There's been some movement in the world of Lehigh football recently. Quiet movement, but movement nonetheless.
First, the Mountain Hawks quietly announced the results of their football banquet a few weeks ago. Over 300 people attended this event to celebrate the achievements of the seniors last year, sponsored by the Lehigh Athletics Partnership.
Congratulations to all the award winners:
Alexander G. Hahalis (top lineman): senior OL Jimmy Kehs
Barry Fetterman (courage, dedication): senior TE Joe Sutherland
James P. McConologue (all football): senior C John Reese
John C. Whitehead “Big LU” (leadership, performance): senior FS Ernest Moore
Scholar-Athlete: senior WR Pete Donchez
Archibald Johnson Cup (team MVP): junior LB Tim Diamond
Offensive Line: senior OL Jimmy Kehs
Offensive Back: senior QB Sedale Threatt
Receiver: junior WR Sekou Yansane
Defensive Line: junior DL Brian Jackson
Defensive Back: senior DB Brannan Thomas
Linebacker: sophomore LB Matt Cohen
Special Teams: senior FB John Piascik
Scout Team (offense): freshman RB Jay Campbell
Scout Team (defense): sophomore LB Troy Taylor
The last name on that list - Troy Taylor - caused some Lehigh football fans to comb through their recruiting lists of the past to try to find out - exactly who is this guy? Well, I did some sleuthing and found out who that might be: and I found this bio from the University of San Diego. A 6'1, 230 lb linebacker, he was originally recruited by Lehigh. He could have been a freshman in 2006 with the non-scholarship Toreros and transferred to Lehigh - and he's not on the Toreros current active roster. In 2007 he would have had to sit out a year, by rule, and he should have three years of eligibility remaining.
No formal announcement, but the inclusion of Drake on the 2008 schedule was added - once again, quietly - to the official Lehigh website.
In somewhat related football news, while watching the first round of the men's basketball tournament when Lehigh fell to Army, I caught the fact that quite a few football players went to the game and showed their support. With Army's noisy fan contingent, the football players' presence was very welcome. It was great to see them there.
And Now... Spring
Spring practice opens a week from today on March 20th, and Lehigh added to their website their official spring roster. Conspicuously absent was oft-injured junior RB Josh Pastore who decided to call it a career on the gridiron. As a transfer from FBS Kent State, he still has a year of eligibility remaining but appears to have ended his career for medical reasons. It's a tough reality to face for Lehigh fans, who were fans of his wild-eyed, "reckless" (his word) play running the football.
The silver lining is that at running back, we are in very good shape anyway with senior RB Matt McGowan returning along with super sophomore RBs Kwesi Kankam and Jaren Walker, all of whom saw significant action last year. Add sophomore RB Jay Campbell to the mix, and add three deep at FB with junior FB Anthony Fossati, senior FB Adam Watson, and junior FB James Tyree (a converted linebacker), and you've got a pretty deep backfield! Now, if we can keep away from those injuries...
[UPDATE: One day after posting this, Tyree was removed from the roster - if the rumors are true, medically he's not cleared to play. If I had to make a call for 3rd string FB, I'd look at a converted LB like junior LB/DT Darrell Ray or sophomore LB/DE Bill Dokouslis. But as of right now, there's no third FB on the spring roster.]
Look for a spring preview next Wednesday.