Sunday, September 28, 2003

Bainum proving to be Capital gain in Div. III


College update: Ex-Williamsburg record-breaker starting to find his groove

By Shannon Russell
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Prolific tailback Jason Bainum left Williamsburg High School in 2001 with 17 Ohio state football records, a Capital University future and zero delusions of grandeur.

The King of Humble - who as a high schooler never started an interview without crediting Williamsburg's offensive line - didn't doubt he'd have to earn his keep all over again.

"I was hoping it would work out, that I'd get my shot," said Bainum, now a sophomore with the Crusaders (3-0), ranked No. 25 among Division III programs by www.d3football.com. "It's a different level than high school, so I figured I'd have to wait a year. But that's the way it should be."

Bainum played mostly special teams as a freshman, with only two carries at tailback. He finished the 2002 season with 7 rushing yards - one year after cementing Ohio high schools' career rushing record (8,216 yards), most yards rushing in a game (532) and the top mark for consecutive 100-plus yardage games (27).

Capital coach Jim Collins wanted Bainum to become acquainted with college ball gradually. Bainum, the feature of former Williamsburg coach Ken Osborne's single-wing attack, has spent a year adjusting to Capital's more traditional formations.

Running back Rayshaun Gales, who set the school's career rushing record (2,287 yards on 530 attempts) from 2000-2002, is gone, but senior Greg Grant is Capital's primary running back. Grant leads the team with 274 rushing yards on 53 attempts and two rushing touchdowns.

Bainum ranks second with 153 yards rushing on 25 carries and four touchdowns. In Capital's second game, he resembled the Bainum of yore, rushing for 93 yards and the go-ahead touchdown in the Crusaders' 30-20 victory over Ohio Northern.

"We saw his development in preseason camp. More than anything I think it's a confidence thing that guys get after making the transition from high school to college," Collins said. "Those yards on Saturday were against a good defense. He really broke his back for them."

Said Bainum: "The line really helped me out a lot. They were making all the holes, so they get a lot of the credit."

Bainum is keeping one eye on the future - he'd love to surpass Gales' rushing mark - but he also makes time for his past. He has been back to Williamsburg football games to see his cousin, Isaac Bainum, play.

The Wildcats have won one game since Bainum's departure and have been outscored 191-29 in six games this season. 'Burg's 75-0 loss to Clinton-Massie Sept. 19 was particularly heartwrenching.

"I about cried," said Bainum, who watched from the sidelines.

Bainum doesn't talk about his records, although only one (rushing yards in a season) has been surpassed since he walked off the high school field. Playing is what matters.

"When you sit there on (Capital's) sidelines, you kind of want to jump in," Bainum said. "It's good to be back in that groove."

Others

• Northern Kentucky University's Andrea Lanham (Notre Dame Academy) has been named Great Lakes Valley Conference Player of the Week in volleyball. The freshman setter averaged 13.43 assists, 2.71 digs and 2.57 kills per game and finished with a .621 hitting percentage in two matches.

• The Thomas More women's soccer team earned its first regional ranking this week and is 10th in the Great Lakes Region.

• Miami University's Ashley Swinehart was named Mid-American Conference Women's Soccer Player of the Week after scoring six goals in two conference wins.

• Miami cross country runner Andrea Kremer was named the MAC's Female Runner of the Week for the second straight week after winning the Queen City Invitational in 17:46.

• University of Cincinnati junior Eric Bair was named Conference USA Athlete of the Week after winning the Queen City Invitational in 26:07.

• Junior Trent Cole was named C-USA Defensive Player of the Week after having 14 tackles and three sacks in UC's 30-24 triple-overtime win over Temple.

• Xavier junior golfer Neal Grusczynski was honored as A-10 Performer of the Week while freshman Jason Kokrak earned his second straight A-10 Rookie of the Week honor. In Xavier soccer, Matt Kmetz was A-10 Rookie of the Week.

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E-mail srussell@enquirer.com




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