The Holland Sentinel
Hillsdale, MI —The Hillsdale College football team lost some juice when its top linebacker graduated and earned a NFL tryout with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
But the Chargers got a jolt for their defense from David Bakker, a 6-foot-3, 229-pound sophomore from West Ottawa High School.
Bakker is the fifth-leading tackler for Hillsdale, which plays at Grand Valley State University in NCAA Division II playoff action Saturday at Lubbers Stadium in Allendale. Kickoff is 1 p.m.
The winner advances to the national quarterfinals.
“Those are really big shoes to fill,” Hillsdale coach Keith Otterbein said, referring to Tom Korte, one of the Steelers’ final cuts before the regular season. “We don’t ask players to be more than they are. David has taken it to heart. He really has worked very hard at getting to the right spot within our defensive scheme. When you try to do someone else’s job, that’s when you have problems.”
The Chargers (10-2) are counting on Bakker to handle his assignments as they go for their second upset of third-ranked GVSU this season.
They beat Grand Valley 27-24 Oct. 10 at Hillsdale after the Lakers missed a game-tying, 45-yard field goal at the end of regulation. The loss ended the Lakers’ 48-game win streak in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, a stretch that lasted back to 2004.