The Paris News from Paris, Texas on August 28, 1986 · Page 32
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The Paris News from Paris, Texas · Page 32

Paris, Texas
Issue Date:
Thursday, August 28, 1986
Page 32
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8 Th* Pori* News, Thur*., Aug. 28, 1986 New ETSU Rice: Academics first, football ninth coach fills a tall order By TIM COOPER Sports Writer COMMERCE — Eddie Vowell has some large •shoes to fill at East Texas State University. After 22 seasons, including one national championship title, Ernest Hawkins retired as the Lions head —— football coach, leaving behind a legacy that will be tough to follow. For the record, Hawkins finished his career with a 132-92-6 record for a .574 mark. That makes Hawkins the winningest coach in ETSU history and the second best ever in the Lone Star Conference. Hawkins had four Lone Star Conference championships and one NAIA national championship team in 1972. But the Hawkins Era has ended a and it'll be up to Vowell and nine junior college transfers to pick up the pieces from a 5-5 finish in 1985. Hawkins, who almost always had a top quarterback to work with, left behind two signal-callers for Vowell. Junior Mike Trigg (6-3, 213) is expected to lead the Lions' I-formation this season. Trigg missed half of 1985 because of an injury, and should he go down again his replacement will be Roy Schlecta (6-2, 195). Schlecta threw for five touchdowns and 335 yards in one game last season against Stephen F. Austin. Another QB reserve is Paris freshman Wes Tidwell, who passed for more than 1,600 yards the past two seasons. Two receivers are back irom last year's team. Tight end Robert Giddens (6-3, 227) and flanker Mark Eno will be the Lions' main targets. Fullback David Ciszewski (6-1, 230) will be the only returning running back for the Lions while guard Curtis Langston (6-1, 245) and tackle Nat McClure (6-2,265) will be back to anchor the offensive line. The defense is a major rebuilding project as only four starters return. Tackles Lawrence Motion (6-2, 275) and Mark Kerr (6-2, 235), noseguard Reggie Rogers (6-0, 275) and safety Bryan Michaelson (6-1, 195) represent all of ETSU's practical :xperience. Junior college transfers Bryon Sell, Dexter Harvey and Jerry Jackson will give the Lions some needed depth on defense, while the offensive line will benefit from juco transfers Don Walker (6-1, 265), Jeff Wright (6-0, 250), Jim Box (6-0, 260) and Vance Hale (6-1, 245). Running back Keith Majors (5-9, 205), a junior college All-America at Butler, Kansas, and split end Joseph Hopkins from Kilgore Junior College will also be top offensive prospects for the Lions. The Lions signed 11 high school seniors, including Cooper's Kevin Boles and Joel Carrington. East Texas begins its season Sept. 6 with a home date with Livingston (Alabama) and will then take a week's rest before another home date with Southern Arkansas. The Lions will hit the road for a .Sept. 27 mcetirm wif!) Arkansas S'alo arifi iravel for t'.vo more woks with riates at Tennessee Stale and .-ouiu'veslern • Xhhmua Stale By TIM COOPER Sports Writer HOUSTON — Contrary to popular belief, Rice did not finish at the bottom of the Southwest Conference football cellar in 1985. The Owls actually finished the season with better SWC records than Texas Tech and probation- plagued TCU, and at one time, Rice was boasting a 2-1 conference record after going three years without a SWC victory to its credit. But despite a reprieve from last place in 85, the Owls may find themselves back in that familiar position in '86. The job facing new head coach Jerry Berndt is a tough one, but he maintains a positive front. •"I've heard all the stories about Rice and they don't bother me," said Berndt, who spent five years at Penn University. "If I had listened to all of my friends, I wouldn't have gone to Fenn. They said it was professional suicide." Berndt turned Penn, an Ivy League school, into a winner after only two years at the helm. In his five years as the Quakers' boss, Berndt turned out a 29-18-2 record which included four Ivy League titles. In his first year at Penn, Berndt's team finished 1-9. Because of his Ivy League background, Berndt should fit well within the academic setting that is Rice. SMU in spoiler's role Continued from page 5 caught 56 passes for 739 yards. Junior quarterback Bobby Walters, a Don King understudy for two years, is a passing specialist and a decent option mechanic. Collins predicts Watters will become SMU's best thrower since Chuck Hixson in the late 1960s. "I love the changes. It's opening up the offense more and throwing more," Watters said. "I was hoping we'd pass more. We've got such great receivers." The offensive line is anchored at the tackles by huge Craig Kenn- inglon (273 pounds) and David Richards (295). Kevin McKinney (259) also returns at left guard. Defensively, SMU's most obvious weakness is deplh. Principal reserves include five freshman redshirts, two transfers and a walk-on. Without a doubt, SMU's most visible strength is All-America right tackle Jerry Ball, a 260-pound senior considered the odds-on favorite for any or all Ihe postseason awards available lo linemen. Four linebackers were graduated, but junior Ben Hummel and sophomore Rudy Harmon will capably fill two of those spots. The secondary starters were together a year ago and should return a better group. Mark Vincent and Derrick Reed are at the corners, Franky Thomas is outstanding at free safety and Dick Sherick reclaims his strong safety position. The schedule is not real charitable. Non-conference games include home matches vs. Boslon College and Arizona Slale and a Nov. 8 road date with with rejuvenated Notre Dame. Then comes the SWC and trips to Texas and Baylor. Leading up to the Notre Dame date, SMU faces Boston College, Baylor, Houston, Texas and Texas A&M in succession. "This type of school, with the academic climate, is right for me. The type of people at Rice are right for me. "I had accomplished so much at Penn that I wanted to see if I could take the philosophy to the next level." Berndt takes over for Watson Brown, who left after two years to coach at Vanderbilt, his alma mater. Although Rice was only 2-14 in SWC play under Brown, several of the Owls' players were upset with his departure, including their premier offensive performer, junior quarterback Mark Comalander. But Comalander, who set a SWC freshman single-game record by throwing for 357 yards against Houston, quickly became impressed with his new coach. "I, for one, was really upset to see Coach Brown leave. Coach Berndt really had a job to do on me. He did it, though. I met him and could tell at once that he was a good man." Comalander has had his troubles with injuries, suffering a "turf toe" injury in his freshman year and a shoulder injury during his sophomore season. Comalander's season ended on Oct. 19 against Tech, but he still managed to lead the Owls in total offense. He completed 100 of 182 passes for seven touchdowns and 1,232 yards. Rice has eight returning offensive starlers, including five starters back on the offensive line. Left tackle Russel Moses (6-2, 260) heads that Owl group that will be protecling Comalander. HOURS. Sun.-Thurs. 11 A.M. to 9 P.M. Fri. & Sal. II A.M. lo 10 P.M. Enjoy a great Steak Dinner before the game FREE REFILLS ON ALL SOFT DRINKS SATURDAY SI'K( IALS LUNCH SI'F.CIAI. DINNKK SPKUAI. .IK. SIZZI.IN NO. !l Small broiled Top Kvlra larp,e II nz. Top Sirloin with hakrd Sirloin with baked potato or fries J2.!l!l potato or fries Jfi.l!l SUNDAY SPECIAL GOOD ALL DAY NO. II Country Fried Steak with creamed "ravy or mushroom uravy, baked polato or Iries. ... NO. I SO/. Kroiied I op Sirloin Steak ui!h hakeii polato or , frie- .... Marc Scott and Wayland Mason should do the majority of the running chores while tight end Ken Major (6-4, 240) and split end Keith Lewis (6-1, 195) should be on the receiving end of Comalander's passes. The Owls have nine players back on defense, a unit that didn't impress many folks last year. Rice allowed 217.1 yards per game rushing in '85, and gave up 30 or more points seven times. Berndt has changed the defense from a 4-3 to a 3-4 because of the Owls' depth at linebacker. Danny Burgess (6-0, 220) and Joe Heikkinen (6-3, 235) lead the Owls in that position. Steve Kidd, who led the SWC in punting a year ago, returns to the Owls' line-up after finishing the season with a whopping 45.9 average per kick, third-best in the nation. Kidd will also play in the Owls' secondary. The place-kicking duties will be handled by Rock Mathis, a senior who will replace James Hamrick, who finished his career as the top field goal specialist in Rice history. Rice begins its season with Lamar, one of the three teams the Owls defeated in 1985, and will meet Southwest Texas State and Air Force in other non-SWC games. Southwest Texas is expected to finish at or near the bottom of the Gulf Star Conference after a 3-8 record of a year ago. Rice and SMU begin SWC competition Sept. 13. In addition to the Mustangs, the Owls also have Texas, Tech and Baylor at home. The Owls will travel to TCU, A&M, Arkansas and Houston. If we can't help you, nobody can. Check with us for all your auto, truck or van parts. We carry Monroe shocks. 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