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Football: 2013 Preview

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The 2013 Westminster College football team will aim to make their presence felt in the Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) as 32 lettermen (13 on offense, 18 on defense, and 1 on special teams) return for the Titans.

The Titans went 3-6 overall last year, however, four of its six losses had a point differential of six points or less. "We will continue to emphasize the importance of finishing games to our team," said nine-year head coach Jeff Hand. "We need to throw the ball more effectively on third downs and we need to get off the field defensively on third downs. We need to be more consistent with those two things this year in order to be successful."

Westminster has 15 starters returning in 2013, 13 of which are seniors. "The leadership from our seniors is going to be monumental for us," Hand added. The Titans are returning seven starters each on offense and defense and one on special teams.

On offense, the Titans return All-PAC honorees seniors RB Tyler Banks (Meadville, PA / Meadville) and QB Dak Britt (Battle Creek, MI / Battle Creek) who together made up 91% of the Titans' total offense in 2012. Banks set career-highs last year as he led the team in rushing with 651 yards and six touchdowns. In his first year as a Titan, Britt provided a dual threat under center as he compiled 1,951 total yards (1,386 passing, 565 rushing). Britt scored a team-high 19 total touchdowns (11 passing, eight rushing). Britt also set the school-record for rushing yards in a single game by a quarterback twice last season with 172 yards being the most.

Seniors All-PAC honoree Daniel Graham (Beaver Falls, PA / Blackhawk), Michael Blair (Bridgeville, PA / Canon-McMillan), and Tony Hamorsky (Springdale, PA / Springdale) are three of the five starting offensive linemen returning for the Titans. "It's great to have key returning starters on the offensive line," Hand said. "It's nice to have those three to lean on."

Also on offense, seniors All-PAC WR Collin Wallace (Mechanicsburg, PA / Cumberland Valley), TE David Wright (Solon, OH / Solon) and WR Toby Bonitz (New Freedom, PA / Susquehanna) bring experience and leadership for their final campaign. Wallace is the leading returner in the receiving corps as he had career-highs in receiving yards (424) and receiving touchdowns (2) a season ago. 

The Titan defense brings back seven starters from 2012, five of which are seniors. Senior DL Second Team All-PAC Sean Christofferson (New Wilmington, PA / Wilmington) led the Titan lineman last year with 46 tackles to go along with a team-best four sacks. Christofferson's 13.5 tackles for a loss were also a team-best and ranked fifth in the conference. "Sean is a workhorse with a great motor," Hand said. "He's one of those players who knows when to step up and make the big play."

Senior LBs All-PAC honorees Nate Moot (Johnstown, PA / Bishop McCort) and Aaron Nauer (Pittsburgh, PA / Shaler) and classmate Taylor Heinrich (Brookville, PA / Brookeville) return in 2013. Moot was the leading tackler for the Titans last year with 67 tackles which ranked in the top 15 in the PAC. Moot also tied second on the team with two interceptions.  Rounding out the returning senior starters on defense is DB back Josh Beistel (Somerset, PA / Somerset) who is coming off his best season with 41 tackles.

Also returning after productive seasons are juniors DB Jared Heck (Pittsburgh, PA / North Hills) and DL Chuck Sayre (Warren, OH / Howland). Heck was the leading tackler in the secondary with 45 tackles and was second on the team in break ups (4) and pass defenses (5). Sayre's five tackles for a loss tied for third on the team to go along with 29 tackles. Senior DL Shawn Kronenwetter (Saint Marys, PA / Saint Marys) will also challenge for a starting position.

Sophomore P Jake Schnelbach (Pittsburgh, PA / Bishop Canevin) returns after a solid first-year averaging 35.2 yards per punt with a long of 61. He had two touchbacks and four kicks inside the 20 yard-line. Snappers sophomore Dylan Hogue (Sharpsville, PA / Sharpsville) and junior Ed Domitrovich (Aliquippa, PA / Hopewell) along with sophomore LB Justin Shaw (Monaca, PA / Central Valley), the 2012 Team's Special Teams MVP, return after productive seasons last year.

About Westminster College...
Founded in 1852 and related to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Westminster College ranks first in the nation as "Best College for Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math," according to Westminster is a top-tier liberal arts college and a national leader in graduation rate performance, according to U.S. News Best Colleges guide. Westminster is also honored as one of "The Best 378 Colleges" by The Princeton Review, and is named to the President's Honor Roll for excellence in service learning.

Nearly 1,600 undergraduate and graduate students benefit from individualized attention from dedicated faculty while choosing from 41 majors and nearly 100 organizations on the New Wilmington, Pa., campus. Visit to view "Advantage: Westminster" A Strategic Plan 2010-2020.

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