For the fourth time in his stellar career at West Chester University, head coach Dick DeLaney State Athletic Conference Eastern Division Coach of the Year. DeLaney’s two senior captains – Kofi Danquah (Morrisville/Morrisville) and Sam Grannum (Wyncote/Cheltenham) – join him in being honored by the conference after the veteran frontcourt players claimed All-PSAC East time in their careers.
The honors were announced by the PSAC Office in Lock Haven, Pa., on Tuesday, Mar. 9. Dick DeLaney completed his 17th season at the helm of the Golden Rams in 2003-04 by leading West Chester to its eighth straight PSAC Playoff appear-all PSAC head coaches and is the all-time victory leader in WCU history with a 306-166 (.648) career mark.
DeLaney is the winningest active coach in the PSAC Eastern Division and has led the Golden Rams to a WCU-record 14 straight winning campaigns. In Golden Rams to their fifth NCAA II Playoff appearance, DeLaney was selected the NABC Division II East Region Coach of the Year. His career at WCU has produced three PSAC Eastern Division titles, seven 20-win seasons and five NCAA II Playoff berths, with a 17-10 record and a 7-5 PSAC East mark.
The West Chester University men’s swimming & diving team capped off the final night of competition at the NCAA Division II National Championships by claiming a pair of All-American honors as the Golden Rams placed sixth in the country. The four-day NCAA II Division National Championships were hosted by Erie Community College in Buffalo, N.Y., from Wednesday, Mar.10, through Saturday evening.
The 400-yard free foursome of juniors Gabe Melo and Andras Schonek and sophomores Jordy Troyan and Reggie Shearer each earned an All-American award for their combined effort. Schonek also collected an Honorable Mention All-American award for winning the consolation final and finishing ninth in the 100 free. His time of 45.16 was faster than his second-place mark at Nationals last year.
Shearer picked up his second AA of the night also in the 100 back when he took fourth in the country with a stunning 44.98. He is just the second Golden Ram to ever break the 45.0 plateau in the 100 back event. Junior Jason Brennan earned his first All-American honor ever when he took eighth in the 200-yard breaststroke while junior Michael Bergen was an HMAA for finishing 10th on the three-meter board with 339.85 points. The 200 backstroke tandem of sophomore Patrick Collins and junior Alec Best hit the wall 11th and 12th, respectively, to take home an HMAA award each. Collins was the faster of the two Golden Rams and set a school record for the 200 back with his 1:51.57. Best wasn’t far behind at 1:52.02. The Golden Rams earned two HMAA honors in the 1650 free thanks to sophomore Levente Nagy-Pal and freshman Cody Clauser. Nagy-Pal was 10th in the 1650 free (16:04.96) while Clauser took 11th in 16:06.13.
The West Chester University baseball team scored in all six innings it batted en route to a 21-6 bombing of St. Rose Saturday afternoon in Homestead, Fla. The victory gave WCU an 11-1-1 overall record with nine consecutive victories in the Homestead Challenge where WCU is 9-0. WCU wrapped up its Florida trip on Sunday morning with a repeat performance vs. Molloy – a team the Golden Rams trounced 17-4 on Friday.
Erik Ruff went 3 for 4 with three RBI, four runs scored and a two-run homer to pace WCU. Matt Redcay slammed his first career home run, while Josh Yocum also homered among his 2-for-4 afternoon. He had a trio of RBI and scored twice. Frank Gailey picked up the win in relief by throwing 3.1 innings, scattering four hits and striking out seven. He permitted no walks.
West Chester entered the 2004 season ranked sixth by the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association in its Division II Preseason Poll. The ensuing weeks saw WCU rise to fourth in week two and drop to fifth in week three without ever playing a game. The one constant in the national poll has been the Top 3 – Stonehill (1), Bloomsburg (2) and LIU-C.W. Post (3).
The Golden Ram goal is clear – reclaim the PSAC Championship and take another crack at the NCAA Division II crown. This year’s Final Four for women’s lacrosse will be held in Orlando, Fla., as part of the NCAA Spring Sports Festival for Division II. The Golden Rams are loaded on offense with the return of three of the team’s top four scorers.
The biggest boost comes from the recovery of senior Kathleen Sheehan (Downingtown/Downingtown) who played just six games last season before suffering a season-ending injury. The 2002 Division II Attack Player of the Year, Sheehan will serve as the team’s captain in 2004. She carried career numbers of 138 goals, 46 assists and 184 points into the campaign, but moved within five of the 200-point mark after amassing 11 in her first two games of 2004.