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"Battle for the Goalpost" a conference game once again: Susquehanna joins Centennial in football

(Posted January 16, 2009)

From Centennial Conference news release

LANCASTER, Pa. -- The Centennial Conference announced Friday, Jan. 16, 2009, that Susquehanna University has accepted an invitation to join the Conference as an associate member in the sports of football and women's golf.

The addition of Susquehanna gives the Conference 10 members that sponsor the sport of football - Dickinson, Franklin & Marshall, Gettysburg, Johns Hopkins, Juniata (associate), McDaniel, Moravian (associate), Muhlenberg, and Ursinus - and six members that sponsor women's golf - Dickinson, Franklin & Marshall, Gettysburg, McDaniel and Muhlenberg.

"As we discussed the future of Centennial football scheduling, the state of NCAA Division III football and women's golf, and the economic realities our institutions and the country face, the Conference's Presidents Council looked in our backyard and found our perfect answer in Susquehanna University, said Joan Develin Coley, President of McDaniel College and chair of the Council. "The academic reputation, the tradition in football, the emergence of women's golf, and the commitment to the legacy of the scholar-athlete at Susquehanna were also deciding factors as we enhance the Conference."

"The addition of Susquehanna in football and women's golf adds to our reputation as one of the elite small college conferences in the country," added Steven F. Ulrich, Executive Director of the Conference. "The commitment to excellence on the gridiron, the links and in the classroom makes Susquehanna a fit for our Conference."

Susquehanna has a long and storied tradition of excellence on the gridiron. The Crusaders have played football for 110 seasons and were coached by Amos Alonzo Stagg Sr., the "Grand Old Man of Football," from 1947 to 1952 along with his son, Amos Jr. "His was the most prolific mind football has known in devising and originating plays, formations and techniques that helped to shape the pattern of the American game that evolved from English rugby into the spectacular running, passing test of skill, brains and brawn that attracts millions annually," said the New York Times in 1962. Susquehanna's most prolific period came between 1960 and 1964 when the Crusaders went 39-4-1 with undefeated seasons in 1961 and 1962. The Crusaders have had five All-Americans since 1990, while also producing three first-team Academic All-America honors and an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship recipient, all under current head coach Steve Briggs.

The Crusaders started women's golf in 2005 and have been a regular competitor at tournaments around the Mid-Atlantic region alongside Centennial teams.

Susquehanna's teams will begin competition in the Conference in 2010 with the women's golf team vying for the Centennial title in the spring, while the football team begins round-robin play in the fall.

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