Bishops Remain Undefeated

Peter Lujan

Transcript Correspondent

pllujan@owu.edu

The Battling Bishops’ football team has started the season rather well. It is 4-0 so far this year, defeating Otterbein University 22-10, Kenyon College 42-0,, Oberlin College 55-3, and most recently, Allegheny College, 28-10, on Saturday afternoon. The wins give the Bishops an average margin of victory of 31 points. 

The Gators of Allegheny went into the matchup with a record of 1-2. In contrast to the Bishops red hot start to the season. A year ago in 2018, the Bishops went 4-6 overall and tied for fifth place in the NCAC (North Coast Athletic Conference.) This year however, they have 38 incoming freshmen, 23 seniors, and 29 other’s racing toward the goal of NCAC champions.

Head Coach Tom Watts observed that last season they were, “always able to play well and pick it up toward the end of the season but were never really able to start the season on the right foot.” However, this season has been the opposite, as their 4-0 record suggests. 

Senior wide receiver and captain, Mher Tcholakian said earlier this season that a big motto and slogan for this year’s team is “going 1-0.” The football team uses this slogan for everything they do. Whether it’s in the weight room, at practice, or whatever the case may be, they want to, “go 1-0.” 

“This ‘1-0 slogan’ is our main focus as a team, [Going 1-0] means giving your all every single rep and every single play.” Tcholakian explained. 

Tcholakian, on this football team for three years, starter for two, he is witness to the Bishops declining record over the last few seasons. “We’ve always known we’ve had talent on both sides of the ball. There was just something missing, our execution. We just could not finish that last little step.”

Aside from his verbal leadership, Tcholakian also has been leading by example through his play on the field. He has 145 receiving yards this season, 61 on Saturday alone, which marked a new season high for him, along with his first receiving touchdown of the season. 

The Bishops look to continue their win streak when they face Wabash College this Saturday in Crawfordsville, Ind.  

Football team kicks off summer in Spain

By Spencer Pauley, Copy Editor 

For nine days this summer, 30 members of the Ohio Wesleyan football team traveled to Spain to view local attractions, embrace the culture, enjoy the beaches and play football.

The itinerary for the trip included tours around various parts of northeastern Spain. For seven of those days, the team was in Barcelona and for the other two, they spent time in the beaches in Costa Brava. Tom Watts, head football coach, said he believed the trip overall was a success.

“It was a chance of a lifetime,” Watts said. “I’ve traveled quite a bit and seen a lot of different places but Spain was really gorgeous. We could have been there for another nine days.”

From the players’ perspectives, they got to experience a place unlike home. Junior Chicho Rodriguez, defensive tackle for the Battling Bishops, is from San Clemente, which is part of coastal California. How do the beaches of Spain compare?

“Spain beaches are a lot more packed with people,” Rodriguez said. “There’s a lot more around the beaches than what I’m familiar with. From volleyball, to muscle beaches, to restaurants. They had it all.”

As for football, the Battling Bishops played the Badalona Dracs, the recent champions of the Spanish national football league (LNFA). The Battling Bishops won the game 68-8.

Even though there’s not too much of a football culture in Spain overall, players noted what the sport meant to those who are a part of it. Sophomore guard Ryan Rhodes saw firsthand how big football was to those fans.

“Everyone went out, their side of the stadium was packed just to watch us play,” Rhodes said. “They’re really passionate about it.” 

This isn’t the first time OWU football has traveled as a team. Four years ago, the team traveled to Italy. For this year, the team decided on a trip to Spain over the alternative, which was Ireland.

The Battling Bishops play their first game of the season this Saturday at 7 p.m. against Otterbein University at Selby Stadium. 

OWU football tackles Spanish turf

By Evan Walsh, Chief Copy Editor

Ohio Wesleyan football is looking for a big win . in Spain. Thirty team members, led by coaches and staff, will make the trip to Barcelona next month,where they will spend two weeks practicing, playing and traveling.

Barcelona is home to the Badalona Dracs who are part of the first division of Liga Nacional de Fútbol Americano (LNFA). They happen to be the reigning champions of the LNFA, so OWU can expect to face the leagues best.

Coach Tom Watts is optimistic that this will improve the program, and promote the sport abroad. Watts hopes, most importantly, that it will provide students with a unique learning experience.

Mason Tomblin, a senior linebacker, has never been out of the country.

I choose to go on this trip because I have never been out of the USA. And to play football there too would be a once in a lifetime deal,Tomblin said.

Tomblin is not alone. Ryan Rhodes, who is currently taking Spanish classes here is looking forward to a new culture in a new place.

I have never been to Europe before and have always been interested with how non-americans play football,Rhodes said.

According to NCAA rules, colleges and universities are allowed to travel internationally once every four years. Four years ago, OWU visited Italy.

The university is not paying for the trip, instead, those attending will have to pay their way there. The cost covers airfare, meals, American Football Worldwide helped to organize and make arrangements for the stay.

An itinerary has already been made. The team arrives on the sixteenth and leaves on the twenty-fourth.

A practice is scheduled for the friday of that week and be followed up with an exhibition game against the Dracs on Monday.
The non-football activities are extensive. They include guided tours of Barcelona and Girona, a small but historic city two hours north.

Football team spreads joy to second graders throughout the Delaware community

By Juwaun Tye, Transcript Correspondent

Second graders are influenced, inspired, and jump up and down in joy as a result of the OWU football team every Friday.

The Ohio Wesleyan football team puts smiles on kid’s faces every week, not on the field, but in the classroom. The team donates time to the Delaware community weekly, by going to James Conger Elementary School to read, play board games and play at recess with the second graders.

The program, called “2nd & 7,” started when Head Coach Tom Watts began coaching at Ohio Wesleyan, six years ago. Ulysses Hall, an OWU football coach, and director of “2nd & 7,” knows the value of community service and encourages all the football players to volunteer at least once.

“Everytime we volunteer, it’s like a celebration for the kids, and I want every single one of our players to see it for themselves,” Hall said.

On average 10-16 football players volunteer every week to go to the elementary school.

“We go every friday for eight weeks straight, and [have] had about 40 different players go. The kids look up to us, so it’s great for them to see us coming to their school every week. The goal is to positively affect their lives,” Hall said.

“The players affect the students lives by simply being there, Hall said.

When the kids see the players giving up their time to volunteer, the kids have something to strive for.

Darius Randolph, an OWU freshman football player said “The biggest impact of all is when the kids see that we’re there for them. When the kids see us with our helmets off, they get a better feel that we are real caring human beings.”

The players who volunteer are greatly impacted by the students that they read to and enjoy recess with.

“Not only is the experience great for the kids, the experience is great for us as well. We’re role models to these kids. We really see how much these kids look up to us,” Randolph said.

Hall said, “It’s important to us because we quickly realize that we were once them. We were once the same kid going through the transition of life, so it’s relatable. It makes us appreciate them more.”

The second graders scream with excitement when the football players read to them.

Teachers sit back and observe as the kids interact with the players. The teachers get a chance to learn a lot from the experience as well, and they see how much the football players impact their students.

“The kids are always excited. They were disappointed over spring break when they didn’t see [the football players] for a few weeks. One of my students was extremely disappointed [that] he might miss their last visit,” said Heather Kuhn, a second grade teacher.

Orsini sets precedent for OWU Quarterbacks

By Matt Maier, Transcript Reporter

As a senior football player, nothing is more exciting than performing best in your final season on the team.

That was the case when senior quarterback Dominick Orsini set a school record for total offense and the second highest single-game rushing performance in the history of Ohio Wesleyan football.

On Oct. 22, the OWU men’s football team played DePauw University in which Orsini had 252 rushing yards on just 25 carry attempts and also had three touch-downs.

Orsini threw for 242 yards and one throwing touchdown. Total, Orsini had 494 yards in offense, breaking the school record of 484 yards that was set by Mason Espinosa on Nov. 13, 2010.

“Great preparation and focus helped me achieve these records, but most importantly, my team- mates playing extraordinarily well and doing their part helped me accomplish this,” Orsini said.

Orsini was named to the d3football.com’s Team of the Week. The honor recognizes six offensive players, one offensive line, 11 defensive players and four special teams players from around the nation. Along with this honor, Orsini was also named the NCAC athlete for the week of Oct. 24.

In his senior season, Orsini said he is proving to leave it all on the field. Teammates and coaches recognize this fact and praise his efforts.

“Having a guy like Dom [Orsini] on our team is something that makes our team special,” said senior captain Mason Tomblin. “He is always putting himself in the best situation to make our team better and I think he exemplifies OWU football perfectly.”

Looking back on his time at OWU and his past few games, Orsini said he has no regrets or ill feelings toward finishing a great career.

“It’s been an incredible feeling to end my career with these games and achievements, but ending with these great memories and doing it … with my brothers on the gridiron is an indescribable feeling that I’ll cherish with me throughout the rest of my life,” Orsini said.

The men’s football team will play Allegheny next at 1 p.m. Nov. 5 in Meadville, Pennsylvania.

Homecoming hails hurrahs

By Matt Maier, Transcript Reporter

The Ohio Wesleyan campus was electric as alumni and families were welcomed to Homecoming weekend.

Filled with festivities and plenty of things to do on campus, the main events of Homecoming weekend were the tailgate on Saturday and the men’s football game against Kenyon College.

Set up in the parking lot of Selby Stadium was a tailgate welcomed to families, friends and alumni. From noon – 2 p.m., OWU offered activities such as the “selfie station” for people to mix and mingle, as well as a food station and beer truck.

“The tailgate was something that has never really been done in all my four years at OWU,” said senior Katie Worland. “I really like how they made it a senior event as well so the seniors were able to be together and really have a good time.”

Once the tailgate ended, the Battling Bishops hosted Kenyon College at Selby Stadium, with the men’s football team looking to avenge its previous loss against Denison University.

In what amounted to a 25-17 win in front of alumni and students, the Bishops extended their record to 2-3 overall.

“The atmosphere for the game was great with so many people back,” said Tom Watts, head coach. “The home side was filled up and there was so much going on in the parking lot prior to the game that really helped us out.”

The past three years have proved to be successful for the Bishops against Kenyon as they have won each time. Solidifying this streak was this year’s win against the Lords.

“Kenyon always gives us a tough game, so it was a great opponent to play this week,” said senior Dominick Orsini. “I think both teams gave their fans a great game to watch,.”

Watts said, “The goal for the rest of the season is to build off the last game and keep improving to take that next step. We have a great team who has fought through some adversity, but the sky is the limit for this team.”

Bishops finish football season with a flurry

By: Brian Goldaber, Transcript Correspondent

An OWU football player attempts to evade a player from Oberlin. Photo courtesy of battlingbishops.com.
An OWU football player attempts to evade a player from Oberlin. Photo courtesy of battlingbishops.com.

It’s not how you start, but how you finish.

The Ohio Wesleyan football team finished its season on Nov. 14 with a 59-­28 win against the College of Wooster. The blowout win marked the culmination of an up and down season that fills the Battling Bishops with anticipation for next fall.

The win against Wooster raised OWU’s record to 5­5. While a .500 record may not seem impressive, those close to the football program think otherwise.

After losing three of their first four games, the team rallied to win three of its last four behind some stellar offensive and defensive performances.

“It took us a little while to get rolling, but once we found our groove and started playing good football, we got really tough to beat,” junior quarterback Dom Orsini said.

The Battling Bishops also faced the toughest part of their schedule at the beginning of the season. They opened the season with difficult losses to Mary Hardin-­Baylor, who was ranked third in the nation and the perennially tough conference rival Wittenberg University.

The season finale was also a great way to send off some of the seniors on the team. Finishing the season on a strong note was satisfying for the graduating seniors to finish their football careers.

“A win like this was a great way to go out,” senior captain Zain Kieffer said. “Even though we got off to a bad start to the season, we knew we didn’t suck. It feels good to beat up on teams in front of my whole family. Couldn’t have asked for a better end to football.”

The team has 11 seniors, but the majority of the team will be back next fall.

“The end of this season leaves us all hungry for next fall,” Orsini said. “We’re keeping most of our offense and a lot of key contributors on defense. Now that we have a whole season under our belts, the sky’s the limit.”

This off season promises to be a productive one for the Battling Bishops, as head coach Tom Watts has placed the team on a strict workout plan. The players must keep up with strength training, conditioning and speed and agility drills until next fall to ensure that they come back ready to win.