Friday, August 27, 2004

New coach issues Quakers challenge

Wilmington preview

By Colleen Kane
Enquirer staff writer

M O R E   I N F O R M A T I O N
2004 Schedule

Sept. 4at Mt. St. Joseph1:30 p.m.
Sept. 18 at Muskingum 1:30 p.m.
Sept. 25Baldwin-Wallace1:30 p.m.
Oct. 2Heidelberg 1:30 p.m.
Oct. 9at Mount Union1:30 p.m.
Oct. 16at John Carroll1:30 p.m.
Oct. 23Otterbein1:30 p.m.
Oct. 30at Marietta 6 p.m.
Nov. 6Ohio Northern1:30 p.m.
Nov. 13Capital1:30 p.m.

Wilmington's new head coach, Phil Dorn, called the past few months "very hectic."

That might be an understatement. The former Cincinnati assistant was hired May 6 to replace 13-year coach Mike Wallace, who resigned. Since then, Dorn has tried to re-establish a Wilmington program that has endured two straight losing seasons and had .500 or below records in eight of the last 10 seasons.

That includes bringing in a new staff, raising the numbers in his first recruiting class from four players to 39 in about three months and implementing a new offense, defense and values system.

"We're starting to establish tempo in the way we practice, team expectations and work ethic. We're starting to improve," Dorn said. "We're trying to enhance the program from the ground up. ... But we've still got a long way to go."

Dorn inherits several players who will help him get the team going. Defensive tackle Brandon Tisdale is a preseason first team All-American and is the Quakers' all-time leader in tackles for loss and sacks. He will be joined on the line by senior Mark Lane, a player "close to Brandon in ability," Dorn said.

Dorn said his receiving corps should also be solid, led by senior Deon Short, a Mt. Healthy grad, senior Damien Ivory and newcomer Marque Jones, a track and football star from Wilmington High.

The Quakers open at Mount St. Joseph's new stadium Sept. 4. The game could be "very, very important" in setting the standard for a program Dorn hopes to turn into a winning one.

"I believe in setting the bar high, setting the vision and plan where you want to be," Dorn said. "I'm not a big believer in taking three or four years to get established, although it may take that long. I want to be the best we can be right now."

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