Gene's Blog: Toms shine in many time zones
June 10, 2012
Gene’s Blog hits a milestone with this entry. This marks the 250th blog since it was introduced on Tommiesports.com in August 2008.
It’s fitting that today’s subjects include four Tommie alums featured here previously. Fritz Waldvogel, Brady Beeson, Andrew Hilliard and J.D. Dorgan enjoyed weekend success in locations as far away as Wiesbaden, Germany, Washington state, Thunder Bay, Ontario, and one just two miles northeast of campus on Snelling Avenue.
8 TDs and Counting
Waldvogel had three touchdown receptions to help his Schwabisch Hall Unicorn team to a 55-30 win over the Wiesbaden Phantoms. The 2012 Tommie grad has scored eight TDs in his two-game career in the German Football League.
In his debut game last week, a 57-28 victory over the Saarland Hurricanes, Waldvogel caught 12 passes for 153 yards, scored five touchdowns and rolled up 296 all-purpose yards on 18 touches.
In Saturday’s victory, he caught 12 passes for 111 yards and finished with 240 all-purpose yards on 23 touches.
The Unicorns have a bye next weekend then play on the road June 23 against the Munich Cowboys.
Click here to access Fritz’ GFL stats:
Brady Boots’ Em
Waldvogel’s 2009 Tommie football teammate, kicker Brady Beeson, also has had two impressive outings this month with his new pro team. Beeson signed two weeks ago with the Indoor Football League’s Tri-City Fever in Kennefick, Wash., and has contributed to a pair of victories.
Beeson was named IFL Special Teams Player of the Week June 4 after his game-winning field goal lifted the Fever to a 53-50 road win over Colorado. He kicked four field goals and two PATs in his debut game. On June 9, Beeson converted all nine PAT kicks and one field goal as the first-place Fever scored a 66-34 win over the Wyoming Calvary.
The nine PAT kicks equal a collegiate best for Beeson, who converted 9-for-9 in a win at Hamline and 8-for-8 in a win at Northwestern back in 2009.
The Fever (12-2), located in Kennewick, Wash., has next week off and starts the IFL playoffs June 22.
South Rises Again
Andrew Hilliard has been a winner throughout his sports career, at Woodbury High and later at St. Thomas.
Hilliard was a six-time All-America runner, five-time Academic All-America student, a 16-time MIAC champ and an all-conference wide receiver with the Toms. After he graduated from UST 2003 he was eventually hired as the first head coach for girls’ track and field when Lakeville South High School opened in 2005.
PHOTO: Coach Glenn Caruso poses with brothers Jeffrey and Andrew Hilliard in 2009.
Hilliard has helped build a winning program, and everything clicked for the Cougars in 2012. Lakeville South won the True Team state championship, the South Suburban Conference title, the sectional title and on Saturday at Hamline University it secured the program’s first state championship.
The large-class victors didn't have an individual champion but scored in eight events with 13 athletes to roll up 56.5 points. They outscored runners-up Alexandria and Minnetonka by 7.5 points.
Hilliard graduated from UST with a 3.983 grade-point average in Mathematics. He was named the Academic All-American of the Year for men’s track and field/CC; was one of 14 players from all NCAA levels named to the National Football Foundation Scholar Athlete team and received an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship; received a $6,000 NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship; was the Woody Hayes Award recipient (male Division III Athlete of the Year); and made the AFCA Good Works Team. In track he ran on four consecutive 4x400 relay teams that placed at outdoor nationals and helped the Tommies win all eight conference team championships indoors and outdoors in his era. In football he was a four-year starter and finished with 147 catches for 2,547 yards and 23 touchdowns.
Sunday’s heat and humidity produced a miserable day for local baseball players… unless you are St. Thomas catcher J.D. Dorgan, who’s playing this summer for the Willmar Stingers in the Northwoods League.
Playing Sunday on a 77-degree day in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Dorgan had a double and a walk and scored twice in a 14-2 Stingers’ win.
Next for the Stingers: A three-game series in Duluth against the Huskies, whose roster includes Tommie All-America pitcher/DH Dylan Thomas.
Here’s more evidence of the power of Tommie football during its magical 2011 season: A Gene’s Blog penned last September, full of St. Thomas/MIAC football lore and factoids, received a Best in District writing award in the annual Fred Stabley, Sr., Writing contest by the College Sports information Directors of America (CoSIDA).
The story, “Fast Football Facts for Mr. Lee, WCCO” welcomed Dave Lee and WCCO Radio as the Tommies’ new broadcast partner. It was chosen as Best Blog/Interview Story in District V, which includes colleges and universities from Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Canada.
Click here to read the blog:
Thirty-one writers from college sports info offices across the nation were recognized with Best in District or Best in Nation writing awards for 2011, including just five from NCAA Division III schools.
The moral: Never underestimate the interest in MIAC football.
Click here to view the CoSIDA news release: