Tradition • Character • Service

Tradition • Character • Service

Monday, November 09, 2009

RJ Walters: It's official - the Chargers are a playoff team indeed

November 8, 2009

It's official — the Chargers are a playoff team indeed


The Chargers are officially in — no more speculation, only the excitement about how far this team can go.

The Hillsdale College football team’s season-ending banquet was a little more special Sunday, as it turned out not be a true “season-ending” gathering.

In the middle of the banquet the entire room erupted in cheers as the Chargers learned they will be going to Minnesota State-Mankato (10-1) Saturday for the school’s first-ever Division II playoff appearance.

“It was a chilling experience, and all the superlatives you can think of were present in that moment. It was something very special,” Chargers head coach Keith Otterbein said. “You could feel the gratification of everyone in the room, the parents, the support staff, the players and coaches, everyone that put their time and energy into this season just erupting in gratification of what all that hard work meant.”

The Charger program last played a postseason game in 1988, when it still competed as an NAIA school. Hillsdale moved up to Division II in football before the 1992 season, and now they will kick off a new chapter of the program’s legacy at noon local time on Saturday.

“It’s something we talk about a lot, rebuilding that tradition of success from the 80’s. We have three words that we identify as important at the beginning of every year and the first one is tradition. We’ve got 118 years of a very, very good football tradition here and our kids take a lot of pride in representing all 118 years of that tradition in their efforts and in their preparation, and then when they walk on that field they know and understand that they’re representing all of that tradition,” Otterbein said. “We talk a lot about how you do honor to that tradition, by playing with class and integrity and doing everything you do at a championship level.  This year we’ve had the opportunity to be recognized, to go to the division II playoffs because of our dedication to those principles.”

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