October 25, 2011

Receiver embodies D-III spirit

More news about: Shenandoah
Shenandoah receiver Kyle Feldman could be the poster boy for D-III.
Photo by Joe Cashwell, 

Some people told Kyle Feldman that it’s too difficult to juggle graduate school and football. But to someone who works as hard in academics, athletics and the community as Feldman does, handling difficulties is second nature.

“Being stressed is when I’m at my prime,” he says with distinction and determination in his voice.

The Shenandoah wide receiver is pursuing a doctorate in physical therapy after earning a 3.94 GPA over three fast-tracked years as an undergraduate. He was an ESPN Academic All-District player last season; he has organized a blood drive and traveled to the third-world on service trips; he’s been president of Kiwanis’ Circle K group; and was nominated this year for the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team.

What he is most of all, though, is Division III.

Pushing himself harder than anyone else around him has made him into the person he is today. When a challenge arises, his goal is to be the last one standing. He calls his experiences over the past few years as achievement based on “pure effort.”

“He’s a classic example of what hard work and having a lot of heart and having a never-die attitude can do to do well,” said Shenandoah head coach Paul Barnes.

On the field, Feldman’s development into a receiving threat happened gradually -- but steadily. He isn’t the most talented player on the Hornets team, but being roommates and longtime friends with quarterback Daniel Wright has helped him grow. In his first couple of seasons, he was shuffled between positions, eventually landing at slot receiver. Year by year, he set goals for himself: make the team, make the travel squad, play in a game, make a catch, get a touchdown.

This season, in his final year of eligibility, he achieved that last one. On Oct. 15, Feldman caught the game winning score against Maryville, the first touchdown of his collegiate career. He followed up that performance by reaching the end zone again last weekend against Methodist.

“He’s probably one of the hardest workers we have had on our football team in developing,” Barnes said. “He gets the most out of his talent than anyone I’ve ever seen.”

The coach calls Feldman “the poster child” of what it means to be a Division III student-athlete. And he’s right.

Feldman founded Shenandoah’s chapter of the group Students Helping Honduras, a national nonprofit that raises money and promotes volunteerism for the Central American country. Feldman has made two trips to Honduras to help with such things as building a fresh-water system for the locals. Lately, he said he’s been doing more physical therapy outreach. The 21-year-old plans to go to Haiti this winter, and he recently got accepted to do a service trip to Nicaragua at the end of the school year.

“To me, international work is really important,” Feldman said. “It’s a passion of mine and something I hope to do in the future as well.”

Closer to home, Feldman volunteered to set up a blood drive for the Red Cross, getting 65 to 70 units of blood donated.

Barnes said Feldman is a natural leader who has taken initiative on a multitude of projects while finding time to rattle opponents on the field and ace his academics. There’s a caring about the community and a respect for others that’s unique, Barnes said.

“He takes helping people to heart,” the coach said.

But above all that, Feldman is humble. He’s the quintessential Division III athlete, but to hear him tell it, he’s not the quintessential anything. He’s content to be doing what he’s doing.

“The more we put into life, the more we get out of it,” Feldman said.

That doesn’t leave him much time to sit back and relax – as least not in the way most people recognize it. For Feldman, he’s always searching for the next step to take or the next hurdle to leap. It’s what keeps him happy.

“I need to have pressures on me to keep going,” he said. “For me, it’s what keeps me going. I look to the future and try to be positive.”

Two more spotlight student-athletes

From the Mid-Atlantic region, Moravian defensive lineman Allen Petros and Hampden-Sydney offensive lineman Ben Rogers are nominated for the National Football Federation’s National Scholar-Athlete Award. That nomination puts them in the running for the William V. Campbell Trophy, also known as the “Academic Heisman.” (The trophy, however, has been awarded to students from major college programs all but once during its two-decade-long history.)

Petros, a senior, has had 40 tackles this year, including a team-leading 16.5 for loss and 6.5 sacks. Rogers, also a senior, is team captain and a three-time first-team All-ODAC selection. He helps blaze the trail for a rushing offense that’s surpassed the 1,000-yard mark this season. There are 30 Division III athletes nominated and 127 across all levels. The scholar-athlete award recipients (as many as 16 are chosen) will be named Wednesday, Oct. 26.

High-scoring highlights

Two games in the Mid-Atlantic saw teams top 60 points on Saturday. In the Centennial, Johns Hopkins’ potent passing attack shredded Gettysburg to the tune of 83-21. The Blue Jays put up the most points by a single team in Centennial history, while quarterback Hewitt Tomlin set a school record with 501 passing yards and seven touchdowns. The win leaves JHU in continued control of the conference ahead of this coming weekend’s showdown with Ursinus. If JHU wins against the Bears, they are guaranteed the Centennial’s automatic qualifier.

Speaking of the Bears, they got behind a 300-yard performance by signal-caller Chris Curran (153 of which went to wideout Nick Giarratano) to level Susquehanna 49-19. Performances like this clearly add intrigue to the Centennial showdown.

In the USA South, Ferrum broke 60 points by hanging 66 on winless Greensboro. Quarterback Marcus Mayo passed for two scores and ran for two more, though in all, seven different Panthers players reached the end zone. Ferrum is one of two teams in the conference that remains undefeated. Christopher Newport sits at 4-0 in conference play, while Shenandoah has just one loss. With Ferrum lining up against these squads over the next two weeks, it’s likely the automatic qualifier will be decided therein. CNU and Ferrum are certainly in control, but it is possible for a three-way tie to develop if the cards land just right.

All four of the USAC’s games saw high point totals by the victors. Shenandoah scored 46 and doubled Methodist’s point total. In the Maryville-Averett game, the fourth quarter lit up as the teams combined for 31 points in the Scots’ 45-22 victory. Maryville junior tight end, Tim Foster, played in his first game of the season and caught two passes – both for touchdowns. The win was Maryville’s first on homecoming in seven years. Finally, CNU also posted a hefty score in the 51-33 win over N.C. Wesleyan. It was midway into the third quarter before the Bishops’ offense put its first points on the board as CNU had nine tackles for loss and pressured NCWC into five turnovers. Three of those tackles came from lineman Dayn Washburn, who also forced two fumbles and had a recovery.

The ODAC had two high-scoring bouts of its own, with a slugfest between Washington and Lee and Bridgewater landing the Generals with a 52-42 victory. W&L quarterback Charlie Westfal set a school career record in total offense, having racked up 6,508 in his career. He was helped by his day of more than 270 total yards, along with four touchdowns. He joined Luke Heinsohn and Brett Murray as rushers who broke 100 yards in the game. Bridgewater’s Anthony Carter averaged 9.3 yards a carry during a 233-yard day. A furious fourth quarter by both teams saw them combine for 35 points.

Randolph-Macon reached 45 points in its overwhelming win against Guilford. Zac Naccarato hit nine receivers en route to 293 passing yards. Defensively, the team had 10 tackles for loss.

Rapid roundup

Catholic scored twice late in the fourth quarter, marking another of this season’s late-game surges, to beat Emory & Henry 28-24. Quarterback Greg Cordivari threw for 401 yards on school-record 64 attempts. The game-changer was a Miniard Culpepper fumble recovery with about 2:30 left in the matchup.

After a slow first half, Dickinson found the end zone twice to lift the team past McDaniel 17-16 in an exciting Friday night showdown. Green Terror rusher Joe Rollins had 150 yards, while Red Devil running back Mike Shimkin had 124.

Linebacker Patrick McDonough had 11 solo stops and three assists in Muhlenberg’s 28-3 win over Juniata.

Give me your best!

This is the fifth season that I’ve written the Around the Mid-Atlantic column, and because of that, I want to hear about the best games you’ve seen in that time frame. So far, I’ve only heard from ODAC fans. I know there are Centennial and USA South fans out there, too, as well as ones from Wesley. I invite you to bring your favorite games to life again.

Tell me what about the games made them memorable. I don’t need a play-by-play, just some details that either describe the events, the atmosphere or the heroes of the day. Any season from 2007 through 2011 is fair game, and it can be regular season or playoffs, just as long as it involves at least one Mid-Atlantic region team.

I’ve got a couple that quickly come to mind, and I’m sure you do, too. In the year’s final column, I’ll publish the blurbs you send me. Email me!                                        

Contact me

I would be happy to hear from anyone who has questions or feedback regarding the Around the Mid-Atlantic column or Division III football in general. Please write to me at ryan.tipps@d3sports.com or follow me on Twitter @D3MidAtlantic. I invite you to talk about players and performances on the message board’s Around the Mid-Atlantic thread. Additionally, if there is an idea you’d like to see me write about, post it there or email me.

Adam Turer

Adam Turer graduated in 2006 from Washington and Lee University, where he was a two-year starter at free safety. He lives in Cincinnati and covers area high school sports in addition to his full-time job as an attorney. Adam has contributed to D3football.com since 2007 and is in his fourth season as Around the Mid-Atlantic columnist.

2007-2011 columnist: Ryan Tipps
2003-2006: Pat Cummings
2000: Keith McMillan
1999: Pat Coleman 

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