Wittenberg’s Gunnar Doran, left, practices on Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018, at Edwards-Maurer Field in Springfield. David Jablonski/Staff

Freshman starting on O-line at Wittenberg for first time in 16 years

Gunnar Doran one of several freshmen receiving playing time

Wittenberg coach Joe Fincham, a native of Williamstown, W.Va., heard it and claimed he had nothing to do with the playlist. That seemed true moments later as Drake’s “Big Rings” started to play.

Fincham has a much better handle on his roster than on the music selection at practice, and one interesting question every every season regarding his Tigers revolves around the simple questio: What freshmen are contributing?

“From a physical standpoint, he’s a big, strong guy,” Fincham said, “but it’s hard to be a freshman quarterback or a freshman offensive linemen and play just because you have to play with so many people around you. It’s not just about you. Athleticism isn’t the deciding factor in those two positions.”

Overall, Fincham likes the early returns on the freshman class.

“We have a number of young guys I like,” he said. “A lot of them right now are either swimming in the playbook, or some of them are swimming from a conditioning standpoint, which happens with young guys. Right now, they’re at a point in time academically that is pretty challenging for them, too. It’s mid-term time. A lot of papers are due.”