Gene's Blog: Football hears more good summer news
July 09, 2012
Fritz Waldvogel continues his impressive play in Germany.
Two Tommies -- senior center Curtis James and junior punter Garrett Maloney -- are among 48 players named to the Lindy’s Magazine 2012 Division III Preseason All-America Team.
St. Thomas was among just six schools with two honorees.
A three-year starter, James switched from guard to center last season. He helped the No. 3-ranked Tommies win 13 games and reach the NCAA playoff semifinals, both firsts in program history. James made four different All-America teams last season. The Tommies have had 32 100-yard rushing performances and a 36-4 overall record thus far in his three-year era. UST's offensive line has allowed just 30 sacks in those 40 games. The Tommie offense has averaged nearly 40 points and 425 yards a game over the last three seasons.
Maloney was an All-West Region and All-MIAC honoree in 2011, when he averaged 40.7 yards per punt. In two seasons he’s averaging 39.6 yards on 69 punts, with 21 inside the 20-yard line. Augsburg tight end Adam Carl and St. John’s defensive back Bobby Fischer were also honored on the elite preseason team.
In the Lindy’s team rankings, St. Thomas was picked No. 4 after Mount Union, Wesley and UW-Whitewater. St. John’s and Bethel were ranked No. 14 and 15.
In the USA Today College Football Magazine 10-team preseason poll, St. Thomas was ranked seventh behind Whitewater, Mount Union, Wesley, North Central (Ill.), Mary Hardin-Baylor and Linfield. St. John Fisher, Delaware Valley and Wabash rounded out the rankings.
Coach Glenn Caruso’s team begins its 2012 season Sept. 1 at UW-Eau Claire, and its home opener is Sept. 8 vs. UW-River Falls. The Tommies graduated four All-America players plus their starting QB and placekicker. But St. Thomas also returns most of its offensive line plus its secondary and several linebackers.
The Tommies are 43-7 in Caruso’s four-year era, including a 25-2 record in their last two seasons.
400-plus for Fritz
Fritz Waldvogel had another monster game Saturday in leading the Schwabisch Hall Unicorns to a 70-39 victory over the Franken Knights in the German Football League.
Waldvogel, a May 2012 St. Thomas graduate, scored three touchdowns and rolled up 403 all-purpose yards on 20 touches. He had an 89-yard kickoff return for a touchdown and caught 14 passes for 253 yards.
League records are hard to find. But a check of recent stats available online shows that no GFL player has surpassed 403 all-purpose yards in one game in at least the last six seasons.
In his June 30 game, Waldvogel had 11 touches for 189 all-purpose yards, with touchdowns of 50 and 2 yards.
The defending league champion Unicorns are 5-0 and averaging 57 ppg since Waldvogel joined the squad in late May. He now has racked up 15 touchdowns and 1,301 all-purpose yards in five games.
Schwabisch Hall has two weeks off before resuming games July 28. The Unicorns will play seven games before the playoffs begin Sept. 22. The GFL championship game is set for Oct. 10.
In his last three and a half seasons -- three with the Tommies and running through the start of his German career -- Waldvogel has scored 55 TDs in 45 games with 7,477 all-purpose yards and helped his teams compile a 41-4 record.
By the way, here’s a link to a story written in 2009 that appeared in Sports Illustrated on the GFL and steady growth of American football in Germany:
Brady Boots ‘Em
Former Tommie placekicker Brady Beeson will play in Saturday’s league championship game of the Indoor Football League. Beeson’s Tri-City Fever team (14-2) takes on the Sioux Falls Storm (16-0) in Sioux Falls. It will be a rematch of the 2011 United Bowl, won by Sioux Falls, 37-10. Both season losses by the Fever have come against Sioux Falls.
The Fever advanced to the title game with a 51-30 win over Wichita on June 30. Beeson was a perfect 3-for-3 in field goals and 6-for-6 in PAT kicks. Beeson has played in four games since joining the team as a late-season signee in June.