November 12, 2010

Quietly ending a controversy

More news about: Lycoming
Josh Kleinfelter
Josh Kleinfelter has left his legacy amongst Lycoming running backs.

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. - Josh Kleinfelter probably didn't even know about the controversy he started as he approached Lycoming College's career rushing record.

In truth, by the time he finishes his career after Saturday's game at FDU-Florham, it won't matter anyhow.

 
Tim Deasey
Tim Deasey
When Tim Deasey '02 graduated from Lycoming, the rushing record was his. He broke it on Senior Day against Delaware Valley; the school even stopped the game to recognize his accomplishment. A phenomenal player who still holds school records for rushing yards (253) and touchdowns (5) in a game, Deasey was an All-MAC back that rolled for 2,868 yards in his career.

"Tim Deasey was an explosive kid," said Lycoming head coach Mike Clark '93. "He could just fly."

However, in the summer after his senior year, the National Collegiate Athletic Association made a change that was a longtime coming – making postseason games count toward a team's overall season statistics. So that means, in 1990 and 1997, as the Warriors made postseason runs to the Division III title game, the stats in the playoffs didn't count. 

 
Brian Thompson
Brian Thompson
With the change, the College went back through the archives and added in the stats for those games and thanks to 512 rushing yards during the Cinderella Warriors run to the 1997 title game, Brian Thompson '99 leaped ahead of Deasey in the category. Thompson, an All-American in 1997, five years after he had graduated, was credited with 3,267 career yards, more than 700 of which came while playing in 11 NCAA playoff games. 

"Brian Thompson was a phenomenal player," Clark said. "He had a pretty good yards-per-carry average."

No one really noticed the record book correction until this year, and it prompted the question – how did Tim Deasey break the school rushing record in 2001 when Brian Thompson, who graduated three years before him, held it now? Enter Kleinfelter.

Clark smiled as he remembered one of the first conversations he had with former head coach Frank Girardi after taking over the program in spring 2007.

"G told me this kid could be the best tailback we've ever had," Clark remembers. That praise was coming from a man who is celebrated as one of the finest small-college coaches ever, not to mention a man who coached 14 all-conference running backs and two All-Americans at the position during his 36-year career.

Kleinfelter, in many ways, lived up to Girardi's expectations from day one – earning Second Team All-MAC honors as a freshman and running for 1,123 yards while leading the Warriors to the NCAA playoffs as a sophomore in 2008. By the time his senior year rolled around, Kleinfelter was already just the fourth player in school history to earn all-league honors three times. He was within what most thought was shouting distance of the school's rushing record set by Thompson, needing 815 yards to reach the mark.

While many thought that since only 12 backs in the history of the program have run for 800 yards in a season, Kleinfelter would need a full season to do the work to get the record, what he has done this season is beyond special.

He joined Deasey as the only backs in school history to post two 200-yard games in a season. He was named to the D3Football.com Team of the Week twice. He rushed for more than 100 yards in five straight games, establishing a school record. He cruised past Deasey's total for career yardage of 2,868 regular-season yards in the third game of the season and by the fifth week, he held the school's rushing record thanks to a 147-yard game at Albright in a 50-0 win.

"To be on the top of a list with guys like Brian Thompson, Tim Deasey, Cory Sheridan and Troy Erdman speaks volumes about the type of player that Josh Kleinfelter is," Clark said. "I won't say that Josh is definitely the best, but I won't say that those guys definitely are either. He's in the conversation."

As for how Kleinfelter feels about being in that conversation, he rarely lets anyone know by his words. Soft-spoken by nature, Kleinfelter nearly shrugged off the record when asked about it.

"It was a team effort all-around," he said. "I had help everywhere. It just kind of jumped up on me. I try not to think about records too much. The real thing that matters is championships."

His teammates, though, who helped the running back rush for more than 1,000 yards through the first seven games of the year (another College first) aren't so humble on Kleinfelter's behalf. Senior offensive lineman Matt Landseidal said, "We take as much credit as him for the record. He might not take as much as people think he does. But he's a great player. He never lets the first guy tackle him, that's the big thing."

As for whether he's the greatest or not, only one thing is for sure: Josh Kleinfelter will never tell you whether he is or not. He'll leave that up to you – and the numbers speak for themselves.

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
Live Stats
8:00 PM
Millsaps at Belhaven
Sep. 2: All times Eastern
6:00 PM
Mass-Dartmouth at Mount Ida
6:00 PM
Delaware Valley at Wesley
7:00 PM
Muhlenberg at Wilkes
7:00 PM
N.C. Wesleyan at Stevenson
7:00 PM
Western New England at Springfield
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Fitchburg State at Becker
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Albright at Salisbury
7:00 PM
WPI at MIT
Live Stats
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
12:00 PM
Endicott at Framingham State
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
12:00 PM
Sewanee at Kenyon
1:00 PM
King's at Moravian
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Kean at Christopher Newport
1:00 PM
McDaniel at Catholic
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Lebanon Valley at Franklin and Marshall
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
Live Stats
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
The Apprentice School at Methodist
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
Wisconsin Lutheran at Trinity Int'l
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
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
2:30 PM
Lawrence at Presentation
4:00 PM
UW-Platteville at George Fox
4:00 PM
La Verne at Puget Sound
Video Live Stats
4:00 PM
Central at Whitworth
5:00 PM
Hartwick at Western Connecticut
Live Stats
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
7:00 PM
Denison at Marietta
7:00 PM
Hiram at Westminster (Pa.)
7:00 PM
Thiel at Allegheny
7:00 PM
Capital at Wittenberg
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Shenandoah at Gallaudet
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Illinois College at Rose-Hulman
Video Live Stats
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
LaGrange at Birmingham-Southern
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
7:30 PM
Hanover at Centre
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
8:30 PM
Redlands at Trinity (Texas)
Dec. 18: All times Eastern
Final
Mount Union 49, at St. Thomas 35
@ Salem, Va.
Box Score Recap Recap Photos