DOYLESTOWN, Pa. (CBS) — One of the more remarkable stories in local college football has been the transformation of the program at Delaware Valley College over the last decade.
For years the Division III Aggies were an afterthought, but now they have evolved into not just a good team, but an elite program that is consistently making noise on a national level.
In 2010 the Aggies went 9-3, and for a second straight season they advanced to the second round of the NCAA playoffs, losing to powerhouse Mount Union.
And in 2011, Delaware Valley College is the preseason pick to win a third straight outright Middle Atlantic Conference crown. They also earned a share of the conference title in 2008.
Head coach Jim Clements talks about those early accolades:
“In reality it’s a preseason poll. Our guys understand that a preseason poll is exactly what it is. What counts is at the end of the season, where you at the end of the season. I believe we were probably picked first in our conference because we’ve had a lot of success the past few years. And that’s great for history and tradition for our program, but it’s 2011 — it’s a new season, it’s a totally new team, we’re focused on doing what we need to do, week in and week out.”
Hear Matt Leon’s full interview with Jim Clements in this CBS Philly SportsPod…
Last year the Aggies outscored opponents by an average of about 18 points a game, holding other teams to under 14 points per contest. Clements is hopeful they can continue to be stingy when the other team has the ball.
“We have seven starters back on our defense. We were pretty good on defense last year and I think we have the ability to be just as good, if not better, this season, depending on how hard we work and how quickly we pick it up. But I think the veteran leadership there has been good for us.”
Clements says the picture isn’t quite as clear on the other side of the ball.
“It’s just kind of the opposite on the offensive side,” he says. “We graduated nine starters on offense, all really good football players. We’ve got a lot of good football players in the program now that are excited with their opportunity to play.”
At quarterback, the Aggies are replacing last year’s starter Mark Hatty, and it looks like the decision has come down to senior Cory Almasy and freshman transfer Aaron Wilmer. It’s being called a game-time decision as to who will start the opener.
That opener will be Saturday, as the Aggies host the 2010 Centennial Conference champion Muhlenberg College.
Reported by Matt Leon, KYW Newsradio 1060