Great Lakes

November 20, 2013
Sirianni seeing familiar faces
Former Mount Union player and assistant coach Mike Sirianni sees the Purple Raiders fairly often as coach of Washington and Jefferson.

November 13, 2013
Albion builds off its 2011 postseason stint
Two years ago, Brett McCarty and his teammates took a 59-0 shellacking at the hands of the future national champion and used it to get their bearings on the kind of team they need to become. One more win, and the Britons are back in the playoffs.

November 6, 2013
At Mount, practice wins out over pressure
For quarterback Kevin Burke, staying focused each week on a team in which every opponent is hunting for an upset comes down to learning how to be a Mount Union football player.

October 29, 2013
Geneva linebacker: ‘Hard work pays off’
The Golden Tornadoes have had to weather injuries, but Dillon Goodell said the focus of the team is on finishing the season strong.

October 22, 2013
Wabash goes to great depths to find rushers
Injuries have knocked the Little Giants’ top two rushers out for the season, but each time a new player steps up, good things still happen. All four starting running backs have logged 150-yard games.

October 15, 2013
Kalamazoo's quarterback has his head in the game
Justin Danzy, who his coach calls “a really brilliant kid,” has helped his team to a 3-2 start for the first half of the season, including a one-touchdown victory over Trine early this month.

October 9, 2013
John Carroll steps up its shutouts
The undefeated Blue Streaks have already beaten two teams the coaches picked ahead of them in the preseason poll. Thanks in part to a stifling JCU defense, the team hopes to have more surprises for its opponents.

October 1, 2013
Thomas More's Hayden bounces back from injury
A year after being named PAC Player of the Year as a sophomore, Domonique Hayden saw his season collapse with injury. Now, though, he's at full speed -- with 547 yards under his belt this fall.

September 25, 2013
Espinosa helping to put OWU in the hunt
Coming off the Battling Bishops’ best season in more than 20 years, anything short of another NCAC title would be disappointing to the senior quarterback.

September 17, 2013
Senior defender helps get Hope's season flying
Santino DiCesare was "a little nervous" last year being asked to move to free safety for the Flying Dutchmen. But the senior co-captain excelled and this year has been making his share of big plays to help Hope get off to a 2-0 start.

September 9, 2013
After injury, Brooks stronger than ever for Heidelberg
Last year, Cartel Brooks sat on the sidelines in the postseason, all but powerless to help his team. For 2013, the Heidelberg rusher expects to be back in action.

September 3, 2013
Games to watch for 2013
In his second year on the job, Brian Lester again takes you inside the Great Lakes and gives you a preview of what games could be the most important this fall.

November 14, 2012
W&J finds triumph amid tragedy
Few things hit a football team harder than the loss of a fellow player. But Washington and Jefferson not only saw a brighter future, but the team also reached the light at the end of the tunnel. And, after Saturday's win, the Presidents were able to give Tim McNerney's family the PAC championship trophy.

November 6, 2012
Mount, Wabash meet you coming and going
Playing both sides of the ball isn't as common in college as it is in high school, but when a coach sees value in it, there's little hesitation. The Purple Raiders' Blair Skilliter and Little Giants' Houston Hodges see action more than most.

October 30, 2012
Fortunes have turned for OWU, Waynesburg
Ohio Wesleyan and Waynesburg are off to their best starts in at least half a decade. And both are still in contention for a playoff spot with just two weeks remaining in the season.

October 23, 2012
Former Guardsman at Witt knows how to be a defender
Jon Daniels walked away from the Wittenberg football team eight years ago and wound up joining the Ohio National Guard. After serving in Kuwait, he wondered if it would be possible to play football again. It was, and his latest stint with Witt has been a success.

October 16, 2012
Case's Ferguson grown into impact player
The numbers tell the whole of Ryan Ferguson's story: Despite being only 180-pounds, the outside linebacker for Case Western Reserve has a team-best 62 tackles, has a forced fumble and has broken up four passes.

October 9, 2012
Transfer Fairchild one of Otterbein's biggest catches
All-American wide receiver Trey Fairchild has been part of a revival season for the Cardinals, who have won their first five games and have hopes of their first Ohio Athletic Conference championship since 1946.

October 2, 2012
Waynesburg quarterback sloughs off slow start
In his first game as starting quarterback, Waynesburg's Tyler Fatigante went 6-of-24 for just 16 yards. But his team won. And the thing is, it kept winning. Now, with a 5-0 record, Fatigante has developed into a star player and a threat to PAC opponents.

September 24, 2012
CMU has a hard-hitting humanitarian
Linebacker Akwasi Brefo came from West Africa to the U.S. as a child knowing little to nothing about American football. Now, not only is he helping to anchor the defense of a 4-0 team, but he also returned to Africa over the summer to teach youngsters in Rwanda.

September 17, 2012
Kenyon has put losing streak in rearview mirror
Since its second-place finish in the NCAC back in 2005, Kenyon has struggled -- failing to break .500, having a small roster and notching two winless seasons. Under a new coach, the Lords have found their way back into the win column and are 2-1 so far, their best start since 1998.

September 11, 2012
Puryear wastes no time making mark at Trine
After leaving Grand Valley State to play for Trine last fall, Myron Puryear played well enough to earn All-North Region honors and become a go-to player on defense and special teams. He hasn't slowed one bit coming into this season.

September 4, 2012
Diabetes is no deficit for Yellow Jackets rusher
Tyler Lohr's career in the Baldwin Wallace backfield bloomed after a slow start last season -- an accomplishment made more impressive after being diagnosed with juvenile diabetes. His coach says Lohr "is the kind of kid who never uses being diabetic as an excuse for anything."

August 28, 2012
10 games to watch for 2012
In his debut column, Brian Lester dives into some of the most anticipated games of the region -- ones in which pride and conference titles will be on the line.

Brian Lester

Brian Lester is a reporter in Findlay, Ohio. He has 14 years of experience at newspapers in Virginia, North Carolina and Ohio, spending the last 10 at The Courier in Findlay. Lester also writes an Around the Region column for D3hoops.com. He is a graduate of Eastern Illinois and lives in Ottawa with his wife and daughter.

2011 columnist: Dean Jackson
2007-10 columnist: Matt Florjancic

Previous Columns

November 20, 2013
Sirianni seeing familiar faces
Former Mount Union player and assistant coach Mike Sirianni sees the Purple Raiders fairly often as...
November 13, 2013
Albion builds off its 2011 postseason stint
Two years ago, Brett McCarty and his teammates took a 59-0 shellacking at the hands of the future...
November 6, 2013
At Mount, practice wins out over pressure
For quarterback Kevin Burke, staying focused each week on a team in which every opponent is hunting...
October 29, 2013
Geneva linebacker: ‘Hard work pays off’
The Golden Tornadoes have had to weather injuries, but Dillon Goodell said the focus of the team is...
October 22, 2013
Wabash goes to great depths to find rushers
Injuries have knocked the Little Giants’ top two rushers out for the season, but each time a...
October 15, 2013
Kalamazoo's quarterback has his head in the game
Justin Danzy, who his coach calls “a really brilliant kid,” has helped his team to a 3-2...
October 9, 2013
John Carroll steps up its shutouts
The undefeated Blue Streaks have already beaten two teams the coaches picked ahead of them in the...
October 1, 2013
Thomas More's Hayden bounces back from injury
A year after being named PAC Player of the Year as a sophomore, Domonique Hayden saw his season...
September 25, 2013
Espinosa helping to put OWU in the hunt
Coming off the Battling Bishops’ best season in more than 20 years, anything short of another...
September 17, 2013
Senior defender helps get Hope's season flying
Santino DiCesare was "a little nervous" last year being asked to move to free safety for...
September 9, 2013
After injury, Brooks stronger than ever for Heidelberg
Last year, Cartel Brooks sat on the sidelines in the postseason, all but powerless to help his team....
September 3, 2013
Games to watch for 2013
In his second year on the job, Brian Lester again takes you inside the Great Lakes and gives you a...
November 14, 2012
W&J finds triumph amid tragedy
Few things hit a football team harder than the loss of a fellow player. But Washington and Jefferson...
November 6, 2012
Mount, Wabash meet you coming and going
Playing both sides of the ball isn't as common in college as it is in high school, but when a coach...
October 30, 2012
Fortunes have turned for OWU, Waynesburg
Ohio Wesleyan and Waynesburg are off to their best starts in at least half a decade. And both are...
October 23, 2012
Former Guardsman at Witt knows how to be a defender
Jon Daniels walked away from the Wittenberg football team eight years ago and wound up joining the...
October 16, 2012
Case's Ferguson grown into impact player
The numbers tell the whole of Ryan Ferguson's story: Despite being only 180-pounds, the outside...
October 9, 2012
Transfer Fairchild one of Otterbein's biggest catches
All-American wide receiver Trey Fairchild has been part of a revival season for the Cardinals, who...
October 2, 2012
Waynesburg quarterback sloughs off slow start
In his first game as starting quarterback, Waynesburg's Tyler Fatigante went 6-of-24 for just 16...
September 24, 2012
CMU has a hard-hitting humanitarian
Linebacker Akwasi Brefo came from West Africa to the U.S. as a child knowing little to nothing about...
September 17, 2012
Kenyon has put losing streak in rearview mirror
Since its second-place finish in the NCAC back in 2005, Kenyon has struggled -- failing to break...
September 11, 2012
Puryear wastes no time making mark at Trine
After leaving Grand Valley State to play for Trine last fall, Myron Puryear played well enough to...
September 4, 2012
Diabetes is no deficit for Yellow Jackets rusher
Tyler Lohr's career in the Baldwin Wallace backfield bloomed after a slow start last season -- an...
August 28, 2012
10 games to watch for 2012
In his debut column, Brian Lester dives into some of the most anticipated games of the region --...

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