The Morning Call from Allentown, Pennsylvania on September 3, 1989 · 149
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The Morning Call from Allentown, Pennsylvania · 149

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Allentown, Pennsylvania
Issue Date:
Sunday, September 3, 1989
Page:
149
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f TJH5, !yiQRCAyL,vUNDAY, SPTEMBEF 19$ 17. IS New attitude, could spell crown By GARY R. BLOCKUS Of The Morning Call The face was the same, the body was the same, even the voice was the same. But the words, the words were far different than what people have come to expect from Ralph Kirchenheiter, who is en- ' tering his ninth season as head football coach at Muhlenberg. "We've got a real quality group," he said of the 1989 football team, adding an enthusiastic nod. "I'm real pleased." Hold it Hit the brakes. Come to a screeching halt. Back up. Can this possibly be THE Ralph Kirchenheiter who talked about only a fair passing game behind record-setting quarterback Chris Elser? The same Kirchenheiter who shrugged his shoulders when Jeff Potkul broke the 1,000-yard rushing mark last season? In short, the same head coach who, year-in and year-out downplays the accomplishments of his various teams? The eyes and ears said yes, but . . . "To be honest, my players got mad at me because they said I don't express enough optimism, enough positive enthusiasm," said Kirchenheiter, who does double duty as Muhlenberg's athletic director. "They say I'm always downplaying things. They think they're better than that and deserve better than that, so I said, okay, I'll let them know what the truth is, and the truth is I think they're pretty dog gone good, and I'm going to let them know it." Kirchenheiter's swing in style coincides with the graduation of Elser and all-Centennial Conference linebacker John Murphy. Other than those two key positions, the Mules are in fine shape, except for size on the defensive line. Replacing Elser is going to be the key to Muhlenberg's offense this season, although a host of running backs and a huge offensive line might make that job an easy one to filL "Three people are really vying for the job at this time," Kirchenheiter said of the quarterbacking slot. "The job is, in all honesty, wide open." The top candidate is Brian Masterson, a 6-1, 188-pound junior whom Kirchenheiter calls the returning heir apparent He is the most experienced, the biggest, the strongest and the strongest thrower." The second-leading candidate is Clarke Paulus, a 6-foot 176-pound sophomore who played defensive back last season. "Paulus has one of the best football minds we have and has a very good understanding of what we're doing. He's a very good athlete who can run or throw." Finally, the Mules have second semester freshman Mickey Rowe, a 6-1, 180-pounder who missed last season due to rehabilitation from surgery. "His experience is questionable," Kirchenheiter intoned, "but he is without question the most talented of the three. He has the talent to be the most outstanding, but whether that will happen this year remains to be seen. "He's not going to get there without working through two people who aren't about to let that happen. While the starting quarterback situation may remain up in the air for weeks, the offensive line looks impressive, led by co-captain Andy Becker (6-6, 260), a senior tackle with professional potential. The guard spots are filled by seniors Jeff Sponenburg (5-10, 230) and John Mich- elin (6-foot 200 from Stroudsburg). Both Becker and Sponenburg were all-conference last season, but Sponenburg missed the first week of football camp after suffering a minor neck injury in a car accident along Route 22. Junior Ken Blum (6-0, 232) is expected to start at center while sophomore Damon DeLucca (6-3, 205) had the other tackle spot nailed down during the early practices. Senior Henry Large (6-2, 220), an all-conference performer last season, returns at tight end while Quaker-town's Rich Steich (5-11, 190 junior) will be at one wide receiver post. Other top receivers include junior Nick DiGiorgio (6-2, 200) and sophomores Eric Slaton (6-foot 180) and Dave Warren (6-foot, 180). A fourth returning all-conference offensive player is junior placekicker Bob Powers (5-10, 165). Freshman Gerry Scott (6- Please See MUHLENBERG Page 29 ANOTHER LV. FIRST from YOUR FRIENDS ATlJNSOOGS SEE US NOW FOR YOUR FALL CAR FASHIONS NEW ACCESSORIES ARRIVING DAILY Fine Motorinq Gifts & Accessories for the Discriminating Owner! fcv uar "V. RL100 (2 blkt. Fogelwille, We'd like to wish tho host luck to ail of our local High School Football teams In tho 1989 season. Go get 'cm! ''""'w'"'lWlli',''''' Quakertown Panthers Pennridge Rams Upper Perkiomen Indians Souderton Indians North Penn Knights CB East Patriots CB West Bucks Lansdale Catholic Crusaders Arch Bishop Wood Vikings Palisades Pirates Perkiomen Indians TZk r-c : -- - ---" ;- i:: - - H yelk's yAj&k JrZ&iV RCADSTAJID &&zC'$ fl Old Route 309 HTV' 1 Mile North oi jJf Wk Sellersvllle V ws 257-7027 jll wfTK V Quakertown, PA s?s:s,E jjy Xl (215) 538-2511 X ri TVk CXIM RATIONAL sXK ipC Souderton, PA f 1. 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