Archive For The “Sasha Kelsey” Category

Spotlight: Brad Mayes Using Spring Ball To Build For Chance To Threepeat

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Spotlight: Brad Mayes Using Spring Ball To Build For Chance To Threepeat

Lehigh’s spring session is in full swing, and there’s no question who the opening-day starter will be at quarterback, barring injury – that would be rising senior QB Brad Mayes.

Mayes had a great season last year, helping the Mountain Hawk offense to tremendous production again, picking up exactly where Montreal Alouette QB Nick Shafnisky left off after the 2016 season.

That doesn’t mean Mayes is sitting back sipping an iced tea while his teammates are busting their humps this spring, however.  He’s been busy.

“This off season was a lot of fun for me,”  he told me. “I got to take on more of a leadership role which allowed me to make great strides in the weight room. We had an outstanding leadership council as well make some great strides in equipment and gear, nutrition, and alumni partnership. Although those may seem like little things when it comes to the game of football, stuff like looking like a team and matching on Saturdays really go a long way.”

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Spotlight: Brad Mayes Using Spring Ball To Build For Chance To Threepeat

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Spotlight: Brad Mayes Using Spring Ball To Build For Chance To Threepeat

Lehigh’s spring session is in full swing, and there’s no question who the opening-day starter will be at quarterback, barring injury – that would be rising senior QB Brad Mayes.

Mayes had a great season last year, helping the Mountain Hawk offense to tremendous production again, picking up exactly where Montreal Alouette QB Nick Shafnisky left off after the 2016 season.

That doesn’t mean Mayes is sitting back sipping an iced tea while his teammates are busting their humps this spring, however.  He’s been busy.

“This off season was a lot of fun for me,”  he told me. “I got to take on more of a leadership role which allowed me to make great strides in the weight room. We had an outstanding leadership council as well make some great strides in equipment and gear, nutrition, and alumni partnership. Although those may seem like little things when it comes to the game of football, stuff like looking like a team and matching on Saturdays really go a long way.”

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#Rivalry153 Lehigh Senior Spotlight

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#Rivalry153 Lehigh Senior Spotlight

Like I did last year, I compiled a list of a "greatest hits" of some of the published articles on all of the Lehigh football seniors.¬†They are below the flip.All of the players below are listed as seniors or 5th year players on the current Le…

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Villanova at Lehigh Game Narratives: Excitement High In Bethlehem For Top 25 Matchup

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Villanova at Lehigh Game Narratives: Excitement High In Bethlehem For Top 25 Matchup

It’s different when you’re returning champions.

That much was clear when sifting through all the preseason print pieces and videos covering the Lehigh Mountain Hawks.

Expectations return – you’re no longer the “hunter”, as head coach Andy Coen explained, you’re the “hunted”.

Managing those expectations has been almost as important for this Lehigh football team as the regular conditioning and X and O’s drills of camp.

The common thread with the many print and video pieces and the many interviews is a sense of maturity and a businesslike ethic around this team, especially amongst its leadership.
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Closing The Book On Lehigh Spring Ball

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Closing The Book On Lehigh Spring Ball
(Photo Credit: Gaby Morera/B&W Staff Photographer)

Before we close the book on spring ball, I wanted to pass on my thoughts and observations about the spring session and the prospects for the 2016 season.

But before I do, I also need to share one of the great traditions of the Lehigh spring game – the announcement of the recipient of the Jim Gum scholarship.

Presented by the non-profit Jim Gum Foiundation, the scholarship award is presented in the name of Jim Gum, a three-year starter for Lehigh in the 1980s and Penn Argyl standout.  He died due to complications from ALS in 2006.

Senior RB Kenny Crawford was the recipient of this year’s award in what is always a heartwarming yet humbling ceremony on the field.
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Lehigh Gets Chase-d Out Of the Bronx, 59-42

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Lehigh Gets Chase-d Out Of the Bronx, 59-42

Say Doc Brown had shown up at your house October 21st, 2015, and told you something about the upcoming Lehigh/Fordham game.

Suppose he lets slip that senior QB Nick Shafnisky would go out with an injury before halftime, and that Fordham RB Chase Edmonds would set a Patriot League record for rushing yards in a game while getting over 400 all-purpose yards.

Would you have gone to the game?

Would you have bothered to be one of the 5,000 fans in attendance who watched the No. 11-ranked Rams face off against a game Mountain Hawk squad?

The truth is, even though the loss was certainly frustrating and a teeth-gnashing reminder of what could have been, with two minutes to play in the game freshman PK Ed Mish lined up at the 27 yard line with a chance to make it a one-score game.

At what was effectively the “two-minute warning” in the game, Lehigh had battled all the way back from Shaf’s injury, their own penalties and mistakes, and put the Mountain Hawks in a position to steal the game away.

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LFN’s 2015 Spring Preview – Defensive Backs and Special Teams

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LFN’s 2015 Spring Preview – Defensive Backs and Special Teams
Senior SS Randall Lawson (Morning Call)

Lehigh’s defensive numbers in 2014, as I mentioned before, leave a lot to be desired.

And when you look at the secondary, it’s the same story.

Out of 121 FCS teams, Lehigh ranked 110th in pass defense, and if you watched the unit last year, you also saw too many big plays allowed by the defense, too.

The silver lining, though, is that Lehigh only graduates two players in the secondary, DB Jason Suggs and DB Jamil Robinson, so the returning starters all have a years’ experience under their belt in defensive coordinator Joe Bottiglieri‘s defensive system.

This spring has also posed some challenges for the Lehigh staff, as there are a lot of secondary players on the shelf with injuries, making it a challenge for the remaining players.

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LFN’s 2015 Spring Preview – Wide Receivers and Running Backs

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LFN’s 2015 Spring Preview – Wide Receivers and Running Backs
WR Troy Pelletier in an Oct 2014 practice (Brown and White)

Penn State is frequently called “Linebacker U”, thanks to all the famous linebackers that played for them.

If Penn State is “Linebacker U”, you could make a very good case for Lehigh being “Wide Receiver U.”

Guys like WR Dave Cecchini, WR Rennie Benn, WR Josh Snyder, WR Jake Drwal, WR Ryan Spadola, and WR Lee Kurfis are just six of the many great names that have suited up for the Brown and White, and it’s no wonder that Lehigh Nation would naturally look to this position group for a lot of potential in 2015.

With Lehigh returning a Jerry Rice Award finalist at this position, too, it’s certainly going to be something to watch at the end of the Spring, too.

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