In-state non-league rivalry kicks off 2017

In-state non-league rivalry kicks off 2017

Season number 91 for Manchester University football begins Thursday, Aug. 31.

Game details: Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. at Trine University's Fred Zollner Athletic Stadium in Angola, Ind. … Live audio, statistics and video are available via links at, the Internet home of Manchester University athletics … Trine leads the all-time series 9-2 going into the 12thall-time match-up. The Thunder used a 13-point fourth quarter to edge past the Spartans 23-9 at Burt Field in North Manchester, Ind., last fall.

Spartan Shorts: Manchester University was slotted for a seventh-place finish in the 2017 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference's preseason football coaches' poll, released Wednesday, Aug. 9. The Black and Gold received 37 points, just five behind Defiance College for sixth. Seven-time defending champion Franklin College was the favorite, compiling 88 points and seven first-place votes. Rose-Hulman (80 points – one first-place vote) and Bluffton University (70 points – one first-place vote) rounded out the top three. Head coach Nate Jensen's team had eight individuals noted in the Players to Watch section. They were senior wide receiver Dakota Nelson (Fairland, Ind.); junior defensive back Dillon Nelson (Fairland, Ind.); sophomore wide receiver Austin Roberts (Indianapolis, Ind.); senior offensive lineman Eric Beard (Findlay, Ohio); senior linebacker Jack Kay (Williamsport, Ind.); senior linebacker Mitch Oskam (St. John, Ind.); junior offensive lineman Brady Nyland (Avon, Ind.) and senior wide receiver Bailey Partington (Lapel, Ind.). Among that group, Dakota Nelson, Partington, Oskam, Beard, Kay and Nyland were named team captains for the 2017 campaign … Being in the 100s holds the key to something special for Manchester University football. Fans might think of needed rushing yards per game mark, a significant set of wins and so on. While those options would be areas that Jensen and his staff would be happy about, these three digits deal with something even more important … Roster size. While that mark creates a palpable excitement for the program, this is not Jensen or his staff's first rodeo. "This shows how hard our staff is working towards bringing in much-needed depth (for our roster)," he noted. "However, there still needs to be a buy in - a commitment from these young men towards moving things forward. We see the guys wanting to have something special (at Manchester University) as they have committed to gaining a great education and playing the game they love. There has to be a balance."

MIAA theme continues: MU packs up its road show for a second straight week for a match-up at fellow Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association foe Alma College Saturday, Sept. 9.

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