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. 23: All times Eastern
Final
at Bridgewater State 34, Fitchburg State 25
Box Score
Sep. 24: All times Eastern
Final
Christopher Newport 17, at TCNJ 0
Final
at Hobart 27, Union 23
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Final
at Thomas More 20, Carnegie Mellon 16
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Final
at Massachusetts Maritime 32, Worcester State 14
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Final
at Endicott 37, Nichols 0
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Final
MIT 30, at Maine Maritime 13
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Final
at Buffalo State 40, Morrisville State 24
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Final
at Salve Regina 48, Coast Guard 10
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Final
St. Lawrence 20, at RPI 14
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Final
at Framingham State 23, Western Connecticut 17
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Final
at Montclair State 21, Rowan 14
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Final
at Stevenson 54, FDU-Florham 15
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Final
at Trinity (Conn.) 38, Bates 7
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Final
at Western New England 59, Curry 28
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Final
at Utica 24, Cortland 13
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Final
Colby 9, at Williams 7
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Final
at Middlebury 40, Bowdoin 3
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Final
at Amherst 34, Hamilton 0
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Final
Kean 24, at William Paterson 13
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Final
at DePauw 66, Hiram 17
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Franklin and Marshall 45, at Juniata 22
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at Kenyon 31, Allegheny 7
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Salisbury 35, at Southern Virginia 0
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Albright 20, at Delaware Valley 17
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Lycoming 28, at Misericordia 24
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at Plymouth State 30, Mass-Dartmouth 14
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at Husson 35, Alfred State 0
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at Springfield 28, WPI 23
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at Moravian 24, Dickinson 10
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at Denison 45, Wooster 7
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at Wittenberg 24, Wabash 14
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at St. Vincent 57, Grove City 32
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at Susquehanna 55, Gettysburg 40
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at King's 21, Lebanon Valley 17
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at Alfred 20, Ithaca 6
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at Widener 25, Wilkes 23
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at McDaniel 30, Ursinus 27
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Final
at Muskingum 28, Marietta 10
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Final
at Minnesota-Morris 28, Iowa Wesleyan 27
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at John Carroll 42, Heidelberg 14
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Final
Ohio Northern 16, at Otterbein 10
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Final
Case Western Reserve 35, at Waynesburg 7
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Final
at Franklin 44, Bluffton 38
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Final
Rose-Hulman 23, at Defiance 15
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at Centre 49, Chicago 27
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at Mount St. Joseph 38, Manchester 19
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Final
Hanover 49, at Anderson 25
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at Merchant Marine 55, Rochester 7
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Final
Johns Hopkins 30, at Muhlenberg 24
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Final
Concordia-Chicago 42, at Maranatha Baptist 10
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Final
Washington U. 36, at Birmingham-Southern 21
Final
UW-Platteville 56, at Lakeland 0
2:00 PM
Martin Luther at Northwestern (Minn.)
Final
at Eureka 28, MacMurray 13
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4th - 03:07
14 Greenville
35 Westminster (Mo.)
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2:00 PM
Dubuque at Luther
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Final
Monmouth 52, at Lake Forest 6
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Final
St. Thomas 33, at St. John's 21
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Augsburg 49, Carleton 17
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Final
Bethel 44, at St. Olaf 7
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Final
at Hamline 42, Gustavus Adolphus 40
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Final
at UW-Whitewater 35, Morningside 21
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at Hardin-Simmons 48, Texas Lutheran 38
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Final
at UW-River Falls 42, Southwestern 22
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Simpson 17, at Buena Vista 9
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Final
at St. Scholastica 49, Crown 13
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2:00 PM
Cornell at Beloit
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2:00 PM
Augustana at Carthage
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2:00 PM
Coe at Nebraska Wesleyan
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2:00 PM
Finlandia at Wartburg
Final
at Wheaton (Ill.) 10, Elmhurst 6
Final
Hendrix 42, at Millsaps 14
2:00 PM
Illinois Wesleyan at North Park
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Final
at Macalester 34, Grinnell 0
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2:00 PM
Knox at Ripon
Final
Illinois College 40, at Lawrence 15
Final
UW-Oshkosh 77, at Morthland College (Ill.) 0
Final
Central 42, at Loras 34
Box Score
3:00 PM
Thiel at Geneva
Final
UW-Eau Claire 40, at Wisconsin Lutheran 14
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HALF
7 St. John Fisher
28 Brockport
Video Live Stats Audio
4th - 11:19
37 UW-Stevens Point
19 Adrian
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4:00 PM
UW-La Crosse at Carroll
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6:00 PM
Sewanee at Berry
Video Live Stats Audio
6:00 PM
Westminster (Pa.) at Bethany
6:00 PM
Ohio Wesleyan at Oberlin
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1st - 00:21
0 Wesleyan
3 Tufts
Video Video Preview Live Stats
6:30 PM
Mount Union at Baldwin Wallace
Video Preview Preview Live Stats Audio Audio
7:00 PM
Wilmington at Capital
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7:00 PM
Austin at Southwestern Assemblies
Video Preview
7:00 PM
Langston at McMurry
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7:00 PM
Millikin at North Central (Ill.)
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10:00 PM
Trinity (Texas) at Chapman
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Sep. 24: All times Eastern
Final
at Thomas More 20, Carnegie Mellon 16
Box Score Recap
Final
at Hobart 27, Union 23
Box Score
Final
Christopher Newport 17, at TCNJ 0
Final
at Wittenberg 24, Wabash 14
Box Score
Final
Salisbury 35, at Southern Virginia 0
Box Score
Final
Albright 20, at Delaware Valley 17
Final
at Utica 24, Cortland 13
Box Score
Final
at Stevenson 54, FDU-Florham 15
Box Score Recap
Final
at Franklin 44, Bluffton 38
Box Score
Final
Johns Hopkins 30, at Muhlenberg 24
Box Score
Final
St. Thomas 33, at St. John's 21
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at UW-Whitewater 35, Morningside 21
Final
at Hardin-Simmons 48, Texas Lutheran 38
Box Score
Final
at Wheaton (Ill.) 10, Elmhurst 6
Final
UW-Platteville 56, at Lakeland 0
Final
UW-Oshkosh 77, at Morthland College (Ill.) 0
Final
Central 42, at Loras 34
Box Score
HALF
7 St. John Fisher
28 Brockport
Video Live Stats Audio
6:30 PM
Mount Union at Baldwin Wallace
Video Preview Preview Live Stats Audio Audio
7:00 PM
Millikin at North Central (Ill.)
Video Live Stats Audio