The Baldwin Wallace University football team will look to battle for a top spot in the Ohio Athletic Conference in 2015.
Veteran Head Coach John Snell welcomes back 22 lettermen and 10 starters, including six on offense and four on defense, to a team that finished 5-5 overall a year ago.
On offense, senior quarterback Tyler Moeglin (Canton/ Louisville St. Thomas Aquinas) will battle with classmate Robbie Plagens (Rocky River), who came to BW last season via Division I Miami of Ohio, and others for the starting job at QB.
Moeglin is a multi-faceted QB who also was a wide receiver two years ago. Last fall, he completed 116 of 206 passes for 56.3 percent for 1,476 yards and 12 touchdowns. He also ran for 438 yards in 112 attempts with a team-high eight TD's. Plagens, a prototypical QB completed 22 of 30 aerials for 73.3 percent with two scores. He also had three rushing TD's.
Another trio QB's who may push Moeglin and Plagens are transfers Tommy Glenn (Avon) and Rob Nash (Concord Twp./ NDCL) and sophomore John Kromalic (Copley).
In the backfield, look for senior four-year contributor Issac Reed III (Lehigh Acres, Fla./ Lehigh) to lead the charge. He led the team with 876 rushing yards in 148 attempts with three TD's and caught 15 passes for 131 yards and a score. Sophomore RB Austin Smith (Broadview Hts./ North Royalton) had a good freshman season and will push Reed. Smith had 85 yards in 18 attempts and caught two passes.
In addition, look for sophomore Jason Boykins (Canton/ GlenOak) and Adam Blake (Alliance/ Marlington) to seek more playing time and for senior fullback Nick Malvasi (Girard) or freshman Brett Zupancic (Columbia Station/ Grafton Midview) to possibly be utilized in short yardage situations Zupancic also may impact at linebacker. Also, junior H-back Trevor George (Aliquippa, Pa./ Carlyton) can be utilized multiple ways to take advantage of his quickness and speed. Another player hoping to see varsity action is junior FB Mike Myers (Strongsville).
The receiving corps are led by junior wide receiver Tyler Wolf (Fremont/ Ross) and senior Mike Waggoner (Stow). Wolf, who is a converted QB, caught five passes for 106 yards with a TD. Waggoner, limited to five games last season due to injury, caught nine aerials for 117 yards.
Another player who is hoping to help the receiving corps is junior defensive back-turned WR Bryon Cook (Tallmadge). After playing his first two years on the defensive side of the ball, he will turn his attention to the offensive side this fall. Also look for sophomore Zach Fox (McKean, Pa./ General McLane) who moves from QB to WR.
Also looking to make their case for playing time at WR include senior Devan Anderson (Maple Heights), juniors Corey Schmidt (Fairview Park/ Fairview), H-back George and Tommy Fuller (Lakewood) and sophomores Matt Miller (Rochester, N.Y./ Gates-Chili).
At tight end, look for senior Dylan Minick (Twinsburg), who moved from DT/DE, sophomore Jared Reimel (Lake Mary, Fla./ Lyman), who moved from QB, and sophomores Trent Davis (Creston/ Norwayne) and Peter Ribar (Middlefield/ Cardinal) to compete for playing time.
Moeglin and Plagens will receive strong protection up front from three returning starters on the offensive line in seniors Josh Lane (Rootstown) and Anthony Lautanen (Mentor) and junior Alex Kurtz (Sterling/ Smithville). The trio have plenty of experience and will be the anchors.
A number of others saw plenty of action last season and will be asked to step up to a larger role in 2015. Among them include sophomores Andrew Sierawski (Delaware/ Hayes), Desmond Holmes (Solon), Pat Forrer (Grafton/ Midview), Josh Rice (Concord Twp./ Painesville Riverside), Zak Battisti (Newton Falls), junior Kevin Jacobs (Northfield/ Garfield Hts. Trinity) and seniors Nolan Brandt (Olmsted Falls) and Hayden DeYoung (Westfield Center/ Akron Hoban).
Junior Academic All-OAC placekicker/ punter Joe Simonis (Hinckley/ Medina Highland) had a strong season in 2014. He connected on six of seven field goal and 35 of 36 PAT boots and placed second to Moeglin in scoring with 53 points. Look for Simonis to receive competition from senior Ben Deighton (Akron/ Richfield Revere) and a host of incoming freshmen. Deighton played three years of varsity soccer at BW as a starter and is now trying his hand at football. The former high school placekicker tried to walk-on at NCAA Division I The Ohio State University and Penn State University last spring, but returned to BW and hopes to help the Yellow Jackets this fall.
Simonis also took over the punting duties early last fall when Austin Smith was injured. In Smith's absence, Simonis averaged 36.9 yards in 38 attempts with nine landing inside the 20-yard line. Smith averaged 33.9 yards in 14 punting attempts with five landing inside the 20-yard line.
Sophomore strong safety Theodore Washington (Orlando, Fla./ First Academy) is a eadly return threat. He averaged 20.8 yards in a team-leading 13 returns. Also look for George, who averaged 24.5 yards in four returns, to get a shot as well as Schmidt. Although he's not expected to run back kickoffs, Reed averages 24.4 yards in 10 career returns, including a 28.2-yard average as a sophomore in 2013.
The defensive line is led by senior two-time Academic All-OAC tackle Lawrence Wolfe (Creston/ Norwayne) who had 36 tackles, 1.5 QB sacks and forced two fumbles a year ago. He is joined up front by senior end Jake Maurer (Brunswick), junior end Andy Schultz (North Royalton) and junior tackle Brian Stepp (North Royalton). Schultz had 30 tackles, a sack and 4.5 tackles for loss. Maurer had 29 stops and a forced fumble. Stepp, who played linebacker last season, had 10 tackles.
Others who hope to push for playing time are sophomores Travis Giardina (Wampum, Pa./ Mohawk), Charkym Bonaparte (Stow/ Woodridge), Mason Muldoon (Berea-Midpark), Chris Murphy (Cleveland/ Glenville), Brandon Rem (Northfield/ Nordonia) and Anton Richardson (Chicago, Ill./ Gordon Tech), sophomore transfer Sam Steininger (North Jackson/ Western Reserve) and juniors Damon Bollin (Rochester/ New London), Cole Horan (Gibsonia, Pa./ Mars), Eric Juncker (Geneva) and Nate Molnar (Skaneateles, N.Y./ Churchville-Chili) and seniors Ian Harmon (Granville) and John Haney (Fairview Park/ Fairview).
The linebacker corps is led by senior Tyler Burdorff (Painesville/ Riverside) in the middle and junior John McElfresh (Bradenton, Fla./ Manatee) on the outside. Burdorff was second on the team in tackles last season with 73, including five tackles for loss. Last winter and spring, he participated at the Div. III national indoor and outdoor track meets in the throwing events. McElfresh was fifth in tackles with 51 and both forced one and recovered another fumble. Junior Brock Hull (Youngstown/ Boardman) also returns and should see a factor after making 10 stops a year ago.
Others who may push for playing time are sophomore Logan Banks (Tallmadge), Lake Lander (DuBois, Pa./ DuBois Area), Sean Nischwitz (Clinton/ Green) and Vee Sealy (Painesville/ Harvey), sophomore transfers Chad Metcalf (Sheffield Lake/ Brookside) and Devon Crum (Elyria/ Grafton Midview), junior Brandon Johnson (Akron/ North) and senior Austin Stephan (Pittsburgh, Pa./ Upper St. Clair), who is a two-time winner of the team's Lee J. Tressel Academic Award.
In the secondary, Cook, unless he plays WR, senior Nathan Ferster (Olmsted Falls) and Washington return. Washington led the group with 21 tackles, two interceptions and four more breakups. Cook registered 15 stops and Ferster had nine and a breakup.
Others who hope to push for varsity action are sophomores Tave Hill (Canton/ Timken), Justin Maranville (Uniontown/ Lake), A.J. Minster (Louisville), Caray Sparrow (St. Augustine, Fla./ St. Augustine) and Kyle Ulliman (Westerville/ Central) and junior Tyrone Brininger (Geneva).
Overall, the Yellow Jackets have 154 student-athletes on their roster as of July 28 and there will be plenty of competition at all 22 positions, at both kicking positions and on special teams prior to the season-opener at Bluffton University on September 12.
FOR MORE BW SPORTS INFORMATION, please contact SID Kevin Ruple by telephone at 440-826-2327 and e-mail at email@example.com, Associate Director Jeff Miller by telephone at 440-826-2780 and e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and Sports Information Assistant/ Intern Michael Durkin by telephone at 440-826-6517 and e-mail at email@example.com. Fans can access the latest BW athletics information at www.BWyellowjackets.com and we invite you to join us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bwyellowjackets and Twitter at http://twitter.com/bwathletics.
May 3, 2016 Football Announces 2016 Summer Camp Schedule
February 22, 2016 Quarterback Tyler Moeglin is NFF Scholar-Athlete and Peyton Award-Winner
February 17, 2016 Football Offensive Coordinator Selected to NCAA and NFL Coaches Academy
January 26, 2016 Football Team Celebrates 2015 Season at Team Banquet
November 24, 2015 Four Football Players Earn Academic All-OAC Honors
November 23, 2015 Seven Football Student-Athletes Earn All-OAC Honors
November 14, 2015 BW Football Team Beats Heidelberg, 44-31, in Berea to Finish 7-3 Overall
November 7, 2015 Football Team Ends Winning Streak With 42-0 Loss at Mt. Union
November 3, 2015 Football Plays Final Road Game at No. 1 Mount Union
November 2, 2015 Schultz Garners First Career OAC Football Defensive Weekly Honor
October 31, 2015 BW Football Team Beats Capital, 56-20
October 27, 2015 Football Hosts Capital on Professor Appreciation Day
October 19, 2015 Football on the Road for Fourth Time with OAC Game at Otterbein
October 17, 2015 Football Beats Wilmington on Shriners’ Day
October 12, 2015 Football Hosts Wilmington in 38th Annual Lee Tressel Shrine Classic
October 10, 2015 Football Team Beats Marietta on Homecoming
October 6, 2015 Football Hosts Marietta on Homecoming
October 3, 2015 BW Beats Muskingum, 34-28, in New Concord
September 30, 2015 Football Travels to New Concord for OAC Game at Muskingum
September 26, 2015 Football Drops 17-14 Decision to John Carroll in Cuyahoga Gold Bowl Game
September 19, 2015 Football Opens OAC Schedule With 28-27 Victory at Ohio Northern
September 14, 2015 Football Opens OAC Schedule on Road at Ohio Northern
September 12, 2015 BW Opens Football Season With 38-26 Loss at Bluffton
September 8, 2015 Football Opens 2015 Season on Road at Bluffton
August 23, 2015 BW’s Mauer Leads Through His Service to His Country
August 16, 2015 BW Football Donates School Supplies for 14th Straight Year
August 12, 2015 QB Moeglin Set to Lead the Baldwin Wallace Offense in 2015
August 4, 2015 BW Football Team Picked Fifth in OAC Preseason Polls
August 3, 2015 2015 Baldwin Wallace Football Preview