Tradition • Character • Service

Tradition • Character • Service

Friday, December 20, 2013

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Big shoutout to Hilllsdale College Football during Raiders - Chiefs game

After Andre Holmes (Hillsdale '11) scored his first NFL touchdown for the Oakland Raiders today, CBS returned from commercial with a sweet infographic featuring the four Hillsdale alumni who have spent time in the League. Unfortunately for the Raiders, they would lose 56-31 to the Chiefs.

Holmes had 4 catches for 58 yards, including a 28 yarder where he leaped, grabbed it with one hand after running out of his left shoe. See it on

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Defensive End Charlie Yost commits to Hillsdale, explains decision.

After taking his official visit to Hillsdale last Saturday, 6-5 230 pound defensive end Charlie Yost committed to Coach Otterbein this week that he indeed plans on becoming a Charger.

 Yost, a three-year starter at Livonia (MI) Churchill High School explained his decision to the D Zone.

 "The most impressive thing for me was the quality of people they already have in their program from coaches to players. Their academics was also a big selling point to me that I couldn't pass up."

 Read the rest of the interview including what Yost is planning on doing in preparation for arriving at Hillsdale.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Pasche picks up first team GLIAC honors

Graduating Hillsdale College senior linebacker Brett Pasche was the lone Charger named to the GLIAC first team today as post season honors were released from the league. Senior defensive lineman Nate Bundy, junior punter Matt Eltringham, and senior offensive lineman Pat Ryan earned second team honors. Honorable Mention went to Steve Embry (SR/LB), Sam Landry (SR/QB), Steve Mette (FR/K), Tim Moinet (JR/DB), Devin Moynihan (SR/LB), Dan Pittman (JR/DB) Full All-GLIAC list

Friday, November 29, 2013 has you covered this holiday season

Give the Hillsdale alum, fan, or student the Charger Blues this Christmas.

If there is a style for an item you don't see listed, email me and I will add that for you. Have a design idea you would like added? Email those as well. 

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Little School. Big Stage. Hillsdale's Holmes and Veldheer shine for Raiders on Thanksgiving.

Jared Veldheer (68) and Andre Holmes (18) had big days for Oakland. Twitter Photo from @joshuabakker
They played college football at a school with 1300 students. The biggest home crowd they ever entertained was just over 3000 strong but Hillsdale College grads Jared Veldheer and Andre Holmes were big stars on the NFL Thanksgiving stage this afternoon.

Veldheer made his first start of the season at left tackle after triceps surgery and drew Pro Bowler DeMarcus Ware. Being fresh in Week 13 surely aided Veldheer but he looked to be in his own Pro Bowl form holding Ware to 1 solo and 2 assisted tackles on the day.

After a 4th quarter 35 yard reception that put Holmes over 100 yards for the day, CBS commentator remarked, "Andre Holmes has definitely seen his NFL career arrive today." Studio host Bill Cowher gave Holmes and Hillsdale a nice shout out in his halftime remarks as well. Holmes would finish the day with 7 catches for 135 yards. Coming into the game, he had made 3 catches all season.

Hillsdale wasn't the only GLIAC represented by prime time players today. Grand Valley product Brandon Carr made a key interception for the Cowboys late in the game and Jeff Heath of Saginaw Valley recovered Oakland's desperation onside kick during the game's last minute.

Monday, November 25, 2013

First In: Quarterback Brendan Rohlfs commits to Hillsdale
2014 Chippewa Valley (MI) quarterback Brendan Rohlfs announced last Friday via the Big Reds Football Twitter account that he has committed to play next Fall at Hillsdale College.

The 6'0" 200 pound, 3 year starter holds the school's 2nd best career passing total with 3318 yards. He also holds the school record for most TD passes in a career with 30.

Here is Rohlfs' profile at The D Zone. According to it, it looks like Coach Otterbein and Hillsdale beat out a number of Ivy League schools vying for the 3.9 GPA student-athlete's services.

Chippewa Valley's head coach Scott Merchant had this to say about his quarterback in a preview article published at prior to this season.

"He's a good athlete," Merchant said of Rohlfs, who last season threw for 1,400 yards with 11 touchdown passes against just one interception. "He's very smart and he's got a great arm, great mechanics, and he can run too.

"I don't have any qualms about Brendan Rohlfs as our quarterback," Merchant said. "He's going to lead our team and lead our offense. He knows our offense, he's going to get people lined up right; he's going to check to the right plays.

"Any time you can have a three-year starter at that position it kind of makes everything a little bit easier. All those leadership qualities and the intangibles are huge."

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Andre Holmes gets start with Raiders against Titans

With Denarius Moore ruled out for Sunday's Oakland Raiders vs. Tennessee Titans game, Hillsdale product Andre Holmes will get his first NFL start at receiver for the Raiders.

Holmes had his first catch of the year last week against the Houston Texans. Jared Veldheer returns to the lineup for the first time next week on Thanksgiving against the Cowboys.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Chargers hand out team hardware

The Sunday after the final regular season game has been home to the Charger Football banquet for at least the last four decades. That tradition continued this past Sunday as the team gathered one last time and handed out its year end awards.

Roy Beck MVP: Brett Pasche, Sr. LB
Outstanding Offensive Back: Sam Landry, Sr. QB
Outstanding Offensive Lineman: Pat Ryan, Sr.
Outstanding Defensive Lineman: Nathan Bundy, Sr.
Outstanding Defensive Back: Tim Moinet, Jr.
Outstanding Linebacker: Brett Pasche

Captains Award: Brett Pasche, Sam Landry
Howard Champ Messenger Award: Steve Embry, Sr. LB
Leonard Urbanick Award for Scholarship, Leadership, and Ability: Steve Embry
One Play Warrior Award: Todd Frickey, So. DB/Return Specialist
Every Player Every Play Award: Steve Harding, Sr. DB

and this just about says it all...

If the typical picture is worth a 1000 words, I am going to venture to say this one is worth a little more. Thanks to Aimee England for sharing this great shot and bunch of other ones from the second half of the Chargers' win on Saturday. Check out Aimee's work on her Facebook gallery. 

Senior quarterback Sam Landry shares a moment with the Charger mascot after finishing his Hillsdale College career with a 27-7 win over Northwood University.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Pasche leads GLIAC in tackles per game, Swaffer 2nd in sacks

Hillsdale SR. Brett Pasche led GLIAC with 11 tackles per game
Brett Pasche closed out a stellar career playing linebacker at Hillsdale College by leading the GLIAC this season in tackles per game. His 11 edged Demarco Donaldson's 10.8 per game from Malone. Pasche's 121 total tackles also led the conference.

Pasche's overall body of work over the course of the last four years places him in the rarified air of the truly elite linebackers who have played for the Chargers. There was Rodney Patterson in the mid-eighties and then Jerry Klekotka of the early 1990's. Scott Duncan was a force in the late 90's before the great Tom Korte helped bring the Chargers to the brink of championship form and playoff appearances before finishing in 2008.

 Pasche had some pretty good linebackers on both side of him over the course of the past few season too. Devin Moynihan's 9.0 average this year was 9th best in the conference. Steven Embry had 6.7 tackles per game and his 4 interceptions placed him 5th in the league. Embry's 2 fumble recoveries also placed him 5th in the GLIAC.

 RS-Freshman Zach Swaffer made the most of his first season on the defensive line, recording 8 sacks, 2nd best in the league.

Sunday, November 17, 2013 Senior Day Video

Nice video saluting the 2013 class of football seniors.

Put 4 1/2 inches and 120 pounds on Josh Duhamel and you get Jared Veldheer

After watching the Chargers win and then the greatest field goal ever made by a long-haired fat kicker in Evanston last night, Mrs. Chargerblue and I settled in to watch Safe Haven on Netflix.

Both of us commented that Josh Duhamel and Jared Veldheer bare a crazy resemblance. So...if you add about 4 1/2 inches and 120 pounds to Duhamel's 6' 3 1/2, 195 pound frame you would get pretty close to having Jared.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

A Day of Domination: Some Numbers

Stats don't always tell the whole story but here are some numbers that show just how much Hillsdale owned Northwood in its season finale.

Hillsdale won 24-7 but came up empty four times in the redzone so with a little luck the Chargers could've made this a lot more lopsided point wise.

Time of Possession: Hillsdale 43:53 Northwood 16:07

First Downs: Hillsdale 33 Northwood 8
Third Down Conversions: Hillsdale 9/18 Northwood 2/12

Offensive Yards: Hillsdale 475 Northwood 181
Passing Yards: Hillsdale 239 Northwood 150
Rushing Yards: Hillsdale 236 Northwood 31

Yards per Rush: Hillsdale 3.6 Northwood 1.4

Hillsdale had four running backs in double figures for attempts and eight players caught passes. Chargers Finish Strong

Official Hillsdale Release

Chargers Finish Strong

The final memory of the 21 seniors on the Hillsdale College football team will go down as one they will cherish.
The Chargers concluded the 2013 season with a 24-7 win over Northwood University on a gray Saturday afternoon at Frank "Muddy" Waters Stadium. Hillsdale finishes with a 5-6 record on the season, and 5-4 in the GLIAC. The Timberwolves conclude the season with an overall mark of 2-9.
The Chargers have now won 10 out of the 12 regular-season finales coached by Keith Otterbein including six in a row.
Hillsdale dominated most statistical categories, none more than time of possession. The Chargers held the ball for 43:53 out of 60 minutes of the game. The Chargers took the ball into Northwood's red zone seven times, and they held the ball for more than 10 minutes in three of the four quarters of the game.
The Chargers opened the scoring with a sharp 23-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterbackSam Landry to junior wide receiver Evan Sassackon the game's opening drive to give Hillsdale a 7-0 lead less than five minutes into the game.
Although Hillsdale's offense missed out on scoring in four of of its seven trips into the red zone, the defense more than made up for it by shutting down the Timberwolves' offense for most of the game. Northwood's lone scoring drive took up 19 yards, which came on the back of an 80-yard interception return.
For the game, Northwood ran 51 plays for 181 yards of total offense, compared to Hillsdale's 94 plays for 475 total yards. Hillsdale allowed Northwood just eight first downs in the game, while the Chargers generated seven first downs via penalty. Northwood was flagged for 10 penalties, totaling 105 yards in the game.
Senior linebacker Devin Moynihan had an interception and led the team with nine total tackles in the win for Hillsdale. His two longtime running mates at linebacker, Brett Pasche and Steven Embry, combined for eight more stops between them. 
Defensive lineman Zach Swaffer had a huge game for the Chargers with a team season-high three sacks among his four solo tackles. 
A highlight of the game came in the fourth quarter when backup quarterback Gabe Starkey completed two passes. A fourth-year junior who played his final game of his career, Starkey has long been admired by his teammates for his strong work ethic while rarely seeing game action. He barely missed a touchdown pass in a reverse play in the first half, but came in for the team's last drive, with one of his completions going to senior wide receiver Scott Lantis.
Redshirt-freshman tailback Jack Wiseman rumbled into the end zone with 2:28 to go in the second quarter to put the Chargers on top 14-0. Wiseman was one of several running backs to carry the load in the game for Hillsdale. Five players had 10 or more carries in the game out of the backfield, led by Wade Wood's 70 yards on 14 attempts. 
In his final game of his career, senior Isaac Spence hauled the rock 15 times for 60 yards and a touchdown. His fourth-quarter touchdown came on the heels of an interception by senior Matt Payne on the final play of the third quarter.
As a team, Hillsdale outgained Northwood by 205 yards in the game on the ground (236-31).
Sassack led the team's receivers with four catches for 72 yards. Sophomore John Haley caught four passes for 55 yards, while senior Andrew Mott caught four passes for 43 yards.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Throwback Thursday: Hillsdale's Aaron Petersen and Nate Shreffler

Both of these guys were teammates of mine. Dean Petersen was a year behind and Coach Shreffler was a year ahead.

Last night I was organizing some book shelves and found a game program from the 1992 season. I really don't think either look all that different. Both are great guys and I am proud to call each a friend.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Raiders LT Veldheer back on practice field | CSN Bay Area

Comcast Sports Net Bay Area correspondent Scott Bair reports that Hillsdale College product and Oakland Raiders tackle Jared Veldheer is back on the practice field. This is Veldheer's first action of the season since having triceps surgery in August.

Although Veldheer is practicing, his official return to the lineup is looking like the Thanksgiving Day game in Dallas against the Cowboys.

Raiders LT Veldheer back on practice field | CSN Bay Area:

'via Blog this'

Monday, November 11, 2013

Big play...on the big stage for Andre Holmes

Former Hillsdale WR Andre Holmes had to wonder if he was ever going to see the field again in the National Football League. He started the season suspended for four games with the Raiders due to a positive test for amphetamines and promptly injured his hamstring on his return to the Silver and Black.

Finally healthy and finally active, Holmes wasted little time making an impact. As a member of the Raider kickoff team, Holmes recovered a fumble on the opening kickoff and advanced it all of the way to the Giant 5 yard line, setting up Oakland's first score of the day. - Andre Holmes advances a fumble recovery on the opening kickoff of Sunday's game with the Giants.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Hillsdale dominates the GLIAC according to Princeton Review Rankings for Academic Rigor, even tops Harvard

According to the Princeton Review, Hillsdale is not only head and shoulders above the rest of the GLIAC academically but ranks near the top among all colleges and universities. Obviously, most of us alumni would have a hard time getting in to The Dale today. Here is how the publication explains the following numbers:
A measure of how hard students work and how much they get back for their efforts, on a scale of 60–99. This rating is calculated from student survey results and statistical information reported by administrators. Factors weighed include how many hours students study outside of the classroom and the quality of students the school attracts. We also considered students' assessments of their professors, class size, student–teacher ratio, use of teaching assistants, amount of class discussion, registration and resources.
Hillsdale - 96
Ashland - 77
Findlay - 76
Lake Erie - 74
Michigan Tech - 74
GVSU - 69
Rest of the conference received less than a 60.

 Here is how Hillsdale's academic rigor compares to some of America's historically top schools.
Hillsdale - 96
Dartmouth: 96
Harvard: 95
Stanford: 94
Brown: 93
Columbia: 92
Penn: 92
Princeton: 91
Duke: 90
Naval Academy: 89
Cornell: 88

▶ Charger Comment - Week 9 - YouTube

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Grand Valley trying to humiliate your Chargers' entrance Saturday Night

The Grand Valley Athletic Department...not some fans....but the official GVSU athletic department and its many marketing entities are firing away on Social Media asking fans to vote for which humiliating musical selection they would like to see played when Hillsdale makes its entrance into Lubbers Stadium on Saturday Night.

The choices are "What does a Fox say?" by Ylvis, "Wrecking Ball" by Miley Cyrus, "Barney Theme Song", "Barbie Girl" by Aqua, and "Macho Man" by The Village People.

All I can say is that I am glad this type of stunt would never be used to welcome opponents into Muddy Waters Stadium.

It's time to flip the script Charger fans and highjack GVSU's attempts belittle your boys in Charger Blue.  The Charger players have picked "Wrecking Ball" and it's your job to insure we determine what plays when they enter Lubbers Stadium.

Visit and vote for "Wrecking Ball". Vote early. Vote often.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Cleves Delp: Hillsdale College inspires Toledo business leader

Mr. Delp is not only a big supporter of Hillsdale College but also a big supporter of Charger Football. This is a great piece on how his companies work with Hillsdale students and all he gained as a student at the College.

My favorite part of the video is the last line where he states that sure Hillsdale taught him specific things he uses daily but the greatest gift he received was being taught "how to learn". I could not agree more with this statement. I have had tremendous success as an elementary technology teacher. Hillsdale taught me how to survive in the classroom and some good pedagogical techniques but none of the tools I teach students to use had been invented yet. Heck, my job hadn't been invented yet. Hillsdale taught me how to learn, how to analyze a situation or new ability, and then be able to show students how to apply it to their learning. Not a day goes by that I don't marvel at how applicable my liberal arts education to a constantly changing world.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Charger Comment - Week 8

Hillsdale linebacker Moynihan all business | Observer and Eccentric Newspapers and Hometown Weeklies |

Hillsdale linebacker Moynihan all business | Observer and Eccentric Newspapers and Hometown Weeklies | "

Linebacker Devin Moynihan is second on the Hillsdale College team in tackles.

Written by
Brad Emons
Staff Writer

As a preferred walk-on linebacker who earned a scholarship, Hillsdale College’s football program certainly has one of a kind in Devin Moynihan.

The Livonia Churchill High grad, now a senior, is one of the big reasons why the Chargers (4-3, 4-1) are once again in the thick of the North Division race in the Great Lakes Athletic Conference heading to Saturday night’s showdown against host Saginaw Valley State (6-1, 6-0).

The four-year starter, a two-time honorable mention GLIAC choice, is enjoying another banner season as he ranks second on the team in total tackles with 29 solo and 37 assists (to go along with 6.5 tackles for loss)."

'via Blog this'

Sunday, October 20, 2013

AEI ARETE: Smartguy Football

Easily my favorite part of the new Hillsdale uniforms are actually the sleeves on the compression tops worn underneath the tech fit jerseys. The sleeves sport the Greek motto "Aei Arete". The motto has been part of the program and the team's expectation for every player for a number of years but really makes a bold statement on the arms.
Aei Arete essentially translates as always do your humanly possible best but teacher Lance Fuhrer offers a much more in depth explanation for his students as they study the concept as part of our Western Heritage. 

 "The most articulated value in Greek culture is areté. Translated as "virtue," the word actually means something closer to "being the best you can be," or "reaching your highest human potential." The term from Homeric times onwards is not gender specific. The man or woman of areté is a person of the highest effectiveness; they use all their faculties: strength, bravery, wit, and deceptiveness, to achieve real results. The concept implies a human-centered universe in which human actions are of paramount importance; the world is a place of conflict and difficulty, and human value and meaning is measured against individual effectiveness in the world."

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Grand Rapids Press: Ferris State fails to keep momentum in loss to Hillsdale College

Peter J.  Wallner | pwallner@mlive.comBy Peter J. Wallner | 
Follow on Twitter 
on October 19, 2013 at 6:32 PM, updated October 19, 2013 at 7:26 PM

 Hillsdale scored with 29 seconds remaining Saturday to defeat Ferris State, 45-38.

Ferris State, coming off an impressive 54-44 victory last week against Grand Valley State, fell back in the pack of the GLIAC North Division with the loss. The Bulldogs are 4-3 (4-2 in the GLAC). Their other loss was to first place Saginaw Valley State.

Hillsdale moved 77 yards in just over a minute to score the go-ahead touchdown on a 14-yard touchdown pass from Sam Landry to Joe Srebernak with 29 seconds to play.

Ferris State moved to midfield in the closing moments, but a desperation throw in the closing seconds came up short.

Full Article

Charger Comment - Week 7

Friday, October 18, 2013

Breaking News: Wrecking Ball mishap at Grand Valley State's Lubbers Stadium Exclusive

ALLENDALE, MI: While crews were reinstalling Grand Valley State University's fabled wrecking ball after student protests, an engineering miscalculation sent the ball hurtling out of control, finally coming to rest inside Lubber's Stadium. Thankfully no one was injured in the "accident".

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Hillsdale ranks 6th in nation for turnover ratio

The Hillsdale College defense has created 14 turnovers on 9 interceptions and 5 fumble recoveries. The offense has only lost 3 fumbles and thrown 1 interception. That equates to a +10 turnover ratio through six games. At +1.7 per game Hillsdale sits at 6th in Division II tied with Northwest Missouri State and St. Cloud State. Mary and Missouri Western lead the nation with a +2.2 per game average.

Steven Harding returns an interception for a touchdown vs. Wayne State.

Monday, October 14, 2013

CSN Bay Area: Veldheer progressing, still not ready to return

Scott Bair from CSN Bay Area is reporting that former Hillsdale All-American tackle and Oakland Raider Jared Veldheer is on schedule with his rehabilitation of a triceps injury that has sidelined him since training camp.

Full Article Chargers snap home, Wayne State losing skids

Official Hillsdale College Release

Box Score

The Hillsdale College football team broke two significant losing streaks on a gorgeous Saturday afternoon at Frank "Muddy" Waters Stadium.
The Chargers played a strong two-way second half on their way to a 35-16 win over Wayne State University. The win improves Hillsdale to 3-1 in the GLIAC and 3-3 overall, while the Warriors fell to 3-3.
The win was Hillsdale's first over Wayne State since 2009, breaking its longest current losing streak to a conference opponent. It was also the team's first home win of the season after a pair of frustrating losses to a pair of talented foes.
Hillsdale broke open a tight game early in the third quarter when senior Steve Harding took back an interception 28 yards for a touchdown to increase Hillsdale's lead to 21-9. Harding, a veteran player who has dealt with difficult injuries throughout his career, read the pass play perfectly and galloped untouched into the end zone for one of the true feel-good scores of the year for the Chargers.
The pick-six sparked energy in the Chargers, who forced the Warriors into mistakes throughout the game. Hillsdale intercepted three passes and featured tough, tackle-breaking running by a trio of tailbacks.
All three featured backs - Issac Spence, Alex Koski and Wade Wood - each scored rushing touchdowns in the game, with Koski registering his first-ever two-touchdown game. All four scoring runs came from an average of foiur yards away from the goal line, often dragging Wayne State defenders with them. Koski in particular, had two nice cuts on his first touchdown run, a three-yard jaunt that brought Hillsdale into the lead for good, 7-6.
Wayne State opened the scoring on a three-play, 75-yard drive capped by a 49-yard touchdown pass to jumpo ahead of the Chargers 6-0. But Hillsdale's offense answered in impressive fashion, aided by a couple of short Wayne State punts, and big plays by the defense.
Junior Tim Moinet intercepted a pass late in the first quarter and returned it to the Wayne State 37-yard line, setting up a short field for the Chargers. Spence finished off the drive with a powerful, eight-yard run to paydirt, quickly turning a 6-0 deficit into a 14-6 Hillsdale lead at the close of the first quarter.
The defenses dominated much of the second quarter, with the Warriors only managing a field goal until Harding's interception. Wayne State answered that score with an 11-play, 68-yard drive of its own to cut the lead to 21-16. But that would be the last time the Chargers allowed the Warriors to score, as Hillsdale showed impressive killer instinct on both offense and defense in the game.
Senior Steven Embry picked up his fourth interception in the past three games, killing Wayne State's next drive after its last touchdown. That pick-off allowed the Chargers to again start deep in Wayne State territory, and six plays later, Koski plunged in from two yards out to put Hillsdale ahead two scores.
It was a game that saw Wayne State outgain Hillsdale in total yards 351-236, pick up one more first down, and own a seven-minute edge in time of possession. But turnovers were the big story here, as Hillsdale's three interceptions turned the tide of the game. The Chargers also did not commit a turnover of their own in the ballgame.
Senior quarterback Sam Landry completed 11 of 21 passes for 90 yards in the game. Koski, Lou Cangelosi and Evan Sassack each caught two passes for Hillsdale.
Spence led the balanced ground attack with 56 yards on 11 carries. Wood had 51 yards on 13 attempts, and Koski's two touchdowns came on seven carries for 29 yards.
Senior linebacker Brett Pasche had a big game for Hillsdale with 14 total tackles, 11 of them solo. Seven different players had tackles-for-loss from the Charger defense. Zach Swaffer had 1.5 sacks, and Moinet had nine total tackles and twop pass break-ups for the winning team.
Hillsdale stays home next weekend to host Ferris State University at 2:30 p.m.

Why School Sports Matter

Originally published on my educational technology blog New Adventures in Professional Development

On Friday night my family and I headed out to watch my dad coach high school football in what is one of our area’s biggest rivalry games. The first person I saw when I entered the stadium was a former student of mine who had recently moved and was starting sixth grade at the middle school where the game was being held.
“Hi Mr. Losik, ” he waved wearing a messy shirt that had kind of become a trademark of his over years he was in my classes. This boy had struggled socially and academically throughout as his mom struggled around the poverty line supporting him and his two siblings. “I am doing cross-country. We are running at halftime,” he said with a huge grin. I gave him a high five and told him I would be watching.
Well, it wasn’t much of a game with my dad’s team out in front by a lot most of the way. As I wandered back from the concession stand at halftime, there was my former student lining up with the rest of the middle school cross-country team to run their half mile under the lights in front of the big home crowd.
As the kids took off, the boy so excited to be on the team immediately fell  behind the others. As I watched I realized I was standing next to his mother. I told her I missed her other children but was happy they were at a great new school where my daughter attends and wife teaches. I noticed tears starting to well up in her eyes as her son fell even further behind.
“He must be in so much pain,” she said. “He has no fluid in his hips,” reminding me of the degenerative disease he has and how when he was in kindergarten we would make accommodations  for him sitting for stories.
As the middle schoolers began to finish, the crowd cheered until almost all had completed. The boy we were watching was still almost 300 m from finishing. That was when something really special happened. The other runners gathered at the finish line  turned and ran back to meet the boy who carried his obvious pain on his face. With only the homestretch left, the entire team surrounded him. There was new life in his step and together they all sprinted the remaining distance in front of a great ovation.
Two neighboring towns had turned out to watch a football game, but it was the little kid in the dirty shirt and the elation he showed as crossed the finish line that gave me my biggest thrill.
School sports do matter and I am sure the kids on the varsity team that secured a playoff spot and gained another year of bragging rights over their neighbors got a lot out of it but I highly doubt Friday Night under the lights impacted their lives like it did the young man’s who greeted me at the gate.

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

It's how you finish.

The Hillsdale Chargers run out every game under a banner with the year's rally cry on it. This year's theme: Finish.

After a promising 3/4 of a season last year, Hillsdale ran out of gas. This year hasn't gone the Chargers' way much to start but there may still be a "finish" moment to this year as well.

We saw a lot of improvement in the Hillsdale offense last week at Northern Michigan. There was an inspired physicality to the receivers that got pushed around by Indianapolis. This in turned gave Sam Landry a better shot at completing pass. Landry's play was renewed and inspired last week as well.

The playoffs are pretty much out the window and it would take running the win the GLIAC but this team can get better every week and that is what I will be hoping to see.

Friday, October 04, 2013

Charger Comment: Otter talks NMU Embry NFF scholar-athlete semifinalist

Steve Embry a Semifinalist for NFF Scholar-Athlete Award

Hillsdale College senior linebacker Steve Embry was named a semifinalist for the National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete Award, presented by Fidelity Investments. The announcement and list of semifinalists was released Wednesday.
Embry is one of 170 semifinalists for this award, which covers all levels of college football, from Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division I) to the NAIA. He one of just three players from the GLIAC to make the cut, joining Ohio Dominican's Dominic Clegg and Wayne State's Chet Privett.
The 170 national semifinalists are the most for the foundation since 2006, when it increased candidates' grade point average miniumums for the award to 3.2. A total of 24 semifinalists come from Division II, while 54 come from the FBS.
Nominated by their schools, which are limited to one nominee each, candidates for the awards must be a senior or graduate student in their final year of eligibility, have a GPA of at least 3.2 on a 4.0 scale, have outstanding football ability as a first team player or significant contributor, and have demonstrated strong leadership and citizenship. The class is selected each year by the NFF Awards Committee, which is comprised of a nationally recognized group of media, College Football Hall of Famers and athletics administrators.

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Patrick Heckenlively Photos: Hillsdale vs. Indianapolis

Well, things didn't end up the way the Chargers wanted on Saturday but it was a great day for football and captured beautifully by official photographer Patrick Heckenlively. Check out the Indianapolis gallery and others from throughout the season. All photos are available for purchase.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Indy chokes out Hillsdale's homecoming comeback attempt

On a spectacular Homecoming Saturday, Hillsdale found itself in a 17-0 hole at halftime, one its defense feverishly tried to dig itself out of in the 2nd half.

It could have been worse but with Indy looking to add another TD a few minutes before half, Daniel Pittman forced a fumble that Tyler Jenks returned to the Hillsdale 39. The Chargers would put together a drive of 20 yards, three yards shy of their longest drive of the day, but would turn the ball over on downs before half.

The fact that 20 yards was the 2nd longest drive of the day pretty much summed one of the most anemic offense days Hillsdale has had in years. It was that bad. The somber conversations in the press box were mainly about how uncharacteristic the halftime stats were in a couple of areas. Indy held an 8 minute advantage in time of possession and the Chargers had only converted 1 first down. Both of those numbers have consistently gone Hillsdale's way over the majority of the Keith Otterbein era.

While joining Andy Brown on WCSR as a halftime guest I stated that the only real positive was that there was a great opportunity for someone in blue to give this team a spark.

A couple of linebackers, namely Brett Pasche and Steven Embry did just that as the defense nearly carried the Chargers single-handedly back to a win.

Defensive coordinator Craig Blanchard started to roll the dice a little early in the third quarter by blitzing Pasche to disrupt Indy quarterback Chris Mills. Pasche made the first big play of the half as he tackled a Greyhound running back for a loss. The disruption continued as Mills would surrender with a slide a couple of plays later for a loss of 4.  Embry made an even bigger play a couple of snaps later when he picked off Mills and returned the ball 33 yards inside the Indy 10.

Hillsdale picked up its second third down conversion and first points as Sam Landry found John Haley for 5 yards on 3rd and goal.

Great punting from Matt Eltringham and a swarming Chargers defense kept Indy pinned deep most of the half and pressuring Mills. With 9:00 left to play, Embry would put Hillsdale's last points on the board. On a very similar play as his 3rd quarter interception, the senior would pick off Mills again and this time take it all of the way into the endzone.

Hillsdale could muster nothing offensively to help the cause and on its last possession Indy was able to burn 3:54 to ice things.

In all fairness to the Greyhounds, the final score most likely should have been at least 23 or 24 to 14. Mills kept the ball on a 4th and goal play with seconds left and as he entered the endzone he took a couple of...let's call them "happy steps". The officiating crew took this as showboating and flagged him for unsportsmanlike conduct. Even from a horribly biased Hillsdale point of view the kid deserved to celebrate a little as he iced the game and didn't take it as high stepping. With recent rule changes, that penalty nullifies the points. This hardly warranted a flag, let alone one that would take points off of the scoreboard. However, if there is an officiating crew in D2 that would invoke it, it would be the one led by Napoleon's descendant in the white hat that continually publicly dressed-down Hillsdale's clock operator throughout the game.

On the day Hillsdale was just 3 of 14 on 3rd down and Indy held an 11 minute advantage in time of possession. That ain't Charger Football.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

It's Homecoming Week. It's Indianapolis. Brad Otterbein is in the house.

With the University of Indianapolis on deck for Homecoming, it is hard not to reminisce about Charger QB coach Brad Otterbein's heroics six years ago.

Earlier in the 2006 season veteran quarterback Mark Nicole had gotten injured and true freshman Brad Otterbein was handed the reins for the October 7th Homecoming matchup with Indianapolis for his first collegiate start.

The Greyhounds had led all day and were looking to ice the game in the last few minutes. Trailing 13-7, Charger defensive back Jared Kell secured at least a stay of execution with an interception at the 1 yard line giving Otterbein and the Chargers 98 yards but still a shot at victory with six minutes to play.

The rest is a great moment in Hillsdale College Football history. Listen to Andy Brown and Jim Eckhart's call from that day at Muddy Waters Stadium. Box Score

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Genna Hilgenbrink talks to WR Scott Lantis

This kid has been a favorite of mine since he was one of my preschoolers at Mary Randall Preschool. I am very excited to see Scott Lantis wear the Charger Blue on the football field after a nice career on the baseball field.

A few thoughts on Hillsdale's win over Malone

With one play left to play in the first quarter, Malone had -39 yards total offense. 0-3 passing and an interception and 7 plays for loss. The last play of the quarter went for 39 yards to get them back to 0 to end the quarter.

All of the breaks on special teams that really tilted the field in ODU's favor last week came back in Hillsdale's favor this week. Malone had all kinds of trouble punting deep in their end and Todd Frickey made all of us who have ever worn the 43 jersey at Hillsdale proud as he went coast to coast to with the 2nd half opening kickoff. It was the first kickoff return for a touchdown since October of 2005.

Sam Landry completed 16 passes to 11 different guys. Hillsdale got 152 combined yards rushing from three different backs.

The Chargers needed a game like this to get some confidence back and face a tough UIndy next week. Thanks Notre Dame! Hillsdale Pounces on Malone

Hillsdale College Release

The second trip to Ohio was the charm for the Hillsdale College football team.

Making its second trip south in as many weeks, the Chargers capitalized on many opportunities, especially early in the game, and defeated Malone University 41-16 at Canton's Hall of Fame Stadium Saturday afternoon. Hillsdale improves to 1-2 overall and 1-1 in the GLIAC with the victory. The Chargers will return home next week to face the University of Indianapolis for its homecoming game, with a 2:30 kickoff scheduled.

After its first 0-2 start in eight seasons, Hillsdale came out in wet conditions at Fawcett Stadium and pounced on the mistake-prone Pioneers early and often. Hillsdale's defense forced turnovers on the first two possessions of the game, coming on a fumble recovery by Tyler Jenks and an interception by Steve Harding, to gain deep field position right away.

The Chargers scored 10 points off those turnovers, taking a 10-0 lead less than six minutes into the game. On Malone's next drive, a punt snap went over the punter's head, and Todd Frickey recovered the bad snap on the two yard line. One play later, ben Jones plowed his way into the end zone, giving the Chargers a commanding 17-0 lead still early in the game.

Hillsdale took full control from there, using a trio of running backs to burn time off the clock, and keep the unpredictable Pioneer offense on the sidelines. The Chargers ran 12 more plays and held the ball for five more minutes compared to Malone for the game. The final score was tightened up as a result of two Malone touchdowns in the fourth quarter, well after the game had been decided.

Frickey made another huge play to open the second half. He returned the opening kickoff 91 yards for a touchdown, extending Hillsdale's halftime lead from 27-2 to 34-3 lead just seconds into the third quarter. Frickey's kickoff return for touchdown was the first for Hillsdale since Chad Gurica did it at Mercyhurst on Oct. 29, 2005.

Sophomore Wade Wood enjoyed his most productive game of his career, catching one pass for 23 yards, while gaining 68 yards on 17 attempts for a touchdown. Junior Alex Koski nearly mirrored Wood's production, carrying the ball 13 times for 58 yards and a touchdown. Senior Isaac Spence added a touchdown run, picking up 26 yards on nine carries.

Monday, September 16, 2013 Big plays in 3rd quarter sink Chargers

Official Release from Hillsdale College

A wild third-quarter sequence doomed the Hillsdale College football team in its GLIAC opener Saturday afternoon.

Ohio Dominican University scored a safety, then followed that up with a 39-yard touchdown run three plays later to provide the decisive sequence in a 37-20 win over the Chargers at Panther Field in Columbus, Ohio. The Chargers fall to 0-2 overall and 0-1 in the GLIAC with the loss. Hillsdale returns to Ohio next weekend, taking on Malone University at 2 p.m. Saturday in Canton.

The back-to-back scores by Ohio Dominican was just part of a 29-point third quarter that turned what started out as a defensive struggle into a wild shootout. ODU broke open a 14-14 game with 16 points in less than two minutes to pull away from the Chargers.

Hillsdale tied the game 14-14 early in the third quarter when senior quarterback Sam Landry connected with senior wide receiver Evan Sassack for their second scoring pass of the game. But the final 3:42 of the third quarter proved to be fatal for Hillsdale.

After the 39-yard run by ODU's Brandon Schoen, the Panthers forced a fumble at the Hillsdale 2-yard-line and pounced on the loose ball for another score.

Just 44 seconds later, the Chargers pulled back within 10 when Landry hit Evan Bach on a 58-yard touchdown pass to make the score 30-20. But the Panthers answered early in the fourth with a big play of their own, a 65-yard touchdown pass, to wrap up the scoring.

Rest of the story

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Hillsdale versus Ohio Dominican Free Video Webcast

One of the nice things about Hillsdale playing at Ohio Dominican is that the Columbus school offers live webcasts of their home games free via

Catch the Chargers at noon (EDT) on Saturday right here.

Live streaming video by Ustream

Charger Comment: Week 2

It's a funny thing. From at least the 1950's through the 1990's , Hillsdale College called it's football media guide the "Charger Comment". The College got away from that and so when I started doing a podcast on this site, I resurrected the name. The podcast got to be a bit much to handle and the "Charger Comment" monicker went back into mothballs.

Genna Hilgenbrink in association with the athletic department has breathed new life into the Comment and now does a weekly video series with Coach Otterbein. I am so glad to see the Charger Comment again.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Ferris makes crazy claim it has top D2 recruiting class

Ferris State's Tony Annese
Here is an audio clip posted at claiming that they have the overall best football recruiting class in Division II.

Play commercial.


There is no way to determine who has the best recruiting class in D2. There is no or any other system that ranks recruiting classes in this division like they do for FBS schools like Michigan and Alabama.

This is a pretty wild claim Ferris is making. It is one thing for us fans to argue but this is coming from the school's athletic office. There is absolutely no facts to substantiate it whatsoever.

It is just a good thing that recruiting class isn't one of the criteria used to rank teams come November for playoff spots. Ferris would have one sewn up already.

I guarantee our recruits are smarter....and have way shorter rap sheets.

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Patrick Heckenlively shares Charger Pics

Patrick Heckenlively has been gracious enough to share all of his Charger Football photos with us at  The first gallery to share is from picture day. All photos in his galleries may be purchased through his website. 

Saturday, September 07, 2013

Hillsdale comes up short to Cal in opener

With three seconds to play Hillsdale's Steven Mette's 48 yard field goal attempt sailed wide left and so did the Chargers' attempt at forcing overtime, dropping their season opener 22-19 to CAL U of Pennsylvania.

Hillsdale dominated the first half defensively and led 13-0 at halftime on two Mette field goals (43 and 28 yards) and a Sam Landry to Evan Bach touchdown of 28 yards.

Cal U also blocked a pair of Hillsdale field goal attempts from 33 and 50. It doesn't take a math major to know that if either had connected we may have at least seen overtime.

The Vulcans made adjustments in their passing game and picked Hillsdale apart on two scoring drives to make it 14-13 with 6:52 left in the game.

The Chargers responded quickly to regain the lead 19-14. Landry found Bach on a 39 yard gain he took to the 1 and Isaac Spence punched in a play later. The two point conversion failed.

Charger defensive back Daniel Pittman looked like the game's hero for a few moments as he stopped Cal's next possession with an interception, handing the ball back to the Hillsdale offense with 4 minutes and change.

Hillsdale needed a couple of first downs and some good clock management to put it on ice but the Chargers went nowhere but back. Two crucial penalties derailed the striking of the dagger. Cal U would drive 80 yards for what eventually proved to be the game winning score.

Landry would get Hillsdale as close as the Cal 31 before the field goal attempt but it was too little too late.

Hillsdale did a lot of great things in the ballgame. They won the turnover battle and Landry was pretty spectacular in his first game as a starter going 26/42 for 359 yards and a score.  The defense held Cal to 31 rushing yards on 28 attempts and picked up a pair each of sacks and interceptions. It's just too bad Team 121 couldn't finish tonight.

Hillsdale opens the GLIAC schedule next week at Ohio Dominican at noon.

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