BETHANY PICKED SIXTH IN PRESIDENTS' ATHLETIC CONFERENCE?: Bethany was selected to finish sixth of six teams in the Presidents' Athletic Conference by the coaches, SIDs and media following a 1-9 finish (0-5 PAC) in 2003.
CARRY ME HOME TO WEST VIRGINIA: Bethany will return home for a four game homestand after the seaosn-opener at F&M as the Bison will host Alma (9/13), Defiance (9/18), Thiel (9/25) and Grove City (10/2) before back-to-back road games at Waynesburg (10/9) and Westminster (10/16). The team will conclude the regular season at home versus Washington & Jefferson (10/23) and on the road at Chicago (10/30) and Carnegie Mellon (11/6).
2003 SEASON FINALE - FRANKLIN & MARSHALL 14, GETTYSBURG 13: Franklin & Marshall College tailback Scott Stephen (Sr., Glen Rock, NJ/Glen Rock) ran for 141 yards and tossed two touchdowns to factor in all of the Diplomats' scoring as Franklin & Marshall closed out the 2003 football season with a 14-13 victory over Gettysburg at Sponaugle-Williamson Field. Trailing 3-0 in the opening minutes of the second quarter, Stephen completed a one-yard pass to All-America wide receiver Justin Salton '04 on fourth-and-goal to put the Diplomats in front 7-3 with 13:06 left in the first half. He completed his second pass of the game with 10:36 left in the fourth quarter as he found tightend Dan Houseman '04 in the right corner of the endzone for a two-yard TD reception for all the Diplomats needed to record the win and even the series record at 41-41-7. The victory marked the Diplomats second straight over the Bullets following a 20-14 win to conclude the 2002 season in which Stephen ran for 213 net yards. In addition, with the win the Diplomats clinched fourth place in the Centennial Conference and gave F&M three Conference wins for the first time since 1998 (4-3) and three home victories in a season for the first time since 1997. In 1997, the Diplomats knocked off Muhlenberg (14-10 W), Swarthmore (41-0 W) and Gettysburg (27-18 W) at Williamson Field. Further, with the loss Gettysburg continued a streak in which the Bullets have failed to record a winning season since 1995 and continued droughts in which the Bullets have not won back-to-back games in Lancaster since 1956 and 1958, and has won once (24-16 W in 2001) in Lancaster since 1982. Overall, Franklin & Marshall held an advantage in first downs (18-to-17), rushing attempts (54-to-42), yards gained rushing (217-to-185), net yards rushing (187-to-164)total offensive plays (79-to-65) and time of pssession (32:51-to-27:09), while Gettysburg held advantages in net passing yards (145-to-107), kickoff return yards (113-76) and net yards (309-to-294).
2003 SEASON FINALE - McDANIEL 45, BETHANY 15: Bethany closed out the 2003 season by falling 45-15 to McDaniel of the Centennial Conference. The game was tied 7-7 at halftime with Bethany scoring on a nine-yard TD pass from Brian Wineberg to Pat Crossey late in the half. However, the Green Terror outscored Bethany 38-8 in the second half to coast to the win. Wineberg completed 16-of-36 passes for 208 yards with three interceptions and two touchdowns and was also the team's leading rusher with 23 carries for 45 yards. Zack Merz led the receiving corps with five catches for 76 yards, including a 43-yard TD catch. McDaniel posted 400 yards of total offense, with 396 coming on the ground and four through the air as three different Terror rushers surpassed 100 yards for the game.
ABOUT THE BISON: The Bethany Bison football program begins a new era in 2004 as Steven Lee takes over as Head Football Coach. Lee, who was hired in May, will also serve as Bethany's Director of Athletics. In addition to Lee, the vast majority of the football coaching staff is composed of new faces. The only returning coach from last year will be graduate assistant Ryan Lieb, who will coach the defensive backs. Lee's son, Mark, who will coach the quarterbacks and wide receivers, has also joined the staff, while Charlie Giangrosso, a former head coach at Thiel College, will serve as defensive coordinator. The Bison lost five All-PAC performers from last season's team, including first team DB Ryan Nohe. Second teamers LB Steve Ochap, DB Nick Lion, DL Mike Mills and TE Pat Crossey are also gone, as well as WR Chad Eimer and PK Paul Barsotti, who were honorable mention selections. Those who are returning in 2004 include DL Mark Brown, OL Chris Betts, WR Zack Merz and LB's Tim Goetz and Mike Skrinjar, who were all PAC Honorable Mention picks in 2003. In total, Bethany returns 10 starters, including six on offense and four on defense. At quarterback, Brian Wineberg, who started six games and played in all 10 last season, returns as the most tested quarterback on the squad. With no other experienced quarterback on the roster, the Bison will be counting on Wineberg to have a solid senior season. As a junior, Wineberg led the Bison with 1,391 yards passing and six touchdowns. He was also second on the team with 206 rushing yards, along with a score. Sophomore Ronnel Heard and senior Nazih Bannah will also push for time. Junior Mike Doyle, a bruising fullback who led the Bison in rushing last season with 297 yards, returns to lead the running backs. Doyle served as the starting fullback for the Bison and carried the ball 91 times, which were the second-most rushes on the team behind QB Wineberg. Junior Mike Yandrick, who recorded the only 100-yard game for the Bison last season (107 yards vs. Apprentice) should see significant time. Yandrick played in six games and rushed for 144 yards and a team-high two touchdowns. Both scores came in the Apprentice game. Brett Clough, a freshman from Wheeling, W. Va., should also see time at running back. Zack Merz, who led the squad in receiving in each of the last two seasons, returns in 2004 to lead the wide receivers. He was an All-PAC Honorable Mention selection last season after earning first team honors in 2002. Merz hauled in 41 receptions last season for 550 yards and four touchdowns after catching 52 passes for 667 yards and two TD's in 2002. Chad Eimer, a productive three-year starter for the Bison, will have to be replaced. Sophomore T.J. Parker, who caught 22 passes for 294 yards and two touchdowns in 2003, should fill that role. Both of Parker's TD receptions came in the season-opener against Carnegie Mellon. Parker also recorded Bethany season-best totals of nine receptions for 134 yards against Kenyon. Bannah and sophomore Mike Cowan will provide depth. The Bison return three starters on the offensive line, including junior Chris Betts (6-0, 265), who was an All-PAC Honorable Mention pick as a sophomore. Joining him will be senior Brian Bianchin (6-0, 260) and junior Bob Niziol (5-10, 280). Sophomore Paul Duffy should earn significant time, and Matt DiGiacomo, a freshman from Pittsburgh, will look to make an immediate impact. Senior leader Mark Brown returns to anchor the defensive line for the Bison. Brown, a relentless worker during the season and in the off-season, is the third-leading returning tackler for the Bison after recording 52 (19 solo, 33 assists) tackles last season. Brown also racked up 5.5 sacks and 16 tackles for a loss. Terrence Copney, who had 26 tackles last season, will also return. The rest of the line will be composed of inexperience players, as the Bison lost veterans Mike Mills and Kevin Crivallaro from last year's team. Leading candidates to crack the lineup are sophomore Stefan Bernacki, junior Donnie Lowe and freshman Mike Yocco. Four-time All-PAC selection Steve Ochap was lost to graduation, but the Bison return numerous game-tested players at linebacker. Leading the unit will be junior ILB Tim Goetz and senior OLB Mike Skrinjar. Goetz ranked third on the team in tackles last season with 79 (33 solo, 46 assists). He also notched six tackles for a loss, forced and recovered one fumble and broke up two passes. Skrinjar was fifth on the team with 56 stops (14 solo, 42 assists). He added four tackles for a loss and forced one fumble. Seniors Joe Slezak (25 tackles in 2003) and T.J. Chambers will also be key pieces to this unit in 2004. Starter Brad Bengele returns to one cornerback position, while the departure of three-time All-PAC performer Ryan Nohe leaves an opening on the other side at defensive back. Senior Aaron Weathers looks to fill that void after picking off one pass last season and breaking up four others. He also recorded 25 tackles (19 solo, six assists). Bengele picked off one pass last season, had five pass breakups and came up with 19 tackles (14 solo, five assists). Sophomore Robert Koglin, junior Dan Scriver and sophomore Rodney Heard will add depth. Strong safety and four-year starter Nick Lion, who led the Bison with 88 tackles in 2003, was lost to graduation. David Wojtanowski, who also saw significant time at safety, will be missed, as well. Looking to fill in are Koglin, sophomore Justin Samol and Rodney Heard. Koglin notched 31 tackles (10 solo, 21 assists) a year ago, along with two interceptions, two pass breakups and three tackles for a loss. Bethany will enter the 2004 season with a new place kicker, as senior Paul Barsotti was lost to graduation. Last season, Barsotti went 5-for-6 in field goals, with a long of 31 yards. Sophomore Clayton Williams will enter the season as the starter. Punter: Bethany will also have a new punter with the loss of Chris Petruska from last year's team. Sophomore Mike Elias should be able to fill in as punter without missing a beat.
THE BISONS PLACE IN HISTORY: Bethany College made the national stage on October 28, 2000 as Grove City tailback R.J. Bowers became the all-time leading rusher in the history of college football. Bowers ran for 128 yards on 26 carries and three touchdowns as the Wolverines won their third overtime game of the season beating host Bethany, 20-14. The record-breaking run occurred on a one-yard dive with 10:27 left in the second quarter. The game-winning run came on a third-and-eight in the first overtime as Bowers powered in from the 11, giving him 6,999 rushing yards in his career. Bowers broke the rushing record set by Brian Shay of Division II Emporia State, who amassed 6,958 yards from 1995-98. Bowers finished his career with 7,353 yards as he was signed to the practice squad by the Pittsburgh Steelers, waived and signed by the Cleveland Browns with whom he is currently playing.
PHILLIES & BISONS FANS UNITE: Philadelphia Phillies and Bethany Bison fans have something in common. The Phillies and Bison both last won titles in 1980 as the Bison captured the Presidents' Athletic Conference and the Phillies won the World Series. The Bison then advanced to the NCAA Tournament where they fell to Widener University 42-12. Widener advanced to the tournament thanks to winning the MAC title, including a 35-0 victory over a 7-2 (7-2 MAC) F&M team.
RIDDELL & BETHANY COLLEGE: Bethany College can say that it produced one of the innovators in football as John T. Riddell, the founder of Riddell Helmets, graduated from the College. Born in Georgetown, Michigan in 1885, after graduating with honors from Bethany College, Riddell did graduate work at Yale University, Northwestern University and the University of Chicago. From 1913 to 1927 he taught mathematics at Evanston Township High School in Evanston, Illinois. During much of this time he was also the head football coach and athletic director at the school. It was during this time that he invented and developed the removable football cleat. He did it to solve a problem for his Evanston team. You see in those days football shoes were equipped with leather cleats. If it looked like rain, shoes had to be taken to a local cobbler to have longer "mud cleats" installed. But, because Northwestern University used the same cobbler as the high school, Evanston's shoes were often not finished by game time. Riddell knew his ideas of removable cleats would solve the problem for everyone, but he did not have the money to make it a reality. He approached several area shoe factories for support and the J.P. Smith Shoe Company agreed to make the shoes for him. But it was up to him and his wife to equip the shoes with fixtures and cleats in the evenings. By 1927 he had enough confidence in his removable cleat to quit his job and go into business for himself. He convinced some of the J.P. Smith employees to moonlight and founded the Riddell Corporation in 1929. Mr. Riddell's talent for inventing and improving sports equipment did not end there. As early as 1940, he had perfected the first plastic suspension helmet. The war interfered with his supply of materials however, and he was unable to manufacture the helmets. Mr. Riddell never lived to see his helmet become the most popular ever made, worn today by over 80% of the players in the NFL. He died on July 2, 1945.
BETHANY COACH STEVE LEE: Appointed head football coach and Director of Athletics at Bethany College on June 16, the 48-year old Lee comes to Bethany from Concord College in West Virginia, where he served as Director of Athletics for two years. Prior to his time at Concord, Lee was the Director of Athletics and Head Football Coach at Chowan College in North Carolina, where he left with the most wins of any coach in the school's history as a four-year institution, with a 13-17 record. He was instrumental in Chowan College's membership in the Dixie Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. In addition, the athletic department raised a record amount of money during his tenure as Athletic Director. Lee was also a faculty member in Sports Management at the school. Lee replaces Chris Snyder, who resigned in March after two seasons as Bethany's head coach when he was named Head Coach and Executive Athletics Director at Seton Hill College in Pennsylvania. "I am very excited about the opportunities that are present at Bethany College both on the football field and throughout the athletic department," said Lee. "I was impressed with the coaches, administrators, faculty members, board members, and President (Buck) Smith, as well as several alumni whom I have met and spoken to during the last several weeks. I also look forward to the development of a championship football program and the competition within the Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC)." Lee is very familiar with West Virginia, as he and his family have lived in the state for a total of 18 years. Lee taught and coached at University High School in Morgantown before joining the football staff at Fairmont State for three years under Head Coach Wally Hood. Lee then went to Waynesburg College, where he was the offensive coordinator and associate head coach for the Yellow Jackets from 1987-1995. Lee was the head baseball coach his last five years at Waynesburg, led the Jackets to three consecutive PAC Championships (1993, 1994 and 1995) and was named PAC Coach of the Year during each of the championship seasons. Lee attended Lock Haven University in Lock Haven, Pa., where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Geography and Social Science-Teacher Education. He earned a Master of Science in Sports Management from West Virginia University. Lee and his wife, Doris, have two children, Mark and Jennifer, who are also involved in athletics. Mark will serve as an assistant coach at Bethany and has coached football at several colleges, including West Virginia University. His latest position was as a coach and teacher at the high school level in Florida. Their daughter, Jennifer, is a certified athletic trainer who just graduated with her Master's Degree in Athletic Training from East Carolina University.
F&M PROJECTED STARTERS:
WR Derek Boyce (Jr., 6-0, 190, Lancaster, PA)
WR Rob Donofrio (So., 5-10, 170, Sea Girt, NJ)
TE Matt Mondonedo (So., 6-0, 220, Silver Spring, MD)
LT Jeff Pawlikowski (Jr., 6-2, 237, Bernville, PA)
LG Brian Rice (So., 6-2, 310, Rockville, MD)
C Jeff Gunn (Jr., 6-1, 235, Tunkhannock. PA)
RG Nick Maturi (So, 6-1, 255, Oakland, NJ)
RT Rory Regan (Jr., 6-3, 300, Waretown, NJ)
QB Jeff Harner (So., 6-2, 210, Mohrsville, PA)
TB Scott Stephen (Sr., 5-7, 180, Glen Rock, NJ)
FB Rick Dunlap (So., 5-9, 185, Boothwyn, PA)
CB Matt Pastore (So., 5-10, 175, Ridgewood, NJ)
CB JC Capote (So., 5-10, 180, Ridgefield Park, NJ)
SS Ryan Carrozza (So., 5-10, 175, Cherry Hill, NJ)
FS Ryan Sychterz (Jr., 5-10, 176, Sinking Spring, PA)
DL Matt Capone (Sr., 6-1, 245, Scarsdale, NY)
DL Jack Duncan (Fr., 6-0, 255, Nottingham, PA)
DL Chris White (Sr., 6-0, 200, Vestal, NY)
LB Mike Clark (Fr., 5-10, 185, Glen Rock, NJ)
LB George Farrell (Fr., 6-1, 220, Hatfield, PA)
LB Chris Stepien (Jr., 5-9, 175, Fairfield, NJ)
LB John Warnick (So., 6-2, 215, Rockville, MD)
PK Dan Eggertsson (Sr., 6-1, 180, Royal Palm, FL)
P Dan Eggertsson (Sr., 6-1, 180, Royal Palm, FL)
BETHANY PROJECTED STARTERS:
WR Zack Merz (Sr., 5-9, 170, Allison Park, PA)
WR TJ Parker (So., 6-2, 245, Englewood, FL)
LT Paul Duffy (So., 6-1, 245, Weirton, WV)
LG Bob Niziol (Jr., 5-10, 280, Pittsburgh, PA)
C Wayne Crall (Fr., 5-11, 260, Bellaire, OH)
RG Chris Betts (Jr., 6-0, 270, Glenshaw, PA)
RT Steve Bernacki (So., 6-1, 250, South Park, PA)
TE Mike Elias (So., 6-0, 210, Uniontown, PA)
QB Nazih Banna (Sr., 5-11, 185, Boardman, OH)
TB Mike Yandrick (Sr., 5-9, 185, Hostetler, PA)
FB Mike Doyle (Jr., 5-10, 220, Pittsburgh, PA)
CB Brad Bengele (Sr., 5-9, 175, Ambridge, PA)
CB Aaron Weathers (Sr., 5-10, 160, Monroeville, PA)
SS Gary Gerba (Jr., 6-0, 185, Warren, OH)
FS Dan Scriver (So., 5-9, 165, Latrobe, PA)
DE Mark Brown (Sr., 6-5, 230, North Huntingdon, PA)
DT Donnie Lowe (Jr., 6-0, 285, Garfield Heights, OH)
DT Brad Brandebura (Sr., 5-11, 240, Pittsburgh, PA)
DE Joe Slezak (Sr., 5-11, 215, New Derry, PA)
LB Tim Goetz (Jr., 5-10, 215, Pittsburgh, PA)
LB Rodney Heard (So., 6-0, 190, Pittsburgh, PA)
LB TJ Chambers (Sr., 6-1, 215, New Wilmington, PA)
PK Clayton Williams (So., 6-1, 185, Lansing, OH)
P Clayton Williams (So., 6-1, 185, Lansing, OH)