Skip to main content

Lehigh "Hurting" from Suspension, But It Could Be a "Galvanizing Event"

(Photo Credit: Michael Vosburg/The Forum via the Morning Call)

Head coach Andy Coen made no bones about it to Keith Groller of the Morning Call yesterday.

He said the team is "really close, and is still hurting" from the first-ever-of-its-kind suspension of junior WR Ryan Spadola for an offensive tweet.

Spadola, who didn't even get on the plane to Fargo yesterday, is missed by all.

"I think it can be a galvanizing event for our team," Coen said, however,  "I haven't really talked a lot about it with them. I may before kickoff. I just told them we are a family and sometimes issues pop up within a family and you learn from them and grow from them and you get stronger."

For senior WR De'Vaughn Gordon, who will be starting in Spadola's place, he told Michael LoRe of the Express-Times that he would be ready to step up in his place:

"Obviously I was saddened because of the situation and he's a big part of our team, but it's not a one-man team," Gordon said after the team's walkthrough at the Fargodome on Friday. "You never know when a player's going to go down, so you have to practice like you'll be starting on every play. I've always been prepared and ready to step into that role."

"(This incident) brought us together a little more because we're partly playing for him now," Gordon said. "We're not ready for our season to end and we're not ready for his season to end on a note like that. We want to go out and win this so we have Spadola ready for next week."
Senior QB Chris Lum also didn't seem like he was distracted from the fracas, either. "Our whole team backs Ryan," Lum said. "There's no animosity within the group. The whole situation was shocking and kind of a bummer, but we moved on quickly and refocused."

"This place reminds me a lot of the UNI Dome where we played [and beat] Northern Iowa last year," he said. "But I think we're going to have a lot more fans here than we had at UNI. It was super loud at UNI on third downs and it's going to be louder here on every play, so we're really going to have to stay focused."

"We still have something to prove to a lot of people out there on a national level," Lum said. "We deserve to be where we're at and deserve respect on a national level. We're just one of eight remaining teams.

"We've been focused all year. We've had a distraction this week, but Ryan handled it very well and the team has rallied around him. We'll miss Ryan, but De'Vaughn Gordon will definitely step up and a lot of other guys will step up and we'll get a lot of big performances from a lot of players."
Lehigh will be sporting some new high-tops, too, which should help the Mountain Hawks get grip on the hard, cement-like turf of the FargoDome.

The players were all sporting new Nike high-top basketball sneakers for today's walkthrough at the Fargodome in preparation for today's Football Championship Subdivision quarterfinal game at North Dakota State.

"I played on a field like this in middle school when we played on the turf at a local college," senior WR Jake Drwal said. "It's actually pretty grippy, a lot more than I thought it would be. I can cut pretty well in the basketball shoes."

"In youth league we'd play games in the Pontiac Silverdome and it was just like this," Lum said, who is from Lake Orion, Mich. "It's hard, it's quick, but I think we'll be all right. I think everything is going to be quicker. When you fall on the ground it might hurt a little bit more, but it's football."
Tune in at 4PM, either on ESPN Gameplan, ESPN3 online, or on the radio with Matt Kerr and Mike Yadush for the radio play-by-play on ESPN 1230 and 1320 in the Lehigh Valley, or on LehighSports.com.  I think we could be in for another classic.

Also, you can tune into my Facebook page for my live commentary of the game as well, which is "simulcast" as well on my Twitter Feed as well.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Nick Shafnisky Is Pushing Hard to Get To Play at the Next Level in Football

"Don't take anything for granted, just keep pushing."
Those are the words of QB Nick Shafnisky, told to The Whitehall-Coplay Press all the way back in 2013, about his preparation as a high school athlete.
And they seem to summarize the Whitehall, PA native perfectly, then as now.
Dubbed the "Male Athlete of the Year" by that publication, the article goes on about Shaf's many exploits at Whitehall high school - leading the Zephyr football team to a co-Lehigh Valley Conference title, becoming the first player ever in that conference to rush and pass for over 1,000 yards, and earning the league's co-MVP award as well.
He also was a member of the Zephyrs playoff basketball team, and for good measure also helped set a record for the 4x100 relay team as well.
At Whitehall, and at Lehigh, coaches pushed him, but it was his own hard work that helped make him the best athlete he could be.
This weekend, Shaf, like every eligible college football player, will be …

What Are You Doing the Night of Lehigh's 2017 Home Opener?

I have this vision.

It's the weekend of the home opener at Murray Goodman Stadium, Labor Day weekend.  It could be a Thursday, Friday, or Saturday.

And it's 6:00 PM.

In 2018, the Lehigh football team will open the season with a big celebration of the football program - at Navy, Lehigh's first game against an FBS team in over a decade.

In 2017, why not, as a one-off opportunity, try to have one Lehigh football game, the home opener, be the first-ever night game at Murray Goodman Stadium?

Will it cost money?  Yes.  Will it be easy?  Probably not.

However, is it doable?  I've got to believe the answer is "yes".


Seven Positive Thoughts About All the Patriot League Recruiting Classes

It's recruiting season.  Every incoming recruit is a Patriot League all-star, everyone is a first team all-American, everyone is undefeated.  It's all good times, a chance for kids to be admitted to some of the best Universities in the world.  In that, it's a win for everyone.

While we wait for each of the remaining recruits to be announced as a part of their recruiting classes, I thought I'd comb through all of the incoming classes of the Patriot League and tell you what sticks out to me.

This summart isn't a ratings-based system, than folks like 247Sports have in terms of measuring the number of "starred recruits" (they list Holy Cross as the "winner"), or even a hybrid-based system, like LFN's yearly Patsy Ratings (last seasons "winner": Lehigh) or HERO Sports' list of the top overall FCS recruits (which lists Lafayette as the "winner").  It's just one guy, looking at the recruit lists, and giving his opinion.