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Monday, October 31, 2005

Ex-Charger Ross Named to World Cup Bobsled Team

Former Charger tailback Jason Ross was named today to the United States World Cup Bobsled team. This will be Ross's second season on the circuit.

Official Release: United States Bobsled and Skeleton Federation
October 31, 2005

Lake Placid, NY – After some great racing over the past two weeks at the Verizon Sports Complex in Lake Placid, New York and at the Calgary Olympic Park in Calgary, Canada the 2005-2006 United States Men’s Bobsled World Cup Team was officially announced. The team will be highlighted again by 2002 Olympic Silver Medalists’ Todd Hays (Del Rio, TX), Bill Schuffenhauer (Salt Lake City, UT) Garrett Hines (Atlanta, GA) and Randy Jones (Atlanta, GA). Also being named to the team was 2002 Olympic Bronze Medalist Mike Kohn (Chantilly, VA) and 2002 Olympian Steve Mesler (Buffalo, NY).
The rest of the 2005-2006 Men’s Bobsled World Cup team will consist of veterans: Steve Holcomb (Park City, UT), Ivan Radcliff (Houston, TX), Pavle Jovanovic (Tom’s River, NJ), Brock Kreitzburg (Akron, OH), Lorenzo Smith III (Kankakee, IL), Rocky Lanz (Gainesville, GA), Jason Ross (Napoleon, MI), Alex Sprague (Indianapolis, IN) and Curt Tomasevicz (Shelby, NE).

The Men’s Bobsled World Cup season will officially get underway in Calgary, Canada with the 2-man competition (Nov. 11th) and the 4-man to follow on Saturday (Nov. 12th). After that the team will be back in the United States for races on November 19th (2-man) and 20th (4-man) in Lake Placid, New York.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Trick Play Provides Chargers Big Treat

The first half of today's Hillsdale - Mercyhurst football game was horrifyingly ugly football for both teams. The second half may be the prettiest thing Charger fans have seen in a long, long time.

The Chargers went up 3-0 with a 27 yard Menchinger fieldgoal on their first possession. Hillsdale would punt the next 4 times they had the ball and miss a fieldgoal on the 5th.

Mercyhurst had a 9 play 90 yard drive for their only 1st half score while punting 4 times themselves and having a fieldgoal blocked by the Chargers' Alex Wojcik. Mercyhurst 7 Hillsdale 3.

A number of penalties by both teams added to the carnage.

Menchinger gave the Chargers a little boost with a 28 yarder to draw Hillsdale within a point at halftime. Mercyhurst 7 Hillsdale 6.

The second half got off in a big way as Hillsdale went 77 yards on 4 plays, topped by a 39 yard Nicolet to Chris Clay touchdown.

Mercyhurst took advantage of a Charger missed fieldgoal and added a touchdown of their own to regain the lead 14-13 with 4:28 left in the 3rd.

That lead was short lived as Hillsdale's Chad Gurica broke open on the ensuing kickoff and took it 93 yards for 19-14 Charger lead. The two point conversion attempt was no good.

The Charger defense held Mercyhurst to zero yards on the Lakers' next possession. It only took Hillsdale 6 plays to go 64 yards as Phil Martin exploded for a 44 yard touchdown. Menchinger's kick was good and put Hillsdale up 26-14.

Mercyhurst wasn't dead yet. The Lakers pinned Hillsdale deep before blocking Matt Vanover punt and recovering on the Hillsdale 6. Four plays later, the Lakers were within 5.

With Hillsdale clinging to a 26-21 4th quarter lead and the momentum squarely in the hands of Mercyhurst, the Chargers went to their bag of tricks. Hillsdale faced 3rd down just shy of midfield when quarterback Mark Nicolet handed off to Brett Neller. Neller stopped, set up and found a streaking Nicolet who didn't stop until 53 yards downfield for the touchdown. Matt Menchinger's extra point sealed the deal 33-21 with 2:30 left.

Neller added an exclamation point with a 31 yard touchdown run one minute and twenty-seven seconds later. Menchinger capped the scoring for a 40-21 final.

Hillsdale put up 415 yards of offense today. Martin led the ground game with 126 yards on 23 carries. 112 of those came on 11 second half carries. Nicolet was 13 of 27 for 172 yards passing. He also led the team in receiving with the 53 yard touchdown. Keith Recker caught 2 balls for 44 yards. Clay had just the one 39 yard touchdown catch.

The Charger defense held Mercyhurst to 72 rushing yards on 44 carries. Steve Balone led the team with 13 tackles. He had 2 1/2 of the Chargers' 7 sacks. Andrew Daugherty had a pair of those himself.

Hillsdale moves to 4-6 on the year and 3-6 in the GLIAC. They host Wayne State next Saturday in the season finale at 2:30 PM.

Hillsdale - Mercyhurst Live Stats

Mercyhurst is offering live stats on their website for today's game from Erie, PA.

Live Stats

WCSR is using the Mercyhurst feed today. Click to listen.

Thursday, October 27, 2005 Preview

Hillsdale College Release

Hillsdale Game Notes

Oct. 27, 2005 - The Hillsdale College football team seeks its second straight victory Saturday with a 1:30 p.m. game against Mercyhurst College in Erie, Pa.

This marks Hillsdale's second visit to Pennsylvania this season. The first was a Charger victory, 43-9 over the host Gannon Golden Knights.

The Lakers (1-7 overall, 1-7 GLIAC) are one team Hillsdale has had much success against in recent years. The Chargers broke a five-game losing streak last year in a 21-17 home win over Mercyhurst. Hillsdale also recorded its most lopsided win in recent years in the 2002 season finale, 56-7, over the Lakers.

However, Mercyhurst comes into the game with some momentum. The team won its first game of the season last week, 28-24 over the University of Indianapolis. The Lakers scored 14 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to pull out the come-from-behind win.

The Chargers are also coming off a victory, 24-7 over the Tiffin University Dragons in a non-league tilt. Hillsdale punter Matt Vanover was named the GLIAC Special Teams Player of the Week for his performance. It was the second time this season a Charger special teamer from Adrian has won the honor, with senior Chad Gurica being the first.

Sophomore quarterback Mark Nicolet continues his improvement, after taking over as the starter a month ago. Nicolet threw for 181 yards and ran for another 98 in the win over the Dragons last week. He also ran for a touchdown and threw for another.

Hillsdale wraps up the 2005 season at home Saturday, Nov. 5 against Wayne State. Return Home for Hillsdale

Mercyhurst College Release

Mercyhurst Game Notes

Mercyhurst (1-7, 1-7 GLIAC) will look for its second straight win when GLIAC foe Hillsdale (3-6, 2-6 GLIAC) visits Tullio Field on Saturday, October 29 at 1:30.

Last week, the Lakers got three touchdowns from Calvin Kelly - tying a school record - including one in a fourth quarter comeback that lifted Mercyhurst to its first win of the year. Jim Kokrak made a Laker season-high 19 tackles and was named the GLIAC Defensive Player of the Week.

Hillsdale, meanwhile, defeated non-conference Tiffin by a score of 24-7. The Chargers snapped a four-game losing streak with the win.

Hillsdale leads the all-time series 4-3, winning three straight games between the two schools. Last year, Phil Martin scored on a five-yard run with 3:22 left to lift the Chargers past Mercyhurst. He also scored on a 47-yard scamper and had 135 yards on the ground. Justin Adams led the Lakers with 134 yards and matched Martin with two scores. The running backs dominated the game. Both teams racked up over 200 yards on the ground, but neither offense passed for 100. Ben Bluemle had 17 tackles and an interception. Mercyhurst's last win came on October 27, 2001 with a 44-31 win at Tullio Field. Games between the teams tend to be high scoring. The winner has run up at least 35 in five of the seven meetings.

Date: October 29, 2005
Event: Hillsdale at Mercyhurst
Kickoff: 1:30 PM
Stadium: Tullio Field, (2,300)
Location: Erie, Pa.
Mercyhurst's Record: 1-7, 1-7 GLIAC
Hillsdale's Record: 3-6, 2-6 GLIAC
Series: Hillsdale leads 4-3

Charger Basketball Takes on the Big East

Hillsdale will travel to the 'Nati and take on the Bearcats as UC makes its debut this season in the new (Very) Big East.

Lots of Hillsdale alumni, including the famous Will Cover are already planning a big bash to celebrate the Chargers' appearance on their biggest stage ever. Be part of it!

Thursday, November 3, 2005
Fifth Third Arena, Cincinnati OH

Come see your Hillsdale Chargers take on NCAA powerhouse, the University of Cincinnati Bearcats. Tickets are available through the Hillsdale College Alumni Office (517) 607-2461. Prices are $25 lower level, $20 mezzanine, and $10 upper level.
All proceeds go to support the Hillsdale College Men’s Basketball Program

There will be an alumni reception for the team from 5:00-6:30 PM at the Vernon Manor Hotel, 400 Oak St., Cincinnati, Ohio.


Detroit News::Northwood Stresses Family

Here is an article from the Detriot News' Terry Foster about the Northwood program and especially former Charger great Pat Riepma. Riepma is head football coach, athletic director and architect of the amazing football renaissance at Northwood.

Northwood Stresses Family, October

Riepma played quarterback at Hillsdale in the early 1980's, was a position coach, offensive coordinator of the 1992 MIFC championship team, and Sports Information Director before beginning his tenure at Northwood in 1993. He and Hillsdale head coach were Keith Otterbein were Charger teammates and Alpha Tau Omega fraternity brothers. Region Notebook Northwest Region Correspondent

October 24, 2005

It's getting to the point in the season where conference championships get decided and there is a team in each league around the region that can prepare to hang a new banner with a win this weekend.
Winona State in the NSIC, North Dakota in the NCC, and Grand Valley State in the GLIAC can all guarantee themselves at least a share of their respective league titles with a win. Central Washington can do even better-- the Wildcats can capture the final GNAC championship outright with a second win this season over rival Western Washington.

Even if your team's conference title hopes look dim, there is still plenty to play for. By my estimation, there are 13 teams with at least an outside shot at capturing one of the region's six playoff berths. Other teams can work on finishing the season over .500 or spoiling someone else's playoff hopes or sending out the senior class with a win. Everybody should have at least a few goals to shoot for as we near the end of the regular season.

Full Column

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Charger Parents :: Mercyhurst Tailgating Info

Hillsdale at Mercyhurst
Saturday, October 29, 2005
Game time: 1:30 PM

Fun Fans of Charger Football!!!

We will meet for tailgating about 11:00 AM in parking lot #8 adjacent to Tullio Field. Go to: to see it on the campus map. You will have to zoom in 100% to read anything on it but it will get you to the football field. There is no charge for parking or game tickets. Game will be broadcast in Erie, PA on WMCE FM 88.5 or WYNE AM 1530. Address to Mercyhurst Campus is:
501 East 38th St., Erie, PA 16546 for the mapquest users. Follow signs to Tullio Field once you get on campus.

Friday night, Oct. 28:
Comfort Inn
8051 Peach St.
Erie, PA 16509
1-814-866-6666 (Reservations)

We'll all be rolling in at different times on Friday but let's meet up at Boston's Gourmet Pizza and Sports Bar which is located in the same parking lot as the hotel. They have big screens, pool tables, a big bar and are used to loud people. I thought it would be perfect for us!!! Their menu has pizza, sandwiches as well as dinners. Just come in when you get in town, they'll be someone there from our group.

Apparel Orders: I will not be lugging them with me unless you email me and tell me you will be at the game. Otherwise, I will have them all with me at the last home game, Nov. 5.

Football Banquet: 2005 Football Awards Banquet will be held Sunday, Nov. 6 in the Jesse Philips Arena at 1:00 PM. Buffet dinner will be followed by a special honors program. Dinner reservations are $15.00/person (do not include players in your reservations). Contributions to the football program to offset cost of player meals are greatly appreciated and are tax deductible. You should have received a blue form in the mail entitled "Hillsdale College Football 2005 Awards Banquet". If you did not receive a form or have any questions please call Anita Gordon, athletic secretary, at 517-607-3133. Make reservations by Fri., Oct. 28, 2005.

SAVE THE DATE!: Saturday, November 5th immediately following the last home game against Wayne State there will be a end of the season BONFIRE BASH at the Rumsey residence. This event will be hosted by Nancy and Troy Rumsey and Luann and Craig Crowley. Everyone....and I mean everyone is invited. Players and their families, coaches and their families, grandmas & grandpas!!! There will be an email invitation, with a download map sent out early next week. So make sure you talk to your son (they will have plenty of time to get back to Hillsdale and do whatever it is they do after games) and whoever will be with you after the game because Nancy need will an RSVP with a head count. Details will follow with the invitation email next week.

Saturday promises to be great fall football weather! I can't wait to see the leaves on the way there and to bring the "W" home with us. Travel safe and we'll see you all at Boston's Sports Bar Friday night!

go chargers!!!!
Sandy Balone

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

New Photo Gallery Added

Carly Crowley has begun her second picture gallery with great shots from Saturday's win at Tiffin.

Vistit the Photo Gallery page to find links to all of the Hillsdale photo collections online.

Monday, October 24, 2005

No More Big 3....Well, until 2008

The GLIAC scheduling gods have finally smiled on the Chargers. After two years of playing Saginaw Valley, Northwood, and Grand Valley back-to-back-to-back, the scheduling rotation for the 2006 and 2007 seasons provides just a bit of relief. The Chargers will not play Northwood or Grand Valley until 2008.

Of course, that means the return of the Upper Peninsula teams Michigan Tech and Northern Michigan. Hillsdale has not had to cross the Mackinac Bridge and has avoided the upswing of the Michigan Tech program since 2003.

Actual dates and times have not been released.

Vanover Named GLIAC Special Teams Player of the Week

Hillsdale College Release

Punter Matt Vanover named GLIAC Special Teams Player of the Week

Oct. 23, 2005 - For the second time this season, a Hillsdale College football player from Adrian was named the GLIAC Special Teams Player of the Week.

This time, Charger sophomore punter Matt Vanover earned the honor after Week 9 of play in the 2005 season. After the season’s first week, co-captain Chad Gurica won the same award.

Vanover’s award comes near the end of what has been a terrific season for him individually, as well as the team’s special teams unit as a whole. In Hillsdale’s 24-7 win over Tiffin University Saturday, Vanover consistently put the Hillsdale defense in good field position, booting six punts for a total of 253 yards. His kicks covered an average of 42.2 yards per punt, with a long of 62 yards, which was also his career-long punt. Earlier this season, Vanover had a 60-yard punt. Vanover also dropped two kicks inside the Tiffin 20-yard line, helping to give the Charger defense a longer field to work with against the Dragon offense.

Vanover currently leads the GLIAC in punting average at 41.1 per kick. His 54 punts have covered a total of 2,20 yards this season.

Like Gurica, Vanover is a graduate of Adrian High School. Vanover makes up a key part of Hillsdale’s conference-best special teams unit, that features Chad and Nick Gurica leading the GLIAC in kick and punt returns, respectively.

Regional Results:The Games Begin

Expect a lot of shuffling within the middle of the Northwest Region poll when it is released later today. The 4, 5, and 6 ranked teams all lost. Here is how the top 12 fared. The top 6 teams make the playoffs beginning November 12. The top 2 seeds receive first round byes.

1. North Dakota, 9-0, beat Minnesota State 26-7
2. Grand Valley, 8-0, beat Northwood 30-10
3. Saginaw Valley, 7-1, beat Northern Michigan 31-20
4. St. Cloud State, 7-2, lost to Nebraska Omaha 38-21
5. Minnesota-Duluth, 6-2, lost to Augustana 26-23
6. Northwood, 6-2, lost to Grand Valley 30-10
7. South Dakota, 8-1, beat Upper Iowa 63-17
8. Nebraska Omaha, 6-2, beat St. Cloud St. 38-21
9. Winona State, 7-2, beat Moorhead St. 54-7
10. Central Washington, 7-2, beat Western Oregon 61-33
11. Michigan Tech, 6-2, beat Ferris State 35-19
12. Ashland, 7-2, beat Wayne State 27-3

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Chargers Slay Dragons 24-7

Hillsdale's Phil Martin had 133 yards rushing, including a 59 yard run for a 4th quarter touchdown as the Chargers picked up their 3rd win on the season at Tiffin this afternoon.

Hillsdale led 3-0 on a Matt Menchinger 38 yard field goal. With 2:16 left in the 2nd quarter, Mark Nicolet hit Bill Brown for a 45 yard touchdown to extend the lead to 10-0.

The Charger defense got the ball back into the offense's hands by forcing the Dragons to punt with 1:45 left in the first half. Hillsdale went 65 yards in 6 plays before Nicolet took in a keeper from the Tiffin 19. 17-0 Hillsdale.

Tiffin would add a late touchdown before Martin capped the victory and a 3 play 80 yard drive.

Hillsdale had 11 tackles for loss--5 alone from Steve Balone. Chad Gurica and Nick Sutherland each had interceptions.

Box Score

Friday, October 21, 2005 25 Poll Northwest Region Correspondent
October 17, 2005

It really shouldn't come as any surprise. We are now eight weeks into the regular season and just two unbeaten teams remain in the region: North Dakota and Grand Valley State. It certainly appears that the Lakers and Fighting Sioux are on another postseason collision course to decide who represents us in the national semifinals.
But the Northwest Region is loaded with good teams this year and several others will still have their say in this before it's over. St. Cloud State looks like the third best team right now. Northwood and Michigan Tech will both get their shot at the Lakers yet in the regular season while Nebraska-Omaha and South Dakota will have the same opportunity against UND. And there are a handful of other teams that could still sneak up and make a run at the postseason. All I know is that these last three weeks before the playoffs are going to be fun to watch!

Full Column

Chargers Look to Pressure Tiffin

"We think our defensive line matches up really well with their offensive line," Hillsdale Head Coach Keith Otterbein stated while discussing tomorrow's lone non-conference game of the year. "We need to get back to where we were putting a lot of pressure on the other teams' quarterback and getting lots of sacks and tackles for loss."

That pretty much summarizes what Charger fans would like to see as well. Most would throw in "offensive explosion" and payback as well. Hillsdale travels down to Tiffin University for a 4:00 PM kickoff with the independent Dragons. Tiffin handed Hillsdale a bitter, bitter 15-13 loss last season at home.

Last week in a 28-7 loss to St. Joseph's college, Tiffin's Donnie Johnson and Matt Root combined for just 92 yards passing, going a combined 9 of 30 and each throwing a pick. Andy Dion, Andrew Daugherty, Aaron Hoekje, and Eric Weber will do all they can up front to keep that pace going. Defensive backs play a big role in that pressure as well. If Chad Gurica and Nick Sutherland can lock down receivers Sean Ostrowski and Austin Clopton, Hillsdale should be able to throw the clamps on a passing game averaging just over 89 yards per game through the air.

Tiffin features Garion Corbin in the backfield who is 68 yards shy of the century mark on the season. He has 8 touchdowns in 8 games. Corbin carried the ball 30 times for 104 yards last week. On the season, the Dragons have relied largely on the run to a tune of 257.9 yards per game! Charger linebackers Matt Britton, Steve Balone, and company will look to neutralize Tiffin's ground attack.

Everyone who supports the Blue and White would love to see the offense get rolling again. The Chargers have faced some tremendous defenses over the last month and want to establish their running game early.

"We have to get in there and establish the run right away," Otterbein said. "We need to bust one or get to the second level where we can make guys miss."

Defensively the Dargaons have yielded just under 140 yards rushing per game and 152.9 yards passing per game. Phil Martin and the Hillsdale offense would love to stretch those numbers.

Tiffin is four and four on the season having played a wild collection of opponents. They opened and lost to the GLIAC's Findlay 31-10, then were blanked 38-0 by 1AA non-scholarship Dayton. They turned the tide and picked up their first win 30-7 against 1AA non-scholarship Butler. Division II's Edinboro beat the Dragons 42-7 before Tiffin picked up their second win vs. Division 3 Alma 56-23. The Dragons continued winning with shutouts of first-year programs Central State and Seton Hill by a combined score of 103-0 before their St. Joseph's loss last week.

Regardless of numbers Hillsdale cannot take anything for granted and must remain focused on the job at hand. "W

"We had another great week of practice," Charger offensive line coach Nate Shreffler said.

"Through all of this, the thing are kids have been the best at," Otterbein also stated, "is being resillient."

The game can once again be heard live over the Internet on WCSR Radio.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Charger Parents :: Tiffin Tailgating Info

Hillsdale at Tiffin
Saturday, October 22, 2005
Game time: 4:00 PM

Charger Friends & Families,

Tailgating will begin about 1:30 PM. Please bring your main dish, beverages, eating utensils and a small dish to pass. There will be 2 grills going so bring over your stuff and grill with us!
Saturday's game is at Frost-Kalnow Stadium which is NOT located on the Tiffin University campus. The stadium is located behind Tiffin Columbian High School, 300 South Monroe St., Tiffin, OH 44883 for those of you who use . Go around to the visitor's side of the stadium, we will be meeting in the parking lot that is behind home plate of the baseball diamond. This was described to me as being near the SW corner of the visitors side of the stadium. There is no charge for parking, tickets are $5.00. This is a municipal stadium that is used by two colleges and two high schools in the Tiffin area. We are the second of three consecutive games that are being played there this Saturday. Don't forget your flags!!

Apparel orders: I will have information regarding the rest of the apparel orders by Friday morning. Check your email Friday evening and I will put out a brief email about the clothing.

Football Banquet: 2005 Football Awards Banquet will be held Sunday, Nov. 6 in the Jesse Philips Arena at 1:00 PM. Buffet dinner will be followed by a special honors program. Dinner reservations are $15.00/person (do not include players in your reservations). Contributions to the football program to offset cost of player meals are greatly appreciated and are tax deductible. You should have received a blue form last week in the mail entitled "Hillsdale College Football 2005 Awards Banquet". If you did not receive a form or have any questions please call Anita Gordon, athletic secretary, at 517-607-3133. Send reservations by Fri., Oct. 28, 2005.

Mercyhurst game, Saturday October 29, 2005: This is the hotel that we are staying at. The deadline passed for our group rate but here is the information for those of you who still may want to book accommodations. Most are staying Friday, October 28 (because the game is at 1:30 PM) and traveling home after.
For reservations contact:
Comfort Inn
8051 Peach St.
Erie, PA 16509
1-814-866-6666 (reservations)
Tell them you are with the "Hillsdale Parent Tailgate Group". Although the deadline has passed they may be nice enough to give you our rate anyway!

Let's cheer the boys to victory this Saturday. I've been told by many that we have the best "away game fans" in the GLIAC! What a compliment. While we're there we may as well let everyone know it! Wear your blues, bring your flags and your big cheers! I've got the tootsie rolls.....a great recipe for victory! Have a safe trip.

Sandy Balone

HDN To Launch Improved Website

On November 1, The Hillsdale Daily News will launch a greatly improved website. That should make it easier for Charger fans to keep up with the happenings in the Dale.

Welcome to Version 3.0
David Pauken
HDN New Media Director

In April 2002, the Hillsdale Daily News took a leap into the future when we renewed our efforts in online publishing, and launched the second version of

It was a modest effort by all media standards, as we leveraged all of the technology and manpower available to us at that time to bring local news, sports and features to an online audience.

We’ve been taking notes since that launch, tweaking every little bit of code and squeezing every drop of effort into our site. Video, photo galleries, weather, special features, bulletin boards, the list goes on. And now, we’re starting over.

A new is on its way.
On Nov. 1, we will launch our redesigned, restructured and reinvented

We had a few goals with this redesign. First, we wanted to take all the latest on friendly Web design and develop it with the reader in mind. Secondly, we wanted to make things a little more dynamic. Including tidbits of information that we just can’t get into print, such as related stories links, extra photos and some feedback features.

We think we’ve reached our goals, and we hope you feel the same. Here are some other things you can expect from the new

Related stories links will provide you with a backlog, just in case you missed the first story.

Improved archives. Check stories from yesterday, last week or last month.

More photo galleries. If a picture tells a thousand words, we’ve got a lot to say. Featured weekly galleries will appear on Saturday.

Improved local sports coverage. We’re talking about some in–depth coverage, from statistics to photos.

Everything will be easy to find. We promise to make it simple to find exactly what you’re looking for in three clicks or less.

-RSS and e–mail headlines.
-Movie listings. We’re including movie listings from our local theatre, with some extra features you won’t find in print.
-All together, we’ve added more than 100 new features and improvements.

And please keep watching. Great things are happening at

Thanks for reading,
David M. Pauken
New Media Director

Want a sneak preview of our redesigned site? Click here

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Politically Correct Homecoming

Mike Pechart
The Jawa Report
October 14, 2005

Politically Correct Homecoming

(St. Cloud, Minnesota) In order to exhibit appropriate diversity and tolerance, St. Cloud State University (SCSU) has eliminated the selection and crowning of a homecoming king and queen. Henceforth, SCSU students will vote for homecoming 'royalty' consisting of two gender non-specific people. [As an aside, it's not absolutely clear that the homecoming royalty has to be human.]

The change will prevent a recurrence of the confusion experienced last year when a male student, Fue Khang, was selected as queen of the homecoming celebration. It would be embarrassing to have another Fue Khang queen.

SCSU has traditions and history dating back over 130 years and part of that past is the yearly homecoming celebration. Sadly, without a king and queen, homecoming will never be the same. Chalk up a victory for political correctness which has successfully attacked another tradition and forced SCSU, as an institution, to reject a part of its history.

Northwest Playoff Picture: Lots of Football Left to Play

As a Charger fan, you might be echoing former Colts coach Jim Mora when you read an article about the upcoming Division II playoffs.

"Playoffs? Don't talk about playoffs. You kiddin' me? Playoffs ?!?! (WAV from

But, as the regular GLIAC season winds down, we look to see how our other league counterparts are sitting in terms of gaining bids to the second season. Remember, in the expanded playoff format, six teams from the four regions now qualify.

Grand Valley, Saginaw, Northwood, Michigan Tech, and Ashland all are listed in the top twelve. Several key ballgames loom in all of the conferences, so lots of things are bound to change between now and the opening round November.

Latest Rankings as of October 17, 2005
1. North Dakota, 8-0, remaining ranked opponents: Neb. Omaha, South Dakota
2. Grand Valley, 7-0, remaining ranked opponents: @Northwood, Michigan Tech
3. Saginaw Valley, 6-1, remaining ranked opponents: Michigan Tech
4. St. Cloud State, 7-1, remaining ranked opponents: @Neb. Omaha, UM-Duluth
5. Minnesota-Duluth, 6-2, remaining ranked opponents: South Dakota, St. Cloud St.
6. Northwood, 6-1, remaining ranked opponents: Grand Valley
7. South Dakota, 7-1, remaining ranked opponents: UM-Duluth, North Dakota
8. Nebraska Omaha, 5-2, remaining ranked opponents: St. Cloud St., @North Dakota
9. Winona State, 6-2, remaining ranked opponents: none
10. Central Washington, 5-2, remaining ranked opponents: none
11. Michigan Tech, 5-2, remaining ranked opponents: @Saginaw Valley, @Grand Valley
12. Ashland, 6-2, remaining ranked opponents: none

As you can see, there is a lot of football left to be played in the GLIAC, NCC, and NSIC conferences. Lots of the "big boys" will be banging helmets in the upcoming weeks. In the GLIAC, Michigan Tech definitely has the toughest road with finales in the Valleys. Ashland might be in the best position in the entire region. They finish with Wayne State at home, a short drive to free-falling Findlay, and Indianapolis at home while the teams ahead of them play knock-out with one another.

Rankings for all regions 25 Poll

North Dakota Still #1
October 18, 2005

The North Dakota Fighting Sioux retained the #1 spot in this week's Top 25 Poll. Grand Valley is #2, followed by Valdosta State, Bloomsburg, and Northwood.

St. Cloud jumped West Texas A&M and North Alabama to move up to #7. South Dakota fell from #3 to #9, Saginaw Valley fell from #5 to #11, Texas A&M-Kingsville fell from #9 to #19, and Michigan Tech fell from #19 to #25.

Minnesota-Duluth and Delta State have fallen out of the poll while Central Arkansas and Tarleton State enter.

Rank Team Record
1 North Dakota 8-0
2 Grand Valley 7-0
3 Valdosta State 7-1
4 Bloomsburg 8-0
5 Northwood 7-1
6 E. Stroudsburg 6-1
7 St. Cloud State 7-1
8 W. Texas A&M 8-0
9 South Dakota 7-1
10 North Alabama 6-1
11 Saginaw Valley 6-1
12 Washburn Univ. 7-1
13 Presbyterian 7-1
14 Pittsburg State 6-2
15 Albany State 5-1
16 Northwest Missouri 5-2
17 Arkansas Tech 6-1
18 Shepherd 8-0
19 TAMU-Kingsville 5-2
20 St. Augustine's 8-0
21 Central Arkansas 6-2
22 Edinboro 5-2
23 Tarleton State 6-1
24 Nebraska-Omaha 5-2
25 Michigan Tech 5-2

Monday, October 17, 2005

XML Feed Fixed

Wow! has been in shambles lately!

I have been working like crazy to get the ole Losik homestead ready for the winter, so it inspired me to take a look at a couple of issues that have cropped up.

I now have the feeds in the right directory so you can use either the Feedburner or Atom feeds.

Archiving Problem Fixed

Sorry for any convenience the dead links in the archive links caused. I just discovered the problem this morning and have worked to rectify it.

If you find a bad link or have any problems at all, please email me.

Charger Photo Galleries

These are all great online resources for Hillsdale Football Photos. Thanks to everyone who has shared their pics with the rest of the Charger faithful.

Chargerblue Flickr Gallery
Carly Crowley's Hillsdale Football Gallery
Carly Crowley's Second Hillsdale Football Gallery
Doug Waldie's Charger Football Gallery vs. Northwood, 2005

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Jackson Citizen Patriot::Hillsdale Loses in Defensive Struggle

Sunday, October 16, 2005
Citizen Patriot staff report

Defenses dominated Saturday afternoon at Muddy Waters Stadium as the Hillsdale College football team lost to Ashland 7-3.

All the scoring came in the second quarter. Jon Schroeder of Ashland scored on a 40-yard run with 10:11 left in the first half, and Hillsdale answered with a 28-yard field goal by Matt Menchinger, who earlier missed a 49-yard attempt.

The game was even statistically. Ashland had 266 yards in total offense, while Hillsdale had 263 yards. Hillsdale quarterback Mark Nicolet was 19-for-35 for 156 yards and had two interceptions. Phil Martin led Hillsdale with 77 yards on 18 carries.

Chad Gurica had 11 tackles, including one for a 4-yard loss, to pace Hillsdale's defense, while Steve Balone had 10 tackles.

The loss dropped Hillsdale to 2-6 overall and in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Ashland is 6-2 overall and 5-2.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Time Runs Out on Chargers

Hillsdale 3 Ashland 7

Time ran out on the Chargers today as Ashland pulls out a tough fought road win at Muddy Waters Stadium. It was a classic knock-down drag out defensive battle with great stops by both teams.

Chargers fought hard but just couldn't generate enough offense.

Check out details below in today's in-game summary.
Hillsdale goes to Tiffin next Saturday. Chargers fall to 2-6 overall and in the GLIAC.

Hillsdale-Ashland::In Game Update

Thanks to Hillsdale College's campus wide wireless network, I can sit in the stands of Muddy Waters Stadium on a beautiful sunny fall day and bring you scoring updates.

End of First Quarter
Ashland 0 Hillsdale 0

Hillsdale 1st and 10 at the Ashland 20 yard line following a 20 yard Phil Martin draw.
Both defenses are playing exceptionally well. Ashland stopped Hillsdale on the Eagle 24 and the Chargers responded with their own 4th down stand on the next series.

13:21 2nd Quarter
Hillsdale's Matt Menchinger misses 41 yard fieldgoal.

10:11 2nd Quarter
Ashland 7 Hillsdale 0
Ashland's Jon Schroeder takes a draw 40 yard for the touchdown.

5:45 2nd Quarter
Ashland 7 Hillsdale 3

Menchinger connects on a 28 yard fieldgoal
Big play of the drive: 31 yard pass from Nicolet to Swarbick. Nicolet lines up in slot. Direct snap to Martin who hands off to Nicolet who takes the ball on an end around.

Ashland 7 Hillsdale 3
1st Half Stats:
Hillsdale: 17 rushes for 58 yards, Phil Martin 12 carries for 42 yards. Mark Nicolet 11 of 16 for 84 yards
Ashland: 16 rushes 97 yards, Jon Schroeder 6 carries for 52 yards. Nick Strance 8 of 14 yards for 67 yards

5:57 3rd Quarter
Ashland 7 Hillsdale 3
Big Stop Chargers!
Ashland takes delay of game penalty while setting up for 37 yard field goal. Eagles go for it on 4th and 6 on Hillsdale 25. Incomplete.

End of 3rd Quarter
Ashland 7 Hillsdale 3
Ashland 1st and 10 on their own 9 yard line

9:00 4th Quarter
Ashland 7 Hillsdale 3
Big Stop Eagles!
Chargers have 4th and goal at the 5. Ashland intercepts Nicolet in the endzone on a tip.

Ashland 7 Hillsdale 3

Friday, October 14, 2005

Chargers Welcome Ashland for Afternoon Tilt

Last season, we took a deep breath when the Chargers finished their Saginaw Valley, Northwood, Grand Valley stretch, figuring we had a decent shot at going to Ashlaned and coming home feeling pretty good about ourselves and the remainder of the year. Wrong! Hillsdale fell 24-0 on a just flat miserably cold and wet day for football.

This year, we all take a big sigh that the Big 3 have passed and guess who comes to town? Ashland! This season, the Eagles are 5-2, losing nailbiters to Grand Valley and Michigan Tech. In fact, Ashland only lost by four to the Lakers and missed six points worth of fieldgoals. Last week, the Grand Valley blew through Hillsdale like former Charger offensive tackle Matt Fryer used to blow through Saga.

Coaches talk all of the time about taking games one at a time. The last 7 weeks are history and all energy now focuses on 60 minutes of football, starting at 2:30 on Saturday afternoon at Frank "Muddy" Waters Stadium.

Ashland is definitely the GLIAC's up and coming program, riding a very solid defense. The Eagles rank 2nd in the GLIAC in scoring defense, surrendering just 12 points per game. Against the run Ashland is giving up 104.7 yards per game and 168.8 yards per game through the air. They rank 2nd in sacks with 22, just 1 ahead of the Chargers' second place 21 (sorry about a previous mistake I posted). Senior Linebacker Brady Miller has 61 stops on the season. Junior Allen Latimore has 4 sacks.

Offensively, Ashland is averaging 25.3 points per game. Ranked 4th in the GLIAC, the Eagles are gaining 178.7 yards per game rushing. Their passing game has put up an average of 148.6 yards per game. Senior Jason Scwalm has carried the ball 167 times for 750 yards. Quarterback Nick Strance just eclipsed the 1000 yard mark last week as he is 86 for 152 and 1005, 9 TD and 7 interceptions.

So, Ashland is 5-2. Take a look at who those wins came against: Ferris State (who the Chargers pounded), Gannon (who the Chargers pounded), Northern Michigan (2-4 and who lost to Gannon, who the Chargers pounded), St. Josephs (who is trying to establish themselves in D2), and Mercyhurst (0-7). The point is that the Eagles are good but are yet to put themselves into the class of Hillsdale's last 3 opponents. Hillsdale's defense is no slouch and it should be a classic, hard fought Ashland-Hillsdale game. The schools have split the last 10. Last year's shutout was the first time in 6 season that the Chargers had been held scoreless. That won't happen today with a nice Parents' Weekend crowd behind the blue and white.

Saturday should be a beautiful afternoon to experience an October afternoon game on the shores of "Lake" Winona. Hillsdale has to look at the remainder of this year as a completely separate season with the Eagles as an opening day opponent. A win over a legit and growing Ashland program would go a long way to erase the sting of the last 3 losses and give Hillsdale football a definite boost through the final 4 games of 2005.

Hillsdale Collegian::Meet the Seniors-Football

By Heather Orlando
Collegian Freelancer

The sounds of Green Day and the smell of sweat permeated the football locker room last Wednesday afternoon as members of the Hillsdale Chargers attempted to wind down after another intense practice session.   

But for senior members of the team, these daily practices are five games away from being only a memory. Nineteen Chargers graduate this year – the largest group of seniors in Keith Otterbein’s history as head football coach.  

“They are a phenomenal group,” Otterbein said. “Hillsdale College attracts kids with a very hard work ethic.”

 College football has profoundly affected senior Keith Recker, who said, “It is the best thing I have ever done.”

“I was kind of homesick my freshman year and was thinking about going back home, but staying here was the best decision I’ve ever made,” Recker said. “I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything.”

The players decided to attend Hillsdale College for various reasons. For senior Pat McCarthy, coming to Hillsdale was a matter of continuing a family legacy.

“My dad and my grandfather played football here,” McCarthy said.       

Many others said they desired the close-knit relationships they observed within the team while visiting campus. Senior Ike Dougherty saw these friendships between players and coaches, and knew he wanted to be a part of the Chargers’ squad.

Full Story

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Charger Parents::Ashland Tailgating Info

Hillsdale vs. Ashland (home)
Saturday, October 15, 2005
Game time: 2:30 PM

Hello Charger fans,

Tailgating will be begin around noon in the grass parking lot west of the athletic building. Bring your main dish, beverages, eating utensils and a small dish to pass. We will be set up in our BRAND NEW TAILGATING TENT thanks to Lenny Stover and the Gridiron Club. This beautiful 18' X 30' tent will be set up for all to gather around for home tailgating. Thank you, Gridiron Club. One quick note about this weekend, it's Parent's weekend so the campus will be full. Get there early. Also, when you leave the tailgate to go into the game please pick up your dish to pass and either put it away or dispose of it.

Football Banquet: 2005 Football Awards Banquet will be held Sunday, Nov. 6 in the Jesse Philips Arena at 1:00 PM. Buffet dinner will be followed by a special honors program. Dinner reservations are $15.00/person (do not include players in your reservations). Contributions to the football program to offset cost of player meals are greatly appreciated and are tax deductible. You should have received a blue form this week in the mail entitled "Hillsdale College Football 2005 Awards Banquet". If you did not receive a form or have any questions please call Anita Gordon, athletic secretary, at 517-607-3133. Send reservations by Fri., Oct. 28, 2005.

Team Pictures: Team/individual pictures are in. If you haven't done so yet, please stop by the Parent Booster table on the way into the stadium. The table will be set up by 1:30 PM on the right hand side of stadium walk, before you get to the ticket booth. This will be the last week for pick up, if you can't get them Sat. they will be available at the Awards Banquet on Nov. 6.

Tickets: Each person must show ID to pick up their tickets from will call. This is a new conference rule this year.

Apparel orders: For the parents who expected to pick up your clothing last week, I've found out what happened. Thanks to the great detective work of myself and Team Sports clothing rep, Tony Scott, we have determined that the order got lost in "faxland". This is a technical term. But Tony is coming though and will be delivering the order at the tailgate. Check with me if you have ordered clothing to see what I received. This is what should come in: Jersey numbers 5, 7, 11, 26, 48, 58, 66, 78 & 85. Please see me if your son wears jersey number: 25, 29, 84 & 98. I have clothing for you.

Misc: See Nancy Rumsey to get your "Hillsdale Charger Football" rear window sticker for $5.00. See Sandy Balone if you want a mini roster for $2.00 (I only have 5 left). These items are cash and carry, all proceeds go to the football team. There will not be a post game reception at the Roxy Theatre.

Saturday's weather calls for occasional showers right now. Be good and say your prayers all week and maybe we'll be blessed with no rain. Nothing ruins a good time at a tailgate like rain! U of M plays at home at 3:30 PM on Saturday, watch your travel times for traffic! Michigan State is away at Ohio State so we don't have to worry about gridlock near E. Lansing. Travel safely and we'll see you Saturday!

Go Chargers!!!!!!
Sandy Balone
Hillsdale Parents Booster Club Region Notebook Northwest Region Correspondent
October 13,2005

It doesn't get any better than this:
Two teams ranked in the top five in the country.

Two great defenses.

Two outstanding programs that are used to playing on the big stage.

And the best part? Editor Brandon Misener and I will be there to witness it. "It" being what has to be the top rivalry in the Northwest Region and possibly all of Division II: Saginaw Valley State versus Grand Valley State. Both are unbeaten and set to collide on Saturday night in what has to be the Game of the Year in the country so far this fall.

As if taking in one great match up wasn't enough, Brandon and I will also be present when a pair of one loss teams-- Michigan Tech and Northwood-- do battle on Saturday afternoon to see which team can keep its conference title hopes alive.

So GLIAC fans, if you do see us around (and I promise that in person we at least somewhat resemble our pictures on the website) stop by and say hi and be ready to talk some football. We look forward to meeting people and watching some great games.

Full Column"

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Scout Team Players Carry Important Role on Football Team

Hillsdale College Release

Oct. 11, 2005 - They don’t get the stats their teammates do. Their gamedays occur during the week, not on Saturdays. And they rarely get to practice their own team’s offensive or defensive plays.
The life of a scout team player is a lot of guts and very little glory. But their role on the team is just as important as that of many of the starters. It’s a role fans in the stands never get to see, but coaches and fellow players deeply appreciate the effort scout team players give every day in practice.

Scout team players are primarily made up of players who are either freshmen, or redshirt freshmen who likely won’t crack the starting lineup this season, unless an injury occurs. They have the responsibility of running the upcoming opponent’s offensive and defensive sets so the first-team players can practice against it and get a look for what the upcoming opponent is like, man-on-man, on the field.

It can be a thankless job, that of a scout team player, but one highly valued by the coaching staff and other players.

“It’s a very different role, because they have to be able to do a lot of different things,” said Hillsdale head coach Keith Otterbein. “They are the unsung heroes. The people in the stands just don’t get to see all the hard work they put in to prepare the starters to play on Saturdays. They aren’t motivated by the glory of stepping out on the field for gamedays. What they do is all effort.”

Full Story

Chargers investment in Gurica brothers pays returns

Tuesday, October 11, 2005 10:07 AM EDT

Former Adrian High standouts lead GLIAC
By John Castle
Daily Telegram Sports Writer

HILLSDALE - The Hillsdale College football program has enjoyed big returns since investing in several local football players.

Two of the players are brothers Chad and Nick Gurica of Adrian High School, and their talent as kickoff and punt returners have landed them atop the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference standings in those respective categories.

Chad, a senior cornerback and kick return specialist, is first in the conference with his 31.3 yards per return average, with a 95-yard return for a touchdown among his runbacks. After four games, he was No. 2 among all NCAA Division II players.

Nick Gurica is a sophomore punt returner and wide receiver who is No. 1 in the conference with an 16.7 yards per return average with his long being 60 yards. He has a comfortable margin over the second-place returner.

”These two guys have an exceptional work ethic and a desire to win that is unmatched,“ Hillsdale coach Keith Otterbein said. ”We test our players several times a year, and as a senior captain, Chad had four personal bests in seven different categories. That is a great testament to his desire to be the best player possible.

”Fortunately, we are in a situation where we get kids here who are dedicated, smart and athletic, and the Guricas fit every one of those. Mom and dad certainly raised these guys right.“

Full Story

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Number 1 Lakers Show Chargers their Ranking is Deserved

Please let me begin by apologizing for the late update. We had to go up North and deal with some unpleasantries. Now, as I finally get back to my Mac, I get to tell you all about some more unpleasantries.

You never want to play a really good team after it has just been in a dogfight with a winless, and you really, really don't want to play a really good team when people all across the nation who follow D2 follow start questioning whether their number 1 ranking is all hype. The Grand Valley State Lakers left little doubt in the minds of the Hillsdale Chargers last night as they steamrolled their way to a 38-10 victory.

Grand Valley tallied 597 yards of total offense in the game and raced out to a 31-0 lead before Matt Menchinger could get Hillsdale on the board with 7 seconds left in the 3rd quarter.

Hillsdale opened the game with another first drive turnover, as Brandon Carr picked off a Mark Nicolet pass leading to a quick 19 yard Laker field goal. Hillsdale would punt and miss two field goals on their next 3 touches. GVSU racked up a short Brandon Langston touchdown catch from Cullin Finnerty, a 54 yard touchdown run from Astin Martin, and a 30 yard touchdown run out of Finnerty to lead 24-0 at half.

Even when the Chargers got to face Grand Valley back-up Jeff Dock, big plays continued. Terry Mitchell hauled in Dock's first pass of the game for 57 yards and another touchdown.

The Chargers' Brett Neller finally found the endzone for Hillsdale with 4:43 left to play.

Grand Valley recorded 6 sacks on Nicolet and Jesse Hoskins who finished the game at quarterback. Nicolet was 11 of 23 for 85 yards and 1 pick. Hoskins went 5 of 8 for 45 yards. Phil Martin added 82 yards on 21 carries.

Steve Balone had 13 stops for the Charger defense while Nick Sutherland had 11, including 10 solos. Chad Gurica kept at least 6 more Grand Valley points off of the board with a beautiful interception in the endzone.

The Chargers remain at home this coming Saturday for a 2:30 Parents Weekend (ie. Milk mom and dad for big grocery store run) affair. See you there.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Watch Hillsdale-Grand Valley Live Online

Grand Valley State University is offering a free live webcast of the Chargers' game this Saturday night against the Lakers in Hillsdale.

Link to webcast

A high speed connection is required to get the full effect. A dial-up connection will deliver audio with a series of still pictures. None the less, this is a nice opportunity for Charger fans across the globe to catch Hillsdale in action.

Of course, you'll want to turn off the webcast sound and listen to WCSR and's Andy Brown on the Charger radio broadcast.

Charger Parents :: Grand Valley Tailgating Info

by Sandy Balone
Charger Parents Booster Club

Hillsdale vs. Grand Valley (home)
Saturday, October 8, 2005
Game time: 7:00 PM

Dear Charger Fans!

Get excited! Another big game this week! Tailgating will begin at 4:30 PM in the grass parking lot west of the athletic complex. Parking is $5.00. Bring your main dish, beverages, eating utensils and a small dish to pass. We will have 2 grills going so bring something to BBQ and throw it on with ours! Chairs and a small table are a good idea, if you have room in your vehicle. We will finally have some football weather on Saturday so we can all wear our new Charger gear! Everyone is welcome, please come by and tailgate with us. It's a great way to make new friends and build team spirit. Our parent tailgate group is the best in the league, hands down!

Apparel orders: Clothing should be in for this game, I am supposed to receive it by Friday. After it is sorted, checked and bagged, I will send out an email that lists whose order is in by jersey number. Check your email Saturday morning to see if your order is in.
Please pick up your order at the tailgate between 4:30 & 6:30 PM. I do not bring orders into the stadium with me.

Mini Rosters: I will have 40 mini rosters available at the tailgate. These are laminated mini rosters that have all the players listed in numerical order with their parent names right next to them. They hang on a lanyard around your neck so you can keep up with each player during the game. Sort of like a permanent cheat sheet. This is a must have item at just $2.00 each. See Sandy Balone at the tailgate. All proceeds go to the football team.

Rear Window Decals: See Nancy Rumsey at the tailgate for your Charger Football rear window sticker. Show your Charger pride on your vehicle for just $5.00. Decals are cash & carry with all proceeds to the football team.

Team pictures: Most of the team and individual pictures are in. There will be a table set up on stadium walk on the right hand side before the ticket booth at 6:00 PM. Please stop by on the way into the stadium to pick up your pictures. Every player's family receives one team picture and individual player picture. Thank you to the Hillsdale Chargers Football staff.

Tickets: Each person must show ID to claim your tickets at the ticket will call. Please make sure you have your ID with you. This is a conference rule that is new this year.

Post game reception: There will be a post game reception at the Roxy Theatre. The Roxy is located at 110 N. Broad in downtown Hillsdale. Stop by for pizza and soft drinks courtesy of the Hillsdale College Alumni Assn. and the Gridiron Club. Stop by and check it out!

Websites: Here is a website worth checking out. Carly Crowley, sister of Chet Crowley #65 has taken some great action shots at our away games. She's busy keeping stats at home games but on the road she is pretty good with the camera. Carly works for Hillsdale's Athletic Dept. as asst. sports information director (I hope I got the title right). She's a wonderful young lady and very interesting to talk to. Go to to see her handiwork. Thanks, Carly.
There's another website that you might want to visit. has some good articles written by guest columnists and by Andy Losik who is the webmaster of this site. Andy is a former Charger and a great booster and fan to Charger football. Thank you, Andy.
Of course, there's always Charger football at Stats are posted almost immediately after the games. How do they do this so fast?? I always check out the stats after each game when I get home.

After missing last week's game, I am ready for some football. Are you? Have a safe trip, we'll see you all Saturday.

Let's go Chargers!!!!!
Sandy Balone

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Hillsdale Hosts Top-Ranked Grand Valley

Number 1 Ranked Grand Valley Visits Hillsdale on Hall of Fame Night
Hillsdale College Press Release
October 5, 2005

Oct. 5, 2005 - The number-one team in the land in Division II will be making a visit to Frank "Muddy" Waters Stadium Saturday night, as the Grand Vallet State University Lakers take on the Hillsdale Chargers. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

In a matchup that parallels a David and Goliath showdown, the Chargers will be seeking their first victory over the Lakers since 1994. Over the past decade, as Grand Valley has risen to the top of the Division II football food chain, the team has dominated the series with Hillsdale. Last year, Grand Valley handed Hillsdale one of the worst defeats in Charger history, 58-7 at Lubbers Stadium.

This season, GVSU enters the game with a 5-0 record and the No. 1 ranking in Division II. Hillsdale is 2-4 and has lost back-to-back games to two other nationally ranked teams, Saginaw Valley and Northwood.

The Hillsdale defense faces the challenge of slowing down a Grand Valley offense that is second in the GLIAC in points per game (34.0) and attacks teams in a variety of ways. The Lakers run a spread offense that looks to mix up a vertical passing game along with different types of screens. Quarterback Cullen Finnerty is also mobile enough that the team will run called quarterback runs several times a game.

Ashland gave the Lakers their biggest scare of this season so far, in a 14-10 Grand Valley win at Ashland. In that game, the Eagles missed two field goals, costing it a possible upset victory. Last week, GVSU found itself in an unexpected dogfight with winless Wayne State, eventually pulling away for a 36-22 victory.

That doesn't make Grand Valley a less daunting foe for Hillsdale, however. The Chargers figure to have their hands full with the Lakers' speed and depth on both sides of the ball.

Hillsdale sophomore quarterback Mark Nicolet will make his second start under center for the Chargers. In last year's game against the Lakers, Nicolet had an excellent debut performance, completing 14-of-16 passes for 102 yards. In his first start this season, Nicolet set Hillsdale season-highs with 19 completions and 171 yards passing against Northwood. The Chargers' starting quarterback over the first four games, junior Aaron Scholl, is out for the season with a broken leg. He's suffered season-ending injuries against Saginaw Valley State two years in a row.

Hillsdale's defense is a much-improved unit from last season, despite the 49-20 loss to the Timberwolves last week. The Chargers have already doubled their sack total from last season and are second in the conference in team sacks with 21. Generating a pass rush against the high-powered Grand Valley offense will be one of the keys for Hillsdale in this contest.

At halftime, Hillsdale College will induct its ninth class into the Athletic Hall of Fame. Current football kicking coach Dr. John Willson will be joined by Mike Lude and the late Dr. Leo H. Phillips.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Young Chargers Offer Hope!

Andy Brown
WCSR Play-by-Play
Special to

The Chargers lost to Northwood 49 to 20 Saturday afternoon.

I couldn't find anyone who really thought that Hillsdale was going to beat Northwood. After the drubbing that Northwood put on Hillsdale last season, and after the teams' starts to this season, the final score Saturday wasn't a big surprise. What may surprise you is that this game was closer than you think, and that this team may well be closer to winning than all of us thought.

Northwood led Hillsdale 21-0 with 6:46 to go in the first quarter, and I thought we might be in for another in a long line of Chargers blowouts at the hands of the upper echelon teams of the conference. However, for the second week in a row, the Chargers fought back--and showed that the gap may be closing. Hillsdale controled the second quarter, and made it 21-13 at halftime. Unfortunately, three blocked punts, including one that led directly to a touchdown, prevented the Chargers from making it even more interesting in the second half. But make no mistake about it; Northwood did not dominate Hillsdale in this game, and with a couple of breaks...who knows?

Suddenly, I see several reasons for hope. Mark Nicolet showed patience and poise in the pocket. He went 19 of 35 for 171 yards and touchdown, but more importantly, looked confident and willing to pick his spots and take chances downfield. In fact, Hillsdale actually attempted to stretch the field in the game. Speedy receivers Aaron Waldie, Nick Gurica, and Bill Brown put pressure on the Northwood secondary, with Recker and Clay working underneath. While Nicolet never actually hooked up on the long passes, at least they were trying.

Further reason for hope can be found in the Chargers defense which is battling every down and becoming fun to watch. While they certainly struggled in the first quarter against an excellent Northwood offense, they played much better the rest of the game. Hillsdale's defense under Craig Blanchard appears to be having fun playing the game. Andrew Daugherty is all over the field, and youngsters Tom Korte, Marcellus Wade, and Eric Weber bring plenty of juice to the attack. Don't forget that last season the Chargers were last in the conference in sacks. A year later, thanks to the return of Stephen Upchurch and Aaron Hoekje, along with the new guys, Hillsdale is among the leaders in sacks. This has taken pressure off the secondary, and given the defense a chance to get off the field. We aren't talking about murderers row here, but the defense has absolutely taken a step in the right direction.

I agree with Coach Otterbein that it will take one week of putting it all together and winning one of these games to really give the kids confidence going forward. Once the team believes it can beat the top tier teams, anything is possible. With two respectable performances against Saginaw and Northwood, I believe that it might happen sooner rather than later.

Looking Good: Mark Nicolet's confidence, Hillsdale's future.

Needs some Work: Punt Team!

Saturday the Chargers welcome Grand Valley to campus on Hall of Fame night---where, among others, Dr. John Wilson will be inducted to the athletic hall of fame. Riding to Northwood and back with Dr. Wilson last Saturday was a true joy. He is one of the most interesting people I have ever met. I didn't realize until Saturday what a sense of humor he had.

Jim and I will be on the air Saturday at 6:45. Here's hoping the Chargers can shock the world!

Sunday, October 02, 2005 Offers Northwood Game Photos

Hoop Match photography of Alma, MI specializes in live action sports photography and Ralph Echtinaw has been a friend of for several seasons. Whenever the Chargers play in the Midland / Saginaw area, Ralph is always sure to get some great shots. He was on hand at yesterday's game against Northwood and has some beautiful pictures of the Chargers in action. Browse the 46 shots for free and or purchase prints starting at just $5.00 each by visiting

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Chargers can't Keep Pace with Northwood

Coming into today's game, Hillsdale's special teams had been the units making the most noise in the GLIAC. The special teams glory today all belonged to Northwood. The Timberwolves blocked a Charger extra point, and three punts enroute to a 49-20 Northwood win.

The Timberwolves cruised out to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter, but Hillsdale continued to fight. The Chargers' Phil Martin took the football 17 yards into the endzone with six seconds left in the first quarter and quarterback Mark Nicolet dove in from a yard out with 1:43 left in the half to trim Northwood's lead to eight going into the lockerroom. Nicolet used 12 plays to go 59 yards and burnt five minutes and thrity seconds of clock on the scoring drive.

Ball control played a big role in cooling Northwood's offense, but so did a great effort from Andrew Daugherty who was all over Northwood quarterback Kyle Kolbe and the woodbone option.

Northwood struck early in the second half with a big play to deflate the Charger momentum. After a decent Charger drive stalled, Northwood's yared Yearby blocked Matt VanOver's punt and Richard Gills returned it for a touchdown. LAter in the quarter, Northwood's offense got back on track with Kolbe converting on 4th down and Torris Childs walking into the endzone on a short dive one play later.

Nicolet and Hillsdale kept up the fight, adding a touchdown reception by Nick Gurica to close out the thrid quarter down 35-20. But, before Hillsdale could make the game any closer, NU got to Van Over twice more giving the Timberwolves possession deep inside Hillsdale territory. Two easy conversions made the final 49-20.

All in all, not a bad effort from Hillsdale. Even as the blue and white run game stalled at just 58 yards on the day (only 2 yards in the entire second half), the Charger passing attack was able to move the ball consistently. You can't make mistakes against good teams and unfortunately turnovers and the breakdowns in the kicking game never gave Hillsdale a chance. Five of Northwood's touchdowns came after fumbles, interceptions, or blocked punts.

Nicolet finished the day completing 19 of 35 passes for 171 yards. He threw one touchdown and interception. Ryan Hermosillo had 4 catches for 61 yards. Gurica had 3 for 29. Phil Martin carried 14 times for 61 yards.

Defensively, Hillsdale was led by Jared Kell's 11 stops. Daugherty had 9 tackles as did Matt Britton. Josh Hutchinson had an interception.

The Chargers welcome the #1 ranked Grand Valley St. Lakers to Hillsdale next Saturday at 7:00 PM.