Tradition • Character • Service

Tradition • Character • Service

Friday, November 30, 2007

New Regional Allignment for 2008

The NCAA is once again realigning its regions for football and all sports. Hillsdale and the GLIAC remain in the Northwest Region but trade the liquidating NCC for the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference.

Here is's Bob Eblen's take on the matter:

New Regional Alignment

Beginning next season, Division II will once again be realigning the regions for football. The basic alignment as far as conferences go:

Northeast Region:


Southeast Region:


Northwest Region:


Southwest Region:


The GNAC's five teams (not an official conference) will be in the southwest region.

As I understand it, the driving force behind this new alignment is, as strange as it may sound, volleyball. D-II's leadership wanted to equalize playoff opportunities for volleyball and at the same time, create regions that were the same for all sports. Hence the new alignment.

The problem with these new regions in football is that they are stupid. You're going to put four conferences in one region and two in another call it fair? I thought this was the reason we changed everything around back in 2004-- to equalize the number of teams in each region. Now we swing back the other way and put over 40 teams in the Northeast again? This makes zero sense.

I understand the concept behind regionalization and it probably does make sense at this level in sports like basketball where there are 280+ teams. But the folks setting the rules in this division have to understand that strict regionalization makes no sense in football and only serves to hurt the sport.

Division II is claiming to have made many strides over the past couple of years in shoring up its image and establishing an identity. As far as I'm concerned, decisions like this one make those claims pretty hollow.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Five Chargers on All Region Team

We knew all along Mark Nicolet was the top quarterback in the the Northwest Region. Here is further proof as Nicolet was named to the first team of the Daktronic's All Region Team.

Tom Korte and Matt Vanover also gained some well earned recognition with first team nods at linebacker and punter respectively. This is Korte's 2nd straight appearance.

Aaron Waldie (wr) and Jared Veldheer (ol) were named to the All Region 2nd team.

Congratulations guys!

Quarterback: Mark Nicolet, Sr., Hillsdale (Mich.)
Running Back: *Amos Allen, Sr., South Dakota; +Joique Bell, So., Wayne State (Mich.); +Brian McNeill, Jr., Nebraska-Omaha
Wide Receiver: *Weston Dressler, Sr., North Dakota; Scott Peters, Sr., Winona State (Minn.)
Tight End: Jared Bronson, Jr., Central Washington
Offensive Line: *Brandon Barnes, Sr., Grand Valley State (Mich.); Mitch Braegelmann, Jr., North Dakota; Vince Cashdollar, Sr.,
Ashland (Ohio); Ben Hochstein, Sr., Nebraska-Omaha; Christian Morton, Sr., South Dakota
Defensive Line: *Rob Lewis, Sr., Nebraska-Omaha; *Dan Skuta, Jr., Grand Valley State (Mich.); *Jake Visser, Jr., Ferris State
Linebacker: *Anthony Adams, Sr., Grand Valley State (Mich.); Tom Korte, Jr., Hillsdale (Mich.); Shane Simmons, Sr., Western
Washington; Jeff Souder, Jr., Nebraska-Omaha
Cornerback: *Brandon Carr, Sr., Grand Valley State (Mich.); Dustin Rice, Sr., Augustana (S.D.)
Safety: *Randy Kush, Jr., Nebraska-Omaha; Tyler Reed, Jr., Southwest Minnesota State
Kicker: Brandon Hellevang, So., North Dakota
Punter: Matt Vanover, Sr., Hillsdale (Mich.)
All-Purpose Back: Ryan Chappell, So., North Dakota

Quarterback: +Brad Iciek, So., Grand Valley State (Mich.); +Mike Reilly, Jr., Central Washington
Running Back: Alex Wiese, Sr., Winona State (Minn.)
Wide Receiver: Johnny Spevak, So., Central Washington; Aaron Waldie, Jr., Hillsdale (Mich.)
Tight End: Brandon Hill, Sr., Mercyhurst (Pa.)
Offensive Line: Bill Bourdlais, Sr., Ferris State (Mich.), Sam Himmelman, Sr., Central Washington; Jake Krause, Sr., Nebraska-
Omaha; Nick Urban, Jr., Winona State (Minn.); +Brian Okonofua, Jr., Wayne State (Mich.); +Tim Schneider, Sr., South Dakota;
+Jared Veldheer, So., Hillsdale (Mich.)
Defensive Line: Randy Earl, So., Minnesota State Mankato; Ryan Kees, Jr., Saint Cloud State (Minn.); Troy Pribnow, Jr., Wayne
State (Neb.)
Linebacker: Nick Baldetti, Sr., Wayne State (Neb.); Dion Harvey, Sr., Findlay (Ohio); Buddy Wood, So., Central Washington;
Steven Yarbrough, Sr., Tiffin (Ohio)
Cornerback: Shawn Cunningham, Sr., Winona State (Minn.); DeQwan Young, Sr., Saint Joseph’s (Ind.)
Safety: Chris Hemphill, Sr., Central Washington; Cheyne Nelson, Sr., Michigan Tech
Kicker: Paul Potemra, Fr., Bemidji State (Minn.)
Punter: Paul Potemra, Fr., Bemidji State (Minn.)
All-Purpose Back: Anthony Schreiber, Sr., Bemidji State (Minn.)

* Top vote-getter at position (where multiple players are selected) ... + Tied for final spot at position on that team

Breakdown by School (first team/second team in parenthesis)
Ashland 1 (1/0), Augustana 1 (1/0); Bemidji State 3 (0/3); Central Washington 6 (1/5); Ferris State 2 (1/1); Findlay 2 (1/1); Grand
Valley State 5 (4/1); Hillsdale 5 (3/2); Mercyhurst 1 (0/1); Michigan Tech 1 (0/1); Minnesota State Mankato 1 (0/1); Nebraska-
Omaha 6 (5/1); North Dakota 4 (4/0); Saint Cloud State 1 (0/1); Saint Joseph’s 1 (0/1); South Dakota 3 (2/1); Southwest
Minnesota State 1 (1/0); Tiffin 1 (0/1); Wayne State (Mich.) 1 (1/0); Wayne State (Neb.) 3 (0/3); Western Washington 1 (1/0);
Winona State 4 (1/3)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Mark Nicolet Season Highlights

Well so much for this video helping Mark Nicolet win the Harlon Hill Trophy. Grand Valley's Brad Iciek and North Dakota's Wes Dressler were recently voted as Northwest Region's representatives.

Nonetheless, we can still enjoy all Mark gave us this season. Check out also the great offensive line play and amazing performances from the receiving corps. There were so many highlights and I didn't have access to everything. If anyone creates a season video for the whole team, I would love to see it and be able to share it with the rest of the D2 world.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Free Decor - Mini Helmet Contest

Hey everybody,

Here is some free decor for your rooms in Simpson or whatever crumbling old houses you players might be living in right now. Married guys, just try and hang this up in your house. Extra bonus points for you if you can.

Download this .pdf. Print it out (Hint: It's pretty ink intensive. Use somebody else's printer.). Piece it together and hang it up.

Fully assembled, the poster is approximately 5 foot by 6 foot.

The first person to email me a digital picture of it up on a wall with themself next to it gets the last Charger mini-helmet I have left.

Get to work!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Nicolet Named GLIAC Player of the Year, 4 others 1st Team

Hillsdale quarterback Mark Nicolet has been named 2007 GLIAC Player of the Year.

Receivers Aaron Waldie and Nick Gurica join Nicolet who was also named to the all-league 1st team as a qb.

Defensively, LB Tom Korte and punter Matt Vanover are first teamers as well.

Chargers named to the second team include OL Jared Veldheer and DL Eric Weber.

Honorable Mention goes to Chet Crowley (Sr./OL), Josh Hutchison (Sr./DB), Vinnie Panizzi (So./RB), Matt Patillo (So./TE),
Dan Staph (Sr./OL), Josiah Swartz (Jr./OL)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Charger Post-season Awards

Hillsdale College Release

November 13, 2007 - After its most successful season this decade, the
Hillsdale College football team announced its team award winners at the
annual banquet Sunday afternoon.

Senior quarterback Mark Nicolet received the Roy Beck Most Valuable
Player Award after a record-setting season. Nicolet also received the
Leonard Urbonik Award for scholarship, leadership and ability.

Nicolet set single-season school records for passing yards and touchdown
passes in 2007, and set a new GLIAC record for passing yards in
conference games in one season.

Nicolet and junior linebacker Tom Korte received the Captains Awards.
Korte led the team in tackles with 109, and in interceptions with five.
Korte also received the Ralph Miller III Award as the team's outtsnding
linebacker for the second year in a row.

Senior wide receiver Nick Gurica received the Howard "Champ" Messenger
Award, as well as the Outstanding Offensive Back Award. Gurica shattered
the school record for receptions in a season with 78. He also set
single-game school records with 13 catches in a game twice.

Fellow wide receiver Aaron Waldie received the E.P.E.P. Award (Every
Player Every Play). Waldie broke the school record for touchdown catches
(18) and receiving yards (1,139) in 2007. His 110 points scored are
second-most in a season in school history.

Senior punter Matt Vanover was given the One Play Warrior Award for
turning in one of the finest season a punter has ever had in Charger
history. Vanover averaged 43.4 yards per punt, a new single-season GLIAC
record. He was also named GLIAC Special Teams Player of the Week twice.

Sophomore Jared Veldheer received the Outstanding Offensive Lineman
Award, while junior Eric Weber took home the Outstanding Defensive
Lineman Award for the second year in a row.

Defensive back Cody Henderson was named Outstanding Freshman. Henderson
earned a starting safety spot early in the season and played extremely
well throughout the season. he was one of two true freshmen to get
regular playing time on the team.

Senior Josh Hutchison was named the team's Outstanding Defensive Back.
Hutchison intercepted four passes and was second in the GLIAC with 12
pass breakups during the season.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Defense Gets Overlooked Where it Matters Most

At the end of the day, what really matters for a defense? When it all comes down to it, keeping people out of the endzone matters most.

The Chargers finished smack dab in the middle of the GLIAC for total yards yielded, but finished #3 in least points allowed. Hillsdale's defense showed it could stop opponents deep in Charger territory as they finish #2 in redzone defense. These numbers went a long way to help Hillsdale finish #3 in Passing Defense Efficiency.

Over the years when Hillsdale has played its best, the defense has been great at taking away fumbles and interceptions. This year the Chargers dominated turnover margin with a +18. That means they took the ball away 18 times more than they gave it away. The next closest was Saginaw Valley with a +12. Three Chargers finished in the top 10 for interceptions. Tom Korte led the league with 5 picks. Josh Hutchinson had 4 and Jared Kell nabbed 3 this season. Hutchinson ended up 2nd in the league for passes defended with those picks and 12 more break-ups.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Whatta Year!

The silence of Muddy Waters Stadium said it all last night. When the last second ticked off the clock and my daughter and I started for the car and the drive back to the Lakeshore, I couldn't help but marvel at just how quiet the entire Muddy Waters Stadium was. It wasn't a disappointment that the Chargers had run out of time against Saginaw Valley. It was a disappointment that the guys who thrilled us all season had run out of Saturdays. It was a disappointment that the dreams we all wanted for this bunch of guys had slipped just past their fingertips. We weren't disappointed in these guys. We were disappointed for these guys.

It took me about as far as the Burger King on M-99 before those feelings had past and I began to look at how amazing the year truly was and just how lucky I was to bring a little bit of it to the readers of

We saw a great offensive line allow record after record to be shattered. Every record below can be tied to great line play.

We saw a defense get better and better all year. Huge plays when the Chargers needed them came from a group that played with a ton of heart and persevered all year.

Then of course there was the offense, on fire all year.

Here is a run-down of just a few of the milestone performances this year. There were other single game records, but these are for the season.

Matt Vanover:
Single Season GLIAC record for punting average: 44.5 yards per punt

Mark Nicolet:
Single Season GLIAC record for net passing yards: 3145 yards (GLIAC games only)
Single Season Hillsdale record for net passing yards: 3335 yards
Single Season Hillsdale record for total offense: 3541 yards
Single Season Hillsdale record for passing touchdowns: 31
Single Season Hillsdale record for passing attempts: 371
Single Season Hillsdale record for completions: 240

Nick Gurica:
Single Season Hillsdale record for most receptions: 78
1055 yards receiving is #2 highest Hillsdale total ever recorded.

Aaron Waldie:
Single Season Hillsdale record for touchdown catches: 18
Single Season Hillsdale record for receiving yards: 1139 yards
63 receptions is #3 highest Hillsdale total ever recorded.

Vinnie Panizzi:
1085 rushing yards is the #6 highest Hillsdale total and best performance since 2002.
16 rushing touchdowns ties Scott Schulte for the #3 highest Hillsdale total and best performance since 1992.

Mark Petro:
Single Season Hillsdale record for most extra-points: 55

Stay tuned as I uncover more.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

HDN: One Snap at a Time

Chargers’ Mark Nicolet draws on faith to stay focused amid whirlwind season

Jim Pruitt, News Editor
Hillsdale Daily News
November 9, 2007

It may take a win and a prayer for Hillsdale College to make the playoffs, but its quarterback has faith to weather the storm: Faith in his team, faith in the system and a faith in God.

So when Mark Nicolet takes that first snap Saturday against Saginaw Valley State University, he won’t be caught up in the moment, thinking what the game means or what’s coming up.

He will be concentrating on making the play.

“I take it one snap at a time,” Nicolet said in an interview Wednesday night.

These are heady times for the Chargers senior. He is among the top quarterbacks in the nation in Division 2, with several single–season records on his resume.

His arm and leadership have brought Hillsdale College to its first winning season since 1999 and on the verge of the school’s first playoff spot since 1985. He is the star of the team and the rage across campus and among the Charger faithful.


Friday, November 09, 2007

Week 11: Biggest Podcast Ever! (Shortest one too)

Bigshots Allen Iverson and Jim Mora come on the podcast to talk playoffs...well we try anyway.

Then, I get down to what's really important this week against Saginaw Valley.

Click to listen. November 9: Thanks Chargers!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Hillsdale Daily News: Catching On

Hillsdale Daily News Photo
Receiving duo play big roles in Chargers’ prolific offense

Hillsdale Daily News
November 8, 2007
RJ Walters, Sports Writer

They are fairly short, have funny grins on their faces when talking about each other and might just be the best receiving duo in all of Division–II football this year.

They are Hillsdale College wideouts Nick Gurica and Aaron Waldie of course.

Gurica, a senior, is currently leading the GLIAC in receptions (68) and Waldie, a junior, has obliterated the single–season receiving touchdowns mark at Hillsdale (17) while leading the nation in that category.

Coupled with a record–breaking campaign from senior quarterback Mark Nicolet, the tandem has the Chargers on the brink of a possible playoff berth at 8–2 and it’s a number of different factors that have brought about their success.

Being part of a diverse offense with many weapons is a big key according to both.

“I don’t think we had the weapons last year but now we can spread it out more and our offensive line has just been giving great pass protection,” Gurica said. “My freshman year our quarterback control and protection wasn’t very good and I just think the way our offense is allows us just to do what the defense is giving us and it’s just clicking.”

Full Story

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

So Impressed...

Special to
Andy Brown
WCSR Play-By-Play

I had a chance to sit down with four Chargers Wednesday night and all I can say is how impressed I am. As I talked with Mark Nicolet, Aaron Waldie, Nick Gurica, and Tom Korte, I was struck that whenever I tried to praise their play as individuals, they deflected the praise to their teammates and coaches.

Some highlights of the interviews that will play during the broadcast of the Saginaw game Saturday:

--There is no talk of playoffs, there is just talk of Saginaw. To a man, the players said their entire focus is being 1-0 this week, nothing more.

--Nick Gurica claims that his brother Chad is the best Gurica in Chargers history.

--Mark Nicolet talked about how disappointed he was for his coaches that they went 5-6 last season. He felt that the coaches had prepared them to win, but that he and his teammates had not kept up their end. He said that was what drove him to improve over the off season.

--Tom Korte talked about how his decision to attend Hillsdale came down to last minute phone calls with Chuck Martin from Grand Valley, and Coach Otterbein from Hillsdale. He said that Coach Otterbein made the difference, and that he has never regretted the decision.

--Aaron Waldie admitted to being in the zone as he caught five touchdowns against Findlay. Both he and Mark admitted to being disappointed in having to come out of the game in the third quarter.

--Mark Nicolet has aspirations to resume his football career in the NFL after this season, but he refused to talk about it with me. He said that there will be a time for that down the road, but that he is completely focused on the game at hand this week.

--Nicolet talked about how exciting it was to prepare for the game this week, not knowing whether or not it will be his last game. Having the chance to play on November 17 has been his goal since the end of the Saginaw game last season.

--Each of the players spoke about how their faith has been a key to the season.

You can hear the entire interview during our broadcast Saturday. I can also pass along that coach Otterbein thinks that Saginaw has a great defense, and that his offense will be tested Saturday. He put the chances of Hillsdale getting into the playoffs at 50/50 (provided they beat Saginaw).

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Chargers Break GLIAC Team Record, Close to Another

Hillsdale has thrown the ball for a first down 143 times in GLIAC games this year. That is a new single season mark, breaking the mark of 140 set by Mercyhurst in 2000.

Hillsdale's current third down conversion rate is 53.6%. The GLIAC record for an entire season is 52% set by Grand Valley in 2001. If the Chargers can have some success on 3rd down, they will likely break the Lakers' record.

Great Fan Pictures from Doug Waldie

Many thanks to Doug Waldie for sharing these great Chargers photos.

Findlay Game

Wayne State Game Team Shop 3 Day Sale

Save $20 on an order of $75 or more from the Team Shop hosted by Cafe Press.

Enter the code HOLIDAYVIP at checkout.

Hurry! The sale ends at 11:59 PM (PST) on November 8, 2007.

Factualizing the Playoffs

Here is the prescribed curriculum from the NCAA. Let's see how it looks right now for Hillsdale compared to Ashland in the event both teams win this Saturday. Notes in Bold

This comes directly from the 2007 Division II Championship Handbook as updated by the NCAA on Sept. 27, 2007 Download for yourself.

Primary Criteria.
• In-region Division II won-lost results; Ashland at 8-1=.888, Hillsdale at 9-2=.818

These are added to the next two criteria to get a final number.

• Overall Division II strength-of-schedule (SOS) (opponents’ average winning percentage
and opponents’ opponents’ average winning percentage) (see Appendix L of the manual for more
details); Hillsdale will carry an advantage in SOS. Many scenarios play into and many math problems are involved. The end result will be very close. The committee will have to decide whether the small margin is significant enough to award the spot. If it is not significant enough they move to further criteria.

The NCAA lists the following as tie-breakers in the manual.

• Head-to-head competition; Hillsdale 49 Ashland 21
• Results versus common opponents; AU +1 with win against Ferris
• Results against Division II teams greater than .500; These could vary depending on what teams do this weekend. Hillsdale seems to hold a slim advantage in most cases.
• Trend performance (most recent four games beginning with the first regular season
ranking); Both 4-0
• Overall won-lost results;
• Division II won-lost results (games won-cumulative results of opponents; and games
lost-cumulative results of opponents);
• Results against Division II teams less than or equal to .500; and
• Results versus non-Division II opponents.

Wow! Bottom line. Hillsdale has to win. Get there and support them! Playoffs or no playoffs, this has been a historic season of Charger football.

Hillsdale to Honor Jack McAvoy's Years of Service to Hillsdale, The GLIAC, and DII

In 1990, the leadership of Jack McAvoy played a major role in shaping the landscape of NCAA Division II football as we know it today.

As athletic director at Hillsdale College, McAvoy led the charge to create the D2-only Midwest Intercollegiate Football Conference. The league united several football playing schools focused on Division II membership from the old Heartland and Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conferences. Prior to the MIFC, the conferences included D2, D3, and NAIA schools. The league would later re-adopt the GLIAC moniker and stands today as one of the top Division II football conferences in the country.

The Jack H. McAvoy award is presented annually to the GLIAC football player who best combines outstanding character and leadership on the field, in the classroom, and in the community.

As a lineman at Hillsdale, McAvoy played for Coach Muddy Waters and helped start the record setting win streak recently broken by Grand Valley State.

Now some 53 years after playing his last down of football for Hillsdale, the former Charger head coach and AD doesn’t have an ounce of quit in him.

“Coach Mac” has been fighting cancer for some time now and is bound and determined to whip it.

“Tommy, this damn thing isn’t going to beat me,” he recently told a former player who stopped by to catch up with his old coach.

Jack reports he is feeling fine with no side-effects from his chemotherapy.

The Hillsdale Football family will honor Coach McAvoy for a lifetime of service to Hillsdale, The GLIAC, and Division II Football Friday November 9th with an evening reception (private, by invitation) and a special halftime recognition ceremony during the Chargers’ final regular season game against Saginaw Valley.

All friends, colleagues, and former players are invited to honor Jack at halftime, a 2:30 PM kickoff at Muddy Waters Stadium. Notes of thanks, congratulations, and encouragement may be sent to Hillsdale c/o head coach, one of McAvoy’s former players, Keith Otterbein, Hillsdale College, Hillsdale, MI 49242.

Chargers Inch Closer in Regional Rankings


1. Nebraska-Omaha (9-0)
2. Grand Valley State (9-0)
3. North Dakota (8-1)
4. Central Washington (8-1)
5. Ashland (7-1)
6. Winona State (9-1)
7. Hillsdale (8-2)
8. South Dakota (6-4)
9. Saginaw Valley State (6-3)
10. Wayne State (Nebraska) (7-3)
11. Michigan Tech (5-5)
12. Indianapolis (6-4)

Well folks, the win by Hillsdale at Findlay and the South Dakota loss to UNO has moved Hillsdale one spot forward in the regional rankings released yesterday.

The Chargers now sit 7th, one step outside the coveted Top 6. Things will get very interesting with a number of big games on the slate.

First and foremost, Hillsdale must dispatch of #9 Saginaw Valley when the Cardinals visit Muddy Waters Stadium. A Saginaw win eliminates Hillsdale but probably won't be enough to put SVSU into the mix.

Two GLIAC opponents who can help Hillsdale this week are #11 Michigan Tech when Findlay visits and #12 Indianapolis who travels to Northwood. Husky and Hound wins will boost Hillsdale's strength of schedule and weaken Ashland's. Ashland didn't play either Tech or Indy. Indy has already secured a winning record. Tech can do that with a win and boost Hillsdale's resume as the Huskies part of the criteria is "results versus teams .500 or above".

Central Washington hosts UNO. A win by the Mavericks will drop CWU to 8-2 but how far the Wildcats drop is hard to estimate, and it is likely that they are already into the field. Nothing is certain until the NCAA announcement on Sunday.

Winona State (9-1) sits in the coveted 6th spot and plays #10 Wayne State College (7-3) in the Metrodome this Saturday. Either of these teams is a lock. A Winona win likely gets them a playoff spot outright. A Wayne State (Nebraska) win means "Earned Access" comes into play. The winner of the game will be the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference champ. Earned Access will replace the #6 seed with Wayne State thus removing a GLIAC or NCC team. For me, I will be cheering for Winona. I would much rather see a team with a 10-1 record be awarded a playoff site than an 8-3 team.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Waldie Takes GLIAC Offensive Player of the Week

Hillsdale College's Aaron Waldie has been named GLIAC Offensive Player of the Week for his 5 touchdown receptions against Findlay this past Saturday.

The junior from Sylvania, OH had a record-setting day for Hillsdale in its 45-7 win over Findlay. Waldie caught eight passes for 148 yards and a school-record five touchdowns. His five TD catches set a single-game record, and gave him the single-season mark of 17 touchdown catches this season. Waldie also set a single-season school record in receiving yards in the game, with his 148 giving him 1,106 for the season.

All Kinds of Charger Records and Milestones Set at Findlay

Milestones set by members of the Hillsdale Charger football program this past Saturday at Findlay:

RB Vinnie Panizzi eclispses 1000 yards rushing.
QB Mark Nicolet goes over 3000 yards passing.
WR Aaron Waldie surpasses 1100 yards receiving.
PK Mark Petro kicks his 50th extra point.

Records that fell at Findlay:

Nicolet extends single-season passing yards record to 3,037. He also sets the single season passing touchdown record at 29. Mark's 215 completions are a Hillsdale College single-season record as well.

Waldie sets the new Hillsdale receiving touchdown record at 17 for a season and ties the single-game touchdown catch record with 5. In addition, Waldie breaks Ed House's single-season receiving yardage record and now has 1106 on the season.

Nick Gurica now has the most receptions in a season with 68.

Mark Petro sets a new single-season extra point record with 52.

The team's 411 points this year are a new Hillsdale record.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Hillsdale or Ashland? The Debate Rages.

With one week of the 2007 schedule remaining, the debate rages on as to who should be awarded a spot in the NCAA Division II football playoffs-Ashland or Hillsdale?

Both teams must win their remaining games. Hillsdale has the much tougher task as the Chargers host feisty Saginaw Valley at 6-3. Ashland hosts winless Gannon.

Fans from across the region have been duking it out at's message board.

It would be a bitter ending to a great season if Hillsdale is left at home while Ashland plays on into the postseason.

Adding to the bitterness of the argument is the fact that Ashland was trailing Grand Valley before the game was canceled due to too much lightning in the area. Call it good luck for Ashland, bad luck for us. But, let's leave that out of the argument. Ashland fans point our not playing Grand Valley as equally lucky for us and unlucky for them. Neither of us officially played Grand Valley. Let's focus on what we do know.

Hillsdale thoroughly dismantled Ashland 49-28 in a game that was far more of a rout than the 21 point margin.

The NCAA adds winning percentage, strength of schedule, and opponent strength of schedule together to determine a team's overall body of work. Even though Ashland has one less, it is quite possible mathematically that Hillsdale's schedule numbers will map up .071 advantage the Eagles will carry in winning percentage if the clubs both win on Saturday.

Wins by Indy and Michigan Tech will help Hillsdale's numbers even more. Ashland didn't play either school but did play both of Tech and Indy's opponents, thus wins by the afore mentioned boost Charger numbers and weaken Ashland numbers.

All in all, a committee will decide. Let's just hope they see it in a Charger blue way. Maybe Mark Nicolet's record setting day against Ashland will help sway them.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, this video could be worth a trip to the playoffs.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Chargers Roll on the Road to 45-7 Victory

Mark Nicolet became the first Charger to ever throw for 3000 yards in a season. He found Aaron Waldie in the endzone 5 times today. Waldie shatters the single season TD catch record of 12 and moves it to 17. Great overall effort and by far the best showing away from the 517 area code.

Grea job fellas!

Get the scoop from or go to the Gametracker. Tony Nicolette's Gliac Column

Hillsdale (6-2, 7-2) at Findlay (3-5, 4-5)

Findlay looks to recover after a rough outing last weekend and see if they can't give themselves a shot at a winning season. Slowing down the high-powered Hillsdale offense will be required in order to do so. The Chargers have had almost no trouble moving the ball on the road, but for some reason the defense has had a hard time keeping up its end of the bargain away from Muddy Waters.

Hillsdale Keys:
- Continued balance. The Chargers have really improved the ground game over the past few weeks, and no longer rely on Mark Nicolet alone to move the ball. Doing the same this week (much like Ashland did vs. Findlay last week) bodes well for them.
- Avoid mistakes. Hillsdale racks up the yardage away from home, but they've also helped their road opponents stay in games with some sloppy play. The Chargers have essentially been in the playoffs for the last three weeks, so they need to keep that mindset here and play a clean game.
- Get stops. Against better teams this year, Findlay has consistently had trouble finishing drives. HC needs to make sure this continues in this game. Keeping the Oilers off the board and setting yourself up with short fields can put them at a disadvantage early. If Findlay gets behind and has to throw, advantage Hillsdale.

Findlay Keys:
- Line it up. Don't make the mistake that Tiffin did last week and try to stop the Chargers from passing. First of all, it can't be completely taken away. Second, the Chargers have shown they are more than capable of running the ball effectively when given the opportunity. Minimizing and containing is Findlay's best shot here. They won't be able to completely stop or take away one particular thing that HC does.
- Successful ground game. If Joel McDaniel and Jonathan Bell get back to both being over 100 yards this week, Findlay is in business. This keeps them in control of the tempo, and keeps Hillsdale's offense off the field.
- Score points. When Findlay has won games this year, they have finished drives and found ways to score. The Oilers will be able to run the ball in this game (Hillsdale is eleventh in the league and gives up 200+ per game on the ground), but settling for FG's or "zeroes" when they get into the red zone will spell almost certain doom.

Prediction: Hillsdale needs a ton of help to make the post-season, but the help (should they get it) won't do them any good if they don't handle their own business first. Like Ashland, I think they'll be dialed-in for this one. They'll need to be, as their road difficulties are well known and their soft spot against the run plays to Findlay's strength on offense. I'm going with Hillsdale here, but I'm not convinced that it's a lock by any means. Hillsdale 38, Findlay 26.

Full Column

Friday, November 02, 2007

How High Can Nicolet Fly?

Mark Nicolet broke Hillsdale's single season passing yardage record this past Saturday when he took his 2007 total to 2770 yards, now 106 yards past Mike Gatt's mark set in 1985 enroute to a Charger national championship.

The most amazing thing about Nicolet's feat is that he did it in 9 games compared to the regular season and playoff games Gatt needed.

The intriguing aspect of Nicolet setting the record so early is that he has at 2 and possibly more games to push it even further. He has averaged 307 yards per game. Two performances at half that clip still puts him past the elusive 3000 yard mark that no other quarterback in blue and white has been able to attain.

Is 3500 yards attainable? Who knows?

I bet if you ask Nicolet, he would trade it all for a shot at playing on 11-17.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Big Regional Game on CSTV Tonight Nov. 1

Watch Nebraska Omaha battle South Dakota tonight on TV. CSTV will carry the game live. Charger fans need to cheer for UNO.

Check your cable or satellite listings. Dish Network carries CSTV on 152.

Team needs editors, too - Opinion

Mary Petrides
Hillsdale Collegian

November 1, 2007

Saturday's football game was a rush: the Chargers won 31-14 in one of the most exciting home games of the season.

Tiffin University boasted a good-sized crowd, packing the visitor bleachers with far more fans than were in Hillsdale's student section. Perhaps this was because of the weather: It was cold, wet and windy enough to make birds tipsy as they flew over the field.

I was there, in the pep band, huddling in penguin formation between songs and sipping the hot apple cider that Sarah Mitchell brought for us.

I heard Tiffin's fans scream. I saw the shirtless and visibly hypothermic pit posse do
pushups on the soggy turf. I felt my embouchure freeze every time I put my mouthpiece to my lips. I heard Simpson residents sing "Glory, glory, what a wonderful pair of pants / the pants are marching on," and I saw their banner of pinstriped slacks on a broomstick.

I can't remember having so much fun or laughing so hard at a Hillsdale football game. At the end of the game my voice didn't work, my nose was running like a cheetah, and I wasn't sure if all my toes were still connected to my feet. And it was worth it.

Notably absent from the stands, however, were several "Collegian" editors who last week urged Hillsdale students to "pack the bleachers with our hand-painted signs and smiles" and "give them the applause and hollering they deserve."

To the editorial board's credit, News Editor David Landow came for the second quarter. He hollered once or twice, but mostly sat alone on the cold, wet bleachers huddled in a black coat and matching hat.

He carried no hand-painted signs.

Hillsdale's student section would have been nearly doubled if the entire editorial board had done what they asked their fellow Hillsdale students to do. But one editor showing up for one quarter without a hand-painted sign doesn't "pack the bleachers with our hand-painted signs and smiles."

Write, editors. Write, because the pen is mightier than the sword.

But know that actions speak louder. It doesn't take a sword to attend a football game.

Editor's note: Not only do we write with mighty pens, we editors here at The Collegian pride ourselves on letting our freelancers mock us, even when they don't bother to find out what out-of-town trips and graduate school tests kept us from the game. Not to worry, though, we'll always support our teams in print.

Team needs editors, too - Opinion

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