college for years to come (because of the donation)."
After five seasons under the tutelage of Dick Bedesem, Delaware Valley welcomes Bill Manlove. Bedesem resigned at the end of last season, citing health concerns.
If Manlove's name sounds familiar, it's because he spent the last 23 seasons at Middle Atlantic Conference rival Widener. At 58, Manlove isn't spending much time wiping salty eyeballs and reminiscing about his near- quarter century at Widener, where he compiled a 182-53-1 record.
"We're so busy with what we've been doing here that I really haven't had time to miss it," Manlove said of the Widener program. "We left behind some very positive things at Widener, and there are a lot of great memories there. Now I look at this as a new challenge. This is a lot of fun for me, at this stage of my life."
Taking over at Widener is Bill Cubit, an assistant for the past three years at the University of Florida who played wideout for Delaware in the mid-1970s. Cubit is aware of Manlove's large shadow at Widener.
"Well, everybody tells you, 'Don't worry, don't worry,' but you worry," Cubit said. "I think a coach does that automatically, because you do want to win now. I know we have a lot of obstacles to overcome, but with the staff and the kids we have, I think we have a chance."
At Cheyney, Chris Roulhac takes over for Rick Comegy, whose contract was not renewed after three seasons.
Roulhac was the backfield coach at Colgate the past three years and has served as an assistant at West Chester and Drexel, when it had football. He has also been head coach at Simon Gratz and George Washington high schools in the Public League.
It will take a guy with Roulhac's experience to turn around the Cheyney program. The Wolves have lost 25 consecutive games, dating back three seasons, the longest current losing streak of any NCAA football team at any level.
"We have not even talked about that," Roulhac said of the streak. "We're trying to take everything from a positive aspect, because this is a young team and we can't let them get bogged down in what's happened in the past."
Numbers tell the success story of John Bunting.
Heading into his fifth season at the helm, the former Eagles linebacker sports a record of 26-13-2. He started with a 5-5 mark in 1988, was 5-3-2 in 1989, then strung together records of 7-3 and 9-2 in 1990 and '91.
Last season's 9-2 mark led to the New Jersey Athletic Conference title, good enough for an NCAA Division III coaches preseason ranking of 14th in the nation.
"It does put a little pressure on you," Bunting said of the ranking. "I had to laugh a little when I saw that, but it's flattering for the team. I don't feel we necessarily deserve it, but we did have an excellent year last year."
Junior quarterback Ed Hesson, an all-conference second team selection last season, is calling the signals again. In nine starts, he connected on 140 passes in 251 attempts for 1,793 yards, with 14 touchdowns and seven interceptions.
In the backfield, two-year starter Jarvis Perry is back. Perry, a senior, was the team's leading rusher last year and an all-conference second team selection, with 502 yards in 113 carries. Senior halfback Calvin Easley, second last year with 461 yards in 87 attempts, is also back.
The defense took a hit, with strong safety Joe O'Hanlon and right corner J.J. Bell departed. Senior Steve Lumenti in the only returning starter on the defensive line.
"I'd like to think that in 23 years we learned how to win at Widener, so I want to have some of that rub off here," Bill Manlove said.
He inherits a Middle Atlantic Conference team that has posted three straight 3-7 seasons, so he'll have to rub hard. Senior tackle Steve Wagner anchors an experienced offensive line that also returns senior guard Joe Boyarski, junior tackle Neil Stamy and sophomore guard Mandell Marshall.
A trio of sophomores who saw action last season will compete for the quarterback spot, with no one clearly ahead. The backfield will be led by senior running backs Darren Swift (85 carries, 477 yards, 10 touchdowns) and Bill Nolan (40 carries, 225 yards, 2 TDs). Senior Mike Ambolino (11 receptions, 117 yards) and junior Brian Fricker (14 receptions, 279 yards, 2 TDs) will fill the wideout posts.
In his inaugural season at Widener, Bill Cubit is facing a tough Middle Atlantic Conference slate with a young team.
"Division I and Division III football are the same thing, except for recruiting," Cubit said. "(But) we're so young (four returning seniors) we'll have to count on our 100-plus recruits to fill voids and help us stay competitive in the conference."
Among the veterans, Cubit is hoping sophomore running back Bill Bailey, out of Bartram High, will come through. He picked up 399 yards in 122 attempts last year.
Sophomore quarterback Scott MacHenry started last year, but will have competition, Cubit said. MacHenry completed 62 of 136 passes, a 45.6 percentage, for 854 yards. He threw a dozen interceptions and three touchdowns. Sophomore Tom Caruso, a 5-11, 149-pounder from Monsignor Bonner, saw limited action last season, but he'll be vying for the top spot.
At guard, Dave Braksator, a 5-11, 225-pound sophomore, is back. He was an all-conference pick last year.
Chris Roulhac's goal is to breathe life into a floundering program, which competes in the Division II Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference.
"I look at this as a challenge and something that can be turned around," he said. "Also, I've been associated with Cheyney for many years, with my father as admissions director, so I see this as an opportunity to turn a program around. I look forward to it."
Charles Cole, a 6-2, 210-pound senior, will be back at quarterback. Roulhac likes what Keith Higdon, a 5-9, 182-pound junior tailback, has shown.
Other returning veterans include Charles Bradley, a senior tight end; Al Brown, a senior fullback out of Northeast High; and Marvin Jackson, a junior linebacker from George Washington High.
Coach Karl Miran cited two elements that must improve if his team is to rise above last year's 2-7 mark. The Garnet must improve their ability to run the ball and stop their opponents from doing the same, according to Miran.
"We finished last season at the bottom of the Centennial Conference in both rushing offense and defense," Miran said. "We need to mature physically on both sides of the ball, because it's still a game of blocking and tackling."
Miran is optimistic about the offense, led by senior quarterback Chip Chevalier. An all-conference selection as a sophomore, Chevalier missed three games last year because of a thumb injury.
He'll be throwing to senior wideout John Crawford (33 receptions, 565 yards, 4 TDs in '91) and junior Josh Drake, who led the team with 36 catches (518 yards). Swarthmore would appear to have a pair of solid running backs in sophomore Dave Reeser (388 yards, 102 carries) and junior Tavis Tindall, who played linebacker last year after gaining 702 yards on the ground as a freshman.
One of Swarthmore's big question marks is whether senior linebacker Art Selverian, last year's leading tackler, can recover from offseason knee surgery.
Coach Steve Gilbert is coming off a 5-5 season and, entering his fifth year, has compiled a respectable 17-22 mark.
But . . .
Gilbert's teams have posted a 13-9 record at Ursinus's Patterson Field, but are 4-13 on the road. A glance at the Bears' 1992 schedule shows it's a trend not conducive to a fast start.
"We have been absolutely horrendous off of our campus," Gilbert said. ''At home, it's a different story. In the four years I've been here, I think we've only been out of one game at home. I don't know what it is, they just get really hyped up for the home games. We have to find a way to win on the road. Five out of our first seven games are on the road this year."
Though only seven seniors are on the roster, Ursinus is rich in veteran talent this year. The defense is anchored by perhaps the best two linebackers in the Centennial Conference: juniors Brian Edens and Paul Guenther. Both are
College Football Preview preseason All-America selections.
Another preseason All-America pick is multiple award winner Bill Sedgwick, a junior running back out of Central High. He ran for a school-record 845 yards last year and ranked among the nation's leading kickoff/punt returners, with 726 yards. The offensive line is led by senior Reed Nichols, another preseason All-America pick.
The number 13 is generally considered unlucky, but for the Rams it would represent their number of consecutive winning seasons if they can finish above .500.
It won't be easy, with a host of Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference foes on tap, and a couple of Division 1-AA matchups in Villanova and Delaware. Not to pressure quarterback Dave MacDonald, a sophomore out of Lincoln High, but fourth-year coach Rick Daniels is hoping for a solid season from the former Railsplitter, who saw limited action last year.
"He needs to step up and lead the offense," Daniels said.
MacDonald will be tested immediately - West Chester opens its season at Villanova tomorrow night.
"It's not the best situation for a young quarterback to get some confidence, but we think he's going to be pretty good," Daniels said. "One thing we really like is that he can read defenses well."
The running game should be the least of Daniels's worries, with sophomore tailbacks Scott Eberly and Shawn Little returning. They combined for 1,551 yards and 12 touchdowns in 378 carries.
Senior cornerbacks Ed Luckey (John Bartram High) and Brian Zisk lead the secondary. Junior Lee Woodall, a conference all-star selection last year, is back at free safety.