Wednesday, December 13th, 2006
Otte ends career with fantastic year
By Gary R. Rasberry
It's a perfect way to end a college football career.
Wilmington senior safety Chad Otte finished his college career as a finalist for the Gagliardi Trophy, signifying the top player in Division III football.
The Marion Local graduate was one of 10 finalists for the award, to be presented tonight in Salem, Va. in preparation for the Division III national title game. Otte just missed out on being one of the four regional finalists who are invited to the presentation.
Otte, the former Flyer quarterback who guided Marion to a state championship in 2001, was one of the top defensive backs in the nation, ranking third in Division III with nine interceptions as well as being one of the leaders in the division in passes defended with 18 (nine INT, nine pass break ups).
The Ohio Athletic Conference named Otte first team on defense thanks to 84 tackles on the season. Otte also earned the Lee Tressel Award as the OAC's top defensive back. Lee Tressel, father to Ohio State coach Jim, was the longtime coach at Baldwin-Wallace.
Otte picked up another award as d3football.com named him to the All-North Region team.
Hoyng finishes fine career for Flyers
The 2006 football season was a rare disappointing one for the University of Dayton. For the first time in 29 years, the Flyers had a losing season in going 4-6 overall and 1-6 in the Pioneer Football League.
Senior quarterback Kevin Hoyng (Coldwater) threw for 2,052 yards on 131-of-221 passing with 11 touchdowns and eight interceptions. Hoyng also ran for 419 yards with a touchdown run.
Hoyng finishes his career as the leader in all-time total offensive yards with 5,844 yards.
Versailles grad Ben Shappie played a major role for the Flyers as well. Shappie, a fullback, rushed for 170 yards with six touchdowns and caught seven passes for 71 yards on the season.
Defensively, the Flyers had several local players dotting the roster. St. Marys grad Corey Vossler had a strong year as a defensive back, recording 36 tackles while older brother Scott, a linebacker, had 21 tackles with two sacks.
New Bremen alum Marcus Overman appeared in all 10 games, recording three tackles while St. Henry grad Alan Hartke added one tackle in three appearances. Redskin Kalen Hemmelgarn and Coldwater grad Brady Geier were also on the Flyers roster this season.
Hemmelgarn has solid second year with Dragons
Tiffin started its season with 10 straight wins before falling in the Great Lakes Football Conference title game to finish 10-1.
Sophomore running back Jon Hemmelgarn was called on to start several games this season due to injuries and he didn't disappoint. The former St. Henry rushing star ran for 443 yards on 59 carries (7.5 ypc.) and three touchdowns while also hauling in five passes for 52 yards and a score.
Hemmelgarn also spent time as a special teams player, recording seven tackles.
Regular season totals for Homan, Boeckman
As Ohio State prepares for Florida for the BCS National Championship game in Glendale, Arizona on January 8, the final regular season statistics for local product Ross Homan and Todd Boeckman are complete.
Homan played in all 12 games in the regular season, both on defense and on special teams. The Coldwater grad ranked ninth on the team with 28 tackles and also had two tackles for loss and a sack. Homan also had his first career interception in the blowout win at Northwestern.
Boeckman, a St. Henry alum, saw action in three games this season while waiting for playing time behind Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith. Boeckman was 2-of-3 passing for 19 yards with no interceptions, then scored his first career rushing touchdown in the win over Northwestern. Boeckman rushed four times on the season for 14 yards.
Yahl earns HCAC honors
College of Mount St. Joseph defensive back Nick Yahl (St. Marys) earned first-team honors from the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference this season.
Yahl had 50 tackles, two sacks and three interceptions for the Lions.
Prenger completes season with Tigers
Wittenberg went 7-4 this season, winning a share of the North Coast Conference and making the Division III playoffs, before losing to Capital in the opening round.
Junior Matt Prenger (Marion Local) was the punter-kickoff specialist for the Tigers this season, averaging 36.1 yards in 49 punts while kicking off three times.
St. Henry alum Steve Dailey is also a member of the Wittenberg team.
Huelsman completes year of starting
Bowling Green had a rough season in going 4-8 overall and 3-5 in the Mid-American Conference.
St. Henry grad Kevin Huelsman was a stalwart on the offensive line for the Falcons, starting all 12 games at right tackle.
Hay finishes another year of snapping
Ball State senior Michael Hay (Coldwater) earned his fourth letter this season as the long snapper for the Cardinals. Hay played in 10 games and recorded four tackles on special teams. Hay appeared in 45 career games for Ball State.
The Cardinals went 5-7 on the season, but 5-3 in the MAC.
Crusaders make it to D-III second round
Capital went 11-2 this season, making it to the NCAA Division III national semifinals, before losing to powerhouse Mount Union 17-14. Both of the Crusaders' losses came to Mount Union but the 11 wins is the best in the history of the Columbus-based school.
Two local players that saw time this season include Minster grad Ty Parks, who rushed for 81 yards and two touchdowns for the Crusaders, and Coldwater alum Kevin Brackman had two catches for 23 yards and seven tackles on special teams.
Oilers suffered through rough year
Findlay had a rough year in going 2-9 this season. Coach Dan Simrell resigned after the season after guiding the Oilers to a 31-45 mark since taking over in 2000.
Coldwater grad Rob Wenning was a mainstay at left tackle for the Oilers, starting the majority of the 11 games this season.
Freshman Erik Chapin (Celina) appeared in all 11 games, recording three tackles on special teams.
ONU has solid year
Ohio Northern dropped just slightly after back-to-back 8-2 seasons, going 6-4 this season.
Polar Bear senior defensive back Dustin Alexander (St. Marys) was eighth on the team with 29 tackles and added four pass break ups.
Senior Jason Schulte (Marion Local) was a starter at right tackle for ONU.
Celina grad Trent Hellwarth appeared in six games, recording four tackles while fellow former Bulldog Jason Kinney also was a member of the football team.