By: Kevin Ruple
BEREA, Ohio – The vibrancy of the Baldwin Wallace University campus got a huge boost this morning with the arrival of approximately 200 football student-athletes. They will be the first team coached during the Jim Hilvert Era at BW.
Hilvert begins his first season in Berea after claiming back-to-back OHSAA Division II state titles at Cincinnati LaSalle High School. He previously coached for eight years at Thomas More (Ky.) College and led his teams to six conference crowns and four NCAA Division III Playoff appearances.
"We are excited to get started," said senior team captain and All-Ohio Athletic Conference linebacker Sam Groff (Wayneville/Sandy Valley). "This group has a lot of enthusiasm and high expectations. It's just great to see everyone again. It's a big family reunion and we all are enjoying it. Tomorrow, we get down to business."
Today, the upperclassmen, including 36 lettermen and 15 returning starters, transfers and freshmen have their headshots taken, green screen shot for BW's Finnie Stadium videoboard and fill out biographical information for the athletic communications office, get physicals and evaluations from BW's athletic training staff which is affiliated with the world-renown Cleveland Clinic, get fitted and receive their football equipment and fill out some other paperwork for the football staff, financial aid office and work-study program.
"It is an exciting day for BW Football," said Hilvert. "Having all of these young men and their families in the Packard Center is an emotional time for the student-athletes, their parents, grandparents, girlfriends, coaches and our support staff. There are lots of smiling faces as well as some "deer in the headlights"! Tonight, we have our first team meeting and come together as the BW Football Family. We look forward to having President Helmer [BW President Bob Helmer) address the squad and talk about the importance of the student-athlete and the impact our young men have on our campus community."
The Yellow Jackets begin practice tomorrow. The season-opener is on Saturday, September 2 at Defiance College and the home and Ohio Athletic Conference opener is on Saturday, Sept. 16 versus Cleveland cross-town rival John Carroll University at The George Finnie Stadium at 2 p.m.
Click Here to view a photo gallery from report day.