Notebook: Warhawks To Start Number 1
Aug. 10, 2010
By Amy Farnum
WAGING WAR: Defending NCAA Division III Champion Wisconsin-Whitewater was voted No. 1 in the
D3football.com Preseason Top 25 announced last week – the first time in the eight-year history of the poll
that the Warhawks have received top billing.
The Warhawks also boast three D3football.com Preseason All-America picks from an offense that ranked
fifth in total offense (489 ypg) and fourth in scoring (42.47 ppg) last season. Junior running back Levell
Coppage, who ranked fourth nationally in rushing (140.47 ypg) in 2009, was selected to the first team
along with senior guard Matt Weber, while senior tackle Robbie Ustruck was a second team pick.
UW-Whitewater is also No. 1 in The Sporting News Top 25, and No. 2 in the USA Today Division III
Top 25. The Warhawks, who were 15-0 in 2009, will be vying for their sixth straight appearance in the
Division III national championship game, as well as their sixth consecutive Wisconsin Intercollegiate
Athletic Conference title. UW-Whitewater begins its title defense by hosting Adrian College on Sept. 4.
STAYING STRONG: After turning in three straight 6-3 seasons, Linfield re-established its presence as
a serious contender on the national scene in 2009, compiling a 12-1 mark and advancing to the NCAA
Division III semifinals and open the season ranked No. 4 in the D3football.com Preseason Top 25.
The Wildcats, who are also the unanimous choice to win the Northwest Conference by the league’s
head coaches, return four All-NWC players, including the 2009 NWC Offensive Player of the Year Aaron
Boehme. The senior quarterback ranked 25th in the nation with a 149.09 passing efficiency rating as he
directed an offense that averaged 39.85 points per game, which was good for eighth nationally last year.
Linfield, which has reeled off 54 straight winning seasons, is the last program other than UW-Whitewater
or Mount Union to claim the Division III title. The Wildcats defeated Mary Hardin-Baylor for the
championship in 2004. Linfield looks to continue its winning ways at Cal Lutheran in the Wildcats’
season-opener on Sept. 11.
ROLL THUNDER: Last year, Trine University became the first team in 16 years from the Michigan
Intercollegiate Athletic Association to win an NCAA Division III playoff game with a first-round victory over
Case Western Reserve.
This season, the Thunder have been voted as the favorites to win their third straight MIAA title after
going unbeaten against league foes in each of the last two seasons. Trine returns eight starters on both
offense and defense, and boast a strong 28-member senior class, which includes quarterback Eric Watt,
who threw for 2,161 yards and 26 touchdowns with just six interceptions.
No. 19 Trine takes a 14-game winning streak against MIAA teams into 2010, and opens play against
Manchester in a non-conference contest on Sept. 2.
AGGIES AGAIN: No. 10 Delaware Valley College will be after its third straight Middle Atlantic
Conference title, and the league’s head coaches believe the Aggies have what it takes to three-peat,
according to the preseason poll.
The Aggies return 18 starters from last year’s squad that cruised through the MAC with a 7-0 mark and
advanced to the second round of the NCAA Division III playoffs.
Highlighting the list of returnees is senior linebacker Kyle Gesswein, who has garnered Preseason All-
America accolades by D3football.com, The Sporting News and Lindy’s. The 2009 MAC Defensive Player
of the Year and D3football.com First Team All-American led the Aggies with 98 tackles, 18 tackles for loss
and 11 sacks, while helping the Aggies allow just 14.42 points per game, which ranked 13th in the nation.
DVC opens the 2010 season at Muhlenberg College on Sept. 4 before a pair of tough non-conference
contests against NCAA playoff qualifiers Washington & Jefferson (Sept. 11) and Wesley College (Sept.