SAE’s Oakes earns Scholarship on the Gridiron

The college football season is well underway, and the Indiana Hoosiers have jumped out to a surprising 3-0 start. Close wins against Southern Illinois, Florida International, and Western Kentucky saw the Hoosiers come from behind in each outing, and the team boasts its first 3-0 start since the 2010 season. A huge key to the team’s success has been junior kicker Griffin Oakes, a member of the 2015 spring class at Indiana Gamma who won the starting job midway through last season. Oakes has hit 6 of his 7 field goal attempts and 14 of 15 extra points through three games this season, and his efforts are being noticed. His success last season and hard work over the summer earned Oakes a full athletic scholarship from coach Kevin Wilson and the IU athletic department, and Oakes couldn’t be happier about it.

“It’s just a huge honor to be recognized in the eyes of the coaches as someone who deserves something like this”, Oakes said of the scholarship offer. “For someone like me who didn’t have any division one offers coming out of high school, this is a dream come true, not only for me but for my parents as well”. Undoubtedly, this season has already been a great success for Griffin, and with further success on the horizon, his brothers at Indiana Gamma are excited to watch it all unfold. Blake Biesen, Griffin’s pledge brother in the spring class and former teammate on the football field, expressed his optimism for Oakes’ season. “Considering I was on the team with him last year, it’s weird seeing him from the stands as a fan instead of on the field”, he notes, “but it’s been great for all of us to see him playing so well and earning the scholarship, we watch him every single Saturday and we couldn’t be more proud.”

He’ll have to get right to work to earn that scholarship, however, as the Hoosiers’ schedule only gets tougher from here. They face their first road test of the season this Saturday against Wake Forest, before coming home to face the nation’s best team, Ohio State, to open conference play. The Hoosiers are seeking to appear in their first bowl game since the 2007 Insight Bowl, and they have a tough Big Ten schedule in their way, but Coach Wilson should be confident that the kicking game is one thing he won’t have to worry about thanks to his newest scholarship athlete.

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SAE 2 Football Report

SAE flag football closed a record-setting year with a heart-breaking loss to a non-greek squad in the sweet 16.  The team was tried and tested throughout the season and have a lot of to be proud of.  Quarterback Brennan Haug led the team to a top-10 finish in points per game with 23, and a top-20 scoring defense led by sack master Steven “Manimal” Benson and Hayden Young in coverage.

Previously to their season-ending loss, they a shut out a top-5 offense with 5 interceptions and decimated their opponents before them.  The team progressed mightily as the season drew on.  A once dormant pass rush erupted in the final games, and the coverage team came together and gelled as one.

Here’s the depth chart for the SAE 2 squad, with some notable achievements

QB: Brennan Haug — Captained the offense with a broken index finger; gunslinger supreme, supplied the football we used.

RB/FLEX/CB: Shine Duncan — Ran like a spooked deer, always gave 1856% effort and heart.

WR/CB: Hayden Young — Perennial deep threat, lockdown corner, and team interceptions leader.  Wore the most expensive cleats, if that’s saying anything about his dedication to the team.

Hayden’s Mom loves SAE Football!

WR/CB: Ryan “Rollin” Dolan — Another deep threat for QB Haug, our “go up and get it” receiver. Once jumped a fence to get to our game that much faster.

WR/CB/Punter: Cam Shine — Yet another deep threat.  Incredible foot speed, difference maker in the punt game.

OL: Josh Rolsky — Brick wall on the offensive line.  Sneaky good in the short passing game.  The elder statesman of the football team.

Center/DL:  Joe Gralak — Developed into a fantastic snapper over the course of the year. The middle rusher of the dynamic defensive line.  Lacked foot speed, but was pretty shifty for his size.

DL: Steven “Manimal” Benson — Anchor of the DLine, set the SAE record with safeties in back to back games.  Developed a decent sack dance.

DL: Troy Oracko — The final piece of the fierce defensive line.  Kept the QB in check all season.  Called the shots for the defensive in terms of blitz packaging.

LB: James Mantz — The tackle master.  Probably led the team in tackles, if that stat was kept.  SAE’s very own Ray Lewis.

DL/LB Nick Olson:  Versatile defender, developed nicely over the season.  Kept flanking tight ends in check all year.

Now, here are some quotes from the players about the season:

Jeremy Rolsky, on the season successes: It was a good year for the SAE team.  I feel like we exceeded expectations and I can only imagine how good this team will be next year.  Can’t wait for the off-season.

Brennan Haug, on offensive execution: The team has grown immensely from our first practice to the end of the season.  From our quick run game, to our quick pass game, to the rollouts, we are a team who’s offense can strike against any defense.  Just remember boys, there’s never a reason not to “Omaha!” in life.

Cam Shine, on punting:  The SAE Special Teams unit flourished throughout the year.  As the punter, my job was to use my elite foot skills to precisely place the ball in the corner and give our opponents some rough field position.  We would not have been successful without my long snapper Brennan, who pitched back some great snaps.  We’ll come back stronger as a unit once OTA’s begin.

This team achieved greatness and expect more out of next season’s competition.  We expect nothing less than perfection in return.

SAE Football Update: Team 2

In a highly anticipated game Tuesday night, the SAE 2 Lions soundly defeated the Delta Chi Martletts by a score of 44-6.  The energy of SAE, coupled with outstanding individual performaces all around, was the key to victory.  On the first play of the game, quarterback Brennan Haug handed it to FLEX Shine Duncan on a jet sweep for a touchdown, setting the tone for victory.  Not to be outdone, wide receiver Hayden Young made a near impossible touchdown reception on the next drive, shaking off his man and managing to maintain his balance despite a defensive pass interference call.

Other offensive notables:  Joe Gralak had two impressive catches, one being a catch and run from SAE’s 30 yard line for a touchdown.  Offensive lineman Josh Rolsky had two important two-point conversions in the first half.  Cam Shine had a few crisp blocks and 5 receptions on the night.  Ryan Dolan converted a tipped ball in the endzone into a touchdown.

Despite the offense’s prowess and high-powered attack, SAE 2’s biggest strength is it’s hard-nosed, blitz heavy defense.  With defensive captain James Mantz manning the middle of a compact match-up defense, Delta Chi found little room to breath.  Steven “Manimal” Benson set an unofficial SAE 2 record with 9 quarterback hurries and converted 1 sack on the afternoon.  Opposite him, Troy Oracko picked up 2 sacks and a pick-6 interception in the 2nd half.  Top cornerback Blake “Voris Island” Voris shut down Delta Chi’s top offensive threat with a perfectly timed pass defense and kept his man’s stat line clean all night long.  Shine Duncan was as much a stud on the defensive end as the offensive end, finishing the night with 2 interceptions and 5 tackles, including an important tackle-for-loss on 3rd down.  With constant pressure and soft hands, SAE 2 neutralized the Delta Chi attack, which was never able to sustain much of anything.

The team looks forward to it’s next game, as the win propelled them to 1-1 on the young season.  Several players opted to give quotes on the game.

Brennan Haug, on the play of the receiving core: The receivers really worked hard for me out there, making precise cut and always working to get open.  Me and them, we go together like peas and carrots.

James Mantz, on his crucial defensive tackles: Once I get on the field, I just focus on what needs to be done for the team.

Blake Voris, on his inspired performance: Throughout the entire game, I wanted to prevent my guy from catching the ball. I wasn’t just defending for my team, but I was defending for the brotherhood, for the glory of old SAE.

Troy Oracko, on the energy of the match: You gotta set the tone of the match before it even starts.  You have to put fear in the opponent’s heart, and I felt that we did just that.

Steven Benson, on how he stayed aggressive on defense: You can’t let yourself check out mentally. I wanted to send a message that SAE is going to be the most dominant team in the playoffs.

Josh Rolsky, on what this win means for the rest of the season: This win will give us the momentum we need focused during the season.  It was a big win and the team is hungry for bigger and better things.