post

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

post

ATN Podcast 278: October’s classics

Four teams are playing games in October and all four were supposed to be playing within a few miles of each other last Saturday, Of course, Because Of The Pandemic, that didn’t exactly happen. Bluffton is still planning to take the field this weekend for the first time, Trine finishes the fall at 2-0, Manchester got to open its new stadium and Adrian has a chance to finish 2-1.

Each of those four teams takes something different away from its October schedule but they all got a chance to get some work in, and play in the season they were intended to play in. Pat was at Manchester and at Trine and we talk with all four of these teams on the latest D3football.com podcast. Guests: Bluffton coach Aaron Krepps, Trine quarterback Alex Price and coach Troy Abbs, Adrian running back Steven Moses and coach Jim Deere and Manchester coach Nate Jensen.

We discuss that and more in Podcast 278.

Pat and Keith 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. Photos by Manchester and Bluffton athletics

post

Quick Hits: Coming down to the wire

Conference races are coming down to the wire, and some of those key matchups come this week. That includes the game for bragging rights between our founding Around the Nation columnist (Keith McMillan, former defensive back at Randolph-Macon) and our current columnist (Adam Turer, former defensive back at Washington & Lee). Our guest prognosticator this week is Doug Rothschild, a Wheaton football alum who played for coach Swider and is currently the color analyst for Wheaton’s broadcasts.

— Pat Coleman

Which Week 9 game is the must-watch game?

keith-mcmillan-150x200
Keith’s take: There are two. Rowan at Frostburg and Salisbury at CNU. If the Profs and Captains win, Wesley could be atop the heap of five NJAC 6-2 teams.
ryan-tipps-150x200
Ryan’s take: Middlebury at Trinity (Conn.). Because sometimes, you don’t have to be Top 25 teams to bring an awesome performance to the field.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: Ithaca at St. John Fisher. I hear faint echoes of cries about bounced interceptions but just looking for an exciting game.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: Case Western Reserve at Washington U., in a rare late-season non-conference game with playoff implications for both teams.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: Brockport at No. 15 Alfred. This has national appeal as E8 is one of few East conferences with Pool C still in play. A Brockport win could undermine that.
Doug Rothschild
Doug’s take: Rowan at Frostburg. I am a sucker for good defense and these teams are 1-2 in the NJAC in scoring defense. Frostburg is 11th in D-III in defense behind Niles Scott and Will Sewell, who spend a lot of time in other team’s backfields.

Which Top 25 team is most likely to get upset?

keith-mcmillan-150x200
Keith’s take: No. 15 Alfred. The Saxons’ opponent, 5-2 Brockport, is two scores from being unbeaten and has played five one-score games.
ryan-tipps-150x200
Ryan’s take: No. 24 St. John Fisher. Week in and week out, the Empire keeps striking back at one another.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: No. 25 Case Western Reserve. In all honesty, this wouldn’t be much of an upset, either.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: No. 19 Salisbury at Christopher Newport, because the NJAC is as balanced as ever this year.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: No. 15 Alfred. It’s the time of year when leaves change, pumpkins are carved, and the E8 cannibalizes itself out of strong Pool C contention.
Doug Rothschild
Doug’s take: No. 25 Case Western Reserve. Easy come, easy go. They just appeared in the poll last week and a road trip to 6-1 WashU will be their stiffest test of the season.

Of the three NCAC teams ranked 20-23, which one makes the biggest statement to Top 25 voters?

keith-mcmillan-150x200
Keith’s take: Denison winning at DePauw would be more impressive than anything Wabash or Wittenberg could accomplish on Saturday. It’s not a lock to happen though.
ryan-tipps-150x200
Ryan’s take: Wabash, with a win over upward-trending OWU. Still, I have exactly zero NCAC teams on my ballot, so they’re all needing to prove themselves to me.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: Denison. The question, however, is whether it’s a positive statement made by the Big Red.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: Denison winning at DePauw would be the biggest statement. Wittenberg is expected to win, and I expect Wabash to struggle against a hot Ohio Wesleyan squad.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: Wabash (vs. Ohio Wesleyan). After a scare vs. Wooster, Wabash needs a statement win. They’ll start this game like a cannonball to win big.
Doug Rothschild
Doug’s take: Wabash. A convincing win @OWU tells Denison they are ready for next week’s showdown, shows their Monon rival how to do what they haven’t done in 4 seasons and keeps Pool C hopes alive.

Who wins the Around the Nation Classic between Keith McMillan’s and Adam Turer’s alma mater?

keith-mcmillan-150x200
Keith’s take: I’m obligated to pick the Yellow Jackets, but there’s solid logic. The past three games have been decided by 6, 4 and 3, and none of those R-MC teams had a D as good as this one.
ryan-tipps-150x200
Ryan’s take: The nod goes to Washington & Lee. With the slate Randolph-Macon has coming up, it’s easy to get caught looking ahead.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: Washington & Lee. Something in me just wants to recognize the team that scheduled Johns Hopkins, and that’s no longer Randolph-Macon.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: The mighty Generals take the hill.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: Newspaper ink companies. A lot of letters & symbols for one game. (I’ll pick RMC, but Turer can gloat during our Stagg pregame show if I’m wrong.).
Doug Rothschild
Doug’s take: Randolph-Macon. While I may not be siding as much with Keith as my fellow Wheaton alum Pedro Arruza, Keith is the benefactor this week as his RM brothers have the No, 1 defense in the ODAC and defense wins championships.

Which team bounces back after a tough loss?

keith-mcmillan-150x200
Keith’s take: Hardin-Simmons. The foe is 1-6 Belhaven, which has given up 52 or more points in six straight games.
ryan-tipps-150x200
Ryan’s take: Texas Lutheran, after losing its first-ever SCAC game. The Bulldogs beat Trinity (Texas) once already this year; don’t be surprised to see them with new fire to do it again.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: UW-Platteville. After the Pioneers have run the gantlet here over the past few weeks, a trip to UW-Stout should be a little easier to take. As long as they don’t take it too easy.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: Franklin can stay in the HCAC mix and keep its playoff streak alive by winning at Mount St. Joseph.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: Franklin. An extremely inconsistent ship needs to be righted immediately vs. Mount St. Joseph if the Griz have any hopes of playoffs.
Doug Rothschild
Doug’s take: Franklin lost its first conference game in 3 years last week. Mount St. Joseph might be on a roll but Mike Leonard’s teams have lost two conference games in a season just once since 2005. Grizzlies roll.

Pick an under-the-radar 1-loss team which will pick up its second loss Saturday.

keith-mcmillan-150x200
Keith’s take: Wash U. is surprisingly 6-1, and 7-0 Case Western Reserve needs this win to bolster its credentials because 9-1 against its schedule might not get it in the playoffs..
ryan-tipps-150x200
Ryan’s take: Washington University, as it goes against undefeated former UAA foe Case.
Pat Coleman
Pat’s take: Bluffton. Rose-Hulman has to have its eyes on the HCAC automatic bid and shouldn’t be subject to a letdown after beating Franklin.
Adam Turer
Adam’s take: Tufts is an under-the-radar 4-1, but has to travel to an angry Amherst team that just got blanked by Wesleyan. The nicknameless home team wins.
Frank Rossi
Frank’s take: Olivet. What’s lost from the AMAZING “Play of the Week” throw: the Comets struggled vs. a middling Benedictine team. Alma wins Saturday.
Doug Rothschild
Doug’s take: Pomona-Pitzer. The SCIAC is likely decided this week as two 1-loss teams play when 5-1 Redlands visits 5-1 Pomona-Pitzer. I give the edge to Redlands despite being on the road so Pomona-Pitzer picks up loss No 2.

We invite you to add your predictions in the comments below. Download the Around the Nation podcast on Mondays, where Pat and Keith review the picks that were prescient, and those that were terribly off base.