Sunday, April 13, 2014

Team News - 2014 First Spring Scrimmage Report

About 100 fans were on hand to take in the Golden Rams' first spring scrimmage on a sunny and warm Saturday morning on the South Campus practice field. There were no notable surprises, but the following observations:
The next scrimmage is tentatively scheduled for this coming Saturday at 10:00 am on South Campus.


Golden Ram fans take in some spring football action


Running back Brandon Monk takes a handoff


Quarterback Andrew Derr looks downfield for a receiver


Linebacker Grant Garbutt stares down quarterback Eric Lark

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Team News - Golden Rams Start Spring Practice

It’s somewhat ironic. Two years ago, the Golden Rams were coming off their second consecutive losing season. There was reason to be concerned and some were on the verge of panic. But the 2012 team returned West Chester to winning ways and the 2013 team advanced to the national semi-finals. Now this spring, after having the best season in school history, everyone’s feeling good. However, the 2014 squad will have a different look and this team needs to look forward rather than behind. With opening kickoff just five months from today, what are the issues to look for during spring practice?

3. Defensive Line

The D-line lost four seniors including All-PSAC East end Eric Edwers (75 tackles, 11.5 TFL’s, 7.0 sacks) who, last season, was fourth on the team in tackles and led the team in sacks. Also gone are end Chris DiValentino (48 tackles, 9.0 TFL’s), tackle Anthony McCloskey (45 tackles, 6.5 TFL’s) and tackle Demrick Cook (43 tackles, 8.0 TFL’s).

Fortunately, last year’s defensive team played a steady rotation up front. The 2014 unit will be led by All-PSAC East tackle Andrew Cohen (41 tackles. 8.5 TFL’s). Ends Kayo Bakare (27 tackles, 2.0 sacks) and Barry Lyons (11 tackles) saw action in all 15 games and Brian Butler (14 tackles, 2.0 TFL’s) played in 14 contests. Shaquil Ryder (11 tackles, 2.0 sacks, 1 int) and Kavon Johnson (2 tackles, 1.0 sack) also provide experience on the line.

2. Running Back

Okay, it’s no secret, the best player in Golden Ram history and consensus All-American Rondell White completed his college career. But there is plenty of talent at the running back position. In very limited playing time, Brandon Monk racked up almost 500 yards on the ground with a 7.5 yards per carry average and Eddie Elliott averaged over 12 yards per carry. Potentially complicating matters is diminutive but speedy R-Fr. Jarel Elder.

So White’s rushing capability may be replaced, but what made him so effective and problematic for opposing defenses was his ability to catch the ball either out of the backfield, from motion, or lined up outside. After all, last year he did lead the Golden Rams in both receptions (75) and receiving yards (843). Elliott saw a lot of time as a slot receiver last season, nabbing 20 catches for 345 yards and five touchdowns, so he has the potential to replace White’s receiving numbers. It will be interesting to see if Elliott stays at the receiver position where he was quite effective in using his speed to get open and make moves downfield. The coaches will determine what personnel is best utilized in which positions.

However, the main thing that White brought the offense and the team was confidence. When White was in the game, there was a sense of security, a belief that winning was always possible (remember Kutztown and Shippensburg?). The players and the coaches will need to overcome that 2013’s “go to” guy is no longer on the team. Maybe that responsibility shifts to quarterback Sean McCartney or maybe it gets distributed among several guys, but spring is the time to come to grips with that reality.

1. Offensive Line

The 2013 Golden Ram offense set numerous records. While some will claim that the offensive numbers were due to a deep playoff run resulting in playing 15 games, it’s equally justifiable to say that the deep playoff run resulting in playing 15 games was due to the offensive numbers. And while the individual numbers appear next to White’s and McCartney’s names, most of the credit can be attributed to the five men up front. With the exception of James Colivas at winless Cheyney, the unit started all 15 games. Tackles Adam Citko and Justin Bathurst and guard Trey Farmer all received All-PSAC East and ECAC honors. And all were seniors.

Leading the line this season will be team captain and center Derek Schatz and guard Colivas. Joining them will be guard Antoine Bland who played in every game last season and tackle Doug Gilbert who participated in half of last year’s contests. So there are two starters and two others that saw decent playing time. But the offensive line consists of five guys.

The good news last year was the unit was so talented and durable that the coaches were able to preserve redshirts for freshmen. The consequence is that one starter this season will have NO previous playing experience and there is NO experience backing up the starters. This isn’t to say that there isn’t talent among the reserves, just no one with real game snaps under his belt. This spring, expect to see Vince Lostracco, Tyler Drob, Devan LaBau, Michael Unger, Alex Host, and Evyn Stadulis to battle for that fifth spot.


Some may say that replacing the best kicker in Golden Ram history, Shawn Leo, is a question for this team. There’s no doubt that will be a topic of concern. However, for a couple of reasons, it’s not something that will be answered this spring. First, place kicking isn’t something that is especially featured in spring ball. But more pertinent is the fact that Rich Bruno is the only guy on the roster that puts his foot to the ball. So the question about the kicking game this spring has only one potential answer. There are three kickers from near and far that plan on coming to West Chester in the fall, so this topic will be more interesting after the summer solstice.

D2football - PSAC Columnist - PSAC Spring Football Notebook

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Event News - Spring Calendar

Although most people in the Delaware Valley haven't had enough of the snow, wind and cold, it's time to come to grips with the fact that it's April. Therefore it's time for Golden Ram football fans to update their calendar with the variety of events related to WCU football. Over the next few months, there are several events from hall of fame inductions to spring scrimmages to high school all-star games featuring many West Chester recruits. Hope to see you there!!!

Day
Date
Time
Event
Location
Sat
April 12
10:00 am
Farrell Stadium
Sat
April 19
10:00 am
Farrell Stadium
Fri
April 25
6:00 pm
Concord Country Club
Sat
April 26
Noon
Farrell Stadium
Sat
April 26
2:00 pm
Farrell Stadium
Sun
May 4
1:00 pm
Franklin Regional High School
Thur
May 29
7:15 pm
Unionville High School
Thur
May 29
7:30 pm
Widener University

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Team News - 2014 Spring Game

The Golden Ram spring football game is scheduled for Saturday, April 26, 2014 at noon in Farrell Stadium. The Spring Game will be the culmination of four weeks of practice and two scrimmages and serve as one of the main events that takes place during alumni weekend. The first day of spring practice will be Monday, March 31 with scrimmages tentatively set for Saturday, April 12 and Saturday, April 19.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Event News - Killinger Foundation Banquet

The 35th Annual Killinger Foundation Football Banquet will be held on Friday, April 25, 2014 at 6:00 pm at the Concord Country Club in Concordville, PA. The 2014 Hall of Fame inductees are:

- John Scanlon '77
- Guy Van Alstine '74
- Marty Pavelic '72
- Jack Gibson '69
- Smedley Sharp '64

The Foundation will also be honoring the 2004 team and former assistant coach George Baldwin who passed away last year.

Scanlon was a two-time second team All-PSAC selection at linebacker. Van Alstine, a two-time first team All-PSAC selection at running back, led the team in rushing and scoring in both 1973 and 1974. His kick return average of 28.5 yards in 1974 still ranks as the best in West Chester history. His 1,398 all-purpose yards in 1974 stood as the record for nearly a decade. Pavelic was a first team All-PSAC selection on the offensive line.

Under head coach Bill Zwaan, the 2004 team was the first West Chester football team to win a playoff game with the Golden Rams advancing to the national semi-finals. The team won the PSAC East and the NCAA Division II Northeast Region Championships and was named the ECAC Division II Team of the Year and the winner of the Lambert Meadowlands Award.

Anyone interested in attending is asked to use the online ticket sale center.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Team News - 2014 Unofficial Recruiting Class

Name
Pos
Ht
Wt
School
DE
6-3
215
Neshaminy
DE
6-4
220
Archbishop Ryan
RB
5-11
185
Pennridge
LB
6-1
220
Imhotep
ATH
6-3
210
Upper Dublin
OT/DT
6-4
285
Central Bucks East
FB
6-4
230
Downingtown East
QB
6-1
185
West Chester Rustin
K
6-0
200
Father Judge
DE
6-2
220
North Penn
OL/DL
6-2
295
Loyalsock
ATH
5-10
175
Penn Charter
OL
6-4
225
Cardinal O’Hara
OL
6-5
260
Pennridge
RB
6-1
185
Haverford
DE
6-1
220
Bishop McDevitt
OL
6-2
255
Egg Harbor Township
K/P
6-1
195
Delaware Valley
WR
6-3
210
Wissahickon
WR
6-1
185
Simon Gratz
LB
6-1
220
Garnet Valley
DL
6-1
260
Bishop Shanahan
RB
6-0
185
ELCO
LB
6-1
220
West Chester Rustin
CB
5-7
165
Haverford
K
5-9
150
Conestoga
OL
6-2
240
Garnet Valley

Friday, March 21, 2014

Player News - Connor Foley Commits to the Golden Rams

Connor Foley (Father Judge) has tweeted his intentions to kick for the Golden Rams. The 6-0, 200lb kicker received first team all conference honors in all four of his high school years. Over his scholastic career, Foley converted 121 PAT's and 21 field goals for a total of 184 points. He participated in this past December's Chesapeake Bowl as the punter for the North squad.

- 2013 First Team Daily News All-City
- 2013 First Team Daily News All-Catholic
- 2013 First Team All-Catholic AAAA
- 2013 Second Team All-Catholic (Punter)
- 2013 First Team Inquirer All-Southeastern PA
- 2013 Honorable Mention All-EasternPAFootball.com Big School
- 2012 Second Team Daily News All-Catholic
- 2012 Third Team Daily News All-City
- 2012 First Team All-Catholic AAAA
- 2011 First Team All-Catholic AAAA
- 2011 Second Team Daily News All-City
- 2010 First Team All-Catholic AAAA


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Team News - Bill Shuey Takes Coordinator Role at Widener

Bill Shuey has left the Golden Rams to take a position at nearby Widener University. Shuey, the linebackers coach at West Chester for the past two seasons, has been named the defensive coordinator for the Pride. Shuey spent 12 seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles prior to joining the Golden Rams. He will now be the top assistant for head coach Mike Kelly who was hired by Widener at the end of February.


Monday, March 10, 2014

Player News - Bonacquisti Honored

Golden Ram fullback Jared Bonacquisti was recently honored at the Andy Talley Bone Marrow Foundation's sold out Mardi Gras Bash on Saturday. Bonacquisti, winner of the Kelly's Sports Unsung Hero award at the Golden Ram Football Club annual team banquet last month, finally had the opportunity to meet Sigitas Sleckus who received a bone marrow transplant from Bonacquisti.