Beaver Falls, PA – Nothing says the end of summer more than the start of football camp. With that being the case, the summer of 2009 is nearly behind us as Geneva College’s football team is set to report to campus on Friday and will start pre-season work-outs in anticipation of the 2009 campaign. Head coach Geno DeMarco, entering his 17th year as the school’s head coach, met with the media on Wednesday at the annual Presidents’ Athletic Conference media day at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe.
DeMarco focused his comments on the character of his team and the way in which it turned a 1-5 start into a 5-5 overall finish in 2008. Along with only Rutgers University, Geneva was the only other NCAA school to start at 1-5 and win the remaining games on its schedule. Included in its four game winning streak to end the season was an upset victory over eventual PAC champion Thomas More. On Wednesday, Thomas More was picked first in the pre-season poll conducted by coaches and media. The Saints received 18 out of a possible 28 first place votes and gained the top spot by only nine points over perennial powerhouse Washington & Jefferson. Both Thomas More and W & J advanced to the NCAA Division III play-offs last year with W & J advancing into the elite eight. Geneva will face both teams on the road in 2009.
Because of Geneva’s continued provisional status in Division III, it is still ineligible for the PAC crown. The Golden Tornadoes will have one year remaining of provisional status following the 2009 season. The voters did however pick Geneva to finish 4-4 in PAC play for the upcoming year.
DeMarco will match his predecessor Gene Sullivan for the longest head coaching tenure in Geneva football history this year. Sullivan, who coached DeMarco in the mid-1980’s, was on the sidelines from 1976-92 when DeMarco took over the reins. Sullivan remains on Geneva’s coaching staff as a consultant.
The Golden Tornadoes will open the 2009 season at home on September 5 against Frostburg State University at 7:00 pm. Geneva will be celebrating community night on September 5 and all fans will receive free admission. Geneva will also have home games against Thiel (Sept.26), Grove City (Oct. 10), Saint Vincent (Oct. 24) and Bethany (Oct. 31).
Geneva College is a comprehensive Christian college of the arts, sciences and professional studies. Founded in the tradition of the Reformed Christian faith, Geneva prepares students to serve Christ in all areas of society: work, family and the church. Geneva College’s philosophy of education is based on the Foundational Concepts of Christian Higher Education. Geneva is a founding member of the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU).
Geneva graduates pass the test for teacher certification in elementary education (Praxis II) at over a 99% rate in the first attempt–one of the highest pass rates in Pennsylvania.