College Football Teams Prepare for Fall

By Wald, Bruce | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, August 12, 2012 | Go to article overview

College Football Teams Prepare for Fall


Wald, Bruce, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


Both Washington and Jefferson and Waynesburg's football teams have enjoyed consistent success under veteran head coaches Mike Sirianni and Rick Shepas.

Though unranked in the NCAA Division III preseason polls, both teams figure to compete for the President's Athletic Conference title and the playoffs.

Sirianni begins his 11th season at Washington and Jefferson and owns a 91-22 cumulative record and his .805 winning percentage is the best in the program's history.

He has also guided the Presidents to a postseason appearance in eight of his 10 seasons, including six NCAA playoffs (2004-2009). W&J has won at least nine games in eight of his years, including three-straight, 10-plus win seasons from 2006-08.

Shepas begins his eighth season at Waynesburg in 2012 and guided the Yellow Jackets to a second place (5-3) PAC finish a year ago. Highlighting the season was a 26-23 road win over nationally ranked and eventual conference champion Thomas More College.

He guided the Yellow Jackets to consecutive 5-1 conference seasons in 2006 and 2007.

New era

California University of Pennsylvania is the only one of the three nearby district college football teams to have received a preseason ranking.

The Vulcans have been ranked 21st by Lindy's and 10th by USA Today. California finished last season ranked 16th after a 10-3 season.

For the first time in a decade, the Vulcans will open the season with a new head coach. Mike Kellar has replaced the retired John Luckhardt. He served as the Vulcans' offensive coordinator from 2004- 2008 and last season. He was the head coach at Concord in 2009 and 2010 and guided the Mountain Lions to 14 wins after the program won just one game the previous two seasons.

Cal has averaged 31 points or more per game each season under Kellar, including a school-best 42.1 points per game average in 2005.

Luckhardt guided the Vulcans to a program-best 88-33 cumulative record, including a 56-12 mark over the past five seasons, which all culminated with NCAA Division II playoff appearances. He led the Vulcans to three NCAA Regional Championships, three top-10 finishes and seven consecutive PSAC West titles.

He also won 137 games at Washington and Jefferson College from 1982 through 1998 and is the career victories leader at both Washington County schools.

California opens the 2012 season on Aug.30, hosting Hillsdale College at 5 p.m.

Waynesburg opens the new season on Sept. 1 by traveling to New Concord, Ohio, to face Muskingum College at 1:30 p.m.

The Presidents also open the season with a road game on Sept. 1 at Methodist University beginning at 1 p.m.

Football on TV

For the 27th consecutive season, CUTV will be broadcasting a high school football game of the week.

Tentatively, the rebroadcast of each Friday night regular season game will be on Sunday nights on the Armstrong (channel 61) and Atlantic Broadband (channel 17) cable systems.

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College Football Teams Prepare for Fall
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