Behind the Numbers: #61-70
Behind the Numbers - #61
The sixth edition of the Behind the Numbers series begins with #61. Every player to wear number 61 took their success to the max and guard Max Evans back in 1941 was the first.
Continuing from the last collection of jersey numbers, the defensive side of the ball where the best player for number 61 resides.
Sean Mulhearn (1987-1990) mastered the art of both knowledge and athletic skill during his career at WMU. Mulhearn recorded 435 tackles, seven sacks and two interceptions while being First Team All-MAC in 1990.
He is second in career tackles (435),Academic All-District (1990) and Academic All-MAC (1988,89,90). He is apart of the WMU All-Century Team.
Offensive guard red shirt freshman Dustin Pringle is strapping up the number 61 this season. Pringle earned All-State and First Team All-Conference at Blackhawk High School, Pa.
Behind the Numbers - #62
Muhammad Ali, must have been thinking of the best player to wear #62 when saying "float like a butterfly, sting like a bee." While the first player to wear number 62 was William Hillborg back in 1941, the best player to wear number 62, has a relation to that famous quote.
Larry Featherstone (1988-1992) may have a last name that sounds harmless, but Featherstone caused much chaos on the football field. He compiled 84 tackles and two sacks during his career at WMU.
Wearing number 62 for the Broncos this year is senior center Kevin Galeher. Galeher last season started in 8 games and snapped the ball 601 times.
Behind the Numbers - #63
From beginning to end, #63 has had no apologies for opposing teams. Delmar Firme back in 1941 never made it easy for defensive lineman easy to get past, while wearing the number 63.
On the other side, the next best player is on the defensive side of the ball again and was never apologizing for his stellar plays and performances.
Eric Hoffmann (1985-1988) was always a force to be reckoned with during his playing career at linebacker. Hoffmann had 291 tackles, six sacks and three interceptions standing in the middle at linebacker. He was Second Team All-MAC in 1987 and was First Team All-MAC the following year. He is apart of the WMU All-Century team.
Senior offensive lineman Tim Maka will be shouldering number 63 for the last time this season for the Broncos. Maka was involved in 53 snaps last season through six games last season.
Behind the Numbers - #64
Up to 1977, 21 of the 23 players to wear #64 were offensive guards. The first guard was Robert Clark back in 1941.
Though so many guards have worn number 64, a linebacker and defensive player keeps the streak alive as the best player.
Jason Bodden (1992-1996) is another defensive gem for WMU over the previous years. Bodden amassed 20 tackles and three sacks during his career.
Red shirt freshman John Jackson will wear number 64 for the Broncos this year. Jackson is from Cass Tech High School, Mich.
Behind the Numbers - #65
Almost being done with the 61-70 collection of Behind the Numbers is the halfway point of #65. With the least amount of players wearing number 65 (33), the number is dominated by not only guards but offensive lineman.
Bill Yambrick back in 1941, was the first to wear number 65 playing center for the Broncos. Ending the streak of defensive dominance, is the one of the brightest offensive lineman to put on a Bronco uniform.
Phillip Swanson (2006-2010) surely mastered the mental edge of football during his playing career. Swanson was also impressive on the field starting in 48 games and playing 3,720 snaps in his career. He was Third Team All-MAC in 2008.
On the field Swanson was dominating defensive lineman, off the field he was dominating the classroom. He racked up academic awards such as Academic All-America (2008,2010), Academic All-District (2008-2010) and Academic All-MAC (2007-2010).
Senior offensive lineman Kasimili Uitalia will be number 65 yet again for the Broncos this season. Uitalia started 13 games last season being apart of 1,021 snaps.
Behind the Numbers - #66
In 1926 the famous Route 66 was built. Eighteen years later Joseph Gray was the first player in WMU football history to wear #66. Gray, along with many other Bronco players have been riding the superhighway of success.
Slipping between the cracks of the Behind the Numbers 61-70 collection is an overlooked aspect of football. A punter is deemed the best player to wear number 66.
Matt Steffen (1999-2002) sneaks into the best player list, though he was a big part of the field position battle during his career. Steffen compiled 5,226 punt yards and had 12 touchbacks, winning the position battle many times while playing for WMU.
Junior long snapper Kirk Nakama takes the field as number 66 this year for the Broncos. Nakama appeared in all 13 games being apart of 58 snaps and having one tackle last season.
Behind the Numbers - #67
Only four players that have worn #67 have been defensive players. In 1944, Carl Rossetti was the first player to wear number 67 and the offensive side of the ball is where this number has generally stayed.
The offensive side of the ball is where the best player will be and finally an offesnive player cracking the 61-70 best player list.
Larry Ulmer (1970-1972) was a unanimous decision to pick for the best player to wear number 67. Ulmer was 21-9 during his career at WMU, while being apart of the three best records for WMU during the 70's. He was Second Team All-MAC in 1970 and followed up that with the next two years being First Team All-MAC. He is apart of the WMU All-Century team.
Junior offensive lineman Terry Davisson will slip number 67 over the big shoulder pads this season. Davisson last year started all 13 games and was on the field for 940 plays.
Behind the Numbers - #68
With only three to go until the finale of the sixth edition of the Behind the Numbers series, in continuing with #68. 1944 was the year that guard Joseph Wagner brought the number 68 into the lives of WMU football fans.
Since that time, number 68 has had success through the roof including the next player to have the honor in being called the best number 68.
Pat Emrick (1960-1962) was one of the early birds to wear number 68. Emrick had a record of 14-12 during his career at WMU. That record didn't stop him from becoming Second Team All-MAC in 1962. Emrick was the 14th player to wear number 68 and the first to do so for more than one year.
Senior Dann O'Neill adds to the great list of players to wear number 68 this season for the Broncos. O'Neill last seasons started all 13 games and had a part in 1010 plays. O'Neill is Phil Steel's Pre-season All-MAC.
Behind the Numbers - #69
The jersey #69 has been pleasuring WMU football fans ever since it's dawning back in 1944. Guard Ray VanDeweghe gave the WMU faithful a whirlwind of excitement and success while wearing number 69.
For the second straight time the 61-70 collection, offensive lineman are chosen as the best players.
Charlie Knapp (1995-1999) gave the gift of painful pleasure to defensive lineman during his playing days. Knapp posted a record a career record of 23-21 and compiling 17,853 yards as apart of the offensive line. He was Second Team All-MAC in 1998 and 1999. He is apart of the WMU All-Century team.
Behind the Numbers - #70
The final installment of the 61-70 collection ends at #70. The youngest jersey out of this collection, number 70 was worn first by James Vogt back in 1955.
Though the jersey may be young, there has been a rich tradition of success during its time at WMU. Rounding out the 61-70 collection, for the third straight numbers is an offensive lineman.
Paul Hutchins (1988-1992) had a record of 25-18 and amassed 15,408 while being apart of the offensive unit. Hutchins was rewarded for his outstanding play with Second Team All-MAC (1990) and First Team All-MAC (1991-92). He is apart of the WMU All-Century team.
Red shirt freshman Willie Beavers will be starring in number 70 this season for the Broncos. Beavers is from Southfield Lathrup High School, Mich.