Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Valpo Travels To Murray State For Season Opener

Thursday, August 28, 2003

VALPARAISO (0-0) at MURRAY STATE (0-0)

WHEN: Saturday, Aug. 30 - 6 p.m. CST
WHERE: Roy Stewart Stadium, Murray, KY

RADIO: 95.1 (WVUR-FM) - Drew Wolf, Scott Schraut announcing.

TV: (tape-delay) - Comcast Cable - Channel 43 in Valparaiso - Dick Harlan announcing.

THE COACHES: Valparaiso is guided by Tom Horne, who is 54-91-1 in his 15th season at Valpo. Murray State is led by Joe Pannunzio, who is 17-16 in his 4th season.

SERIES RECORD: 0-0
LAST MEETING: First Meeting

LAST YEAR: Valpo finished 1-10 and in 5th place in the Pioneer Football League North Division. Murray State finished 7-5 and was co-champion of the Ohio Valley Conference.

WHAT'S NEXT: Valpo hosts Wisconsin Lutheran next Saturday (Sept. 6) at 1 p.m.

Valpo begins its 83rd season of football on Saturday by opposing Murray State in Kentucky. The 6 p.m. CST contest pits the Crusaders against the Racers, a NCAA I-AA scholarship program. Murray State (7-5 in 2003) shared the Ohio Valley Conference Championship last season.

Ready To Roll!
Crusaders' 2003 Hopes Depend On
Continued Development Of Young Team

As Valpo begins the 2003 season, numerous questions come to mind immediately. How much better will record-setting quarterback David Macchi be in his senior year? With the receiving corps being the strength of the team, will the passing game continue to post 30-point plus scoring games throughout the entire season? Will the defense pick up where it left off in the final two games of last season and make big plays, providing better field position for the offense? Can the defensive line become a force, taking pressure off the linebackers and secondary? After starting two freshmen on the offensive line a year ago, can the guys up front help ignite a consistent rushing attack that will complement an explosive passing attack? Who will emerge as a featured running back or will the ground game be handled "by committee"?

The 2002 campaign was truly a developmental-type season for the Crusaders. The defense provided the best example of the rebuilding process as no four-year players saw any action last year. In fact, anywhere between five and seven freshmen manned starting positions at the same time during the final nine games. On the other side, the offense returns eight starters.

Despite a 1-10 record last season, Valpo could reap the benefits of having so many freshmen and sophomores gaining on-the-field experience. With so many programs primarily playing juniors and seniors the majority of the time, the Crusaders' young, yet experienced players may have an advantage over opponents' players of the same age.

In addition to welcoming back a large group of maturing players, Valpo head coach Tom Horne and his staff will rely on the continued production of several veterans. Macchi, a junior college transfer a year ago, broke a plethora of passing records in 2002. The San Jose, Cal. native shattered Valpo's single-season passing marks for yards and touchdowns. Macchi also tied Valpo's single-season completion record and broke the single-game marks for passing yards and completions.

The passing game was Valpo's strength in 2002 due to the chemistry that developed between Macchi and a trio of receivers. Rob Giancola, now a junior, finished second in the Pioneer Football League and 12th nationally with 1,103 receiving yards last season. A 6'0", 215-pounder, Giancola made 51 receptions and tied a single-season school record with 11 touchdown receptions. Kevin Knutson, a junior, emerged on the scene last year, snaring 38 passes for 645 yards and seven touchdowns. Ryan Barno, a senior, added 37 catches for 586 yards and three scores.

Four starters on the offensive line return after honing their skills as a young unit in 2002. Junior tackles Casey Losiniecki and Kyle Padgett will anchor the trenches with sophomore center Steven Hlady and sophomore guard Ryan Palonka.

The nucleus of the defense will feature middle linebacker Lawrence Canada, outside linebacker Kris Hardaway, strong safety John Tsahas and cornerback Chris Daniels. Now a senior, Canada led the Crusaders with 87 tackles. Tsahas, also a senior, ranked second on the squad with 83 stops and led Valpo in pass breakups (8), interceptions (2) and tackles for loss (6).

"Valparaiso University Football", head coach Tom Horne's TV Show, airs Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. on Channel 43 in Valpo. This week's player guest is senior quarterback David Macchi.

A LOOK AT MURRAY STATE:

The Racers (7-5) shared the Ohio Valley Conference Championship in 2003. Head Coach Joe Pannunzio will enjoy the return of split end Deandre Green. A 6'1, 215-pound senior, Green made 69 catches for 1,002 yards and six touchdowns last year. Murray State's senior signal caller Stewart Childress also returns after completing 63 percent of his passes (169-267-7 int.) for 1,894 yards and 14 TDs as a junior. Sophomore Ron Lane (546 yards, 6.2 ypc.) and junior Ulysses Odoms (592 yards, 4.7 ypc.) will share tailback duties. Defensively, senior Bobby Sanders, who led the Racers in tackles (96 in 2003) the last two seasons at linebacker, will move to strong safety.

M Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 11 5th/17 (20)
W Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 11 9th/18 (12)
M Tennis Valpo 5 Detroit, Mich.
Apr 11 Detroit 2
Baseball Youngstown State 7 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 11 Valpo 10
M Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 12 6th/20 (48)
W Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 12 6th/20 (60.50)
W Golf Crusader/Jaguar Challenge Valparaiso, Ind. (The Course at Aberdeen)
Apr 12 3rd/6 (335); 4th/6 (350)
M Golf Bluegrass Invitational Lexington, Ky. (University Club Big Blue Course)
Apr 12 t-7th/13 (588)
M Soccer St. Joseph's College Eastgate Field
Apr 12, 10:00 a.m. Valpo
Baseball Youngstown State 1 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 12, 10:00 a.m. Valpo 13
Softball Cleveland State 3 VU Softball Field
Apr 12, 10:00 a.m. Valpo 2
Volleyball Western Michigan/Butler/Eastern Michigan ARC
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo
Softball Cleveland State 4 VU Softball Field
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo 6
Baseball Youngstown State 12 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo 4
W Tennis Valpo 1 Detroit, Mich.
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Detroit 6
M Soccer Benedictine Brown Field
Apr 12, 4:00 p.m. Valpo
W Soccer Haitian National Team Brown Field
Apr 12, 7:00 p.m. Valpo
M Golf Bluegrass Invitational Lexington, Ky. (University Club Big Blue Course)
Apr 13 t-6th/13 (895)
W Golf Crusader/Jaguar Challenge Valparaiso, Ind. (The Course at Aberdeen)
Apr 13 2nd/6 (657); 5th/6 (692)
Softball Cleveland State 6 8 inn.
Apr 13 Valpo 7
W Tennis Valpo 1 Rochester, Mich.
Apr 13 Oakland 6
M Tennis Valpo 1 Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 13 #12 Notre Dame 6
W Tennis Valpo 0 Chicago, Ill.
Apr 14 Chicago State 7
M Tennis Valpo 7 Homewood, Ill.
Apr 15 Chicago State 0
Baseball Valpo CCD
Apr 15 Toledo
M Track Cougar Invitational River Forest, Ill.
Apr 17 No Team Score
W Track Cougar Invitational River Forest, Ill.
Apr 17 No Team Score
Baseball Valpo 4 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 17 Milwaukee 0
M Tennis Youngstown State 1 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18 Valpo 6
Baseball Valpo 0 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 18 Milwaukee 3
Softball Oakland 3 VU Softball Field
Apr 18 Valpo 11
W Tennis Youngstown State Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18, 4:00 p.m. Valpo
W Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 19
M Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19
W Tennis Cleveland State Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19, 10:00 a.m. Valpo
Softball Oakland VU Softball Field
Apr 19, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Valpo Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 19, 1:00 p.m. Milwaukee
Softball Oakland VU Softball Field
Apr 19, 2:00 p.m. Valpo
M Tennis Cleveland State Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19, 2:00 p.m. Valpo
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 20
Baseball Kalamazoo Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 21, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Ohio Northern Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 22, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22, 3:00 p.m. Western Illinois
Softball Valpo Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22, 5:00 p.m. Western Illinois
Softball Valpo Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 24, 5:00 p.m. Notre Dame
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 25 Horizon League Tournament
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 25, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 26, 3:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 26
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 26
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 26, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 26, 12:00 p.m. Wright State
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 26, 2:00 p.m. Wright State
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 27, 2:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 27, 12:00 p.m. Wright State
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 27, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Western Michigan Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 29, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball IUPUI VU Softball Field
Apr 29, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball IUPUI VU Softball Field
Apr 29, 5:00 p.m. Valpo