The history book will always record Hope as the
1999 Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) co-
Coach Dean Kreps' Flying Dutchmen are sharing the title with
Albion and Alma after all three teams went 5-1 in conference
On paper, however, the Flying Dutchmen gained the
statistical edge by leading the conference in every major team
category -- scoring offense, scoring defense, total offense and
total defense. This hasn't been accomplished by a Hope team
since the 1987 conference championship season.
Playing what many viewed as the toughest non-league schedule
among MIAA teams and ending winless against those three
opponents, the Flying Dutchmen came back to win five of six
conference games. Included was a school-record 62-7 triumph over
playoff bound Alma. It was the Scots' only loss of the season.
The MIAA championship is the second in three seasons under
Kreps. After five seasons he has coached the Dutchmen to a 22-23
overall mark and 17-10 MIAA record.
Junior quarterback J.D. Graves of Troy (Athens HS) set a
Hope single season total offense record even though he missed one
game with an injury. He became the first Hope player to surpass
2,000 yards in total offense in a season, rushing for 425 yards
for another 1,878 yards.
Graves' rushing total (425 yards) appears to be a Hope
single season record for a
quarterback. The previous best recorded total for a quarterback
was 302 yards by Gary Frens in 1967. In the mid-1970s
quarterback Bob Carlson rushed for 253 yards as a junior (1973)
and 244 yards as a senior (1974).
Senior wide receiver Matt Handzo of Clinton Township
(DeLaSalle HS) had the distinction of starting in every game as a
collegian (36 games). No Hope player since at least the start of
the coaching career of Russ DeVette (1955) has accomplished that
fete. Handzo ended as Hope's third alltime leading career
receiver (92 catches) and second in pass reception yardage (1,262
Junior tight end Brian Adloff of East Grand Rapids (East
Grand Rapids HS) became the first Hope player to catch 40-or-more
passes in consecutive seasons. This season he caught 40 passes
after grabbing a school-record 49 in 1998. With a season of
eligibility remaining, he is second on the alltime pass
reception list with 92. The record is 107 receptions by Bill
Vanderbilt, Jr. from 1984-87.
Hope has long prided itself on the success of its tailback
in the offense. This season three tailbacks combined to gain
1,275 yards. Senior Eric Nichols of Grandville (Calvin Christian
HS) rushed for 808 yards, junior Adam Magers of Battle Creek (St.
Phillip Catholic HS) added 308 yards and senior Peter Kellepourey
of Maple Valley (Maple Valley HS) accounted for 159 yards.
Combined, it would be Hope's fourth best single season total from
the tailback position.
Senior Todd Tester of Traverse City (Traverse City HS)
intercepted six passes, one shy of the single season mark of
seven by Kelly Clark (1991) and Randy Ames (1996).
Sophomore Ian Fish of Parchment (Parchment HS) had the
second best single season scoring total by placekicker with seven
field goals and 31 extra points for 52 points. The record is 58
points by Duy Dang in 1987.
Freshman Nick Conrad of Wyoming (Wyoming Park HS) set a
single season mark for the best punt return average (15.3 yards
on nine returns). The previous mark was 13.9 yards per return by
Mark Van Wieren in 1988.