August 27, 2012

SEASON PREVIEW: REDELL ERA BEGINS AT OXY

More news about: Occidental
By Michael Wells
Sports Information Director
 

LOS ANGELES — A new coach, a new quarterback and the same system that's led the Occidental College football program to five SCIAC championships in the last 10 years highlights the excitement in Eagle Rock with the first game of the 2012 season less than two weeks away.

Bill Redell '64, one of the greatest Oxy football players in school history, took over as his alma mater's head coach last May, adding a charismatic spark with a proven veteran track record to a Tigers squad that went 5-4 overall and 3-3 in SCIAC play during 2011.

Redell, a College Football Hall of Famer, spent the bulk of his coaching career at Oaks Christian HS where he won seven of his eight CIF-SS championships.

But once he retired from Oaks Christian last spring, after building the program from scratch into a national powerhouse in his 12 years with the school, Redell couldn't resist the allure of returning to the place where it all started.

"I'm very fortunate to be coming back to Occidental after 50 years, ending my football career at Oxy," Redell said. "Not right away, but this will be my last stop."

The circumstances were less than ideal. Former head coach Dale Widolff was dismissed last Spring after a second NCAA violation in two years.

Still Redell saw it as the picture-perfect last stop to his coaching career and an exciting new beginning for him and a group of Tigers that will take on a familiar feel.

The first thing Redell did was ensure that the Oxy staff would stay mostly intact, insisting at his first coaches meeting that he wouldn't take the job if his assistants weren't on board.

Shortly after, offensive coordinator Eric Bergstrom was promoted to associate head coach and defensive wizard Erik Johnson returned as the Tigers defensive signal caller, meaning the spread offense that led the league in passing yards last season and Johnson's "bend, but don't break defense" will still be the strategies on both sides of the ball again this fall.

"We have a lot of really good young players mixed in with some seasoned veterans," Redell said. "We'll be well-coached and that's a tribute to Erik Johnson and Eric Bergstrom and the rest of the staff."

Oxy is chasing three-time defending SCIAC champion Cal Lutheran and perennial power Redlands, while trying to fend off a very athletic Whittier, a consistently improving Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, a well-coached La Verne, ancient-rival Pomona-Pitzer and Chapman, a school of 5,300 in Orange County that's new to the SCIAC in 2012.

It won't be easy, but with talent at the skill positions, some finagling strategically, and a healthy team, the Tigers should be towards the top of the SCIAC standings.

 

Offense

Quarterbacks

Taking the snaps, is quarterback Tommy Edwards (Sherman Oaks), a NCAA Division I transfer from Sacramento State that has the arm and legs to fit well in Oxy's up-tempo offensive attack. Edwards, who prepped at Ulysses S. Grant HS, threw for 365 yards and two touchdowns in three games last season with the Hornets and six touchdowns in 2010 with The Citadel, also a Division I school.

Backing him up is freshman Adam Goltche (Great Neck, N.Y.) and sophomores Jay Barrow(Littleton, Colo.) and Tom Stivers (Pebble Beach).

Wide Receivers

The quarterbacks have plenty of targets. Oxy returns Pre-Season All-American WR Matthew Tuckness (Alamo) and Ryan Rodriguez (Oakley), last season's SCIAC receptions leader. Samuel Stekol (Manhattan Beach), a sophomore who broke out with six receptions for 68 yards at the homecoming game in a 27-17 win over Chapman last year, and William Stanton (Hanford) will also be major factors in the passing game.

Offensive line

Protecting Edwards, is a group of lineman led by three-year starting left guard Dalton Spinas (Atascadero).  Cody Long (Nevada City) returns as Oxy's left tackle and Jon Sarris (Stockton) as the Tigers' center.

Running Backs

On the ground, Oxy has three running backs that should get the bulk of the carries. Some combination of Austin Cheadle (Portland), Shay Mueller (El Dorado Hills) and Kwame Do (San Marino) will make up Oxy's running game.

Cheadle missed last season with an injury, but was a standout on the Oxy track and field team in the 100 meter and 100 relay.

Mueller, the son of Oxy great Vance Mueller '86, is a shifty and explosive freshman that's shown flashes of his father's speed in camp and the ability to make defenders miss in the open field.

Do, also a freshman, give the Tigers flexibility, depth and a promising future in the backfield.

Tight Ends

Tight end could end up being Oxy's most improved position. In 2011, the Tigers went without a true tight end, spelling the spot with All-SCIAC linebacker Greg Holsworth. This year, they'll have junior Josh Gorlick (Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y.), who missed 2011 with an injury, and freshmanDevin Bullock (Dallas) at one and two on the depth chart, both dynamic players that can help Oxy move the sticks with the run or the pass.

 

Defense

Defensive backs

Jordan Lance (San Diego), Oxy's leader in tackles in 2011, looks to make his name as Oxy's playmaking defender and a top defensive back in the SCIAC. His 64 tackles ranked 10th in the conference last season.

Converted running back Teran Mawhinney (Fort Collins, Colo.) is another player to watch in the Tigers' secondary.

Defensive line

Casey Shibuya (Kahal, Hawaii) is the biggest name and most experienced lineman on the defensive side of the ball. Shibuya, recorded two sacks last season.

Sophomore Dallas Gosselin (Bothel, Wash.) showed his potential as a freshman and his improvement will be key to Oxy's pass rush and run stopping.

Linebackers

Senior Justin Garza (Newbury Park) is the one returning staple and the leader of Oxy's linebacker core. Freshmen Nathan Miranda (Maryville, Ten.) and Chance Nester (Modesto) are leading a group of younger players competing for the other spots in Oxy's 3-4 defensive front.

 

Special Teams

Kickers

The Tigers lost kicker Josh Mun, but return punter Marc Kuzbari (Clayton) and add freshman kickerAngus McDonald (Napa). Samuel Crizer (Los Osos), a quarterback turned wide receiver, could also take on occasional kicking duties.

Kick Returners

Rodriguez, Tuckness, Stanton, Lance and Mueller could find themselves returning punts and kickoffs for Oxy. Lance returned 12 kicks for 268 yards in 2011.

The Tigers open the season against Pacific (Ore.) on Sept. 8 at 7 p.m. in Jack Kemp Stadium.

Sep. 1: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Coast Guard at Anna Maria
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Defiance at Baldwin Wallace
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Washington and Lee at Johns Hopkins
Video
7:30 PM
Trine at Manchester
Live Stats
8:00 PM
Belhaven at Millsaps
Sep. 2: All times Eastern
6:00 PM
Mass-Dartmouth at Mount Ida
6:00 PM
Delaware Valley at Wesley
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Muhlenberg at Wilkes
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
N.C. Wesleyan at Stevenson
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Western New England at Springfield
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Fitchburg State at Becker
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Albright at Salisbury
7:00 PM
WPI at MIT
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Salve Regina at Worcester State
7:00 PM
Bridgewater State at Curry
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Morrisville State at St. Lawrence
7:00 PM
Nichols at Westfield State
10:00 PM
Adrian at Pacific
Sep. 3: All times Eastern
12:00 PM
Endicott at Framingham State
Live Stats
12:00 PM
Washington U. at Carnegie Mellon
Live Stats
12:00 PM
Chicago at Case Western Reserve
Video Live Stats
12:00 PM
Husson at Alfred
12:00 PM
SUNY-Maritime at Maine Maritime
Video
12:00 PM
Cortland at Heidelberg
Live Stats
12:00 PM
Otterbein at Buffalo State
Video Live Stats
12:00 PM
Ursinus at Bethany
12:00 PM
Sewanee at Kenyon
12:00 PM
Alfred State at William Paterson
1:00 PM
King's at Moravian
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Kean at Christopher Newport
1:00 PM
McDaniel at Catholic
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Lebanon Valley at Franklin and Marshall
Video Live Stats
1:00 PM
Plymouth State at Castleton
Live Stats
1:00 PM
RPI at Norwich
Video Live Stats
1:00 PM
Randolph-Macon at Dickinson
1:00 PM
Oberlin at Kalamazoo
Video Live Stats
1:00 PM
Emory and Henry at Ferrum
Video Live Stats
1:00 PM
Wooster at Washington and Jefferson
Video Live Stats
1:00 PM
St. Vincent at Alma
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Concordia (Wis.) at Finlandia
1:00 PM
Olivet at St. John Fisher
Video Live Stats Audio
1:00 PM
Rowan at Widener
Audio
1:00 PM
Hobart at Brockport
Live Stats Audio
1:00 PM
Union at Ithaca
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Susquehanna at Lycoming
1:00 PM
Utica at Misericordia
1:00 PM
The Apprentice School at Methodist
1:00 PM
TCNJ at UW-Whitewater
1:30 PM
Wilmington at Bluffton
1:30 PM
Monmouth at Hope
Video Audio
1:30 PM
Bridgewater at Gettysburg
1:30 PM
Muskingum at Waynesburg
Audio
1:30 PM
Juniata at Grove City
2:00 PM
Wisconsin Lutheran at Trinity Int'l
2:00 PM
Lakeland at Carroll
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
UW-Stevens Point at St. Norbert
2:00 PM
Austin at Hendrix
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
Maranatha Baptist at Martin Luther
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Millikin at Greenville
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Eureka at Knox
Live Stats
2:00 PM
MacMurray at Rockford
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Gustavus Adolphus at Westminster (Mo.)
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
UW-La Crosse at Luther
2:00 PM
Beloit at Lake Forest
2:00 PM
Concordia-Moorhead at Jamestown
2:00 PM
Crown at Hamline
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Carleton at Macalester
Audio
2:00 PM
Bethel at Dubuque
2:00 PM
St. Scholastica at St. John's
Video Live Stats Audio
2:00 PM
St. Olaf at Grinnell
2:00 PM
Buena Vista at Mayville St.
2:00 PM
Simpson at UW-Stout
2:00 PM
Aurora at Carthage
2:00 PM
UW-River Falls at Coe
2:00 PM
Ripon at Concordia-Chicago
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
Elmhurst at Loras
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
Huntingdon at Louisiana College
Video
2:00 PM
North Central (Ill.) at Robert Morris-Chicago
Video Live Stats Audio
2:00 PM
Benedictine at Wheaton (Ill.)
2:00 PM
John Carroll at UW-Oshkosh
Video Audio Audio
2:30 PM
Southern Virginia at Earlham
Live Stats
2:30 PM
Lawrence at Presentation
4:00 PM
McPherson at Nebraska Wesleyan
4:00 PM
UW-Platteville at George Fox
4:00 PM
La Verne at Puget Sound
Video Live Stats
4:00 PM
Central at Whitworth
5:00 PM
Hartwick at Western Connecticut
Live Stats
6:00 PM
Wabash at Albion
Live Stats Audio
6:00 PM
Maryville (Tenn.) at Berry
Video Live Stats
6:00 PM
Augustana at Mount St. Joseph
Live Stats
6:00 PM
Thomas More at Franklin
Video Live Stats
6:00 PM
Hampden-Sydney at Averett
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Denison at Marietta
7:00 PM
Hiram at Westminster (Pa.)
7:00 PM
Thiel at Allegheny
7:00 PM
Capital at Wittenberg
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Shenandoah at Gallaudet
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Illinois College at Rose-Hulman
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Geneva at Frostburg State
7:00 PM
Greensboro at Guilford
Live Stats
7:00 PM
LaGrange at Birmingham-Southern
7:00 PM
Hardin-Simmons at Southwestern
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Anderson at North Park
7:00 PM
Ohio Wesleyan at Mary Hardin-Baylor
7:00 PM
East Texas Baptist at Texas Lutheran
7:10 PM
St. Thomas at UW-Eau Claire
Video Live Stats
7:30 PM
Hanover at Centre
Video Live Stats
8:00 PM
Willamette at Rhodes
8:00 PM
Cornell at Iowa Wesleyan
Video Live Stats Live Stats
8:00 PM
Augsburg at Northwestern (Minn.)
Live Stats
8:00 PM
Southwestern Assemblies at Howard Payne
8:00 PM
Sul Ross State at UT-Permian Basin
8:30 PM
Redlands at Trinity (Texas)
Sep. 1: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Washington and Lee at Johns Hopkins
Video
Sep. 2: All times Eastern
6:00 PM
Delaware Valley at Wesley
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Albright at Salisbury
Sep. 3: All times Eastern
12:00 PM
Cortland at Heidelberg
Live Stats
1:00 PM
TCNJ at UW-Whitewater
2:00 PM
North Central (Ill.) at Robert Morris-Chicago
Video Live Stats Audio
2:00 PM
John Carroll at UW-Oshkosh
Video Audio Audio
2:00 PM
Huntingdon at Louisiana College
Video
2:00 PM
St. Scholastica at St. John's
Video Live Stats Audio
2:00 PM
Benedictine at Wheaton (Ill.)
4:00 PM
UW-Platteville at George Fox
4:00 PM
Central at Whitworth
6:00 PM
Thomas More at Franklin
Video Live Stats
6:00 PM
Wabash at Albion
Live Stats Audio
7:00 PM
East Texas Baptist at Texas Lutheran
7:00 PM
Ohio Wesleyan at Mary Hardin-Baylor
7:00 PM
Hardin-Simmons at Southwestern
Live Stats
7:10 PM
St. Thomas at UW-Eau Claire
Video Live Stats