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 at http://www.hillsdale.edu/athletics.
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.