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topic Xavier-Marshall article
[General Discussion]
September 29, 2021, 06:37:58 PM
topic Bellarmine football
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September 13, 2021, 09:15:15 AM
topic Wistful/wishful thinking
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September 03, 2021, 09:14:10 AM

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General Discussion / Re: Xavier-Marshall article
« Last post by Bruce on September 29, 2021, 06:37:58 PM »
Doesn’t seem to be any appetite for football, at any level, D1, D3, Club, etc.

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General Discussion / Re: Xavier-Marshall article
« Last post by nickgyp on September 27, 2021, 04:08:41 PM »
I have to confess that the last years of Xavier football were tough except for the 1973 campaign when it appeared turned around. I had to smile reading Rick Kase?s comments about that last play when Marshall scored. Kate was a helluva a linebacker who is in Xavier?s Hall of Fame. I have to wonder why he wasn?t on the field at the time. He wasn?t the tallest linebacker but he had a nose for the ball.

Then again, maybe it was just meant to be.  But then again, Villanova dropped football and then resumed it years ago. And last weekend, the Wildcats put up 17 points against no. 6 Penn State at PSU.

And Xavier can?t field a team?
General Discussion / Xavier-Marshall article
« Last post by nickgyp on September 27, 2021, 04:54:44 AM »
Came upon this article in local Cincinnati newspaper. The article recalls the tragedy of the plane crash that took so many young Marshall players; and the miracle finish that gave the Thundering Herd a win over the Muskies. This occurred when Xavier football was in a downward spiral; one  that eventually led to the decision to drop the sport in 1973. The loss had to have been hard on the Xavier players; but, as the article points, maybe it was just meant to be.

Kudos to the Xavier football alums who made it to Marshall to share in this ceremony. As much as I bemoan the fact Xavier dropped football, the loss pales in comparison to the tragic loss of life that Marshall experienced.

It was meant to be.' Xavier football remembers post-plane crash loss at Marshall 50 years ago
Adam Baum
Cincinnati Enquirer

A ceremony was held on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, celebrating the 50th anniversary of Marshall University's first win following the 1970 plane crash that killed nearly its entire football team. The Thundering Herd beat Xavier on Sept. 25, 1971. Several former Musketeers attended the ceremony on Sept. 18.
Teams that have success are often remembered for it. Even long after the competition ends, that success seems to follow them wherever they go.

Some, though, are remembered for the other side. Just like a memorable championship, one loss ? under the right circumstances ? can follow a team forever.

Fifty years ago today, a game like that was played. And the circumstances surrounding that meeting in Huntington, West Virginia, are unrivaled.

A year prior, on Nov. 14, 1970, nearly the entire Marshall University football team was killed when their chartered jet, returning home from a loss at East Carolina, crashed into a hillside just outside the Tri-State Airport near Huntington.

All 75 people on board were killed.

Instead of suspending the following season, Marshall was able to rebuild a roster and a coaching staff to field a team.

Marshall football returns to the football field
Ten months after the crash, the Thundering Herd welcomed Xavier University to Fairfield Stadium for a game on Sept. 25, 1971.

With eight seconds left in the game, Xavier led 13-9 but Marshall had the ball at the Musketeers' 13-yard line.

"I played almost the entire game," Rich Kase, an inside linebacker for the Musketeers, said. "They pulled me so I was on the sideline. So I'm watching this develop ... I saw the guy come out of the backfield."

Kase saw Terry Gardner, a Marshall freshman, slip out of the backfield for a screen pass.

"I saw him juke one guy, then he walks into the end zone," said Kase. "... And the whole place went wild. No time left ? 15-13, game over."

Fifty years later, the magnitude of that moment isn't lost on those who experienced it.

"I never knew the game would have that much impact," said Matt Chinchar, who played offensive line at Xavier from 1969-73. "It became a movie ('We Are Marshall'). After watching the movie and all that transpired with them ... it was divine intervention. It was meant to be for some healing to take place at the university.

"A loss, God took it and made something good out of it, not necessarily for us, but for that university."

Last weekend, Marshall held a ceremony honoring that win over Xavier, the team's first since the crash. Several Musketeers ? Kase, Chinchar and Mike Sherrett ? returned to Huntington with Mike Barras, a Xavier offensive lineman (1969-73), who spearheaded the effort to be a part of the ceremony.

Former Xavier University offensive lineman, Mike Barras, and Allen Meadows, a former Marshall defensive lineman, were interviewed on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, during a ceremony remembering Marshall's win over Xavier 50 years ago. It was the Thundering Herd's first win following a plane crash that killed most of the team.
Barras is from Appleton, Wisconsin, and when someone asks him how he ended up in Cincinnati, he has a clever answer that serves as a reminder of how much a game five decades ago still means to him.

"Well, the answer was I got a football scholarship to come to Xavier University, but that's not my response," said Barras. "Did you ever see the movie 'We Are Marshall'? Do you remember what team they played at the end in the final sequence? And maybe one person out of 10 would say Xavier, but most of them wouldn't.

"So from that standpoint, if we had won that game, Xavier football would have been just as in the past as it ever was. But since we lost the game, they did make a movie."

Xavier football ended in 1973 season
Xavier dropped its football program following the 1973 season, a decision that still doesn't sit well with former players. But that's also part of why the past remains important for those who put on the pads at Xavier.

"If it wasn't for Mike Barras, I don't know if I would have went (to the ceremony)," said Chinchar, who's kept football a part of his life as a longtime assistant coach at Glenville High School in Cleveland, Ohio. "But he encouraged me and talked to me, and I said, 'You know what? I'm going to go because it's a special moment in history.' And to meet some of the guys we played against."

The game still stings on the Xavier side, but last weekend presented some perspective for the Musketeers.

"A lot of times, jokingly, I tell people, 'Yeah, I played in the 'We Are Marshall' game, and we made history like General Custer did at The Last Stand. We made history by losing a game,'" Kase laughed. "You have a lot of feelings after something like that happens. We didn't win the game, but I had a pretty good career at Xavier. I was captain my senior year. I was MVP on defense. ... I had a great time while I was there. I made great friends.

"I spoke down at this function over the weekend (at Marshall). And I said, 'Listen, I have not gotten over this.'

"We played this game 50 years ago and everybody remembers it. I watch that movie all the time, but I don't watch it from start to finish. I watch it but I know how it ends."

Meeting their competitors, hearing their stories and memories from a lifetime ago was emotional.

"I didn't know what to expect," said Kase. "My wife, Cathy, and I went down. And I thought some of the guys are probably going to give you the needle because they beat us and they weren't supposed to, but they were just as kind as can be. I'm sitting on a panel discussion, next to this defensive lineman for Marshall. We're both 69 years old and he's talking about the game and then all of a sudden tears are coming down. I'm tapping him on the shoulder trying to make him feel better, but we both got caught up in our emotions."

The past is never fully gone. Some may choose to run from it, others choose to embrace it.

Kase, Chinchar and Barras all made the same reference to Marshall and the events that followed that day as they remembered that game ? a phoenix rising from the ashes.

"I'm kind of glad it happened," said Barras. "Because without that, I'm not talking to you.

"... And maybe we rise with the ashes for just a moment anyhow. Or we get a moment in the sun in our senior years."

General Discussion / Re: Bellarmine football
« Last post by nickgyp on September 13, 2021, 09:15:15 AM »

Sprint football with its lower weight limits seems to be downsizing. Heck, if this catches on then maybe the next thing will be ?sprite football? football for elves? no meaning for ?third and short??.
General Discussion / Re: Bellarmine football
« Last post by Bruce on September 11, 2021, 01:58:47 PM »
Sprint football?  That’s a new one on me.  Could be entertaining.

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General Discussion / Bellarmine football
« Last post by nickgyp on September 08, 2021, 09:35:07 AM »
Former Xavier sports reporter Shannon Russell tweeted about this as she now covers sports in Louisville, Kentucky. Rumors of Bellarmine's interest in football have been seen before but I have never heard of sprint football.

Intriguing and hope it works out as it is clearly better than no football. As for X having it, it would be better than no football as well but, as a practical matter it would discriminate against those of us weighing more than 178 lbs. Just think: Xavier club football fan favorite Jon Bokar who played a few seasons for the Muskies tipped the scales north of 400lbs. and he was a welcomed addition. An affable young man who worked hard in practice. Like all the Xavier clubbers (most of whom would have been ineligible weight-wise to play sprint football), these guys played for the love of the game. While it would be better than no football, I am not enthused by sprint football. Regular National Club Football remains a better option in my book....now if I could only get that book published and read.

Bellarmine adding 'Sprint Football' for players under 178 pounds, beginning in 2022
Special to WDRB Sports Jun 21, 2021 Updated Jun 21, 2021 Comments
Bellarmine sprint football
Bellarmine University
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Bellarmine University announced Monday that it will be a charter member of the new Midwest Sprint Football League (MSFL) that will begin play in the fall of 2022.

Sprint football is a non-NCAA sport that adheres to the same rules as regular football with the only exception being a 178-pound weight limit (183 pounds with additional metrics). The weight limitation is designed to make the game both faster-paced and safer.

While not an NCAA sport, the new sprint football team will operate under the umbrella of Bellarmine?s athletics department. Bellarmine?s plans for the sport include hiring a full-time head coach in the near future and recruiting a team of 40 to 50 players to begin play next fall. Bellarmine hopes to expand the roster to as many as 80 players as the sport continues to grow.

Bellarmine will utilize its Newburg Sports Park at 3408 Newburg Road (about two miles south of the main campus) for practice with the game sites still being determined.

?I believe the addition of sprint football will allow local and regional football players the opportunity to continue playing the sport they love and receive a great Bellarmine education,? said Bellarmine Director of Athletics Scott Wiegandt. ?The home games will be another gathering point for our campus community to rally around to support their classmates. As we continue on our path and strategically grow as a department, this addition is another step toward realizing the mission of Bellarmine University.?

Sprint football evolved on the East Coast with teams such as the University of Pennsylvania, Army and Navy helping launch the sport in 1934.

In its current form, it is organized under the direction of the nine-member Collegiate Sprint Football League (CSFL), which consists of teams from the eastern U.S. The addition of the separate Midwest Sprint Football League, with its own by-laws and championships, will represent the largest single-year expansion of the sport in nearly 90 years. Joining Bellarmine in the MSFL will be Calumet College of St. Joseph (Ind.), Fontbonne University (Mo.), Midway University (Ky.), Quincy University (Ill.), and Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College (Ind.).

?Sprint football will be new to some fans in the Midwest and Upper South, but it won?t take long for our part of the country to get excited about sprint football,? said Nancy Blattner, Ph.D., President of Fontbonne University and founding Chair of the MSFL Board of Governors. ?Sprint offers a distinctive and fast-paced approach to playing football at the highest level. Our six member institutions are working together to provide new opportunities to student-athletes, who will take football in our four-state region in a different and inspiring direction.?

Bellarmine Senior Vice President Sean Ryan said the addition of sprint football will help the university meet goals established in the university?s long-range strategic plan. ?A self-sustaining (sprint football) program makes sense for Bellarmine,? he said. ?It deepens our relationships in key target areas for admissions, including the local markets, the South and the Midwest. The increased exposure and coverage that comes with joining this league will allow us to acquaint many more potential students with the benefits of pursuing a liberal arts education at Bellarmine.?

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General Discussion / Wistful/wishful thinking
« Last post by nickgyp on September 03, 2021, 09:14:10 AM »
College football has commenced. Fishing around ESPN+ last night and saw parts of televised games none of which I watched beyond a few plays. First up. a team named North American playing at Lamar (the former being in only its second year of competition). Then on to Incarnnate Word playing at Youngstown State. Incarnate Word is located in Texas and it is a relatively new school but still could afford to go play the Penquins in Ohio. Yes, the Penquins, Xavier played in football when the Polish Rifle, Ron Jaworski, QB'd YSU. Then there was Austin Peay playing at Chattanooga another Xavier football foe from past years. Didn't seem to be many in attendance at this game. Mercer football is another new school playing football at ahomegamethat seemed well attended.

Where's Title IX in all this? How do these schools afford football?

Falls at Xavier are not the same. Dang, I miss Xavier football. Is this Pioneer Football League really an out-of-reach proposition?
General Discussion / 75 views and "veteran savvy"
« Last post by nickgyp on July 24, 2021, 08:30:01 AM »

When I was younger, I always enjoyed anticipating fall as Street and Smith's football magazines became available to buy. Both college and pro football magazines were purchased and I always was anxious to read about Xavier's prospects in the former. The latter was also interesting as for catching up on my favorite pro teams and players.

Since collegiate players back then only had three years of eligibility, it was difficult to apply to them a term that was often assigned to pro players who had been in the league for a long time and now were players who kept playing even though their physical skills had waned considerably. Yes: "Veteran Savvy". The Street and Smith writers would always mention at the end of the team's articles those players who brought 'veteran savvy" to the team which basically meant that the player(s) knew how to play the game but could only physically perform at a marginal level (if at all).

My last post on Loyola's club football team has drawn at this point 75 views. Not bad and I have to assume that those views include others going by my name or Bruce's. I have to this that there are football alums among those viewers whether they be club alums or pre-1973 players. Wht I  am suggesting is that there may be enough to field a club team with those viewers and earn eligibility by enrolling in Xavier's "E Pluribus Unum" course that is required (if it still goes by that name).

As outlandish as this may seem, envision a team of 30-40 players. Hopefully, some would be club team veterans who could physically still play. If the team was all pre-1973alums then there would be a serious problem: "veteran savvy" might  only last one down. Not a good recipe for a winning season I guess, But, as I have written before, a guy can always dream even if it is far-fetched.

This idea is probably too late for a successful 2021 season but it has got to start somewhere! Like Aerosmith and Steven Tyler, I will "Dream On". Hope everyone is doing well. If we can survive the cicadas as we did locally this summer, anything is possible!!!

General Discussion / 2021 NCFA Loyola Chicago
« Last post by nickgyp on June 11, 2021, 09:00:50 AM »
I look at the NCFA site on occasion to see what other schools are still playing club football especially in the midwest, The Ramblers' program is still intact having come into existence after Xavier's. Apparently, the program has had recent success, Loyola is a Jesuit school which is much larger than Xavier but its number of players isn't overwhelming.

I miss Xavier club football. Not sure if it will ever get another shot but, as I have said in the past, a guy can hope,

General Discussion / Presbyterian new head coach
« Last post by nickgyp on May 27, 2021, 09:43:38 AM »
I find the following article to be interesting. Presbyterian, a small liberal arts school, has hired an highly unorthodox but very successful high school, for its football team which just this year which went non-scholarship to begin playing in the non-scholarship Pioneer Football League. Why a successful high school coach after so many years at a high school in Arkansas would take a distant college position South Carolina intrigues me. The school (approximately 1200 undergrads) has been playing football since 1913 but it decided to no longer to offer football scholarships. I do not know the finances involved re the coach's salary but I can't imagine it to be a huge amount under the circumstances of what appears to be a de-emphasis of football. I guess the school is optimistic that it will work financially. Sure would be nice to see Xavier playing in the PFL. A guy can hope!

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