Mon, Aug. 13, 2012
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Lindsborg News Record
With fall just around the corner, the Bethany College football team is preparing for their upcoming season.
Coming off an 8-3 overall record in 2011, and a third place finish in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference (KCAC) at 6-3, the Swedes feel confident with their roster and incoming players.
"We feel as though we have a talented roster and are looking forward to the development of our players," said head coach Jamie Cruce, who is entering his sixth year with Bethany. "Fall camp should provide some competition for our two-deep as many of our players had an impressive spring session. We are also looking forward to seeing our new players develop and contribute to our success."
Picked to finish second in the KCAC coaches preseason poll and third in the media preseason poll, Cruce shared some shocking news at KCAC Media Day on Wednesday, August 1 at Salina Country Club.
"At this point, Junior Allen's not going to be playing for the Swedes this year," Cruce announced at Media Day. "It's absolutely no way a result of team discipline or legal issues. But it is a private matter, and I can't really comment any further on it."
The loss of tailback Junior Allen leaves a big hole in the Swedes offense as Allen, the KCAC Offensive Player of the Year in 2011, ran for a conference-high 1,404 yards and 14 touchdowns. He was ranked second in the NAIA in rushing (1,404 yards) and second in all-purpose yards (1,880). In 2010, Allen ran for 1,432 yards for the Swedes.
Allen, who transferred to Bethany from Missouri Valley College in 2010, is entering his senior year. He participated in spring practices, is enrolled in school and, according to Cruce, will attend classes this fall.
Despite the loss of Allen, the Swedes return 35 letterwinners, including 11 starters; six on offense and five on defense.
Top returners include senior quarterback Darby House of Skidmore, Texas; senior wide receiver Brandon Martino from Junction City, Kan.; junior defensive tackle Rocky Castro from Santa Fe, Texas; senior wide receiver D'Andre Thompson from Baytown, Texas; and sophomore defensive end Steven Williams from Houston, Texas.
"We have a strong class of returning players," said Cruce. "Many of them have made large contributions thus far in their time in our program. Others will step up to the challenge this year. It is important that this group set the example for the new players."
Bethany's roster also highlights a handful of top newcomers: junior offensive lineman Joseph Carrillo from West Covina, Calif.; sophomore offensive lineman Marcus Bradley from Dallas, Texas; sophomore wide receiver Chris Lewis from San Diego, Calif.; freshman defensive back Taylor Stull from McCracken, Kan.; and junior kicker/punter Cody Lyter from Highland, Calif.
The 2012 captains for the Swedes are: senior outside linebacker Jeffrey Childs from Junction City, Kan.; senior wide receiver Brandon Martino from Junction City, Kan.; junior wide receiver Marcos Franco of Garland, Texas; junior defensive tackle Rocky Castro of Santa Fe, Texas; senior linebacker Terrance Henderson from Tulsa, Okla.; and senior wide receiver D'Andre Thompson of Baytown, Texas.
Cruce, along with defensive coordinator Nick Taylor and offensive coordinator Dustin Miller, are preparing for the fall with high hopes for the powerful Bethany football program.
"Our expectations are high as we enter fall camp," said Cruce. "We must stay healthy and focused in order to match those expectations with victories on the field and in the classroom."
Bethany kicks off their 2012 season on Saturday, September 1 at Southwestern Assemblies of God University in Waxahachie, Texas.