checking down or running, but the simple fact is that Scholl didn't take any shots downfield. Either he must improve, or the coaches need to change the scheme to help him be more successful.

3. Keith Recker? I suppose my final point dovetails with my second, but the Chargers are getting very little production from their preseason All-American candidate Keith Recker. Keith looks as if he feels good and is ready to make plays, but he isn't getting any chances. Wondering what impact he had in the Findlay game? How about 1 catch for 9 yards. That is it! Keith is a deadly weapon on third down and will catch every ball that is thrown in his relative vicinity. Unfortunately, Scholl either ran the ball on passing downs, tried to hit another receiver, or threw a bad pass to Recker. I bet they called several plays for Keith, but the ball only came his way three or four times, and he never had a chance to catch most of the passes. It would seem that Recker would be the perfect target for a young quarterback trying to build some confidence, but it is not happening so far. It could be that defenses are scheming ways to prevent Recker from making an impact, but the Chargers still must do better in getting him involved.

Bright Spots: Eric Webber: Two Sacks!! Phil Martin--great first half--he is for real.

Needs Some Work: Kicking game. Vertical passing attack.

Well, it seems that the link is back for the broadcasts. You can log on to to listen to all the Chargers game live over the internet! Jim and I will have the call on WCSR Saturday at 2:15! I will try to interview Muddy Waters, who is appearing with the 1955 team that went 9-0.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

A Tale of 2 Halves: Chargers Drop Another

Despite running out to a 14-0 lead and looking like there was nothing that could stop the Charger offense, things dried up in the second half. Findlay peeled off the next 17 points, good enough to hand Hillsdale its second straight loss of the season.

Last week at Indianapollis, the Chargers struggled to maintain very few drives, and faced 4th down and 2 early in Findlay's red-zone. Head coach Keith Otterbein rolled the dice and Phil Martin punched it in from 6 yards out to go up 6-0. Matt Mechinger added the extra point for a 7-0 lead.

Martin would continue a tremendous first half, giving Hillsdale a 13-0 lead with an 8 yard run midway through the second half.

The return of Matt Britton, and outstanding play from the entire defense played a big role in keeping Findlay's tailback Marcus Crawford in-check most of the game. Oiler quarterback Mike Leach was able to crack the Charger defense in the second quarter as he hooked up with George Ashman on a touchdown pass that would bring Findlay within 7.

Martin, who amassed 107 yards rushing in the first half and quarterback Aaron Scholl would get the Chargers close before intermission, but Mechinger could not convert a 24 yarder.

The second half was all Findlay as the Oilers adjusted and the Chargers lost Martin due to an ankle injury after just 8 yards of production. Scholl struggled throughout, ending the game with 3 interceptions and 3 fumbles. He was 11 of 23 passing for 107 yards.

Hillsdale never could find an answer as Leach would throw for another touchdown to tie things at 14 after 3 quarters. A fouth quarter Findlay field goal would prove to be the game winner 17-14.

Hillsdale drops to 0-2 on the year and 0-2 in the GLIAC. Ferris State comes to the 'Dale for a 2:30 PM Homecoming match-up next Saturday.

Live WCSR Feed Now Available

Listen to Andy Brown and Bob Flynn call the action from Findlay tonight. Follow the directions on Hillsdale's Athletics page.

Otterbein eyes first win over Findlay

By Paul Costanzo
Hillsdale Daily News Sports Editor

Keith Otterbein has never beaten Findlay.

The Oilers have had his Hillsdale Chargers’ number in three close games, including a 28—23 defeat last season.

The Hillsdale College football coach expects another tough battle today, but hopefully for him, the results change.

Full Story

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Week 2 :: Hillsdale Travels to Findlay

This Week's Games:

Hillsdale at Findlay, 7 PM

Northwood at Wayne St., noon
Indianapolis at Michigan Tech, 1 PM
Ashland at Ferris St., 7 PM
Gannon at Grand Valley, 7 PM
Mercyhurst at Northern Michigan, 7 PM

The 2005 Hillsdale College football did not get off to a good start last week at Indianapolis as the Chargers dropped the opener 29-21. The 8 point spread was closer than the game on the field thanks exceptional work on special teams and from a re-vamped defensive line that after one week leads the GLIAC in quarterback sacks with 5. Unfortunately, the Chargers are forced to share that honor with Indianapolis who also got to Aaron Scholl behind the line of scrimmage 5 times themselves.

Indy controlled the football and the tempo last week and that is something the Chargers must do this week as they take on the Oilers of Findlay University. Findlay had their way on Saturday with Tiffin, winning 31-10 and placing among the league's top 5 in most major categories.

PASS OFFENSE #5 193.0 yards
RUSHING OFFENSE #5 214.0 yards
TOTAL OFFENSE #4 214 yards rushing 193 yards passing 407 total yards 3 TD
PASS DEFENSE #3 7-18 2 Int. 38.9% 105 yards 0 TD 105.0
RUSHING DEFENSE #4 39 rushes 113 yards 2.9 yards per carry 1TD
TOTAL DEFENSE #3 113 yards rushing 105 yards passing 218 total yards

The Oilers also had some great individual efforts in the win, despite being without the nation's 10th leading rusher last season Michael Simpson who is reportedly injured. Sophomore Marcus Crawford will be the main target for the Charger defense as he peeled off 138 yards and a touchdown on 29 carries. Findlay also proved the Oilers can throw the ball when needed.

INDIVIDUAL RUSHING #4 Marcus Crawford 29 carries 138 yards 4.8 ypc 1 TD
INDIVIDUAL PASSING #4 Mike Leach 16-23 0 INT 69.6% 170 yards 1TD
RECEIVING #1 Darren Paige 8 catches 110 yards 0 TD 13.8 yards per catch

With those types of numbers and the fact the game is on the road for a second straight week, the Chargers will definitely have their hands full. But the beauty of college football is that every Saturday, there is a great opportunity to do something great.

What do we really know about any of these teams at this point in the season anyway? How good is that Indianapolis team Hillsdale still had a chance to beat late in the game? They finished last season by winning 4 of 5 and must have been feeling pretty good about themselves. Sure, they graduated super-qb Matt Kohn but plugged in D1 Ball St. transfer Casey Gillin and hardly missed a stride. All reports out of the Dale indicated that the Chargers were pretty confident going into that one. A 23-7 halftime defecit sobered Hillsdale enough to send them roaring back in the second half. On the other side of the coin this week, you have to wonder how strong of an opponent was Tiffin? We know they beat Hillsdale last season, but also lost a 4 year starting quarterback and all world receiver Nate Washington who signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers. We could sit here and play these games on paper all day, but that is for the guys who set the betting lines for the 702 area code. Come 7 PM on Saturday night, the real contest will be decided. Let's hope last Saturday's opener was an anomoly, and in November we'll be shaking our heads saying, "What the heck happened at Indy?" as this season does pan out to be as successful as the Charger faithful expect it to be.

A few other notes:
Senior linebacker Matt Britton was sorely missed last week. No word on the reason or when we can expect him back. Linebackers True Freshman Mark Wade and Sophomore Austin Niemiec showed they have the potential to be a long time forces on the Charger defense. Let's hope Britton returns soon and that Wade and Niemiec and, as the great D-Line coach Bill Karpinski would say, "ain't just a flash in the pan". Junior Mark Scott continued to demonstrate an ability to find the football, leading the team with 12 tackles, including 1 1/2 for loss.

Great effort last week out of the Charger defensive line. As mentioned before, the unit sits atop the GLIAC stats with 5 sacks last week. Andy Dion was exceptional as were Aaron Hoekje and Andrew Daugherty. Daugherty had 11 stops.

New Sports Information Director Brad Monastiere is working hard to restore the live radio feed from WCSR to the Hillsdale Athletics website. Last Spring the entire athletics site was disassembled and in the transition, the feed was not re-established. The Geeks in Hillsdale's Tech Service Dept. tell Brad all will be well by game time. I will post a link as soon as it is available with an alternate link to the Findlay broadcast.

Next week is homecoming as the Chargers christen the new turf at Muddy Waters Stadium. The Hillsdale alumni site has all of the details. Top 25 Poll Top 25 Poll

The 2005 Top 25 National Rankings are chosen by members of the Media Voting Panel. will release its national poll every Tuesday during football season.

Rank Team Last Week
1 Valdosta State (1-0) 2
2 Grand Valley (1-0) 3
3 North Dakota (1-0) 4
4 Northwest Missouri (1-0) 5
5 East Stroudsburg(1-0) 8
6 Delta State (1-0) 15
7 Texas A&M-Kingsville (1-0) 6
8 Nebraska-Omaha (1-0) 11
9 Pittsburg State (0-1) 1
10 Edinboro (1-0) 12
11 Albany State (1-0) 9
12 Carson-Newman (1-0) 10
13 South Dakota (1-0) 17
14 Saginaw Valley (1-0) 24
15 Northwood (0-1) 7
16 Arkansas Tech (1-0) 14
17 Michigan Tech (1-0) 18
18 St. Cloud (1-0) 20
19 West Chester (1-0) 19
20 Shippensburg (1-0) 22
21 Tuskegee (1-0) 23
22 Colorado Mines (0-1) 16
23 Catawba (1-0) NR
24 Bloomsburg (1-0) NR
25 Washburn (1-0) NR :: Week 2 Northwest Region Notebook Northwest Region Correspondent
August 29, 2005

August 29, 2005
August 22, 2005

August 29, 2005

There were some terrific games and some blowouts, but generally speaking, the Northwest Region was quite "stable" in week one. The teams that were expected to win did so and there was an absence of the many surprises you normally see in the first week of the season.
The one notable exception was a shocker, however. NSIC power Winona State traveled down to Missouri to take on what appeared to be a rather toothless bunch of Truman State Bulldogs. The Warriors came home 0-1.

These facts should help to illustrate why the Warriors' 21-16 loss to Truman State was such a surprise:

-Truman finished just 2-9 last year and was picked eighth out of nine teams in its conference in the pre-season poll.

-The Warriors completely dominated the game in blasting the Bulldogs 56-28 last season.

-Truman State has an incredible 73 freshmen and red shirt freshmen on its roster. 15 of those freshmen were on the 2-deep depth chart the school released leading up to the game.

While a loss in the season opener doesn't ruin a season by any means, Winona State will need to get its act together in a hurry with a very solid Emporia State team and North Dakota on the schedule in the next two weeks. With so many good teams in the region this year, it's likely that even earned access couldn't save the Warriors from a 0-3 start.

The Week in Review


Saginaw Valley 9 Northwood 7
Chris Dougherty's 69-yard touchdown pass to Rick Cottengim with 23 seconds remaining in the game gave the Cardinals the win over the Timberwolves. Dougherty led SVSU with 52 rushing yards and 259 passing yards. Yared Yearby caught six passes for 95 yards and a touchdown to lead Northwood.

Bob's take: Strange. That is the word that comes to my mind when trying to describe this game. First of all there is the ending. It's not often that you see a long touchdown pass win a game in the final 30 seconds. Next there is the fact that both teams struggled so badly to put points on the board. Despite the quality of SVSU's defense, I expected Northwood's explosive offense to produce much more than one measly touchdown. And then finally, there is the odd decision by SVSU head coach Randy Awrey to not address the media following the game. It was definitely an odd afternoon in Midland.

Northwood is a veteran team that should recover from a loss like this, but it will be interesting to see how the team responds in the coming weeks. It will also be interesting to see if a quarterback controversy develops in the Timberwolve camp. Two year starter Kyle Kolbe was ineffective both running and passing and was lifted in favor of Eric Chrisinske, who completed nine of eleven passes.

The most important thing that this win does for SVSU is buy time for the young offense to improve. SVSU has a week off and with the soft part of the schedule coming up in the next month, the Cardinals will have an opportunity to get their offense going before the tough stretch of the schedule begins in mid-October.

Full Column

Charger Parents :: Findlay Tailgating Info

Sandy Balone
Charger Football Parents Booster Club

Tailgating will commence around 4:30/5:00 PM in the parking lot that borders the school cafeteria at Donnell Stadium. Look for the blue flags. The stadium is not located on the university campus, for directions go to Findlay Athletics Site and scroll down to Donnell Stadium. On the left side of that screen you can also click on "tickets" for their current ticket prices. There is no charge for parking. Please bring your main dish, beverages, eating utensils and a dish to pass. Larry will have the grill fired up for those of you who want to grill. When you pack up to go in the stadium please pick up your dish and dispose of your garbage.

Please see Nancy Rumsey (#58 Mom) for a Charger football rear window decal. They are $5.00 each and all proceeds go to the football team.

It is not too late to order apparel or sports buttons with your son's number on them. I will have samples and order forms with me at the tailgate.

I am counting on the Moms & Dads that bring the duct tape to every game to tape up our flags. Thanks to the Crowleys and the Stapfs for bringing the extra tables to make our tailgate buffet. Don't be shy, just bring your plate over and graze the table. I think that we have one of the best "away game" crowds in the league!

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