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Middle of the pack? GLIAC coaches pick Chargers to finish 6th

This little rundown was originally posted by Brad Monastiere over at the college, but I updated a few things and changed a few inaccuracies that crept in.

This week the much-antic­ipated 2009 college football season gets started when the Hillsdale College Chargers take the practice field for the first time.

The GLIAC’s annual pre­season coaches poll was re­leased Monday afternoon, at the conference’s football media day, held in Bay City, Mich.

The Chargers were picked to finish sixth by the league’s coaches.

Not surprisingly, Grand Valley State was the consen­sus pick to win the GLIAC.

Ashland, a national playoff qualifier each of the past two seasons, was selected second. Grand Valley is ranked No. 1 in several national presea­son polls, while Ashland is ranked as high as ninth.

Finishing ahead of Hills­dale in the poll were Michi­gan Tech (third), Wayne State (fourth) and Saginaw valley State (fifth).

Hillsdale’s four losses in 2008 came to the top four teams in the 2009 preseason poll. The Chargers are in a two-year scheduling phase where they don’t play Sagi­naw Valley State.

The 2009 season will have plenty of new faces on display at Frank ‘Muddy’ Waters Stadium.

Father Duane Beauchamp, who recently retired as the campus chaplain at Hillsdale College, joins the staff as its wide receivers coach.

Another new face around Charger football is head ath­letic trainer Lynne Neukom, who begins her first full sea­son in that position. She will be assisted by Gus Hemingway, the school’s assistant athletic trainer.

Although some fresh pieces are being added, the 2009 Chargers will benefit from having its entire coaching staff back once again for this season. The full-time coach­ing staff has remained un­changed since the start of the 2006 season, making this the fourth year the entire staff has worked together.

One Charger who won’t be back, but fans will keep talk­ing about is Tom Korte.

In May Korte was signed by the defending world cham­pion Pittsburgh Steelers.

Although he went undrafted, Korte made a strong impres­sion on the Steelers during the team’s minicamp in the spring, and is currently in Steelers training camp in Latrobe, Pa.

Korte was a four-year starter at linebacker for Hills­dale from 2005-08, and was named team MVP twice, its most outstanding linebacker three times, and netted mul­tiple All-Region awards. His absence represents one of the biggest sets of shoes to fill for Hillsdale as it looks ahead to 2009.

The offensive and defensive lines feature standout players who have earned significant national recognition this off­season, and could follow Korte’s path to the NFL next year.

Returning for his fourth season as a starter is offensive lineman Jared Veldheer. Al­ready heavily scouted by the NFL, Veldheer is one of the top left tackles in all of Divi­sion II, and scouts say he has excellent footwork, athleti­cism and power. At 6-9, 321, Veldheer fits the profile of of­fensive linemen who have been drafted by pro teams in recent years.

On the defensive line, Drew Berube is coming off a mon­ster 2008campaignwherehe led the GLIAC in tackles-for­loss. He was named the pre­season Division II Defensive Player of the Year by the Con­sensus Draft Services.

Team captains in ’09 are Veldheer, senior defensive back Lance Smith and senior linebacker Mat Szula With the season drawing close the 2009 Hillsdale Col­lege football media guide is also now available for viewing, on the Hillsdale College Web site at­letics.

Once again in 2009, live stats will be available for all Hillsdale College games, home and away, thanks to PrestoSports, who handled all live stats for Charger games in 2008.

B2Networks will broadcast all Charger home football games through their Web site for the third year in 2009. Fans can check the blue box on the football team’s home page to get information on how to watch Charger football games live via B2Networks’ webcasting system.

A handful of away games will also be viewable through B2Networks, including games at Northern Michigan and Ferris State University.


About rjwalters

I am what you think I am — a journalist. Actually when I was hired at my current job, which by the way is Sports Editor of the Hillsdale Daily News in Hillsdale, Mich., I applied for a position titled "Wordsmith", so at my best I'll call myself a writer attempting to be a wordsmith extraordinaire.


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