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A college sports blog from The Oakland Press, dedicated to covering Michigan and Michigan State athletics as well as former Oakland County athletes at other schools.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Wayne State's Renel named Harlon Hill semifinalist

The good couple of weeks continued in the Renel household in Rochester Hills, as Rochester Adams grad Josh Renel led the Wayne State Warriors to the inaugural South Division football title in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, a day after being named a semifinalist for the Harlon Hill Trophy.

Renel, a junior running back for WSU, is one of 24 finalists for the award. His 2,133 all-purpose yards this season are the third-best total in school history, ranking only behind the 2006 (2,462) and 2009 (2,392) totals posted by his predecessor at RB for Wayne State, Joique Bell. Now a member of the Indianapolis Colts — his third team this season, after going undrafted in the spring — Bell won the Harlon Hill Trophy last year.

Also named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District team within the last two weeks, Renel had 207 all-purpose yards for the Warriors Saturday, as they beat Findlay, 44-27, to earn their school-record ninth win, and the South Division title at 8-2. Renel's 115-yard, 2-TD effort marked his fourth straight 100-yard rushing game.

Renel was one of three GLIAC players — along with Hillsdale QB Troy Weatherhead and Michigan Tech RB Phil Milbrath — to make the list of six candidates from Super Regional 3. The top two vote-getters from voting in each of the four regions will go onto the national ballot. The winner will be announced on Dec. 17.

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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Josh Renel leads locals earning CoSIDA Academic All-District honors

It was a good week in the Renel household.

Josh Renel, a graduate of Rochester Adams and a junior running back for Wayne State, had a career day in the Warriors' 41-27 win over Indianapolis, earning himself Offensive Player of the Week honors in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. His 177 rushing yards — part of a day on which he totaled 319 all-purpose yards, fifth-best in WSU history — helped Wayne State match its school record for wins. Led by Renel, who ranks second in NCAA Division II in all-purpose yards, the Warriors (8-2, 7-2 GLIAC) are tied with Hillsdale atop the GLIAC South Division.

That was the second honor conferred upon Renel in the last week, though.

The business administration/marketing major was one of several local players who earned a spot on the CoSIDA Academic All-District teams last week, when they were announced for football, men's soccer and women's soccer. One of just six D-II players named to the first team in District 4, Renel will be eligible to earn ESPN The Magazine All-American honors. WSU linebacker Nick Thomas earned second-team honors.

Renel's high-school teammate and friend, Cody Wilson, was one of three members of the Central Michigan University football team to earn first-team honors in District 4, along with seniors LB Matt Berning and DT Sean Murnane. It's the first time Wilson, a sophomore wide receiver with an undeclared major and a 3.91 GPA, has been honored. All three are eligible for the same All-American honors as Renel. Eastern Michigan TE Ben Thayer was the only other player from the state to earn first-team honors in the district.

Penn State University senior linebacker Chris Colasanti, a native of Leonard and a graduate of Birmingham Brother Rice, was a first-team all-District 2 honoree, sporting a 3.61 GPA in kinesiology/pre-med. Rochester Hills Lutheran Northwest grad Matt Rolf, a sophomore defensive back at Concordia (Chicago), was a second-team honoree in District 5.

In women's soccer, Davidson College senior midfielder Allison Drutchas (Bloomfield Hills Lahser) sports a 3.98 GPA, earning her first-team honors in District 3. Rochester grad Jackie Carron, a senior defender and two-time captain for the University of Michigan, earned second-team honors in District 4, while Troy Athens grad Tiffany Bell, a sophomore midfielder for Saginaw Valley State, earned third-team honors in district 4 with a 3.93 GPA in chemistry.


Friday, November 5, 2010

Live chat from Illinois vs. U-M at the Big House

Stuck in the grip of the three-game losing skid that followed the perfect 5-0 start, the Michigan Wolverines (5-3, 1-3 Big Ten) are still seeking their sixth win of the season to become bowl eligible. The chances to do that are beginning to dwindle. The number of winnable games left on the schedule — shoot, the number of games period — is going down quickly. With only one home game left after Saturday — and that against Wisconsin — it's becoming imperative that the Wolverines take care of business in this week's game against Illinois.

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