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Experienced Bobcats Poised for Run at ACFC Title
08/25/2006

FROSTBURG, Md. - With the return of 15 starters and 34 letterwinners, the 2006 Frostburg State football team looks to improve on a successful 2005 campaign where the Bobcats finished 6-5 overall and hosted the Eastern College Athletic Conference Southwest Championship.

The FSU offense boasts nine returners from last season and should be the strength of the team. The Bobcats averaged 102.4 rushing yards per game and 260.1 yards in total offense per game behind an offensive line that returns all five starters from a year ago and four of them are seniors.

Senior Jack Hopkins (Mt. Airy, Md./Linganore) served as a team captain and started all 11 games last fall and should be the leader of the unit in 2006.

Classmate Frank Boka, Jr. (Leonardtown, Md./Leonardtown) was a first-team All-ACFC selection last season and will anchor the line. He started all 11 games at left tackle and has made 25 starts in the last three seasons.

Sophomore Rob Hickman (Fort Washington, Md./Crossland) started 10 games at right guard and is the quickest of the lineman. The coaching staff is expecting big things from him this season.

Seniors Dave Kenderdine (Westlawn, Pa./Wilson) and Pete Wilson (Street, Md./North Harford) started all 11 games for the Bobcats and will provide stability and leadership up front.

Senior Glenn Jones (Campbell Hall, N.Y./Goshen Central) is a solid backup who will fill in nicely if needed.

The running back position will be solid for the Bobcats this fall. Second-team All-ACFC selection and two-time Player of the Week, Shanorm Young (Baltimore, Md./Poly), is the starter at tailback.

The junior rushed for 993 yards on 241 carries and 11 touchdowns a year ago after switching from linebacker in 2004. He is trying to become the first FSU running back to rush for more than 1,000 yards in a season since 2001.

Sophomore Ferris Bruton (Bowie, Md./High Point) is a solid back with good speed and quickness. He and a host of incoming freshman will compete for time.

Senior Antoine Lewis (Baltimore, Md./City College) has emerged as the leading candidate for the fullback spot. He carried the ball 10 times for 25 yards and one touchdown last fall.

Sophomore Donnie Snyder (Harrisburg, Pa./Central Dauphin) will battle Lewis for time along with several incoming freshman.

Frostburg State has two solid tight ends entering the season. Junior Fred Howze (Upper Marlboro, Md./From The Heart Catholic) will be the starter after leading FSU last season with 31 receptions and a 33.9 yard per game average.

He was also second on the team with 33 9yards. He has great speed for a tight end and he creates mismatches for opposing defenses.

Sophomore Ben Tate (Camp Springs, Md./Crossland) is a big, strong player who will see time. Together Howze and Tate should be a good 1/2 punch.

The Bobcats return everyone from a solid receiving core last year. Senior T.J. Changuris (Frederick, Md./Seneca Valley) is the leader of the unit after pacing the Bobcats with 362 yards. He caught 29 passes and averaged 32.9 yards per game.

Junior Damian Shorter (Waldorf, Md./Lackey) is much improved after a year of experience where he caught 10 passes for 132 yards.

Seniors Bobby Alkire (Lonaconing, Md./Westmar) and Derrick Frank (Bel Camp, Md./Harford Tech) should see valuable time and be a force to reckon with.

Alkire hauled in 16 passes for 148 yards and one touchdown while Frank recorded 16 receptions for 226 yards and a score.

The only open position on the Bobcats offense is at quarterback. With the graduation of Jimmy Ward, three players will be competing for the team’s most important starting job.

Juniors Andre Dixon (Washington, D.C./Eleanor Roosevelt) and Josh Hager (Baltimore, Md./Eastern Tech) and freshman Chris Brown (Silver Spring, Md./Paint Branch) are all good athletes but unproven at the position.

The Frostburg State defense will again be solid with six returning starters from a squad that led the ACFC in scoring defense holding opponents to just 17.9 points per game.

FSU finished second in the league in sacks (31) and fourth in total defense (315.5 ypg). The Bobcat defensive line will be solid again this season despite losing all-american Kevin Culbert to graduation.

Seniors Justin Bressler (Hollywood, Md./Leonardtown) and Ryan Cutsail (Middletown, Md./Middletown) are two very experienced players who will provide athleticism and stability up front.

Bressler started 11 games a year ago making 32 tackles, including 5.5 for loss and two pass breakups.

Cutsail was selected to the All-ACFC honorable mention team after making 61 tackles, 11.0 for loss, 2.0 sacks, three fumbles recoveries and a blocked kick. He started in all 11 games for FSU and has now started in all but one game during his career.

Junior Gabe Ellis (Laurel, Del./Delmar) will fill the void at defensive end left by all-american Kevin Culbert. Last season, Ellis made 22 tackles, 2.5 for loss, 2.0 sacks, forced and recovered one fumble. In 2004, he started seven games after Culbert suffered a season-ending injury.

Sophomore Mike Lorentzen (Leonardtown, Md./Leonardtown) will compete with Ellis for a starting spot while junior Kyle Steele (Fallston, Md./North Harford), sophomores Collin Clifford (Rockville, Md./Richard Montgomery) and Adam Deitrich (Elizabethville, Pa./Upper Dauphin) will look to battle for playing time.

The linebacker unit suffered two key losses in Chris Lentz and Mike Davis, both to graduation. However, FSU returns two starters and a wealth of talent that should be ready for the task.

Seniors Lathon Romaine (Chantilly, Va./Lake Braddock) and Dan Nice (Mount Joy, Pa./Hempfield) are very athletic players and both started in all 11 games.

Romaine was a second-team All-ACFC honoree and led the Bobcats with four interceptions. He finished second on the team in both tackles (89) and tackles for loss (15.5). He also had 2.0 sacks, three pass breakups and two forced fumbles.

Nice finished fourth on the team with 73 tackles. He also posted 7.5 tackles for loss, 2.0 sacks, two interceptions and two pass breakups.

Sophomore Kevin Glascock (Welcome, Md./Lackey) is the front runner to fill the vacant inside linebacker position. He made 30 tackles, 5.0 for loss and had 2.0 sacks last season.

The outside linebacker position is wide open and should be determined in camp.

Junior Brandon Wheelbarger (South Riding, Va./Broad Run) and sophomore Brandon Clancy (Ellicott City, Md./Mt. Hebron) will compete for time and should give coach Stevenson an option for the two open positions.

Senior cornerback Vincent Thomas (Upper Marlboro, Md./C.H. Flowers) and junior safety Najier Frazer (Bowie, Md./Duval) return to power the secondary. Thomas started all 11 games last season and Frajier started in 10.

Thomas was named a second-team All-ACFC performer after recording 42 stops, 1.0 for loss, to go along with two interceptions, three pass breakups and one forced fumble.

Frazer finished third on the team with 76 tackles. He also posted 5.0 tackles for loss and two pass breakups. He had a career-best 15 tackles against Buffalo State in the fourth game of the season.

The open cornerback spot and the open safety position will see competition from a number of players. Senior Steve Skipper (Oakland, Md./Southern Garrett) made four tackles in one appearance last season, junior Palestine Croswell (Germantown, Md./Northwest) had three tackles in two games and junior Derek Schrader (Meyersdale, Pa./Meyersdale) had 15 stops in six games. Sophomore Jimmy Meetre (Mt. Airy, Md./South Carroll) will also compete for the position despite playing running back last season.

The biggest area of concern for the Bobcat coaching staff will be the special teams. FSU lost both its kicker and punter from a year ago and both positions will remain question marks throughout camp.

Frostburg State’s lone hope in the area rests on sophomore kick returner Makiha Cooper (Baltimore, Md./Forest Park). He had nine kickoff returns for 180 yards last season, a 20.0 yard per return average. Cooper should provide a spark with his speed and quickness.

The Bobcats will be poised to make a run at the 2006 ACFC crown and the schedule should help considering six of their nine games are at Bobcat Stadium. FSU opens the season with five-straight home games.

The season gets under way with Apprentice in the first-ever night game in Frostburg State history. FSU then squares off against non-conference opponent Randolph Macon before welcoming a pair of the leagues tri-champions, SUNY Brockport and Wesley.

Thomas More ends the five-game home stand and the Bobcats take to the road to compete against NAIA Union (Ky.) for the first-ever meeting between the two schools.

FSU then hosts Westminster for Homecoming before traveling to Waynesburg. The Bobcats then close out the regular season with the eighth annual Regent’s Cup Game against tri-champion Salisbury.

"Our schedule is demanding like usual, but it helps that we have six home games this season," said Stevenson. "If we can play well at home and get off to a good start, we will have a very successful year."

For further information on this release, contact:

Office of Sports Information
Frostburg State University
101 Braddock Road
Frostburg, MD  21532-2303

Telephone: 301-687-4371
Fax: 301-687-4780
E-mail: sportsinfo@frostburg.edu