October 7, 2010

Norwich football: The Stiles way

More news about: Norwich

Norwich senior DB
Charles Stiles is an
active-duty Marine.

By Derek Dunning,
Assistant Sports Information Director, Norwich University


NORTHFIELD, Vt. –
 Charles Stiles hasn't gone the traditional route through college.

The 27-year-old strong safety on the Norwich University football team came to Northfield in the fall of 2008 after having served two tours in Iraq as a member
of the United States Marine Corps.

"As far as I can remember and growing up as a teenager, I wanted to be in the Marine Corps," Stiles said. "I had some strong influences and mentors and they kind of steered me into that direction. My senior year of high school was also
9/11 so that kind of had a strong influence on my decisions as well."

Stiles gave up his traditional path through college and returned home during his freshman year at a Division II college in his home state of Pennsylvania.

"I had a scholarship to play football at Millersville University, but I left school during my first year for family reasons and to help out at home," he said. "All my friends were over in Iraq and I wanted to be a part of that so I enlisted in the Marine Corps in 2003."

Stiles was stationed in Okinawa, Japan for three years and during that time he was sent over to Iraq twice. He was in 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion with a military operations specialty of communications and returned from his first tour in September of 2004 and came home from the second in the spring of 2007.

Stiles' tours of duty had a large impact on how he ended up at Norwich when he found out about the Marine Enlisted Commissioning Education Program (MECEP).

"I was actually influenced by my staff non-commissioned officer in Okinawa to join the program," Stiles said. "We submitted the packet to try and get accepted by the Marine Corps headquarters."

MECEP provides members of the military a tuition scholarship to attend school in hopes that they can bring their real-life experiences as an active member of the military to the corp.

"The goal of the program is to take enlisted marines and give them an education at a university with an ROTC program and then upon completion of your degree, you get commissioned as an officer in the Marine Corps as a second lieutenant."

In his three years at Norwich, Stiles has been a stand-out not only on the gridiron but also a liaison and mentor for the Corps of Cadets as a member of MECEP.

Norwich assistant coach Mark Murnyack recruited Stiles when he initially graduated from high school in 2002 and six years later, the offer was still on the table.

"I was looking at a few other places, but I kind of wanted to go to a smaller school with a close-knit community. Vermont provided an opportunity to focus on my academics and not all the other distractions that can come along with a college lifestyle."

During Stiles' career, Norwich has gone from a 2-8 record in 2008 to an 8-3 record and ECFC Championship in 2009, as well as another strong start this year at 4-1.

"It's been an eventful process," Stiles said. "Nobody really likes to lose. But, it's been pretty exciting the past few years seeing the transformation of the team from not only the players; but with the coaching staff too. It's been a pretty moving experience."

Stiles missed last weekend's 64-7 rout of Becker College due to a military event that was mandatory for him to attend.

As an active-duty marine, Stiles simply said, "the military comes first."

Upon graduating in May next spring, Stiles will go through a series of schooling with the Marine Corps to find a suitable job for him to carry out the remainder of his service.

"My first and foremost choice would be to be a pilot. I would like the challenge and getting out of my comfort zone and jumping on a new opportunity. But, I would also have no problems with going back to ground side and being an infantry officer."

In four games this season, Stiles has recorded 12 solo tackles and seven assists for 19 total tackles. He also has a pass break-up and one forced fumble.

The Cadets return home this Saturday to Sabine Field where they will host Gallaudet University at 2 p.m. as part of Norwich's Homecoming weekend.

"It's a cliché, but we really are just trying to take it one game at a time," Stiles said. "The Mount Ida loss is probably going to be a black eye on the season, but that's behind us now and we're just trying to move on to Gallaudet."

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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Marietta at Denison
7:00 PM
Hiram at Westminster (Pa.)
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
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
Dec. 18: All times Eastern
Final
Mount Union 49, at St. Thomas 35
@ Salem, Va.
Box Score Recap Recap Photos