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Offline Pack93z  
#1 Posted : Friday, December 12, 2008 3:06:01 PM(UTC)

Rank: Hall of Famer

PackersHome NFL Pick'em - Bronze: 2012

United States
Joined: 3/16/2007(UTC)
Location: North Central Wisconsin

Applause Given: 385
Applause Received: 1,039

There is a fellow poster among us that has ties to this very school.. nice to see them continuing the roll.


Joe Parish can proudly say he knew Jace Rindahl back when.

The UW-Whitewater receivers coach was Rindahl's coach when the Warhawks' stud linebacker played at Cambridge High School. Parish remembers when Rindahl, in middle school at the time, was a ball boy for the high school basketball team and chuckles at the thought of the muscle-challenged high school freshman Rindahl once was. [img_r]http://d3football.com/images/2008/uwwrindahlrcw217.jpg[/img_r]

A gym rat is what Parish calls him, a genuinely nice kid who would do whatever possible to help a friend.

"But you put a football helmet on him," Parish said, "and I think when he hears the buckles clip something triggers him to move really fast and make big plays and things of that nature. That's pretty exciting."

Spoken like a true football coach.

The 6-foot-3, 220-pound Rindahl is definitely not a man to mess with.

On the field, the senior is the heart of Whitewater's defense, a big-time playmaker for a unit that ranks third in the nation by allowing 12.2 points per game and 17th in total defense at 265.3 yards per game. Off the field, he has played a vital role in Whitewater's transition from the veteran team that won the Division III national title last season to the relatively young one - the Warhawks have just six seniors on the roster - that is 12-1 and plays Mary Hardin-Baylor (12-1) in the national semifinals at noon Saturday in Belton, Texas.

"It was essentially a new defense and to keep that edge, keep that attitude, you need someone," Whitewater coach Lance Leipold said.

Rindahl embraced the role, making sure teammates were lined up properly or being there for anyone with questions. All the while, he was adjusting to his move from the weak side to the middle, and moving into the spotlight after being obscured by the presence of linebackers A.J. Raebel, a D3football.com second-team All-American, and Tristan Borzick, a first team all-conference pick.

"You want to get our name out there and to be recognized by people . . ." Rindahl admitted. "Coming into this season, I had a lot of high expectations. I was a preseason All-American and I thought that was a little more pressure on me to perform at that level. It wouldn't mean nothing if I don't become an All-American."

Rindahl is well on his way. He made the first-team of D3football.com's All-West Region team that was released earlier this week.

He leads Whitewater with 90 tackles, including eight for a loss, and 1 sacks. He also leads the team with five interceptions. He had two last week, including a fourth-quarter pick he returned 45 yards for a touchdown to seal a 34-17 victory over Wartburg College.

The play capped another big playoff performance for Rindahl, who finished the day with six tackles and two interception returns for 88 yards.

It was a big-time play by what Leipold called a "big-time player." Rindahl has proved it again and again in the playoffs.

Against Willamette in the second round, he had 14 tackles. He had 16 tackles, including 10 solos, in the Warhawks' 31-21 victory over Mount Union in the national championship game. And in the national semifinal last season, he had 12 tackles in a 16-7 victory over Mary Hardin-Baylor.

That game was a dream for power football lovers. Mary Hardin-Baylor ran the ball 50 times; Whitewater ran it 44.

It should be more of the same this year.

Quarterback Josh Saenz leads the Crusaders in rushing with 742 yards and 10 touchdowns. Bryson Tucker, a converted linebacker, has run for 675 yards in the last six games and two other backs have more than 500 rushing yards.

"They're going to come out and hit you and it's going to be a physical battle and I think that is the only way we want it to be," Rindahl said. "For us defensive guys, we love to stop the run. That is what we feel is our strength as a defense."

A victory will put Whitewater in the national title game for the fourth straight year.

It would also give Rindahl the rare distinction of playing 60 games as a collegian, the maximum a Division III player can play.

"That is the only way I want to go out," he said. "There is no way I want to stop in the semifinals and take a loss now when we're that close and we can get back there and finish out the best way you can finish out a career."
I think when there's enough will and aggression, there's no shortage of talent either.

Offline Heatherthepackgirl  
#2 Posted : Saturday, December 13, 2008 12:13:41 PM(UTC)

Rank: 7th Round Draft Pick

Joined: 10/22/2006(UTC)

Applause Received: 1

My Nephew used to go to White Water, he went there for a few years and now hes in Sheboygan. :)
Offline Pack93z  
#3 Posted : Wednesday, December 17, 2008 1:40:02 PM(UTC)

Rank: Hall of Famer

PackersHome NFL Pick'em - Bronze: 2012

United States
Joined: 3/16/2007(UTC)
Location: North Central Wisconsin

Applause Given: 385
Applause Received: 1,039

At least we have something to hang our hats upon this year..


Whitewater - For its motto, the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater chose, "Stay Close. Go Far."

It goes to the possibilities beyond the lovely, rural campus for a student body that, for the most part, abides a short commute to where Jefferson and Walworth counties meet to form the lower edge of the Kettle Moraine Forest.

It's also a motto the school could stamp across the helmets of its football team.

This season the Warhawks, with a roster largely of players from southeastern Wisconsin, traveled to play games in Tacoma, Wash., in Salem, Ore., and in Belton, Texas.

And for the fourth consecutive year, they will go to Salem, Va., on Saturday to play for the Division III national championship in the Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl.

How does such sustained excellence happen at any level in this age?

"I think part of the reason is this building we're sitting in," Whitewater coach Lance Leipold said Tuesday afternoon as snow fell outside his office window.

No doubt, Whitewater's athletic center, which Leipold's distinguished predecessor, Bob Berezowitz, campaigned to build before UWW's Stagg Bowl run, would be the envy of any Division III school. Truth be told, many larger schools also would love to have the facility, with its spacious classrooms and weight facilities.

Perkins Stadium helps, too. Seating 11,000, it is one of the largest in Division III. So do featured majors in education and business, recruiting draws for a level of football that does not offer athletic scholarships.

Beyond all that, Leipold has proved himself as a most worthy successor to Berezowitz.

A former Whitewater quarterback who served as a Wisconsin graduate assistant during Barry Alvarez's first Rose Bowl run, Leipold returned to his alma mater last year after spending time in Nebraska, first with the Cornhuskers and then as Nebraska-Omaha's offensive coordinator.

In his first season, Leipold coached the Warhawks to the 2007 national championship, the first in school history. And now the Warhawks are back in the title game after losing four starting offensive linemen, an entire secondary and a large senior class.

After Whitewater beat Mount Union, the New York Yankees of D3 football, Leipold let only the seniors make the celebrity appearances at the capitol and at halftime of UW and Marquette basketball games.

"The other guys, we told them to stay grounded and stay hungry and get back in the weight room," Leipold said. "And they really did. We told them, 'Your day will come.' Hopefully if we can finish this thing off, their day will come (Saturday)."

Whitewater's return to the championship game, against Mount Union for the fourth time in as many years, is notable in that 27 of the 52 who will dress Saturday did not play in the Stagg Bowl last season.

Leipold has rebuilt with two 1,000-yard rushers, a 1,000-yard receiver and a quarterback, Jeff Donovan from Wauwatosa East, who has thrown for almost 2,500 yards this season. Two of Whitewater's top defenders, Wesley Hicks (Vincent) and Anthony White (Bay View), are from Milwaukee.

"We've always been blessed by our locality, between Milwaukee and Madison, but now even more so we can bring a recruit in and open their eyes," Leipold said. "A lot of times we might be able to beat a Division II school because they'd rather stay closer to home and play in a better facility than having to go to a Minnesota or Dakota school. I think that's really benefited us."

Mount Union, which will play in its 12th Stagg Bowl since 1993, has won a record nine D3 championships. How the private school does it is one question. How Whitewater does it makes it one of our sporting jewels.
I think when there's enough will and aggression, there's no shortage of talent either.

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