August 1, 2013

Shenandoah Season Preview

More news about: Shenandoah

By Byron Mitchell '14

WINCHESTER, Va. - New head coach Scott Yoder and the Shenandoah University football team are prepared for competitive competition in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference this fall.

Shenandoah completed its first ODAC season in disappointing fashion. The Hornets finished the 2012 season 1-9 overall and 0-7 in conference play.

The lone victory came over Stevenson in week one.

Yoder, who came to SU after spending 12 seasons as the associate head coach at Hobart College (N.Y.), was named as the third coach in program history in January.

Associate Head Coach Brock McCullough believes the 2013 team will be better prepared and know what to expect from their ODAC opponents after their first run thru the league last fall.

 "I expect a stronger showing now that our players have some ODAC experience and knowledge about all our league opponents," McCullough said.

Senior cornerback Sean Blackman is in agreement with his coach.

"I do believe that the experience we had in the ODAC last season will help better prepare ourselves for each game that is on our schedule," Blackman, a team co-captain, said. 

Yoder, who retained defensive line coach Kalvin Oliver along with McCullough from last year's staff, has brought in Stan Hodgin and Drake Woodard to round out the full-time staff.

Hodgin, the offensive coordinator, comes to SU from fellow ODAC school Emory & Henry while Woodard played and coached under Yoder at Hobart.

The former D3football.com All-America will coach the defensive backs in his first full-time coaching assignment.

McCullough was promoted by Yoder to Associate Head Coach and shifted his primary coaching responsibility to the offensive side of the ball to head the offensive line after serving as the defensive coordinator for seven years.

With Hodgin coaching the offense, the Hornets have gone to a spread look and will look to push the tempo on every occasion.

Yoder serves as his own defensive coordinator and has turned the defense into a 4-4 base.

"We have a group of young men returning and a very talented incoming class of first year players," McCullough said.

This season, the Hornets roster will feature a group of gifted freshmen to go along with their talented returners. The squad welcomes 43 new faces (39 freshmen and four transfers) to join their 57 returners.

On defense, the Hornets return a pair of excellent defensive backs.

Two-time all-conference honoree Byron Mitchell, a three-year starter at safety, headlines this group.

Mitchell, who earned second team All-ODAC honors in 2012 after being named first team All-USA South in 2011, is coming off an outstanding season as he finished third on the team in tackles, 61, and was second in the league with three interceptions.

He also came up big on special teams by leading the ODAC in kickoff return yards and recording three receptions for 83 yards on fake punts.

All three of those receptions went for first downs.

Mitchell's classmate, Sean Blackman, returns at the cornerback position.

Last fall, Blackman totaled 48 tackles and broke up four passes. His strong cover skills forced teams to consistently throw away from him.

Following the season, he was named third team All-ODAC.

Headlining the defensive line powerhouse is senior Evan Griffin, who also earned third team all ODAC honors in 2011.

Griffin, also an All-ODAC honoree in both indoor and outdoor track, had 22 total tackles including 8.0 for loss and a second-best-in-league six sacks.

Bookending the other side of the line is Evan's younger brother, Ian Griffin, who had 37 total tackles in his first year as a starter. 

Junior David Bell returns at wide receiver, moving to the slot position, with sophomore Andrew Smith leading the ground attack.

In 2011, Smith rushed for a team-best 573 yards and nine touchdowns. 

Bell finished second on the team with 19 receptions for 385 yards and one TD.

Last spring, Mitchell, Blackman, Bell and senior defensive tackle Preston Funk were named team captains for the 2013 season.

The Hornets open camp on Wednesday, August 14th.

"I believe the expectations are very high," McCullough said. "Our returning players, transfers, freshmen, and coaching staff are certainly excited for camp."

The season opener is September 7 with a 7 p.m. non-league home game against Gallaudet University.

Sep. 1: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Coast Guard at Anna Maria
7:00 PM
Defiance at Baldwin Wallace
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7:00 PM
Washington and Lee at Johns Hopkins
Video
7:30 PM
Trine at Manchester
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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
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7:00 PM
Fitchburg State at Becker
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7:00 PM
Albright at Salisbury
7:00 PM
WPI at MIT
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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
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12:00 PM
Washington U. at Carnegie Mellon
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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
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1:00 PM
Kean at Christopher Newport
1:00 PM
McDaniel at Catholic
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1:00 PM
Lebanon Valley at Franklin and Marshall
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1:00 PM
Plymouth State at Castleton
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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
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1:00 PM
Wooster at Washington and Jefferson
1:00 PM
Alfred State at William Paterson
1:00 PM
St. Vincent at Alma
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1:00 PM
Concordia (Wis.) at Finlandia
1:00 PM
Olivet at St. John Fisher
1:00 PM
Rowan at Widener
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1:00 PM
Hobart at Brockport
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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
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2:00 PM
UW-Stevens Point at St. Norbert
2:00 PM
Austin at Hendrix
2:00 PM
Maranatha Baptist at Martin Luther
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2:00 PM
Millikin at Greenville
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2:00 PM
Eureka at Knox
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2:00 PM
MacMurray at Rockford
2:00 PM
Gustavus Adolphus at Westminster (Mo.)
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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
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2:00 PM
Carleton at Macalester
2:00 PM
Bethel at Dubuque
2:00 PM
St. Scholastica at St. John's
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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
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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
Audio
2:30 PM
Southern Virginia at Earlham
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2:30 PM
Lawrence at Presentation
4:00 PM
UW-Platteville at George Fox
4:00 PM
La Verne at Puget Sound
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4:00 PM
Central at Whitworth
5:00 PM
Hartwick at Western Connecticut
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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
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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
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7:00 PM
Shenandoah at Gallaudet
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7:00 PM
Illinois College at Rose-Hulman
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7:00 PM
Geneva at Frostburg State
7:00 PM
Nichols at Westfield State
7:00 PM
Greensboro at Guilford
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7:00 PM
LaGrange at Birmingham-Southern
7:00 PM
Hardin-Simmons at Southwestern
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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
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7:30 PM
Hanover at Centre
8:00 PM
Willamette at Rhodes
8:00 PM
Cornell at Iowa Wesleyan
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8:00 PM
Augsburg at Northwestern (Minn.)
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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)
Sep. 1: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Washington and Lee at Johns Hopkins
Video
Sep. 2: All times Eastern
6:00 PM
Delaware Valley at Wesley
7:00 PM
Albright at Salisbury
Sep. 3: All times Eastern
12:00 PM
Cortland at Heidelberg
1:00 PM
TCNJ at UW-Whitewater
2:00 PM
North Central (Ill.) at Robert Morris-Chicago
2:00 PM
John Carroll at UW-Oshkosh
Audio
2:00 PM
Huntingdon at Louisiana College
2:00 PM
St. Scholastica at St. John's
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2:00 PM
Benedictine at Wheaton (Ill.)
4:00 PM
UW-Platteville at George Fox
4:00 PM
Central at Whitworth
6:00 PM
Thomas More at Franklin
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6:00 PM
Wabash at Albion
7:00 PM
East Texas Baptist at Texas Lutheran
7:00 PM
Ohio Wesleyan at Mary Hardin-Baylor
7:00 PM
Hardin-Simmons at Southwestern
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7:10 PM
St. Thomas at UW-Eau Claire
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