Friday, July 25, 2014

Reader Question - Preseason Teams

This question came in from one of our readers:

Q - GRFC, It's great to see some of the Golden Rams getting preseason recognition. But why doesn't quarterback Sean McCartney appear on any of these lists? He had a great season last year.

A - To fully answer this question requires a look back at last season. In 14 games last year, McCartney completed 242 of his 384 pass attempts (63.0%) for 3,569 yards with 34 touchdowns and only 14 interceptions. In West Chester single season history, those passing yards are second best (Dave McDonald had 3,613 in 1994), his touchdowns are also second (Dave McDonald had 40 in 1994) and his completion percentage was fourth best. So it was truly one of the best seasons ever by a Golden Ram quarterback.

But what's important is how McCartney stacked up to other quarterbacks last season. When all passing numbers are factored together, it produces a quarterback efficiency rating. For 2013, McCartney's was 163.0 which was ranked 12th in the nation. In the PSAC, only East Strousburg's Matt Soltes had a higher rating of 167.1, good for 9th in Division II and second team All-PSAC East second team honors. With a quarterback rating of 142.0 was Shippensburg's Zach Zulli, good for 40th in the country. However, Zulli was the reigning Harlon Hill winner and therefore captured All-PSAC East first team honors.

Granted Zulli threw for 3,500 yards and 35 touchdowns in only 11 games, but take a closer look. In a 48-0 victory over Millersville, Zulli amassed 353 yards and five touchdowns. In a 73-27 win over Seton Hill, it was 395 yards and four touchdowns and in the 42 point shutout of Cheyney, 304 yards and four touchdowns. Comparatively, in West Chester's 48-3 win over Millersville, McCartney only attempted 13 passes before leaving after one possession in the third quarter. And he didn't even dress for West Chester's game at Cheyney. In fact, McCartney's biggest games statistically were American International (a first round playoff game) and Gannon and Kutztown, two games where the Golden Rams needed every yard and point to win. So although McCartney played in three more games than Zulli, he had almost 100 fewer pass attempts to rack up additional yardage and touchdowns. But that is why the quarterback efficiency rating was developed - to consolidate all of a passer's statistics into one single number.

To be clear, accumulating offensive numbers in out-of-reach games is by no means a criticism of the player. Whenever a football player gets the honor to take the field, he should play each down hard and execute it to the best of his ability. For a quarterback, this means calling the play, reading the defense, checking the play if necessary and moving the team down field as far as possible in the shortest amount of time. Zulli and McCartney did just that.

So how does all of this relate to the original fan question? Preseason anything - polls, all-conference, all-American - are all based on the previous season. For example, is West Chester the 6th best team in the country this year? Who knows? But they did finish last season #4 in the AFCA poll after reaching the national semi-finals. Since McCartney didn't make either the All-PSAC East first or second team, he didn't have the name recognition for this year. And if one were to look past All-PSAC teams and just at the NCAA statistical rankings, he was listed as a senior since he didn't receive his medical redshirt for 2012 until after the 2013 season started. Although his eligibility status did not make it to the NCAA statistics table, it would have appeared correctly in any All-PSAC listing.

Fortunately, preseason teams and rankings are not as important as postseason teams and rankings. And Golden Ram fans can only hope that the team, and McCartney, have as much success in 2014 as they did in 2013.

As always, if you have any questions, comments or ideas for topics, please e-mail them to and be sure to follow us on twitter @GoldenRamFC

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Team News - Season Tickets Available

Season ticket information for the 2014 Golden Ram football season can be found here. Fans can choose from the purple seats with backs on the 50-yard line ($50), reserved seating ($45), or general admission ($35). In addition, parking for all five home games can be added for just $15. Be part of the action and watch the NCAA Division II Super Region I champions take on:

September 13 - noon - Mercyhurst
September 27 - 6:00 pm - Millersville - Family Day
October 4 - noon - Lock Haven
October 18 - 2:00 pm - Shippensburg - Homecoming
November 11 - noon - Cheyney - Senior Day

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Player News - Preseason Honors for Host of Rams

Six members of the Golden Ram football team have been named preseason All-American by USA Football Network. Representing West Chester on the first team are senior co-captains center Derek Schatz, linebacker Ronell Williams, and cornerback Al-Hajj Shabazz. On the second team are senior wide receiver Erick Brundidge and senior guard James Colivas. Named to the third team was senior co-captain and linebacker Mike Labor.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Event News - Future WCU Player in Scranton Dream Game

A future Golden Ram will be participating in the 80th Annual Scranton Lions Club Dream Game to be held at 7:30 pm on Wednesday July 30 at John Henzes Veterans Memorial Stadium. Kicker Brendan Paulison of Delaware Valley High School is slated to play for the City team in the contest. The game pits the City team, which holds a 39-36 edge in the series which has seen four ties, against all-stars from the rest of the Lackawanna County. The City team will be coached by Dunmore head coach Jack Henzes while the County team will be coached by Old Forge head coach Michael Schuback.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Player News - Schatz, Shabazz Named Preseason All-Americans

Two West Chester players were named Preseason All-American by Beyond Sports Network for the 2014 season. Senior center Derek Schatz and senior cornerback Al-Hajj Shabazz were both named to the third team. Both Schatz and Shabazz are team captains for the Golden Rams and earned All-PSAC East honors after last season and preseason All-PSAC honors for this upcoming season.

Beyond Sports Network - 2014 BSN D2 All America Football Team

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Player News - Several Golden Rams Gain Preseason Honors

Six West Chester players were named Preseason All-Conference by Beyond Sports Network for the 2014 season. The players were distributed evenly between the offense and defense. On offense, senior wide receiver Erick Brundidge, senior center Derek Schatz and senior guard James Colivas were identified while on defense, junior lineman Andrew Cohen, senior linebacker Ronell Williams and senior cornerback Al-Hajj Shabazz were named. After last season, all six of these players were named All-PSAC East by the conference coaches.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Alumni News - Former Golden Rams in PIFL Playoffs

Three former Golden Rams participated in the Professional Indoor Football League National Conference championship last night. The Lehigh Valley Steelhawks, which won the game 49-38, were represented by offensive linemen Justin Bathurst and Erik Pratt while the Trenton Freedom were represented by kicker Shawn Leo.

Leo was perfect on his three PAT's and nailed an uno which also led to a safety two plays later. Bathurst, at 6-5, 310 lbs, started and played the entire game at fullback. Pratt, who spent most of the season with the Harrisburg Stampede before recently being traded to the Steelhawks, saw time at right guard.

The Steelhawks, which finished the regular season 6-6, will travel to take on the Nashville Venom, who defeated Columbus Lions 43-39 in the American Conference finals, for the PIFL Championship this coming weekend.

Trenton Freedom - Freedom Lose to Steelhawks

Friday, July 4, 2014

Event News - 24th Annual Quarterback Classic

The 24th Annual WCU Quarterback Classic will be held on Monday, July 28, 2013 at 10:30 am at the Penn Oaks Golf Club in West Chester, PA. Presented by National Food Sales, the schedule is as follows:

- 10:30 am Registration / Boxed Lunch
- 12:00 pm Shotgun Start
- 5:00 pm Cocktail Hour / Silent Auction
- 6:00 pm Dinner / Awards

The price for an individual golfer is $150 with all proceeds from the event going directly into the football scholarship fund. Anyone interested in attending or sponsoring the event is asked to use the online registration center no later than July 21.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Team News - 16 Golden Rams Named PSAC Scholar-Athletes

Sixteen members of the Golden Ram football team have been named PSAC Scholar-Athletes for the 2013-2014 academic year. In order to qualify for the honor, athletes must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.25 or better. There were 2,537 athletes from all 18 PSAC institutions of which 223 represented West Chester University.

Representing the football team are senior fullback Jared Bonacquisti, sophomore defensive back Courtland Bragg, junior punter Rich Bruno, junior offensive lineman James Colivas, sophomore wide receiver Adam Dempsey, freshman defensive lineman John Dubyk, freshman running back Jarel Elder, freshman defensive back Pete Galiano, freshman offensive lineman Alex Host, redshirt freshman defensive back Kyle Keyser, sophomore defensive end Barry Lyons, freshman quarterback Pat Moriarty, sophomore linebacker Drew Persa, junior center Derek Schatz, freshman defensive back Dan Sherry, and freshman fullback Dylan Thomas.