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Ave Maria University

Ave Maria Gyrenes embark on their third football campaign in 2013 and after the improvement shown from year one to year two, don’t be surprised to see this school notch some additional victories. After going winless in 2011, AMU won their first game ever by three touchdowns over a team they had lost to the previous season. Head Coach Marty Quinn is set for his first season as top Gyrene in 2013. As O.C. in 2012, he doubled the offensive output of AMU’s inaugural team and increased scoring from 11 ppg to over 17. He has lots of returners ready to make another leap forward this fall.

On offense, RB Laz Herrara, 5-11 194 averaged 7.2 yards per carry in the 6 games he was healthy for. Drake Sunderland, 6-5 195 took most of the snaps at QB last fall, (907 yards and 7 scores), but may be pushed by Matt Novak and Robert Orban who was voted most improved during spring. Whoever wins the QB job will have experience at wideout in Travis Makauskas, Dan Mervos and Chris Fahey, the top three returners, (Mervos averaged 26 yards a catch in 2012). The key will be if the O-line can open more holes for Herrara as the Gyrenes ran for just 129 yards an outing.

On defense the linebacking core should be a good one with team captain Kurt Joseph, 6-1 215, Frank Kelly 5-11 190, Zechariah Fleck 6’ 215 and Tanner Bowling 5-11 195 all back. Fleck led the team in tackles, Bowling in TFL and Kelly moves up from safety. They’ll all rely on DL Thomas Anderson 6-3 220 who led the team in sacks in 2012.

Ave Maria starts 2013 in a big way, playing Robert Morris at Chicago’s Soldier Field on August 31st. While the Gyrenes may still be growing, they should be solid in depth and able to produce more wins as they add several teams starting their programs this fall in Florida Tech and Warner. With all the talent in Florida, AMU should have a bright future.