You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.


Welcome to

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Urbana ready for first season in Mountain East Conference

The Urbana University football team will know the way to West Virginia after this season.

In the Blue Knights’ first season in the Mountain East Conference, they will play four games in the Mountain State. Eight of the 11 football-playing schools in the new conference — it officially began competition this week — are from West Virginia.

“Our travel is going to be different,” said sixth-year head coach David Taynor. “We’ve been traveling west most of the time with an occasional trip to West Virginia.”

Urbana stays in state for its opener, however, playing at Findlay at 7 tonight.

This is Urbana’s third conference in the last three seasons. After stops in the Great Lakes Football Conference and the Great Lakes Valley Conference, Urbana hopes it has found a more permanent home in the Mountain East.

“It’s a great thing for the athletes in general,” Taynor said. “We have one conference to hang our hat on. It’s not the lacrosse team playing in this conference and the football team playing in this conference. Everyone has a conference they can call home. The competition is going to be relatively similar to what we faced in the GLVC. The conference is a little deeper. It’s going to be tougher from top to bottom.”

The eight West Virginia schools in the conference are more familiar with one another because they played together previously in the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. That may be one reason Urbana was picked to finish sixth, and the other two new schools from outside the state, Notre Dame College in Ohio and Wise College in Virginia, were picked to finish eighth and ninth, respectively.

Urbana is coming off a 7-4 season. It has won 26 games in the last four seasons, which is more than it won in its first 13 seasons combined.

The Blue Knights look poised for another strong season because they have one of the best quarterback-receiver combos in the conference: seniors D.J. Mendenhall and Joe Webb.

Mendenhall, a four-year starter from West Jefferson, has a chance to become the third quarterback in NCAA Division II history with more than 10,000 career passing yards and 2,000 career rushing yards.

“He’s probably one of the most experienced, if not the most experienced, quarterback in the country,” Mendenhall said. “He’s started 32 of the 33 games he’s been here. His freshman year, he didn’t start his first game, and he started the next 10. He’s our all-time leading touchdown scorer and also the all-time leading passer.”

Mendenhall’s favorite target is senior Webb, a Mechanicsburg graduate who is already the school’s all-time leader in receiving yards (2,413), TD receptions (18) and yards per catch (18.01).

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Sports

Springfield lets double-digit lead slip away vs. No. 1 Moeller
Springfield lets double-digit lead slip away vs. No. 1 Moeller

Springfield nearly knocked off the state’s top Division I team on Saturday night but couldn’t hold on to a double-digit lead. The Wildcats built an 11-point lead in the third quarter only to see Moeller rally and capture a 54-51 win. Moeller went on a 19-8 run in the third and fourth quarters to tie the game and then pulled ahead for good...
H.S. Results for 1/21/17: Dunbar’s McConnell stars in road victory

Dunbar’s Caleb McConnell had a night to remember Saturday during a 73-52 boys basketball victory at Toledo Scott. The 6-foot-5 junior scored 28 points, pulled down 12 rebounds and handed out 7 assists for Dunbar (12-2). McConnell also dropped in five 3-point goals. Devon Baker added 14 points, Chris Jackson 12 for the Wolverines, who led, 25-10...
Wrestling: Depleted Graham falls to St. Ed’s
Wrestling: Depleted Graham falls to St. Ed’s

Graham High School wrestling coach Jeff Jordan knew taking down Lakewood St. Edward for the sixth year in a row was going to be tough under normal circumstances. Saturday night at Graham High School, however, was not normal circumstances. Late-week injuries to defending state champs Mitch Moore (132) and Rocky Jordan (152) altered some matchups and...
Raiders, Davis look to keep roll going vs. Oakland
Raiders, Davis look to keep roll going vs. Oakland

When Wright State takes on Oakland today at the Nutter Center, the Raiders will be hoping for a completely different performance from the first time the two teams met when the Grizzlies scored an 81-62 triumph in the Dec. 29 league opener. Fortunately for WSU, it has a player who is experienced in staging completely different...
College Basketball Preview: Oakland at Wright State
College Basketball Preview: Oakland at Wright State

Who: Oakland (15-5, 5-2) at Wright State (13-7, 4-3) When: 2 p.m. Sunday TV: ESPN3 Radio: 106.5-FM Series: Wright State leads 8-7, but Oakland has won five of the last six. Coaches: Scott Nagy is 13-7 at Wright State and 423-247 in 22 seasons overall. Greg Kampe, who is one of four active coaches with more than 500 wins at the same school, is 573-420...
More Stories