Midwest Football Conference Preview

Last year the ICCAC and N4C conferences merged into one. The conference features Joliet JC, College of DuPage, Rock Valley, and William Rainey Harper College in Illinois. Iowa Central CC, Ellsworth CC, N. Iowa Area CC in Iowa. Grand Rapids CC in Michigan and N. Dakota St. College of Science in N. Dakota. Here's a team by team preview.

Iowa Central Tritons

Coach: Kevin Twait (11th season,  75-31 record)

2005 Record:  9-2 (6-2)

Coach Kevin Twait and the Iowa Central Tritons enter the 2006 season with six returning starters from a  2005 squad who finished the season with a 9-2  record.  In the backfield the Tritons return tailbacks Steve Harper (5'10, 185) and Travis Rhone (6'0, 195).  In 2005 Harper racked up 805 yards and averaged 6.3 yards per carry.  Blocking for those two will be fullback Shane Spooner (6'2, 245).  On the front line the Tritons return Offensive Guard Brad Clayton (6'2, 294) and Offensive Tackle Blake Rowland (6'4, 330).  Coach Twait will return two wide receivers.  Donte Shackleford had 27 receptions, 623 yards, and 8 receiving touchdowns in 2005.  Joel Hanson (6'2, 190) was also a starter for the Tritons in 2005.

Coach Twait will return six starters on the defensive side of the ball. Up front the Tritons return Defensive End Jimmy Fennesy (6'4, 230), who recorded 18 1/2 sacks last season, and Defensive Tackle Caleb Tyler (6'3, 275). Two linebackers will return, Bryce Leggins (6'1, 212) and Zach Mason (5'11, 210). Leggins had 35 solo tackles and 23 assisted;  Mason recorded 26 solo and 17 assisted tackles last season.  Kicker Brandon Burden will also be returning.  Burden was 31 for 36 on pat's and hit 9 out of 12 FG attempts. 


Ellsworth Panthers

Coach: John Sala (5th season,  20-19 career record)

2005 Record: 3-6 (2-6)

The Ellsworth Panthers are coming off a rough 2005 season. the Panthers will be looking to turn things around this Fall.  Ellsworth returns nine starters from last years campaign, five on offense and four on defense.  Wide Receiver, Dexter Baldwin (6'4,, 200), Center, Alonzo Tatmon (6'2, 290) and Fullback, Tyler Bacha (5'11, 220) are top returning offensive players. On the defensive side of the ball, the Panthers will look to Linebacker, Corey Reed (6'0, 200), and Free Safety, CJ Jones (6'2, 190), who led the team in interceptions and return yards last season.  James Jones (5'10,, 190) and AJ Shuler (5'11, 300) will also be among the top returning defensive players.  In the off-season the Panthers recruited QB Ian Gilworth (6'3, 180) a transfer from Windna State, OT Janssen Hayes (6'3, 280) a transfer from Fort Valley State, and HB CJ Francis (5'10, 190) from Delray Beach, FL. 


NIACC Trojans

Coach: Scott Strohmeier (2nd season at NIACC)

2005 Record: 2-6 (1-2)

Scott Strohmeier is entering his second year as head coach at North Iowa Area CC this season.  The Trojans are bringing back 8 starters from last year's team, including on offense; OL Karl Robertson (6'4, 305), OL Nick Daly (6'5, 310) , and QB Ben Alford (6'3, 205). On the defensive side of the ball, the Trojans bring back DE Jeremy Robertson (6'4, 255), LB Chris Tejeda (6'1, 225), DT Donny Severs (6'1, 285), and FS Grant Lilly (6'2, 205). New players this year include; RB Kalvin Bailey (6'1, 245) transfer from Iowa, SS Corey Robertson (6'1, 225) transfer from Iowa, TE Trent Flander (6'4, 265) transfer from Iowa State, QB Anthony Norice (6'1, 185) a transfer from Baylor, RB Tommy Bryant (5'11, 180) transfer from Houston, DL Michael Daniels (6'5, 265) from Leesburg, GA, RB Patrick Paschall (6'1, 190) from Georgia Southern, OL Kyle Staudt (6'4, 295) from Charles City, IA, OL Kevin Wells (6'5, 280) from Newell-Fonda, IA, OL Dave  English (6'5, 260) form West Branch, IA, LB Luke Dolan (6'1, 220) from Cedar Rapids, IA, LB Justin Kester (6'2, 215) from Lake Mills, IA, Preston Peterson (6'2, 180) form Humboldt, IA, RB Nic Peterson (5'11, 180) from Wilton, IA, and WR Brad Theilen (6'6, 195) from Nashua-Plainfield, IA.


North Dakota State College of Science

Coach: Mike Beagle  (5th season, 20-22record)

2005 Record:  5-6 (5-4)

North Dakota State College of Science coach Mike Beagle is entering his fifth season as head coach of the Wildcats.  The Wildcats finished last season with a 5-6 record and are returning nine starters from that squad.  Three offensive lineman that will be returning are OT Blake Ogletree (6'4, 315), C Zac Condon (6'0, 285), and OG David Boeticher (6'3, 280).  In the backfield, the Wildcats return RB Jerome Messam (6'3, 240), who was an NJCAA All-American, and RB Brian McNeil (5'9, 185).  Dario Moore (5'11, 190) is the top wide receiver returning from 2005.  On defense, the Wildcats are bringing back six starters.  Four of these defensive players are  linebackers. Shane Roach (6'3, 235), Chase Mudd (6'3, 225), Alec Gullickson (6'1, 230), and Will Kassucker (6'4, 240) will be returning.  In the secondary, the Wildcats return CB Dalton Outlaw (5'10, 190) and SS Gyangeco Brandden (5'11, 220).

Top newcomers to Coach Beagle's squad are, OG,OC Ricky Henry (6'3, 290) from Omaha, NE, DB Terrence Hall (5'9, 190) from Milton, FL, WR Shawn Brown (6'1, 190) from Hopkinsville, KY, DE Jarret Critenton (6'6, 270) from Fayeteville, GA, and DT Kylee Richardson (6'4,290) form Blaine, MN.


Rock Valley College

Coach: Jeremy Warren (5th season, 14-26)

2005 Record: 5-5 (4-4)

Coach Jeremy Warren begins his 5th season at Rock Valley College in Rockford, IL.  Coach Warren is coming off a season in which his Rock Valley Golden Eagles finished the regular season 5-4 only to lost to Grand Rapids CC in the first round of the MFC-East Playoffs.  The Golden Eagles return 10 starters from 2005, 5 on offense and 5 on defense.  On offense the Golden Eagles return Jarrett Beavers (6'0, RB), TimTaylor (6'5, OL), Zakk Tapp (6'5, OL), Ricky Ellis (6'0,  180 lbs), and Davian Turner (6'0, 185 lbs).  On defense, the Golden Eagles have Nick Dovek (6'3, DE), Darren Wecker (6'1, DE), and Chris Moon (6'0, DB) returning in 2006.  Coach Warrens top incoming freshman looks to be Mark McGraw, a 6'3, 220-pound quarterback out of Florida.


Joliet Junior College

Coach: Tom Minnick (1st Season, 0-0)

2005 Record: 4-4 (6-6)

Tom Minnick will be going into his first  year as the Wolves Head Coach.  The Wolves are going to be returning 14 starters from a year ago, eight on offense and six defensively.  Among the offensive returnees will be; W R Brian Miles (5'10, 185), 32 receptions , WR Anthony Clark (6'4, 210), 38 receptions, for the Offensive Line Joe McMahon (6'4, 290), 2nd Team All Conference, and Aaron Miller (6'3, 315) will be doing the pushing up front.  Kicker Steve Ivanisevic (5'10, 185) will return to the Wolves after receiving 1st Team All Conderence honors last in 2005.  On defense, CB Dominique Bryson (5'10, 187), CB Maecus Minor (6'1, 202), DE Matt Watson (6'3, 255), SS Dave Robinson (5'11, 210), and LB Mark Dietz (6'3, 240) will be returning this season.   New comers for the wolves will be LB Chris Patterson (6'3, 210), 1st Team All American at JC-NEO, WR Christian Graham (6'2, 202)  transferring from Purdue, DE Eric Small (6'3, 270) transferring from Missouri State, WR Steve Benjamin (6'2, 215) transfer from Butler Community College, offensive lineman Jason Donnal (6'3, 312) from Columbus, OH, was a Big 33 Player All Start and SS Shannon Cobb (6'0, 212) from Normal, IL., 1st Team All State.


William Rainey Harper College 

Coach: Dragan Teonic (1st Season, 0-0)

2005 Record: 7-3 (6-2)        

Dragan Teonic will be starting his first season with the Hawks this fall. Teonic will be inheriting 18 starters from last season, ten on offense and eight on defense. On the front line the Hawks return RG Ryan Markgraf (6'4, 300), LG Mike Walter (6'4, 285,), LT Steve Szymczak (6'3, 285), RT Tom Quaglia (6'5, 275), and C Randy Knipfel (6'1, 265). Top receivers returning are WR Eddie Brown (5'9, 185), TE/WR James Purgeson (6'4, 200), SE Tyrre Burks (6'7, 215).  In the backfield RB Julian Bond (5'9, 175) and RB Joe Wroblewski (6'0, 200) are returning this season.  Brown was 1st Team All-Region player last season and Bond was a 2nd Team All-Region player.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Hawks return MLB Shawn Lincoln (6'0, 297) and OLB Brian Bell (6'2, 225).  Up front is DE Vann Osei (6'2, 270), DE Rosny Volney (6'3, 275), and DT Darrel Reed (5'11, 325).  In the secondary the Hawks return CB Marcel Pfifer (5'11, 175), FS Darrius Williams (6'4, 185), SS Richard El (5'10, 205). Lincoln and Williams were both 1st Team All Region . 

Some key additions to the Hawks include Running Backs Curtis Robinson (6'1, 215) transferring from Southern Illinois and Deon Williams (6'1, 200) transferring from Purdue. Top receivers coming into the Hawks program are Talonnie Russel (5'11, 175)  a transfer from Illinois, Chuck Davis(6'0, 180) from Indianapolis, IN, John Baldwin(6'4, 200) from Indianapolis, IN., Jaime Stewart(6'5, 200) from East Chicago, IL., Quinten Williams (5'11, 175) from Tampa, FL., and Brian Mitz (6'2, 190) transferring from Northern Illinois. Top recruits on the front line are Ernesto Martinez (6'0, 300) a DT transfer from Illinois State and OT John Cardinas (6'5, 295) a transfer from Texas A&M. Tyler Zaruba is a (6'1, 225) linebacker transferring from Illinois State and behind him is free safety Anthony Reinhart (6'0, 200) from Buffalo Grove, IL., and cornerback Lionell Lamarre (5'11,) from Homewood, IL. Eric Golliday (5'10, 195) was recruited as an athlete from Indianapolis, IN.


Grand Rapids CC

Coach:  Jim Schulte (4th Season, (24-8)

2005 Record: 9-2 (7-1)

In 2005, Grand Rapids came within a 2-point conversion of the NJCAA National Title and in 2006 the Raiders are looking to get back into the National Championship picture.  On offense, the Raiders return two 2nd-Team All-Region Players, Anthony Townsend, a 6'4, 210-lb Wide Receiver and Zach Carr a 6'3, 320-lb Offensive Lineman.  Other returning offensive players include two running backs, Samir Ghriri and Khulfani Rice, as well as Tight End JD Steenland. On the defensive side of the ball, the Raiders bring back four starters and three 2nd Team All-Region Players.  The All-Region Players are Marcus Bennard a 6'4, 250lb Defensive End, Nic Thompson a 6'0, 170-lb Free Safety, and Brandon Cooper a 5'9, 190-lb cornerback.  Shawn Sullivan a 6'2, 205-lb Strong Safety returns to his starting role this year, along with Daunte Akra a 6'3, 238-lb Linebacker who was a back-up last season.  The Raiders are looking to re-load some talent lost from last seasons' squad with incoming freshman Rivers Calhoun a 6'5, 325-lb Offensive Lineman, Deyon Johnson a 6'1, 200-lb Wide Receiver, Jerrell Herring a 6'2, 250-lb Linebacker and Abayomi Orekoya a 6'0, 175-lb Defensive Back.  The Raiders lost a lot of players from 2005, but they start the season off with a number 5 ranking in the NJCAA Pre-Season Poll. 

 


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