ODAC holds annual Media Day; poll announced
WASHINGTON – With only two weeks remaining before the CUA football team opens preseason camp, the ODAC held its annual Media Day on Friday, which took place via teleconference. Cardinals sixth year Head Coach Dave Dunn was joined by reigning ODAC Rookie of the Year Mike Pitsenberger on the call.
"We feel pretty good about where we're at," Dunn said. "We had 80 guys with us during spring practice and 16 starters coming back, which includes eight on both sides of the ball, so we're excited to get started."
He continued, "Of the six skill spots on our two-deep we return everyone but one guy, so we're excited about what we have coming back. We have good depth at each one of those spots and we'll be able to rotate a lot of guys through."
Pitsenberger burst onto the scene last year as a freshman, rushing for 901 yards and six touchdowns. The Bethesda native carried the ball 210 times and averaged over 100 yards per game. "Last year I tried to focus on goals for myself, starting with making the traveling team, then getting as many yards as I could and then I wanted to rush for 1,000 yards. Even though I fell short of that goal I think I had a pretty good first season."
One area that figures to be a strength for the Cardinals this season is defensive line. Dunn offered his thoughts on the position.
"Our defensive line is the most experienced group we have. We bring back All-ODAC honorable mention selection Alex King as well as Rob Schaetzl, Vinnie Cortese, Kirk Kasa and each of those guys has been in the program for awhile. They had very productive offseasons; they put in time in the weight room and had strong spring seasons so we're expecting a lot of production from that position group."
Also on Friday the ODAC released its preseason poll with reigning champion Washington & Lee slated to repeat in 2011. The Generals received 35 points in the poll, including five first place votes, with second place Hampden-Sydney totaling 31 points and one first place vote and Bridgewater checking in with 25 points and one first place vote.
Randolph-Macon came in fourth in the poll (21 points), followed by Emory & Henry (15 points), CUA (14 points), and Guilford (6 points).
"I don't put a lot of credence into the preseason poll," Dunn said. "The one thing that I always say is you have to earn everything you get. If you look at last year Washington & Lee was picked towards the bottom of the poll and then they went undefeated in the league. I think the great thing about our league is any team can beat anyone on any given night."
He added, "Right now we feel better than we did at this time last year. We feel good about our skill players, and we feel good about our defensive line, but like I said we have to go out and earn it."
To listen to the Cardinals entire ODAC Media Day interview, click here.
The Cardinals report for preseason camp on Saturday, August 13. CUA's 2011 season opener will take place on Saturday, September 3 when it travels to McDaniel for a 12 p.m. kick-off.