PAINESVILLE, OHIO – The third varsity season of Lake Erie College football will open the same as the previous two, but after that a set of new challenges await the Storm as it enters its first season in arguably Division II's toughest conference.
Lake Erie's 11-game 2010 football schedule, officially released on Thursday, May 27, features five home games and six road games –beginning with the season opener Thursday night, Sept. 2, at Gannon University – and a total of 10 league games in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
“Although there are no easy games in the conference, the schedule makers certainly did us no favors while putting together the road portion of our schedule,” said head coach Mark McNellie, who prior to coming to Lake Erie in 2006 spent a majority of his coaching career in the GLIAC. “Playing three teams that participated in the (NCAA Division II) playoffs is a tough task in itself, but playing all three on the road is an epic challenge for our young program. Our players' fortitude and perseverance will surely be tested playing Grand Valley, Saginaw Valley and Hillsdale all on the road.
“The home half of the schedule brings five quality opponents to the newly renovated Jack Britt Stadium. This home schedule should be a great opportunity for Storm fans, and college football fans in general, to watch some high quality Division II football.”
The Storm's highly anticipated league opener will be Sept. 11 at Jack Britt Memorial Stadium against Michigan Technological University at 1 p.m. That will be the first game played on the facility's new ProGrass Monoturf surface. But before that, there's some unfinished business the week before.
In each of the past two season openers, Gannon has pulled out narrow victories in the closing minutes, including last year's 35-34 thriller at Gannon Field. The teams will once again meet in Erie to open the 2010 campaign and the Storm will be looking to start the season with a win for the first time.
“The season opener against Gannon has been circled on our calendar since the last play of the 2009 season,” McNellie said. “Though this is a non-league game, Gannon is a geographical rival, a Division II program very much on the rise, a team that we have unfinished business with and a pivotal game in building momentum for the long grind in the GLIAC.”
That grind begins the following week against Michigan Tech and continues with two straight games on the road at teams that reached the postseason a year ago. The Storm will play at Saginaw Valley State University on Sept. 18 and at regional semifinalist Hillsdale College Sept. 25.
The Storm returns home to host Ferris State University on Homecoming Oct. 2 (1 p.m.) and will play just the second home night game in school history Oct. 9 at 7 p.m. against Wayne State University.
“We are excited to bring night football back to Painesville and what more could you ask for than playing a big-time program like Wayne State, under the lights in front of a huge hometown crowd,” McNellie said. “We really hope our entire campus and the local community will come out for this unique opportunity.”
The following weekend, Oct. 16, the Storm will play under the lights again but this time it will be in Allendale, Mich. at national runner-up and four-time national champion Grand Valley State University (7 p.m.).
The Storm will play at the University of Findlay Oct. 23 (12 p.m.) before playing two straight at home. Ohio Dominican University, which won a wild 52-49 game last season at Britt Stadium, comes to Painesville Oct. 30 (1 p.m.) and then Tiffin University will be the Storm's opponent for Senior Day Nov. 6 (1 p.m.).
The season wraps up with a road game at Ashland University Nov. 13 (1 p.m.).
“I am very excited to see where we stack up in arguably the best Division II football conference in the nation,” McNellie said. “Regardless of whom we play, as a program we talk about out-working the competition and competing everyday. So whether we line up against the Chicago Bears or the Bad News Bears I am hoping you will see great enthusiasm and great effort from our team.”
2010 Lake Erie College Football Schedule
All dates and times are local to site and subject to change
|Thur.||Sept. 2||at Gannon||Erie, Pa.||7 p.m.|
|Sat.||Sept. 11||MICHIGAN TECH*||Painesville, Ohio||1 p.m.|
|Sat.||Sept. 18||at Saginaw Valley State*||Saginaw, Mich.||12 p.m.|
|Sat.||Sept. 25||at Hillsdale*||Hillsdale, Mich.||1 p.m.|
|Sat.||Oct. 2||FERRIS STATE* (Homecoming)||Painesville, Ohio||1 p.m.|
|Sat.||Oct. 9||WAYNE STATE*||Painesville, Ohio||7 p.m.|
|Sat.||Oct. 16||at Grand Valley State*||Allendale, Mich.||7 p.m.|
|Sat.||Oct. 23||at Findlay*||Findlay, Ohio||12 p.m.|
|Sat.||Oct. 30||OHIO DOMINICAN*||Painesville, Ohio||1 p.m.|
|Sat.||Nov. 6||TIFFN* (Senior Day)||Painesville, Ohio||1 p.m.|
|Sat.||Nov. 13||at Ashland*||Ashland, Ohio||1 p.m.|
* Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) game
CAPS denote home games at Jack Britt Memorial Stadium