The Flyers during a scrimmage in the spring. Photo by Keegan Gupta.
Max Cross | Assistant Sports Editor
University of Dayton head football coach Rick Chamberlin welcomed players back for preseason camp earlier this month as the team prepares for the 2022 football season.
The Flyers enter 2022 on the hunt for two big program milestones. Chamberlin will start his 14th season as coach of the Flyers and currently sits at 99 overall wins with the program. According to UD Athletics, Dayton has scored in 497 consecutive games, dating all the way back to the 1976 season.
UD was picked to finish fourth in the Pioneer Football league for the 2022 season following a preseason vote from all of the Pioneer Football League’s coaches. The Flyers have 12 league titles to their name and finished 6-4 overall and 5-3 in conference play last season. Dayton ended the season with 3 straight wins.
The Flyers return 15 starters from the 2021 season: 10 on offense, three on defense and two kickers.
The only offensive starting vacancy is at quarterback, and it currently is a three-way race between sophomore Dante Casciola, sophomore Shane Hamm, and redshirt sophomore Cole Dow. Chamberlin wants to name the starting quarterback by Aug. 27, one week before Dayton opens the 2022 campaign Sept. 3 at Robert Morris University.
“It’s all about being consistent and having discipline out of that position,” Chamberlin said. “We need that out of every position, but we want a quarterback that makes the right decision and is smart with the football because we have a lot of talent on offense and a lot of guys that can make plays. We don’t need that quarterback to play hero, just orchestrate the offense.”
All three quarterbacks fighting for that starting spot all have different strengths. Dow was the backup last season, but only attempted four passes and completed one for a total of nine yards in two games. Casciola won two state championships at Weddington high school in North Carolina. Hamm won three state championships in his four years as a starter at Archbishop Hoban in Akron.
“Cole is the best all around, in my opinion,” Chamberlin said. “He can make plays with his arm and he can also make plays with his legs. Dante’s strength is definitely his passing. He has a good arm and is very accurate with his throws. And Shane, he is the kind of player that never gives up and can be that playmaker to make something out of nothing.”
The player who earns the starting job will take over an offense that returns 10 of 11 starters from last season, including running back Jake Chisholm, a fifth-year senior.
Chisholm, a two-time captain, is one of 35 Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) student-athletes who were named to the 2022 Stats Perform Preseason Walter Payton Award watchlist. He was a Second Team Stats Perform FCS All-American last year after finishing second in FCS football in yards per game (163.9). He also led the FCS in rushing attempts per game (23.5) and touchdowns per game (1.8).
Along with Chisholm, wideout Sam Bubonics was also named Preseason All-Pioneer Football league.
Bubonics was Dayton’s leading receiver last season, with 34 catches for 477 yards and two touchdowns. Twenty-three of his 34 catches came in the last five games of the season as he looks to improve those numbers heading into 2022.
The Flyers open the 2022 season on Saturday, Sept. 3 at Robert Morris. The home opener will be Saturday, Sept. 17 at 1pm ET against Kentucky State.