Friday, February 10, 2023

Sirianni's Roots at Mount Union


written by STEVE ULRICH
your must-read briefing on what's driving the day in NCAA Division III

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1. Sirianni's Roots at Mount Union

Mount Union Football (@MountUnionFB) / Twitter
by Ron Firth, Morning Journal

"Before Nick Sirianni was leading the Philadelphia Eagles to the Super Bowl, he was washing Mount Union uniforms with teammate Josh Ludwig.

Zac Bruney (the Mount Union quarterback and now head coach at Wheeling University) was my roommate,” said Ludwig, an East Liverpool High School teacher and Beaver Local defensive coordinator. “He and Zac were good friends, so Nick was always around. We did laundry together for the football team. It was our work-study job for about $5 an hour.”

Now Sirianni is the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, who will play the Kansas City Chiefs in the Super Bowl Sunday."

>> Field Awareness: "Sirianni was a wide receiver Mount Union from 1999-2003 and was the defensive backs coach in 2004-05. Mount Union set an NCAA record by winning its 55th consecutive game as Sirianni had seven catches for 130 yards and three touchdowns in a 66-0 win over Bridgewater (Va.) in a semifinal game in Alliance on Dec. 13, 2003."

>> Quotable: “The direction he took was to be a professional coach,” Ludwig said. “Apparently he made the right impressions. He learned from the best — his brothers, dad and Coach Larry Kehres and he did it the right way.”

>> Alumni Roots: “Nick really reps Mount Union,” Ludwig said. “He still wears a Mount Union shirt. That’s huge for the program.”

>> Continue Reading

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2. Union Nickname Debate Stirs Up Passion

by Ken Schott, Daily Gazette

"Last week, without much publicity, Union College created a firestorm when it announced on its website that it was considering dropping the Dutchmen nickname for something new, and is asking the public for help in picking a potential new nickname.

Judging by the comments after I posted the story on Facebook and Twitter, no one is happy with this. Last Friday, I spoke with one of the top Union athletic alums, former Dutchmen men’s basketball player Sen. Jim Tedisco.

“It’s very disturbing,” Tedisco said. “It falls into the category of if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Listen, I’ll be a Dutchmen for life. I don’t care what they start calling the athletes or the Union College people who are students there.”

>> What They're Saying: “After hearing the college’s rationale for changing the name, none of it makes sense to me,” ESPN+ TV analyst Brian Unger wrote in a text message. “A school that is as old as Union should be steeped in tradition. What happens when their updated brand is no longer impactful 10 years from now? Are they going to change the name again?"

>> Thought Bubble: "Next season will be the 10-year anniversary of the NCAA championship. I’m not sure what the athletic department’s plans are about celebrating the anniversary, but do you want to change the nickname while celebrating a major accomplishment like that? Union won that title as Dutchmen. To call them something else while celebrating that magical season is plain wrong."

>> Keep Reading


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3. The Universal Language of Hockey

by Brian Lester,

"Arkhip and Filimon Ledenkov had to adapt to a new language culture when they came to the United States from Belarus, but the one thing that has been forever universal for them is hockey.

Two of the top players in NCAA Division III, the twin brothers are playing a huge role in St. Scholastica’s pursuit of a MIAC championship and more.

Arkhip leads the conference in goals (18) and Filimon is the MIAC leader in assists (23). Arkhip is second in that category with 21 while Filimon is sixth in the conference in goals (10)."

>> Ice Awareness: "The Ledenkov brothers started playing hockey at a young age and moved to the United States shortly before they turned 18. They played junior hockey in the USPHL before coming to St. Scholastica."

>> Quotable: “It took time to get used to being here. The language was a big adjustment, and the culture difference, but we accepted the challenges and went through it,” Filimon said.

>> Quotable II: "They always knew they could play the game well at the college level. “We felt strong and confident, and we felt ready for the season,” Arkhip said.

>> The Final Word: “Personal stats are second,” Arkhip said. “As long as the team succeeds, we are happy. That’s the most important thing."

>> Continue Reading


4. Weekend Watchlist

A weekend filled with great Division III action awaits. Here's what we are keeping an eye on.

  Basketball (M)

  Basketball (W)

  Ice Hockey (M)  Ice Hockey (W)  Lacrosse (M)  Swimming (M/W)  Volleyball (M)  Wrestling (M)

5.  Lightning Round 


   Happy Birthday

  • Cake and candles for Paul Wyczawski, baseball coach, Dubuque; Ted Bulling, director of cross country/track and field, Nebraska Wesleyan (Sat.); Joshua Wall, assistant track and field coach, NWU (Sat.); Ed Lenane, senior associate AD, Denison (Sun.).

Do you know of someone celebrating a birthday soon? Drop us a line at

6.  Comings and Goings

7.  Unreal.

You may not ever see a wilder finish than the New Jersey City-Rowan matchup from Wednesday night in Jersey City. Really. Even New Jersey governor Phil Murphy says so.

>> The Best Thing
>> Read More
Thanks for starting your day with us. Have a safe and enjoyable weekend.

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