CANTON, Ohio -- The Baldwin Wallace University football team was picked to finish fourth both by the Ohio Athletic Conference Coaches and Media at the 2016 OAC Football Media Day at the Pro Football Hall of Fame and Museum. BW is coming off of a 7-3 record in 2015.
"It is a motivation for our team with the fourth place selection," said 15th-year Head Coach John Snell, who enters the season with a career record of 89-53. "I think it is our responsibility and job to improve on that ranking. In 2015 we were picked fifth and finished the year tied for second."
At the 2016 OAC Football Media Day senior offensive lineman Alex Kurtz (Sterling/Smithville) and senior All-OAC defensive lineman Andy Schultz (North Royalton) spoke and represented BW along with Snell.
Snell returns 35 lettermen and 12 full-time starters as well as its entire special teams unit, including both its placekicker, punter and returners.
Offensively, seven starters return, including running backs Austin Smith (Broadview Heights/North Royalton) and Adam Blake (Alliance/Marlington), wide receivers Bryon Cook (Tallmadge), Mike Waggoner (Stow) and Trevor George (Aliquippa, Pa./Carlyton) as well as linemen Kurtz and Academic All-OAC player Andy Sierawski (Delaware/Hayes).
Defensively, seven starters return, including Schultz, junior outside linebackers Sam Groff (Waynesburg/Sandy Valley) and Sean Nischwitz (Clinton/Green), cornerbacks fifth-year senior Nate Ferster (Olmsted Falls) and Caray Sparrow (St. Augustine, Fla.), and safeties Brock Hull (Youngstown/Boardman) and Trypp Washington (Orlando, Fla./First Academy).
The special teams Academic All-OAC placekicker/punter Joe Simonis (Hinckley/Medina Highland) and Washington on kickoff returns.
BW opens its season on Thursday, September 1 when it hosts non-conference foe Defiance College for the Lee Tressel Shrine Classic on Tressel Field inside George Finnie Stadium at 7 p.m. The Yellow Jackets open OAC play on Sept. 17 when they travel to University Heights to take on OAC and cross-town rival John Carroll University on Wasmer Field inside Don Schula Stadium at 7 p.m.