Asheville Citizen-Times runs BC football preview articleAugust 15, 2014
BREVARD, N.C. - The Asheville Citizen-Times ran an extensive article previewing the 2014 Brevard football season in Friday's edition.
The article was written by veteran sports reporter Keith Jarrett and featured interviews with preseason first team all-conference selection Andre Overholt and head coach Paul Hamilton.
The full text of the article is reproduced below. Fans can also view the article by following this link.
Tornados gather in Brevard for start of football season
BREVARD - Eight seasons into the revival of its football program is long enough to rid Brevard College of the label of “startup program.”
But the growing pains of building an NCAA Division II program from scratch continue for the Tornados, who are 24-60 (8-34 in the South Atlantic Conference) since football was reinstated in 2006 after not playing for 50 years.
And while there is always hope — the only winning season was the surprising 7-4 record in 2009 — a brutal early part of the 2014 schedule suggests BC might struggle to avoid a recent pattern that has seen the program go 4-7, 3-8, 2-9 and 3-8 the past four years, with a 5-23 SAC mark in that span.
The Tornados, who began practice Wednesday, open the season with money games at FCS opponents Western Carolina and Liberty and also play South Atlantic Conference favorites Lenoir-Rhyne (13-2 last season) and Carson-Newman (10-3) by the first weekend of October.
“No doubt I think we have the toughest Division II schedule in the country,” said coach Paul Hamilton, 22-54 in his seven seasons in Brevard.
“That kind of early schedule adds a sense of urgency. We better be pretty good right out of the gate, and the guys who have worked hard all summer realize we need to have a great preseason of practices to be ready.”
Hamilton’s run-heavy offense has a Polk County High flavor, with former Wolverines Andre Overholt (321 yards, 8 yards per carry) and Jordan Ollis (786 yards, team-high 11 touchdowns) in the starting backfield alongside leading rusher Kelvin Jeter (800 yards, eight scores).
“(Junior) Tanner Wright is back at quarterback for us but is coming off an injury that knocked him out of the last two games last season. Him coming back, staying healthy and playing well is going to be key for us,” said Hamilton.
“We’ve got our whole backfield back, and that’s exciting,” said Overholt, a 5-11, 175-pound junior from Tryon.
“We were looking good this summer and we’re excited.”
Defensively, leading tackler and preseason all-conference selection Michael Gruber (124 stops in 2013) will lead the team from his linebacker position, and up front Landon Allen (61 tackles, seven for loss) will anchor the line.
Hamilton said safeties Marcus Lunsford and Jeremy Chandler will have to play well to shore up a unit that allowed more than 30 points a game last season.
Overholt said it takes a certain type of player to come to Brevard, a small school where there are no football facilities, and play football against bigger programs with more money and tradition.
The Tornados play their home games at nearby Brevard High.
“It’s tough sometimes, and you have to really love football,” said Overholt. “The guys who are here are not about the glory and the flash. They just love the game and want to be here to try and build something.”
“Our guys have worked hard year after year to build up this program,” Hamilton said. “We’ve had great challenges here, and some good wins, but no doubt we would like to have had more wins.
“I like this year’s team, and we’re enthused that we can have some success this season.”