While NCAA football powers enter their second week of summer workouts, the coaches of six area small-college teams wonder who, if anyone, will even show up this week.
The players of these teams are not on athletic scholarship and often perform before crowds of several hundred. It is not uncommon for a starting quarterback or middle linebacker to pack up and transfer schools in the middle of the season for academic, athletic or personal reasons.
Despite the adversities, these six schools combined for a 34-20 record in 1978 and all the coaches say they can't see anything but improvement for the upcoming season. Georgetown
The Hoyas won seven of eight last season, the only loss by one point to St. John's of New York. They also rolled up the most points of any Division III team in the nation.
But this year, Coach Scotty Glacken expects his "veteran defensive unit to produce" and take some of the weight off the offense, which last year operated so smoothly under quarterback Bob Sitz, who graduated.
Jim Corcoran and Bob Gerard are in contention for the starting assignment. Glacken said each may see plenty of playing time at quarterback, running the wishbone.
Twenty lettermen are returning, including running back Steve Scheurle, linebacker John Mulachey, defensive back Mark Granville-Smith and defensive end Dave Williams, whom Glacken calls the "finest defensive end I've seen in my 13 years here." Catholic
The Cardinals may have the upper hand in this year's rivalry with Georgetown. The Cardinals will return 34 of 35 lettermen from last year's 7-3 squad.
Cardinal Sports Information Director Jim Ducibella said Catholic opponents will spend a lot of time defending against the passes of quarterback Steve Stanislav to receiver Mike Stotz.
Stotz set a school record last season record for yards gained with 843 on 43 catches -- one short of the record -- and five touchdowns. Stanislav threw five touchdowns in five games before suffering a neck injury. Sophomore Jim Glynn will be ready as backup quarterback. He tossed five TD passes in his relief role as a freshman last year.
The offensive attack will be balanced by a ground game featuring Jim Mills, a former all-Metro fullback from St. John's High who transferred from Ohio University.
Defensive end Richard Frazier and tackle Mike McGowan will anchor the defense. UDC
Former Washington Redskin cornerback Ted Vactor is entering his second full season as coach of the University of the District of Columbia Firebirds, who were 6-4 last season.
Eighteen lettermen are returning. Vactor's freshmen probably will see a lot of action and he said several are capable of stepping into starting roles immediately.
Bryant Strange, a 6-foot-2, 200-pound defensive end from H.D. Woodson, Lamont Edwards, a 5-foot-10, 185-pound linebacker from Cardozo, and quarterback Greg Powers from Anacostia are Vactor's top newcomers and insurance against late-season injuries.
Quarterback Ken Mallory and halfback Nathaniel Johnson are returning starters. Johnson led the team in rushing with 281 yards on 68 carries in eight games.
For the Firebirds to have a successful year, their aerial connection of Mallory and Charles (Mr. Catch) Chisley must be in gear. Chisley was last year's leading scorer with 54 points, including eight touchdowns. Montgomery-Rockville
First year coach Steve Wilson will have a tough act to follow, taking over from nine-year coach Al Kouneski who resigned last year after several winning campaigns.
Wilson's job will be even tougher because he has only three lettermen returning from last year's 6-3 squad.
Sophomores Ray Schrider at center, Larry Klevit at offensive guard and 250-pound tackle Kevin Riley are expected to steady the wing-T offense. Freshman prospect Ray Lynn from Wheaton High is one of the three candidates for the starting quarterback assignment and probably has the strongest throwing arm, according to Wilson.
He has also changed the defensive alignment to a 5-2, to give the seven-man front more flexibility to defend against option and pass-oriented offenses.
The key to Wilson's success may be probable starting fullback Danny Cleveland. "He does everything for us except sell hot dogs," said Wilson. Bowie State
Bowie State Coach John Organ said he hopes his Bulldogs can win at least seven of 10 games this season, despite installing a new "Pro-I" offense and playing eight of those games on the road.
"We just entered the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association and those bigger, more established teams want to play us at their home fields," said Organ, who in his third year at Bowie State has improved the team record each year from 1-7 and 3-7 to 5-4 last season.
He admitted making a vital "coaching error" last season by implementing the veer offense. His quarterbacks just "couldn't take that much punishment," he said.
This year he is looking to sophomores Blaine Saddler and Antonio Fountain to carry the load at quarterback, with more emphasis on the passing attack.
He also said the Bulldog defense should be fundamentally sound if not spectacular with junior linebackers Steve Lee and Ben Bennett returning along with defense backs Victor Jackson, Marco Tounge and Danny Hayes. Gallaudet
The hopes of Gallaudet's season rest on the healing ankle of junior starting quarterback Mike Paulone, who broke it while playing guard for the varsity basketball team, according to assistant coach Dave Elam.
If Paulone returns healthy, Gallaudet will welcome back 43 of 47 lettermen, including all-purpose back John Manning. Sophomore Jerry Belew perhaps will get the call at quarterback from new Coach Mike Lishack if Paulone is not at full strength.
The wishbone-option offense that produced a 3-5 record last season will center around the quarterback and fullback Robert Bailey.