December 9, 2010

A dream defensive season

More news about: Bethel

By Brian Hunsicker
For D3sports.com

Jason Hofmeyer
Jason Hofmeyer is only one piece of a Bethel defense that held St. Thomas to under 300 yards rushing in their two meetings this season, nearly 100 yards below their average the rest of the year.
Photo by Scott Pierson, d3photography.com

There must be a secret to Bethel’s defensive success. There simply must be. How else to explain a unit that ranks ninth nationally in rushing defense — yet has no lineman over 240 pounds? How else to explain the sustained success this season in total defense and scoring defense?

The secret is this: It’s not just one secret.

Instead, the combination of recruiting, coaching, chemistry and execution have come together to give the Royals a dream defensive season, as well as a trip to Mount Union in the national semifinals.

The process of building the Royals’ defense — indeed, it is a process — began years ago when the current crop of upperclassmen was recruited.

Bethel defensive coordinator Jimmy Miller said that his recruiting philosophy isn’t to identify and bring in a certain number of defensive linemen or linebackers or defensive backs. Instead, they’re looking for football players; once they’re enrolled, they’ll find a position. And sometimes long after they’re enrolled, they still might find a new home.

Junior Jason Hofmeyer was a tight end for his first two seasons with Bethel. But he moved to defensive end this season, a move which paid off for the Royals: Hofmeyer, the younger brother of former Bethel player Joey Hofmeyer, has three sacks and 29.5 tackles this season.

“We never dreamt [he would be a standout],” Miller said. “We fell into him.”

It certainly helps if the recruits come blessed with speed; that’s the hallmark of the 2010 Bethel defense. Such a philosophy originated with the University of Miami in the 1990s; more recently, TCU has capitalized on it. Bethel coach Steve Johnson said that opposing tackles should expect that if a Royal defensive lineman gets past them, they’ll likely be faster than the quarterback.

“We don’t send fat guys after the quarterback,” Johnson said.

With a lineup coalesced, Miller and his defensive assistants — linebackers coach Mike Fregeau and defensive assistant Rick Meyer — formulate the game plan. The three have been together for most of the decade; Miller has 10 years in as coordinator and Fregeau is in his 12th season as a Bethel assistant. Meyer was an all-MIAC defensive end for the Royals in 2000 and 2001 before becoming a coach there. He left for two years as a defensive coordinator at a nearby high school and is now in his sixth season back at Bethel.

Their overall goal: Stop the opponent’s run game cold. Doing so stymies the opposition and leaves them with a “disconcerting” feeling, Miller said. Just as important is the day-to-day work: Johnson marveled at hearing one of his defensive coaches remark that a particular player was a visual learner.

“He’s not just throwing the lesson plan down,” Johnson said. “He knows his guys well enough to understand how they learn.”

The familiarity of working with each other, and with the Royals’ defensive schemes and philosophy, has also been a key component of the defense’s success.

Another component: This year’s group has been particularly tight-knit. Miller couldn’t remember an instance of any of his players complaining about stats, and Johnson also raved about the unit’s cohesiveness and how they seem to genuinely enjoy being around one another.

For all of that work, though, what matters are the results on the field. And Johnson refers back to the three guiding words of the program: fast, obedient, disciplined. That drills down into individual technique; for instance, Johnson said, when a slant is called, the defensive line knows where it has to go. Just as importantly, each member knows they have to go full throttle to their assignment.

And who can argue with the results? The Royals have earned lofty rankings not just in rush defense but also in total defense (fourth nationally), scoring defense (fourth) and pass efficiency defense (29th of 236).

“We may not have the best players, but every player we have can do what we ask,” Johnson said. “Over time [the players] become confident in the coaches. You don’t worry too much about your 40 time — you become part of the machine.”

By Brian Hunsicker
For D3sports.com

There must be a secret to Bethel’s defensive success. There simply must be. How else to explain a unit that ranks ninth nationally in rushing defense — yet has no lineman over 240 pounds? How else to explain the sustained success this season in total defense and scoring defense?

The secret is this: It’s not just one secret.

Instead, the combination of recruiting, coaching, chemistry and execution have come together to give the Royals a dream defensive season, as well as a trip to Mount Union in the national semifinals.

The process of building the Royals’ defense — indeed, it is a process — began years ago when the current crop of upperclassmen was recruited.

Bethel defensive coordinator Jimmy Miller said that his recruiting philosophy isn’t to identify and bring in a certain number of defensive linemen or linebackers or defensive backs. Instead, they’re looking for football players; once they’re enrolled, they’ll find a position. And sometimes long after they’re enrolled, they still might find a new home.

Junior Jason Hofmeyer was a tight end for his first two seasons with Bethel. But he moved to defensive end this season, a move which paid off for the Royals: Hofmeyer, the younger brother of former Bethel player Joey Hofmeyer, has three sacks and 29.5 tackles this season.

“We never dreamt [he would be a standout],” Miller said. “We fell into him.”

It certainly helps if the recruits come blessed with speed; that’s the hallmark of the 2010 Bethel defense. Such a philosophy originated with the University of Miami in the 1990s; more recently, TCU has capitalized on it. Bethel coach Steve Johnson said that opposing tackles should expect that if a Royal defensive lineman gets past them, they’ll likely be faster than the quarterback.

“We don’t send fat guys after the quarterback,” Johnson said.

With a lineup coalesced, Miller and his defensive assistants — linebackers coach Mike Fregeau and defensive assistant Rick Meyer — formulate the gameplan. The three have been together for most of the decade; Miller has 10 years in as coordinator and Fregeau is in his 12th season as a Bethel assistant. Meyer was an all-MIAC defensive end for the Royals in 2000 and 2001 before becoming a coach there. He left for two years as a defensive coordinator at a nearby high school and is now in his sixth season back at Bethel.

Their overall goal: Stop the opponent’s run game cold. Doing so stymies the opposition and leaves them with a “disconcerting” feeling, Miller said. Just as important is the day-to-day work: Johnson marveled at hearing one of his defensive coaches remark that a particular player was a visual learner.

“He’s not just throwing the lesson plan down,” Johnson said. “He knows his guys well enough to understand how they learn.”

The familiarity of working with each other, and with the Royals’ defensive schemes and philosophy, has also been a key component of the defense’s success.

Another component: This year’s group has been particularly tight-knit. Miller couldn’t remember an instance of any of his players complaining about stats, and Johnson also raved about the unit’s cohesiveness and how they seem to genuinely enjoy being around one another.

 

By Brian Hunsicker
For D3sports.com

There must be a secret to Bethel’s defensive success. There simply must be. How else to explain a unit that ranks ninth nationally in rushing defense — yet has no lineman over 240 pounds? How else to explain the sustained success this season in total defense and scoring defense?

The secret is this: It’s not just one secret.

Instead, the combination of recruiting, coaching, chemistry and execution have come together to give the Royals a dream defensive season, as well as a trip to Mount Union in the national semifinals.

The process of building the Royals’ defense — indeed, it is a process — began years ago when the current crop of upperclassmen was recruited.

Bethel defensive coordinator Jimmy Miller said that his recruiting philosophy isn’t to identify and bring in a certain number of defensive linemen or linebackers or defensive backs. Instead, they’re looking for football players; once they’re enrolled, they’ll find a position. And sometimes long after they’re enrolled, they still might find a new home.

Junior Jason Hofmeyer was a tight end for his first two seasons with Bethel. But he moved to defensive end this season, a move which paid off for the Royals: Hofmeyer, the younger brother of former Bethel player Joey Hofmeyer, has three sacks and 29.5 tackles this season.

“We never dreamt [he would be a standout],” Miller said. “We fell into him.”

It certainly helps if the recruits come blessed with speed; that’s the hallmark of the 2010 Bethel defense. Such a philosophy originated with the University of Miami in the 1990s; more recently, TCU has capitalized on it. Bethel coach Steve Johnson said that opposing tackles should expect that if a Royal defensive lineman gets past them, they’ll likely be faster than the quarterback.

“We don’t send fat guys after the quarterback,” Johnson said.

With a lineup coalesced, Miller and his defensive assistants — linebackers coach Mike Fregeau and defensive assistant Rick Meyer — formulate the gameplan. The three have been together for most of the decade; Miller has 10 years in as coordinator and Fregeau is in his 12th season as a Bethel assistant. Meyer was an all-MIAC defensive end for the Royals in 2000 and 2001 before becoming a coach there. He left for two years as a defensive coordinator at a nearby high school and is now in his sixth season back at Bethel.

Their overall goal: Stop the opponent’s run game cold. Doing so stymies the opposition and leaves them with a “disconcerting” feeling, Miller said. Just as important is the day-to-day work: Johnson marveled at hearing one of his defensive coaches remark that a particular player was a visual learner.

“He’s not just throwing the lesson plan down,” Johnson said. “He knows his guys well enough to understand how they learn.”

The familiarity of working with each other, and with the Royals’ defensive schemes and philosophy, has also been a key component of the defense’s success.

Another component: This year’s group has been particularly tight-knit. Miller couldn’t remember an instance of any of his players complaining about stats, and Johnson also raved about the unit’s cohesiveness and how they seem to genuinely enjoy being around one another.

For all of that work, though, what matters are the results on the field. And Johnson refers back to the three guiding words of the program: fast, obedient, disciplined. That drills down into individual technique; for instance, Johnson said, when a slant is called, the defensive line knows where it has to go. Just as importantly, each member knows they have to go full throttle to their assignment.

And who can argue with the results? The Royals have earned lofty rankings not just in rush defense but also in total defense (fourth nationally), scoring defense (fourth) and pass efficiency defense (29th of 236).

“We may not have the best players, but every player we have can do what we ask,” Johnson said. “Over time [the players] become confident in the coaches. You don’t worry too much about your 40 time — you become part of the machine.”

For all of that work, though, what matters are the results on the field. And Johnson refers back to the three guiding words of the program: fast, obedient, disciplined. That drills down into individual technique; for instance, Johnson said, when a slant is called, the defensive line knows where it has to go. Just as importantly, each member knows they have to go full throttle to their assignment.

And who can argue with the results? The Royals have earned lofty rankings not just in rush defense but also in total defense (fourth nationally), scoring defense (fourth) and pass efficiency defense (29th of 236).

“We may not have the best players, but every player we have can do what we ask,” Johnson said. “Over time [the players] become confident in the coaches. You don’t worry too much about your 40 time — you become part of the machine.”

comments powered by Disqus
Sep. 18: All times Eastern
Final
Christopher Newport 31, at N.C. Wesleyan 28
Box Score
Sep. 19: All times Eastern
Final
Framingham State 29, at Fitchburg State 26
Box Score Recap
Sep. 20: All times Eastern
Final
RPI 41, at Castleton State 13
Box Score
Final - 2OT
at Massachusetts Maritime 26, Maine Maritime 20
Box Score
Final
at Rochester 30, Gallaudet 2
Box Score Recap
Final
at Husson 34, Alfred State 28
Box Score
Final
at Randolph-Macon 34, Sewanee 20
Box Score
Final
at Johns Hopkins 33, Moravian 14
Box Score
Final
at Utica 20, Frostburg State 12
Box Score Recap
Final
Alfred 29, at Buffalo State 21
Box Score Recap
Final
at Catholic 31, Newport News Apprentice 24
Final
at Nichols 10, Becker 3
Final
Wesleyan 22, at Middlebury 14
Box Score
4th - 00:08
51 Bridgewater State
27 Worcester State
Live Stats Video
Final
at Tufts 24, Hamilton 17
Box Score
Final
at Amherst 14, Bates 6
4th - 02:15
7 Colby
32 Trinity (Conn.)
Live Stats Live Stats Video
HALF
20 Salve Regina
14 William Paterson
Live Stats Audio
Final
at Stevenson 20, Lebanon Valley 14
Box Score
4th Quarter - 2:33
24 Allegheny
21 Hiram
Live Stats Live Stats Video Video
Final
at Merchant Marine 34, SUNY-Maritime 17
Box Score
9:19 4th
20 Case Western Reserve
23 St. Vincent
Preview Video
6:07 4th Q
59 Thomas More
27 Thiel
Preview Live Stats Video Audio
End of 4th
24 Ursinus
24 Franklin and Marshall
Preview Live Stats Video
1:00 PM
Endicott at Kean
Live Stats Video
Final
at Hampden-Sydney 56, Coast Guard 0
Box Score
Final
Maryville (Tenn.) 40, at Averett 17
HALF
17 Albright
28 Widener
Live Stats Audio Audio
4th - 02:40
43 Hobart
13 Curry
Live Stats Live Stats Video Audio Audio
4th - 03:30
28 LaGrange
37 Greensboro
Live Stats Video Audio
Final
at Dickinson 29, Susquehanna 28
Box Score Photos
Final
at Wesley 37, Rowan 7
Box Score
HALF
14 Morrisville State
14 St. Lawrence
Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
FDU-Florham at Misericordia
Live Stats
4:34 4th
17 Juniata
28 Gettysburg
Preview Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
Lincoln (Pa.) at Montclair State
Live Stats Video Audio
Final
Wabash 31, at Denison 12
1:00 PM
Bethany at Westminster (Pa.)
1:00 PM
Mount Ida at Springfield
Live Stats Video
Final
at Ithaca 42, Hartwick 7
Final
at Norwich 10, WPI 7
Box Score
1:00 PM
Iowa Wesleyan at Minnesota-Morris
1:00 PM
Huntingdon at Methodist
Video Video
4th - 10:41
31 Ohio Northern
28 Baldwin Wallace
Preview Live Stats Video Audio Audio
Haltime
14 Wilmington
21 Capital
Preview Preview Live Stats Video Audio
3:00 3rd
55 Franklin
7 Anderson
Preview Live Stats Audio Audio
3rd - 4:45
14 Carnegie Mellon
35 Washington and Jefferson
Preview Live Stats Video Audio Audio
12:40 4th Q
10 Heidelberg
43 John Carroll
Preview Live Stats Video Video Audio
12:36, 4th
10 King's
28 Lycoming
Live Stats Video Audio
1:30 PM
Geneva at Waynesburg
4th - 05:46
55 Mount Union
6 Muskingum
Preview Live Stats Audio Audio
3rd QT
13 Mount St. Joseph
14 Defiance
Live Stats Video
4th - 11:12
7 Earlham
41 Manchester
Live Stats Live Stats Video
3rd - 09:30
0 Bowdoin
19 Williams
Live Stats Video
3rd - 11:12
42 Muhlenberg
3 McDaniel
Preview Live Stats Video
HALF
27 UW-Whitewater
0 TCNJ
Live Stats Video Audio
10:27 3rd Quarter
0 Marietta
14 Otterbein
Live Stats Video Audio Audio
Halftime
13 Hope
14 Lakeland
Live Stats Video Audio
15:00 3rd
28 Olivet
7 Aurora
Live Stats Video Audio
3rd - 10:02
24 Albion
13 Concordia (Wis.)
Live Stats Video
12:00 3rd
13 North Park
21 Washington U.
Preview Live Stats Video
Halftime
14 Kalamazoo
13 Wisconsin Lutheran
Live Stats Audio
3rd - 4:15
0 UW-Eau Claire
3 Wheaton (Ill.)
Preview Live Stats Video Audio Tickets
3rd- 1:23
16 Concordia-Moorhead
14 St. John's
Preview Live Stats Video Audio Audio
11:10 3rd
0 St. Olaf
40 Bethel
Live Stats Video
3rd - 08:56
33 Augsburg
7 Carleton
Live Stats Video Audio Audio
3rd - 14:54
13 Hamline
34 Gustavus Adolphus
Live Stats Video
3rd - 07:10
23 Stetson
19 Birmingham-Southern
Preview Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
Trinity (Texas) at Sul Ross State
Preview Live Stats Audio
3rd - 05:02
12 Occidental
7 Austin
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
Southwestern Assemblies at Howard Payne
Live Stats Audio
halftime
0 Maranatha Baptist
51 Central
2:00 PM
Grinnell at Luther
Video
2:00 PM
UW-Stevens Point at Coe
Audio
3rd 7:00
13 Eureka
16 Greenville
2:00 PM
Westminster (Mo.) at MacMurray
2:00 PM
Loras at Augustana
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
Texas Lutheran at Louisiana College
Live Stats Video
3rd - 04:15
0 Illinois Wesleyan
10 Simpson
Live Stats Video
3rd - 07:55
21 Trine
0 Rockford
Live Stats
2nd QT
7 Rose-Hulman
28 Hanover
Preview Live Stats Video
3:00 PM
Plymouth State at Western Connecticut
Live Stats
3:00 PM
Hardin-Simmons at Wayland Baptist
Live Stats Video Audio
3:00 PM
Lewis and Clark at Whittier
Live Stats Video
1st - 05:02
7 Willamette
16 Cal Lutheran
Live Stats Video Audio
13:05 1st Quarter
0 Alma
0 Concordia-Chicago
Live Stats Video
3:30 PM
Carroll at Lake Forest
Live Stats Video
3:30 PM
Whitworth at La Verne
Live Stats Video Audio
4:00 PM
Westfield State at Mass-Dartmouth
Live Stats Video
Final
at $event.winner.name $event.winner.result, $event.loser.name $event.loser.result
6:00 PM
DePauw at Wittenberg
Preview Preview Live Stats Video Audio
6:00 PM
St. John Fisher at Brockport State
Live Stats Video Audio Tickets
6:00 PM
UW-River Falls at South Dakota Mines
7:00 PM
Guilford at Southern Virginia
@ Salem Stadium
Preview Live Stats Live Stats Video Audio
7:00 PM
Wooster at Oberlin
Live Stats Video Audio
7:00 PM
Ferrum at Shenandoah
Preview Live Stats Video Audio
7:00 PM
Centre at Washington and Lee
Live Stats Video Audio
7:00 PM
Kenyon at Ohio Wesleyan
7:00 PM
Wilkes at Delaware Valley
Live Stats Audio
7:00 PM
Pacific at Dubuque
Live Stats Video Audio
7:00 PM
UW-Platteville at North Central (Ill.)
Preview Preview Live Stats Video Audio Audio
7:00 PM
Chicago at Elmhurst
Preview Live Stats Video
7:00 PM
Mary Hardin-Baylor at UW-La Crosse
Live Stats Video Audio
7:00 PM
UW-Oshkosh at South Dakota State
Preview Live Stats Video Audio Audio
7:30 PM
Adrian at Benedictine
Live Stats Video Audio
8:00 PM
UW-Stout at Wartburg
Live Stats Video Audio
8:00 PM
Martin Luther at Northwestern (Minn.)
Live Stats Video
8:00 PM
Southwestern at East Texas Baptist
Preview Live Stats Video Audio Audio
10:00 PM
Rhodes at Pomona-Pitzer
Preview Live Stats Video
10:00 PM
Linfield at Redlands
Preview Live Stats Video Audio Audio
Sep. 20: All times Eastern
6:00 PM
St. John Fisher at Brockport State
Live Stats Video Audio Tickets
6:00 PM
DePauw at Wittenberg
Preview Preview Live Stats Video Audio
8:00 PM
UW-Stout at Wartburg
Live Stats Video Audio
7:00 PM
UW-Oshkosh at South Dakota State
Preview Live Stats Video Audio Audio
7:00 PM
UW-Platteville at North Central (Ill.)
Preview Preview Live Stats Video Audio Audio
7:00 PM
Mary Hardin-Baylor at UW-La Crosse
Live Stats Video Audio
10:00 PM
Linfield at Redlands
Preview Live Stats Video Audio Audio
HALF
27 UW-Whitewater
0 TCNJ
Live Stats Video Audio
4th - 07:19
55 Mount Union
6 Muskingum
Preview Live Stats Audio Audio
12:30 4th Q
10 Heidelberg
37 John Carroll
Preview Live Stats Video Video Audio
7:05, 3rd
10 King's
28 Lycoming
Live Stats Video Audio
Final
at Wesley 37, Rowan 7
Box Score
Final
at Hampden-Sydney 56, Coast Guard 0
Box Score
Final
Wabash 31, at Denison 12
6:07 4th Q
59 Thomas More
27 Thiel
Preview Live Stats Video Audio
Final
at Ithaca 42, Hartwick 7
4th - 02:40
43 Hobart
13 Curry
Live Stats Live Stats Video Audio Audio
Final
at Johns Hopkins 33, Moravian 14
Box Score
11:10 3rd
0 St. Olaf
40 Bethel
Live Stats Video
3rd - 4:15
0 UW-Eau Claire
3 Wheaton (Ill.)
Preview Live Stats Video Audio Tickets
3rd - 04:15
0 Illinois Wesleyan
10 Simpson
Live Stats Video

What We're Reading