Miles wants to earn, keep wins this year
Golden Bears could exceed preseason expectations
Fourth in a series
By John Zenor
Associated Press Writer
Miles College has two big ambitions for this season: Win more games than last season, and be able to count them.
The Golden Bears had to forfeit all five wins from last season for using an ineligible player the entire season, leaving the record books reflecting an 0-10 team instead of one that was a more respectable 5-5.
“It gives you motivation to try to do better this year,” coach Wade Streeter said. “We just start over anew and just put that behind us.”
Miles was picked to finish eighth in the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference by league coaches. Streeter thinks the Golden Bears could exceed those expectations if they can finish games strong, especially after losing a pair of one-point games early last season.
“I like to think we’re going to be better,” he said. “We’re going to be young. If we can get past being able to finish the fourth quarter, I think we’ll be OK.”
The Golden Bears return most of their offensive skill position players, including quarterback Ellis George and preseason All-SIAC tailback Jeremy Spears.
George only played in four games last season because of a knee injury. He completed just 27-of-70 passes for 526 yards.
Spears ran for 495 yards and one touchdown in eight games last season, with Miles finishing seventh in the SIAC in rushing and eighth in total offense.
Receivers Darrell LeBeaux, Vincent Hill and Derrick Hector all return.
But Tekino George, whose 16 catches and 232 yards led the team, is gone.
The only returning starters on the offensive line are Brandon McKinney and Robert Bibbs, who moved to center.
The defensive strength should be the line, with all four starters returning, led by end Adrian Belton. The Golden Bears didn’t allow an opposing back to rush for 100 yards last season.
Linebacker Brandon Parnell returns after leading the team with 74 tackles and 12.5 stops for loss.
“Defense should be the strong suit again of our team,” Streeter said. “We expect to be physical and run to the ball well. We should be able to make plays. We’ve just got to be able to execute and not give up big plays.”
Justin Madison could handle kicking duties and play on defense unless freshman kicker Jon Rodriquez wins the job.
Miles opens the season against Shaw on Aug. 25.
Miles football at a glance
Coach: Wade Streeter, 33-30 school (seventh year); 55-43 overall (11th year).
Last year: 0-10, 0-7 SIAC (last; forfeited all five wins).
Offense: QB Ellis George and TB Jeremy Spears return along with several top receivers but only two starting offensive linemen.
Unit managed only 17.6 points and 226 total yards per game last season.
Defense: LB Brandon Parnell returns after leading the team with 74 tackles last season. The starting defensive line returns intact, led by Adrian Belton. Jesse Harris and Vincent Hill are among returnees in secondary.
Special teams: PK Justin Madison returns.
Key losses: WR Tekino George.
Opener: Aug. 25 Shaw.
Pivotal game: Sept. 2 Tuskegee.
Outlook: Miles must improve league’s eighth-rated offense, especially the passing game, for chance to contend in SIAC. Last year’s team went 5-5 but had to forfeit the wins after using an ineligible player in every game.
The Associated Press
Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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