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February 22, 2024

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BG strives for continued success following performances in 2012-13 athletics season, former sports editor reflects on five postseason appearances

Steven W. Echard

BG Football made first bowl appearance since 2009 at the 2012 Military Bowl.

Serving as sports editor for the 2012-2013 athletic year allowed me to attend and witness many of the greatest moments the Falcons produced.

Whether it was on the field, on the court or on the track, BG was able to excel in many areas.

The football team started the calendar year highlighted by Chris Jones and his formidable defensive line. He made his presence known Week 1 against Southeastern Conference powerhouse, Florida.

The 23rd nationally ranked Gators were widely anticipated to run over BG as a way to gain momentum into their upcoming season, but BG, led by quarterback Matt Schilz, had other plans.

BG adamantly refused to roll over despite being in hostile territory. Heading into the fourth quarter. BG was close enough to give Florida a scare, only down 17-14 after a Gator field goal.

Former Falcon running back Anton Samuel and senior running back John Pettigrew each had rushing touchdowns while Matt Schilz threw for 204 yards before the Gators would rally with another touchdown and field goal in the fourth quarter to win 27-14.

A tough loss, no doubt, but it set the pace for the Falcon’s 8-5 record season that was blemished by a bitter loss to Toledo, 27-15, and a shutout to Virginia Tech, 37-0. BG would win six straight games before facing Kent State University at home for a shot at the MAC East crown and a place in the MAC Championship game.

Kent State bested BG led by 2013 Heisman hopeful Dri Archer, who had two touchdowns of considerable length. The first was a 79 yard sprint and the latter being a fourth quarter 74 yard scamper practically untouched.

BG wide receiver Chris Gallon found himself on the receiving end of a 81 yard Schilz pass for a touchdown late in the fourth, but a final second interception on fourth down in the Golden Flashes red zone, gave Kent State the victory.

The loss didn’t prevent the Falcons from appearing in their first bowl game in three years as BG traveled to a windy Washington, D.C., for the Military Bowl. BG would lose to San Jose State University in a tight matchup.

Jones, who led the nation in sacks for several weeks, was drafted in April to the Houston Texans in the sixth round. Jones continues to fight for his roster spot alongside the likes of NFL defensive player of the year, JJ Watt.

The BG Volleyball team exceeded expectations by winning its first MAC Championship and NCAA tournament birth in 21 years under first year head coach Danijela Tomic. The team defeated Yale University in the first round but was knocked out by the nation’s top ranked team, Penn State in the second round in University Park, Pa.

During the winter the women’s basketball team mustered a 24-11 record throughout turmoil in its first season under Head Coach Jennifer Roos.

The Falcons had an assistant coach leave the team after it was revealed she had inappropriate relations with a student involved in the program.

BG didn’t win either the MAC regular season or the tournament for the first time in 10 years, but progressed to the third round of both the MAC and the WNIT tournaments before concluding the season.

The seniors left in tears, although happy tears, looking back at the one of the winningest tenures for a senior squad in BG history, winning more than 100 games.

The only MAC champions during the athletic year went to the baseball team. Despite having a losing record of 24-31, the Falcons upset Northern Illinois, Toledo and Ball State in the MAC tournament in a shocking change of events.

BG advanced to the NCAA tournament before being knocked out with losses against 15th ranked Louisville, 6-3, and Oklahoma State, 7-3.

The most outstanding individual performance would almost undoubtedly go to thrower Brooke Pleger.

Pleger dominated both the indoor and outdoor track and field schedules and even competed nationally away from the rest of the Falcon team. The hammer thrower won the MAC Championships with a record 216 foot throw and finished seventh at the NCAA championships earning First Team All-American honors.

I really look forward to seeing what the Falcons can muster this upcoming season as the teams continue to grow. Win or lose, it’s a safe bet I’ll be there just in case an athlete does something crazy.

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