(11 years, 76-40, all at CNU)
The architect of CNU football has assembled a remarkable record: eight NCAA playoff appearances in 11 years; won 65 percent of all games; 61-12 record (.836) in conference games. All while navigating the administrative morass that is Division III, non-scholarship football. Kelchner has become a fixture in these parts, having spent almost 30 years here, as a longtime assistant at William and Mary before taking over CNU's startup program. You can argue that the Captains ought to be successful, given the top-shelf facilities and local recruiting pool. But it still requires patience and a specific skill set to oversee 100-plus players and coaches, with a greater rate of turnover than exists at most major college programs.
Jr. | 5-10 | 195 | RB
First-team all-conference a year ago after rushing for 970 yards and scoring 11 TDs. Suffered a late-season injury against Ferrum and missed the Captains' regular-season finale and playoff game. The best of a deep group of backs.
Sr. | 6-1 | 215 | LB
Second-leading tackler last season (33 unassisted, 55 total) and honorable mention all-conference. One of the leaders of a group trying to replace all-league Mike King. Senior from Virginia Beach also had two interceptions.
Soph. 6-1 160 WR
Freshman from Chesapeake made an immediate impact. Captains' fastest receiver was second-team all-conference. Averaged 25.2 yards per catch and scored seven TDs as CNU's deep threat.
The Captains have the luxury of three quarterbacks who started games last season, which should make for a spirited competition in preseason camp. Christian Woelfel-Monsivais and Aaron Edwards are seniors, while Lyndon Garner is a junior. Woelfel-Monsivais (33-67-1, 425 yards, 1 TD) won the job coming out of camp last year, before he suffered a season-ending injury. Garner (52-88-3, 787 yards, 6 TD) simply figures out ways to win and was doing so, until he got hurt. Edwards (54-83-6, 754 yards, 7 TD) closed out the regular season and was the triggerman in the playoff game. All three have slightly different strengths and abilities. Kelchner will be comfortable with any of the three on the field. He knows that two of them will be disappointed, but believes that they're mature enough to handle whatever the coaches decide without dividing the locker room. And based on last year, all of them know they're one play away from getting back onto the field.
POSITION BATTLE, PART 2
It's just as crowded at running back as quarterback. Markeese Stovall was first-team all-conference, with 970 yards and 11 TDs. But the Captains have at least three other productive backs in Marcus Morrast, Evan Moog and Justin Williams, never mind potential newcomers who might draw attention at camp. Morrast, a sophomore, gained 556 yards and averaged 5.1 per carry. Moog, a 185-pound junior from Jamestown, ran for 519 yards and 8 TDs. He was moved to linebacker, but might play both ways because he's so productive on offense. Williams (New Kent), also a quality kick returner, was hurt in the second game of the season and never really got started, but is healthy. Fullback Zack Stevens provides a 250-pound escort and battering ram for whomever's back there. And what of Garner? If he doesn't win the quarterback battle, might the coaches be creative and find ways to get him on the field occasionally. There are worse problems than distributing carries.