‘Good Senior Day’ means winning for Flyers

The players get the spotlight on Senior Day, but when you play for a program that doesn’t give out athletic scholarships, the real heroes are the moms and dads who pay the bills, and that doesn’t come cheep at the University of Dayton.

The Dayton Flyers will honor 22 seniors and their parents in Saturday’s final game of the season at Welcome Stadium against Valparaiso.

For 15 of those 22 seniors the college experience has been a five-year journey, which means they will be going through Senior Day for the second year in a row.

“You don’t want to focus too much on Senior Day,” tight end Ian Palin said. “You want to have a good Senior Day, which means winning. It’s nice to have your parents out on the field to thank them for everything they’ve done.”

Rick Chamberlin has seen Senior Day from both sides, and in his ninth season as head coach he admits that saying goodbye never gets easier:

“It’s a special day because it is their last time to play at Welcome Stadium. At the same time you want them to leave with a victory and the only way we can do that is by executing on Saturday.”

Envelope please: Linebacker Chris Beaschler this week was announced as a finalist for the National Football Foundation's Campbell Trophy, which is often referred to as the Academic Heisman.

“It’s a huge honor and something I don’t take lightly,” Beaschler said. “I’m just really honored to represent my family and this great university in New York.”

Beaschler is one of 12 finalists from all levels of college football who will be honored in New York next month. Each finalist gets an $18,000 post-graduate scholarship with the winner taking home the Campbell trophy and an additional $7,000.

The two-time captain was an Academic All-American last season and was just named to the District All-Academic team for the second year in a row. A mechanical engineering major, Beaschler leads the Flyers in tackles.

Vanquishing Valpo: Dayton (7-2, 5-1) owns a 12-game winning streak against Valparaiso (3-6, 2-4). The Crusaders have only won twice in the 25-year history of the series.

One of Valpo’s biggest offensive threats is Springboro native Frank Catrine. The former Fenwick High School star has led the Crusaders in receptions the last two seasons after making the switch from running back to receiver.

Centerville’s Connor Rettig is a starting guard for the Crusaders.

The Flyers look to go unbeaten at home in back-to-back regular seasons. Dayton owns a 12-game regular-season win streak at Welcome Stadium. The Flyers close out the season next Saturday in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., Marist.

SATURDAY’S GAME

Valparaiso at Dayton, 1 p.m., AM 1290, News 95.7 WHIO