Behind the Numbers: #71-80
Behind the Numbers - #71
Beginning the seventh edition of the Behind the Numbers series is #71. Lawrence Decker back in 1949 was the first Bronco to wear this number.
Only four defensive players have worn number 71, making the theme of the last couple of Behind the Numbers series come to an end. Starting off, the best player to wear number 71 is part of the trenches and the offensive line.
John Lomokoski (1959-1961) was a big part of the offensive line during his playing days at WMU. Lomokoski posted a career record of 19-16 while earning some awards as well. In 1960 he was First Team All-MAC with the following year being Second Team All-MAC. He earned Associated Press "little" All-America in 1961.
Sophomore offensive lineman Jon Hoffing will be honoring number 71 this year. Hoffing last season played in three games, starting one with a total of 139 snaps played.
Behind the Numbers - #72
With four All-MAC performers the decision to pick the best #72 was tough. Tom O'Shaughnessy back in 1944 started the tradition of excellence bringing number 72 into the eyes of Bronco fans.
Continuing the trend is yet again another offensive lineman and one that not only had success on the field but off the field as well.
Dominic Moran (2002-2006) was a once in a lifetime offensive lineman at WMU. Moran helped the Bronco offense compile 17,153 yards and had a career record of 21-26. He was apart of three different 1,000 yard rushers. In 2006, he was Second Team All-MAC and Academic All-MAC.
Behind the Numbers - #73
In Shakesperan sonnet 73 the message is to love that well which thou must leave. For #73 at WMU, the love has been growing and has never left since James Shattuck back in 1944.
The simple love of wearing number 73 has continued on for 68 years and the best player to wear number 73 was one that loved the game and was good at what he did. He also cracks the mold as the first defensive player in the 71-80 collection.
Dion Powell (1991-1995) was a force to be reckoned with on a weekly basis during his career. Powell recorded 161 tackles and 17 sacks while being named First Team All-MAC three straight years (1993,94,95).
Junior offensive lineman Greg Peterson will be shouldering number 73 this season. Peterson played in two games last year totaling 33 snaps.
Behind the Numbers - #74
With the fewest players to wear #74 in the 71-80 collection, number 74 can surely be reputable with as much statistical success it has given Bronco football over the years.
The number gets smaller and smaller for defensive players as only three players on the defensive side of the ball have worn number 74. The next best player is one of the best lineman in WMU football history.
Bob Rowe (1964-1966) has cemented his legacy as one of the best defensive tackle not only in WMU history but MAC history as well. Rowe during his junior and senior years totalled 211 tackles. He was MAC Lineman of the Year two straight years in 1965 and 1966. He was selected by the St. Louis Cardinals with the 43rd pick in the second round of the 1967 NFL Draft.
No player since 1995 and Matt Galbraith has worn number 74.
Behind the Numbers - #75
Bon Jovi said it best in his song, "were halfway there." In the Behind the Numbers 71-80 collection, the halfway stop is #75. Jack Marks back in 1941 was the first to wear number 75 for the Broncos.
Only two defensive players have worn number 75 and the offensive lineman best player dominance will continue as the fourth of five best players are offensive lineman.
James Blair (2003-2007) is a longtime veteran of the offensive line playing for four full years. Blair was apart of 17,255 yards on the offensive unit while posting a record of 21-26 during his career. He was apart of back to back 1,000 yard rushers in 2005 and 2006. He was First Team All-MAC in 2007.
Junior Josh Hadel takes control of number 75 this year for the Broncos. Hadel played in 10 games and was apart of 128 plays last season.
Behind the Numbers - #76
Dating back to the great Jack Lees in 1942, #76 has been fueling the passion to succeed ever since.
More than just success has been gifted with this next best player, a spot in the WMU record book as well. As for the third straight time, an offensive lineman takes the crown as best player.
Mark Schenk (1976-1978) was opening holes for one of the great rushing teams in WMU history. Schenk during his career had a 18-15 and posted 10,906 yards as an offensive unit. He was apart of three straight 1,000 yard rushing seasons. His crowning moment in the WMU record book is being apart of the 1976 team that holds the WMU record for most rushing attempts (677) and rushing yards (3,136) in a single season.
Senior Khaled Mheisen is suiting up the number 76 this year for the Broncos. Last season Mheisen played in four games and was apart of 37 snaps.
Behind the Numbers - #77
Having two lucky number sevens must be nice for the 32 players to wear #77. The luck started for the Broncos back in 1941 with offensive tackle Jack Streidl.
Five of the last six best players have been offensive lineman and the streak doesn't change for number 77.
Jim Walker (1994-1995) was lucky from the start when he walked onto the playing field at Waldo Stadium. Walker posted a career record of 5-12 and was Second Team All-MAC (1994-95) both years that he played.
Senior Ben Samson hopes to have luck on his side wearing number 77 for the Broncos this season. Samson last year played in four games and was apart of 23 plays.
Behind the Numbers - #78
Year 78 is also commonly known as is the Roman empire as the conscious year. For the WMU players that have been wearing #78, since 1942 and tackle Loren Edmonds the success has been unconscious.
The streak of offensive lineman continue as for the sixth straight time, an offensive lineman is considered the best player.
Fred Burkhardt (1978-1981) was a centerstone of the offensive line during his time at WMU. Burkhardt was apart of an offensive line that posted 17,534 yards and posted a 26-18 record. He was apart of one 1,000 yard rusher during his career.
Red shirt freshman offensive lineman Travis Turner will be number 78 this year for the Broncos. Turner was second team All-County in his senior season at North Miami Beach High School, Fla.
Behind the Numbers - #79
In golf terms, shooting a 79 on an 18-hole course is a cause for disaster. But for the players to wear #79, it has been anything but a disaster on the gridiron.
Tackle Don Newell in 1941 started the hole-in-one success on the football field and since then has translated into some great players to wear number 79. However another offensive lineman is considered the greatest number 79.
Bud Sitko (1973-1976) is apart of an offensive unit that impressed at WMU. Sitko was 24-20 during his career and helped compile 14,084 yards as an offensive unit. Had one 1,000 yard rusher during his career. Sitko was First Team All-MAC in 1980.
Red shirt freshman James Kristof is taking number 79 this year for the Broncos. Kristof is was All-Mid Suburban League as a senior at Barrington High School, Ill.
Behind the Numbers - #80
Rounding out the 71-80 collection of the Behind the Numbers series is #80. Offensive lineman are in the past as wide receivers and tight ends dominated number 80. Dan Acosta in 1955 was the first Bronco to put number 80 on the map.
Throughout the 57 years, number 80 compiled 282 catches, 3,958 yards and 24 touchdowns. While the best player is a first for the Behind the Numbers series being a tight end to take the honor.
Kelly Spielmaker (1983-1986) was not only a blocker during his time at WMU. Spielmaker had 140 catches, 1,747 yards and 12 touchdowns during his career. He recorded the most catches and yards by a tight end in WMU history. He is third in touchdowns for tight ends. Those statistics led him to be Second Team All-MAC in 1986.
Freshman wide receiver Dan Braverman will wear the illusive number 80 this season. Braverman captured 1,200 yards during his junior and senior seasons at University High School, Fla.