Schaetzle rewarded for past struggles

Ethan Magoc photo: Marty Schaetzle addresses his team in the postgame huddle after Saturday’s victory over Bloomsburg game.Ethan Magoc photo: Marty Schaetzle addresses his team in the postgame huddle after Saturday’s victory over Bloomsburg game.The journey to success for Mercyhurst College football’s head coach Marty Schaetzle has been one of great struggle and hard work.

Schaetzle has coached the Lakers for nine seasons and through many ups and downs.

This year, Schaetzle has taken Mercyhurst football to new heights.
The Lakers are in the NCAA playoffs for the first time and are now in the third round.

They defeated Bloomsburg University, 28-14, Saturday and earned the program’s first NCAA playoff victory.

The victory has already performed volumes for the football program.

“It is great for the program, for all the players that have worked so hard, and for our students and fans that have really been coming out and supporting us,” Schaetzle said.

The success has been a long time coming for Schaetzle.

Since Schaetzle arrived in 2002, the program has had one other winning season.

“I kind of wish the success had come sooner for us. In the beginning, we were growing a program. We were trying to make things better and more comfortable for us while trying to prove our program,” Schaetzle said.

Coming into this season, the Lakers were predicted to finish seventh in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference. Schaetzle disagreed with the pick from the beginning.

“We felt that we could do better than what we were predicted to do,” said Schaetzle. “We didn’t pay much attention to it.”

He and the team were correct, as they have surged far past expectations.

“To get to this point, we have had very hard workers on this team. We have been able to take it one game at a time and restrained from looking too far ahead,” Schaetzle said.

The senior leaders — Garrett Kensy, Bryan Boyce, Tim Herbener and Gerald Anderson — have also played a huge role for the team.

“These guys are really good people with great character and have done a great job leading this team,” Schaetzle says.

One other big factor in the Lakers’ success this season has been the emergence of redshirt junior quarterback Travis Rearick.

Rearick has sparked the Lakers’ offense with 22 touchdown passes and 1,872 passing yards.

The move to make Rearick the starter has been, perhaps, one of Scaetzle’s best moves.

“Kensy got hurt a couple weeks before our fall break. Travis really excelled on the field and lead us to a couple of comeback victories and he has had the job since,” Scahetzle said.

There has also been a great deal of positive fate associated with this year’s success, according to Schaetzle.

“A lot of teams are as good as us, but we have been able to stay healthy and we have had some breaks go our way,” Schaetzle said.

He is now one step away from taking his team to the Division II semifinals.

Schaetzle, however, is not quite ready to start looking back on what his team has accomplished this year.

“Somewhere down the line, I don’t know when, we will look at what we have done and see that we have accomplished a lot but for now we are staying focused,” he says.