Photo courtesy of Olivia Shirk, Flyer News.
TJ Thompson l Contributing Writer
Nick Chandiles l Contributing Writer
In their first season under new head coach Trevor Andrews, the Dayton Flyers are looking to continue their winning ways. The Flyers are coming off a season where they had a record of 8-3 and finished third in the Pioneer League. This was Dayton’s highest finish in the league in three years. The Flyers were also one of the most exciting offenses to watch as they finished third in points per game, scoring 28.45 ppg. Coach Andrews has big shoes to fill, as he takes the reins previously held by Rick Chamberlin. Chamberlin boasted an astounding record of 107-48 in his 14 years as head coach, including an in-conference record of 81-31. This year, Coach Andrews returns to his old home where he was a three-year letterwinner at defensive back for the Dayton Flyers from 1993 to 1996. During his playing tenure as a Flyer, he was a key part of three Pioneer League Championships, and hardly knew how it felt to lose, as his team went 37-5.
After graduating from Dayton, Trevor Andrews went on to coach college football for 25 years, including stints at Western Michigan, William & Mary, Illinois Wesleyan, and Randolph-Macon. While at William and Mary, Andrews went on to create one of the most potent defenses in all of FCS football. Once Andrews became the defensive line coach in 2004, he would spend the next 9 years coaching this position and developing multiple All-Americans and even some NFL draft picks. Andrews is spoken very highly of by his predecessor, Coach Chamberlin, who says, “Trevor Andrews is a great hire for the University of Dayton. Not only is he a Flyer and knows the Dayton way, he has grown into an outstanding college coach since his graduation from UD. I can’t wait to see the 2023 Flyers under his leadership.” (DaytonFlyers.com) Coach Andrews is just the thing the Flyers need to continue their prestigious lineage of success. The University of Dayton has a rich football history beginning all the way back in 1905. The Flyers will also be playing in a newly renovated Welcome Stadium. Even with all the history and the renovated stadiums, many students go through an entire 4 years here and never attend 1 football game.
Last Thursday, I ventured off into my freshman year home Marycrest to interview some first-year students on whether they are excited about the Dayton Flyers Football season. I also wanted to gather information about their high school’s football team, whether they were good or not, and if they attended games. My first interviewee actually played high school football in Maryland, and went to a powerhouse school that produced NFL talents such as Stefon Diggs and Kyle Fuller. The interview went as follows:
Nick: Are you excited for the UD Football season?
Kyle: Ever since I decided to come here almost a year ago, I have been keeping tabs on the team and although it was hard, I tuned into most of their games last season. They were pretty successful and I liked watching them.
Nick: Do you plan on going to games this year?
Kyle: Definitely. I’m in a trio this year and all three of us are excited for the season. Their game against Illinois State should be exciting this weekend and we will be tuning in.
Nick: Was your high school good at football when you went there?
Kyle: We’re nationally ranked every year, and we played St. Edwards in Cleveland on ESPN on Sunday. Stefon Diggs and Kyle Fuller went to the school who are both stars in the NFL.
Nick: Did you play football?
Kyle: Yes I played wide receiver and that is part of the reason I am so passionate about Dayton football.
Nick: Did you hear about the hiring of the new head coach, Trevor Andrews?
Kyle: Yes I did and I read about how successful he was both as a player here and as a coach at other schools. I think he’s gonna be a great fit.
Nick: Awesome man, thank you for your time. It’s great to see the next generation of Flyers being passionate about the teams.
Next, I interviewed a freshman I know from my hometown. We went to the same high school which was among the best public schools in Illinois in sports, especially football.
Nick: Do you know anything about the UD football team?
Owen: At first I didn’t even know we had a football team, but when I got here I checked their stats and yearly record, and I was surprised to see that they are a good team year in and year out. I thought we were only a basketball school but I was pleasantly surprised.
Nick: I’ve been out of the loop for a few years, how good is GBS football now?
Owen: We went to quarterfinals two years ago and lost in the second round last year. My brother is one of the starting cornerbacks this year and he thinks the team will continue to be great.
Nick: Do you think you’ll be attending games this year?
Owen: I definitely want to go to some games, I saw they have more home games than away games.
Nick: Are your friends excited for the season as well?
Owen:Yeah my roommates and I are planning on going to the Butler game in October. I know they are big rivals and it should be a great game.
Nick: Thanks for your time and go Flyers
Despite statistics proving that UD has a top-tier FCS team, students are oblivious. I hope that through our article, we can create more awareness for an up and coming, exciting team.
I interviewed Amanda Leuenberger who is from New Philadelphia, Ohio and now resides in Columbus, Ohio. Amanda graduated from the University of Dayton in 2008. Amanda loved and still loves the University of Dayton and this is what she had to say about the team this year and the entire football program as a whole.
TJ: Are you a fan of college football and if so who do you follow?
Amanda: I am a fan of college football. Living in Columbus I of course follow Ohio State, but I am also a fan of West Virginia football and of course The University of Dayton Flyers.
TJ: Will you be attending the home opener on September 9th vs. Central State?
Amanda: I will not be attending the home opener, but I will be listening on WHIO radio which I will occasionally do on Dayton Gamedays.
TJ: When you were a student here did you attend many University Of Dayton football games?
Amanda: While I was a student I went to one home game.
TJ: Why do you think many students don’t go to games?
Amanda: I think it’s just something students don’t want to take the time to do. Living in Columbus and being an Ohio State fan I see what it is like when a town and a University rally around a team and Dayton just doesn’t have that.
TJ: Do you think this is because UD does not have their own stadium?
Amanda: Yes, students need a stadium closer to campus that they can call theirs. Watching Dayton play in a high school stadium does not allow it to have the atmosphere of a college football game.
TJ: Thank you for your time
What I took from this interview with Amanda and from hearing what other students are saying around campus is that Dayton needs its own stadium. In order to get students to want to root for the Flyer football team they need to be playing in a Flyer stadium. This would allow students to claim the football team as theirs and have more pride in saying, I am a Flyer Football fan. Who knows maybe if Dayton can keep stringing together seasons like the one last year maybe they will finally get their own stadium.
Check out more Dayton Football coverage here: https://flyernews.com/sports/football/