Wittenberg Tigers


Twenty photos: Wittenberg vs. Allegheny

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Wittenberg sets season high in rushing in rout of Allegheny

Wittenberg sets season high in rushing in rout of Allegheny

Wittenberg Tigers coach Joe Fincham tried to get his oldest daughter Samantha to stand in for him during a postgame interview Saturday. She might have done a fine job, considering she’s watched him give dozens of interviews on the turf at Edwards-Maurer Field over the years. But when it comes to talking about the play of the offensive line, that’s a job for the head coach. The No. 12 Tigers...
3 simple keys to beating the NCAA if you want to break the rules

3 simple keys to beating the NCAA if you want to break the rules

The major driver of the social media outrage machine (sports category) Friday morning was the announcement North Carolina won’t face any serious consequences despite some Tar Heels taking part in fake classes over a matter of years.  Confusion often reins after any major NCAA decision, but we suspect now more than ever there will be people out there who conclude following the rules...
Wittenberg faces Allegheny Saturday, seeks 6-0 start

Wittenberg faces Allegheny Saturday, seeks 6-0 start

The beat rolls on for the Wittenberg Tigers, who have outscored their first four North Coast Athletic Conference opponents 169-40. The fifth opponent is Allegheny. The Gators (2-3, 1-3), who visit Edwards-Maurer Field at 1 p.m. Saturday, have their best team in years. They have already matched their combined win total of the last four seasons. Allegheny, a one-time NCAC powerhouse, was Wittenberg&rsquo...
Wittenberg offense rolling under new offensive coordinator Florence

Wittenberg offense rolling under new offensive coordinator Florence

There’s a buzz around Wittenberg football — not just because the Tigers are 5-0 and ranked 12th in the nation. There’s a literal buzz this season thanks to new offensive coordinator Reed Florence. A drone flies above the team during practice, giving Florence, head coach Joe Fincham and the rest of the staff a unique angle on the team at work. “It all started at Christmas time...
College Football: Witt spots Hiram early score, rolls from there

College Football: Witt spots Hiram early score, rolls from there

Danny Robinson sprinted 75 yards for a touchdown on the first play of the game Saturday to give host Hiram a quick lead over Wittenberg. It was all Tigers after that. Wittenberg followed the early Hiram score with 59 of the next 62 points on its way to a 59-17 North Coast Athletic Conference win over the Terriers at Henry Field. The 14th-ranked Tigers improve to 5-0 overall and 4-0 in the NCAC. Hiram...
College Football: Hiram an ‘interesting case’ for Wittenberg

College Football: Hiram an ‘interesting case’ for Wittenberg

Wittenberg Tigers coach Joe Fincham ran down a list of stats with his team after practice Wednesday. Some were good. Some were not. Only one stat really mattered: his team is 4-0. Wittenberg leads the North Coast Athletic Conference in scoring defense (9.2 points per game) but ranks seventh in scoring offense (32.5). It has the best turnover margin (plus six) but ranks eighth in punt return average...
Mastin a grizzled vet for Wittenberg football

Mastin a grizzled vet for Wittenberg football

Safety Jay Mastin’s beard doesn’t quite reach lumberjack status. It’s a training camp beard that kept going. “My goal is to have a real nice playoff beard,” Mastin said. There was a time when Wittenberg Tigers coach Joe Fincham might have had a problem with that. “We started having some guys that wanted them,” Fincham said. “I quit fighting it. I basically...
Wittenberg defense answers challenge of nation’s 2nd-ranked offense

Wittenberg defense answers challenge of nation’s 2nd-ranked offense

Prevent big plays and be unyielding in the red zone. That’s an identity the Wittenberg defense is happy to be known for. “I was really pleased with how we bowed our back when they got down in there tight,” Tigers coach Joe Fincham said. “That’s been our M.O.” »RELATED: Top 7 players in Witt program history The bend-don’t-break defense that also produced...
Wittenberg hosts Denison with hopes of avenging 2016 loss

Wittenberg hosts Denison with hopes of avenging 2016 loss

The Wittenberg Tigers left Deeds Field in Granville a season ago in shock. A 22-game winning streak against Denison ended with a 33-yard field goal by Conor Dunn with 21 seconds to play. None of the players in that game were born the last time Wittenberg lost to Denison in 1989. “It was an awful feeling,” Wittenberg defensive lineman Chandler Ferko said. “Especially with the tradition...
Ferko inspired by great Wittenberg defenders of the past

Ferko inspired by great Wittenberg defenders of the past

Chandler Ferko knows all about the great defensive linemen in Wittenberg Tigers history. The coaches stamp the name of past players in the minds of the current ones. In that way, All-American defensive lineman Eddie Vallery remains a big part of the program seven years after his last game. “We hear about him all the time,” said Ferko, a senior captain for the Tigers from Jonathan Alder...
College football: Wittenberg routs Kenyon to reach 3-0

College football: Wittenberg routs Kenyon to reach 3-0

The No. 16 Wittenberg Tigers stayed unbeaten with a 48-11 victory over Kenyon on Saturday in Gambier. The Tigers overcame an 8-0 deficit in the first quarter with two touchdown runs by quarterback Jake Kennedy, and the rout continued from there. Here’s a quick breakdown of the North Coast Athletic Conference game: Top player: Kenton Ridge graduate Jeff Tiffner caught eight passes for 99 yards...
College Football: Wittenberg Tigers look to stay unbeaten

College Football: Wittenberg Tigers look to stay unbeaten

Defenses often rejoice in shutouts. It’s not easy to keep a team off the scoreboard, even if you’re a big favorite. Wittenberg Tigers linebacker Jack Kayser has bigger goals, however. Of the 34-0 victory against Oberlin last week at Edwards-Maurer Field, he said, “It was nice, but it didn’t feel like a shutout.” The Yeomen gained 300 yards of total offense. Wittenberg...
Position switch pays off for Wittenberg’s Kayser

Position switch pays off for Wittenberg’s Kayser

Wittenberg Tigers coach Joe Fincham asks seniors to speak to freshmen players at group study halls every season. Jack Kayser filled that role Wednesday, talking to his younger teammates about his journey over the last four seasons and advising them about how to deal with all the things they’re experiencing for the first time. “Papers are coming due,” Fincham said. “Midterms...
Wittenberg football: Tigers 2-0 after shutout win

Wittenberg football: Tigers 2-0 after shutout win

The Wittenberg Tigers made the most of a long wait for their second game, blanking Oberlin 34-0 on Saturday at Edwards-Maurer Field. No. 15 Wittenberg (2-0) beat Oberlin (2-1) for the 19th straight time and shut out the Yeomen for the first time since a 59-0 victory in 2013. The Tigers recorded a shutout in their home opener for the second straight season. A year ago, they beat Capital 34-0. Here&rsquo...
Wittenberg to show off new, old look in home opener

Wittenberg to show off new, old look in home opener

The Wittenberg Tigers have worn the same helmets for many years. Coach Joe Fincham is a traditionalist when it comes to that kind of thing, and he wasn’t about to mess with the “W” logo and the two stripes down the center of the helmet. Then a couple of years ago, Fincham was researching Wittenberg’s championship teams with former assistant coach Dan Piko, trying to compile...
Ron Duncan’s grandsons continue legacy at Wittenberg

Ron Duncan’s grandsons continue legacy at Wittenberg

Wittenberg football legend Ron Duncan had a decision to make in August 2012. He was suffering from Lewy Body Dementia, a form of Parkinson’s, and was told he had to get a feeding tube or he would die. Dan Duncan, Ron’s son, said there were two big reasons, among many, his dad chose to live. “One reason was his father (Richard) lived to be 68,” Dan said Tuesday, “and he...
Wittenberg’s Snodgrass cherishes return to football

Wittenberg’s Snodgrass cherishes return to football

Thaddeus Snodgrass sprinted under a deep pass from Jake Kennedy on Monday in practice, caught it in stride and raced toward the end zone, showing the talent that made him a four-star recruit in 2013. This play didn’t count, but the Springfield High School graduate Snodgrass made two big plays Saturday for the Wittenberg in the season opener when it did count — and they were moments he...
Wittenberg survives late Westminster rally to win opener

Wittenberg survives late Westminster rally to win opener

The Wittenberg Tigers survived a fourth-quarter comeback by Westminster College, winning the season opener 20-14 on Saturday in New Wilmington, Pa. Westminster cut the lead to 17-14 on a 6-yard touchdown run by Dominique McKinley with 7:22 left in the fourth quarter. Wittenberg pushed the lead to 20-14 on a 22-yard field goal by Adam Acquista with 2:51 to play. Westminster had 1st-and-10 at the...
Wittenberg opens season on road in Pennsylvania

Wittenberg opens season on road in Pennsylvania

A drone buzzed over the Wittenberg football practice field on Monday, filming the Tigers hard at work five days before their season opener. There were no drones — not the kind that can film a football practice, at least — when Joe Fincham debuted as head coach in 1996. The times have changed in many ways but in some ways not at all. The Tigers begin the season ranked 16th in the D3Football...
Wittenberg Tigers season preview: First look at depth chart

Wittenberg Tigers season preview: First look at depth chart

Joe Fincham’s 22nd season as head coach of the Wittenberg Tigers features at least one unique storyline. After decades of practicing on a field behind the HPER Center, his team has been forced by the construction of the new indoor facility to trek down McCreight Avenue, past Mike & Rosy’s Deli, Burger King and A1 Able Pest Doctors to the wide-open space behind the softball field....
Wittenberg football: Top 7 players in Tigers history

Wittenberg football: Top 7 players in Tigers history

Wittenberg has fielded a football team for 123 seasons. The four-overtime playoff thriller at Thomas More last season was the program’s 754th victory. Only Mount Union, the perennial national powerhouse, has more. Close to 90 freshmen football players showed up on Wittenberg’s campus Tuesday. An army of 160 Tigers will hold their first practice of the 2017 season Wednesday. They reported...
NCAC coaches vote Wittenberg favorite in preseason poll

NCAC coaches vote Wittenberg favorite in preseason poll

North Coast Athletic Conference football coaches voted Wittenberg the preseason favorite Thursday. The Tigers received six of 10 first-place votes. They finished 10-2 in 2016 and won the league championship with an 8-1 mark. Wittenberg has won the NCAC title outright or shared it in six of the last eight seasons. Wabash, which tied for second with Denison and DePauw last season at 7-2, received three...
College Football: Wittenberg ranked in preseason Top 25

College Football: Wittenberg ranked in preseason Top 25

The Wittenberg Tigers were were ranked 16th in the country in the D3football.com preseason poll released Monday. The Tigers received 204 points in the poll, six behind No. 15 UW-Platteville, and nine ahead of No. 17 Frostburg State. »RELATED: Witt recruiting class is Tigers’ biggest ever Defending national champion Mary Hardin-Baylor is No. 1. The Tigers finished...
Wittenberg’s 2017 football recruiting class is Fincham’s biggest

Wittenberg’s 2017 football recruiting class is Fincham’s biggest

Joe Fincham and his Wittenberg Tigers assistant coaches didn’t set out to break a recruiting record in 2017. The biggest freshman class in school history just kind of happened. “If I could put it in a bottle, I’d sell it,” Fincham said Friday. “I don’t think there’s a magic bullet.” The class numbers 89. The players come from eight states. Most are from...
Kelly Mahlum will continue to coach Wittenberg women’s basketball

Kelly Mahlum will continue to coach Wittenberg women’s basketball

Wittenberg University removed the interim tag from Kelly Mahlum’s title, and she will continue to coach the women’s basketball team in the 2017-18 season. She is the eighth head coach in school history. Wittenberg made the announcement Friday. Mahlum took over the program when Sarah Jurewicz went on maternity leave last season. The Tigers went 10-16 under Mahlum. Jurewicz will remain with...
Mitch Balser

Mitch Balser

Centerville High School's Mitch Balser puts up a shot while being defended by Springfield High School's Anthony Freeman Friday night in Centerville. LISA POWELL / STAFF PHOTO
Wooster transfer part of Wittenberg basketball recruiting class

Wooster transfer part of Wittenberg basketball recruiting class

Nine players will join the Wittenberg Tigers men’s basketball team as part of 2017 recruiting class, second-year head coach Matt Croci announced this week. All nine are from Ohio. The most intriguing name on the list is the only player who doesn’t have four years of eligibility remaining. Centerville High School grad Mitch Balser, a 6-foot junior guard, is a transfer from Wooster, Wittenberg&rsquo...
Wittenberg men’s golf team wins national championship

Wittenberg men’s golf team wins national championship

The Wittenberg University men’s golf team won its first national championship on Friday. The 10th-ranked Tigers edged Guilford College (Greensboro, N.C.) by two strokes (1,180-1,182) to win the NCAA Division III tournament at Mission Inn Resort and Club at Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla. Senior Garrett Brickley led Wittenberg with a runner-up finish in the 72-hole tournament. Brickley birdied the final...
Wittenberg Tigers name Reed Florence new offensive coordinator

Wittenberg Tigers name Reed Florence new offensive coordinator

The Wittenberg Tigers have a new offensive coordinator, and he’s a familiar name for anyone who has been following local football for the last decade. Wittenberg and Southeastern High School graduate Reed Florence takes the helm of the offense, replacing Kevin Hoyng, who returned to his alma mater, the University of Dayton, as the passing game coordinator after three seasons running the Wittenberg...
Springfield pioneer in women’s sports dies

Springfield pioneer in women’s sports dies

A Springfield native considered a pioneer in women’s athletics and who had a lengthy career at Wittenberg University has died. Betty J. Dillahunt, 95, was described as a “legend as a youngster” in the city in a time when women weren’t encouraged to participate in sports, said Sarah Jurewicz, Wittenberg associate athletic director, senior women’s administrator and head...
Feds reach agreement with Wittenberg U. on sexual assault complaints

Feds reach agreement with Wittenberg U. on sexual assault complaints

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights has reached an agreement with Wittenberg University after finding that the university’s handling of complaints arising from reports of sexual assault violated federal law. The probe, under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, was based on complaints filed in July 2011 and April 2013, alleging that the university failed...
Matt Croci reflects on first season with Wittenberg Tigers

Matt Croci reflects on first season with Wittenberg Tigers

Wittenberg basketball coach Matt Croci has already turned the page from his first season at the helm to his second season. That means he and his assistant coaches will be all over the place recruiting at high school tournament games this month. Croci took some time Thursday, however, to look back at the season that ended Feb. 24 with a 77-68 loss to Ohio Wesleyan in the North Coast Athletic Conference...
Wittenberg Tigers upset No. 9 Denison

Wittenberg Tigers upset No. 9 Denison

The Wittenberg Tigers recorded the most impressive victory of the Matt Croci era so far, upsetting No. 9 Denison 71-70 in Granville on Saturday. Shawnee grad Jaelin Williams, a Wittenberg senior, blocked a shot by Denison’s Bret Woolard at the buzzer. Williams led the Tigers with 23 points on 8-of-23 shooting. He had a team-high eight rebounds, four steals and two blocks. Wittenberg trailed...
Wittenberg stumbles against rival Wooster

Wittenberg stumbles against rival Wooster

Wittenberg hoped to turn its North Coast Athletic Conference title hopes around in a game against rival Wooster on Saturday night at Pam Evans Smith Arena. Instead, Wooster ran away in the second half and handed the Tigers a 70-55 loss. The loss drops Wittenberg to 4-4 in the NCAC and 10-5 overall. The Tigers hadn’t lost a league game by more than four points before Saturday. “I thought...
Wittenberg, Wooster rivalry still special after all these years

Wittenberg, Wooster rivalry still special after all these years

Wittenberg Tigers coach Matt Croci explained his experience with the Wittenberg-Wooster rivalry this week to his players. When he played at Wittenberg from 1991-94, the Tigers and Scots were new to the North Coast Athletic Conference. The rivalry had yet to take off, but even then showed signs of being something special. “Playing in it, coaching in it, or watching it, if you have a connection...
Wittenberg hosts Community Day at men’s basketball game Thursday

Wittenberg hosts Community Day at men’s basketball game Thursday

Wittenberg University and men’s basketball coach Matt Croci will host Community Day on Thursday at a 3 p.m. game vs. Heidelberg at Pam Evans Smith Arena. All students — elementary, middle school, high school and college — get in the doors for free. The Tigers are 5-3 and 2-2 in the North Coast Athletic Conference. After losing 58-54 to DePauw and 72-68 in overtime to Denison in their...
Wittenberg Tigers kicker named first-team All-American

Wittenberg Tigers kicker named first-team All-American

Wittenberg Tigers senior Will Gingery was named to the American Football Coaches Association All-America Division III First Team on Monday as a placekicker. He’s the program’s first first-team All-American since defensive lineman Eddie Vallery in 2009. Gingery, a Bexley High School graduate, starred as a kicker and punter for the Tigers, who won the North Coast Athletic Conference...
Wittenberg Tigers 3-1 after victory at Capital

Wittenberg Tigers 3-1 after victory at Capital

Jaelin Williams caught the pass from Cody Phillippi. He passed on the shot for a half second and then stepped back and let it fly. The 3-pointer with 41 seconds left broke a 58-58 tie and propelled the Wittenberg Tigers to a 63-60 victory over the Capital Crusaders on Tuesday in Bexley. “Last year we would have lost that game for sure,” Williams said. “That was every game last year...

Witt can’t keep up with Whitewater

Wittenberg’s defense faced its most difficult test of the season Saturday. The Tigers held up for most of the first half, but Wisconsin-Whitewater’s big offensive line and balanced attack ended the Tigers’ season 37-9 in the second round of the NCAA Division III playoffs in Whitewater, Wisconsin. Wittenberg (10-2) was fifth in the nation this season in points allowed per game at...
Wittenberg looks to shock Wisc.-Whitewater

Wittenberg looks to shock Wisc.-Whitewater

Wittenberg proved a worthy road team last Saturday when it was one of three road teams to win one of the 16 first-round games of the Division III football playoffs. The Tigers were dramatic about it, defeating Thomas More in four overtimes. Can they do it again? “We’re really prepared to go up there and give all we’ve got,” said linebacker Terrance Crowe, a 2013 Springfield...
Wittenberg Tigers practice at Purdue on way to Wisconsin

Wittenberg Tigers practice at Purdue on way to Wisconsin

Joe Fincham and Taver Johnson were freshmen together — sort of — in 1990 with the Wittenberg Tigers. Fincham was a new assistant coach. Johnson was a freshman linebacker. On Friday, the two reunited in West Lafayette, Ind., as Fincham’s Tigers stopped at Purdue University to practice on the way to a noon game Saturday in the second round of the Division III playoffs at Wisconsin-Whitewater...
Matt Croci picks up first win as Wittenberg Tigers coach

Matt Croci picks up first win as Wittenberg Tigers coach

Matt Croci took the court for his first game as Wittenberg Tigers men’s basketball coach Friday with few jitters. He has been a head coach before after all. He led the Kenyon Lords for seven seasons. However, from 1993 to this past March, the Tigers were led by one man: Bill Brown. His tenure lasted so long it overlapped Croci’s playing career. He was a senior in Brown’s first year...
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