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ATN Podcast 282: Wesley memories

At the time this episode was recorded, Wesley was scheduled to play one last time this upcoming weekend. It’s not exactly a fitting end for a proud Division III football program, but in this 2020-21 season, it’s the end we have. And even then, that game against a junior college was also scrapped.

The Wolverines were not always a Top 10 program. When Wesley joined the Division III ranks in the mid-1980s, they lost their first 25 games. Those struggles included a time where the team had to make a call: play a powerhouse team while suiting up only 27 players, or sit the week out. We’ve collected those memories and more of 30-plus years of Wesley football for this edition of the D3football.com Around the Nation podcast.

Who did one player get way too hyped up to play? What did one 18-year-old young man do on his first long snap of his Wesley career? Who clocked a future NFL player out of bounds in a hyped-up matchup? And who got the big play to send the Wolverines to the playoffs for the first time?

The following Wesley alumni and others associated with the Wesley football program sent in their memories for inclusion in this podcast: Milt Alexander, Norman Bauer, Jason Bowen, Nick Cipot, Shaun Clark, Eric Czerwinski, Calvin Griffin, Shawn Matthews, Chris Panter, Ken Pippin, Jason Schatz, Justin Sottilaire, Rick Vogel, Dante Walker, Matt Walker and Mike Ward. And special thanks to Chad Kragh, former athletic trainer at Wesley, for helping us reach so many of these alumni.

Plus, Pat and Greg look back on some of the great conference title games of the past few weeks, hand out game balls, and talk about all the games that haven’t yet been postponed. All that and more in Podcast 282.

Pat Coleman, Keith McMillan and Greg Thomas talk about it all in the latest D3football.com Around the Nation Podcast. The D3football.com Around the Nation Podcast is a regular conversation covering the wide range of Division III football.

Hit play, or subscribe to get this podcast on your mobile device.

Full episode:

You can subscribe to the Around the Nation Podcast in Apple Podcasts, and many other places. You can also get this and any of our future Around the Nation podcasts automatically by subscribing to this RSS feed: http://www.d3blogs.com/d3football/?feed=podcast

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Theme music: DJmentos.

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ATN Podcast 281: Could spring games lead to spring practice?

There is so much here to talk about as we are midway through March in Division III football, and one of the things that Division III football coaches are pointing to right now is how all of the old excuses given for why D-III can’t have pads in practice in the spring are being proven wrong.

They said it would be impossible to find field time, that athletic training staffs would be stretched too thin. Well, here we are having had coming up on 100 games in Division III this spring — and we’re not talking about asking for games: We’re talkin’ about practice.

We’re joined by three head coaches who each give their take on renewing the drive to add pads and helmets in the spring, as we hear from Hendrix coach Buck Buchanan, Lake Forest coach Jim Catanzaro and Whitworth coach Rod Sandberg. Plus, we talk with Berry coach Tony Kunczewski about his team’s 4-0 spring, and with Trinity (Texas) coach Jerheme Urban about what his team accomplished with its spring football as well.

But the best part of this podcast may well be our chance to catch up with former Berry defensive back Justus Edwards. You may remember his name because in 2018, he suffered a catastrophic spinal injury during the Vikings’ game at Centre. He has continued to inspire his classmates and former teammates on the sidelines, and he was at the team’s appearance at the SAA championship in Little Rock, Arkansas. We talked with him about the work he is doing to get stronger, plus the foundation he has started to help people who have suffered similar injuries and have nowhere to turn.

That interview starts just before the 40:00 mark, if you are so inclined to skip ahead.

Meanwhile, we talk about the big games from Week 6, hand out two weeks’ worth of game balls, and bring back a well-known name to talk about Montez Archer and offer some advice to the Bluffton freshman who has intercepted six passes over the past two games.

Plus, we tackle a listener question. All that and more in Podcast 281.

Pat Coleman and Greg Thomas talk about it all in the latest D3football.com Around the Nation Podcast. The D3football.com Around the Nation Podcast is a regular conversation covering the wide range of Division III football.

Hit play, or subscribe to get this podcast on your mobile device.

Full episode:

You can subscribe to the Around the Nation Podcast in Apple Podcasts, and many other places. You can also get this and any of our future Around the Nation podcasts automatically by subscribing to this RSS feed: http://www.d3blogs.com/d3football/?feed=podcast

Here’s how to find us on some of the major podcasting apps:

Theme music: DJmentos. Trinity/Birmingham-Southern photo by Hendrix athletics, Justus Edwards photo from Instagram

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ATN Podcast 280: Return of game balls

The first-ever February football in Division III is in the books, and Pat and Keith are here to hand out game balls and talk about the goings-on. Coaches were getting a bit of a breather in the fall, but those whose teams are playing now are making up for it. That’s what we heard from our guest, Randolph-Macon coach Pedro Arruza.

It’s a great conversation about a program setting expectations for what’s important during this abbreviated spring schedule, about making sure that the student-athletes got through the downtime with their mental health intact, and about being gracious with players who have had to make decisions about whether they compete this spring, whether they are enrolled, or whether they choose to graduate and not return.

In addition, of course, student-athletes at Wesley are facing much bigger decisions, with a large number of football players and members of other sports trying to find new homes for the fall, because Wesley’s athletics programs will be no more after this spring. We bring Greg Thomas back in to talk about this, because as the new Around the Nation columnist for D3football.com, Greg has been talking to Wesley and is working on a story. What does Wesley hope to accomplish, and where might all of those student-athletes end up?

Plus, we tackle a listener question. All that and more in Podcast 280.

Pat Coleman and Keith McMillan talk about it all in the latest D3football.com Around the Nation Podcast. The D3football.com Around the Nation Podcast is a regular conversation between Pat Coleman and Keith McMillan and guests covering the wide range of Division III football.

Hit play, or subscribe to get this podcast on your mobile device.

Full episode:

You can subscribe to the Around the Nation Podcast in Apple Podcasts, and many other places. You can also get this and any of our future Around the Nation podcasts automatically by subscribing to this RSS feed: http://www.d3blogs.com/d3football/?feed=podcast

Here’s how to find us on some of the major podcasting apps:

Theme music: DJmentos. Photo by Keith Lucas for Randolph-Macon athletics