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Loyola, Denver meet for third time Saturday with Final Four trip at stake

Posted on 18 May 2012 by WNST Staff

Opponent NCAA Quarterfinals | Denver Pioneers
Date Saturday, May 19, 2012
Time 2:30 p.m.
Location Annapolis, Md. | Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium
TV | Radio ESPN2 | ESPN3
Series Record Series tied, 2-2
Last Meeting Loyola 14, Denver 13 (OT) – May 2, 2012 at Denver

Game Data

Loyola University Maryland travels to nearby Annapolis, Md., and Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium for the NCAA Quarterfinals on Saturday, May 19, 2012.

The top-seeded Greyhounds will face fellow ECAC Lacrosse League member University of Denver for the third time this season at 2:30 p.m.

On The Tube And Web

The game will be broadcast live on ESPN2 with Eamon McAnaney and Quint Kessenich calling the action. Paul Carcaterra will be the sideline analyst.

The action can also be seen worldwide on ESPN3, the broadband arm of the ESPN, and on the WatchESPN app on mobile devices.

Series History

Loyola and Denver will meet for the fifth time in series history and third time this season when the teams take the field Saturday. The Greyhounds and Pioneers have met during the regular-season in each of the last three seasons and then earlier this month in an ECAC Semifinal. The series is tied 2-2 through the first four meetings.

Denver won the first two meetings, 12-4 at Invesco Field in 2010 and 12-8 last year at Ridley Athletic Complex.

This season, Loyola used a 5-1 run to close the game, overcoming an 8-7 third-quarter deficit on April 14 in Denver to beat the Pioneers, 12-9.

The teams met again with Loyola as the No. 1 seed, and Denver the fourth, in the ECAC Semifinals on May 2, again in Denver. Loyola opened up a 13-6 lead with 13:14 left in regulation before the Pioneers scored seven-straight to tie the game at 13-13 with 3:30 remaining on the clock. Scott Ratliff picked up the ground ball to start overtime, and he scored eight seconds later, lifting Loyola to the ECAC title game.

NCAA Championships History

Loyola is making its 20th all-time appearance in the NCAA Championships, 18th at the Division I level. The Greyhounds are 9-19 all-time in Championships play, 9-17 at the Division I level.

The Greyhounds are making their 13th NCAA Quarterfinals appearance and the first since 2001. They are 2-10 in Quarterfinal games with their last victory in the round coming in 1998 against Georgetown in a 12-11 decision.

NCAA Rematches

Saturday will be the first time in Loyola men’s lacrosse history (since 1938) that the Greyhounds will have played the same team three times in the same season.

A rematch with a regular-season opponent in the NCAA Championships is not unusual for Loyola. It will be the 12th time that the Greyhounds have faced a team in the NCAAs that they played earlier in the year. Including a game in the 1979 Division II-III Tournament, Loyola is 2-9 in those games. The last time it happened, Duke defeated the Greyhounds, 12-7, in the 2008 First Round.

This Season Against Denver

Loyola has featured balanced scoring in its two games against Denver with 13 players tallying goals in the two games and eight scoring two or more. Mike Sawyer and Eric Lusby lead the way with four goals each, while Scott Ratliff has three. Davis Butts, Pat Byrnes, Sean O’Sullivan, Phil Dobson and Nikko Pontrello each have scored two against the Pioneers this year. Justin Ward is tops on Loyola with four assists in the two games.

Top Spot

Loyola entered the NCAA Championships as the No. 1 seed for the third time in school history. The Greyhounds were also the top seed in 1998 when they defeated Georgetown, 12-11, in the Quarterfinals to move on to the Final Four for the second time in school history. There, the Greyhounds lost, 19-8, to Maryland. They were then the No. 1 seed in 1999 when they fell in the Quarterfinals to Syracuse, 17-12.

School Record In Wins

Loyola’s victory over Canisius in the NCAA Championships First Round was its 15th of the season, setting a school record for victories in a year. The Greyhounds eclipsed the previous best of 13 that the 1998 squad achieved with a 13-2 record.

This is Loyola’s 15th season all-time with 10 or more wins with 12 coming since the Greyhounds joined Division I in 1982.

In The Polls

Loyola moved up to No. 2 in both the USILA Coaches and Inside Lacrosse Media Polls following their ECAC Championship. The Greyhounds were ranked No. 1 for two weeks before losing their only game of the season on April 28 to Johns Hopkins.

The Greyhounds finished the regular-season with the No. 1 RPI in the NCAA, as well.

Denver entered the NCAAs 13th in both versions.

Second-Half Run

Loyola used 13 unanswered goals to break open a 4-3 halftime lead against Canisius last Saturday in a 17-5 victory over the Golden Griffins in the NCAA Championships First Round.

The Greyhounds took a 4-0 lead in the first quarter before Canisius scored three unanswered in the second. Mike Sawyer corralled a rebound of an Eric Lusby shot off the pipe and scored 1:20 into the second quarter to start the run. During the stretch, Sawyer scored all five of his goals, and Lusby had two of his three.

The run was the second longest in the brief, three-year history of Ridley Athletic Complex. Only a 14-0 run to start the game on March 20, 2010, against Air Force had more goals.

Sawyer Ties Single-Season Record

Mike Sawyer scored five times in the game against Canisius – his fourth game in 2012 with five or more goals – raising his season total to 50 goals to match the 2000 school record set by Tim Goettelmann. Goettelmann went on to become Major League Lacrosse’s all-time leading goal scorer.

Earlier this season, against Hobart, he became the first Loyola player to reach 40 goals in a season since Tim Goettelmann and Gavin Prout scored 50 and 41, respectively, in 2000. They are the only three Loyola players to top 40 this century.

In the ECAC Semifinal against Denver, Sawyer pushed his season point total to 50, a number that is now at 53, making him the first Greyhound to reach 50 in a season since Prout had 58 (37g, 21a) in 2001. It is the fourth time this century that a Loyola player has scored 50 or more points in a season. Goettelmann (65) and Prout (53) both reached the mark in 2000, and Prout did it again the following season. Sawyer’s teammate, Eric Lusby, has since joined him with more than 50 points (more later).

Two Over 40/50

Mike Sawyer (50g, 58p) and Eric Lusby (40g, 54p) became the first set of Loyola teammates to score 40 goals and 50 points in a season since Tim Goettelmann (50, 65) and Gavin Prout (41, 53) accomplished the feat in 2000.

They are one of only two duos in the nation this year – Robert Morris’ Kiel Matisz (40, 64) and Jake Hayes (42, 61) are the other – to post 40 and 50.

A Lot Of Everything

The adage that a player does a little bit of everything does not necessarily apply to long-stick midfielder Scott Ratliff. The Loyola junior does a lot, as he leads the team in ground balls (74) and caused turnovers (34), is tied for sixth in goals (11) and is seventh in assists (7).

A Tewaaraton Award nominee earlier in the year, Ratliff was named the Most Outstanding Player of the ECAC Championships after scoring three goals, one a game-winner, and recording two assists and 16 ground balls.

He had two goals, including the winner just eight seconds into overtime, and an assist versus Denver while picking up a career-high nine ground balls.

Ratliff, who was also an All-ECAC First Team honoree and ECAC Defensive Player of the Year, then scored twice in the first quarter against Canisius to go along with six ground balls and three faceoff wins in the game.

Ratliff’s Scoring

Scott Ratliff had his third multi-goal game of the season in the NCAA First Round against Canisius, raising his season totals to 11 goals and seven assists.

With his game-opening goal against the Golden Griffins, he set the Loyola single-season record for long-pole scoring, surpassing the record of 16 points set by current assistant coach Matt Dwan his senior season in 1995 when he tallied 11 goals and five assists and earned All-America honors.

Ratliff and Dwan are now tied for the lead with 11 goals each.

Ratliff is second nationally this season in goals and points by a long pole, and his seven assists are tops in the country. Bryant’s Mason Poli leads all long poles this year with 19 goals and 24 points.

The Hardware Department

In the span of seven days, three teams in Loyola’s Department of Athletics advanced to their respective NCAA Championships by winning titles in three different conferences.

The men’s golf team started the trend with its fifth-straight Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference crown on April 29, and the men’s lacrosse team followed by taking the ECAC title on May 4. The women’s lacrosse team completed the trifecta on May 5 when it defeated then-No. 2 Syracuse to win its second-straight BIG EAST Championship. Also, in March, Loyola’s men’s basketball team won its first MAAC title in 18 years and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1994.

Sawyer Named One Of Five Tewaaraton Finalists

Mike Sawyer was named one of five Tewaaraton Award finalists on Thursday, joining Colgate A Peter Baum, Duke LSM C.J. Costabile, Massachusetts A Will Manny and Virginia A Steele Stanwick.

Sawyer is the first Loyola men’s player to be named a finalist, and he is also the first player from to hail the State of North Carolina to be so honored. He was one of three Greyhounds on the Tewaaraton Watch List where he was joined by Eric Lusby and Scott Ratliff, and Ratliff was a fellow semifinalist. The Award, which is given annually to the top player in college lacrosse, will be presented on May 31 at the Smithsonian Institute’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C.

Midfield Scoring

Loyola’s first midfield line of Davis Butts (18g, 30p), Sean O’Sullivan (16, 26) and Chris Layne (10, 20) has combined for 44 goals and 32 assists this season, whiel the second midfield unit of Pat Byrnes (9, 7), J.P. Dalton (9, 4) and Phil Dobson (7, 2) has added 25 and 13. Additionally, Nikko Pontrello has started to mix in with the second midfield, allowing Loyola’s attackers the opportunity to invert, and he has four goals and six assists.

Balanced Scoring In ECAC Championships

Loyola traveled to Denver for the 2012 ECAC Lacrosse League Championships and left the Mile-High City with a 97-pound trophy (no, really). The Greyhounds, who earned the No. 1 seed in the tournament and finished the regular-season 6-0 in the league, beat host and No. 4 seed Denver, 14-13, in overtime to advance to the final. There, Loyola topped Fairfield, 14-7.

Fifteen different Greyhounds scored goals in the two games with 11 tallying goals in the semifinal and 10 in the title game. Mike Sawyer led the team with four goals in the two games, a trio coming in the final, while Eric Lusby, Chris Layne and Scott Ratliff each had three.

Justin Ward led the Greyhounds with eight total points, dishing out three assists in the semifinal and three along with two goals in the championship.

Two players scored their first collegiate goals in the games, one in each contest. Kevin Ryan tallied a first-quarter goal on a man-up possession against Denver, and Brian Schultz recorded his first in the fourth quarter versus Fairfield.

Sawyer, Lusby Form Rare Tandem

Graduate student Eric Lusby and junior Mike Sawyer have formed the top attack tandem in the ECAC Lacrosse League this year and one of the most balanced in the nation. The duo has combined for 90 goals in 16 games this season, an average of 5.625 per game.

Sawyer has scored 50 goals, and his 3.13 goals per game average is third-best in Division I. Lusby, meanwhile is right behind with 40 goals and a 2.5 goals per game mark, a number that is tied for 14th in the country. Loyola is one of two schools to have two players in the top 14 of goals per game nationally (Robert Morris).

The Greyhounds have not had two players score 40 or more goals in the same season since 2000 when Tim Goettelmann set the school single-season record with 50, and Gavin Prout tallied 41. As a side note, the Goettelmann-Prout duo has gone on to highly successful professional careers. Goettelman recently retired from Major League Lacrosse as the league’s all-time leading scorer with 268 goals in 11 seasons. Prout has been an MLL Champion and has scored 314 National Lacrosse League goals to go with 625 assists as a multiple-time all-star.

Spreading Out The Scoring Wealth

Loyola’s first 11 goals against Denver in the ECAC Semifinal night were scored by 11 different players. Eric Lusby, Phil Dobson and Scott Ratliff finished the game with two goals, and eight others had one.

All three members of the Greyhounds’ first midfield – Davis Butts, Chris Layne and Sean O’Sullivan – scored goals. They received four goals from the four players who make up the second midfield line – Dobson (2), Pat Byrnes and Nikko Pontrello (J.P. Dalton did not score). Extra-man attackman Kevin Ryan scored, and two of the team’s three attackmen – Mike Sawyer and Lusby (2) – recorded goals. Ratliff scored twice in transition, and short-stick defensive midfielder Josh Hawkins added one. The Greyhounds’ other attack player, Justin Ward, did not score but had a game-high three assists.

In the title game, 10 different players scored for Loyola with all three attackers scoring and two of three from the first midfield like tallying goals.

Twelve In A Row Ties Mark

Loyola’s 12-straight to start the season tied the school record for consecutive victories, matching the number put up by the 1998 (March 14-May 17) and 1999 (March 6-May 8).

It also matched the best start to a season, equaling the 1999 team that finished the regular-season unblemished at 12-0.

Ratliff Named ECAC Defender Of The Year

Junior long-stick midfielder Scott Ratliff was named the ECAC Defensive Player of the Year on Monday, marking the second time in four years a Greyhounds’ long pole has received the award. P.T. Ricci earned the honor in 2009, as well.

Ratliff leads the ECAC with 34 caused turnovers (2.13 per game) and is sixth nationally in that category, and he is tops on the Greyhounds with 74 ground balls (4.5 per contest).

The native of Marietta, Ga., also has scored nine goals and has seven assists this year, keying the Greyhounds’ transition game on many occasions. He earned ECAC Co-Specialist of the Week twice during the year and was the Defensive Player of the Week early in the season.

Toomey Tabbed ECAC Coach Of The Year

Loyola Head Coach Charley Toomey was named the ECAC Coach of the Year for the third time in his seven-year career. This season, Toomey has guided the Greyhounds to a 15-1 mark during the regular-season and the ECAC regular-season crown with a 6-0 mark in conference play.

The Greyhounds became the second team in USILA Coaches Poll history to start a season unranked and ascend to the No. 1 spot in the rankings. The only other team was Duke in 2007 – a year after the Blue Devils had their season suspended in March – which accomplished the feat after being unranked in the first poll, moving to second in the next version and first in the third. Duke was knocked from its perch as No. 1 that season when it lost to the Greyhounds at the First Four in San Diego.

Earlier this season, Toomey won the 50th game of his coaching career, becoming the fourth coach in Loyola history to win 50 or more – Dave Cottle (181-70, 1983-2001), Charles Wenzel (62-104, 1954-1970), Jay Connor (61-46, 1975-1982).  Toomey’s .618 winning percentage trails only Cottle’s .721 at Loyola.

All-ECAC Honors

Five Loyola players earned All-ECAC Lacrosse League honors form the conference’s coaches. Long-stick midfielder Scott Ratliff earned a spot as a defender on the First Team, where he was joined by Mike Sawyer on attack and Davis Butts in the midfield.

Sawyer led the ECAC during the regular-season, and is now third nationally, in goals (50) and goals per game (3.13). Butts has scored 18 goals and assisted on 12 from the Greyhounds first midfield line while also regularly playing a role on the wings during face-offs with 36 ground balls.

Attack Eric Lusby and defender Joe Fletcher were tabbed to the All-ECAC Second Team. Lusby is second on the team and is 14th nationally with 40 goals (2.5 per game), and he also has 14 assists this season. Fletcher came on as one of the top lock-down defenders around, earning Midseason All-American honors from Inside Lacrosse last month. He has 30 ground balls and 21 caused turnovers entering the NCAA Quarterfinals.

Big Runs

Loyola used runs of three-plus goals at important junctures of its 6 games, helping the Greyhounds to wins each time. In all, Loyola has scored three or more in a row on 32 occasions this season.

Loyola scored the first four goals of the ECAC Semifinal game against Denver and then tallied three-straight after the Pioneers pulled within 4-2. The Greyhounds then reeled off five in a row during the third quarter to take a 13-6 lead.

In the ECAC title game, Loyola used an 8-1 run that was comprised of runs of 3-0 and 5-0 to take control of the game.

On The Flip Side

Conversely, the Greyhounds have allowed a run of three or more goals just 10 times this year, with the most recent coming when Canisius scored three in the second quarter. Only Denver (seven), Johns Hopkins (five), Fairfield (five), Air Force (four) have scored more than three in a row this year.

Following six of the nine opponent runs of three or more, Loyola has answered in kind with a run of 4-0 or better.

On The EMO

This season, the Greyhounds are ranked second in the nation in man-up offense, scoring 50-percent of the time. Only Lehigh (.553) has a better mark this year.

The last time Loyola finished at or above .500 in man-up offense was in 1997 when it converted 39-of-77 (.506).

Second-Half Success

The Greyhounds have now outscored opponents 60-20 in the third quarters of games and 113-56 overall this year in the second half (including overtime).

The second-half scoring continues a trend from the last two seasons. Last year, Loyola outscored opponents, 69-52, after halftime (including two overtime goals), and 77-56 two years ago.

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Jonathan Ogden to enter College Football Hall of Fame

Posted on 15 May 2012 by WNST Staff

NFF Announces 2012 Football Bowl Subdivision
College Football Hall of Fame Class

14 Players and Three Coaches to Enter College Football’s Ultimate Shrine

NEW YORK, May 15, 2012 - From the national ballot of 76 candidates and a pool of hundreds of eligible nominees, Archie Manning, chairman of The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame, announced today the 2012 College Football Hall of Fame Football Bowl Subdivision Class, which includes the names of 14 First Team All-America players and three legendary coaches.

2012 COLLEGE FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME CLASS

PLAYERS

  • CHARLES ALEXANDER - TB, LSU (1975-78)
  • OTIS ARMSTRONG - HB, Purdue (1970-72)
  • STEVE BARTKOWSKI - QB, California (1972-74)
  • HAL BEDSOLE - SE, Southern California (1961-63)
  • DAVE CASPER - TE, Notre Dame (1971-73)
  • TY DETMER - QB, BYU (1988-91)
  • TOMMY KRAMER - QB, Rice (1973-76)
  • ART MONK - WR, Syracuse (1976-79)
  • GREG MYERS - DB, Colorado State (1992-95)
  • JONATHAN OGDEN - OT, UCLA (1992-95)
  • GABE RIVERA - DT, Texas Tech (1979-82)
  • MARK SIMONEAU - LB, Kansas State (1996-99)
  • SCOTT THOMAS - S, Air Force (1982-85)
  • JOHN WOOTEN* - OG, Colorado (1956-58)

* Selection from the FBS Veterans Committee

COACHES

  • PHILLIP FULMER - 152-52-0 (74.5%); Tennessee (1992-08)
  • JIMMY JOHNSON - 81-34-3 (70.0%); Oklahoma State (1979-83) and Miami (Fla.) (1984-88)
  • R.C. SLOCUM - 123-47-2 (72.1%); Texas A&M (1989-02)

“We are extremely proud to announce the 2012 College Football Hall of Fame Class,” said Manning, a 1989 College Football Hall of Famer from Ole Miss. “Each year the selection process becomes increasingly more difficult, but Gene Corrigan and the Honors Court do an amazing job of selecting a diverse group of the most amazing players and coaches in our sport’s rich history. This class is certainly no exception, and we look forward to honoring them and celebrating their achievements throughout the year ahead.”

The 2012 College Football Hall of Fame Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) Class will be inducted at the 55th NFF Annual Awards Dinner on December 4, 2012, at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City. They will be honored guests at the National Hall of Fame Salute at the Allstate Sugar Bowl in New Orleans on January 2, 2013 and officially enshrined in the summer of 2013.

Today’s announcement was made from The NASDAQ OMX MarketSite in Times Square, which has hosted the event for the past four consecutive years. XOS Digital produced the NFF web streams for the second consecutive year, and the Orange Bowl and the law firm of Troutman Sanders LLP participated as the supporting sponsors of the announcement.

2012 FOOTBALL BOWL SUBDIVISION
COLLEGE FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME CLASS NOTES

PLAYERS:

  • 11 consensus First Team All-Americans (Alexander – 2x, Armstrong, Bartkowski, Bedsole, Casper, Detmer – 2x, Kramer, Myers, Rivera, Simoneau, Thomas)
  • ONE unanimous First Team All-American (Ogden)
  • THREE multi-year First Team All-Americans (Alexander – 2x, Detmer – 2x, Myers – 2x)
  • TWO members of national championship teams (Bedsole, Casper)
  • ONE Heisman Trophy winner (Detmer)
  • THREE winners of college football major awards (Detmer – Maxwell, O’Brien; Myers – Thorpe; Ogden – Outland)
  • FIVE conference player of the year honorees (Alexander, Armstrong, Detmer, Kramer, Simoneau)
  • FIVE members of conference championship teams (Bedsole, Detmer, Myers, Ogden, Thomas)
  • TWO NFF National Scholar-Athletes (Casper, Myers)
  • TEN offensive players (Alexander, Armstrong, Bartkowski, Bedsole, Casper, Detmer, Kramer, Monk, Ogden, Wooten)
  • FOUR defensive players (Myers, Rivera, Simoneau, Thomas)
  • SEVEN first-round NFL draft selections (Alexander, Armstrong, Bartkowski – 1st overall, Kramer, Monk, Ogden, Rivera)
  • FIVE decades represented: 1950s (1) – Wooten; 1960s (1) – Bedsole; 1970s (6) – Alexander, Armstrong, Bartkowski, Casper, Kramer, Monk; 1980s (2) – Rivera, Thomas; 1990s (4) – Detmer, Myers, Ogden, Simoneau

COACHES:

  • TWO national championships (Fulmer, Johnson)
  • SIX conference championships (Fulmer – 2, Slocum – 4)
  • 33 bowl berths (Fulmer – 15, Johnson – 7, Slocum – 11)
  • 28 Top 25 finishes (Fulmer – 13, Johnson – 5, Slocum – 10)
  • 45 First Team All-Americans coached (Fulmer – 19, Johnson – 12, Slocum – 14)
  • SEVEN major award winners coached (Fulmer – John Henderson, Peyton Manning, Michael Munoz; Johnson – Bennie Blades, Russell Maryland, Vinny Testaverde; Slocum – Dat Nguyen)
  • FOUR NFF National Scholar-Athletes coached (Fulmer: Peyton Manning and Michael Munoz. Johnson: Doug Freeman. Slocum: Lance Pavlas)

CRITERIA
1. First and foremost, a player must have received First Team All-America recognition by a selector organization that is recognized by the NCAA and utilized to comprise their consensus All-America teams.

2. A player becomes eligible for consideration by the Foundation’s Honors Courts ten years after his final year of intercollegiate football played.

3. While each nominee’s football achievements in college are of prime consideration, his post football record as a citizen is also weighed. He must have proven himself worthy as a citizen, carrying the ideals of football forward into his relations with his community and fellow man. Consideration may also be given for academic honors and whether or not the candidate earned a college degree.

4. Players must have played their last year of intercollegiate football within the last 50 years*. For example, to be eligible for the 2012 ballot, the player must have played his last year in 1962 or thereafter. In addition, players who are playing professionally and coaches who are coaching on the professional level are not eligible until after they retire.

5. A coach becomes eligible three years after retirement or immediately following retirement provided he is at least 70 years of age. Active coaches become eligible at 75 years of age. He must have been a head coach for a minimum of 10 years and coached at least 100 games with a .600 winning percentage*.

* Players that do not comply with the 50-year rule may still be eligible for consideration by the Football Bowl Subdivision and Divisional Honors Review Committees, which examine unique cases. 

COLLEGE FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME FACTS

  • Including the 2012 FBS class, only 914 players and 197 coaches, have been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame from the nearly 4.86 million who have played or coached the game over the past 143 years. In other words, only two one-hundredths of one percent (.0002) of the individuals who have played the game have been deemed worthy of this distinction.
  • Founded in 1947, The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame inducted its first class of inductees in 1951. The first class included 32 players and 19 coaches, including Illinois’ Red Grange, Notre Dame’s Knute Rockne, Amos Alonzo Stagg and Carlisle’s Jim Thorpe.
  • 288 schools are represented with at least one College Football Hall of Famer.
  • Induction for this class of Hall of Famers will take place December 4, 2012 at the 55th NFF Annual Awards Dinner in New York City’s historic Waldorf=Astoria.

CHARLES ALEXANDER
Louisiana State University
Tailback, 1975-78

One of the truly great runners of his era, Charles Alexander dominated the Southeastern Conference in the late 1970′s. He becomes the eighth Tiger to enter the College Football Hall of Fame and third running back in the last five years, following Billy Cannon in 2008 and Jerry Stovall in 2010.

Nicknamed “Alexander the Great”, he left Baton Rouge as the most accomplished rusher in SEC history, holding the league’s career records for rushing attempts, yards and touchdowns. He became the first back in SEC history to break the 4,000-yard barrier and record 40 rushing touchdowns. Alexander earned consensus All-America honors and was named team MVP in 1977 by setting school and league records with 311 attempts for 1,686 yards and 17 touchdowns. His carries and yards marks remain single-season records at LSU. Alexander followed that up by again receiving consensus All-America accolades in 1978 by rushing 281 times for 1,172 yards and 14 touchdowns. His stellar efforts as a junior and senior helped lead the Tigers to back-to-back bowl games, rushing for a combined 330 yards in the 1977 Sun Bowl and the 1978 Liberty Bowl.

The Missouri City, Texas, native was chosen in the first round of the 1979 NFL Draft by the Cincinnati Bengals. He amassed 2,645 rushing yards and 1,130 receiving yards during seven seasons in Cincinnati, helping the Bengals reach Super Bowl XVI.

A former member of the Tiger Athletic Foundation Board of Directors, Alexander worked with the Louisiana State Youth Opportunities Unlimited. He also regularly volunteered with the United Way in Cincinnati, Ohio, as a member of the Bengals. He was named to the LSU Modern Day Team of the Century and is also a member of the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame, the 75th Anniversary All-Sun Bowl Team and the Houston Area All-1970′s Team.

OTIS ARMSTRONG
Purdue University
Halfback, 1970-72

One of the top runners of his era, Otis Armstrong left school owning Big Ten MVP honors, First Team All-Conference accolades and the league’s all-time rushing record. He becomes the sixth Boilermaker to enter the College Football Hall of Fame.

The eighth-place finisher in 1972 Heisman Trophy voting and a consensus All-American, Armstrong’s 3,315 career rushing yards set school and conference records and placed him sixth in NCAA history at career’s end. Armstrong’s senior campaign in 1972 remains the best in Purdue history. He earned the Swede Nelson Award for great sportsmanship and team MVP honors by rushing 243 times for 1,361 yards, accumulating 1,868 all-purpose yards (all of which set single-season school records at the time). Armstrong led the Big Ten in rushing that season, and his 276-yard effort versus Indiana remains a school best. His 670 career carries remain a school record.

A first round selection by the Denver Broncos in the 1973 NFL Draft, Armstrong played eight seasons with Denver. He led the NFL in rushing in 1974, earning First Team All-Pro honors and appearing in his first of two Pro Bowls. The Englewood, Colo., native helped the Broncos appear in Super Bowl XII. Armstrong is an active church member, and he frequently helps young children stay out of trouble by teaching football skills. He was inducted into the Purdue Athletic Hall of Fame in 1997.

STEVE BARTKOWSKI
University of California
Quarterback, 1972-74

Another legend in a long line of prolific Pac-12 passers, Steve Bartkowski becomes the 16th California Golden Bear to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

Bartkowski earned consensus All-America honors by leading the nation in passing with 2,580 yards in 1974. The gunslinger also set school single-season records during his senior campaign by attempting 325 passes and accumulating 2,387 yards of total offense. He was universally named the best quarterback in the West following his senior year after being named team MVP, First Team All-Pac-10, an All-Coast Team selection and the NorCal Player of the Year. His four 300-yard passing games set a school record and still rank among the top five in Golden Bears history.

The first pick of the 1975 NFL Draft, Bartkowski played 11 seasons with the Atlanta Falcons and one year with the Los Angeles Rams. He was named the 1975 NFL Rookie of the Year, appeared in two Pro Bowls and compiled 24,124 career passing yards.

In addition to his football exploits, Bartkowski was an All-American first baseman for the Golden Bears baseball team in 1973. He became a member of the California Sports Hall of Fame in 1990. Bartkowski also hosted the outdoors shows Backroad Adventures with Steve Bartkowski on TNN and Suzuki’s Great Outdoors with Steve Bartkowski on ESPN. The Atlanta native serves on the board of directors for multiple organizations and is a member of the Christian Sportsmen Fellowship.

HAL BEDSOLE
University of Southern California
Split End, 1961-63

Ahead of his time as a long, big-play threat, Hal Bedsole helped College Football Hall of Fame coach John McKay and USC win the 1962 national championship. He becomes the 30th Trojan to enter the College Football Hall of Fame.

Bedsole set school single-season receiving records during his consensus All-America 1962 campaign, corralling 33 passes for 827 yards and 11 touchdowns. He became the first player in USC history to top 200 receiving yards in a single game on Oct. 20, 1962 in a win over California. He capped the record-setting year with a huge game in the 1963 Rose Bowl, leading top-ranked USC over No. 2 Wisconsin with two touchdown passes in a 42-37 Trojans victory. The two-time All-Pac-8 honoree led the Men of Troy in scoring in 1961 and 1962 and set a school record by averaging 20.94 yards per reception for his career. He caught 82 passes for 1,717 yards with 20 touchdowns during his years on campus.

Drafted by the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings and the AFL’s Kansas City Chiefs in 1964, Bedsole played three seasons in Minnesota. Inducted into the USC Athletic Hall of Fame in 2001, Bedsole retired after a long career as a radio broadcast sales manager.

DAVE CASPER
University of Notre Dame
Tight End, 1971-73

Cited by College Football Hall of Fame coach Ara Parseghian as perhaps the greatest athlete he ever coached, Dave Casper earned All-America honors on the field and in the classroom. He becomes Notre Dame’s 44th player to be selected to the College Football Hall of Fame.

Serving as Notre Dame’s co-captain and offensive MVP during his senior season of 1973, Casper led the Fighting Irish to a national championship while earning consensus All-America honors. He was also named an NFF National Scholar-Athlete, a CoSIDA Academic All-American, and an NCAA postgraduate scholarship winner. Casper was a proficient tight end, catching three passes for 75 yards in No. 5 Notre Dame’s 24-23 win over No. 1 Alabama in the 1973 Sugar Bowl. A versatile asset, he also saw action at split end, as an offensive tackle and along the defensive line during his career.

Taken in the second round of the 1974 NFL Draft, he played 11 seasons for the Oakland Raiders, Houston Oilers and the Minnesota Vikings. The Alamo, Calif., resident was named a First Team All-Pro performer five times, appeared in four Pro Bowls and was chosen to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2002.

A long-time member of the NFF Chicago Metro Chapter, Casper sat on the Ronald McDonald House’s board of directors beginning in 1986. He founded the Dave Casper Celebrity Golf Tournament in 1985 to benefit the Ronald McDonald House. Casper also supports the Big Brother/Big Sister Organization and Rotary International. He received the GTE Academic Hall of Fame for Outstanding Career Achievement and Contributions to the Community award in 1993, and he was one of six people to receive an NCAA Silver Anniversary Award for living a life of distinction in 1999.

TY DETMER
Brigham Young University
Quarterback, 1988-91

With a Heisman Trophy, a Maxwell Award, two Davey O’Brien Awards and 59 NCAA records, Ty Detmer left BYU as one of the most accomplished quarterbacks in college football history. His accomplishments led him to become a College Football Hall of Fame inductee, and the sixth Cougar to enter the sport’s ultimate shrine.

Twice named a consensus All-American, Detmer won national player of the year awards from organizations such as UPI, CBS, Scripps Howard and the U.S. Sports Academy. His 15,031 career passing yards and 121 touchdowns were NCAA bests at the time, and the gunslinger still holds nine NCAA records. A three-time First Team All-WAC performer, Detmer led College Football Hall of Fame coach LaVell Edwards’ teams to three conference championships, four bowl games, three AP top 25 finishes, a 28-21 win over top-ranked and defending national champion Miami on Sept. 8, 1990 and a 37-13-2 overall record. The NCAA Today’s Top VI Award recipient still holds 10 school records, including the season and career marks for total offense, passing yards and 400-yard games.

A ninth round selection of the 1992 NFL Draft by the Green Bay Packers, Detmer played 14 seasons with the Packers, Philadelphia Eagles, San Francisco 49ers, Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions and Atlanta Falcons.

The founder of the Ty Detmer Charitable Foundation, he regularly holds the Ty Detmer Youth Football League in Grants, N.M. He remains involved in the Davey O’Brien Foundation and the Children’s Miracle Network, and he makes yearly appearances at numerous fundraising events for youth organizations. A 2000 inductee of the BYU Athletics Hall of Fame, Detmer is currently the head coach at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School in Austin, Texas.

TOMMY KRAMER
Rice University
Quarterback, 1973-76

One of only two quarterbacks in college football history to earn consensus All-America honors for a sub-.500 team since 1970, Tommy Kramer proved his worth by finishing fifth in Heisman Trophy voting in 1976. Kramer becomes the sixth Owl to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

A consensus All-American in 1976, Kramer led the nation with 3,317 passing yards and 3,272 yards of total offense. Both marks ranked second in NCAA single-season history at the time. The 1976 Southwest Conference Player of the Year became the first player in league history to top 3,000 yards of total offense in a single season while also recording four of the top eight passing performances in SWC history. The San Antonio native held every career and single-season school record for passing and total offense for more than 30 years, and he led the Owls in passing all four years on campus.

Chosen by the Minnesota Vikings in the first round of the 1977 NFL Draft, Kramer compiled nearly 25,000 career passing and 159 touchdowns yards during 14 NFL seasons. He was named the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year and earned his only Pro Bowl berth during the 1986 campaign.

Kramer was chosen to the Rice Athletics Hall of Fame and also the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in 2009. He earned the nickname “Two-Minute Tommy” for executing multiple late-game comebacks. A Kiwanis Club member, Kramer is still active with the Rice football program, returning to campus annually for the Huddle Up football reunion and serving as the Owls’ honorary captain on numerous occasions.

ART MONK
Syracuse University
Wide Receiver, 1976-79

The winner of the Lambert Trophy as the top college football player in the Eastern U.S. in both his freshman and senior seasons, Art Monk became the mark of consistency during his remarkable career with the Orange, earning First Team All-America honors in 1979. Monk is the ninth Syracuse player to enter the College Football Hall of Fame.

As a senior in 1979, Monk hauled in 40 receptions for 716 yards (17.9 yards per reception) with three touchdowns. He set a school record in 1977 for most receptions and receiving yards by a sophomore, catching 41 passes for 590 yards and four scores. With 1,644 career receiving yards in 35 games, Monk set a school record with a 47-receiving yards per game average. He also recorded the greatest game by a receiver in Syracuse history on Nov. 5, 1977 against Navy, catching 14 passes for 188 yards and two touchdowns. A versatile playmaker who entered college as a running back, he posted 31 kickoff returns for 675 yards and 44 punt returns for 430 yards. Monk ranks sixth in school history with 3,899 career all-purpose yards. The last player to lead Syracuse in receiving for three consecutive seasons, Monk led Syracuse to its first bowl victory in 13 years with a 31-7 win over McNeese State in the 1979 Independence Bowl.

Chosen in the first round of the 1980 NFL Draft, Monk played for the Washington Redskins from 1980-93 and the New York Jets in 1994. He set an all-time single-season receiving mark in 1984 by catching 106 passes. Monk broke Steve Largent’s all-time career receiving record with 819 career receptions, and he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2008.

An active member of the NFF Central New York Chapter, Monk sits on the board of trustees at Syracuse. The co-founder of the Good Samaritan Foundation, he has worked with the Leukemia Society, Project Harvest and I Have a Dream.

GREG MYERS
Colorado State University
Defensive Back, 1992-95

The personification of “student-athlete” and the winner of the 1995 Thorpe Award, Greg Myers claimed as many decorations off the field as he did for his stellar on-field performance. Myers becomes the second Ram to enter the College Football Hall of Fame, following 1981 inductee Thurman McGraw.

The first player in WAC history to earn All-WAC honors four times, Myers holds the league record with seven all-conference selections, four as a defensive back and three as a return specialist. A two-time First Team All-American, Myers led the NCAA with 555 punt return yards and three punt return touchdowns. He also set the WAC record with 1,332 career punt return yards, and he posted Colorado State records with three punt return scores and a 15.9-yard average. As a defensive back, he totaled 295 tackles and 15 interceptions. Myers helped guide the Rams to back-to-back WAC titles and Holiday Bowl berths.

A 1995 NFF National Scholar-Athlete, he was also named the Honda Scholar-Athlete of the Year that fall. Myers was named a two-time Academic All-American and a four-time Academic All-WAC honoree. The 1996 Nye Trophy recipient as CSU’s most outstanding male athlete in academics, he was named to the NCAA Today’s Top VIII. He earned a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences in 1996 and a M.D. from the University of Colorado in 2006.

A fifth round pick in the 1996 NFL Draft, Myers played five seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals and Dallas Cowboys. A 2001 Colorado State University Sports Hall of Fame inductee and a 2012 Colorado Sports Hall of Fame member, Myers has sponsored the Greg Myers Scholarship Golf Tournament to raise money for student-athletes. He has worked with Shriners Hospitals; made numerous appearances at inner-city schools; and participated in Doug Pelfrey’s Kicks for Kids. He is a member of the Groupsmart Community Outreach Program.

JONATHAN OGDEN
University of California – Los Angeles
Offensive Tackle, 1992-95

A unanimous All-American and the winner of the Outland Trophy in 1995, Jonathan Ogden was a cornerstone left tackle all four years he spent as a Bruin. He becomes the 11th UCLA player to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

Ogden won the Morris Trophy as the Pac-10′s top offensive lineman, the UPI Lineman of the Year award and shared the Henry “Red” Sanders Award as the Bruins’ most valuable player as a senior in 1995. The four-year starter allowed just one sack as a senior.

Ogden experienced success early during his years in Westwood, earning the John Boncheff, Jr. Memorial Award as UCLA’s top freshman and a Freshman All-America nod from The Sporting News. Playing for College Football Hall of Fame coach Terry Donahue, he also helped the Bruins win the Pac-10 title in 1993. Ogden’s No. 79 jersey is one of eight to be retired by UCLA. A two-sport athlete, he earned two top-five finishes in shot-put at the NCAA Indoor Championships and also placed fourth in shot-put at the 1995 NCAA Outdoor Championships.

The fourth overall pick in the 1996 NFL Draft, Ogden played 12 seasons for the Baltimore Ravens. He started 176-of-177 games; earned First Team All-Pro honors four times; and appeared in 11 Pro Bowls. Ogden helped the Ravens win Super Bowl XXXV.

He founded the Jonathan Ogden Foundation, which aims to assist inner-city students through athletics, and the foundation supported the NFF’s Play It Smart program at Patterson HS in Baltimore for many years. The Henderson, Nev., resident also established the Ogden Club, which hires tutors to work with Baltimore City high schools, and in turn enlists high school athletes to tutor at local elementary schools. Ogden stages the Jonathan Ogden Foundation Celebrity Golf Tournament, benefitting youths in Las Vegas and Baltimore.

GABE RIVERA
Texas Tech University
Defensive Tackle, 1979-82

The most accomplished defensive lineman in Texas Tech history, Gabe Rivera was a consensus All-American as a senior in 1982. He becomes the fourth Red Raider to enter the College Football Hall of Fame.

Carrying the nickname “Señor Sack”, Rivera averaged 80 tackles per season from his defensive tackle spot. He compiled 62 solo tackles, 43 assists, 10 TFL, five sacks, 25 quarterback pressures and eight pass breakups during his All-America campaign in 1982. He was named an Honorable Mention All-American in 1980 and 1981, and earned First Team All-Southwest Conference honors in 1982 and Second Team All-SWC accolades in 1981.

Chosen with the 21st overall pick in the 1983 NFL Draft, Rivera played six games for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Rivera had his career cut short when he was left a paraplegic by injuries suffered in a car accident midway through his rookie season.

Rivera was inducted into the San Antonio Sports Hall of Fame in 2005. He is also a member of the Texas Tech Hall of Honor. He has volunteered as a tutor with Inner City Development in San Antonio, and he has worked with Gridiron Heroes, a nonprofit that aids high school football players that have suffered spinal cord injuries.

MARK SIMONEAU
Kansas State University
Linebacker, 1996-99

A two-time All-American, Mark Simoneau stands as possibly the greatest defender in Kansas State history. He becomes the second Wildcat to enter the game’s ultimate shrine following Gary Spani a decade earlier.

A three-time team captain, Simoneau holds a school record with 251 career unassisted tackles, ranks third in school history with 400 total tackles, 52 TFL and eight forced fumbles. The 1999 Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year also notched 15.5 sacks and seven fumble recoveries. A 1999 Butkus Award runner-up and a three-time First Team All-Big 12 selection, he led Kansas State to one of the greatest stretches in school history. With Simoneau on the roster, the Wildcats earned a 42-7 record, a 28-4 record in Big 12 play, a claim to two Big 12 North titles, three AP top 10 finishes, the first No. 1 ranking in school history, and wins in the 1997 Fiesta Bowl and the 1999 Holiday Bowl.

Drafted in the third round of the 2000 NFL Draft, Simoneau played 11 seasons for the Atlanta Falcons, Philadelphia Eagles, New Orleans Saints and Kansas City Chiefs. He recorded 370 total tackles in 124 career NFL games.

Simoneau has participated in service events with local children’s hospitals, retirement homes and the United Way of New Orleans. Simoneau’s high school was the center piece of the book Our Boys: A Perfect Season on the Plains with the Smith Center Redmen by Joe Drape.

SCOTT THOMAS
United States Air Force Academy
Safety, 1982-85

A driving force in one of the most successful four-year runs in the history of Air Force football, Scott Thomas earned consensus All-America honors his senior year in 1985. He becomes the third Falcon player to enter the College Football Hall of Fame.

Playing for 2011 Hall of Fame coach Fisher DeBerry, Thomas notched 221 career tackles with four TFL, 10 interceptions, 22 pass breakups while averaging 28.8 yards per kickoff return. He returned a punt, kickoff and interception for a touchdown during his 1985 All-America campaign. A two-time All-WAC honoree, Thomas led the Falcons to the first conference title in program history with a 12-1 record and No. 5 final ranking in 1985. He also guided Air Force to a 38-12 overall record, four consecutive bowl wins, four wins over Notre Dame, the first top 10 finish in academy history and three Commander-in-Chief’s Trophies with a 7-1 record against storied rivals Army and Navy.

Thomas also was a four-year letterman for the Air Force basketball team, and he logged more than 4,100 hours of military flight time. He gained national attention during the first Gulf War after his plane went down over enemy territory in 1991. Thomas currently serves as a lieutenant colonel in the Air Force reserves while working as a commercial pilot.

A regular keynote speaker for nonprofit organizations, he volunteers with Young Life youth ministries and as a little league coach. He is also a Kiwanis Club member. Thomas served as the guest picker during ESPN’s College GameDay visit for the Army game on Nov. 7, 2009. Thomas is a 2011 United States Air Force Academy Athletic Hall of Fame inductee.

JOHN WOOTEN
University of Colorado
Offensive Guard, 1956-58

Described as a “quick, agile tackle who provided bone-crunching lead blocks” by Colorado historian Fred Casotti, John Wooten blazed a path for others to follow, becoming one of the first African-Americans to earn All-America honors as a lineman. The 1958 All-American will join five other Buffalo players as College Football Hall of Fame inductees.

Wooten paved the way for one of the most powerful rushing attacks in college football, driving the Buffaloes to rank 12th nationally in 1956 with 252.1 yards per game, first in 1957 with 322.4 yards per outing and fifth in 1958 with 249.5 yards per game. In 1957, Colorado finished second in the country with 415.2 yards of total offense per game, and running back Bob Stransky ranked second nationally with 1,097 rushing yards. The 1957 All-Big 7 performer also saw action on the defensive line where he recorded half a dozen fumble recoveries. Wooten aided Colorado to a 20-9-2 overall record with a 27-21 victory over Clemson in the 1957 Orange Bowl.

Chosen in the fifth round of the 1959 NFL Draft, Wooten played 10 seasons in the NFL with the Cleveland Browns and Washington Redskins, appearing in 136 games. A two-time All-Pro, he participated in two Pro Bowls. He is a 2010 inductee to the Cleveland Browns Ring of Honor.

After retiring from football, Wooten had a long administrative career with the Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles and Baltimore Ravens before retiring in 1998. He was named to Colorado’s All-Century Team in 1989, the Texas Black Sports Hall of Fame in 2002 and the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame in 2004. Wooten serves as the chairman of the Fritz Pollard Alliance Foundation, which works to promote diversity in NFL coaching, front office and scouting staffs.

PHILLIP FULMER
University of Tennessee
Head Coach, 152-52-0 (74.5%)

Tennessee’s head coach from 1992-2008, Phillip Fulmer led the Volunteers to the school’s sixth national championship in 1998. Under Fulmer’s leadership, Tennessee finished in the AP top 25 in 13-of-17 seasons and appeared in 15 bowl games.

The 1998 National Coach of the Year achieved 137 wins in his first 15 campaigns, tying for the fourth-most in a 15-year span in college football history. Fulmer owned two SEC championships, a piece of seven SEC East Division titles, an impressive 5-0 record when playing the nation’s No. 1-ranked team, an 88-19 home record and nine 10-win seasons. He trails only College Football Hall of Fame coach Gen. Robert Neyland on Tennessee’s all-time wins list. Fulmer’s teams appeared in two BCS games, winning the first national title in the system’s history with a victory over Florida State in the 1999 Fiesta Bowl.

Fulmer coached two William V. Campbell Trophy winners in Peyton Manning and Michael Munoz. Nineteen players earned First Team All-America honors under Fulmer, and 70 Volunteers were named First Team All-SEC during his tenure. He also coached nine 1,000-yard rushers and six 1,000-yard receivers.

A co-captain of the 1971 Volunteers football team, Fulmer is the national spokesperson for the Jason Foundation, an educational organization aimed at preventing teenage suicide. A member of the board of directors for Alzheimer’s Tennessee, Inc., he is active with Boys and Girls Club, Team Focus, and Child and Family Services. The 2003 American Football Coaches Association president, Fulmer is the co-chair for the Ride for Prostate Cancer event and the vice-chair for Boy Scouts of America. He contributed $1 million to the University of Tennessee to be split evenly between athletics and academics. Fulmer was inducted to the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame in 2001 and the Knoxville Sports Hall of Fame in 2008.

JIMMY JOHNSON
Oklahoma State University, University of Miami
Head Coach, 81-34-3 (70.0%)

The Oklahoma State head coach from 1979-83 and Miami head coach from 1984-88, Jimmy Johnson continuously led his teams to victory, earning numerous coaching honors along the way and the national title with the Hurricanes in 1987, capped by a 20-14 victory over Oklahoma in the 1988 Orange Bowl.

Johnson began his head coaching career in Stillwater, Okla., leading the Cowboys to a 29-25-3 mark. He won Big 8 Coach of the Year honors his first year after taking Oklahoma State to a 7-4 record. Under Johnson, the Cowboys won the 1981 Independence Bowl and the 1983 Bluebonnet Bowl. He coached 15 First Team All-Big 8 performers during his five seasons with the Pokes.

At Miami, Johnson enjoyed a 52-9 mark in five seasons with five New Year’s Day bowl appearances. During his final four seasons in Miami, he posted a remarkable 44-4 record, including four top 10 finishes and two national title appearances. He earned two National Coach of the Year distinctions while coaching 12 First Team All-Americans. Johnson’s star pupils included future College Football Hall of Famers Bennie Blades and Russell Maryland as well as the school’s first Heisman Trophy winner in Vinny Testaverde. Johnson’s tenure was the genesis of an NCAA-record 58 home-game winning streak, which lasted from 1985-94.

A member of Arkansas’ 1964 national championship team, Johnson became the only person to win a college national championship as a player and coach and lead a team to a Super Bowl victory when he guided the Dallas Cowboys to victories in back-to-back Super Bowl victories following the 1992 and 1993 seasons. In the NFL, he held the Cowboys head coaching job from 1989-93 and with the Miami Dolphins from 1996-99.

A member of the University of Arkansas, University of Miami, State of Texas and State of Florida Sports Halls of Fame, Johnson supports charities such as The Children’s Health Fund, Malaria No More, City of Hope, and St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. Johnson, who works as an NFL analyst on FOX, has donated his time visiting troops overseas and hosting a fundraiser for the Gridiron Greats Foundation, which raises money for former NFL players in need of medical assistance.

R.C. SLOCUM
Texas A&M University
Head Coach, 123-47-2 (72.1%)

The head coach at Texas A&M from 1989-2002, R.C. Slocum is the winningest coach in Texas A&M and Southwest Conference history. A four-time national coach of the year honoree, Slocum’s Aggies experienced reigns of dominance over the SWC, including a 22-game league winning streak, a 28-0-1 conference record from 1991-94, and three SWC titles. He also led the Texas A&M to one of the school’s landmark victories on Dec. 5, 1998, with a 36-33 double-overtime upset of Kansas State, which gave the Aggies their only Big 12 championship and only win over a No. 1-ranked team.

Slocum led the Aggies to 11 bowl games in 14 seasons, five New Year’s Day bowl appearances and 10 AP top 25 finishes. He retired as college football’s sixth-winningest active coach. Under Slocum’s leadership, 14 players earned First Team All-America status. Linebacker Dat Nguyen submitted one of the finest seasons in school history in 1998, winning the Bednarik and Lombardi awards.

Slocum, a standout receiver and defensive lineman for at McNeese State, holds a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree from his alma mater, and he was named a Distinguished Alumnus in 2001. He currently works as a special assistant to President R. Bowen Loftin at Texas A&M.

A Texas Sports Hall of Fame and Texas A&M University Athletics Hall of Fame member, Slocum served as the chairman of the Children’s Miracle Network in Central Texas as well as the Cattle Baron’s Association, which raises scholarship money for young people in ranching. He is active with Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the Scotty’s House home for abused children. A former AFCA Board of Trustees member, he served as grand marshal at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Parade. 

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Loyola opens NCAA Tournament with visit from Canisius Saturday

Posted on 11 May 2012 by WNST Staff

Opponent Canisius Golden Griffins
Date Saturday, May 12, 2012
Time 5:00 p.m.
Location Baltimore, Md. | Ridley Athletic Complex
TV | Radio ESPNU | ESPN3
Series Record First Meeting
Last Meeting First Meeting

Game Data

Loyola University Maryland will host a NCAA Championships First Round game on Saturday, May 12, 2012, as the top seed in the 2012 Championships. The Greyhounds welcome Canisius College to Ridley Athletic Complex for a 5 o’clock game.

The winner of the Loyola-Canisius game will meet the winner of North Carolina and Denver on Saturday, May 19, 2012, in Annapolis, Md.

On The Tube And Web

The game will be broadcast live on ESPNU with Mike Corey and Mark Dixon calling the action.

The action can also be seen worldwide on ESPN3, the broadband arm of the ESPN.

Series History

Loyola and Canisius will meet for the first time in men’s lacrosse when they take the field on Saturday, however, the schools are very familiar with one another.

Canisius hails from the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, which is the primary conference for Loyola’s athletic teams other than men’s and women’s lacrosse.

NCAA Championships History

Loyola is making its 20th all-time appearance in the NCAA Championships, 18th at the Division I level. The Greyhounds are 8-19 all-time, 8-17 in Division I Championships games.

The Greyhounds’ last appearance in the Championships came in 2010 when they lost, 11-10, in triple overtime at Cornell.

Loyola last hosted an NCAA game in 2000 when Notre Dame defeated the Greyhounds, 15-12, on what was then known as Curley Field (now Diane Geppi-Aikens Field). Loyola’s last playoff win was a 12-11 triumph over Georgetown in 1998 that sent the team to the Final Four where it eventually bowed out to Maryland.

Top Spot

Loyola enters the NCAA Championships as the No. 1 seed for the third time in school history. The Greyhounds were also the top seed in 1998 when they defeated Georgetown, 12-11, in the Quarterfinals to move on to the Final Four for the second time in school history. There, the Greyhounds lost, 19-8, to Maryland. They were then the No. 1 seed in 1999 when they fell in the Quarterfinals to Syracuse, 17-12.

School Record In Wins

Loyola’s victory over Fairfield in the ECAC Championship Game was its 14th of the season, setting a school record for victories in a year. The Greyhounds eclipsed the previous best of 13 that the 1998 squad achieved with a 13-2 record.

This is Loyola’s 15th season all-time with 10 or more wins with 12 coming since the Greyhounds joined Division I in 1982.

In The Polls

Loyola moved up to No. 2 in both the USILA Coaches and Inside Lacrosse Media Polls following their ECAC Championship. The Greyhounds were ranked No. 1 for two weeks before losing their only game of the season on April 28 to Johns Hopkins.

The Greyhounds finished the regular-season with the No. 1 RPI in the NCAA, as well.

Canisius is not ranked in the media version and receiving votes in the coaches poll.

The Hardware Department

In the span of seven days, three teams in Loyola’s Department of Athletics advanced to their respective NCAA Championships by winning titles in three different conferences.

The men’s golf team started the trend with its fifth-straight Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference crown on April 29, and the men’s lacrosse team followed by taking the ECAC title on May 4. The women’s lacrosse team completed the trifecta on May 5 when it defeated then-No. 2 Syracuse to win its second-straight BIG EAST Championship.

Balanced Scoring In ECAC Championships

Loyola traveled to Denver for the 2012 ECAC Lacrosse League Championships and left the Mile-High City with a 97-pound trophy (no, really). The Greyhounds, who earned the No. 1 seed in the tournament and finished the regular-season 6-0 in the league, beat host and No. 4 seed Denver, 14-13, in overtime to advance to the final. There, Loyola topped Fairfield, 14-7.

Fifteen different Greyhounds scored goals in the two games with 11 tallying goals in the semifinal and 10 in the title game. Mike Sawyer led the team with four goals in the two games, a trio coming in the final, while Eric Lusby, Chris Layne and Scott Ratliff each had three.

Justin Ward led the Greyhounds with eight total points, dishing out three assists in the semifinal and three along with two goals in the championship.

Two players scored their first collegiate goals in the games, one in each contest. Kevin Ryan tallied a first-quarter goal on a man-up possession against Denver, and Brian Schultz recorded his first in the fourth quarter versus Fairfield.

A Lot Of Everything

The adage that a player does a little bit of everything does not necessarily apply to long-stick midfielder Scott Ratliff. The Loyola junior does a lot, as he leads the team in ground balls (68) and caused turnovers (32), is tied for sixth in goals (9) and is seventh in assists (7).

A Tewaaraton Award semifinalist, Ratliff was named the Most Outstanding Player of the ECAC Championships after scoring three goals, one a game-winner, and recording two assists and 16 ground balls.

He had two goals, including the winner just eight seconds into overtime, and an assist versus Denver while picking up a career-high nine ground balls.

From Way Downtown

Reid Acton created his own SportsCenter highlight in the ECAC Championship Game, earning Friday night’s Top Play on ESPN. After goalkeeper Jack Runkel made a save on Fairfield’s Marshall Johnson with less than 10 seconds to play.

Runkel passed it to Acton on his right side, Acton took a step forward and launched the ball 75 yards to the other side of the field. It settled over the stick of Stags goalkeeper Charlie Cipriano to put the Greyhounds up 5-3 with one tick left on the first-quarter clock.

Acton’s goal started a 8-1 Loyola run that spanned three quarters and put the game out of reach. The goal was the second of Acton’s career – he also scored against Mount St. Mary’s last season – and Runkel was credited with his first career assist.

50 Points, 40 Goals

Mike Sawyer scored four goals on April 21 at Hobart to reach the 40-goal mark in 13 games, and he current sits at 45 after tallying his 10th hat trick of the season in the ECAC Championship Game against Fairfield. Against Hobart, he became the first Loyola player to reach 40 goals in a season since Tim Goettelmann and Gavin Prout scored 50 and 41, respectively, in 2000.

His one goal in the ECAC Semifinal versus Denver pushed his season point total to 50, a number that is now at 53, making him the first Greyhound to reach 50 in a season since Prout had 58 (37 g, 21a) in 2001. It is the fourth time this century that a Loyola player has scored 50 or more points in a season. Goettelmann (65) and Prout (53) both reached the mark in 2000, and Prout did it again the following season. With his next point, Sawyer’s teammate Eric Lusby will record his 50th of the season.

In addition to being just the third Loyola player to score 40-plus this century, Sawyer is the seventh Greyhound to reach the mark since Loyola moved to NCAA Division I status in 1982.

Sawyer, Lusby Form Rare Tandem

Graduate student Eric Lusby and junior Mike Sawyer have formed the top attack tandem in the ECAC Lacrosse League this year and one of the most balanced in the nation. The duo has combined for 82 goals in 15 games this season, an average of 5.5 per game.

Sawyer has scored 45 goals, and his 3.0 goals per game average is third-best in Division I. Lusby, meanwhile is right behind with 37 goals and a 2.47 goals per game mark, a number that is tied for 16th in the country. Loyola is one of two schools to have two players in the top 16 of goals per game nationally.

The Greyhounds have not had two players score 37 or more goals in the same season since 2000 when Tim Goettelmann set the school single-season record with 50, and Gavin Prout tallied 41. As a side note, the Goettelmann-Prout duo has gone on to highly successful professional careers. Goettelman recently retired from Major League Lacrosse as the league’s all-time leading scorer with 268 goals in 11 seasons. Prout has been an MLL Champion and has scored 314 National Lacrosse League goals to go with 625 assists as a multiple-time all-star.

With Lusby’s next point, the duo will also be the first tandem to score 50 or more points in a season since Goettelmann and Prout in 2000.

Ratliff’s Scoring

Scott Ratliff had his second multi-goal game of the season in the ECAC Semifinal Game against Denver, and he tallied a goal and an assist in the title game, raising his season totals to nine goals and seven assists.

With his second-quarter assist against Fairfield, he tied the Loyola single-season record for long-pole scoring, matching the record of 16 points set by current assistant coach Matt Dwan his senior season in 1995 when he tallied 11 goals and five assists and earned All-America honors.

Ratliff, a Tewaaraton Award semifinalist along with teammate Mike Sawyer, is second nationally this season in goals and points by a long pole, and his seven assists are tops in the country. Bryant’s Mason Poli leads all long poles this year with 19 goals and 24 points.

Spreading Out The Scoring Wealth

Loyola’s first 11 goals on Wednesday night were scored by 11 different players. Eric Lusby, Phil Dobson and Scott Ratliff finished the game with two goals, and eight others had one.

All three members of the Greyhounds’ first midfield – Davis Butts, Chris Layne and Sean O’Sullivan – scored goals. They received four goals from the four players who make up the second midfield line – Dobson (2), Pat Byrnes and Nikko Pontrello (J.P. Dalton did not score). Extra-man attackman Kevin Ryan scored, and two of the team’s three attackmen – Mike Sawyer and Lusby (2) – recorded goals. Ratliff scored twice in transition, and short-stick defensive midfielder Josh Hawkins added one. The Greyhounds’ other attack player, Justin Ward, did not score but had a game-high three assists.

In the title game, 10 different players scored for Loyola with all three attackers scoring and two of three from the first midfield like tallying goals.

Scoring From Different Places

Kevin Ryan scored his first career goal on Wednesday night, taking a Justin Ward pass form behind the crease and one-timing a shot into the net. Ryan did not play as a freshman in 2011 but has seen action in 12 games this year from the midfield and on extra-man possessions.

Nikko Pontrello added his third goal of the season and second versus the Pioneers. He also had the game-tying goal in the third quarter of the regular-season match-up that started Loyola’s 5-1 run to close the victory.

Phil Dobson recorded his second career multi-goal game, both coming against top-flight competition. He recorded a pair earlier this season against ACC Champ Duke.

Josh Hawkins added a man-up goal after Mike Sawyer caused a turnover and Justin Ward picked up the ground ball and fed Hawkins. The goal was Hawkins’ fifth of the year, and he also had his first assist of the season on a first-quarter Scott Ratliff goal.

Twelve In A Row Ties Mark

Loyola’s 12-straight to start the season tied the school record for consecutive victories, matching the number put up by the 1998 (March 14-May 17) and 1999 (March 6-May 8).

It also matched the best start to a season, equaling the 1999 team that finished the regular-season unblemished at 12-0.

Back-To-Back OTs

It took Loyola 30 years of NCAA Division I play (the Greyhounds moved into the division in 1982) to play back-to-back overtime games, but now it has experienced the pleasure twice in two years.

Last year, Loyola defeated Fairfield, 7-6, in overtime on April 9, and it then won 6-5 in four extra periods at Georgetown on April 17, marking the first time it had played back-to-back overtime games since joining Division I.

The Greyhounds have now played two-straight overtime games, losing on April 28 at home to Johns Hopkins and defeating Denver five days later.

Ratliff Named ECAC Defender Of The Year

Junior long-stick midfielder Scott Ratliff was named the ECAC Defensive Player of the Year on Monday, marking the second time in four years a Greyhounds’ long pole has received the award. P.T. Ricci earned the honor in 2009, as well.

Ratliff leads the ECAC with 32 caused turnovers (2.13 per game) and is eighth nationally in that category, and he is tops on the Greyhounds with 68 ground balls (4.5 per contest).

The native of Marietta, Ga., also has scored nine goals and has seven assists this year, keying the Greyhounds’ transition game on many occasions. He earned ECAC Co-Specialist of the Week twice during the year and was the Defensive Player of the Week early in the season.

Toomey Tabbed ECAC Coach Of The Year

Loyola Head Coach Charley Toomey was named the ECAC Coach of the Year for the third time in his seven-year career. This season, Toomey guided the Greyhounds to a 14-1 mark during the regular-season and the ECAC regular-season crown with a 6-0 mark in conference play.

The Greyhounds became the second team in USILA Coaches Poll history to start a season unranked and ascend to the No. 1 spot in the rankings. The only other team was Duke in 2007 – a year after the Blue Devils had their season suspended in March – which accomplished the feat after being unranked in the first poll, moving to second in the next version and first in the third. Duke was knocked from its perch as No. 1 that season when it lost to the Greyhounds at the First Four in San Diego.

Earlier this season, Toomey won the 50th game of his coaching career, becoming the fourth coach in Loyola history to win 50 or more – Dave Cottle (181-70, 1983-2001), Charles Wenzel (62-104, 1954-1970), Jay Connor (61-46, 1975-1982).  Toomey’s .611 winning percentage trails only Cottle’s .721 at Loyola.

All-ECAC Honors

Five Loyola players earned All-ECAC Lacrosse League honors form the conference’s coaches last Monday. Long-stick midfielder Scott Ratliff earned a spot as a defender on the First Team, where he was joined by Mike Sawyer on attack and Davis Butts in the midfield.

Sawyer led the ECAC during the regular-season, and is now third nationally, in goals (45) and goals per game (3.0). Butts has scored 16 goals and assisted on 12 from the Greyhounds first midfield line while also regularly playing a role on the wings during face-offs with 36 ground balls.

Attack Eric Lusby and defender Joe Fletcher were tabbed to the All-ECAC Second Team. Lusby is second on the team and is 16th nationally with 37 goals (2.47 per game), and he also has 12 assists this season. Fletcher came on as one of the top lock-down defenders around, earning Midseason All-American honors from Inside Lacrosse last month. He has 28 ground balls and 20 caused turnovers entering the NCAA Tournament.

Ratliff, Sawyer Named Tewaaraton Semifinalists

Juniors Scott Ratliff and Mike Sawyer were named to the Tewaaraton Award semifinal list as the game’s top players, making Loyola one of five schools – joining Johns Hopkins, Princeton, Massachusetts and Virginia – to have two players make the 25-man list.

Loyola is also one of six schools to have at least one male and one female semifinalist, as sophomore Marlee Paton made the women’s list from Loyola. The winners of both awards will be selected on May 31, 2012, in Washington, D.C.

Big Runs

Loyola used runs of three-plus goals at important junctures of its 15 games, helping the Greyhounds to wins each time. In all, Loyola has scored three or more in a row on 30 occasions this season.

Loyola used four three-goal runs against Duke, including one three-goal streak that put Loyola up 4-1 at the beginning of the second quarter. The Greyhounds never trailed after that initial three-goal run and extended their lead to 13-5 after its fourth three-goal spurt of the game.

The Greyhounds had their longest run in almost two years against Air Force, scoring 10 in a row to open the second half. The last time Loyola scored 10 or more in a row was on March 20, 2010, when it had 14 straight against Air Force.

At Fairfield, Loyola scored the final four goals of the game to rally from a 6-4 deficit to win 8-6. The Greyhounds then scored four in a row during the third and fourth quarters at Denver that brought them from down 8-7 to a 12-9 victory.

Versus Johns Hopkins, the Greyhounds scored four in a row, holding the Blue Jays scoreless for the last 14:13 of regulation, to tie the game at 9-9, sending it to overtime.

Loyola scored the first four goals of the ECAC Semifinal game against Denver and then tallied three-straight after the Pioneers pulled within 4-2. The Greyhounds then reeled off five in a row during the third quarter to take a 13-6 lead.

In the ECAC title game, Loyola used an 8-1 run that was comprised of runs of 3-0 and 5-0 to take control of the game.

On The Flip Side

Conversely, the Greyhounds have allowed a run of three or more goals just nine times this year, with the most recent coming when Denver scored three on two occasions. Only Denver (seven), Johns Hopkins (five), Fairfield (five), Air Force (four) have scored more than three in a row this year.

Following six of the nine opponent runs of three or more, Loyola has answered in kind with a run of 4-0 or better.

On The EMO

This season, the Greyhounds are ranked second in the nation in man-up offense, scoring 50-percent of the time. Only Lehigh (.553) has a better mark this year.

The last time Loyola finished at or above .500 in man-up offense was in 1997 when it converted 39-of-77 (.506).

Second-Half Success

The Greyhounds have now outscored opponents 55-20 in the third quarters of games and 100-54 overall this year in the second half (including overtime).

The second-half scoring continues a trend from the last two seasons. Last year, Loyola outscored opponents, 69-52, after halftime (including two overtime goals), and 77-56 two years ago.

Record At Ridley

After going 4-1 at Ridley Athletic Complex last season, the Greyhounds opened this season with six in a row at home before falling to Johns Hopkins. Loyola is now 14-4 all-time at Ridley.

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Navy associate head coach Kanaskie leaves for Va Tech staff

Posted on 10 May 2012 by WNST Staff

BLACKSBURG, Va. – Virginia Tech head men’s basketball coach James Johnson has announced the hiring of Kurt Kanaskie, Mark Byington and Ramon Williams as assistant coaches in the program.

“These three coaches will bring a lot of things to the table,” Johnson said. “They  have experience, youth, and energy. They are all very good coaches and all have been a part of some very good programs that have advanced to post-season play and competed in the NCAA Tournament. They are experienced recruiting up and down the Eastern Seaboard. We will be able to cover from New Jersey, all the way down to Florida, as well as some Midwest connections. We are excited to get going.”

Kurt Kanaskie comes to Virginia Tech after spending one season at Navy as associate head coach and eight seasons at Penn State, including two years as associate head coach. He was on the staff at Penn State with Johnson from 2003-2005. While at Penn State, Kanaskie helped the Nittany Lions to a spot in the 2011 NCAA Tournament, a 2009 NIT Championship and a berth in the 2007 NIT.

“We are very excited with the hiring of Kurt Kanaskie,” Johnson said. “He is a very experienced and knowledgable basketball coach. He is outstanding on the court, in recruiting and has a great relationship with players.”

Prior to Penn State, Kanaskie served as the head coach at Drake for seven seasons (1997-03). Before Drake, he was one of the most successful Division II head coaches in Pennsylvania, as he was the head coach at Indiana University of Pennsylvania for eight seasons. In the 1994-95 season, IUP grabbed its first national ranking in school history (No. 5), earned an NCAA Tournament bid for the first time ever and advanced to the Elite Eight. A year later, IUP earned a No. 1 national ranking and advanced to the national semifinals. Kanaskie was twice named PSAC Coach of the Year, earned NABC District Coach of the Year honors twice and was twice named the Basketball Times National Coach of the Year.

Before IUP, Kanaskie served as the head coach at Lock Haven University for three years (1986-88). His LHU team reached the NCAA Tournament a year later and earned the school’s first-ever national ranking. He was named PSAC Coach of the Year twice at LHU, giving him a total of four PSAC coaching awards.

The Mechanicsburg, Pa., native began his coaching career as an assistant coach at South Carolina for five seasons. Kanaskie was an All-State basketball player at Cumberland Valley High School and earned his Bachelor of Science degree from La Salle University in 1980 and a Master of Business Administration from South Carolina in 1985. While at La Salle, he earned All-Big Five and All-East Coast Conference honors, was an academic All-American, and left as the school’s ninth all-time leading scorer. He was drafted by the NBA’s Golden State Warriors.

Mark Byington comes to Virginia Tech from the College of Charleston. During his nine seasons in Charleston, Byington spent six seasons as Bobby Cremins’ top assistant and was the interim head coach the final month of the 2011-12 season. He was on the same Cougar staff with Johnson during the 2002-03 season.

“Mark Byington is a young, energetic and enthusiastic coach and I’m thrilled to have him join our staff,” Johnson said. “He is a local guy from Salem, Va., and knows the ACC area. He has a lot of contacts in this area of the country and is an outstanding recruiter.”

Byington was an assistant coach at Hargrave Military Academy in 2001-02. He served as the director of basketball operations at the University of Virginia during the 2004-05 season and was a graduate student manager at UVa for two seasons before that.

A 1998 graduate of UNC Wilmington, Byington earned his bachelor’s degree in physical education and was a three-year starter on the men’s basketball team earning second-team All-Colonial Athletic Association and All-CAA Defensive Team honors his senior year. A two-time CAA All-Academic selection, Byington scored more than 1,000 points during his career. He earned a master’s degree in
sports psychology from UVa in December of 2003.

Byington was a high school basketball standout at Salem High School. He was named Player of the Year in the state of Virginia as a high school senior, leading Salem to the state championship. He also earned honorable mention All-America recognition and was a two time first-team All-State selection. Following his senior season, he was chosen Most Valuable Player of the Virginia High School
League All-Star Game.

Ramon Williams, a native of Roanoke, Va., joins the staff after serving three seasons at Ohio University. During his three seasons at Ohio, the Bobcats advanced to the NCAA Tournament in 2010 and 2012. In 2012, Ohio advanced to the Sweet 16 as a No. 13 seed with victories over No. 4 seed Michigan and No. 12 seed South Florida.

“We are excited about having Ramon Williams join our staff,” Johnson said. “He is a young man who has Virginia ties and Virginia roots. He was an extremely good player at VMI and has coached with some outstanding coaches in some very good programs. He has coached at the highest level while at DePaul and did a great job with John Groce at Ohio, as they made a run to the Sweet 16. He was
an integral part of recruiting those players and with the on-the-court coaching.”

Williams came to Ohio after a four-year stint at DePaul, where he helped guide the Blue Demons through the rugged BIG EAST Conference, widely regarded as the nation’s top league. In Williams’ second year on staff, DePaul posted nine BIG EAST wins and defeated three ranked teams en route to making its deepest postseason run in 17 years, a trip to the quarterfinals of the NIT.

Before DePaul, Williams spent three years as an assistant at Richmond under Jerry Wainwright. The Spiders reached the postseason in two of Williams’ three seasons on staff, qualifying for the NIT in 2003 and capturing the program’s second-ever at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament in 2004.

A 1990 graduate of VMI with a degree in economics, Williams was a member of the men’s basketball staff at his alma mater for nine years as both an assistant and associate head coach before heading to Richmond. Williams was a two-time All-Southern Conference and SoCon All-Tournament Team selection at VMI, and finished his career as the program’s third-leading scorer with 1,630 points. He
continues to hold VMI program records for three-point field goals in a game and single-season three-point field goal percentage.

Williams and his brother, Damon, who formed one of the most prolific scoring duos in NCAA history, were both inducted into the VMI Sports Hall of Fame in September of 2001.

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Lusby, Sawyer, Etherly Honored at Loyola Awards Banquet

Posted on 01 May 2012 by WNST Staff

BALTIMORE - Loyola University Maryland graduate student Eric Lusby and senior Ana Heneberry were the 2012 recipients of the John R. Mohler and Ernest Lagna Awards, respectively, as the top male and female senior student-athletes who excel in athletics, scholarship and character.

These awards, and many others, were presented on Monday evening at the 2012 Loyola Athletic Awards Banquet held in McGuire Hall on the Evergreen Campus.

Heneberry, a four-year lacrosse letterwinner, will graduate from Loyola as one of the most decorated and accomplished student-athletes in Greyhound women’s lacrosse history. The Preseason BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year, Heneberry helped the team to its first BIG EAST conference title in 2011 and has led this year’s version to a No. 2 seed in the upcoming conference tournament. An All-BIG EAST selection as a sophomore and a junior, she also earned third-team All-America honors following last season.

Lusby returned from an injury that cost him his senior season, but came back to captain the Greyhounds as a graduate student. He has led the Greyhounds to their most successful season in more than 10 years, scoring 34 goals and notching 10 assists thus far. He was a Tewaaraton Award nominee for the nation’s top player, and his leadership, hard work and dedication helped Loyola win the ECAC regular-season title and reach as high as No. 1 in the nation.

Several other awards were handed out to Loyola senior student-athletes, beginning with the Unsung Hero Awards.

The Men’s Unsung Hero Award went to men’s basketball senior Shane Walker. Head coach Jimmy Patsos often describes Walker as a coach among student-athletes, and his skill, willingness to accept his role and desire to win were critical for his team. Walker was the fifth-leading scorer, averaging 9.0 points and 6.3 rebounds, while helping the team to its most successful season in Division I history. Walker led the Greyhounds to a 24-9 overall record, a MAAC tournament title and the team’s first NCAA appearance since 1994.

Women’s lacrosse senior Kerry Stoothoff earned the award on the women’s side after being one of the most steady and consistent performers during her four years at Loyola. Stoothoff brought a team-first attitude that has permeated her peers and helped lead the Greyhounds to the NCAA Tournament in 2011. She will leave Loyola as one of the top goalies in program history, having earned All-BIG EAST honors on multiple occasions and was named MVP of the BIG EAST Championship in 2011.

Men’s Leadership Award winner J.P. Dalton of the men’s lacrosse team was elected a team captain by his peers, and he took that responsibility and has helped mold the team in his image as hard-working and dedicated to winning. Dalton is a vocal leader on the field, but also inspires with his actions. He stepped into a major role as the main faceoff midfielder this season, winning 55.2-percent of faceoffs for the Greyhounds. Head coach Charley Toomey said that his work ethic is a model for all current and future Greyhounds.

Rachel Janasek of the women’s tennis team won the Women’s Leadership Award, instilling her passion for winning into the team. Janasek set several records at Loyola, including becoming the winningest No. 1 singles player in Greyhound history. She pursued excellence, and achieved it, in her sport as well as in the classroom.

The Men’s Medal of Merit went to lacrosse’s Dylan Grimm, who has been a multiple-year starter and also has been an All-Academic honoree for two seasons from the ECAC. He has helped the Greyhounds to a historic season and has displayed toughness and skill at his position.

Kellye Gallagher of the women’s lacrosse team earned the Women’s Medal of Merit, becoming the second-straight women’s lacrosse player to earn the distinction. Owning a GPA of just over 3.5, she helped the Greyhounds to the 2011 BIG EAST title and an appearance in the NCAA quarterfinal round. She was an all-conference first team selection in 2011 and also was named the team’s MVP this season.

Kevin Farrell was the recipient of the student service award. He was a key contributor to the men’s basketball program over his four years at Loyola as the team’s student-manager. He will graduate with a degree in business management, but as men’s basketball head coach Jimmy Patsos said, he “minored in basketball.” His efforts and organizational skills helped the Loyola men’s basketball team to its best season in school Division I history.

Women’s track & field athlete Brittany Gruber was presented with the Diane Geppi-Aikens Inspiration Award. Gruber recovered from a tragic accident in high school and has been an inspiration to the women’s track and field team in her time at Loyola. Her spirits are always up, motivating others to improve themselves and looking at all challenges in life as an opportunity.

The men’s rowing team and Head Coach Al Ramirez was tabbed for having the highest cumulative grade point average among the Greyhounds’ 18 teams.

In addition to the departmental awards, the following student athletes received awards from their respective teams:

Team Most Valuable Most Dedicated
Men’s Basketball Erik Etherly Shane Walker
Men’s Cross Country Matt Hassett DJ Puleo
Men’s Golf Jay Mulieri Andrew McGill
Men’s Lacrosse Mike Sawyer Pat Byrnes
Men’s Rowing Joe Wawrzynski Christopher Golon
Men’s Soccer Wade McHugh Kevin Curran
Men’s Swimming & Diving Brennan Morris Benjamin Duva
Men’s Tennis Kevin Zingler Keyan Sanai
Women’s Basketball Miriam McKenzie Julie Smith
Women’s Cross Country Gabrielle Cocco Stephanie Gibney
Women’s Lacrosse Kellye Gallagher Ana Heneberry
Women’s Rowing Catriona Miller Julianne Roccuzzo
Women’s Soccer Nichole Schiro Joie McLaughlin
Women’s Swimming & Diving Caitlin Cronin Mary Henkels
Women’s Tennis Rachel Janasek Judy Lite
Women’s Indoor Track & Field Samantha Westley Brittany Gruber
Women’s Outdoor Track & Field Jackie D’Antonio Emily Doucette
Women’s Volleyball Jac Bullock Elena Frac
Cheerleading Bridget Ehmann Brianna Jedlicka

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Loyola LSM Ratliff, Coach Toomey pick up top ECAC honors

Posted on 30 April 2012 by WNST Staff

Ratliff Earns Top ECAC Defensive Honor; Toomey Coach of the Year

CENTERVILLE, Mass. – Loyola University Maryland long-stick midfielder Scott Ratliff was named the ECAC Lacrosse League Defensive Player of the Year, and he was joined by four of his teammates on the All-ECAC teams, the league office announced Monday.

Greyhounds Head Coach Charley Toomey was named the ECAC Coach of the Year after leading Loyola to a perfect 6-0 record in the conference regular-season, a 12-1 overall record and a national No. 1 ranking for two weeks. It is the third time in seven years Toomey has been tabbed the league’s top coach.

Ratliff was one of three Greyhounds named to the All-ECAC First Team, joining Mike Sawyer on attack and Davis Butts in the midfield. Ratliff was named to the team as a defender. Eric Lusby and Joe Fletcher were named to the All-ECAC Second Team on attack and defense, respectively.

Ratliff led the ECAC and is seventh in the nation in caused turnovers per game, finishing the regular-season with 30 total, an average of 2.31 per game. He also tops the Greyhounds with 52 ground balls, 4.0 per game, and has been a key part of the Loyola defense that is seventh in the nation in scoring defense per game. Ratliff was twice named the ECAC Co-Specialist of the Week, and he also earned an ECAC Defensive Player of the Week nod.

Butts led the Greyhounds’ first midfield in scoring, checking in with 15 goals, third-best on the team, and 11 assists, second-most for Loyola. He was also a frequent contributor on the wing for faceoffs and as a defensive midfielder, logging 33 ground balls. Butts contributed eight multi-point games and set career-highs with four goals at Bellarmine and four assists versus Air Force.

Sawyer led the ECAC in total goals (41) and goals per game (3.15) during the regular-season. Through 13 games, he is ranked third in the nation in goals per game, and along with Ratliff, he was named a semifinalist for the Tewaaraton Award, given yearly to the nation’s top player. He logged hat tricks in nine of the Greyhounds’ 13 games and had multi-goal efforts 11 times. Sawyer’s 41 goals are the most by a Loyola player since the 2001 season

Fletcher, in his first year as a starter, has been noted as one of the top lock-down defenders in the nation, earning Midseason All-America Second Team honors from Inside Lacrosse. He has caused 14 turnovers and picked up 25 ground balls on the team that is ranked seventh in the nation in scoring defense.

The Greyhounds earned the top seed in this week’s ECAC Championships that will be played at Peter Barton Stadium on the campus of Denver University. Loyola will play the fourth-seeded, and host, Pioneers, at 5 p.m. (Mountain) on Wednesday, May 2. The winner of the game will play the winner of No. 2 Ohio State University and No. 3 Fairfield University in the Championship Game on Friday at 4 p.m. (Mountain).

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Navy Wraps Season By Hosting Hopkins Saturday

Posted on 20 April 2012 by WNST Staff

Game Preview
• Navy (5-6, 3-3 Patriot League) will close out the 2012 campaign on Saturday afternoon when it plays host to sixth-ranked Johns Hopkins (9-2) … the 86th edition of the Navy-Johns Hopkins game, presented by PNC Bank and STX, is slated for a 12:00 pm faceoff at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
• Saturday’s contest will mark the final collegiate game for Navy’s seven seniors … those seven players and their parents, along with one support staff member from the Class of 2012, will be honored in a pregame ceremony.
• The Mids are coming off a 9-6 loss to arch rival Army last Saturday at West Point … the two teams were deadlocked at 6-6 going into the final quarter of play, but Black Knights senior midfielder Devin Lynch scored two of the three goals in the final stanza to seal the win for Army.
• Johns Hopkins, meanwhile, battled ninth-ranked Maryland at Homewood Field a week ago in what is one of the longest rivalries in the sport … the Terps scored the final six goals of the game to turn a 6-3 deficit into a 9-6 victory.
• Saturday’s contest will be televised by CBS Sports Network with Dave Ryan (play by play) and Evan Washburn (analyst) calling the action.

Senior Salute
• The Naval Academy Athletic Association will recognize the senior class and its parents prior to start of Saturday’s contest against Johns Hopkins.
• Navy’s seven-player senior class has amassed a 27-28 record, including an 13-11 Patriot League mark.
• Navy captured the Patriot League Tournament title in 2009 when this class was in just its first season.
• It’s also the last class to punch its ticket to the NCAA Tournament, facing third-ranked Duke in the 2009 tournament.
• This class was part of the team that enjoyed the Mids’ first win over Johns Hopkins since 1974 when Andy Warner scored the game-winner in OT against the Blue Jays in 2010.
• Goalkeeper RJ Wickham is the lone member of the class who has received All-America recognition.  He is also the only member of the class who has received All-Patriot League kudos, picking up first-team honors in 2010, while also being named the Patriot League Goalkeeper of the year that same season.
• Team captains Taylor Reynolds and Logan West have been honored for their academic success by the Patriot League.
• The following is a list of Navy’s seniors and their service assignments.
Ian Crumley    Surface Warfare
• USS ASHLAND (LSD-48) , Little Creek, Va.
Jay Darling    Surface Warfare
• MCM Crew Bulwark – San Diego, Calif.
Nikk Davis    Marine Corps Ground
Taylor Reynolds    Surface Warfare
• USS SAN DIEGO (LPD-22), San Diego, Calif.
Matt Vernam    Surface Warfare
• USS SAN DIEGO (LPD-22), San Diego, Calif.
   Logan West    Special Warfare
RJ Wickham    Surface Warfare
• USS ANCHORAGE (LPD-23), San Diego, Calif.
AJ Herrera (Mgr)    Navy Pilot

Taking the Field In …
10    Navy has lost just five games (51-5) when scoring 10 or more goals since the start of the 2004 season … Navy is 5-0 this season when reaching 10 goals … Johns Hopkins, meanwhile, stands 7-0 in games in which it has produced 10 goals.
9    Senior attackman Taylor Reynolds owns nine-career multi-point contests, including 2-plus points in six of the last nine games.
8    Tucker Hull is one of only three players in program history to post three eight-point games in a season – 6-2 vs. VMI, 3-5 at Lafayette and 3-5 vs. Holy Cross … he joins Mike Buzzell (1978) and Dennis Nealon (1990) … no Navy player has ever recorded four eight-point games in a season.
7    Tucker Hull is ranked No. 7 in the country in points per game, averaging 4.18 … his is also ranked seventh in assists per game (2.09) and 37th in goals per game (2.09).
6    Since 2004, Navy owns an amazing 54-2 record when holding its opponents to six or fewer goals, including a 12-1 mark in the last four seasons combined … Johns Hopkins, who is averaging 10.22 goals per game, has been held to six goals just once this season, a 9-6 loss to Maryland last Saturday.
5    Just five players on the Navy roster (Harrison Chaires, Nikk Davis, Sam Jones, Jay Mann, Taylor Reynolds) have scored goals against Johns Hopkins and none of them have more than one goal in the series … four of the five scored their goal in last year’s meeting in Baltimore.
4    Navy has won four in a row when leading after the third quarter and stands 5-1 on the year when achieving that feat.
3    Senior Logan West moved into third on Navy’s all-time faceoff wins list following last week’s contest at Army … he owns 262 victories.
2    Sophomore long pole Pat Kiernan is one of only two defensemen in the country (Bryant’s Mason Poli, 12-5-17) to register 10 points this season … he is coming off a one-goal, one-assist effort against Army last week … he has amassed 10 points on seven goals and three assists this spring.
1    Over the last four seasons, 24 (10-14) of the Mids’ 71 contests have been decided by one goal … Navy had lost five-straight one-goal games prior to its 12-11 victory over No. 12 Colgate on March 24 … five of the last nine games between Navy and Johns Hopkins have been decided by one goal.

More on the Blue Jays
• In his 11th season as head coach of the Johns Hopkins Blue Jays, Dave Pietramala has directed his team to a 9-2 record with losses to nationally-ranked programs North Carolina (13-9) and Maryland (9-6) … while the Blue Jays opened up winning their first eight games, they have stumbled in two of their last three.
• The Blue Jays are the nation’s fourth-ranked scoring defense, surrendering just 6.82 goals per game … they have held seven of their 11 opponents to six or fewer goals, including each of their last two.
• Junior keeper Pierce Bassett serves as the cornerstone to the Hopkins defense, boasting a 6.92 goals-against average which is the fifth best in the country, while his 56.0 save percentage is 13th best.
• Junior defenseman Tucker Durkin (no relation to Navy’s Pat Durkin), leads the team with 15 caused turnovers.
• Junior attackman Zach Palmer leads what is the nation’s 22nd-ranked offense … the Blue Jays are averaging 10.55 goals per game, topping the 10-goal mark seven times this spring … Palmer is pacing the team with 34 points on 15 goals and a team-best 19 assists.
• Sophomore attackman Brandon Benn leads Hopkins in goals with 22, while middies Rob Guida and John Ranagan have pitched in 13 apiece.
• Always one of the top faceoff units nationally, Hopkins is ranked 12th, winning 56.5 percent of the draws to date … junior Mike Poppleton spearheads the unit, winning 61.5 percent (107-174) of the faceoffs, while rookie Drew Kennedy has won 53.7 percent (22-41).
• Pietramala’s team is one of the best in taking care of the ball, turning it over just 13.09 times per game which is the sixth-best mark in DI lacrosse … on the other hand, the Blue Jays are ranked 58th out of 61 teams in caused turnovers, forcing just 5.73 per contest.

Series History
• Saturday’s contest marks the 86th meeting between Navy and Johns Hopkins … it’s the 63rd-consecutive year the two programs have battled and it is the third-longest continuous series between Navy and another team on the lax field behind Army-Navy and Navy-Maryland.
• The Blue Jays own a commanding 58-26-1 advantage in the series, however Johns Hopkins’ amazing 36-game winning streak was snapped the last time the two programs met in Annapolis (4-24-10) when the Mids claimed a 9-8 victory over the Jays in overtime.
• Johns Hopkins owns a 31-18-1 record in games played against the Mids in Annapolis … the last time the Blue Jays handed the Mids a loss on their home field was on May 17, 2008, when Johns Hopkins scored a 10-4 win over Navy in the NCAA Quarterfinals.
• Seven of the last 13 games between Navy and Johns Hopkins have been decided by one goal, including five of the last nine … additionally, four of the seven one-goal games have gone into extra minutes including the last game played at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
• First-year Navy head coach Rick Sowell has never played Johns Hopkins in any of his three previous posts.

2011 Navy-Johns Hopkins Recap
• Anchored by senior Kyle Wharton’s four goals and second-year attackman Zach Palmer’s career-high five assists, second-ranked Johns Hopkins raced out to a 10-0 halftime lead before dealing Navy a 14-5 loss at Homewood Field in Baltimore.
• The Blue Jays jumped on Navy early, scoring a pair of goals in the opening 51 seconds of the game.   Similar to last year’s contest, the Blue Jays built a comfortable first-quarter lead as they opened up a 6-0 advantage with senior attackman Chris Boland opening the game and closing out the first period with goals.
• Hopkins kept it rolling, pushing its lead to 10-0 at the half, as eight different players scored goals in the opening 30 minutes of play.
• After winning its first faceoff of the game to open up the second half, Navy finally got a tally on the scoreboard when rookie attackman Sam Jones curled around the left side of the cage and fired off a seven-yarder that caught the inside right post.
• Hopkins, though, would go on a 3-0 run that spanned just under two minutes and featured back-to-back extra-man goals just seven second apart to take a 13-1 lead.    Navy got the final say of the third quarter, however, as Jones found classmate Harrison Chaires open on the crease for what would be Chaires’ seventh extra-man goal of the year.
• That goal would help turn the momentum in favor of the Mids, as Navy scored the next three goals to open the final stanza.  Forty-two seconds into the fourth, Navy cleared the ball and senior Andy Warner used the open field to his advantage.  Navy’s leader in assists this year, Warner spotted junior middie Nikk Davis stationed at the crease and Davis scored the turnaround punch.
• With 12:07 to go, junior attackman Taylor Reynolds managed to slide his shot in on a tough turnaround blast off an assist from senior Sean Dinn.  Less than 10 minutes later, Dinn would score his first-collegiate goal, running in from the left wing and going top shelf on Pierce Bassett.
• Hopkins closed out the game with Greg Edmonds’ first goal of the season with just 39 seconds left.
• Although the Blue Jays dominated all of the stat categories after the opening half, Navy closed the gap over the final 30 minutes of action.  Hopkins owned a 41-32 advantage in shots, a 35-30 lead in ground balls and a 15-6 decision in faceoffs.  Navy keeper RJ Wickham turned away seven shots, while Bassett made eight saves on the night for the Blue Jays.

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Towson Football Tiger Bowl II Set For Saturday Afternoon

Posted on 20 April 2012 by WNST Staff

TOWSON, Md. – Tiger Bowl II, which features an intrasquad football game among members of the Towson University team, will be held on Saturday, April 21 as a highlight of a full day of activities for Tiger fans.

The Tiger Bowl, which attracted more than 1,000 fans last season, will be played at 1 p.m. in Johnny Unitas® Stadium. Admission to the Tiger Bowl is free and open to the public.

Tiger Bowl Saturday starts at 9 a.m. with a Youth Football Clinic that will be held at the Towson University Soccer Complex. The clinic is open to all eighth graders or younger and it will be conducted by the Tiger coaching staff.

At 11:30 a.m., the Tiger Football Alumni Game will be played in Unitas Stadium. Former football players will return to the gridiron in a game of flag football on Minnegan Field.

The inaugural Tiger Bowl will conclude the Tiger football team’s Spring season. Coach Rob Ambrose and his staff have 42 letter winners and a very talented group of newcomers who will be hoping to impress the coaching staff during the Tiger Bowl. The Tigers return nine starters on offense and nine starters on defense from last year’s team.

The 2011 Tigers were known as the “Turnaround Tigers” as they were the most improved team in NCAA FCS. One year after posting a 1-10 record, the 2011 Tigers went 9-3 and won their first Colonial Athletic Association championship. The Tigers, who were ranked ninth at the end of the season, reached the second round of the NCAA FCS playoffs.

Junior tackle Eric Pike is one of the top returnees for an offense that rushed for 229.9 yards per game and ranked among the national leaders with a 34.8 scoring average. A third-year starter at tackle, Pike was named third team All-CAA. Junior quarterback Grant Enders, a two-time selection as CAA Offensive Player of the Week, returns to direct the Tiger offense. Last season, he led the CAA in passing efficiency while throwing for 2,081 yards and 16 touchdowns. Sophomore Terrance West is back to lead the Tigers’ rushing attack. The winner of the Jerry Rice Award as the top freshman in FCS football, West ran for 1,294 yards last season and scored an NCAA FCS-leading 29 touchdowns.

A pair of All-America selections, senior safety Jordan Dangerfield and senior defensive end Frank Beltre, return to lead the Tigers’ defense. A first team All-America selection by The College Sports Journal, Dangerfield led the Tigers with 93 tackles despite missing two games with an injury. He was a virtual turnover machine as he intercepted two passes, forced two fumbles and recovered a pair of fumbles. An honorable mention All-American, Beltre was tied for fourth on the team with 68 tackles. He also led the Tigers with 12 tackles for lost yardage.

While Tiger Bowl II is being played in Unitas Stadium, the Tiger baseball team will host Georgia State in the second game of their three-game weekend series at John B. Schuerholz Park at 2 p.m.

After Tiger Bowl II is played, the Tiger men’s lacrosse team will honor their seniors when the Tigers host Drexel University in a vital CAA matchup in Unitas Stadium at 7:30 p.m.


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Undefeated Loyola Faces Test Saturday Night at Denver

Posted on 13 April 2012 by WNST Staff

Opponent Denver Pioneers
Date Saturday, April 14, 2012
Time 7:00 p.m. (MDT)
Location Denver, Colo. | Peter Barton Stadium
TV | Radio Denver Webstreaming
Series Record Denver leads, 2-0
Last Meeting Denver 12, Loyola 8 – May 16, 2012 at Baltimore

Game Data

Loyola University Maryland will play the middle game of a three-game road trip on Saturday, April 14, in The Centennial State. The Greyhounds will take on Denver University at 7 p.m. (Mountain Daylight Time) at Peter Barton Stadium.

Series History

Denver has won the first two meetings between the teams, each coming in the last two seasons since the Pioneers joined the ECAC Lacrosse League. Denver won the first meeting, 12-4, at Invesco Field in 2010, and the Pioneers then took a 12-8 decision last season in Baltimore.

In The Polls

Loyola checked in at No. 4 for the third week in a row in the USILA Coaches’ Poll this week, and the Greyhounds are in the same No. 4 spot of the Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media rankings for the second-consecutive week.. The coaches’ poll mark is Loyola’s highest ranking since it was third in the April 1, 2002, poll with a 7-0 record after downing Towson, 15-7.

Denver is currently ranked 10th in the coaches version, and eighth in the media poll.

Rally Caps

Loyola used a late rally to win its 10th game of the season last Saturday, an 8-6 victory at then-No. 14 Fairfield. The Greyhounds scored the last four goals of the game to come back from a 6-4 fourth-quarter deficit.

It was the first time this year that Loyola had trailed in the fourth quarter, and the 4-4 tie going into the final stanza was the first time it had not led outright entering the frame.

The Greyhounds held Fairfield scoreless for the final 11 minutes, 59 seconds of action.

Defense Standing Tall

The Greyhounds’ defense is ranked fifth in NCAA Division I with a 7.0 goals allowed per game mark, as they have not allowed more than eight goals in a single game this season.

Loyola is the only team in the nation with the distinction of not having allowed eight or more goals in a game. The Greyhounds are one of three teams (Massachusetts and Notre Dame are the others) who have allowed fewer than 10 in each outing this season.

Ward Steps Up Scoring

Justin Ward has raised his scoring numbers over Loyola’s last two games, complimenting fellow attack members Mike Sawyer and Eric Lusby. Against Ohio State and Fairfield, Ward combined for three goals and four assists for a team-high seven points during that stretch.

Of his three goals, two were during critical fourth-quarter stretches in both games. Against Ohio State, he rolled around a Sean O’Sullivan screen at goal-line extended, stepped in and shot from seven yards out, scoring to put Loyola up 7-5.

At Fairfield, Ward tied the game at 6-6, after Loyola had trailed 6-4, with his second goal of the game at 7:19, and he then assisted on Mike Sawyer’s eventual game-winner less than two minutes later.

Ward, who had one assist as a freshman last season, leads the Greyhounds with 17 assists this season, and he is third on the team with 23 points.

Runkel Honored For Third Time

Sophomore goalkeeper Jack Runkel was named the ECAC Defensive Player of the Week for the third time in five weeks on Monday after posting 12 saves and allowing just six goals against Fairfield.

Runkel, who took over as the Greyhounds’ starter in the fourth game of the season, is the only ECAC defender to be honored on more than one occasion this year, and along with Scott Ratliff and Reid Acton, Loyola defenders have earned the award in five of seven weeks.

In just under 500 minutes of action between the pipes this season, Runkel has played to a 7.10 goals against average and a .565 save percentage. He is sixth in Division I in goals against average and 14th in save percentage.

Defensive Unit Helping Out

While Jack Runkel has picked up three conference awards this year, much of the credit can also go to the defensive unit as a whole. Opponents have taken 216 total shots while Runkel has been in goal this year, but just 124 have been on goal.

In all, opponents have managed just 152 shots on goal against the Greyhounds this year. Loyola is holding opponents to a .260 shot percentage, 11th best in the nation.

Causing Miscues

Loyola’s defense is fourth in Division I in caused turnovers per game, averaging 9.7 a contest. Four Greyhounds – Scott Ratliff (2.1), Reid Acton (1.3), Joe Fletcher and Dylan Grimm (both 1.1) – are averaging more than one per game. Ratliff ranks 11th in Division I in the category.

Close Call

Loyola’s 8-7 victory on March 31 against Ohio State marked the first time this year that the Greyhounds have played a game decided by less than three goals. Previously, Loyola’s closest victory was 11-8 on March 3 at Bellarmine, and no other game was within five goals.

Ten Or More Streak Snapped

The Greyhounds had scored at least 11 goals in each of their first eight games of the 2012 season, marking the longest stretch of games with 10 or more goals they have put together since March 24-May 12, 2001. Ohio State, however, held Loyola to just eight goals.

New Feeling

Loyola was outshot for the first time this season against Ohio State, as the Buckeyes tallied 33 shots to the Greyhounds’ 27.

Ohio State, however, managed to put just 15 shots on goal, and goalkeeper Jack Runkel made saves on eight.

Loyola, meanwhile, had 20 shots on goal, a season-best 74-percent of its overall shots. Previously, Loyola had outshot opponents by a minimum of nine in the first eight games of the year.

Acton Draws Recognition

Junior defender Reid Acton was named the ECAC Defensive Player of the Week after recording five ground balls and a career-best five caused turnovers against Ohio State.

Acton’s primary marking responsibility against the Buckeyes was leading scorer Logan Schuss who entered the game averaging 3+ goals and 4+ points per game. Acton limited him to two goals and an assist, and his final goal came with just nine seconds left and Loyola leading by three.

Big Runs

Loyola used runs of three-plus goals at important junctures of its first 10 games, helping the Greyhounds to wins each time. In all, Loyola has scored three or more in a row on 20 occasions this season.

Loyola used four three-goal runs against Duke, including one three-goal streak that put Loyola up 4-1 at the beginning of the second quarter. The Greyhounds never trailed after that initial three-goal run and extended their lead to 13-5 after its fourth three-goal spurt of the game.

The Greyhounds had their longest run in almost two years against Air Force, scoring 10 in a row to open the second half. The last time Loyola scored 10 or more in a row was on March 20, 2010, when it had 14 straight against Air Force.

Loyola then used a 6-0 run to break a 5-5 tie early in the third quarter with Georgetown on the way to a 11-6 victory.

The Greyhounds then scored seven in a row on the back end of a 10-1 run last Saturday at UMBC, and after falling behind 3-2 in the second quarter against Ohio State, the Greyhounds strung together four in a row to go ahead 6-3 by the end of the third quarter.

At Fairfield, Loyola scored the final four goals of the game to rally from a 6-4 deficit to win 8-6.

On The Flip Side

Conversely, the Greyhounds have allowed a run of three or more goals just five times this year, with the most recent coming when Fairfield scored five unanswered. Only the Stags (five) and Air Force (four) have scored more than three in a row this year.

Every time an opponent has logged those runs, Loyola has answered in kind with a run of 4-0 or better.

Lusby, Ratliff Join Tewaaraton Watch List

Loyola’s Eric Lusby and Scott Ratliff were named to the Tewaaraton Award Watch List, joining fellow Greyhound Mike Sawyer who was named to the group before the season.

Lusby is second on the team with 27 goals and 35 points, while Ratliff paces the team in caused turnovers with 17, and his 39 ground balls are tied for the team lead.

Second-Half Success

Loyola continued a trend of strong second-half play this season by outscoring Fairfield, 4-2, in the fourth quarter

The Greyhounds have now outscored opponents 37-12 in the third quarters of games and 67-33 overall this year in the second half.

The second-half scoring continues a trend from the last two seasons. Last year, Loyola outscored opponents, 69-52, after halftime (including two overtime goals), and 77-56 two years ago.

Lusby Matches Career-High

Eric Lusby scored three times during Loyola’s second half run and finished the Georgetown game with five goals, matching his career-high set on March 3 at Bellarmine. He followed that with his fifth hat trick of the season, scoring three at UMBC.

Lusby has scored at least one goal in each of Loyola’s eight games this season. The graduate student returned to game action in the season-opener after missing all but two games of the 2011 season. Now a graduate student, Lusby tore his right ACL in the 2010 NCAA First Round game against Cornell. He attempted to come back last year, but he saw limited action against Navy and Towson and was shut down to rehab the injury for the remainder of the season.

Lusby burst back onto the scene against Delaware, scoring the Greyhounds’ first goal of the game on an extra-man opportunity, and the 2010 All-ECAC First Team member tallied three more in the second half.

Lusby reset his career-high at Bellarmine, tallying five goals in the victory to go with one assist, and added two more at Michigan.

Through Loyola’s first eight games, Lusby is second on the team with 27 goals and 35 points.

Sawyer, Runkel Honored Again

For the second time this season, Mike Sawyer and Jack Runkel earned ECAC Offensive and Defensive Player of the Week honors on the same day, as the pair was honored on Monday following the Greyhounds’ wins over Georgetown and UMBC.

Sawyer scored three goals against the Hoyas, and he then scored four-straight Loyola goals and finished with five at UMBC. Sawyer also matched his career-best with two assists against the Retrievers.

Runkel paced the Loyola defense in the two games, playing to a 5.50 goals against average. He made a career-best 13 saves in the win over UMBC.

Toomey Wins 50th

Head coach Charley Toomey earned his 50th-career win Wednesday, March 7, as Loyola beat Michigan, 15-8.

Toomey, who is in his seventh season, has led Loyola to eight-plus wins in each of the last three seasons and has had the Greyhounds finish .500 or better in all seven seasons since coming to the Evergreen campus.

Sawyer Shows Same Form

Mike Sawyer has picked up where he left off a year ago, leading the team with 29 goals and 36 points through the first eight games. Sawyer led Loyola last season with 31 goals and 38 points.

Sawyer tied a then-career-high with five goals in the team’s, 15-8, win at Michigan, before scoring a new personal-best six goals against Duke.

After scoring five goals against UMBC, he now has 16 career multi-goal games and the 19 multi-point effort of his tenure at Loyola.

Before the season, Sawyer was named to the Preseason All-ECAC Team and was named to the Face-Off Yearbook Preseason All-America Honorable Mention. He also was named to the Tewaaraton Award Watch List.

Ratliff Honored For Second Time

Loyola long-stick midfielder Scott Ratliff was named the ECAC Co-Specialist of the Week on March 19 after turning in impressive numbers in a win over Air Force. Ratliff scored twice and had an assist while picking up seven ground balls against the Falcons. Earlier this season, Ratliff earned ECAC Defensive Player of the Week laurels after the Greyhounds’ opener against Delaware.

Ratliff is currently sixth among active long poles in career scoring. He has seven goals and five assists for 12 points. This year, he has three goals and two assists, as well as a team-leading 32 ground balls.

Bonitatibus, Runkel Both Win First Starts

Junior Michael Bonitatibus made his first collegiate start in goal for the Greyhounds against Delaware after having played less than two minutes prior to this season.

Bonitatibus, who played 65 seconds in his collegiate debut last year at Duke, made seven saves for the Greyhounds and allowed just eight goals. He also picked up five ground balls and caused two turnovers.

Bonitatibus became the first Loyola goalkeeper to win his starting debut in nearly 11 years. The last was Mark Bloomquist who also defeated Delaware, 8-7, on February 24, 2001.

Jack Runkel made his first career start against Michigan and also won his initial outing as a starter. He tallied five saves against the Wolverines, and he then posted a career-high 12 against Duke.

Record At Ridley

After going 4-1 at Ridley Athletic Complex last season, the Greyhounds have opened their third year at the stadium with six wins at home. Loyola is now 14-3 all-time at Ridley.

What’s Next

The Greyhounds wrap up their three-game road trip with an excursion on April 21 to Geneva, N.Y., where they will wrap up ECAC play with a 12 noon game at Hobart.

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Tate Remains At LB, Other Maryland Football Players Switch Positions

Posted on 04 April 2012 by WNST Staff

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Maryland kicked off its third week of spring football practice with some personnel adjustments leading up to the team’s first official scrimmage Saturday.

Head coach Randy Edsall announced Tuesday morning that Nate Clarke (offensive guard to nose tackle) and A.J. Hendy (safety to cornerback) moved positions.

Tuesday afternoon’s practice was their first chance to get on the field in their new spots.

“The big thing with the spring with the players who are here is it’s a chance to evaluate them and make sure they are in the right spots,” Edsall said after the two-hour practice. “As we sat down and evaluated, [we said] let’s go ahead and take a look at A.J. there and he looks a little more natural [at cornerback].”

Hendy played in nine games last season at safety (three starts) and on special teams, while Clarke served a redshirt season as a true freshman.

“With the scheme that we are running defensively we thought it would be a better fit and Nate could be more productive on defense at nose guard,” Edsall said.

Hendy got more reps at cornerback than he normally would have with an injury to Jeremiah Johnson who was only able to participate in individual drills which covered the first 30 minutes of practice.

Sophomore linebackers Alex Twine and Cole Farrand are also nursing injuries.

“Alex just has a bruise so he will be back out there hopefully next week once he gains some strength back,” Edsall said. “With Cole they told me two to three weeks.”

The Terps will be a little thin at linebacker in the next week or so, but should get a boost at that position in preseason camp.

Edsall confirmed after Tuesday’s practice that Kenny Tate will play Sam linebacker in the fall. The senior-to-be who missed all but four games last season is sitting out spring practice while recovering from offseason knee surgery. He is expected to be healthy by the summer.

“We’ve talked to Kenny and he knows that’s where he’s going to be,” Edsall said. “He’ll be in the meetings there. He likes it and understands that’s what’s best for him and that’s what’s best for us.”

Edsall has called the two outside linebacker positions (Sam and Will) in defensive coordinator Brian Stewart’s scheme two of the most important on that side of the ball.

Edsall likes how the team is progressing through seven spring practices.

“We are getting better,” Edsall said. “I thought today was better than the other day. We are starting to see the execution pick up and the mistakes be cut down. We still have a lot of work to do and a lot of things to work on. Tuesday and Thursday we are going to work on fundamentals and technique.”

The Terps scrimmaged for a portion of last Saturday’s practice, but will have the first of three full-length scrimmages this Saturday.

“We are going to treat it as a real game with the coaches in the box,” Edsall said. “We are doing it that way so we get used to it and so we can identify who can step up and take charge.”

The Terps have eight more practices scheduled including the Red-White Spring game which is set for Saturday, April 21 (1 p.m. kickoff).

Terp Notes

Faces in the Crowd: Dick Shiner, one of the Terps all-time greats, attended Tuesday’s practice. Shiner was an honorable mention All-America quarterback in 1962 and 1963. He was also a first team all-league pick in those seasons. Cameron Chism also stopped by check on his former teammates. Chism, a three-year starter at cornerback, ended his collegiate playing career in the fall and hopes to continue at the professional level in the fall.

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