Posts Tagged ‘Yellow Jackets’

2011 Ohio Athletic Conference Preview

Editor’s Note:  Chris Miller filed this report from the 2011 Ohio Athletic Conference Media Day at the Pro Football Hall of Fame on August 9th, 2011.  You can hear Chris on the call for Marietta College sports on 88.3 WMRT-FM and online at pioneers.marietta.edu, including tonight’s football season-opening game against Thiel at the newly-renovated Don Drumm Stadium.  Kick-off is at 7 PM.

Just days after the likes of Deion Sanders and Shannon Sharpe made their way into football
legend status, members of the ten Ohio Athletic Conference football teams and the media gathered at
the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton to vote on the upcoming season. Mount Union, winners of the
last 19 OAC titles, took 23 of 23 first place votes from the media and nine out of 10 first place votes from
the coaches.

The media poll followed with Ohio Northern, Baldwin-Wallace, Otterbein, John Carroll, Capital,
Heidelberg, Muskingum, Marietta, and Wilmington. The coaches poll went Mount Union, Ohio
Northern, Baldwin-Wallace, Otterbein, Heidelberg, Capital, John Carroll, Muskingum, Marietta,
Wilmington.

Below is a team-by-team outlook for the 2011 season.

University of Mount Union Purple Raiders: What can be said? 22 overall and 19 straight OAC titles.
Head coach Larry Kehres has 49 letterwinners returning and 18 overall starters. Quarterback Neal
Seaman is back for his, believe it or not, junior year. Had he stayed healthy in last year’s playoffs, the
Purple Riders would’ve almost certainly taken home their 12th National Championship. Mount always
seems to have a quarterback that you think graduated, but is somehow still on the roster; i.e. Seaman,
Kurt Rocco. Until someone actually knocks the Purple Raiders off, it’s their conference to lose.

Ohio Northern Polar Bears: Since Head Coach Dean Paul has led the charge up in Ada, his teams have
won at least six games in conference five out of seven years. Look for 2011 to be more of the same. The
team finished 10-2 last year, and made it to the second round of the Division III playoffs, one of the best
in ONU history. They bring back 47 letterman however; they do however have to replace two-time All-
American Brent Donley, who essentially was a human wrecking ball (1,560 yards, 15 TDs). Also up for
grabs this season is the QB position. However being senior heavy, especially on the offensive line and
linebacker core, the Polar Bears will be gunning for the post-season in 2011.

Baldwin-Wallace Yellow Jackets: BW is a team I think could really go above and beyond their
expectations for the upcoming season. The team has 10 of 11 starters returning on offense that went 7-
3 overall. Senior tailback Tim Miker and Junior QB Ryan O’Rourke, who combined for more than 2,100
yards last year, will be the focal point of the spread offense that the Yellow Jackets run. BW also plays
six of their games at home this year, where they are 147-31-2, including an October 15 match-up with
ONU.

Otterbein Cardinals: Otterbein has quietly been pretty successful over the past handful of years, going
23-8 since 2008. Although All-OAC running back Colton Coy is gone, the offense is solid with 3 seniors
and one junior on the line, and mouthful of a QB in Austin Schlosser. Schlosser completed 56 percent of
his passes last year and notched 14 TDs. The Cardinals only have four games in Westerville this season,
and open up the campaign against Gallaudet in Washington D.C. on September 3.

Heidelberg Student Princes: Year in and year out the ‘Berg is an offensive power house. However in
2010, like head Coach Mike Hallett said on Media Day, “We weren’t very good on defense.” Last season
the team scored over 100 points in a span of three games, and lost everyone. The offense will have to
replace all-everything Wide Receiver Mike Preston (1,213 yards, 76 receptions) who graduated and
signed as a non-drafted free-agent wide with the NFL’s Tennessee Titans. The backbone for the team
will be the offensive line, where everybody returns. The continuity of the line will allow a new QB, either
junior Cody Eden or sophomore Asher Rumple to take over under center, and more than likely run the
offense through running back Germany Woods, who had an outstanding first collegiate year (1,034
yards, 10 TDs).

Capital University Crusaders: Capital is just a few years removed from competing with Mount Union for
the top team in the Ohio Athletic Conference. However they have taken a few steps backwards since
and last year finished 5-5. Gone also are some leaders on the offense and the top linebacker in the
conference in Sam Jacobs. Senior receiver Matt White though should lead the charge for the Crusaders
on offense and is in striking range of leaving as the all-time receptions leader In Capital history. Second
year head coach Henry Stanford will have his team ready to play each week and could surprise a team or
two in 2011.

John Carroll University Blue Streaks: On paper the Blue Streaks look phenomenal. The roster is loaded
with upperclassmen with two and three years of experience. Senior QB Devin O’Brien (1,036 yards, 9
TDs) leads the charge for offense and the defense will lean on C.J. Seitzinger who had 21 tackles in one
game last year, and led the conference with 136 stops. If the seniors play up to their potential and the
team gets a few breaks, coach Regis Scafe’s team could be in the hunt for the post-season, a place they
haven’t been since 2002.

Muskingum University Fighting Muskies: After taking home the OAC coach of the year in 2009, 2010
wasn’t the season Al Logan was searching for. The Muskies are going to be searching for a new QB
before the 2011 season starts. Jake Burns, the talented left-handed QB, graduated from Muskingum as
the all time career leader in passing and total offense. Either sophomore Dalton Smith or junior Seth
Howard, who helped the Fish win their opening game last year against Defiance, will win the spot over.
A good sign for the Muskies is that they get Palmer Smith (4.9 yards per carry) back who missed the
2010 season with an injury. The defense, which ranked fifth last year in total defense, will have to be the
focal point of the team until the offense figures itself out.

Marietta College Pioneers: Last season the Pioneers were in almost every game they played, yet only
managed to win two games. They had six games decided by 14 points or less including three, seven, and
eight point losses. 2011 could be a breakout season for the navy blue and white though. The offense will
operate through three-year starter Andrew Keller (1,891 yards, 9 TDs) who earned All-OAC honorable
mention last season. Gone are All-OAC first team Adam Tate and one of the best WRs in MC history in
Cory Kriechbaum. Also gone from the wide-out position is senior Jahmaal Jones who switched positions
to the secondary. However most of the linebackers and defensive line are back that helped the Pios stay
in game after game in 2010. They also will play six games at the newly renovated Don Drumm Stadium
which Coach Filkovski described as “The best I’ve ever seen for a small school.” The sky truly is the limit
for this team, and 2011 could easily be the best in the four years Coach Filkovski has been there. Keller
had a pretty good mindset on the upcoming season when he said “ I want to go out with something that
Marietta will remember for a long time.”

Wilmington College Quakers: First year head coach Ken Minor did the best he could in 2010, but taking
over a smaller school program in the OAC is not an easy task. Like the Pioneers, the Quakers were in a
handful of games, including a 3-0 loss to Muskingum, but could never get that first victory for Minor.
The Quakers do have some pieces in place, including hometown product sophomore QB Brandon
Arehart who threw for over 1,400 yards in his first year. Taking charge besides Arehart on offense will be
senior fullback Brett McEvory who has been a staple on the blocking end for the Quakers when running
the ball. Will the success Minor has had at the High School level, he should be able to pick up his first
collegiate victory in 2011.

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Posted by    Date: Saturday, September 3, 2011

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Men's Basketball: OAC Playoff Potential

Take a look at the Ohio Athletic Conference Men’s Basketball standings.

Here, I’ll make it easier.

OAC_Men_Standings

As you can see, the Pioneers sit in eighth.  Eighth is good though, from the standpoint that you get to make the OAC Tournament.  But the Pioneers need to be careful tonight against the Capital Crusaders.  The Crusaders, who are sixth in the standings, already lost to the Pioneers once this season.  However, Marietta is coming into tonight’s game riding a three-game losing streak against #2 John Caroll, #5 Baldwin Wallace, and #7 Mount Union.

With six conference games left, Marietta is one game ahead of #9 Otterbein.  Otterbein plays #1 Wilmington, and with a loss, could fall two games behind.  Further, if the Pioneers simply beat Capital, Otterbein and #10 Muskingum a second time, then the Cardinals would need to win all of their remaining games.  The Muskies would be eliminated from contention.

As far as the OAC’s automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Basketball Tournament looks, it could go to either Wilmington or John Carroll, depending on how the conference tournament plays out.  One thing is for sure though:  Wilmington is ranked in the region (not nationally though), and could potentially receive an at-large bid to go dancing if they were to lose to John Carroll.  We’ll monitor the situation at the end of February to see what pans out.

The Pioneers Men’s Basketball team continues their quest for a second straight conference tournament bid tonight when they play Capital at 7:30 PM at Fenton Court in Ban Johnson Arena.  They will then face the #3 Heidelberg Student Princes at Fenton Court on Saturday, scheduled to start around 3 PM (The Women’s Basketball Team plays Saturday at Fenton Court at 1 PM).  For these dates and more, check out the Writing on the Mall Calendar.

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Posted by    Date: Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Categories: Campus, Sports

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Men's Basketball On Cusp of Tournament Berth

With a win tonight against Muskingum (7-7 Conference, 10-11 Overall), your very own Marietta Pioneers (6-8 Conference, 11-10 Overall) will be guaranteed to make their first OAC Tournament since the 03-04 season.

The win would put the Pios at 7-8 in the conference, which would mean that Baldwin-Wallace (3-11 Conference, 7-14 Overall) would have to run the table in their four games to at least force a tie.  Marietta currently has the tie-breaker, as they beat B-W earlier in the season.  Moreso, they play again at B-W in a week or so.  But things could come down to the final game of the regular season if Pio Power disappears.

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Posted by    Date: Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Categories: Campus, Off Campus, Sports

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