December 16, 2006

Sun sets on coach's career

More news about: UW-Whitewater
Coaches Kehres and Berezowitz spoke to UW-Whitewater players after the game.
Photos by Ryan Coleman, D3football.com
Coaches Berezowitz and Kehres met at midfield following the game to exchange congratulations.
Coach Berezowitz sought out and spoke to Mount Union's Pierre Garcon following the game.

By Keith McMillan
D3football.com


SALEM — After his team's 35-16 Stagg Bowl XXXIV loss to Mount Union, retiring UW-Whitewater coach Bob Berezowitz recalled a pregame conversation at midfield with Purple Raiders coach Larry Kehres.

"He said to me 'If I have to get beat, I wouldn't mind getting beat today' " Berezowitz said Kehres told him, as a sign of respect for the Warhawks" coach of 22 years.

"I knew he didn't mean it though," Berezowitz laughed.

There was no riding off into the sunset for Berezowitz, who quarterbacked UW-Whitewater to an NAIA football championship in 1966, a year after he was a catcher on the Warhawks' baseball champion. Kehres coached for the 10th time in Salem since 1993, and took home the Walnut and Bronze national championship trophy for the ninth time.

The cast changes, the opponents change and the scores are all different, but one thing almost always remains the same: The happy endings in Salem belong to Mount Union.

Lest anyone think the Purple Raiders hog the titles and don"t appreciate them, witness the parade of key players who harped on how much each year is different.

"We don't ever take it for granted," said star receiver Pierre Garcon, who played his freshman season at Norwich before transferring to Mount Union. "Not too many people get this opportunity."

Defensive end Justen Stickley said he was probably the only Purple Raider who played a significant role on the only Mount Union team to lose in Salem, in 2003, said this team reminded him a lot that team: young, talented and good enough to win it all if they played well.

"The losses do affect you, if you're here for them," Stickley said. "These guys (sophomores Nate Kmic, Greg Micheli and juniors Matt Kostelnik and Garcon) don't know anything else."

They might not. Seven junior starters are expected back next season from this year's top defense in the nation, and the offensive stars mentioned above are all returning.

Kehres was asked about next season, and he said there were some good players in the program who didn't even make the 52-man roster for Salem.

"They'd better get it in gear and keep it in gear," Kehres said. "There aren't any guarantees about getting or keeping your position, and there are no guarantees about winning."

Stickley, who was also a member of the 2004 Mount Union team that lost to Stagg Bowl runner-up Mary Hardin-Baylor in the semifinals, didn't forget that. He spoke to the team during a one-hour players-only meeting the night before.

"We didn't talk about the game," said the fifth-year senior. "We talked about each other. We wanted to win this one for us as a team, not for anybody else."

The legacy at Mount Union is important, he said, as Purple Raiders want to win to uphold the tradition set by those who've gone before them, as well as meet the championship expectations thrust upon them each season.

From afar, it's easy to root against mean old Mount Union, the team who wins practically every year. But the longer you're around the players, the program and Kehres, the more endearing the whole Purple Raiders operation becomes.

And although it hurts to finish second or worse for the other 219 playoff-eligible Division III football teams, we as a division are lucky to have such a classy group to be the face of our level. Players over the years, even when they lose, love to have the opportunity to measure themselves against the best.

Mount Union, once again, proved itself the best.

Sep. 1: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Coast Guard at Anna Maria
7:00 PM
Defiance at Baldwin Wallace
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Washington and Lee at Johns Hopkins
7:30 PM
Trine at Manchester
8:00 PM
Millsaps at Belhaven
Sep. 2: All times Eastern
TBA
Muhlenberg at Wilkes
6:00 PM
Mass-Dartmouth at Mount Ida
6:00 PM
Delaware Valley at Wesley
7:00 PM
N.C. Wesleyan at Stevenson
7:00 PM
Western New England at Springfield
7:00 PM
Fitchburg State at Becker
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Albright at Salisbury
7:00 PM
WPI at MIT
7:00 PM
Salve Regina at Worcester State
7:00 PM
Bridgewater State at Curry
7:00 PM
Morrisville State at St. Lawrence
10:00 PM
Adrian at Pacific
Sep. 3: All times Eastern
TBA
Endicott at Framingham State
TBA
Kean at Christopher Newport
TBA
King's at Moravian
Live Stats
TBA
Lebanon Valley at Franklin and Marshall
TBA
Marietta at Denison
TBA
McDaniel at Catholic
TBA
Wisconsin Lutheran at Trinity Int'l
TBA
Sewanee at Kenyon
TBA
UW-Platteville at George Fox
Live Stats
12:00 PM
Washington U. at Carnegie Mellon
Live Stats
12:00 PM
Chicago at Case Western Reserve
12:00 PM
Husson at Alfred
12:00 PM
SUNY-Maritime at Maine Maritime
Video
12:00 PM
Cortland at Heidelberg
12:00 PM
Otterbein at Buffalo State
12:00 PM
Ursinus at Bethany
1:00 PM
Plymouth State at Castleton
Live Stats
1:00 PM
RPI at Norwich
1:00 PM
Randolph-Macon at Dickinson
1:00 PM
Oberlin at Kalamazoo
1:00 PM
Emory and Henry at Ferrum
1:00 PM
Wooster at Washington and Jefferson
1:00 PM
Alfred State at William Paterson
1:00 PM
St. Vincent at Alma
1:00 PM
Concordia (Wis.) at Finlandia
1:00 PM
Olivet at St. John Fisher
1:00 PM
Rowan at Widener
1:00 PM
Hobart at Brockport
1:00 PM
Union at Ithaca
1:00 PM
Susquehanna at Lycoming
1:00 PM
Utica at Misericordia
1:00 PM
TCNJ at UW-Whitewater
1:30 PM
Wilmington at Bluffton
1:30 PM
Monmouth at Hope
1:30 PM
Bridgewater at Gettysburg
1:30 PM
Muskingum at Waynesburg
1:30 PM
Juniata at Grove City
2:00 PM
Lakeland at Carroll
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
UW-Stevens Point at St. Norbert
2:00 PM
Austin at Hendrix
2:00 PM
Maranatha Baptist at Martin Luther
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Millikin at Greenville
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Eureka at Knox
Live Stats
2:00 PM
MacMurray at Rockford
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Gustavus Adolphus at Westminster (Mo.)
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
UW-La Crosse at Luther
2:00 PM
Beloit at Lake Forest
2:00 PM
Concordia-Moorhead at Jamestown
2:00 PM
Crown at Hamline
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Carleton at Macalester
2:00 PM
Bethel at Dubuque
2:00 PM
St. Scholastica at St. John's
Live Stats
2:00 PM
St. Olaf at Grinnell
2:00 PM
Buena Vista at Mayville St.
2:00 PM
Simpson at UW-Stout
2:00 PM
Aurora at Carthage
2:00 PM
UW-River Falls at Coe
2:00 PM
Ripon at Concordia-Chicago
2:00 PM
Elmhurst at Loras
2:00 PM
Huntingdon at Louisiana College
2:00 PM
North Central (Ill.) at Robert Morris-Chicago
2:00 PM
Benedictine at Wheaton (Ill.)
2:00 PM
John Carroll at UW-Oshkosh
2:30 PM
Southern Virginia at Earlham
Live Stats
4:00 PM
La Verne at Puget Sound
Live Stats
4:00 PM
Central at Whitworth
5:00 PM
Hartwick at Western Connecticut
6:00 PM
Wabash at Albion
6:00 PM
Maryville (Tenn.) at Berry
6:00 PM
Augustana at Mount St. Joseph
6:00 PM
Thomas More at Franklin
Live Stats
6:00 PM
Hampden-Sydney at Averett
6:00 PM
Redlands at Trinity (Texas)
7:00 PM
Hiram at Westminster (Pa.)
7:00 PM
LaGrange at Birmingham-Southern
7:00 PM
Thiel at Allegheny
7:00 PM
Capital at Wittenberg
7:00 PM
Shenandoah at Gallaudet
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Illinois College at Rose-Hulman
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Hanover at Centre
7:00 PM
Geneva at Frostburg State
7:00 PM
Nichols at Westfield State
7:00 PM
Greensboro at Guilford
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Hardin-Simmons at Southwestern
7:00 PM
Anderson at North Park
7:00 PM
Ohio Wesleyan at Mary Hardin-Baylor
7:00 PM
East Texas Baptist at Texas Lutheran
7:10 PM
St. Thomas at UW-Eau Claire
Video Live Stats
8:00 PM
Willamette at Rhodes
8:00 PM
Cornell at Iowa Wesleyan
Live Stats
8:00 PM
Augsburg at Northwestern (Minn.)
Live Stats
8:00 PM
Southwestern Assemblies at Howard Payne
8:00 PM
Sul Ross State at UT-Permian Basin
Dec. 18: All times Eastern
Final
Mount Union 49, at St. Thomas 35
@ Salem, Va.
Box Score Recap Recap Photos