Sports at Wabash return soon, and it’s set to be a packed fall season. Soccer takes to the field first, but it isn’t long be-fore football, cross country, tennis, and golf all take their places in the limelight. That’s not even to mention the return of basketball and swimming later on in the year. So, with the season’s first athletics event just around the corner, our writers got together to discuss the semester and answer the all-import-ant Little Giant questions.
What is the most important game/event for your team this semester?
Sam Benedict ‘25, Football • The Monon Bell game is and always will be the most important game of the year. Wabash travels to Greencastle for the 128th edition of the game and looks to defend the Bell after last year’s exciting game. I’m also looking forward to NCAC games against Denison University and Ohio Wesleyan University. Last year, Wabash took both teams to overtime and narrowly beat Denison 39-38, while losing to Ohio Wesleyan 28-35. These two games will be important in the race for the conference championship.
Andrew Dever ‘25, Football • The most interesting game this year will be the renewal of the Gentlemen’s Classic against Hampden-Sydney College. This unique opening day clash will see two teams looking to bounce back from disappointing 2021 sea-sons. Furthermore, with this game being held at Little Giant Stadium, Wabash has decided to make this game Senior Day to celebrate all the great achievements and accomplishments by Wabash football’s senior class. As a result, the Gentlemen’s Classic is a crucial opening game and a unique opportunity for Wabash College.
Benjamin Bullock ‘23, Soccer • In September, Wabash will play host to the Robbie Dreher Classic. A week-end-long tournament, it is named in honor of the 12-year-old son of Scott Dreher ’82 who tragically died in a plane crash in 2006. For this year’s iteration of the tournament, the Little Giants will take on Fontbonne University and Webster University.
Peter Leithauser ‘24, Tennis • The Wabash tennis team has a very short fall schedule with only three tournaments. All three will be important opportunities for younger members of the team to build experience. For the veteran members, it is important to return to tennis condition and start preparing for their spring season.Who is your team’s most exciting player?Dever, Football• Rising junior and 2021 Offensive Player of the Year Liam Thompson ‘24 will be looking to supplement his already extremely im-pressive Wabash career this fall. The First Team All-NCAC quarterback will need to play to his full potential for Wabash to have an opportunity for post-season football. Expect dynamic playmaking and improved accuracy from one of the best players in the NCAC and DIII football.
Ethan Wallace ‘24, Basketball • Looking forward to this season, the most exciting player to watch will be Ahmoni Jones ‘23. Jones showed on several occasions last year that he could take on the role of leading scorer for the Little Giants. But he struggled with consistency and could accurately be called a second half player. While that was not a huge detriment to the Little Giants last year, who had players like Davidson and Watson, this season Jones will need to find a way to play at a high level all game every game. Brumett and the team will be looking to him as the only senior and returning starter to take the lead role.
Bullock, Soccer • If I had to choose one, it would be Coledon Johnson ’23. Johnson was the conference’s leading goal scorer last year, bagging himself 12 goals in 19 games. With a shot conversion rate of over 20%, he is really dangerous in front of goal. So, as he heads into his senior year, Johnson will undoubtedly be hungry for more.
Leihauser, Tennis • Tennis has a few excellent players to watch, but the most exciting is junior Liam Grennon ‘24. Liam plays a very exciting game with a huge serve and strong ground strokes. The aspect of Liam’s game that makes him so exciting to watch is the energy that he brings to every match.
How do you expect your team to perform?
Benedict, Football • I think that the Wabash offense is in position to score over 40 points every game. Key re-turners include leading rusher Dona-van Snyder ‘24 and leading receiver Cooper Sullivan ‘23 to complement Thompson. The defense will be led by Joe Rios and Will Netting who each secured over 50 tackles last year. I’m predicting multiple high scoring affairs and a 9-1 record this year.
Dever, Football • If Wabash can continue to perform well in its out-of-conference games, I expect our football team to be in contention to win the NCAC championship and automatically qualify for the NCAA Division III playoffs. Aside from the September 10th clash against Division III National Runner-up North Central College, Wabash has a legitimate chance to win every game of the season. However, I believe with the tough non-conference schedule, as well as three difficult conference away games, the 2022 Wabash College Football team will finish 6-4.
Bullock, Soccer • This soccer team has a point to prove. After losing 8-0 to Kenyon in last season’s NCAC tournament, the Little Giants will be looking to get their revenge. To do so, they need to show consistency against the top teams. If Wabash are able to score points against the likes of Kenyon, Ohio Wesleyan, and Denison, then don’t count them out to go far this season. It would certainly be amazing to see this team break into the NCAA tournament, and with enough momentum, I believe they could do it.
What challenges might your team face this semester?
Benedict, Football• The biggest challenge that the football team will face is how the defense will fill the roles of multiple graduates. Last season’s top four tackle leaders have all graduated and the coaching staff has seen turnover as defensive coordinator Mike Ridings was hired, leading to a new defensive scheme.
Dever, Football • Besides the non-conference match-up against Division III runner-up North Central College, Wabash’s biggest scheduling challenge will be their conference away games. Playing away at both DePauw and Wittenburg, ranked first and second respectably in the NCAC in 2021, will be an extremely tough challenge for the Little Giants in 2022.
Benedict, Basketball • Basketball will face the challenge of replacing three starting players from last season, all of whose impact at Wabash will long be remembered by the fans. The team will have to step up together to fill the open roles. Compounding this challenge is the fact the Wabash team is very young. Of the players returning this year, only a handful got consistent minutes last season. But with leadership from the returning players and some new talent, I think it is a challenge the Wabash team will be able to overcome. Bullock, Soccer• Soccer has lost the services of both last year’s starting center backs. Cristian Aleman ’22 and Josh Scott ’22 both graduated last year, leaving a cavity in the Wabash defense that Coach Keller will need to fill.
Finally, what are your predictions for this year’s Monon Bell Classic?
Benedict, Football• I believe that the football team will travel to Greencastle with the bell, then travel back to Crawfordsville with it. Considering that this game may decide the NCAC regular season champion, all bets are off, and the game will be a tight one:
Dever, Football • Wabash will follow up on last year’s shocking comeback to win 31-28 in Greencastle.
Bullock, Soccer• Wabash win 20-17. Ding, Ding!
Leithauser, Tennis• I hope this year’s Monon Bell Classic won’t be as stressful as last year’s! I believe Wabash will win 35-10.