College football preview: WCU looks to defend PSAC title

Matt Leon
August 30, 2019 - 11:23 am
West Chester Golden Rams

West Chester University Athletics

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The Division II West Chester University football team should once again be a force in the always rugged Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference.

The Golden Rams are the defending PSAC champs — they went 10-1 in 2018, 6-0 in PSAC East — and they are the preseason pick to win the PSAC's Eastern Division. 

Bill Zwaan is entering his 17th season as the head coach of the Golden Rams. 

"We graduated a bunch of pretty good players from last year's team," he said. "A lot of our work in the spring and the preseason has been to try to fill those spots. We've got really talented players, I think, that are going to end up filling in those spots, but a few of them have very little experience. So we're going to be a little bit young in some spots. 

"In particular, we're going to be young in some back-up spots. I like what we're seeing. I like the group we have."

West Chester will be quarterbacked by senior Paul Dooley, who has 21 games of experience under his belt, and Zwaan says that's big.

"That helps a lot," he added. "He's able to do most of the things we want him to do as far as both throwing and running. He's done it before and he's played in games. So there's not really a question mark there. So he fits right in."

Defensively, West Chester allowed just 16.5 points per game last season. In 2019, Zwaan said they are going to be really tough to deal with along the defensive line.

"Front four," Zwaan said, "Ch'aim Smith returning at defensive end, Omar Peterkin returning at defensive tackle, both all conference players, very, very good football players. One's a senior, one's a junior. 

"(Redshirt junior) Fulani Freeman, who transferred to us from Valley Forge, he'll be at the other end position, and (senior) Tyrone Barge, who's a transfer to us from Rhode Island. That front four is going to be really strong. We've got some depth there."

West Chester opens its 2019 season at home on Sept. 7 against Bentley.

You can follow Matt Leon on Twitter @MattLeon1060.

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For more untold stories of the Philadelphia sports scene, listen to the KYW Newsradio original podcast 1-on-1 with Matt Leon. Bill Zwaan previously stopped by to discuss his success with the Golden Rams. Listen below.