Football fever is running high at Greenville's Thiel College -- the Tomcats have a new football coach and a new stadium to call their own.
Jack Leipheimer, who played his high school ball at Hickory and his college ball at Thiel, is the new coach, taking over for Dave Armstrong who resigned last December.
The new facility, named Alumni Stadium and built on the former "Jock" Stoeber practice field, will be ready when the Tomcats open the football season with Capital on Sept. 1.
Alumni Stadium will also host Tomcat soccer.
In agreement with Leipheimer who stated, "Having one's own field on campus is very important to the success of any team," one must recognize those teams who do not enjoy the fruits of having their own stadium.
For many years now, the Tomcats played games at Stewart Field in Greenville, home of the Greenville Trojans.
Rough past: Victories at Thiel in recent years have been few and far between. With Leipheimer at the controls and the new complex, Tomcat fans are hoping the losing ways have gone by the boards.
Alumni Stadium will have synthetic turf and seating for 1,300. The stadium will also have a hospitality area, restrooms and a fieldhouse for training, meeting and locker rooms.
Having their stadium has already helped as more than 100 freshman will report to camp this year. That reminds one of that Kevin Costner movie which included the famed remarks about a baseball field in Iowa: "Build it and they will come."
Leipheimer, who played quarterback at Hickory under Coach Ted Lazorishak, was named head man at Thiel after having served at Allegheny College, Meadville, as an assistant for 17 years.
Strong reputation: Mercer County fans are well aware of the success of the Allegheny Gators. Before coaching at Allegheny, Leipheimer was head football coach at Kennedy Catholic (formerly Kennedy Christian).
He's well-known in the Shenango Valley and in college circles around Western Pennsylvania. At Thiel, Leipheimer was a tight end and a three-year letterman, graduating in 1974.
He has retained four of the Tomcat coaches in Frank Amato (who compiled a tremendous record at Reynolds High School), Clyde Morgan of Youngstown Chaney and a former Thiel defensive standout; Bill Brest of Hermitage, and Chris Merritt.
Newcomers to Leipheimer's staff are: Ken Achenbach, a former Allegheny College standout who played at Sharon High; John Marzka of Erie; and Kurt Reiser of Butler.
Leipheimer was a member of the 1972 Tomcat team, the last to win a Presidents' Athletic Conference championship. He said it was a great feeling and would like nothing better than to instill those same sentiments into his Tomcat gridders in the years and months ahead.
Swimming: The 2000-01 Westminster College men's and women's swimming media guide has been honored as one of the best in the nation by the College Sports Information Directors of America.
The Titan guide was voted "Third in the Nation" in CoSIDA Division B/C for the 2000-01 academic year. The guides were judged on both content and design.
Westminster employees receiving certificates for the honor were sports information director Joe Onderko of New Wilmington, graphic designer Deborah Parady of New Castle and publications coordinator Pat Broadwater of Mercer.
All three work in the Westminster Office of Communication Services. The award marks the fifth CoSIDA national honor for a Westminster sports media guide in the past five years.