AlliedNews.com - Grove City, Pennsylvania

Sports

August 11, 2013

GCC football team has high hopes for 2013

GROVE CITY — LATROBE — There’s a clear hierarchy in the Presidents’ Athletic Conference entering the 2013 season and the Grove City College Wolverines are on the outside looking in.

The Wolverines were picked to finish fourth after a 5-3 PAC mark and 6-4 overall record with 159 overall points behind Washington and Jefferson, Thomas More and Waynesburg after voting among the conference’s head coaches, sports information directors and media members during the PAC Football Media Day Wednesday afternoon at Saint Vincent College’s Sis and Herman Dupre Science Pavilion in Latrobe.

The preseason conference standings could look surprisingly similar to the final standings at the conclusion of the 2012 regular season with the Presidents, Yellow Jackets and Saints battling it out for the league’s lone automatic bid into the national tournament

Finishing with 16 first place votes and 271 overall points, 2012 regular season champion and automatic qualifier W&J was selected to claim the crown again this season.

Thomas More, who finished with a 6-2 PAC record a season ago and 7-3 overall, leapfrogged 2012 co-champion Waynesburg into second place with 10 first place votes and 248 points overall, while the Yellow Jackets finished with 6 first place votes and 233 points.

“The conference is becoming more competitive every year,” Grove City coach Chris Smith said. “The three teams at the top could all have very good years, but as evidenced by last season, they can be beaten by anyone. There was a time when the conference champion was always undefeated. This year and hopefully in the future, we may have a conference champion with one or two losses, which makes for an exciting conference championship picture.”

Following Grove City College will be Bethany (138) and Geneva (138) in a tie for fifth with Westminster (107), Thiel (106) and Saint Vincent (40) slated for seventh through ninth place.

“I think the conference is outstanding,” Thiel coach Kurt Reiser said. “I have a lot of respect for the coaches in this conference, because it is a grind and there are no easy games. You have to prepare for each week as it’s another season and focus on the task at hand. You can’t overlook anybody. I think when we add Carnegie Mellon and Case Western it’ll be even more of a challenge.”

At Grove City College, Smith and Company are looking to close the gap on the PAC’s ‘Top 3’ in 2013 with another solid effort from its top ranked defense and a balanced attack from its offense that features a four-year starter in Brian Pell.

“It’s really assuring to have people back (defensively),” Smith said. “With offenses today, leading the conference in defense means to just slow them down a little bit and not necessarily stonewall them like we used to do. We have a good group coming back with a good defensive coordinator and a good staff.

“Like every coach will tell you, your offense will only be as good as the leadership you get from the quarterback position. It’s been a pleasure to work with (Pell) these past four years. He’s not undervalued as a quarterback, because people in conference are aware of him, but he’s deceivingly effective. He does a great job of flipping fields for us.”

Meanwhile in New Wilmington, the Titans (2-6, 3-6) are attempting to find ways to ‘finish’ games after losing four games by no more than 6 points.

“Simply, we have to finish games,” Westminster coach Jeff Hand said. “Early in the year, we didn’t finish the games that we needed to finish. One of the things I want to work on with the team is what I call ‘The Slight Edge.’ You need that slight edge to make a difference. That slight edge is something that every single one of us in this room can do to make ourselves better. The reality of the situation is those little things that we do every single day consistently over time that compound to make us better … those things that are so easy for us to do but are also so easy for us not to do. We always have to have that slight edge.”

With 22 seniors, the Tomcats (3-5, 3-7 in 2012) could make similar jump to the one they made a season ago after failing to win a game over the 2010 and 2011 campaigns with a defense intent on staying near the top of the conference leaderboards and an offense that hopes to be much more balanced.

“I think we will (make a jump),” Reiser said. “Those 22 seniors are going to give us great leadership. If you ask any coaches in here, they’d recognize that lining up with freshmen and sophomores on a weekly basis in this conference will get you run over. That’s what happened to us. Having 22 seniors is one of the proudest things for me, because it’s a credit to the kids that they stayed committed to the program and stayed committed to us as a coaching staff. I think every single one of them is excited for this season. They’ll come in and set an example for the younger guys.

1
Text Only
Sports
  • THE CHECKERED FLAG: April should bring welcome return of local racing

    MOTHER NATURE’S last stronghold on winter may slowly be releasing her grip as the calendar changes to April and racing begins to get under way throughout the region. 
    Locally, nothing has happened yet, but that may soon be changing. Mercer had to postpone their “Chiller Thriller” to this Saturday (April 5), weather permitting, featuring the NDRL Northeast Super Late Models, NDRL E-Mods, Crate Late Models, and Stock Cars. Mercer’s regular season opener featuring their weekly divisions of “410” Sprints, “358” Modifieds, “305” Sprints, Stock Cars, Mod Lites, and Mini Stocks has now been pushed back to April 12. 

    April 6, 2014

  • Dishing off Mercer boys bow in Guerino finals

    The Hickory girls and Farrell boys captured championships on Saturday night at the 17th annual Buddy Guerino Underclassmen Basketball Tournament at Sharpsville High School.
    The Hickory girls beat Kennedy Catholic, 41-29, for the crown while the Farrell boys topped Mercer, 76-35, for the title.
    In the consolation games, Sharpsville defeated Sharon, 35-15, in girls hoops while the Sharon boys beat Hickory, 57-33.

    April 3, 2014 1 Photo

  • EXTRA INNINGS: Bonds ruined opening day for Pirates fans

    As this column begins today its 47th year, longtime readers no doubt expected to find what they have found at the beginning of every baseball season — predictions for upcoming summer.
    And as I sat down last week to start to put together some ideas for today’s entry, that is fully what I anticipated would fill this space.
    Well, I’m as surprised as you are; 2014’s season prognostications must wait until next week.
    I just can’t get past the fact that club president Frank Coonelly thought the celebration of the Pittsburgh Pirates’ first winning season in 21 years should include Barry Bonds.
    You gotta be kidding me!

    April 3, 2014

  • NCAA Football: Rock 6-1 after 17-3 win over Cal U

    Slippery Rock University rode a length-of-the-field scoring drive by its offense and a goal-line stand by its No. 1-ranked defense late in the first half of action Saturday to a 17-3 win over 14th-ranked visiting California (Pa.).

    October 19, 2011

  • steez pc.jpg NFL: Steelers top Jags as Mendenhall makes return

    Mike Tomlin isn’t ready to say the Pittsburgh Steelers are back. Not after watching his team sleepwalk through the second half against Jacksonville on Sunday.

    October 19, 2011 1 Photo

  • wheldon, dan pc.jpg IndyCar Racing: Crash takes Wheldon’s life

    Every race car driver heads onto the track understanding this race could be the last and hoping it won’t be. On Sunday, IndyCar drivers got a harsh reminder when the worst happened to one of their own.

    October 19, 2011 3 Photos

  • pens pc.jpg NHL: Sabres beat Penguins 3-2

    The Buffalo Sabres have had trouble with the Pittsburgh Penguins whether Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin play or not.

    October 19, 2011 1 Photo

  • canadiens logo pc.jpg NHL Quick glance: Montreal at Pittsburgh

    A breakdown of the National Hockey League game Thursday night between the Pittsburgh Penguins and visiting Montreal Canadiens.

    October 19, 2011 4 Photos

  • High School Highlights: Oct. 19, 2011

    A look at the last few days in local high school fall sports action.

    October 19, 2011

  • washington, ron pc.jpg Leading Off: Oct. 19, 2011

    News and notes from the local, regional and national sports scene.

    October 19, 2011 5 Photos

Featured Ads
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide