Brenner, Reichelderfer and Shreve to lead Eagles into 2019 season


Zach Read

From left: offensive linemen Gavin Posey, Trey Madison, Samson Hairston, Alex Maxim and Ryan Maguire

John Margida, Reporter

The Ashland University football team is primed for a great season on the back of leadership from senior middle linebacker Clay Shreve and senior defensive end Tristan Reichelderfer leading the defence.

The defense will be returning seven of 11 starters to what has been a consistently good defense. The Eagles only allowed more than 21 points twice last season and a season-high 28 points to national runner-up Ferris State.

Redshirt sophomore quarterback Austin Brenner will begin his first year as a starter despite starting only seven games last year. Brenner is looking to get the offense moving early this season.

With both the defense and the offense returning seven starters the expectations are high for the Eagles this year.

Reichelderfer and Shreve have set the bar pretty high this season for the defense. “Our expectations for the season are to win the GLIAC, be the best Division II team in Ohio and win a national championship,” said Reichelderfer.

The Eagles are currently ranked 23rd in the country by the American Football Coaches Association.

“Being ranked 23rd was a surprise to us because we believe we’re a better team than that,” Shreve said.

The Eagles have an opportunity to improve this ranking early on, as two of the first three games this season are against top 16 ranked teams.

Reichelderfer, Shreve and Brenner serve as the main leaders of the offense and defense this season.

Reichelderfer believes he isn’t a vocal leader, but rather leads by example and work ethic. He serves as a sort of alternate mentor to the younger guys so that they learn how things should be done and how serious to take it.

Shreve is one of the two defensive captains for this season and believes that his leadership role was earned by gaining the respect of his coaches and teammates over the past three seasons on and off the field.

“My role as a leader on the team is to first and foremost serve the other guys on the team,” Brenner said. “I try to lead in a way that shows the guys I care for them and put them before myself.”

Brenner is adamant that the offense needs to focus on taking care of the ball and holding their own while the defense is doing their job.

According to Reichelderfer, team bonding plays a huge role in how the team will play this year.

“It started this summer with the guys who were voluntarily here working jobs, and then during camp with accountability captains leading talks to get to know everyone,” said Reichelderfer.

Although 14 of 22 starters are returning, new athletes are needed to fill in the gaps.

With so many returning pieces on defense and offense they should be able to plug a few new starters in. To pick up right where they left off last year.

“The defense is going to be good guys stepping up to replace the starters we lost, and transfers like defensive tackle Ja’Merez Bowen. His nickname is ‘Tank,’ and he is a tank,” Clay said.

Tank will be headlining the new additions to the defense and anchor the defensive line for the eagles this fall.

“We all hang out and everyone enjoys being around each other. The chemistry is really good. We go onto the field as friends and everyone wants to play for each other and work towards the same goal,” Brenner said.

AU football is looking to have a promising 2019 season with these three players leading the attack on the field.