Tradition • Character • Service

Tradition • Character • Service

Friday, January 29, 2010

D2football Final Top 25, All Americans

Hillsdale College made 2009 its most prestigious year ever in terms of recognition by, the authority on Division II football.

As a team, the Chargers finished 10th in the final poll, a spot above where the coaches ranked them in the final AFCA poll at 11.

Jared Veldheer is a first team All American while Drew Berube is a second teamer. Final Media Top 25 Poll (1/25)
1. Northwest Missouri State (14-1)
2. Grand Valley State (13-2)
3. Central Washington (12-1)
4. Carson-Newman (11-3)
5. North Alabama (11-2)
6. Minnesota-Duluth (11-2)
7. California (PA) (11-4)
8. Abilene Christian (9-4)
9. West Liberty State (11-2)
10. Hillsdale (10-3)
11. Tarleton State (10-3)
12. Nebraska-Kearney (11-2)
13. Minnesota State-Mankato (10-2)
14. Arkansas Tech (9-3)
15. Shippensburg (9-3)
16. Texas A&M-Kingsville (9-3)
17. Midwestern State (9-3)
18. Saginaw Valley State (9-3)
19. West Alabama (8-5)
20. Edinboro (9-4)
21. Tuskegee (10-2)
22. Missouri Western (9-3)
23. Washburn (8-3)
24. North Carolina-Pembroke (9-2)
25. Central Missouri (8-3) Offensive Player of the Year
Joique Bell, Wayne State (MI) Defensive Player of the Year
Mike Johnson, North Alabama Coach of the Year
Mel Tjeerdsma, Northwest Missouri State

D2Football.Com All-America Team

First Team
QB - Blake Bolles, Northwest Missouri State (JR)
RB - Joique Bell, Wayne State (MI) (SR)
RB - Isaac Odim, Minnesota-Duluth (JR)
WR - A.J. Jackson, California (PA) (SR)
WR - Jake Soy, Northwest Missouri State (SO)
TE - Ryan Travis, West Liberty State (JR)
OL - Tobias Lemke, Minnesota-Duluth (SR)
OL - Nick McDonald, Grand Valley State (SR)
OL - Jared Veldheer, Hillsdale (SR)
OL - Tony Washington, Abilene Christian (SR)
OL - J'Marcus Webb, West Texas A&M (SR)

DL - Xavier Brown, C.W. Post (JR)
DL - Montrell Craft, North Alabama (SR)
DL - Danny Richard, Grand Valley State (JR)
DL - Cedric Thornton, Southern Arkansas (JR)
LB - John Jacobs, Saginaw Valley State (SR)
LB - Mike Johnson, North Alabama (SR)
LB - Buddy Wood, Central Washington (SR)
DB - Quinton Andrews, North Alabama (SR)
DB - Jake McGuckin, Grand Valley State (SR)
DB - Akwasi Owusu-Ansah, Indiana (PA) (SR)
DB - Quintez Smith, Shaw (SR)

AP - Kelvin Rodgers, Minnesota State-Mankato (SR)
PK - Garrett Lindholm, Tarleton State (SR)
P - Will Batson, North Alabama (SR)


Second Team
QB - Zach Amedro, West Liberty State (JR)
RB - LaRon Council, Northwest Missouri State (SR)
RB - Buck Wakefield, Carson-Newman (SR)
WR - Thomas Mayo, Concord (SO)
WR - Kashif Walls, West Liberty State (SR)
TE - Mike Higgins, Nebraska-Omaha (JR)
OL - Brett Grozinger, Northwest Missouri State (JR)
OL - Jack Hiett, Nebraska-Kearney (SR)
OL - David Mims, Virginia Union (JR)
OL - Andy Schoonover, Minnesota State-Mankato (SR)
OL - Michael Tribue, Carson-Newman (SR)

DL - Drew Berube, Hillsdale (SR)
DL - Junior Galette, Stillman (SR)
DL - William Green, Texas A&M-Commerce (SR)
DL - Eugene Sims, West Texas A&M (SR)
LB - Robbie Aurich, Minnesota-Duluth (JR)
LB - Prince Hall, Central Washington (SR)
LB - Lardester Hicks-Green, Delta State (SR)
DB - Myles Burnsides, Northwest Missouri State (SR)
DB - Pierre Desir, Washburn (FR)
DB - Terrence Johnson, California (PA) (SR)
DB - Ron Parker, Newberry (JR)

AP - Deante Steele, Shepherd (JR)
PK - Greg Zuerlein, Nebraska-Omaha (JR)
P - Joe Kok, Northeastern State (SR)


Honorable Mention

Billy Cundiff, Ashland (SR)
Zack Eskridge, Midwestern State (JR)
Nick Graziano, Arkansas Tech (SR)
Trevor Harris, Edinboro (SR)
Brad Iciek, Grand Valley State (SR)

Running Back
Rustin Dring, Nebraska-Kearney (SO)
Keithon Flemming, West Texas A&M (SR)
Quinn Porter, Stillman (SR)
Jonas Randolph, Mars Hill (SO)
Levi Terrell, Nebraska-Omaha (FR)

Wide Receiver
Mike Harris, Shippensburg (SR)
Cedric Houston, Missouri Western (SR)
Kyle Kaiser, Nebraska-Kearney (JR)
Mico McSwain, North Alabama (JR)
Blake Smolen, Grand Valley State (SR)
Johnny Spevak, Central Washington (SR)
Frantz Simeon, Arkansas Tech (SR)
Andy Tanner, Midwestern State (SR)

Tight End
DeMarco Cosby, Central Missouri (JR)
Galen Stone, Saginaw Valley State (SR)

Offensive Line
Cameron Bradfield, Grand Valley State (JR)
Tony Quirk, Central Washington (SR)
Ben Staggs, West Liberty State (SR)
Calvin Wilson, North Alabama (SR)
Torrence Wright, Arkansas Tech (SR)

Defensive Line
Marc Schiechl, Colorado School of Mines (JR)
Malcolm Jenkins, Elizabeth City State (JR)
Andre Bernardi, North Greenville (SR)
Tyler Roach, Northwest Missouri State (JR)
Jimmy Sadler-McQueen, Texas A&M-Kingsville (SR)
Willie Walker, California (PA) (SR)
Aston Whiteside, Abilene Christian (SO)

Matt Freed, East Stroudsburg (JR)
Chad Kilgore, Northwest Missouri State (SO)
Kaleb Lawrence, Glenville State (SR)
Sam Scott, West Chester (SR)
Justin Victor, Grand Valley State (JR)
Zach Watkins, Washburn (SR)
Nathan Yelk, Northern Michigan (SR)
Matt Zahoruiko, Bentley (SR)

Defensive Backs
J.D. Douglas, West Alabama (SR)
Giorgio Durham, Central Oklahoma (SO)
Tony Harp, Abilene Christian (SR)
Justin Hannah, Tuskegee (SR)
Josh Jones, Harding (SR)
Mario Russell, Carson-Newman (JR)

Trevar Deed, Delta State (JR)
Frederick Bruno, Wayne State (NE) (JR)

Place Kicker
Garrett Rolsma, Central Washington (SR)

Justin Hinson, North Carolina-Pembroke (JR)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

UIndy Leaving GLIAC after 2011 Season as GLVC adopts Football

University of Indianapolis press release

INDIANAPOLIS-- The University of Indianapolis will be one of the charter members of the newly-formed Great Lakes Valley Conference announced Tuesday by league and school officials. The addition of football to the league's sponsored sports beginning in 2012 will allow UIndy to compete as a full member, joining 17 other Greyhound varsity teams that battle for GLVC championships.

UIndy, which currently competes in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) as an associate member, will play its 2010 and 2011 schedules in that league. Indianapolis has been a member of the GLIAC since it merged with the Midwest Intercollegiate Football Conference back in 1999.

"Our teams already compete in the Great Lakes Valley Conference in 17 varsity sports,” UIndy President Dr. Beverley J. Pitts said. “The competition level is intense and among the best in Division II. We're confident the league will provide a long-standing home for our football team that will be a better fit geographically and help foster rivalries that exist within other sports.”

“The GLVC has been our conference of choice for the vast majority of our sports,” Director of Athletics Dr. Sue Willey said. “Active conference members are required to transition their sports teams to the GLVC when they become sponsored by the conference. We will transition to the GLVC over the next two years and begin GLVC football in the fall of 2012. We will be competing in a different conference but, just as we do in our other sports, we will be competing in a region that includes the GLIAC. Regardless of the conference affiliation our goals remain the same. We will continue to run a great program which graduates its players, plays exciting football and wins.”

Full Release

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

2010 Hillsdale College Football Schedule Officially Released

The 2010 Hillsdale College Football schedule is now official. The holdup had been the NCAA's deliberation over whether to start the Division II football season on August 27 or September 4. The latter was chosen and will be the Chargers' home opener against Ferris State. The contest will serve as a non-conference game in order to preserve the long-standing rivalry as the two were not slated to meet in the league scheduling rotation.

Hillsdale opens GLIAC play a week later in Allendale, looking to avenge its playoff defeat to Grand Valley and make it two in a row regular season wins versus the Lakers.

The Chargers will play home and away against GLIAC newcomers. Lake Erie College from the Cleveland area comes to Muddy Waters Stadium on September 25 and the Chargers make their first ever appearance in Columbus, OH on October 9th against Ohio Dominican.

Perennial GLIAC power Saginaw Valley returns to the Hillsdale schedule after a two-year absence.

Northern Michigan and Indianapolis are the GLIAC teams Hillsdale won't play this regular season.

Homecoming is slated for November 6.

Hillsdale College 2010 Football Schedule

Sept. 4 vs. Ferris State

Sept. 11 at Grand Valley State

Sept. 18 at Ashland

Sept. 25 vs. Lake Erie College

Oct. 2 vs. Saginaw Valley State

Oct. 9 at Ohio Dominican

Oct. 16 vs. Michigan Tech (Parents Weekend)

Oct. 23 at Wayne State

Oct. 30 at Northwood

Nov. 6 vs. Findlay (Homecoming)

Nov. 13 vs. Tiffin

Game times are yet to be determined.

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Sunday, January 17, 2010

USA Today: Division II schools cut back on length of seasons, practice time

Division II schools cut back on length of seasons, practice time

By Steve Wieberg, USA TODAY

ATLANTA — The nearly 300 sports-playing schools in the NCAA's Division II moved further Saturday from the excesses of bigger-time Division I.

In the interest of both cutting costs and easing demands on athletes, the schools and their conferences closed the NCAA's annual four-day convention by endorsing a series of measures that scale back playing and practice seasons and carve out a seven-day, everybody-out-of-the gym break at Christmastime.

The plan delays the start of practice for football and other fall sports by a week and pares the number of permissible games in basketball, baseball and eight more men's and women's sports. The changes take effect in August.

The moves are part of the division's "Life in the Balance" initiative, and more are in the works. School presidents and other officials are weighing a second phase that will target, among other things, the number of in-season and out-of-season hours that athletes can put into their sports.

"We are not Division I," said Tim Selgo, the athletics director at D-II power Grand Valley (Mich.) State. "We are not Division III. We are unique, and we believe this helps define us."

Pfeiffer (N.C.) President Charles Ambrose, a former chairman of the NCAA's Division II Presidents Council, termed the moves "a game-changer.. .. Institutions are being forced to change commensurate with the demands of society and the economy.

"If we've got 30% of our athletes leaving without a degree," he said, "that's not going to cut it."

Saturday's action came in a series of four votes, all but one garnering more than two-thirds support from the 280-some schools and conferences with representatives in attendance. The exception, the Christmastime "dead period," got 61% backing.

That Dec. 20-26 break will keep athletes in every winter sport off the playing and practice field and effectively bar athletes in all sports from participating in workouts on campus.

Other measures slash baseball teams' allotment of games by more than 10%, from 56 in a season to 50, and the allotment in men's and women's basketball from 27 to 26. Modest reductions extend to men's and women's soccer and golf, women's volleyball, softball and field hockey.

Delays in the start of practice in fall sports — soccer, volleyball, field hockey and cross country athletes, as well as football — will effectively lengthen athletes' summer vacation by a week. Football's playoffs will start a week later in November to accommodate the move.

Opponents argued, unsuccessfully, that many of the proposals were too restrictive and were rushed through the NCAA's rules-making process.

Original Article

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Monday, January 11, 2010

Orange and Brown Report: It's Official, Hillsdale's Heckert New Browns GM

It's Official: Heckert New Browns GM

tom heckert

OBR Reporter
Posted Jan 11, 2010

The Browns today officially announced the hiring of Tom Heckert as their new General Manager. The news continues the reconstruction of the Browns front office under new Team President Mike Holmgren...

The Browns have gone back to the future to get the last piece of their top football managerial triumvirate by officially hiring Tom Heckert as their general manager on Monday afternoon.

Heckert, whose father, Tom Sr., worked as an area scout for the Browns, serving the Midwest, from 1982 through ’86, was believed to be the frontrunner for the job even before he interviewed with new team president Mike Holmgren last Wednesday. By NFL rule, he was not permitted to be hired until the Philadelphia Eagles, for whom he had worked as general manager since January 2006, were eliminated from the NFC playoffs. That hurdle was cleared Saturday night when the Dallas Cowboys routed them 34-14 in a wild card-round game.

The 42-year-old Heckert will have final say over the 53-man roster, something he did not possess in Philadelphia, where that responsibility is held by head coach Andy Reid. By league by-laws, that’s the only way Heckert could have made what appears at first glance to be a lateral move.

Full Story

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Saturday, January 09, 2010

Thanks RJ Walters

Hillsdale Daily News sports editor RJ Walters recently wrote his last column for the paper and will soon move onto a different journalistic opportunity with the United Methodist Church.

In the 2 1/2 years that he has served as editor, he brought a completely different vibe to how Hillsdale's local paper covered its college programs. I can't speak for his coverage of high school sports in the area as a whole, but I do know it shared an aspect of his college coverage. Character.

Immediately it became apparent that RJ was not only covering the performance between the lines but introducing readers to the people playing the games. Mark Nicolet was making his run through the Hillsdale record books at about this time. Sure, Walters had all of the stats and facts straight about the quarterback but he really let Hillsdale County know what a great kid that was in blue and white making those plays.

This would be a consistent aspect of his writing as he had the chance to tell us about Charger athletes like Katie Cezat's and Melissa Bartlett's character as well as their unprecedented sports feats.

I remember talking to Hillsdale Head Football Coach Keith Otterbein about the new guy writing at the paper. "There's something I really like about that kid," Otter would say. "He writes about what is really important."

On a purely personal level, it was neat to see this in his coverage of a handful of local high school athletes as they played out their careers. At Hillsdale, I spent a ton of time at Mary Randall Preschool and the Academy. Because of my connection to their parents, working with Scott Lantis and Gabrielle brothers Mitchell and Marco was particularly memorable. Although it made me feel really old, it was neat to continually read of their athletic exploits in football, basketball, and especially a baseball state championship. It was even neater to read RJ's profiles of the character and leadership these young men had developed. The same is true for kids like Katie Cervini and Gwen Buchop who were Kindergarteners in the my student-teaching assignment at Hillsdale Academy.

Now, RJ and I didn't always see eye to eye on everything. I don't say that to knock his sports knowledge or as a negative. In fact, it was just the opposite. We had lively ongoing debates amongst our dueling blogs. How the Chargers would fair this season was a great exchange. He was a worthy adversary and it felt more like we were actually collaborating on building readership and the body of information surrounding Charger football and not just ripping each other.

A final point that I really appreciate about RJ's journalism was that he truly appreciated Hillsdale, D2 football and the GLIAC. He never treated this level like anything was sub-standard or minor league about it. Not all of his predecessors, especially one who would wear Grand Valley State gear to cover the Chargers, can say that.

The Hillsdale Daily News will have big shoes to fill. That will be easier said than done.

God bless RJ and good luck!

(Picture from RJ's Facebook page without permission. That's what friends are for right?)
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MLive: Almost passed up by Hillsdale, Grand Rapids' Jared Veldheer now has a shot at NFL

By Howie Beardsley | The Grand Rapids Press

January 08, 2010, 9:00AM
Beardsley-column-mug.jpgHad it not been for the advice of a coach from another sport, Hillsdale College football coach Keith Otterbein wouldn't have wasted his time recruiting left tackle Jared Veldheer out of Forest Hills Northern.

"One day the basketball coach comes down the hallway and says, 'There's a big, tall kid in Grand Rapids you have to look at,' " Otterbein said. "You cover your bases, so we followed up on Jared. He was a big, 6-foot-7 kid, about 250 (pounds) and was pretty good. But he wasn't great and wasn't highly recruited."

"We like big, stretch guys who can fill out, and his brother (Aaron) played basketball at Hillsdale, so we took him. But we didn't go down the hall doing cartwheels like we got an NFL prospect."

Fast-forward to the present, where Veldheer is a 6-9, 321-pound player who was a consensus NCAA Division II All-American this season. He helped Hillsdale upset top-ranked Grand Valley State and led the Chargers to their first Division II playoff appearance.

Veldheer also is spending the next 1 1/2 months in Nashville, Tenn., working out at the DI Sports Performance training complex. It is a facility, co-owned by Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning, where a lot of players train before the Feb. 24 NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.

"It's absolutely exciting to be a guy from Hillsdale invited to the combine, and it's an honor to be here at DI training with the big guys from the Division I schools," Veldheer said by phone.

Full Story

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Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Former Charger and current Philadelphia Eagles GM Heckert meets with Cleveland

ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter and Fox Sports Jay Glazer are reporting via Twitter that current Philadelphia Eagles GM and Hillsdale College grad Tom Heckert is in Cleveland meeting with Browns personnel about a move to Northwest Ohio.

Heckert is under contract with Philadelphia through 2011, having signed an extension in May of 2008. He is also considered a candidate for the GM vacancy in Seattle.

At Hillsdale, the Delt Sig played defensive back and then served as an assistant coach.

Heckert's father was a member of the Miami Dolphins' front-office and later the Cleveland Browns. After an internship one summer with the Dolphins, the younger Heckert was ready to join the Arizona State Sun Devil program as a graduate assistant. Just before his stint in Miami was to end, head coach Tom Shula asked him to stick around as a scout. Heckert eventually worked his way up the player personnel department ladder before Philadelphia lured him away in 2001 to become director of player personnel.

GLIAC News: GVSU to name Matt Michell new head coach

Source: Matt Mitchell will be named Grand Valley State's next football coach today

By Greg Johnson | The Grand Rapids Press

January 05, 2010, 12:45PM
Matt MitchellALLENDALE -- Matt Mitchell, the current Grand Valley State defensive coordinator, will be named the new head coach in a 4 p.m. news conference, sources close to the program said today.


Mitchell, 35, was among at least five candidates interviewed for the job by an eight-person university search committee last week.

Current head coach Chuck Martin reportedly is in South Bend, Ind., and has signed a contract to join former Grand Valley coach Brian Kelly's staff at Notre Dame. He also officially tendered his resignation to GVSU today.

Mitchell, who is married to Jenny Selgo, the daughter of Grand Valley State Athletic Director Tim Selgo, was considered the front-runner in part because of his six years on the staff, knowledge of recruiting/scholarships and the success of Martin and Kelly, who were also named first-time head coaches at GVSU after serving as defensive coordinators in the program.

Full Article

Monday, January 04, 2010

Berube and Petro Get Ready for Valero Cactus Bowl, watch online

The 2009 Hillsdale College football season isn't over yet, even though the calendar may contradict that statement.

Hillsdale senior defensive lineman Drew Berube and senior placekicker Mark Petro are in Kingsville, TX this week as members of the East Team in preparation for Friday's D2 All-Star Valero Cactus Bowl.

Charger OT Jared Veldheer was invited but will play in the Texas v. Nation game instead this February.

The most recent Charger to play in the game is quarterback Mark Nicolet, the bowl game's 2008 offensive MVP.

The game is Friday January 8 at 7:35PM EST and can be viewed live at

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