Tradition • Character • Service

Tradition • Character • Service

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Hoping for the return of Charger Cheerleaders in the Fall

Since last homecoming I have been hearing stories and rumors about the return of cheerleaders to the sidelines of Hillsdale College's Muddy Waters Stadium. Former athletic director Mike Kovalchik disbanded the program after problems with finding suitable coaches emerged in 2005.

Over the course of this past academic year, student-led efforts from Ashlee LeCompte, Chole Chapel, and Kelsie White have tackled the necessary bureaucratic hurdles and hope to have a squad on the field for the fall. They have Hillsdale Admissions staff assistant Margaret Bramen on board as a coach but are working on getting a stunt supervisor that requires certification. Chapel told the Hillsdale Collegian
this spring, "I'm going to get certified over the summer," said Chapel. "It will be nice for one of us to be certified so our practice schedules aren't dependent on a coach."

Seeing cheerleaders back on the sidelines would be a great addition to the gameday atmosphere. I would love to see some new traditions emerge from this initiative. Now, if we could only get a 100 member marching band...oh well, the pep band did a heck of a job last season and I expect will do so again in the Fall. The biggest thing though that has to continue, cheerleaders or not, is the spirit and turnout of the Charger fan base. Last year, the student section was the best it had been in 25 years.

Related articles
Hillsdale Collegian: Give me an s-q-u-a-d
Hillsdale Collegian: Cheer squad sets sights on fall sports

Image courtesy of

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Evolution of a Leader: Hillsdale College's Troy Weatherhead

Three years ago, Charger fans were lamenting the departure of quarterback Mark Nicolet after a breakout football season by #15 and the Hillsdale College program. If only he could have completed the redshirt year Hillsdale tried twice to give him before forcing him into service, then maybe that run could continue for one more year. The looking back turned to worry as fans looked forward. "How in the world would....or even could...the heir apparent Troy Weatherhead pick up Nicolet's reign?" they asked themselves.

Then a funny thing happened that fall, maybe not so funny, but that was the only lame cliché that came to mind. All of the worries went away as Weatherhead had a sophomore debut season that was statistically the second best ever for any Hillsdale quarterback in history. He followed that up with a 2009 that will be remembered as one of the best Charger seasons ever. Last year Weatherhead would throw for more yards (3348) than Nicolet did in 2007 (3335) and lead Hillsdale to a signature win over Grand Valley State in the regular season, a 10-3 record, the school's first ever NCAA Division II playoff berth, and the school's first ever Division II playoff victory. Entering 2010, Weatherhead is 732 yards shy of passing Hillsdale's all-time passing leader Bill Skelton. With the GLIAC's most experienced and prolific passing game unit returning to Hillsdale, that mark should fall early in the coming season.

Troy Weatherhead has evolved not only as a statistical leader but also a team leader. His teammates recently elected him co-captain and most anyone who has been around the program since his arrival as a hot shot from Comstock Park High School has seen a huge maturation process take place. In no way do I mean to imply that Weatherhead was a bad kid or an extra-immature kid, but the young man I spoke to last Thursday night wearing full business attire at a Hillsdale function in Grand Rapids bore little resemblance to the kid I met while he watched the 2006 Charger Spring Game.

Weatherhead will tell you that he learned a lot from Nicolet the two-years he served as understudy and that transitioning to starter wasn't that difficult thanks to the mentoring his predecessor provided. That predecessor is now leading the L'Hospitalet Pioners (Spain) into the European Federation of American Football Cup after winning the 2010 Spanish National League title, but returns in the fall to become Hillsdale and Weatherhead's quarterback coach.

The current Hillsdale quarterback isn't waiting on the former one though and is demonstrating that leadership right now on campus, though most Hillsdale students left weeks ago. He told me Thursday, "It is great. A lot of our receivers stayed to take a summer term so we have had 3 weeks together, working out and throwing."

Hillsdale returns arguably two of the best GLIAC wideouts in seniors Andre Holmes and Mike Blanchard but will have to break in a new tight end. Cam White will be in the mix after the broken hand he suffered during Spring Ball heals. Prized quarterback recruit Anthony Mifsud will finally get a chance to see the field as he spends time at wideout. Initial reports are that he has a great set of hands. Another player expected to emerge at WR is RS-Freshman Lou Cangelosi.

The 2009 Hillsdale Chargers graduated a lot of great players, as evidenced by 4 players getting mini camp invites this Spring, but the leadership Troy Weatherhead has developed should go a long way toward making the rebuilding process a smooth one.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Jared Veldheer Press Conference at Raiders Camp

OT Jared Veldheer and DE Lamar Houston talk about their mini camp experience. Veldheer was Oakland's 3rd round pick and graduates from Hillsdale College on Saturday.

Video from

Thanks for Hillsdale professor Mike Sweeney for passing on the link.
Replacing Emoji...

Drew Berube in Packers Camp

Here is a shot of Drew Berube (64) of Hillsdale College from Friday's afternoon practice in Green Bay.

In the upper picture he tangles with Green Bay's 1st pick, OT Brian Bulaga from Iowa.

Green Bay Packers Photo Gallery

Mark Petro in Jets Camp

Here's a picture of Hillsdale kicker Mark Petro during his try-out with the New York Jets this weekend. Petro is one of 4 Chargers in National Football League camps this weekend.

More photos of Jets camp

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