Spartans Ranked #23 in BSN Pre-season Top-25

Aug 15, 2012 | UD Sports Info

Leesburg, Va. - The University of Dubuque Spartan football team earned it's first Top-25 ranking of the 2012 season when the Beyond Sports Network released it's Preseason Top-25 Poll today.

The Spartans opened the 2012 poll at #23, after returning from an Iowa Conference championship season in 2011. The Spartans welcomed 160+ student-athletes into pre-season camp last week. UD will showcase three individuals (Wyatt Hanus - 1st Team; Miles Hookstead -2nd Team; and Richard Skaife - 3rd Team), who were named to the 2012 Beyond Sports Network DIII Football Pre-Season Team. 

The 2012 version of the University of Dubuque defense should be a vastly improved squad with 10 returning starters. It starts up front with the defensive line. Seniors Steve Vassalotti (Sr., DL, Middleton, Wis.) a three-year starter, captain, and 2011 1st Team All-IIAC selection joins Marice Hill (Sr., LB, Chicago, Ill.) a two-year starter, anchoring a squad which returns a lot of experience. Eric Peterson (So., DL, Chicago, Heights, Ill.) returns for his second season as a starter along with Ryan Arnold (Jr., DL, Kenosha, Wis.) who added significant playing time in 2011, will solidify a talented group.

Incoming transfers Andrew Mariotti (Jr., Geneva, Ill., transfer from South Dakota State), Mac Mahmens (So., Marion, Iowa, transfer from Minnesota-Duluth), and Jacob Hankey (So., Winnebago, Ill., transfer from North Park) will look to work into the rotation and push for starting spots along with Lawrence Baldwin (So., DL, Chicago, Ill.).

The returning linebackers have been core players at UD since they arrived on campus. The group of veterans are led by three-year starter, captain, and 2011 All-IIAC 2nd Team selection Trevor Runkle (Sr., LB, Dodgeville, Wis.). Runkle and fellow starter David Losasso (Sr., LB, Bettendorf, Iowa) will be joined by returning starters Dustin Sorrentino (Jr, LB, Walworth, Wis.) and Austin Hughes (Jr., LB, Preston, Iowa). 

The future is now for a young talented group of freshmen who will look to make early contributions. Trevor Stauner (S. Milwaukee, Wis./S. Milwaukee HS), Blaine Snitker (Waukon, Iowa/Waukon HS)), Kyle Schiedemeyer (Sussex, Wis./Sussex Hamilton HS), and Zach Marotta (Wayne, Ill./S. Elgin HS) will look for push for playing time in the rotation and will also bolster the special teams units.

The defensive secondary will look to make major improvements from the 2011 season. A group that was decimated by injury throughout the year will be upgraded by the healthy returns of corner Dylan Ramsey (So., DB, Urbana, Iowa), and safeties Malcolm Stewart (Sr., DB, Dubuque, Iowa) and Todd McCormick (Sr., DB, North Pole, Alaska).

The safety position will be immediately improved by the addition of Nick Dew (So., S/WR, Virginia Beach, Va.,/First Colonial HS – transfer from Virginia Tech). Dew comes to UD after a season where he appeared in all of Virginia Tech’s 14 games including the 2012 All State Sugar Bowl. Noah Evans (Jr., DB, Marion, Iowa), Vinny Whipple (So., DB, Eagle Grove, Iowa), Mitch Mahmens (Sr., DB, Marion, Iowa), and talented Freshman DJ Sweet (Fr., East Troy, Wis./East Troy HS) will all make significant contributions on defense.

Trevor Kinnett (Jr., CB, Edgerton, Wis.), CJ Watson (So., CB, Glen Ellyn, Ill.), and Jeff Moise (Sr., CB, Loxahatchee, Fla.) will anchor a solid group of corners who bring back a lot of experience and should be one of the deepest position groups on the team.

012 BSN D3 Preseason Top 25      
Rank Team Previous Rank Next Game Date Last Game
1 UW-Whitewater - at Washington University Aug 31st -
2 Mount Union - at #12 Franklin Sept 1st -
3 St. Thomas - at UW-Eau Claire Sept 1st -
4 Mary Hardin-Baylor - Kean Sept 8th -
5 Wesley - at East Texas Baptist Sept 1st -
6 Linfield - Menlo Sept 1st -
7 Delaware Valley - at Rowan Sept 1st -
8 North Central - UW-La Crosse Sept 1st -
9 Trinity (TX) - Howard Payne Sept 1st -
10 Wabash - at Hanover Sept 8th -
11 Salisbury - at Christopher Newport Sept 1st -
12 Franklin - #2 Mount Union Sept 1st -
13 Cal Lutheran - at Pacific Lutheran Sept 8th -
14 Wheaton (IL) - Benedictine Aug 30th -
15 Baldwin-Wallace - Bluffton Sept 8th -
16 Redlands - at #8 North Central Sept 8th -
17 Thomas-More - at #19 St. John Fisher Sept 1st -
18 Centre - at Bethany Sept 1st -
19 St. John Fisher - #17 Thomas More Sept 1st -
20 Illinois Wesleyan - Aurora Sept 1st -
21 Bethel (MN) - at Wartburg Sept 8th -
22 Widener - Western Connecticut Sept 1st -
23 Dubuque - Augustana  Sept 1st -
24 Johns Hopkins - Randolph-Macon Sept 1st -
25 Hampden-Sydney - at Averett Sept 1st -