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Georgetown Football: 1999-2000 Off-Season News Archive

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Washington Post Preview

The Washington Post has published its annual college football preview issue. No big feature story on Georgetown, but some interesting facts were noted.

According to the Post, "Georgetown has big plans for the future: It is negotiating with Howard, Villanova and several Ivy League schools to schedule games (they already have a series with Pennsylvania starting in 2005). There also are plans to build a 6,000-seat stadium in the middle of campus, a project that could be completed by 2003."

Some of you might note that Villanova and Howard were popular choices in a poll on the football message board when asked this summer who they would like to see Georgetown schedule in the future.

Unfortunately, the Post still lumped in its Georgetown preview with schools below Division I, while providing more extended coverage to Howard and Maryland. Next year, we hope, that should change.

Sports Network Preview

The Sports Network weighs in with its season preview, forecasting the Hoyas 10th among the 13 team I-AA independents preview.

Street & Smith's Preview

Street & Smith's has posted a positive outlook for the Hoyas in the 2000 campaign. The annual sees a battle between Sean Peterson and Dave Paulus for QB, with WR Gharun Hester and RB Aaron Brown as key offensive contributors.

S&S noted Georgetown finished 11th in the nation in defense last year and pointed to the leadership of Mike Turnamian, Ryan O'Donoghue, and Brett Crowder.

The issue lists GU third among I-AA independents behind South Florida and Hofstra, but it appears to be more in order of name recognition than any order of finish. The annual is on newsstands now, but there is no online link to the rankings.

19 Patriot Games To Be Televised in 2000

A recent release from the Patriot League noted that 19 games featuring league teams will be telecast in 2000, including at least two appearances for each team. It's hopeful that the Hoyas could also enjoy some television exposure next year, given the absence of TV and radio coverage in the Washington area.

St. John's Joins Northeast Conference

July 31--After two years as an independent following the MAAC, St. John's has a new conference.

The Redmen (aka Red Storm) have accepted an invitation to join the Northeast Conference beginning in September. St. John's had already scheduled the entire conference as a I-AA independent, so the scheduling fits perfectly.

"We are excited to add a football program the caliber of St. John’s," said John Iamarino, Northeast Conference commissioner (and a former member of Georgetown's sports information department in the early 1980's). "Football is an integral sport in the NEC, and the addition of St. John’s will strengthen our reputation as an emerging league."

St. John's will have the ability to offer need-based financial aid in the Northeast Conference, a practice not allowed in the MAAC.

"The biggest advantage is the chance for us to offer need-based aid on a consistent basis for the first time in the program’s history, " said St. John's coach Bob Ricca. This will enable us to draw some of the best young talent in the country to our institution."

The change leaves only two I-AA independents in the East for 2000, Georgetown and Hofstra. As a part of the changes for both schools, this fall will mark the first time the two Big East rivals have not met on the gridiron since St. John's revived football in 1978.

Homecoming Game Announced

May 15--The revised 2000 schedule has announced that Bucknell University will visit the Hilltop for the 61st Homecoming Game on October 7. The Bison (7-4 in 1999) defeated a number of strong Patriot teams last year, including Colgate, and routed Duquesne, 49-20.

2001 Schedule Talk

May 1--Speaking of schedules, this earlier link to the Allentown Morning Call reported that Georgetown will make its Patriot League debut on September 1, 2001 versus Lehigh. The Engineers had previously listed Drake as a "tentative" opponent for September 1, 2001 and September 7, 2002 on its official web site. All league schedules are tentative until a final schedule is released by the league early next year.

The Georgetown schedule, as reported above, could also include a home game with Lafayette on either November 3 or November 10, 2001. Georgetown will have either three or four conference home games each year, depending on schedules. Three Patriot opponents are on the 2000 Georgetown schedule, all at home.

2000 Recruits Announced

April 11--A trio of highly recruited running backs and a pair of wide receivers from a Top-25 high school program highlight Georgetown's list of commitments for the Class of 2004, as announced by the University. A recent article in The HOYA discusses more information on the recruits, but here are some interesting notes on various recruits:

From the Midwest, Georgetown signed both starting receivers from Cretin-Derham Hall HS, who finished undefeated as Minnesota 5A champs and nationally ranked by USA Today. WR Walter Bowser (6-1, 170 lbs.) is the son of a former standout back at the University of Minnesota. The younger Bowser caught 52 passes his senior season for 853 yards and 13 TD's, and six receptions for 164 yards and 3 TD's in the Minnesota state finals. His 4.6 speed in the 40 and a 3.9 grade average attracted the attention of four Ivies, Boston College and Northwestern, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Bowser will be joined on the Hilltop by WR Andrew Fleming (6-4, 200 lbs.), who caught 34 passes for 489 yards his senior year for the undefeated Cretin-Derham Hall team.

From the Great Lakes, the Hoyas continued to add talent from Ohio, signing DB Philip Ardire (5-9, 185 lbs.) from the perennially powerful St. Ignatius HS program. Also joining the class of 2004 will be OL Jim Lenihan (6-1, 253 lbs.), younger brother of graduating lineman and All-MAAC selection Bob Lenihan. Another sibling connection is LB Matt Paulus (6-2, 205 lbs.), brother of current GU punter and basketball walk-on David Paulus.

From New Jersey, the Hoyas added three strong running backs. Andrew Clarke (6-1, 190 lbs.) comes to GU as the all-time leading rusher in Ridgewood, NJ history, with 1,271 all-purpose yards and 14 TD's in his senior year. Clarke was an All-Bergen selection on offense and defense and chose Georgetown over Princeton and Lehigh. Other all-regional selections that committed to GU were RB Bill Huisking (6-1, 200 lbs.), with 1,263 rushing yards and 17 TD's, and RB Kyle Shenton (6-0, 170 lbs.), with 22 TD's as a rusher and kick returner. Shenton, whose older brother is a quarterback at Maryland, and carries a 3.6 GPA, chose Georgetown over Colgate and Bucknell.

Earlier this year, starting University of Kentucky place kicker Marc Samuel (5-10. 175 lbs.) announced he was transferring to Georgetown to pursue a JD/MBA program, and will have two years eligibility. Another early commitment was received from RB Dawon Dicks (5-11, 190) from Bridgeport, CT.

About the only area where the Hoyas did not pick up major talent was the Washington area, signing only two players. However, a potential find may have me from just south of Washington in the Fredricksburg area, with the addition of OL Billy Wuyek (6-5, 305 lbs.), the first 300 pounder signed by Georgetown in the I-AA era.

While the freshman list appears impressive, it's likely that most will not see any significant playing time in their first year. Building depth is the operative word right now, and this will be even more critical as the coaching staff begins to review next year's seniors that will serve as Georgetown's first official Patriot League recruiting class.

Here is the complete list:

Philip Ardire   DB  5'9  185 West lake, OH
Morgan Booth    QB  6'4	 190 San Marino, CA
Dawon Dicks     RB 5'11  190 Bridgeport, CT 
Bill Skultety   OL  6'0  210 Bradenton, FL 
Jay Sylvester   OL  6'3  250 Tampa, FL
Matt Fronske    DB 5'10  180 Downers Grove, IL
Marc Samuel     PK 5'10  175 Anchorage, KY
Ben Finnegan    LB  6'0  210 Chelmsford, MA
Luke McArdle    WR  6'1  170 Boxford, MA
Charles Boyle   DE  6'4  200 Derwood, MD
Jim Lenihan     OL  6'1  253 Bloomfield, MI
Walter Bowser   WR  6'1  170 St. Paul, MN
Andrew Fleming  WR  6'4  200 St. Paul, MN
Andrew Clarke   DB  6'1  190 Ridgewood, NJ
Mark Doria      QB  6'4  200 Demarest, NJ
Bill Huisking   FB  6'1  200 Allendale, NJ
Ryan McGovern   DE  6'4  200 Pompton Lakes, NJ
Kyle Shenton    WR  6'0  170 Pompton Lakes, NJ
Dan Doherty     WR 5'11  170 Garden City, NY
Jack Kuhns      FB  6'2  225 New York, NY
Thomas Monaco   WR  6'0  185 Bardonia, NY
Ken Osier       LB  6'3  220 Fayetteville, NY
Matt Paulus     LB  6'2  205 Manlius, NY 
Ty Hollister    OL  6'4  270 Yardley, PA
Jon Rude        FB  6'4  240 McLean, VA 
Billy Wuyek     OL  6'5  305 Fredricksburg,VA 

Another Patriot Team In DC?

April 10--American University is moving closer to its decision to join the Patriot League in sports other than football, according to this link from The Eagle, AU's student newspaper.

“This is not purely a decision based purely in sports,” AU chief of staff David Taylor told the paper. “And this is not a decision based purely in a particular sport. I can emphatically state this is not [a move made] for basketball.”

Kentucky PK to Transfer To Georgetown

The Lexington Herald-Leader has reported that Kentucky place kicker Marc Samuel will transfer to Georgetown this fall and enroll in a combined JD/MBA program at the University.

Samuel, who made 14 of 17 field goals last season, chose Georgetown over Duke and Virginia, among others.

"I'm still 100 percent committed to playing pro football," said Samuel, who will have two years eligibility according to the article. "But if that doesn't work out for me, then I feel like I will have a good degree from a first-rate institution."

Freshman Punter Joins Varsity Basketball Team

Jan. 4: 6-4 freshman David Paulus has joined the Georgetown basketball team as a walk-on, the third Georgetown football player on the team. Paulus, a punter and reserve quarterback, averaged 17 ppg as a second team all-region guard/forward at Syracuse's Christian Brothers Academy. His role should be limited to practice time, filling in for injured freshman Jason Burns.

Home Attendance Up 44%

-Final home attendance figures for the 1999 Hoyas shows a 44% increase in home attendance, a figure which represents 93% of capacity at Kehoe Field, which cannot be expanded due to the location of the facility.

Georgetown's attendance remains small compared to schools such as Holy Cross and Colgate, but each of these schools have facilities with a much larger capacity than Kehoe, a fact not unnoticed by Georgetown students who pass up games when there is no room to sit.

A November HOYA editorial wrote that "Rumors abound that Harbin Field will eventually be turned into a real stadium, to be used by such teams as soccer, football and lacrosse. If this is the case, it will be a major boost for campus ... The university should do all that it can to provide better accommodations; after all, having sports on campus for all to enjoy follows the Jesuit ideal of educating the whole person - mind and body. We already have the teams ... now let's live up to our reputation and give them the facilities they deserve."

Gallagher Earns All-America Honors

"Jim Gallagher is an incredible young man. He has a great work ethic and studies the game of football. He is a great leader who leads by his example, and he excels in the classroom too. He is the consummate student-athlete and through that, he helps this program's reputation around campus." -Bob Benson, from The HOYA

Dec. 10--It's been a busy off-season of awards for senior defensive back Jim Gallagher. In addition to academic and athletic All-America honors (listed below), Gallagher joined junior Ryan O'Donoghue on the Division I-AA Athletics Directors Association Academic All-Star Team. Here is the link from www.guhoyas.com.

Gallagher was named to the AP All-America third team, the first selection for the Hoyas since WR Chris Murphy in 1991. A list of the 1999 selections is found in this link to the Washington Post. He was also selected in December to the GTE Academic All-America second team, the fifth Hoya so honored and the second in four years.

Gallagher, a double major in finance and human resources management, carries a 3.65 GPA and finished second in Division I-AA two consecutive years in interceptions per game average. His seven INT's in 1999 was two short of the school record and second among all I-AA defenders. Gallagher is a three time all-MAAC academic team member and the MAAC's Defensive Player of the Year in 1999.

Here is the press release from GUHoyas.com.

2000 Captains Announced

Dec. 4--Seniors Reid Wakefield, Brett Crowder, Ryan O'Donoghue, and Gharun Hester were named as captains for the 2000 Hoyas at this month's Gridiron Club awards banquet. The announcement of the individual honors are posted on the MVP and Awards page within the Football History section.

All MAAC Teams

Dec. 2--Thirteen members of the 1999 Georgetown varsity were named to the all-MAAC teams announced last week, including co-offensive player of the year J.J. Mont and defensive player of the year Jim Gallagher.

The members of the first and second teams from Georgetown are listed below:

1st Team:
QB: J.J. Mont (Sr.)
WR: Gharun Hester (Jr.)
OL: Robert Quigley (Sr.)
OL: Kevin Merse (Sr.)
DL: Paul Miller (Sr.)
LB: Adam Krugman (Sr.)
DB: Jim Gallagher (Sr.)
2nd Team:
RB: Rob Belli (Sr.)
OL: Ben Tortolani (Sr.)
OL: Bob Lenihan (Sr.)
OL: Scott Wolfe (Sr.)
DL: Matt Sollitto (Sr.)
DB: Ryan O’Donoghue (Jr.)

Duquesne had 18 selections to the team, followed by Georgetown (13), Iona (8), Marist (6), Siena (5), LaSalle (2), St. Peter's (2), and Canisius (1). Fairfield received no selections due to their MAAC probation.

Villanova Considering Georgetown In 2000?

December 1--Here's a link to an interesting story. VUHoops.com, the Rivalnet sports site for Villanova, reported on November 22 that Georgetown is being considered as an opponent on Villanova's 2000 football schedule.

According to the site, the Wildcats have open dates on September 16, October 7, and October 21 to fill, and are considering Georgetown and Hampton as opponents. While this article appears to contain a noticeable error (no, Georgetown is not adding 25 football scholarships this year), the interest of higher profile I-AA schools is significant.

No changes to the 2000 schedule have yet been announced by Georgetown. Update: A Dec. 30 post on this Vilalnova site suggested that Villanova will schedule a regional Division II school, Kutztown State, in place of Georgetown.

Football Alumnus Goes "Extreme"

November 27--Georgetown fans familiar with former All-MAAC tackle Murray Happer (C'95) know of his devotion to a career far removed from law or investment banking, namely, that of an aspiring pro wrestler.

After three years wrestling as "Otto Schwanz" in the regional circuits of North Carolina, Happer has been signed by Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW), televised Friday evenings on The Nashville Network (TNN). Happer, now known as "Bo Dupp", made his debut in Philadelphia this past weekend, and the match should be seen on national cable sometime in the next few weeks. Here's a sneak peek of the results.

By March, the Dupps were signed by the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) and hope to now work up the ladder of the largest of the pro wrestling circuits.

Class of 1999 Saluted In HOYA

November 24--Twenty four members of the class of 2000 played their final game for Georgetown this season. There's a lot to look back over four years, as these players have not only set a standard for themselves, but among all of I-AA non-scholarship football.

J.J. Mont was called upon in his freshman year to lead the Hoyas with an injury to veteran QB Bill Ward. Mont returned to the starting role two years later, and the Hoyas won 18 of 22 games under his leadership.

The emerging strength of the offensive line was anchored by the likes of Bob Lenihan, Oliver de La Hoz, Ben Tortolani, Robert Quigley, Scott Wolfe, Kevin Merse, and Henry Johns. "These guys are the strength of our team, and have been for the past three years," said Coach Benson. "In all of Ivy and Patriot League football, you are not going to find a better offensive line than ours."

The Hoya ground game was also influenced by seniors. When Rob Belli transferred to Georgetown from Richmond in 1998 he helped the Hoyas maintain a strong running game after the graduation of all-conference talent like Steve Iorio and Joe Todisco. On the defense, seniors like Paul Miller and Jim Gallagher have become defensive standouts, as has the inspired play of fifth year senior co-captain Brian Dwyer.

Across the board, this class has put together an impressive record on and off the field. Replacing 24 seniors will be no easy task, but they have set a standard that will continue to lead this program forward.

I-AA News: URI Considers Non-Scholarship Football

November 15--After a month of uncertainty, the University of Rhode Island will maintain a Division I-AA football team, according to this link from the Boston Globe.

But URI appears to be looking to a solution beyond the Atlantic 10, and perhaps in a new non-scholarship conference.

"I think now is a time to take a look ... whether it's time to try and form a new football conference," URI president Robert Carothers told the Globe in the link above. "Maybe a program closer to what the Ivy League does or what the Patriot League does. I'm going to be working in the next year with my colleague presidents to see if there's an interest in building a new and different conference in New England."


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