Game On: Game-Day Guide
Get amped for the most exciting time of the year! This Game-Day guide is your ticket into West Virginia's 2011 college football season with tips on who to watch and what to expect.
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Head Coach: Tim Weaver
Colors: Kelly Green & White
Conference: PAC, ECAC
NCAA Division III
The 2011 season will be the 114th in the history of Bethany College and the outlook for the Bison is very bright. Last year, Bethany finished 5–5 overall and 4–3 in the Presidents’ Athletic Conference (PAC) for its best season since 2001. This year’s Bison team brings back 19 starters, including eight players who earned All-PAC accolades a season ago, so hopes are high on the Bethany campus this fall.
Nine starters are back on offense, led by senior RB Eric Walker. A three-time All-PAC selection, he already owns the school’s career records for total (39) and rushing touchdowns (33) and with 2,490 career rushing yards, needs 456 more to break that school mark as well. Also back is sophomore quarterback Matt Grimard, who amassed 2,372 total yards last year while rushing for 11 touchdowns and throwing for 10 more. A strong offensive line boasts four returning starters, highlighted by senior captain and center Cory Potter and junior guard Doug Murray.
On the defensive side, eight starters are back for a group that ranked fifth in the conference against the run in 2010. Senior DE Kasib Taalib-Din was named All-PAC last year after ranking second in the conference in sacks (8.5) and junior DT Blake DeBord is expected to have a big impact in his second year as a starter. The Bison also have junior linebacker Kyle Arrington, who was third in the league with 97 tackles, and junior cornerback Jeff Joyce, who was second on the team with 63 hits.
Bison Stadium, which is ringed by a new synthetic all-weather track, underwent dramatic transformation during the summer of 2008. The facility changes included placing new artificial turf, called FieldTurf, on the playing field. In addition, lights were installed, and a new rubberized track surface was put down around the field, as well as a steeplechase pit and jump and new areas for pole vault, high jump, long/triple jump and throwing events. The new facility is available to the entire Bethany community.
Tim Weaver is in his 6th year as the Bethany head football coach and his 4th year as the school’s Director of Athletics and Recreation. The 2010 season was the Bison’s best under Weaver. Thanks to a three-game winning streak in the middle of the season, Bethany finished 5–5 overall—their first .500 season since 2001. By posting a 4–3 record in the PAC, the Bison claimed third place in the conference. Following the year, 13 Bison received All-PAC distinction, meaning Weaver’s players have now earned all-league recognition 46 times in his five seasons.
Weaver arrived at Bethany following a three-year stint at Columbia. Prior to serving as the defensive coordinator and defensive line coach for the Lions, he was at Harvard for four seasons. Prior to his step up to the Ivy League, Weaver was the defensive coordinator at West Virginia Wesleyan from 1996–99.
When looking at his goals for the program, Weaver will always have short-term milestones he wants to achieve, but he will never lose site of the one long-term goal he brought to the Bethany campus. “I only have one long-term goal,” said Weaver. “It’s that every student-athlete who plays for Bethany will graduate and win at least one conference championship in their time here. That’s my idea of a competitive program. Get everyone a degree and a ring. We said that to every recruit we talked to at Harvard and that’s the same approach I want to bring to Bethany.”
Bethany welcomes hundreds of alumni back to campus each year for Homecoming. The weekend kicks off with the Hugh “Tiger” Joyce Golf Outing, named after a loyal alum who played football during his days on campus, and is followed by the Hall of Fame dinner when new members are inducted into the Bethany Athletic Hall of Fame. On Saturday, a Homecoming parade winds its way through the village of Bethany, and during halftime of the football game, the Homecoming Court is presented and the King and Queen are named.
Key Returning Players
Eric Walker (Sr., RB, New Brighton, PA)
Matt Grimard (So., QB, Lowell, MA)
Cory Potter (Sr., C, Akron, OH)
Doug Murray (Jr., LG, New Cumberland)
Kasib Taalib-Din (Sr., DE, New York, NY)
Blake DeBord (Jr., DT, Martinsburg)
Kyle Arrington (Jr., LB, Jackson Twp., OH)
Jeff Joyce (Jr., CB, Pittsburgh, PA)
Sept. 3 at Allegheny, Meadville, PA, 7 p.m.
Sept. 10 vs. King’s, Bison Stadium, 1 p.m.
Sept. 17 vs. Washington & Jefferson,* Bison Stadium, 7 p.m.
Sept. 24 at Geneva,* Beaver Falls, PA, 7 p.m.
Oct. 1 at Waynesburg,* Waynesburg, PA, 1:30 p.m.
Oct. 8 vs. Westminster,* Bison Stadium, 2 p.m. (Homecoming)
Oct. 15 vs. Thiel,* Bison Stadium, 1:30 p.m.
Oct. 22 at Thomas More, Crestview Hills, KY, 1:30 p.m.
Nov. 5 vs. Grove City, Bison Stadium, 1:30 p.m. (Senior Day)
Nov. 12 at Saint Vincent, Latrobe, PA, 1:30 p.m.