posted August 30, 2007

Football Opener is Earliest Start Ever

The Flying Dutchmen launch their season Saturday, Sept. 1 entertaining the University of Wisconsin-River Falls Falcons.  The Labor Day weekend game is believed to be the earliest start in the 98-year history of Hope football.

· Kickoff at Holland Municipal Stadium will be 1 p.m. ET

· The game will be broadcast by WHTC-AM (1450) and WFUR-FM (102.9)  The WHTC broadcast will also be stream on the internet -- http://sports.yahoo.com/top/collegebroadcast/teams/hop

·  UW-River Falls is a first-time opponent for the Flying Dutchmen.

·  River Falls is located 530 miles from Holland, a bus drive of nearly nine hours.  A member of the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Association (WIAC), River Falls has an enrollment of 6,000 students.

·  This is the 98th year of Hope football and the 29th season at Holland Municipal Stadium where the Flying Dutchmen are 75-40-3.  Hope has not fared well in their season-opening contests in recent years going 3-17 since 1986.  Hope's third victory of the season will be the 400th in school history.  The Flying Dutchmen enter today's game with a career mark of 397-308-38.

·  Both teams are guided by veteran coaches.  Hope's Dean Kreps begins his 13th season (67-49) while River Falls' John O'Grady is entering his 19th (95-82-3).

·  Hope posted a 7-4 record in 2006 winning the championship of the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA).  River Falls is coming off its third straight 3-7 season.  The Flying Dutchmen are the pre-season favorite in the MIAA while the Falcons have been picked to finish sixth in the eight-member WIAC.

· 2007 Roster
http://www.hope.edu/pr/athletics/fb/fbrost.html

PROBABLE STARTING LINEUP

Offense
TE - Kevin VandenBosch, senior from Grandville
LT - Erik Ladomersky, senior from Manistee
LG - Joel Borst, senior from Hudsonville
 C - Drew Engels, senior from Grandville
RG - Ben Smith, senior from Vermontville
RT - Jake Droppers, senior from Kalamazoo
SE - Doug VanEerden, senior from Grand Rapids
FlB - Joey Goeb, senior from Grand Rapids
QB - Jake Manning, junior from Schoolcraft
TB - Brent Jones, sophomore from Canton
FB - George Klupchak, senior from Naperville, Ill.

Defense
DE - Keith Thompson, senior from Muskegon
DT - Colin Balas, senior from Kalamazoo
NG - Chad Rector, senior from Grant
DE - Matt Rugenstein, senior from Grand Rapids
ILB - Chris Batterbee, sophomore from Gladwin
ILB - Drew Weigel, senior from Saginaw
C - Bryan Turner, senior from Muskegon
C - Troy Blasius, senior from Gaylord
S - JT Schutt, senior from Ravenna
S - Andy Johansen, junior from Holland
S - Andy VanderYacht, junior from West Olive

Specialists
P - Chris Bowen, senior from Ithaca
PK - Chris Bowen, senior from Ithaca